Saturday, August 12, 2017

LEARNING FROM OUR TROUBLES

Today’s Reading: Job 1-2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

There is a tomb in Nazareth Village that represents the tomb were Jesus was buried. Nazareth Village is a tourist attraction in modern Nazareth that re-enacts what life would have been like when Jesus lived there. Today we begin reading the book of Job. Job cries out for a redeemer and a mediator between himself and God. The empty tomb is proof that Jesus is Redeemer and Mediator, and that the last enemy, death, is conquered!

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Job 1:21

And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

 

The enemy of Job is Satan! Job is unaware of the work of Satan. Satan is the one who has “taken away,” but only with God’s permission. Even though Job believed that God was causing the disasters, he remained faithful to God.

Job is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible. The Sabeans and the Chaldeans were nomads who had not yet settled into cities as later history indicates. Job lived for 200 years, which makes him at the very least a contemporary of Abraham who lived for 175 years. Job uses the Name for God used by Abraham, “Shaddai,” 31 times. This means “The Almighty One.” There are no references to Israel, the Law or the Tabernacle. Therefore, we can conclude that Job did not have the first books of the Bible for his instruction. Because we have the Bible, we know far more than Job about the destructive spiritual powers waging war in this world. As an example of the knowledge we have available to us, read 1 Peter 5:6-9. Satan is still active in this world, but we know that the death and resurrection are proof that Jesus took Satan’s evil actions upon Himself. James 5:11b says, “You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I ask for grace to always apply to my everyday life the knowledge which I have as a result of reading the entire Bible. I pray that I will learn the very difficult lessons taught here in the book of Job. I ask these mercies in the Name of the Redeemer/Mediator for whom Job was seeking. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My new baby son, David Reynold (our photographer), came home from the hospital with a staph infection, causing boils on his little head. Job had boils. I’ve had one boil only, and that was very painful. My heart was pained for Reynold as I had an idea about his suffering. At the time I was working from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, on a new church building in Deep River, Ontario. We lived in Pembroke, 26 miles away. When I would arrive home, Norma-Jean would hand Reynold to me to put to sleep. She had been holding him all day, as it was painful for him to lay his head on the pillow because of the boils. I would rock him for 2 or 3 hours until he fell into a sleep deep enough to bear the pain. I often wept for him as I would pray for his healing. When he was old enough, we purchased a Jolly Jumper, hooked it on the door frame, and he would fall asleep there, his little legs still kicking occasionally. God did heal him eventually, but the results of his months in the Jumper were yet to come. He went to University on a full football scholarship and was the fastest runner on the team. Of course, I’m not saying that this was the reason God allowed the boils. There may have been another reason. He is a man who feels the pain of others. For example, when he was 8 years old, we lived across the road from Queensdale school in Hamilton. He would dash out the door after lunch and I thought he was going to play in the school yard. When we moved from there, the neighbours came by to wish us well. A lady I had not met before said to me, “Thank you for Reynold. He would come by my home at noon each day and take my blind son for a walk along the street. He would describe the leaves, the squirrels, etc. and then return him to my door.” I wept! Perhaps the blessings of Job’s later years were as a result of the sufferings he had endured.

Yours for learning from our troubles,

David

P.S. Again, here is Crossroads CEO Lorna Dueck’s important message for August…

This has been a remarkable year at 100 Huntley Street with a growing audience on TV and an exploding audience on the web through our website, social media platforms and on You Tube (where we now reach almost 1 million views every month).  It’s also looking like a turnaround yearfinanciallybecause we’re SO CLOSE to finishing our fiscal year (August 31) with a balanced budget…the first time in six years!  Lots of hard work, cost-cutting, financial restraint and generous donors who believe in this ministry have made this goal achievable. We have exciting, new plans in mind for our new media mission year that begins in September.  I’m so committed that Crossroads be Canada’s “megaphone of the Gospel”…and we will not be silent about how Jesus can change lives… Jesus alone offers hope! Your donation today will make a difference in many lives.  – Lorna            

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A SPECIAL YEAR-END GIFT TO HELP US BALANCE THE BUDGET AND YOUR DONATION WILL BE MATCHED THROUGH A SPECIAL $10,000 CHALLENGE GRANT! YOU CAN ALSO CALL 1-800-265-3100 TO DONATE BY PHONE.

Friday, August 11, 2017

PEACE AND GRACE

Today’s Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1-3

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Thessalonica Greece is on the Aegeon Sea. On the left you can see the White Tower. This structure was at one time a prison, built in the middle of the 15th century. Now it is a six-floor museum.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

 

Our key verse follows several severe warnings to false teachers and those who follow them: “Flaming fire taking vengeance”…”Punished with everlasting destruction.” Then there is the condemnation of the anti-Christ who will come. He is called “the man of sin,” “the son of perdition,” and “the lawless one.” After hearing all this read in the congregation, the believers needed words of consolation, hope and comfort. We need this also! Today there are those who will try to deceive us. Representatives of cults and of the occult are at work everywhere. The entire New Testament was in the process of being written in Paul’s day.  Paul spent approximately three years in Corinth and it was from there that he wrote back to the Thessalonians. We have a great advantage in being able to read the completed Bible. Let’s continue to cherish our daily readings. Tomorrow we return to the Hebrew Scriptures in what many scholars consider to be the oldest book in the Bible, Job.

In Paul’s day, false teachers messed with the fact of the return of Christ and deceived some new believers with their errors. Let us pay close attention to Paul’s teaching so that we will not be led astray. False teaching has deceived some believers several times in recent decades.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that You will keep me true to Your Word as taught to the Thessalonian church. May I receive grace so that I will not walk in a “disorderly” way. May I “not grow weary in doing good.” In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Besides my motivation for personal spiritual growth, I’ve read the Bible daily for many years so that I will not be deceived. I’ve heard it said that to detect counterfeit money one does not study counterfeit money, but should concentrate on the genuine. Therefore, when the counterfeit shows up, immediately one knows something is wrong. My unrelenting pursuit of consistent daily Bible study has protected me from false teaching at my front door, in books, etc. When I was just 18, a book was given to me which almost turned me aside from winning souls to Jesus. One night after I had spent time with a friend, I realized that I had talked about the content of this book and had not mentioned “THE BOOK.” I repented that night for allowing myself to be diverted by what I began to realize was false teaching. I do read teaching books now, but I make sure to check the credentials and the life of the author first, as well as the Biblical integrity of the teaching. It’s much easier now to search out the truth about a person or a religious cult because of the Internet. Of course, there are also lies from the father of lies, Satan, on the web, but checking up does give a sense of who a person or organization is. I also check up by asking my Pastor for his counsel.

Yours for “peace and grace,”

David

P.S. Please read and respond to this special message from Crossroads CEO, Lorna Dueck…

This has been a remarkable year at 100 Huntley Street with a growing audience on TV and an exploding audience on the web through our website, social media platforms and on You Tube (where we now reach almost 1 million views every month).  It’s also looking like a turnaround year financiallybecause we’re SO CLOSE to finishing our fiscal year (August 31) with a balanced budget…the first time in six years!  Lots of hard work, cost-cutting, financial restraint and generous donors who believe in this ministry have made this goal achievable. We have exciting, new plans in mind for our new media mission year that begins in September.  I’m so committed that Crossroads be Canada’s “megaphone of the Gospel”…and we will not be silent about how Jesus can change lives… Jesus alone offers hope! Your donation today will make a difference in many lives.  – Lorna            

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A SPECIAL YEAR-END GIFT TO HELP US BALANCE THE BUDGET AND YOUR DONATION WILL BE MATCHED THROUGH A SPECIAL $10,000 CHALLENGE GRANT! YOU CAN ALSO CALL 1-800-265-3100 TO DONATE BY PHONE.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

SANCTIFICATION

Today’s Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4-5

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The remains of a fortification wall and entrance which was built in the times of the Byzantine Empire in Thessalonica. History is depicted on the walls as a reminder to all who pass through (see photo below).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In today’s reading Paul teaches us concerning the second coming of Christ, and instructs us as to how we should live. The word “sanctification” is repeated three times! As the vessels in the “Sanctuary” (tabernacle) were set aside for holy purposes, we are to live a holy life! Here’s how it’s done: (1) “Abstain from sexual immorality.” (2) “Love one another.” (3) “Lead a quiet life.” (4) “Mind your own business.” (5) “Work with your own hands.” (6) Act “properly to those who are outside.” (6) “Comfort one another.” (7) “Watch and be sober.” (7) Put on “the breastplate of faith and love.” (8) Put on “as a helmet the hope of salvation.” (9) “Whether we wake (life now) or sleep (death) we should live together with Him.” (10) “Edify one another.” These 10 powerful New Covenant commandments take us up to Chapter 5, verse 11.

Paul also gives us important guidance for our own lives. We will be blessed by reading again and taking time to digest excellent counsel from 5:12 to the end of the book. There are 12 more instructions here (not optional for all who are sanctified).

If Paul had a blog he would no doubt type the words from 5:27, “I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the brethren!”

Our key verse shows us how God will accomplish these things in our lives. This is a good verse to memorize! (5:23).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Great God of peace, I yield myself to You. I pray that You will sanctify me for Your purposes. Only You can keep me blameless; I cannot do this on my own. I thank You for working in me to accomplish Your will. In the Name of the One who always did what is right, Jesus Himself, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In the very first letter Norma-Jean wrote to me, she used letterhead with 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 printed at the top of the page: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” She claims that she did not choose this verse on purpose; it was just the writing paper at hand. However, it has proven to be a prophetic Word for us for almost 59 years of marriage!

Yours because of the One who is FAITHFUL, “Who also will do it” (verse 24 of chapter 5),

David

P.S. Our 59th wedding anniversary is coming up on September 19th, which also happens to be the the day of a special fundraising event for Heart to Heart Marriage & Family Ministries, a ministry led by my son Ron and his wife Ann. So many marriages in Canada need help, So… YOU CAN HELP ME HELP THEM by sponsoring me to golf in their upcoming Heart to Heart 1st Annual Golf Classic! Whether or not I have the strength to swing a golf club that day, I don’t know…but I do know it’s a great cause! HERE is a link to a video Norma-Jean and I just recorded about this event which will be held on our anniversary! AND to sponsor me you can click HERE. Thank you so much!

Some of the history of Thessalonica depicted on the structure (described in the top photo caption).

 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

THE CHURCH

Today’s Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1-3

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The 4th century AD Rotunda of Galerius is one of several Roman monuments in the city of Thessalonica.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: 1 Thessalonians 2:13

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

 

As an introduction to these two letters of Paul to the believers at Thessalonica, Greece (currently called Salonica), we may be better informed by reading Acts 17:1-15. First and Second Thessalonians are beautiful examples of the care a true Pastor has for his people. For three Sabbaths Paul taught in the synagogue to the Jewish people, and some believed and received his message. Then the team, Paul, Silas (called Silvanus here) and Timothy spent considerable time reaching out to non-Jews who “turned to God from their idols to serve the true and living God” (1:9b). Paul “laboured night and day” because he probably made tents here, as he did later in Corinth, in order to support the team financially (2:9). We may take notice of two facts:

(1) When we believe the Word of God, it produces EFFECTIVE change in our lives. Watch for this change as we proceed through the Bible in this blog!

(2) While Paul taught and worked, he prayed “exceedingly” (3:10). Firstly, he prayed for God’s direction (3:11). Secondly, he prayed for an increase in love (3:12). Thirdly, he prayed that, “[God] may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” (3:13).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, as I read the prayers of Paul, I make them my prayers to You for myself, my family, and all my fellow bloggers. May You give us direction and produce effective change in our lives as we pray “exceedingly,” that we may increase in love. And may You establish our hearts blameless in holiness before You “at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In the early days of ministry, I was involved with others in planting new congregations. Like Paul, I worked “that I might not be a burden to any” (2:9), not at making tents, but as a carpenter, a catcher of bull frogs for a Montreal restaurant, a Bell telephone contractor (removing telephones from homes where the bills weren’t paid – some I felt so sorry for that I paid their bill), etc. When the congregations grew and prospered, they were able to provide a salary, so that I could work full time in ministry. God has always provided for me and my family. Thank You, Lord!

Throughout the years in television ministry, I’ve been involved in helping to produce television in 18 languages, some of which were released in the homelands of our hosts. Rev. Bazil Zetas, an immigrant to Canada from Greece, leads a Greek language congregation in Toronto. He became our Greek language TV host while supporting himself as an employee of Canada Post, and at the same time planting a church. The first TV station in Greece to begin carrying our telecast was Salonica (Thessalonica). Then Athens TV began the transmission of the Word of God on TV, so all of Greece received the Good News of Jesus on television. A BIG thank you to all who have supported Crossroads television (See Lorna Dueck’s important message below regarding supporting Crossroads).

Yours to see the “Word of God” work effectively in us all,

David

A Special Message from Crossroads CEO, Lorna Dueck…

This has been a remarkable year at 100 Huntley Street with a growing audience on TV and an exploding audience on the web through our website, social media platforms and on You Tube (where we now reach almost 1 million views every month).  It’s also looking like a turnaround year financiallybecause we’re SO CLOSE to finishing our fiscal year (August 31) with a balanced budget…the first time in six years!  Lots of hard work, cost-cutting, financial restraint and generous donors who believe in this ministry have made this goal achievable. We have exciting, new plans in mind for our new media mission year that begins in September.  I’m so committed that Crossroads be Canada’s “megaphone of the Gospel”…and we will not be silent about how Jesus can change lives… Jesus alone offers hope! Your donation today will make a difference in many lives.  – Lorna            

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A SPECIAL YEAR-END GIFT TO HELP US BALANCE THE BUDGET AND YOUR DONATION WILL BE MATCHED THROUGH A SPECIAL $10,000 CHALLENGE GRANT! YOU CAN ALSO CALL 1-800-265-3100 TO DONATE BY PHONE.

Outside view of the Rotunda of Galerius in Thessalonica.

Inside view looking up into the Rotunda.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

  SPEAKING PEACE

Today’s Reading: Esther 9-10

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The Yad Lashiryon Memorial at Latrun is the Armored Corps’ Memorial Site. The memorial is surrounded by tanks used and captured in Israeli wars. The centrepiece of the Armored Corps is the Wall of Names on which are inscribed the names of all 4,965 fallen soldiers of the Armored Corps from all of Israel’s wars. This location is also the site of the Biblical battles of Joshua Bin-Nun against the Amorite kings; in the book of Joshua it says: “Sun, stand still upon Giv’on; and moon, in the valley of Ayalon” (Joshua 10:12).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Esther 10:3

For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.

 

Mordecai was a man who had peace within himself. His confidence in God enabled him to stand up straight when others bowed. That security, based in the knowledge of who he was, enabled him to develop a bold plan to save his Jewish people from an impending holocaust. Twice in today’s reading Mordecai is recorded as speaking “peace.” Some Jews took revenge on their would-be killers. Even Esther wanted revenge, but there is no record of Mordecai seeking revenge. Rather, he promoted days of feasting, joy and gladness. Esther 9:30 tells us that Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in all 127 provinces of the Persian Empire in which he wrote words of “peace and truth.” We don’t have a copy of any of his letters, but if we did, we would probably find that the “truth” he shared was about the God of his fathers. Our key verse reads, “…seeking the good of his people…” Let us speak, write, and model “peace and truth.” This is how we seek the good of all. Amen!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord, even in exile in a foreign land, You found a man of sterling character named Mordecai. I pray that by Your grace I will become such a person. A person whom You can trust to serve You faithfully…a person who will speak “peace and truth”…a person who will seek the good of all. In the name of the One who did that very thing consistently, Jesus of Nazareth. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

People who speak “truth and peace” are amongst us today. Some have a louder voice than others because of the advantage of their prominence. I’m thinking of three such people. Two of them are political leaders and one a spiritual leader.

(1) President Jimmy Carter – He brokered peace between Egypt and Israel known as “The Camp David Accords.” SUCCESS! I had the opportunity of experiencing this up close as an accredited journalist in Israel during the final breakthrough (pages 47-49 in my recent book, This Far by Faith).

(2) Former Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak – When he initiated “The Oslo Accords” with Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, I had high hopes for a lasting peace. Barak had brought blankets to poorly clothed Syrian soldiers during a blinding snow storm on the sides of Mt. Hermon. If anyone could succeed, I thought it would be him. But the effort failed (see pages 68-69 in my book).

(3) Dr. David (Mohsen) Damien, a founder of “Watchmen for the Nations” – He spoke “peace” to the survivors of the St. Louis ship by initiating a gathering in Ottawa where we (representatives of Canada) repented before God for the action of our political leaders back in the 1930s in turning away the ship on which they were travelling as children, seeking refuge in Canada. After being turned away from our shores, most of their parents perished in the death camps of Europe. David, by his words of “peace and truth,” brought a beautiful reconciliation between these hurting Jews and Canadians. This is one of the many stories through which I’ve learned much, which is not in my recent book. As God gives me strength, I may write another book.

I am more determined than ever to speak “peace and truth!” Jesus is my Mentor. He said, “My PEACE I give you” (John14:26) and “I am…TRUTH…” (John 14:6). In Hebrew the word for “TRUTH” is “HEMETH.” This word means the experience of “TRUTH,” not just a list of doctrines which we say we believe. I suggest we all read John 14:5-31 and experience Jesus by the working of the Holy Spirit in us through meditating on Jesus’ Words.

Yours for “PEACE” and “TRUTH,”

David

P.S. Over the years, 100 Huntley Street has produced several series on “Science and Faith,” featuring several very prominent scientists who are also followers of Jesus. One such person is Dr. James Tour, a Jewish man who found Christ as his Messiah. Click here for a video clip of his story from a documentary produced by Crossroads.

Lorna Dueck and her team need our ongoing support as they approach the financial year end for Crossroads! Here is a message from Lorna once again…

This has been a remarkable year at 100 Huntley Street with a growing audience on TV and an exploding audience on the web through our website, social media platforms and on You Tube (where we now reach almost 1 million views every month).  It’s also looking like a turnaround year financiallybecause we’re SO CLOSE to finishing our fiscal year (August 31) with a balanced budget…the first time in six years!  Lots of hard work, cost-cutting, financial restraint and generous donors who believe in this ministry have made this goal achievable. We have exciting, new plans in mind for our new media mission year that begins in September.  I’m so committed that Crossroads be Canada’s “megaphone of the Gospel”…and we will not be silent about how Jesus can change lives… Jesus alone offers hope! Your donation today will make a difference in many lives.  – Lorna            

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A SPECIAL YEAR-END GIFT TO HELP US BALANCE THE BUDGET AND YOUR DONATION WILL BE MATCHED THROUGH A SPECIAL $10,000 CHALLENGE GRANT! YOU CAN ALSO CALL 1-800-265-3100 TO DONATE BY PHONE.

The Yad Lashiryon Memorial at Latrun (description under photo above).

Monday, August 7, 2017

A FEAST

Today’s Reading: Esther 7-8

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

A meal is prepared in first century style at Nazareth Village in Nazareth. The feast Esther prepared for the King and Haman would have had more expensive tableware, but was probably not any more delicious.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Esther 8:3

Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews.

 

In today’s reading, the Jews of the entire Persian Empire are still under the decree of Death. Unless the order of the King was modified in some way, every Jew would die. As a result of the intercession of Esther, a new decree went out. Jews were to defend themselves against attack. Not only were the Jews saved, but it became so attractive to be a Jew that Esther 8:17b tells us that many Persians were converted to Judaism. The Feast of Purim was established to celebrate the deliverance of the Jews from destruction. This feast is celebrated to this day.

Think of all that can be accomplished if we, like Esther, refuse to put ourselves first, refuse to play it safe, and refuse to hide our true identity as God’s people. We have the opportunity and obligation to intercede, not with an Ahasuerus, but with the God of the Universe. He desires only the best for us, but He has limited Himself to acting on our behalf in response to our prayers. James 5:16 says, “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man (this includes women) avails much.” His sceptre is extended to us. Scripture urges us to “Come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I come before You now. Thank You that in Your great love and mercy, You have extended the invitation to come to You. I am here in Your presence. Once again I ask for Your help. This is a time of need! People are about to perish without Your direct intervention. I come in the Name of the One who “ever lives to make intercession for them,” Jesus, our High Priest. I pray that I will share today the greatest possible help anyone can ever receive. John 1:12 is Your promise, Lord (read John 1:9-18). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

On pages 166 to 171 of my recently published book, This Far by Faith, there is a story of intercession on behalf of Elena, a little Russian girl who is now my granddaughter. I don’t have the space to tell the story here, but let me assure you that it is one of the most powerful stories you’ll ever read (below is a photo from the book). If you haven’t already, please consider ordering my book. You can call Crossroads to check on its availability at 1-800-265-3100.

As was the case in Persia, government officials can be turned around. The story of Elena is a particular miracle of God, as in the communist system, everyone was, at one time, a government employee. A statement I’ve picked up somewhere throughout my life is, “We need to attempt things for God so humanly impossible that they will surely fail if God is not in them.” My practice is to pray fervently, then move forward boldly into something that seems impossible. If God desires what I desire, He will go before me, and “with God all things are possible” (Jesus – Matthew 19:26). My book illustrates this truth. Please get your very own copy.

Yours for bold intercession at God’s throne of grace,

David

P.S. Coming up, August 31st, is the financial year end for Crossroads/100 Huntley Street, and we all need to help the ministry finish strongly! Our CEO, Lorna Dueck, needs our prayers and support right now… and YOU can help! Here is an important message from Lorna which I’ll repeat often this month on my blog…

This has been a remarkable year at 100 Huntley Street with a growing audience on TV and an exploding audience on the web through our website, social media platforms and on You Tube (where we now reach almost 1 million views every month).  It’s also looking like a turnaround year financially because we’re SO CLOSE to finishing our fiscal year (August 31) with a balanced budget…the first time in six years!  Lots of hard work, cost-cutting, financial restraint and generous donors who believe in this ministry have made this goal achievable. We have exciting, new plans in mind for our new media mission year that begins in September.  I’m so committed that Crossroads be Canada’s “megaphone of the Gospel”…and we will not be silent about how Jesus can change lives… Jesus alone offers hope! Your donation today will make a difference in many lives.  – Lorna            

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A SPECIAL YEAR-END GIFT TO HELP US BALANCE THE BUDGET AND YOUR DONATION WILL BE MATCHED THROUGH A SPECIAL $10,000 CHALLENGE GRANT! YOU CAN ALSO CALL 1-800-265-3100 TO DONATE BY PHONE.

Elena at age six meeting my daughter Elaine in a Russian orphanage.

Elena at age six in a Russian orphanage meeting my daughter Elaine for the first time. Today, Elena is a wife and mother of her own little girl!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

HONOUR AND DISHONOUR

Today’s Reading: Esther 5-6

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

A horse grazing among the ruins of ancient Jerash in Jordan. Jerash was a Greco-Roman city located 80 miles north of Amman, the capital of the modern kingdom of Jordan, near the place where Gideon and his 300 crossed over Jordan.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Esther 5:13, 6:1

Yet all this avails me nothing as long as I see Mordecai, the Jew, sitting at the king’s gate…That night the king could not sleep. So he commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles, and they were read before the king.

 

“Great riches,” “multitude of children,” “promotion and advancement,” and the Queen’s invitation to dinner were meaningless to Haman because of his wounded ego. When this world’s gain is all we have, the least thing that goes wrong can spoil it all. Scripture teaches, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (read 1 Timothy 6:3-11).

A couple of movies have been made in recent years on “Esther” (click here for one, and here to watch another). It would be humorous if it was not so tragic, that Haman gets his just desserts when he has to do for the Jew what he thought was the honour he, himself, deserved. We cannot miss the protecting hand of God on his servant Mordecai. Haman, at the suggestion of his wife, built a gallows so high that everyone in the capital city could see who was hanged on it. Haman was hung on his own gallows. What are we building in our lives? Is it on a foundation of truth and a structure of love and righteousness, or is it a gallows on which we ourselves will be hung?

Let us meditate on Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” These words would not be written by Paul for another 540 years, but Mordecai knew the truth of this promise from God. Amen!!! Probably Mordecai knew the truth of God’s promise to Samuel, the prophet of God, written at least 500 years before, “Those who honour Me, I will honour” (1 Samuel 2:30b).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, You promised that if I acknowledge You (know who You are and recognize You), You will direct my paths (Proverbs 3:6). I pray that I will fully embrace Your promises and know without doubting that You keep Your promises. Thank You for this amazing grace! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Proverbs 3:5-6 are Norma-Jean’s life verses. Among the songs she has written, she has put some verses of Scripture to music. Below is her sheet music for that song “He Shall Direct Thy Paths.”

On my way to the church where Norma-Jean and I were married (now a French Roman Catholic Church where I have brought the message to the R.C.s in French), I prayed, “Lord if this marriage is not Your perfect will, You can still stop it.” I surely did not want it stopped, but my understanding of the promise of God’s direction is that I must be willing for Him to intervene and change my direction. I’ve experienced His intervention to stop my intentions several times. I have the gas pedal and the brakes of my life under my control, but I take my hands off the steering wheel, trusting Him to steer my life. Is that good advice or not? If I happen to see Mordecai sometime in the eternal future, I’ll ask him what he thinks!

Yours for God’s overruling guidance based on our willingness for Him to be in control of our destinies,

David

P.S. Coming up, August 31st, is the financial year end for Crossroads/100 Huntley Street, and we all need to help the ministry finish strongly! Our CEO, Lorna Dueck, needs our prayers and support right now… and YOU can help! Here is an important message from Lorna which I’ll repeat often this month on my blog…

This has been a remarkable year at 100 Huntley Street with a growing audience on TV and an exploding audience on the web through our website, social media platforms and on You Tube (where we now reach almost 1 million views every month).  It’s also looking like a turnaround year financially because we’re SO CLOSE to finishing our fiscal year (August 31) with a balanced budget…the first time in six years!  Lots of hard work, cost-cutting, financial restraint and generous donors who believe in this ministry have made this goal achievable. We have exciting, new plans in mind for our new media mission year that begins in September.  I’m so committed that Crossroads be Canada’s “megaphone of the Gospel”…and we will not be silent about how Jesus can change lives… Jesus alone offers hope! Your donation today will make a difference in many lives.  – Lorna            

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A SPECIAL YEAR-END GIFT TO HELP US BALANCE THE BUDGET AND YOUR DONATION WILL BE MATCHED THROUGH A SPECIAL $10,000 CHALLENGE GRANT! YOU CAN ALSO CALL 1-800-265-3100 TO DONATE BY PHONE.

P.P.S. Below is the published sheet music of Norma-Jean’s song that I referred to above. Click on the images to enlarge them (and print, if you wish).

Saturday, August 5, 2017

GOD’S PLAN

Today’s Reading: Esther 3-4

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Herodium is next door to Bethlehem, and is just south of Jerusalem. Its summit is 2,460 feet above sea level. Herod built or re-built eleven fortresses. This one he constructed on the location of his victory over Antigonus in 40 BC. Constructed over a pre-existing hill, the Herodium was a fortress to which Herod could quickly flee from Jerusalem. He chose to be buried here and the mountain is in the shape of a tumulus (a burial mound). Herod’s tomb was discovered by archaeologist Ehud Netzer in 2007. This illustrates the immense ego of the ancient monarchs such as Ahasuerus of Persia featured in today’s reading.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Esther 3:2b

But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.

 

Mordecai, a Jew who did not return with Ezra to Jerusalem, was a man with steel down his backbone. He would not bow or pay homage to the second in command of the Persian Empire, Haman. Homage is a form of worship, and to give this to anyone other than God would have been a form of idolatry. Because of this one man, Mordecai, and one woman, Esther, one of the greatest turn-arounds in Israel’s history took place.

We are not suggesting that every act of civil disobedience is blessed of God, nor are we suggesting that we should make a great show of our dedication to the will and purposes of God, but we do suggest that everyone of us should learn to personally relate to God in such obedience and dedication that we care little about the consequences which may follow. The often-quoted words of Mordecai to Esther, “Who knows but that you were brought to the kingdom for such a time as this,” could apply to each one of us.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I bow before You! I pay homage to You! You alone are worthy of my worship! I pray that I will find and fulfill Your purpose for me, the very reason that I was born and placed in Your Kingdom at this particular time. I ask this in the Name of the One Whom You sent to this earth and Who fulfilled His purpose, bringing salvation, not just to His own people, the Jews, but also to the whole world, Jesus, the Messiah. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In the mid 1950’s I had the privilege to teach in an Ontario public school. One Jewish girl in my class was named Sandra Levine. I’ve often wondered where she is today and what has become of her. Sandra was a beautiful child of about eleven years old. Her Dad and Mom owned and operated a local grocery store. I spent hours with her father playing chess and often talking about the Scriptures. The reason I’m telling this story is because in those days public school teachers were required by the Provincial Department of Education to teach a weekly Bible lesson. On one occasion I dramatized the story of Esther and featured Sandra as the Jewish Queen of Persia. I think she felt honoured by my efforts. I loved telling Bible stories and still do, as is shown in this daily blog.

May I ask a favour of every reader? Please send my blog on to someone else and ask that we all work together to build the readership to greater numbers. I was told the other day that over 5,000 people have signed up for daily e-mails, besides those who simply go into the 100words.ca website. Let’s go for 50,000 signed up for the daily e-mails. Let’s see… that would mean that each reader would try to find 10 new readers. The reason I ask this is not because of me, but because of the benefits, now and throughout eternity, that will accrue to every faithful reader of God’s Word.

Yours for recognizing that we are here “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14b),

David

P.S. I know I’m terribly biased, but I think Norma-Jean is beautiful like Queen Esther. A few years ago we were leading a tour group on a Nile River cruise, and one evening Norma-Jean dressed up in an Egyptian outfit. In my eyes, Cleopatra could not have been more beautiful (see photo below). In the city of Sudbury, in northern Ontario, some people in our congregation called Norma-Jean, the Queen of the Parsonage!

Friday, August 4, 2017

 A STAR

Today’s Reading: Esther 1-2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Located about 200 metres inside Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate is Christ Church. It is the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East. It was completed in 1849 and soon after became known as the “Jewish Protestant Church.” My son chose this photograph for today’s reading because of the “Star” in the sky.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Esther 2:7

And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.

 

Esther’s name means “Star” in the Persian language. Ahasuerus is the Hebrew name for Xerses, King of Persia (modern day Iran). The historian Herodotus refers to the six month long banquet (of today’s reading) as the occasion of Xerxes’ planning for the expansion of his empire into Europe. Persia was defeated in a sea battle just off the coast of Greece (479 BC). Xerxes then headed home where he sought a new Queen. A few days ago we were reading from the book of Ezra. The story of Esther fits between chapters 7 & 8 of Ezra. Xerxes is called Artaxerxes in Ezra.

God chose an orphan girl, raised by her closest relative, Mordecai, to save His ancient people from a holocaust which would have otherwise destroyed the Jewish people. God had long-term plans for the Jews, which continue to this day. God also has plans to bless all of us too, as long as we, like Mordecai and Esther, co-operate with His plans by our own free will. Like Esther, we may not comprehend what God is doing at the present time, but as we are faithful, someday we will look back and we will see that God was at work.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that all the plans You have for me will be accomplished as I am faithful to read Your word and pray every day. You have said that You desire to give me “a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). I believe You are at work in me and in the lives and circumstances around me. I ask these mercies in Jesus’ Name, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve stood on the eastern shore of the Ionian Sea at Salamis, between Athens and Corinth, and imagined the defeat of Xerxes’ mighty naval armada by the smaller and faster Greek ships who set the Persian vessels on fire and forced them to retreat. Xerxes never had a chance to land his army on the shores of Europe. Several years later, the Greek emperor conquered Persia and a new Empire arose under Alexander the Great.

Norma-Jean, my wife of almost 59 years, won’t read this until it’s too late to keep me from telling this story, so here goes… People would often comment about her lovely dresses, and I wouldn’t tell where she purchased her changes of wardrobe. It was at the Hadassah Bazzar (“Hadassah” is Esther’s Hebrew name). This Jewish women’s organization, named with Esther’s Hebrew name, would sell slightly used clothes at an annual event. Norma-Jean never wanted to miss the great deals at the annual sale. Years later, in the year 2000, our youngest grandson, Nathaniel Shaheen, was born in the “Hadassah” Hospital in Jerusalem (pictures below). The hospital is one of the projects supported by the Jewish women’s organization in Canada. Norma-Jean always looked great in those dresses as she would often sing on national TV. A Jerusalem hospital was helped a little bit by Norma-Jean’s purchases!

Yours for being like Mordecai and Esther (Hadassah), at the right place and at the right time, so that God’s will may be done “on earth as it is in Heaven,”

David

P.S. Coming up, August 31st, is the financial year end for Crossroads/100 Huntley Street, and we all need to help the ministry finish strongly! Our CEO, Lorna Dueck, needs our prayers and support right now…and YOU can help! Here is an important message from Lorna which I’ll repeat often this month on my blog…

This has been a remarkable year at 100 Huntley Street with a growing audience on TV and an exploding audience on the web through our website, social media platforms and on You Tube (where we now reach almost 1 million views every month).  It’s also looking like a turnaround year financially because we’re SO CLOSE to finishing our fiscal year (August 31) with a balanced budget…the first time in six years!  Lots of hard work, cost-cutting, financial restraint and generous donors who believe in this ministry have made this goal achievable. We have exciting, new plans in mind for our new media mission year that begins in September.  I’m so committed that Crossroads be Canada’s “megaphone of the Gospel”…and we will not be silent about how Jesus can change lives… Jesus alone offers hope! Your donation today will make a difference in many lives.  – Lorna            

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A SPECIAL YEAR-END GIFT TO HELP US BALANCE THE BUDGET AND YOUR DONATION WILL BE MATCHED THROUGH A SPECIAL $10,000 CHALLENGE GRANT! YOU CAN ALSO CALL 1-800-265-3100 TO DONATE BY PHONE.

IMG_0001

My grandson, Nathaniel Shaheen, born November 23, 2000 in the Hadassah (Esther) hospital, Jerusalem.

Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem

Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where Nathaniel Shaheen was born.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

“PUT” and “LET”

Today’s Reading: Colossians 3-4

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem is believed by some to be the burial place of Jesus (but only temporarily). HALLELUJAH!!! At some point in history the door was enlarged and in so-doing they must have broken out the rock wall between the entrance and the window.  Also, notice the groove where a large circular stone could have been rolled back and forth. The rolling stone from this tomb is missing, but there is another tomb near Mt. Carmel that has a stone which would fit in this groove.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Colossians 3:14-15

But above all these things PUT on love, which is the bond of perfection [completion]. And LET the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

 

In today’s reading the word “PUT” is repeated four times, and the word “LET” three times. This daily blog is highlighting over two years those words or concepts that are repeated for extra emphasis. If we had heard Paul speak in person, he may have raised his voice or made dramatic body language gestures to reinforce his main points. In writing, repetition serves the same purpose. Paul is intent on getting our full attention!

(1)”PUT” to death fornication, etc. (2) “PUT” off … filthy language, etc. (3) “PUT” on the new man. (4) “PUT” on love…. (1) “LET” the peace of God rule in your hearts. (2) “LET” the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom… (3) “LET” your speech always be seasoned with grace.

The action word is “PUT.” The passive word is “LET.” The first, we deliberately make happen; the second, we relax and yield to the Spirit of Christ living in us. Compare Scripture with Scripture. For example, read James 4:7-8 for action, and read a statement about letting “the power that works in us” go to work. It’s not an effort. “LET” it happen as in Ephesians 3:20 (read Eph 3:14-20).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for grace to do all I should do to live as Your follower, and grace to rest in the knowledge that Your power is working in me. I know with absolute certainty that You are “ABLE TO DO EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK.” Thank You that Your power is working in me now and always!!! In and through the Person of Jesus I pray, AMEN!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As part of today’s reading in Colossians 4:2-4, Paul asked for his readers to pray for him. I’m asking you to pray for me in the same way, “That God would open a door for the Word” (i.e. keep the blog going and give His favour in sharing it with others. Also pray for future opportunities to use new media, high definition web-casting online, etc.).

In reading Colossians several times over three days, I’ve thought often of a story from New York City. Norma-Jean and I visited the Teen Challenge Centre in Brooklyn, which is located in a very rough area. As we were leaving, Rev. Don Wilkerson (brother of David Wilkerson, Teen Challenge founder) said to us, “Jesus will take you safely to the subway station.” About a minute later, a Puerto Rican teenager approached us. He said, “Hi, I’m Jesus, just follow me to the subway.” We laughed with joy at the prospect of safely following Jesus. I had often heard baseball commentators talk about a great play made by “Jesus” (in Spanish, of course, it’s pronounced like “Heysoos”).

Yours for following Jesus, knowing when to “PUT” and when to “LET,”

David

P.S. Seeing that Colossians is “All about Jesus,” here’s another clip from the Matthew movie with actor Bruce Marchiano playing the part of Jesus (click here).

Inside The Garden Tomb, visitors can look through the barrier into the burial chamber. In our Israel tours Norma-Jean usually stands in the foreground shown in the picture, pointing out features of the tomb to the members of our family of travellers as they enter and marvel at the truth of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord.