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Caring for the Community

Teaching Letter

Living Patiently in an Impatient World

For nearly 20 years, my husband and I were in full time Christian service in America. Our home became the center of our work and was a hub of activity 24 hours a day.{image_2} From infants to the retired, single moms to hurting families, we ministered the love of the Lord to all who came to us for help. We often had 20 people or more around our dinner table, many of whom lived with us for varying periods of time. One young woman with her two-year-old son became an integral part of our ministry and they lived with us for 11 years. With children around my feet and a phone to my ear, I wrote training and teaching materials for our staff while I counseled pregnant teens and led Bible studies. And through it all, I was known for my patience. Even-tempered and filled with the joy of the Lord, it was very hard to “ruffle my feathers.”

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Psalms of Ascent

During the recent days of the Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, a Bridges for Peace volunteer in Israel was able to share Psalm 121 with a woman at the grocery store who was afraid. {image_2}The lady was then so encouraged by the message, she recited the chapter loudly for everyone around her to hear. She said, “I know that it was for me that I met you. I needed this so much!”

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Judgment on the Nations?

When I travel, I am frequently asked about God’s judgment on the nations. Recently, as I was traveling in the United States, it seemed to me that many Christians believe that God is currently judging the US. {image_2}The Harbinger, a bestselling book by Jonathan Cahn, warns Americans that judgment is imminent and can only be halted by deep repentance. It has been on the New York Times Paperback Trade Fiction best sellers list for a record length of time for a Christian book (64 weeks as of this writing). Many Americans are also re-reading The Vision, written by David Wilkerson in 1973, which warned of God’s judgment on the United States. In other nations, Christians are also looking at world conditions and asking if or when God will judge their nation?

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The Human Side of the Conflict

Mark Twain said, “If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're misinformed.” This is so true for the most complex societal issue of our time, commonly called {image_2}“The Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.” We are bombarded daily with phrases like cycle of violence, occupation, two-state solution, Palestinian refugees, illegal settlements, roadblocks to peace, Palestinian territory, and apartheid wall in the mainstream news media. Without an informed context in which to interpret these terms, the average news recipient remains woefully ill informed and swayed toward an international media bias against Israel. 

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Pray Without Ceasing

One of the few scriptural principles agreed upon by Christians regardless of denomination is the importance of prayer. Christianity and Judaism share the belief that prayer is a necessity and a privilege as well. Both religions are based on a relationship {image_2}with the God of the Universe and recognize that communication is critical to its success. And both acknowledge that such communication would be difficult, if not impossible, without the foundational instructions found in the Bible.

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God Is Good—All the Time!

I love the song “God is Good” written by Don Moen:

God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time

© 1995 Integrity's Hosanna! Music{image_2}
 

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Serapis—Divine Healer or Counterfeit God?

In both Jewish and Christian belief, one important characteristic of God is that He is a healer who can restore an individual’s body and sustain health. Common to each faith is the belief that life is a precious gift, as man is created in the image of God to worship Him, give Him glory, take pleasure in His creation, and to walk in such a way that he is a delight to God. To Jews and Christians, life is seen as the vehicle for delivering praise to God because He is a God of life and covenant.

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The Psalm of Psalms

A recent headline in a newspaper from the eastern United States read, “Why Weren’t We More Prepared?” The article discussed the calamity that had befallen that part of the world in the path of Hurricane Sandy, bemoaning the fact that people just weren’t ready to deal with such a horrific storm. {image_2}Neither, the article claimed, were emergency services and power companies prepared to help promptly in the aftermath.

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The Land-Promise in the New Testament

The covenantal land-promise of the Older Testament (OT)—God’s promise of the land of Israel to Abraham—continues in the Newer Testament (NT), where it is implicit, if not explicit. This is self-evident; the burden of proof is on the critic who feels the need to delegitimize Israel’s claim to the land. {image_2}

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The Fruit of the Spirit

In this teaching letter, I would like to take a look at the fruit of the Spirit from a Hebraic point of view. Most of us read our Bibles with our own cultural understandings overlaid on the Scripture. {image_2}We are influenced by our culture, language, experiences, and nearly 2,000 years of Christian theology and tradition. I wonder, what did these words mean to the Apostle Paul?

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