REFLECTIONS and PRAYERS for Kanye West and Chick-fil-A

Jesus said: “And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Mark 13:13)

Godless culture applauds when people follow “the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.” (Eph.2:2)

But that same culture becomes enraged when people start to follow Jesus and make decisions counter to the dictates of that culture.

Pray fervently that Kanye West and Chick-fil-A will endure until the end, against all the powers and deceptions of hell unleashed against them.

Oh, and by the way, this all means ”that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor. 5:17)

OUT OF PARAGUAY

Teachers and administrators from the Overcomers Mission Schools, founded by Vaughn Martin, presented to over 150 pastors and leaders in Asuncion,Paraguay on Saturday, July 20, 2019.

Vaughn gave the biblical basis for an understanding of the Final Harvest at the end of the age. Katana Baya, Director of the Ukunda Missions School in Kenya, co-led the worship with Daniel Amstutz. Katana pleased the participants with his fluent use of Spanish, which he has studied entirely on his own over the past three years assisted by DuoLingo. John Harris from North Carolina ministered prophetically in the Conference.

Eloise Gwin shared with the conference how she and her husband Richard had followed the call of God to develop a missionary training school called ALMA. They purchased a 30 acre plot and over the past 30 years ago built a beautiful campus with 10 buildings which includes classrooms, a large meeting hall and buildings sufficient to hold over 50 people in residence.

Richard went to be with the Lord six years ago. Now Overcomers Mission Schools is planning with Eloise to start a school on that campus, embracing the same spiritual vision as the Gwins.

I had come to Paraguay, especially to participate in the two days of prayer which preceded the conference. We met for prayer at Escobar, the site of ALMA, the new missionary training school which we are planning to open in 2020. We see the founding of the school as a major spiritual enterprise which requires intensive prayer and intercession at every level of development and planning.

The pastors and leaders conference was designed for us to introduce ourselves and the ALMA school. We also presented our conviction that God is raising up a powerful mission movement to the nations out of Latin America, especially out of Paraguay. England had its time of sending missionaries; Germany had its time; the United States its time and now we sense that God is saying, “It is time for Latin America and especially Paraguay to send missionaries to the nations.”

God moved powerfully in the conference. Participants responded with tears of joy in committing themselves to become a part of this move of God in raising up and sending missionaries out of Paraguay.

You Get to Decide if Miracles Really Happen

A well known British broadcasting company recently followed Jonathan Conrathe, a British evangelist whose ministry is associated with miraculous healings.

As the photojournalist followed Jonathan and his team, in real time, multiplied miracles occurred: the eyes of the blind were opened, deaf ears heard, growths disappeared in front of the camera… There were many healings, words of knowledge, tears, joy, salvations…

But the documentary on the evening news in England that night was brief and it edited out the amazing things that God did on the street that day.

Fortunately, you get to walk with Jonathan and decide for yourself if miracles really happen today.

Jonathan Conrathe will be at Grace Chapel, 2535 Colebrook Road, Elizabethtown, PA, 17022, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, August 7, 8 and 9, 2019. These meetings are open to the public and are free.

In addition, for those who desire training in supernatural ministry Jonathan will be teaching at Grace Chapel from 9 am to 5 pm, Thursday and Friday, August 8 and 9th. More info can be found at:
http://www.klnchristianministries.com/events.html

There is a fee for the day sessions.
If you have further questions, you can email us at:
http://www.klnchristianministries.com/contact-us.html

These meetings with Jonathan Conrathe are sponsored by Kingdom Life Network of Christian Ministries (KLN) a “global fellowship of networks” of evangelical churches. The headquarters of KLN is here in Lancaster County. KLN maintains a strong emphasis on the importance of being a Spirit empowered community of faith. Some of the founding networks have Anabaptist roots.

Jonathan Conrathe Ministries has seen over 250,000 people come to Christ. Jonathan is a humble man who teaches a powerful gospel. The Heavenly Father has stretched out his hand to bless Jonathan’s ministry with signs wonders and miracles.

Plan now to attend these meetings.

Enos Daniel Martin

Grandpa 41

THE HOLY PIÑATA

Every birthday for my Venezuelan-American grandchildren comes with a piñata. (Ana turned 13 on May 25th. )

Grandmother, mother and the birthday child participate in designing the piñata which is then constructed of papier-mâché or its equivalent. Will it be the form of a person, an animal or an object? The inside of the shell is then stuffed with a variety of candies.

As the birthday party progresses the time for striking the piñata arrives. Father Horeb ties a rope to the piñata and throws the rope over a tree branch in the backyard. Then holding on to the other end of the rope he steps back so he can control the height of the piñata at will, while avoiding getting hit by the flailing children.

The children gather around, eager for one of two things to happen. They desire to be the one who strikes the piñata solidly enough to release its contents. But that desire is secondary to the desire to secure as much of the falling candy as possible when the piñata breaks.

Starting with the youngest, each child is given an opportunity to swing at and hopefully break the piñata. The child is blindfolded, given a stick and positioned in front of the piñata and instructed to swing.

The group of children shout instructions as the young child swings wildly usually missing the pinata. Then Horeb will lower the piñata to where the child has an easy hit but not solid enough to break the piñata, because it is important that the piñata endure several rounds of swinging children. After three swings the next child is blindfolded and takes three swings.

After several rounds the excitement is building to a peak and Horeb allows the piñata to be struck solidly by one of the older more muscular children.

The piñata finally breaks under the impact of several well placed blows and the candy scatters everywhere. The children rush in screaming with excitement. Mothers help the very youngest to claim some of the candy. But the older children need no help, as they eagerly grab all they can and stuff it into their plastic collection bags.

By the end of the mad dash, some of the more aggressive children will have accumulated a larger amount of candy. They will then spot a child who is looking a bit down because he or she was not able to get as much in the raucous competition. The victor will then share some of the spoils with that child, either spontaneously or in response to the subtle prompting of a parent. So all the children go away happy.

As I reflected on this event, I had the following impressions:

Each child is totally convinced that they are going to get something ‘absolutely good’ from this experience.

Each child has the sense that they are ‘absolutely entitled’ to get all that they can possibly get.

Each child is ‘absolutely engaged’ in full participation. No one needs to encourage the children to rush in to the circle. They participate with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.

It occurs to me that God, the giver of every good and perfect gift, wants us to come into His presence with the exuberance of a child. He wants us to be absolutely convinced that He has good gifts for us. He wants us to know that we are absolutely entitled to the gifts. And He wants us to be absolutely engaged in enthusiastically and whole heartedly claiming all of our inheritance.

It further occurred me that all these good gifts from God were made available to us because ‘someone was struck’. God allowed his son Jesus Christ to be struck and killed so that the wealth of heaven could be released to us.

In that sense, Jesus Christ is ‘The Holy Piñata’!

Let us joyfully rush in to claim all that He has released for us.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

My Prayer for Venezuela

“I pray, Dear Heavenly Father, that ‘May Day! May Day! May Day!’ will become ‘May Day’ in Venezuela today!”

‘Help Me!’ ( ‘Ayúdame!’ in Spanish); ( ‘M’aider’ in French).

‘M’aider’ when pronounced in French sounds like “May Day” in English.

“May Day! May Day! May Day!” was chosen in 1923 as easily recognized voice procedure words to signal a life threatening emergency in the air or at sea. Used initially by French and British pilots, it is now an internationally recognized distress call. It has nothing to do with the first of May.

May Day is a public holiday usually celebrated on 1 May. It is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the festivities.

AND JESUS APPEARED TO A DISCIPLE ON THE CONEWAGO TRAIL

Jesus walked with me on the Conewago Trail just as he did the disciples on the road to Emmaus. And as they did not recognize him, neither did I, till later.

On Saturday morning, right before Easter, I was walking/jogging on the Conewago Trail reflecting on all the work I needed to do in Kenya, Paraguay, India and here in the States. I was fighting a sense of being overwhelmed.

As I ended my walk, arriving at my car, a young woman jogger, whom I did not recognize, came up to me.

She stated that as she had earlier passed me on the trail, she had the strong sense from God that she was to give me the paper she was carrying.

She said she had initially resisted the impulse but then came back to find me and to give me the paper. On the paper was her handwritten copy of Deuteronomy 11:10-12, which states that the land God’s people were about to enter is different than Egypt where they had just been. God would have his eye on them and provide for them in this new land.

I felt this was helpful in a general kind away and I thanked her for her courage in giving me the word. We carried on a conversation about what this passage might mean in my life and then parted ways.

The next morning as I was praying in preparation for the Easter service I recalled the experience and thought that I should study the passage more carefully. But I could not recall the reference and I had misplaced the paper. I did recall two or three key words so I googled it and found it immediately.

As I reflected on the passage, the message became clear: in Egypt you worked to irrigate your land but in the Promised Land you will not work to water the land. God will send rain at the right season to make you prosperous. All you need do is stay in relationship with Him so you can hear and obey His voice.

Holy Spirit immediately made me aware of my doubt and unbelief, as He did the disciples on the road to Emmaus. I was thinking I had to work harder or smarter to accomplish all that I needed to do in this season.

But the Spirit showed me it’s not about how hard I work, it’s about hearing His voice and simply doing what He asks. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He wants me to operate from a place of intimacy and rest and not perspiration and burdensome work.

I immediately repented of my doubt and unbelief. And I was overjoyed with the presence of the resurrected Lord. And he did not disappear, but He remained with me!

As I reflected further, I was overwhelmed by God’s grace. He had been walking with me on the trail all along. He knew my anxious and unbelieving thoughts. He longed for me to focus on worshipping Him, not on ruminating on what I could or could not do. He longed for me to celebrate His resurrection life and power. He longed for me to pray in faith, believing.

But I was not focused on the resurrected Lord.

So He engaged a stranger to share a passage of scripture with me. The young woman was faithful in sharing the word, although she had no idea what the significance or impact of the word would be.

The Lord is risen indeed!!! And He appeared to E. Daniel on the Conewago Trail!!!

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Grandpa 38

The Front Has Come to Us

I thought the ‘front line’ was here in Kenya. Now I understand that the ‘front line’ is in Elizabethtown, PA , my hometown.
People are planning to protest at a wedding venue in Elizabethtown. My Christian brother, David Abel is standing by his conscience not to host same-sex weddings on his property.

This prompts me to say:

How we do business is a civil rights issue. How and what we celebrate and how we manage our sexuality are faith/religious issues. When the two come into conflict, faith supersedes civil rights for the true believer.

Expect me to love you and serve you regardless of whether I agree with your moral choices and life style.

Expect me to allow you the freedom to choose as you will.

But do not demand that I join you in celebrating behaviors and lifestyles which my faith tells me undermine God’s best plans for his creation.

Reflections in the Midst of a Busy Season

The richness of an experience involves three distinct aspects: the joy of anticipating that experience; the pleasure of having the experience and then the satisfaction and inspiration of reflecting on the experience.

Early last week I returned home from a rewarding two week trip to Paraguay. Immediately upon returning, several days of work awaited me at the Prison and then a half day of work at the Naaman Center; followed by a PTL India Partners banquet and time with my good friend P.C. Alexander who is visiting from India. On Saturday evening we attended a play in Litiz performed to raise money for the crisis in Venezuela.

This was followed by a sermon on Sunday morning, a Sunday afternoon life group and a trip to Baltimore to visit family. There was more prison work on Monday and work on Tuesday preparing taxes. There was a presentation on India with Alex at the wonderful SAMUEL School in Harrisburg on Wednesday afternoon. Finally there was a Wednesday evening banquet at the Star Barn celebrating the founders of the Naaman Center. (and noting the merger of the Naaman Center with PA Adult & Teen Challenge.)

And now I am in the air again on the way from Washington DC (Dulles International Airport) to Mombassa to teach at the Ukunda Missions School and participate in the graduation of the 6th class.

Just listing all this makes me feel out of breath. It also gives me the concern that I could be missing two thirds of my life: the anticipation and the reflection.

Fortunately the 2.5 hour drive to Dulles gave me precious time to reflect and anticipate and pray with Ruth. And now the 15 hours in the air to Kenya has yielded me additional time to pray and reflect and anticipate. So God does provide.

But I find that I must struggle to make the time to truly hear all that God wants to show me in preparation for an event and all that He wants to teach me in reflections following the event.

As I listen for His voice in all this, I hear Him say, “ I did not come to make you busy; I came to fulfill my purposes in you. Rest in me and I will show you my plans to encourage you and direct you, not to over burden you. I can’t show you my plans, if you think you have to make them all happen. I share my plans so you can have the big picture and know how your part fits in to the whole. Simply focus on what I’m doing in you and through you in each moment of each day.”

And so my strength and my peace are renewed as I wait upon Him.

Grandpa 36

Tereré and Technology

Tereré is a Paraguayan herbal tea, hot or cold, shared in a group with a common cup and straw (bombilla).

Tereré is a very low-calorie, non-alcoholic beverage which is believed to refresh the body. Additionally, drinking Tereré together is an important ritual signifying trust and communion.

Yesterday Vaughn and I met with a Spanish-speaking pastor, Ruben Pereira, here in Asuncion to discuss our plans to start a missionary training school at Escobar.

Neither Vaughn nor I are yet fluent in Spanish and Pastor Ruben is not yet fluent in English and we did not have an interpreter.

However we had a very satisfactory conversation using an app which allows us to speak directly into the phone and immediately receive the audio translation. We would pass the app back-and-forth much as one would pass back and forth the Tereré.

So sharing the app built on a common cultural
tradition.

A TROUBLING THOUGHT

He allowed the Ark of his might to be captured; he surrendered his glory into enemy hands. Psalm 78:61, NLT
(And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand. Psalm 78:61, KJV)

Is it possible that God’s glory is better off in enemy hands than it is in the hands of his own people?

There was fear and trembling and repentance in the enemy camp. But his own people disregarded His presence; they devalued it and did not allow it to cause them to change their evil ways. ( see I Samuel 4-6)

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