Golden QuillAugust 2013 Newsletter

Indeed, it has been a lovely summer. There were a lot of sunny days, but they didn't seem to be excessively hot. I am usually too busy at work to go outside on my break, but I did manage to laze in the hammock in the backyard one time. What a perk! It is so relaxing to look up into the trees and watch squirrels darting about while a gentle breeze wafts over me. Those squirrels got all the walnuts from the walnut tree, but the grapes are getting ripe, and they don't eat all of those.

I have actually started to exercise. I hauled my treadmill out again and have memorized Scripture while on it. For every five minutes of Bible reading, or Bible study, or copying out the Bible, or Bible memorization, I give myself a stroke on my daily calendar, and I do a minimum of 50 minutes a day, unless I am fasting. If I don't do a minimum of 15 minutes of Bible and 15 minutes of prayer, I don't eat any meals. That doesn't happen too often; usually just on weekends when I get on my computer first thing in the morning and keep at it all day. Giving myself credit for Bible memorization while on the treadmill is a reward. I like to fill up that calendar. I apply my extra reading above the minimum 50 minutes to the days I fasted, so that they can have 10 strokes, too.

It used to be that I just hung clothes on that treadmill, and if I ever got on it, it wasn't more than five times a year, a minute at a time. I really hate conventional exercise because it's so boring and it hurts. If I'm going to hurt, I need to be distracted from it.

There was one time when I actually stayed on that treadmill for half an hour. I made a deal with my grandson Connor that he would listen to a Christian tape for as long as I was on the treadmill. I really wanted him to listen to that tape. It was one of Marsha Woolley's. She is a great speaker and has some very interesting stories. You can listen for yourself on MARSHA'S WEBSITE.

Marsha's father was a missionary in Zaire; she and her parents were the only white people among 10,000 blacks when she was growing up. Amazing stuff happened to them and the people they converted. Anyway, love for my grandson motivated me that time to stay on the treadmill, and one other time, when I fancied that I could be an iron woman, I stayed on for twenty minutes. I turned back into a noodle woman for a few more years after that.

Memorizing Scripture really worked for me. I started with Romans 1:16 and carried on to the end of the chapter. I stayed on for five, ten, or fifteen minutes at a time, because I wanted to get my verse down pat. I concentrated on what the verse meant and put it into my heart, as well as my memory, but it is not like I can quote the verses at other people's demand. I depend on the Holy Ghost to bring it to my mind when He wills, and when that happens, I rattle it off pretty well.

After a couple of weeks of doing this, I decided to praise the Lord while on the treadmill. This keeps me on there even longer because I tend to lose track of the time. While memorizing, I checked the clock every few minutes, to keep track of how long I was walking. If I wanted to go a few minutes longer, to complete multiple of five minutes, it was tough, but I hung in there. While praising God, though, I don't look at the clock as often, and I usually go past my goal of 15 minutes, or 20 minutes, or whatever it is. Praise the Lord. Me, exercising on a treadmill, is a miracle. I could feel the difference to my strength after only three days.

Things look like they are really heating up for Israel. They appear to have gotten a bit of a break with the Egyptian military in control, after removing President Morsi from office. It looks like more effort is being made on Egypt's part to reduce terrorism in the Sinai, but Lebanon and Syria have been up to mischief on Israel's borders.

I'm very hopeful for Israel, though, because Ezekiel 38 says that, before the big invasion, there will be peace in Israel and it will be prospering. On the basis of this chapter, I think that, at some point, Israel will have recovered the land they were forced to give up to the Ishmaelites, and the UN will back off from harassing Israel. I believe there either will be a supernatural intervention for them of such a magnitude that it will sober up their critics for while, or Israel will finally put their advanced weaponry to use that they have been keeping under wraps. In the case of the Ezekiel 38 and 39 invasion, though, it will definitely be God's supernatural power that will destroy their enemies, harnessing the forces of nature in a timely way, and it will be obvious that it wasn't done with weather warfare or earthquake machines.

I've been reading 1 Samuel again and considering why God chose Saul to be the first king of Israel. I don't think that it was because God wanted Saul in that position so much, as it was Saul's son Jonathan that God had His eye on. Saul had the potential to be a great king, and he was well on his way, breaking the centuries old tyranny of the Amalekites over the Middle East, but God knew that Saul was going to blow it.

The king whom God knew would earnestly desire to do His will wasn't old enough to be king when the Israelites demanded one. David was only a little baby at the time, if he had been born, yet. God needed a man who was so devoted to Him that he would step aside and let another take his place, who had a greater anointing for the job. Faithful Jonathan recognized God's favour on David and took him in hand to mentor him in the ways of the court. It seems that very few people realize that Jonathan was old enough to be David's father. (I did the Math.) I suppose this is because Jonathan treated David as an equal, regardless of his youth.

I love the story of Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14. What a courageous, faith–filled man he was. Imagine waiting for a sign that requires you to climb a cliff before you fight your enemies, using up all that energy, instead of letting the Philistines do the climbing. Regardless that he was an energetic, skilled, pro–active, courageous warrior, Jonathan was definitely depending on God's strength to make him and his friend victorious. Jonathan and I are going to hang out together when I get to Heaven. He was a beautiful soul. People who criticize him for staying with his Dad, instead of joining David's band, haven't really put much thought into why he did that, and they probably haven't paid much attention to the rest of what the Bible tells us about him.

I copied out the Book of Ruth this month. It's silly how people criticize Elimelech and Naomi for going to Moab during the famine. They had to go there to get Ruth. God planned for Ruth to be David's greatgrandmother and the Lord Yeshua's ancestress. Even in those days, before Yeshua went to the cross, God was willing to receive Gentiles who loved Him and make them part of His family.

Before I got to the Book of Ruth, I copied out the Book of Judges, and it struck me how it is like Israel is living in the time of the Judges again. The things that are happening in Israel between the Israelis and the Arab settlers who are against them are like what happened between them and the Philistines in those days. The Arabs who want to take over Israel aren't the descendents of the Philistines, who were wiped out long ago, but they certainly do have the same spirits operating in them. Reading many emails about events in the Middle East helped me see theh Book of Judges played out in my mind even more vividly than before.

Because the majority of the Jews have not yet recognized that Jesus is their Messiah, and therefore not operating in His supernatural power, they fight against flesh and blood, using physical weapons. In their condition, they don't know any other way to do it. When they return to the Torah, and with the support of Christians' prayers that help them care about what is right, then they operate in the same kind of success that their ancestors were able to access when they turned back to God. It is interesting to see how the old covenant rules Israel, whether they are seeking the Lord or running after idols, and reaping the miserable results of doing the latter, and how the Church is learning to operate more fully in the new covenant. These struggles are going on side by side.

When the Jews' blindness is finally peeled away (as a nation), it will be very exciting to see them come together with born–again believers and become "one new man", as the Bible prophesies. Born–again, Holy Spirit–filled Christians yearn for the Jews' salvation, not just as a nation, but for their individual souls, and when their eyes are opened, they will be shocked to realize that every Jew could have been a personal friend of the Messiah during the last 2000 years, if they had believed the Gospel and opened their hearts to Jesus of Nazareth.

Because the Jews are still alienated from Jesus, by their own choice, I suppose that they have to do what they feel that they have to do, to defend their nation, as long as it is within the Laws of Torah, but I feel sorry for their enemies. So many men are going to go into the flames of Hell, believing until the last minute that what they are doing is right, but will then have to face a holy God who does not condone rape, torture, theft, or murder for any reason, and will not excuse it, regardless of the promises that their leaders have made to them about dying while waging war against "infidels." What a mess terrorists have gotten themselves into. The good news is that Yeshua knows how to lead them out of their confusion and bondage and the problems they have made for themselves as individuals, if they will turn away from their sins and receive Him as their Saviour.

I am thankful that Jesus has made me clean through the washing away of my sins by His blood. I had a Muslim acquaintance once, who was very respectful when he did not know what I was like in my past, before I became a Christian. He could see that I love the Lord and assumed that I had always been a "good" woman. Finally, I knew that the time had come to set him straight about what he imagined my past had been. I told him that I had not been a virtuous girl in my youth. His lip curled in triumph when I told him this. He felt himself to be very superior. To give him his due, he was still a virgin at that time, as far as I know, though he was in his thirties.

I am glad that I told him, because I got to see what he really was in his heart. Self–righteousness is a sin, as much as any other. This man, in his attempts to raise Islam in my esteem, had told me stories about what his prophet said about being compassionate to prostitutes, etc. Whether the stories were really in the Quran, I don't know, but they made my acquaintance seem like a gentle and tolerant man. His sneer, when I exposed my past, confirmed what I later learned about how extremely wide off the mark Islam is.

God doesn't have two sets of rules, one for men and one for women. Fornication is a sin for men, as much as it is for women, and thinking unclean thoughts makes one guilty of the sin, according to Jesus. No human being on Earth can genuinely claim to be without sin, given that God judges even our thoughts, and one unclean thought is enough to send us to Hell, if we have not received Jesus as our Saviour. The thing is, Jesus didn't die just to pay the penalty for our sins and wash them all away. He died and rose again so that we could be changed in our character, too, and be like Him more and more in thought, and word, and deed. The salvation of our soul means that we will always be developing more and more character, and it is the character of Christ, not what the world considers character, where they make much ado about the environment and recycling and vegetarianism, and ignore vile sins like abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality.

The world has been getting really crazy, but one of the things that makes me glad is how clean I feel in my heart, because I know that God has forgiven me of my sins. I am also cheered by Jesus' words that we are not to fear, because He has overcome the world. Meditate on that and dig deep to discover what it means. Understanding its meaning will cheer you up, if you are dismayed by wars, rumours of wars, and the cesspool that our society has become. God set preparations in place to deliver His children before He began to speak the Universe into existence. Deliverance may come in the form of physical rescue, or it may be supernatural endurance, but either way, God will look after those who trust Him.

The Bible says that God gives a song in the night. It's really neat when a Christian wakes up at night and a holy song comes to them, but the Scripture means more than that. It also means that God will help us to keep on singing, even when everything looks really bleak, such as was the case with Paul and Silas at the midnight hour, when they were chained up in a stinking cell, their bodies torn by whips. They sang praises to God, songs in the night, staying faithful to God, regardless that doing so brought them persecution. That is when Christians shine the brightest. Make sure that you have extra oil for your lamp to get you through times like that.

At the end of the month, my oldest grandson, Connor, came down to the coast for a visit with his father. His Dad's mother and his father went up country to get him and drive him to Vancouver. I got to spend a day with him, so I took him to the Vancouver Zoo. It was a drizzly day and the animals didn't look very happy. They probably aren't all that happy even on sunny days, being out of their natural environment with its warmer climate, and without as much area to roam. Poor things. I do appreciate being able to see them in a zoo, though; I marvel at how God has made such an amazing variety of creatures. It would be better if we exercised our faith to be safe around them in the wild. I think that this is what God intends Christians to operate in.

Connor is five feet, ten inches now, at 13 years of age. His grandfather was six feet when he was fourteen. It looks like Connor is heading in that direction, too. His father is a six footer, as well. And Connor's hair is nearly black. I told him, "You got that black hair from me, Connor. I'm the only person in my family who had natural black hair." But his is thick and wavy.

I love Connor's sense of humour. We have been sharing laughter since he was four months old, and I am glad that hasn't changed. My son and daughter were good at telling funny stories, too, when they were in their teens. I really needed to see this kid; I was missing him so much, just before I found out that he was headed my way.

I was encouraged that God is looking after my dear boy spiritually when he told me of a couple of missionaries he met. The couple had been kidnapped by guerillas in Mexico, who tortured them by slashing at their arms and legs. Yet the couple survived and were freed, and Connor admired how physically strong the man was when he arm–wrestled him. Wow! God introduced Connor to princes among His people! What a privilege! He said that the man gave him his autobiography and he is going to pass it on to me. I am sure looking forward to reading it.

My granddaughter is due to be born in November. We're all very happy that my daughter's baby is girl. We love the boys, but we wanted a girl, too. The boys are glad that they're getting a sister.

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Page modified by Lanny Townsend on September 8, 2013

Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.