Category Archives: Economy

-Times, Seasons, and Transition

Man blowing shofar

(via Wikipedia)

The times we are in remind me of the old Byrd’s hit song- ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ (Based on Eccl. 3:1).

The first line is particularly poignant:

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”

We are in a time of transition in the natural with fall in our midst and Winter on the way.  Actually out here in So. California, September is usually an extension of Summer when it comes to hot weather. Now with October, the change is finally happening and cooler weather and rain is on the way.

On the Spiritual front, we are in the midst of the Biblical (Jewish) holy week with Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) coming on Saturday. It is a week of transition from the old year to the new. In the older covenant, believers would consider their lives over the last 12 months and seek God’s forgiveness for any shortcomings and dedicate themselves to improvement for the year ahead.

Lot’s of Christians over the years have noticed that changes in their ministry seem to take place usually around this time of the year. I can see that pattern in my own life and ministry. In fact, several that I know in prophetic ministry specifically believe that during this week they ‘go under the Shepherd’s rod’ and are evaluated by The Master.

When you look at what is happening around the world it is easy to see that we are in a time of transition and no one seems to really know how it is all going to play out in the next year or so. Is America going down like so many seem to think and is China really going to replace us as the new ‘super power’?

In the Middle East, everything has been thrown up in the air following the so-called ‘Arab Spring’.  Iran wants to destroy Israel and they will probably have nuclear weapons sometime in the next year or two. The Iranian Supreme leader says that the 12th Imam is appearing to him and is coming soon to lead the Muslims to world domination. Turkey is now styling itself as a new ‘Islamic power’ on the rise and their leaders are talking about establishing a new Muslim Caliphate. Their goal is to dominate the World and bring on one world religion –Islam.

Notice that no one wants to be friends with Israel anymore. Even the USA seems to be turning it’s back on the Holy Land. Are we entering the end of the ‘end-times’?

The nations are in turmoil, natural calamities have risen to Biblical levels. The world economy is in shambles. The whole world is looking for a leader or some group to rise up and solve all of these impossible problems both politically and economically.

Look at the current state of the American Church. The mainline churches have turned their back on Biblical teaching –even now the Presbyterians. The Southern Baptists have been losing members and are now considering a name change. A week doesn’t seem to go by without a new scandal rising up concerning one Charismatic or Pentecostal preacher or another.

We are definitely in a time of transition. Old leaders and denominations are falling and new ones will rise up to take their place. God is setting his church in order.

Right now is a good time for all of us in the ministry to get down on our knees and seek a clear understanding and vision of where we are right now and where the lord wants to take us. If changes need to take place in our lives- now is the time to make them.

Now is the time to repent of past failures and seek a closer relationship with the Master. it is His church after all. We keep praying –”thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done” -It is now time to really mean it and truly understand what we are asking for. Now is the season to Turn, Turn, Turn.            *Top

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-Hope in the Now and the Future

where?

(Image by Keoni Cabral via Flickr)

I have heard many Christians refer to the future and proclaim that they have ‘read the back of the book’ so they are not afraid because God is in control. In response I wonder if they have really studied it at all with all of the upheaval portrayed in the Book of Revelation.

I have read the last chapter also but find myself naturally afraid at times considering the chaos we seem to be facing daily; coming at us economically, politically, and in natural cataclysmic events. A lot of Christians have been seeking ‘signs and wonders’ but some of the natural signs we have been getting lately are nothing like what we have been praying for. If we are in the beginning of ‘end times’ like some seem to think, then it sure isn’t going to get any better any time soon -only worse. At least until the very end.

It reminds me of a famous quote from the first Star Wars movie when Luke Skywalker says that he is not afraid and Yoda responds: “You will be.” That scene always send chills up my spine.

We may be entering times that the Bible says will try our very souls and cause hearts to fail. How are we Christians to respond to the fear and the chaos all around us? We will not be able to ‘faith’ it all away and change reality like some of the ‘health and wealth’ folks seem to teach. Particularly if God is in the chaos bringing about his own ‘end time’ purposes.

This is a good time to remember and hold on to all of the promises that God has made to believers over the years. When I really get down sometimes I turn to an old paper back book that I picked up during the ‘Jesus people’ move of the 70’s. It’s got one page after another of encouraging promises that God and his Son Jesus have made to believers through the generations including those who find themselves in the very final moments of history.

Here’s one scripture that I find particularly helpful right now:

Jer 29:11-14
11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will be found by you, declares the LORD,…”
ESV

Jeremiah spoke these words of encouragement to a people who were in exile and had lost everything, their jobs, their homes, their church (Temple), and their nation. We don’t have it quite that bad yet.

While the current events are disconcerting, I believe that the Lord has plans for His people to rise up and still bring the Gospel to every nation and people …then the end shall come.

It is not a time to dwell on our fears or what we might have lost but what we might gain through a closer relationship with the Father in the midst of fulfilling His destiny and calls on our lives. The church has yet to rise up and become that shining beacon on a hill –but it will.            *Top

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-Responding to the Times?

image Here’s some good council from James Goll on how we should be responding to all of the different situations and problems facing our nation.

He points out that the American church has not really turned to God in a disparate way, that the circumstances may call for more radical responses on our part.

Personally looking over the history of our land, there has never been a time when so many major natural disasters have stricken this country in so short a period of time. Then we are in the midst of 2 1/2 wars while our economy is at its worst point in last 70 years or an entire generation.

What does the future hold?

We are preparing for the worse both naturally and economically out here in California. Too many words have come our way to ignore the possibilities of major trouble. However we are also expecting and hoping for revival in the midst of it all.

How are we to respond? Radical prayer is in order. Read the suggestions for responses to differing situations in Goll’s article: “Responding to the Times”

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-Double Dip Recession, Depression, and Israel?

Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (We...

(Image via Wikipedia)

The news this week is full of gloomy economic reports for America. Major financial experts are fearful of an expanding ‘double-dip’ recession at a time when they were expecting and proclaiming recovery.

Worse yet, some are even whispering that we may ultimately end up in a major depression before it is all over.

This morning I read a report that China had divested itself of 97% of their U.S. treasury bills (trillions) in the last couple of months. It was their purchase of our debt up to now that has kept everything afloat and from going south. THIS IS REALLY SERIOUS!!

What does the future hold economically for America?

Three years ago when this recession started in America, several major prophetic folks gave words that this economic downturn could last far longer than anyone expects and depending upon how Americans respond, it could mean that things will never be the same again.

Although my own personal business has suffered considerably, I have maintained a hopeful outlook. However several events in the last month including the Chinese dumping our treasuries have caused me to now be rather concerned about our future.

From my perspective, it is no surprise that this recent turn for the worse follows President Obama’s announcement that Israel must give up Jerusalem and all of the holy lands and sites that it gained in the 1967 war.

It is my contention that if our present administration is allowed to continue down the road toward unwitting support of Arab Muslim anti-Semitic goals then America will surely continue in its decline.

Right now in Europe there is considerable pressure being placed upon the Euro governments to support a new Palestinian state whether Israel agrees or not. In the UN there are several bills sponsored by Middle Eastern countries that would make Israel an international pariah unless they revert to 1967 borders without any concessions from the so-called Palestinians or radical Arabs that continue to call for the utter destruction of Israel and the complete eradication of the Jews from ’Muslim lands’.

Worse yet, mainline Protestant Churches are being encouraged to allow imams to come and teach from the Quran in order to foster better relations between Christians and Muslims in America. However, also in the process Muslim organizations are asking to speak in the same churches in order to present their propaganda in favor of establishing a new Palestinian state that would include Jerusalem as its capitol.

Folks, we are living in interesting times and how American Christians respond to the challenges before us could very well determine whether the USA rises up once more or descends into the dust bowl of history.

I believe that how we handle Israel as a nation could be an important factor in determining our future. Here’s a great article by Jack Hayford listing all of the Biblical reasons why Christians should be supporting Israel and taking action right now: Why Stand With Israel Today?

Hayford starts out with this proclamation:

President Obama’s May 19, 2011 announcement regarding Israel needs to be heard as a trumpet call from God’s Spirit: “Beware – Take Action!”

Amen!            *Top

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-Opportunity on the Brink of Disaster

IN_GOD_WE_TRUST
(Image by Paulo Brito Jr. via Flickr)

Looking at the news can be a scary prospect lately. I see that Greece, Portugal, and Spain were about to go down the tubes over the last weekend and take the Euro and the entire European Community with them. The USA put up another Trillion Dollars that we really don’t have to keep the entire world financial system from collapsing like dominos starting with Greece. Something the American media really didn’t cover.

Meanwhile, the news media in America keeps on trying to convince us all that the economy is improving and makes it sound like the current 9.9% unemployment rate is actually ‘good news’ with folks going back to work—dutifully following the Monday morning talking points memo supplied by the Obama Administration. The dirty little secret is that unemployment is actually closer to 18% as the government takes those who haven’t gotten a job after 6 months off the list.

The word I keep on hearing from the Lord personally and from others prophetically is that now is a time of new and greater opportunity for God’s people.

I ask the Lord—How can you call this a time of ‘opportunity’ when my business is so bad I wonder if I’ll be able to pay all my bills at the end of every month. Then the Spirit reminded me that over the last year I have received just enough income to cover it all. Sometimes it really has taken a miracle to get it done.

Right now we have one of our adult children along with two grandchildren living with us so our expenses are far greater than they were a couple of years ago and our income is far less. Originally we had planned to retire this year but now that is entirely out of the question.

Yet when I attended our weekly Marketplace Prayer meeting this morning at VCC, the word that kept on coming up in everyone’s testimony or prophetic word was ‘opportunity’. When I thought about it later the Lord reminded me of Joseph and how he had prophetically turned disaster into opportunity. How his family was saved from famine and the entire nation of Egypt. Not only that, they ended up prospering in the midst of disaster.

That is what the Lord intends for his faithful people in America—to prosper in the midst of disaster. However, sometimes the Lord’s idea of prospering can be somewhat different than how we may picture it. Nevertheless it is all good.

Then the Lord reminded me of what was happening at my home church. Over 80 folks have come to Christ in the last month at Vineyard Community Church and just this week our Pastor took a team to India and around 20,000 were saved in a 3 day conference and thousands were healed.

Now for me that is a real sign confirming that He really does intend to expand our opportunities and to prosper us both in the Spiritual realm and in the Natural–even in the midst and on the brink of disaster.            *Top

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