Prague Vicariously

My sister, a missionary associate in The Netherlands, recently attended a children’s workers conference in Prague, The Czech Republic. Here is a visual recording of some of her adventures.

 

 

 

Rev. Brenda J. Lillie MA The Netherlands

Rev. Judy Mensch Missionary The Netherlands

 

To find out more about Kidzark &Zo go to http://www.gonetherlandsag.com/

Heaven Pt. 21

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.” Ex. 9:22 KJV

For two years I worked under an English teacher whose greatest joy (it would seem) was to blaspheme God in the presence of his students. In class he would brazenly brag “I am not planning on going to Heaven. I am going to Hell where I can have a real party!”

I thought about him as I meditated on Exodus chapter 9. For me as for other born-agains Heaven is a climactic hope promised by a faithful God; But in many places the Bible affirms that those who hold this hope are in the minority. As sparkling a gem as Heaven is to me for most in our world what comes after this life is only “a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” Heb. 10:27NIV

For many thinking about Heaven only exacerbates the painful knowledge that they are not going to walk her streets of gold. It is not just tears of loss that we see in the funeral parlor. We see too, tears of fear. The reaper has hit home. The ability to deny the approach of judgment has been disabled by the reality that death comes knocking at all our doors.

When Moses raised his staff to Heaven and called forth plagues upon Egypt, the Egyptians were not thinking about the glories of the kingdom. They shook in fear.

I was young when I sat under the professor. My thoughts toward him were, to my shame, rather unkind. If I were to work under him again today I could only look on him with pity. I understand now, his comments were nothing but a frail attempt to mask his hopelessness…to make light of what he saw as a no-win situation. If I had it do over again I would try  to paint a brighter possibility for his future. After all, I know the truth about where the party is going to be, and I have spare door passes!

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord, thank you for including me in the eternal celebration! Remind me daily that there are  many who have yet to be invited. Help me to share the truth about Jesus without fear at every opportunity. In Jesus name A-men!

 

Award Sunday: Kreativ Blogger Award

Jesus has granted me another gift in the Kreativ Blogger Award! To His name be the glory! Thank you Paulette http://pbus1.wordpress.com/ for considering me and “Reinventing the We’ll” for this honor.

As I receive this award my requirement is to tell my readers 10 things about myself and then I must nominate 6 other bloggers for the award

What thrills me most is being able to share with you some of the blogs I read for business and fun. So I think I will begin with my six nominations. The nominees are:

1. Cary Graham at  http://thehacknovelist.wordpress.com/

2. Pat at http://pttyann.wordpress.com/ beautiful art work!

3. http://deepwellbridge.wordpress.com/

4.  David at http://desertvoices.wordpress.com/

5. Deb at http://twominutesofgrace.wordpress.com/

6. http://alabyrinth.wordpress.com/ Interesting poetry and anecdotes from Jerusalem

Now 10 things about myself (which I have not told you before)

1. I have three children all studying for the ministry.

2.  I was once forced to dress as a baby at a youth convention, attendance 1100! 

3.  I collect walking sticks.

4. I am currently finishing my first novel, The Remember Man, and will be shopping it out soon.

5. The name Pastor Wrinkles was given to me by my youth group because I youth pastored for 20 years.

6. I transitioned out of youth ministry for the second time during the summer of 2011. Pastor Brad (our new youth pastor) is one of my former students.

7. I am now assistant pastor at Cornerstone Church Winchendon MA responsible for creative arts and pastoral care.

8. Before I became a pastor I ran a restaurant.

9. Before I became a pastor and after I failed as a restaurateur I was a circulation manager for a local news paper.

10. I really! really!! REALLY!!! love Jesus. He is my best friend and has never let me down.

Thanks Again Paulette!

JE

Heaven Pt. 20

“Joseph is the foal of a wild donkey, the foal of a wild donkey at a spring— one of the wild donkeys on the ridge. Archers attacked him savagely; they shot at him and harassed him. But his bow remained taut, and his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. May the God of your father help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above…”Ge. 49:22-25 NLT

If ever there was a man who knew hardship it was Joseph: Beaten and sold into slavery by his brothers,wrongly accused of rape and unjustly sentenced to prison. Yet he bore every burden with grace and an overcoming attitude.

His father’s blessing was certainly prophetic but I cannot help but think that there was a measure of natural observation in it as well. Something in me wants to believe that Jacob knew his son was going to prosper with the blessings of Heaven just because he knew the measure of the man who was Joseph.

Joseph had faced Hell yet had brought Heaven down into it by his winning attitude. He carried His God with him into every circumstance and so brought blessing on himself.

How about you? Are you carrying God with you into the place you are being forced to walk? Or are you merely carrying pieces of the land you are being forced to walk into the presence of God? There is a difference. The first mindset walks boldly into a territory of trouble and says “God use me in this place for Your glory.” The second mindset walks boldly into the presence of God and demands “God you made this mess. You better clean it up!”

I am becoming more and more convinced that how much we see of Heaven is determined by our attitude not our circumstances.

How is your attitude affecting your view of the Kingdom?

Let’s Pray: Father God I want to be able to see the blessings of Heaven. Where my eyes have stayed too long on problems and circumstances set them free right now to behold Your glory and Your Kingdom plan! In Jesus name A-men!

Heaven Pt. 19

At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway….Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!” Ge. 28:11-17 NLT

To be in the presence of God is an awesome thing. By awesome I don’t mean “really cool” or “super good”. Those terms are far to flippant to be used of THE PRESENCE. Jacob doesn’t even have a waking experience of the presence of God…just a dream and yet it is enough to shake him to His core. So by awesome I mean the presence of God is so huge and powerful it undoes us.

Reading Jacob’s experience makes me wonder, what will we do when we catch that first glimpse…first real glimpse of the radiance of God’s glory? How long will it take our eyes to adjust to the perfect light? How long will the weight of glory hold us to the ground on our faces prostrate before the King? How will the words awesome and fantastic and wonderful be redefined on that day?

Such thoughts as these have the power to change us now. Imagine how the reality will change us then and rejoice!

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord Jesus thank you for your gift of salvation! Thank you that our home is soon to be in Your Forever Presence. Let the thoughts of my future now  brighten my present circumstances. Help me see beyond this time beyond what I am now to what I shall be on the day I glimpse your face! In Jesus Name A-men.

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 54

    This week our Godquest  growth group topic was “What You Believe About the Bible Will Decide Your Direction In Life.”

That is so true. Believing that the Bible is the infallible authoritative Word of God to man has definitely decided my course for the last thirty years. I believe every promise in the book is mine and every word has meaning if only I can find it!

Here are some of the powerful words I found through today’s study!

Leviticus chapter 15 sermon topics/titles:

1. The Infection Within: Lev. 15: 1-32

2. The Power And Symbol Of Water: Lev. 15: 1-32

3. The Spiritual/ Symbolic Significance Of Sex : Lev. 15:16-28

Leviticus chapter 16 sermon topics/titles:

1. The Cloud That Kills: Lev. 16:1,2

2. Enter Right: Lev. 16:6-34

3. The ScapeGoat: Lev. 16: 1-34

Now You Try 🙂

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 53

Today we cross the half way mark in the book of Leviticus. We haven’t run out of ideas yet, proving yet again that every word in the Word is ripe with meaning!

Here are my thoughts for our next chapter charts:

Leviticus chapter 13 sermon topics/ titles:

1. How deep is the infection? Lev. 13: 1-3

2. What Can Be Learned In Isolation? Lev. 13:4-7

3. When To Tear and When To Burn: Lev. 13:53-59

Leviticus chapter 14 sermon topics/titles:

1. The Blood, the Bird, the Wood, the Yarn and the Hyssop: Lev. 14:-7

2. The Perfect Shave: Lev. 14: 8,9

3. The Scapebird: Lev. 14:48-53

Now You Try 🙂

 

Heaven Pt. 18

“Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:” Ge. 27:28 KJV

This verse comes smack dab in the story of Jacob and the stolen blessing. Thinking that Jacob is Esau (the oldest son) Issac releases the blessing of the firstborn over Jacob. Jacob is blessed with a lot of things but one of those things is the dew of Heaven.  In a country with little natural irrigation, rain and dew…well they were almost as important as God. Without them a family would be sure to meet the Maker sooner rather than later. So the dew of Heaven, assurance of rain, was a real worry- eraser.

What I do know of Jacob’s life though, is that even with the blessing he found plenty of other things to steal the sleep from his eyes at night. I guess for him it must have come down to what he was going to focus on. Sure he had the blessing but if I had his life to live I’m not so sure the blessing would have been enough to keep my chin off the ground: forced to flee from his home, cheated by his father-in-law and uncle, stuck in a soap opera of a life, his favorite wife dying in child-birth, his son sleeping with the mother of some of his children, his favorite son dying (at least that’s what he thought). All dew of Heaven aside his life sometimes bit the big one!

It puts me in mind of something God said to me earlier this month. “In the days to come the power of the blessing will ride alongside of the power of the curse.” In this epoch of history folks, as blessed as we might get the blessing will never do away with the curse. Both things are going to ride side by side until Jesus comes. So it’s going to come down to what we focus on. Will you look to the blessing or will your sight be blinded behind the tears of the curse?

Let’s pray: Father in the days to come I know Your blessing will be present. Help me to keep my eyes focused on that and on You even when the curse rears its ugly head. In  Jesus name A-men.

 

Heaven Pt. 17

“And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;” Ge. 26:4 NKJV

As I write I feel it is necessary to comment that these posts are meditational in nature. I am telling you what comes to my  mind as I read each of these verses about Heaven. I am aware that the Bible speaks about three levels of Heaven: our atmosphere, the celestial Heavens, and the third Heaven where God dwells. I am aware that many of the verses that we have spoken of refer to the first and the second heaven rather than the third; But there are principles in every “Heaven verse” that must not be glossed over.

What I see here is that God is a God who desires to provide abundance for the household of faith. This verse is a prophecy about Messiah… and about national Israel…and about all the nations of Earth. God speaks here about a desire to bless everyone through the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ. In the cross there is abundance of blessing.

Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Don’t miss the fact that out of Heaven God desires to bless you but you must put yourself in Heaven’s path.

Let’s pray: Father God, I know that you want to bless me through the power of the cross. But I acknowledge that I have not always put myself in the place where you could bless me. Help me now to get to that place where I may have life and have it more abundantly. Show me your grace and your mercy God for I am truly seeking it and I receive it now by faith in the finished work of Jesus. A-men!

Award Sunday: 7×7 Link Award!

I really have to praise God! He has seen fit to allow me another opportunity for reward. I mentioned a few weeks ago that Deb from Two Minutes of Grace nominated me for the Versatile blogger award. At the same time she nominated me for the 7×7 Link Award and I am just now getting around to publicly receiving it. Thanks so much Deb. To you all you faithful readers out there please check out Deb’s words at http://twominutesofgrace.wordpress.com/. Now onto the requirements of the reward:

Name seven unusual things about yourself:

1. I can quote the entire Green Lantern oath: “In brightest day in darkest night no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might beware my power Green Lantern’s light!”

2. I am a scyfy junky.

3. I am a Pentecostal Christian which I guess makes most people think I am unusual because I believe in the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit including speaking in tongues.

4. I play the flute

5. I play the didgeridoo (badly)

6. I often read 7 or 8 books at a time.

7. I have preached the gospel in three countries so far.

the Second Requirement is that I give you seven of my “best” blogs in various categories:

Most Beautiful: https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/dance-in-the-rain/

Most Helpful:  I did a series on I Corinthians 13 called “Ferocious” https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/ferocious/ This is the first of the posts.

Most Popular: That’s Easy. https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/the-twelve-ways-of-fall/ this one was freshly pressed and got over 1000 hits.

Most Controversial: https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/regret-the-good-school-marm/

Most Surprisingly Successful: Again “The Twelve Ways of Fall” from most popular. Still can’t believe it even got pressed.

Most Underrated: Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts. People are afraid of ’em I think.

Most Pride Worthy:  A series again called “You Choose the View” https://jelillie.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/you-choose-the-view/

Finally I need to nominate seven bloggers for the same award. And the nominees are:

1. Rachel at http://stirringthedeep.com/

2. Angela at http://meetingintheclouds.wordpress.com/

3. Charles at http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/

4. Melody at http://melodygodfred.com/

5.  Patricia at http://patriciawonders.wordpress.com/

6.  http://todayithink.wordpress.com/

7.  Carrie at http://blog.carriemumford.com/

Thanks again Deb!