Saturday, November 17, 2018

How About Some New Wine? - Now Think On This by Steve Martin

How About Some New Wine?
Now Think On This
Steve Martin


"Then He spoke a parable to them: "No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, 'The old is better.'" (Luke 5:36-39, NKJV)


Personally, I am not much of a lover of wine. Not that I am against the fruit of the vine, for Jesus Himself had it for certain during the feasts of the Lord. And Paul urged Timothy, writing “Stop drinking water; instead, use a little wine for the sake of your digestion and because of your frequent illnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:23, Complete Jewish Bible). Maybe I should try that too…

Laurie, with sister Linda.
If anything, I will sip on a small glass, such as Manischewitz or a similar dessert wine. (I can just see the true wine drinkers faces now!) My good wife likes wine. She is more cultured than I am.

But this message isn’t about drinking the natural. It is about what you are doing, or going to do when the spiritual new wine comes. For it is coming, and in some places, it already is here.

The Lord usually speaks simple words to me, which I receive as the title for a new message. This morning I heard in my head, “Ride the wave” and so I thought, “The next message is of that inspiration.” But as I started writing, the Holy Spirit gave a nudge and said, “Actually, it is about the wine. It is coming like a wave, and I desire My people to drink the new that I am bringing. The old is passing. Time for the new. Write that.”

And so I had to correct the title, changing it from “Ride the Wave” to “How About Some New Wine?”

Sensitivity to the heart of God the Father, the rule of Jesus Christ the Son, and the follow-up actions of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) are a must as we get in on the next wave and share in the new wine. Some may just be satisfied with the old wine. After all, after the last wave it now feels comfortable, is finally understood and accepted, and the “current stuff that I have grown familiar with” is not asking for any risk-taking, or movement from my comfy pew, or as in most churches now, “the 2nd chair on the 2nd row, left side, right behind the pastor’s wife.”

Contentment is good. For a time. Paul himself said that.

“Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” (Philippians 4:11-14, THE MESSAGE)

But then the Lord will call us deeper into His purposes and plans, and if we are willing to trust Him, risk the contentment factor that we have enjoyed for a season, and get on with the next phase, then we have to drink the new wine that is being poured into new wineskins.

Walking down the road!
Let it not be said of us 10 years down the road that we missed the movement of the Holy Spirit for that long period of time. Actually, we can’t afford to miss it. Personally, I don’t have 10 years anymore to waste. In some ways, I am sure that I already have, by not being in step with the Lord in those times and seasons that have already gone by.

Are you ready for some new wine? Or you in a church, synagogue or home gathering that is actually offering it now? If not, I really hope that you find one that is. (I know of one, and my good wife Laurie and I did make that move!)

Being dead in a pew or that cozy seat isn’t much of a life. Time to find a new one.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, has new wine to offer you today. Maybe He will use this message to stir you up a bit right now. If so, be adventurous and have a cup of good, good, red red wine! (I always felt Neil Diamond was onto something.)

Shalom and ahava (peace and love in Hebrew).

Now think on this,

Steve Martin
Founder/President
Love For His People, Inc.





P.S. Check out my latest "Walk With Me" video series edition. A good church: Antioch International Church

If these messages have ministered to you, please consider sending a charitable gift of $10-$50 today, and maybe each month, to help us bless families in Israel whom we consistently help monthly through our humanitarian work. Your tax-deductible contributions receive a receipt for each donation. Fed. ID #27-1633858.
  
Secure, conveniently contributions can be done online now. Click here: DONATE 

(or use the DONATE buttons on the blog.)

Contribution checks can be sent to: 
Love For His People, Inc. 
P.O. Box 414   
Pineville, NC 28134

Todah rabah! (Hebrew – Thank you very much.) 

Please share Now Think On This with your friends on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.  We appreciate your help.



Now Think On This #368 - in the year of our Lord 11.17.18 – “How About Some New Wine?” Saturday, 7:00 am

Monday, November 12, 2018

Brick Wall. Ever Hit One? - Now Think On This by Steve Martin

Brick Wall. Ever Hit One?
Now Think On This
Steve Martin


“So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
(Galatians 6:9-10, THE MESSAGE)


Sometimes you just feel like you’ve hit a brick wall. And want to quit. I have. You too?

There have been seasons in my soul, in my life, where I felt like nothing was going anywhere, that the time was done. In fact, sometime in early 2018 I wanted to quit. Quit church. Quit the ministry I founded 8 years before (Love For His People). Just stop, and quit. Discouragement overcame me, as I couldn’t, and didn’t, see anything to look forward too. Tired, worn out, figuring it was the next generation’s turn. Let them do it now.

So I told my good wife Laurie, “I don’t really care where we go to church. I am just going to go wherever you want.” I really did say that.

This was after 45 years of walking with the Lord and serving His people – in many churches, and on paid staff with 8 ministries over many of those years (Derek Prince Ministries – Director of Operations and Finance; Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda Ministries/All Nations Church – Administrator; Vision For Israel/The Joseph Storehouse with Barry and Batya Segal – the USA Director; Covenant Keepers led by Rex and Carolyn Johnston – the accountant; Charlotte Rescue Mission with Tony Marciano and Chris Moore – accounting; Samaritan’s Purse with CEO Franklin Graham – mail processing and Team Leader for Operation Christmas Child; and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association/Billy Graham Library – Ruth’s Attic Gift Shop associate. And of course, Love For His People, which we founded in April, 2010. 

I have a long resume. Over six decades of life can bring about that length. It sure has given one a lot of friends and knowledge on how to treat employees.

One of our great delights - leading worship in churches.
I could also name all eight churches Laurie and I have been members of, but that would take more paper and ink, and we are conservatives!

And so here I was, entering into my “golden years” and not appreciating very much anymore the silver and gold relationships we had along the way. A few yet remained of course, but most were now sitting on the shelf, getting tarnished and forsaken.




But…(there is always a “but now” when it comes to our Loving Father) sensing there was a flicker of hope, because the Bible clearly says He doesn’t give up on us nor forsake us, I still did my Sunday duty and went to church. Like Joseph I guess, there was always a bit of light to look up to while sitting in the bottom of the pit. Or the dark cell of a prison. Which in my case was a spiritual one. My wife knows I go through the dark seasons of the soul from time to time.

Sometime in May 2018 I believe it was…as my memory banks take their time getting to the right file in my brain…previous members of a church, whom we always liked, invited us to a graduation party. One of the pastors had gotten her doctorate degree (now Dr. Elizabeth Enns), and somehow we were asked to come to their house and celebrate. We did. That was a Saturday night. The founding pastor of the church, Peter Wyns of Antioch International Church in Fort Mill, South Carolina, where we had stopped going to four years ago in 2014, warmly and gladly welcomed us. Later, to keep this brief, he mentioned to Laurie, apart from my knowing then, that the church could use our help. I was not a part of that conversation.

On the following Tuesday, I casually sent Laurie a text at her Calvary Children’s Development daycare job (18 years now – yeah Laurie!) that if I was going to go to any church, it would be Antioch. She then texts back about what Peter had said that previous Saturday night.

The following Sunday we went to the Antioch church meeting, which providentially enough, is located on the former Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s famous location in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Antioch International Church had actually bought the portion of the Heritage USA/PTL property, in 2014, that had The Barn and Studio on it during the Heritage years of 1978-1987. (In fact, I was on Peter’s Christians for Messiah Ministries board at the time, giving my approving vote to purchase the property. Again, Peter and Joy Wyns’ ministry). I felt that Laurie and my three lifetime, $1,000 apiece membership gifts to Heritage USA back in 1985 were bearing fruit yet again!


The former Heritage USA/PTL Barn and Studio is located in the top, right-hand corner.
Now known as The Riverplace (owned by CMM and housing Antioch International Church and offices.)

Extra! Extra! Read here what I published in 2014: Heritage USA Barn and Antioch, Christians for Messiah Ministries (But only after you finish this encouraging message!)


As they say, or at least I do, that the rest is history - God-ordained, God-planned, God-purposed history. The brick wall has been shattered.

As of October 1, 2018, I was asked to join the Antioch staff, helping the young pastors and team with my accounting and leadership gifts and training.

And as for me and my house, I can only say, “Wow! Lord!” You continue to be Faithful and True, even when we are not!

Bottom line (good term in accounting): If you have been where I was at spiritually, emotionally, physically…I pray you just keep going a bit longer. There is light at the end of the tunnel, breakthrough through the brick wall, and restoration to fulfill that which our Great Father has birthed you for, especially at this time.

As Jim Bakker loved to say, “You can make it!” (And by the way, thanks Jim for coming back and doing great things, once again!)

As the Elevation Church worship team sings, “You will do it again!”

Here are a few verses you can stand solidly on. Right now.

“I will restore to you the years that the locusts ate,
the grasshoppers, shearer-worms and cutter-worms,
my great army that I sent against you.

You will eat until you are satisfied
and will praise the name of Adonai your God,
who has done with you such wonders.
Then my people will never again be shamed.

You will know that I am with Isra’el
and that I am Adonai your God,
and that there is no other.
Then my people will never again be shamed.

“After this, I will pour out
my Spirit on all humanity.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions;
(Joel 2:25-3:1, Complete Jewish Bible)

Can you relate to any of this? I bet you can. And I sincerely hope you too make a comeback, knowing that the love of God, His Only Begotten Son Jesus, and the amazing Holy Spirit, is very real and alive today on planet earth. IF I really was a betting man, I would definitely say, “Yes you can! Because He will yet do it again for you too!”

Shalom and ahava (peace and love in Hebrew).

Now think on this,
  
Steve Martin
Founder/President
Love For His People, Inc.





P.S. Want an adventure walking the streets of Jerusalem? Come with me sometime! And in the meantime, watch my short videos that I recorded in October 2018 as I did that just that. Jerusalem October 2018 playlist


If these messages have ministered to you, please consider sending a charitable gift of $10-$50 today, and maybe each month, to help us bless families in Israel whom we consistently help monthly through our humanitarian work. Your tax-deductible contributions receive a receipt for each donation. Fed. ID #27-1633858.
  
Secure, conveniently contributions can be done online now. Click here: DONATE 

(or use the DONATE buttons on the blog.)

Contribution checks can be sent to: 
Love For His People, Inc. 
P.O. Box 414   
Pineville, NC 28134

Todah rabah! (Hebrew – Thank you very much.) 

Please share Now Think On This with your friends on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.  We appreciate your help.


Now Think On This #367 - in the year of our Lord 11.12.18 – “Brick Wall. Ever Hit One?”, Monday, 7:15 am

Extra! Extra! Read here what I published in 2014: Heritage USA Barn and Antioch, Christians for Messiah Ministries

Adventure (as in Field Trip!) - Now Think On This by Steve Martin

Adventure
(as in Field Trip!)
Now Think On This
Steve Martin


“Just think — you don't need a thing, you've got it all! All God's gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus.God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.” (I Corinthians 1:7-9, THE MESSAGE)


Remember those young, childhood days in grade school, and the teacher announced, “Tomorrow we are going on a field trip!” You were about to jump out of your seat with excitement! In some ways, it didn’t matter if the travel was going to be across five city blocks, or to the other end of town several miles away. You were “going”, and it was certain to be an adventure.

I have even seen the eyes of staff members, in several Christian ministries that I was administrator or director at, get a bit bigger when I had the joy of saying several times over the years, “Next month we are going on a field trip!” Anticipation then grew in them as each day passed, looking forward to that time together when we could be adventurous as a team.

Why does international travel seem so appealing to many? Because it gives the chance to get away, see the vast world, and experience other cities and cultures. Look at the Israeli young adults who hit the airwaves the first year out of high school, before beginning their stint in the required one and a half (girls) or two-year commitment (boys) in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). They literally “take off” for adventures in Asia, Australia, Africa or South America. And then back to the home front where the defense adventure starts.

Or consider those who have entered into their retirement years, which I really believe that for those trusting in our Lord Jesus, it can be just the start of the next adventure the Lord already had planned for your life. As Rick Joyner (Morningstar Ministries in the Charlotte, North Carolina area) likes to say, this final time in life is for the “refirement” years.

Seriously, who wants to sit around watching TV all day, or getting out and hitting a white ball for several miles, only to get frustrated most of the time!

For the decades in previous years, these golden boys and girls saved as best they could, doing without many needs and wants, anticipating the last years of life would be for travel and adventurous ease, their life-long destination reward. As too do many young people worldwide, they love adventure.

(L-R) Dave King, Steve Martin, Pam King
 - Israel's Knesset building Oct. 2018
You and I are pretty much the same as the young ones or the old ones. In fact, we too love adventure. Looking forward to, and then actually accomplishing an adventurous time in life, brings a real joy, a sense of fulfillment in our spirit, soul and body.

As for doing the same old, same old, well… it gets old. We need that occasional change in our life; we need that pent-up desire for excitement to happen at least once in a while, and so we look forward to those adventures we hope and pray are coming up in the near feature.


Why do we delight in, and even crave, adventure? Because we are created in God’s image, and He places that same desire of His in us. And guess what, He above all loves adventure. He loved taking Moses and a few friends (in the millions) across the desert, leaving behind some chasers on horses and chariots. And then He was thrilled to open the Red Sea for them to cross over. (I bet it was more than six inches deep, as one joke is quipped, wittily expressed.)

Our God, who enjoys being personally involved with us daily, delighted in walking around the Land of Israel in the first century, sharing His compassionate love, healing, and life lessons with the down and out; the lost in spirit and soul; and those like us who needed a break, and whole salvation, from a lackluster life they had been burdened with.

You too want to see our kids and grandkids follow the Lord Jesus? Give them an adventure, a field trip once in a while, centered around God. Having a real purpose, a real sense of fulfillment will keep them from considering drugs, alcohol, sex or daylong video games instead. They can have and keep experiences with the Giver of Life, who alone can give them a life adventure if they seek and follow after Him.

Our Lord Yeshua’s heart is to give you a lifetime of adventure. It does get tough going through the valleys and reaching mountain tops along the way, but hey, what do you have to lose, except eternal life if you choose your own way. As our President Trump said to the American black people, who generation after generation voted for Democrats, “What do you have to lose?” by instead giving him a chance.

Whatever your age, trust in the Lord and your life will be more exciting than what you thought it would be when you first said yes to Him. Keep saying yes. He will take you on field trips. He will give you the fulfillment of those heart’s desires you have. After all, it is He who put them there in the first place.

Shalom and ahava (peace and love in Hebrew).

Now think on this,

Steve Martin
Founder/President
Love For His People, Inc.

P.S. Want an adventure walking the streets of Jerusalem? Come with me sometime! And in the meantime, watch my short videos that I recorded in October 2018 as I did that just that. Jerusalem October 2018 playlist


If these messages have ministered to you, please consider sending a charitable gift of $10-$50 today, and maybe each month, to help us bless families in Israel whom we consistently help monthly through our humanitarian work. Your tax-deductible contributions receive a receipt for each donation. Fed. ID #27-1633858.
  
Secure, conveniently contributions can be done online now. Click here: DONATE 

(or use the DONATE buttons on the blog.)

Contribution checks can be sent to: 
Love For His People, Inc. 
P.O. Box 414   
Pineville, NC 28134

Todah rabah! (Hebrew – Thank you very much.) 

Please share Now Think On This with your friends on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn.  We appreciate your help.


Now Think On This #366 - in the year of our Lord 11.07.18 – “Adventure – as in Field Trip!”, Wednesday, 6:00 am