Thursday, November 14, 2013


We all have them…giants I mean…things in our lives. Some of us have small ones, others have BIG ones…and some of us have both! It takes a longggggg time to rid our lives of those things that are there we don’t want to be there. At times, we do not even realize we have issues that need purging, we have to grow some or God has to put a piece of sandpaper in our lives to show us by pressure, a point He wants changed. I remember years ago, I think I was about eight or ten years old in the Lord, still growing and learning. There were a couple of people in my life that had personality traits that drove me up the wall and under the paper (you may be too young to remember wall paper). Really irritated the living daylights out of me. The primary issue was negativity…no matter what I said, no matter what Scripture or illustration I gave, nothing would stop the “yea buts…” really made me nash my teeth. It took a lot of prayer and deliberately asking God to change me, not them…and that is what He was driving at with me…He wanted me to stop looking to change them, but to ask Him to change me. I remember even saying to Him, “yea but…” but there was no changing the cure, the change had to be in me, not them at least not them for now. That sandpaper of God is perfectly suited for whatever He was trying to remove…this time with me it was an attitude…and it changes with the individual and the issue. The sandpaper stays pretty much the same…a person or persons you have a lot of contact with!

Not all giants are internal, many are external and visible to others such as addictions, greed, anger, pride…any and all of these are fairly visible to others. Addictions are treatable, if the person wants to be healed. I have know inmates that have told me they were miraculously cured of drug addiction immediately as they accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Others, more actually, have told me how they struggled for long periods of time to get rid of the addiction. The same with drinking…some can stop immediately, others take months or years. The more internal issues, even those visible on the outside, take commitment and time and often that sandpaper. None of them are easy…here are a few hints that could help if you are looking to conquer a giant in your life.

1. You are not unique…I Cor 10:13 says “no temptation/test has taken you but those that are common to men…” Goliath was not always a giant, he was fed and nurtured just as you have probably fed and nurtured your goliath by continually doing “it.” And many others have been through the same process of dealing with things in their life that they want to be rid of. So stop feeding it and lean on the Lord to be there for you when you call on Him for help.

2. You can’t do it alone…I Sam 17:47 TM say ‘the battle is the Lord’s’ and you need to keep that in mind. Try doing it in your own strength and you’ll loose! You need divine help to overcome old habits and establish new behaviors.

3. You have to confront the giant head-on…I Sam 17:48 TM says “As the Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran…to meet him.” don’t run away, don’t try to negotiate, don’t compromise and don’t excuse. Force the giant out into the light and do not let him back into your life. Establish boundaries and make yourself accountable. And stay away from the wrong company.

                                                One last thing…don’t look at God in the light of your giant, but look at your giant in the light God!!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I believe all of us have been through storms of one sort or another. Some more than others…and some have felt very alone in those storms. Most of us that know the

scripture know the verse: “I will never leave you nor forsake you…” we know it in our heads but do not always know it in our hearts. Recently, I think I understood that in a new way, and it was definitely a learning experience for me. Many of you that know me well know this has been a particularly difficult year for me personally…two major moves in six months, a heart attack, a gastric bleed, ( the worst of all) gastric surgery on my stomach and loosing my “baby brother” Paul. All in a little more than six months. I do not relate this list to complain but to set the stage. I knew what the Scripture says about “I will never leave you not forsake you…” I knew He wouldn’t move, He was right there within me, I knew it in my head and heart but still, I felt alone…maybe more, I felt disconnected!  I had not experienced that feeling since I cannot remember when…just plain disconnected and alone. I was trying desperately to get comfortable, those of you that have been in a hospital bed for awhile know the feeling. I turned to my left side, looked UP…and there attached to the IV hook up was a card with the FOOTPRINTS piece on it! Of course I started to cry because all of a sudden I was overwhelmed with the sense of His presence…and the more of the verse I struggled to read (no glasses), the more I cried! To this day, I do not know where that card came from, I was and am just grateful!!!! As I pondered the incident, I remembered reading a little about someone else learning what I was sensing that day so I will share the thoughts with you here. I) when we feel alone, He wants to remind us that He is there with us no matter where we are, and He is always in “teaching” mode. 2) He doesn’t show up early…He comes in the midst of the worst (yep)…and always on time. 3) As He takes us through different storms, He reveals more of Himself each time. Otherwise there are aspects of His character and workings with us we could never understand.  4) His presence alone in each situation is enough. That moment when He does, and says “it is I…”Mark 6:50…should be enough to calm our fears…it was for me and I thank and praise Him for that time and the blessing HIs outworking was.

Monday, November 11, 2013


State Department

Washington D.C.

November 8, 2013

Dear Secretary Kerry,


US. Secretary of State John Kerry in Tel Aviv (Matty Stern/Flash90)

After listening to you declare repeatedly over the past weeks that “Israel’s settlements are illegitimate”, I respectfully wish to state, unequivocally, that you are mistaken and ill advised, both in law and in fact.

Pursuant to the “Oslo Accords”, and specifically the Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement (1995), the “issue of settlements” is one of subjects to be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations. President Bill Clinton on behalf of the US, is signatory as witness to that agreement, together with the leaders of the EU, Russia, Egypt, Jordan and Norway.

Your statements serve to not only to prejudge this negotiating issue, but also to undermine the integrity of that agreement, as well as the very negotiations that you so enthusiastically advocate.

Your determination that Israel’s settlements are illegitimate cannot be legally substantiated. The oft-quoted prohibition on transferring population into occupied territory (Art. 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention) was, according to the International Committee Red Cross’s own official commentary of that convention, drafted in 1949 to prevent the forced, mass transfer of populations carried out by the Nazis in the Second World War. It was never intended to apply to Israel’s settlement activity. Attempts by the international community to attribute this article to Israel emanate from clear partisan motives, with which you, and the US are now identifying.

The formal applicability of that convention to the disputed territories cannot be claimed since they were not occupied from a prior, legitimate sovereign power.

The territories cannot be defined as “Palestinian territories” or, as you yourself frequently state, as “Palestine”. No such entity exists, and the whole purpose of the permanent status negotiation is to determine, by agreement, the status of the territory, to which Israel has a legitimate claim, backed by international legal and historic rights. How can you presume to undermine this negotiation?

There is no requirement in any of the signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinians that Israel cease, or freeze settlement activity. The opposite is in fact the case. The above-noted 1995 interim agreement enables each party to plan, zone and build in the areas under its respective control.

Israel’s settlement policy neither prejudices the outcome of the negotiations nor does it involve displacement of local Palestinian residents from their private property. Israel is indeed duly committed to negotiate the issue of settlements, and thus there is no room for any predetermination by you intended to prejudge the outcome of that negotiation.

By your repeating this ill-advised determination that Israel’s settlements are illegitimate, and by your threatening Israel with a “third Palestinian intifada” and international isolation and delegitimization, you are in fact buying into, and even fueling the Palestinian propaganda narrative, and exerting unfair pressure on Israel. This is equally the case with your insistence on a false and unrealistic time limit to the negotiation.

As such you are taking sides, thereby prejudicing your own personal credibility, as well as that of the US.

With a view to restoring your own and the US’s credibility, and to come with clean hands to the negotiation, you are respectfully requested to publicly and formally retract your determination as to the illegitimate nature of Israel’s settlements and to cease your pressure on Israel.


Alan Baker, Attorney, Ambassador (ret’),
Former legal counsel of Israel’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
Former ambassador of Israel to Canada,
Director, Institute for Contemporary Affairs, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs,
Director, International Action Division

Thursday, November 7, 2013


When Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord, the angel asked him his name…he of course replied Jacob…then the angel told him he would no longer be called Jacob which means “deceiver” but Israel, which means “a prince with God…” how did that come to be??? the angel said it was “because you have struggled and have overcome…”Gen 32:27-28. Up to this point, Jacob had been living up to his old name, but slowly and surely changing in character. God was busy teaching him important things as he lived with four women and at least 13 children. That would be enough to teach anybody something!!!! God was using him in his training years to teach his sons and one daughter, what life was all about. He apparently he zeroed in on Joseph and Benjamin who seem to be the best of the bunch. How many times in our lives, especially after we come to the Lord, do others try and put us down or reduce us in our view of ourselves or in what we are trying to accomplish. Many times…and we frequently listen to our own detriment. God has plenty to say about us to us in His Word…we need to read it, ponder it, and apply it. We are part of a royal priesthood, I Pet 2:9, an overcomer, I Jn 2:13-14, and lots of other things He tells us in His Word. Of course, if we don’t read it, we’ll never know. I remember many years ago when I was a fairly new Christian and had recently come to “know” God had called me to an unusual kind of ministry. I kept it to myself for awhile, began to exercise it hands-on…and got lots of unsolicited criticism…not a job for a woman, no schooling, no training, how would I live financially…and many more criticisms. A few friends that knew me well, believed in me and encouraged me FROM THE WORD to move forward. I did, and have never been sorry I listened to God instead of those around me. If we do not listen to the voice and Word of God, we will never live up to our potential because the only one who truly knows what that God! And, He is anxious to tell you what that is by leading you through trials, and many deep waters…usually the best places for Him to teach us things there are no other ways of us learning. We get into situations and wonder what in the world is this all about…we know God is with us in it, and if we know the Word well, we can at some point look back and see what He was driving at! After all these years, I can now look back, ponder and sit amazed at the first hand teaching God does when your heart is open to what He has to teach. Experience is indeed a very good teacher…and a heart yielded to Him will “sop” up every little bit He has to teach. Stop listening to others, and listen to God in HIs Word, learn of His character so you can emulate it and move forward toward your potential. He’ll never lead you astray, never. And it won’t take any longer than what time you need to move into the place of service He has designed especially for you. Go for it!!!!