Thursday, July 26, 2012



One man said husbands spend half their lives waiting for their wives.  I don't know how accurate that is, but you may have spent considerable time waiting for a plane to depart, for your turn in a check- out line, for an oil change to get done. 

WHAT DO YOU DO WHILE YOU ARE WAITING? Waiting isn't always enjoyable. The apostle Paul even experienced waiting for someone. He showed us how to turn waiting into eternal profit. 

Acts 17:16 tells us what happened "while Paul waited."  He was waiting for his preaching partners to arrive at Athens. He didn't waste this waiting time.  He didn't let waiting irritate him. He didn't let it distract him from his true purpose in life. 

While Paul waited he observed the city and the people and "his spirit was stirred within him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry."

The burden of his heart for the lost compelled him to do something.  He turned his waiting into reaching. Boldly he preached Jesus to the religious and devout Jews in the synagogue and every day he walked to the market place and preached to groups of people.  This led to confrontation and ministry to many more in Athens...all because Paul made eternal use of his waiting time. 


My husband was in another room for an appointment and I knew I would be sitting there for awhile. 

An elderly gentleman was seated across the room and as I observed him thoughts filled my mind. He is probably very close to facing eternity. How sad it would be for such a nice appearing gentleman to wind up in hell. The desire grew inside me to have the opportunity to speak to him, but the room was so full of people. That would make it uncomfortable. I just kept waiting and began to pray. 

Much sooner than I expected the room emptied out leaving just that man and me in it. Thank you Lord! You have prepared the way.

Looking over at him I asked him how he was doing and he mumbled a few words in response. Attempting to initiate a conversation I called over to him and asked him, "What kind of work have you done in your lifetime?" He eagerly replied that he had travelled the world doing oil exploration.

I took that cue and moved across the room to sit closer to him. He enjoyed describing his flights, his sea journeys, his many exciting adventures.

 Learning that he was 86 years old I did my best to move the conversation to his present need.  He had a cane and showed signs of weakness.  He began to tell me about his bone cancer, and things he would still like to do.

“What if you are able to do those things. What would you do then?” I asked him. "Just go a little slower," he replied.

I was trying to get him to think about eternity so I asked, “And when you finally get to that last moment of your life, what then?

"Well, I guess it will all be ready for us." he stated matter-of-factly.

"But," I said, "the important question is, will you be ready for it?" 
“Do you have a Bible?” I inquired.
“Have you ever had one of your own?” I asked.

I was amazed to learn that in all his eighty-six years he had never had a Bible. It was my privilege to pull a New Testament out of my purse and present to him his first Bible. He was very happy to receive it, put it in his shirt pocket, tapped it, and said he would read it.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012



Staring at me from eighteen inches away are three luminous figures surrounded by a sea of reflection imprinted with the inside of our 2005 Chevy Equinox. As a former cold-weather northerner it is incredulous to see 105 degrees glowing on the mirror. 

Attack mode is the only safe way to approach that inevitable Texas heat blast outside the door. It’s now or never. Run for it! Respond to the call of the mall’s refreshing coolness and do it fast. Not so! My husband takes my hand and we slowly meander toward the entrance. Nice! I mean, very nice! 

Our trips to these natural habitats of addicted shoppers are not purposely to shop. Something eternal is in our minds and hearts. The endless crowds move from store to store, kiosk to kiosk, some staring hypnotically.  Animated facial expressions and moving lips talking into the air seem to indicate conversation with invisible entities.


One thing we do know is that before us is a living harvest field. If the end came today, how many of these would open their eyes in heaven? If you crammed all these hundreds of people together in one corner of the mall and called a “few” of them to gather in a separate group in the center, how many would be in that group? Jesus said “narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14).  What about the rest of them? That question motivates us.

I hope we remember which door we came in so we can find our car when we leave. Like avenues on a city street the traffic inside is terrific. The two legged traffic, rambling along at a snail’s pace seems unaware of our presence, but we are here. Our prayer has been for the Lord to lead us to opportunities to speak to some soul about Him.


As we almost pass by one of many kiosks we are enticed to stretch out our hands to receive precious mineral ointment squeezed from a turquoise tube by a hopeful salesman.  He is interested in restoring harmony and balance to our skin, but we cautiously hope to engage him in conversation.

“These products are from Israel and contain amazing beneficial minerals from the Dead Sea.  One of the natural wonders of the world is the Dead Sea in Israel, which is 1200 feet below sea level.”

Politely, I edge my way into the sales pitch, “Israel! I love Israel! I have been there!”

Slight amazement creeps to the surface of the man’s facial features. “You have?” “When?”

“Many years ago,” I reply,” probably around 1985.”

“Did you see the wall? I am from Israel and I live by the wall. I am here only two weeks now.”

He no doubt lived in the proximity of constant danger. I conjecture, “You must have seen some terrible things.”

A weather-worn, creased brow seemed intrinsically connected to the squint of his eyes as his solemn words poured forth,---“I thanked God every morning that I woke up.”

His mid-fiftyish appearance seemed strained, yet determined. A Jewish kippa ( cap) crowned his browned, tired looking face setting him apart from the passing crowd.

“Yes, I saw the wall of the city and the Western wall where many Jews were praying.


He anxiously slides one picture after another until he smiles at the site. “This is my home. These are my streets.” It seemed evident that he was already missing that familiar place. We were strangers, yet he risked sharing personal facts. “I have children. Slowing down with a noticeable pause he continued, “My two sons are in the military.” As if a dark cloud passed over him his appearance suddenly changed revealing obvious concern.

I sense the unsettling moment and attempt to seize it. “We keep up with the news and are alarmed at the attacks and violence against Israel. We believe God has given the land to His chosen people, the Jews. The Torah declares it. Do you read the scriptures?”

Not a second was wasted. His hand quickly reached for his very worn, coverless copy of the Torah that was placed close by on his counter. He seemed almost offended that anyone would even question his use and familiarity with the scriptures. He made us aware of his knowledge of Hebrew, and his studies of the mystical Kabbalah. With strong Hebrew dialect and fingers pouring through the pages of that sacred book he began to reveal his educational background, his deep studies of the Jewish Bible, and his love for it.

After sharing our own love for the Bible, in a leap of faith I asked him, “Micah, are you looking for the Messiah to come?”

 “Of course,” he shot back “and the time is near!”  Intensity drove his words as he began to describe chaotic world conditions, devastating weather patterns. “These all are signs that His coming is near.”  

He paged through his Torah and pointed to portions describing how wickedness brought God’s judgment of the flood in Noah’s day. “It’s is like today. Something is going to happen.”  Micah is from the tribe of Levi.

I cautiously interrupted him. “Micah, your Messiah has already come. He came for you. His name is Jesus and He is about to come again.”

Like a streak of lightning, he stretched his arm out toward me with an upturned palm, as if to say, “Stop! Say no more!”

Somewhat yielding, I still continued with a question. “Then tell me, Micah, how would you identify the Messiah if He came tomorrow? How would you know for sure that He is the Messiah?”

I hoped he would describe some of the messianic characteristics prophesied in the Old Testament, but avoiding such an answer he simply stated, “I will know. In my heart I will know.”  His face was set.

I gently protested his conclusion, suggesting that many have come in the past saying they were the messiah. How would you know for sure if they were really the Messiah? Surely there are attributes you should look for…prophetic details…

Again, he waved me off, apparently understanding where I was headed. “Some things we don’t need to know. Some things we are not to know.” 

I wondered when he turned to Exodus 19 and detailed the account when Moses went up into Mount Sinai to meet with God.  The people were not to come near or touch the mount lest they die. He inferred that the people were not to know what Moses was to know. Some things are too sacred. He seemed to associate that with having knowledge of the Messiah. “We don’t need to know everything.”

Our conversation was intense. Once I tried to excuse myself saying that we were interfering with his business, as customers were coming by.  Another shopkeeper was standing at the door of his business intently listening to our entire conversation. Micah was not about to stop.  “This is more important.”


I had to move forward with this discussion. “Micah, we love Jerusalem and pray for its peace. We love our Jewish friends.”

It was his turn again. “I know that Christians love Israel and Jewish people. They do many things to show that.”

“Yes, and I want to thank you for the part Jewish people had in preserving the Holy Scriptures.  I also want to thank you for giving to us our Jewish Messiah, Jesus.”

This brought him to another full stop with his hand outstretched, palm upraised to say, “Enough!” But I could not help but sense that something was going on inside Micah’s heart that he fought to hide. He did not want to stop this conversation.  I knew I could not push him further, but felt the Holy Spirit directing my words.

“Micah, we are not going to keep you any longer.” As he stood by that two week old Dead Sea product Kiosk, he made me think of one of the Old Testament prophets, before they knew anything about the Babe who would be born of a virgin. He could quote the Scripture. He was waiting for the Messiah, but willingly hid from the Truth. Gently, I put my hand on his shoulder, looked into his Jewish face and pleaded, “Micah, please look one more time at Isaiah 53, and read it with an open heart. His face said that he knew what was in that Messianic chapter of the Torah.

We stepped away from that sacred spot where heaven was yearning to reach one of God’s Chosen Ones, with a prayer that has continued to ring out from our heart. “Lord Jesus, reveal yourself to Micah.”  In a moment we were mingling with more of the very ones Jesus died for. May He use us to reach them for Him.  Worthy is the Lamb to receive the reward of His sufferings.


The Messiah's own people would reject Him.
Isaiah 53:1
John 12:37-38
The Messiah would grow up in Nazareth.
Isaiah 53:2a
Matthew 2:21-23
The Messiah would appear as an ordinary man.
Isaiah 53:2b
Philippians 2:7-8
The Messiah would be despised.
Isaiah 53:3a
Luke 4:28-29
The Messiah would be rejected.
Isaiah 53:3b
Mat. 27:21-23
The Messiah would suffer great sorrow and grief.
Isaiah 53:3c
Luke 19:41-42
Mat. 26:37-38
Matthew 27:46
Men would deny association with the Messiah.
Isaiah 53:3d
Mark 14:50-52
Mat. 26:73-74
The Messiah would have a heal many.

Isaiah 53:4a
Luke 6:17-19
Matthew 8:16-17
The Messiah would bear the sins of the world upon Himself.

Isaiah 53:4b
1 Peter 2:24
1 Peter 3:18
Many would think the Messiah to be cursed by God.
Isaiah 53:4c
Mat. 27:41-43
The Messiah would bear the penalty of death for man's sins.
Isaiah 53:5a
Luke 23:33
Hebrews 9:28
The Messiah's would be bruised for our iniquities.
Isaiah 53:5b
Colossians 1:20
Eph. 2:13-18
The Messiah's back would be lashed at His trial.
Isaiah 53:5c
Matthew 27:26
1 Peter 2:24

Jesus Messiah image from: