Kathy — Works of darkness ultimately end in death. God makes the truth even more vivid pointing out to Pharaoh that He could have wiped out the nation rather than just plague it with blood, frogs, gnats, flies, death of livestock and boils. Yet Pharaoh stubbornly held his economic ace, intent upon keeping Israel as slaves. After the hail, Pharaoh was so strung out on his greed that he would not even listen to rational counsel from his own ranks. His own servants asked him if he understood that the plagues had destroyed Egypt and that he needed to get Moses out of the country! After the locusts, the Lord gave them a taste of the deep darkness they were allied with. Pharaoh tried at this point to negotiate saying they could leave but not take their livestock. His greed still blinded him to his hopeless situation. When Moses would not negotiate, Pharaoh banished him and threatened to kill him if he ever came before him again. Moses said, “You have spoken truly; I will never see your face again.” The lesson was over for both nations. The firstborn, the pride, the joy, the hope, the future of Egypt died. Discerning works or workers of darkness may not always be as obvious as in the showdown between Moses and the Egyptian magicians. It will not always be their acts and abilities that expose workers of darkness, but being confronted with truth and light will always reveal their motive and their source of power. The showdown between Moses and the magicians exposed everything.
In His wisdom Father has placed opportunities & choices before us (Deut.30:19; Matt.7:13). Whether or not we go through the many divinely-ordained opened doors God has put before us this year will depend upon how we make decisions this year. There are many doors open before you. They are not just barely cracked open but wide open for His Kingdom purposes, for His Name’s sake.
Kathy — The source of their empowerment was limited which revealed it was not Almighty God. When Pharaoh asked Moses to pray the frogs abate, Moses said he would so that Pharaoh would know there is no one like the Lord God. However, Pharaoh recognizing that truth did not make him want to submit to that Lord God. When next came the biting gnats or mosquitoes, the magicians had reached their limit. They could not produce gnats from dirt and certainly couldn’t turn gnats back into dirt. The magicians themselves admitted to Pharaoh then, “This is the finger of God!” We can’t top that! Only God is All-Powerful. All the abilities and manifestations of darkness will forever be limited by comparison.
As the people of God assemble today may they join hands and hearts and look toward the coming year with expectancy for the purposes of the Lord in each other and the victorious intervention of the Lord in their behalf. “Paul, Silvanus (Silas), and Timothy, to the assembly (church) of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah): Grace (spiritual blessing and divine favor) to you and [heart] peace.” (1Thess.1:1, Amp)
Looking in the Bible and looking at the decisions and actions of its victorious characters, it is obvious that the possibility exists for us to have a Kingdom mentality and act victoriously out of that mentality regardless of the pressure of overwhelming circumstances and insurmountable opposition. When we pray “Thy Kingdom come” we are praying: Thy will come, Thy authority come, Thy power come, Thy rule come, Thy order come, Thy sovereign activity come, Thy heavenly culture come (cf.”Kingdom of heaven; as it is in heaven”; also Acts17:6). If we truly pray “Thy Kingdom come” we will not be of the mentality that dismisses the extraordinary of God Who is able to “do the undoable, change the unchangeable and provide the impossible”. If we are of a Kingdom mentality when it comes time to break loaves and fishes, we will not be thinking, “Oh, swell, now I will simply have two pieces of fish and two pieces of bread.” Rather we will be set up for the extraordinary of God since we know that, in our lifetime, we have only seen a fraction of the many-layered, many-sided wisdom (Eph.3:10) of God that can feed 5,000 with a sack lunch (Jn.6:9).
Where are you going to stand? Will you stand with the national news broadcasts or with reports of demographics or with unrighteous legislation or, in spite of it all, will you stand on God’s Word? Every night before retiring, we might should sing the words of that song, “Whose report will you believe? We will believe the report of the Lord!” We are not subject to rumors, corruption and terrorists. We are subject to the Word of God if we will agree with it. (Matt.18:19-20) 1Cor.1:18 “For the WORD of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the POWER of God.” (NASB) We are praying you discover daily God’s Word working powerfully in your life.
God’s Plan and Opposition
Does God’s plan or purpose ever change? When His Word does not come to pass within a timeframe or in a manner that our expectancies are the most comfortable with, is it OK to just give up and give in and go along with whatever people perceive will get us all back to being close to normal?
Click on video below to watch.
Does God’s plan or purpose ever change? When His Word does not come to pass within a timeframe or in a manner that our expectancies are the most comfortable with, is it OK to just give up and give in and go along with whatever people perceive will get us all back to being close to normal? JOIN MARTY LIVE ON HIS FB PAGE 1-13-21 at 9:00pm Central USA to hear why we must consider the compass to help us understand where the church stands now.
As the people of God assemble today may all impression and/or delusion of sameness and changelessness dissipate like a mist in the face of the truths and reality of the Word of God—that Word which changes not but changes people and circumstances. “I want a walk in the country, I want a cabin in the woods. I’m desperate for a change from rage and stormy weather.” (Ps.55:8, Msg)
The 2021 Declarations may be viewed by clicking
on the picture below.
God is looking for a people who will line up with a plan that has been in existence for eons. God “framed,” “completed,” “fit for Himself the ages (Heb.11:3) with sound. He sounded out that which fit His purposes. The ages have been “fit for Himself” therefore the machinations and agendas of men will not fit or find a place of fulfillment in them.
Kathy — I’ve always thought the only reason to go to war is to win, but I’m beginning to realize there are other reasons for warfare. Some battles are a matter of training our soul (our mind and will and emotions) to stand and develop muscle to be able to stand no matter what. Eph. 6:13 puts it this way: And when you have done everything you could, you will be able to stand firm. The goal of warfare can also be to take ground incrementally in Divine timing. There are many maneuvers needed to pull down strongholds in this present darkness. It is a bigger war than we can wage from one battlefield. This present darkness is a matter of world rulers that are spirit forces of wickedness in the spirit realm. These forces gather to form strongholds, and there they influence and manipulate people like puppets for their evil intents to kill, steal and destroy. That’s why Eph 6:12 tells us we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. These forces must be dismantled strategically and incrementally along with the workers of darkness they deploy into this present darkness.
Kathy — We’ve got to believe more in
our Redeemer than we believe in the
“Plead my cause and redeem me;
revive me and give me life according
to Your word.” (Ps.119:154, Amp)
Kathy — Whatever is on the horizon, God does not intend that we live in fear or dread. We are to live in expectancy that we will do all that we were born to do and that the supernatural presence and power of God Almighty will be manifest through our lives to His glory. Ps 91:7, TPT — “Even in a time of disaster, with thousands and thousands being killed, you will remain unscathed and unharmed.”
Kathy — As you look back and close out the year, you may be one of those folks who kept a daily journal and accounting of the details of life. Or, your accounting may simply be memories highlighted for the moment or forever, but all of us have matters that mattered this year as we laid our heads down each night and then awoke to face them again the next morning. There is no closing the books, no relief, on unresolved matters whether they concern healing or relationships or circumstances or finances. Even if we don’t note them in a journal or speak of them, still they sit in the silence of the night and trouble our hearts. That’s the reason that we, like David in Psalm 56, must lean into our God, the Great Accountant who can and will balance the books and bring us to peace of mind. “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.” Psa 56:8 (MSG). Remembering He is there and aware and that He will take action in our behalf, we can trust Him by breathing out a grateful sigh over 2020 and breathing in hope for 2021.
As the people of God assemble today may they rejoice and be glad and grow strong in the Spirit and be filled with wisdom. Jesus was born with purpose and so are we. From the beginning, He not only grew physically but in His spirit and in wisdom for what was to come. In 2021 let’s make one of our major goals for our children to be to see them filled with the Spirit and to train them in godly wisdom. “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace (favor and spiritual blessing) of God was upon Him.” (Lk.2:40)
Emmanuel, “God is with us”, is the God-Man who was born of a virgin that God might dwell among men. Not only did Jesus, Emmanuel, live among men but He lived redemptively among men. He didn’t come to bring merely a message or a creed but He lived out redemptive acts through His life on earth. His disciples, those whom He has redeemed by His redemptive act of His shed blood on the cross must, in turn, live redemptively among men. There are too many and too much to redeem to simply live to go to heaven. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matt.1:23, NKJV)
Christmas Eve Family Communion 2020 with
Marty, Kathy and Melissa.
Click on video below to watch.
Jesus came as Emmanuel, God with us, and brought forth fruit (Jn.12:28;17:1). He was not just a religious icon. Jesus was the Kingdom exposed to mankind. In Jesus, the Kingdom was observed — in His lifestyle, His character, His actions (Matt.12:28). The fact that He brought forth fruit is the fact that He was the glory of His Father in the earth. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn.1:14, NASB) In his new book, The Orphan Heart, our dear friend Larry Burden gives an interesting definition of “glory” from the Greek word “doxa”: “the appearance, form or aspect of a person which catches our attention and commands our recognition”. The Message Translation puts it like this: “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” (Jn.1:14, Msg) Though the Father was sitting upon a throne in heaven, He could be seen in the earth in Jesus as He grew and interacted with His environment.
Kathy — Growing up on Abraham Avenue, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary had no idea how they would fit in the plans of God and the history of man. Amid all their lessons in history and prophecy from the Torah, they had never pictured themselves as key players in the greatest story ever told. However, their lives were divinely positioned for the plans of God. God intends your life to be spent to His glory. (Jer.29:11)
My father pastored for more than 22 years in Houston, TX. He loved Christmas time and enjoyed planning Christmas events and activities for the church and the community. Several years we had a thirty foot tall (made of scaffolding and live Christmas trees) “Singing Christmas Tree” in the parking lot of our church and it was advertised on radio and in newspapers. I had the privilege of being at the very top and played “Silent Night” on my trumpet (accompanied by Kathy on the Hammond organ) at the end of the program. The music could be heard all over that business district on Jensen Drive.
We helped needy families with food and gifts and ministered at the men’s shelter at the mission in downtown Houston. But there was one very special night of the year. It was always the Sunday night right before Christmas. People who only came once a year would attend at Christmas. A few who felt unworthy (because of their long absence from church attendance) tentatively entered the auditorium right at starting time hoping there were a few seats remaining vacant so that they might once more feel the warmth of the hearts that lifted in glorious carols recounting the birth of the Christ Child who still brought them hope, and they hoped that the anointing upon the special time of gathering would reach even them once again so they might experience the sense of its cleansing, the sense of belonging and being accepted in the beloved. Many families brought a visitor or two. Everyone dressed up.
The auditorium glowed with golden candlelight which would only convey the merest fraction of the golden warmth of the presence of Holy Spirit upon the evening’s message about the Son of God. There would be many a tear shed on this night of celebration. The pastor knew this was going to be a great time to give people the opportunity to ask this Savior, Who was born in a manger, into their hearts – as the choir sang one more verse of Silent Night. All the players were in the old auditorium checking their costumes to make sure they were just right and reciting their lines to make sure they would properly communicate their portion of the Christmas story. In the main auditorium everyone was abuzz with excitement mixed with awe and reverence anticipating what they were about to see and hear. Musicians checked their instruments to make sure they were in tune while choir members and soloists warmed up their voices and double-checked the lyrics on song sheets (even though some had scribbled out lyrics on little bits of paper stuck up their sleeves, hoping the choir director did not notice). Teachers and directors were corralling children hoping to organize them into their respective groups and go over their lines just once more, while consoling themselves that a partial or damaged costume was better than none at all, and being thankful that they took the pastor’s wife’s advice and brought a large doll to fill in for the “little Jesus” who came down with colic at the last minute. Yet, all in all, that wondrous Sunday night just before Christmas was always said to be “the best one yet” and everyone felt they had participated in the worship of the Christ whose name was Emmanuel. However, everyone knew that pastor’s dismissal prayer was not really the last item expected on that once-a-year night.
There was one activity that my Father took particular delight in. He loved to greet the people, shake the peoples’ hands and hand out the goody bags as they walked out the door. On the Friday before that Christmas Sunday, my Father and I would go to a discount house in the Heights area of Houston not far from downtown. We got a flat cart and proceeded to load it with apples, oranges, Snickers, Hershey bars and mixed nuts still in their shells. Our house smelled wonderful as the odors of fruit and chocolate wafted their way through the whole house. My Father, my sisters and I spent all Saturday afternoon filling the brown paper goody bags. The deacons hefted the heavy duty boxes of goody bags into the auditorium next to the main exit only after the dismissal prayer. The children were always the first to get to the exit and in line in front of Brother Gabler as he blessed each one and joyfully handed out the tasty treats. If an aunt or uncle or grandparent was unable to attend the special Christmas service, the attending relative walked out the door with several goody bags and a special message from my Father to the absentees.
As I sit here tonight and write these memories, I can still see (through misty eyes) and hear the sounds of the people and even smell the fruit and chocolate. I am thankful for all those memories for they represent people of God who impacted my life/ministry. It’s not the events but it is the people who were the life and activity of those events which make those memories so precious. Thanks be to God for the wonderful gift of relationships that keep on giving through our memories.
Kathy and I pray you have a most blessed Christmas with the presence of people who redemptively impact your life and imprint your heart and mind with warm, loving memories.
Our love and prayers,
Marty and Kathy
As the people of God assemble today, may they rejoice in the God of their salvation for He has provided us a King who rules in righteousness (Isa.32:1). May they practice the wisdom of seeking Him. As the song says, “…Three wise men came from country far; To seek for a king was their intent…” “Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, Born is the King of Israel.” “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you; He is [uncompromisingly] just and having salvation [triumphant and victorious], patient, meek, lowly….” (Zech.9:9, Amp)
Emails and Face Book posts definitively describe “this” which is expected to happen and “that” which is said to be inevitable. But before any of those persons or entities or their agendas existed, Jehovah God said, “I lay in Zion a Chief Cornerstone” (1Pe. 2:6). Jesus is the Rock (1Cor.10:4) and He is greater than anything that opposes you, your family, your church, your community or this nation. Rom.9:33, Amp — “Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense; And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].”