Monthly Archives: October 2006

Healing Dead Waters

Ezekiel 47:7-12 (NLT)
He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank. When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows. Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea. All the way from En-gedi to En-eglaim, the shores will be covered with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea, just as they fill the Mediterranean. But the marshes and swamps will not be purified they will still be salty. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”

While in Israel, Ron Cantor, told the team about a prophecy in the Old Testament concerning the Dead Sea. Yesterday, the Spirit led me to the passage detailing the miracle. In the future, healing waters will flow from the temple area in Jerusalem. These waters will flow east and will bring life to wherever it touches. Dry, dead places will suddenly spring to life with new vegetation and aquatic life. The waters will eventually reach the
Dead Sea and bring it back to life. Fish will abound in the once dead body of water.

This prophecy takes on new meaning when you recently floated in the Dead Sea. The water has such a high salt content that no fish can live in it. Imagine the power of the miracle. It shows the ability of God to turn even the deadest body of water on earth into a place where life can flourish.

God is in the business of healing dead waters. He restores things to how they should be. Nothing is too hard for God to accomplish. This prophecy shows the power in living water. Now all we have to do is receive from God – the author and finisher of our faith.

Hug Me

The world needs more hugs. That is what I noticed while walking around campus with my spiritual brother and friend, Philip Watkins. Last weekend, I went to visit Philip at his college in Florida. Philip is an amazing person with a huge capacity to love others and show affection. This includes seemingly complete strangers.

It was cool to meet some of Philip’s friends and just to spend some quality time with him. Although he is still getting settled at Southeastern University, I can see that he had already developed some relationships and brought his own unique style to the campus.

Philip is one of those guys who has never met a stranger. While driving me to the airport, Philip admitted that when he first met many of the guys on campus they offered to shake his hand but kept their distance. Philip told me that he said to them, “I don’t shake hands. I hug.”

I can just see him going past the outstretched hand and embracing people. While some may consider it strange, I find it refreshing because many people in the world just need a good hug. Philip had obviously had an impact on his friends because a number of guys came up and gave him big hugs. I could see his imprint on their interaction.

When I first came off the plane, I wanted to be discrete in the airport. Philip would have none of it. He hugged me and looked at my outstretched hand with a curious grin. I could see him thinking, “What’s that for. Brothers hug. They don’t shake hands.”

Philip was right. Brothers do hug. I think that I miss him already.

I enjoyed my time with Philip. I can see that he has a hard semester ahead of him. But I believe the Lord will bless his commitments. I am proud of him. All his family and friends care for him very much. And I know that he will make the world a better place because he is willing to come close when so many want to keep others at least an arm’s length away.

You can read more about Philip’s exploits at http://web.mac.com/philipwatkins/iWeb/philip_watkins/Blog/Blog.html

Woe to Capernaum

A number of my friends have asked me about my recent trip to Israel. God showed me so many things that it will take me quite some time to get all my thoughts down in print. Here is just one observation that the Holy Spirit revealed to me while in the Galilee region. Our team visited Capernaum. We saw the remains of St. Peter’s house and a synagogue built shortly after the time of Christ.

Jesus did a number of great miracles in the city. A number of Jesus’ disciples lived in the city. He healed a Centurion’s servant from the city. He brought back a girl from the dead there and healed a demon possessed man in the city’s synagogue. This is where Jesus avoided a trap by the religious leaders and said, “Give to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and to God the things that belong to God.” How did this great city respond to Jesus? At first they embraced Him. But they did not remain true to His teachings. They fell away. Jesus eventually spoke a curse on this and many of the other cities where He did some of His greatest miracles.

Consider the following Scripture (Matthew 11:21- 24):

Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee,
Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Many people saw Jesus do great things at Capernaum. Yet, they did not truly believe. They were amazed by Jesus. But they did not follow Him.

Their faithless response brought destruction on them. As I walked through the ruins of the city, I saw the reality of Jesus’ curse on the city. It had been destroyed. And in the Day of Judgment, it will not receive mercy.

I was also struck by the fact that many people did not follow Jesus even though they had seen Him do great things. The same can be said of the Apostle Paul. Success in the kingdom of God is all about our relationship with the Father and obedience to His divine will. Jesus was not a failure just because so many rejected Him. When people fall away, we should not be surprised. If the masses rejected Jesus and Paul, we may receive a similar reaction.

Capernaum stands as a lesson to us today. We should not reject the move of God or take His provocation lightly. Those who see God’s hand and yet refuse to obey will suffer even greater punishment on the Day of Judgment.

The Corporation

The older I get, the more radical I get in my beliefs. I used to be a good little, conservative Christian. Now I am becoming less conservative in my political beliefs and more liberal in some ways. While I do tend to vote more red than blue, I do have problems with some basic principles of capitalism. Large corporations have become the dominant entities of the last century. In many ways, multinational corporations are more powerful and influential than countries or governments.A documentary called The Corporation recently made me think about the potential problems with profit-driven decisions. While capitalism certainly has its pluses, it also has some significant minuses too. Many atrocities have been justified by people paying their mortgages or corporations trying to fatten profits.

The Corporation points out that companies now have many rights of people under 
U.S. law. The film further asks if corporations are people what kind of people are they. The answer depends on the company. But the film makes a strong case for many companies exhibiting behavior similar to what one would expect from a psychopath.

The World Health Organization lists the following attitudes and character traits as a sign of a serious mental disorder.

  • Callous unconcern for the feelings of others
  • Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships
  • Reckless disregard for the safety of others
  • Deceitfulness: repeated lying and conning others for profit
  • Incapacity to experience guilt
  • Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors

Don’t companies manifest many of these attitudes when they do things for short term profit that hurt people or the planet? Many times companies obey the law only when it is cost effective compared to fines or legal action.

Profiteering is still alive in well. Companies have learned that in devastation there is opportunity. When should companies forgo making a buck to do the right thing?

I am starting to ask these questions as I head into Christmas. This year I want to do more than just shop for bargains. I want to buy gifts that make a difference for more than just the recipient.