Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Lord Healed My Backsliding

I’d like to share with you about the unlimited grace and mercy of Jesus Christ in the life of my nephew, Denis.  I had the privilege of leading him to the Lord twenty-six years ago, and was so blessed to see him recommit his life to Christ not too long ago.  He states in his testimony below:




How I Came to Know Christ Initially
I was raised a Catholic, so I knew some information about the Lord Jesus, but I didn’t know Him personally.  I had never heard the gospel message of salvation or how to be saved. I was a typical youth in high school, into the party scene and living for myself.  I was not seeking the Lord at all.

Then in May of 1986, my uncle Len, who was serving in the military, returned home to NH on leave for 30 days before being deployed overseas.  He had recently given his life to Jesus, and as he began to share his newfound faith with me, I could easily see he was a changed person. You can read his testimony on “The Truth Set Me Free.”

The Lord convicted me of my sin, and my need for Jesus, so I repented and gave my life to Him.  During Len’s 30-day leave period, I spent a lot of time in the Word with him, learning about the Lord and what He expects of us. I joined a local church, where I attended regularly for worship.  I was baptized in water, baptized with the Holy Spirit, and I began to attend the youth group, where I eventually became a leader.  At first, I was full of joy and willing to lay it all down for the Lord. After graduating from high school, I even got married to a young lady from the church, and we went to Bible school, where I began preparing myself for full time ministry as a youth pastor.

I Had No Roots
But things fell apart there in Bible school.  My wife had different goals and the marriage didn’t work out.  I was crushed when she left me.  The hurt from that experience was overwhelming to me. 

Jesus described the seeds of the gospel being cast upon four different kinds of soil.  And you could say I was like the seed planted on rocky soil.  Jesus said, "Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. "But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.” (Mat 13:5-6).  That may be the best way to describe me.  I was full of joy and quickly sprang right up, running ahead with my plans to serve God.  But I had no roots, and the trials I encountered in life were more than I could handle. 

Drifting Away from the Lord
That’s when I began on a long journey that would take me away from the Lord for over two decades.  In fact, for me it was a period of significant rebellion against the Lord and backsliding. After a while, I didn’t want to hear anything about the Lord.  I lived for myself and did whatever I wanted. 

I won’t go into the ugly details of all that I did during that time.  But I stopped praying and reading my Bible.  I caved in to all media temptations excessively  (secular music, television, and Internet), and had absolutely no regard for financial spending.  I stopped attending church and tithing.  With no more joy or peace in my life, I turned to heavy drinking and drug use (prescription and illegal). I became more of a sinner than I had been before I ever knew the Lord!

I then attempted marriage again, this time to a non-believer, and that didn’t work out.  It only caused more hurt and bitterness inside of me.  I didn’t realize that the problem I was running from was inside of me, not primarily with someone else. 

I began living together with another non-believer, whom I later married, and she is still my wife today.  Needless to say, all of this sowing of bad seed in my life began to bring in quite a harvest.  I really began to reap what I’d sown all those years.  As the Scripture says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Gal 6:7-8)

How the Lord Got Me Back
Denis Lacroix
I thank the Lord that He didn’t give up on me.  Like the good shepherd who left the ninety-nine sheep to seek after the one lost sheep, I can see clearly now how He was seeking me out in so ways that simply cannot be dismissed as mere coincidences.  For example, He provided me with a job as a dispatcher at a small trucking company, which was owned and operated by an older, married couple. They were very precious, born again believers, who cared for me and prayed for me.  And so did Len, who always treated me with love, even when I was away from the Lord.  I may not have liked it when he tried to tell me that I needed to return to the Lord, but I knew it was true. 

There were a few times when the Lord allowed me to “coincidentally” run into Len at Walmart, and we would stop to chat briefly together.  On another occasion, when I decided to go to church one Sunday, Len just happened to be led to visit that same church that morning with his family, rather than attending his home church as usual.  I recall how he and his family sat right behind us in church that day.  He would also phone me from time to time, and remind me that the Lord still loved me, and that He was waiting for me to return to Him. 

Looking back, I can see God’s grace in my life.  Even while I was away from Him, in my state of rebellion, He delivered me from an unplanned suicide attempt I made while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  Had I succeeded in killing myself, I would have perished eternally. And then after He rescued me from death, He healed me from my injuries. What a loving Savior! He was calling out to me, as the Scripture says, “Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings.” (Jer 3:22a)

I guess I just felt like I had fallen so far away that even if God was willing to forgive me, I couldn’t forgive myself.  I knew I deserved hell for my rebellion against the Lord. I was just waiting to die and face my certain judgment.  I came to understand first-hand what the verse to the Hebrews means that says, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.” (Heb 10:26-27).  Let me assure you that you don’t ever want to experience that like I did. 

There were a couple times over the years, when I did attempt to return to the Lord.  Aside from that time I attended church one Sunday, I also repented and prayed to give my life back to the Lord. I was finally crying out, “Indeed we do come to You, For You are the Lord our God." (Jer 3:22b). But the strongholds were so entrenched in my life that I was never able to follow through on my commitment.

Len recommended a couple churches for me, and I said I would check them out.  But for years I kept putting that off for another day, until recently.  Finally in 2011, on Easter Sunday, I finally decided to attend a church, where Len was preaching.  I asked the Lord to cleanse me by the blood of Jesus Christ, and forgive me from the darkness and sin that I allowed to bind me in chains.

He's Healed My Backsliding
Since then I have continued to serve in a local church, and watched the Lord heal my backslidings.  As the prophet Hosea says, "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him." (Hos 14:4).  He has loved me freely and turned away His anger from me.  I am so grateful for His love and mercy toward me.

Just to show you how He has healed my backsliding, here are some of the areas that God has delivered me from, and continues to work in my life through the Holy Spirit. I have joined a home group through the church. He’s also been using the weekly Bible studies and Sunday morning services to restore all that the worms have eaten in my life.  He has restored my communion with Him, and I once again enjoy an active, daily prayer life, as well as daily time spent in His living Word. He has set me free from alcohol and illegal drugs completely!  He has broken my addiction to video games, which once consumed over fifteen hours of my time each week. He also set me free from my addiction to Facebook games, although I continue to pray for complete deliverance from this as well. He has delivered me from two of the prescription meds I have taken for over 10 yrs.

He has also healed me of the anger and bitterness inside my heart, as a result of all the evil in my past.  The change in my behavior has been like night and day.  Though I still fall sometimes, He has really been faithful in this area of my life. He has helped me to put Him first in my finances. He has given me spiritual boldness to share the Gospel of Christ with my immediate family, and given me a burden to pray for my unsaved extended family and friends.  And He has put within me a desire to do more, in terms of sharing Jesus with those I don’t know. 

Sharing Jesus with My Loved Ones
As a way of helping my friends and family to focus on the real meaning of Easter, and to invite the un-churched ones to worship with me at my home church for Easter services, I sent out a shortened version of this testimony back in the spring of 2012. I sent it as an email, which I believe went to nearly all 250 people on my distribution list. Though I probably lost a few people on the list, who didn’t appreciate it, there were a few who thanked me for being so open about my life as it was both before and after I was saved. And of course, as a result of the Holy Spirit moving through what I shared, my mother, two sisters, and brother-in-law, as well as my nephew and niece attended the services. The Lord has been working in their lives since then, drawing them to himself.

My mother got water baptized at my church, and so did my younger sister, along with her significant other, who have since just recently been married.   My other sister shows an interest in the Lord and openness to the gospel.

The Lord has allowed other changes to occur in my life that I may not have listed here. And I also realize that these changes are not because of who I am or what I have done, but because of who Jesus is, and what He has done for me. I truly believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and if it were not for His birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and intercession on my behalf before God, I would be damned to Hell for my sins. I repent daily for any darkness that I have allowed into my heart through my eyes or ears. I ask God that He would allow the Holy Spirit to purge me from the things that He detests and hates, so that I too would detest and hate them as well. I know that I am nothing but dust that the Lord has chosen to breath life into, and all I have comes from Him.  I pray this testimony will be a blessing to you, and those who may be facing the same deceptions and evil traps from the enemy.

Denis Lacroix

[END OF DENIS'S TESTIMONY]

Praise the Lord for making Denis to be a testimony of the saving power of Jesus Christ!

My Personal Invitation to You
In closing, please let me say that if you are backslidden -- you were once saved, but are now away from Jesus Christ,  He is calling to you today to return to Him.  He leaves the ninety-nine other sheep in the flock to pursue you -- that one lost sheep.  Return to Him with repentance and weeping.  "Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to Him, 'Take away all iniquity And receive us graciously, That we may present the fruit of our lips.'" (Hos 14:2) He will forgive you, and heal you.  But don't ever go back that way again!

There is nobody on earth more miserable than a backslidden Christian.  It's a terrible place to be. You might fool yourself into believing that your having fun, but the truth is that deep down inside your soul is aching. You have no peace.  The only answer is to cry out to the Lord for mercy and turn your back on sin.  Separate yourself from the world and consecrate yourself to the Lord once again. Pour out your heart to God in a covenant prayer something like this one.

And if you know a Christian, who is backslidden, don't give up on them.  Keep praying and loving them.  Keep telling them, "You will not miss your destiny. You will be a mighty man (or woman) of God. You will be a testimony of the saving power of Jesus Christ." Keep telling them that they need to return to the Lord.  The Lord will hear your prayers, and send His angels to move them out of that dangerous place into a place of safety where they can find a door to God.

Lastly, if you are contemplating suicide, I need to warn you that it's a trap of the devil.  Suicide will not solve any of your problems.  I don't know any other way to say this more kindly, except to say that suicide will only assure you an eternity in hell.  Your life is valuable to God, who made you, and you do not have permission to kill yourself. What you need right now is to cry out to the Lord Jesus, and ask Him to save you.  If you're desperate enough to consider taking your life, then you have nothing to lose.  And you can be sure that He will answer your sincere prayer. The new life He gives will be unimaginably better than the one you're now seeking to end.  He has a purpose for your life! And when He's finished fulfilling His purpose for you, then He'll take you up into glory to be with Him forever in heaven.

It all begins with giving your life to Him. Won't you do that today?

The Shepherd loves His sheep
He’s sad when they get lost
At times they choose to stray
Once saved at such a cost

He takes the time to train them
To listen to His voice
To follow His commands
But still, they have a choice
-- excerpt from "Good Shepherd"
by Charity V. Lacroix

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. The "Washed by the Blood" painting © 2012 is by Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist. 

Author's Note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to read "Covenant Prayer," "Drifting Away," "The Truth Set Me Free," "Holy Living in a Perverted World," "The Evil Spirit of Alcohol", and a poem by my daughter called "The Good Shepherd." You are invited to view my collection of blogs at Writing for the Master

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Joy I've Come to Know

Dennis Nederveen
I would like to share the amazing testimony of my friend from Luxembourg, Dennis L. Nederveen.  Please read what he has to say about his experience coming to know Jesus in Holland, as a young, university student.  He writes: 

I was adopted at one year old and raised in a home of Dutch reformed parents. My mother read the bible and taught me to pray and sometimes she also spoke about Israel. However we did not attend church and when I grew up I stopped praying and quickly fell in a life of self-gratification. 

When I went to a university in the 1980's, far away from my parents I lived a rather wild life on campus with many others. Still I was feeling very alone amidst all my friends. I remember I once cried out to the sky. I was not even sure if there was a God listening.

But God answered, not flashing a light but bringing friends and people in my life that were somewhere special. They knew about Him. First a police inspector who handled a ‘lost’ case I had claimed. He radiated kindness and great calm but did not even mention Him. Later I learned he was a real Christian. Then I also met some new friends at university who knew about God. One was a particular favorite of mine. His father borrowing him many fast luxury cars and he lived a wild life I found rather fascinating. But his wild life was different from mine. His life often seemed to be directed.

We became friends and one day I asked what he was doing on Sunday. He said: “I am going to church”. What? I had never thought of this and was curious enough to go with him. We went to a Pentecostal Church, and from the moment I came in, I knew these people had a joy I didn’t have. During the meeting, the Pastor Evangelist warned all sinners with great conviction to run to the cross fast. I was deeply convicted, but full of intellectual reserves I decided to check this out a little bit more.

Back at home I prayed a special prayer: “Lord, God if you do exist, and all these happy people are something more than just a happy group of believers, then I ask two things:"

1. "I will start studying this Book, from which they say it is directly from you, called the Bible. I will study it seriously under the condition that you give me all the time for my research."

2. "Furthermore, I will attend this church to check it out. However, the first time anyone tries to convert me or make me a member, this research will stop immediately. I will then conclude that You do not exist, or are not at all powerful as they claim, and that this is just another group of happy people together.”

At 21 years of age, and after twelve months of reading the Bible, I had written two diaries full of questions. I finally concluded that God had been kindly listening and answering ALL my questions, and that I had no way to deny his existence at all, nor the deep truths of His Bible. I then came to a final question:

"Who are you?"
By this, I wanted to know, "Do you have emotions? Do you like people? Do you really understand us?"

After this question I noticed that something like a window of Heaven above my head was opened. During not less than 6 months I received every request I made from God.

Just to mention some of these, as you can probably imagine me as a young student: A wonderful girlfriend, visiting special places, passing a very difficult exam, visiting special and far countries, having real friends and on and on. In short I was showered with blessings and heart desires before I could even mention them. And that happened every single day.

During this shower of love I came to my personal conclusion: “Father, You have been so very kind and patient to me, You allowed this entire research of mine while nobody tried to make me a church member. Now after 18 months I decide with all my heart you are the most lovely and most glorious God and Father and I want to serve You, Your Son and the Holy Spirit for the rest of my days to the best of my ability.”  I asked Jesus publicly in my heart by going forward at the next church call for repentance and was later baptized in water. 

That was the beginning of my journey with the Lord, which brought great peace and joy to my life, like I had never experienced before.  All my problems didn’t go away immediately. 

In fact, in His holy presence, I now became aware of my deep struggles with sin that had gripped me all my life.  Through many victories and setbacks, as well as painful heartaches and sickness, the Lord has patiently brought me to where I am today. 

I am amazed by His loving kindness, His quiet but so awesome power, His nearness. I must say that I am much more in love with Him than ever before.

Grace,
Dennis L. Nederveen

[end of testimony]

If you have just read what God did for my friend, Dennis, and you do not yet know Jesus personally, I want to encourage you today.  Just as God revealed Himself to Dennis in a very complete way, He will do the same for you, and make your life all that it was meant to be.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Author's note: You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gems from Heaven













On March 13, 2012, I showed some videos to my wife and children, regarding gemstones from heaven, as well as other videos of gold dust, oil from heaven, manna from heaven, and the Lord’s glory cloud appearing in church meetings. I then taught them about the link between the physical and spiritual realms, and later posted a blog about it that I encourage you to read (see here).

Glory of God
On March 18, 2012, at 2:30 AM, I was lying on my back on my bed, and I had a dream. In the dream, I was in the same bedroom, lying on my back on my bed.   The only thing in the dream that was different than reality was that, in the dream, our three-year old son was in his crib in our bedroom. He was awake and indicated that he was aware of the presence of a (holy) entity right next to my bed in our room.  At that moment, I suddenly felt the presence of the Lord standing right next to my bed, but I did not see anyone.  There was an overwhelming sense of God’s presence upon me.  I immediately felt “terrified,” “afraid,” and “overcome with fear”.  I was also completely astounded. In other words, I was filled with the emotional impact of overwhelming surprise or shock.

In the dream, as I looked toward the presence of the holy entity (perhaps the Lord), I cried out very loudly.  I am not sure whether I cried, “Ohhhhhh!!!!!”  or “Woe!!!!!” But when I cried out, I was awakened by the sound of my own voice. 

Once I awoke, I remembered how the prophet Daniel fell at his feet as a dead man.  I remembered how the disciples were afraid and they cried out with fear when they saw Jesus.  They were afraid.  I was, too. 

Then I felt the glory of God.  I realized that what happened in the dream had actually happened in the room, and that the Lord’s presence was still there.  I got up and worshipped the Lord on my knees beside my bed in the very spot where the presence had been in the dream.  I still physically felt a sense of the presence upon me, but not in an overwhelming way like it was in the dream. 

In the morning, I shared this with the family at breakfast and looked up the passage about Daniel.  I immediately related to the terror, and Jennifer agreed that what I described was similar to this.  She reminded me that even Isaiah and Zechariah felt this way. She said that when she awoke during the night while I was worshipping beside my bed, she felt joy, peace and love inside her heart.

Here are the Scriptures I was pondering as I lay in bed immediately after the dream, plus a couple more about Isaiah and Zechariah.

“Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength. But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said to me, "O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.” (Dan 10:7-12)

In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.  (Rev 1:16-18)

When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." (Mat 14:26-27)

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, "Get up, and do not be afraid." (Mat 17:5-7)

The prophet Isaiah had a similar experience. “Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’” (Isa 6:5)

And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. (Luk 1:11-13).
 
Open Heavens
On March 19, 2012, during our family prayer meeting, we experienced an open heaven over us and I felt the presence of the Lord.

Presence of the Lord
The next morning on March 20, 2012, during my personal morning prayer time, I sensed the presence of the Lord once again.

Crystal Gems from Heaven
After our Morning Prayer and breakfast, Jennifer discovered a supernatural gem in our bedroom (more photos at end of this post).  She said, “I was thinking about going to heaven and people that I want to see.  I thought that I just want to get rid of everything – all the worthless things of this earth – and leave it all behind for the Lord’s sake.  So I was cleaning out the shelf in our bedroom closet, and I got to where my basket was.  I moved my basket and there was a little, crystal-like gem.  I immediately thought it was a supernatural gem from heaven.  As I looked more closely at how it was shaped and it seemed to have a perfect cut with many facets.  Then I walked into the kitchen thinking that this is really from the Lord.” 

As I was sitting at the table, finishing my breakfast, she walked in and said to me, “Look what I found in my closet! I think it may be a jewel from heaven!”  And she handed it to me.  As she placed the gem in my hand, I felt the presence of the Lord all over me.  I said, “Jennifer, I can feel the presence of the Lord all over me right now! The Lord gave you this to show you how much He loves you!” 

A little while later, she was back in our bedroom again, drying her hair, and looked over at another shelf in the closet.  She wondered whether she might find something else in there. Then she turned away from the closet, and pondered how the Lord has been giving supernatural gems to His people in the US, Africa, and other places.  She wondered if He was going to do the same thing here in this spiritual wasteland, because the glory of God needs to come.  She said, “As I once again turned back toward the closet, there on the floor lay another crystal-like gem.  It was laying perfectly face up in the carpet.” 

I was in my office when Jennifer came in and shouted, “Len! Look!”  And she showed me in her hand a gem just like the first one, which was larger, but had the exact same cut!  We went into the bedroom, and she showed me where she found it.  It had been on the floor, in the exact center of the spot where the glory of God appeared two nights ago.  Then we were certain it was from the Lord.  As we looked at it in the light under a magnifying glass, it had a perfect cut with many facets.  When we put the smaller one beside it, we could see that they were both cut exactly alike.  As I held them in the palm of my hand and looked through the magnifying glass, I could see the details of my palm print perfectly and clearly through the stone.

I said, “Jennifer, I felt the presence of the Lord when you placed the first one in my hand earlier.  I know this is from the Lord.”  Then we all knelt down and praised the Lord profusely, not for any thing he could give us, but for Who He is.  We declared that He is more beautiful than diamonds, more precious than silver, more costly than gold, and nothing that we desire compared with Him.

She said that as she was praying yesterday, she heard the Lord say, “It is my Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Last night as she was going off to bed, she thought that she would need to use our electronic Bible to find that passage.  She opened the Bible and read a passage.  At the end of the passage, she read, "But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” (Luk 12:31-32).  She said, “Wow!  That’s the verse!” And she hadn’t even gone searching for it.  She wasn’t actively looking for it.  So that confirmed it had been the Lord speaking this to her.  So when these gems appeared this morning, it further confirmed that the Father has chosen to give us the kingdom.

When she tried placing the gem back into the carpet in the same position it was in when she found it, she could not get it to sit perfectly upright like it had been when she found it.  She commented later, “It’s the latter rain!  It’s raining!”  We also tried dropping it from eye level onto the carpet and it always bounced away.

As I studied the Word of God afterward, I felt this passage best describes these stones: “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper." (Rev 21:10-11).  The holy city has the glory of God and brilliance like crystal-clear jasper.  Jasper is quartz, and the stones Jennifer received are like crystal clear quartz, as pictured at the end of the Wikipedia article about quartz.

The Lord Himself is "like a jasper stone," as He sits upon His throne. In John's Revelation, he wrote: "And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance." (Rev 4:3)  According to a commentary on Revelation by Dr. Oliver B. Green, he states: ""The Jasper, the last stone in the Old Testament breastplate, represented Benjamin. This was a clear stone, speaking of total victory. On the Jasper stone was Benjamin's name, which is a combination of two Hebrew words (BEN and JAMIN), so scholars tell us, meaning 'the son of my right hand'...or, as one authority puts it, 'the son of my power.'"

I checked online to see the difference between crystal and glass.  All crystal is glass, but only certain types of glass can be classified as crystal.  It has to do with the higher lead content of crystal.  Glass typically has a yellow or green tint, while crystal is completely clear. Glass often has sharp cuts, while crystal has smooth, rounded cuts.

These stones the Lord has given us do not have sharp edges.  They have smooth, rounded cuts.  Both stones are identical with eight facets, one stone being larger than the other. They don’t have any yellow or green tint to them, but are perfectly clear with no inclusions or cloudiness. We believe they are crystal clear quartz.

Later in the afternoon, I spoke by phone with my Christian cousin, back in the States, who is a certified gemologist.  I told him about these and he said that if I place the stones face down on a printed page, such as a magazine, and can read the text, then they are not diamonds.  He said that when it is a diamond, you couldn’t read the text through the stone.  He asked me to take a photo and send it to him.  So rather than use just any text, I decided to use God’s Word, in order to take a photo of the stones face-down on some text. I opened Jennifer’s Bible to Proverbs 8,where it was book marked, and I placed the stones right on the verse that says, "Take my instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold. For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her.” (Prov 8:10-11).  We were unable to read the text through the stones.  It was distorted.  I took the photos and some video footage of it to send to my cousin.  He wrote back saying his first impression is that these are glass jewels.

When Jennifer saw the Scripture beneath the stones, she was amazed and said that was the very chapter she was praying about yesterday!  She had been praying with her Bible open to that very same page.  Proverbs 8:11 states, “Wisdom is better than jewels!” 

Then Hope came to me and said that in school today, she had just read the following words in the spiritual warfare chapter of her Health textbook: “Solomon describes wisdom as better than rubies or anything else we might desire in this world.”  This is a paraphrase of Proverbs 8:11!

Here is the entire passage that Jennifer read last night, containing Jesus’ word about the Father giving us the kingdom: Then He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions." And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man was very productive. "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?' "Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."' "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?' "So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." And He said to His disciples, "For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. "For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! "And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span? "If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. "But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! "And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. "For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.” (Luk 12:15-30)

I told Jennifer that these stones are probably of no earthly value, but only eternal value to those with the eyes of faith.  It’s just like anything the Lord gives.  The world places no value on the spiritual things, because the natural man cannot discern them.  For example, if I go to a public speaking expert and share my testimony, he will evaluate it based on his criteria for a good speech.  He may tell me that my speech is too long, or I use the word “Umm,” too often.  He may rate other aspects of it, and tell me that no one would ever pay anything to hear me give this speech.  In his estimation, my testimony is completely worthless.  Yet to me, and all who hear it with the ears of faith, it is priceless.  No man can ever place a monetary value on my testimony, yet it has eternal value that is greater than all the riches this world could afford. Isn’t it the same with all the Lord gives us?

This testimony is part of something much greater that God has been doing in our lives here in Hungary since January 1, 2012 (for more on this amazing outpouring from God see here). 

Video Footage
If you would like watch the video of the crystal gems see here. I encourage you to watch the whole video: 


Photos
For the photos of the gems see here:
Stones


Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I recommend reading The Voice That Changed Everything -- the Testimony of Dr. Stenhouse, Discerning the Things of the Spirit, Pastor Raised from the Dead, Muslim Woman Now Follows Jesus, An Atheist Turns to Christ, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, and Holy Fire Baptism. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." 

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Outpouring of the Spirit














I want to share with you what has been happening here in our lives this weekend.  God is doing amazing things!  What follows is an excerpt from a letter we sent today on New Years Day to some of our partners:

There have been many things leading up to this that I won't go into, but will simply allude to at the end.  But last night on New Years Eve, we and the girls listened to Baptized with Fire, specifically just Book# 1 of five books, after the boys were in bed. We were all so encouraged to pray and seek the Lord.

Afterward at almost midnight, we had a time of prayer.  I prayed for my wife and each one of my daughters, to give them my blessing for the coming year.

First, my eleven-year-old daughter broke some things off her life and was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues (cf., Mat 3:11; Lk 3:16; 24:49; Joh 1:32-33; Act 1:4-5; 2:4).  This was repeated afterward with my other two daughters.  We all broke out in loud and fervent prayer and prayed in the Spirit for an hour kneeling and lifting up our hands.

My eleven-year-old's experience during this was that she felt that God had set her free!  Afterward we could all see it on her face and in her eyes.  She now looked at peace and her face was aglow, whereas it had not been so beforehand.  It looked so light bright and light.  It looked like scales had been taken from her eyes.  They are clear and glowing with light now.  There is gentleness upon her face that was not there before.

The girls prayed on and on in the Spirit with us, and never got bored with it.  They never got tired.  They could have prayed all night long, and they wanted to, because they got new strength from the Lord when they started praying.

My thirteen-year old daughter was filled with the Spirit like never before.  She said she felt the power of God like electricity go through her whole body. Her hands and her jaw were shaking and she could not stop herself from speaking in tongues.  When she was speaking in tongues, she felt that what she was saying was really expressing her feelings and what she wanted to tell God from her heart. She kept her eyes closed, and she said it helped a lot.  Jesus revealed a part of Himself to her.  He showed her that He is listening and He cares about her and He wants to know her.  She told Him she wants to know Him.  She said she knows He loves her and she can’t really say how much He loves her.  When I got near her, I felt that when she was praying in the Spirit, she was saying, “I praise you, Lord.  I praise you!  I’ll praise you forever, as I stand before you throne in the midst of a multitude from every nation, tribe, and tongue.”  And many other things like that.

My nine-year-old daughter also got baptized in the Spirit.  She said her jaw and hands were shaking as she prayed.  She was praying VERY loudly in the Spirit!  She did not stop for an hour like that on her knees and lifting her hands to Jesus.  This has never happened to her before! 

We went from just before midnight until about 1:15 AM.  As the nine-year old was repenting and confessing her sin before the Lord, praising Him, and telling Him she would serve Him forever.  She was praying against any curses the enemy would try to put on us, and against any temptations that would come at us.  As she prayed in the Spirit, and I knelt beside her, I felt she was praying many different things like, “There is a light that shines around your throne and it is brighter than any other light.  Your face is brighter than the sun, Jesus, and your eyes are like blazing fire. You love me more than anyone else.  You are so adorable, so beautiful.  You are the lily of the valley, the Rose of Sharon. How lovely you are to me!  I give you my whole life and will serve you forever..." and many other things like that.

I wept before God for joy that he had baptized my three girls with the Holy Spirit.  There was no denying it was real.  Even when I stopped praying or quieted down, they kept going with great fervency like they would never stop. 

I eventually was so tired and wanted to go to bed, but my wife and two of the girls did not want to stop.  I convinced my wife that she needs her rest, but the two girls wanted to stay up.  So they read their Bibles in my office until 2:00 Am, after everyone was in bed.

Today around noon-time, I shared some things in the kitchen with the family that the Lord had shown me during my quiet time from 1 Cor 14, Rom 8, and Eph 4:30-32.  There was more repentance from all of us, my six-year-old son got baptized with the Spirit and spoke in tongues for the first time, and again, it was an awesome time.  We all met with the Lord and my wife wept.

God is so good!.  He has been very merciful to me and all of us here.  Let us seek His face. 

In addition to the audio book I mentioned and linked to above, there have been many other things the Lord has been saying and doing by His Spirit. You would need to go check out some of my blogs to really take it all in...but I'll mention a few of them at the very end.  Perhaps the things that affected us the most were the testmonies of the following people:

Angelica Zambrano (Young lady from Ecuador who died and saw heaven and hell)

Seven Youths from Colombia who saw hell

Bill Kolikata, an Australian pastor who died and saw heaven

Daniel, a Nigerian pastor who was raised from the dead, who saw heaven and hell

Those were the main impacts prior to "Baptized with Fire" that I mentioned at the beginning.  Some other earlier examples of things that impacted us are:

International Impact of Pentecost

Supernatural Power for All Disciples

Why we no longer celebrate Christmas

Holy Living in a Perverted World

One Thing

My hope and prayer is that these things spark true repentance and Holy Spirit revival in your life, just as they have in ours.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the links in the side bar. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."  
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.