Monthly Archives: September 2011

Ferociously Feminine

Are you ready?  God has unleashed a weapon so powerful that it is causing great trembling in the enemy’s camp.  This weapon is the one he dreads, the weapon he fears, the weapon he tried to cripple over time now has the strength to stand.  What is this weapon?  It is women who understand that their strength is their femininity.

God created both men and women in His image.  His image is complete only as men and women are united, each taking their place in God’s great plan.  The Bible is clear that God does not make a distinction between people based on gender.  Each has a unique role and strength and gifting, but neither is more important than the other; in fact, each gender needs the other to take their place in the body so they both can function fully.  The unique calling of the woman is to give birth to Christ, Who will ultimately serve the fatal blow to the enemy.
And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike[a] your head,
and you will strike his heel.” 
Genesis 3:15
This is why there is such an attack on women and a history of misunderstanding about the role of women in the Church.  In this day, and throughout time, women have been rejected in favor of men, they have been humiliated through rape and sexual slavery, they have been abused, abandoned, and treated as less than human, and if an ultrasound reveals a girl baby the chances that baby will be aborted is high.  It is time that the value of women is understood and embraced.  It is time for women to be released from all that has imprisoned them, to be free and confident and ferocious in their femininity.

I grew up believing that I was the biggest disappointment in my father’s life because I was a girl.  While awaiting my birth, his father (my grandfather) often said, “If it’s a boy call me.  If it’s a girl send me a letter.”  Then he suffered a fatal heart attack.  His funeral was ten days before I was born.  All the relatives said to my mother, “You have to have a boy for grandpa.”  Well, I was born a girl, and my mom went into hysterics believing that she failed, and my father believed that he failed his father by not having a son.  These were the stories I grew up hearing, and it was never forgotten that I was “supposed” to be a boy.

Most of my early childhood was spent in pursuit of trying to win my father’s heart.  I did everything I could think of to connect with my father.  I longed to be “Daddy’s girl.”  It never happened.  He died of melanoma when I was 12, and I spent the next few decades struggling to find some sort of significance with my life.  I experienced a string of abusive relationships with men, suffered from depression and was near-suicidal.  I didn’t want to kill myself, but the thought of being in an accident that would incapacitate me and put me in a hospital where I could be taken care of sounded really good.  This is what came of believing that I was a disappointment and not what my parents intended.

However, over the years, I have grown to be confident of this fact–God intended that I be a woman, and as a woman I am able to manifest His strength through my seeming weakness.  I am an unexpected threat to the enemy.  As a woman I’m supposed to be an easy target, right?  No way!  There is a strength and a fight in me that God has released.  It has taken a long time to get to this point, it’s been a hard journey, but everything I’ve been through has only made me stronger.

I love the final battle scene in the movie The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King when Eowyn is facing down the Witch King of Angmar.  Because she is clothed in full armor, he doesn’t know who he is really facing.  He taunts her with his evil laugh and says, “No man can kill me.”  She rips off her helmet and with her long golden hair flowing down revealing her femininity, she responds, “I am no man!”  And then she ferociously thrusts her sword into his mouth silencing him forever.  In my spirit I too ferociously thrust my sword into the enemy’s mouth, “I will not listen to lies.  I will not be deceived.  I will not be intimidated any longer.  I am a woman, and my strength is in my femininity!”


I believe that in this time God is breaking the molds and stereotypes that have trapped women and prevented them from fulfilling God’s purposes for their lives.  I also believe that God is encouraging men to not feel threatened by a strong woman, but to accept her as an equal partner, as was God’s original intention.  Indeed, as long as women are silenced it forces men to take on roles they were not meant to fulfill.  God is awakening women with the strength of Deborah and Jael in this day.

“Wake up, Deborah, wake up!
Wake up, wake up, and sing a song!”
Judges 5:12

The time of the judges of Israel was a dark time, when everyone did what was right in their own sight.  However, there were some bright spots when the Israelites were reminded of Who God is, and there were mighty men and women of valor who took courageous action to preserve the Name of the Lord.  At this time, Deborah was the judge in office.  She was the national leader who was sought after to settle disputes among the people and acted as the rallying point to coordinate resistance against enemy armies.  During Deborah’s time, the enemy army was the Canaanites under the leadership of King Jabin, and his captain Sisera.  The Canaanites oppressed the Israelites for 20 years and THEN they called on the Lord for help.  I can’t help but ask, “How long will you tolerate the enemy before calling on the Lord?”

I want to point out that it is stated that Deborah was the prophet and judge of Israel at that time.  There was no issue with her gender.  Nothing was out of the ordinary with having a woman leading the nation.  There was a particular palm tree where the people knew they could find her.  From that place, she sent for Barak, the captain of Israel’s army to inform him of the Lord’s battle plan.

When Deborah told Barak the battle plan, he responded that he would not go to battle without her.

“Very well,” she replied, “I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.”   Judges 4:9

Many who teach this story paint a picture of Barak as a wimp; however, I beg to differ.  Barak was a man of character and integrity.  He was wise in wanting Deborah on the battlefield.  He knew she was God’s vessel.  She heard from God.  She was his connection with God.  He didn’t care that he would receive no honor; he knew this battle was ultimately the Lord’s.  He was completely secure in his masculinity and was not threatened by having a woman in the lead.

Sisera’s army was a threat.  900 iron chariots was quite intimidating to the Israelites who were not as well trained and armed.  However, as is common through history, against all odds, Israel won!  After the Canaanite army was defeated, Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael.  Jael was simply the wife of a man named Heber, who was most likely in business dealings with both Israel and Canaan.  Sisera knew Jael’s husband was on friendly terms with his king so he believed it was a safe place.  Near East culture dictated that when a guest entered your tent you were obligated to protect and provide for that guest.  Jael was acting on her husband’s behalf by inviting Sisera in, but Jael had no feelings of loyalty to him.  I believe that she too was tired of the oppression.  She acted wisely and courageously by taking the opportunity before her to destroy the enemy of Israel.  She lulled him to sleep and drove a tent peg through his skull killing him instantly.

Not exactly the nice story we like to hear.  We like to hear about beautiful princesses falling in love with handsome princes and living happily ever after.  However, there are times and seasons when women need to be ferocious in their femininity.  There are times when women are required to take up the sword and fight, but the way we fight is different.  Both Deborah and Jael had wisdom and courage to recognize the Lord’s timing and strategy and to act without fear when the opportunity came.  Their wisdom and courage to act was more powerful than brute strength.  Their courage was fueled by the knowledge that God was fighting on Israel’s behalf–much like David when he faced Goliath–and the Lord brought the victory.

These two women were honored and revered for the victory their actions secured.  There was no shame for the men that God used women in this battle.  In fact, Barak joined Deborah in the celebration song of Judges chapter 5.  What would have happened if the main characters in this event acted according to stereotypes?  What if:

  • Barak went into battle on his own?
  • Deborah stayed under the palm tree praying?
  • Jael cowered in fear in the tent when Sisera arrived?

Because all of them followed the Lord’s leading, this was the final outcome:

  • Israel became stronger and stronger (Judges 4:24).
  • There was peace in the land for 40 years (Judges 5:31).
I believe God is awakening Deborah’s and Jael’s who are ferociously feminine, as well as Barak’s who are not threatened by strong women, to take their places side-by-side to accomplish the Lord’s purposes in the earth.

Women–there are dreams in your heart that have gone dormant.  Other things in life have taken prominence, and for some it should be that way.  There are seasons when you need to put your dreams on a shelf and allow them to go dormant.  It’s okay.  However, dormant doesn’t mean dead.  God hasn’t forgotten the dreams He placed within you, and God is fighting for all of the promises and dreams He planted in your heart to be fulfilled.  Today, He wants to remind you of those dreams, and to let you know that He hasn’t forgotten, so don’t you forget that God intends for you to be extraordinary.

The Ability to Dream
If you are capable of dreaming then you are truly free
To do all that you have in your heart and become all God intended you be
For in your dreams you explore all of God’s opportunities
For you to experience peace, joy, love and the wealth of prosperity
Along the way you may have to face the challenge of the enemy
Who would keep you bound and in the realm of mediocrity
If you but knew that deep within God gave you the ability
To break the restraints of limitation and walk in liberty
God’s plan for you is that you would live a life extraordinary
To be unashamed of Jesus’ blood nor of your testimony
And in the end as you look back in joyful reverie
You’ll have no regrets as you enter into Heaven’s ecstasy
Are you ready?

Christians in the Muslim World

News from Jerusalem (Vision for Israel) about the horrific persecution of Christians in the Muslim world.  Let’s not be ignorant but informed.  These events are happening now.  Please don’t turn your eyes away thinking this is happening so far away.  These precious ones are part of the Body of Christ, and a part of us who call ourselves Christian.  Please pray.

“You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” Ps 18: 28-29

FIRST THE SATURDAY PEOPLE, THEN THE SUNDAY PEOPLE: Islamic terror groups have long had a favorite taunt which says, first the Saturday people, then the Sunday people. This means of course, first the Jews then the Christians will be targets for terrorist persecution, subjection and elimination. Vision for Israel, in an ongoing endeavor, plans to keep you informed of growing Christian oppression across Islamic controlled lands that you may pray for both the victims and their persecutors. Persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is endemic, on its way to reaching epidemic proportions.

A SUMMARY OF MUSLIM PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS DURING SUMMER 2011: The vilest anecdote to surface in July comes from Pakistan, a hotbed of anti-Christian sentiment, even though Christians make up less than 3% of the population. A two-year-old Christian girl was savagely raped when her father refused to convert to Islam. Because her anatomy has been disfigured, she has undergone five surgeries and suffers several permanent complications. Her family lives in fear and hiding. Though this report surfaced days ago, it occurred four years ago. (AINA)  Pray for this emotionally and physically tortured family and their child – that they may be healed, comforted and delivered from fear and from those who have so brutally caused them to suffer.

AFGHANISTAN/NORWAY: An Asylum seeker in an immigration center in Norway had boiling water poured over him after he converted to Christianity and would not comply with Ramadan fasting rules. He and the other converts at the center now fear for their lives. “If you do not return to Islam, we will kill you,” was the message from the Islamist asylum seekers at the reception center in Norway. The victim refuses to disclose his real name for fear of further reprisals. If Afghan authorities found out about the incident and he were to be subsequently deported he would risk being sentenced to death by stoning, he claims. He survived the incident, but has been left with a severely disfigured back. (Mohabat)  Pray for the healing, protection and godly consolation of this young man.

EGYPT: Muslims who were angered by the installation of a church bell, (under Sharia law, churches must not offend Muslims by ringing bells), went on a violent spree, attacking a 5-month pregnant Christian woman and others who were “beaten with iron rods and pipes.” Additionally, Muslims “severely sexually harassed” a Christian woman in front of her husband at a bus terminal. When her husband tried to defend her honor, he was violently beaten. Soon after, thousands of Muslims in the region began looting and torching Christian property, screaming “Allah Akbar!” and cursing the Cross. Also, last month, a Muslim gang using sexual coercion to convert Christian girls was exposed. (WCN) In recent months there have been numerous injuries and murders visited upon Christians in Egypt.  Muslims who once restricted themselves to preaching hate against those who are different, today feel free to act on their words and have been beating and torturing Christians throughout the country. Egyptian Islamist sects have been known to burn churches and destroy other property in their zeal to wipe out the minority population.

INDONESIA: Christians were forced out of a church building and severely harassed- even as they then tried to worship at the side of the road. Also in August, the mayor of Bagor, Indonesia announced a new reason not to allow churches to open: If the name of the street on which a church desires to establish a new building bears an Islamic name, it may not be constructed . (ACT)

IRAN: The Islamic Republic in August seized 6,500 copies of the Bible in northwest Iran in what appears to be the latest onslaught by Iranian authorities against Christianity in the country. Tehran has been cracking down on its tiny Christian minority of late, so much so even the EU has noticed.  “In the past six months,” the EU reported, “the crackdown has led to the arrest of 285 Christians in 35 cities. In one instance, Yusef Nadarkhani, an evangelical pastor and the father of two, had been sentenced to death for converting from Islam, and the Iranian Supreme Court continues to uphold the decision. For many Americans, evidence of how Iran treats its Christian minority is an indicator of the kind of uses to which it would put nuclear weapons. On a positive note, which again reveals the power of prayer, Iran has released a Dutch-Iranian pastor who was jailed for 359 days on charges of spreading Christianity among Farsi-speaking Iranians. (Bos News)

IRAQ: Kirkuk police, Aug 24, reported they had deactivated an explosive device left near the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in the Almass district of Kirkuk. (WCN)  Latest UN figures show that more than a quarter of the refugee population violently forced out of their homes in Iraq since 2003 are Christians. The number of Christians in Iraq has plummeted from 1.4 million in the 1980s to an estimated 200,000 as of July 2011.

IVORY COAST: Muslims crucified two Christian brothers on “the example of Christ” and in accordance to Koran 5:33: The pair were badly beaten and tortured before being crudely nailed to cross-shaped planks by their hands and feet with steel spikes. (Gateway Pundit)

JORDAN:  A Jordan-based group on September 2, threatened to file a lawsuit against Israel in the International Criminal Court over its opening of the baptismal site Qasr al-Yahud near the Jordan River. The group, which calls itself “The Arab Union to Resist the Expulsion of Arab Christians,” is headed by the speaker of the Jordanian senate, Taher al-Masri, and includes officials from around the Arab world. The group is upset over the fact that on July 12, Israel held an official ceremony to mark the opening of Qasr al-Yahud, the site which is known as the place where Yeshua was baptized by John the Baptist and which is considered the third holiest site in Christianity.  (INN)

NIGERIA: Earlier this summer two churches were bombed simultaneously; at least three Christians died, and several were injured. Muslim extremists with the alleged aid of Nigerian soldiers killed 24 Christians during August in Nigeria’s central Plateau. (Front Page Magazine)

PAKISTAN: Under accusations of blasphemy, and with the help of a local politician, Muslims last month attempted to annex a Christian hospital established in 1922 by missionaries. Additionally, two Christian men were seriously injured by young Muslim men in Karachi when they refused to convert to Islam. They were returning home after an early-morning prayer service at their church on August 14. Six youths started questioning them about their faith and later tried to force them to recite the Kalma (Islamic conversion creed) and become Muslims, but the two refused to renounce Christianity. The Muslims got out of the car armed with iron rods and attacked the two young men shouting that they should either recite the Kalma or be prepared to die. They severely beat the two Christians seriously injuring both. The young Muslim men then left, assuming they had killed both Christians, although they have subsequently recovered. The family has not registered a case with police, fearing reprisal by the Muslims. Christians make up only 2.45% of Pakistan’s population, which is more than 95% Muslim. (Alina)

SAUDI ARABIA: On August 12 it was reported that a captured Christian pastor is set to be deported to Muslim Eritrea, where he faces the death penalty. (RSL) Pray for the reversal of any death threat and for the freedom of this unnamed pastor.

TANZANIA: August 12, Muslims burned down two churches to cries of “away with the church – we do not want infidels to spoil our community,” and vows not to befriend “infidels.” (Front Page Magazine)

UGANDA: A 14-year-old girl in western Uganda is still unable to walk 10 months after her father tortured her for leaving Islam and putting her faith in Yeshua, according to area Christians last month. (J.Post)  Pray for this young girl not to abandon her faith, also that she may escape the brutality of her father and other family members who might add to her sufferings for the name of Yeshua.

UZBEKISTAN: Uzbekistan is reportedly a place where fines, abuse and the destruction of religious literature are unceasing. On August 31, police who raided a Protestant family’s home in Fergana also beat the husband as they confiscated a Bible, an Uzbek New Testament and the Proverbs of Solomon. (WCN)

THE SAD, SAD LACK OF SOLIDARITY AMONG CHRISTIANS: A recent study shows 105,000 Christians are killed every year because of their faith. In other words, every five minutes a Christian is killed because he or she believes in Yeshua. It is shocking to see how little other Christians do about it. The most natural thing to do as a Christian, a Christian leader or organization, would be to demand that Islamic leaders and organizations call for a stop to religious violence against Christians. They should demand that imams declare void the many Koranic verses preaching hatred and for the murder of followers of Yeshua. Many people expected many more Christians to write letters to the editor, demonstrate in front of mosques, call for the media to report more about the problems, etc. Local congregations should write open letters to local Islamic organizations, urging them to publicly renounce any religiously motivated violence — including the relevant portions of their own written religious texts. I will not say “shame on you” for not standing up for your sisters and brothers. Present and future generations of Christians enjoying less security than you are enjoying now will do that. Looking the other way may not be harmful for oneself, if one lives in a safe setting. But letting people in need down — even fellow Christians — is embarrassing and cowardly, and it makes Christianity look useless in situations where things are less rosy. Protecting fellow believers from oppression and violence should be the least of what we do. The sad, sad lack of solidarity among Christians must come to an end, even if taking a stand involves personal risk or going public offends those who want to harm you. Christianity is the largest religion in this world. It laid the cultural basis for the richest, freest and most compassionate society in this world. It is time for this giant to wake up. (Nicolai Sennels /Jihad Watch)

“Remember those who are in bonds as though you were bound with them, and those who suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”  Heb 13:3

News Update September 7th 2011
JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel