Set Me Up Lord!

I believe we all want to be used by God. He’s placed the desire to make a difference in our hearts, entrusted us with spiritual gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit. His word tells us that we are new creations in Christ, and are called to the ministry of reconciliation. We ARE His Ambassadors! (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). 


My friend, Sandra had just finished a conference and was inspired by one of the speakers. He challenged her to pray, “Set Me Up Lord” every morning and watch for Gods divine appointments. Opportunities to encourage, pray for others and share the gospel, led by the Holy Spirit. As Sandra shared a powerful encounter she had with the woman sitting next to her on the plane, I felt stirred to do the same. Set me up Lord! And He did! When I shared my adventures on Facebook and saw the response, I felt the Holy Spirit was at work. 


We began a Facebook group and are inviting you into the adventure of the Set Me Up Lord challenge! Join our Facebook group, Set Me Up Lord. Beginning August 1, we will ask the Lord each day to set us up! Lead us to the ones He has ready! Then watch what the Lord does during the course of your day. Sense the Holy Spirit at work. Share your testimonies with the group to encourage others. Join us for the great adventure! Step into your calling as an Ambassador for Christ!


“You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.” John 15:16. NRSV

George and Denise Ridley

Denise Ridley founded  Waters Edge Ministries in 2003 and is the weekly host of The Waters Edge radio broadcast on The Light Radio Network in Vermont and WACE in the greater Springfield, MA area. Denise teaches God’s Word with a passionate yet practical, transparent style. She also serves as a prison chaplain and a speaker for Women of the Word.

Using examples from her own life, you will laugh with her as she “tells it like it is” and be empowered to complete God’s purposes in your own life!

Why celebrate the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot)?

May 16, 2021: Israel is at war! I urge you to pray for the salvation of all her people, both Jew and Arab, and for a cessation of violence and war, Come, Yeshua (Jesus) come we pray!! As a ministry we are also preparing ‘material blessings’ (Romans 15:27). Please consider making a donation here which will be sent directly to help ministries that we have personal relationship with in Israel.

The Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot)

Many Christians have some familiarity with the Feast of Pentecost (Acts 2:1 – 4) mentioned in the New Testament and if you have been part of any organized church tradition you may have heard of it. Did you know that it’s roots are in the Old Testament and actually a Feast that the LORD God commanded the children of Israel to celebrate?

This year (2021) The Feast of “Shavuot” begins the evening of May 16th on the Hebrew Calendar. It is one of the three “pilgrimage” feasts when Jewish males were commanded in the Old Testament to go up to Jerusalem to present offerings to the LORD. The other two are Passover and Tabernacles.

Shavuot means “weeks” in Hebrew so it is also known as the Feast of Weeks because it occurs 7 weeks after the Feast of Firstfruits which today is included in the eight day Feast of Passover (also knows as Feast of Unleavened Bread). Because it starts on the 50th day following Firstfruits, we call it Pentecost. Pente means 50 in Greek. Since Christians follow the Gregorian calendar “Pentecost” this year is Sunday May 23. (Read about the Feast of Firstfruits and Weeks in Leviticus 23:9 – 22).

In the Bible Shavuot is also known as the Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16) because it celebrates the beginning (first fruits) of the wheat harvest (Exodus 34:22).

The Wave Offerings

On the Feast of Firstfruits (after Passover), one sheaf of barley was waved as a celebration of the the barley harvest and one male lamb without blemish was offered as a sacrifice unto the LORD. Can you see how this relates to Jesus who is called a spotless lamb and sacrificed himself on the cross for our redemption and salvation? Christ is the first fruits! (1 Corinthians 15:23)

On Shavuot a new grain (wheat) offering is brought to the LORD in the form of two loaves that were waved by the priests (Leviticus 23:16 – 17). Animal sacrifice was also involved in this Feast. However animal sacrifice ceased when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD. As Christians we believe Jesus is the perfect and final sacrifice for our sins. Animal sacrifice is no longer necessary for redemption.

The Two Loaves of Bread

What could the two loaves of bread symbolize? They could represent a double portion harvest. In Old Testament days it was the blessing of actual grain because Israel was an agricultural society. But in the New Testament Jesus said, “The fields are already white for harvest” (John 4:35), indicating a harvest of souls!! This is part of our mission as believers — to make disciples. While the Feast of Pentecost is about the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts, it is also about 3,000 souls coming into the Kingdom! Who were these people? They were primarily Jews because Jews came up to the Temple at Shavuot from all over the known world. 3,000 souls came to know Jesus as Messiah that day and the “church” was born in power. (Read Acts Chapter 2). What an awesome “first fruits” offering and harvest! Many of these new believers empowered by the Holy Spirit would have returned to where they lived across Israel, Asia and even to Rome after Shavuot and spread the Gospel to their neighbors. Glory to God!!

The two loaves could also represent the “One New Man”, the coming together of Jew and Gentile, now one in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). Together we make up the “church”. (Ephesians 2:11 – 22). God is not done with Israel and will keep His covenant promises to her. The Apostle Paul taught this in Romans Chapters 9 – 11.

The Book of Ruth

A Jewish tradition begun by the Rabbis is to read the Book of Ruth during Shavuot. The story of Ruth begins at the beginning of the barley harvest (Feast of Firstfruits) and continues through the wheat harvest beyond Shavuot. It is very meaningful!

The story of Ruth is of how she, a Moabites came alongside her Jewish mother-in law Naomi to care for her. Ruth emphatically states in Chapter 1, verse 16

“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.’

Here is the story in a nutshell! Ruth fully identifies with Naomi and returns with her to Bethlehem leaving her own country. Both Naomi’s husband and Ruth’s husband are dead. In that culture widowhood was extremely difficult. Additionally they had no children; Naomi’s sons have also died and Ruth is childless which was another difficulty within the culture.

Naomi’s purpose in returning to Bethlehem is to seek out a “kinsmen redeemer” among her relatives. One is found in Boaz, who foreshadows Jesus, and Ruth marries him. Together they had a son named Obed, who was the father of Jesse, the Father of King David and therefore in the lineage of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)!!

Here we see a Gentile woman being accepted into the House of Israel. What a beautiful foreshadowing of how the Church is made up of both Jew and Gentile becoming “one new man” in Yeshua. Hallelujah! May we be like Ruth, coming alongside the Jewish people to love them, bless them, care for them and draw them to their Messiah Yeshua!

Can you see how it enriches our understanding of the Scriptures and our walk with the LORD when we understand the richness of our inheritance as demonstrated in the Feasts of the LORD and in the Old Testament? We pray this season of harvest is a blessing to you as you bless others in Yeshua’s name.

View videos to learn more….

Wave Offering with Pam Singer from Israel>>

The Church and Israel with Betsy Roy >>

Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel

Firstfruits and Resurrection

Leviticus 23 tells us of a little known or discussed Biblical Feast called Firstfruits. What is this Feast about and how is it connected to Jesus, the Messiah ?

The Feast of Firstfruits is the third spring Feast mentioned in the Bible. The people of Israel were commanded to keep the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread as a remembrance of their deliverance from Egypt. The Feast of Firstfruits started when they came into the land given to them by God. Today the three feasts are joined into an eight day celebration simply called Passover (Pesach) or the Days of Unleavened Bread. However, little if any mention is now made of Firstfruits.

Let’s take a closer look at what the Bible says about the Feast of Firstfruits.

Read Leviticus 23:9 – 14

The spring Feasts have an agricultural component and the LORD commanded that a sheaf of the barley harvest be brought to the priest and he would wave it before the LORD to be accepted on the person’s behalf and as a sign of dedicating the coming harvest to God.

The priest also sacrificed a male lamb as a burnt offering along with an offering of unleavened bread, mixed with oil, and a drink offering of wine.

Firstfruits is always celebrated the Sunday following Passover.

What does this have to do with Jesus’ Resurrection?

1 Corinthians 15:20 tells us that now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. Jesus rose from the dead on the first Sunday following Passover. Jesus is the fulfillment of Passover because he is the perfect, spotless and unblemished lamb who was sacrificed on our behalf. It was at the celebration of the Passover that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper also known as Communion (read Luke 22:7 – 20). He fulfilled the Feast of Unleavened Bread because he is the bread of life without leaven (without sin). He fulfilled Firstfruits through his resurrection.

HALLELUJAH! HE IS RISEN INDEED!

The Old Testament speaks much about our Messiah Jesus. I encourage you to read the Book of Ruth which is at the time of the barley harvest and speaks of a “kinsmen redeemer”, a type of Christ. Ruth was redeemed and became the great-grandmother of King David and is in the lineage of Jesus (Matthew 1:5 – 6).

To learn more about the Biblical Feasts of the Lord and how they relate to Jesus, please consider joining Women of the Word’s study on Zoom entitled “Messiah in the Feasts of the LORD”, beginning April 5, 2021. God bless you!

Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel

Betsy and her husband Jim lead the trips to Israel, which include visiting with local believers, both Messianic and Arab. Together they have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren which are the delight of their hearts. God’s mercy endures from generation to generation.

Esther and the Feast of Purim

Jewish people celebrate the Biblical Feast of Purim and with good reason as it commemorates an important aspect of their history —- deliverance from the wicked Haman and his wicked plot to annihilate the Jews who lived in Persia, which is now modern-day Iran. The king of Persia at that time reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia (Esther 1:1). Haman had convinced the king that the Jewish people should be destroyed because they were “different”.

In 2006 my husband and I made our second trip to Israel. We were in Jerusalem during the Feast of Purim. We both remember seeing the children dressed up in Purim costumes. We also remember that there were many Jewish families in the hotels. Why was this? Because these families had been forcibly removed and displaced from their homes in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s disengagement from Gaza the previous August. Many Jewish families had to live in hotels! Time has proven that this policy was a catastrophe and the consequences of that decision are still being dealt with today by Israelis and the Palestinians that live in Gaza. The terrorist groups that rule over Gaza continue to wreck much harm on their own people as well as the people of Israel. It’s a very troubling situation.

Esther was in a troubling situation in her day.

The situation of Esther’s day beckoned her to make a decision also. Would she remain silent or would she stand in the gap for her people? If you know the book of Esther you know that she did stand in the gap at the risk of her own life. She won the king’s favor! The king also honored her uncle Mordecai whom Haman wanted hung on gallows and dealt with wicked Haman. Haman’s schemes turned and caused his demise.

Esther continued to intercede for her people.

Esther 8:3 tells us that “Esther spoke again to the king, feel down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews.” King Ahasuerus did just that and the Jewish people were saved and defeated their enemies. No one could withstand them. They had rest from their enemies. Mordecai established the Feast of Purim to celebrate their sorrow turning to joy. They sent presents to one another and to the poor and this tradition continues today.

The story of Esther is relevant in our day!

We are in very troubling times now; perilous times! While anti-semitism is rising across many nations including our own we also see an increasing threat against believers in Jesus. We are viewed as “different” (which we should be), and supposedly also filled with “hate speech”. Many in government and other arenas are trying to have the Bible labeled as “hate speech”. Should we remain silent? I think not. We certainly are not to remain silent in prayer. We are to go before our King and petition Him as Esther did. As believers in Jesus, we have favor with God the Father and can enter His throne room of grace asking for help in time of need! In the USA we can still raise our voice in the public arena and we must or face ever increasing loss of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. We must do as the Lord instructed. ““Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

The Church at large has been too quiet in the United States. We have been too quiet in prayer and too quiet in the public arena. We have had little effect on the culture and that is to our shame. We have also not dealt with our own ungodliness and sin. May we truly repent and turn from our own wicked ways. Then the culture will see that we are truly different in a good way because we genuinely represent the one who gave His life for us. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus Come for your Bride!

Join Women of the Word at Sight and Sound in Lancaster, PA June 8 -10, 2021 for the Biblical Theater production of Queen Esther. Hotel, meals and time for shopping and sight-seeing included. An evening meeting with speaker Dr. Lynn Lucas included. REGISTRATION DEADLINE is APRIL 1, 2021. Information at GodConferences.com

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Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel

Betsy and her husband Jim lead the trips to Israel, which include visiting with local believers, both Messianic and Arab. Together they have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren which are the delight of their hearts. God’s mercy endures from generation to generation.

What is the Real Hanukkah Miracle?

Hanukkah took place in 165 B.C. and has something to say to us today. It should move us to prayer and action! 

Should Christians even care about Hanukkah? The answer is “yes” because according to John 10:22 (NLT) Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Temple during “the Festival of Dedication” (Hanukkah). While Hanukkah is a celebration of the victory won during the Maccabean revolt it also points to Jesus because it is also known as the Festival of Lights and Jesus is the Light of the World. Most importantly if what happened during Hanukkah had not happened the Jewish people would have been wiped out and so our Savior would not have been born. Think about that for a moment. 

God brought a victory to the Jewish people against all odds during the Maccabean revolt – the real Miracle. But there also had to be people for God to use that were willing to stand up to the injustices of an oppressive regimen. Enter the Maccabee family which were of the tribe of Levi and therefore had a divine calling to be priests of the Lord. Jerusalem and the Temple were under the control of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (means “God Manifest”- oh my!). He persecuted the Jews, decreeing that they could not keep the Sabbath, nor celebrate their Feasts, nor read their Bible. They were forced to participate in pagan practices. Antiochus went so far as to desecrate the altar in the Temple by sacrificing a pig on it to Zeus! Under the leadership of the Maccabees the Jews said “NO!”, revolted and ultimately succeeded. 

The Legend of the Hanukkah menorah.

The legend that a one day supply of oil to light the menorah was found that lasted for eight days did not come into play until about 400 years after the Maccabean revolt and is probably a fake-news miracle! 

An Eight Day Festival

It does seem that the reason that the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), which is a celebration of the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem lasts for eight days is because the Jewish people were not able to celebrate the eight day Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths) that year because it was forbidden. So when victory was won and the Temple rededicated in the winter the people celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. This is recorded in 2 Maccabees 10:5-8, written less than 100 years after the event and is more likely. Regardless, the tradition of lighting the Hanukkah menorah is over eight days and a beautiful symbol of how God empowered a people willing to stand against oppression and for HIS ways.

“Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to obey his commandments, everyone of them abandoning the religion of their ancestors, I and my sons and my brothers will continue to live by the covenant of our ancestors. Far be it from us to desert the law and the ordinances.  We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.”  (Matthias Maccabee, 1 Maccabees 2:19-22)

God will bring deliverance to His people even in extremely dire circumstances!

That is the real miracle! But He is looking for people who will co-labor with Him in the working out of the victory. That’s what speaks to us today. The Hanukkah story is a source of inspiration and also a call to stand-up and not bow to a godless society! Will you be one who will continue to pray and say NO to abortion on demand, NO to gay marriage, NO to the loss of religious freedom in our nation for Christians and Jews, NO to secular humanism, marxism, socialism and the like and say YES to upholding God’s commandments and ways, and YES to fighting? I pray that you will.  

A Hanukkah Miracle

Recently Karen Davis and Chaya Mizrachi joined us on Zoom from Israel for a special time of anointed worship, messages and prayer for the US and Israel. Karen spoke powerfully on “A Hanukkah Miracle” about the ongoing struggle of the Sons (and Daughters) of Zion (those that believe in the One true God) against the Sons of Greece (the world). See Zechariah 9:13. This is where we are! God is rousing us to fight the good fight of faith!. Chaya told us a very moving, inspiring and personal family story regarding how Jews were saved in Bulgaria during WW2. They were saved because the King of Bulgaria and the Church rose up and said “NO!” to Jews being deported to the death camps! The King lost his life over it! 

You can watch a recording of the Zoom call on our website at www.women-of-the-word.net/media.html#videos . For more history on what happened in Bulgaria watch the 30 minute film put out by Frontier Alliance International entitled “The Fox and the Fuhrer”. Definitely worth the watch! For more understanding on Hanukkah read articles written by Avner Boskey, a Messianic believer who lives with his wife Rachel in Israel.

Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel

Betsy and her husband Jim lead the trips to Israel, which include visiting with local believers, both Messianic and Arab. Together they have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren which are the delight of their hearts. God’s mercy endures from generation to generation.

Christian, How Then Shall We Vote?

Many Christians did not vote in the 2016 Presidential election, and I understand that. I almost didn’t either. I didn’t like the choices. However, I believe the Bible does teach us to pray for our leaders and government and to be involved in the process and not abdicate our duties. So, I did vote in 2016 and subsequent elections, and I will vote in 2020.

In 2020 the stakes are even higher than they were in 2016.

We are in the midst of a culture war. As Christians, I believe we are to vote according to God’s voter guide and that’s the Bible — God’s Word. To vote according to our personal preferences and ideas is self-serving. We are to serve God in all our ways, and that includes voting. In the USA, we have this right so we must exercise it.

We must look at the platforms of the parties and vote on the issues, not the personalities of the candidates. It’s not about whom we like or don’t like. I don’t particularly like either candidate for President, but I don’t hate either of them. The amount of hate speech which we supposedly shouldn’t tolerate that has been leveled at both men from both sides, including spoken by Christians, is unbelievable and reprehensible. Both candidates have engaged in this as well, and that is to our nation’s shame.

If I were to make a character assessment I think it’s safe to say that both men are prideful and arrogant. So let’s lay character aside, and focus on policies. This is not to say that character isn’t important, because it is. But given the present circumstances, we must look primarily at policies.

So, what are the policies ? And more importantly, what does God think about these policies ?

As Christians we are to take out our Bibles and earnestly search the Scriptures to ascertain as best we can the mind of the LORD. Isaiah 55:6-9 tells us “Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” But thanks be to God, He has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to help us.

Our problem is that we won’t take the time to search out God’s thoughts most of the time . We’d rather have our own thoughts and opinions and ask God to bless them. It doesn’t work that way.

I am not going to quote any more Scripture here. Each Christian most dig into God’s Word themselves and ask the Holy Spirit to bring revelation and application. I will ask a few questions though.

  1. What are God’s thoughts about life from the womb to the tomb? Is it to be honored or thrown away?
  2. What are God’s thoughts concerning Israel and how nations are to interact with the land and the people?
  3. What are God’s thoughts concerning the covenant of marriage?
  4. If we are created in God’s image, why would we change that image by changing our sexual identity?
  5. What are God’s thoughts regarding the role of government and the role of the Church?
  6. What are God’s thoughts regarding the poor, the needy, the orphan, the widow?

Now, no candidate or party platform is going to align with God’s thoughts perfectly. But which candidate’s actions (not his words) align the best? In view of God’s thoughts as written in His Word, how then shall we vote?

Types of Government

Let’s all admit that all government ideologies are flawed and imperfect because they are set up and ruled by human beings. However, which type of government is the least oppressive to the most people? Theocracies, Socialism, Marxism and Communism have all proven themselves to be fatally flawed if we look at them historically. Do we as a nation want to go down any of those roads? Democracies and Republics are also flawed but they do allow for the peaceful expression of individual ideas without fear of oppression and reprisal. Or at least they are supposed to!

A founding principle of the US Constitution is religious freedom

Our Constitution guarantees religious freedom and the free exercise thereof. Which candidates for President, Senate, House of Representatives, Governor, and state and local government officials uphold that?

There are many weighty matters to consider as we cast our votes in 2020. But cast them we should, especially as Christians. It is our right and our duty. So, again I ask — how then shall we vote? Prayerfully my vote will align as much as possible with God’s thoughts and the founding principles of our Constitution and I pray yours does also.

Finally, let’s pray for our nation.

Father, in the name of Jesus our Savior we bring the United States of America before you. We acknowledge Father that we have grievously sinned on many levels. We have disregarded your commandments. We repent and ask your forgiveness. We deserve your righteous judgments. We come before you humbly asking for your hand of mercy to stretch out again over our nation and heal our land and our people. Amen

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Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel

Betsy and her husband Jim lead the trips to Israel, which include visiting with local believers, both Messianic and Arab. Together they have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren which are the delight of their hearts. God’s mercy endures from generation to generation.

Set a Trumpet to Your Lips!

I am writing this on September 11, 2020. I’m sure you remember that eventful day back in 2001 when almost 3,000 lives were lost and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NYC fell. Also a hit on the Pentagon and a flight that went down in PA. I know exactly where I was and you probably do too. It was a terrorist attack perpetrated by the Islamist group al-Qaeda. We saw America come together and churches were filled ——— for two weeks. May that sink in! 

Nineteen years later we see cities burning across America due to lawlessness and violence. We see the West Coast burning up with fires! I wonder where will we be a year from now? Today we face an enemy within. This enemy is shaking the foundations of our Nation because it is a fight not just of ideologies but actually a fight for the very soul of our Nation. Whose side are we on?  I humbly pray that we are on the LORD’s side. In this season we must continually ask “Lord, what do you want me to do?” I have been asking the Lord that question both on a personal and ministry level again since Covid hit back in February/March.

In 2014 the Lord gave me two scriptures that propelled me to start a bi-monthly prayer meeting at my church to pray for the Church (locally and globally), Israel and the Nations. It has remained a small group, but a very faithful and consistent group of prayer warriors. The Scriptures the Lord gave me then are Hosea 8:1 “Set a trumpet to your lips! One like a vulture is over the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant and rebelled against my law.” And Zephaniah 2:1-3 “Gather together, yes, gather, O shameless nation, before the decree takes effect —before the day passes away like chaff—before there come upon you the burning anger of the LORD, before there comes upon you the day of the anger of the LORD. Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands, seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.” 

Prayer has increased somewhat as there are more prayer meetings since Covid, but it’s pretty much all those that have been praying for years. Yes, there is some increase in how many people but I wonder where is the rest of the Church? Still sleeping, or pre-occupied, or lethargic, or apathetic?  At home?, on the couch?, too afraid to gather in even small groups to pray, worship, and read God’s Word together?  Yes, you can pray at home. Yes, you can watch services on live-stream, etc BUT God’s Word says “GATHER!” It doesn’t have to be a large gathering, but “GATHER!” Two or three will do! Please understand that I am not talking to those at “high risk” for Covid here. Sadly, there are lots of folks though that are out and about and not gathering to be with their brothers and sisters in Christ.

I was ready to stop the prayer meeting mentioned above. However, I waited on the Lord and He brought an answer via a message given by Pastor David Davis (now home with the Lord) from the Carmel Congregation in Israel in 2008! It is entitled “The New Wine is in the Cluster” from Isaiah 65:8. (Listen here) A timeless message! All about prayer and worship! And well guess what? God confirmed that the prayer meeting is to continue! This isn’t the time to stop prayer meetings! 

The upcoming Fall Feasts of the Lord are very strategic and critical. In the Bible these are called “appointed times” when Israel was to gather and go up to the Tabernacle or Temple (the House of the Lord). At his first advent, Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts. It is likely that at his second advent he will fulfill the Fall Feasts. It is not my intention here to teach on the Feasts. What I am saying is that they are important times on God’s calendar and so it behoves us to have some understanding of them. They are prophetic! In the Fall, they include the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. You can read about them in Leviticus 23 and other places. Jesus celebrated these Feasts and in Zechariah 14:16 we are told that “everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King; the LORD of hosts and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths).” 

Jewish people traditionally fast for 25 hours on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). I am not saying this is a mandate for us as Christians, nor that we even have to follow celebrating the Feasts because the Apostle Paul clearly taught that Gentiles are not mandated to do that. I am saying that I believe there is heightened spiritual warfare and it will intensify during the season of the Fall Feasts. I believe the Lord has called me (I’m not saying you) to fast from the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets (traditionally known as Rosh Hashanah) through the Day of Atonement. That would be beginning at sundown on September 18th until sundown on September 28. I am asking you to join my as the Lord directs you. Ask Him, “LORD, what do you want me to do?” I am also asking you to consider joining in on our weekly WOW Zoom prayer calls. You may not be able to commit to weekly, but can you join this coming Tuesday September 15th and/or on September 22nd at 8pm EDT, 7pm CDT? We need to pray as a “cluster” for many things, including this ministry if we want the NEW WINE God wants to pour out. We are in perilous times, but God has mercy for His people! 

The Women of the Word Prayer Zoom meeting held every Tuesday at 8 pm (EDT) ID 336 129 6405  or phone 646.867.9923 Email WOW for the password.

Karen Davis, an internationally known worship leader from Israel taught on the relevance of the Fall Feasts and how Gentiles are grafted into the beautiful olive tree of Israel and now part of the Commonwealth of Israel. She also led us in beautiful and anointed worship. Click here to hear the message and to hear the worship click here

In conclusion, like it or not we are in a war. It’s more than time to call the army of prayer warriors to attention and duty! With God we have the victory but we must engage in the battle! I know many of you have been engaging for many years and some are probably weary. I know I’m largely speaking to the “choir”. There are times when I am very weary. This is when we need reinforcements. We need the “cluster”. All armies have reinforcements. Let’s continue to ask the Lord for more warriors to join His army and stand on this scripture too:

“ When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord you God, and you will be saved from your enemies.” Numbers 10:9 

Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel

Betsy and her husband Jim lead the trips to Israel, which include visiting with local believers, both Messianic and Arab. Together they have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren which are the delight of their hearts. God’s mercy endures from generation to generation.

The Need for Mothers in Israel

by Betsy Roy

Most of us are familiar with the idiom “mother in Israel”, especially if we are of the older generation. In the earlier days of WOW, we used this expression for women like Iverna Tompkins, Dr. Fuchsia Pickett, and Dr. Mary Ann Brown. Today we would use it to describe someone like Mama June Evans.

What do we mean when we describe someone as a mother in Israel?

Obviously we aren’t saying that she lives in the land of Israel unless she does. However, there are additional qualifications. Some of us might say we mean a mother in the “church”, but that would be replacing the word Israel to mean church, which is replacement theology and incorrect. When the Bible says “Israel”, it is not referring to the “church”. We could say it means a strong woman in the LORD, who is acquainted with His ways, knows His paths and takes a stand for Him in the hour in which she lives. Therefore the qualification is not even age related and certainly not one that has anything to do with whether or not she has birthed physical children. 

The Bible does not tell us if Deborah, a “mother in Israel” bore children. We do know she was married, but our definition does not require a woman to be married either.

You can read about Deborah in Judges Chapters 4 & 5.

The main verse we are looking at is Judges 5:7 “Village life ceased, ceased, until I, Deborah arose, arose a mother in Israel.” (NIV) I encourage you to read this verse in several translations. (see Biblehub.com) It’s kind of amazing that there are translations that read “warriors” or “rulers” instead of “villages”. Also the word “arose” can mean “took a stand” or “took command”.  NET Bible for example reads “Warriors were scarce, they were scarce in Israel, until you arose, Deborah, until you arose as a motherly protector in Israel.” 

What stands out about Deborah is that In the midst of the sin and idolatry in the times in which she lived, she remained true to the Lord and His teachings.

She was wise and God fearing, and the people came to her for advice and help. She was an example of godliness, and she lived a life that honored God! She had the courage to take a stand and protect others. These are the kinds of “mothers” we need today! 

Each of us can grow up to be a “Deborah”, a “mother” – a woman who knows her God and walks in His ways and shows others how to be disciples of the Lord Jesus – a woman who does not compromise with the ways of the world but who is resolute in following the Lord, no matter the cost. May the Lord help us to be this kind of woman and to bring many others along for His sake and for His glory! 

Betsy Roy is the Director of Women of the Word, an inter-generational ministry dedicated to helping women grow as disciples of Jesus by applying God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. WOW holds conferences, retreats, Bible seminars and trips to Israel

Betsy and her husband Jim lead the trips to Israel, which include visiting with local believers, both Messianic and Arab. Together they have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren which are the delight of their hearts. God’s mercy endures from generation to generation.

 

 

 

 

The Truth You Know

by Sue Priebe

In Matthew 11 we read the story of John the Baptist in prison.

John heard about the things Jesus was doing so the Bible tells us he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus what may seem to us a very strange question.  “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting or should we keep looking for someone else?”  How could John ask such a question?

This is the same John who is described in John 1:6-8 as the man sent by God “to tell about the light so that everyone might believe of his testimony.  John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.”

This was the same John who recognized the Messiah while they were both in their mothers’ wombs.  Remember his mother Elizabeth proclaimed that the baby leapt within her.

This is the same John whose father was given a prophetic word that “he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God…He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.”  (Luke 1:16-17)

This is the same John who was confronted by the Jewish leaders about his identity.  He replied quoting Isaiah in John 1:23, “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”

This is the same John who identified Jesus when he saw Him saying “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!  He is the one I was talking about then I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for He existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel…I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him.  I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that He is the Chosen One of God.”

So, what happened that would make John send his disciples to Jesus to ask if He really was the One?

His entire ministry had been based on declaring that very revelation.  What brought such doubt to his mind?

What expectations might he have had?  Did he expect Jesus to work a miracle and get him our of prison?  Surely Jesus would at least come to see him.  I am sure his mind was working overtime …..”maybe Jesus really isn’t who I thought He was.”  His circumstances may have been causing him to doubt what he absolutely knew to be true.

Historians tell us that John was in prison for about a year and a half.  This man who lived outdoors was now imprisoned with very little light, very little fresh air, very little company.  He was definitely in quarantine! 

Science tells us that prolonged social isolation can actually change the shape and function of our brains.  The region responsible for learning and memory can shrink in response to long-term isolation and the part that regulates fear and anxiety goes into overdrive.

Unexpected circumstances, isolation and distancing can cause us to doubt what we know to be true!  This was definitely a time of isolation for John.  Even though John said “He must increase and I must decrease,”  I don’t think he had counted on ending his life in prison.

As we enter another month of isolation and distancing, we must not let our minds “shrink” away from what we know to be true.  In times of isolation and stress, we too can begin to doubt.  We can begin to wonder where God is in the midst of this pandemic when economies are shaking, when our whole world changed in a matter of days.  We might ask,  “Where are you God?” or “Why aren’t you doing something about this?  We can’t even go to church!  People are dying!”

Jesus’ answer to John might seem strange to us.

There is a message in it for us too.  Did Jesus even answer the question? Jesus sent His answer, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.”  And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”

It may seem to us that Jesus’ answer was obscure, but it would have been clear to John who would have recognized that Jesus was quoting Isaiah 35 and 61, prophetic scriptures describing the ministry of the Messiah.  John also probably recognized the portion of the scripture that Jesus didn’t say:  Jesus did NOT say the phrase from Isaiah 61 that “prisoners will be freed.”  What was the message Jesus was sending? “Yes, I am the Messiah, but you will not be getting out of prison.”

Jesus also added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”  Some versions say “those who are not offended by me.”  Basically Jesus was saying to John—“Don’t turn away from me, don’t doubt what you know to be true because I don’t do what you expect me to do!  You know who I am.  Trust me even in your current difficult circumstance.”

I believe the Lord is saying the same thing to us today.  Our desire is for Him to intervene and stop this virus.  Perhaps we have an unmet need for which we have been praying.  The message Jesus is sending us is, “Don’t fall away, or don’t be offended by me because I am not doing what you think I should be doing.”  It is time for us to stand firm on what we know to be true!

An encouraging part of this story is that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves when we have some fear and doubt in these difficult times.  In Luke 7: 28 Jesus said, “I tell you of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John.”  If the greatest one who ever lived (besides Jesus, of course) can have moments of doubt, so can we.

We may have those moments, but the key is not to stay in that place of doubt or fear.  Remember what the Word of God says.  Remember who God is.  Remember that He is a good God and His character has not changed.  After hearing the report from Jesus, I think John faced his situation with confidence, and we can do the same.  Jesus reminded John what the Bible said about the Messiah, and I believe Jesus’ response reminded John what he himself had seen and heard.

In times of difficulty, we must hang on to what we know to be true and not give in to doubt.  God is still God, and He is working in ways that we may not yet see, but that does not mean He is not working.  It is a time to stand firm in the Lord and the power of His Might!

“In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.  Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier] so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (spiritual) places.  Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].  So stand firm and hold your ground having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news].  Above all, lift up the [protective]shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18 (AMP)

Sue Priebe is Associate Pastor at City of Hope Church in Janesville, Wisconsin, a Chaplain for Marketplace Chaplains and serves on the Board of Directors for Women of the Word. She is passionate about teaching the Word of God in ways that are relevant and applicable to daily life. She also has a deep love for Israel and travels there frequently connecting with believers there and teaching God’s Word on location. 

 

 

Watchful Gardeners

by Kim Warf

Let us be watchful gardeners and keepers of the inner treasure.

As natural gardeners of our flowers and vegetables, there is much care and foresight given. The necessity for proper soil and healthy seeds and seedlings are understood and due diligence is given for the hope of an abundant harvest.

What of the garden of our hearts? It is from there, the Bible tells us, that the issues or the overflow of our lives will stem. So, the condition of our heart foretells the condition of our lives.

Take care that seeds of discontentment are not allowed to flourish there. Those are like the pesky weeds that grow deep roots and choke out the wonderful things you are trying to grow .

The Bible refers to this in Hebrews 12:15, ‘See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled’. These deep, dark roots of offense become tangled and twisted causing distress for oneself and will spread to others if not dealt with immediately.

In Mark 4, we see another scenario. Here, the condition of our heart is addressed. “Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.” Even when good seed is sown (God’s word), if the condition of our heart isn’t right, it will not flourish and produce properly.

If good seed can be choked, what happens when “bad seed” (negativity, divisiveness) evil is sown? Be vigilant over the soil of your heart and do not receive these words as truth. At the very least, take the time to get the “whole story”.

Do you remember when we first came to know the Lord?

There were strongholds that were deeply rooted in our hearts and minds. Over time, our minds and hearts were renewed by the good seed of the Word of God. We need the truth and the love of God to realign our mind and thinking. This is true for every season of life.

Let’s be watchful gardeners of our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 warns us to “Keep our heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”

Thankfully, we are then instructed how to do this:
Verse 24 “ Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.”
Verse 25 “Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you.”
Verse 26 “Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.”
Verse 27 “Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.”

How do I know what is good seed and what is bad seed? The good seed brings forth the peaceable fruit of righteousness and the bad seed brings forth distress. The watchful gardener will reap what is sown.

Kim Warf is the associate pastor, alongside her husband Paul of New Beginnings Church in Bangor, ME.  She is also a Board Member of Women of the Word and has served as Conference Chairman of several WOW conferences in Maine. Paul and Kim have two grown daughters and a beautiful grand-daughter.