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From South Bend to Israel

Our tour group has completed Day One! It is a 24-hour period of vans, trams, planes and a tour bus. We drove from Christ Chapel to O’Hare Airport, while missing all traffic delays in and around Chicago! Our flight then entailed two legs. The first 8.5 hour leg was from Chicago to Frankfort, Germany. After a 2.5 hour layover, the final leg was 4.5 hours to Tel Aviv.


Flying in to Ben Gurion was a beautiful sight! We were treated to some beautiful sunshine shimmering off the west coast of Israel on the Mediterranean Sea. Our guide Eli Rockowitz met us at the airport with a warm smile and a helpful hand.


After arriving at our hotel everyone checked in to their rooms, we all enjoyed a delicious meal. Now it is time to get some rest and recharge for tomorrow!

Israel Bound

Israel has always been near and dear to my heart. And it has been on my mind a lot lately as I prepare for my next visit there which is rapidly approaching. On March 16-25, I and 15 others will be visiting the Holy Land. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to going back there, to walk where Jesus walked, to see the land he knew so well. I look forward to experiencing it with all the others who will be my traveling companions, some who have gone before and some who will be seeing it for the first time.

During our travels, we will post pictures and short write-ups about what we are seeing and doing. You can stay up-to-date here on this blog of through this Facebook page. Not only do I hope you follow along with us, but I hope you will pray for us as well.

For Those Who are Called

“And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him.” ~Deuteronomy 34:9a

What a testimony for the young man Joshua. He was full of the spirit of wisdom because a man of God, who had lived in the presence of the Lord, instructed and mentored him. Moses laid hands on the young man and something happened; God’s spirit was transferred into the life and spirit of Joshua!

Here are just a few good recommendations for all who are called to ministry:

Know who you are.

Know your strengths and abilities, as well as your weaknesses.

Find leadership.

Get under the leadership and guidance of someone who has paid the price to be there. Allow yourself to be taught, trained and corrected if necessary, without a hint of rebellion or any desire to retaliate.

Believe God for a Moses in your life.

Pray for one who will come beside you and guide you. One who has the ability to discern and see in you what God sees in you. One who will encourage and bring out the best in you.

Draw close to the Lord and seek His anointing.

The anointing is the tangible manifestation of the presence and power of God. Ironically it is often the missing element in ministry and yet it is the very thing absolutely necessary to effectively minister Christ.

“But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” ~1 John 2:27b

A Heart Check for 2015

The following are not New Year’s resolutions. This is about an ongoing heart check as to how we are living in our personal lives, as well as within the ministry the Lord has called us to. This short list below includes just a few disciplines that we all need to focus on this year.


Prayer is essential: 

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart…” (Luke 18:1)

“And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22)

Personal Bible Study

The Word is our foundation and personal Bible study is necessary.

“Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” (Psalm 119:11)

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Marriage and Family

 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that is should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” (Ephesians 5:25-29)

Love and cherish your wife and family like you would take care of yourself. Look at verse 29 again and never forget to nourish your family and love your wife ever as much as Christ does the church.

Biblical Prophecy and End Times

It’s quite alright, and indeed necessary to know prophetically the times in which we live. Just like the sons of Issachar of old knew and discerned the time, and understood what Israel should do. (I Chronicles 12:32) So must we, but we must also understand our first commission from the Lord. We must remember His heart and the reason He came to this earth. He came to find the lost, to heal the hurting, to save and restore souls, to deliver the captive. (Luke 4:16-21) He came to love and forgive. (John 3:16,17)

Look up!

 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (I Thessalonians 4:16-18)

I pray this year of 2015 is a year of recovery and restoration. Together let’s continue with hope and perseverance to labor in the fields bringing in the harvest, and looking up, our eyes on the prize for our redemption is near. Amen! Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus. May You come, Lord, not as a reward, or as an escape; we just want to see You… and come Home!

Our Focus This Christmas

“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: ‘Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.'”~Luke 2:25-32

With his eyes, Simeon, a prophet of God, saw people from every nation of the world, saved! He saw their hurts healed, wrongs made right, and the Kingdom of the Promised One established for all eternity. In the Spirit he saw it all; the birth of our Savior, His life, ministry and crucifixion, to His glorious resurrection and triumphant return! Simeon knew he was holding the promised Messiah who would “take away the sins of the world” restoring the souls of men and reconciling them to God forever!

This Christmas keep your focus on Christ our Redeemer. Remember the words spoken through his servant: “My eyes have seen Your salvation…a light to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel!”

Courage for the Called

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” ~ Romans 11:29

“I am anointed by God and I am called! I will take this message of the Gospel to my world, no obstacle can stand in my way. No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” It is amazing how quickly we can move from a strong declaration of faith to doubt and questioning.

Courage for the Called

When pressure hits and the bottom suddenly falls out, it seems as if the wheels have fallen off the wagon! Friends may be gone, resources are limited and we might face financial challenges that can quickly feel like we’re mired in quick sand and sinking fast. Suddenly we are moving in the wrong direction, going down instead of forward.

Stress and fear eclipse the voice of the Spirit and will cause us to question if we truly heard from God. Weariness comes because of the lack of expected results. Disappointment and hurt, often imposed by those who do not have our best interest at heart, discourages. Listen, men may abandon us, but God always has our back! He is in our corner cheering us on and it is vitally important we take to heart His word which is absolutely necessary to overcome.

Paul wrote words of encouragement to Timothy saying, “For this reason I also suffer these things but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12) Confidence comes when we trust in God’s word and His unfailing character. Courage for the commitment strengthens our resolve when we realize His mercy endures forever and His love never fails. He is The Great I Am…ever present and never changing. Jesus Christ is The Voice of authority in the middle of the raging storm, and the waves and wind must obey!

This is a timely word for us today found in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Get up! Listen for the voice of God. Hear and move toward Him, looking to His word for instruction and guidance. Pray! He loves us and wants us to live the abundant life He intended. We can be all that God wants us to be. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

(Photo credit: © strixcode / Fotolia)

Who Shall Separate Us?

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

Paul asks who or what can separate us from the love of Christ. The answer is no one, and absolutely nothing but ourselves. Sadly, sometimes it does not take much. Believers are offended angry and upset far too easily—upset with God, the pastor, the saints, and all the ain’ts! But we must remember:

“And so, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I am absent, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

With all that is happening in our world today, it is time to set aside the petty and press into God. There was absolutely nothing that could tear Paul from his love for Christ, his Savior, Redeemer, friend and coming King. He was sold out; to the point of death he was determined to follow. We need that kind of faith today. Faith that says, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!”

Provision is Provided

“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” (Matthew 6:28-30)

It’s challenging not to “take thought” of what we have need of. What we need is in our face every single day: food, shelter, transportation, paying our bills, providing an education for our children, health care, and the list goes on and on!

It’s true I’ve never heard a complaining blade of grass, or a bird singing, “God has forgotten me.” We must remind ourselves God provides, and we can believe Him for miracles of finances and open doors for our ministry. The Word tells us how much more God is going to take care of us. And Jesus, added pointedly, “O you of little faith!” Thank God He is patient and we have something powerful to work with: the Word of God. We have that “measure of faith” God has given to us that we can build upon. (Romans 12:3)

So, let’s take what we have and think sensibly, “as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one of us.” Work with it line by line, precept upon precept, until we see an abundance of fruit on our tree of life! Let’s believe provision is provided for every area of need, our God is able and willing! (Philippians 4:19)

Living in the Present

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Letting go is such a hard thing to do, letting go of the good past, as well as the bad. Do you know that both can weigh you down? The negative effects of a hurtful past can hinder by bringing paralyzing fear and intimidation to the present, resulting in little productivity. Living in the memory of the good past can also be paralyzing because it may appear as if nothing can ever compare to what was.

What is the solution?

Remember the past, learn from experience, rejoice in the victories, but live in the present. God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly” now (Ephesians 3:20)! Realize that He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Remember that we walk by faith and not by sight (II Cor.5:7). Our walk in this life must be on the foundation stones of the Word, which produces faith to live in victory right now!

The Generosity Found in 1,000 Miles

The generosity of others will never cease to amaze me. Over my years as president of Feeding The Nations (FTN), I have witnessed some extraordinary generosity. And, Jeff Nicolett’s Ride to Mackinac Bridge is no exception.

This Saturday, September 27, Jeff will ride his motorcycle from South Bend, Ind., to the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan. He will cover 1,000 miles round trip for the tenth time in a decade. This all started as a way for him to fulfill a need he saw. He has had a strong desire to support the kind of outreaches and missions FTN does around the world. The only thing was, he wanted to take an approach that was uniquely his own.


“I felt a responsibility and ownership to take food and hope to those countries, but I didn’t have a way to bridge the gap between where I am in Indiana and where the food goes to other countries,” Jeff said. “I thought the best way to demonstrate that gap would be to do a symbolic ride to the biggest nearby bridge and ask for support.”

Jeff decided to combine his desire to help the hungry and his enjoyment of motorcycles by creating the Ride to Mackinac Bridge for Feeding The Nations. As I said, this guy travels 1,000 miles. It takes him 20 hours round trip. And, this year marks the tenth anniversary of the ride.

How awesome is that?!


Jeff does this not for affirmation or acclimation. He does it because of a deep desire to bring food to the hungry and hurting around the world. He doesn’t do it because it’s a fun way to spend a weekend. He does it because he believes the Bible when it says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40)

Over the last decade, Jeff has raised thousands of dollars for FTN by asking others to support his ride through donations to FTN. This year, all funds he raises as a result of the ride will go to helping complete the construction of the new warehouse on the FTN campus. When completed, this warehouse will make it possible to feed even more people domestically and internationally.

And, Jeff isn’t the only one who can do something extraordinary through this ride. You can celebrate his efforts by supporting his ride through a donation. To do so, simply click here and designate your donation for the “Ride to the Bridge.” For donations over $25, you can choose to receive a T-shirt to wear your support for Feeding The Nations. If you would like to receive a shirt, specify your shirt size in the message box when donating.

We pray for Jeff’s safe travels and alert eyes throughout those 20 hours. We pray for his strength and focus as he completes the ride. We pray blessings upon him for this effort he is undertaking in the name of the least of these. And, we pray for the least of these who will be fed and know the love of Christ because of one man’s ride to the bridge.