Roy’s Blog: “Playing With Matches”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/11/20/roys-blog-playing-with-matches

Psalm 83:4 “They say, Come let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”

There are so many things happening I don’t know where to start.

First, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced on Monday the United States no longer views Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. This aligns Washington with Jerusalem’s stance which has long been dismissed by the international community.

It won’t immediately change anything, just like the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, or the moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. But, it does add fuel to the tinder box over Israel’s existence.

On top of this, an international oil company recently announced they had greatly underestimated the amount of oil and natural gas they discovered off the coast of Israel. The Middle East is like a tinder box just waiting for that one match.

Roy’s Blog: “Pressure To Change”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/11/19/roys-blog-pressure-to-change

Psalm 2:12 “For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”

I just read that Qatar gives the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas thirty million dollars a month. But Qatar recently told the PA and Hamas that they will probably stop giving them the money at the end of 2019.

This will come on top of the massive cuts President Trump has made. It will increase the pressure on the PA and Hamas to accept many changes in the days ahead.

According to a business oriented newspaper in Israel, Israel’s currency is now the strongest currency in the world. The dollar is still the top trading currency, but because of its solid economy, Israel’s is the strongest. Israel has gone from a wasteland in 1946 to the having the strongest currency in the world. All this while the countries around Israel are experiencing economic crisis.

Iran is having an economic meltdown. Russia is also having economic struggles, while Turkey is facing more and more difficulties with their economy. We have the “perfect storm” on the horizon. The Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39) appears to be getting close.

Do you feel the pressure in to change your life? There is a storm coming. I pray you will take refuge in the one who can save you from the storm, Jesus Christ.

 

Roy’s Blog: “A Burden”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/11/18/roys-blog-a-burden

Zechariah 12:3 God warned that in the last days He would make, “Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all peoples.”

It is a “burdensome stone” to the people of the world today. We should be paying attention as never before to the warnings God has given us. He never leaves us clueless.

God warned the people of Noah’s day before the destruction came. For 200 years Noah repeated time and again what the Lord was revealing to him.

God warned the people of Sodom and Gomorrah but they refused to listen. God warned the people of Ninevah. They listened and judgement was averted. God warned the people of Jerusalem before the destruction came. He is warning us today. Will we listen?

Jerusalem and the turmoil in the Middle East is God’s neon sign. Warning us. Judgement is coming upon the world and we need to be ready. We need to warn our friends and family to be ready.

Until the middle of the 20th century, most people couldn’t find Jerusalem on a map. But today, the headlines are about the sons of Abraham and the Middle East. Jerusalem has become a burden and a bone of contention to to most of the world.

Roy’s Blog: “Happy Or Not”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/11/16/roys-blog-happy-or-not

Ecclesiastes 6:9 “It is better to be satisfied with what you have than always to be wanting something else.”

When  _ _ _ _ _ happens in your life, then you’re going to be happy. “When-and-then”, you fill in the blank. It could be an event (marriage, get a job, have a child), an achievement (winning a gold medal, getting a degree, becoming President), or a financial goal (making ‘x’ amount of money, making the last payment on your house, saving a certain amount for the future). Whatever it is, you think when you meet that goal, then you will be happy.

But, what happens if you don’t meet those goals. If you rely on an event, goal, or achievement to make happiness automatically appear in your life, you are setting yourself up for disappointment, heartbreak, and possibly depression. You may meet those goals and you’re happy, for a time. But it doesn’t last…then you have to look for something else to make you happy.

Happiness is not a result of getting whatever you want. It is in learning to enjoy whatever you have. In Philippians 4:11-12 Paul says he learned how to be content with whatever state he was in whether with little or with much. His happiness wasn’t based on his condition. It was based on his relationship with Jesus Christ.

I’m not saying don’t work toward goals. Just don’t make your happiness depend on the results. Focus on the blessing you do have from the Lord.

Roy’s Blog: “Change Happens”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/11/15/roys-blog-change-happens

Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart will be open.”

People say there is more than one way of looking at things. True, but what makes the difference in your life? Your perspective changes your attitude.

Do you look for the doom and gloom, just knowing someone or something is out to get you at any minute and no one can save you? Or do you go through life looking through rose colored glasses, never recognizing the harsh reality of life and your necessity for a Savior? These are two extremes and most people fall somewhere in the middle.

Things change. Life changes. I can’t do the things I used to do. When I got married I only weighed 149 pounds. I didn’t have to worry about which booth at a restaurant had enough space for me to get in. Now it’s a problem to consider. Bodies change, usually not for the better. Hair changes. I used to carry a comb wherever I went so all that time I spent in front of the mirror wouldn’t be wasted with the first puff of wind. Now I can let the wind blow freely across the slick plane of my head. No worries.

Things change. Times change. Change can be a good thing if you look at it as a challenge, an opportunity for good. You attitude can defeat you before you even get started. There is a song from a children’s movie, I think Jungle Book, that says, “Accentuate the positive.” Look for the positive aspects of change. If you can’t see them, ask God to show you, give you a new attitude.

I John 4:4b “With God all things are possible.”

Roy’s Blog: “Getting Through The Day”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/11/14/roys-blog-getting-through-the-day

Luke 21:28 “Look up, for your redemption draws near.”

For many people starting their day without coffee is simply unthinkable. Some won’t talk and may give you the evil eye if you ask them a question. My wife likes to have her two cups (or three) in the morning while she’s working on the computer.

What would be worse than starting your day without coffee?  Starting your day without the Lord. There is so much evil going on in the world how could a person remain sane. If all you had was your hope in the stock market, or your job, or just making it through another day without some crisis, you would be most miserable.

I can’t help but think of Zaccheus. He had it all as far as the world could give him, but he knew something was missing. He searched for it and found it in the Savior Jesus Christ. He found hope and it changed his life.

The crazier it gets (and it’s getting really crazy) the closer we are to that day of redemption. If we stand strong in our faith, the struggles and trials will all have been worth it.

Roy’s Blog: “Facing Impossible Odds”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/11/13/roys-blog-facing-impossible-odds

II Chronicles 20:17a “You will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory.”

The Israelites were facing an army they considered impossible to beat. There was fear, anxiety, and alarm. They figured they would lose most if not all of their fighting men. They sought direction from God. God told them to go out, stand in position as if to fight, but stand still and watch God as He provides the victory. When the Israelites burst into songs of praise to God, God caused the enemy to turn and start fighting each other. God intervened for His people.

When things fall apart, when people gang up against you, when everything seems to be conspiring against you, your natural reaction is panic. You don’t know what to think or what to do. Everything you try has a different reaction than you intended, making matters worse. Suddenly, without warning you are in crisis mode.

The starting point is to seek the Lord for His guidance. Tune in to God, and tune out everything else. Remind yourself who God is. He is the creator. He can solve the problem.

God says, “You don’t need to be afraid. You don’t need to be discouraged because the battle is not your’s, it’s mine.” If it is God’s battle, He’s going to win.

For the child of God, victory is assured.