Newsletter, November 2013

Norma Bonds's picture

Dear Friends,

 

While preparing for the “Springs of Living Water” retreat that was held October 19th, I was led to the story of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac. In one part of the story, Hagar had run away because Sarah treated her harshly, and an angel found her at a spring.  Another time, Abraham sent Hagar away and she was led to a well by an angel.

 

To give you some context, in Genesis 12 God called Abram to leave his country and go to a land that God would show him, and God promised to make Abram into a great nation.  In Genesis 15 God told Abram that he would have an heir and that his descendants would be like the stars – unable to count.

 

After many, many years, Abram’s wife Sarai, had not conceived.  Now they were getting old and Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from bearing children.  Please go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children through her.”  Abram listened to her.  Since Hagar was a slave, she had no say in the matter.

 

Things get complicated from this point and have continued to produce strife to this day. When Hagar saw that she had conceived, she despised Sarai.  Sarai then tried to put the blame on Abram.  He told Sarai to do whatever she wanted, so Sarai treated Hagar harshly and Hagar fled from her presences.

An angel of the Lord found Hagar by a spring of water in the wilderness on the way to Shur.  The angel told her to go back and submit to Sarai’s authority, and the angel of the Lord said, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they shall be too many to count.” He also told her that her son would be a wild donkey of a man, and his hand would be against everyone and everyone’s hand would be against him.

Abram was eighty-six when Ishmael was born.

 

When Abram was ninety-nine the Lord appeared to him again and reaffirmed that he would be a father of a multitude of nations. He changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah.  The Lord said He would bless Sarah and give Abraham a son by her -- she would be a mother of nations, kings of peoples would come from her.

 

Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

 

By the time Isaac was born, Ishmael was 14.  When Isaac was weaned, a big feast was held and Ishmael mocked him.  This angered Sarah and she told Abraham to drive out her maid and her maid’s son.  This was hard for Abraham to do but the Lord told him to listen to Sarah, so he sent them off with bread and a skin of water.  It does seem to me that he could have given them a donkey and more provision of food than just bread and water.  However, an angel came to the rescue and guided them to a well.

Four times in the Bible the Lord says that He will bless Ishmael because he is a son of Abraham and that Ishmael will become a father of many nations. It is through Ishmael that the Muslim/Arab nations come.  The Hebrew nations come through Isaac, and also through the line of Isaac, the Messiah comes.

 

Every one of the people in this story went through heartbreaking experiences. Later in the story, God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  He had to send Ishmael away and then he had to place Isaac on the altar, but Abraham trusted God and it was counted to him as righteousness.

 

I want to quote from a newsletter published by Bob Siegel of Creative Evangelism.  “I was interviewed about how America views its Muslim population, whether or not our country believes Islam is a dangerous religion.  I responded by describing most Muslims as peaceful, but I was also quite frank about many clear verses in the Koran which do command Jihad and the Muslim subjugation of all nations.

“The good news is that contrary to popular talking points, Islam is NOT the fastest growing religion in the world.  In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity.  In every day 16,000 Muslims find Jesus.  In every year, 6 million Muslim souls are converted to Christianity.”

 

I pray that we might understand what is happening not only in the physical world but in the spiritual as well.  It is important that we continue to share our faith in Jesus Christ at every opportunity.  I am continually amazed that we have the opportunity to broadcast the gospel to almost every continent in the world.

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Praise and Prayer

 

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support.  We can’t do it without you.

We appreciate any support you can give.  All contributions are tax deductible

 

In His bonds,

Norma Bonds

Comments from the Oct. Retreat

 

What a privilege to watch the Lord unfold the blessings and plans He had for the retreat: and to be an active part of that plan.  He showed each and every one of us we are and can be doing His will by being obedient to what He is speaking in our hearts.  All we need to do is “Ask Him,” “Trust Him” and “Obey Him.” (no name)

 

Again, God worked his wonders in all our lives. Jan H.

 

This retreat tangibly touched and changed lives.  What an honor to be part of this experience. Beth J.

 

Psalm 92:12-15

I saw many wonderful encouraging incidences of the truth of these verses; especially in all who spoke.  Thank you for your ministry,

Denise W.

 

I have to say that Patsy Oda is so cute and amazingâ˜ș.  She is just delightful.  Looking forward to her movie trailer, praying much success with her filming.  (no name)

 

The Lord told me there would be a time and place for me to share my story.  Norma gave me the place and time to share.  A true blessing.  Theda R.

 

Thank you Lord for letting me see you through my child’s eyes and words.  Because of this, I understand a little better why you love them, and me so much, even when I don’t deserve it. Aimee M.

 

Very nice day!  I totally enjoyed it.  Learned some very good tips and suggestions, all very helpful.

Cynthia M.

 

Being here today has truly blessed me, being with sisters in Christ.  Every story touched my ♥.

(no name)

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