Category Archives: Crossing Jordan River

CROSSING THE JORDAN RIVER

GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I?

Knowing and Experiencing God by His Hebrew Names

Part 3 – eBook 3

The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain . . . See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore he would give to your fathers–to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–and to their descendants after them.”

Part 3 is comprised of the third three modules of the book and is Part 3 of the FREE eCourse Bonus on this Web site. They are:

Module 7 – Chapter 12: God is Jehovah-Jireh [The Lord’s Provision Will be Seen]

Chapter 13: Because God is Jehovah-Jireh, I Am Free

Module 8 – Chapter 14: God is Jehovah-Rapha [The Lord is Healer]

Chapter 15: Because God is Jehovah-Rapha, I Am Healed

Module 9 – Chapter 16: God is El Elyon [The God Most High]

Chapter 17: Because God is El Elyon, I Am Salt

M9G Our Balance Story: Kicked Out of the Saltshaker

I had gotten my distributor pack of books and Jim was working at a construction job in the town where his sister, Ann, O., lived in Kansas. My books were still on the shelf not being used in business/ministry, while I scrounged for odd jobs to make a little money. We had a lot to learn before we understood what having salt in balance meant.

We rented a pretty nice house on the main drag in town. After moving in, we were told the house was to be bulldozed to make room for something else; we had to find another place to live. The only solution we saw was to buy a mobile home and move onto our in-law’s land that they offered. We felt like a ping pong ball, which now we see was salt bouncing out the shaker.

Balance came with bouncing out of the shaker

have salt in balance

We must have been very stubborn because we found it very hard to see God’s plan and purpose for us. Our in-law’s church had found a pastor by now and no other doors opened. We were floating in mid air.

Jim’s boss wanted to make him foreman on building the new middle school, and he felt this was not the way to go, but what was? Ann told us about a man, Pastor Doyle Smith, in Great Bend, Kansas. She had heard him once and thought we could benefit from his counsel. We made an appointment and went. She was right.

Pastor Smith was teaching his deacons a book, Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness, by Jerry Cook (with Stanley C. Baldwin).[1] Jerry Cook and his wife began as pastors in a church with twenty-three people. After fourteen years, it had grown to 4,500. He stresses the difference between knowing our purpose and having a philosophy to live by. A purpose says what while a philosophy explains how and why, so is therefore much deeper than a purpose.

Because El Elyon I am in balance

Pastor Cook outlines two philosophies Christians live by, whether known or not:

The church as the field: this is where the pastor does everything and the people go to him only for everything. If something does not happen within the four walls of the church, it’s not recognized as ministry.

The church as a force in the community: this is when the people are released to minister outside the four walls of the building. They take responsibility for the needs of people they meet and their fellow Christians, ministering to them in the name of Jesus. They are not made to feel guilty when not at church every time the doors are open; they have no need to call the pastor every time something comes up. The pastor sees his role as doing what the Bible says, to prepare God’s people for the ministry (see Eph. 4:12). The people feel empowered and set free to be who God called them to be on the job and in their community, while mixing with people of all denominations, or no denomination.

After reading the book, Jim and I felt like thorns had just been uprooted in our hearts and insights planted with a breath of fresh air—Pastor Cook put in words what we felt. Jim had presented a neighborhood outreach plan to our pastor in Texas, but the idea had been rejected. It had been so ingrained in us that unless a person was ministering “in the church” as a pastor, or other administrative person with a title, we could not “really” be used by God. Other Christians felt the same, for they had told us, “If you feel you are called by God then go to seminary.”

Jim prepared his résumé to mail to all the Christian colleges in Kansas. That had to be where God intended us to go, right? No response. We mailed the same résumé to all the secular community colleges in Kansas. The next day, a phone call came for an interview. Cowley County had been looking for a psychology instructor and football coach for one year and had found no one—the identical job Jim was doing before moving from Kansas years before.

During these events, God was teaching me about balance. Here we were, spending a whole year and more inside the saltshaker, filling up with His Word, while God provided our every need as we learned to put His Word to work in our lives; then, nothing. We were barely scraping by to make ends meet—still giving from the top of our meager resources, but no new miracles as before. Had we put God in a box, expecting Him to cater to us now? Possibly. From His viewpoint, I think He saw us as His teen aged children who had graduated from His School of Faith and now He was trying to kick us out of the saltshaker nest, saying,

“Grow up! Get out there, stay close to Me, put into daily practice all you’ve learned—reflect My glory to a hurting world.”

Have salt in the world where you are protected

The Lord Most High had already given me a business/ministry, with the church as a force philosophy, to take the bookstore to the people that I now cherished with all my heart. Jim taught his classes with more fervor than ever before. Before he taught, now he taught. He coached before, and now he coached. Looking back, we can say, “the Lord our God carried us as a father carries his son, all the way we went until we reached this place” (see Deut. 1:31).

We vowed to encourage our children, and encourage some more. We chose to believe what Jesus prayed for his children, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15). We sought to teach attitudes rather than rules, allowing our children to be involved in the world; thus, their lives. And the best was yet to be!

How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!—Psalm 47:2

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[1] Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness (still in print) by Jerry Cook is in its thirty-seventh printing and has been translated into sixteen languages. Jerry has written a sequel to this book, The Monday Morning Church: Out of the Sanctuary and Into the Streets. This book lays out how Christians can be the Church, not just in buildings on Sunday, but 24/7 in everyday living.

M9G Alignment Comes Before Assignment to see El Elyon

Linda B. and her husband Bill found Jesus as a result of a tremendous trial. At the birth of one of their daughters, Linda found herself in a hospital without the right equipment to help her delivery. The baby was in the birth canal, breach, for three days. After delivery, the baby girl was black. Miraculously, she lived without ill effects. A pastor came to their home to support and encourage them. They prayed with him to receive the Lord. This couple grew in the Lord together, and today work with youth in their church; they host and teach a home Bible group–they lives in alignment with God Most High–El Elyon.

Moving out of the saltshaker may take some shaking up – as in Linda B.’s alignment story

Alignment before assignment

Years later, in the midst of all her busyness, Linda discovered very unexpectedly that her life was out of alignment and that God Most High wanted to melt and mold her heart for His purposes only—that alignment comes before assignment. She had realized her dream of placing her beauty salon in the marketplace, a busy medical facility—the women being “Diamonds in the Marketplace.” Although her deepest desire was praying for and with women in her salon, she was tremendously busy and on the go all the time. She also spent time with the Lord every morning, and she and her husband worked hard with teens at her church.

One day she was passing a car with her brand new car. The wheels started going berserk. She held on as tight as she could, then, no power. Somehow, she was able to steer to the side of the road. Finally . . . peace, and the Lord said to her, “You are just out of line with Me as this car.”

The timing chain had broken. The definition of alignment came alive to her and how simple it was, “in harmony, and in balance.” She felt God saying to her, “Listen, and give me the throne of your life. Take Linda off, where she’s not the center and come into alignment with Me. You are doing all these good things, but not My Thing. I have a personal mission for you. You’re doing church, but not of Me. Let Me fill you with My power each day.”

Linda determined to ask each morning as the child Samuel did, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:9).

Slowly, the Lord brought up things that had dulled her hearing that she now dealt with. After surrendering, the hearing came so much clearer. Since then she started asking, “What is my assignment today, Lord? What is it today?”

“I’ve had the greatest romance with the Lord. He is so full of surprises, and brings things through the back door I could never have imagined.”

One day while in the bathroom at work and getting ready to exercise on the nearby equipment, she was viewing her backside in the mirror. Caught up in being silly she said to a lady who entered the room, “I’m trying to see if I’m fat in these pants.”

“Well, no.”

“Like you would know what fat looks like, you itty bitty thing!” Linda responded.

Linda felt a check in her spirit and the Lord saying, “Hold on, see how sad she is. Listen to her. Change lanes, Linda.”

“What’s wrong?”

“You don’t’ want to lose weight the way I’ve lost weight.”

The woman shared her heart with Linda at this point. She had been through an awful divorce. Her husband left her with no home and her child was with him. “I’m at the end.”

Unaware of any God-connection moments before, Linda grabbed her hand and spoke words from Jeremiah 29:11, “God wants you to know He has a plan for you, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

“I will intercede for you. You cannot give in.” Linda shared a quick prayer with her. Later on, the woman grabbed Linda’s hand and said, “Thanks so much for saying that to me. I was ready to throw it in.”

Through checking out her FAT God hooked Linda up and she discovered it took less than one-fourth teaspoon of seasoning to speak to a need. “We don’t have to be a popular television personality to be used by God. The manna rotted when not used. The Dead Sea has to have an outlet.” In other words,

Salt has to flow through the body to the outside with new salt replacing it each day—just as Linda learned to do in acting upon her assignments from the Lord each day.

Linda receives another assignment after her alignment

Another day and time, Linda was in the grocery line at the store buying slim-fast bars.

While waiting, a lady looked in her basket and said, “Well, I’m bulimic.” You’re bulimic. What do I say to you, lady? Linda thought.

“I only eat one meal a day,” she continued.

Linda grabbed her hand, “Honey, I’m here to tell you, I don’t know about bulimia, but I know about cigarettes. God has given us one body. What you do with yours is your business. I finally came to that realization and said, ‘Okay, Father, I’m giving You these cigarettes and my body.’ God is a deliverer and He can deliver you. Bulimia is not too big for Him. Do you believe that?”

She just stared at Linda, but Linda knew the Holy Spirit only uses a few words to steer a person in a different direction—one she may not know until she gets to heaven.

No one was in the line behind the two women that day. Linda has witnessed the Lord clearing out the entire shop or canceling the whole day when He is about to make a divine connection with one of His hurting loved ones. She knows when someone cancels, her Father is about to bring her next assignment.

Alignment makes the world of difference to your children, friends and family

Linda has written her prayers and thoughts in a journal since she was a little girl. One recent Valentine’s Day her written prayer was especially passionate and unusual:

The pleading of the blood and thanksgiving for His sacrifice.

Reaches down from Calvary’s tree, the day we proclaim our love for one another.

The greatest love sacrifice, I believe, ushers in the covering protection through the blood of Christ over my family today.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your leading and prayer, for the tools of God’s Holy Word to take us into the presence of the throne for my family today.

I believe because of Your leading and covering, the most tragic and difficult situation has been turned in the spiritual realm. We experience Passover of the death angel, defeat in the enemies camp because of the blood of Christ.

Lamb of God, feed me ‘til I want no more. Fill me up and make me whole.

Radical light from your Word brings radical change and radical blessings.

Assurance and direction follow the light, My child, of the Word made flesh.

God’s mercy became alive unto us in the instant the need of protection became reality.

Atonement at one moment; You rescue us.

Once again, your immeasurable love takes me to the secret place of the Most High.

“I had no idea I could have buried my two firstborns that day when they rolled their van five times. The EMS men said that after three rolls, someone is usually dead. God is immeasurable. He is my breath. I am desperate for him.”

Linda can say of God Most High, “I pursued my enemies and overtook them . . . . You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes” (Ps. 18:37-40).

Because El Elyon I am in alighment

All the stories you have just read, except for Dwight’s, are written from a woman’s perspective. Keep in mind; all women have supportive “salty” husbands working in partnership with them. Even Dwight would not be what he is without his wife, and they work very hard at their relationship, making time for each other before ministry.

All these people know their priorities in balance: God first, Family second, Ministry last. Even better—family is ministry. Each one knows where they came from and where they are going. They know that very soon now, they will be stepping out of that final Jordan River, because Jesus is returning soon to claim His bride! Their lives are not lived unto themselves pursuing unfulfilling things. They are four-sided, balanced, Wordy-salt cubes that have moved out of the saltshaker making others thirsty. They want to take as many people with them as they possibly can while teaching them at the same time.

Yet . . .

We have come through only three parts of our journey: Leaving Bondage, Lessons in the Wilderness, and Crossing the Jordan. A cube with only three sides is hollow, unfulfilled, and incomplete. It has to have the fourth side—which is the fourth part of this four-part study— Possessing the Land of Promise..

The righteous will never be shaken, but the wicked will not dwell in the land (Proverbs 10:30 NASB).

[Stay tuned for MY STORY before we are ready to possess the land.]

M9F How Can We Move Out of the Saltshaker?

Broaden path because moved out saltshaker

“I wanted others to see Jesus in me and to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, but it wasn’t happening. It didn’t happen until I spent time on my face before God where He revealed I had self in the way. I found that as I daily asked for the Lord to take over, and for self to die, things changed.” Patty LaRoche is a spiritually salty, four-sided, balanced Christian who makes others thirsty. Why? Because she moved out of the saltshaker.

Patty LaRoche’s Saltshaker Story

Patty was five months old when her father died and her mother was five months pregnant. At age eleven, Patty held her first job to help her mother with expenses. When in high school, she took drama, where she found her mouth worked well for her and won a trophy. No longer did she feel inferior, ugly or poor. She believed, “I can do something.”

Patty’s mother brought her children up in the church. However, Patty came away feeling like God was someone to fear—a judgmental God with a great big club in His hand ready to jump her if she got out of line. She thought if she died with a mortal sin on her soul, she would go to hell. She incorrectly believed getting to heaven was all about being good enough and working her way there.

Patty met Dave when she was a flight attendant. She married him without the blessing of her church, thinking she could eventually get him to join her one and only true church (as she had learned)—the only way to get to heaven. It did not work.

As a professional baseball pitcher, Dave was on the road. Patty followed the seasons with him. Very tragically, they lost two babies under very bizarre circumstances. One doctor actually broke her water causing the baby to be born premature, so he could be known as the doctor who birthed the child of Dave LaRoche.

Depressed and with her wine and cigarettes, Patty spent most days in her pajamas—mad at God and feeling He was mad at her. A girlfriend called, “Patty there’s an evangelist in town.

How about going with me?”

“No. I’m already in my pajamas. I can’t go.”

Her friend persisted and came to pick her up. They sat in the back of the church. The evangelist asked them to open their Bibles. She had no Bible and had never been asked to open one in church before. After twenty-seven years, Patty heard the plan of salvation—that her sin was as filthy rags. For the first time she heard Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

No, I have to do good works. But the Holy Spirit got hold of her and the tough wall around her heart melted at hearing the Word.

When the invitation was offered, Patty literally ran down the isle and wept, and wept and wept. God filled her up, and up, and up. For the first time she had a foundation and realized God had allowed her to go through what she had so she would ask, “God, who are you?”

As her friend drove home, Patty stuck her head out the window and yelled to each person on the street, “Jesus loves you! Jesus loves you, too!” She could not help herself. She was a new creation in Christ Jesus.

That night after getting home, Dave called, “How are you doing, Patty?” “Oh, I had a great night!” Silence.

I can’t tell him what happened. He’ll think I’m wacky, she thought. Then she blurted it out,

“I got saved tonight!”

“I became a Christian two weeks ago, Patty, but I couldn’t share it with you.”

Because El Elyon I am out of the saltshaker

We have to move ourselves out of the saltshaker

In thirty years, Patty moved with Dave thirty times. In each place they found a church they both attended. She shared Jesus with everyone God brought across her path. She felt she was not Bible smart, but she had her own testimony to share and she did—just as the Samaritan woman shared—the one who met and believed in Jesus at the well (see John 4).

Dave began coaching the Chicago White Sox when their three sons, who also played professional baseball, were in their teens. The player’s wives did things together, but it seemed the coaches’ wives were not included. Patty did not know what to do about it. In her devotions she read Matthew 5:13, “we are the salt of the earth.” The word are said to her that she needed to do something—but what? She prayed and prayed about it. Get the women organized, was her answer. She organized a softball team and a women’s Bible study.

She approached an African-American wife and said, “Hi, are you ______?”

“What do you want?!”

“Well, uh . . . well, ooh . . . we’re starting a softball team and a women’s Bible study.”

“I want to do both. We are having that study, and we are having it at my house!”

Patty learned this lady had previously been isolated which caused her to build walls against others. It was an amazing summer. In Patty’s vibrant joyful spirit she says, “Christians are Christians, like dogs are dogs and chase cats. We should not have to ask ourselves if we are a dog and if we chase cats. Getting ourselves out of that saltshaker means taking risks. And Jesus tells us if we are ashamed of Him and His words, He will be ashamed of us” (see Mark 8:38).

Today, Patty teaches high school speech, has taught forensics and still loves and teaches drama. She and Dave make Kansas their base of operation. She is booked weekends speaking around the country with Carol Kent’s Speak up Speaker Services. You can search for her Web page, under “inspirational speakers” at: www.speakupspeakerservices.com

Patty can say of God Most High, “He brought me out into a spacious place . . . You broaden the path beneath me” (Ps. 18:19, 36).