The God of Miracles
Some of you may recall the song with the above title that was the opening music for the Oral Roberts television hour years ago. I remember getting home from Sunday church and hearing, “The God of Miracles is reaching out His hand. The God of Miracles is moving through the land…”
A recent devotional challenged me to revisit the miracles that God has done in my life in order to dispel doubts floating around in my head during a time of waiting. I first remembered how the Lord led someone very close to me to offer funds to retain Dr McAfee’s services in starting the JP Knights Project. When Dr McAfee told me the amount that was needed to begin, I didn’t know where the money would come from, but God performed a miracle, and the funds were procured in a manner I would never have imagined!
The way that The Harvester Chronicles: JP Knights got to a publisher is another miracle. I don’t even know how Redemption Press publisher, Athena Dean Holtz, got my email, but there was her request for me to send her my manuscript, and before long Redemption Press was publishing my book.
Then, Redemption Press forged a relationship with film director, Kevin McAfee. That program only lasted a short time, but it was long enough for me to jump at the opportunity to have my story go to film.
So…do I lose hope now? No. The God of Miracles is still in charge! Even though the way seems unknown right now, I continue to seek God’s path and pray for His leading, believing that His timing, His work, His miracles are about to happen! We know that spiritual warfare is real, and the enemy delights in us forgetting who God is – a miracle worker!
What is your struggle right now? Is Covid impacting your work, your school, your activities? Has someone else’s sin threatened to destroy you? Has a friend turned on you? David and others in the Bible claimed ‘the battle is the Lord’s’. Are you trying to fight on your own? Remember the miracles in your life, and turn the battle over to the Lord!
Guest blog contributor: Gary Lambert
Sorry we are so late with the blog this month.
Busy, busy, busy. The overwhelming word of our summer. I am supposed to be retired, but I am busier than when I was working. Juggling about 6 different projects or more at the same time can be a difficult challenge. Are you busy? Are you doing what God wants you to do? Or, are you just doing stuff to get it done? Knowing what God wants you to do is challenging for all of us. It can be difficult to hear what you are to do. Praying and asking for guidance and to do His will is the best place to be. If you don’t ask, then why would He give it to you?
I have many days where I plan out what I am going to do, but I end up doing something that I did not think about doing that needed done. God’s guidance! He knows what needs done and can guide you to do it without you even knowing it. If we ask him, God guides us through our daily tasks. Are you aware of Him doing this for you? It is God’s Grace and will for us to work and live for Him, so think about it, Did He guide you to do something today, or yesterday?
I have been wanting a specific tractor for years. I check online to see if I could get one on sale and keep track of how much it costs. This tractor costs between $45,000 and $55,000 depending on where it is and how it is equipped. I had to go to the dealer to get a part for my small tractor and had been putting it off for over 2 weeks. Waiting for a rainy day or a convenient time to go. Busy, busy, busy. Finally on a day it was supposed to rain, I needed to take the car to get service done, so I decided if it rains I will go to the tractor dealer for my part. Car was done, no rain, went home. Then we got a sprinkle and I said I would go to get my part. After I got my part I went next door to the used equipment dealership to say hi because I know them well. Both men I talked to told me about this tractor that has been there less than 24 hours. I agreed to look at it. It is 13 years old and not even broke in. It is basically new for less than half the price of what I had been looking for. Not exactly the tractor I wanted, but it is all I need to get the job done. Yes! I believe God led me to the deal that can’t be passed up.
Are you listening to what and where God leads you? Are you asking for guidance in your daily routine? Are you praying for wisdom? Wisdom is amazing! You can accomplish anything with God’s wisdom! With wisdom and guidance anything is possible!
Sunshine, tank tops, beaches… I don’t know about you, but I LOVE summer. It probably has to do with preferring warmth as opposed to cold. I love running in the early morning when the world is barely up, appreciating the songbirds and beauty of the awakening day. I love being out in the heat of the day, feeling the warmth of the sun all over me while in a tank top and shorts or swimsuit rather than bundled up in winter garb. I love working in the garden, watching what we planted grow and bear fruit. Then I love sitting on our yard swing as stars wink their greetings when night falls, with a campfire blazing before me, fireflies darting about and owls hooting in the distance. The long days allow more time to be outside, and our wrap-around porch provides the perfect perch during a summer thunderstorm.
What are your favorite things about summer? Pause to thank God for these special seasonal blessings!
What I love about summer most (the heat), may be what others dislike. That’s the thing about seasons…they are times of change that could be welcomed by some, yet hated by others.
My church is going through a season of change as our senior pastor has felt God calling him to another path, and he has stepped down while awaiting God’s direction. This has been a surprise to all of us, but our pastor, along with church leadership, continues to emphasize that doing what God leads us to do may be opposite what seems to make sense. This was further illustrated by our speaker today, who talked about Elijah and what happened in 1 Kings 17.
Elijah made a proclamation to Ahab (bad king) and Jezebel (worships Baal and murders prophets of Yahweh) which resulted in a drought. Then Elijah hid in a ravine by a brook, and was fed by ravens until the brook dried up. It sure seems like God would have or could have kept that brook going until the drought was over, but He didn’t. And he sent ravens, a detested bird, to feed the hidden prophet. The ravens brought bread. Bread doesn’t bake itself, so the assumption is that the birds stole the bread from villagers nearby.
Now we have a great prophet, hiding in a ravine by a dried-up brook, eating stolen bread. I don’t think this is what Elijah had in mind when he followed the LORD.
Then God sent Elijah to Zarephath, a region where the worship of Baal began and where Jezebel was from. What, God? Jezebel who searches for and kills the prophets of Yahweh? Isn’t this going in the wrong direction?
We know that God’s ways are different than our ways. Are you following God, but you question the direction because it doesn’t make sense? Join the crowd! Just as my pastor and church are questioning what is going on and how this can possibly be for the best, you may be seeking God and are shown a path that seems opposite of what you thought the plan was. Don’t lose heart and don’t hesitate to do what God is telling you to do!
In JP Knights, Garrett’s family let go of their farm and ended up with something ‘exceeding abundantly’ beyond what they could imagine. Liz gave up involvement at her school and she became a warrior in God’s army. Joel was led to a path of leadership although he was content to be a follower of Kyle. Jill shied away from any public or social interactions, but had a special spiritual gift bestowed on her as she stepped away from her typical behaviors. Chris risked losing social standing among his peers, but ended up going a different path than he expected.
The Bible, along with the JP Knights, show us that going an unexpected, but God-directed route, is sure to bring us to fantastic places of incredible spiritual potential if we but listen to that small, still voice of God showing us the path. Be patient and believe. Don't fear to do what God is telling you to do!
6/5/21 WORK AS TO THE LORD AND NOT TO MEN Col 3:23 (paraphrased)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an angel? A messenger of God and part of an enormous army of His soldiers? The Lord of Hosts - this name of God we have heard spoken of is actually His position of authority concerning the Host of Heaven: angels. If I was an angel, would I have followed Satan and a third of all angels in disobedience to my supreme commander? There's a pretty good chance that I would have! ...Not saying that my human self would want to turn from the Creator and the Lord of Hosts, but just acknowledging how hard it is not to sin and how we all fall short of what we were made to be and do.
I see this every day when I work for my earthly employer. I struggle to 'do my work as to the Lord and not to men.' The day starts pretty well, usually, with enthusiasm to please God in all I do, and not to react to little annoyances that every job has. Sometimes I'm hijacked relatively early from this lofty goal, and other times I make it for a few hours, but before long I am more concerned about what I think others think of me than 'doing my work as to the Lord and not to men.'
This back-and-forth skirmish in my brain is like watching a tennis match. For a moment the ball is in the Lord’s court and the next it is in my ‘self’ side. I fret and worry about what I’m doing and is it good enough and am I fast enough and… The list goes on. Then I remember that the pressure leaves when I focus on pleasing God. Ahh… Yes. When my motivation is to please the Lord, the extraneous baggage that I drag around is laid at the feet of my Master, and I wonder why I waited so long to ‘do my work as to’ Him rather than men!
You would think that this revelation would last through the day, but it seems it does not take much for me to revert back to worrying about what others think.
But, you know, God is pleased for each choice I make to return to His peace about my work. So, even though that tennis game continues through the day, I’m hoping that my decision to desire ‘pleasing God’ for each and every thing I do has resulted in more time every day seeking to ‘do my work as to the Lord and not to men.’
Reading about Tsadde and the angels in JP Knights is an encouragement to me. You don’t see Kaph asking what Qoph is doing, or complaining that Gimel should take charge. They respect each other and allow each angel to do the work God has given them to do. THAT is what I want to do each day. Concentrate on the good work God has given me to do, do it with motivation, do it responsibly and with a good attitude, not worrying about others and not complaining. My day goes MUCH better when I do my work as to the Lord and not to men!
This month I would like to highlight some incredible work done by Dr Kevin McAfee and the Oceania team, including Jim, Stephanie, Jennifer and Jag. They have worked on a World War II documentary over the past several years, inspired by a true story. Having completed the documentary, they submitted it to various film festivals.
To date, FINAL WORDS OF WORLD WAR II has won over 14 awards from all over the world!
Berlin, Rome, Sweden, Cannes Global, New York, Hollywood, Canada, Virginia and Georgia!
Congratulations from all the JP Knights prayer warriors and fans!
Thoughts for May: Divine Detours
In The Harvester Chronicles: JP Knights (p.340-341), Jill and Joel are driving back from the prison during the storm when they are shown a different route to take than they normally would. They see angels ahead who take them on a detour to get back home safely.
Have you ever had a divine detour? Seemingly going in the opposite direction than what you and maybe others think is the right way?
God wants us to trust Him, even when things aren't as you may have expected. Why do we have detours? Does it mean you have gone the wrong way and God is trying to get you back on track? Maybe. Sometimes our own will wins over what God wants for us. When we realize this, God may provide a route back to His path, or He may allow a different path to unfold that will equally please Him.
What if you believe you are following God, but the path is difficult and seems to go in a different direction than you are headed? God may use divine detours to do more than we can imagine (Eph 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.") His ways are above our ways, and His thoughts are above our thoughts. God will use these detours to accomplish more than we can imagine. We are so limited by our experiences that we sometimes can't think of the possibilities that God has in mind.
What do you do if you're on a divine detour?
First, submit your will to Him. Ask Him to get you back on track if you have strayed outside His Will, and ask His forgiveness. Then TRUST GOD! What may seem like the wrong way may turn out to be God's way to bring great and wonderful experiences to you and others. Don't be afraid - allow God's peace to fill you. If others don't understand, be patient and don't turn from God's path in your life. Keep doing what God asks you to do, and you will be surprised how He guides you and actually brings you to that goal that seemed, for a time, to be in the opposite direction!
April. What does this month mean to you?
Today is April Fool's Day. Perhaps you remember a trick someone played on you. I'm thinking about the weather fooling me with 3" of snow on the ground after 60 degree days enticed me that winter was over.
Spring. Although the season of spring begins in March, for my area the real signs of spring come in April. The bulbs come up through the lingering snow or crusted ground. The pussy willow buds appear as soft nubs at the ends of branches. Birds flock at our feeders and the familiar robins hopscotch through the yard. Peepers noisily call from the ponds and swampy areas. Leaves will soon emerge from seemingly lifeless trees. It's like the world heaves a humungous sigh as winter finally withdraws and new life rushes in.
Recently, a verse in Joel caught my attention in a devotional I was reading. It is right before the Joel Prophecy used in The Harvester Chronicles. Joel 2:25-27 reads, "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten..., My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame. Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD your God and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame."
What 'years' have you lost? For many, Covid meant that 2020 into 2021 has been lost. All the hopes, dreams, plans, opportunities - gone. Lost.
God is ready to restore our lost years! Much like the spring gives us a renewal of life around us, God promises to restore us. He calls us to repentance in Joel 2:12-17, and then He responds by refreshing the land (verses 18-27) and finally by pouring out His spirit in Joel 2:28-29. These are the verses on which The Harvester Chronicles are based.
Are you ready to be restored? As He refreshes the land after the lost year of Covid, prepare for Him to pour out His spirit on all flesh!
For the Lamb!
We have had quite the winter here, with 2-3 feet of snow accumulated in our yard. God has blessed us with a warm home and electricity. Well… most of the time, anyhow!
Winter used to be fun for me. While living for 3 years in and around San Francisco, I really missed the 4 distinct seasons. To help ease my desire for winter, I would drive to the mountains, 4-6 hrs away (depending on the snow and if passes were open). Most of the time I chose to go by myself to a small area in North Lake Tahoe where I could stay in a little cabin, and then cross-country ski for hours on groomed trails nearby. The peacefulness of swishing through such exquisite beauty was balm for my soul.
Years passed and I finally ended up back home in Johnstown. The next year or two dumped more snow on the area than we probably had had in a decade. The mere task of shoveling my driveway only to have the snowplow come past and plow it shut was daunting! I honestly thought that the plow guys (thank you, Jumpin’ Jack Michaels on KEY 95) had it in for me! Winter lost all aspects of fun and beauty after that. I tried to cross-country ski, but never quite regained any sense of real fun for the winter. It was all dread and depression.
This year, something changed. Was it the purchase of new XC skis, way overdue? Or was it snow accumulating on the trees, making a Hallmark Card scene all around me? Maybe it was encountering two porcupines up in the hemlock tree while XC skiing? Being a girl originally from suburbia, I was scared that the porcupines would shoot their quills at me as I skied under their tree (they don’t do that, by the way). I don’t know, but I once again felt the excitement of new snowfall and the opportunities it would allow to bring a peaceful balm to my spirit.
JP Knights does that for me, too. As I follow the characters in their journeys, I am excited for the changes that occur with them seeing angels. Joel goes from being a follower to a leader. Jill is shy with poor self-esteem, and then she becomes bold and confident. The list goes on.
But it’s not really the angels that are directly responsible for this. What makes the difference is that the JP Knights experience the joy of God’s love and interaction in their lives. They become more aware of what God is doing, not only in each of their lives, but in the lives of others. They see the angels carrying out God’s plans and know that this has been happening all along. This hope, this knowledge, lifts them up to be able to become who God made them to be. Everything is new and exciting… Like me enjoying winter snow again as I look for porcupines up in the hemlock trees.
What do you need to do to become more aware of God’s work in your life? Think of some situation where God seemed especially real to you…when you received a balm for your soul. Remember that angels are specifically carrying out God’s plans in your life.
Jeremiah 29: 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
FOR THE LAMB!
It has been such a privilege to be God's servant regarding the JP Knights story! As Dr Kevin McAfee keeps us up-to-date on the movie aspect, I am drawn to think of how the story of spiritual warfare has impacted each one of us lately.
Unless you lived in a cave during 2020, I know we have all experienced the recent struggles. Who could have anticipated the country being hit by a world pandemic in the middle of a very controversial presidential election year? The arguments and division, even among family members and good friends, were unlike anything our generation has ever seen. Isolation, along with the threat of severe illness and death, were encountered by countless individuals and families. If you managed not to get on each other's nerves before the pandemic, you were not likely to miss out on that once social distancing and work-from-home scenarios kept everyone in places they maybe would not have been otherwise.
There have been times during the past year when I have acutely discerned the spiritual warfare around us. The message of JP Knights is to remind us that we are not alone in our struggles! Not only does the Father directly intervene with just a word, but He sends his many angels to fight against the enemy for us. If only we could see just one time what is happening around us in the spiritual realm, I believe our hearts would at once go cold with the sight of our spiritual enemy, and yet, hopefully, choose to rise up and fight alongside the Lord's Host.
Imagine yourself with Tsadde or Gimel by your side! This is what you do when you pray, when you decide not to say that hurtful thing, when you call a family member who is isolated at home during the pandemic, when you refuse to allow political opinions to come between you and a friend or family member, when you choose to love someone who is different than you... These are often unrecognized spiritual battles! Think of Garrett, in JP Knights, when he encountered a situation that could make him tardy for school. This is a minor example, but just as important to see how we may act and react when normal life happens, and make that decision to fight the spiritual battle.
If any of you have The Harvester Chronicles: JP Knights book, maybe it is time to read it again, and see how you can apply God's message about spiritual warfare to your current life. You may be surprised how applicable it is!
Blessings to you all!
For the Lamb!
Happy Valentines Month and we hope each of you are doing well as we continue to progress in moving the ball forward with JP Knights. I am especially thankful for all of you who are members of our prayer team as we have needed your prayers and we would like to begin this update with prayer.
Our team was adversely impacted by the COVID-19 Virus this past month with Jim Gromer, one of our screenwriters, his wife Rachel, Lynn McAfee and myself all contracting the illness. We have deeply appreciated your prayers and everyone appears to be on the mends, but we are praying for the safety of the entire team during this time. This is why we are somewhat late getting our monthly update to you.
Gary Lambert has also asked for prayer requests for his back and we want to remember him during this season. With cold winters in the North East and Midwest, this is especially problematic for many who have bone issues. Please remember these prayer requests as we remember you in prayer too.
Our film production team has been adding some key leadership to the Oceania Films group in Dale Wallace as legal counsel from Birmingham, Alabama and Jag Gholson, our securities advisor from Athens, Georgia has also brought in his partners into the mix.
Jennifer Willingham and I have been meeting with William Morris/Endeavor about several areas for our future. This means our access to film stars is now a huge benefit to the Oceania team. The continued development update is in the area of needed long term capital financing, development and marketing plans for JP Knights. Please remember in prayer these important leaders in moving forward in our long term planning, coupled with the high priority for short term planning and provision.
The long term prospects of our financial support is looking more and more exciting every day. This is for the equity positions within the making of our motion picture. There are a new group of long term financiers over the next few months we will be meeting with personally.
The short term funding is still a higher priority because the fundraising group will need operational support, travel monies and legal. As everyone knows, we are looking to place one or two more $25,000 units at this time in the market place via Gary and Beth Lambert. Gary has been meeting with the Economic Development Leadership team in Johnstown. We remain steadfast in finding a couple more individuals or one person for this cause.
Even tho we are not doing Zoom Calls anymore, we would like for the prayer team to commit to pray the first Monday evening of every month at 6 pm EST as we get closer to moving our project forward. We believe even if we are not all able to connect on Zoom or conference call, your unity in prayer will make a huge difference in our future.
May the Lord continue to bless the evangelistic efforts of JP KNIGHTS as we are praying 2021 is our year. If you have any interest in helping fund the development costs, please contact our team immediately. We believe the fund raising is essential for our future.
In His Service,
Happy New Year for 2021 and we are thankful for our prayer partners and those who have signed up to pray with us on a monthly basis. Without this critical foundation, we are left vulnerable, but because of the supernatural protection, our team is safe from all of the arrows against using the visual language of film to impact culture.
Dave Ramsey is one of those heroes in the world of finance, who teaches an invaluable lesson when it comes to "marathons" in business. Each of his grandchildren have learned from his retelling of a famous fable. The tortoise and the hare always shares insights for life and this process of building a sky scraper that requires millions of dollars is a tortoise winning type of franchise.
EXCITEMENT FOR JP KNIGHTS
JP KNIGHTS thanks you for your commitment to praying for the trilogy of films. I am very excited about this exciting franchise for a number of reasons. First, we have a screenplay that targets the mainstream. Secondly, our screenplay goes into the hearts of middle school young people, whose hearts are opened to the gospel. Lastly, this is a fantasy film with a Biblical foundation whose appeal is mainstream. In my heart as a film director, this is the perfect mixture for a film success.
DIRECT TO CONSUMER - CHANGING THE FILM INDUSTRY
Inside the film industry, everybody in the studio system is learning that DIRECT TO CONSUMER and digital downloads ARE the future for all cinematic success stories. This may be the very "competitive advantage" we need to get for this film trilogy to be made and released direct to consumer. Wonder Woman 1984 will have success in the New Year going direct, with very little support from box office, so this is good news for our team. We are seeing HBO MAX and other downloadable formats like NETFLIX and AMAZON beginning to lead us moving forward.
Gary, we appreciate the hard work for you connecting with the Economic Development committee of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Let us all continue to ask the Lord to open the doors for partnership with the right people as we move forward into the film production phase.
Our team has been meeting in December with William Lowery, the film finance expert has been invaluable, so please keep Will on your prayer list. We believe the future with Jennifer Willingham and Will will provide necessary partners for the future.
We conclude by continuing to desire to have "capital" for marketing and shopping the franchise. Through the sacrifice with the Lamberts and investors, coupled with the sweat equity of our organization, we need $50,000 in the bank to help us begin meetings with studios and financiers. Pray for the right financiers to help us move from a state of "waiting" to a new position of presentations.
Have a blessed 2021,
Dr. Kevin McAfee
Dr. Beth Lambert is a Pediatrician and Medical Director in Pennsylvania. JP Knights is the first film from her books.
Kevin & Lynn McAfee along with Jim and Rachel Gromer met to begin the script writing process for JP KNIGHTS the movie. Thanks for praying for the entire team!
Dr. McAfee and the team of GRP with Stephanie Musser met with city fathers in Pennsylvania at the Holiday Inn to discuss strategies for shooting in Johnstown.