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Farm Faith

About a month and a half ago I was in the middle of our corn field doing a happy dance. The corn was taller than me and looking so strong! All our hard work had paid off and the corn was growing taller and faster than we had hoped. The following day we show up to the farm and a great amount of the corn had fallen over! I was devastated! The previous night there was a huge storm. The rain flattened out the mounds that the corn root buried itself into and with no foundation; all 7 feet of the corn had fallen over. Also there were some casualties just because the wind was so strong as well. Upon seeing the damage that was done I knew that we needed to fix the problem. So I cancelled planting beans and tending to our other farm in order to keep this corn alive. We went through each row and created stronger rows and mounded them up.  We went in the jungle and cut down 10 foot long sticks to dig in next to each plant and we tied the corn to the stick so it could stand up straight. This process took 3 days to accomplish.

Lacee and Corn Stalk

The students were so excited that the corn stood taller than me!

Students and corn

Hser Nay Paw and Hser Nay Say harvest our 3rd batch of corn. 60 kilos!

During those 3 days I had many different thoughts. I was upset that we had to do this extra work but I was also mad at myself because I had looked at the corn a few days before the storm and noticed some of the corn’s root out of the bed it lay in. I saw that some were flimsy and needed a stick to support it if it was going to get any taller. Instead I figured we could do it another day. I kept putting corn maintenance on the back burner. After I was done with the frustration stage I began to think of the spiritual lessons I am learning as I work on this farm. The day of my happy dance I was amazed at how strong the corn looked and glad at how tall it was getting. It looked great on the outside and we were happy. I felt content even though I saw that the foundation needed help. It looked strong so I thought that it didn’t need any help or encouragement. How wrong I was. Just like in my life, I can fool myself into thinking that I am living a godly life and the way that he wants it. I can pretend to be strong and grounded in His faith, but in reality I know that I have a lot to work on. We all do. We can look so great and godly and strong on the outside but God doesn’t care about that at all! When we see a slight character flaw in us, we aren’t supposed to ignore it for another day! We need to fix it right away or else we are not only going to fail in that part of our life but that character flaw will bring other positive things in our life way way down. When one weakness continues to hinder us, we will see more and more weaknesses creep up and creep up fast! At that point we don’t have one thing to work on, we have a huge web of weaknesses, trials, character flaws and hardships coming our way all because we decided that since we looked pretty righteous on the outside, bettering ourself wasn’t a top priority.

Corn twelve feet

The corn now stands up to 12 feet high!

I am happy to say that today we have harvested our corn 3 times already. The biggest harvest so far was 57 kilos! As we are harvesting we can’t see each other because the corn is so tall and thick. I would say they range from 8-12 feet tall which is great since we were estimating them only growing to about 6 feet! Thankfully we all love corn and are enjoying corn in a lot of meals and corn on the cob late night snacks. All our other crops are doing very well. We have sweet potato, long bean, bush bean, winged bean, cucumbers, squash and watermelon that are truly thriving. We have tons of other plants and veggies that are doing very well too.

Working in the garden

Everyone working hard at the “Old Garden,” clearing a path for more rows

Play in the gerden

Managing to have fun on the farm too!

It is just so amazing how much faith you need to put in God, that He will provide rain, good soil and nutrients and protection. Without all of that, the farm would fail. The land Sabbath begins for our land when the sun goes down for the Feast of Trumpets. That’s tomorrow! We have been doing a lot of extra work on the farm and making sure all of our crops are strong and healthy before we put the farm completely in God’s hands. It will be up to God’s amazing protection and I pray that myself, the other Ajaans’ and the students remain faithful and trust that He will let our crops produce within the next year’s rest! God is good and has delivered so much to us here already! I had no idea we would be harvesting cucumbers everyday! I didn’t know that the corn would produce that much! I didn’t even think that the watermelon would be able to successfully grow here. We are being blessed by God with our farm work and it makes me so entirely happy.

Happy Feast,

Ajaan Lacee Hilgen

 

 

Note: Lacee is a volunteer teacher at Legacy Foundation Leadership Training Project in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  She is the organic gardening teacher even though she has had little experience as a gardener.  But she does have a green thumb and loves to garden.  We all love Lacee’s positive can-do attitude.

T. Leon Sexton

Legacy Letter August 2014

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Pope Francis, Australia, France and England Get Involved

Jerusalem Old City from the Mount of the Olives

Jerusalem

Luke 21:20
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

I know that the armies are not yet at Jerusalem’s doorstep (Hamas being the closest so far), but things are beginning to gel for the end time conflict of armies in the Holy Land.  ISIS, now called the Islamic State, is continuing its advance and ethnic cleansing efforts in northern Iraq.  The attacks on Christians and Yazidi minorities continue.  The men are killed.  The women and young girls enslaved.  Children are being beheaded.  Those who do not convert must flee for their lives or die.

The Kurds have opened a corridor to Kurdistan in northern Iraq which they are defending so that the Christians and Yazidis can escape.  But they are outgunned by the more sophisticated American weapons of the ISIS forces that were captured in Mosul, Kirkuk and other areas defended (I use that word loosely!) by the Iraqi Army.  I wonder whose brilliant idea it was to leave all those weapons behind when the U.S. pulled out?  Why didn’t they just blow it all up so it wouldn’t fall into the radical’s hands.  Obviously, the Iraqi Army was incompetent or even complicit in the loss of billions of dollars of modern weapons and ammo.  We are not talking about antiquated M-16s.  ISIS got howitzers, armored Humvees, rockets, and enough arms and ammunition to supply an army of 200,000!    Now U.S. arms and ammunition are being used to murder Christians and other minorities – men, women and children.  Contrary to all logic, the U.S. arms its own enemies.  Thankfully, the Kurds are there to help save some.

The U.S. has been dropping food, water and tents to those surrounded and trapped on Mt. Sinjar.  Then the U.S. planned a rescue mission – then they didn’t.  But at least half of the 40,000 Yazidis trapped on the mountain have escaped through the Kurdish corridor into Kurdistan.  The Kurds crossed over from Syria and fought their way to the trapped refugees and created the escape route.  We should thank God for the Kurds.  Old men and young boys have taken up arms and joined the Kurdish Peshmerga regulars to fight ISIS and save the fleeing and starving refugees still trapped and not yet able to make it to the Kurdish Corridor.

(Please see http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/10/kurdish-rebels-yazidi-iraq-isis for a very good update on the situation in northern Iraq entitled, Iraq: US plans rescue mission for besieged Yazidi refugees.”)

The British joined the U.S. in dropping supplies.  The French have decided to now join[1] and are preparing to also airdrop supplies of food and water to the fleeing refugees and those who have already made it to Kurdish cities.

The U.S. has finally started ratcheting up it’s, up until now, pin-prick bombing strikes on some ISIS targets[2] and is weighing the option of sending Special Forces to fight ISIS.  The problem as usual is the U.S. administration has dithered around “weighing options” while children have been getting their heads chopped off, little girls getting raped, and ISIS’ power continuing to grow.  It will be much harder to deal with them now.

The U.S. Congress should be outraged that we have not done something sooner.  What if the U.S. would have helped stop Hitler at the beginning?  Thousands of young American men and women would not have died.  What if the U.S. would have stopped Hitler before the extermination of the Jews of Europe really got under way?  Where have been the intense and non-stop cries to save these poor children?  Doesn’t anyone care anymore?  As a people, it appears we have lost our moral compass.  Could that be because we are too busy removing Bibles from Navy desks and the 10 Commandments from our government buildings and parks?

Wake up America.  This is what happens when you kick God out!  Women and children are butchered, Christians are crucified.  Innocent people are dying, and the President and the U.S. Congress waste time “weighing options” or go on vacation.  Now the evil has grown exponentially and looks unstoppable with billions of dollars in financing and modern U.S. war weapons.

God help us because we have lost our way.

Pope Francis I

Pope Francis I

Pope Francis[3] has called for the world community to fight the ISIS terrorists who are committing demonic atrocities in Syria and Iraq.  I suspect the power of the Pope’s call will bring a reaction from especially the Europeans.  The French Foreign Minister has already flown to Kurdistan.

Please pray for the innocents and pray for Jerusalem, the stated goal of the Jihadi Islamic State.  And please pray that God open the eyes of the leaders of the United States of America, and the people who put them in power.

In Jesus, the King of Jerusalem’s Holy Name,

T. Leon Sexton


[1] http://english.cntv.cn/2014/08/11/VIDE1407721442906402.shtml

[2] US Strikes Iraq With Land-Based Bombers, Newser, http://www.newser.com/story/192589/us-strikes-iraq-with-land-based-bombers.html?utm_source=part&utm_medium=united&utm_campaign=rss_topnews

[3] Iraq: Pope Francis Urges World Action Against Islamic State
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/iraq-pope-francis-urges-world-action-against-islamic-163202091.html#metksvF

Photographs:

Jerusalem:

Description
English: Jerusalem Old City from Mount of Olives.
Author Wayne McLean


Pope Francis I:

Description
English: Pope Francis, Private audience of Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice CAPP at Clementine Hall, Vatican City
Date 25 May 2013
Author Christoph Wagener

The Face of Evil

Al-Baghdadi_speaks_at_Great_Mosque_of_al-Nuri_in_Mosul_on_July_4_2014

Caliph Abu Bakr al Bagdadi

Fairly innocent looking fellow, wouldn’t you say? Well you are wrong! You are looking at the face of evil!

Most of you already know about the creation of the Islamic Caliphate in northern Iraq and Syria.  You have witnessed just how swiftly they are conquering towns and cities on their way to Damascus.  The creation of this Caliphate is one of the most significant events in modern history because it will lead to the surrounding of Jerusalem by armies as prophesied in Luke:

Luke 21:20

And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

The newly formed Caliphate known as ISIS or the Islamic State, has as its main goal the conquest of Jerusalem.

Does anyone really believe that they will stop at Baghdad or halt at the border of Israel?  Soldiers of the new Caliph are already threatening Lebanon[1] and Jordan[2].

A recent video put out by the Jerusalem Post shows an ISIS fighter standing on the border with Syria, saying that they will break all borders to reach Jerusalem. (see http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Watch-ISIS-fighter-says-they-will-break-all-borders-to-reach-Jerusalem-361019#!)

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt chanted, “Millions of martyrs march to Jerusalem, millions of martyrs march to Jerusalem” after their candidate Mohammad Morsi won the election.  Morsi is gone now, but the Muslim Brotherhood remains and their stated goal of reconquering Jerusalem from the Jews has not changed.

Hamas, for all practical purposes, IS the Muslim Brotherhood.  Hamas’ stated purpose is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth!  The goal has not changed.  These terrorist organizations are just closer to fulfilling their goal.

The West needs to wake up.  Once Jerusalem is captured, they will continue their march to world conquest.  Their aim is to spread their radical Islamic Caliphate until all the world is subjugated under their black flagged rule and Sharia law.  The Caliphate is nothing less than an evil counterfeit of the true Kingdom of God ruled by the real Messiah.  They want Jerusalem because that is the seat of the King of Kings.  They do not want Jesus to rule in Jerusalem!  They want their political/religious Caliph to rule in Jerusalem.

The problem is that until now, no one in the West has taken this EVIL seriously. We have only been exposed to it on a few network news services on the TV, if at all.  This is now getting increased news coverage because of the gruesome tactics ISIS uses and the moral outrage by more and more Christian groups.  It is getting more coverage in spite of the brain dead liberal media.

It is very similar to the 1930s in Germany.  No one saw the EVIL of the rule of Adolf Hitler coming.  Even when his brown shirted Nazi goons roamed the streets intimidating his opponents and he screamed his deadly racist rhetoric at larger and larger audiences, they still remained asleep to the growing menace from the Bottomless Pit.  They went about their lives as if nothing would happen.  Maybe they pretended that all would turn out OK.  Maybe they believed the flood of gross lies told by the Nazi propaganda machine.

The old saying goes: There are none so blind as those who will not see.

My inlaws lived in pre WW2 Nazi Germany.  My father-in-law had been a German soldier.  They tell me they just did not know what was going on.  I used to be skeptical of their assurance they knew nothing.  Looking at how the West is only just beginning to wake up to the powerful and swiftly growing evil menace in the Middle East, I now have changed my mind.  I now see how easy it is to NOT SEE!

Mat 24:38-39

For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away….

The Europeans and Americans did not recognize the evil of Hitler then and millions died in World War II, including 6 million Jews in death camps created especially for their extermination.

Can this happen again?  Of course it can, because the precursor is happening already.  ISIS is exterminating Christians in Iraq even as I write this blog post.

How horrible is it?  Is beheading children horrible enough?  What about crucifying teenagers?  Does raping and enslaving hundreds of women and young girls shock you awake yet?  What about burying Christians and other minorities alive?

What will it take to wake up our jaded and self-absorbed, professing Christian Western countries?  This is EVIL INCARNATE rising up!  Do you think they will somehow end the terror once they reach Baghdad?  Will these animals suddenly become peaceful and civilized at the gates of Jerusalem?  Will doing a Neville Chamberlain appease them?  Maybe we all can just hide our heads in the sand and pretend the growing evil will never reach our doorstep.

They will not stop until a larger force stops them in their tracks.  The Jihadi ISIS fighter in the Jerusalem Post video says, “This is not the first border we will break,” God will break all barriers..Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon…all of them until we reach Jerusalem. This is the first of many barriers we will break.”

The Caliphate already controls thousands of square miles of territory stretching from Aleppo, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Syria, to the gates of Baghdad in southern Iraq.  This territory includes oil and gas fields bringing in 3 million dollars per day.

On August 4, Max Boot wrote[3],

While the West Dithers, ISIS Creates Facts on the Ground

‘“ISIS now controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations. It possesses the means to threaten its neighbors on multiple fronts, demonstrating a military effectiveness much greater than many observers expected.’”

“So wrote my Council on Foreign Relations colleague Janine Davidson on July 24. And that was before this weekend’s reports that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria had routed Kurdish fighters from the town of Sinjar near the Iraq-Syria border–one of the few border posts it did not already control–and that it may have taken control of the Mosul dam, which if blown up could flood much of northern Iraq with a 65-foot wave.

“Other reports indicate that ISIS has taken control of a Syrian oil field near Homs. As the Washington Post notes in a very comprehensive round-up of depressing news:[4] “Experts estimate the group is pocketing as much as $3 million per day in oil revenue by selling off resources on black markets in the greater Levant.” Oh and ISIS also just staged an attack in yet another country–Lebanon.

In short, the news is about as bad as it could be. The question that remains is: What is the U.S. doing about it? So far President Obama has dispatched 825 military personnel to Iraq to make a survey of the situation and to conduct some liaison work with the Iraqis in two headquarters. That’s about it, aside from some fiery rhetoric.”

F. Peter Brown wrote August 5 in Western Journalism[5],

“Terrifying: This ultra-violent group is now the most powerful extremist organization in history.”

“{They have}…a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations.”

The capture of Syrian oil and gas fields means they have the finances to fight a protracted war.  The capture of tons of left behind American arms and ammunition in Mosul means they have the weapons to keep on going.

The only people standing in their way at present are the Kurds.  The Kurds are an ethnic group who inhabit the Mountainous border regions of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria.  They are the modern day remnants of Parthian tribes.

Who were the Parthians?

The Parthians were a great empire that controlled the lands east of the Euphrates to the Steppes of Russia across the Caucasus Mountains and east as far as India.  The Parthians were made up of the Northern Tribes of Israel that went into captivity to Assyria and were resettled in the Caspian and Black Sea areas.  The Parthians were as powerful as the Romans and defeated the Romans in many fiercely fought battles.  At one time there was a Parthian king of Jerusalem named Antigonus, a descendant of King David who ruled Israel from 40 – 37 B.C.[6]

The Kurds are known as good fighters.  Up until now the U.S. has refused to give them arms and ammunition to fight ISIS which was able to capture several Kurdish cities.  Even without the help of America, the Kurds fought their way through ISIS fighters and were able to open a corridor to help trapped and surrounded Christians and other minorities to escape to Kurdistan.  The Kurds deserve our admiration.  As descendants of Parthians, they are long lost Israelite cousins.

Now I have received news that the U.S. has decided to supply arms, ammunition and training to the Kurds.  This will save them and other minorities.  The Kurds will fight this evil Caliph and his ruthless followers.

What is wrong?  How could such evil have been allowed to come to power?

America came into Iraq and got rid of Saddam Hussein.  He was replaced with what?  Frankly nothing worth talking about.  President Obama pulled the U.S. troops out with no clear plan to keep the radicals at bay.  As a result, the radical Islamists, including Al Quaeda, filled the vacuum.  Abu Bakr was a part of the Al Quaeda in Iran.  It will be much harder now to defeat them.

America is like a rudderless ship tossing and turning on the waves with no compass and no clear course.  America underestimated or simply ignored the threat.  Left unchecked, this evil will grow and more innocents will die.  What options is ISIS offering its victims?  Convert to Islam – leave all your possessions behind and flee – stay and be a slave – or die.  That’s it.

America does not understand its enemies and the level of rabid hatred people who are part of ISIS have for the USA and Britain – anyone for that matter who does not submit.  Do we in America or Britain want our children beheaded?  Do we want friends and neighbors buried alive?  Do we want to be forced to convert to Islam or die?

One can talk about non-violent Muslims all you want.  One can say all you want about the Koran condemning violent and hateful murder of innocents.  Tell that to the ISIS animals that are killing Christian children.

If the Caliphate is not stopped now – ISIS will eventually arrive at the gates of Jerusalem and then come knocking at your door.  Evil unchecked grows until it engulfs and destroys all in its way.

We, as the modern remnants of the nations of Israel need God’s protection now more than ever.

President Ronald Reagan told us that,

“If we forget that we are a nation under God, we will be a nation gone under.”

President Reagan is dead, but his words ring truer now than when he said them.  We are a people that have forgotten God, and we will reap the whirlwind.

It is time for America to turn back to God, not turn its back on God.  We have a great evil to fight and we need His help.

Leon Sexton

Legacy Institute


[1] See ISIS in Lebanon: Lebanese Army a Target, http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/18406

[2] See ISIS Threatens to Invade Jordan, ‘Slaughter’ King Abdullah, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4354/isis-jordan#

[3] Max Boot | @MaxBoot

[4] http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/04/islamic-state-now-controls-resources-and-territory-unmatched-in-history-of-extremist-organizations/?tid=hp_mm&hpid=z3

[5] http://www.westernjournalism.com/washington-post-islamic-state-now-controls-resources-territory-unmatched-history-extremist-organizations/

[6] See Steven M. Collin’s book, Parthia, for more details about the Israelite Parthian Empire.

Photograph:

Description
English: Abu Bakr al Bagdadi speaking during Friday prayers at Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul on July 4, 2014.
Date 12 August 2014, 12:12:21
Source Screenshot from YouTube video http://youtu.be/itu6NhED9Yk
Author Video posted by Souhman Azil on July 5, 2014 at YouTube http://youtu.be/itu6NhED9Yk with Standard YouTube Creative Commons CC-By-3.0 license

Legacy Letter July 2014

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