Great Grace Church of God In Christ

411 Oswego Street. Syracuse, New York 13204

Great Grace Church of God In Christ

2G "Where Hope Is Communicated"

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Day 5 My Israel Experience

Posted on September 21, 2016 at 8:17 AM Comments comments ()
Day 5 in Israel

What a blessed day this day has been.  We started our day off in the Jordan River and ended it in the Dead Sea.  To be baptized in the same waters that Jesus was baptized, was amazing.  The Power of God was so heavy that it literally knocked the wig off of one of the ladies (Lol).  When I tell you that "Holy Laughter" came on everyone and that this anointing was heavy, trust me, it was!

Seriously, I developed a greater appreciation for baptism.  At times we as Christians take baptism lightly.  We forget that there were two bodies of water that the children of Israel had to go through.  The Red Sea, which represents their coming out of bondage and then through Jordan, which represents them entering into their promise.  

So Baptism for the believer means our coming out of bondage and entering into our promise.  It is more than just a symbol.  This identifies us with Jesus, and going down in the water signifies our sins being washed in His Blood.  We then enter in our promise that Jesus has for us, and washing in His blood is how He identifies us. 
I will forever be changed because I plunged down in the Jordan in Jesus name and came up in promise. 
Acts 2:38-39 KJV [38] Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [39] For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

The waters from Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee, which the Jews call "sweet waters" flow down to lowest place on earth, into what's called the Dead Sea.  This sea or lake is hyper-saline, and makes It impossible to sink in this body of water. 

I was able to go into this 80 degree water, lay on my back and float in the healing waters of the Dead Sea.  This time spoke to me in such a mighty way.  As I said earlier, the sweet waters of Jerusalem flows down to the lowest part on the earth, into what seems to be a lifeless body, of water. 
 
Ezekiel 47:8 KJV
[8] Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.
The waters from Jerusalem represents the gospel of Jesus Christ that flowed from Jerusalem into to dead parts of the world, giving life and healing.  It also represents the blood of Jesus, running down His head, His back and side giving life to those who plunge into it.  Oh the Blood of Jesus... It washes white as snow..
.
Shalom

Day 4 - My Israel Experience

Posted on September 18, 2016 at 8:42 PM Comments comments ()
Day 4

This day for me was an eye opener.  I experienced this morning a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee in a similar boat that Jesus most likely had taken.  The waters that he and Peter walked on, where Jesus calmed the winds and the waves and where Peter pulled money out a fish's mouth.  Yep, I was there!  Just being out there gave me such peace and assurance that everything is going to be alright in my life. What a peace, that cannot be destroyed because I have Jesus on board with me.
 
We left the Sea heading north to Caesarea Philippi, the place where Jesus told Peter, "Upon this Rock I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."  This city was a paganistic city that worshipped the god, Pan. A half man half goat "god" that brought panic to the lives of those he was chasing and that heard his voice.  Jesus bought his disciples to this out of the way place, to tell his disciples, that the advancement of the church of Jesus Christ, (not the church of Peter) will not be stopped by the gates of false gods, and false beliefs, that will try and disrupt Peace, by causing panic. 

This all clicked for me as I stood on the edge of a mountain in the Golan Heights region, overlooking the border of Syria and Israel.  The peace that I felt on the Sea of Galilee and the security that the church has in Christ, as well as the peace and security, and the advancement of democracy of Israel are being threatened by its enemies that surround the borders.

The Golan Heights is a strategic place that allows the Israeli government an advantage, by being able to see an advancement on its borders by Syria, if it happens, as well as having artillery positioned to thwart these advancements.  The very peace that the government of Israel allows its citizens and visitors are being threatened by Syria and what's happening there. (I admonish you to read up on what's going on I Syria). 

As I stood looking over at Syria, and then glancing at the U. N delegation that is assigned to report on what's happening in Syria within their view, and then hearing the bombs go off in the distance, I understood that peace must be protected. 

I made the statement after experiencing Golan Heights, that "I have never been this close to war before."  Now as I write this blog, I was wrong!  On a daily basis there is war all around me. This peace that I experience in Jesus Christ, is constantly being attacked by the enemy that surrounds my borders, (sin, racism, lack of knowledge, complacency, stubbornness, pride, lust, etc.) and its up to me to secure the advantage that I have over the enemy in Jesus Christ m, and fight for peace. 

As I make my way to Jerusalem, I am anticipating getting to the Western wall and praying for peace in me, my wife, sons, family, church, my city, region, the church of Jesus Christ, my country, Syria, you and Israel!

Shalom

Day 3 My Journey in Israel

Posted on September 16, 2016 at 8:31 AM Comments comments ()
Day 3 Israel: A New Day

What a busy and blessed day was this day! If you could see my hands, you would see them stretched out and up to the Lord.  Israel is a fabulous country with a fabulous history.

History lesson:
Israel has only been a recognized country since 1948.  This becoming a nation filled many scriptures such as Amos 9:14-15 I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.

Israel began as a colony of a few Jews who decided to come back to the land of their fathers. They left their jobs in Europe as doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.  They came back to the land to work the land as farmers and "bring the land back to life."  These families settled in in what is now Tel Aviv. 
As time went on, Jews from all over the world began to come back to the land of their promise and began to expand their territory. Most of their land was occupied by Arabs and they had to purchase their land and fight to protect it.  Still today there are certain parts within their nation that is controlled by Muslims, such as the West Bank, but they are still back in the land of their promise.

Now back to day 3:
We visited the City of Joppa (Jaffa) where Cornelius and others became the first gentile converts (Acts 10). From there we went to Caesarea.  While there, I read the passage for the group from Acts 10:24-48, thank God for being able to read!  (To be a leader, you must be a reader). Here at Caesarea we say a palace the ruins of an amphitheater and palace that was built by Herod. Herod was a masterful builder, but he was also paranoid.  He was afraid that someone was always trying to steal his throne, so he killed several of his own sons and even drowned one of his wives in milk and honey.

Caesarea solidified my argument against the skeptics that say, "where is the proof, we are the graves."  My argument is that most ancient cities have layers of cities built on top of them and most things were destroyed because of its constant conquering.

From Caesarea we went to the Mt. of Carmel where Elijah and Jehovah showed up the prophets of Baal.  From there we went to Megiddo or Armageddon. (Rev16:16)

God is awesome! Nazareth was amazing!  We toured a remake of Nazareth where our guide was a messianic Jew. His passion for scriptures was evident, compared to our daily guide who knows scripture but has no passion.  People can tell who you are by your passion!
Canaan was our next stop, visiting the church of the weddings where we witnessed an Asian couple renewing their vows.


Finally we made it to our hotel on the Sea of Galilee. My day ended with 6 of us on a pier overlooking the sea on a full moon night, talking about the church, ministry, women in ministry and then praying and praising God for A New Day.

Day 2 of My Israel Journey

Posted on September 15, 2016 at 9:03 AM Comments comments ()
Day 2 of my Israel Journey

Let me begin by saying that Israel is 7 hrs. ahead of Eastern Standard Time.  This means that I am writing this blog at 11:23pm, so that makes it 4:23pm EST.  I’m writing trying to keep my eyes open so I can keep you informed on what is going on in my life while in the Holy Land.

Somebody look at your neighbor and say “This day!”  This has been a day of traveling overnight.  Leaving NYC at 11:55pm on Tuesday, flying for 10hrs and arriving in Tel Aviv at 5pm on Wednesday.  The flight was exhausting and long due to my worst nightmare coming true.  What is that?  Having a person sit next to you that talks a lot and encroaches on my space.  It turns out this Jewish fellow from New Jersey was ok, but he first while sleeping, kept putting his arm on my (yes they were hairy) and everyone that truly knows me, know that I don’t do the touching thing.  After he woke up, he began to talk to me, and talk to me and talk to me and talk to me for seemingly the entire time I was conscious.  I wanted to tell him so badly to stop talking to me, but I figured if I closed my eyes, he would get the hint.  Nope!  He talked and talked some more.  What was he talking about?  Politics!!!! The very thing that I don’t want to talk about with someone I can barely understand.  However, he managed to explain to me (for several hours), how much Obama has not helped America with Obama Care, and how he is voting for Trump because Trump is a business man, and oh yeah, how he admires Russian President Putin.  

As we landed in Israel, the crowd on the plane began to clap; I too began to clap, not because I finally made it to Israel, but rather that my ears can now get some rest.  Wow!

First impressions are truly lasting impressions, and my first impression of Tel Aviv is that it looks like any city you might find in the US.  Full of people living their everyday lives in this busy city.  After arriving to the hotel at 6:50pm, just in time to go to my room, meet my roommate and then meet the rest of the group for dinner at 7pm.  My impression of this group is, God did this.  He has brought 15 people from Buffalo, Syracuse, Virginia, Texas, New Orleans, and Brazil to experience this life changing trip, which will change our lives forever.  I’m thinking and thanking God for this divine connection that will help me birth what God has placed in me.  I’m looking at bettering me, bettering 2G, and better RRM Ministries.  Wow! and it’s only day one.  Stay tuned for Day 2, it’s going to be epic….

Pastor M

 

Day 1- The Journey Begins

Posted on September 14, 2016 at 8:40 AM Comments comments ()
As I sit here at the Syracuse airport waiting to board my flight to Israel, this is mixed emotions going through my mind. 

I am mostly thinking about how I wished I had showered again before leaving for the airport! It has been a busy hot day; going into work, making sure all my clinical notes are up to date, going to the barbershop getting a "fresh cut" and talking trash about the Dodgers and the Patriots to the Cowboys crew (they know who they are), going to the mall with my wife to get some clothes (can't go to Israel looking any kind of way), meeting with a brother from the church who dropped a word in my spirit and I in his, then finally rushing to the airport trying to make sure that I get through security in time to catch my flight to JFK.  Hopefully you can see now why I need a shower!

I'm also sitting here anxious to get to the Holy Land, so that 

1) I can see for myself that what we preach about is true.  I know we go on faith on someone else's experience, but to experience it for yourself is in my opinion, a greater teacher. 

2) I'm looking forward to getting the Word from an Eastern perspective, versus the Western viewpoint that I've been getting all my life (I want the Word to speak to me like never before), 
3) I want to have an experience with God that will loose me from every thing that has attached itself to my life that is hindering my progress, via spiritual, psychological, emotional or physical. 

Continuing, I'm looking at how God is already showing his favor on me.  Arriving at the airport, my concern was that I would have to get to JFK and get my luggage off this flight, then have to go back through security to catch my flight to Tel Aviv.  But getting here, the airline staff informed me that JetBlue has a partnership with El Al airlines and so I won't have to touch my baggage until I get to Tel Aviv.  Then while waiting to board in Syracuse, the gate attendant comes up to me and says "You look like Rickey Montgomery", and I say that "You look familiar", he then says that "Tamara (Montgomery) says to have a safe flight and he is your new boarding pass, with more room." God is awesome. 

Lastly, I'm missing my wife already. It's only been an hour, but the anticipation of being away from her for 10days is overwhelming. 

Pray for me as I start this journey and I will keep you updated

By His Grace

Pastor Rickey

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