Joseph Herrin (12-30-2014)
This blog posting is the 91st for the year. That number is down somewhat from previous years. Yet, the number of posts seems significant. I am reminded of Psalm 91. It is a Psalm of Yahweh’s deliverance and protection in troublous times. Following is a portion of this Psalm.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to Yahweh, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!" For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made Yahweh, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.
As we enter into the year 2015 it is necessary to have made Yahweh, the Most High God, our refuge and strength. The media is filled with reports of plagues, pestilence, terrorists, wars, economic instability, civil unrest, strife among humanity, and environmental calamities. There has never been a time in history when it has been more necessary to walk closely to God, sheltered under His protecting wings. If you are not confident in your standing with God, being filled with the assurance of His watchfulness over your life, do not delay in addressing these issues.
A saying that I often utter when speaking to others is “You never know what a day will bring.” If this be true, it is all the more certain that “We never know what another year will bring.” At the end of each year as I have looked back over the events and experiences of the closing year, I am amazed at all that has transpired in the world at large and in my life. Much of what occurs is unanticipated. Hindsight is much better than foresight.
In 2014 I completed the book titled Yahweh’s Book. I also wrote the book Foundations. This latter book was a marathon work. I posted the first chapter in February and did not complete the last chapter until September. It ended up being one of the longest books I have written, a total of 346 pages in my word processor. This year also saw two significant series posted, these being Double Jeopardy - Deception and Bondage of the Bride of Christ, and the series titled Deception. In fact, during the year 2014 I posted quite a number of writings that addressed the subject of deception. This seems both necessary and appropriate as the character of the days we live in grow ever darker.
An older brother in the Lord who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand sent me an e-mail a couple of weeks back. In it he wrote:
I have just bound Volume Seventeen of your Parables Blogs, each one being a large tome. This year, speaking from memory, the ones that hit me regarding world events, were, 'Christian Faith Dies in the Land of Illusion,' 'Tony Palmer and the Covenant of Blood,' and 'The Cross Stands while the World Turns.'
I too was impressed with the poignant details of the story about the young woman named Christian Faith who died of heart failure, evidently frightened to death, while her family was visiting a local horror theme park. To a significant degree the days which lie ahead for America and the nations will evoke a response of horror. In prophesying of the character of the last days before His return, Yahshua stated:
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars, and on the earth; distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth...”
Brothers and sisters, listening to the preaching coming from the pulpits of prosperity will not prepare any man, woman, or child to be able to stand and overcome in the coming days. Attending the local rock and roll church with its choreographed worship services will not impart to you the faith to prevail when all things are shaken. It is only by surrendering one’s life to follow Christ down an afflicted path of His choosing while looking to God to guide, save, provide, and strengthen them, that a believer will be equipped to not only endure, but to triumph. Now is the time to have your faith exercised, tried, tested, and strengthened. Now is the time to be contending with the lion and the bear, for Goliath is coming. If you do not manifest faith in a time of peace, how will you do so in a time of great calamity and distress?
If you're worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses? And if you can't keep your wits during times of calm, what's going to happen when troubles break loose
like the Jordan in flood?
(The Message Bible)
The story of Christian Faith dying of fright as her heart failed her is a parable and a warning to the body of Christ. I do not doubt that Yahweh chose the time this event occurred with specific intent. The hour is near at hand for the citizens of the world to experience many horrifying and frightening experiences. The Faith of many Christians is weak. The hearts of many who profess belief in Christ are not strong enough to endure the shocks and surprises that will suddenly confront them. Many Christians will be like the seed that fell on stony ground.
“And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.”
If I were to choose some blog posts from this past year that I found particularly significant and timely relating to world events, I would also include Late Bloomers and the Fall of America, and the follow-up to that post which is titled America on Deathwatch. Even as the once proud ocean liner the SS United States lies moldering in its berth along the wharves of Philadelphia, languishing as no savior has come forth to restore the ship to her former glory, facing imminent threat of being sold for scrap, America too is at a critical point in her history.
SS United States
Revealing the incredible blindness of mankind, even as the United States has been gutted, her glory stripped away, her powerful engines removed, and rot and decay are steadily accomplishing their work of destruction, the band plays on. Many Americans continue to spend, play, and make plans for the future, as if the good days will continue forever unabated. The death knell is sounding even now for the nation, yet a charade goes on. Politicians, the media, and a compliant citizenry all pretend that America’s house is sound, that the economy is strong and improving, that liberty and prosperity continue to define the nation and its people.
The facade of a glorious America is being propped up by the printing of trillions of dollars of fiat paper currency which has no more value than the paper and ink with which it is printed. The “full faith and credit” of the American government lends an artificial air of substance to the U.S. dollar. Great will be the collapse when the masquerade is revealed to be the deception it has been all along. Americans will be impoverished overnight. When the “almighty dollar,” the God in which many have trusted, is cast down never to rise again, those who have placed their faith and trust in something so insubstantial will be left without hope or recourse.
U.S. Treasury Department - In God We Trust
Sensing that these dire events are not some far off event, but could occur at any time, it does strike me as significant that there are 91 posts to the Parables Blog in 2014. The number 14 signifies transition. The Obama campaign promised “Change,” and “RUIN,” and the people of the nation blindly voted for the same. The transition coming to the nation will be from prosperity and peace to poverty and distress. It is indeed an hour in which the people of God need to have separated themselves from the pursuit of the world and all that is in it, and made Yahweh their life, their resting place, their refuge.
Closing out this year, I turned my attention to creating additional newsletters to add to the Parables Bookshelf series. These are newsletters that I mail out to men in prison. I originally created 88 newsletters, mainly consisting of the books I have written printed out in serial form. I had not added to the newsletters for several years. As a result, many of the men receiving the newsletters have gone through the entire series and have written to ask for more writings. Following is one recent letter that moved my heart as I empathized with this brother in Christ who is dwelling in the very dark spiritual environment of an American prison while hungering for something to lighten his days.
Hey Mr. Joseph,
I got your letter last night and I sure am let down, disappointed, and hate I won’t be getting any more Parables newsletters for a while!!
The Parables Bookshelf is like a close friend to me, a Helper, Counselor & Comforter to me Mr. Joseph. It gives me Peace and helps me thru the long, miserable days and nights in here. The Parables Bookshelf is like an Anchor for my heart & soul & spirit and mind. It helps me stay close & have a closer walk with Yahweh God & Yahshua Christ and gives me more Wisdom, Knowledge & Understanding. I sure am gonna miss the Parables Newsletter. I look for it at mail call every day like it’s Buried Treasure, so please Mr. Joseph, as soon as you have new Parables ready for mail send me the first copy. I’ll be waiting.
Mr. Joseph, I need more of your writings to read. I very much like & need your Teachings, your words and your wisdom, knowledge & understanding & I very much need and want to keep a closer walk and relationship with Yahweh God & Yahshua Christ that you help me with. So will you please sir, start sending me all & any of your other numerous writings? I have already got Dragon Flood & Push Back. Please send me all & any of your other work, cause I am in the hole, a one man cell lock-down cell, and I need lots of reading material. I have my Bible and have started on it for the 3rd time from beginning to end...
So please Mr. Joseph, send me reading materials ASAP. I put myself in the hole Mr. Joseph, cause these GA prisons are corrupt and no one seeks out for Yahweh or Yahshua or The Way... I am trying to walk with Yahweh and Yahshua in The Way and I don’t want to be around this evil, filth, and wickedness...
So please Mr. Joseph, start sending me as much of your writing as you can, and if you have any of Mr. Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Bible Devotions, Words, Works, Writings, materials, please send any and all of it also. I really do enjoy his words, wisdom, and Bible Devotions.
Thank you So Very Much Mr. Joseph. I’ll be looking for the Buried Treasure you send in the mail, so I can dig & dig thru it.
Not too many years ago, the Father graciously allowed me to experience being cast into jail on two occasions so that I could understand the dark environment that these men must endure day after day. The lack of spiritually uplifting influences, and an abundance of idle time, lead to a great desperation in the hearts of those men who have been redeemed by the Lord. My heart was greatly moved when I received this letter from Michael. I at once put together several large packets of writings and mailed them out to him. At the same time, I have felt a growing impetus to get additional newsletters created for the approximately 80 men who have received the entire 88 newsletters in the Parables Bookshelf series.
I am happy to announce that I have now added the book Dragon Flood to the newsletters. This was a large book. It required 10 newsletters to contain all 20 of the chapters.
Newsletter - Interior Pages
I anticipate having approximately 150 newsletters total when I finish adding to the series. This will provide men in prison with approximately 3 years’ worth of material as I typically send each man one newsletter per week with each newsletter containing between 18-26 pages.
There is a significant amount of labor involved in creating additional newsletters. Much more is involved than copying and pasting chapters from my books into the newsletter template. Due to certain incompatibilities between my word processor (WordPerfect X6) and my desktop publishing software (Microsoft Publisher), the images will not copy and paste. Consequently, I have to load each image individually, size them, and format the text on the pages to insure that the layout is done professionally. I also have to create new material for each newsletter as the front and back pages are composed of an array of topical features, including a Scripture memory verse, famous quotations, a Parables Precept (a short, educational item of interest), and an introductory devotion on every front page.
Parables Bookshelf - Front and Back Page
I am eager to begin sending out the recently added newsletters to men in prison. Being able to send these newsletters freely to men in prison is one of the most rewarding things the Lord has directed me to do. The intense yearning for spiritual food, and deep appreciation expressed by these men for that which is sent to them, serve to reinforce the great need there is to provide spiritual light to men in prison. I am reminded of the words of Yahshua.
“‘I was in prison, and you came to Me...’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You... in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”
Spreading light to these men in prison has been made possible as Christians from all across the world have sent financial gifts which have enabled me to purchase a color laser printer, pay for toner, paper, and postage. Although I have a fairly capable color laser printer, the volume of material I print requires that I perform regular maintenance on the printer, and to periodically replace the printer. I am on my second color laser printer in the last three years, and it is about time to replace it again. The image drum is worn out, and the excess toner collection tray is soon to need replacing. It is about the same cost to purchase a whole new printer as it is to replace these components, and the print quality is markedly improved when a new printer is acquired.
With the addition of the newsletters I am creating at this time, I will be adding approximately 80 men to the weekly mailing list, for a total of between 110-120 men every week. The postage for each newsletter is 70 cents at current rates, resulting in a monthly postage cost of around $325.00. Toner, paper, and printer upkeep average out to approximately another $300.00 per month. The frequency with which I am able to send out newsletters is dependent upon the funds I have available. I am blessed to report that during the past two years I have not had to delay printing or mailing newsletters due to a lack of funds. As I look to increasing the number of newsletters mailed weekly in 2015, the volume will triple, and so will the expenses of printing and mailing the newsletters.
It has been a blessing to witness Yahweh’s provision being manifested week after week. The most common channel through which Yahweh has manifested His support has been through the free will gifts of brothers and sisters in Christ. I have even had one man in prison, and one elderly sister in Christ, who have repeatedly sent postage stamps which have been a great help in getting the newsletters mailed.
As I anticipate tripling the number of newsletters I will be mailing out, I am considering whether it would be best to have the newsletters printed at a local print shop. This would save wear and tear on my printer, and free me from having to purchase and stock consumables such as paper and toner. There are certain restrictions of carrying out this work from the interior of a bus/motorhome, space being one consideration. Time is also an issue. Doing the printing myself is labor intensive. Once the newsletters are printed, they have to be stapled, folded by hand, sealed with a “Bible Study” label, and postage affixed. I estimate the printing time alone, using my current Brother duplexing, color, laser printer will be approximately 4-5 hours for 120 newsletters. Bear in mind that I do not have any ministry staff. I am a “minister,” not a “ministry.”
I have at times stressed this fact with men in prison who have written to me. Much of the “Christian” material available to prisoners is produced by large church organizations or ministries. Consequently, I have men write to me at times, addressing their letters to “All the saints at Heart4God/Parables,” or something similar. It is not my intent to mislead anyone about the fact that Heart4God/Parables is entirely the work of one person. I use the name Heart4God/Parables on the newsletters since these are the names of my two websites and using a designation such as this has seemed to have opened the door for my material to gain entry into prisons more readily.
As an example of this, one man in prison asked me if I could send him some Bible study reference books such as a Bible dictionary and concordance. I mailed them to the man using my name and address on the outside of the box. Someone overseeing mail at the prison sent the box back to me without it ever being opened, refusing to deliver it. I then re-labeled the box with an official looking Heart4God/Parables mailing label, and an official cover letter inside the box with the information repeated, identifying the material as Bible study resources, and the material was promptly delivered.
On another note, one rite of passage that I am glad to meet with each new year, relates to my picture folder on my computer. I use a large number of images in my books, shorter writings, and various teaching material. After a while it becomes cumbersome to look through the folder trying to locate the specific image I am seeking. So, at the beginning of each new year I create a new picture folder using the year as the identifier. I have 1,149 images in my 2013 year folder, and 1,096 in my 2014 year folder. On Wednesday I can start again with a clean folder, and for a while at least, I will be able to find the images I have saved much easier.
In closing, I want to express my sincere thanks to all those who have supported me, and the work the Father has called me to, for this past year. I can truly say that I have lacked for nothing, and neither has the ministry been delayed due to any absence of concern and sharing by the body of Christ. I am deeply appreciative every time I hear from someone and they tell me they, or their family, regularly pray for me and the work I do. This is a debt of love that I will be glad to repay for many long ages to come. Those who contribute financially are also manifesting a spirit of compassion, concern for my life and the work the Lord has called me to, and are showing forth the generosity that is a characteristic of those whose lives have been transformed by the Spirit of Christ. I have been deeply blessed to be able to attend full-time to the labors of ministry to the body of Yahshua this past year, and look forward with anticipation to what the new year holds.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063