Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ahava Love Letter - "Heritage USA & A Prophetic Drive"

Ahava Love Letter
“Heritage USA & A Prophetic Drive”
“Then I arose in the night...and went out by night…” (Nehemiah 2:12-13)
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)

Dear family of friends,
On Oct. 21, 2003, I felt the Lord had me leave my home (a weekday night) in southern Pineville, NC, and head into town.  He has had me go on these trips before, where I have the sense to get in my vehicle and “go”, and then trust the Holy Spirit to guide me.  Sometimes it is early morning. Sometimes late at night.  Normally I go to bed at 9 pm, so for me to be up at 11:00 p.m. was not the norm.

After I had headed up Lancaster Hwy. (old Hwy. 521), I made the turn onto Hwy. 51, and headed west.  By this time I had the sense that I was being directed to go to the former Heritage USA (PTL) property, which I had done so many times before. It is literally three miles from our house, as the crow flies. (Or the eagle, if you like real good prophetic symbols!)

As I approached the entrance onto the former land, now known as Regent Park, I wasn’t paying as close attention as I should have, and actually passed the main entrance.  When I became aware of missing it, I continued onto the All Nations Church property, which was about two miles or so further east.  I drove to its entrance. As I sat in my truck, praying in tongues, I felt the Lord say the building they were wanting to construct over the past three years (since 2001) hadn’t progressed because they were trying to put it in the wrong location on that former Heritage USA Fort Hope land.  I made a call to the ANC office and left a message on the current administrator’s phone, sharing my belief.  (He later confirmed that a month earlier the decision had been made by them that the building was to go in the area I had specified in my call.)

I then returned to the other Heritage USA entrance, on Hwy. 160, arriving at 11:58 p.m.  After I crossed the railroad tracks onto the main part of the former Christian retreat center, I sensed that I was to drive around the perimeter road. I knew that was permissible. Again interceding in my prayer language, I knew I was imploring the Lord for the land to be put back in the hands of His believers.  I had expected to make only one trip around, even as Nehemiah had done when he approached ancient Jerusalem, and saw the walls in ruin.

At 12:00 a.m. I had driven to the back side of the property, near what was then called The Studio. I believe it still is. I knew this property well, even in the dark. Because I had invested $3000 in lifetime memberships in 1985 (two for my family and one for a family in Fort Lauderdale, who now actually live in the Charlotte area) I had often “scouted out my land.” (I even still have a big, 20 pound granite rock that I had “picked up” in 2004, that now sits on the floor in our new “worship room” in our house. (Formerly this room was called my “NASCAR man cave”. You can read further on that in two previous Ahava Love Letters, entitled “Move In To Move Out” (Parts I and II.)

Also while on staff at All Nations Church/Mahesh Chavda Ministries, as the administrator, we held several conferences on this property. In fact, little did we know at the time, we held the very last conference on the former PTL grounds before it completely shut down – that being in November, 1997, in “The Barn”.  The entire place finally closed down at the end of that month.  The property had been in disuse since, apart from the Kingsway (Narroway) Christian outdoor plays in the amphitheatre and their dinner theatre in The Studio.

While I sat in my ’99 Chevy S-10 “pick-em-up” truck, praying and interceding, I was instructed by the Lord to proclaim “Return seven times what was stolen!” Maybe even as Nehemiah himself may have spoken as he sat on his horse, looking at the walls under the moonlit sky, seeking the Lord’s command and purpose for Jerusalem.  The enemies of the Lord had destroyed that city prior to his days. Now these grounds had also been vacant and falling further into destruction, for over six years now (when I originally wrote this in 2003.). Fallen apart, as if left for dead. Even as Rick Joyner had prophesized in that small blue book he wrote,

At 12:05 a.m. I completed the first circular lap of the road that I could drive on.  I had weaved past The Barn, with its roof caved in and the interior having been flooded many time by indoor and outdoor waters; past the Upper Room, also left as it was on its last day, back in 1997. Then it was used for crying out to the Lord for His revival and intervention, but left alone in utter quietness over these many desolate years. I drove past the stark and empty amphitheatre and through the former campground. (Sidebar: My dad, Louis Martin, in 1998-1999, helped re-wire this outdoor, half-moon facility of the former home of the Passion Play. My son Ben has now set up a great memorabilia display off Main Street in the Grand Hotel of Heritage International Ministries. Go check it out! Jim Bakker did, and loves it!)

I then made a left turn at the stop sign posted at the edge of the campgrounds, and drove past the only burnt evergreen tree stump, located just under the walkway overpass, on the right side of the road. 

Back in 1997, I had conducted a Martin family reunion here on these grounds near Charlotte, over the 4th of July weekend. An errant bottle rocket, lit and fired by this writer, didn’t quite perform the projection that I had anticipated and hoped for, landing the fire piece instead in the top of the evergreen tree. It quickly made a Roman candle out of that once living creation! (I have my entire Martin family as witnesses too!)  With ineffective efforts on our part to put it out, with very little time to do otherwise, it didn’t keep the tree from burning rapidly to within one foot of the ground. Now only the charred stump remains, as a testimony to my unskilled method of shooting off bottle fire rockets. (Sidebar: And as of the last time I checked, it still stands as another memorial, to this very day!)

At that time, knowing that control of this land was heading into a direction that many desired it wouldn’t go, including myself, I spoke under my breath, after all of this extra 4th of July added excitement had leveled off. “Well, if we (believers) can’t have this land, no one will!”

I then turned my six cylinder around and drove back to the original intersection of the starting point (now known as Regent Blvd. and Starlight), where I stopped momentarily.

Again I proclaimed, “Restore the land to Your people!” seven times.  I then called the Derek Prince Ministries office at 12:08 a.m. on my cell phone and left a message on my desk phone, just to have confirmation that I was actually doing this.  (My personal assistant would check my messages the next day.)

Then the Lord gave me further instructions. “Drive around the perimeter six more times, for a total of seven times.” And so I heard and obeyed.

At 12:12 a.m. I completed the 2nd encircling of the land, and spoke out to “Restore the widow’s mite!”

As I drove the 3rd time, I continually prayed in tongues, as I had throughout the first two laps. I completed this round at 12:17 a.m., noting that each trip was 2.2 miles in length on my odometer. I also noted, as I wrote on the purple 3” x 6” paper sheets I had available to scribble on, that the Lord spoke again to “Speed up” when I took the next lap.  He said He was “Speeding up His timetable.”

The narrow roadway reminded me of a NASCAR road course, and it was no easy task to drive the dark, broken blacktop at 35 - 40 mph.  (No speed limit signs were posted! I felt like I could have taken on #24 Jeff Gordon at that time!)  J

At 12:23 a.m. I finished the 4th round.
At 12:24 a.m. I started the 5th lap, and completed it at 12:28 a.m.
At 12:29 a.m. I started the 6th lap, and finished it at 12:33 a.m.  Each time I grew bolder in my driving. (Yes, I would have beaten Jeff Gordon in this race! But kids, don’t always do what your father does!)

At 12:34 a.m. I started the 7th and final lap, completing the course at 12:38 a.m.  I had driven my 4 x 4 at a speed of up to 50 mph on the “straightaway”, which was rather short on the back stretch, which crossed the parking lot, just before passing The Studio on the right.

The total mileage traveled for the seven laps was 15.4 miles on my odometer.

At 12:40 a.m. I again called my office and left a message for my personal assistant, recording what I had just done. (Remember that, M.M.?)

Upon completion of this divinely assigned task, on my way out of this 2000 acre property, I headed towards the other entrance. That would take me by the former World Outreach Center, or commonly known as “The Pyramid”, back in the day.  All Nations Church/Mahesh Chavda Ministries had seriously considered leasing this building in 1998, for a church, conference and office facility. I had spoken of this possible commitment to the five Malaysian owners’ administrator of Regent. But to no avail.

(Sidebar: And for the record, I saw Jim Bakker’s famous, so-called “golden bathroom faucets”, on the very top floor of the building. From my observation, they were simply better hardware, which could have been found in Lowes, or anywhere else. Why the big issue made at that time in 1987? Just more lies printed and spoken in the media, as usual.)

At 12:42 a.m. I pulled up in front of the pyramid. I then felt led to run my Chevy truck around the flag pole that was located in front of what was then a Laura Ashley administration office, doing this encirclement seven times. (Remember, I originally wrote this act back in 2003. Being it is now Dec. 2010 that I am sharing this publicly, that makes it just over seven years ago.)  I finished at 12:43 a.m., quite dizzy, having driven my good ‘ole girl as fast as I could for those very tight laps.

I arrived back home at1:04 a.m., knowing that 5:00 a.m. came early. The alarm clocks of Laurie and I had, as usual, been set for that scheduled normal “wake-up” time.

And now back to the future, here in 2010, as history has again shown, the Lord had preserved this land for His purposes. What the enemy had indeed stolen was returned to His people! And I give special heartfelt thanks to Rick Joyner, the past and current Morningstar Fellowship staff, and to so many others who have given of themselves, with long persevering efforts in the natural and spiritual realms, to bring restoration “to these walls.”  (Sidebar: Even just last week the Upper Room was sold, and plans move forward for its restoration too, for prayer and worship times for many.)

May the same restoration be brought forth in Jerusalem, and in the rightful owners of that entire Promised Land of Israel - the Jewish people.

Ahava, my family of friends,
P.S. On January 7, 2011 (my Mom’s 76th birthday!), Laurie and I will lead the new Beit Tikvah (House of Hope in Hebrew) Friday night meetings at Antioch International Church (pastors Peter Wyns and Jesse Enns), located within a stone’s throw of the former King’s Castle. That facility is another former Heritage USA building that will be restored. Still standing after 25 years, restoration will come. And so it will to The Tower!!! I know two people in Black Mountain who are moving in!)
This special anointed land, with the new Heritage International Ministries and several others on it, is further fulfillment of many prophetic words spoken over these past 24 years. Having been undergirded by the prayers of countless aged saints (and some not so fine wined), His promises continue to be fulfilled. The Lord is faithful!
©2010 Steve  Martin      Love For His People, Inc.  P.O. Box 470035   Charlotte, NC 28247-0035
 Facebook pages: Steve Martin  and  Love For His People    Twitter: martinlighthous  and  LovingHisPeople   Blogger:
Love For His People, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit USA organization. Fed. ID#27-1633858.  Tax deductible contributions receive an e-receipt for each donation sent to the office address above, or on-line website donations. (You too can help support your favorite ahava letterman!)   Ahava Love Letter  #5  120110

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ahava Love Letter - "Commit Your Way To Him"

Ahava Love Letter
“Commit Your Way To Him”
“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it.” Psalm 37:5 (NAS)

“You are all set,” Mr. Phil Bailey, my boss, told me. “Just talk to the manager when you get there.”
I had been employed at Eagle Groceries store in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for a few years at that point, in 1976. They had wanted to make me the Night Stock Crew Chief the year after I graduated from high school. That was in 1973. But I wanted to be a missionary in Africa. Get married. Have ten kids. So I moved on when I felt the Lord saying “Go.”
This nationwide grocery chain (Lucky Stores) was just one mile west from that other grocery store, near the University of N. Iowa, where I did my one year of college. That other one (HyVee – the newest competition) was where Kurt Warner was bagging groceries and stocking shelves too around that time. Back in the 70’s. (You might recall, he was the one who made it big in the NFL later. If only I hadn’t quit my football career for a new job, my senior year. Right before the “big rival game” between my Catholic high school Waterloo Columbus and Cedar Falls High School, where I actually lived. Dream on!)
By the way, Kurt had been led to the Lord by his wife, Brenda, who had been led to the Lord by my youngest sister, Lynn. (She is one of my five sisters. The youngest of the girls. I only have two brothers though.) The Warners and Lynn, with new husband Greg, were neighbors at the time, near CFHS.
I like to “name drop” once in awhile. I have known Lynn Martin Cowell for over 35 years now. At least since she was born. (I won’t give out her real age. Women tend to not like that bit of info disclosed for some reason.) She is a Proverbs 31 Woman speaker and author, in case you are interested further.
And sorry for the sidebar. I am sure those of you too over 50 get “side barred” sometimes. Don’t worry though. That too will pass when we get our new memories. At the final graduation time.
Back to my original story. When I arrived in LaSalle/Peru, Illinois, I went directly to the Eagle Grocery. There I found out they didn’t know who I was. “Steve Martin? From where?” was all they said. Seems like Mr. Phil Bailey hadn’t made the call to transfer me.
Panic came on me immediately. Here, at the wise-old age of 22, I had moved the three hours from my hometown. Had left all behind me (except what could fit in my pretty blue metallic, two door 1967 Mercury), and “went”, as I felt the Lord had told me. All in obedience of course (or maybe because my marriage engagement to Kathy had just broken off…)
So here in the Illini state, chief rivals of my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes, I looked up and exclaimed, “Lord, what have You done to me?”
At least I was still single, didn’t have five others to care for at the time, and had my two closet sisters in town (Sue and Mary, with their husbands, Dave and Bob.) Jesus didn’t have a place to lay His head most of the time, but the single guys room up in the Victory Church loft had a green couch to sleep on, so there I landed. I thus had to seek employment elsewhere. I needed a job.
“Why this unexpected development, Lord?” I lamented almost daily, during my morning prayer time. And through the day. For a good solid week for sure.
I had never been unemployed in my life. Ever since I started my first job (not counting the “kitchen duties” rotation with my other siblings, from age 10), my Waterloo Courier paper route in 6th grade, work was just the norm.
Dad worked two jobs. Fifteen 15 hours everyday (except Sundays, when we went to 6:30 am Mass.) And I never saw Mom sleep, raising us eight kids almost by herself it seemed when I was still home. I need a job Lord. I can’t depend on others for my needs.
Why this unexpected, unplanned change right now? Did You leave something out in that prophetic word You had given me, that I knew how it was to all work out when I trusted You?”
My heart had already been broken (smashed down even, with all the red blood drained out it seemed) before the move here. Kathy didn’t want to join me on the African mission field. She wanted to be an English teacher instead in her Iowan home town. I wonder if she ever did.
“Commit your way to the Lord” thus became my life-long verse during this time. “Trust also in Him” was what I had to hang onto to. “And He will do it.” I had to believe that. “Especially now,” as I buried that promise deep in my still warm heart.
Even though I wasn’t expecting this change, nor had it planned out in my “organizational, administrative” brain, I had to believe that the Lord knew what He was doing. He knows all things. And He always has my best interests at hand, ready to reveal them to me, one step at a time. 
For the record, I did get a job soon enough. It was at a very small restaurant called “The English Muffin”, if you really want to know. But I needed to take the open door the Lord gave me, until the next one opened up. All for His reasons, in His full wisdom and knowledge.)
It was a new season for me. It is a new season now. I hope you are in one yourself, or are expecting one soon. He is the Keeper of His promises, and He will give you the desires He put in your heart. He certainly is doing that in mine. That is why I love Him so, in addition to eternal life that He freely gave me.
May His Ahava be with you today,
Steve Martin
P.S. As I said in one of my Israel e-journal entries recently, on our first Ahava Adventures trip to The Promised Land of His Chosen Ones, Laurie Unzicker Martin was the Lord’s choice for me all along. Since the beginning of eternity, in fact. His plans are SO MUCH better that what we can come up with! I love my good wife very much. And I wouldn’t now have Josh, Ben, Hannah and Christen without her (plus four grandkids!!!)

Ahava Love Letters  (#2 )  ©2010 Steve Martin - Love For His People, Inc.

Ahava Love Letter - "Now Is The Time"

                                  Ahava Love Letters
“Now Is The Time”
Nov. 4, 2010
When the Lord put His “Now is the time” word into my heart on Nov. 23, 2009 (my 55th birthday), I knew that I knew. Yes, this is it. I had been waiting for over 24 years, wanting to “have my own vineyard” – to step out and do exactly what I felt I was called to do. Now the release was at hand.

From the age of 10, my heart’s desire was to be a missionary. Primarily in Africa.  I was moved by the suffering, despair, and lack of hope for the black people. By the time I reached the 8th grade at St. Patrick’s Catholic elementary school, Father Percel tried to steer me into being a dioscean (local) priest, but I insisted that I was going to be a “missionary” priest. For since my Mom’s instilled longing in me was to do that (be a missionary - obviously not a celibate priest!), I wanted to be one who would go. Not one else wanted to go to Africa!

I had received that heart to be what it would take to love His people, wherever they would be. Books written on the lives of saints and martyrs helped fuel the fire that had begun to burn within. It would just be a matter of time I thought. Once I was ready.
In further discussions with my priest, he made me understand that there was no way I could get married though, if I became as he was. No special “absolution”, even from Pope John XXIII himself, would permit that for me. I could only become a deacon in the Catholic Church.
Well, being a boy of 12, that ended any further discussion of priesthood. I wasn’t about to be celibate for the rest of my life. (My Dad had eight kids, with Mom’s help of course. Years later, after my four had come out, I said to him before his passing, “I am only half the man you are Dad!”) And besides, “populating the earth” is among the top of the list of commandments one should obey.
As life goes, my journey through high school and my only one year of college had it’s ups and downs. I was latched onto by a Christian campus group at the University of N. Iowa in Cedar Falls, which helped end my pre-medical studies real quick. But as we must trust in His leading, my pursuit of serving the Lord in “fulltime” continued moving forward.
So after leaving Cedar Falls, after a marriage engagement had ended abruptly, I  moved to LaSalle/Peru, Illinois to join a “common-purse Christian community” and hopefully meet another helpmate candidate. My desire to serve Him had not diminished. In fact, He even gave me my helpmate (Miss Laura Unzicker, daughter of Otto and Lorraine) at the age of 23, to walk along side me in this call. She was fresh out of high school, but I did wait until she was 18 before we got married. (33 years ago now!) And then of course we started to fill our quiver.
The next two decades, as we walked together on this life’s journey, we were led out of her hometown, spent seven years (to the day) in East Lansing, MI, another seven years in Fort Lauderdale, and now a full 16 here in Charlotte, NC. The last 23 years I was either the Administrator, Director of Operations and Finances, or simply Director for three international ministries. I tried to be as faithful as I could, to serving at each, and as best as I could, yet longing for yet another further release for His purposes.
And so when I heard His voice declare to me on Nov. 23, 2009, that 55th birthday of my being, (as I sat in my favorite brown prayer chair at home at 5:00 a.m.), “Now is the time”, the tears rolled down my face, and messed up my shirt. And I was ready to step out once again.
Love For His People has now begun. As a full 501( c)3 not-for-profit believing ministry, our heart’s desire is to primarily bless the people of Israel, and other nations as He directs and sends us. With this being our first year, slowly getting started officially as of July 1, 2010, the boat is in the water, and our prayer to heaven is “Lord, here we are. Our trust is in You to float this boat. Then bring some steam. Move onto coal. Then oil. Maybe reach the nuclear powered stage down the river.” We are building a solid foundation, for it is in His purposes that we go and do.
After sending out eleven daily e-journal entries from our just completed, first Ahava Adventures trip to Israel, I asked the Lord this morning at 3:30 am (jet-lag), “Now what?”
He spoke again, saying to use one of the gifts I had already been given. “Write love letters.”
Thus today was born “Ahava Love Letters”.  I hope you like him!
I really love the word “ahava” – which is the Hebrew word for “love”! How cool is that. And now you have read a taste of what they will be like, being this is the first one, the “pilot”. I believe this will be a weekly e-mail to those who ask to be on the list. No charge.
And knowing a bit more in my older years, I will try to keep it under two pages (being FOX News has breaking news all the time, and I wouldn’t want to keep you from that.)
I will share things from my life’s journies thus far. I will take you from the “rocky roads” in Cedar Falls during my youth days, to the rocky roads in Jerusalem. I will include adventurous times from being in Israel on ten occasions thus far; China with Derek Prince Ministries in 2002 to smuggle in Bibles and his teaching in their language; or from being in India this past February for Vision for Israel, to teach 70 pastors on having a love for The Promised Land
We all have stories to tell, and I hope you will enjoy mine.
So let me know if you want to be on the Ahava Love Letters list. But know this, I can’t sit here long in my nice brown chair waiting for your decision. I still have to cut the grass today, being I was gone ten days and it still grows in November in Charlotte.
So responded yet today, or when you get this forwarded from someone else.
 There is a work to be done, to bless, by having love for His people. I would love to share it with you.
Ahava y’all,
Steve Martin

P.S. Thus far we have sent 100% of designated funds received to the current “adoptions” we have – two works in Jerusalem, Israel (as I shared about in the recent e-journals from there); one in Hyderabad, India; and the other one to the orphanage we help support in Ghana, Africa. (Someday we will even make it to Africa to meet Ephraim, a Messianic Jew, and the eight kids in person!)
From just the total $500 a month we currently receive from our faithful seven supporters for Love for His People, those gifts have already encouraged each of these works “on the front lines.” (They each get $100 a month thus far.)
With no job (even after over 200 resumes have been sent out), since I left my last one on June 30, 2010, things can get a bit “anxious” too on the home front. A resignation from my previous job position doesn’t allow for unemployment benefits. (But I wouldn’t want to look to the USA government for provision anyway, as helpful as it is for many.)
Trust is good. Provision is great. My arms are open to receive from Him as He moves on hearts in that direction.  All gifts to Love For His People (I received a dollar once from a real dear friend) will receive a charitable tax receipt too.  I’d love to send you one!

Love For His People, Inc.  P.O. Box 470035   Charlotte, NC 28247
  704-806-6934     Facebook pages: Steve Martin and Love For His People

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ahava Love Letter - "Move Out To Move In" - Part II

Ahava Love Letter
“Move Out To Move In – Part II”
“…for where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Dear family of friends,
Have you been wondering what the Lord did next, after He spoke His simple word to me this year, saying to “move out to move in?” Well, in case you did, I am keeping my promise to share that part too, for it is the best part! As Paul Harvey used to say on his national USA radio program (OK, so that now dates me. You too if you remember him!) “Here is the “rest of the story…””
Jesus used stories to share truths. I first heard these parables growing up in Cedar Falls, Iowa back in the ‘60s. Sister Mary Matthew in 3rd grade at St. Patrick’s Catholic grade school would sing and share about them. (The “original” singing nun!) So when the Lord spoke to me about writing these Ahava Love Letters, just a few weeks ago, after my 10th  twelve hour return flight from Israel, I responded, “I will.”
Hearing His voice isn’t hard. It’s just that first we have to want to have Him give us His purpose and direction for our life, through His Word and Holy Spirit speaking to us. Second, we must have that desire to actually do something about it when He does speak to us. Surprises come, and adventures follow, when both occur.
Upon the take down, box up, and removal of my “Martin NASCAR Memorabilia Museum” as I called it, (which actually didn’t all fit into those 32, 17 gallon tubs - the big stuff had to be trucked out separately in my ‘99 Chevy S-10), His joy was increasingly rising in my heart. I literally got tears in my eyes when the posters of #24 came off the sidewalls (still working on the covered square inches of the drywalled ceiling) and I saw something that amazed me.
Under this “earthly treasure” were posters that I had begun putting up back in 1995, shortly after we had moved into the Lord’s provision here in the Charlotte/Pineville, NC area. Rather than taking the time to pull out the push pins used to secure these “garage decorative and insulating materials”, i.e. Christian concert posters, Billy Graham crusade poster at the Carolina Panthers stadium in 1996, etc., I simply put NASCAR prints over them. (Must be a man thing, right ladies? Just cover it up.)
Also buried under this heap of “rubbish” (I can call it that now) were posters of Israel, pictures of youthful days, and other items that I am not really wanting to admit I had covered up. (It wasn’t “sin stuff”, in case your mind went that way.)
And when I saw what I had done many, many years ago, not only did I share tears of joy on my cheeks for this “rediscovery of the covered walls”, but now I was experiencing drops of His heart even more deeper into mine, as I realized what I had done. I am so thankful for His grace and mercy, to have been given the come back.
Within another two days after the “out with the old and in with the “it was there all the time”” transformation, our former two car garage, then turned “man cave”, is now a really neat (my word for “cool”), room that will be used for prayer, worship with guitar and tambourine, singing beautiful music with my wife, and maybe even a home group gathering. Only the Lord knows what all He has planned for it, but that He does know brings sweet security.
The eight bookcases that just days ago held many $70 a pop diecast cars, now display the heritage the Lord has so blessed our family tribe with. Unboxed from at least three of our closets (can you hear Laurie singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” now, and not just because Christmas is next month!) were years of framed photos.  Family memories of my Dad and Mom (Louie and Lila); Laurie’s parent’s portraits (Otto and Lorraine); “Kodak moment” shots of  my seven siblings and I; individual shots (ones I mostly took of course) of our kids, grandkids, and even little Zoe, our four year old mini-Dachshund. All these are the ones that are really precious to me.
Behind the couch in my “man cave” I had twelve boxes of stuff still unpacked when I had left Derek Prince Ministries in 2005. When I opened each one up (I know my friends at DPM, both here in Charlotte and from the other offices around the world can testify), my collection of more neat things from our China trip, Israel trips with Christian Friends of Israel, and photos of staff I labored with, were unwrapped. These now fill several of the bookcase shelves.
Logo imprinted items (cups, pens, small signs) from my 14 years with Mahesh Chavda Ministries and All Nations Church (including mug shots of Art Maki, still a real friend over these past 24 years) are displayed in two sections.
Framed photos of worship team members that Laurie and I were joined with at ANC - Gilbert & Stephanie Crespo, Ron Bowen, Little Big Eagle, Bob Smith, Bob Sherrill, Bobby Hussey, Patti McPherson, Ruth Davis, Charlene Hoover, John Kirwin – will now “show and tell” our children and grandchildren of their spiritual heritage in the Lord. Other photos share with them  our eight hours of Friday nights’ “Watch of the Lord” worship, from 10 pm to 6 am, during the years 1995-2001 when we were involved. Those hours spent together tend to unite hearts together for eternity!
And we won’t forget the great times we had with conference worship leaders John G. Elliot, Tom Davis and Robert Stearns at MCM gatherings! Taking photos from the stage or platform, in between my tambourine beats, was real special.
Lest anyone forget, we now have on display one 8” x 10” photo of the “famous” Steve Martin & The Raiders nightclub band (hey, it lasted six months back in 2001! And for only three easy payments of $19.95, you too can receive one of our memorable, black and gray, fully insulated SM&R coffee mugs. But be quick! I only have 240 left! Ask for a discount.)
And finally, memories of my Vision for Israel days, having just ended on June 30, 2010, also have a shelf of snapshots and such, along with the Greetings from Jerusalem mugs, the Joseph Storehouse white hat Batya had done for the annual Succot Celebration registrants taking part in the Jerusalem March in 2009, and Barry and Batya’s family photo. (I know Ariel, now a top-notch IDF officer!)
Each of these relationships have a natural and spiritual history story that I can share with the grandkids sitting on my lap. (And now there is even room for them to play again in this precious “living room” space!)
After all is said and done, it is our relationships, those which He had and continues to bring into our lives – the generations of family; life-long USA friends; new ones in Israel, England, India, The Netherlands, and also Ephraim and the orphans he cares for in Accra, Ghana – that are most important. These are the precious ones (I love the word “precious” - for all you Lord of the Rings fans too) that will last for eternity, with Yeshua (Jesus) in heaven. These are the ones now on display in our “new” family gathering room. (And as for Jeff Gordon, #24, “I still love you man!” Go for 5!)
Enjoy those whom the Lord has given you to share life with. Give thanks, especially on this upcoming “Thank The Lord Day”. Forgive often, practice patience and understanding daily, and put the Lord Jesus Christ, the soon to be returning Messiah and King of Israel and the nations, forefront and above all. He has your best in store, in His heart, for you.                                                                
Ahava, my family of friends,
P.S. It is a joy to hear and read how these Ahava Love Letters are bringing encouragement to others too. Sharing the love!  One e-mail back to me last week read, “Thank you for the "Ahava" letter received this morning.  Not only is it wonderful reading, I've been greatly encouraged in my own situation at this time.  All of it sounds so familiar as I face the present changes in life.” (Jerusalem reader) You are free to forward and share these Ahava Love Letters. I look forward to hearing from new friends who have also received these now.
©2010 Steve  Martin      Love For His People, Inc. P.O. Box 470035 Charlotte, NC 28247-0035    704-806-6934  Facebook pages: Steve Martin  and  Love For His People    Twitter: martinlighthous  and  LovingHisPeople
Love For His People, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit USA organization. Fed. ID#27-1633858.  Tax deductible contributions receive an e-receipt for each donation sent to the office address above.                                                                                                                                                    Ahava Love Letter  #4

Ahava Love Letter - "Move Out To Move In"

Ahava Love Letter
“Move Out to Move In”
“…if anyone hears My voice and opens the door…” Rev. 3:20 (NAS)

Sometime early this spring of 2010, Laurie and I were sitting in the 9 a.m. Sunday service at the Heritage International Ministries, location of Morningstar Fellowship (Rick Joyner and team), in Fort Mill, SC. where we fellowship. (One gets good seats in the early service!) There was nothing extra special about the day so far. At least I wasn’t really expecting anything. Let’s just finish the service and get home in time for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Maybe Jeff Gordon (#24) will win his fifth championship this year.
After a long “season of the soul” winter, plus “in the natural” (we had just gone through an unusual cold North Carolina four months), we were sitting there. Trying to be faithful in our walk with the Lord. But to be real honest, I wasn’t anticipating a fresh wind in my life, though I really longed for one. Even the prophetic words I had received over the last year weren’t stirring me up. Nor the resignation notice I had given on Thanksgiving Day, 2009, which would then take us down a new road. Somewhere yet to be revealed.
After twenty minutes of worship and a few announcements, the speaker came and started sharing. My mind doesn’t remember all the details (who, what), but I can say that I wasn’t paying as good attention as I should have. For the most part, I was probably trying not to close my eyes (in private prayer of course.) The speaker might have thought I was dozing off, and take it as a commentary on his message.
In the course of about fifteen minutes, with his words going out over the open sanctuary air, came this simple sentence out of his mouth, “This year you might have to make room in your life by taking out the old, to let in the new.” He continued on without a break.
But that word I just heard, with my natural ears, was one of those “Was he (He) talking to me? No. It must have been for the guy sitting next to me. I don’t have anything that needs moving.” (Don’t ask my wife to comment on that last part. She would tell you the truth!) But I had caught that. A seed had been planted.
Of course the usual Sunday continued on once we got out – head back home, slap together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, turn on the race, “really” doze off, watch the news, ride along with “Amazing Race” episode with Laurie (I like the nations travel), head to bed by 9 pm. The usual usual, with the work week starting again in the morning. Normal routine in our lives then, as the months drifted on by.
“Move it out so I can move it in.” I basically heard the same words again. About four weeks later.
You know how you “hear a word”, but then think it was just a thought that came out of nowhere. Bonnie Chavda taught me that those words are often the Holy Spirit, the “still small voice” that just “pops” into your head, and you wonder, “Where did that come from?” Well, “that” may just be from Him, the third living person of the Holy Trinity.
Surely the Lord wasn’t talking about my enormous NASCAR memorabilia collection I had in my converted  double car garage – now a “man cave”. That had cost me thus far $5,504.71 (according to my two itemized inventory reports - for just the die cast replica cars and the autographed items.) That in just the last three years. Let alone all the hours I spent covering every inch of the sidewalls, ceiling, and African skin look-alike carpeted floor.
The #24, and a bit of #48, #5 and #88 stuff were all over, surrounding this “inner chamber” world of “precious” items. (I have the pictures to prove it, for those who don’t believe. And with the photos of it, which I sent in to a contest on one of the two Jeff Gordon websites, I won two Sprint Cup All-Star race tickets in May, 2008 which I gave to a friend, who was also a racing fan. I was in Israel on tour with Christian Friends of Israel, as a board member, and I couldn’t go.)
More months went by. I know you also know how you “put off” doing what you just think the Lord might be asking you to do. Obedience is better than sacrifice, but when He starts talking about your NASCAR collection (or whatever you are personally holding onto to), then it doesn’t seem so great a word. We don’t seem to get quite as excited then, as we do when we hear the words we also receive, like “Bless you My child. I have great things in store for you.”
Finally, after still more weeks had gone by, and the words “Move out to move in” grew deeper in the now fertile soil of my heart, I obeyed last week. It was after our Ahava Adventures trip to Israel.
To give you some idea as to how finally obeying this word had been – I have never been addicted to anything (OK, NASCAR was my addiction) - I experienced the release of the heavy weight I actually carried without realizing it. And then the joy came, that in-spirit joy that comes after one walks out His word.
The zeal of the Lord’s Holy Spirit energized me. What had taken over five years to build up in that large room took me just two days to move out. And I am talking about 32 tubs of the 17 gallon size, four Sprint Cup tires, posters galore, etc. Whatever the marketers had offered,  I had bought.
And what do you suppose “moved in”? Maybe you’ll read about that in a future Ahava Love Letter (or come by and see for yourself! But please e-mail or text me first. I really am not a phone person.)
Ahava y’all,
Steve Martin
P.S. Underneath a lot of the posters and prints on the walls I found my original posters and prints I had put up many years earlier, but just covered over. Photos of Israel, plus posters of Christian concerts and events I had gone to before. It was the Lord peeling away what had become “precious” to reveal the true treasure again in my life. Him and His purposes. That had gotten covered up. I am SO THANKFUL!

©2010 Steve  Martin      P.O. Box470035  Charlotte, NC 28247-0035    704-806-6934             
Facebook pages: Steve Martin  and  Love For His People    Twitter: martinlighthous  and  LovingHisPeople
Love For His People, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit USA organization. Fed. ID#27-1633858  Tax deductible contributions receive an e-receipt for each donation sent to the office address above.                                                                                                                                                    Ahava Love Letter #3