Monday, November 21, 2016

Mary Did You Know?

A beautiful song that inspires our hearts to imagine what it must have been like for Mary, knowing she as carrying God's very Son. Can we even begin to imagine? The awe.

The birth of the Savior, our Jesus. Our Lord. Our King. Our Savior. Oh, the awe.

Peter Hollens rendition of "Mary Did You Know?" 


Thursday, November 03, 2016

Who Killed JonBenét?


Who Killed JonBenét? jolts us to Christmas 1996 in Boulder, Colorado. Christmas lights and snow set the backdrop, but instead of feeling the traditional warm and fuzzies you might expect from a holiday season story, this movie recounts the mysterious details of the true-life murder of a little girl, JonBenét.

JonBenét was the six-year-old daughter of John and Patsy Ramsey—wealthy, highly respected church-going citizens of Boulder, Colorado. She was also a petite pageant princess whose talent and precocious nature drew many admirers. Thus when JonBenét’s strangulated body was found the day after Christmas in the basement of the family’s home, the immediate thought was that someone obsessed with the little girl had broken in and killed the child. But that theory was quickly debunked.

Police then took an interest to JonBenét’s 9-year-old brother, Burke, particularly because he had often been left in the shadows of his sister’s pedestal and thus showed little emotion over her loss. But after interviews and further investigation, it became evident that the boy had nothing to do with the killing.

So who did kill this little princess?

Investigations were difficult as detectives found themselves dealing with a compromised crime scene (yes, the body had been moved—a slip-up that can be blamed on a lack of police presence on the crime scene). The came across a ransom note, but upon further scrutiny, the note proved to be fake. Suspicions then turned to the Ramseys.

The film is riveting and revives the JonBenét murder mystery. The story gives provides a window into the Ramsey’s lives and highlights the hindrances the police faced in trying to solve this heinous crime. But what really happened to JonBenét that dismal Christmas in Colorado remains a mystery to this day. No one knows for sure who killed JonBenét.

Who Killed JonBenét? premieres this coming Saturday, November 5 at 8pm ET/PT.

This article also appears n Assist News

Janey DeMeo M.A.

Copyright © November 2016


Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Book of Mysteries, Jonathan Cahn


New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Cahn brings us another remarkable book, The Book of Mysteries.

Similar to Cahn’s New York Times bestseller, The Harbinger, Cahn’s latest book also uses fictional narrative to bring forth biblical truths. (“The teacher” represents Jesus.) Yet this book is not a novel. With 365 short chapters, The Book of Mysteries is more of a daily devotional.

What sets Cahn’s writing apart is his insightful biblical perspective. As a Jewish rabbi turned pastor, Jonathan Cahn possesses profound grasp of the Bible’s original language and its nuances. Add that to his understanding of Jewish culture and you have an easy-read book that adds a new dimension to Biblical reading.

Cahn is considered by many to be more than just a pastor or intriguing author; he is known as a powerful and prophetic voice to this generation. His influence is huge. He has spoken to diverse people groups including the US Congress and the United Nations. He is also president of Hope of the World, a worldwide evangelistic outreach and he leads the Jerusalem Center-Beth Israel in Wayne, NJ.

But the best person to talk about Jonathan Cahn and his work is the rabbi himself. Please enjoy my interview with Jonathan Cahn below.

JD—Wonderful to connect with you, Jonathan. Your urgent appeals for America to wake up and return to God during these dark times—and your passion for God’s Word—are compelling. To what extent does The Book of Mysteries echo this critical call to repentance?

JC—The Harbinger is the opening of an ancient biblical mystery, so too The Mystery of the Shemitah. The reader of The Book of Mysteries will have hundreds of biblical mysteries opened up. Some of these mysteries deal with end-times as do the first books – such as The Apostasia, The House of Spirits, The Fourth Creature, The Chiasma, etc. Others are mysteries of heaven, mysteries of the ages, mysteries behind world history, mysteries of God’s Word.  It even opens up mysteries behind the reader’s life and destiny. But what binds them all together, on top of the uncovering of God’s mysteries, is that each is not only the revelation of mysteries, but the call to one’s heart and life, the call of repentance, change, and transformation. In the first two books, the call was more on a national level. In The Book of Mysteries, it’s on a personal and individual level. Since each mystery contains keys and truths to apply to one’s life, to change and transform one’s life, I believe it will be a life-changing journey for the reader.  Beyond that I pray that The Book of Mysteries strengthens their faith, deepens their devotion to God, and empowers them for breakthrough. And prophetically, I believe the days ahead will be very challenging for believers. So I’ve written The Book of Mysteries to strengthen God’s people.

 JD—I like that The Book of Mysteries is divided into 365 sections so it can be used as a daily reading for those who like that format. Overall, how does the book compare to The Harbinger and The Shemitah? In other words, what ways do the three books intertwine or differ?

JC – Yes.  The Book of Mysteries functions on several different levels. In one realm, of course, it is the revelation of the mysteries. On another realm, it is a novel and an odyssey. On the other hand, since it is a journey of 365 days, it also functions as a daily devotional, and yet because of its uniqueness, unlike other devotionals. So it can be read straight through, or every day, or at any rate as led by the reader.  This is also what was used in The Harbinger.  There a prophet uncovers the revelations to the man Nouriel. Here the mysteries are opened up by a man called the teacher, to the other, his disciple.

JD—As well as a powerful preacher, you are also a riveting storyteller. What made you choose fiction as an outlet for your message?

JC - In The Harbinger, I was led to open up prophetic truths through a narrative, a story, to make it easier to receive the depth of what was being unveiled.  In the same way, the revelations in The Book of Mysteries is opened through a narrative. A man journeys into the desert where he meets a man simply known as ‘the teacher.’ The teacher takes the man on a one year journey, through desert plains, mountains, caverns, tent villages, and mystery filled chambers. So the reader is, likewise, taken along the journey. Every day, the teacher opens up a new mystery, a new lesson, a new revelation.  So the reader is taken along the journey as if he was the student - experiencing them as directly from the teacher - ascending mountains, entering dark chambers, even attending a wedding of desert tent-dwellers, and each in place receiving a mystery to touch his or her life.  

JD—What is the most important thing you’d like the readers to take away from The Book of Mysteries?

 JC— That God is amazing – that there’s no end to His mysteries, His wonders, His awesomeness, and His love. And that we must never stop seeking Him. If we open up our lives to seek – we will find.  The journey is neverending.

JD— What do you see as America’s greatest need today? And how can the body of Christ help meet this need?

JC—Return to God.  Humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, turn from our sinful ways, be not silent, be not intimidated, be not compromised, but be bold, proclaim the Gospel, manifest His love, and shine as lights in the darkness.

JD—Compelling words from a master storyteller with a powerful message.

Published by FrontLine, an imprint of Charisma, The Book of Mysteries is sure to be another bestseller. Find your copy in major bookstores everywhere.

This article also appears in Assist News

Copyright © September 2016


Monday, July 18, 2016

Nice—no longer such a nice place to vacay

I was asked to write an article on the recent terrorist massacre in Nice from the perspective of someone who lived just a few hours from there for over two decades. My article was first published in Assist News, so feel free to read it directly there -- especially if you want to see more photos that I'll publish here. It is also published on CrossMaps. Otherwise for the basic content, read on.


As terror strikes France again killing 84—including ten children and two Americans—and wounding over two hundred people, many fears and questions arise. As onlookers enjoyed Bastille Day celebration fireworks on July 14th (similar to America’s Independence Day), a van full of explosives and ammunition charged into the crowds at the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France wreaking chaos.

This deadly massacre came just eight months after the deadly terror attack at the Bataclan in Paris (see my article here: http://www.assistnews.net/index.php/component/k2/item/1225-paris-city-of-sadness) and was preceded by the deadly January 2015 Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack. Earlier this year, Belgium was struck with terror, not to mention many other parts of the world, including closer to home in Orlando at the gay Pulse nightclub last month (and in San Bernadino, California in November 2015). The rapid escalation of these massacres is alarming.

But what is it about France that particularly allows such heinous acts to creep in?   Let’s look more closely at what happened in Nice and try to understand.

First take a look at the killer. Tunisian born Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was a career criminal known to police. He was also a radicalized Muslim. According to Col. Allen West’s recent article, Bouhlel was heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” before opening fire on officers. France’s prime minister Hollande says that Bouhlel was radicalized very quickly.  He was known as aggressive and a loner who became depressed when his wife left him. But none of this suggests why someone to open themselves up to radicalization so we need to look at it in its context. France.  

As a former missionary ministering in France for 22 years, I will share my experience. Many people we met were charming, but few knew God. And it was nonethless not uncommon to meet people who were also agressive, lonely or depressed. No doubt, an education system which propogates that God does not exist didn’t help; it offers no hope.

We lived in a village between Nimes and Montpellier (where we founded a church and the Nimes Theological Institute). Many of our neighbors were Muslims. Among them, several were violent, and threatened to beat up kids in our church. In our 22 years there, few Muslims received the Lord in spite of our reaching out to them. Only one girl in our Bible college, Naima, was a former Muslim. (She had escaped from Algeria where her life was in danger because she had received Christ via a radio broadcast.)

Our strategy to reach the Muslims was no different than the way we hoped to reach everyone else:: prayer, friendship (where possible), evangelism.

We often rose early to walk around the village and pray for souls. Many people from our church joined us. Then, every Saturday night, together with people from our church, we would evangelize in Nimes, Montpellier or even Marseilles—a port city about 1½ hours from where we lived, which is reportedly 40% Islamic. And, one of my favorite activities, on Saturday afternoons, we held a Bible club for kids living in the Zup (aka project areas). Many of those children came from Muslim families. We would ask the mothers (we rarely saw any fathers) if we could take the kids for a few hours to play games, enjoy a yummy snack and—wait for ii—teach the Bible. Perhaps the prospect of getting rid of their kids for a few hours was too much to resist; many let the kids come.

But here’s the cruncher. Contrary to French people who average one child per family, sometimes two, Muslims have many children. They are encouraged to proliferate and thereby take over nations. So we typlically had, for example, Achbed, Rachid, Mohamed, Karim and Moustafa—all from one family. This was between 1981 and 2004. Thus, all those children are adults today. To my knowledge few are going on with Jesus today, but all of them who attended regularly heard the Gospel. When things get rough, let us hope they will remember who the real God is.

But what about all the Muslims who never hear the Gospel? When we lived in France, there were reportedly only ½% evangelical Christians in the nation. No wonder we never came across another church or Christian evangelizing. Such absence of the Gospel message leaves a vacuum. And together with a sense of hopelessness, vacuums can open doors to dangerous ideology. 

It is worth noting that France, like the UK and Germany, has opened her arms wide to refugees and particularly those from Muslim countries for decades. Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the Front National MP for Vaucluse sees this as a link to terrorism. In a video posted on Facebook, she recognized that terrorism is the killers goal, but suggests that it is fostered by excessive immigration. "Those also responsible are those who each year allow a number of immigrants equivalent to the size of the city of Bordeaux, to legally enter France" states Maréchal-Le Pen. She also tweeted, “If we don’t kill Islamism, it will kill us.”

Whether we agree with those statements of not, it seems that France has reached a tipping point. And it came about progressively, slowly, like boiling a frog. And while the influx may have begun in part because France feels bad about colonizing Algeria in the 1800s, it is now a way of life and will probably not be stopped. So what can we do? I do not pretend to have all the answers but here a biblical response. Let’s pray for laborers to go into the harvest, for churches to actively live and preach the Gospel. Let’s pray for souls and evangelize.

Who knows. God might put someone on our path who doesn’t yet know Jesus but who, like my husband and I, may end up church-planting and evangelizing in France. Some sow, some water. Everyone has a part to play. What is yours?

Janey DeMeo M.A.

Copyright © July 2016