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A Tribute to Ray Bentley

Pastor Ray Bentley Memorial Service Friday January 21, 2022:

 

January 5, 2022

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26

Yes, Lord. I believe that Ray has never been more alive than at the moment on January 4th when his faith became sight, and he saw You face to face. Yet I remember that at the tomb of Lazarus You, too, believed, and yet You wept. While I’ve read many of the well-deserved tributes to Ray given by Christian leaders worldwide, all I have been able to do is weep.

Yet I, too, want to give tribute:

Ray was saved as a child through my father’s ministry, which made him in a unique way my spiritual brother. I first met him when his wife, Vicki, was the office manager for our Just Give Me Jesus/San Diego revival in 2000. Since that day, he and Vicki have become two of my very dearest friends. Ray accepted me for the person that I am and supported me fully in the ministry to which God has called me. At least once a year, he invited me to preach at Maranatha. In the last conversation I had with him he extended once again an invitation to preach at Maranatha in the New Year.

Praising God the tomb is still empty that Ray Bentley and I visited together! Jesus is not there! He has risen from the dead, just as He said!

Ray helped me lead my Prayer and Prophecy Tour of Israel in 2018. The 200 people on tour fell in love with him for his wisdom, insight into Scripture, encouraging words, and passionate love for God’s people and God’s land.

During my cancer journey, he and Vicki tracked closely and carried me on their knees. Since I was restricted to the home, I began joining the Sunday morning service at Maranatha Chapel online. I was so blessed that I asked him if he would accept me into membership. After prayer, he agreed. I met with his leadership team, shared my testimony, and was taken into full membership. Ray Bentley was my pastor in every sense of the word. I told him that not since I was a young girl had I been shepherded by a pastor as he shepherded me.

Every two weeks or so he would call just to check in, then pray over me. He reached out to each of my three children, and they reached out to him for his prayers and wisdom. In the last four years, his loving reach has extended to my grandchildren. He gave them his cell number so they could text him their prayer needs and concerns. Which they did. He has ministered to them, prayed for them, counseled them, and encouraged them.

And now…Ray is with Jesus. While I truly rejoice for him, knowing that there is no place he would rather be, the emptiness inside that I feel is reverberating through my family. Who will pray for us? Encourage us? Love and accept us as Ray did? If my sense of loss is severe, I can hardly bear to think of the devastating grief breaking the hearts of beloved Vicki and their own family.

So, this is my humble request. Would you please pray for Vicki and Ray’s family? For Maranatha Chapel in San Diego? And for me and my family? Pray for God’s comfort, of course, but also for a strong sense of purpose. God has left us here because He has more “fruitful labor” for us. (Philippians 1:22) Pray that each of us will make each day count, bear much eternal fruit, and finish strong…for the glory of God! And as living tributes to Ray Bentley.

Maranatha! Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

For more please visit: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2022/january/beloved-pastor-ray-bentley-of-maranatha-chapel-passes-away-from-covid-complications

 

 

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My Response to 9/11

September 11, 2021

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Romans 1:16

Those of us who lived through the Attack on America, September 11, 2001, will never forget where we were at the time. I was at home when my daughter called me and told me to turn on the TV.  When I did, I was stunned to see smoke billowing out of the first trade tower and heard the announcer saying a plane had flown into it!  As I watched, I saw a second plane fly into the second tower…then to my horror the first tower imploded in a mushroom cloud of dust and ashes…then the second tower followed. I cried out, “No! No!” I knew that right on my TV screen I was watching people step into eternity. And I was struck with the conviction: “How many of them were not ready to meet God face to face because people like me had never shared the Gospel with them?” As a result, I recommitted my life to sharing the Gospel with whoever, whenever, however I could.

Fast forward twenty years. I had that same overwhelming horror when I saw hundreds of people running across the airport tarmac in Kabul, Afghanistan, clinging to the evacuation plane, climbing into the wheel wells, only to drop to their death when the plane took off! It was a graphic picture of people who were terrified and desperate to be saved. And the Spirit seemed to whisper to me that there were people all over the world who are desperately afraid and who need to be saved…spiritually. And so I have recommitted my recommitment to share the Gospel with whoever, whenever, however I can.

Please join me in this recommitment.  Why?  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17

Praise God!  There is a Savior, The First Responder, who is available to “evacuate” us from sin, judgment, hopelessness, hate, fear, despair, emptiness, futility, loneliness…and the list goes on. He lifts us up, giving us forgiveness, peace, hope, love, purpose…and His presence. He offers us eternal life through faith in His Son, Jesus. Yeshua. The Messiah.

One year before 9/11, my husband and I visited the Bowery Mission in Lower Manhattan where his father had preached the Gospel, and where Danny also shared the Hope we have in Jesus. Not knowing what would happen one year later, I am so grateful that we took that opportunity. Because people have asked me, “Where was God on 9/11?” The answer: He was right there.

 

The following video reflects on just one evidence of His presence during that terrible time.

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Pray for Afghanistan

August 17, 2021

While I am intensely preparing for my Cove seminar this weekend, I cannot shake the very heavy burden I feel to pray for Afghanistan. The following is a summary of how I am praying as I pour out my heart before God.

Please join me if you feel led:

Creator of the Universe. Ruler of All. Lord of the Nations.

Are You not the Judge of all the earth? If my heart is broken…shattered…over what’s taking place in Afghanistan, what must Your great heart feel? So I come to You and plead Your mercy for Your people who are now hiding in basements, caves, any hole they can find, knowing that demonic forces will not stop until Your people are found and slaughtered. So I pray for Your people…followers of Jesus…to be supernaturally protected and delivered. Send Your angel armies to surround Your people, as You did for Elisha (2 Kings 6). Blind the enemy so they cannot locate Your people in hiding. Didn’t You teach us Yourself that when we pray, we are to pray that we would be delivered from evil? (Matthew 6) So. Deliver Your people. By any means. Please.

But if You do not, and if You allow Your people to be slaughtered, then I pray that You would give dying grace to each and every one of them. Men. Women. Children. Fill them with Your supernatural peace. Give them a vision of Heaven opened for them, as You did for Stephen in Acts 7. Open their eyes to see You, Lord Jesus, standing at the right hand of the Father, waiting to welcome them Home and give them a martyr’s crown.

And then I pray…yes I do… for the fullness of Your wrath to fall on the evil perpetrators, whether they are in Kabul or Tehran or Washington, DC. Holy God. Avenge Your people.

I know You hear this prayer. Now I wait to see how You will answer.

Even so, come Lord Jesus. Surely it’s time for You to be glorified in all the earth.

For the sake of Your great name,

Amen

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Summer LIVE with Rachel-Ruth and Anne

May 21, 2021

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  John 20:19

Replay: Summer LIVE with Rachel-Ruth (and Anne) from Rachel_Ruth Lotz Wright on Vimeo.

 

You and I know that things look like they are falling apart. But they are falling into place at the feet of Jesus. He is getting ready to come back. But think of a person outside of that who has no idea what is going on. They just see the craziness. And it is scary. It would be as if I didn’t know Jesus – I would be terrified. And so we can just offer them peace . . . offer them shalom. . .

There are different ways God can give you creativity as you go through your day and offer shalom to people who are so afraid. And they need the Prince of Peace. They need Jesus in their lives.

So don’t lose your focus. I feel like the Lord keeps telling me to stay focused, to keep your faith rooted in the Word and look forward to your future because you are going home…


And so this is our prayer for you –

The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

 

 

 

 

 

For more about God’s Word bringing you peace, download Anne’s devotional Bible Study – How to seek God’s Guidance

 

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The Power of our Example

May 6, 2021

“. . . Read it, study it, love it, live it. In it you will find a verse for every occasion. Hide them in your heart.” – Ruth Bell Graham

The Power of our Example from Anne Graham Lotz on Vimeo.

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