Land of Promise

Dear friends of Faith and Fasting, I am so pleased to announce that after two years of research and writing, my first book, Land of Promise, was published this month on Amazon.com!

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This book may be controversial in some circles. It takes a closer look at Old Testament prophecy and dares to suggest the U.S. was in prophecy all along, as perhaps the final land spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, where God’s people might gather in great numbers in the last centuries.

It sounds crazy, I know, but the biblical evidence is pretty surprising and extremely compelling.

Anyway, I wanted you to be among the first to hear about Land of Promise, and I’ve printed the first chapter here for you to sample. Have a blessed day!

CHAPTER 1 – GEMSTONES

On a warm June day in the summer of 2014, my husband and I found ourselves wandering through southwest Texas, carrying our entire life with us, it seemed. Traveling through this area would be one small part of a three week, cross-country vacation. This vacation was different than most for us. It was a one-way trip.

You see, we were being transferred to a new job assignment, and this journey would eventually lead us to our new home. We literally drove coast to coast, from North Carolina to California, loving every minute of it. It was road trip adventure, to see sights we had never seen before.

Along the winding route navigated, chosen in part to see family and part to see new destinations, we each picked places we wanted to visit. Most of the selections were mine. Having grown up on the east coast the daughter of road weary, retired military parents, I had seen very little of our beautiful country.

My husband’s early years included traveling the mid-west extensively. So, for most of the trip, he happily settled into his role as tour host, and enjoyed watching me experience many of our stops for the first time.

This particular day in June, our destination was Alpine, Texas. Tiny college town in the middle of nowhere, Alpine is uniquely charming. It is an artistic, cultural blend of old West, native America and Mexico, and somehow quaintly preserves just the right amount of each portion of its heritage. Adding to its get-away appeal, it is a few hours drive from the hustle and bustle of any large metropolitan area.

One of the reasons we stopped in Alpine, we had an appointment with a local realtor to view open land parcels outside of town. We have long hoped to find that perfect investment property out in the country somewhere, and this day would be an opportunity to explore one option.

Our hosts for the day were a local realtor and his wife. Warm and down to earth like so many Texans we’ve known over the years, they graciously drove us over the unpaved, dusty hills to show us site after site. With each stop we walked another sprawling property full of rocks and raw potential.

After a couple of stops, I began noticing the realtor’s wife would study the ground intently at each site. She often picked up a stone or two from the soil. Our hosts explained this land was known for gemstone rocks, jasper, crystal and more. I was fascinated. I had no idea Texas had natural gemstones.

At one particular site, the realtor picked up a large oval rock, and with a swift crack of a hammer out of the back of his truck, broke it open into two halves. We gasped. It had a hollowed out space on the inside filled with sparkling, opaque white crystals. Over the few short hours we spent with these charming folks, we collected many colorful stones filled with hidden treasure.

Although we did not invest in property that day, I’ve thought so often of our experience there ever since. In subsequent studies on gemstones, I came to learn not only Texas, but the Unites States is brimming with them. According to U.S. Geological Survey, every single one of our fifty states has multiple categories of gemstones!1

A lover of gems, I never realized our country boasted so many in her soil. I suppose I thought they were reserved for faraway places and exotic lands.

You always hear of Indian rubies or diamonds from Africa. And, in truth, gems are sprinkled around the globe, but my study revealed they exist nowhere more densely or with more variety than in the United States of America.

Isaiah foretold there would be a bigger land someday for the people of God following the Redeemer’s work and sacrifice, and he said this land would have stones filled with colorful gems (Isaiah 54:11-12). Many scholars take this reference as symbolic language, but there is biblical precedent to take this as a literal description of the soil.

Seven centuries before the time of Isaiah, a physical description of soil had been given for the first promised land. In Deuteronomy 8:9, Moses foretold the land chosen for the descendants of Abraham would be filled with copper and blue stone. Ancient Israel’s soil contained what was prophesied: copper and one blue stone called Eilat Stone.2

Soil content and gemstones are like DNA. God must have chosen to identify land by its soil because it was the one thing that would never change. Kingdoms and rulers come and go, borders shift many times over centuries. But gems, soil and geological content foundational to a land remain, serving to identify it for generations to come.

1 Natural Gemstones – U.S. Production. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved January 17, 2015, from http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/gemstones/production.html

2 Eilat Stone of Israel. Eilat Stone: Turquoise’s Cousin. Retrieved January 19, 2015, from http://www.turquoisequide.com/articles/turquoise/variations/eilat-stone.htm

Land of Promise is available as a Kindle ebook for $2.99, or in paperback for $7.99. To get your copy, click the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=land+of+promise+valerie+garcia&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aland+of+promise+valerie+garcia

Ninevah Fasted and God Spared Disaster

Most of us are familiar with the story of Jonah and the whale. You remember, how Jonah didn’t want to do what God asked of him, so God sent along a large fish to swallow Jonah and carry him to the very place he didn’t want to go. Of course, he spent three days and nights in the belly of the fish where he got his heart right first.

That’s the story most of us were taught as children in Sunday School. But there is another miracle in the story we probably don’t remember as easily, maybe an even bigger one than a large fish swallowing a human who lived to tell the tale!

It is the miracle of fasting, accompanied by prayer and repentance. And how this powerful combination of sincere spiritual submission changed God’s mind!

Recall, the reason God wanted Jonah to go to Ninevah in the first place was to warn them His judgment was coming. He had gotten sick of their rebellious ways and was giving them, well, 40 days by the time Jonah finally got there. Only 40 days till disaster.

When Ninevah got this warning from Jonah, the second miracle happened. They believed him. And they repented, began fasting and praying! All the way up to the King, all the way down to the least of the kingdom believed and repented, fasted and prayed!

Then there was a third miracle: God changed His mind! He spared them and did not bring the disaster to their shores.

Friends, the power of getting right with God is huge. There is nothing like total submission and letting God know you are serious, that you will even deny yourself pleasure and risk a little discomfort to seek Him, to be right with Him.

Let’s learn from the story, the whole story of Jonah and Ninevah. American children of God, we’ve been warned by precious saints like Rabbi Jonathan Cahn in his profound book, The Harbinger. A time of judgment is headed our way. Surely it is already touching our shores as the edge of a hurricane.

It is not too late. But, the time is now to repent, fast and pray for our nation.

Please join us on May 5th, 2016, fasting 24 hours and praying for our nation, in conjunction with National Day of Prayer. Check previous posts (and future ones) for details.

God bless you!

Jonah Warns Nineveh of God’s Judgment

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

The People of Nineveh Repent and FAST

The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

God Changes His Mind

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Jonah 3  English Standard Version (ESV)