Here is the most recent letter from our beloved sister in Israel:
“In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 (there IS no ‘Moslem world’…it is ALL GOD’S world!) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1(EVERY Word…not ‘parts’ of the Word…but all of it is Him…His Light, His Life, His Truth)
Greetings in The Name of The King of Life, Yeshua, Jesus, in Whom IS Life.I greet you from a somber moment in a somber nation.I stood on my merepesset overlooking the square and the train station when the siren sounded for its eternal minute at exactly 8pm.EVERYTHING came to an abrupt standstill…all vehicles stopped and the drivers popped out standing at attention, heads bowed.People lined the street below me and stood on merepessets all around me – only the flags blew in the wind as the siren wailed it’s steady mournful song.
Yom h’zikeron is here.
The day of memory…memorial day for the fallen soldiers and victims of terror.23,447 is the total given this year since the beginning of the modern state of Israel.At 68 on our birthday, Thursday, Independence day, that number represents multiplied many living, grieving family members…wives, husbands, mothers and fathers, grandparents and yes, the children.I see them all around.Yesterday already the music on the radio had changed key along with the looks on the faces.Slowly the tv stations went off the air and places of entertainment began to close.
What a strange mixture of emotions fly at this time of year…the flags crop up all over in great abundance.People stand in traffic, some selling them, and yes, some giving them away for free.This year I see far more flags then before as at the same time Iran announced the successful launching of a new long range missile and two elderly ladies were stabbed this morning.As words around us seek to crush us and mock us …trying to say ‘See? Your God could NOT take you out of Egypt!’, a new ‘agenda’ was ‘launched’ this week.I listened with joy as someone explained in a radio interview that since the emotions between Holocaust Memorial day (yom h’shoar) and Independence day (yom h’atz’maoot) are so deep and huge, we are going to call them ’10 Days of Thanksgiving‘.Chalk boards will be placed around the country for people to write what they are thankful for and will be encouraged to think on giving thanks.I loved it!Between Rosh h’Shana and Yom Kippur are the 10 days of awe when we are to repent…and these will be called the 10 days of thanksgiving.
I am thankful that it is ALL written in His Word so freely given to us…and we are given such an opportunity to agree with Him and His purposes rather than the world’s!
Tomorrow is a ‘heavy’ day of sharing stories about loved ones taken…of tragedies and of heroes… of orphans and of widows.The streets will be filled with tears as we weave our way toward yom h’atz’maoot , which will begin at sundown tomorrow.The flag that we just lowered will be once again raised and a HUGE birthday party will begin in that strange, fine line transition!It is not at all a ‘party without knowledge’ as everyone knows that we are in far more danger then we have been since WW2…but it is a ‘party’ that says ‘Be strong and of GOOD courage!Strengthen your hands … and I will help too!’
I will try to write more, but yes, we will be busy.I will try however.Below I copied two things that touched me.To read more as these two days progress, here is a link to Yisrael h’Yom online:http://www.israelhayom.com/site/today.php
“When my oldest was a few months of age I was holding him in my arms at a bus stop waiting to get on the bus when an old man said, “Let the soldier on first.”
I backed up to make way for the soldier when I realized he was referring to my baby!
I’ve carried that moment for over 40 years for that was when I knew for sure that whatever children I had, one day I would have to watch them don a uniform and carry a big rifle.
I also knew, that no matter what, I couldn’t cry until the elevator doors closed.
I am the wife of a soldier–a front line medic; the mother of three soldiers–a paratrooper, a girl attached to the police and a son in intelligence.
I am the aunt of, the neighbor of, the teacher of countless soldiers, and God help me one day the grandmother of.
Tonight there will be a siren–a flat line siren (up and down ones mean war and I’ve heard too many of those) where the entire country will stop, stand at attention, bow our heads and remember our fallen in battle and in terrorist attacks. Tomorrow morning there will be a further siren. I live in a tough neighborhood but the kids are watching over us Please God watch over them. Amen.”(Marallyn Ben Moshe.– a friend – not yet a sister)
“What can I say about Israel at age 68 that hasn’t been said yet? This is a land where every person you meet is a hero, where life is drenched with meaning and significance, where the Chosen People constantly wrestle with G-d …, where abandoned people and forgotten history are dragged against their will to shape the future. A land where to give is the norm, where old and wise is cool, where achievement is always preferred over comfort, and where it is forbidden to stop smiling.
Israel’s ancient history shapes our historic duty, but the modern State’s constant barrage of challenges and misadventures come to teach us what it really means to build a world in G-d’s image. It’s definitely not always easy being part of this tremendous project, and it may sometimes look like we are moving backwards, but nothing in the world is as fulfilling.
Happy Birthday Israel” a local columnist
I want to (no…NEED to) recommend to you Chris Mitchell’s newly released book Isis, Iran and Israel.(can be ordered at http://tinyurl.com/j8kuhzdor please ask your Christian book store to order it!)Chris is the Middle East correspondent for CBN broadcasting and a good friend.He is also one of the most humble people I have ever met, wise, gentle and full of His discernment.He speaks what he has seen and knows and ends the book with a clarion call to be walking with HIM!I encourage you to get this important book.
Thank you for listening…God be with you all and may we BE WITH HIM!I send much love, your sis here.
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve shared a letter from our sister in Christ, who is Inside Israel, but when I read the email she sent the other day, in remembrance of the 6,000,000 (yes, six million) Jews who were martyred, during World War II, for their race, culture and faith in the One True God, that we Christian Believers love and worship, I had to share it. As you read this email, let those of us who have been grafted in, always remember God’s love for His chosen people has never waned, and one day, they, the true branches will also proclaim the name of Jesus, bringing even greater blessings to us!
12 Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it.
Beloved readers, as you read this email from our beloved sister Inside Israel, let us also remember to pray for the peace of Israel, who is still very much hated by the rest of the world:
Shalom again to Holocaust Memorial and Remembrance Day…Yom h’Shoar…Welcome, Lord of all comfort and Truth into this day.Invade the hearts of those whose hearts have been so damaged by the unimaginable and yet still hope against hope that there is Truth, Hope and justice…May we who have seen The Face of Truth, Hope and Justice bring your Light into this darkening world.
Yes, it has been ‘Yom h’shoar’ (Day of Holocaust literally but called the Remembrance day for the martyrs of the Holocaust, or just Holocaust Memorial day) once again, with its full ‘shock’ of entry and time of deep reflection.
How does one begin to grieve or share the grief of 6,000,000,000…six million?
One at a time.
Our Knesset holds a ceremony ‘Unto every person there is a name’ .It goes like this: (a quote from the Jerusalem Post)
“Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel and her daughters lit a candle in her mother’s name, and in memory of her relatives killed in the Jado concentration camp in Libya, where 2,600 Jews were sent, 562 of whom died. Gamliel’s great-grandfather, Shia Bracha, was sent to the camp from Tripoli, and was killed while trying to escape, and her grandparents lost a daughter from malnutrition in Jado.
“Modern Israel owes part of its establishment to the heroes who underwent the hell of the Holocaust and rose from it to fight for Israel’s independence, thus ensuring the continuation of future generations in Israel,” Gamliel said. “The recognition in recent years of Holocaust survivors and victims of the Nazi regime in Arab countries is for me, as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor from Libya, is the closing of a circle and does justice to a large group in Israel that did not receive the recognition it deserves.”
Others who lit candles were Holocaust survivors Esther Meron, Avraham Ivanir, Fruma Galant, mother of Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant, and Svetlana Sorokin, mother of MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union), as well as Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets Director-General Dr. Yisrael Peleg.
Next, MK Yaakov Margi (Shas) read from Psalms, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yaakov Yosef said Kaddish and an IDF cantor chanted the El Maleh Rachamim prayer.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein began the name-reading by reading the names of children who perished in the Sharogorod Ghetto in Transnistria, where his grandparents and mother survived the Holocaust.
President Reuven Rivlin read the names of soldiers killed in the War of Independence who were the last surviving members of their families, as well as the names of their relatives who were murdered by the Nazis. His wife, Nechama Rivlin, read names of relatives, and had to stop in the middle to compose herself, as she was crying.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept his annual tradition of reading a poem his father-in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi, wrote in 1941 in Israel, when he lost touch with his family in Europe and did not know what happened to them. They all perished in the Holocaust.
Supreme Court President Miriam Naor said she and her cousins did research to find out names and details about relatives who were killed in the Holocaust…” AND SO ON IT GOES.
‘Poignant’…’emotional’…’indescribable’…these are the words that come to me as I seek to, yes, describe the day that I have sought to describe for 21 years now.At 10:00am the eerie wail of the siren sounded throughout the country for two minutes while a nation stood silent and at attention, agreeing to share a mantle of grief far too heavy to be borne alone on the shoulders…fewer and fewer…of tattooed old people.For one day in the year they open the coffin of a closet where the dark memories lie hidden and share the unimaginable openly, in schools, on television and in ceremonies or homes, so that we can all carry it together with them.We listen to their stories…sit and have tea with them…weep with them…hug them.The stories are collected…written…dramatized…’They must never forget!’ they cry.‘The world must never never forget!’ they yell collectively…but their voices grow ever weaker.It has been 70 years now since the Holocaust.Many of them have lived this long because they have a burning passion to ‘Having survived…survive!’…but they are dying because they are, after all, just flesh and blood.
A new and hopeful thing has cropped up.It is called ‘Zikeron b’salon’ or literally ‘Memory in the livingroom’.I was listening to a report about it and they said that several years ago some young people were speaking of a need that they had to find further expression concerning the Holocaust.Children here learn about it in school from pre-school…and the studies continue through the army and university.During the last year in high school they participate in ‘The March of the Living’…a trip to Auschwitz death camp.Suddenly they are post army and university and it all comes to an end.A small group of young adults decided to ‘meet in the livingroom’, hear a testimony in person or on a tape, and to hold their own discussion and ceremony.It caught on with young people all over the country and this year there were hundreds of such meetings.
Yes, it is taken ‘personally’.Life from the dead…hope from ashes.
Last week one of our patients died.Ada Steinberg was 96 and lived with a ‘helper’.Originally from Russia, she had never married, made aliyah alone as a teenager, became a professor and had many friends…but she outlived them all!That was a chilling thought to me when she told me that her last friend died.She was now ‘all alone’…but she went on and became very close to her ‘helper’.She died quietly in her sleep last week and I asked my boss…who would ‘sit shiva’ for her (mourn her in the Jewish tradition).He stopped and said ‘I don’t know.’ That wasn’t like my boss.He knows ALL of these things!‘Was she in the shoah?’ I asked him.To my surprise, he didn’t know that either.It took me quite awhile searching online to find anything about her but finally, on the Yad V’Shem website, (take a look) www.yadvashem.org/amongst the recorded testimonies, I found hers.It is in Hebrew and so it will take me awhile to listen, but I intend to.She had a name.She was brave.
I was raised with the Holocaust.Today I found myself wondering how it had ‘colored’ my world.I guess I will never know really.I was very very small, perhaps two, when I first became ‘aware’ (yes, really) of the Holocaust.I had very thick curly dark hair and I was with my Mother.It was summer.I remember the dress that I was wearing.A woman stopped to talk to my mother and she reached out and put her fingers in my hair and began running them through lovingly, but even then at that young age I knew ‘something wasn’t right.’I remember her getting down on her knees and looking at me and saying over and over ‘I had a little girl like you once, yes, I had a little girl just like you…’.My Mother sheltered me behind herself and I was holding on to her knees (that is how I guess my age…knee high).But that was only my first encounter.Holocaust survivors began pouring into our neighborhood in NY, USA…and there was a ‘scary feeling’ about them…something of death held on to them and it haunted me.In our apartment there were books and photos of the newly liberated camps.I would lay on the floor and look at the pictures…and wonder.
My conclusion then was: ‘We must be such an awful people to be so deeply hated.’
HOW THANKFUL I AM THAT THE ONE WHO WAS DISPISED AND REJECTED PURSUED ME AND SAVED ME OUT OF THE HELL THAT I FOUND MYSELF TRAPPED IN!
So I stood outside of work at 10:00am this morning when the siren pierced the air and prayed for Kala Zeltzer, Yaakov and Ruth Lork and the other survivors that I know by name…for them to be comforted face to Face by The One Who is truly able to understand and bare even their grief…and lead them safely home.
It is late and this is nothing like I intended to share…but it just got too late.I couldn’t let the day slip by without baring witness to it…least we forget.
I hope to write more in a couple of days.God bless you all.Lovingly, your sister here.
He heard the roar of the crowd from a distance, as the young donkey He rode, slowly trudged toward Jerusalem. He was a Man on a mission, and He was determined to accomplish that which He had been sent to do. Nothing or no one would stop Him. He would do just what He and His Father had planned to do before the foundation of the earth was laid. Indeed, for the joy that was set before Him, He would do what was necessary, enduring the pain, though He despised the shame of the cross.
Sitting astride the donkey colt, He quietly watched the throng of humanity, many dancing and shouting, and spreading their capes and coats on the ground before Him. Others cut palm branches off the trees and laid them on the ground, so that it appeared to be a predominately green carpet (much like today’s red carpet is used for special events and for special people to walk upon), inlaid with the colorful garments the people had laid down for the King of kings to ride upon.
As He observed the mass of humanity singing praises and dancing before Him, Jesus didn’t just see a crowd, He noticed each individual. He took note of the woman, whom He had healed from the issue of blood, rejoicing in His presence, and smiled gently at her. He saw Bartimaeus, nevermore to be known as Blind Bartimaeus, since Messiah had healed him, wildly waving his palm branch when Jesus came near. He then laid it down in front of Jesus, and prostrated himself to His Savior and Healer, in worship. Jesus grinned at his enthusiastic worship, filled with love for each and every one of His people, as they cried out to Him with fervor, shouting:
“Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!”
He knew that some genuinely thought that He was Messiah, but their faith was weak, and though they celebrated Him that day, they would revile Him in just a few days hence, and He felt a pang of pain in His chest. There were others who were roaring and rejoicing with the crowd that day, and caught up in the excitement of it all, but they never knew Him. Just a few days later, He knew that they too, would be caught up in the hysteria of another crowd, and then, they would no longer shout,“Hosanna (Save Now!) to the Son of David (the giant slayer)! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”On that day, these same people would shout,“Crucify Him! We will take responsibility for His death – we and our children!”Again, though the crowd rejoiced, Jesus’ heart was heavy. Though they had no way of knowing, He knew what was before Him, and how the journey, begun on this day, would end.
“Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”
“Rabbi (Teacher).“He heard the angry voices of the Pharisees, vying for His attention, and He fixed His saddened gaze on them.“Rabbi, rebuke Your followers for saying things like that!”He looked at each one of them, then, taking note of their self-righteous indignation, as they stood there piously, looking at Him and His followers with barely veiled contempt. His heart was especially heavy, as He gazed at these men, who saw, and yet didn’t see. Perhaps their situation was the most dire, for they acted so religious, but they rejected the power that could make them godly.
Sighing, Jesus replied to their angry demand,“I tell you, if they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”Then, as the little donkey on which He rode, drew closer to Jerusalem, the pain in His heart was too much to contain, and He wept. As he sat upon the little donkey, and stopped to look upon Jerusalem, God’s holy city, He spoke these words, though no one responded…
42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.43 Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side.44 They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”
As I have read and reread the accounts of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, I’ve often wondered how He felt that day. He knew who He was and why He was there. He knew that by the end of the week, He would be tortured and hung on the cross to die a painful death. He knew that while the crowd was rejoicing, there were many, who wanted Him dead, perhaps, even some of those who rejoiced that day. What a great love He had (and has) for us, that He was willing to endure the pain and the shame of the cross, so that we might live!
I pray that you will be blessed and take the time to meditate on all that Christ did, and still continues to do for each one of us, as we remember His life, death and resurrection this week. God bless you!
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem… ~ Matthew 2:1 — KJV ~
Imagine how they must have felt… These were not ordinary men. They weren’t peasants, nor were they kings, though that is what some have claimed over the years. However, according to scripture, these were wise men… They were magos from the Orient. They were magicians, teachers, astrologers… These men had studied the stars for many years, so just imagine their consternation, when suddenly, one night, seemingly out of nowhere, a new star appeared to them. What would you do?
These men seemed to know exactly what to do. Was this something that they had foreknowledge of or was it something the Lord revealed to them as each of the wise men determined to leave his homeland behind, in order to follow this star? Did the men know each other prior to meeting on the road to Bethlehem, as they were led by the star? Or did they meet along the road and develop a friendship, as each one sought the King of kings?
How many wise men were there? Many believe there were three wise men, because three gifts were mentioned, but the scriptures don’t say whether there were 2 or 20 wise men. We only know that they were wise and they were male. What made them wise? Was it the fact that they were all very learned men? I don’t think so. You see, scripture makes it plain that knowledge and wisdom are not the same. One can have much knowledge, and still be a fool, and these men were clearly not fools. So what set them apart from others? Where did their wisdom come from?
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction… ~ Proverbs 1:7 — KJV ~
What made these wise men different from other learned men during that time, was the fact that they feared the Lord. What made them different from all the others who also saw the same star but paid no attention, is that when they saw the star, a fire was ignited within them. They were hungry for righteousness. They sought the way, the truth and the life. They followed the star, not seeking its scientific origin, but seeking the King whose birth the star signified…
You see, just as another Chaldean, named Abraham, went up a lonely mountain top, to offer up his one and only son, as an act of worship, so these Chaldeans came, to worship the King of glory… the One and only Son of God… the One whom He had sent to be offered up as a sacrifice for their sins, and for ours as well…
“Who were these wise men?” you might ask… They were worshipers… And watch and learn from them, my beloved readers… You see, they understood this important fact, before Jesus, who was but a toddler when they first saw Him, was even able to speak the words to them…
23 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” ~ John 4:23-24 — NKJV ~
And so, my beloved readers, I have a very serious question to pose, not only to you, but to me as well… As we celebrated the holidays, how wise were you… Father, how wise was I? Did you seek the King of glory? Did you seek to worship Him, though perhaps it wasn’t easy or convenient? If not, are you willing to seek Him now, forsaking all that you know, in an effort to draw close to Him???
Lord, hear our cries, and give us hearts that hunger and thirst for You, first and foremost. Let us be as wise as the magos in the east, leaving all that we know and hold dear, in order to come and worship You, in Jesus’ name… Amen.
Below, you will find the letter from our sister in Jerusalem. Please continue to lift her and her family up in prayer. Except by faith, we have no way of knowing the impact our prayers have on those whom we pray for, this side of heaven, but wouldn’t it be awesome to discover their impact when we meet our heavenly Father one day? I pray that our prayers for our sister and the lives she touches leads to the salvation of many inside and outside of Israel, in Jesus’ name. Meanwhile, please enjoy this letter from our sister… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“What are your thoughts occupied with as we heard toward tisha b’av next Monday night and Tuesday? I’ve been thinking about those little mistakes in communication that snowball into huge conflicts between people and communities. The children that grow up estranged because their parents were too busy to say “I love you.” The couples that stopped listening to each other because they didn’t understand each other. The religious sectors that split apart because they never took the opportunity to learn to value each other.
When we talk about Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred) in Israel, it’s important to realize that so many of our fights can be avoided if we take the time to maintain the relationships we have, and fill them with love and beauty instead of jealousy and suspicion. If we can do that as a nation, we’ll never have to fast on tisha b’av again.
Wishing you an easy and meaningful fast.” (from the local “janglo” weekly letter)
Greetings and Blessings, dear sisters and brothers, May The Lord be glorified, blessed, worshipped… may you be blessed!
As ramadan is being observed by the world’s moslems, the tisha b’av fast appears on the horizon. Tisha b’av (or 9th day of the month of Av on the Hebrew calendar) is observed this year beginning Monday night the 8th through Tues sundown the 9th. Aside from the fast day of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, this is the most solemn fast day of the Jewish year. It is not observed as widely as Yom Kippur (which is commanded in scripture and actively observed by a large majority of Jews) but it IS observed by a surprising number of even secular or nominally observant Jews as well as the religious.
As I have told you recently, I have been going through this interesting season of having my morning devotional reading ‘disrupted by The Lord’ after 37 years of following His initial directions to me, and have been having an intense time reading and re-reading the major prophets again and again (along with other portions in New Covenant and Psalms), so this day is making a very present and living impression on me this year, even more so then in past years.
The 9th of Av commemorates the actual date of the destruction of BOTH the first and second temples and the punishment of the surviving remnant being sent out of the promised land of Israel into the diaspora. You can read Jeremiah’s account of the date in the full chapter of Jeremiah chapter 52. Verses 6 and 7 say:
6 By the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the famine had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land.
7 Then the city wall was broken through, and all the men of war fled and went out of the city at night by way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden, even though the Chaldeans were near the city all around. And they went by way of the plain.
I have also shared many times over the past years lists of the unusual number of cataclysmic events that have taken place among the Jews through out modern history on this same date. (If any of you wish, I will send it to you again separately)
People prepare for this time of often very real repentance and heart searching in many ways. The very religious men do not shave or cut their hair from Shavuot until tisha b’av, so there are many fully bearded men around right now. There is also a general feeling of mourning in the air and I have heard many greetings which include a blessing for Jerusalem. The teaching is that the judgment of God comes upon the people of Israel mainly for ‘brother hating brother’ (sinat chinam, in Hebrew). Of course this is partly true according to the scriptures as hatred, or lack of love, produces selfishness, oppressing, cheating, theft and the like. But the Scriptures make it clear that there are other reasons for the judgment of God upon the children of Israel: (I have been writing them down during these 6 months of reading through the major prophets). Some of them are: Forsaking Him (our first love); serving other Gods (like material goods, the flesh, new age ideas…?), worshipping the work of our own hands, giving heed to seducing spirits (counterfeit works of a spirit other then HIS); defiling His land; rebellion; pride; not finding delight in The Word of The Lord; covetousness; dealing falsely; will not hear correction; following the dictates of our own heart; forsaking Shabat; following Eastern ways; arrogant tongue; despising this inherited land; lack of mercy…oh my, the list goes on (yes…I can provide you with the references if you ask).
At the top of this letter I copied a small paragraph that opened a local weekly email information site, and similar exhortations and encouragements are appearing all over in newspapers, in short messages on radio and tv and on billboards (at least in the Jerusalem area). ‘Prepare your heart to seek The Lord…do not let Jerusalem go again…’ I was in the Old City on Tuesday and many large groups of youngsters, soldiers and older folks as well, were on ‘learning tours’, reviewing the history surrounding the destructions of the temples. They stop to read scripture and pray. On tisha b’av itself, the book of Lamentations is prayed/read during the fast and many people stay up all night weeping and even dressing in sackcloth and ashes. We can scoff at what is ‘religious show’, but I, for one, know that God hears hungry hearts and my prayer is that this will NOT be a religious tradition, but that there will be breakthroughs in hearts; that The Holy Spirit will convict, and draw the hungry to Yeshua, Whom He is well able to reveal! AND… that He will indeed, CREATE hunger in the hearts of those who may be crying out of tradition only. He is able.
I have not been well, so will close and go to bed now. What a season we live in, eh? His ways are so above our ways and His thoughts so above our…and I am thankful for that! I send you much love. God bless you and keep you and make HIS FACE to shine upon you…and give you (HIS) Shalom.
I know that I usually try to post letters from our sister in Israel on Saturdays, however, I didn’t get this one until today, therefore, I am posting it a day later than usual. As always, I encourage you to pray for Israel and our sister who resides there while you read this letter, remembering that Jesus loved Jerusalem so much that He wept over her. And now, without further ado, here is the letter from our sister in Jerusalem… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shalom, dear Brothers and Sisters,
May He be glorified and blessed, and may you be blessed. Although I write that in almost every letter, I never write it lightly…I pray it!
Summer activity seems to overtake many of us suddenly and I know that some of you will not find time to read this. There is some personal news at the end of the letter though, particularly for those of you who know us. I am so glad that The Lord is the same, yesterday, today and forever and that HE isn’t suddenly ‘caught up’ in summer activity…OR in problems or illness for that matter. That’s so comforting!
As I went from the shuk to prayer meeting yesterday morning before going to work, my eyes suddenly ‘flashed back’ to earlier ‘first impressions’ and I was able to observe with ‘new eyes’ again and some of the wonders of life here that I saw at the beginning of this part of my path. Perhaps it is because we are about to celebrate our 19th year since making aliyah (immigrating). We became Israeli citizens on the 18th of July, but we left Alaska on 4th of July (the tickets were cheaper then as people tend not to fly on that day) which was sort of symbolic I guess. We were totally clueless as to the new life that lay ahead. I had never been here before, and my husband had come once on a short ‘tourist trip’. We didn’t know aleph from bet, (the Hebrew alpha bet) had no idea where we would live or what we would do. The map that I had looked at was the map in the back of my Bible (yes…before computers!) We literally sold and gave away everything that we owned, burned all of our bridges, and at the not-so-young age of 48+ left all that we knew for what we didn’t know because we believed (correctly thank God!) that it was HIM Who was telling us to do this. We were slightly acquainted with ONE person here and she found us temporary board in a room of someone’s apartment. That is how our walk here began. Shell shock!
So, 19 years later, my routines have become somewhat set, and it was a blessing to suddenly see again as if it were my first time. Friday morning, it is my ‘habit’ to go to Intercessors for Israel 6:30am prayer meetings for a half hour before going on to work. This week, memories flooded me. I remembered my ‘wonder’ at the buses, where the radio blared and the people talked and sang and ate. Since I take the 6am bus on Fridays I had been deeply moved by the fact that the state run radio stations began (they go off at midnight and on at 6am) with the words of ‘the smah’…the prayer most important in Judaism…the words from Deut 6:4-9
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.6 And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
These words are to Judaism what The Lord’s prayer or sometimes the 23rd Psalm are to Christianity, so it would be as if your radio stations would begin each day with those Words in the morning reminding the country Who we look to first above all. It blessed me to listen and to pray as the sunrise was casting its first rays above the mountains round about Jerusalem. Sadly, about the time that the train started service, the broadcasting system put an end to this practice that had been in place since we first got radio here. None the less, the assortment on the 6am bus is almost always the same, so we greet one another as one reads the newspaper and another the book of Psalms and a third eats perhaps a yogurt or cucumber, tomato and pita…typical Israeli breakfasts on the run. On Friday I get off at the shuk to buy a challa (shabat bread) and some fruit and vegetables as everything in the city will close before sundown until after the shabat following sundown on Saturday. At 6am very few stands are open, but there are enough for me to get what I need and then run down Jaffa Road to prayer meeting. As I leave the shuk I watch the Friday morning ritual of the street sweepers. Do all cities still have street sweepers? Ours take their job very seriously and really do it well. I am always impressed by them as it is not what you would call the most desirable job and yet I never sense these people feeling sorry for themselves or angry or see them slacking at work. I pass the area from which they are ‘sent out’ with broom and equipment and enjoy listening to the ‘pep talk’ that they receive from their ‘commander’ who reminds them that they are cleaning the streets of Jerusalem and that they should do it proudly. They run off slapping each other on the back and ready to begin. Why does this catch my eye? As one who is ‘always cleaning house again and again and again’…I sometimes loose both my joy and energy in the midst of the task. My task is so small compared with what faces these sweepers who work in the shuk; it is non stop mess and garbage and they keep at it with an energy, encouraging one another, that really speaks to me. If they can do this monotonous job day after day, it challenges me to do mine for Yeshua with joy and for His glory. It is their level of obvious contentment that teaches me in this day ahead of me…it challenges me to plumb the depths of the command that The Lord gives me to ‘be content in ALL things’ as I read in so many verses (here are two but then there is Heb 13:5, and so very many others. You know them I’m sure:
Phil 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
1 Tim 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certainwe can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
So…as I walk past the ‘challenge of the street sweepers’ I come again to the ifi morning prayer meeting as I have since this particular Fri. morning group began so many years back, to pray in small groups for particular situations in our country and surrounding ones. All too soon it was off to work for me, but my ‘fresh look’ at the street sweepers kept my eyes awake. I remembered my amusement at the lack of Western ‘political correctness’ and how everyone talks to strangers all of the time. That brought to my memory the reminder of the becoming aware that in this land of the Book and the Law…the laws are NOT ‘rigid’ as they are in the West…they are not black and white…they…hum…’float’ (for want of a better word. It took me awhile to understand this. Here is an example: In America if I took a letter to the post office, they would weigh it and tell me EXACTLY how much postage it needed. If they were wrong, I would get the letter back marked ‘insufficient postage’. Here, oh yes, there are charts, charges and regulations…but I might well walk up to the post office lady and she might say ‘9 shekels’ and I might say ‘Oh no! I only have 7.5’ and…depending upon who she is, she might say ‘zeh lo mishonay!’ (It doesn’t matter) and either put 7.5 postage on it or take the shekel and a half our of her change purse. We don’t HAVE ‘insufficient postage’ stamps here. Period. Then there is ‘making a scene’. Again, a man approaches a window at the post office (we do LOTS of transactions at our post offices: they are banks, we pay bills there, we submit forms there and various other tasks) and the teller says ‘You are missing a signature’. You can expect excitement! ‘WHAT?!? They TOLD me that THIS is what I need!! I CAN’T POSSIBLY come back! My kid needs this for school TODAY!’ Sometimes fights ensue…but SOMETIMES we hear things like ‘You can’t? He really needs it today? Ok.’ Stamp stamp stamp – and the customer walks away smiling. You can REASON with the clerks. You can also cry. I found that out the hard way. As a new immigrant I cried A LOT! Suddenly I became ‘they made somebody’s mother cry!’ and others in line would rush up with water or a chair – it must have been quite humorous to watch from afar (although it never felt funny at the time). So what is this: manipulation? Mercy? Sloppiness? Protexia? Probably a combination of all three to a different degree, but it was culturally different to me. It was no longer black and white, but there were many ‘grey’ areas and this was helpful to learn as I realize that I will never fully understand the ‘ways of the system’. (although I have been told that NO ONE really understands it)
It is fun to remember some of these early impressions and lessons, particularly as planes fly over. You all know that the situation here increases in intensity daily. The sudden eruption of Egypt again – our neighbor to the south- has led to great instability in the vast Sinai region and once again de-stabilized our border. To the North of us the Syrians continue to kill one another and our hospitals receive wounded for their border area nearly daily as word of mouth travels and families in the south bring their loved ones to the border asking for mercy. Again our ‘peace’ process is gaining momentum so there are (again) bomb scares daily as that seems to be the ‘natural fruit’ of the ‘peace process’ (and the foreign governments do not seem to see the irony of this). In other words, life continues as usual.
I was deeply blessed by a dear sister last weekend. She works for a volunteer organization and they are blessed with an apartment right on the beach in Netanya that they allow their workers to use periodically for a time of retreat and refreshing. She had reserved it for last weekend and INVITED ME AND ANOTHER SISTER TO JOIN HER! Oh what joy to have a change of scenery and intensity and to share the sweetest of fellowship in Him! I have rarely received such a cup of cold water and I am happy to report that I have been so graciously refreshed and doused in Love! I had to come home early as I have had an infection and am allergic to just about all antibiotics, so needed to receive 5 days of slowly administered antibiotic by infusion, spending 2 hours daily in a nurses station after work. I was well prepared with His GRACE to go through this, for which I am so thankful.
Some have been asking how things are going with our Granddaughter. She is scheduled to arrive on 29th July and we are SOOOO excited! She is a tender 6 years old and has had her suitcase packed for 6 weeks already! I guess she takes after her ‘Savtalai’ (Grandmother) as I have been getting stuff for her ‘room’ for atleast that long! Thank you so much for your prayers!
But for those of you who know us…our situation…have followed our family, some of you for more then 35 years(!) we do have news; Our youngest daughter, who was married just a year ago, is expecting their first child! She was told (as I was) that she could never have children and they are THRILLED! Ofcourse, she has had MANY physical and emotional problems and they are still NOT (yet) walking with The Lord… they are poorer then church mice BUT happier then larks…and, yes, I ask for prayer for them! They live in Minnesota USA and the Baby is due in early Jan. No…they have no car…no insurance…she is high risk pregnancy and is NOT feeling well…BUT…She IS a child of promise and HE IS ON THE THRONE! So I will BLESS them and pray and I wanted to share our joy with you!
There are some of you whom I SHOULD have told personally and I do beg your forgiveness as my computer is acting up and trying to write has been a challenge.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU AND MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON YOU FOR HIS GLORY! May we be discerning and sensitive to His direction for this most narrow of seasons in which we life.
Praise the Lord, I am now up to date with the letters from our sister in Jerusalem. As always, I want to encourage you to pray for Israel. It is so important for us to understand that even though the Lord has saved many of us and delivered us from sin, and adopting us as sons and daughters, His love for Israel is not diminished. Israel still remains His chosen people. Therefore, we must cry out for His people in these last days.
This week, as you read the letter from our sister in Israel, let the following scripture passage be your prayer for God’s chosen people…
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
And now, without further ado, I introduce to some of you, and present to those of you who follow our letters from our sister in Israel…
Blessings and love to you dear sisters and brothers. May The Lord of glory be blessed and glorified!
Although most of us picture doves as white, the doves of Jerusalem are that beautiful ‘doe’ color…like a deer. Perhaps you wonder why I write so much concerning nature. Today I believe I understood the reason (besides the fact that I have always loved nature).
When we first made arrived, we found that our new reality demanded that we find work as soon as possible. Not being able to handle my new language yet at all, (and NOT having many qualifying skills…AND being 49 years old at the time) I was happy to be offered a job with a rather well known international ministry here. Being in this intense area, there are probably more large, international ministries functioning here then anywhere else on earth, and not just ‘English speaking ones’ either. It is the same with news media outlets; there are more world news media groups stationed here then anywhere else on the earth (that is a fact). That should say something. Those of you who know Jerusalem know what a tiny city this is. When I was offered work with this ministry I asked them to pray with me as there were some doctrinal issues that they held that I could not stand in agreement with (not foundational ones of course). They prayed and assured me that I was the one for the job and it would be fine. I was so thankful for the work as the main part of my job was answering many of the letters that they received and I loved that. We began each day with Bible reading and prayer and I loved the fellowship, in spite of our differences. But the area that I was not in agreement with allowed them to embrace a false prophecy, which led them to the verge of bankruptcy and most of the staff had to be immediately dismissed, including me. It was then that I found out that they had not been paying into our form of ‘social security’ for me (as a citizen it was required for the boss to do that) and that left me, after a year and a half, without the ability to receive unemployment.
The Lord certainly works everything to the good and for His glory, for it was the beginning of an intensive course in learning to REALLY trust Him and walk by faith in a new dimension. I was without work for two years after that (my husband was not in the country at the time…another story that glorifies Him in the end) and I felt firmly that He was directing me to work in secular work immersed in my new ‘culture’ rather then to work again with a ministry and He surely has directed my path. But what in the world does this all have to do with ‘nature’ and ‘doves’?!?
Just this: Because we are such a small body here and so dispersed, I now have very little opportunity for fellowship outside of our weekly meeting, but today I realized just how much He speaks to me through His creation! I understood that I daily ‘fellowship’ with Him in this manner (as well, of course, in His Word and in prayer) and am edified! No, it does NOT take the place of ‘fellowship’ with the body (HIS perfect design) but He always provides when we want His will, and this is part of my current provision.
And now, back to our doe colored doves!
Jerusalem is literally covered with doves. I have learned that if they are near to me as I walk and I don’t look directly at them or speak to them (yes…I do that! :-[ I admit it) they will stay where they are, but if I look at them or speak they will fly away. Now we all know that The Holy Spirit came as a dove so as I learned this I have thought about how The Holy Spirit did not come to speak of Himself, but to point to Yeshua…to bring to remembrance everything that He said and to magnify Him…not to draw attention to Himself.
But yesterday my attention was drawn directly to a dove sitting on the ground next to a wooden fence along my path. He looked at me and I sensed that he was injured. I went toward him and he did not move, but kept watching me. I saw that his gentle breast had been harmed, most likely by a cat. I reached down to pick him up, but stopped: Where would I bring him? There was no place around that would make him to be less prey for another cat attack, nor could I bring him to work…he would be petrified. I know enough that if I were to touch him, he would carry my ‘scent’ and that might be worse…so…I stood and prayed simply that The Lord, Who cares for all creatures, would care for him mercifully, and went to walk on. A bit further I felt just bothered to leave him like that so I turned to go back and then I saw a most unusual sight. Another dove flew down and began to peck at him and flap his wings angrily. I felt so bad, thinking that he was being attacked…UNTIL…I saw him reluctantly move and then, after some more pecking and harassment move again, and suddenly, hesitantly, he took off in unsteady flight, but up into a tree. The second bird had come to rescue him and had likely been watching when I stooped down! Immediately I thought of so many of the painful and harsh things that seem to come into our lives when we feel most vulnerable and I wondered at the goodness of God to ‘afflict us in His faithfulness’ (as is repeated over and over in Psalm 119, that marvelous teaching Psalm!) for example 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.And verse 71 It is good for me that I was afflicted,That I may learn Your statutes.
Do my ‘parables’ drive you crazy? I hope not! I gather strength as mana to go through my days as He blesses me with these encouragements! I actually thought about it as I was faced with my daily train ride. Two days in a row I arrived halfway to my destination when the loud speaker announced a ‘hefetz ha’shood’ or an ‘unidentified object’ that the bomb squad was being called out to investigate. We are usually advised to ‘walk’ or ‘possibly wait up to half an hour’, but this week, the first time, we were told that we would all have to get off of the train as the driver was being told to turn around and go in the other direction. The lady-older-then-myself with some 20 kilos of cherries that she had just bought at the shuk began to grumble loudly, as did the very old man with a walker. Soon there was quite a rebellion taking place as it was noon and the sun was hot and the train was crowded with elderly people with packages or young mothers with babies. I decided to walk rather then listen to the rage. Thankfully today we were allowed to sit and wait. As we did I looked around and it hit me for the first time that our trains carry perhaps an pretty odd assortment. They are full of baby carriages and strollers, often twin strollers. There are lots of shopping carts (mine included) and then there are walkers, canes, crutches, wheel chairs, Seeing Eye dogs, shopping bags, suitcases and myriads of backpacks, not to mention weapons. More then occasionally there are also the ‘tools of the trade’; a mop and bucket, large tool box, computers or assorted furniture being brought home. Sitting next to me today was a woman with a portable oxygen tank attached to her nose. In front of us stood a young girl with BOTH a rocking horse and a plastic push ‘bike’. And then there are all of those pregnant women! No wonder the train is always so crowed!
As many of you realize (although it IS summer where you are as well as here, and I know that many of you are up to your ears in activities…God BLESS your summer with joy and blessing in Him!)(along with work and children home, more difficult for some then for others. MUCH GRACE to those of you who have difficulty!) things here are more volatile and tense then ever, if that is possible! I think back to the beginnings of the ‘revolution’ in Egypt that began very shortly after the US President visited there, and how ‘revolt’ has been sparked in almost the entire region. The nations on all of our borders are shaking and smoldering and the world is so foolishly trying to ‘solve the problems’ with embarrassing rhetoric and shallow human reasoning that knows almost nothing of the ancient roots of the problems…nor The Maker Who is watching over His Word. The latest moves to ‘arm the rebels’ in Syria while screaming and crying about all of the people dying is so pathetic but can not be seen as funny. More weapons will NOT stop the bloodshed. I look at my Bible and see so many circumstances for which there was NO HUMAN SOLUTION. Take, for example: the Sea in front and the Egyptians behind as the Israelites came out of Egypt. Perhaps it was thousands in the wilderness without food in both the ancient days during the 40 years in the wilderness and the nearer days when Yeshua said ‘How many loaves have you?…Bring it to Me!’ What about Legion howling in the tombs or the lame man waiting for the stirring of the waters? AND…how about Yeshua…dead in the tomb? Oh my, there is no end to examples….in fact the Bible is FULL of situations that there was NO human solution for. But we live in an age of ‘humanism’ and seem to actually have a foot in the door of the one world system that will carry the mark for buying and selling. I can see much more clearly how that could be possible now. When our value added tax went up 1% I somehow thought that my bills would also go up 1%, but (as I have admitted before) I have NO understanding of economics and basically bills (especially grocery bills) have shot up a whopping 25%! Since wages don’t increase, I think of how young families who are not prepared by The Word mixed with faith and the fear of God will withstand taking such a mark. From my vantage point the world appears to be spinning faster and faster out of the control of the nations and their leaders.
And there are those of you who pray for our nation (I am aware that there are many also who might read some of these letters who don’t find the time to pray. PLEASE don’t take ANY condemnation from me when I mention those who do! It is ALL unto The Lord and we ALL do what we can and believe we are called to do. Please be released from any condemnation over this.) I would like to ask for specific prayer for a 60 year old problem that I believe our nation is poised to impose a solution into that is perhaps unjust and I am very concerned. As you know we have a Bedouin population. The Bedouins are a fascinating people. They are nomads (I suspect that they are the people described in Jeremiah 35:1-12) and live mostly in the Negev where they move their goats and camels from place to place living in tent like structures with large extended families. (google Bedouin if you are unfamiliar with them) Over the years efforts have been made to settle them in villages and extend all the benefits to them of education, health care, sanitation etc. They are currently listed as the most rapidly growing population in the world. Their land claims are not written down. Israel is a small nation and wants to establish its borders. Legislation has just passed to establish the Bedouin in villages against their will and this strikes me a lot like ‘American Indian Reservations’. I have a long and personal history with Indian Reservations and my heart breaks at the thought that the same awful injury might be done here. Please pray that this legislation is somehow overturned and that some just solution is found. The Druze population in the North was also nomadic and they were peacefully settled into villages, but I have a very bad feeling about this Bedouin decision. Thank you for praying if The Holy Spirit brings it to mind.
But in the midst of all of the ‘distressing news’, you likely haven’t heard of the more then 30 wounded Syrians from both sides of the conflict that have been treated in Israeli hospitals as friends or family bring them to our borders. Also, a lovely ‘peace prize’ was just awarded to our fast response health motorcycle paramedic service which was founded by an ultra religious man and an Israeli Arab working together. They have no political agenda; they simply share a passion for saving lives and have formed a nationwide service that rushes to all emergencies. In this context, a Jewish man with a kippa (skull cap) has delivered a Moslem baby and a bearded Moslem man has delivered an orthodox Jewish baby. Lives are saved, and the result is trusting friendships…the same as I have found in my daily walk…’peace’ is made through kindness, one on one in the small ways that we can. He is our Peace…He HAS broken down every wall.
It is I who enjoy sharing, so I thank you for making time to read. Come and visit??? God bless and encourage you ever nearer to His Heart beat.
Thank you for continued prayer for our younger daughter at this time.
I apologize for not posting the Inside Israel letter sooner, however, I was having computer issues, and since all of you have computers, I know you understand. Nonetheless, all is well now, and the letter from our sister in Jerusalem follows. As always, I ask that you keep our sister in your prayers, and that you also pray for the peace of Jerusalem according to scripture…
Pray for peace in Jerusalem.
May all who love this city prosper.
~ Psalm 122:6 — NLT ~
Before sharing our sister’s letter, I want to let you know that I will be posting another letter from our sister on Wednesday, to help us get back on track from when I got behind. And now, without further ado, I present to you the letter from our sister in Jerusalem… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Continue reading Inside Israel→
Greetings to you all in the matchless name of Jesus Christ, who forever remains, KING of kings and LORD of lords. May each one of you find peace in His presence, and may each one of you understand the boundless extent of God’s love for you. I pray that you will know, as all of God’s children should know, how long and how wide, how high and how deep His love for you really is, and may the roots of His love reach to the very depths of your soul and spirit! Continue reading Inside Israel – just to say shalom – 4 June 2013→
Please forgive me for not posting the Inside Israel letters for the last few weeks. I’m not up to talking about it yet, but I was recently hospitalized, and I haven’t been online very much lately. For those of you who have been praying for me, I truly appreciate your prayers, and I ask you to please continue praying for me, as I am in a dark place that I’ve never been in before, and without the help of the Lord, I could do nothing.
6 O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls;
they will pray day and night, continually.
Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord. 7 Give the Lord no rest until He completes His work,
until He makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.
I also ask you to please continue praying for our sister in Israel, who so kindly shares her life and the mighty works of the Lord with us, and for all of Israel and Jerusalem in Jesus’ name… I will post another Inside Israel letter on Wednesday, June, 19, to try to catch you up on our sister’s letters. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Continue reading Inside Israel – a bit of sharing on 5/29/2013→
Below you will find the most recent letter from our sister in Jerusalem. Please remember to pray for her and also to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, especially now, during these last and evil days… This is my main reason for sharing these letters, so that you and I may pray for Israel and pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as Scripture instructs us. For then, both we and they shall be blessed…
6 Pray for peace in Jerusalem.
May all who love this city prosper. 7 O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces. 8 For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “May you have peace.” 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.
And now, my beloved readers, without further ado, here is the letter from our sister in Jerusalem… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Continue reading Inside Israel→
Those of you who followed Deb Feller’s blog,SIMPLE POEMS, SIMPLE FAITH BY DEB FELLER, remember that almost every Sunday, she would bless us by sharing a letter from a sister in the Lord, who lives in Israel. I always looked forward to reading these letters, for it made the Lord’s command to pray for the peace of Jerusalem much easier for me, as I came to know this beloved sister through her letters.
Therefore, when Sis Deb decided to step away from blogging for a while, there was more than one void left. Firstly, there was a void left that no one else could ever fill, as Sis Deb was anointed to take the word of God, and write lovely, short poems, that cut through everything, as she brought the simplicity of God’s word to life. The other void that was left were the letters from Inside Israel, however, Sis Deb shared the email address of our sister in Israel with me, and I will now be receiving these letters from Inside Israel. Continue reading Inside Israel – Announcement→
The tin-foil hat, Mayan apocalypse conspiracy people were wrong about the world ending in 2012. Hooray. Time for them to go back to watching grassy knoll footage in slow motion. BUT!
They were only half wrong. There’s a gigantic meteor hurtling toward earth at an alarming rate, and a 97.3% probability that we’re all going the way of the dodos and dinosaurs within three months. So, this year you aren’t going to make resolutions about losing a notch on your belt. You aren’t going to concern yourself about polishing off Remembrance of Things Pastonce and for all. You don’t even care a jot about emptying your email inbox. In three months, doompocalpyse is going to be upon us. So what are you going to do?
You’re going to do what any good blogger does. You’re going to blog some resolutions that matter:
Tell us about the three things you’d most like to change about your life, and make a bold, I-don’t-care-who-knows-it-because-there’s-a-meteor-a-comin’ assertion to the world that you are going to get these changes made. And that you’ll have at least started making them happen by March. When, erm, you’re probably going to wind up as dust.
We’re being told that the world as we know it is coming to an end in just three months, when a meteor of cosmic proportions (pardon the pun) will crash into the earth, blowing us all to kingdom come. People, please allow me to be the voice of reason in these last days. I know things look bad, and that it’s almost certain that many will die, but listen to me! While many will lose their lives in this catastrophe, there will still be those who survive, and since we don’t know who will and who will not survive this massive explosion, it is vital that everyone prepare for that great and terrible day.
Listen to me, friends… Because the blogosphere is on overload now, I am only allowed to share three things with you before this terrible catastrophic event occurs. Now God, in His infinite mercy has given us a timeline for this horrific event, so that we can prepare. It is now more vital than ever that each man, woman and child be prepared to die. Listen, we all know that it everyone is destined to die once, but you must also know that after death, comes judgment.
Oh, I know that many of you are rolling your eyes at me as you read these words, but please! I beg you to read this with an open mind. For years, many of you have called Christians narrow-minded and closed-minded, and I won’t deny it. Often times, we are, but that doesn’t mean that we’re wrong.
Since I first heard of this ginormous meteor that is headed to our planet at an alarming rate of speed, I’ve known what I have to do. You see, each one of us have been created for a purpose, and I was created to be a watchman on the wall. For those of you who don’t know, let me give you a brief description of what a watchman on the wall is.
In ancient times, there was a wall around Jerusalem, and watchmen were placed around the perimeter of that wall to serve as lookouts. These watchmen were responsible for warning the people when they saw any signs of danger, often sounding a trumpet (in those days the trumpet was known as a shofar or ram’s horn). These were watchmen who watched out for the physical safety of their city.
But there were also prophets, appointed by the Lord God of Israel, who were responsible for warning the people of spiritual danger as well as physical danger. They too, would sound the alarm when people endangered themselves by rebelling against the Almighty God. My friends, there are still prophets today, including me, who try to warn the people of impending danger, so that the people may turn away from their rebellion and run into the safety of God’s protection.
My friends, we are living in times just like Noah lived in, when men and women refused to obey God, and their thoughts were continually, consistently evil. Look around! There are evil men like Earl Bradley, who molested who knows how many children… and Jerry Sandusky, who molested numerous boys… And what about Adam Lanza who brutally shot and killed twenty children and six adults in Connecticut just a few short weeks ago? I could go on and on, but my point is that man has not gotten better. Man has not evolved into a kinder being. Mankind is terribly flawed and full of sin and evil, and in desperate need of a savior.
My friend, the three things I want to share with you are this:
“The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)
There is not one person who has not sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and every one of us is capable of evil. Therefore, every single one of us needs a Savior to protect us and deliver us from the evil that lurks within us. We need to recognize this and admit it.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
“There is no judgment awaiting those who trust Him. But those who do not trust Him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished. But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants.” (John 3:16-21 NLT)
God sent His only Son, Jesus to be our Savior. You see, every sin must be paid for, whether it’s a “white lie” or murder, and to a holy and just God, who has a perfect standard, the cost of sin is death. Everyone who sins, (and that includes all of us) must pay for sin with our life, but because God loves us (I’m not sure why, but He does), He sent His only Son, Jesus, to live as a man without sin, and to pay for the sins of every man, woman and child who had ever lived and who ever would live (that includes me and you). And God’s only requirement for us to be saved is that we believe this, and love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s it!
But now, O Israel, the LORD who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as a ransom for your freedom. Others died that you might live. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to Me. You are honored, and I love you.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west and from north and south. I will bring My sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. All who claim Me as their God will come, for I have made them for My glory. It was I who created them.” (Isaiah 43:1-7 NLT)
For those of us who die, loving Christ, we will enter into the presence of God, and there will be no more pain or sorrow, and every tear will be wiped away. For those who die apart from Christ, and I pray that it is none of you, my beloved friends, you will go to a place of never-ending torment, because you chose to pay for your own sins, rather than accepting the gift of eternal life that God offered.
For those who survive this meteor hit, please allow the word of God, as spoken through Isaiah the prophet, to comfort you. Fear not, because if you walk with Christ, He promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Indeed, Christ died so that you might live. No matter how difficult the days ahead may be for you, remember that the Lord your God will be with you, and if you will trust in Him, He will keep you in perfect peace.
My time is up now, so I leave you with this final blessing:
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. May He lift the light of His countenance upon you and let the light of His face shine down on you!