Tag Archives: Judaism

SHEMA – LISTEN! (PART 2)

שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל:  יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יְהוָה אֶחָד
.וְאָהַבְתָּ, אֵת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ, וּבְכָל-מְאֹדֶךָ

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ~

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4 “Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one]; 5 and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 – CJB~

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Beloved readers, just as Israel was commanded many thousands of years ago to Listen! Hear! Understand and obey, so we too, are called to Listen! Hear! Understand and obey! Therefore, please join me as we venture into the Word of God, specifically into His Shema, so that we can learn to listen to Him and hear His voice through His word and His commands.

Shema! Listen to me… hear me and understand that YHWH (the Lord your God) is ONE… That means that besides Him, there is no other…

5 “I am Adonai; there is no other;
besides Me there is no God.
I am arming you, although you don’t know Me,
6 so that those from the east and those from the west
will know that there is none besides Me —
I am Adonai; there is no other.
7 I form light, I create darkness;
I make well-being, I create woe;
I, Adonai, do all these things.”

~ Isaiah 45:5-7 —  CJB ~

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Hallelujah! There is only One God, and He is not Allah… He is not Buddah… He is not one of many ways… He says, “I am Adonai {the LORD}; there is no other; besides Me there is no God.” ~ Isaiah 45:5 — CJB ~ You see, beloved readers, there is only One God, and besides Him, there is no God…

This One God is the Creator of all things… He is the One by whom and through whom all things were created…

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

~ Genesis 1:1 — CJB ~

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things came to be through Him, and without Him nothing made had being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it.

~ John 1:1-5 — CJB ~

15 He {Christ} is the visible image of the invisible God. He is supreme over all creation, 16 because in connection with Him were created all things — in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, lordships, rulers or authorities — they have all been created through Him and for Him. 17 He existed before all things, and He holds everything together.

~ Colossians 1:15-17 — CJB ~

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When the Jews recite the Shema, they usually do so, while placing their hands over their eyes. This is done to symbolize that they are blocking any distractions from interfering with their listening, hearing, speaking and understanding the Shema… 

4 “Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one]; 5 and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 – CJB~

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Listen… hear… pay close attention… UNDERSTAND, Israel… believers from every tongue and tribe and nation… Christians… ADONAI (YHWH) is ONE… He is the ONLY One… Beside Him, there is no other God (or god).

Understand, my friends, my beloved readers, there is only ONE God, and His name is not Allah or Mohhamed. His name is not Buddah. His name is YHWH — the Self-existing One… His name is YHWH — “I AM that I AM…” He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit — three in ONE… He is the Alpha and the Omega — the beginning and the end… He is the First and the Last… His name is Jesus — Only Begotten Son of God…

16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in Him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through Him, the world might be saved…”

~ John 3:16-17 — CJB ~

42 Yeshua replied to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; because I came out from God; and now I have arrived here. I did not come on My own; He sent Me. 43 Why don’t you understand what I’m saying? Because you can’t bear to listen to My message. 44 You belong to your father, Satan, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. From the start he was a murderer, and he has never stood by the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is speaking in character; because he is a liar — indeed, the inventor of the lie! 45 But as for Me, because I tell the truth you don’t believe Me. 46 Which one of you can show Me where I’m wrong? If I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe Me? 47 Whoever belongs to God listens to what God says; the reason you don’t listen is that you don’t belong to God.”

~ John 8:42-47 — CJB ~

54 Yeshua answered, “If I praise Myself, My praise counts for nothing. The One who is praising Me is My Father, the very One about whom you keep saying, ‘He is our God.’ 55 Now you have not known Him, but I do know Him; indeed, if I were to say that I don’t know Him, I would be a liar like you! But I do know Him, and I obey His word. 56 Avraham, your father, was glad that he would see My day; then he saw it and was overjoyed.”

57 “Why, you’re not yet fifty years old,” the Judeans replied, “and you have seen Avraham?” 58 Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! Before Avraham came into being, I AM!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Yeshua was hidden and left the Temple grounds.

~ John 8:54-59 — CJB ~

6 Yeshua said, “I AM the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 Because you have known Me, you will also know My Father; from now on, you do know Him — in fact, you have seen Him.”

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it will be enough for us.” 9 Yeshua replied to him, “Have I been with you so long without your knowing Me, Philip? Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am united with the Father, and the Father united with Me? What I am telling you, I am not saying on My own initiative; the Father living in Me is doing His own works.11 Trust Me, that I am united with the Father, and the Father united with Me. But if you can’t, then trust because of the works themselves.

~ John 14:6-11 — CJB ~

Hear, O Israel… Hear all you nations of the earth… Understand what I am saying… Comprehend these statements… Ponder on them and meditate on them… The Lord {Adonai… YHWH… Father… Abba} our God is One God… Beside Him, there is  no other God {god}… 

I’ve only just barely scratched the surface in this, the second post about the Shema… In Part 3, we’ll talk about loving the Lord, but for now, let’s simply focus our gaze on this one thought… There is ONLY ONE GOD. There are not many gods — only ONE GOD…

This was shown to you, so that you would know that Adonai is God, and there is no other beside Him.

~ Deuteronomy 4:35 — CJB ~

There are not many WAYS to GOD, contrary to what the world would have you believe… There is only ONE WAY…

Yeshua said, “I AM the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except throug Me.

~ John 14:6 — CJB ~

What better way can we begin the New Year, than by fixing our thoughts on Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith? Let us begin this New Year by remembering, prayiing, pondering and dwelling on this one thought… The Lord our God is One God… 

Heavenly Father, as we begin this New Year of 2014, let us fix our thoughts on You — the ONLY God… Let us remember and ponder on thoughts of You, our Creator… God our Father, Maker of heaven and earth. Let us fix our sights on Jesus, the Only Begotten Son of God, through whom and for whom all things were created and are held together… Let us fix our hearts on Holy Spirit, who lives within the hearts of each believer, giving us wisdom and instruction, as He guides us in all truth. As we fix our hearts, our souls, our minds and our strength on remembering these things, I pray Lord, that You will show us Your glory. Teach us, and draw us ever closer to You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

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Shema – Listen! (Part 1)

.שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל:  יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יְהוָה אֶחָד
.וְאָהַבְתָּ, אֵת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ, וּבְכָל-מְאֹדֶךָ

~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ~

4 “Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one]; 5 and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources.

~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5 — CJB~

o_shema_na_foto_hebreia_ver_3_deut_6_4_5-rc2a2691bf92b46ec941fed77e4428240_fk9n_8byvr_324This is one of the most powerful and important scripture passages in the bible. It is of such great import that all of Israel was commanded to keep these words on his heart. They were to meditate on these words, to teach them to their children, to talk about them at home and when they traveled, when they were in bed and when they got up…

6 These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; 7 and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, 9 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates.

~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9 — CJB ~

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In other words, the people of Israel were (and still are) to love the Lord with their whole heart. “Shema Yisra’el!” Moses told the people. “Listen to me! Hear me!” Whenever we have something important to share with someone, we often preface it with the words, “Listen to me or  Hear me!” It is the same with the Lord, when He wants our attention, so He can share something with us. He tells us…

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

~ Revelation 3:22 — NKJV ~

Open your ears, and come to Me;
listen well, and you will live —
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
the grace I assured David.

~ Isaiah 55:3 — CJB ~

Beloved, this word is not just for Israel. This word is for every man, woman and child that lives, that ever has lived and that ever will live. The word that I share with you today is life, so I entreat you, Shema! Listen to me! Hear me!

4 “Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one]; 5 and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 — CJB~

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As a mother, when I told my children to listen, I didn’t just mean that I wanted them to hear me, because all too often, children hear what we’re saying, as the words go into one ear and out through the other. When I told my children, or when I tell my grandchildren, or when I am telling you to listen, I don’t just want you to hear my words. I want you to heed my words. I want you to take these words to heart and ponder them. I want you to act on these words. 

Shema Beloved Reader! There is only One God, and you must love Him with all of your heart… So, what does it mean to love with our whole heart?

The Hebrew word for heart used here is lebab (pronounced lā·väv’)

I.     inner man, mind, will, heart, soul, understanding

A.     inner part, midst

i.     midst (of things)
ii.    heart (of man)
iii.   soul, heart (of man)
iv.   mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
v.    inclination, resolution, determination (of will)
vi.   conscience
vii.  heart (of moral character)
viii. as seat of appetites
ix.   as seat of emotions and passions
x.    as seat of courage

Shema Beloved Readers! There is only One God, and you must love the Him with all of your heart… your inner man… your mind… your will… your soul… your understanding… Shema! Hear me – this is not a half-hearted act on your part. You are commanded to love the Lord your God with ALL your heart.

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This means that you are to love Him with your entire inmost being. I love digging deeply into the word, so that I can understand more fully what it is that the Lord is commanding us to do. The Lord commands us to love Him with our full heart, in the midst of everything… 

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to love God when everything is going your way? It’s really easy to love Him when you have plenty of food in your pantry, and plenty of money in the bank. It’s easy to love Him when your loved ones love you back. Loving God is easy when you and your loved ones have your health. It is good to love the Lord your God in these circumstances…

But how do you feel when all hell breaks loose around you? Do you continue to love God when you and your loved ones suffer all sorts of trauma and pain? Do you continue to love the Lord your God when you are despised, rejected and abused? Do you love the Lord your God when your children or your grandchildren have been misused and abused? Do you love Him with all of your inmost being, when someone you love suffers and dies, in spite of all your heartfelt prayers? Shema Beloved! This is the kind of love the Lord commands us to give Him.

Do you set your heart on Him, giving Him all of your love, even though you watch all that you hoped and dreamed for come crashing and burning at your feet? You see, this is what it means to love the Lord with your whole heart, and He will not settle for less. When you’re going through hell, and it seems that all is lost, while people advise you to just curse God and die, do you begin to reflect on the goodness of God? In the midst of your suffering, are you able to remember the many times when God showed Himself strong on your behalf? As the pain threatens to destroy you, do you determine in your will (heart) that you will still love Him… still worship Him… still  serve Him… still praise Him, as the sons of Korah did?

My soul, why are you so downcast?
Why are you groaning inside me?
Hope in God, since I will praise Him again
for being my Savior and God.

~ Psalm 42:11 — CJB ~

Shema Beloved Readers! Hear me! Do you love the Lord your God with all of your passion? For too long, the church has taught that love is a verb, an act of the will and nothing more. The fact is that love is a verb. It is an act of will… but it is so much more than that! You see, the church also taught that love is not a feeling, and that is a lie. Love is indeed a feeling, as well as an act of will. You see, my friends, I choose to love the Lord my God with all my heart, no matter what my circumstances are, and no matter how bad the pain is. 

I choose to love Him by remembering all that He is… He is the One who loved me when no one else did… He is the One who has never left me nor forsaken me… He is the One who died to pay for my sins… He is the One who loved me long before I ever loved Him… He is the One who chose me… He is the One who redeemed me and called me by name… He is the One who suffered for my sake… He is the One who saved me… delivered me… set me free… gives me hope…

You see, as I remember who He is and all that He’s done for me, my love for Elohim is no longer simply an act of will. With each remembrance, I feel a stirring within my soul, and my passion for my Maker is kindled. Shema Beloved Readers! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…

Do you love Him? Beloved Readers, meditate on this passage. There’s so much more to it, that we’ll continue another day, but for now, Shema Beloved Reader! Love the Lord your God with all your heart!

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

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What’s in a Name? (Part 2)

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In the last post, we talked about the name of God, the one He gave to Moses… YHWH or Yud He Vav He, also spoken as Yud He Waw He. In this name, the Lord reveals so much about Himself to us… He reveals that He is the All-Sufficient God. He is everything we need and more… Now, I want to go a little deeper and share something else with you…

Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'”

~ Exodus 3:15 ~

The Lord did not actually say that His name was LORD, or Adonai, as the Jews have recorded. In fact, no one knows any longer what His name is, because the Lord’s name, the one that He said would be His name forever, and would be a memorial to all generations, has allegedly been stripped of its vowels, leaving only the consonants, YHWH (in English), or Yud He Vav He (in Hebrew). Therefore, whenever you read the word LORD in your bible with the letter “L” capitalized, and the remaining letters written in small caps, that means the Yud He Vav He’s name was actually spoken or written there originally.

Now, why would anyone try to hide the Lord’s name, when He specifically said that it was His name forever, and that it would be a memorial to all generations?

Dictionary.com defines memorial as:

something designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc., as a monument or a holiday.

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Many people suppose that the Jews do not write the Lord’s name, but instead, replace it with “Adonai” because they don’t want to break the third commandment…

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

~ Exodus 20:7 ~

However, this is not true. As a matter of fact, in this very commandment, YHWH’s name was used not only once, but twice. So, where does this tradition of hiding the name of God come from?

Apparently, this tradition of not writing YHWH’s name came about over time, as various rabbis after reading Deuteronomy 12, determined that another commandment was implied in this scripture passage…

1 Here are the laws and rulings you are to observe and obey in the land Adonai, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess as long as you live on earth. 2 You must destroy all the places where the nations you are dispossessing served their gods, whether on high mountains, on hills, or under some leafy tree. 3 Break down their altars, smash their standing-stones to pieces, burn up their sacred poles completely and cut down the carved images of their gods. Exterminate their name from that place.

4 “But you are not to treat Adonai your God this way. 5 Rather, you are to come to the place where Adonai your God will put His name. He will choose it from all your tribes; and you will seek out that place, which is where He will live, and go there.

~ Deuteronomy 12:1-5 ~

No one really knows when, but somewhere along the way, rabbis, scribes and priests decided to stop writing the name of God and to write Adonai instead of His name. This way, they figured, no one would run the risk of accidentally erasing His name from the scriptures.

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Image Credit:
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How sad. Think of it — Moses, the one God spoke His name to, was the first to write the Lord’s name. As a matter of fact, knowing that people would see His name and read His name, and hear His name, Moses still chose to write the Lord’s name so that all might see it.

Let’s take it a step further… God wrote His name on the stone tablets, when He wrote the 10 Commandments, for all to see, after Moses broke the original stone tablets, (when the Israelites sinned and worshiped the golden calf).

Moshe was there with ADONAI forty days and forty nights, during which time he neither ate food nor drank water. [ADONAI] wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Words.

~ Exodus 34:28 ~

If the Lord had not wanted His name written or spoken aloud, He never would have revealed it and told Moses to speak His name, not only to the Jews, but to Pharaoh as well. Indeed, nothing in the Torah prohibited speaking the name of the Lord, and the Jews in ancient times used greet one another in the name of the Lord regularly and call upon His name. As a matter of fact, people called on the name of the Lord long before Moses learned the Lord’s name…

And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD. ~ Genesis 4:26 ~

He left that place, went to the hill east of Beit-El and pitched his tent. With Beit-El to the west and ‘Ai to the east, he built an altar there and called on the name of ADONAI. ~ Genesis 12:8 ~

For what great nation is there that has God as close to them as ADONAI our God is, whenever we call on him? ~ Deuteronomy 4:7 ~

Shimshon called to ADONAI, “Adonai ELOHIM, just this once, please, think of me, and please, give me strength, so that I can take revenge on the P’lishtim for at least one of my two eyes.” ~ Judges 16:28 ~

“Then, you, call on the name of your god; and I will call on the name of ADONAI; and the God who answers with fire, let him be God!” All the people answered, “Good idea! Agreed!” ~ 1 Kings 18:24

As you can see, people called on the Lord by name from the most ancient times, and the Lord heard their cries and answered them. In fact, the Lord Himself encouraged people to call upon His name…

2 “Thus says ADONAI the maker,
ADONAI who formed [the universe]
so as to keep directing it —
ADONAI is his name:
3 ‘Call out to me,
and I will answer you —
I will tell you great things,
hidden things of which you are unaware.’”

~ Jeremiah 33:2-3 ~

Knowing that the Lord Himself wants His people to call upon His name, makes what happened all the more difficult to understand. However, by the time of the Talmud, some rabbis proclaimed that it was sinful to write or even speak His name aloud, or else the person who did so would have no place in the World to Come. Is it any  wonder the Lord Jesus spoke so harshly to the Pharisees?

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. ~ Matthew 23:15 ~

Sadly, through the years, because the Jews stopped writing the name of the Lord, and because they were afraid to speak His name anymore, the Lord’s name was forgotten. Indeed, Jesus even had to teach His disciples the name of the Lord…

“I made Your name known to the people You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. ~ John 17:6 ~

I made Your name known to them, and I will continue to make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I Myself may be united with them. ~ John 17:26 ~

Hallelujah! Our heavenly Father wants His children to know His name and to call upon His name. Jesus knew that, and so He made Yud He Vav He’s name known to His disciples.

Although the pronunciation of our heavenly Father’s name has been lost, we can still pronounce the letters of His name that are left to us… YHWH (Yud He Vav He)… 

YAHWEH_blue_sm1The image above are the Hebrew letters, YHWH. It is read from right to left, and it is the name of the Lord. It is pronounced Yud Hey Vav (or Waw) Hey. Brothers and sisters, I encourage you to pray to Yud He Vav He and to call upon His holy name and see His response to your prayers. There is power in praying, crying and calling upon Yud He Vav He.

Would you like to know a little more about Yud He Vav He and the power of His name? The image above is the Lord’s name, using letters from the modern Hebrew alphabet. The image below shows the ancient Hebrew writing of the Lord’s name — the one used by Moses and the Old Testament writers, and it is here, in these ancient letters, that we truly get a glimpse of the power of God’s holy name…

images

Remember, that Hebrew is read from right to left, and so was ancient Hebrew. Therefore, if you look at the first letter, “Yud”, you see an image that looks like a hand attached to an arm. The next letter in the pictogram is the letter He (pronounced Hey), and this figure looks like someone is saying, “Hey!” or “Behold!” So what you see so far is “Hand — behold!” The next letter resembles a tent peg or a nail, followed by “Behold” again.

Therefore, when you put the letters all together, you see Hand — Behold! Nail — Behold! We see here in the Lord’s name, the name that we are to call upon, a picture of Christ’s hands with a nail in them. Is that not powerful? Just seeing this is evidence that Yud He Vav He, by His very name, had planned the crucifixion of Christ, from eternity. Such wisdom and love is far beyond our scope of knowledge.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, I urge you and encourage you to call upon the name of Yud He Vav He in Yeshua’s name, Then watch and see how He will move on your behalf…

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Image Credit:
http://doubleportioninheritance.blogspot.com/

Yud He Vav He, thank You for the power and the revelation of Your Holy name. Thank You for entrusting Your name to Your children who love You. Thank You for the hope and the promise that is in Your name, Yud He Vav He, and we ask You to speak to the hearts of the men, women and children in our lives, in Yeshua’s name. Amen.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

ה He (Behold!) Show Me Your Ways

Psalm 119:33-40

ה He

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.
38 Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is devoted to fearing You.
39 Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments are good.
40 Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness.

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Hallelujah! Psalm 119 is a beautiful, powerful psalm, which takes us through the Hebrew alphabet, from beginning to end, as it focuses on the statutes of the Lord. Psalm 119:33-40 begins with the Hebrew letter, ה He, which is the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and means behold!

Therefore, as we begin to study this portion of scripture, behold! Look and see what God wants to show you in His  word… Let’s begin our study by looking at Psalm 119:33…

ה He

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.

~ Psalm 119:33 — NKJV ~

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Image Credit:
photo.neo6.com

This seems pretty straight forward, but it’s important for us to understand that the Hebrew language is different than the English language. Therefore, for us to truly understand what was being said when the Lord inspired it, let’s look at the Hebrew meaning for Psalm 119:33…

Beloved readers, behold! See what the Lord spoke to His people many years ago, and because His word is living and active, it continues to speak to us. Let’s really begin to dig into this scripture verse and behold what the Lord shows us…

The Hebrew word for “teach” in this scripture is yarah:

  1. to throw, shoot, cast, pour
    1. (Qal)
      1. to throw, cast
      2. to cast, lay, set
      3. to shoot arrows
      4. to throw water, rain
    2. (Niphal) to be shot
    3. (Hiphil)
      1. to throw, cast
      2. to shoot
      3. to point out, show
      4. to direct, teach, instruct
      5. to throw water, rain
Image Credit: freebibleimages.org
Image Credit:
freebibleimages.org

The word “teach” takes on a whole new meaning, when you see what the original Hebrew text was… Behold! Throw, cast, shoot, point out, show, direct, teach, instruct me… In this scripture, the writer is asking the Lord to cast him, shoot him, point out and show him. He’s asking the Lord to direct him, teach him and instruct him. 

Imagine this, as you’re praying to the Lord, you’re telling Him, “Behold! Lord, I’m an arrow in Your hand. Take me, Lord, and place me within Your bow, aim me and shoot me where you want me to go!” 

Do you see it? When we become as an arrow, we relinquish control. We are now at the Lord’s mercy, as He takes us from His quiver, places us on His bow and takes aim. He is the One who directs us, choosing where He will send us flying to. He is the One who pulls us back and shoots us in the direction we are to go. As you can see, this requires complete trust in the Lord, as an arrow does nothing on its own. 

Image Credit: thelongbowshop.com
Image Credit:
thelongbowshop.com

While in the quiver, the arrow rests quietly with the other arrows, waiting for its Owner to choose it. The arrow is not its own — it belongs to the Archer. Once chosen, the arrow rests in the hand of the Archer. The arrow has no say over where it is shot, or even how or why it is shot. It simply rests in the hand of the Archer, while He aims and points it in the direction it is to go, and then shoots it.

Are you willing to rest in the hands of your Archer? So often, our problems arise when we try too hard to do things, rather than simply resting in the hands of the Master, and allowing Him to aim us and shoot us where He wants us to go.

ה He

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.

Psalm 119:33 — NKJV ~

The Hebrew word for “way” in this scripture is derek:

  1. way, road, distance, journey, manner
    1. road, way, path
    2. journey
    3. direction..
    4. manner, habit, way
    5. of course of life (fig.)
    6. of moral character (fig.)

Now, remembering what it means when we say, “Teach me, O Lord,” let’s look at the “way” we are asking Him to teach us. As we rest in the Lord’s hands, we are asking Him to cast, shoot, direct and instruct us in the way, road, distance, journey, manner, path, direction, manner, habit, course of life and course of moral character that we should go. This is powerful. We’re not just asking for direction, we’re asking the Lord to cast us on the journey of our lives. We’re asking to be shot in the manner of our moral character. We’re asking the Lord to show and instruct us in our habits.

Image Credit: knowledghi.com
Image Credit:
knowledghi.com

Just think about this… When we ask the Lord to teach us, we’re asking Him to send us in a new direction — on a new way. We’re asking Him to send us on a course of life, to direct us in the way our moral character can be developed. We’re asking the Lord to shoot us toward new habits. It isn’t enough for us to read the scriptures, and then walk away with no change in our lives. We must seriously surrender to the Lord, rest in His hands, and ask Him to send us in the way that will change our moral character and the course of our lives as we develop new habits.

Isn’t it amazing how such a simple scripture can be so life-changing? As you continue to read and study this verse, make it your prayer to your heavenly Father…

ה He

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.

Psalm 119:33 — NKJV ~

The Hebrew word for “statutes” is choq:

  1. statute, ordinance, limit, something prescribed, due
    1. prescribed task
    2. prescribed portion
    3. action prescribed (for oneself), resolve
    4. prescribed due
    5. prescribed limit, boundary
    6. enactment, decree, ordinance
      1. specific decree
      2. law in general
    7. enactments, statutes
      1. conditions
      2. enactments
      3. decrees
      4. civil enactments prescribed by God

According to this definition, the statutes we are praying for are our limits, ordinances, prescribed tasks, prescribed portions, the actions prescribed for ourselves, our resolve, boundaries, decrees and enactments prescribed by God… Think about it this way — as we pray this prayer, we are asking the Lord, to choose us from among the other arrows in His quiver, while we rest in His hand. Then, as we rest in His hand, He places us on the bow, aims us, and shoots us on our journey that will change the course of our lives, as our moral character and habits are developed.

But how are these qualities developed? The Lord, casts us to our prescribed boundaries. He sets our limits before us as He casts us toward them so that we may enact His decrees. It is in the course of acting out His decrees that we develop moral character and new habits, thus establishing a new course of life.

ה He

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.

Psalm 119:33 — NKJV ~

The Hebrew word for “keep” is natsar:

  1. to guard, watch, watch over, keep
    1. (Qal)
      1. to watch, guard, keep
      2. to preserve, guard from dangers
      3. to keep, observe, guard with fidelity
      4. to guard, keep secret
      5. to be kept close, be blockaded
      6. watchman (participle)

This part gets me so excited. I’ve always thought that “keep” as it is used here simply means to obey, but as I read it according to how the word natsar was intended, I see that its meaning goes much deeper. When I ask the Lord to choose me and cast me to my prescribed limits, so that I may develop a good moral character with new habits that establish the course of my life, according to Psalm 119:33, I then make Him a promise…

ה He

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.

Psalm 119:33 — NKJV ~

I not only promise to obey His word, which is vital, but in this instance, the promise I am making is to also watch over His word and guard it. I’m promising to guard His word with fidelity and preserve it. I’m promising the Lord that I will be a watchman for His word, keeping it close and guarding it from danger. 

As I read and study the word of God, something happens within me. As His word takes root within me, and the Lord speaks to my heart, zeal for His word begins to grow, and I find myself fiercely guarding His word from error. I find that it angers me to see people take the Lord’s word out of context or give it a different meaning than what He has clearly inspired its authors to write. I have become a watchman for God’s word.

That is why I write against false teaching and false prophets and teachers. I do it because there is a fire within me for the word of God, and I cannot sit idly by while false teachers take advantage of those who do not know what God’s word truly says. My heart longs to see men, women and children come to the saving grace of Christ. I long to see them saved, healed and delivered from the sin that so easily besets us. I long to see them set free, and it is the TRUTH that sets us free.

Therefore, I must speak the truth in love, expose the lies and also expose the false teachers that many have set on pedestals. For we serve a jealous God, and He alone is worthy of our worship, while some of the men and women who claim to be bible scholars and teachers of the word are charlatans who fleece the flock, and they must be exposed. 

ה He

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.

Psalm 119:33 — NKJV ~

Bless the Lord, my beloved readers. Meditate on this word from the Lord today, and commit yourself to asking Holy Spirit to teach you, aim you, shoot you and cast you towards the limits and boundaries that God has decreed for you, so that you too will be a watchman on the wall, guarding the word of God and hiding it in your heart to the end.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Related articles

Silver Bullet Prayer direction for current situation – written by my pastor‏

Image Credit: www.JerusalemShots.com
Image Credit:
http://www.JerusalemShots.com

Greetings Beloved Readers,

Forgive me, because it has been awhile since I’ve posted any letters from our sister in Israel. Unfortunately, due to my illness and my vacation, I’ve fallen way behind, and I will do my best to catch you up. 

Meanwhile, there is an urgent need for prayer that just came today, for the nation of Israel, and our beloved sister in Israel has sent us a letter from her pastor. Please read this entire letter and begin to pray as the letter directs. It is vital, both for our friend and her pastor, and for the nation of Israel, and for us as well. I truly believe that this is a mandate from the Lord, calling for us to pray for Israel, and He is showing us exactly how to pray for Israel in these last days.

May the Lord bless you, my beloved readers, as you join with me in fervent and urgent, but not panicked prayer. One more thing for you to know, our sister has asked that her name not be revealed, for obvious reasons, and I’ve done the same for her pastor, changing his name to Pastor, where it was written before. And now the letter from our sister’s pastor…
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Prayer Priority Alert

An American attack on Syria seems to be imminent.
An American attack on Syria seems to be imminent, and Arab leaders warn of terrible consequences to Israel, if Syria is attacked.

Arab leaders spew bellicose threats
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is quoted as saying: “The intervention of America will be a disaster for the region. The region is like a gunpowder store, and the future cannot be predicted.”^1

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi warned that, “The basic repercussion would be a ball of fire that would burn not only Syria but the whole Middle East.”^1

In Israel
Thousands of Jews and Arabs line up at gas mask distribution to get their gas masks in preparation for a possible counter attack from Syria and Lebanon (Hezbollah).

Patriot anti-missile batteries in Haifa are put on alert, Netanyahu convenes security cabinet, and IDF announces major drill on Golan Heights (meaning the IDF is moving troops to the Golan if it is ordered to attack Syria, or if Syria launches a ground attack into the Golan.

But don’t get rattled or excited in the flesh – it won’t help

In 2006, at the beginning of the Lebanon War, as I began to pray earnestly for our security situation and the war (which was not going well at the time), the Lord stopped me in the middle of my praying. He warned me, “Pastor, do not pray your opinions to me, pray what I show you!”

I took that to mean that I should not pray out of excitement, or be animated by my emotions or flesh, or even let my prayers be guided mostly by the newspaper headlines. So often, we are unaware that we are praying that way. Rather, He wanted to lead me by His Spirit, that I might pray what was strategic to Him.

But Abraham stood yet before the LORD… Abraham drew near…


When the Lord came to Abraham and revealed to him that He was on His way to judge Sodom, Abraham’s response to the news, is instructive.

“And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near…” Gen. 18:20-22

I take this to mean that Abraham turned His heart to God; he drew near to God rather than allow himself to let his emotions and flesh run wild with speculation and anticipation. Rather, he approached God with the full weight and impact of God’s Word and revelation of His nature and character. These were the only things guiding His intercession on behalf of Sodom! Who knows what prayers he would have prayed otherwise?

So, I urge you to actually turn to God, get a hold of His Word and ask Him to lead you in your prayers and intercession on behalf of Israel now.

You should remind yourself that God is sovereign, especially in all that pertains to Israel’s restoration and protection. How beautifully it is expressed in Isaiah 54.

“And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.14 In righteousness shall you be established: you shall be far from oppression; for you shall not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. 15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. 16 Behold, I have created the smith that blows the coals in the fire, and that brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. 17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, says the LORD.” Is. 54:13-17

This is just one of hundreds of promises and declarations of God’s purpose in these days, to restore Israel to the Land and to Himself.

If you let His Word fill your heart, you will find faith arise in your heart –His Word is the fuel of our faith. His Word will inspire, lead, and guide your praying, and you will be taken into a realm of prayer and intercession that, you have not experienced before.

There, when you are in the Spirit, you will pray boldly and on subjects that you have not thought of, but that He wants you to pray. And when you pray His Will, you have the confidence that He will answer.

One example scripture that can inspire and guide your praying…

Zechariah 12:

Vs. 1 – The Lord’s sovereignty as creator and giver of life to man – this is how this chapter opens – get a hold of it and it will keep you from panic praying.

Vs. 2-3 A warning to all the nations who take Israel and Jerusalem a their problem to solve or resist.

Vs 4, 9 God personally battles the nations who come against Israel (whether diplomatically or militarily).

Vs.5-6 What God does for the governors and leaders of Israel.

Vs. 7-8 What God does for and within the nation of Israel

Vs. 10-13:1 Spiritual restoration of Israel is part of all of this conflict!

If you take time with this chapter, praying through it, giving God glory for His sovereignty, worshipping Him as creator, you will be enabled to have faith for the rest of it, and that makes all the difference.

We will continue to keep you posted as the situation unfolds. The papers are saying that the American attack could come as early as tomorrow, but nothing is for sure.

Blessings from Israel,

Pastor

Inside Israel – the approaching fast day of the 9th of Av – 11 July, 2013

jeratnight12

Greetings Beloved Readers,

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…
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“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:
 
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.
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.
Lovingly, your sis
 
ani b’derek

Inside Israel – Of things old and new – AND FAMILY NEWS – 7 July 2013

Image Credit: Jerusalem Shots
Image Credit:
Jerusalem Shots

Greetings Beloved Readers,

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…
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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
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 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. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certainwe can carry nothing out. 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.
 
PERSONAL NEWS
 
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. 
Lovingly, your sis
ani b’derek