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.
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→