The Fullness Of Him

 

We are Your church
Your body
the fullness
of You

Who fills
all in all
and is above
all too.

**********

I am a member of Your body for You are with me.

**********

“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Ephesians 1:22,23 NKJV

photo credit: http://www.swordofthespirit.net

Published in: on March 30, 2019 at 5:10 pm  Comments Off on The Fullness Of Him  
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His Meeting Places

“They have burned up all the meeting places of God in the land.”  Psalms 74:8

There are countries now in which churches are burned and Christians are martyred.

Lord, please strengthen our desire to be the church You redeemed us to be.  And here’s a simple poem . . .

Still

comfortspiral.blogspot.com

comfortspiral.blogspot.com

Church buildings
may be abolished
all across the land
but nothing keeps us
from each other
and the wedding day
He’s planned.

Growing Up

“. . .that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro . ..

. . .but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ

from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”  Ephesians 4:14-16

We hear a lot about growing churches today, but Paul seemed more interested in us growing strong in the Lord.

Lord, we desire to grow in the callings You have given each of us, so that the body of Christ will be strong and healthy.  And here’s a simple poem . . .

A Healthy Body

Knitted together
so we can be

at our best
strong and healthy

as one body
of individual callings

loved and loving
always edifying.

Inside Israel – almost time for Passover Sedar

Hello and Happy Resurrection Day! Thank you so much for stopping by for a look inside Israel today. J of Jerusalem shares some special thoughts and blessings in this letter she wrote on April 18th. I pray all of you are blessed today, as you celebrate your Risen King. Now, here’s J . . .

Last night the country burned its leaven. There were bonfires all around where people brought their left over baked goods. Also yesterday, one of the chief rabbis symbolically ‘sold the leaven’ to the Arabs. I really am not sure what that is all about, but I have not cared to take the time to figure it out…another tradition that avoids the keeping of the command?

Passover begins at sundown tonight.

I looked up ‘leaven’ this morning in my old Webster’s Dictionary, and it confirmed what I though; leaven is an agent added to baked goods that causes them to rise or ferment. That is pretty simple to me. So…what could be ‘not kosher for Passover’ in a hard candy or a soft drink, or a yogurt? Well…on to that later perhaps, but, it saddens me to see that what IS ‘kosher for Passover’ this year includes baking powder and baking soda! That boggles my (admittedly) simple mind. Perhaps you remember (those of you who have been reading my letters for awhile) the year when suddenly CHEESE disappeared because it was suddenly not ‘kosher for Passover’. Happily, it ‘became kosher’ the following year. It is easy to see what is kosher for Passover here because it is removed from the shelves, or, as I described in past years, entire aisles of the stores are shrink wrapped and sealed in plastic that is unlawful to break until the end of Passover.

Indeed, the injunction to every Jew is clear and strong in scripture and is given “forever”. HOWEVER…it is rather simple…’No leavened bread shall be found in your homes’…’No leaven shall be found.’ That is not hard. Jesus kept the Passover. After He was risen, His disciples kept the Passover. It is neither a ‘religious act’, nor salvation by keeping the law; but an act of faith and obedience to God’s Word and it is not hard.

But Yeshua rebuked our (His people), particularly the religious leaders, for straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. I am reading right now in Amos and Acts and read a portion that made me shiver. Amos chapter 2 from verse 4 on is written first to Judah and then to Israel (Judah and Israel are separated by this time) – perhaps I will share this later… or perhaps you will…I feel to move on.

I have not been able to write any personal letters lately, and I am so sorry! I continue from ‘crisis to crisis’ and it has left me neither time nor energy, but I am fine inside, so do not worry but thank you for your prayers for my family and for my nation. It is so intense. HE IS SUFFICIENT!

I wanted to share with you some ‘bits and pieces’ that so many of you seem to enjoy. You know how it is when you clean house? You are left with ‘bits and pieces’ at the end (or is it just me….). Well, Passover is SUPPOSED to be (according to scripture) the first day of the first month for us, so it is a good time to ‘remember’ and share some bits and pieces that are meant to glorify Him and to be a blessing and a witness.

Passover (Pesach) is the first of the spring feasts and flowers are now in full bloom everywhere. The latter rains end during this time and the end of Pesach marks the beginning of the ‘counting of the omer’ until Shavuot (Pentecost) when the first fruits are offered with thanksgiving. But even now the fruits of the land dazzle our eyes and noses! The shuk is a glorious array of colors and smells this week! Fresh strawberries, oranges, apples, bananas, pineapples, pears, shesek, persimmons, nuts and dried fruits, fresh garlic woven into braids, aromatic and full, every kind of vegetable imaginable…what a sight! I stand back and think ‘This was a desert and YOU have made it to blossom!’ Crowds press into each other; ‘Ouch!’ ‘Slich’a (I’m sorry)’ ‘hag semach! (happy holiday)’

In the stores, food donation boxes stand by the doors encouraging you to ‘buy two and donate one’ and you are offered a chance to donate at the register as well. Everywhere people are speaking kind words to one another and thanking one another for their work. ‘I have an extra box of matzo. Do you need any?’ In the store I meet an old neighbor who had gone, with his family, to live in America for 2 years. ‘Yonatan! How great to see you! How are you and the family? How was it in America for you?’ He hugs me ‘My kids speak English now! Wait until you see them! They tell me what people say in English!’ I ask about how it all went and he tells me how well people live there and how easy life is there and how polite people are and how relaxed it all is…and then he is quiet and looks at me. ‘What?’ I ask, ‘Well…I am just glad to be home. People there talk about God…but it is like…it is different. Don’t misunderstand me…the people in the ‘inside’ (middle America) really seem to love God, but others…it is as if money is God…and money takes the heart…’ He looks at me to see if he has offended me. I tell him ‘Yes…except the ‘notzrim’ (Christians)! They are real!’ He agrees ‘Oh yes! Those are the people from ‘the middle’! They are like us…They believe.’ (He and his family are NOT yet believers) I go away wondering what witness he has been exposed to. I ask him to come and visit and I must pray now for an open door to share. Yonatan and Sarah are their names. Perhaps seeds have been planted and I can water them?

“He confirmed His inheritance when it was weary,” Don’t you love that verse? I certainly do, and that was JUST what He has done for me over the past 2 and a half weeks! I would like to give Him glory for His blessing in the presence of His people, for He is faithful!

We received, not one, but FOUR amazing blessings;

First came the stove: ‘It’s ok. It works’ (albeit the oven has two settings….’hot’ and ‘off’) ‘Thank you, but I’m sure there are others who need it more.’ That is what I told a friend of mine who is a Pastor’s wife and who administrates an ‘amutah’, a non-profit fund to help believers. ‘But I have the money NOW and your stove…well…it COULD bare replacing!’ she argued. I stood firm. HOWEVER…later that day, plop! The control knob fell off. ‘Hey! I didn’t know that could come off…I’ll scrub it.’ I did…and tried to put it back on only to discover that it had SHEARED off. Broken! Now I had NO way to turn on my ‘one stop’ oven. Instead of crying, I laughed and asked The Lord to forgive me for being so proud, and called my friend back. I am now blessed with a new stove! 2) That shabat, my Pastor’s wife handed me an envelope. The kehila (fellowship) had received a blessing and a number of us were given food coupons and it was enough to share with our girls as well. Two wonderful blessings in one week! ‘Thank You Lord!’ THEN (as if that wasn’t more then enough) 3) I got a call that ‘the Swiss believers are in town’. Now this is a special group of people…they come to clean! They clean streets, they clean the homes of ill and elderly…and they clean the homes of believers. I used to clean the homes of others, and I was blessed to volunteer to clean other places, but only once, after 6 weeks in the hospital with burns many years ago, did anyone ever clean my house. The sad fact is that for the past 3 years my life has been so intense and my health so poor that I have despaired over the mess and haven’t known where to start…should I ever get the time and energy. When I was asked if they could come to MY home…a strange thing happened. Yes, the embarrassed ‘refusal’ welled up in me, but a joyful acceptance usurped its place and, knowing that this would be greatly humbling… I said ‘YES’! Now, added to my other blessings I had clean windows, a clean bamboo pots and pans shelving and clean bathroom walls! FINALLY (as if more were possible) 4) , a dear sister from Texas, who does many things, but also leads groups to Israel, came and invited my husband and I to join them for dinner at their hotel. What a group! Each one was a blessing. We felt the strength of the body just being with them…the love of Yeshua enveloped us, and they blessed us with a gift of two months rent! HE CONFIRMS HIS INHERITANCE WHEN IT IS WEARY! The love of this group touched my husband’s heart as well J

I thank The Lord for this quiet time to write in the midst of so much activity! I have thought of several of you whom I love dearly in the line of the dangerous storms in the US. I have wanted to shout out about the murderers of the Fogel family being arrested and the responses…about the death yesterday of the 16 year old who was injured in the Gaza rocket attack about a week ago…about such a number of things that I do hope that you have read about in our news or heard about from the others you hear from. Others write so well and I know that many of you receive other letters. Thank you so very much for your prayers, for your letters, for your kindness, for you help, for all that you are in Him.

As we are one in The precious Pesach Lamb Who was sacrificed for OUR sins and rose again in victory, THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS AFTER THE FLESH…for the salvation of our people according to scripture, that even THIS Pesach, eyes may be open and that the revelation of Yeshua may be evident! God bless you! May we glorify God, and finish the work that He gave us to do.

Inside Israel

A warm hello to everyone who is able to drop by today. Our dear J of Jerusalem has had pneumonia. 😦 So, I am sending something from her pastor and the Intercessors for Israel with a site J thought I might like to share. Thank you for your prayers. There are many to pray for with the tsunami in Japan as well. God bless you and immerse you in His grace.

Prayer Priority Update
“I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also”
1Corintians 4:15
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Stand Before the Lord

At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day. Deuteronomy 10:8

We are called to stand before the Lord

While the Middle East is shaking politically, and the world is reeling from natural disasters such as the quakes in New Zealand and Japan, it would be easy for us to get caught up in all of the “excitement” and the developments, to the point of distraction and neglect of our main call to stand before the Lord.

We should neither be distracted by nor indifferent to the situation. We are called to stand before the Lord for His purposes to be fulfilled in the earth.

Surely, we will see greater shakings than we have seen up until now, and not just physical. Think of the repercussions, for instance, if a revolution breaks out in Saudi Arabia. What will be the effect on the oil-dependent West? How deeply will the world economy be affected by the Tsunami in Japan?

God is behind the shakings

For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. Haggai 2:6-7

One commentator writes about this verse, “[God] shall cause that agitation which precedes Messiah’s coming as the healer of the nations.” And in another commentary we find: “The political or religious revolutions which were to be effected in the world, or both, are here referred to.”

Psalm 46:6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

Joel 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

What is the shaking all about?

In the final analysis, the shakings in the world are all about God’s sovereignty, and the rage of the nations is a rebellion against His right and intention to rule the earth. It is also about His sovereignty and right to choose a nation, Israel, from which to rule the earth.

I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. Psalm 2:6-8

My King, My holy mountain, My Son… It is all about God’s Son to whom the Earth is given; to whom the nations are given as His inheritance.

The shaking of the earth, the restoration of Israel and the future coming of the Lord are all part of the same process

And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. Luke 21:24b-28

How should we pray at this time?

Yeshua taught only one prayer to His disciples:

Father, sanctify your name [by what you do on the earth]. Let your Kingdom come! Let your Will Be Done on earth as it is it is [absolutely done] in Heaven!

“THY KINGDOM COME.” I wonder if we have ever felt the zeal and passion of the Living God in these words, and if we have ever prayed them in the Holy Spirit!

Let these heaven-birthed words from the mouth of Yeshua, the Son of God, seize you, and let the Holy Spirit pray them through you.

The greatest need and the only issue is this: Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done, ON EARTH as it is done in HEAVEN. For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever!!!

The answer to this prayer is the only hope for the earth. Let us begin to pray these words earnestly and fervently rather than merely reciting or singing them.

Make Jerusalem a praise in the earth

On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isaiah 62:6-7

Praying for Jerusalem and for Israel is very much part of praying for the will and kingdom of God to be established in the earth. Read Ezekiel 36 to understand how God has vowed to sanctify his great name on the earth by restoring the Jews back to their Land, and by what He does in them before the whole world.

Pray along these lines, dear intercessors, and God’s zeal and fire will fill your heart and mind and fuel your prayers in the coming days.

– Let thy Kingdom come and thy Will be done – on earth as it is in Heaven.

– Make Jerusalem a praise in the earth O Lord. Come to thy city and rule the earth, Son of God.

– Restore thy people to the Land and restore thy people to yourself, Lord.

– Come to Zion, your city, and reveal your Son.

Blessings from Jerusalem,

Ofer Amitai
Israel Prayer Center

(This was written and sent before Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan.)

I just heard about this web site on the news and came right in to look at it. Watched interview with the 3 guys who decided to do it. You might want to put in a ‘link’ to it. Take a look at it:

(called Friend-a-Soldier project think-again) http://www.friendasoldier.org/

ani b’derek

Inside Israel – Encouragement to Pray

Hi and welcome to a peek inside Israel today. So glad you can be here. I have an older letter from J of Jerusalem, a believer in Jesus who made aliyah to Israel from the US some 16 years ago. J’s husband was recovering from being hit by a motorcycle when he suffered a heart attack. So while she asks for prayers for others and for Israel, please join me in praying for her and her family as well. Thank you so much! Your prayers are precious! Now here’s J . . .

Greetings from Jerusalem, with the love of The King of kings!

I was so blessed this morning by being freed up to go to the ifi prayer conference and join in for just one of the sessions, as well as to see some beloved prayer warriors from around the world. It is my day off and I was up early with my list of ‘must do today’ before me when I became aware of The Lord’s firm push that I should just go out to conference this morning. I was thrilled and ran, by faith, for a cab (the bus mess meant that it would have taken a full 2 hours by bus from my apartment to get across town).

There are 3 sessions daily, the morning one being the, perhaps most intense prayer session. This morning, Peter Tsukahira, a pastor from the Carmel region in the north, spoke and it was pin point right on. It stirred my spirit so deeply that I would like to share with you the gist of what he said. Lord, help me to share accurately.

Peter, who has lived with his family in Israel for more then 20 years, made his first trip to Egypt recently and vividly described the intensity of his experience. He and his wife were in Cairo, and reported that there is, literally, a mosque on EVERY corner…but not just that; they are full to overflowing on Friday (the moslem day of the worship of ala). Furthermore, the service is broadcasted by loudspeaker into the streets. He found that the taxi cab drivers that drove them around were listening to prayers or sermons or reading of the koran. The same was true everywhere they went. People were listening to prayers, sermons and the koran on the streets, as they worked, as they rested. They had opportunity to go into an area off the beaten path to buy coffee. In the small, poor, two room shop, coffee was being ground in the back room and the merchant sat at his desk in the front room. As he was watching television, Peter noted that he wasn’t watching sports, nor news, nor a soap opera…but prayers broadcast from Mecca.

Peter, who often preaches in western nations, noted the huge difference between the intensity with which the moslems were practicing their religion, compared with what he has seen in the west, where entertainment, material goods and complacency appear more and more pervasive. He challenged us with the thought that the world is being confronted by a SPIRITUAL challenge from militant islam…but the church is, by in large, defaulting. He suggested that when the church defaults to confront a spiritual battle clearly, the challenge goes to political leaders. When political leaders can find no solution…the next step is war. He then shocked me with a clear and sobering reality; that the church in the 1930s effectively defaulted from confronting nazism with a firm stand and message. Politics failed to find an answer to confront nazism effectively…and the result was WW2. IF THE CHURCH HAD A CHANCE TO RE-LIVE THE 1930, KNOWING WHAT IT KNOWS NOW… HOW WOULD THEY HAVE PRAYED AND SPOKEN OUT? This is quite a thought, particularly for those of us who are old enough to remember the stories of the millions killed in the horrors of ww2. With notable exceptions, (most of us were inspired through Reese Howells and other great men of God who understood the times and seasons…knew The Word of God and His Voice, and were also constrained by a great fear of God…who prayed through ww2 and saw way ahead that God intended to restore Israel as He said in His Word) the church was quiet and complacent.

We were asked to pray for the Church to awaken to the REAL threat of radical islam and for the Body to unmask replacement theology and understand, from the scriptures, God’s heart and purposes for Israel.

Perhaps you would like to pray along? There are now video ‘synopsis’ of the main message of the day from this conference being posted by Chuck Cohen. If you would like to follow along (these are NOT ‘videos of the conference’ as this is a PRAYER conference and the purposes of the videos are to encourage you to pray along with the prayer points being discerned and shared as broken bread), just go to the web site below and click on to videos. Each video is less then 10 minutes (so far) so it is not very time consuming. May we all be spurred on to effective, fervent prayer…standing in His righteousness alone. God bless you!

http://www.ifi.org.il/

ani b’derek

Inside Israel – Nervous

Welcome to Inside Israel, where “J” , a Messianic believer (one who is Jewish and also believes and has received Jesus as their Savior) sends us a letter. Today, the title says much. J is nervous to share what God laid on her heart. I pray that we are able to receive it in the Spirit that it was sent! God bless you and as always, thank you for praying for Israel and for J!

I greet you in The Name of The Lord, Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. I also greet you from this city… Jerusalem… a city with eternal significance, the weight of which I feel day in and day out. What a privilege to live here, and what a responsibility! Above all, I am responsible to God, Who put His Name here, but no more then each of you are responsible to Him…for He called each of us to ‘Follow’ and to ‘Know’ Him. Wow!

I had a disturbing encounter recently, and one that I ‘began’ to write about in my head (usually on the bus!) since it happened, but only now, as I am reading this morning, do I feel that I can, and need to, write about it on ‘paper’.

The position of ‘replacement theology’ came up again. It has been awhile since I thought about it, actually forgetting that it was there. I went to The Lord and His Word. For those of you who don’t know (and I know from letters that some don’t), replacement theology basically says that the nation/people ‘Israel’ has been replaced by the Church because of the sins of Israel. All of the promises to Israel are now promises to the Church. Israel is eternally cursed unless they turn and accept Jesus (I do not dispute that…only the METHOD, by the way).

This made perfect sense. For two thousand years (what a LONG TIME!) Israel was in exile, cast off and chased and without a country. There WAS no ‘Israel’. (I actually had someone say to me once ‘You are Jewish? I didn’t think there were anymore Jews!’) What WAS the Church to think? What must it have been like in the hundreds of years preceding our time to read the promises to Israel…to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the first covenant…and there WAS no Israel. How would you deal with that theologically?

And so, theologies grew.

In looking back, I am thankful that The Lord frustrated my deep desire to ‘go to Bible school’ because He knew that I am lazy by nature and that if I had had the richness of such an experience I would have neglected the path HE had for me. He called me instead into ‘His Bible school’ (just like all of you)…rising early, spending long hours in His Word and on my knees with only One Teacher. I remember the GREAT direction given by my first Pastor to ‘ALWAYS weigh EVERYTHING by the FULL counsel of the whole Word of God.’ Sometimes I would take two pages and write ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ when I was trying to understand where The Lord stood on something. Doing that often brought me to my knees crying out ‘Oh Lord! Your ways are so much higher then mine and Your thoughts so much higher then mine! I do not know where you stand, so lead me in Your path!’

Also, years ago, I went through a very difficult time (back some 20 years ago or more) when my world was turned upside down and I was in great fear as to if I were even His. At that time He taught me a great and precious lesson; I laid myself out before Him and asked Him to deal death to ANYTHING that I believed as truth that WASN’T Truth. Since then I have prayed that often; ‘Lord, if I hold dearly a stand as truth but it ISN’T True, PLEASE DRIVE IT FROM ME AND CORRECT ME!’ I pray that now too as I share this.

Now…I am sure that I STILL hold opinions and views that He will need to adjust or obliterate… but I trust Him that His work in me is not yet finished and that in His mercy He has heard my prayer. TRUTH is so important…TRUTH is His Name!

So…what happened when I was reminded about ‘replacement theology’?

It isn’t ‘easy’ living here. We do many things wrong as a nation. We are not saved yet, as a people. The world hates us. It is harder for me to be reminded that part of the body also feels that we are illegitimate before The Lord.

BUT, THE WORD! As I was reading just now and felt that it was ‘time to write this’, I read in Jer 33:23-26 (but indeed Jer 31,32, 33 etc restate the same thing over and over)

“…Have you not considered what these people have spoken, saying, The two families which The Lord has chosen (speaking of Judah and Israel), He has also cast them off? Thus they have despised My people, as if they should no more be a nation before them, ‘Thus says The Lord; ‘If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will cause their captives to return, and I will have mercy on them.’”

‘Well, Lord, this is just ONE scripture’, but, no…it isn’t. Immediately Romans 11 came into my head. I turned to Luke, where I am now in the New Covenant, but as I began reading another scripture came to me…Jesus weeping over Jerusalem and saying ‘You will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of The Lord’.” I prayed ‘Blessed is HE Who comes in The Name of The Lord’…and I asked Him again; ‘Lord? Is replacement theology right? Am I off base? Correct me Lord, if I am believing something that is not Your Truth, correct me in Your mercy’. Then I felt to come and write, even in the midst of my time before Him.

Because it is His very NATURE that is at the core of the issue; If he will also cast off the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob forever because of their (awful!) sins,… then what about the sins committed under the Second Covenant?? I am reminded that Paul brings that up in Rom 11:20 when He says “Do not be haughty, but fear, for if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either…” Back in Jer 32:39 The Lord addresses that fact that He will bring the people back to the land still unsaved saying ‘THEN I WILL GIVE THEM ONE HEART AND ONE WAY THAT THEY MAY FEAR ME FOREVER’ (this is AFTER coming back). I grow impatient; ‘Lord! We seem so far from you as a people and a nation! How and when will you turn our heart!? Am I believing a lie?’ But He says He WILL do it… In Jer, in Zech, in Romans and in so many other places…over and over His promises ring True and promise to come to pass…as they have in the past so they will in the future!

I am sticking my neck out by writing this. I know that I am out of my territory. I am NOT ‘a preacher’…I am an observer. Most people like my ‘bus writing’ best…and I do too. They are ‘easy’ to write. But I feel pressed in my heart to write this. Perhaps some of you know people who withstand your stand with Israel and stand firmly in replacement theology…or perhaps you yourself are unsure. DON’T BELIEVE WHAT I WRITE! (or anyone else). READ THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF…ALL OF THEM, for they are ALL ‘HIM’. Remember, the ONLY ‘Bible’ that The Lord Himself had, and preached out of was the First Covenant…LIKEWISE…THE APOSTLES! That was what they read and that was what they referred to when they spoke of ‘scriptures’ and ‘written Word’…they did not yet have any other. I encourage you, and myself, read the WHOLE counsel of The Word. “That I may KNOW HIM, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable to His death.”

“In the beginning…GOD…”! is how it begins…and it ends with “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. AMEN”!

ani b’derek

Inside Israel – For His Glory

Hello to all who have come by for a look inside Israel. J of Jerusalem takes us along with her for encounters with Yeshua and those He would place in her path. God bless you as you pray for Israel and J today! Here’s J . . .

(It has NOT been without difficulty that this letter comes to you with love and blessing in The Name of Yeshua! I began writing:…)

“Yesterday, 15th of Jan 2010, was my 36th birthday in Yeshua! He found me, 36 years ago, in the mud, washed me in His PRECIOUS Blood, and has kept me these many/few years and I want to worship Him with you for that. He has done the same for you. WOW! Worthy is The Lamb that was slain and lives forever! May we be a blessing to Him, living for His glory alone! AMEN!

I have a story (or two) to share:

Israelis are very direct and to the point. They don’t like to waste time or beat around the bush. They want ‘truth’ and they want it NOW! This characteristic is often misinterpreted by non Israelis as ‘aggressive behavior’ but I have come to admire this blunt directness. It says to me ‘We are stressed and desperate. We have no time to wait. We need the Truth NOW!’

But HOW to communicate that Truth effectively is something I passionately seek…and yet sometimes, I confess, shy away from. It is like being an archer…you either hit the target…or you don’t. Each word is weighty and important. What a responsibility!

I generally get a ride to kehila (fellowship) with Marin, the woman whom I asked prayer for a short time ago. She is newly widowed. Rudy (whom you prayed for and who asked came to Him at the last minute) was her husband. Our kehila rents a space in a large building and if no one is at the main door to let us in, we ring a bell and a guard comes down. We get varied reactions from the building guard who must ask where we are going. Yesterday, however, two policemen were entering the building when we arrived so we waited for them to open the door. One asked ‘Where are you going?’ We answered, giving the name of our congregation and the floor number and he asked ‘What is that?’ I said ‘We are Jewish believers in Messiah. It is a Messianic congregation.’ He scowled and said ‘I have a big problem with that.’ Marin asked ‘What is your problem?’ He responded ‘I believe in One God … “Hear o Israel, The Lord your God is One God, The Lord your God is One”. (He was quoting the ‘Shma’…the most important prayer in Judaism) You believe in a man who is Messiah. I have the same problem with Habad. They also believe that a man can be Messiah.’ (Habad, or Chabad, or Lubavich is the ultra orthodox sect that, like the Haradim, wear almost only black and white and extreme clothing and believe that this rabbi or that is or was Messiah-VERY brief simplistic description!) Marin began to answer and I was thankful because his statement addressed things that my Hebrew wasn’t deep enough to answer. Our elevator ride was short, but I suggested that he come to our floor and ‘observe’. He seemed shocked ‘Oh! I couldn’t do that! I don’t want to be one!’ He was scared. ‘We are not missionaries’ I explained. ‘You are welcome to just see who we are and what we believe and no one will accost you.’ When they left the elevator Marin bemoaned ‘How will one like him ever be reached! We must pray for him!’ And that IS EXACTLY the answer! That is also the ONLY way that I was reached in the deep mud pit that I was in…through prayer touching the Heart of God…because no man was used to touched me…I would have listened to no man. How wonderful that He cares and how we must pray…how I must pray!

(NOW…THAT IS WHAT I WROTE ON THE 16TH. THIS IS THE NIGHT OF THE 19TH….LETS SEE IF I CAN FINISH THIS)

And…I GOT TO SHARE AGAIN TODAY! At work we have a bit of a crisis. It takes 4 secretaries to keep the Dr. office working. I’m the ‘mama’ of the pack as they are usually young girls. Well…the last 3 young girls quit at the same time…it’s been… STRESSFUL! A new girl was hired this week. She’s 23 and sharp as a whip! The daughter of doctors, they made aliyah from Russia 8 years ago. Her Hebrew is perfect, unaccented. Finally today we found some time to talk and I surprised myself by sharing with her immediately that I was a believer. She was totally accepting and told me that she had no problem with this…but didn’t know what it was. The door was open for me to share and I was thankful for the grace to share in Hebrew more easily then usual. Our time was short before work poured in upon us again, but her name is Ala (a Russian girl’s name) and I do ask for prayer for her.

Sundown tonight ushered in the celebration of Tu b’shvat…’the birthday of the trees’. It’s a lovely celebration marked by songs, planting of trees and the eating of dried fruits and nuts and giving of flowers. It is a time of being thankful for the miracle of the cycle of growth (this is the time that the seeds, particularly of fruit trees, swell in the ground and sprout…when buds form on the trees, fruit forms in the flowers) and a thankfulness for the fruitfulness of the land that God has given us. (I am NOT able to do this letter justice…I am SO tired…but if it isn’t finished tonight, it won’t be…so please forgive that it’s unraveling a bit…) The shuk is loaded with fruits and nuts and my Grandchildren are singing delightful songs and dancing with flowers in their hair. It’s lovely!

BUT…the joy is NOT reflected on the buses this year…oh no it isn’t! You may recall some of my descriptions of the construction of our ‘lite rail system’. It seriously defies description…but I’ve tried. You see…this is year NINE of construction…or is it ten. OBVIOUSLY it has been the subject of HEATED public debate through the entire time, and no place is it more heated then on our buses. The bus riders are your least ‘powerful’ people in our society; the people with no cars. We are a perhaps colorful, but rather voiceless ‘mass’, and the ‘lite rail construction’ could easily be considered ‘bus-rider-abuse’ as our routes have been changed, lengthened, increasingly crowded and expensive as the roads used by the buses are also the route of the train. WELL…Saturday night, Jaffa Road, our main artery, was officially and permanently closed to all motor vehicles and city buses were permanently diverted to new ridiculously long routes which turned narrow one way streets into two way BUS traffic streets! The word ‘belegan’ (which loosely means ‘chaos’) was indeed created for this! I thought the BUS DRIVER would have a stroke on Sunday morning as he maneuvered his way down Agrippas (a narrow street in the back of the shuk) at 6am stuck behind trucks unloading at the shuk. My normally 1 hour ride to or from work now takes 1 and a half hours (or 12 minutes by car…) I think that this was the first time that I heard the DRIVERS actually ANGRIER then the riders! The riders have been angry for 9 or 10 years now while the bus drivers shook their heads. Right now it’s the riders shaking our heads as the drivers yell. There is STILL no ‘lite rail’ running, by the way… but they still do tell us it WILL happen. But there was no dried fruit or nuts being passed around the bus as it has been in the past. I had ample opportunity to pray for my OWN spirit to be quiet this morning in light of the situation, and as I gain the victory I will be praying for my fellow riders as well. I look forward to telling you of the victory and hope that we are soon singing on the bus again.

Well, with all of the important things happening in our country and around us, I have shared none of it. I also have some serious prayer requests to share…and will only ask right now for prayer for our older daughter who is about to give birth and is exhausted (they just moved and have all been down with stomach virus). She was quite ill with serious post partum depression 4 years ago, and I ask you to remember her this time for victory…ALL of the family. I ask specific prayer for our 7 year old Grandson.

With SO much more to write I am falling asleep. God bless you. I can not tell you how much each of you mean to me. Very lovingly, for His glory, your sis

Inside Israel – With Thanksgiving

Hi all! So glad you have stopped by to read today’s Inside Israel. J of Jerusalem shares some things that she is thankful for and one of them is YOU! I’m with her in that! And here’s J . . .

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus (Meshiach Yeshua) concerning you.”
1 Thes 5:18

How blessed are my friends in America and Canada to have days set apart for public and private Thanksgiving to God! Perhaps each country has a holiday of this sort? I don’t know. But we know that we each KNOW that this IS God’s will for us: to give thanks!

American Thanksgiving is one holiday that I do miss. I remember my first public thanksgiving service in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Calif, back in the 70s, when all of the fellowships came together in with a public meeting full of testimony and thanksgiving, praise and worship. I thought I would bust open with thankfulness.

I am thankful for each of you. You are His body, His temple, and you glorify Him and I am encouraged by you so very often. It is His gift to me, and I am thankful.

I have not been able to write for the past month as the country goes through turmoil…seemingly never ending. This past Thurs the rabbis called a day of fasting, prayer and repentance for rain as we are entering the 8th year of severe drought. In 10 days there will be another day set aside for this. Our country is being tempted (bribed? will we be bought??) by the US administration to institute another 90 day construction freeze in Judea and Samaria which is threatening to rip the country to pieces emotionally and politically. I read yesterday in Isa 30 AND 31 “Woe to those who go down to Egypt…” for strength, weapons, help against the enemy…instead of consulting GOD our shield! And I tremble, for that is what we are being tempted to do…and what almost half the country wants…to trust in the waning strength of America instead of the Eternal Strength of God. Our lack of rain speaks volumes to us…are we listening?

My husband and I just finished reading Voice of Hope by George Otis, written in the early 80s about the work that was done in N. Israel and S. Lebanon in the mid 70s to early 80s. It was very sobering to recall the historical events of the time (if not edifying to have a time to read of His work with my husband!!). The book records accurately the atrocities of the PLO and their roots and history…It was good to remember what was done and where they came from…the history, when all around us the incitement and delegitimization of Israel is taking place at a shocking rate in the media and world governments and agencies. Blatant lies are reported so often, repeated over and over as if they were fact, that I become confused…”is this TRUE?” Lying is a very effective tool. Keep repeating a lie over and over, convincingly and you are able to turn Truth upside down. It can happen in the body as well. Yes, we MUST know Him and His Word so well, that we can’t be fooled by lies or errors. And our FAITH and meekness must be so real and grounded in Him that when we are foolishly deceived, He is able to turn us in His mercy.

For those of you who do keep up with the news here and pray for Israel, THANK YOU! THANK YOU FOR HOLDING US BEFORE HIS THRONE FOR THE FULFILLMENT OF HIS PROMISES!

For those of you who hold our family up in prayer, THANK YOU! Our family continues to be tossed and turned, with particular prayer needed right now for our older daughter and their family…and our 7 year old Grandson. I take courage in the exhortation in Isa “Worship Him in the midst of the fires”. My husband is still in the rehabilitation hospital. Tomorrow is a month since his accident. I am weary, but take with joy the exhortation that I began with: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus (Meshiach Yeshua) concerning you.”

May HE be glorified at each of your Thanksgiving celebrations. And to my many friends in other countries that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving this week, may your heart also be blessed in giving of Thanks to Him Who alone is worthy.

ani b’derek

Outside The Church

“But I say to you in this place, there is One greater than the temple.”  Matthew 12:6

It’s been about 9 years since I’ve been able to attend church.  I don’t understand all the why’s and how comes of it.  Nor do I understand all that God’s doing in this.  I love my church and church family.  I’ve felt guilt and shame . . .but I’ve also felt His peace and provision for me here, in the place I am.

Thank You, Lord, for Your presence in the lives of believers who are outside of the traditional church system by Your calling or the circumstances in their life.  Here’s a simple poem . . .

In This Place

The church bells are ringing
the flock is gathering in
but I can no longer go there
and find shelter with them.

It doesn’t mean that You’ve left me
or that I’m all alone
but that You’ve chose to build a temple
here in my heart and home.

On Faith and Writing

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SAND DOLLAR SEASON

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Ellen Grace Olinger

Heidi Viars

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