Signs

imageunder the vines

covering

first bloom

 

Blooms are a sign of the fruit that will follow.

 

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with Your generous spirit.”   Psalm 51:12 NKJV

Advertisements
Published in: on July 7, 2017 at 5:26 am  Comments Off on Signs  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

From This Day Forward

 

Pomegranate_DSW

“Is the seed still in the barn?  As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit.  But from this day forward I will bless you.”  Haggai 2:19

The people had suffered through drought, blight, mildew and hail.

Thank You, Lord, for helping us move forward into Your blessings as we turn to You.  And here’s a simple poem . . .

Seems like it’s been
a tough year here

not much planted
not much fruit

oh let me always
turn forward with You, Lord

watching for the blessings
of new beginnings and shoots.

God bless you from this day forward!

Published in: on July 3, 2014 at 5:47 am  Comments Off on From This Day Forward  
Tags: , , , , ,

Inside Israel – today is tu b’ shvat

Hello and welcome to our Sunday look at what is happening inside Israel.  Our sis J of Jerusalem shares about trees today. You just have to read and find out what she has to say!  🙂

God bless you as you pray for Israel and J!  Now here she is . . .

It is tu’b’shvat, the birthday of the trees…and this year, for some reason, people are very involved in it.  That’s great…I’m just never sure WHY some years it’s ‘Eh…Tu’b’shvat…who cares.’ and other years are ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE TREES!  LET’S GO AND PLANT A TREE!’  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that this is a ‘LET’S GO AND PLANT A TREE!’ year…just wonder ‘Why the change?‘  So I think about what is filling the news these days, and about the wonderful way I have learned here that people ‘Look in a different direction’ when the direction that they are looking at looks black.  It is really not dissimilar to the way we are exhorted over and over to “Look unto Him and be lightened”…”Looking unto Yeshua, The Author and Finisher of our faith” to mention two off the top of my head.  After all…we don’t have one holiday here that is not initiated or rooted in Him.
Most of you likely know that Israel is the ONLY country on earth that is getting greener rather then browner.  We have only one ‘tree planting’ organization which is in charge of all forests. The Keren Kameyet  (or JNF) was established in 1901, before Israel was raised up as a modern state, for the sole purpose of reforesting the land that had been raped of trees over the 2,000 years of our exile.  Jews all over the world sent (and still send) money to plant a tree in Israel in memory (or honor) of a loved one, in return receiving a ‘tree certificate’.  On my wall hangs a beautifully engraved certificate from 1946 in memory of my Grandmother. 
A number of years ago I heard a touching story from an older friend who made aliyah at the same time that we did.  The husband is a concentration camp survivor and shared this story with me, to the best of my memory:  His father was an oriental rug dealer in Germany and was off in Egypt buying carpets when the war broke out.  Our friend, Benyamin, and his mother were taken to the concentration camp and his father was persuaded by his very close Egyptian friend to weather the war with him in Egypt rather then return to Germany to be killed.  Ben’s father and his Egyptian friend, with whom he stayed, were as brothers.  But the DAY that Israel was declared a state, the Egyptian man came in with a gun and told Ben’s father coldly ‘Now you must leave!’ Ben’s father was shocked, ‘Why?’ he asked.  The answer was revealing:  ‘Your God blesses you.  He makes everything grow.  Now you have a state and the desert will turn green.  Our god does not bless us.  He gives us desert.  Nothing grows.  Go and grow your trees.  Our gods are now at war… and so are we.  If you stay I must kill you.’  Ofcourse I do not remember word for word as Ben told us, but I believe that this was the gist of the story, and it shocked me.  Until that moment I had never understood that alla is a god of deserts…such a harsh god who parched his servants.  Our Lord is The Living Water. The ancient jealousy between Isaac and Esau was so evident in this to me. 
When we first made aliyah, we were given (as all new immigrants are) the right to 5 months of ‘ulpan’, intensive language classes (5 hours per day, 5 days a week, for 5 months…full immersion, meaning, ONLY Hebrew was spoken from the first moment we entered the room).  During these amazing classes, we also learned the history, geography and culture of our new land.  All of the holidays were celebrated and explained, and that included tu b’shvat.  The whole class (there were about 40 in my class from 16 countries, if I remember correctly) boarded a tour bus on tu b’shvat which took us to one of our national forests.  We stood before a representative of the Jewish Agency (yes, the same Jewish Agency that was so active in bringing Jews home since WW2) who patiently held a tree planting ceremony for us, and gave us each our first tree to plant in our new homeland.  As we took each other’s pictures planting trees, I was overwhelmed with emotion to see that even I was here…the wonder of it all!…sinking new roots into ancient soil…and GOD HAS DONE THIS! 
This day is also celebrated by the eating of fruits (particularly dried) and nuts that are indigenous to the land.  Most popular are the almond, date, fig, olive (considered a fruit of the land) but really all dried fruit and nuts are enjoyed and given as gifts.  (and being Israeli, you would be amazed at how many people consider chocolate a ‘fruit of the land J)  There is also much of the popular Israeli (Jewish really) pastime of attending classes, lectures, discussions and rabbinical seminars delving into the full meaning of the holiday, debating scriptures and rabbinical sources as well as customs.  (somehow I can’t imagine such a thing taking place concerning, say, Christmas)  The main scripture that I have seen referred to as the foundation of tu b’shvat  is:
When you shall besiege a city a long time, and wage war to capture it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against fruit trees… Only the trees which you know are not trees for food, you may destroy and cut them down to build siege machinery against the city waging war with you. (Deut 20:19-20)
However I have also seen every other verse concerning trees pointed to as well.
So…back to my original question concerning WHY exactly, is tu b’shvat suddenly so popular, davka, this year?  I decided to ask our younger daughter as she has become a pretty good authority and source for her ‘immigrant’ parents.  Her answer?  ‘Well, look at the situations all around us!  We are THRILLED with a reason to ‘look away’ and to celebrate!  I smiled.  Got that one right!
The lesson I learned from this holiday?  (rather, was reinforced) KEEP my focus fixed on Him.  PARTICULARLY when things around me quake and reel, sink my roots in deep and look away to The Son…absorb His Water and produce fruit for His kingdom…PARTICULARLY as the times are short and darkness increases!  May we all be fruit bearing trees for Him.
I miss you, dear family in Him.  May we all glorify God and finish the work.  Lovingly, your sis
 
ani b’derek
Published in: on February 12, 2012 at 9:37 am  Comments (17)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Inside Israel – The Voice of the Bride and the Bridegroom

“Hi!” and welcome to another Sunday look inside Israel. Today J of Jerusalem takes us to a Jewish wedding with her and He is beautifully displayed there. I hope you are as blessed as I was!
God bless you as you pray today for J and Israel, and as you remember 9/11. Now here’s J . . .

Greetings in The Name of Yeshua, dear brothers and sisters. May The Lord be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed!

As you know, demonstrations, uprisings and revolutions are sweeping across the middle east, and we here have been experiencing our share of protests focusing almost exclusively on our, increasingly unbearably high cost of living. The character of the nation was expressed so well this past Shabat when the government announced that they would increase bus and rail service to the three main cities where a ‘million man protest rally’ was called to begin after shabat ended. Are we the only country that has a protest and the government provides more transportation to accommodate the protestors? J

“You shall know them by their fruit.” Yeshua said. Yes, our character speaks so clearly of the condition of our heart.

I was a guest at a wedding this past Friday, the character of which spoke volumes concerning the young couple and their families, and, for me, since it displayed a taste of heaven, I thought that I would share it with you.

Perhaps many of you have been to Jewish weddings, and even Messianic Jewish weddings. I know that I have described several. This wedding was small by Israeli standards, and I was most blessed to be invited. I arranged my work schedule so that I could attend. It was on a moshav (small rural farming village) outside of ‘Beit Shemesh’ in the hills of Binyamin (Benjamin) and Yehuda (Judah), where David slew Goliath. Today it is a beautiful and peaceful area. The first day of school was on the 1st of Sept. and traditionally, the Friday following the first day of school is one of the busiest for my husband’s hair salon/barber shop, so, since he was unable to accompany me, our older daughter and baby Grandson came. We entered the peaceful moshav and followed the hand written signs to the wedding site. When we first moved here, those signs amused me. I used to see signs all over saying things like “bar mitzvah shel Yair” (Yair’s bar mitzvah) or ‘hatona shel Orli vey Baruch’ (wedding of Orli and Baruch). Coming from the states where street signs in cities are rather regulated, it was fun to see kids running around the city with chairs, sometimes balloons, tying party directions to traffic lights in the middle of town. I came to realize that this is common practice.

We followed the signs to a beautiful vineyard on top of a tall hill. Under the grape arbors, the tables were set up on thatched rugs and there was an area for the ‘huppa’ (or ‘chuppa’ or ‘hupah’, transliteration into English letters is a challenge with most words and is subjective and NOT a ‘science’!) overlooking the hills of Yehuda and Binyamin. The scene was most peaceful and the only sounds heard were either ours or those of nature. The’ huppa’ is a canopy of sorts, traditionally just material (sometimes a prayer shawl, or ‘talit’) attached to 4 poles which are held over the bride and groom by 4 close male friends or relatives. The symbolism of the huppa is multifaceted and beautiful. It touches on the tent of Avraham and Sarah, it speaks of the home that the new couple will make, so fragile and small compared to all of God’s vast creation, it speaks of HIS covering over their heads…and it is small enough to be ‘private’; this is an intimate relationship being sealed in heaven.

This particular couple was very special to me (and many others) as I have loved the young woman since almost the first week of our arrival in the land, when she was just 12, the age of our younger daughter, who was her friend. I watched and prayed as she was seen with a young man who ‘did not yet’ know The Lord. I have watched for seven years. And I rejoiced with our whole kehila (fellowship) when this young man gave his life to The Lord perhaps just short of a year ago. Integrity colored their relationship with beauty as the young girl would not compromise by a relationship with an non believer, and the young man would not come to Him simply to win the woman he loved…it had to be real. And as the believers prayed for 7 years, it is indeed real, this relationship with The Lord! What a beautiful thing to behold is holiness! What a building of character. Glorious fruit!

As beautiful as these things are, they are not unique. I’m sure many of you can share a similar victorious story of young people putting God first, how glorious! But with a Jewish family, there was an immediate reaction, and the young man’s Mother (his estranged Father had died) refused to attend a ‘Messianic wedding’…up until the very last moment. As we gathered none of us knew if she would be there or not. Much prayer went up for her, and finally, there she was, with other family members. Our Pastor who performed the wedding is also the only believer in his own family…yet they attended. The only believers at the wedding were friends, a few members of the kehila and several others. We wondered if there would be anger and a nasty response…it was indeed threatened. Much prayer was offered.

With such grace our Pastor welcomed everyone: ‘I know that most of you have never been to a Messianic wedding, and this is a Messianic wedding and we are not ashamed of The Name of Yeshua h’Meshiach. And we are gathered together to BLESS the Bride and Groom, whom we all love. Please join in to bless them together and partake for their joy’, his gracious words were so gentle that it was as if The Holy Spirit placed a ‘huppa’ over ALL of us. My daughter had taken the Baby to an area where the children could play. She told me that she was the only believer in that area…all of the young couples with her were those who had never been exposed to The Lord. She told me that at that moment they all sat up and gave the ceremony rapt attention. We are believing for FRUIT for the kingdom!

The message that was given to the young couple spoke deeply to my heart as well. The wedding was (of course) in Hebrew and he spoke about the word for ‘love’…ahava. He said that this word is so overused these days and it has to do with the warm ‘feeling’ that is so often called ‘love’…but there is another word that goes deeper: yedidut. This beautiful word, multifaceted as a diamond, has it’s root in ‘together’ and ‘one-ness’…in the same way that God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit is One…Yedid… yedidut… he spoke of the deep importance of being true friend for each other… and I realized that this is what has spoken to me so deeply about my Pastor’s relationship with his wife. They exhibit so beautifully this relationship to the kehila in their own marriage.

Just like a ‘Christian wedding ceremony’, so it is with a Jewish wedding. There IS no ‘typical’ Jewish wedding. There is much leeway for personal taste and choice. This one was simply characterized by such great, deep joy and blessing. The hora was danced, the songs were sung, and the sense of having delighted The Heart of The Father was with us.

I know that I did not do this subject justice, I am simply too tired to continue, but I so wanted to share a bit of the joy with you…the joy of the character of God… in a vineyard in the hills surrounding Jerusalem!

God bless you dear, faithful, brothers and sisters. Lovingly, your sis here.

ani b’derek

Faith Worked Out

Searching for the heart of the matter.

Jesus-Network.com (God'sBlog)

Bringing Hope to a world that sometimes seems hopeless!

Lillie-Put

The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

Another Red Letter Day

The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. - Jesus

STELLA CAROUSEL

POETRY HEART/‘Religion’s’ but cold stones ~ Relationship with Jesus lights soul’s inferno.

Wings of the Dawn

even there Your hand will lead me ~ poems and reflections by Heidi Viars

Godsfruitful

Encouraging others in Christ

Another Fearless Year

Linda L. Kruschke's Blog

InSpirited

pearls~poetry~musings

Making disciples for Christ

We are disciples of Christ, making disciples for Him in every nation (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)