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.

Turn and Take Your Journey

“On this side of the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law, saying,
‘The Lord our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying, “You have dwelt long enough at this mountain.
Turn and take your journey . . .” Deuteronomy 1:5-7

How the children of Israel must have rejoiced to hear those words.

Lord, we wait ready and with anticipation for when You say, “long enough.” And here’s a simple poem . . .

His Fulfillment

Living in the shadow of this mountain
so long it feels like home
but You never intended us to think
this was the end of the road.

So now You call for us to pick up
to journey on and so we go
into all that You have promised
the fulfillment that You know.

With God

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

The headlights of my car shone on a sign saying something very similar to this verse, at a time when I was hurting so badly, broken and barely hanging on. It became a turning point in my life.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the possibility that only You can bring to what is broken, hurting and lost. And here’s a simple poem . . .

Mission Possible

He makes
the impossible possible

we can be healed
renewed, remade

when all seems lost
and irreversible

Jesus comes
and is the way.

P.S. I looked for that sign on subsequent trips down that road, but never saw it again.

Sharing Those Things Believed

“In as much as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which are most surely believed among us,
just as those who from the beginning were eye witnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us,
it seemed good to me also . . .” Luke 1:1-2

This is how The Gospel According to Luke starts out. Even though many had already recorded the story of Jesus, it didn’t stop him from doing it too. I’m so glad.

Thank You so much, Jesus, for all the people who continue to share “those things which are believed among us.” And here is a simple poem . . .

Let Me Hear Yet Again

Can I ever hear
enough about You
can I ever read
all there is to read?
Do I ever tire
of finding the light switch?
oh no, Lord
this could never be!

I want to let everyone know about a new online Christian Journal, http://idyllsfortheking.wordpress.com.
Eden Ellis is the editor and seeking fiction/poetry/song lyrics/photos that glorify and honor God. The idea is for it to be like this verse, a place to continue telling those things which are believed among us. I hope you are encouraged in Christ while reading there and contribute to the telling too! 🙂

A Perpetual Fire

“A perpetual fire shall burn on the altar, it shall never go out.” Leviticus 6:13

It takes time and care to keep a fire burning.

Lord, I pray to be perpetually blazing for You. And here’s a simple poem . . .

Lighting Fires

Gathering leaves and sticks
a little paper to start
our sidewalk fire

leaving the grass edges singed
my husband frowning
and the children excited

at the possibility of keeping
the flame alive.

Inside Israel – The Streets of Jerusalem

Hi everyone and welcome to this Sunday’s Inside Israel.  Today we get a special look at the city of Jerusalem. I think you’re going to love it. I did!

Do I have a treat for you!

First of all, I want to thank you all for such an encouraging response to the last email that I sent – Succot / Simchat Torah – with the photos!  I did not expect the response.  From where I sit…I do the same thing every time; I pray and share my heart.  I NEVER know HOW it’s going to be received, so I send it with fear and trembling, because I’m responsible to Him for every word that comes from my mouth (or the pen of my mouth).  I don’t take that lightly.  But I never know what makes one letter different from another.  Thank you for all of the encouragement!

But I DO have a treat for you!  I mentioned to one of the patients where I work, a journalist, that I send out a letter to many friends and that people were so happy to see photos of our succa.  She told me that her niece has been going around the city photographing it for several years and putting it, as in an ‘album’ on the web called The Real Jerusalem.  I checked it out and it is WONDERFUL!  (VERY easy to use, even if your computer, or you…are slow, like me.  Just click on the ‘address’ below, or ‘copy/paste’ the address into the ‘search’ on google, msn, yahoo or whatever.   It is presented like a photo album with one line explanations under each photo.  There are TONS of photos of succas from all around the city (even on the back of a camel!) – but – more then that.  COME WITH ME IN THESE PHOTOS TO THE SHUK:  All of the places that I describe and more, many of the events are well and clearly photographed.  For those of you who wish you could be here and can’t… or have been here and would like to remember (or come back!) – or just for the curious…PLEASE ENJOY THE STREETS OF JERUSALEM!

http://realjerusalemstreets.wordpress.com/ Have a feast!  I would be happy to send any comments that you have on to my friend for her niece.

I also have some good news to share on the personal side.  Thank You Yeshua!  My bone marrow biopsy came back negative…no cancer!  Also, my weekly blood tests have SUDDENLY shot up to mostly normal (or very acceptable) range, and are holding steady.  I told the hematologist (blood doctor) that I had been healed, but he doesn’t see it that way.  He told me that the overall picture shows that this was an incident indicating that the systemic lupus had significantly worsened.  I don’t think so…indeed…I believe that He has healed or is healing the lupus, but I will need to show that to him (and the other doctors).  I am making an appointment to see a new lupus doctor early next year.  He will get the glory He deserves.

I will enclose the ifi prayer notes for those of you who use them.  PLEASE continue to pray for our prime minister.  The pressure upon him is … not humanly possible to bare.  May it be ONLY The Lord holding him up.  I am so thankful that He knows and believes the scriptures that he was raised with.  I am shocked at what I read and see on the news.  The distortions and repeated lies are shocking.  No wonder Israel can not answer for herself…I know I am speechless when I see these out and out lies and blatant distortions.

When you see and hear lies repeated often enough, you believe them…atleast most of the world does; that is why ‘the love of The Truth’ is so incredibly important!  Here is an excellent, short, concise example:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3966413,00.html then read

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3966625,00.html

I am leaving for our fellowship (kehila) shortly, so must go.  Again, thank you for all of the encouragement…and PRAYER!  Lovingly, for His glory.  Your sis


Published in: on October 10, 2010 at 5:02 am  Comments Off on Inside Israel – The Streets of Jerusalem  
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Age Not A Factor

“See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.”  Exodus 7:1

The neighbor across the street from us recently moved away.  Em was 79 years old and always on the go.  I don’t think the word “retire” was in her vocabulary.  I’m so thankful for the inspiration she gave me to keep doing good.

Lord, I thank You that there’s no time limit on our usefulness through You.  Please help me remain available for You all my days.

Here’s a simple poem to encourage us to not let our  age, or any other factor, stop us from serving Him.

No Discrimination

Moses was eighty years old
and Aaron eighty-three
when God sent them to tell Pharaoh
to set His children free.

So there’s no discrimination
in God’s ministry,
He can use whoever He wants
to show His love and majesty.

Don’t Make Me . . .

We’ve heard (and maybe used) the phrase “don’t make me come down there!”  Or over there, back there, up there.  It’s said in an attempt to scare the offender into submission and obedience without actually having to take action.

Jesus, we thank You for not staying apart from us even though we were in trouble.  You came down and delivered us from our sin.

Here’s a simple poem to encourage us in the fact that we have a deliverer today!

Deliverer

I have seen the oppression
of My people
in their bondage
I’ve heard their cries,

I know their sorrows
but also their tomorrows
I will come down
to free them from these ties.

“So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians.”  Exodus 3:8

When It’s Okay To Disobey

Pharaoh told the Hebrew midwives to kill all the male babies.  Instead, they feared God and kept the sons alive.  Pharaoh told all of Egypt to toss their new born sons in the river.  Moses’ mom kept him alive and put him in a basket.

Lord, when we are put between a rock and a hard place, help us choose the Rock.  Though it may look like it costs us everything, we’ll loose nothing if we’ve chosen You.

Here’s a simple poem to encourage us to obey God over man.

Nothing To Fear But God Himself

The time has come
a choice to be made

for our God
and the life He gave

fearing Him more
than the gods of the moment

tossing in all our chips
and loving where they lay.

“But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the  King of Egypt commanded them . . .”  Exodus 1:17

Climbing Back Up

When my oldest daughter fell on the balance beam during gymnastics, her coaches were quick to check her out and get her back on the beam.  The same held true when Aubrey’s saddle slipped, dumping her from a horse.  She was dusted off and put back in the saddle.

Jesus, thank You for calling us back to You when we fall away.  May we not hesitate to come.

Here’s a simple poem to encourage us back to Him when we fall.

First Love

Remember how it was
when you first loved Me
before you fell away
and left these things behind.
Repent and return again
and I will come quickly
bringing you food to eat
from the tree of life.

(from Revelations 2:5,7)

“Remember therefore from where you have fallen . . .”  Revelation 2:5

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