Inside Israel – Reaching Out, Part 2

Hi and welcome to another look inside Israel!  This is the second part from last weeks letter, where J had been sharing with us how God was healing her herniated disc.  God bless you and thank you for joining us in prayer for Israel and J!  Now, here’s our sis from Jerusalem . . .

As my bus passed through the shuk very early on Wed morning, I glanced out of the window just in time to see a soldier with his gun aimed at a package, beckoning for a second soldier to come over.  I saw the ‘red dot’ aimed into bag.  I have seen it in pictures, but not in ‘real life’ before.  I understand that the ‘red light’ is an ‘ammunition detection device’, although I don’t know how it works…sort of like a ‘sniffer dog in a gun’.  It was just a fleeting moment and my bus moved on.  My first thought (shows how jaded I have become!) was ‘Oh!  I’m thankful that we passed before the road was blocked off.’  Not very spiritual, but it got me thinking, and thankful.  There are virtually no reports of all of the ‘packages’ that have been defused over the past few years, but because we all know both soldiers and leaders, it is common knowledge that there have been A LOT!  Thankfully, our army has become extremely good at interception and prevention!  However, it is still not perfect: A dear friend blessed me with a ride home from work yesterday. ‘I’m afraid that we can’t stop and visit…we are going to the funeral.  It’s in Ashkelon.’  I had heard about it at while at work at 8:30.  First we heard that a terrorist had been killed in a clash on the Gaza border.  A half hour later it was released that an IDF soldier had also been killed in the battle.  A group with guns had been seen cutting through the security barrier fence separating Gaza from Israel and soldiers were dispatched to the area.  It was revealed that the intent of the group was to kidnap an Israeli as a ‘bargaining chip’ for Palestinian prisoners.  ‘We received a sms (text message) from our ___ (their son who is currently stationed there) at around 5:30 this morning saying “I am alright.  Don’t worry”, so we knew that something had happened.  The funeral is called for 1:30 and we want to be there.’  Israelis stand together even in situations that others might consider ‘rude’ to ‘intrude into someone’s privacy’.  This country has something unique (in my opinion and to my experience)…this intense sense of ‘family’…perhaps like His body is meant to be?  It was also exhibited clearly just before Shavuot when a family was driving up North and their brakes failed.  Seven of the eight members of the family were killed instantly…only a seven year old girl was thrown from the car to safety… and she alone was left, orphaned and bereft of siblings.  The country stopped and collectively held their breath…for one moment of silence…before pouring our prayers, and requests ‘We would like to adopt her…’ ‘Our home and hearts are open for her…’ ‘How can we help?’ Indeed, our Prime Minister stopped some high level talks to excuse himself and explain that we were all concerned about a little girl who had just tragically lost her entire family…he would need to be excused.  We were soon informed that her mother’s sister’s family had opened wide their doors.  We saw photos of her surrounded by her ‘new’ sisters and brothers and parents…an equally large family.  We already see photos of her smiling.  We continue to pray.” 
And as I close I want to let you know that our Prime Minister is giving TELEVISED TOURS of Israel and I understand that the first few are EXCELLENT.  I suspect that those of you who are interested in coming to Israel or have been would really benefit from watching these.  Currently this is the information that I have 
Back to resting.  God bless you!  Thank you for your prayers.  Love, a sis in Jerusalem

Inside Israel – Moving towards the New Year

So good to have you here for another look at Israel, through J of Jerusalem’s eyes and heart. She has a very precious way of sharing and is a blessing to us who aren’t there, but long for His will and His nation Israel. Thank you for your prayers! Now, here’s J . . .

Our first rain showers of the year came, yesterday to the North and Tel Aviv, and in the night and today to Jerusalem. The smell of the air, after the long hot summer, is indescribable. How comforting and assuring that after the UN speeches last night, we have our first sprinkle. It is not a full rain, but it is a reminder of the promise of His faithfulness. And ‘faithful’, thank you for all of those who watched and prayed last night (our time) for our Prime Minister and the hearts of the world leaders. Even several who wrote back that they were, right then watching and praying! I will refrain from commenting on the events right now, but I do know that He heard our prayers! If any of you did not hear the speeches and would like to hear or read them and can’t find the links, please ask me and I will send them.

As I smell the freshness of the air, I also prepare for our fall feasts. The entire country prepares. We are entering nearly a month of mo’edeem (appointed times before The Lord). First is Rosh h’shana (the new year, the feast of trumpets), beginning this coming Wed. night, a time of thanksgiving and prayer and the blowing of shofarim (ram’s horn), of giving of gifts, eating apples and honey and meals together. Indeed, the shofarim have been sounding every morning since the beginning of the month of Tishri (on the Hebrew calendar). The days of Awe follow, leading up to Yom Kippur (the day of Atonement) a week after Rosh h’shana. This is quickly followed by the full, wonderful week of Sukkot (feast of tabernacles) –a time of thanksgiving and sitting in the outdoor sukka. Sukkot ends with Simchat Torah (rejoice in revealed The Word). What a month! What a time for Israel to stand…again…in precarious situations…forced to look up and find her strength and salvation in God Alone! By His grace, I will share with you the times, smells, heartbeats of the days ahead.

Following a very full ifi prayer meeting yesterday at 6:30am… a time when Isaiah 14:32 was spine tingling alive “What will they answer the messengers of the nations? That The Lord has founded Zion, and the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.” (how TIMELY!) I ran to the bus to get to work. Even more then usual yesterday morning I was so sad to have to leave early. My bus stop near the ifi Friday meeting is at the shuk and from a distance the bus stop looked unusually crowded for 7am. As I approached I saw that there was a class of, perhaps 6th or 7th graders there with their teacher, a tour guide and an armed soldier guarding them (that is the law for any organized group of children together… there must be an armed guard with them) I listened as the guide, along with the teacher, was sharing the history of the shuk and it’s habits. The children were excited to enter it’s just-waking alleys. I love the way Israelis tour Israel…CONSTANTLY! As if everyone wants to get to know each rock and tree personally. I prayed for them to encounter Yeshua.

I was off to begin my day.
But it was a bus ride the day before that I wanted to share with you. Once again I took the 18 bus; that is the bus that I told you about, whose new route has been a nightmare. It was jammed, so I stood beside a young woman who was already grumbling. ‘He thinks we are bowling balls, this driver! It is impossible to stand up. Why can’t he drive smoothly?’ I had to agree that he did seem to be doing his best to knock us all down. ‘Well, that is probably the one good thing about the lite rail anyway is that it is a smooth ride.’ I said. ‘Ah! Olmert’s! He took all of our money and built luxury buildings, a lite rail and ruined our public transportation!’ she continued. I laughed ‘Well…the GOOD thing is that no one ‘outside’ knows how stupid we are. The nations think that we are so clever. That is probably our best weapon…they don’t know. And since we ARE so clueless, we would be crazy to think there is no God, since only He could keep this crazy country going!’ She thought; ‘You are right ‘ she said. ‘It’s a miracle that we keep going’ There I agreed and it opened the door for a wonderful conversation. She is a single woman, probably in her mid thirties, and she has 3 old people whom she cares for. This is hard work, and low paying at that.

I soon found out that she was very discouraged and her life was hard. She asked about mine, and I shared with her some of our situations…but again I laughed; ‘Without Elohim I would quit…but He makes it all worthwhile…He is enough, He fills my heart with Joy, and we still have a roof over our heads and food today.’ I smiled. ‘You are religious?’ she asked, obviously surprised, since I do not dress like the religious women. ‘No. But I love Elohim with all of my heart and I get up very early every morning and read the scriptures without a prayer book or a rabbi and then I pray from my heart.’ She looked serious ‘Oh, that is the best way. To pray from your heart. I think He hears then.’ I answered ‘Oh, He always hears an honest heart that is sincerely seeking Him. Did you know, the scriptures are really EASY to understand if you ask Him to help? We don’t need the rabbis to tell us what they say.’ She nodded ‘Yes. They have our history in them’ (the children read the scriptures in school as the history book) ‘But more then that!’ I said…’It is the CHARACTER of those who follow Elohim…and those who don’t… that we can also look at. The character of King David, for example; his life was so hard but he always turned to God and he was given help and joy and strength and wisdom from God’. I went on to explain that even more then man’s character, we learn of GOD’S character and of His ways. My new friend’s stop came and we warmly thanked one another for a good ride together and wished one another a Good New Year. ‘Shana tova omevorach!’ (Happy and blessed new year) As she got off the woman behind me burst out with ‘THIS BUS IS RIDICULOUS! WHAT DID OLMERT DO TO US!’ I think I can actually THANK our x prime minister Olmert for the wonderful opportunities that he is providing me to share words of encouragement toward The Lord, prayerfully opening windows to The Name of Yeshua.

Shabat has drawn to an end now and I hear that we are on high alert along the Egyptian border. God knows what lies ahead this week…this night…this hour…and THAT is so comforting! How wonderful is His Mercy, how Great His Love! Thank you for your continuing prayers for this nation, this people and for the indigenous body of Messiah here. Love and blessing to each of you. Your sis

ani b’derek

Published in: on September 25, 2011 at 6:29 am  Comments Off on Inside Israel – Moving towards the New Year  
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Inside Israel – A View From The Midst

Hi everyone! Thank you for coming by today for a look inside Israel. Much is happening quickly there and J of Jerusalem is so gracious to share her perspective as a Jewish believer. Praying that you be blessed and led to pray as you read. And that you have a blessed Memorial Day as well. Now here’s J . . .

I have missed writing. It is odd, but when I write I feel ‘connected’ with each of you and I end up being edified, as if I have had fellowship. I was meditating in John 17:21 this morning where Yeshua prayed that we would be one as He and Father are one. The unity of the body is a great and wonderful mystery, and I do love each of you. My computer has been giving me problems and my time and strength have been stretched beyond even my normal, but I am thankful for this slot of time, and pray that what I share will be of some value for the glory of the kingdom and the edification of the body…and…yes…some takes place ‘on the bus’!

In the midst of this VERY high powered couple of weeks, I feel that I am NOT to share much about ‘what I think concerning the speeches’ and actions that have stormed the world. There has been more then enough commentary to keep everyone puzzled and full of opinions. I will share just 3 things that might be a bit unique simply from the perspective of a believer in this land; we have news channels in English from different countries; Sky News and BBC from England, a French news station, American Fox news and the international version of CNN. I find it fascinating to first listen to the speeches themselves and then go immediately to these stations to hear their initial responses. They are generally predictable, and it does give me a taste of why the views from your respective countries differ so tremendously.

The other thing that I want to share is the VIEW FROM THE BUS J Following Mr. Obama’s speech; the bus was grim…and angry. Oh what yelling took place on that 6am bus the ‘morning after’! Mixed with the anger was fear, and a sense of defeat; fear that our Prime Minister (who was set to arrive in the US very shortly) would crumble and not be able to hold firm against such pressure. This was a real fear since he did just that during his first term in office when he shocked the nation by returning from the Wye meetings having given Bet Lechem and Hevron to Arafat…for ‘peace’. Now…how do I paint this for you? The entire nation was glued to radio or television for these speeches. The morning after our Prime Minister’s speech, the bus was ‘still’. Now I do NOT mean ‘still’ as in ‘silent’ or ‘not noisy’ (that is NOT an Israeli bus!)…but ‘still’. You know what I mean; when someone walks into a room agitated, or angry, or grieved…you feel it. It changes the atmosphere in the room. But when someone is ‘satisfied’ and their heart is ‘quieted’, there is a peaceful ‘stillness’. THAT’S what I mean! And it was odd, simply because I have NOT felt that on the bus in Lord knows how long! At least not since the last intifada. There was a ‘still’ STRENGTH in the determined look on people’s faces, and in their talk. The most beloved statement that our Prime Minister had made seems to have been that ‘the people living in Judea and Samaria (and he DIDN’T say ‘the west bank’!) are not ‘occupiers’ but are legitimate owners of their ancestral land’ that The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob gave. The world has been saying loudly that we are illegitimate…and that our God is illegitimate. Strength came back into the people as our Prime Minister stood against the forces of the world (albeit, in a receptive congress) and declared these things unashamedly.

The last, but most important thing that I want to confirm (rather then ‘report’) is that GOD ANSWERED PRAYER CONCERNING OUR PRIME MINISTER, AND WE GIVE THANKS TO GOD, THROUGH YESHUA! Thank you for your prayers…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth MUCH!

And that is all that I plan to say concerning the MANY events before our eyes. If you didn’t hear some of the speeches and would like a copy of a transcript, or a comment, or comments concerning the upcoming Gaza ‘flotilla’, the opening of the border between Egypt and Gaza, the so called Arab spring, the hypocritical bombing of Libya by nato, the horrific storms etc, etc, ETC…please write and ask. It IS all whirling around us! There are so many good commentators and I am not an ‘expert’…just someone ‘passing through’. J
BUT…in the midst of all of that…The Lord continues to prepare us for what ONLY HE KNOWS lays ahead. I am more and more convinced that He really is lovingly teaching us at an accelerated speed…in our closets…in hidden and quiet ways, less and less in the ‘flashy’ and ‘big’ ways.

I came from a very small family. My Father had one sister who also had one daughter…and they are all gone. My Mother had one sister who never married. They are gone. I have one sister who has one daughter. My sister is married to a rabbi and lives in Ohio, USA. I have not seen her in the 16 years since we came here. We love each other dearly, but I am still the only one in my family to ever know Jesus…HOWEVER! He isn’t done yet! MY SISTER HAS TICKETS TO COME AND VISIT ME BETWEEN 8-18TH OF JULY!! I am SOOO excited and I do ask (no…’beg’) for prayer, that this time will have eternal value! But an interesting thing happened. Right after I got saved, I shared with my whole family, and continued to share. My sister and I have had some serious talks and I have prayed. For a long while now I have been able to share no more. We speak every Sunday and this last Sunday she told me sarcastically; ‘Well…the world didn’t end, but everyone is sure nervous!’ I thought a minute…’HUH?’ I eloquently replied, ‘What are you talking about!?’ I KNEW that the speeches were weighty, but we usually don’t discuss ‘politics’. ‘You know! The prophecy of the end of the world and the rapture!’ What WAS she talking about! Was she finally reading the New Testament or what was going on? I stuttered. ‘Harold Camping’s prophecy of course!’ she sputtered! ‘Who is Harold Camping?’ I said. (I remember when I also thought that whatever happened in America everyone else knew) She went on to tell me about him setting a date for ‘the rapture’ (I was SHOCKED to hear my sister say this word and quote N.T. scripture!) and how it made headlines in Wash DC (where my niece lives) and Ohio and other states and how ‘everyone was in a panic’…’hum’…I listened quietly. No, we hadn’t heard of it. She became smug, but I was still amazed to hear such talk coming out of my sister! He works all things to the good… can He use even this to stir her heart and the heart of the family to Him rather then harden it further? I know He can and that is what I’m asking for. Please pray for my sister’s upcoming trip. She is a University professor. Please pray for their salvation (Charlotte, Bob and Rachel). Thank you so much!

It is shabat today and we have had a refreshing rain this morning…part of the ‘latter rains’ which are delighting the eye-dazzling flowers, flowering trees, fruits and foliage of all kinds that clothe Jerusalem in a shocking beauty. I so wish that you could see this city right now! The colors dazzle my eyes and the sweet fragrance of jasmine fills the air and all I can do is worship and praise God, Who, in His expression of love, created such beauty for His children! How could I have denied His existence for so many years, but I did! I was so blind and I am so thankful that He had mercy on me, of all people, and that now I can love His fingerprints everywhere I look! And we are thankful for the rain, although it has had little affect on our water levels which remain in drought. It is the first time in a number of years now that we have been blessed with the ‘latter rains’ of spring. They just didn’t arrive for several years. Our ‘early rains’ are from Sukkot through Jan-Feb and our ‘latter rains’ from March-April through Passover. This year they are happily surprising us.

He woke me up, startled me in fact, the morning of the 26th. I awoke from a deep sleep at about 2:30am distinctly hearing the words “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me.” Uh oh! Was I in the midst of trouble again? What was wrong? ‘That is not the point…the point is that I WILL REVIVE YOU! Keep your focus on Me, not on what surrounds you. Walk in the kingdom, NOT in the flesh!’ None the less, I couldn’t shake the ‘fear’ that MORE ‘trouble’ was about to hit. I slept fitfully until my regular time to get up and have devotions. The verse was still ringing in my heart and I knew that it was NOT a verse I had read lately, so I had to go to my concordance to search for it. I don’t remember the last time that He woke me up in this way. There it was in Psalm 138:7. It wasn’t one that I memorized, nor had I read it in about a year. As I sought Him concerning it, I thought of the time when Jesus raised the ‘little girl’ from the dead. She WAS dead and the parents were distraught. He told them; “Do not be afraid, only believe” Wow. That is NOT easy! It says to me ‘There is the daughter that you love and she is dead. DO NOT LOOK AT DEATH! Turn your eyes away from your daughter and look at ME…at LIFE! LET GO!’ Now I felt that He was saying to me ‘Do not fear the ‘trouble’ for I will revive you.’ By nature, you can not revive something that wasn’t alive and then became dead
I looked at His faithfulness in our lives thus far. The past few years have been nothing short of traumatic, but GOD has carried us THROUGH deep waters, floods, and fires. Yes, I do still ask prayer for our health, which has not been great. For our older daughter, still going through post partum instability that can be frightening and exhausting at times (and for their whole family); for our younger daughter who is nearly 30 and terribly depressed as she so longs for a future and a hope…and a husband …and struggles with fibromyalgia. I went with her this past Wed to the hospital to have the stitches taken out of her eye finally (many of you prayed as she had her cornea replaced a year ago and we are HOPING that it is successful!) and after waiting for hours we found out the doctor is on reserve army duty…it was quite a let down for her. All of us struggle with financial challenges (since our landlords have passed away our rental is also in doubt again) and there is no possibility of ‘retirement’ for us…and at 65, we are tired. NONE of the challenges are unique to us. I am sure that many of you share these and others. I am so thankful for the body and that we can pray one for another. I am sharing these because several of you have been asking and I have not been answering. Now that I KNOW that HE has promised to ‘revive’, I can share them without ‘worry’. My main prayer request for my family is that each one will be walking in the center of His will, looking to Him. Thank you
This has become a long, chatty letter. I truly have missed you. I am thankful that my computer opened today, but I am mostly thankful for each one of you. May you be blessed, and may The Lord be glorified! Lovingly, your sis here.

Inside Israel – Prayers for the Prime Minister

Hi and welcome today! 🙂  I have an older letter to share  from J of Jerusalem, from about a month ago. I still think that it is relevant so am going ahead and posting it! Praying you and yours are led by Him daily, further into His will.  Thank you for your prayers today.

from J . . .

I have been reading the book of Hebrews today where it is written 3 times:

“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness…” Heb. 3:2, 3:15, 4:7 – Psalm 95:7

I also picked up my father’s old Hebrew/English ‘Mackhzor’ or ‘prayer book for the Yom Kippur service’ and was reading there to be along with the people.  It is a LONG book – more then 500 small pages, read through out the 24 hour period – and I have not, nor will read the entire book.  But the book is mostly scripture, along with some elaborated prayers from those scriptures.  They are sung in the synagogues.  I was reading this morning many of the Psalms and much of Genesis and Exodus there.  THIS IS A PARTICULAR PRAYER REQUEST FOR OUR PRIME MINISTER. He is also reading these things, indeed, some of you may recall that during his last term in office, one daughter and I went to our local synagogue to sit in the service and pray…and there he was sitting directly below us, praying his heart out!  We were given the great privilege of praying FOR him.  At that time we had no idea that the following morning he would ‘suddenly’ open the ‘Hashmonim Tunnel’ in the Old City, stirring up much (ridiculous) conflict by our ‘peace partners’ saying we were trying to collapse the Temple Mount which has their mosque on it!
At any rate…this is a small part of what I (and he) read this morning: (my dad’s copy is from 1942 so the English translation is in old English.)

“Our God and God of our fathers, let us be remembered by thee for good: grant us a visitation of salvation and mercy from thy heavens, the heavens of old; and remember unto us , O Lord our God, the love of the fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, the covenant and the lovingkindness ant eh oath which thou swarest unto Abraham our father on Mount Moriah, and the binding with which he bound his son Isaac on the alter, as it is written in the law:…(Gen chap 22 is read here)…Sovereign of the Universe!  May it by thy will, O Lord, our God and God of our fathers, that thou remember to us the covenant of our fathers; and as Abraham , our father, overcame his pity for his only son, and was willing to slay him that he might do thy will, so may thy pity overcome thine anger against us, that thy mercy be added to thy other attributes and that thou judge us not according to the strict measure of thy justice but deal with us, O Lord, our God, according to the attributes of lovingkindness and mercy.  And in they great goodness may the fierceness of thy wrath turn aside from thy people, they city, thy land and thine inheritance.  And establish unto us, O Lord our God, the word which thou hast promised us through Moses, thy servant, as it is written: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac, and my covenant with Abraham I will remember; and I will remember the land.

At all times let a man fear God as well in private as in public, acknowledge the truth, and speak the truth in his heart’…”

Please understand that this is the tone of the entire book.  It begins with praise and thanksgiving and is peppered through out with more, and with scripture…the character of God as compared with the character of man, and His promises for the land and the people…This was carried through 2,000 years when there WAS no land of Israel for us. Our Prime Minister is right now, reading this while facing fierce world pressure to divide the land!  Please pray for God to prevail in his life today in a way that will enable him to lead our nation with the fear of God into God’s plan.  Please also pray that his life be protected as well.

Published in: on October 17, 2010 at 5:21 am  Comments Off on Inside Israel – Prayers for the Prime Minister  
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