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!

ani b’derek

Inside Israel – The First Chanuka Light

So glad you could stop by today and get a glimpse inside Israel, as J of Jerusalem shares about the first Chanuka light. Enjoy and God bless you and your families!

Chanuka 2010 1 Dec 2010

As our younger daughter and I lit our first (of 8) Chanuka candle tonight, we thanked God for His Light…Yeshua, Jesus, The Light of the world…the light that shines in darkness and pierces it…for whosoever will. Thank You, Lord for lighting my darkness and joining me to Your family of those lit by Your Light!

I traveled home from visiting my husband in the hospital today hoping for a fast trip…perhaps 20 minutes. But as the rest of my day went, so did my ride; I arrived home almost 2 hours after I went to the bus stop! The sky was dark by the time I alighted from the bus and many of the public Chanukah’s were already lit. I had a long time to think about something The Lord impressed upon my heart earlier today after running my third failed errand this morning. Dropped into my heart, as I was fretting over wasted, precious time were the words ‘There is no such thing as ‘wasted time’. It is all victory if you walk it patiently and graciously. Remember…it is how you walk the path’. ‘But Lord, I am so very tired, and I have more to do then I CAN do.’ No. I dare not protest! Do I know more then HIM?? Does the pot say to the potter…why?? ‘Yes, Lord. Teach me.’ So, on this final bus ride home He continued to point out much to me. This bus runs through a very religious neighborhood and there was not one complaint voiced on the bus although we stood in gridlock traffic for so very long. That alone was a wonderful and unique experience…no complaining!

The hospital that my husband has been in for the past 3 weeks is an interesting one…different from the one that he was in for the first 2 weeks. This hospital, besides being a rehabilitation center, is also a geriatric and psychiatric hospital. It is one run on mercy. It sits adjacent to the Jerusalem cemetery (har h’minukhah), Mountain of Rest. Years ago my husband and I were horrified to pass an old age home named ‘Fare well rest haven’. It was right next to a cemetery and we thought that was incredibly cynical. But we found this hospital, with it’s placing, very peaceful.

Growing up, the food that I identified with Chanuka was ‘latkes’…a deep fried potato pancake which we topped with applesauce, but the Chanuka food here is ‘sovganioat’…a deep fried jelly donut (over the past few years, chocolate, halva, caramel and icing have also appeared). Foods identified with Chanuka ARE ‘deep fried’ because ‘Light’ and ‘oil’ are synonymous in the middle east, where oil lamps still burn. I had stopped at the shuk on the way to the hospital and purchased 12 sovganioat, an inexpensive chanukiah (candelabra for Chanuka) and candles to bring to the hospital to share with the staff … because… you see…besides tonight being the first light of Chanuka, it is also another special day: it is the last day for my husband to be in hospital. He is to be released tomorrow morning!

And THAT is why I was scurrying around today, like a chicken without a head, attempting to jump through all of the bureaucratic hoops necessary for his release.

Chanuka, I know that you remember, is the celebration for LIGHT…for it commemorates the multiplication of the oil for the menorah in the temple after it had been defiled by the Greeks. The Macabbis found only enough pure oil to keep the lamps burning for 1 day, and it required a week to produce the pure oil. God miraculously kept the Light burning…as He still does! Thus the holiday is kept some 2,000 years later with the lighting of special candlestick (Chanukiah)…8 lights and one ‘servant light’, the ‘shamus’ to light the rest – first night we light one candle, the next night 2, and so forth. I have shared the story and traditions many times. This year Chanuka is VERY early, and no one seems quite ‘ready’. It is celebrated on the 25th of the month of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, which is lunar.

As with all of our various hospital stays, the roommates make such a strong impact, and this last stay was no different. My husband, being the youngest resident, (and since he is 65 that is saying something!) was placed with another ‘young man’ (56) who had suffered a stroke. He is a Moslem, and his name is Ruef. When we entered the room his family eyed us suspiciously, so I reached out warmly to them and his wife was the first to respond. She spoke some English, and he speaks Hebrew so we were soon fast friends. It was interesting to see his 3 grown sons enter the room daily, each one approaching him individually and bowing on their knee, kissing his hand and then pressing it to their forehead (as in blessing) 3 times. Today I asked him about it: ‘It has been interesting to me watching your sons greet you’ I began. ‘It seems to me that you are an important man…perhaps you are the village chief?’ I asked. He warmed to my sincerity and smiled; ‘Yes I am.’ he answered. ‘Such power must be used with great wisdom and compassion’ I commented. Again he smiled; ‘This is right and this I have also received. I became chief through my mother and I received her compassion and wisdom. All of the village comes to me to settle problems. There is one thing I do not tolerate; no man may speak badly of his wife. I have never lifted my voice to my wife. I have shown her respect and so she has always respected me. Our children must do the same.’ His words reminded me of an article my I had just read to my husband about the Druze. They follow the laws of Noah and are extremely moral people. I also thought back to the book of Judges and realized that that is what Ruef does… he ‘judges’ his people and he does it wisely.

I brought Ruef a sovganioat just as his family brought us some of their sweets for a recent feast that they had. Hertzog hospital is a religious hospital, but once again, there is no prejudice, and great mercy is shown to everyone. Although I left before the candle lighting tonight, my husband called and told me how several older men came and lead in the blessings of the lighting of the candles and songs. Soon after a group of young people came and danced and handed out more sovganioat. Another group of children came and sang songs. He was very touched by the warmth, as was Ruef. Peace, His peace, is the only thing that can bring peace into the hearts of those caught up in strife. I am thankful to be an instrument of His Peace in small ways. It is a blessing to see that His Light still lights up small corners.

I know that this is an inadequate letter, but I wanted to share the love of His Light…and ALSO…

TWO ANSWERS TO PRAYER: The first you have heard already; my husband is to come home tomorrow! The second is like the first…our older daughter called with the wonderful news that they signed a rental contract today on the top floor of a house in a moshav much nearer to us (although still a bit of a trek). It is on a very pretty, rural moshav that has horses. Thank you SO much for holding our ‘crisis to crisis’ family on prayer. He is SO faithful!

May The faithful Light of the world, Light our hearts and paths…for His glory alone! Lovingly, your very tired sis

ani b’derek

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