Your Lamb

 

The unblemished
Lamb

was the perfect
sacrifice

beloved blood
of the Passover

our precious
Jesus Christ.

**********

The Unblemished Lamb is with me.

**********

“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.”

“Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.”

“And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two door posts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat.”

“For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the LORD.”

“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

Exodus 12:5,6,7,12,13. NKJV

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Published in: on October 29, 2019 at 12:58 am  Comments Off on Your Lamb  
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Inside Israel – Bits and Pieces, Part 2

JerAtNight1

Hi and welcome to another look inside Israel.  This is the second half of last week’s letter from our sis in Jerusalem.  Thank you so much for reading and praying. Now here’s our sis . . .

(And (since I am going to bed now) here is the second part of the letter…which was really first)
 May He be glorified and blessed, and may you be blessed and encouraged.  A dear local sister and I encouraged one another over the phone this afternoon, simply sharing what we were receiving from The Lord during our private times of devotion.  She told me that she has been focusing on the Passover and Resurrection and shared some wonderful insights, one of which touched me deeply.  She shared about the body, all gathered together around Jesus, at the ‘last supper’, the Passover seder, just before He laid down His life for us.  She had thought about how close the disciples were that Peter could see how John was leaning on The Lord’s chest, (at the seder, all ‘lean’ together) right against His Heart, and how he could ask ‘Who is it, Lord’.  Because He was right against The Lord’s heart he could hear immediately the answer.  What a precious picture this was to me of ‘the body’; you and I and all of those who dine with Him, leaning on one another, sharing and caring about what HE has to say.
 
So it is Friday evening now and I am preparing for the shabat and thinking about this week.  The days of the eating of the matzo between the first and last Pesach seder are called ‘col ha’moed’ and are ‘half holiday’.  ‘Col’ means ‘all’ and ha’moed means ‘the appointed feast’ or ‘meeting’.  They are days of rejoicing and joy here in the city of Jerusalem with many events.  Schools are on vacation and so are government services and many small shops owned by the religious are also closed.  People are actively ‘vacationing’ so most that remains open during these days are open ‘half-time’…except for restaurants that are ‘kosher for Passover’ (in other words, that are totally free from leaven).  For the past few years most of the museums in the country have been free during this time (free admission for the country being donated by the banks) and it is fun to watch Israelis literally explore every inch of the country that they love…their own!  Ofcourse…for those of us who ‘like our space’…this is a difficult season and EVERYTHING is crowded; museums, shops, nature reserves, roadways, restaurants, sidewalks, seaside, mountain trails, … not to mention the trains and buses!  NOBODY is in their homes.  Remember the word ‘belagan’?  It applies here!  Somewhere, mid holiday, there is the ‘blessing of the Cohanim’…the priestly blessing, which is given BY the descendents of the priestly tribe to the rest of the house of Israel, who gather at the Western Wall of the Temple in the Old City.  This Passover it was on Thursday as the area in front of the wall filled up – the Cohanim covered with their prayer shawls, stretched out their hands over the crowd and recited the blessing found in Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless thee and keep thee, The Lord make His face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee; The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.”  Since many people come into the city for this event, the streets and restaurants afterward are full to capacity!  Since my husband and I needed to work all week, we met downtown to try to accomplish something on Thursday afternoon.  What a mistake that was!  My husband got off of the jammed train and walked, arriving at the same time as the train. 
Also on Thursday, Catholics in particular celebrate ‘Holy Thursday’, so large crosses were mingled with the crowds.  These are more pronounced today…on ‘Good Friday’, as many walk the Via Delarosa with large wooden crosses commemorating the walk to the crucifixion.  At early morning prayer meeting today, Chuck pointed out something very interesting.  In his own words
 
This week’s prophetic portion is Ezekiel 37:1-4 – the vision of the valley of dry bones. This section is always read on the Shabbat during the Passover/Unleavened Bread week. What is most interesting is that this Shabbat during this Passover season is the Shabbat when Yeshua was in the grave. So in synagogues throughout the world, Jews are reading about the resurrection of the nation of Israel and the Church is waiting for the first day of the week to celebrate the resurrection of Israel’s King Messiah, the world’s Savior Yeshua!
And my dear sisters and brothers…least I continue on and on and on…I will close this very fragmented letter…call it ‘bits and pieces’ – it may be ‘confusing’ but in a way that helps it catch the flavor of this VERY condensed season… moving on so quickly!  I am too tired to tie it all together and polish it, so please accept what ever scrap of this offering that might encourage you.  Believe me…it comes with LOVE!  May the risen Lord bless you! 
Lovingly, your sis
ani b’derek

Inside Israel – Passover Preparations / Part 3

JerAtNight1

Hi and thank you so much for stopping by for another look inside Israel.  Today our sis in Jerusalem continues to share about this special time, when people prepare their homes and their hearts. God bless you as you read and pray!  Now, here she is . ..

Shalom, dear body of Messiah.  May you be blessed and may HE be blessed and glorified!
It’s beginning to look A LOT like Pesach (Passover)!  As our stores suddenly become sparkling (well…almost) clean, we find that items that we forgot to get have already disappeared off of the shelves, ie; my husband’s breakfast cereal!  With nearly two weeks still left BEFORE Pesach, my poor husband (who usually goes through withdrawals during just the eight days of Pesach) will have to start early…or…discover a less popular cereal that is still on the shelf.  (as fewer and fewer shelves display foods that have leaven…or don’t have the ‘right’ rabbi’s stamp…when an item is ‘out’ it is not restocked.) 
Are there other signs?  Oh yes, many!  The strong but delightful aroma of fresh GARLIC hangs over the shuk and wafts through the air on the trains and buses.  The garlic harvest happens just before Pesach, and because of that many of us give gifts of the beautifully braided bulbs to hang in the kitchen allowing the recipient of such a gift to use a fresh bulb as they cook…whole barbequed and grilled bulbs of garlic are very popular here and garlic is used in many dishes.  Is that a reminder that our ancestors murmured in the desert because the missed the leeks and the garlic?  We have leeks and garlic in abundance here now…we simply needed patience.  Not just the garlic signals the season in the shuk, but the bright red, sweet and fragrant strawberries deck every fruit stand, the colors are dazzling – like a feast of wild flowers to the eyes – the deep greens, oranges, reds, purples, yellows, whites, of the fruits and vegetables so fresh and abundant – all very present and real evidence of God’s great faithfulness…the wonder of it! 
Other things pop up suddenly; ‘ahat pa’ami’ (literally ‘one use’) shops for a start.  These are shops full of every size and shape of disposable item …plates, baking pans, every kitchen item that you can imagine (almost) made in a disposable manner so that you can use it during this ‘inbetween’ stage when your regular dishes and pans are gone and your ‘kosher for Passover’ ones are not to be used yet.  And, yes, there are ‘ecologically friendly ones’ (although I don’t see how).  Plastics shops do a booming business as people replace everything from dish drains to garbage pails.  There is even a ‘sink insert’ the size of a kitchen sink that you can place in your sink with a drain hole in the center and … voila!  A kosher for Pesach sink is installed. 
“Where are you going for seder?” is the sentence I am now hearing through out the day.  It is such a blessing that people care for one another!  It is commanded that the seder be a big and full meal with your table full and ‘none of the  lamb remaining until morning’.  Although the lamb is now symbolic (yes, many do eat lamb, but it is awfully expensive as is most meat, so often fish and poultry sit on the table), it is considered sad indeed for ANYONE to be alone for this meal and great effort is made to make sure that everyone is cared for.  As you can imagine, it is a very costly meal to prepare, as often the table hosts between 10-100 people.  AND I NEGLECTED TO MENTION THE MATZO!  How could I have done that!  The war of the matzo sales has begun!  Who can lure you into their store with the promise of ‘the best price for matzo’ – this is now the battle!  Bitter roots are appearing to deck the seder plate, and there are gifts to buy as this is the time for giving of gifts…oh the ACTIVITY! 
I have had some wonderful opportunities to open discussions with women of late.  On Tuesday (when I began this letter) I had my regular blood test.  The technician who took my blood was a ‘dati’ (religious) woman and when I said that I was tired she said ‘Oh!  From all of the cleaning and preparations!’  This was a wonderful door.  ‘No, actually I have barely begun, but I find it not so hard to prepare for Pesach as I follow the scriptural command to simply have no leaven in my home.’ She smiled and told me that she has also remembered that this was the command.  ‘One year while I was scrubbing the floor on my knees’ I told her, ‘I felt as if God said to me ‘This is where I want you…on your knees letting me shine My light on leaven in your heart so that your heart can be clean of leaven!’  I told her how liberating that had been to me and she breathed in every word.  I am finding people so very receptive this year as I have shared this with a number of other women. It feels as if I am sowing living seed into prepared soil. 
But all is not ‘roses’ as we prepare together for the feast of remembrance.  We are experiencing our first ‘sha’arav’ (desert heat wave – hot winds blowing off the desert that literally suck the water out of you) of the year and this is early.  An international marathon scheduled to be held in Tel Aviv tomorrow has been cancelled by the health ministry as several years ago a runner died from dehydration during a sha’arav.  The locusts that came up from the Sudan, through Egypt continue to multiply and plague our south and threaten our crops inspite of heavy spraying and our still unsure government has been snagged again as they were to sign the coalition agreement tonight…it is again on ‘hold’.  My heart was deeply grieved to tears as our Prime Minister gave in to the very liberal, humanistic party demanding the education portfolio.  This party has the strong backing of the homosexuals.  Thus far our children have been spared these teachings that are rampant in western countries.  My heart was rent to wake up this morning to see that this ministry was now in their hands.  On top of these ominous events…American President Obama is scheduled to arrive on the 20th…this coming Tues., for a 3 day visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  He will not address our Knesset (parliament or congress) but plans to address ‘the people’.  This is what he has done in places like Egypt before their turmoil…and we are wary.  VERY wary…
There is never a dull moment here.  ‘Boredom’ does not exist. 
So we prepare.  We prepare our homes and our hearts…our families.    
When I came to Him some 37+ years ago, He began to open to me (sovereignly as I read and prayed- not through any teaching) the beauty of all of His patterns and paths.  I saw in the holidays, not a ‘law’ and a ‘restraint’ or ‘religious form’, but a tangible and visible expression of His character and nature…a picture of Who He is…and a loving ‘command’ to ‘keep these ways’.  Somehow it did not occur to me that if HE said somewhere in His Word that something was an “abomination” to Him, that because of The Blood of Yeshua I was now suddenly ‘free’ to ‘enjoy’ it.  It didn’t make sense to me.  Why would I WANT to ‘enjoy’ what my Lord called an “abomination”?  Did His opinion of it suddenly change?  In the same vain, if He told us to ‘keep this remembrance’ of a miracle that He performed ‘forever’, why would I NOT want to keep it.  NO, I DON’T keep if for my salvation, or to fulfill the law…He IS the fulfillment of the law.  I keep it for LOVE’S sake…for the love of beauty of His plan and purpose…from a desire to learn to obey His voice…from a desire to love what He loves and to identify with His people who yet have blinders on their eyes.  Paul (Shaul) said  in1 Corin 9:20“ To the Jews I have become like a Jew in order to win Jews; to men under the Law as if I were under the Law–although I am not–in order to win those who are …” 
I will go to sleep now as tomorrow begins early.  On a personal note, I am so blessed that our younger daughter and her new husband will be traveling on very inexpensive tickets, from Minnesota to California on the 25th to be with her older sister and family for the 8 days of Pesach!  It brings us much joy to know that they have chosen to be together, even if we can not be with them.  How wonderful that He truly has all things set in His order for His purposes and His glory.  May we choose His ways.  May we walk together in peace, demonstrating who HE is to a lost and dying world.  May each of you be encouraged in Him, His Word and His Spirit.  May we love what He loves.  ALL glory to The Lamb that was slain and Whose precious Blood is on the doorposts of our hearts. 
Lovingly, your sis in Jerusalem
 
Published in: on March 24, 2013 at 8:33 am  Comments (25)  
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Inside Israel – Passover Preparations, Part 2

JerAtNight1

Hi and welcome to another look inside Israel as our sis in Jerusalem shares about the preparations taking place as Passover approaches.  This is the second have of last weeks letter. Hope that isn’t too confusing!Thank you and God bless you!  Now, here she is . .. .

Actually, all of the cleaning and changing over that families do at this time of year is excellent opportunity to examine our hearts and the story of Pesach as we are on our knees scrubbing.  The religious families and many others take the full month to recount the meaning with their children.  In the synagogues the weekly readings are leading up to the Pesach itself. 
 
It is so much easier, in a practical way, to ‘keep the Pesach’ here in Israel, then it was in the ‘exile’.  In all of the stores and even in the open markets and our shuk, every shelf and bit of equipment is being scrubbed clean and/or exchanged for equipment kept in storage specifically, year after year, for Pesach.  Many markets boil their shelves.  Food items with any trace of leaven are already being removed completely from shelves or are being placed in a single area that will be cleaned just before Pesach.  Later, just before Pesach itself, certain food shelves and full aisles in stores will be sealed in shrink wrap, and other shops will close completely during the full holy day.  The actual Pesach is observed for 8 days when no leaven is supposed to be seen at all in the land.  Even though MOST Jews and most Israelis observe Pesach, sadly more and more of the secular Jews are casting it aside and more and more leaved items are available – though it is illegal for a Jew to sell them – (although many Arab stores often make a huge display of their leavened goods during Pesach, knowing that they will bring in many of the secular Jews).
 
The Bible (the first covenant or old testament) is part of our regular school curriculum here, so the children in school are also reading the account and learning the traditions that go along with it, including the order of the seder.  While our Grandchildren were in school here, it delighted me to hear their accounts of what they were learning.
 
Over the years that I have lived here I began to notice that the Passover account is referred to, scripturally, in just about all of the prescribed holy days.  I didn’t realize that before.  I began to delight in discovering another reference to the Passover.  At each holy day we are told to remember the exodus and rejoice in it. 
 
Living here has also driven me to pray constantly for increased discernment; not because of physical danger, but more so spiritual.  Often I have referred to my first Pastor’s admonition that we remember that not every spirit that wiggles is The Holy Spirit.  How true!  As each holy day approaches, the wide array of self proclaimed prophets that often join themselves to the local body here for a season or more, begin to announce that ‘this is ‘it’’.  If you have been a believer for more then a year, you have likely stood before The Lord on several occasions, holding the current ‘warning’ before Him and asking Him if indeed He is coming – and or judging – at this time.  It is usually as a particular Jewish holy day approaches.  Generally I have heard most pronouncements at Passover, Rosh h’shana, Succot and Shavuot…usually influenced by the events going on around the world.  It is surely a tumultuous season that we are in and a dangerous one, and the decay of morals and polarization of populations has increased.  One would be concerned just in the natural, and of course we are told to ‘not despise prophecy’;  but to discern which prophecy is of God and which is of the flesh or even of another spirit…this is most important if we are truly going to be lead by His Spirit.  It brings me much fear to recount what the discipline for a false prophet should be…and to see how LITTLE false prophecy seems to be dealt with today…or even repented of!  God help us to walk before Him and to know Him.
 
So, in this atmosphere I am hearing clearly to ‘prepare’, and so I walk.  Prepare my heart, prepare my home, prepare different things as He seems to lead, to prepare my mind by casting down vain imaginations and EVERYTHING that exalts itself above the knowledge of Him… follow Him! 
 
And…I plan to share more with you concerning the preparations for this Pesach as the time approaches. 
 
Thank you for your prayers concerning our family.  To update you concerning my husband’s hip, we were happy to learn that it was not a new fracture, but apparently when his other hip was fractured when he was hit by the motorcycle 2 years ago, there was an undiagnosed fracture on this side as well and it has developed bursitis.  J  We are beginning to function again at our previous pace.  Whew! 
 
Thank you so much, dear brothers and sisters, friends…body of Messiah!  What a privilege I have to walk with you!  I LOVE getting mail and email and I DON’T get a lot, but I admit to sometimes having NO time to answer and I do so apologize.  May The Lord be glorified in His body worldwide.  May He find us waiting, watching and reflecting Him…and finishing the work that He gave us to do.  May each of us be full of Him where ever He has placed us. 
 
I send MUCH MUCH LOVE!  Your sis
 
A small p.s.:  many jokes are going around right now about a locust plague that has descended upon Egypt just 3 weeks before Passover…even as we spray against them in our Southern Negev (they have begun to arrive).  There are some stunning videos of them if you google ‘locusts in Egypt 2013’.  It brings the book of Exodus very much to life.
ani b’derek
Published in: on March 17, 2013 at 8:51 am  Comments (14)  
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Inside Israel – First installment – Passover

 

JerAtNight1

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel today, as our sis in Jerusalem shares about the Passover preparations!  Thank you and God bless you as you read and pray! Now, here she is . . .

Beloved sisters and brothers,
 
 I look forward to sitting down to write to you because I picture you – and over the years I have grown to stand in love with the body, His body, more and more in wonder.  May each of you be blessed and encouraged in Him.  May we all draw nearer to Him in spirit and in truth.  May His Word be our delight and daily food and may we walk in it for His glory alone, particularly as the time grows short. 
 
I’ve had a repetitive ‘message’ in my heart lately, actually growing in intensity, ‘to be ready’- ‘prepare’.  That is the wonderful thing about The Lord; I don’t need to know ‘WHAT’ exactly it is that I must be ready for, but He leads in the preparations of heart and path ANYWAY.  That gives me such peace!  I have ‘suggestions’ in my heart, and some understanding, but most real to me in this time is:
 “Trust in The Lord with all of your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct your path”. Proverbs 3:3-5.
 
These ‘instructions’ that I have felt so deeply in my heart of late are reflected in the natural as well, as it is time to prepare for Passover – Pesach in Hebrew. 
 
Pesach begins a month after Purim.  If you have been reading these letters over the past 18 years, you know that the preparations for Pesach are INTENSE!  Several years ago the rabbis grew alarmed that so many women were having nervous breakdowns and even committing suicide during this preparation season of cleaning and ‘koshering’ the home, and they realized that many women became deeply burdened trying to remove every possible crumb of leaven from their homes.  When I say ‘intense’ I mean that people on the third floor were removing screens from windows and boiling them, least there have been a ‘dust of leaven’ caught in the screen.  Scrubbing every crack in the home with toothbrushes when you have 8 or 10 children can be quite a challenge.  Many people felt compelled to REPLACE sofas, refrigerators, stoves…and for some…ALL furniture, because there MIGHT be some leaven stuck somewhere.  The ‘joke’ was; ‘And we thought we were slaves in EGYPT!’, but there was much more truth to that then ‘joke’. Then there is the replacing of all of the food and the cooking for 20 or more people…the list drove many women to true madness.  THANKFULLY, the rabbis began to speak with one mouth the message that God was more interested in the leaven in the heart then a possible crumb in an undiscovered corner…AND…encouraging women to remember that dust is not leaven.  In other words, preparing the house for Pesach does not necessarily mean that it needs to be immaculately clean.  The commandment is simply that there is to be no leaven seen in our homes for 8 days. It has not done away with all striving, particularly in the most religious communities, but it has seemed to lessen the panic as Pesach rapidly approaches.   
 
Pesach is perhaps the most significant of all of the prescribed holy days in Judaism for many reasons.  What a beautiful and deep study the study of Pesach is, and it is surprisingly marvelous to many at just how much the observance of Pesach has remained the same since it was commanded by God to the Jewish people some 5,000 years ago. 
I myself look with wonder as the preparations begin yearly…seemingly planted into our very genetic material…similar to the migration of animals; they lift their noses to the wind and ‘know’…it is time to move.  So it seems with us.  ‘Prepare for Pesach!’
 
All of the foundational meaning and directions for the observance of the holyday are found in the book of Exodus, clearly laid out.  During the years that we raised our children in the ‘diaspora’ or ‘exile’ (how BLESSED I was to be ‘exiled’ in such a wonderful land!) we used the book of Exodus as our ‘haggada’ during our Pesach ‘seder’.  A haggada is a small book read through the ‘seder’ meal – which literally means ‘order’ (as there is a prescribed ‘order’ to the meal and ceremony).  The content of the haggada has changed over the years and each community has their own style and content, although they all contain the basic story of Passover.  History and traditions of each community is added to their haggada over the years (sometimes they don’t change their haggada for 100 years or more and continue the reading of the teachings of the old sages as they wrote many years before) but the little beautifully illustrated ancient books are used in each home during the seder meal.  As I said…we used the book of Exodus and we added in the fulfillment scriptures proclaiming The Lamb of God Who came to take away the sin of the world.  We wondered at the Precious Blood that spoke of better things then the blood of Abel and washed our sins away as the blood of lambs and goats couldn’t do…The Blood that, applied to the doorposts of our hearts, prevails even today…and we worshipped The Risen Lord even as we ate the unleavened bread and recounted the extraordinarily intricate perfect plan of God from its inception!  It is quite a vivid revelation to understand that sin costs dearly…that God gave us a perfect picture of just how awful sin is in His sight- and how loudly blood speaks!…that the death of a pure innocent lamb was needed to cover the awfulness of sin…and it still is…but has been paid once and for all at the cost of even greater pain.  What a mystery, so full of love and pain and exquisite wisdom that His children would follow Him in His way!  And yet we haven’t.  How can this be? 
 
Oh, but I am WAY ahead of myself!  Forgive me for getting caught up in the meaning of Pesach.  It is part of the preparation of my heart personally. 
 

(Stay tuned for part 2!)

ani b’derek

Inside Israel – Pesach comes to an end – April 13, 2012

 

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel today! J of Jerusalem shares with us what she is seeing and experiencing as a believer in Yeshua, in the land of His earthly birth.  Thank you for reading and praying for Israel and J!  Now, here’s J . . .

 

The last night (and day) of Passover is quickly drawing near and once again preparations for a ‘final sedar’ (for some) or ‘festive meal’ for others, are being made.  Outside of Israel an eighth day of Passover is observed, originally because of the time difference between outside of the land, and Jerusalem (before ‘time’ became so ‘digital’ and easily measured, observant Jews were afraid that if they ended the holiday ‘too early’, before it was officially over in Jerusalem, they were perhaps falling short of what was required, and so the tradition came into effect).  In many homes there will be another sedar which focuses on the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea (actually ‘Reed Sea’ – the Sea of Reeds) and the subsequent rejoicing and exalting of God through Miriam’s song…and…cautions NOT to fall into the complaining that so soon followed; a worthy lesson indeed!  However, for most, it will simply be a festive, thankful meal, not without thanksgiving just to get back to a more normal routine! 
There have been times of significant moves of God and displays of His Greatness during Passover, and I long more and more to see Him in His Sovereign Holiness again. I read about the Passover in 2 Chron:30 during the blessed season that Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, and then 2 Chron:35, when Judah was again blessed through having Hezekiah as king.  Both of these wonderful chapters described true revival; and they both took place during Passover.  Ezra 6 also describes a blessed Passover, and then there is Luke 22 (among all of the other references,) when Yeshua brings us again to the Passover…and…becomes our Lamb! 
After reading these portions (just ‘happened’ that way!) while preparing for Passover, God stirred me more and more to look for Him in the feast.  I found myself, instead of searching for the leaven, searching for The Lord, and He never disappoints!  (although we often wait long and are stretched) I learned something fascinating during our sedar this year.  We were at the home of friends, a local pastor and his wife whom we’ve known since we first came.  During the course of the evening we began talking about the ‘afikomen’.   Many of you are quite familiar with all of the Passover traditions by now, having been told by me, or by others, or by being brought up with them yourselves, but since others might be newer to all of this, I will try to explain.  At the beginning of the Passover sedar, the ‘head’ of the sedar (the person leading it) takes 3 matzos and sets them apart.  (This act actually officially begins the sedar) He then takes out the MIDDLE matzo for everyone to see…to see that it is ‘striped’ and unbroken…He then breaks it in half and he wraps it separately (yet in the middle of the 3).  This piece is called ‘afikomen’.  During the several hours of the sedar service and meal, afikomen is hidden, and the service and meal may not be concluded until it is found (it becomes a treasure hunt for the children) – ransomed back by the leader of the service (usually there is a gift or some money set aside for this, or the children have already decided what to ask for)…taken, and divided among all present.  This concludes the sedar.  According to Jewish tradition, it is sort of a mystery, and no one can really say where it originated, but the first sedar that I was at after I was saved thrilled me to the core as I saw the PERFECT PICTURE OF YESHUA…The center matzo…pierced, broken, hidden from all of his brothers (the Jews) until He is revealed and shared at the end of the meal…stating ‘IT IS FINISHED’!  WOW! 
Ok…that was background.  One of the men at the sedar is an Israeli from Brazil, but his family lived first for generations in Syria before the Jewish expulsion from there.  He is an evangelist and a linguist.  We began to speak about afikomen and he said that it was first inserted into the sedar by the early believers.  Although it made so much sense (and the rabbis are clueless as to where it came from) I was skeptical.  Other’s chimed in; “The word ‘afikomen’ is Greek” said one.  Another added that it is the same in Turkish and that all of the Greek and Turkish Jews know that it originated with the early believers!  The pastor (made aliyah from Finland), whose home we were at, verified this, as did others.  (It was a very ‘assorted’ group of people there with a number in active ministry.)  There was a large Israeli family from Venezuela, an Israeli sister who works with CBN Israel, another family, the only non-Israelis, who work with a humanitarian group in the Palestinian areas and teach Bible studies where they explain the calling and roots of the Jews!  Amazing group of people!  One by one they added in their knowledge that in the countries that they were from it was well known that this tradition was begun by the earliest believers (like the sign of the fish).  What a wonderful new dimension it added to my rejoicing in the revelation of The Lord in the Passover, and indeed, in all of the feasts that He has given as a gift to us!
I began to write the above last night, but was unable to finish, so here we are – the last day of Pesach already.  So much preparation, so much intensity…is it something like the end of the age, or the last day that each of us will individually spend on earth?  I mean…we live and run around and do our daily chores and SUDDENLY…we will come face to Face with eternity and The Eternal One!  Wow!  (well…this is how my tired thoughts are running today so please forgive me if it just got ‘heavy’!)
Earlier this week I had wanted to share an encounter that I had that stopped me, and I think I will do that now, at the risk of overloading you:  I had gone for a blood test and sat down in another area to wait a few minutes before leaving.  I was across from a cardiologist’s office, and I heard English being spoken.  My husband is looking for a new cardiologist – preferably one who can speak English, so I asked the man who came out if that was Dr. Gvish (whose name was one of the names on the door).  The man, about 40, surprised me by saying ‘I don’t know’.  Seemed a bit strange to me, not to know the name of your cardiologist, so I asked him where he was from and found that he had immigrated from Calif.  Then he told me that he was a veteran of Afghanistan and had been severely wounded resulting in metal plates in his back and shoulders.  ‘How are you doing here?’ I asked him.  ‘The compassion of the medical profession here is really something!’ he said.  I agreed heartily, and then he added, ‘I have never seen such hard heartedness in my life!  They don’t know anything about pain here!’  What?!?  That shocked me.  I laughed…’I’m sorry’, I said, ‘my experience has been the opposite.  What has brought you to that conclusion?’  He said ‘Well, when I was at Walter Reed Hospital, they just gave me morphine like water and codeine all day.  They would say ‘here’s your candy!’.  Here, they act as if these drugs are poison and I need permission from this doctor and that pharmacy…’ I began to understand: he had become a drug addict.  ‘It is a philosophical difference.’ I began.  Since you were in Afghanistan, you weren’t here during the last intifada, were you,’ I said. ‘That hasn’t been our bloodiest war, but it is the bloodiest thing that I have ever experienced.  Over 1,000 civilians were killed and hundreds of thousands injured with blast injuries aimed to blow people to bits. We learned to treat pain with pain management and post traumatic stress counseling here least we become a country of drug addicts…’ I added a great deal more and asked him if he had tried these programs here.  He told me that he did but didn’t like them.  Then I showed him my burns.  Nearly 30 years ago I received 3rd degree burns and was in hospital for 6 weeks.  He cringed, knowing how painful burns are.  I told him that ‘Since I had been addicted to drugs in the past and was now free, when they insisted on giving me morphine drip I refused it.  (this was in America.) They told me that without it I would go into shock and perhaps die.  I told them that I would not…and I won.  I took one shot before the daily ‘rebreeding’ treatments.  (where dying skin is cut away and scrubbed)  God sustained me.’  He became uncomfortable, so I backed off.  I listened to him some more, my heart full of compassion for him.  Suddenly he said ‘There is my wife.  Nice talking to you’, and left.  Immediately the doctor came out and asked where he had gone, so I went to look for him.  I found him in the lab (perhaps trying to find an opportunity to grab some needles?) ‘The doctor is calling you.’ I told him.  ‘No thanks. I’m done with him.’  How terribly sad.  I am so thankful that this country deals with pain as it does.  Although I don’t have this man’s name, perhaps you would like to join in prayer for him to be set free. 
And speaking of prayer: Baby Netaley is now in the unique children’s’ rehab hospital to help rehabilitate her damaged brain and body.  Please keep her and her parents in prayer.  If any of you want to be inspired and either have, or have or know someone on facebook, (I am not but have followed using our daughter’s) please follow along and encourage them under Prayer for Netaley (open to all).  You can also google ALYN HOSPITAL JERUSALEM to see the AMAZING work of this hospital that is rated the best of it’s kind in the world for young people.  It is worth your time to look at! 
And now…our own personal update.  Here goes.  TODAY, our younger daughter finally arrived in Ypsilanti Michigan USA.  She is to be selling Dead Sea products in a mall.  THANK YOU FOR THOSE WHO WILL BE JOINING ME IN PRAYER FOR HER AND HER FRIEND.  There is more ‘news’ that has been difficult for me to share…quite a month of ‘changes’ for our family!  I’ll do it in chronological order: a couple of days after our daughter left (and us storing her things) we were told by our neighbor that the housing committee of owners had voted to completely renovate (gut) the building that we have been living in for the past 17 years.  In all truth, I can use it: it is BECAUSE of poor state of our apartment that we have been blessed by a rent that cannot be equaled anywhere we have looked.  It looks as if our dreaded move lies ahead of us.  I KNOW that The Lord will go before us and make a way, and it will be His and right.  Right now…it is just a bit unsettling.  This news was followed by another change that is not in our hands; our son in law has applied for his ‘dream job’…in Calif  USA…and it looks as if he will get it.  He must now go for the face to face interview.  A month ago we were a full family here…planted in the land that God DID send us to…now…many changes that are causing me to lift my eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my salvation! My hope is in The Lord; The Lord Who made heaven and earth. 
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS FOR THE LORD’S WILL TO BE DONE IN OUR FAMILY, FOR HIS PURPOSES AND GLORY! 
God bless and keep each of you…my dear brothers and sisters!  Thank you for your grace toward me.  Lovingly, your sis in Jerusalem Israel
 
ani b’derek
Published in: on April 22, 2012 at 6:32 am  Comments (6)  
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Inside Israel – Notes With Love

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel today!  I hope you don’t mind as this letter is from April 8.  J of Jerusalem shares about her Resurrection Day experiences there with family and friends.  God bless you today as you worship and pray!  Now here’s J . . .

 

Halleluyah!  He is risen INDEED…alive, and expressing His Life still!  May He be glorified and blessed as each of us follow Him according the calling with which He has called us to Himself, and may you be blessed and encouraged!
 
It is Passover, and it is also the day that the Resurrection is celebrated.  Our family has been confronted with some huge changes over this past month, and as I prayed concerning our path, I felt firmly impressed to invite my husband to come to the sunrise service in the Garden Tomb this morning.  This is unusual for a number of reasons.  For one, I was not planning to go, but even more so, my husband has not been walking with The Lord for a number of years and, were it NOT The Lord, I was really risking some ‘backlash’ by asking.  (those of you in similar situations may understand)  My husband accepted the invitation and I was further impressed to call a couple whom we love dearly, (they were elders in our fellowship when we attended as a family) and they also surprised themselves and accepted.  So, 5:30 this morning found us waiting for the first train to arrive.  Passover is a ‘high holiday, one of the three prescribed ‘pilgrim feasts’ when all of Israel is commanded to come up to Jerusalem and present ourselves to God there (here).’  The inbetween days (the week between the first sedar and the final sedar) are called ‘col h’mo’ed, and although children are off from school and many places of business close down or operate ‘half time’ they are also normal working days for many others (me included.  I work tomorrow).  This first train was already pretty full of sleepy workers heading off to their jobs…we felt like infiltrators!  The garden tomb is located near the old city toward the east, and we got off train at Damascus gate and walked,  joining throngs that seemed to appear from nowhere, streaming in through the narrow stone opening to the garden.  Over the entry to the tomb itself is the sign that reads “He is not here-He has risen”, and that is why we had gathered!  If it were NOT for the empty grave, the triumph over not ‘only’ sin, but death, our salvation would be questionable…but it is sure!  Death does NOT have the final word…does not have the victory…and is not a door closing after us, but a door opening!  Halleluyah!  We sat and stood and sang and prayed with people representing more then 60 nations, faces shining, listening to the message of Life, and as the birds sang their morning song and the leaves and flowers were bursting open, I saw again, the stirrings of THE SPIRIT at work in my family and I was encouraged to remember that there simply IS no mountain too large for Him.  He IS God over EVERY situation!  I want to encourage you as you encourage me.  Isn’t that how it is: we press on encouraging one another. 
 
We left the service and enjoyed coffee with our friends, speaking of the way that The Lord has brought our families.  We kept stopping to greet friends and neighbors and my husband commented on how many friends we have made in the nearly 18 years since we arrived.  We moved on from there to have breakfast with Alaskan friends, here for a tour and visit…and again we were ministered to as a family, hands and arms strengthened, hearts encouraged.  So many verses run though my mind.  I think of my life ‘before’ and how ‘fellowship’ like this was perhaps THE most prominent part of our daily lives.  Since coming here and working in the world as well, fellowship is so rare, so precious, a true gift.  I am more thankful then I can express!  I was very interested to hear our Alaskan friends share their impressions after their first tour of Israel (for most of them).  A number of them felt the ‘pressure’ here, and the ‘urgency’ of life. We were so encouraged through the ministry of the body to us! 
 
And before we knew it we were out on the street again.  Pressing our way back to the apartment through traffic I remembered ruefully that I must work tomorrow.  Reluctant to enter into the ‘fast lane’ again, I tried to savor the richness that the day’s fellowship had brought to me and the nurture the newly rekindled spark glowing in my husband.  A neighbor knocked on the door to borrow some matzo meal…I had to run to the store for something to put in my lunch for tomorrow.  Keeping the gifts from The Lord can only be done through pouring them out, and I must do that in the morning…go back on the bus and the train; answer the phones at work, may I do it with the grace given to me, although I am reluctant to and would rather just stay here and savor them. 
 
Well, perhaps this is not a very ‘inspirational Resurrection note to you’, but who am I anyway except a friend who speaks from her heart, and this is me, speaking from my heart to my friends.  Thank you for being one in the body for His kingdom that really IS eternal!  And, oh yes…I did see the tomb today and it IS empty!  Lovingly, your sis.
ani b’derek
Published in: on April 15, 2012 at 6:16 am  Comments (8)  
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Inside Israel – The Pascal Lamb

Hi and welcome to another special guest post this special week, from J of Jerusalem.  Praying for you all as we celebrate Jesus, who was and is and is to come.  Now, here’s J . . .

Shalom oo bracha…peace and blessing! 
Tomorrow is the day that the Passover lamb was, and is, sacrificed for the sins and ‘safe covering’ of a people.  As you know well, the blood applied to the doorpost saved the people who stayed in the house.  It is also observed this year as the day that The Pascal Lamb was sacrificed, His Blood shed for the sins and ‘safe covering’ of all who will come and abide.  What a time to take notice…to STOP…in the midst!
In Exodus 12 God commanded that the lamb, carefully chosen, be taken into the home of those he was to be sacrificed by, 4 days before the sacrifice.  I have thought about this a great deal.  It seems to me (with my western thinking) that perhaps the purpose of this was to ‘count the cost’…that during that time the family would grow attached to the lamb and feel sad for the cost of sin, but I do know that this is a western way of thinking. 
I posed that question to a (…hum…how do I explain this…It is acceptable in Judism for people (men) to commit themselves to study of torah (or other religous writings and teachings) and that is usually called a yeshuva student, although they may be 80 years old.  So I posed my question to a yeshuva student and asked him what the rabbis taught about the 4 days that the lamb was taken in the home before the sacrifice.  He didn’t know and began to speculate about ‘the number 4’ (!) I brought him back to the heart of the issue several times, until he was interested and began to focus a bit.  
The subject stayed in my thoughts and I am praying that it will stay in his as well, and perhaps even spread to conversation among the others.  May many ‘think on the cost of sin and freedom through The Blood of and seek The Sacrifice … The Pure Lamb Who paid the price for all of our wickeness and departing, and still leads the way through the sea away from the enemy…still able to drown all of the enemies barking at our heels, ready to engulf us and bring us again into slavery of sin!  
Tomorrow night we will be gathering at the home of friends, other Jewish (and some non Jewish) believers, around the Passover table, and we will read the ancient texts, eat the traditional foods, break the matzo together and sing the traditional songs in the midst of Jerusalem, in the midst of the people who were given the covenant of Avraham, which I read this morning as I read Gen 17 as part of my morning devotions…the covenant given as an “eternal covenant” (brit olam) – How BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL and PERFECT are His plans for all of those whom He chose, and who chose HIM back!  How ABLE He is to fulfill ALL of His plans and purposes! How above our ways are His ways and how … HOW…how… can we offer Him the worship that He is due!
May we stand in awe…may we bow as a body before the humble majesty of His glory! 
(this was written at work just now, so please forgive if it is disjointed…I was just overwhelmed with a desire to wish you all His blessing from Jerusalem)
ani b’derek
Published in: on April 7, 2012 at 12:49 am  Comments (4)  
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Inside Israel – take unto you a Lamb

Hi dear ones! Here is a message from J of Jerusalem, while I am still running back and forth a lot this week! Be blessed and thank you for your prayers for J and for Israel!  Now, here’s J . . .

You have been patient with me and I thank you for that.  Greetings and blessings to each of you this wonderful week (as in a week full of the wonder at The Lord’s ways!) leading up to both the Passover and the fullness of the expression of Passover in the Resurrection of The Perfect Pascal Lamb!  What wonder! 

Thank you for your prayers concerning our ‘land day’ threat; they were heard, and the ‘march of millions’ to Jerusalem was a fizzle, with Lebanon restraining it’s people over concern about starting something with Syria, Jordan keeping it’s people back and Egypt forbidding demonstrations on security grounds.  Around 30 were injured, 17 arrested and it is reported that one young man in Gaza was killed.  This is far less injury and death then in past years and, particularly given the air of ‘social revolution’, I really want to give God ALL of the glory! 
Many of you have also been praying for Baby Netaley (she is NOT my Granddaughter, by the way, as some have thought, but she is the daughter of our older daughter’s dear friend).  I have updates that my daughter has been sending to me and will send them on to anyone who wishes and requests them.  For those of you with facebook, there is a site: PRAYER FOR NETALEY and it is open to all.  The situation is still critical and in need of ongoing prayer:  The doctors believe that there is brain damage and she is, after 19 days, not showing much response to her surroundings nor moving her right side.  Her parents (Keren and Klaaus) are suddenly confronting grief after the initial battle for her life.  The doctors have also said that the makeup of the tumor is unusual with very rapidly growing cells, so it must be watched and she may likely need further surgeries.  Her chemical and hormonal balances are still not stabilized.  When our daughter was there visiting this week the nurse said that she has NEVER seen such a supportive community; so even in this time, the witness of The Lord is seen and observed.  Thank you for your ongoing prayers for this situation. 
Many of you have also asked about our younger daughter who left for America to sell Dead Sea products in a mall. She and her friend are still ‘stuck’ in Paris.  Her friend is having passport problems and is waiting for an updated passport.  Thankfully, they are staying with the friend’s grandparents.  Thank you SO much for your prayers for our family.  We have actually been hit with a wave of unexpected crisis’ (are they EVER expected?) which I am not ready to share yet, but the intensity and abundance of them have kept me from writing. THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR OUR FAMILY!
On to better things!
Passover preparations are WELL under way.  This may seem funny, but over the years I have come to recognize the closeness of the holiday by the distinct and even overpowering smell of fresh garlic wafting from the shuk!  It fills the buses and now train cars as people board with shopping carts full of fresh garlic…and everyone (it seems) loves it!  I have surely grown to. The garlic harvest seems to peak at about 2 weeks to 10 days before Passover and hand pulled wood and metal ‘carts’ overflow with the freshly pulled bulbs, each as large as a tennis ball, still caked with damp earth and long thick tops.  The tops are braided into beautiful wreaths or chains and make lovely gifts for Pesach.  These fresh bulbs are different then those usually purchased in stores, as they are not defined into distinct cloves, nor are they dried.  They are WONDERFUL thrown into a fire and roasted.  You would not think that garlic could be such a delicacy.  I am reminded that the children of Israel grumbled during the Exodus and looked back, missing the leeks and the garlic.  How sad that their faith couldn’t look forward to the garlic (and leeks) that would thrive here in the promised land!  Surely The Lord removes nothing from us that He does not restore OR replace with something more life giving!  I am not alone in my crisis’, nor are you…and may we find the faith and grace to press ahead, davka, ANYWAY, and not look back longing for what He has removed or is removing, no matter how painful. 
And, speaking of ‘removing’…that is what we, the Israelites, are called to do through the Scriptures…to remove the leaven.  In this land of religions and ingathering, there is quite a mixture of traditions and opinions, but I heard one new to me today.  One of our patients has a helper for her husband who suffers from both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (what difficulties people face!).  The helper is from India and we often meet on the bus and talk.  He is catholic.  ‘Cleaning, cleaning! The lady I work for is cleaning out all of the leaven and tells me that we only eat without leaven for 7 days!  What foolish error!  I told her: ‘Why do you do this for only 7 days and not 40 days like you are supposed to!’’.  Hum.  I thought maybe I did not hear him correctly.  ‘Forty days?  The Bible tells us that God said we are to eat with no leaven for 7 days.’  He wondered how I could be so deceived:  ‘No! The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness as punishment for 40 years, so you must eat unleavened bread for 40 days.  This is right.’  My heart ached.  We have discussed The Lord and The Bible before and I have wondered at the teaching that he gets…and why he does not read for himself.  Later, as I walked through the shuk, my heart was broken to a far greater degree, for our people generally DO KNOW the scriptures…and yet…not Him. 
There are many old men sitting now collecting money for the needy for the holiday.  I saw one standing alone calling out for donations, but nearby, a very large crowd had gathered in a circle watching something, their backs to the religious man.  As I drew near, the skin on my neck literally stood up and I felt a chill.  This does not happen often, but I strongly felt the presence of witchcraft.  I looked into the center of the circle and there was an African woman in ceremonial clothing sitting on the ground on a woven mat surrounded by money…and doing something strange with it…seeming in a trance and making it move…  In horror and grief I turned my eyes away and prayed…so grieved at the sight before me…the crowd around the witch and the religious man sitting alone.  Not that I would like to see a crowd around ‘religion’, but the insensibility of our people…not to be able to separate the holy from the profane, broke my heart. 
 
I have been reading a book about revival by Wesley Duewel and was reminded of a truth that means a great deal to me; that TRUE REVIVAL ALWAYS BEGINS WITH THOSE CLOSEST TO THE HEART OF GOD.  In other words, it does NOT fall of the unbelievers until He has fallen upon the body and revived the body!  I was saved during such a time!  OH, the deep conviction of sin and real repentance…the true and sacrificial and anonymous Spirit of Prayer that prevailed!  I say ‘anonymous’ because no person was looked up to…only The Lord!  No ‘one’ was ‘spiritual’…only The Spirit!  I sometimes feel very alone here as we pray for the outpouring of His Spirit on our people when perhaps (?) we should be praying for His outpouring upon the body…and THEN to overflow?  Lord!  Help us to find your way that YOU ALONE will be glorified in Your people Israel!
And so this year the first night of Passover, the seder, falls on Good Friday.  How appropriate!  The Lamb slain and The Blood applied…a place is set at the seder table for the prophet Elijah as is prophesied in the book of Malachi….and was fulfilled by John Baptist…and the people wait.  May He reveal Himself to MANY this Passover! 
Today is the 10th of the month of Nissan…the day that the Pascal Lamb was selected and taken into the house, as is written in Exodus 12.  So much to ponder…His ways are so great…and they remind me of the words of a song that was sung over and over when I was saved: “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.”  Are we blessed or what!?  Even in the midst of our personal crisis’ and pain, the path through is Him, and He, Who has conquered death and promised Life even to Israel is FAITHFUL! 
May each of you find fresh dew for the journey ahead as you celebrate with The Passover Lamb before you! 
Lovingly, your sis who really misses you.
ani b’derek
Published in: on April 6, 2012 at 1:45 am  Comments (4)  
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Inside Israel – Searching For The Leaven

Hi and thank you for coming by for a look inside Israel!  Today J of Jerusalem shares about the events leading up to Passover. God bless you and yours, as you read and pray for Israel and J!  Now, here’s J . . .

 

Passover preparations – 21.03.2012
I greet you in the precious Name of Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus, the Messiah, Christ.  May He be blessed and glorified, and may you be blessed! 
First, thank you for the MANY responses to the prayer requests concerning baby Netaley, and thank you for continuing to pray for her and her family.  She was sent back to intensive care because she needed to have a procedure to remove fluid building in her brain, but was very happy following the removal and is improving steadily.  I will let you know concerning the biopsy or other changes. 
In the midst of the terror standoff in Toulouse France, and all of the other critical events that continue to swirl around us, Passover (Pesach) preparations have begun and are gaining momentum.  Yearly I have to take a step back in awe, and thank God afresh for His intricate, beautiful, loving plan, which I see more and more of yearly.  How GRACIOUS He is to show me slowly, slowly, as my ‘pea brain’ and ‘stunted spirit’ is able to absorb! 
 Outwardly, the first thing that catches the eye occurs in the food stores; they begin SERIOUS cleaning!  Mid-day, at the height of the busy hours, shoppers are being rudely pushed aside by ‘cleaning and organizing staff’.  ‘Excuse me… I need that’ (slicha, ani tsreekah zeh…) someone will say.  ‘Zeh lo mishonay’ (‘That doesn’t matter) – ‘Pesach b’karov!’ (‘Passover is soon!’)  We are NOT ‘a politically correct’ people!  Shelves are scoured and bleached and ‘hametz’ (food not kosher for Passover) is removed to a separate part of the store (the part to be cleaned last) while the clean shelves are stacked with matzo, matzo meal, and other foods clearly marked ‘kosher for Passover’.  Within days, posters appear all over the city ‘Call me to do your Passover cleaning.  Strong team, reasonable prices’.  These are usually groups of young yeshiva students who do it (ofcourse) for the income, but also because they really care about the land ‘obeying the law’ of Passover; to have the homes free of leaven. 
In my yearly cycle of reading the Bible, I just finished 2 Chron, and it thrilled me to be reading about Hezekiah’s Passover in chapter 30 and then Josiah’s Passover in chapter 35!  I felt a sense of awe as I read about each one’s deep repentance and cleansing of the land and calling the people up to Jerusalem to keep the prescribed feast of the Passover.  I thought about how (dare I say?) ‘passionately’ The Lord laid out the order of the Passover in Exodus… how clearly He told the people to ‘kill the Pascal Lamb’… to ‘apply the blood to the doorposts’… ‘ to stay within the area where the blood had been applied’ … ‘to eat nothing leavened’… ‘to be ready to leave everything behind and separate themselves…’And I thought about the perfect picture of the pure Passover Lamb Whose Blood is applied to our hearts…how we are to separate ourselves from all that is ‘leavened’ by sin and the world and to leave ‘our Egypt’ behind.  I have also found myself thinking about the 40 year journey through the wilderness and how, in many ways, it is mirrored in the building of the body.  Often people find themselves with similar temptations to those that were confronted in the wilderness… the temptation to grumble and complain…the desire for things left behind… even the insurrection and rebellion against God given leadership.  We have not changed much.  Thank GOD for repentance!  Scrubbing one’s floor while on your knees is a good way to make repentance ‘tangible’.  Why scrub leaven out of cracks when we have it in ‘cracks’ appearing in our heart?  How GOOD God is!  He makes His way known!  Living parables!
Meanwhile, as these preparations begin, life continues it’s intense pace.  The bodies of those killed in France yesterday were brought here and buried today in the traditional shroud (not a coffin).  Thoughts turned to Iran as more threats were made against our existence.  Stones were thrown at the lite rail in Jerusalem and at cars in several places in Judea and Samaria, and another rocket fell in the south.  The woman across from me in the bus was crying into her phone as she told her friend that her electric bill was over 700 shekels and she couldn’t pay it.  Another lady, standing in front of me on the lite rail actually said to her son ‘So…Did you forget your Mother?  You can’t pick up a phone and call??’ (and I thought that was just a Jewish JOKE!)  Our weather, like yours, has been crazy but today was beautiful and all of the trees are budding, the wild canaries are back singing in the tree tops, and the flowers are bursting with color and fragrance.  Jerusalem is a beautiful city in full bloom, exhibiting God’s promises fulfilled…delicate buds laughing in the face of threats.  Friday, Jerusalem hosted a marathon and closed down the entire city from 6am – 2pm…NO cars, buses, trains or taxis.  For yours truly,(and MANY others)  this was a bit of a hard ship as I HAD to go to work.  I walked from 6:30-8, falling hard into a puddle while the rains poured, hail came down and my umbrella blew away in the violent wind that accompanied the storm.  It exposed a totally leavened side that needs dealing with; I was NOT walking through that storm in His gracious Spirit and it grieved me!  Thank You Lord for giving us opportunity to see our sin and accept responsibility for it and bring it to You to cover, forgive and change us into the image of Your Son, our Passover Lamb! 
Those who celebrated the first Passover were given 40 years to learn to walk before The Lord and failed.  I desperately do not want to follow my ancestor’s example.  I am now 66 and still have so much to allow Him to change.  I have been thinking a great deal about my sister in law who passed into His Presence some 2 years ago.  I miss her terribly.  She loved Him so much but when she found out that she did not have much time left on this earth, she told me two things that strongly impressed me;  first she had a dream in which she saw her back and saw that there was an ‘expiration date’ on her.  She realized that her days were all written in His book from the beginning and that there were no surprises here…her ‘expiration date’ was there since she was born..all of her days had been ordained and there was ‘enough time’ for her to ‘run her race well’. Then she realized that she ‘needed adjusting’ to be ready to ‘long to be with Him’.  I had the privilege to ‘watch’ her adjust…to hear her ‘fine tune’.  As Passover approaches I am reminded to be serious about searching out the leaven in my heart.  Just as the shofar will sound and Passover will be ushered in shortly, I have an ‘expiration date’ and a shofar will sound for me…and I want to be ready to be found in Him in peace…The Blood applied to my ‘doorposts’ and with no leaven. 
Thank you for taking the time for my ‘ramblings’.  Thank you for your loving prayers and encouragements.  Thank you for standing with me and my family and this nation whom He chose for His purposes…so much mystery….just as His body is a wonderful mystery!  God BLESS you each as we walk this all out together.  Lovingly, your sis in Jerusalem…for His glory. 
ani b’derek
Published in: on March 25, 2012 at 7:15 am  Comments (15)  
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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

Easter And Spring Poetry

Ellen Grace Olinger

-Wings of the Dawn-

Pondering and poetry by heidi viars

Godsfruitful

Encouraging others in Christ