Inside Israel – A Time of Sharing / Part 2

JerAtNight1

Hi and thank you for stopping by for another look inside Israel today!  Our sis in Jerusalem is sharing about what she observes with a heart for Him.  God bless you as you read and pray! Now, here she is .. .

It is now the night of the 18th and I began this letter two days ago.  So much is going on in our country and I am clueless as to what is known on the ‘outside’…and if things from here are being reported, how they are being displayed and interpreted. 
 
Currently our yet-to-be-formed government is in a real crisis.  Our system is a mystery to many of you and indeed, it took me about 10 years to get a minimal grasp on how it works.  Although Netanyahu was elected, he was elected to form the next government and given a time period of just under a month in which to do it.  To do that, he must negotiate with the many parties who won seats in our Knesset (Parliament or Congress) and have a majority join him (thus forming a ‘coalition) and that is just not happening.  If it does not come together soon we will have to go to new elections again.  It is quite serious. 
 
We also have a new ‘scandal’ over a previously unidentified ‘prisoner – x’ who apparently committed suicide in jail.  He held duel Israeli Australian citizenship and an Australian news magazine did a major ‘expose’. He was a Mosad (Israel’s famous spy agency) agent and very serious security issues are involved.  The news media is aflutter with noise…and noise that is potentially damaging to Israel.  This is a dangerous diversion that we could have done without. 
 
The war in Syria has begun spilling over into Israel.  Two days ago, seven Syrian soldiers were brought to Israel having been severely wounded and are in a hospital here in our North.  The rebels seeking to take over Syria are of great concern to Israel. 
 
These are just a few of our current crisis’. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT OUR 7 YEAR WATER CRISIS HAS ENDED! THANK YOU LORD! The FUNNY news is that when the public announcement was made we were told in the next sentence that we were NOT having our water prices rolled back at all, much less the pre-crisis level, because we are now de-salinating water and THAT is expensive!    
 
And in the midst, God remains on the throne!  Does that mean that we will be spared the judgment that seems imminent to the nations of the earth;?  I, personally, do not see it that way.  But it is given to me to know Him and His voice and His ways, and to follow Him. I totally trust His judgment…He IS The Righteous and True Judge.  And how we get to focus on His ways again as the days of Purim rapidly approach.  Thursday is the fast of Esther.  We all seem to love the book of Esther where she is told ‘Perhaps you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this.’  I often think of that as I ride the bus or train or deal with people at work in sometimes such wonderful and fearful ways…but it is for such a time as this that we were each brought to the place in which we stand.  Esther was found faithful.  We read it now and it looks so simple…but the more I look at what it must have been like to really BE her, it the more extraordinary and rare that her faithfulness becomes.  Perhaps you will join with us and spend some time in this book?  Saturday night and Sunday Purim will be celebrated in the country as a whole.  I have been here long enough to watch it take more and more of a form that I am ashamed of…resembling the witches sabbeth or mardi gras more then a scriptural celebration.  The costumes have become generally awful and the drinking (which had a religious tradition) has become a free for all. It is so grievous to me. It is somewhat better for ‘Shushan Purim’ in Jerusalem, the ‘walled city’ which this year begins on Sunday night through Monday.  Perhaps you remember how I have shared over the years that according to the tradition, Purim is held for two days in ‘walled cities’ because Shushan was allowed a second day of Purim.  Since many religious live in Jerusalem, we still see modest Queen Esther and Mordachi costumes.  I do so enjoy watching the religious families with their ‘tribes’ of children, rushing joyfully from place to place happily delivering ‘mishloach manot’ (sent portions) baskets of fruit and sweets all over the city.  As it is recorded in the book of Esther, that the Jews ‘…made the day a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.’ (from Esther 9:19) and that continues through today. In the midst of it all, we stop and atleast some of us really are taking notice of the fact that ‘Great things The Lord hath done for us, whereof we are glad’ as David said in Psalm 126
 
And so, having taken so much of your time already, I will just quickly bring you up to date concerning our family. My husband was in great pain the night that the prayer conference began, and he was diagnosed with a ‘closed pelvic fracture’.  I have been 120% involved in medical things concerning him and the results are inconclusive, but he is much better.  He seems to be fine now…is walking and working although he has missed a lot of work due to dr. appointments and tests. He became extremely depressed and the weight of our children and Grandchildren leaving the country became very heavy again.  I was way overtired with all of the added responsibilities and came down with a stubborn case of bronchitis. It picked up a shovel and dug me a deep slimy pity-party-pit. His wonderful faithful Spirit battled in me and I repented of that sin and plan to stay in His victory.  I actually have much that I would love to share about that, but will end with a birthday gift that He gave me yesterday:
 
Perhaps some of you remember the wonderful gift that I was given last year at this time when He miraculously opened the door for me to go to Tel Aviv Yafo for a night and two days to attend a conference for local women lead by a sister from America whom I had never heard of (Dottie Schmidt).  I NEVER do anything like this, but I had an irresistible urge to go and recognized that it was Him.  I was deeply touched at that conference and the sister ministering and I had a special connection.  As the same time of year approached I began to pray about going again should she return, but this time the door was firmly closed. I prayed about it.  I received an email from a local sister telling me that she had driven this visiting sister to a congregation to speak that Shabat and Dottie had asked ‘Do you know a woman named ______ (remember I don’t use my name at all online) from Jerusalem?  She was at the meetings last year and I have been praying for her and was looking forward to seeing her’.  The sister mentioned the hotel that she was staying in before the meetings begin and it is within walking distance of my apartment.  Since yesterday was my day off, I prayed and though ‘What presumption! But Lord, if You want us to meet up, please make a way.’  I went down town and did my chores and kept lifting it up.  On the way back home I took a deep breath and thought ‘What can I loose.’ And committed it to The Lord.  I had a card to leave at the desk for her and was going to sit down and write in it when I thought; perhaps I’ll leave a message at her room as well.  I called up from the desk and she answered.  I was flustered.  She insisted that I come up and looked amazed.  ‘How in the world did you know that I was here?’ she asked.  Then she explained that she had only been in the room to sleep and that this was a 3 hour period that she had asked to stay back alone!  Indeed The Hand of The Lord had given me a gift as we shared and prayed together and I was deeply ministered to! 
 
AND…I have NO DOUBT that your prayers (and I do NOT say that as flattery or fancy spiritual words, God forbid!) play such an important role in my life and the path through this world to victory … for His glory!   
 
Thank you so much for taking the time to read all (or part) of this.  Thank you for standing with us.  Please know that you would be embarrassed if you knew how much I care about each of you…you are a blessing! 
 
May His grace and mercy draw each of us deeper into His Word and His Spirit…and may we have His discernment in these day!  Lovingly, your sis here. 
 ani b’derek
Published in: on March 3, 2013 at 9:13 am  Comments (10)  
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Inside Israel – finally a moment to write!

Hi friends and thanks for coming by for a look inside Israel today, through the eyes and heart of J of Jerusalem!  God bless you as you read and pray!  Now here’s J . . .

With all of the very big and important things that have happened here, riding the wave of another personal crisis took priority over writing and sharing first hand.  I will add a few quick comments concerning the events that came and went and are still in progress, and I will also share a personal prayer request at the end.

FIRST…Loving greetings with blessing to each of you in The Name above ALL names, Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ, Lord of lord and King of kings.  May HE Alone be glorified, and may you be blessed.
Binyamin Netanyahu, our Prime Minister, met with the leaders of Canada and America…and I did not get to comment.  I know that most of you heard him speak in America anyway, and I am thankful for all of the positive input that came from many of you.  Our Prime Minister has a gift with words, and also a very real fear of The Lord and reads and believes his Bible.  To my joy, the one thing that was reported in the Hebrew press here was that the he went to a prayer meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and, with hands laid on him, was very moved as they prayed for him to be bold, to stand with The Lord for Israel, and many other things that we also were praying for him here.  The (secular) newspaper reported that he was very moved by the prayers.  J  I wonder how many of you get such reporting in your local newspapers these days. 
Next was Purim.  I actually wrote to you about it as Purim was beginning, but got no further then the beginning.  For me, there was a change this year.  The celebrations seem (to me) more and more secular and wild…more like halloween…the witches sabbeth…and it made me sad.  It is not my favorite celebration.  We did gather for prayer thought as believers during the time of the Esther fast.  I have written about Purim each year, so if any of you wish to know something of the holiday, I would be happy to send you something from the past. 
Finally, the latest news that I KNOW many of you are receiving distorted reports concerning…the fighting going on in our South with Gaza.  As of this afternoon, since Friday, over 220 rockets and missiles have rained down in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Be’er Sheva, and surrounding areas.  Up to a million people are ducking into shelters through out the day…children are home from school, trauma centers are open.  This round of battle actually began when a top Islamic Jihad leader was located.  He had been responsible for a number of large attacks and was known to be planning a major one at the time.  Israel has a policy of targeted assignation.  For the past half a year we have been ‘swatting flies’ as drips and drabs of rockets hit southern Israel, and Israel would then shoot at those aiming  the launch.  It was decided to go after the main ‘brains’ behind the operations.  This is what you LIKELY have heard reported (as we check the foreign news media and receive chastisement from governments, it is what we are hearing): that Israel, the “aggressor and occupier” began the entire thing, although Clinton spoke out against the attacks on our south.  As of this evening there is a ‘truce’ in effect and things are fairly quiet.  Many in the south are calling on the government to enter Gaza again and finish the job that was abruptly ended by world pressure.  I do not think that will happen, precisely because world pressure is too strong.  We see what is happening in Syria and we are more quiet then much of the world.  Perhaps some of you might recall (as I wrote quite extensively about it and with much detail) the ‘Jenin “massacre”’.  It had been reported that thousands were massacred, Jenin was destroyed, dead bodies of entire families were rotting in the streets, etc.  Thankfully, we were able to FINALLY mobilize world leaders and press to come and see the truth…however by the time the truth was revealed, the damage to Israel had been done.  I am no lover of Assad, by any means, but we constantly hear reports by the ‘democratic resistance fighters…liberators’, of huge numbers killed daily and frankly, I do not believe the reporting…nor the motives of the ‘fighters’.  (notice how they USED to be called ‘rebels’, ‘junta’, ‘usurpers’ etc?  By simply changing words, the media is able to manipulate both world opinion and government policy)  May God give His children discernment!  May we seek Him for this gift of His Spirit! 
In the midst of all of this, I want to thank God for the abundant rain and snow that blessed us this past few months.  We are now having lovely spring days intermingled with wintery ones, but the trees are laden with buds and although our severe 8 year drought has not fully broken, we are encouraged and thankful.  I know that many of you have joined us here in praying for moisture, and now may you partake in thanksgiving!  He is only Faithful! 
And so…that brings me to our latest family ‘events’. 
There are several, but I don’t want to inundate you. 
I have shared some prayer requests for our youngest daughter who has been living with us.  For the past few months she had been participating in a ‘day treatment’ program that seemed excellent.  It is for adults suffering from depression, anxiety and or post traumatic stress syndrome.  She really qualified for all three.  She has now left the program and…yesterday…she and her friend left for Michigan, America to sell Dead Sea Products in kiosks at the malls there…tentatively for a year.  She told us of their decision 6 days ago, and, although it was a shock, I have to thank God for His preparation of my heart through the ministry that I received in Tel Aviv the week before. I was pleased that she made mature preparations, consulting fully with the program that she was in and all of her doctors, (you might remember her cornea transplant…).  Those of you in America are most certainly familiar with the enigma of the Israel vendors of Dead Sea products in virtually every mall across the country.  It is almost a new ‘rite of passage’ for young Israelis. Our economy, inspite of being displayed as such a strong one (which I’m sure it is) does not have the ‘trickle down effect’, as I explained before.  Young people are always looking for opportunities to work, for a time, out of the country, and to return with enough to rent their own apartment and begin a business.  They live in group houses and work 12 hours per day 7 days per week generally.  Our daughter has never been able to maintain a rigorous schedule like that.  HOWEVER…I KNOW THAT THERE ARE MANY OF YOU OUT THERE WHO PRAY FOR ISRAEL AND ISRAELIS AND YOU HAVE WONDERFUL AND FURTILE GROUND BROUGHT TO YOUR DOORSTEP!  May I suggest (if you are not already doing it?  I’m SURE many of you are and know of some of you!) first, praying specifically for some…approaching some and telling them that you love Israel and are praying for Israel, invite them out for coffee, lunch…over for dinner…SHARE WITH THEM AS THE SPIRIT LEADS…He is creative and knows their hearts so I know that He can lead you.  And now that I have a daughter…and her friend there…I will be praying for God to rise up a fiery, anointed army.
At this point, I don’t even know what city they will be in.  They took a plane to Prague (Czech Republic) and from there were to take a train to Paris where her friend has Grandparents.  From there…to fly to Michigan.  Her friend does not know much about American geography.  When I asked which city they were going to I was told ‘I don’t remember the name but it’s between Chicago and Colorado…I think’.  And so…if our family is on your heart, please remember to pray for our youngest daughter in this latest part of her search for the way back to Him?  Thank you so much. 
I know that this letter is a bit different and sketchy, but may His grace translate to you blessing as you pray for His will in your own lives, the lives of your loved ones, and the world.
LOVINGLY, your sis

Inside Israel – Esther Fast / Purim 2011

Hi and welcome to Inside Israel! J of Jerusalem is back with us today after having pneumonia. So thankful she is doing better and has blessed us with a letter and look at Purim this year. Now, here’s J . . .

Tonight begins the ‘fast of Esther’ (ta’onit Esther’) which precedes Purim (Sat night through Sun night for the entire country, and Sun night through Mon night for Jerusalem – the ‘walled’ city).

Esther is a book that the founding fathers of the Church chose to include in the full Bible, and well so. It is so rich in understanding of the ongoing battle between good and evil and how that battle is fought by godly people; it is an important book for anyone who takes the Kingdom of God seriously, so it is beloved by the body.

For the Jews, it is a history book as well…and more, as the same battle continues today; therefore the book – and the season – is taken very seriously by those who are God fearing.

Twice this week, the same thing, the same words, was reported in the media: “Now the world will SURELY see and understand what Israel is up against!”; such a naive, hopeful cry! The first time was with the slaying of the parents and children in Samaria. The second was yesterday when Israel intercepted the ship Victoria, laden with weapons destined for Gaza via Egypt. The ship (in case you didn’t hear) originated in Syria and re-docked in Turkey. (so THAT is what was on the ‘benign’ Iranian ship that crossed through the Suez Canal last month on a ‘peace mission’ to Syria! Huh! Who would have guessed…!) Our navy intercepted it 200 miles out from our coast. In the first incident, Israeli response is always to build new homes where terrorist murders took place. 400 new housing unit tendors were given for Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (where they have, in fact, been frozen, for nearly 2 years). The condemnation and consternation was quick in coming (against the 400 new apartments, that is!). The first international response I heard last night, concerning the intercepted ship was that we were ‘again’ engaging in ‘piracy’.

And so we approach the fast that is to remind us of Esther standing in the gap for the nation, while it was yet in exile. I think of her preparations, and then her approaching the king…and him holding out his scepter to her. She was prepared!

This morning I was reading John 11 with the account of Mary and Martha’s interaction with Jesus when He raised Lazarus. I read (11:35,36)“Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said ‘Take away the stone.’” Along side of that verse I had written at some point “Ezek 36:26”. Since I was reading, lifting up the scriptures to Him… I turned there to see where He had lead me sometime past and I read “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Jesus said…”Take away the stone…!” I began to pray for the taking away of the stones…first in my own heart…and then in the hearts of the people and the land. I remembered Campbell McAlpine, a great teacher, a true man of God, teaching that all sin is hidden in a deep pit, a cave, in the dark…and we fear ‘taking away the stone’, for ‘Lord! It stinketh!’ and surely it does! But when the Light of Life shines in and floods the darkness, the miracle is worked and the stink is GONE and new life comes forth, resurrected life, sometimes ‘wrapped in grave clothes’ for those around to remove, but LIFE none the less.

I was so encouraged, being exhausted from ongoing battles, to look back at the moment where He came to MY grave and split heaven and earth to roll away the stone… to call me forth… to breath new Life into me… and I remember that HE HASN’T STOPPED OR QUIT! With THAT knowledge I can walk on.

I leave now for our daughter’s house (it is my day off). She is NOT doing well after this newest Baby and I do ask for prayer. Our new Grandson cries if he is put down and so she has been sitting and holding him all day. Being in a new area, she has had no ‘adult fellowship’ and they have not gotten into a new fellowship yet, so I am going to take care of the children today and give her a day ‘out’.

You probably remember that Purim is a day (2 days) in Israel where people dress up in costume. In the past I have described all of the traditions and practices that take place here (I can send that to any of you who ask). I, myself, have never cared for costumes, but in the past children mostly dressed as Queen Esther, Mordachai, or other Biblical characters. Over the years it has given way to more worldly costumes. This year there has been commentary concerning the amount of gory and ‘pop’ costumes that are popular, and that disturbs me. I am thankful that most people DO read the book of Esther at least once during Purim and I am praying that it speaks deeply to hearts.

Thank you for remembering this people and nation in your prayers, according to The Word. Thank you for remembering our family, even as the disaster in Japan and revolutions demand our hearts cry. Thank you for your faithfulness.

I will close here as I must run to get the bus. God bless you all! Lovingly, your sis

ani b’derek

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