Out Of Trouble

“I will freely sacrifice to You;
I will praise Your name, O LORD, fo
r it is good.
For He has delivered me out of all trouble . . .”  Psalms 54:6-7

A line from the movies comes to mind . . .”Are you looking for trouble?”

Lord, we desire to seek You and Your ways as You deliver us from trouble.  And here is a simple poem . . .

Troubleshooting

source - thehindu.com

source – thehindu.com

Troubles come
and troubles go

and we don’t want
to see them grow

so we stay close
to You and pray

giving You  our thoughts
our lives, our ways.

Inside Israel – Last Message About Yom Kippur

Hi and welcome back to another look inside Israel, as J of Jerusalem shares about what is happening around her and in her heart, there where Jesus walked.  Thank you for praying and encouraging the people of Israel and J too!  Now, here’s J . . .

“Now in the place where He was crucified, there was a garden…” John 19:41
As I sat with The Lord at this scripture, my heart was jarred with the sense that, really, all ‘nature’ bares witness!  I hope that doesn’t sound strange, as I am not expressing it correctly, but surely NOTHING is done that is not seen…no words uttered that are not heard…and indeed we read that the stones cry out and Abel’s blood still speaks.  Although we understand this, it suddenly became a profound truth to my heart and reminded me that when He brought us here He made plain to me that He wanted me to be a ‘faithful witness’ to the body of what I see and hear here.  How odd to think of the extreme ‘drama’ of the cruel crucifixion of The Lord juxtaposed upon a ‘garden’!  A garden speaks to me of peace, quiet, healing and life…so silent and so restful…and it was a garden – not a desert place or a wilderness place that witnessed this moment that changed both my life and yours, and all of history. 
A faithful witness; His choosing, His timing…each of us really are called to be faithful witnesses to Him, to the yet-unsaved, to our families, to one another. 
The first letter that I wrote from Jerusalem was 18 years ago today and I could not but bare witness to the sights and sounds that surrounded me, and now, even though I have sent too many things to your inboxes this week, I feel pressed to describe to you again, the sights and sounds of Jerusalem on the day of Atonement, and remembering some of things leading up to the day.
I mentioned last month that already people were preparing their hearts for this day, a day taken very seriously by even the minimally ‘religious’ and literally despised and distained by (whom I call) the ‘religiously secular’. (meaning those who practice their secularism as if it were a religion!) There was a solemnity on the public transportation as people read portions of scripture or rabbinical teachings.  A harsh word was often met with ‘Brother…it is nearly Yom Kippur.  We must think.’ or something to that effect.  Every morning the synagogues have been full, and there is a ‘tradition’ that takes place here in Jerusalem; from all over the country large groups of people, young people, even children, gather and go to synagogues through a sleepless night of study and observation.  I find them crowding the shuk at 6am getting some pita or sweet rolls (rugelach or borekes) and coffee and discussing the experience that was impacting them from their night.  Repentance and soul searching goes on for the month preceding Yom Kippur, but it is only after Rosh h’shana that the ‘offering stands’ and ‘shuk h’kaporah’ are set up.  As I described the ‘offering stands’ where people give an offering for their soul last week, I won’t elaborate again, but there have been changes to the shuk h’kaporah; it has been hidden more deeply in ‘Mea Shaarim’ (very religious neighborhood bordering on the shuk) and screened from view.  You might recall that the shuk h’kaporah is the place that people come to in order to sacrifice a chicken, which is then (some do it first before the sacrifice) swung over their heads while prayers are recited.  The ceremony is described with pictures on this (and other) web site if you are interested: http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/989585/jewish/Kaparot.htm  or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapparot or others.  Although the place for the ceremony had been just behind the shuk since I arrived, it was moved this year because of animal activists disrupting the activities for the past several years.  For a number of years I would stand outside and pray for the people partaking, so desperate for the ‘way to God’, knowing that the blood sacrifice demanded by the law could no longer be offered…but NOT knowing about The Blood of The Lamb shed for their sins!  How to tell them…!  Last year I stood there praying and found that I was being identified as an animal rights activist!  Times and seasons change!  I wonder if the opportunity that I had to share with the collector of money this past week was part of a result of those prayers. 
The shuk has also been the scene of much shopping as Rosh h’shana runs into Yom Kippur (and how we are afraid that we might starve to death from a 25 hour fast! Yes…an extra hour ‘just to be sure’) and the break-fast meal must be prepared…abundantly!  AND OF COURSE…Sukkot begins this coming Sunday at sundown and that includes MUCH sharing of food. 
Yet, set in the middle of the feasting and thanksgiving is THIS DAY. 
Outside of my window it is now perfectly silent.
Yesterday at noon, the airspace over Israel was closed and all flights ceased, as did all rail travel.  At two, all buses stopped running and stores closed.  By then radio and television (including cable) was also shutting down.  A last dinner was prepared to be finished by 4:30 as sundown was set at 4:56 for Jerusalem and kitchens must be closed and cleaned.  (Our clocks were set to ‘winter time’ this past Sunday) By then there were no more cars at all.  (Only ambulances can run on Yom Kippur) It always amazes me how much noise traffic makes.  You don’t realize it until it stops.  Doors opened and people dressed in white mainly began streaming outside and into the synagogues.  Simultaneously, a tradition that I personally dislike, began.  Children (and secular) took to the streets on bicycles and anything with non motorized wheels until way into the night.  The silence was stolen away by yelling and laughing.  Call me a ‘Scrooge’, but I was raised in a ‘traditional’ Jewish home, meaning that we were not very religious, but we did keep shabat and the holidays.  From my earliest memories (and mine begin as a tiny child) I fasted and could only play very quietly on the floor during Yom Kippur.  I was taught that this was a solemn day.  It saddens me to see children being taught that this is a ‘play day’ and I wonder how they come to a ‘fear of The Lord…the beginning of wisdom’… but… please forgive me for being critical about this.  I am a ‘witness…a ‘stone’.  It is difficult to fall asleep with all of the street noise from the children and then teenagers, but so very special to wake up early to such profound and deep silence! It is a day to read and pray…to lift The Word before The Lord and remind Him of His promises for this people, this land, and inquire of Him for deeper understanding of His Word and deeper searching of my own heart.  The children are quieter today. 
Some people stay in the synagogues all day, others come home to rest mid day and re-gather toward evening.  I am well aware that our Prime Minister is seeking God in a synagogue this day as I remember with awe the day our older daughter and I went to sit there and pray…and found out that BB Netanyahu was there.  In that synagogue the men and women were separated and the ‘women’s gallery’ was on the second floor above the men.  My daughter and I were seated directly above our Prime Minister and were able to pray for him fervently.  We both noted that he was obviously seeking God with deep cries of purpose and need. We were awe struck when, right after the fast, he opened the (now famous) Western Wall Tunnel in the Old City (a number of you receiving this have toured these).  These excavations revealed the huge stones of Solomon’s Temple, and he knew that opening it up would cause Arab riots.  He was right…but…our daughter and I were there to WITNESS the fact that he had SOUGHT THE LORD!  This is my prayer for him today as well…that he will do NOTHING without seeking The Lord diligently, and that The Lord would show favor and lead him.  We have many examples in Scripture of The Lord judging Israel by leading them move presumptuously.  May God have mercy upon us! 
We have…hum…NOT QUITE A ‘GARDEN’ but more of an ‘alley way in which we have planted flowers and see many trees.  We sit under our clothes line and make believe it is a lovely garden, and that is where I have spent much of this day today, so it was a vivid picture to me when I read,  “Now in the place where He was crucified, there was a garden…” Crucified…our kaporah…our perfect sacrifice…the pure Blood that covers our sins…spit upon, mocked, torn and nailed to the cross…here in Jerusalem…“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets, and stones them that are sent unto you; how often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen does gather her brood under her wings, and you would not!” Luke 13:34…for THIS people “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” Luke 19:41…yes for us, stiff-necked, rebellious, seeking our own righteousness and denying His, blinded by God…UNTIL!!!   I CAN ONLY CLOSE WITH THIS: (highlights are mine)  GOD BLESS YOU!  Your sis, a stone in Jerusalem

Romans 11

New King James Version (NKJV)
11 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”?[a] But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.[c] But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written:
“God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see
And ears that they should not hear,
To this very day.”[d]
And David says:
“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,
And bow down their back always.”[e]

Israel’s Rejection Not Final

11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!
13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16 For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness,[f] if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved,[g] as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”[h]
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”[i]
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”[j]
36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
 
ani b’derek
Published in: on October 21, 2012 at 8:08 am  Comments (6)  
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Inside Israel –

 

Hi and welcome to this Sunday’s look inside Israel.  This letter is dated from Sept. 21, 2012, but I hope it is still a blessing to you, as J of Jerusalem shares what has been happening in her life and country lately!  God bless you as you pray for Israel, J and her family.  Now, here’s J . . .

Dearest friends, sisters and brothers,

Shabat before Yom Kippur is just coming in and there is so much to reflect on from this week.  Greetings in The Name of Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus Christ.  May The Lord be glorified and blessed and may you be blessed! 
My heart is bursting with wonder at just the small part of The Lord that I know…can you imagine what it will be like in heaven, when our capacity is enlarged to know and understand and see and the shadows and limits flee away! 
I had a wonderful experience this week at the shuk.  Before aliyah I was a rather bold witness.  I don’t think that I often went through a day without speaking to someone about The Lord.  It was different after aliyah.  First, there were threats and real danger of being deported and loosing our citizenship…and that brought fear.  Secondly, people here don’t respond to the type of sharing that I was used to…and with limited language skills, I felt such a lack of anointing to share effectively.  Since no one shared with me (I met Him Face to face) I could see how I would scoff at a witness the way it was given in the West, and I did not want to be the cause of someone, God forbid, hardening their heart and rejecting Him…so … slowly I became pretty quiet. 
I have told you in past years about Yom Kippur and how, without the temple sacrifice, there really IS no scriptural way to provide atonement for our sins…UNLESS we know HIM Who freely paid the price.  Over the centuries since the destruction of the temple, our rabbis have come up with ‘prescribed ways’ to ‘be redeemed’.  One (which I have shared about in much detail) is the sacrifice of the chicken at the ‘shuk h’kaporah’ (the ‘sacrifice market’).  Another is through sacrificial giving of money (could that be considered ‘buying your soul’? I often wonder).  All this past week, orthodox men sat offering redemption through the collection of money.  So many people sit with them…fill out the form…are prayed for…enclose a large gift for the poor…it breaks my heart! 
On Tuesday I was at the shuk, wending my way past the ‘soul savers’, when a Haradi (ultraorthodox man with side locks in black and white) man of about 50 pleaded with me to take my soul seriously and ‘buy redemption’.  I looked at him and, unexpectedly the words began to pour out of me; ‘Thank you for caring about my soul, but I already know that I HAVE redemption and I have been redeemed for free by The Blood of Yeshua h’Meshiach!’ He stared at me, his face really quite tender and open. ‘How do you know this?’ he asked me.  ‘I have opened my heart to Him, Yeshua the Messiah, and asked Him to live in me and He has washed me and I am free!’ I answered.  He looked longingly at me; ‘I do not understand.  Are you a Jewish woman’?  I answered ‘Yes’.  He looked intense ‘Then how can this happen to you?’  His eyes were so hungry.  ‘Yes I am a Jewish woman, but it is US whom He came for FIRST.’  I was not able to share much more, but the boldness with which I shared shocked me…I believe it really WAS HIS SPIRIT sharing with this man, who’s eyes remained so soft and hungry.  As I left he blessed me and smiled and I prayed that the very small seed planted would take root and grow and produce fruit 100 fold for the kingdom of God. 
To know that we have been redeemed and that our salvation is sealed and that we are acceptable and even pleasing to the Lord through the Blood of the pure Lamb is such a gift!  My brothers and sisters seek to be pure in His sight by keeping the law and yet lack assurance…because they have NOTHING clean enough to offer for their soul!  May many hungry hearts find Him this Yom Kippur, Lord! (Please see IFI notes below)
My husband and I have entered a new period in our lives, or so we thought.  Suddenly it was just he and I…for the first time in 37 years!  No calls from our girls, no bulging of our happy noisy dinner table…we came to this moment with some trepidation, but I, for one, had a determination to cross this bridge ‘well’, and to that end I have been praying.  Over the past 10 days, since the last of them left, I have been making special dinners and making real TIME to listen and to just ‘be there’.  We even went to the beach together early one morning and plan to walk to the Old City tomorrow.  We spoke about facing the potential upcoming w_r (remember…I leave the tell tale ‘a’ out of that word to beat the computer system!) together and what it would mean…what preparations we should be making.  I have also been encouraged by the meals that we have been sharing with others from the body, as my husband has been out of fellowship for so long. 
So far so good, right?
But our ‘genetic makeup’ seems to contain a ‘crisis’ gene!  I finally heard from our younger daughter.  Generally with this daughter, silence does NOT signal ‘all is well’!  You might recall that she had a cornea transplant several years back.  Actually, the first one rejected but the second one has done well…until now.  About a month ago she apparently contracted a nasty infection in the eye.  She and her husband are young and are in the America (Canoga Park California these days) without health insurance.  She tried treating it herself and finally had to go to a clinic where she received antibiotics.  They didn’t work.  She has been in a great deal of pain, not working, home alone…getting depressed.  We spoke at 4am this morning (our time) and are sending her a ticket home to come and see her eye doctor.  She is to arrive at 1pm on Sun and the eye clinic closes at 3. Please pray for favor and that the transplant does NOT reject.  She is very unhappy about leaving her husband behind and he is quite tearful about her leaving (he is working.  They ended up with a ‘start up’ business so are not even clearing their rent yet), but the eye doctor told us that if this transplant rejects she could be permanently blind in that eye.  Please pray for wisdom all around…for grace (for my husband in particular), for an inexpensive ticket, for safety but most of all for HIS Salvation to come to both her and her husband.  Thank you for praying for our family! 
Our nation awoke to a surprise call up of both the northern and central command and other armed forces for a war drill on our Northern border during Rosh h’shana.  Today one of our soldiers was killed on our southern border with Egypt in a well planned terror attack.  The 20 year old young man, Natanel Yahalomi (Natanel meaning ‘given to God’ or ‘given by God’- and Yahalomi meaning ‘from diamond’), was from an ultra orthodox religious family.  He had joined a special top notch unit that studies Torah and serves the nation according to the call in the book of Nehemiah.  He was killed among soldiers who went to give water to African migrants stopped at the border fence.
There are many wonderful ‘blogs’ out there…some excellent writers, strong discerning believers, wise, knowledgeable people and I have often thought about recommending one or another…but today I do want to recommend a very special site written by a friend called The Two Spies (bringing a good report from Israel). http://the2spies.blogspot.co.il/  We are friends from IFI Friday morning prayer meeting and I am so edified by this blog…it is accurate, discerning, gives an accurate, un-embellished picture of life here as believers, and I think that you would also be edified by it.  The articles are short and easy to read, and include many photos.  Enjoy! 
I must close and see to some necessary matters here.  PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING WITH OUR PEOPLE AS THEY FAST – SEEKING REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS.  PLEASE PRAY FOR THE LORD TO BE REVEALED TO MANY MANY AT THIS TIME.  Again I apologize for such a fragmented letter.  May The Lord, Who has our days in His hands and even our hairs numbered, be blessed and glorified.  I miss you my friends, my family!  Lovingly, your sis

Published in: on October 14, 2012 at 8:05 am  Comments (13)  
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Inside Israel – 10 September, Part 1

 

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel today!  J of Jerusalem is our sis in Him, living and sharing from a unique place , for such a time as this!  God bless you as you read and pray for Israel  and J!  Now, here’s J . . .

10 Sept 2012
Praise The Lord Who is Faithful to all that He is and all that He says! 
I greet you in the Holy Name of Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus Christ, and I particularly thank those of you who remembered to or were called to pray for us during this time (NO condemnation at all to those of you who didn’t!).  The mighty Grace of The Lord has been abundant!  Over and abundantly more then that which I could ask or think… and WHY did I ever quiver at the mountain before me when all I have to do is look back at those behind.  As a matter of fact, as I sat with my Bible just before leaving for work following an all night marathon before the 4:30am plane (this is the first time I have stayed awake ALL night, without even a ‘cat-nap’ in far more years then I remember) I was thanking The Lord and wondering at His faithfulness and power to keep my heart at such peace during intense, emotional and painful time that this has been, and He gently reminded me of the 6 weeks that I was in isolation in the hospital with 3rd degree burns back in 1982. I was cooking chicken soup in my pressure cooker on 28th of Dec…still nursing our youngest daughter…and I took the lid off too soon, soaking my right arm and chest in the scalding soup. I can not take much pain meds due to abusing drugs before I knew Him, but at the hospital they insisted that I be drugged as they told me that the intensity of the constant pain could kill me through shock.  I told them that The Lord would keep me and we struck an agreement that as long as I would take one shot before the ‘debrieding’ treatment daily, they would watch me, but they would give me shots by force ‘when’ I began to go into shock.  BUT GOD IS FAITFUL, and He so met with me there and so ministered to me that I was able to share Him with many people and I count those 6 weeks as a chosen fire in which He proved Himself faithful to me in the midst of much physical suffering…HE IS ABLE!  ‘And if I were faithful then, why would I not be the same God to you now?’ He seemed to chasten my heart with these words. So many other memories began pouring in of His faithfulness to keep my heart and mind through painful trials, and I could only praise Him and then go on to work…again embraced by His power as I worked hard with vigor that was not naturally mine.  As I sat again with my Bible before bed I realized that He had answered a prayer, unanswered for 18 years…one I prayed on our El Al flight into what was then the unknown… moving to Israel…making aliyah…having never been here and knowing nothing of the land to which I was going… and leaving our precious oldest daughter, barely 18, behind at her last minute decision to stay.  I thought my heart would break and I prayed and cried during the entire long trip that God would “sanctify my emotions!” All of these years since as I ‘inspected the fruit’…there they still were…’extreme emotions’!  I prayed again and again…18 years. THIS DAY I PROCLAIM, I HAVE EXPERIENCED MY EMOTIONS SANCTIFIED, AND THE FRUIT IS SWEET!  PEACEABLE! It has been a very difficult two and a half weeks, but He has been present and I trust that He will complete that which He has begun in our family.  Thank you for your prayers!  I will not have an address for our children for atleast a month (12 more days in England then 2 weeks in hotels to search for apartment in the Berkley Calif area L ).  Nor do I yet have an address for our younger daughter…now in Canoga Park Calif (LA) I will let you know when I do. (many of you have asked)
And while our little family went through our personal deep waters, turbulent waters swirl all around us and people silently begin to store up stocks of water and food and prepare their ‘safe rooms’ or shelters.  I felt ‘steel enter my soul’ during this season of trial, and as I look around me that is what I see; people ‘steeling’ themselves toward what lies ahead before us.  Will there be w­_r (I leave out the ‘a’ there because it is a word that computer ‘spies’ pick up) or not?  Everyone has their opinion…but it is the main topic of conversation here. It is less then a week until the high holydays begin with Rosh h’shana, the new year or the feast of trumpets.  It begins at sundown this coming Sunday night and lasts for two days.  For the entire month according the Jewish calendar, people have already been seeking God, searching their hearts, preparing. Rosh h’shana is followed quickly by Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, of chastening one’s soul…the day that the books in heaven are open and judgment scales are seen…the day of awe… of fasting and prayer.  Shortly after that, our week of Thanksgiving begins…Succot…Feast of Tabernacles…when we sit in the ‘succa’, the small structure outdoors and eat and share and rejoice and sing and give thanks. (I will share scriptures references in my next letter, Lord willing) What a time to be alive.  Thank You Lord for the gift of life… something that I thought that I would never thank You for…having hated life before knowing You…I am more thankful for it the more that I grow to love You…life…and expression of Himself! So the scurrying begins (actually is in full progress already!) – preparing food for so much feasting…as much as possible ahead of time.  The whole nation visits and eats together…first at your place and then at mine.  We are thankful…and the year is new…and we are forgiven…or…are we?  May THIS be the question foremost in the hearts of the people this year, this week, this day:  “WHERE IS THE LAMB??? WHERE IS THE SACRIFICE FOR MY SIN?? Is it this chicken when The Lord our God called for A LAMB??”  Pray with us…pray for our Prime minister to KNOW HIM WHO IS WISDOM as he is making decisions that WILL affect the entire world.
J of Jerusalem, continued next Sunday!
Published in: on September 23, 2012 at 8:35 am  Comments (7)  
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House of Sacrifice

“Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him; “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.”       2 Chronicles 7:12

I think of the house of God, the house of the LORD, the house of worship, but somehow forgot it was called the house of sacrifice.

Lord, we desire to be living sacrifices for You.  And here is a simple poem . . .

This Place

Solomon built the Lord’s house
and it became a place

for worship, for sacrifice
for them to seek His face

to bring their offerings
more than just bull or ram

to lay down their very lives
before the Great I Am.

Advanced

“Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the Lord said to him; ‘You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed’.” Joshua 13:1

God often worked through the older generations.

Lord, thank You for valuing and using those society overlooks. And here’s a simple poem . . .

To Those Remaining

There’s more work
yet to be done

and we’re so thankful
for those who’ve come

and lived their lives
in obedience to Him

an inheritance of faith
their sacrificial offering.

What’s In Your Hands?

“So none of the accursed things shall remain in your hand. . .” Deuteronomy 13:17

The temptation would be great for the people to pick up the habits of idolatry all around them.

Lord, please help us be aware of what we pick up each day. And here’s a simple poem . . .

Hands For Him

Let our hands be empty
of what doesn’t glorify you

lifting in ready praise
folded soft in prayer too

always eager to help
whenever needs arise

working out Your good pleasure
in this our humble sacrifice.

Not Because of Our Righteousness

“Therefore understand that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.” Deuteronomy 9:6

Chapter 9 was a tough one. Moses went back over all the times the people had rebelled and provoked the Lord to wrath.

Thank You, Lord, that though I’m not good enough to deserve anything from You, You are good enough and give it. And here’s a simple poem . . .

He’s That Good

I’m sinful, rebellious
my righteousness just rags

satan rubs his hands together
thinks he’s got me in the bag

but then I come to Jesus
with my filthy life

and He carries me to the Father
washed in His sacrifice.

Inside Israel – almost time for Passover Sedar

Hello and Happy Resurrection Day! Thank you so much for stopping by for a look inside Israel today. J of Jerusalem shares some special thoughts and blessings in this letter she wrote on April 18th. I pray all of you are blessed today, as you celebrate your Risen King. Now, here’s J . . .

Last night the country burned its leaven. There were bonfires all around where people brought their left over baked goods. Also yesterday, one of the chief rabbis symbolically ‘sold the leaven’ to the Arabs. I really am not sure what that is all about, but I have not cared to take the time to figure it out…another tradition that avoids the keeping of the command?

Passover begins at sundown tonight.

I looked up ‘leaven’ this morning in my old Webster’s Dictionary, and it confirmed what I though; leaven is an agent added to baked goods that causes them to rise or ferment. That is pretty simple to me. So…what could be ‘not kosher for Passover’ in a hard candy or a soft drink, or a yogurt? Well…on to that later perhaps, but, it saddens me to see that what IS ‘kosher for Passover’ this year includes baking powder and baking soda! That boggles my (admittedly) simple mind. Perhaps you remember (those of you who have been reading my letters for awhile) the year when suddenly CHEESE disappeared because it was suddenly not ‘kosher for Passover’. Happily, it ‘became kosher’ the following year. It is easy to see what is kosher for Passover here because it is removed from the shelves, or, as I described in past years, entire aisles of the stores are shrink wrapped and sealed in plastic that is unlawful to break until the end of Passover.

Indeed, the injunction to every Jew is clear and strong in scripture and is given “forever”. HOWEVER…it is rather simple…’No leavened bread shall be found in your homes’…’No leaven shall be found.’ That is not hard. Jesus kept the Passover. After He was risen, His disciples kept the Passover. It is neither a ‘religious act’, nor salvation by keeping the law; but an act of faith and obedience to God’s Word and it is not hard.

But Yeshua rebuked our (His people), particularly the religious leaders, for straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. I am reading right now in Amos and Acts and read a portion that made me shiver. Amos chapter 2 from verse 4 on is written first to Judah and then to Israel (Judah and Israel are separated by this time) – perhaps I will share this later… or perhaps you will…I feel to move on.

I have not been able to write any personal letters lately, and I am so sorry! I continue from ‘crisis to crisis’ and it has left me neither time nor energy, but I am fine inside, so do not worry but thank you for your prayers for my family and for my nation. It is so intense. HE IS SUFFICIENT!

I wanted to share with you some ‘bits and pieces’ that so many of you seem to enjoy. You know how it is when you clean house? You are left with ‘bits and pieces’ at the end (or is it just me….). Well, Passover is SUPPOSED to be (according to scripture) the first day of the first month for us, so it is a good time to ‘remember’ and share some bits and pieces that are meant to glorify Him and to be a blessing and a witness.

Passover (Pesach) is the first of the spring feasts and flowers are now in full bloom everywhere. The latter rains end during this time and the end of Pesach marks the beginning of the ‘counting of the omer’ until Shavuot (Pentecost) when the first fruits are offered with thanksgiving. But even now the fruits of the land dazzle our eyes and noses! The shuk is a glorious array of colors and smells this week! Fresh strawberries, oranges, apples, bananas, pineapples, pears, shesek, persimmons, nuts and dried fruits, fresh garlic woven into braids, aromatic and full, every kind of vegetable imaginable…what a sight! I stand back and think ‘This was a desert and YOU have made it to blossom!’ Crowds press into each other; ‘Ouch!’ ‘Slich’a (I’m sorry)’ ‘hag semach! (happy holiday)’

In the stores, food donation boxes stand by the doors encouraging you to ‘buy two and donate one’ and you are offered a chance to donate at the register as well. Everywhere people are speaking kind words to one another and thanking one another for their work. ‘I have an extra box of matzo. Do you need any?’ In the store I meet an old neighbor who had gone, with his family, to live in America for 2 years. ‘Yonatan! How great to see you! How are you and the family? How was it in America for you?’ He hugs me ‘My kids speak English now! Wait until you see them! They tell me what people say in English!’ I ask about how it all went and he tells me how well people live there and how easy life is there and how polite people are and how relaxed it all is…and then he is quiet and looks at me. ‘What?’ I ask, ‘Well…I am just glad to be home. People there talk about God…but it is like…it is different. Don’t misunderstand me…the people in the ‘inside’ (middle America) really seem to love God, but others…it is as if money is God…and money takes the heart…’ He looks at me to see if he has offended me. I tell him ‘Yes…except the ‘notzrim’ (Christians)! They are real!’ He agrees ‘Oh yes! Those are the people from ‘the middle’! They are like us…They believe.’ (He and his family are NOT yet believers) I go away wondering what witness he has been exposed to. I ask him to come and visit and I must pray now for an open door to share. Yonatan and Sarah are their names. Perhaps seeds have been planted and I can water them?

“He confirmed His inheritance when it was weary,” Don’t you love that verse? I certainly do, and that was JUST what He has done for me over the past 2 and a half weeks! I would like to give Him glory for His blessing in the presence of His people, for He is faithful!

We received, not one, but FOUR amazing blessings;

First came the stove: ‘It’s ok. It works’ (albeit the oven has two settings….’hot’ and ‘off’) ‘Thank you, but I’m sure there are others who need it more.’ That is what I told a friend of mine who is a Pastor’s wife and who administrates an ‘amutah’, a non-profit fund to help believers. ‘But I have the money NOW and your stove…well…it COULD bare replacing!’ she argued. I stood firm. HOWEVER…later that day, plop! The control knob fell off. ‘Hey! I didn’t know that could come off…I’ll scrub it.’ I did…and tried to put it back on only to discover that it had SHEARED off. Broken! Now I had NO way to turn on my ‘one stop’ oven. Instead of crying, I laughed and asked The Lord to forgive me for being so proud, and called my friend back. I am now blessed with a new stove! 2) That shabat, my Pastor’s wife handed me an envelope. The kehila (fellowship) had received a blessing and a number of us were given food coupons and it was enough to share with our girls as well. Two wonderful blessings in one week! ‘Thank You Lord!’ THEN (as if that wasn’t more then enough) 3) I got a call that ‘the Swiss believers are in town’. Now this is a special group of people…they come to clean! They clean streets, they clean the homes of ill and elderly…and they clean the homes of believers. I used to clean the homes of others, and I was blessed to volunteer to clean other places, but only once, after 6 weeks in the hospital with burns many years ago, did anyone ever clean my house. The sad fact is that for the past 3 years my life has been so intense and my health so poor that I have despaired over the mess and haven’t known where to start…should I ever get the time and energy. When I was asked if they could come to MY home…a strange thing happened. Yes, the embarrassed ‘refusal’ welled up in me, but a joyful acceptance usurped its place and, knowing that this would be greatly humbling… I said ‘YES’! Now, added to my other blessings I had clean windows, a clean bamboo pots and pans shelving and clean bathroom walls! FINALLY (as if more were possible) 4) , a dear sister from Texas, who does many things, but also leads groups to Israel, came and invited my husband and I to join them for dinner at their hotel. What a group! Each one was a blessing. We felt the strength of the body just being with them…the love of Yeshua enveloped us, and they blessed us with a gift of two months rent! HE CONFIRMS HIS INHERITANCE WHEN IT IS WEARY! The love of this group touched my husband’s heart as well J

I thank The Lord for this quiet time to write in the midst of so much activity! I have thought of several of you whom I love dearly in the line of the dangerous storms in the US. I have wanted to shout out about the murderers of the Fogel family being arrested and the responses…about the death yesterday of the 16 year old who was injured in the Gaza rocket attack about a week ago…about such a number of things that I do hope that you have read about in our news or heard about from the others you hear from. Others write so well and I know that many of you receive other letters. Thank you so very much for your prayers, for your letters, for your kindness, for you help, for all that you are in Him.

As we are one in The precious Pesach Lamb Who was sacrificed for OUR sins and rose again in victory, THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS AFTER THE FLESH…for the salvation of our people according to scripture, that even THIS Pesach, eyes may be open and that the revelation of Yeshua may be evident! God bless you! May we glorify God, and finish the work that He gave us to do.

For Our Good Always

“And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day.” Deuteronomy6:24

Doing things God’s way leads to life for the children of Israel. For us too.

Thank You, Lord, for doing all You do, for our good. And here’s a simple poem . . .

He Knows Why

As we are where we are
and begin to wonder why

help us remember, Lord
that it’s for us You died

not for Your own good
but for ours, you sacrificed

and laid down once and for all
so that we might have eternal life.

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