Inside Israel – The Gift of Giving Thanks

HI! and welcome to this Sunday’s Inside Israel. 🙂  Today J of Jerusalem, a Jewish believer, gives us a peek at daily life there, through her eyes.  God bless you and thank you for stopping by and praying for Israel and our sister in Christ, J!

Now here’s J . . .

I have been singing the old hymn ‘Come ye thankful people come’ all day and thinking of each of you, even those of you in countries other then America, to whom the Thanksgiving holiday which I remember may have no meaning, and for whom today is a ‘normal work day’, as it is here.  None the less, my thoughts turn to The Lord and to giving Him thanks, and I remember fondly the holiday that I grew up with.  Whereas Passover was my Father’s favorite holiday, Thanksgiving was my Mother’s.  I was a terribly unthankful young person, but my Mother’s sincere thankfulness just for family warmth, touched even my hard, cold heart and planted a memory of warmth and love.  Then, THANK YOU LORD! I got saved, and Thanksgiving (as all holidays) took on a totally different dimension.  I was OVERWHELMED by the Goodness of God and was so thankful that there was a whole day set aside to express just that!  I also tried to plant seeds of a thankful heart into our children and to establish a ‘habit’ of being thankful.  Yes, I did love Thanksgiving, and I sorely missed it when we arrived here and I realized that this was yet something else that I had loved that would need to be set on the alter.  Thankfully, even though the celebration only exists here among pockets of those who come from America, a thankful heart knows no boundaries nor dates! 
So, from here to each of you, American or not, I want to let you know, sincerely, that I am so thankful for you.  May you have a blessed Thanksgiving day (if you are American) and a blessed day of giving thanks (whether you are or not).
Ofcourse, not being a holiday here, it is work as usual and, for me, that entails much time on the bus (or train, if I am only going a short distance).  I planned on trying to get some turkey to make for the family tomorrow.  Perhaps some of you remember the humorous fiasco’s of years past when turkeys were not very common.  There has been increased aliyah from North America for the past five years and the market definitely reflects that.  It makes shopping easier, however…a bit less colorful!  My husband had requested, not a whole turkey, but just a turkey breast and a couple of legs if possible.  I set out to see what I could find.  I have purchased a number of turkey breasts since we lived here, but never was successful at finding one with skin on.  Today, for the very first time…there it was!  A turkey breast with the skin on!  I asked the butcher for it and, with a big smile on his face, he began to take the skin off.  ‘Oh no!’ I told him.  ‘I would like it with the skin’.  Curiosity got to him; ‘With the skin?  What for?  Everybody wants the skin off.’  I explained that this time I was going to roast it. ‘Ah!  Interesting…I will split it and chop it up for you’.  Oops…’No thank you.  I want to roast it whole.’ Now he was really curious!  ‘But don’t you even want it cut in half?’ With a sigh I satisfied his curiosity by explaining just how I was planning to spice it and cook it.  I stopped short of inviting him to dinner…I was tired.  He would likely want to bring his whole family.  I felt guilty, but excited that after 17 years I had succeeded in finding a turkey breast for roasting.   
Since we were invited to a friend’s home tonight for a bit of a Thanksgiving dinner together, I moved on to other stalls to get fruit for a fruit salad.  Shopping cart filled successfully to the brim I made my way to the bus stop.  With far too many others, I waited and waited for the bus.  One woman in particular was extremely impatient, and when the bus finally arrived she pushed in front of every one else.  There were some grumbles, which she answered back in an equally nasty tone.  We had no sooner been seated (if we found a seat) then the bus took off and the sound of balls bouncing caught everyone’s attention.  There they were: fragrant, colorful clementinas (small oranges – like a mandarin) rolling all over the bus floor; dozens of them!  ‘Impatient lady’s clementina bag had sprung a leak.  They were gleefully rolling down the aisles, sliding down the steps…suddenly the cry went up ‘Clementinas!!’  Everyone sprang to immediate action!  This is someone’s food and we all needed to rescue it!  Little old ladies ran down the aisle.  Elderly men with difficulty walking were bending down the bus steps, everyone gathering clementinas and passing them up to ‘impatient lady’ who was re-arranging bags and thanking everyone profusely; this was a community effort!  Task accomplished no one was grumbling anymore, but we were all visiting with one another and commenting about the wonderful smell of citrus in the bus.  ‘Impatient lady’ was happily visiting with the people around her.  By the time I got off the bus, everyone was friends.  I haven’t seen anything like this on our new lite rail yet…and I’m still not sure why.  We’ll see on the first of December when they are scheduled to begin charging fees to ride it…perhaps the personality will change. 
Well…inspite of the joy of the holiday, I must be up at 4:30 and go to work, so I will (thankfully) close my bleary eyes.  May each one of us find that we have been able to lay aside our situations simply to give thanks. 
Thank you for all of your prayers for our younger daughter.  Things remain critical, however I see tangible results of your prayers.  May The Faithful Lord be glorified.  Lovingly, your sis
ani b’derek
Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 6:44 am  Comments (8)  
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Inside Israel – More Thanksgiving

Hello everyone! I’ve missed you while away from posting for a few days. J of Jerusalem is my guest here today as she describes how Thanksgiving went for her there, inside Israel. Enjoy! And I’ll be back to regularly posting again tomorrow! 🙂

27. Nov.2010

Thankful greetings from Jerusalem!

I thought that you might enjoy some ‘observations’ mixed in with a bit of an update (as I have been SO encouraged and humbled by the amount of prayer and love poured forth on our behalf!).

My husband came home for a ‘vacation’ on Thursday (what a wonderful Thanksgiving gift!) and is to go back to the rehabilitation hospital tomorrow, Sunday.

We have a wonderful service here, free of charge- it is considered a work of mercy; there are ambulance services to transport people in wheel chairs or on stretchers or life support. That way, those who would be confined to home or institution can be transported to family events as well as doctor’s appointments etc. We were quite impressed as ‘our ambulance’ drove up to the hospital to take us home and to transport another lady, well over 90, to hospital for dialysis treatment. We had a fiasco getting my husband’s wheelchair down 3 steps and up 3 others leading into our apartment, but he was finally home and welcomed by our dog and cats and bird and neighbors. Then we got to settle in to the reality of the many obstacles posed by our apartment that we don’t have to face at the hospital.

Since we planned a Thanksgiving meal with our full family for Friday (Thursday being a work day) I had much work to do. For the past several years there has been a large immigration (aliyah) from North America, and so Israeli butchers have become ‘Thanksgiving sophisticated’ (or at least they THINK they have!).

I haven’t been to the shuk for a month, but made a quick ‘run’ on Wed. morning and there, by a meat ‘stand’ was a turkey! Now, mind you, this bore NO resemblance to the first turkey that I purchased some 16 years ago (to the protest of the benevolent butcher who assured me that not only would it NEVER fit into my stove, but no one on earth could eat that much meat!). That first turkey was…well…feathered after a fashion. To be more accurate, PARTIALLY feathered. It was also flat. Well…they probably didn’t have a box that it would fit into so they had SMASHED it into the box. And the skin was pretty ripped up…patchy might describe it. I recall looking at it sadly and asking The Lord to cause it to be pleasing and tasty, ANYWAY. I’m sure He did. Well…this was NOT the experience this year. Oh no! Every butcher stand had a turkey displayed, but this one caught my eye; he had a raw turkey sitting out on a fancy platter perched on a stool. This man had done some homework and had an imagination to boot. Realizing that Thanksgiving was a real ‘holiday’, he thought to ‘dress the turkey up’. So what could be more festive then to drape it with cousbara (cilantro) sprays, some chili peppers, and pour hummus beans (garbanzo beans) all over it? A LOVELY middle eastern display. Wish I’d had a camera J. I also found that when I ordered a ‘whole turkey’, the butcher immediately began speaking to me in rehearsed English; ‘Ah! You wish a THANKSGIVING! So…when IS Thanksgiving this year?’ He asked smiling. ‘Friday’ I said, hedging the question a bit.

Then there was the young secretary whom I work with. I told her that my husband would come home for Thanksgiving and she asked me what ‘Thanksgiving’ was. It didn’t occur to me that she had never so much as heard of the holiday, and I was blessed by the challenge to describe it to her in Hebrew. When I was finished, she surprised me by asking ‘Where is it in the Tenach?’ (Bible), because religious Jews ONLY celebrate prescribed holidays. When I told her that it ISN’T prescribed in the Tenach, she got tears in her eyes and said; oh…so it isn’t a Jewish holiday. The Book of Psalms came to mind…FULL of commandment to Thank, Worship and Praise Him. I don’t know if she was fully convinced, but I will believe I will be able to pursue it; the understanding that all creation is called to thank and praise Him Who is the One True God, and the fact that there are two countries that do this nationally (aside from here) is a blessing and brings Him glory.

One final thing along these lines; Having been raised with the American holiday of Thanksgiving, I am always interested in the comments that I receive from the many friends that I have from other nations. This one thrilled me and I thought that there might be others who would be encouraged to embrace what this family has done. This is sent by a dear South American sister:

“Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. Of course, there is no such thing here. However, our daughter Carolyn and her husband David, set a day aside to celebrate their own thanksgiving, and I think that is so wonderful. They say they are so blessed with their children (all believers) around them. Their eldest, Denise, is now married, to a man whose Christianity goes back to the Huguenot times!! They escaped from France, and yet each generation has kept the faith.”

I know that I had more observations to share, but it is time to make lunch for my husband. I have been negligent to share the ifi notes and hope that some of you do go to their website and keep up that way. For those of you who find web pages a challenge (I’m one of those!), here are this weeks.

Oops…update first. Some have asked – thank you SO much for your prayers! No, our older daughter and family have STILL not found a place to live. They looked at 2 two bedroom places yesterday…but with 3 children (the third due early Feb) and husband needing a studio (he is an artist) I am praying that they can afford a larger place. My husband is healing slowly, but he IS healing and we need patience and a tender, thankful heart. Our younger daughter is enjoying her work in a plant nursery and sales and her eye (which will have the stitches taken out in April) is still doing well. I am SOO thankful!

I owe SOOO many letters and emails…and I DO apologize. If you only knew how much I write in my head…

May He be glorified in our lives…may we look up and worship Him ALL along the path! Lovingly, your sis

Published in: on November 28, 2010 at 7:08 am  Comments Off on Inside Israel – More Thanksgiving  
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International Christian Embassy Jerusalem: Email – Happy Thanksgiving from the ICEJ

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I am sharing a little something that I received in the hopes that it will bless you. In case I don’t get back for a few days to post, may God bless you as you gather with friends and family in thanks to Him!

International Christian Embassy Jerusalem: Email – Happy Thanksgiving from the ICEJ.

Published in: on November 25, 2010 at 7:57 am  Comments (2)  
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Inside Israel – With Thanksgiving

Hi all! So glad you have stopped by to read today’s Inside Israel. J of Jerusalem shares some things that she is thankful for and one of them is YOU! I’m with her in that! And here’s J . . .

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus (Meshiach Yeshua) concerning you.”
1 Thes 5:18

How blessed are my friends in America and Canada to have days set apart for public and private Thanksgiving to God! Perhaps each country has a holiday of this sort? I don’t know. But we know that we each KNOW that this IS God’s will for us: to give thanks!

American Thanksgiving is one holiday that I do miss. I remember my first public thanksgiving service in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Calif, back in the 70s, when all of the fellowships came together in with a public meeting full of testimony and thanksgiving, praise and worship. I thought I would bust open with thankfulness.

I am thankful for each of you. You are His body, His temple, and you glorify Him and I am encouraged by you so very often. It is His gift to me, and I am thankful.

I have not been able to write for the past month as the country goes through turmoil…seemingly never ending. This past Thurs the rabbis called a day of fasting, prayer and repentance for rain as we are entering the 8th year of severe drought. In 10 days there will be another day set aside for this. Our country is being tempted (bribed? will we be bought??) by the US administration to institute another 90 day construction freeze in Judea and Samaria which is threatening to rip the country to pieces emotionally and politically. I read yesterday in Isa 30 AND 31 “Woe to those who go down to Egypt…” for strength, weapons, help against the enemy…instead of consulting GOD our shield! And I tremble, for that is what we are being tempted to do…and what almost half the country wants…to trust in the waning strength of America instead of the Eternal Strength of God. Our lack of rain speaks volumes to us…are we listening?

My husband and I just finished reading Voice of Hope by George Otis, written in the early 80s about the work that was done in N. Israel and S. Lebanon in the mid 70s to early 80s. It was very sobering to recall the historical events of the time (if not edifying to have a time to read of His work with my husband!!). The book records accurately the atrocities of the PLO and their roots and history…It was good to remember what was done and where they came from…the history, when all around us the incitement and delegitimization of Israel is taking place at a shocking rate in the media and world governments and agencies. Blatant lies are reported so often, repeated over and over as if they were fact, that I become confused…”is this TRUE?” Lying is a very effective tool. Keep repeating a lie over and over, convincingly and you are able to turn Truth upside down. It can happen in the body as well. Yes, we MUST know Him and His Word so well, that we can’t be fooled by lies or errors. And our FAITH and meekness must be so real and grounded in Him that when we are foolishly deceived, He is able to turn us in His mercy.

For those of you who do keep up with the news here and pray for Israel, THANK YOU! THANK YOU FOR HOLDING US BEFORE HIS THRONE FOR THE FULFILLMENT OF HIS PROMISES!

For those of you who hold our family up in prayer, THANK YOU! Our family continues to be tossed and turned, with particular prayer needed right now for our older daughter and their family…and our 7 year old Grandson. I take courage in the exhortation in Isa “Worship Him in the midst of the fires”. My husband is still in the rehabilitation hospital. Tomorrow is a month since his accident. I am weary, but take with joy the exhortation that I began with: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus (Meshiach Yeshua) concerning you.”

May HE be glorified at each of your Thanksgiving celebrations. And to my many friends in other countries that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving this week, may your heart also be blessed in giving of Thanks to Him Who alone is worthy.

ani b’derek

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