Inside Israel – Of Buses and Lite Rails and Forests and Praise

Hello and welcome to this Sunday’s Inside Israel. J of Jerusalem, a Jewish believer, writes us a moving letter to stir us, make us think and to glorify Him. Thank you for your prayers for Israel, J and her family! Now here’s J . . .

This letter is long and might take several sittings if you choose to read it. It was written over the period of a number of days. God bless you for your friendship in Our Lord! ALL glory and praise and honor and blessing to HIM Who saved us, redeemed us to Himself, given the victory and knit us together…King of kings and Lord of lords, The Lord, Yeshua h’Meshiach, The Lion of Judah, The risen Lamb, Jesus, The Son of The Father, The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
“It is good to give thanks to The Lord and to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High, To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your Faithfulness every night.” Psalm 92:1,2
“Those who are planted in the house of our The Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bare fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing TO DECLARE THAT THE LORD IS UPRIGHT; HE IS MY ROCK AND THERE IS NO UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IN HIM.”! Psalm 92:13,14,15
Oh how I DELIGHTED in Psalm 92, particularly these verses yesterday! Ever been ‘enraptured’ by a verse? I know you have…Keys and promises. His way is straight, narrow, and simple…NOT ‘simple’ as in ‘easy’, mind you…atleast NOT easy on the flesh! But it is simple as in ‘forthright’…”THIS is MY way…walk ye in it”!
This week has been too ‘loaded’ to wait any longer before writing, even if fatigue, interruptions, time constraints and computer problems stop me in the midst. Many of you are also reeling from the events of the past week or two, I’m sure: uncertainties of the trembling economy; riots; drought; spewing volcanoes … I know many of you whom I write to are in parts of the world experiencing these things and more. At the same time a number of you sent reports and ‘links’ to different prayer meetings and words shared that have touched you deeply with hope and inspired a renewed spirit of prayer and repentance. It seems that at times it is difficult for me to keep my balance…fixed in Him…steady when all around me is shaking and demanding my attention. But I choose to give thanks to The Lord and to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High, To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your Faithfulness every night, and to believe that I am planted in the house of our The Lord and, that even as I grow older (SO quickly!) that I shall still bare fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing TO DECLARE THAT THE LORD IS UPRIGHT! Halleluyah!
To observe, AND to declare. Having been placed by His amazing Hand into the heart of Jerusalem, it has seemed important to me to ‘observe’ and ‘declare’ to you who pray, things that might make praying for Israel, Jerusalem and the Jews (of which I am one) more real. May The Lord make me an able servant and a faithful steward for His purposes and His glory.
We have been here now for 17 years, and today I was reminded a fresh just how much ‘change’ we have witnessed in that relatively short time. Most of you might recall that I work in a small doctor’s office; I have described it many times. When I began working there, nearly 13 years ago, there was one very small electric space heater in winter and a small fan in the summer. The ‘office’ is the entry floor of a small 3 story apartment house, which had originally been an ‘Arab house’. As with all of our buildings, it is made of stone, and the Arab houses usually pre date 1948. They are neither insulated, nor do they have many of the ‘modern innovations’ that conserve warmth or cold, so they are generally hot in the summer and cold in the winter. (We live in a similar apartment) When I began working I would come with a hot water bottle that I filled from the kettle (there is no hot running water there) and a lap blanket. After a couple of years we got a second and third space heater, and finally a larger, more modern one. My hot water bottle and blanket could stay home…as long as I have a good sweater. Summer, however, remained with just the fan (or several of them), and I was fine with that. In fact, when we arrived in Israel I did not know of one place that had air-conditioning. Everyone had fans…big stores had BIG fans…loud, dirty, overhead ones. Buses had fans. People would often just put their heads under a cold water faucet, or wet down their shirts if the weather were particularly hot. That was fine with me…I tend to (personally) suffer from cold. But ‘change’ comes. After the last intifada, so many of our buses were blown up that we got new models…with air conditioning. Stores, like dominoes, followed suit and got rid of their fans, shut their doors to keep in the cold air from their new air conditioning units. New cars began appearing with air-conditioning. Apartments were next. I noticed that the ‘human thermostat’ seemed to become less heat tolerant as it was exposed to air conditioning. ‘Na’hag! Ha’am meod! Yotair mazgan!’ (‘Driver! It’s too hot! More air conditioning!’) I began hearing on the bus…and…burr! The driver would turn it on full blast. More and more people began entering our office and complaining ‘It’s HOT in here! Turn up your air conditioning!’ (It always amazes me that people don’t say ‘I’M hot’ but rather ‘IT’s hot’, as if that is a fact’.) Then would come the look of HORROR when I would say ‘Sorry…we don’t HAVE air conditioning.’ As the years went by, the reactions became more indignant…and…THIS year…my boss gave in! We now have air conditioning. I told him that I would likely need to quit. He PROMISED me that he would keep it at 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). It is now a battle between me and the other secretary (who is all of 22, from Russia, and would be happy in an igloo). So…why am I discussing air conditioning when the sky is falling in? Well…it got me thinking…
The ink was still wet from the signing of the now infamous Oslo ‘peace accords’ when we arrived in the country, ‘green off the boat’, in 1994. At our first visit to the Western Wall, just a day after arriving, we watched the then King of Jordan, King Hussein, fly his private jet over the temple mount in a first official ‘visit’ since the war for Jerusalem! And what was ‘the word’ of promise given to Israel by the international community? ‘With this ‘peace’, you will now have ‘Prosperity’ (I use a capital ‘p’ here because that became an international ‘holy word’, spoken with authority to Israel and backed by ‘empty promises’…a carrot to turn Israel away from her calling…her calling to ‘come unto God’.)
As we looked on, full of culture shock, we witnessed the change of an era. Donkeys gave way to cars (Oh, not everyone had donkeys when we came but there were a whole lot more of them, and a lot less cars for sure!) just as fans disappeared and air conditioning took over. Cell phones appeared everywhere…even where land lines hadn’t yet arrived. The amazingly generous spirit began to become more materialistic as prices spiraled up and merchants and landlords would say with smiles, ‘The Peace is bringing Prosperity!’ Socialism (the form of socialism that was here worked very well –NOT the malignant kind that many of us look at with concern -…it was wonderfully compassionate and balanced) bowed to privatization of much of the public sector…and prices continued to rise, while the only wages that were rising were of those in big business, high tech or represented by large labor unions. The social gap began to widen dramatically and widely. Indeed…the price of electricity rose another 10% this week!
And…just seven years into our ‘adventure’…the buses ‘moved over’ and the first of countless ditches were dug for our ‘Lite Rail’! Some of you might remember some of my early letters raving over our efficient and inexpensive (if not quaint) public transportation system. I was amazed at how well it worked (and thus began my ‘on the bus’ letters). As you know, my 25 minute commute to work became a 90 minute grueling battle…twice a day. Well, our ‘lite rail’ is scheduled to begin next Friday the 19th of Aug. Today’s paper told us that there are ‘still some snags’ and ‘at the beginning’ we can expect some ‘delays…of up to 3 hours’! They informed us, however, that since it is August, MOST PEOPLE are ‘on vacation’ so ‘not many’ will be inconvenienced…As one of the ‘not many’…oy!
I think about the fruit of lies. Surely this ‘peace’ and ‘prosperity’ is a lie. My darling Granddaughter told a lie to her Mom yesterday and received her appropriate punishment. When she told me about it I told her that she was blessed to have such a good Mom who would remind her how bad a lie is and I asked her if she knew WHERE lies come from…who is the father of lies. “No Savtali (my beloved Grandma), who is the father of lies?” I answered “h’satan” (the devil). “He is the one who invents a lie and suggests it to our hearts, but with Yeshua in our hearts we don’t need to give into his temptations.” Her eyes grew huge and a visible shiver ran through her, so, remembering that she is only five, I quickly continued “BUT…The GOOD news is that Abba God is The Father of The Truth and He will help us to love the Truth and hate lies, if we ask Him!” She listened solemnly and I was thankful for her tenderness. The world around her loves lies though…the world around each of us. The lie of the peace which has a foundation in humanism and not in God’s Word and plan is a lie that is beloved. Who does NOT WANT PEACE?? In a way it is like what has happened to God’s institution of marriage: who does not want love? It is ‘love’ that is important (the world says)…not the pattern for Love that was given to us from heaven. Just like ‘peace’. I am so thankful that He gave us His pattern for Peace…for Love…for all that is good for us. Perhaps sometimes, like Saul who was afraid to wait any longer for Samuel, we think God is taking too long and maybe we didn’t understand His instructions and had better ‘do it ourselves’… ‘take charge’…build the tower of Babel…
I so don’t want these words to be depressing, I want to edify! They are ‘thoughts in a changing time’. Thoughts about how important it is that we find HIS path through, in His balance, when things are intense.
We have all received our new ‘Citipass’ cards now. This is a ‘nifty card’ with our picture on it…it is ‘free. It is a ‘smart card’ so that we can purchase credits for both the bus and the lite rail and it is simply scanned when we get on. Shortly our paper monthly pass or ‘punchy card’ will become extinct and this will be the only way to use public transportation. I haven’t used mine yet. Not being as adventurous as some (or perhaps being a bit more tired) I figured that it likely still had some ‘glitches’, so why not wait until the bugs were worked out of it. I noticed a few things right away; a woman got on the bus, obviously quite advanced in age, and scanned her card. Six and a half shekels were taken off…that is full fare. She should have been paying half fare. She questioned the driver and he said ‘Sorry! I can’t refund money…’ (I made a mental note to have my card checked) She was tolerant (or too surprised to say anything). Most people are these days….but not all! A large man was waiting for the bus with me yesterday. He was wearing a rather odd tee shirt. It said in English; “You say PSYCHO as if that were a BAD WORD!?!” I chuckled. ‘Must be a good natured guy’ I thought. WRONG! This was NOT humor…it was a WARNING! He scanned his card and began screaming and cursing (which I won’t quote!) that the card was garbage and whenever he scanned it a red light came on. The bus driver gently told him not to be upset and he tried it. A green light came on and he said ‘It is ok. You can pass.’ ‘NO!’ screamed the customer, ‘I’m NOT passing until this card shows ME green!’ At this point I was obliged to put my fingers in my ears and close my eyes. He held the bus up for a full10 minutes, cursing and screaming in English, and threatening to beat people up and shoot them! Rage of this sort is NOT common here! With life already difficult, people seem to major at calming one another. Two young English speaking men gently tried to calm him, but even with their strong gentleness, it took them all that time to draw him away from the door so that others could pass. It was the first time I have seen such a display on our buses. I remembered seeing such things in NYC many years ago. It made me very sad. “But the fruit of The Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Gal 5:22)
And yet, some things HAVE remained the same. I chuckled as I said that to myself this morning, a little after 6am, I walked through the shuk to buy my challa (braided shabat bread) before the ifi prayer meeting. I walked behind a man pushing a bread cart. Loaves fell off onto the filthy walkway…and he picked them up and put them back on the cart, which he was wheeling to a stand. Yes…we have developed strong stomachs and immune systems through it all!
And, even after 17 years, there continue to be new experiences for us as immigrants. Since we immigrated when our youngest daughter was already nearly in high school, we had no experience with the lower grades until our Grandchildren began school. Our Grandson was in kita aleph (first grade) last year, and we decided that the purchasing of his school supplies and books would be our responsibility and blessing. (During the years that we were raising our children in ‘the old country’, our younger one was homeschooled most of the time, and our older daughter as well, for one year, but she didn’t take to it as well. Once we immigrated, we understood how important it would be for our daughter’s absorption into the new country to go to public school, learn in Hebrew (which I couldn’t help her with), learn the history and ways of our new land and my faith was encouraged by something I had read in Richard Wurmbrand’s testimony…that the strongest believers were made in the wicked universities of USSR…because their faith was TRIED! It enabled me to trust our children to Him when our paths needed to take a turn that I didn’t want to take) I don’t know about many of the countries that some of you live in, but in America school books were free. Here they are not. But how much can it cost to buy books for a first grader and a second grader? (kita aleph for our Granddaughter and kita bet for our Grandson) I proudly brought the list provided by the school to our local ‘chickchack’ store and presented it to the shop keeper; “It’s for our Grandkids” I smiled. “I’ll give you a call in a week to 10 days when it is ready” she told me. The call came this week (THANKFULLY, the same day that a gift ALSO came! The Lord is SO in control!) “The school supplies are ready. They come to 895 shekels.” I nearly dropped the phone. Some people have 10 kids or more. How do they DO it! I know that there are ‘helps’ around, so it is a matter of finding how that works. It is at times like this that I remember the ‘helpless’ feeling of being an immigrant. So many basics that we still don’t understand even after 17 years. But we are pilgrims on this earth and it is my focus that must stay clear on HIM and not on the cares of this world…those He has promised to take care of for me. It is a balance that I battle to keep.
This morning I read in Psalm 96: “Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before The Lord. For He is coming…” Those words excited my heart as my husband and I left for a shabat walk in the Jerusalem forest. These words were written concerning the very trees that we were walking among and I wanted to ‘rejoice with them’. I had forgotten about the forest fire that took place here just several weeks earlier and so was taken aback as we entered the burn area and I saw a graveyard of trees. My heart sank! I was meditating about the trees rejoicing, and here they were dead! I lifted it before The Lord and thought of the verse in Isa 55: “You shall go out with JOY…” Keep a THANKFUL HEART IN ALL THINGS came to my mind…go out with JOY. We passed through the burn area and my husband drew my attention to the path that we were on (one I hadn’t walked on before) and some stone walls that we were walking past. “These must be thousands of years old” he said. “I wonder why they were built? This was probably the road up to Jerusalem in the old days.” He was right. “If that is the case, then the people traveled this road for all of the feasts and they would sing the Psalms called ‘Shir h’ma’a lot’’ I said. “What does that mean?” he asked. “Shir means ‘song’ and ma’a lot means ‘going up’, ‘aliyah’ is from l’ah’loat’…to go up. These were the Psalms written to meditate on and to sing during the journey up to Jerusalem’, I explained to him. We both thought about that as a donkey began braying off to our right, down in Ein Kerem, the town where John Baptist was born. It is very peaceful in the forest and my husband and I have often talked about it not being so bad if we ever lost our apartment and had to pitch a tent there. We began passing some old bunkers carved into the rock near some caves where weapons were stored during some of the many wars for Jerusalem…most likely since 1948. As we were talking about living there we were startled to see an older man sitting silently in a cave with a few clothes and blankets neatly piled and some cooking pots nearby. He is the first person I have seen taking to the woods to live since I am here. We had neither food nor water with us, but will try to go back with some for him. I made another mental note as we re-entered our apartment, to be thankful whenever I entered my doors. Surely He Who provides for the birds of the air has provided all that we have and deserves to be thanked at all times. I remember reading about a brother who was serving God in a jungle and had been attacked and stripped of even his clothing. As he was running for his life he stopped and began to worship God and to thank Him that God was able to trust him with NOTHING. That made a great impression on me!
So I entered this apartment worshiping Him. HE HAS LEAD US ALL THE WAY!
My husband must have another heart catheterization this week…this coming Thurs. Perhaps you remember that he had a serious heart attack on the 7th of Feb and had a stent put in his heart then. I am asking for prayer for him…that he will take it seriously and seek to be restored with The Lord. I also ask for continuing prayer for our younger daughter. Thank you so very much! And thank you for taking the time to read all of this and to share with me your own hearts, as I share mine with you.
Thank You Lord, for your body…the expression of Yourself on earth!
Lovingly, your sis in Jerusalem

ani b’derek

Published in: on August 28, 2011 at 6:14 am  Comments Off on Inside Israel – Of Buses and Lite Rails and Forests and Praise  
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Inside Israel – Bus Encounter

Hello and welcome to a little look inside Israel today. J of Jerusalem takes us on the bus with her. Her heart for Him and His heart for the lost comes through here. Thank you for your prayers for J, her family and for Israel. Now, here’s J . . .

Bus encounter – 4 Aug 2011
Yeshua is so good! And He has even knit us together into one body in Him. What a blessing!

I just got home from work and witnessed an interesting interaction on the bus, so I thought that I would share it with you while it is fresh in my mind’s eye. It was an encounter between cultures and generations, but could have also been between two worlds.

It was a real blessing to finally get a seat on the hot and crowded bus. I had been at work since 7 this morning, having left the apartment at 6, and it was now 2:30. I noticed a tall young man, somewhere in his 20s, speaking accented English with a very elderly Israeli man, perhaps in his 80s. I recognized both accents; the young man was from Holland and the Israeli man had originally come from America. At first I thought that perhaps the young man was a Christian and was sharing Yeshua with the older man and that excited me, so my ears opened to their conversation. (Encase you haven’t understood from my letters over the years, ‘eavesdropping’ is NOT considered rude here at all. Almost every public discussion can quickly become an ‘all in the family’ discussion and no one bats an eye) Alas, it was not about Life…not about things eternal. It sounded to me as if the young man were a vegetarian perhaps, or an animal rights activist and the discussion focused on philosophies. The young man, who was strong and tanned and sported two backpacks, was very sure of himself. There was a proudly critical tone in his voice. I heard the older man answer the last statement, surprisingly gently and humbly ‘After what our people experienced at the hands of the Europeans, I am not sure that the Europeans have a moral right to tell us what is morally right and wrong.” I began to listen more closely and could hear the young man visitor begin to complain about Israel and criticize everything from the weather to the culture. The older man verified my suspicion that the young man was from the Netherlands by saying ‘Well I was in the Netherlands recently and found your prices extremely high.’ I began to suspect that the young man had come to join in with our ‘social revolution’. Our new ‘tent cities’ have become very popular communes for the young people with free food and nightly concerts…very much like a street party. ‘I don’t agree with you.’ The Younger man countered; ‘I smoke cigarettes and the price of cigarettes here is DOUBLE what I pay at home!’ I wondered how the older man would answer; ‘Well…we don’t grow tobacco here and I’m afraid that the import tax is very high.’ I was struck by the fact that he made no moral judgment. He did not add that there is also a health tax on cigarettes since the actions of smokers impact the health system so profoundly. He continued ‘Something WILL have to be done about the price of housing though. None of us can afford a million shekels to buy an apartment. Anyway…, I have been here more then 50 years and I love my country’.

I didn’t catch much more of the conversation as the bus filled up, but I found myself pondering the fact that I had just witnessed a rather brazen ‘confrontation’ that would have made me, personally uncomfortable to initiate…and that brought me to lift my wimpy witness before The Lord again.

“Lord! Please give me Your Spirit to share LIFE with my people! Give me Your courage…make me brave in the face of adversity and even anger and hatred! Teach me, Lord!’ The discussion I had witnessed was ‘passionate’. Why wasn’t the young man ‘embarrassed’ to speak to a stranger in a strange land, in a third language, this way when I can’t speak of the issues of Life and death with such boldness?

I looked around me. I was on bus number 20. I’ve explained in the past how the personality of each bus is impacted by the neighborhoods that it serves…I sort of take a ‘world tour’ daily; The 20 brings me along with many fellow riders from Morocco, Ethiopia and other African countries. On the 13 the main language spoken (and yelled) is Russian. The 21 sets me with our Haradi (‘black and white’ religious) citizens. The 26 finds me listening to more Arabic. But coming home from work there is more of a mixture of cultures before reaching the outlying neighborhoods. Across from me on this #20 bus was a young girl decked in tattoos…Unlike the immigrants from Ethiopia, these were occult and new age tattoos. On the back of her neck she had ‘hand’ symbol called the ‘hampsa’. It is a superstitious symbol representing ‘the hand of God’ and is sort of a ‘good luck’ symbol to ‘keep away the evil eye’. In the center of the hand was a ‘yin yang’ symbol (the modern sense of the term largely stems from Buddhist adaptations of Taoist philosophy which denies the existence of good and evil but claims that dark and light are all part of ‘the balance of the whole’.) A chill went through me; “Lord! She does not KNOW YOU!” My eyes shifted to another girl reading a book in Hebrew and then another Chinese woman reviewing notes for studying English. I flashed to a young man, obviously on drugs, and another young man, a soldier in his fatigues, with his machine gun strapped over his back.

‘Lord! Give me your tongue! Your heart! Your Spirit! Give me Your anointing to speak the words of Life to my people!’ I took my small Bible and opened at random. My eyes fell on Micah 3:8 “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of The Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.” WHOA!

As I read on concerning the judgment of Jerusalem, my heart broke, but it was those first words that jumped out at me.
No. I can’t go in my own strength, nor in my own timing, nor in my own will…but I am asking Him to renew my courage and to open doors that for my first 17 years have just been cracked a bit.

So, away from the bus and back to making dinner! May all that we do, you and I, be for His glory and by His Spirit. God bless you all. Lovingly, your sis

ani b’derek

Inside Israel – Questions from Jerusalem

Hello and welcome to this Sunday’s look inside Israel. Today J brings us an important message to think and pray about. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and pray for J, her family and her and His nation, Israel. Now, here’s J . . .

Loving greetings in The wonderful Name of Yeshua h’Meshiach, the King. May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed!

‘Change’: The key word of the Obama era. When I was young I liked change…I was restless, rebellious and angry. When The Lord came into my life, He brought such a deep ‘Peace’ and told me that ‘I’ was no longer ‘in control’…He was. I began to find contentment in what ever place He put me: It is The Lord! As I grew older I also found that I was less and less comfortable with change. I don’t WANT to change the way the furniture is in a room…didn’t I already find the ‘best’ way to put it? I don’t WANT to change brands…I LIKE that one. I don’t WANT to move (shivers!) if, God forbid, the rent should be raised. I’m NOT saying ‘change’ is bad…but is ‘change’ good? Does ‘change’ itself have a ‘value’?
I’ve had to ask these questions a lot lately as Israel has been caught up in the wave of social unrest that (I am convinced that it is NOT ‘spontaneous’!) has been sweeping our region of the world. Hundreds of thousands are demonstrating in the streets. There is the ongoing Doctor’s strike. Tent cities are rapidly growing around the country to protest housing costs. Protests are taking place against the rising cost of food, of gasoline, of all basic living expenses. There is a Mother’s protest against the high cost of school. There is the religious protest ongoing against the desecration of the Shabat by the opening of a public parking lot. There are demonstrations for the release of our captive soldier Gilad Shalit. It is a ‘belegan’ right now! Last nights estimates of 200,000 are unsettling to the government, already plagued by pressure to give up land for an elusive ‘peace’. Add to this the fact that the temperatures have been soaring daily into the high 30s (Celsius) (90s-100s Fahrenheit) …what a MESS!
There definitely is a ‘change’ in the air. But I recognize the restless, rebellious and angry spirit that used to characterize me, and it has had me watching. Where did it arise from? There are lots of answers; Yes, there is a real financial problem here as growing numbers of people can’t make ends meet, while we hear that the economy is one of the strongest in the world, and while we see a small number of shockingly wealthy people getting wealthier. We DEFINITELY see the political opposition drooling with delight while hurling blame at the Netanyahu government for problems that have been escalating for many years before he took office, things way beyond his control to ‘fix’. We see Obama ‘backing off’ and watching quietly from the wings. Why aren’t we hearing his almost constant ‘comments’ all of the sudden? We see ‘facebook’, ‘twitter’ and the like…hum. What IS this phenomena? This computer fixation that so inspires and inflames? What is all of this power and where is it coming from? It topples governments and sets countries and passions aflame. I remember a book back when I was in College called ‘The Media is the Message’. Here is a quick synopsis:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.
The phrase was introduced in his most widely known book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964.[1] McLuhan proposes that a medium itself, not the content it carries, should be the focus of study. He said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the characteristics of the medium itself.
McLuhan frequently punned on the word “message” changing it to “mass age”, “mess age”, and “massage”; a later book, The Medium is the Massage was originally to be titled The Medium is the Message, but McLuhan preferred the new title which is said to have been a printing error.
I know that sounds rather philosophical. It was a philosophy book trying to grapple with the idea of the powerful role that the media played, NOT in just reporting, but in influencing events. That was BEFORE computers, ipods, blackberries, facebook etc.
“In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God and The Word was GOD”! GOD! Who does not change…Who is the same, yesterday, today and forever, steadfast and True, Who spoke and the worlds were created! Heaven and earth will pass away but The Word of The Lord abides forever.
These are just a few scriptures that pop quickly into my mind and give me peace in the midst of what I am seeing. I wrote last week that ‘no one wants to destabilize the government here’, but that was not true. There are many who do, both within and without the country, and they have been inspired by seeing the rapid downfall of formerly strong governments around us (particularly Mubarak of Egypt).
I am too small a fish in the pond to have enough chutzpah to present ‘answers’, but I do know that my spirit is unsettled about the source of all of this and I would like to ask those of you who pray for Israel to be aware that there is something of a different nature afoot that appears dangerous. It is clothed in the ‘finery’ of ‘social justice’…sort of like ‘peace clothing’, it has a noble name…but it’s purpose and substance and (more importantly) it’s source??
Ok. I want to mail this before we leave for the hospital where my husband has to do a thallium stress test after his heart attack, so that he can be okayed for archery again. God bless each of you! I am so very thankful for the body worldwide. Thank you for praying for Israel and thank you for praying for our family. We have some unspoken ongoing critical needs and your prayers are so valuable. Thank you for your faithfulness! I send MUCH love. Your sis here.

Published in: on August 7, 2011 at 6:03 am  Comments (4)  
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Inside Israel – IFI notes

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel! Today I’m posting the Intercessors for Israel’s prayer notes. We’re giving J the day off. 😉 Thank you for your prayers for J and for Israel too! God bless you!

· Thank You for being the same yesterday, today and forever (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).
· We love being able to depend on, and trust in, Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).
· What a privilege to be alive in these days and see You restoring Israel (Psalm 147:2).
2. The ultimate goal of God’s Kingdom, the ultimate goal of our salvation, is His glory. One of the ways He accomplishes that in the end-times is through all Israel being saved.
· Great God of mercy and grace, reveal Yourself to Your people.
I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn you.
Jeremiah 31:3
· Thank You for all those whom You have saved recently. Guide them to the fellowship of Your choice and help them be built up in the faith.
· Save Israelis who are in the security forces. As they are willing to lay down their lives to protect/save this people, open their eyes to see that You have already done just that.
· Lord, Israeli teenagers are being inducted into the IDF this summer. Use any Messianic Jewish youth who are in their units to provoke them to jealousy (Romans 11:13-14).
· Abba, save multitudes of Holocaust survivors, terror victims, and widows and orphans.
· God of Israel, reveal Your Son to Israeli politicians, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family.
· Abba, many Orthodox Jews know about You, but they do not know You. By Your Spirit, unlock their hearts to see Your Son.
Yeshua said… I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes unto the Father, but by Me.
John 14:6
· Lord, bring into Your Kingdom unsaved loved ones of Messianic believers (Acts 16:31).
· Turn us again, O God, and cause Your face to shine; and we shall be saved… Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause Your face to shine; and we shall be saved… Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause Your face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Psalms 80:3,7,19
3. While we bless God for the many Jews who are entering Yeshua’s kingdom in exile, the Word is clear that “all Israel gets saved” in the land of Israel (Ezekiel 36:23-28; Zechariah 12:2-10, etc). So we prayed for aliyah – the return of Jews from exile back to their land.
· Thank You Lord for all of the Jews who are coming home this summer.
· Help those who have come home to get settled, never to be uprooted again (Amos 9:18).
· We bless You that the numbers of Jews returning have been steadily increasing for the past several years. Increase the numbers exponentially this year. Since this is all for Your glory, we ask You to do this with hearts full of faith that You will hear and answer us.
· Thus says the Lord GOD; When I have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the nations, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to My servant Jacob.
Ezekiel 28:25
· Fear not: for I am with you. I will bring your seed from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, Give up; to the south, Keep not back. Bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by My name: for I have created him for My glory…
Isaiah 43:5-7a
· Abba, we ask specifically for You to draw home Jews living in New York, in Florida and in California, and all other places in North America.
· Touch the hearts of Israelis living outside this land, that this is the year to return.
· Bless all of the programs that bring young Jews to tour and learn about the land. Marry many of these youth to this place (Isaiah 62:4-5).
· Use the current global economic shakings to shake Jews out of the nations.
· Bring home Jews who have been financially successful so that they can contribute to the strengthening of Israel’s economy (Isaiah 60:9).
· There are still multitudes of Jews in the former Soviet Union. Please help them to return.
· We also ask that the remaining Ethiopian Jews, and all Jews in nations being ruled over by Islam, would be released to come home.
· Speak to all Messianic Jews in exile that Israel really is their home. Help them prepare, so that in Your timing they are ready to make aliyah (Isaiah 35:10; 51:11).
4. Israel’s security situation is precarious. Israel could be attacked by a missile barrage or find herself in a full blown war almost any day. And rockets from Gaza, as well as terror attacks, occur with sickening regularity. We need to lift up in constant intercession those in Israel charged with her safety.
· We bless You for Israel’s security forces and the outstanding job they do in providing protection to this nation.
· We see them as a fulfillment of Your prophetic word which says that when Israel comes back home, You make her a mighty army (Isaiah 41:10-16; Ezekiel 37:10; Micah 4:11-13; Zechariah 12:2-9).
· Quicken all of Israel’s soldiers, police, etc. to any danger, and protect them.
· Do not allow for there to be any further successful kidnapping attempts.
· Set Gilad Shalit free supernaturally.
· We bless IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz in the name of Yeshua, the Lord of Hosts.
· Enable there to be clear communication between Gantz, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and PM Netanyahu at all times.
· Provide for all of Israel’s intelligence agencies all the intelligence they need to know the true situation surrounding this nation.
· Give Israel’s leaders wisdom on how to deal with the current threats coming from Gaza’s Hamas, Lebanon’s Hizbullah, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Syria and Iran.
· As You have done both in biblical and in modern times, turn Israel’s foes on each other.
· Thank You for enabling Israel to be at the forefront of developing new weapons – both offensive and defensive.
· Enable Israel’s homegrown military industry to not be hindered in anyway from being able to grow and develop whatever Israel needs to defend herself.
· Thank You that ultimately, whether You do it through the IDF or sovereignly, You are the One who protects this nation (Psalm 121:4; Jeremiah 31:10).
5. The only “peace” plan the world understands is to divide this land which God has sworn to give to the children of Israel over 40x in His Word, and then to expect an Israel sitting on an indefensible piece of property to live in “peace and security”! What foolishness! And to those of us who see through the lens of scripture, what arrogance to think that man can cut up God’s land at will. We prayed for Israel’s God and Israel’s leaders to defeat this global attempt at trying to prove the Bible is not the Word of the living God.
· Lord, bring the counsel of the nations to nothing. Make the thoughts of man to have no effect. Lord, watch over Your counsel forever. Make the thoughts of Your heart to stand throughout eternity (Psalm 33:11-12 paraphrased).
· Abba, bring all of the anti-Israel plans at the UN to nothing.
· Deal with the Palestinian plans to have the UN unilaterally recognize a “Palestine” this coming September.
Rejoice not… Palestine… I will kill your root with famine, and he shall slay your remnant. Howl, O gate; cry, O city; you, Palestine, are dissolved…
Isaiah 14:29-31
· Enable Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosner, to have great wisdom and courage to defend Israel’s status before a mostly anti-Zionist organization.
· Thank You that the recent Middle East Quartet [US, EU, UN, Russia] meeting could not agree on a statement about furthering the Israeli-Arab “peace” process.
· Do not allow US President Obama’s push for Israel to negotiate “peace” by returning to the 1967 armistice line get any traction among Israelis.
· Lord, do not allow Your land to be divided, but deal with the nations who are attempting to do this.
For, behold, in those days… when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and divided My land.
Joel 3:1-2
We also prayed for PM Netanyahu and all the challenges he is facing – both internally and externally – as the leader of Israel. We asked for God’s protection over him and his family, physically, emotionally and mentally, and for their salvation.
We ended our time praying for the salvation of multitudes of Moslems at this time of upheaval in the Middle East. We asked that in the midst of this God-ordained shaking, the foundations of Islam would come down. Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, is observed this year from around August 1 to August 29. We asked God to give many Moslems dreams and visions of Yeshua during this time, and that ex-Moslems believers would have a deep revelation and love in their hearts for Israel. Our God is able to do all of this and so much more.
Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made
the heaven and the earth by Your great power…
there is nothing too hard for You.
Jeremiah 32:17
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh.
Is there any thing too hard for Me?”
Jeremiah 32:27
Please keep Eliyahu and Hannah Ben-Haim in prayer as they minister in the Far East for the next week or so. Thank you.
Shabbat shalom,
The IFI Team
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above
all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
unto Him be glory in the congregation by Messiah Yeshua throughout all ages,
world without end. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

ani b’derek

Published in: on July 31, 2011 at 6:47 am  Comments (2)  
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Inside Israel – IFI notes from June 10, 2011

“Hi” and welcome to Inside Israel. Today I don’t have a special message from J of Jerusalem. J’s sister, who she hasn’t seen for 17 years, is visiting yet this weekend. So thankful for their time together and all He has planned! So, instead, I am going to include the Intercessors for Israel’s prayer notes. Thank you for praying and have a blessed Sunday!

10 June 2011
1. To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song. Let God arise, Let His enemies be scattered; Let those also who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, So drive them away; As wax melts before the fire, So let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; Let them rejoice before God; Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly. Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds, By His name Yah, And rejoice before Him.
Psalm 68:1-4
Give thanks for:
· He that keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.
· He is our shepherd who keeps us as a shepherd keeps His flock.
· He is a wall of fire around Jerusalem and her glory within.
· The battle belongs to the Lord. You arise and Your enemies will be scattered.
· You are a God who answers prayers.
· You are faithful to Your word.
· You are seated on Your throne.
· Jesus’ death and resurrection.
· You are the Lord of hosts.
Halleluyah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns!
2. Second Flotilla
The plans for a second flotilla to come against the legal Israeli blockade of Gaza is intended simply as a means to bring reproach upon Israel. Pray:
· for God to prevent this second flotilla.
· That Israel’s security forces would have God’s plans in place for every possible eventuality.
· That the organizations and nations involved in planning this flotilla would back down.
· That Ban Ki-moon the UN Secretary General would do more internationally to prevent the flotilla from sailing.
3. Calls for a Third Intifada
On Sunday 5th June there was another move to stir up Palestinians living in Israel and the surrounding nations to demonstrate and march upon Israel. It has been revealed that the incident on the Syrian border was a deliberate provocation from the Syrian regime which is seeking to deflect attention from the way it is treating its own citizens who are rising up in pursuit of internal change. $1000 was paid by the regime to each demonstrator who participated in the attempt to infiltrate Israel, and $10000 was paid to the family of each person killed in the demonstration. It is not at all clear how many were killed, nor who killed them. Pray:
· for Israel’s security
· for Israel’s enemies to be scattered
· that God would prevent a third intifada
· for alertness and good sources of intelligence for Israel’s security forces. For the IDF, the police, Mossad, etc.
· thanking God for Israel’s firmness with restraint
· for division and in-fighting among Israel’s enemies
· that weapons intended against us would be turned back upon the heads of our enemies. Eg cause bomb factories to blow up.
· Let the truth behind the enemies plans be made known
· For the minimum amount of bloodshed possible for God’s plans to be fulfilled
· That the people would cry out to God when they feel hard pressed.
4. The Middle East
The whole region is in turmoil. As well as the events in Syria there is upheaval in Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood looks as though it may take over. A wounded President has been driven out of Yemen and the authority of Al-Qaeda is growing. There are new elections taking place in Turkey. Iran continues to be a smoldering threat to Israel. Etc. Pray:
· For the Israeli government and military to know what to do
· For a right prioritizing of resources in response to all the potential threats to Israel
· For wisdom for Israel’s leaders in the midst of all the shaking in the surrounding nations
· For discernment for believers to know how to pray and how to prepare themselves
· As the world around us is shaking may we realize our inadequacy and vulnerability and may Your people, o God, turn to You. And may the leaders of the nation and the people look to You, the only source of help.
· Let there be a public call to prayer from somewhere in the nation – rabbis, Prime Minister, etc.
5. The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. In that day,” says the Lord, “”I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.” In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a fire pan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place–Jerusalem.”
“The Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah. In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”
Zechariah 12:1-10
Pray for Israel’s salvation:
· that the leadership and the people of Israel would turn to God – And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.”
· May the nation look to the word of God
· May Israel look upon Him whom they pierced.
· As the nation looks to You in desperation at a time of calamity we need Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter to show the people that their cries are not in vain.
· When Prime Minister Netanyahu studies the bible at home with his son or when members of the Knesset study the bible together regularly let these encounters with Your word not be in isolation from the rest of life. May our leaders be like Joshua, meditating day and night upon Your word and encountering You, the living God through Your word.
· Pray for the salvation of specific groups in the population of Israel – holocaust survivors, soldiers, immigrants from various lands, the old, the youth, etc.
· The gay community in Israel is “celebrating” another season of “gay pride” events this weekend. May God break into this community and release many from the deception. May many see as utter shame what is being falsely labeled as pride!
6. Aliyah
Therefore say to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 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. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” ”
Ezekiel 36:22-27
God will meet His people in their land. He will give them a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone. Most of those who will be saved will be saved in the land of Israel. However, there are over a million Israelis living outside of Israel. While we give thanks for 20000 new immigrants to Israel last year it is such a small number in relation to the entire Jewish population in the diaspora. This, the land of Israel, is their true place of refuge, their inheritance. Pray:
· Lord, a mighty work is needed for You to bring home Your people so none may be left behind
· Change attitudes and expectations in the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Absorption, the Jewish Agency and among the people already in the land to welcome the Jewish people home.
· Supply resources to aliyah agencies, Nefesh B’Nefesh, Ebenezer, etc.
· Let this be a year of breakthrough in aliyah!
· Let it all be for Your holy name’s sake!
7. The Body of Messiah in Israel
· against complacency
· that we may be empowered by the Holy Spirit
· that we may recognize and embrace the fact that we have not arrived but are on the move
· that the Body may recognize its role as priests and kings before You, o God
· for the leaders of the Messianic community to have hearts like David after God and to safeguard their close daily walk with You.
8. Scottish Israel Prayer Conference
Pray for Eliyahu, Chuck and Claude Ezagouri who are currently leading a prayer conference for Israel at Blairmore House in Scotland. May they be a strong 3-fold cord which cannot be broken and give them grace to accomplish all that is on Your heart for this strategic time of prayer at this strategic time in history! Accomplish Your will though them both for Israel and for Scotland during this week and in the weeks to come!

Inside Israel – July 5, 2011 from Jerusalem

“Hi” and welcome to today’s Inside Israel post. J of Jerusalem shares some special insights and prayer requests today. Thank you for being here and praying for her and Israel. You are a blessing. Now, here’s J . . .

I had the unasked for ‘opportunity’ recently to visit someone in the state mental hospital. It was quite a window into a world that I had not entered since I met Him…for that was the pit that He dug me out of these 36 years ago.
With Him we can go through some awful valleys…but He is WITH us and, by His grace, we walk out of them on to higher ground. When we walk away from Him, as this young single sister has done, the lies spoken in darkness don’t resound against the Rock of eternal reality. What a dark pit! So this young woman had made a serious suicide attempt and had been sent from the emergency ward to a lock down ward in the state hospital nearby my home.
My first visit to see her took me through locked and guarded gates into a serene treed and gardened village of old ‘Arab style’ houses…each one apparently a ‘ward’ or a ‘house’ for about 12 patients. Other houses must have been for doctors, activities etc and there were perhaps 30 (? I’m guessing) houses in the walled off village. But the ‘lock-down house’ was NOT a pleasant one! As I approached it I heard screams and crying. The house itself was a low square cement building with layers of reinforced bars and grid screens over the windows. I approached a locked door, but there was no bell. Someone with a key arrived just as I did and thankfully let me in. I entered an oppressive little sitting room rank with cigarette smoke and noticed that all of the barred windows were up high, not at eye level, so that light came in but you couldn’t see outside except for the tops of the trees and the birds. I learned that the reason for that is that the people in that house are so agitated that even the sight of someone unexpected could cause them to loose the tenuous control that they had. A nurse approached and I told him whom I wanted to see and he took out another key and went through another locked door to find her and bring her to me.
As I waited for her I had time to pray and also to reflect. I had been in just such a place, twice in fact… when I was in my 20s in New York. How mighty is God’s deliverance! There IS no pit too deep or too dark for His Light to reveal His Face…because He, Who walked into death itself and triumphed over it is not afraid of the dark pit of the mind in it’s own darkness, or invaded by the filthy enemy…He has conquered that as well and teaches me to ‘cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of Yeshua h’Meshiach! Psalm 18 says that “He…came down; and thick darkness was under His feet.”! It continues that “He made darkness HIS hiding-place…” Even in the darkness He expresses Himself, indeed, darkness and light are the same to Him! How thankful I am for His deliverance in my life and so many others…and by faith, for this young woman’s as well!
The staff was kinder then the overworked doctors, and they brought her out and she did allow me to pray with her once during my visits. She was only there for three days (please keep her in prayer as she was released while still not wanting to live) but during those three days I saw some amazing things. She was, on the outside, quite sane compared to the other patients in the house. They were very violent, loud out of control and irrational, which added to the agitation of my young friend’s soul. But as I visited with her I watched other friends, family, and fellowship members visiting with ‘their’ patients and saw such a difference between how things are done here and how things were done where I grew up.
In medical hospitals, I have explained, the responsibility of the hospital is ONLY to care for the patient medically. The family or friends are expected to provide in every other way and the PHYSICAL PRESENCE of caring people is a necessity. They provide water, help you to the bathroom, and basically fill ALL of the needs aside from the doctoring itself. I was surprised to see that it was the same at the mental hospital. The most violent of patients had family running in to calm them, rub their backs and feet, kiss them, wash them, all in the ‘visiting room’. On the last day that this young woman was there, I spent a number of hours with her and watched some of the care that was given. A woman was there visiting her sister. She took her into the ‘public’ bathroom and showered her, combing her hair out nicely and dressing her neatly. All of the other patients and visitors expressed joy ‘Shanit! Yafe meod! At col cok Yafa!’ (‘Shanit! How beautiful you look! You are so beautiful!’) She beamed with delight. Another patient began to wail with fear and two of the visitors began singing a child’s song with her and clapping and soon other patients were singing and clapping and laughing. The second visitor was the sister in law of a religious woman. She had brought her a whole dinner and a prayer book. They prayed the appropriate prayers and the patient wept. The sister in law comforted her. In the background singing arose…prayers. There was an ultra religious young man there and he had a constant stream of visitors from his yeshiva (A yeshiva (plural yeshivot) is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on
the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah). I was amazed at the sheer amount of visitors that came to him, two by two without let up. He was just never alone! They came with stories, they came singing (generally Psalms), over and over again I saw two other young man, one on each side of him, the three of them with arms around each other, dancing in the way that the religious dance. It was touching. They were there for him as a community. I saw so much deep and real compassion expressed unashamedly there. In Ecclesiastes 7:4 it says “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” Perhaps The Lord is enlarging the place of wisdom in me for I am have been truly describing a ‘house of mourning’ and now I must rush this letter to make a shiva call… to go to the house of physical mourning.
TWO PRAYER REQUESTS: You might recall that among the Jewish traditions, when a person dies they are buried as quickly as possible, preferably within 12 hours. They are buried in a shroud, not in a coffin. Then the family rips their clothing and sits ‘shiva’ for 7 days. For 7 days everyone comes to visit…to comfort them (hopefully not like Job’s comforters!)…they are almost never alone. And so I must go and sit with my friend Liora Deko. I asked for prayer for them a short time ago. Her husband Alan had a bad cancer. He passed away on Friday. So here are two prayer requests to add to my urgent personal ones: this young single woman who needs to come back to The Lord and find her hope and joy again…and Liora Deko… to come to the knowledge of Yeshua!
AND MY THIRD PERSONAL PRAYER REQUEST: This may be the last letter that I get to write until after the 18th when my sister Charlotte leaves. Thank you so much for praying concerning this visit, which is taking place (after 17 years!) on top of an ongoing unspoken crisis. She is set to arrive this Friday, which is also the day for the scheduled ‘fly in demonstrations’ where backers of radical Palestinian groups plan to fly in to the same airport as my sister in a further attempt to initiate the fall of our country. Through my dear friend who is also the ambassador to America, my sister and I received a letter to passport control introducing her requesting her entry to the country without question J. I am asking for prayer that I will be at peace in my heart, not tense during the 10 days that we have together…and that she will see Yeshua and love Him! Also that her heart will be knit to this land which is calling her home to this land. Please pray for peace in our home and…well…you know! ALL of it!
Thank you for your prayers for our nation, and for our family. May His grace and mercy lead us only always to Himself for His glory! Lovingly, your sis

ani b’derek

Inside Israel – love from Jerusalem

So glad that you could stop by and take a little look inside Israel. 🙂 J of Jerusalem shares some of her personal experiences and how Messianic Jews can be viewed at times. Thank you so much for your prayers for her, her family and the nation Israel. Now, here’s J . . .

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Yeshua. May HE be blessed and glorified, and may you each be blessed!
Blessing…I always get a picture of ‘joy’, ‘fullness’, ‘all needs met’ when I think of Blessing…and it has been (and still is) a long journey between understanding BLESSING in the Spirit rather than the flesh. “In His PRESENCE is fullness of Joy, and at His right hand are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11. That is the verse that our younger daughter was given when she was born, and why her middle name is Joy, which I still believe will one day characterize her life. Right now I have an unspoken but serious and critically, urgent prayer request for her, so that includes all of us. I am learning that I am Blessed in His presence even during devastating personal crisis’. Blessings…His gift of His Presence with us ‘in the midst’!

I had intended to write this letter a week ago today, when the story I’m writing about happened, and to alert any of you who may not be aware of the ‘flotilla’ approaching Israel right now of the need to pray for this land, but our personal crisis has kept me from writing at all. I will try to share it and hope that it isn’t lacking in freshness.

I have told you in the past that our older daughter and family have moved to a beautiful ‘moshav’ in the (Judean) hills surrounding Jerusalem. For those of you who may not remember, a ‘moshav’ is a small rural ‘village’. It is agricultural by nature and communal as well. It differs from a kibbutz in that members of a kibbutz own nothing of their own…not their houses, cars, kitchens, money, all is communal and distributed as needed. On a moshav, people own their own ‘things’ but also many (not all) work communally, sometimes in agriculture, sometimes just as neighbors. It is a warm atmosphere. Like a kibbutz, the moshav is run by a council. Our kids rent part of a house there and they had to be approved by the council before being accepted. It is reminiscent of the small Alaskan village that our children grew up in…except … warmer J.

I generally travel there to help out with the children on Wed (my day off from work). My ‘pattern’ has been to begin by taking Little Asher out for an hour walk around the moshav and let our daughter get some time to do things alone. I have enjoyed walking the small rural roads past the amazing homes and small farms, horses and fruits, feeling the wind and enjoying it sing through the trees. It is a good time to pray and sing without the distractions of the city and it is wonderful to be free to sing out loud so freely again.

Last Wed as I was on this walk, I passed a small home. There was a woman, about my age, outside. “Boker tov!” (Good morning) I greeted her. “Boker Or!” (Morning light – this is the answer given to ‘Good morning’) she responded with a smile. “Is that your Grandbaby?” Happily I answered “Yes! My latest. My daughter and her family live down the road.” I went over to introduce him to her. Her name was Rivka and I admired her ‘meshek’ (small farm). ‘Well, I’m out here trying to pick some ‘shesekim’ (a wonderful little hearty fruit that I never saw before moving here – it’s related to a ‘loquat’ – here is something about it from ‘google’ describing it:

The most delicious fruit on the planet. It’s smaller than an apple, but bigger than a grape, and orangy colored. It has between 2 and 5 pits inside. It tastes sweet and slightly tart and is very juicy. The dictionary translations are loquat or medlar, not that it helps. Try some. They come in containers and are sold by the kilo in Israel.

(so now you have an idea of what she was picking but I diverted from what she was saying). ‘I’m too old for this. Can only do a bit at a time now.’ I countered ‘Nonsense! You are amazing!’ We were immediate friends! ‘So, who are your children and whose property do they live on?’ When I told her she said ‘OH! I just LOVE her! She is such a precious young mother, and here you are, her mother!’ She told me that her parents came out of the concentration camps and she and her sister were born here, in the tents that were set up for the refugees. After a few years, her family was given a piece of land (the one I was standing on) on this moshav, along with scant building supplies…shovel, and not much more.

She said that it was just barren ground and they had to start from the dust, but life was so good then and full of hope even though war was a constant given and no one had anything. ‘But everyone shared!’ she told me. ‘There would be one table in the center of the moshav and if any of us had any food we would just put it on the table and who ever needed to eat would eat…and no one wanted to deprive someone who might need the food more, so there was such generosity. ‘She told me with joy ‘We didn’t need any cars or all of this technology. We worked as a family and we laughed and we loved each other. Young families now have it so much harder…they run and work and run and work and they don’t work with their hands in the fields, they seem to think that they need so much ‘stuff’…it’s sad to see.’

Another lady came out of the house to see what all of the noise was about. ‘This is my sister Sarah. She has a brain tumor but she is wonderful and just acts like nothing is wrong at all.’ I smiled at Sarah who smiled back ‘Well nothing IS wrong!’ she said with a smile and assurance. ‘It is ALL in His hands’ (she said pointing up). ‘When my time is up, it’s up, but it’s ok. My life has been good.’ Rivka piped in again ‘She believes in God. I don’t but she does…but that’s ok. We live in the best country that there is. You can be a Jew here and be free, or a Christian and be free, or a Moslem and be free, and you can believe as you like. I was a school teacher but I had an aneurism and don’t have to work anymore. And look! I had no damage!’ She smiles. Sarah joined again ‘You see? It is ALL a miracle! And this wonderful country is a miracle! And we are too!’ I agreed heartily and said ‘How else would WE have been here except that it is written in the prophets Isaiah (Yeshiahu) and Jeremiah (Yeremiahu) that we would come home from the ends of the earth, and look, here we are from the most North West place on earth! Yes, I do believe that it is a miracle, and I do believe in miracles!’ Sarah smiled. They both DID look amazingly healthy and spry for people with such health problems!

We went on for quite awhile talking about Israel, her history and people and we struck up a very nice friendship. I told them how much I loved the beautiful moshav. ‘It HAS always been a wonderful place to live…but now I hear that there are some of these ‘messianic believers’ living here. That’s not good. They must go. That will ruin the moshav. I can’t imagine how they can believe like that…can you?’ Hum…I looked at her with, I can’t imagine WHAT kind of expression on my face, and slowly said something like ‘Uh…well… yes…’ Rivka looked at me and her hand flew over her mouth ‘Oh! I’m sorry! YOU are one of them? I didn’t mean to offend you!’ I told her ‘Yes, I am but I am not offended, I know that it can be hard to understand…’ From that point it was difficult to get a word in edgewise as she told me why it is IMPOSSIBLE to believe that way. Praying for wisdom over the LOUD beating of my heart I was only able to share that MAN had never shared with me the gospel or I wouldn’t have believed, but that I had met Him Face to face.’ I THINK she heard that, and since our hour long conversation came to a close shortly after, I can’t but help wonder what is up ahead.

I returned to our daughter’s home a bit sheepishly and related the story to her. She told me that it was odd as lately there had been a sudden murmuring against believers on the moshav, where there have been families of believers for over 20 years. She asked me to ask YOU to please pray for them and the children that they will continue to be welcome for who they are. Persecution is promised to all of us, but I am asking The Lord to have mercy as they have been through so much and are not yet particularly strong. I emphasize that there IS NO FEAR, we just don’t want to be out of His will through lightly spoken words not led by The Spirit that will bare no fruit for the kingdom.

I must close this but as most of you stand in prayer for our nation and people; there is much tension and discussion concerning the flotilla that is approaching our shores, filled with hate toward Israel, to break the Gaza blockade. You may recall that after the fiasco concerning the last flotilla, our relations with Turkey were broken and there has been added hostility against us throughout the world. THAT IS THE AIM OF THESE ACTIONS…HOSTILITY AGAINST ISRAEL.
There was also an ultra-orthodox, nasty demonstration here in the city against a believing family in a different neighborhood from mine(similar to the ones that have taken place in Arad over the years). The police and media tend to turn a blind eye when it is against believers. May we be true to Him, walking in His Spirit and not moved from being focused on Him alone.

Thank you for your prayers for our nation and people and the body here…the building of the temple. Thank you for your prayers and love for our family. God BLESS you!

(ps: I want to pass along something that I received from a friend who apparently received a convincing email with a close friend’s name posted. It was a SCAM asking her to send this friend money. I JUST WANT TO LET YOU ALL KNOW THAT I WILL NEVER ASK FOR MONEY! SO…if you EVERY receive an email with my name on it requesting funds, please ignore or report it.)

ani b’derek

Published in: on July 3, 2011 at 7:28 am  Comments Off on Inside Israel – love from Jerusalem  
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Inside Israel – Israel is 63!

“Hi” and welcome to Inside Israel! Today we have an older letter from J of Jerusalem, a Jewish believer/friend who made aliyah 16 years ago, moving to Israel from the US. Thank you for your prayers for J and for Israel. Now here’s J . . .

How do they do it…and every time!
I’m referring to the incredibly dramatic, and yet ‘natural’ change, from the heaviness of mourning to the joy of wonder. I may have to use the rest of my years trying to translate into words what occurs here in the moments between ‘yom h’zicharon’ (memorial day [for soldiers and victims of terror]) to yom h’atzmaoot (independence day). How can a nation make a transfer from, what is, effective mourning to corporate rejoicing in a matter of 7 trumpet blasts in less then half a minute? But this is what I have just witnessed again…and it represents a true picture of the history of Israel. But why should I be so surprised that there can be ‘beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning’? After all…Israel IS His idea and plan and He is reflected over and over in her, revealing His nature.
First , let me back up a bit.
Liora Deko. I met her when I began working at the doctor’s office 13 years ago. She was a bit younger then I was and was one of the few sabra (native born Israeli) patients who also spoke English. She was very warm and friendly, and so desired to be helpful in our aliyah and absorption problems…she was deeply compassionate! Her daughters were in the army and I told her that I would pray for them. One day she came in all excited. Her daughters were finally out of the army and were now ‘going to travel’…one to South America and one to India. (this is a sort of ‘rite of passage. Most young Israelis travel ‘outside’ following their army service). I shuddered at the thought of a young daughter traveling around like that, but she was thrilled. ‘I am so happy for my daughters having a chance to see some of the world…not like me. I never got to travel ‘outside’ and I was never a young person.’ She confided. She went on ‘I was so young when I had to go to war. I was just a kid. Before that, while I was still in grade school, Arabs killed one of my girlfriends. We kids were part of the search for her. We found her body…life was so hard…I never really was young.’ I stood up (yes, I can be very emotional, and my emotions moved me, but this time it was for the good.) and weeping, I began to thank her…to thank her for being here and for standing and for fighting for this country when I was having an ‘easy life’ in the ‘old country’, going to parties, and doing whatever I felt like. It was her turn to cry: ‘No no! It is I who am in awe of you olim (immigrants) giving up everything and coming here…for what?? You are the ones who have it so hard. And why do you come? What is here? War and stress and difficulties.’ I told her (please note, we were both crying by now and I was still in the doctor’s office! Must have been quite a sight!) ‘We MUST come and stand where those of you are weary! This is bigger then us…it is from God. I am amazed at the heart of the people here…and the promise that is being fulfilled before our eyes!’ She looked at me full of surprise and her weariness was raw ‘We USED to be a people of a great and deep heart, but no more…we are dry and there is no hope!’ I came back ‘Liora, you are wrong! The Heart IS still here and there IS still Hope and maybe that is why we come this way…like new fresh troops to relieve the weary ones!’ That conversation sealed our friendship. We were both blubbering like babies, strengthening one another. We kissed and hugged.
Time passed and we both became Grandmothers. We shared our joys and grief’s. And I prayed for her…and asked The Lord ‘Please open a door for me to share with her!’
The years went on. The door didn’t open.
Recently a biopsy report crossed my desk; her husbands. He was diagnosed with acute inoperable pancreatic cancer…the worst kind. I prayed more.
Memorial day began with a minute of standing in silence at 8 last night and the mantle of grief again draped it’s black shawl over the nation as those who lost loved ones (nearly everyone) opened their hearts to share their grief so that we could carry it together as one, and strengthen those who will never escape their loss. Today, at 11am there was a 2 minute siren bringing the nation to a total standstill and marking the beginning of countless ceremonies around the country.
Liora came into the office at 10:45.
I had been praying for her just yesterday. One look at her told me that it was bad. She wept. Her husband was not cooperating with the doctors…would take no more treatments…had given up (he is 61) and on top of that he was being very mean to her. I held her as we talked. A song was playing on the radio and she said ‘Listen! This song tells our nation’s whole history! This song is my story…and yours.’ Momentarily, it was time for the siren, so we went outside. As the siren began to wail we stood still side by side, hand in hand…a sabra and an olah…and I lifted my heart in prayer, thanking The Lord for such a moment and begging Him to open a door of effectual witness! To open her heart to Yeshua…to the Gospel…to salvation! Lord, give me anointed words! Give me Your power to pray for the healing of her husband. Do not let me open my mouth until You fill it with The Words of Life and open her heart to receive them!
Perhaps you would put Liora Deko and her family on your prayer list? I do feel anticipation, that The Lord, Who brought about a moment where I could hold hands with this woman in silence and be praying for her, that He intends to answer. I am sure that you expected this to be a story about how I led her to Yeshua…but it is still a story in progress. Please be part of it.
And, as I have experienced for 16 years now, just as the weight of the day seems to be more then one can bare, people begin gravitating back to central places around town, or their television sets at home or on the street…preparing for the events of 8pm. The main ceremony begins with the soldiers coming forward. The minor notes are played on the trumpet as the flag is approached…and then a major note…and another as the flag is raised from half mast to full mast. The subtle change in the music reminds me of the slow lifting of a curtain to allow light to come in…and light begins to do just that…to come in.
And SOMEHOW…inexplicably…by 9 pm the country is dancing! The emptiness of loss is filled with the wonder of the creation of the state in a moment. Isaiah 35 was read aloud and engraved in lights in the night (pretty heart amazing really!) and song filled the air. We were exhorted to THANKFULNESS and to move ahead as one with moral humility and gentleness.
HOW I WISH THAT YOU WERE ALL HERE TO EXPERIENCE THESE THINGS! It is with awe that I report them to you…a small witness of God’s faithfulness to His Word and His Ways. EVERY promise of His WILL come to pass!
Before I close, I need to ask you to forgive me. Some of you were offended by my last letter and I pray that you will forgive me for that offense. Please understand that I am NOT a ‘teacher’ nor a ‘prophet’ but that I share what I see or what is in my heart and I do NOT claim it to be ‘Thus saith The Lord’. I tried to express my own deep concern that my responses, as a disciple of Yeshua, be circumspect as the events of the day become more and more intense and dramatic. I did not intend to bring condemnation upon anyone or to judge anyone else’s feelings. I am no authority…I am just a sheep… His sheep, like you.
God bless each of you. Lovingly, your sis

ani b’derek

Published in: on June 26, 2011 at 5:43 am  Comments Off on Inside Israel – Israel is 63!  
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Inside Israel – “The Long Way Home”

Hi dear ones and welcome to a look inside Israel today. J of Jerusalem shares insights into the people, the nation, and her own heart. Thank you so much for stopping by and praying. God bless you and lead you in all ways today! Now, here’s J . . .

18 June 2011
This first week back at work after being in the hospital was a long one, but not without some special touches. My pita man at the shuk was so happy to see me again, as was the cucumber man. With all of our desperate struggles going on here, we find time for a ‘facebook page boycotting cottage(cheese)’ since the price has gone up so high… we still find humor! Special touches…

For example, I met Ruth (Ruth in Hebrew is pronounced ‘Root’) Evenshtein’s Mother.
Ruth is a woman of about 40 who has 3 small children…and cancer. The cancer took her by surprise (I guess it takes all of us that way) and I have been able to be a bit of a support system for her. She found a ‘lump’ behind her ear yesterday morning and came to the doctor with her Mom. Ruth is a lovely, attractive woman, but her 70 year old mother is downright stunning!

Ruth introduced us and when her Mom found out where I was from (in the ‘old country) she was thrilled; “Oh! I have always longed to visit there… to see the beauty and the expanse! I hear it is so beautiful!” We began sharing about our pasts, and, after a bit about my hippie background, her Mom said that she had been in Berkley Calif in the ‘60s. I asked her about the path that her life had taken her. Ruth piped in: ‘My Mother was a child holocaust survivor.’ her Mother continued; ‘Yes, I was just 5 when my father and I were released from the camps. We alone survived. It was 2 years before we could get to Jerusalem. Back then it was hard to get in. They were limiting the Jews.’

She told me that she was so thankful to have been with her father as so many children that age had no one left to care for them. ‘Jerusalem was such a small town back then in the 60s. My husband got a job teaching M.E. studies in Berkley and we went there. It was such culture shock for me! I would say to people “I did not know that America is like this!” and they would say to me “Berkley is not America!”

My heart was beating quickly. ‘This is amazing!’ I said. ‘We experienced the hippie years as Jews from the opposite perspective!’ ‘What do you mean?’ she asked me. ‘Well…as a Jewish child born immediately after the holocaust, from my earliest memories ‘something’ that I couldn’t understand was driving me, gnawing at me, filling me with grief and hopelessness. Do you realize that most of the early hippies were Jews? We were so filled with rage and lawlessness and a passionate drive that we didn’t understand…but I didn’t realize until years later that most of the people were Jews!’ I continued, ‘You, on the other hand, were thankful for life and had a passion to live and to build Israel, and to do the very best that you could. It seems to me that we were both caught up in something much bigger then ourselves.’ She told me that she had begun writing her memoir, not beginning with what went on inside the camps. ‘There is so much written about those horrors. But when we were released…they just opened the doors…we walked out of hell…filled with disease and starving…and the people around us tried to kill us… they were afraid of us… we had to hide all of the time and dig for food…I will give you a copy of what I am writing.

Two years ago I was in Detroit and I had an urge to go and see a movie called ‘The Long Way Home’. I was shocked, and cried my eyes out through the entire movie. It was my story! That is what made me decide to write.’ The door to the exam room opened and it was time to go in, thus ending our conversation. My phones (mercifully silent for that short time) began ringing again and the meeting ended, but not the fragrance of it.

Ruthie came out of the exam room and fell into my arms crying uncontrollably “It’s a bug bite! It’s just a bug bite! I was so scared! I don’t want to die, I just want to live and raise my babies!” I began to laugh (her Mom had gone on ahead and was out at the car) ‘Ruthie! With a legacy like yours a little thing like cancer isn’t going to get you down. Listen to your Mother…look at how much they survived.” She nodded and added ‘And my Grandfather, my Mother’s Dad, just died at 97’ we began laughing together. ‘It’s bigger then us Ruthie.’

Please pray that I, or someone else, will be able to tell her…them… about “The Bigger”…The One Who Alone is able to keep us alive…and bring us home.
The name of the movie stuck in my mind; “The Long Way Home’. It is, indeed, a long way home. Sometimes I feel as if I have lost my way. I never would have thought that I would say that, but The Presence of The Lord sees so far off. My prayers seem so dry, so empty. I read this morning in Psalm 29:7 “The voice of The Lord divides the flames of fire.” and I immediately turned to Acts 2:3 “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, and one sat upon each one of them.”

I thought of the 3 friends of Daniel who came through the fire without even the smell of smoke, and the great and precious promise in Isaiah that though we walk through the fire it shall not scorch us. It is all His Voice…His Presence…that divides the flames of fire and that leads us ‘The Long Way Home’. No other voice can save us from the flames of hell. No other Presence can ‘shine in our hearts to give us the Light of the knowledge of God in the Face of Jesus Christ’.

How I NEED that Presence, that Voice again in my life. What good is it to share Him with those who need Him unless we do it with The Presence of The Almighty God and The Power of the Holy Spirit? There is nothing in ME that can give anyone new life…only in Him as I convey Him to another. Oh yes, my dear sisters and brothers…I need Him desperately! I am not where I have been at other times (this is not condemnation…it IS confession and a request for prayer). With my sister scheduled to arrive on the 8th of July I long to be walking in His Spirit and available for Him to use me.

I did not intend to write what I just did, but I’m glad that I did. When we are needy we need prayer. I confess to Him and to you that I am needy!

And our nation needs prayer as the world, with it’s upside down thinking tries to close its noose upon this tiny place. There has been a steady stream of European leaders here for the past two weeks pressuring out Prime Minister to ‘give up’. The next ‘flotilla’ is preparing to set sail to Gaza, and, on the same day that my Sister is scheduled to arrive, so are huge numbers of demonstrators planning to disrupt our airport, arriving as ‘tourists’. I will add the IFI prayer notes for those of you who use them.

Thank you so very much for your strength in the body! May The Lord bless you with His very best for each of you. Lovingly, your sis

Friday Prayer Points
17 June 2011
1. Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, O seed of Abraham His servant, you children of Jacob, His chosen ones! He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance, when they were few in number, indeed very few, and strangers in it. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another ! people, He permitted no one to do them wrong; yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, saying, Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.
Psalm 105:1-15 NKJV
Give thanks:
· God is doing mighty works
· He has an everlasting covenant with His people
· He has chosen us to show His mercies
· He has chosen Jerusalem to show His mercies
· When two or three are gathered together He is in our midst
· We welcome You, O God!

2. The possible second flotilla
The IHH (Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation) is now thinking about pulling out of the planned flotilla planned to sail to Gaza to break the Israeli blockade. Now it is possible for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza through Egypt (as well as through Israel). Last year’s flotilla and its outcome caused a dramatic deterioration in relations between Turkey and Israel. Pray:
· Thanks that there are these signs of reduced interest in sending another flotilla. This is a definite answer to our prayers.
· Lord, dissolve the poison of animosity towards Israel!
· Give wisdom to the leaders of Israel and help them to be prepared for every eventuality.
· Don’t allow Israel to be drawn into any confrontation which is not of Your making.
· Prevent any flotilla being used to cause harm.
· Thank you, Lord that Israel has signaled her willingness to defend her borders and exercise her responsibility to protect her citizens as with the flotilla in May 2010 and with recent attempted incursions in the Golan Heights.
· May well-meaning but misguided people involved in these plans to come against Israel be caused to fear the possible consequences.
· Pray that the second flotilla would not take place.

3. The borders of Israel
· We give thanks for the firm stand which our Prime Minister has taken against a return to the pre-1967 borders.
· Thank you, God for your covenant with Abraham to give this land to your people. (Psalm 105:9 and following)
· Pray that Binyamin Netanyahu will continue to hold fast to what God has established in His word.
· Shield Israel from international manipulation intended to make her relinquish the land, particularly Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
· May the plans to rob Israel of her inheritance come to nothing.
· Strengthen all those in the nations (notably many in the US Congress) who are standing up for Israel.
· May the borders of Israel be the borders You want them to be, O Lord! Prepare Israel to protect these borders!

4. Fear of God in the surrounding nations.
From this week’s prophetic portion:
And (Rahab) said to the men: I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
Joshua 2:9-11 NKJV
So many of Israel’s neighbors, many of which are declared enemies of Israel, are going through times of great upheaval and shaking at this time. We prayed that God would use these things to bring about His purposes, and equip the believers in these nations to be used by the Lord in great power.
· May the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, come upon the Arab/Muslim people in the nations surrounding Israel.
· When they are caused to fear God would they cry out to Him to reveal Himself.
· Would You pour out revelation about what You are doing with Your people in Your land.
· Give believers in these nations the grace to withstand persecution and may the persecutions not hold back the knowledge of the living God and His word.
· Let Your voice be heard, O God, in the power of Your word!
· Shake many out of their familiar ways and when they cry out in confusion and in pain empower the believers to show the answer. May the perfect love of Yeshua (Jesus) cast out the fear of man!

5. Crying out to God
Last week we prayed that in their need and desperation, the people of Israel would cry out to God and there would be calls to prayer from among them. This week in a neighborhood in Jerusalem, fliers were circulated which invited the residents to volunteer to commit to prayer regularly during a particular hour in the week, with the aim of establishing a 24/7 prayer chain. Praise God for this immediate answer to prayer. May He multiply this many, many times over! There are many initiatives calling for worldwide prayer for Israel or for Jerusalem. However, these have come from people in the nations like Robert Stearns and Glenn Beck. We thank God for these initiatives, but we long that Israel too will cry out on her own behalf.
· May Israel cry out:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills-from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2 NKJV
· As Israel cries out to You, may we see You intervening:
The LORD will cause His glorious voice to be heard, and show the descent of His arm, with the indignation of His anger and the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, tempest, and hailstones.
Isaiah 30:30
· May the leaders and the people of Israel not trust in man but in the Lord:
Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 NKJV
· Cause Bibi Netanyahu and his family to recognize the awesome responsibility of the leader and to become desperate for Your intervention.
· Break religious pride. Let our people cry out to You because we depend upon Your grace and mercy and not because we “deserve” Your help.
· Drive home our need for You. Make us desperate before too much more blood is shed!

6. Salvation of Jewish people
· Thank you, Lord that You desire us much more than we desire You.
· Open their spiritual eyes! Lift the veil which blinds them to the knowledge of the truth! Break through the barriers of history which prevent Jews from knowing the true Son of God (as opposed to their wrong image of Him).
· Pour out a spirit of grace and supplication as You have promised:
And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced.
Zechariah 12:10 NKJV
· Save the elderly, the holocaust survivors, the sick – those whose earthly hope may have ended. When You pour out the spirit of supplication on them, be there for them, O God!

7. Aliyah
Now therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul. For thus says the LORD: Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this! people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.
Jeremiah 32:36-42 NKJV
These words have not yet been fulfilled, but they are being fulfilled. Aliyah is the necessary step for most Jews to be saved. Many Jews fear man rather than fearing God. They fear the desire of Israel’s enemies to wipe out the Jewish people when they are all gathered back in the land of Israel. Pray:
· Thank You that You break down the barriers of fear as people put their trust in You and step out in faith.
· Bring the Jewish people to their senses and come back to their land.
· May the Jews see that their inheritance is in the land of Israel.
· Break down the barriers which materialism, language, culture, comforts, government regulations, etc. place to the aliyah. May Your people no longer be held back and may they not perish in the nations!

8. Shabbat
· Thank You for our true rest in Yeshua.
· Thank You for the quietness which comes when we let You do the planning.
· Thank You for the heavenly peace of this Shabbat.
· Lead Your people into Shabbat rest. Give Your Spirit and salvation in Yeshua.
· Thank You for Shabbat as part of Your covenant with Your people.
Shabbat Shalom!

ani b’derek

Published in: on June 19, 2011 at 6:15 am  Comments Off on Inside Israel – “The Long Way Home”  
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Inside Israel – from Jerusalem

“Hi” and blessings today as you take a look inside Israel. I’m sharing this personal letter from J of Jerusalem, a Jewish believer. Since I received this letter, J has been in the hospital, so your prayers for her and for Israel are always so appreciated! Thank you! Now, here’s J . . .

“Have I offended you?” O. asked me at kehila (fellowship meeting) a few weeks ago. The question took me by surprise for several reasons. First of all, I hadn’t heard that question in a very long time, from anyone. Secondly, O. and I hardly ever talk to one another. I thought back to when (and how) we first met. When we used to rent a larger place for our meetings, I was a ‘doorkeeper’ and that included greeting people. I remember the first day that she and her family came and I greeted them, asking if they were visiting and their answer made it obvious to me that they were ‘leaders’ and I had no need to greet them. During subsequent weeks I greeted them and usually received a minimal or no response. That did in fact, ‘pinch’. I wasn’t one of the ‘important’ people from their circle. How did I deal with it? I struggled…but finally forgave them and put it aside until I could pray for their blessing as well, when I prayed for the members of the kehila. I thought for a moment, and said, truthfully, “No, O., you have not offended me. Did something make you think that you had? ”Then she thought; “No…I just wondered and didn’t want anything between us.” I hugged her. “No. I don’t either! God bless you!”
I went home thinking about the encounter. I was blessed that she was sensitive to care if she had offended someone and had humbled herself to ask. Her husband (who speaks once a month at our fellowship) has been out of work for quite awhile and has suddenly had a job offer in China (!). Obviously this is a big decision for them (they have a large family) and it was wonderful to see that they wanted to make certain that everything was in order spiritually so that they could hear from The Lord clearly.
That got me thinking about “Offense”, “Forgiveness” and the gift of “Repentance” afresh. God is just SO incredibly good to us to give us His ‘low’ way. It’s so low that the shortest and youngest of us can ‘reach’ it, even little children. It is not difficult for a tall person to stoop down, but for a short one to climb up can indeed be hard. He has made provision.
Back in the 1970s I heard a message given by Campbell McAlpine that was to change my life. He spoke about the offended person becoming a betrayer! Now that startled me. ‘I thought that the offended person was the victim!’ Indeed, I listened closely as he took us through the scriptures…beginning with Cain and Abel…going through Joseph’s brothers…and ending, shockingly at Judas! I was frightened and I wept and sought Him as I knew that I was a particularly touchy and easily offended person, very opinionated. Oh, it was ‘colored’ nicely ‘She is SO sensitive!’ people would say, but…now… I knew the Truth about myself! The Lord had shined His revealing Light into my wicked heart, and (to quote Amy Carmichael) I stood “confessed outright undone”. I kept the verse from Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they which love Thy law and NOTHING shall offend them” above my kitchen sink for years, praying it and asking God for help. Some years later I did a Bible study concerning forgiveness that gave a LONG list of awful sins followed by scriptures that pointed out just how deep those sins run (for example ‘if you look on a woman with lust, you have already committed adultery’). At the time I was dealing with a nasty sin of unforgiveness in my heart toward a sister in The Lord who simply didn’t like me, and constantly ‘set me at naught’. I looked at that LONG list of sins and realized that I was guilty of most of them because I ‘hated my sister without a cause’. Oh yes, she was setting me at naught, BUT…had she ever stolen our food? Or caused harm to our children? Had she killed my loved one?…but I found that the ‘hurt’ in my heart had turned to anger, and the anger to hatred…and that made me a murderer and a betrayer! Talk about a ‘holy fear’! I was terrified and disgusted as I fell to my knees and cried out repenting! Did I get the victory immediately? No way! I struggled, and lifted it before The Lord over and over and OVER! Until I COULD put aside all of the ‘slights’ and become her sister again! Then I suddenly understood what a horrible thing the enemy does in the body through stirring up ‘slights’ and magnifying differences and causing us to take offense, causing ‘silent’ rifts in the body…the holy body of Messiah!

There was another time during which ‘The Word of God tried me’ in this area…and it nearly killed me! A leader in a fellowship that I was part of and loved, accused me of an awful sin and ‘forbid’ others to fellowship with me. The Lord told me to ‘be silent and discuss it with nobody’, and I obeyed Him. During that season, I was afraid that I was lost. There have been some very hard times in my life, but that was the hardest. That trial lasted 7 years and the biggest battle was to forgive. My husband and children all stumbled through that trial…and still I had to forgive…and silently. I told The Lord that ‘Someday I believed I would be able to thank Him from my heart for the trial’, but during those long, agonizing years I could only thank Him for it ‘by faith’.

And now…I can, and do, thank Him with my WHOLE heart for that experience! No, I never saw that leader again, nor do I know what became of it all…but I know that I have forgiven and my heart is free. And I feel bad for the leader because others were caused to stumble.

And that is the other side of the coin…not CAUSING offense. James said that in ‘many things we offend all’ but Yeshua said ‘woe to him through whom offense comes’! What a responsibility!! BOTH to forgive, AND to not cause offense! Oh Lord! This FLESH dies HARD!

So O., in her great tenderness, asked me if she had offended me! I COULD have said ‘Yes, O. When we met, you always looked through me and made me feel as if I wasn’t ‘good enough’ for you’…but you know what? There was no need. I had already forgiven that. It was under The precious Blood!
Sometimes people comment on how ‘spiritual’ I am…but BELIEVE ME, I’M NOT!! All of us are the SAME flesh given the same opportunity to take up the cross and carry it…by applying the cross and The Blood…and the Living Word to our hearts and minds. My flesh, without His grace, is FAR smellier then yours!

And so, God IS building His Temple HERE…with imperfect stones touched by His anvil…and that includes me,…and that includes O. It is Jerusalem day as I write this, and it is a proper time to think about the building of His temple. I am thankful to be a small stone, built together with each of you. God bless you! May He build His temple and fill it with His glory!

And now…I am given the painful ‘opportunity’ to illustrate what I wrote, and fully believe. I need to ask you to forgive me. The last letter that I sent out was concerning Jerusalem Day, after the fact…and I did want to share it with you. But these letters that I send are not intended to be ‘my own’. I write them as an observer and a ‘translator in the breach’, a person who has been called to stand in Jerusalem, and to simply bare witness to what I see so that others can pray. That CAN’T be done in the flesh or it only brings forth, produces flesh! I must confess to you that just before writing the last letter I had had an argument with my Husband and I was angry! I knew that I should not write until I had repented, but I could not imagine getting another time to write…so…I wrote and sent it…being unrepentant of the anger that I was nursing. I gave The Lord an unholy offering. I have received The Lord’s forgiveness, but now I must ask you to please forgive me, because I shared that unclean offering with you. As I have prepared to send out this letter (written earlier) concerning forgiveness, The Lord began to deal with my heart and show me more about the depth of the filth of unforgiveness. It IS a spiritual issue, bigger then I understand. Isn’t He good in that we must be partakers of what we think we know!

May God bless you this week with a double portion of His Spirit as Shavuot (Pentecost) approaches. Lovingly, your sis – may we glorify HIM and finish the work!

ani b’derek

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