Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …
It seems as if we barely turned around here and, wham! The fall feasts are upon us with Rosh h’shana (the head of the year – the feast of trumpets) just ahead of us. This year it is celebrated on the night of the 4th of September and the day of the 5th. I was blessed this morning as I read:
…I also gave them my Sabbaths (the Sabbaths are the holy days including the weekly shabat and the other holy days) to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I Am The Lord Who sanctifies them.
Hallow My Sabbaths and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I Am The Lord your God. (Ezekiel 20:12, 20)
That is the purpose of the sabbaths. It is ALL about HIM.
As you know, our Granddaughter Ana has been with us for the past month so we have been very busy. However, we were not the only ones taken by surprise one day about 10 days ago to see our local supermarket scrubbing down all of its shelves and changing their displays, lining the front with gifts and sales. Suddenly I heard a shofar blowing in the store so I followed the sound − which I love − to the wine and grape juice aisle. There was a rabbi, blowing the shofar to sanctify the fruit of the vine as kosher and clean. A week later I saw the same scene replayed at the meat counter.
It is summer. What is happening? The signs went up and we all scrambled for our calendars. Rosh h’shana? Already? Where did the time fly to?
Rosh h’shana is characterized by the blowing of the traditional rams’ horn − shofar. Added to this, it bears the identity of joy, celebration, meals together, gifts, apples and honey, almonds, new calendars, and preparing the heart for Yom Kippur, when repentance is sought and the book of life is said to be open in heaven. This occurs ten days after Rosh h’shana.
Yearly I argue with Rabbis about WHY the feast of trumpets has turned into the Jewish New Year, when scripture so clearly says that PASSOVER is to signify the New Year. No adequate answer are ever given. I trust God to set it all right in His time but still I am studying scriptures, preparing myself for the inevitable discussions.
Right now on the streets, there is cleaning and tidying up going on everywhere. The shuk display has changed subtly to include pomegranates, dates, figs, grapes of all sizes and colors, honey, apples, and plenty more. These nudge us into preparations. Will we host the large festive meal or will we be invited somewhere? For whom are we to purchase gifts this year? I, personally, begin to ask my yearly question of The Lord: “What special word do you have for me to know You in this year?”
Many years ago He began giving me a single word and having me look for Him in that word through out the year. It took me many years to realize that He was doing this, but yearly I begin to anticipate my new revelation of Him. This past year has been The kingdom of God/heaven.
One other thing characterizes this time period− the roosters crowing. Those of you who have been reading these letters may remember the strange custom that took root during the 2,000 years of dispersion from the promised land when there was no temple and no longer a temple sacrifice given for forgiveness of sins. The rabbis came up with the sacrifice of a chicken in a ritual manner, and a number of small communities continue to practice this. I will describe it as we get closer to Yom Kippur.
My husband is hoping that I will finish up with the computer, so I will quickly fill you in on some personal issues and also mention the situation in the Middle East. Our 7 year old Granddaughter arrived home to her family in California,USA, safely late Thursday night. I was thrilled to hear our older daughter say that it is like we have pushed the re-start button. My times with her in His Word and around two old books: Treasures of the Snow and Rainbow Garden by Patricia M. St. John.
For those of you who have children or grandchildren, ages 6 or 7 up, these two books are gold for calling children to know Him. She was thrilled to memorize verses and earn the right to get a gift from my treasure chest, knowing that the verses, hidden in her heart were her true treasure. And I SPOILED HER no end and I am not ashamed as she is a middle child. I am praying that she will begin to understand what a gift His gift of Life really is. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS!
Our younger daughter is still quite sick, but HAPPY. They are making plans to move to California from Minnesota to be near to her older sister. Her older sister is a ‘doula’ (birth helper) and she so wants to be with family. They were hoping that they would come home but she is in no condition to travel such a distance. She is on daily intravenous (I.V.) infusions of rehydration and anti nausea meds and full rest. They don’t have a job or a place to live. Ah to be young! Thank you for keeping them in prayer!
The apartment that we have lived in for 19 years is for sale now at a HUGE price. It looks as if we will be able to stay until June/July, the time of year apartments go up for rent and people move here. We have been blessed with an unusually low rent for Jerusalem for these years. I ask for prayer for Him to lead us to the right apartment at the right time for the right price.
I had a friend who had given her life to serving Him in prayer. She was from America but lived here for a number of years, walking the streets and praying. It was a privilege to know her before she went to be with Him. I learned a number of things from her, but one incident that stayed with me over the years has just begun to teach me.
This dear sister told me, weeping, that in the valley below where she lived that witches were sacrificing babies and they would scream awful screams. One evening many years ago, I was there with her and she said to me: ‘There it is! They are sacrificing babies!”
And she began to weep. I listened. As gently as I could I told her that was the sound of cats mating. She had never heard that city sound before and was shocked and relieved. I kept it hidden in my heart but am just learning the lesson that I believe I needed to learn. This was a Spirit filled, praying sister who witnessed a fact but misinterpreted it. She was prayed something that wasn’t real.
Over the years I have longed to pray silver bullet prayers − prayers that hit the mark, agreeing with The Heart of God because The Holy Spirit prays through me. Truth is very important to me. In this day of internet and instant communication, we not only get to view photos, videos, read news reports, and ministry news letters, I have noticed that we tend to believe what agrees with our view, or what convinces us.
Living here I am shocked at the things that I have seen and heard in the media that come across totally convincingly as Truth, but are, in fact, distorted lies. It riveted my attention during our fighting in Jenin a number of years back. We awoke one morning to the world press screaming “Massacre in Jenin” and instantly the world was up in arms. You likely don’t remember, but it made a big impression upon me. The photos of the devastation were splashed across front pages world wide. The only problem was the photos showed a close up view of an area less then one block square. When the larger picture was finally shown, NOTHING around this terrorist hotbed had been touched. The 900 dead and buried alive turned out to be about 20. I DON’T remember the exact details, but it taught me that in this computer age, you can NOT trust photos or words.
Right now, in Syria and Egypt there is large scale fighting with many dead and injured. Yesterday many were killed in a suicide bombing in Bagdad. We were hit by 3 bombs from Lebanon and retaliated. Turkey has unrest as does Jordan. And there is Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and the list goes on. I looked at the photos today of those killed in Syria from chemical attack and I wondered: “Where is the Truth? Are they REALLY dead?”
I ask that because I have SEEN photos of dead caught jumping up and moving later on. Why was it reported that 3,000 had been killed and then revised to around 50? Who REALLY did this? I have my opinion, but what difference does that make? Is it Truth? For that I must hear from The Lord. I will pray for The Lord to reveal the Truth to those in positions of power.
So, what am I getting at? This: It is all about HIM and always has been. We live in dangerous times − spiritually dangerous times. The Truth is HIM and we MUST discern Truth in the midst of so many lies. I believe that a key is to walk very simply and humbly before Him with face turned to Him, trusting Him to lead AND correct us.
But as you form opinions about what is happening in the Middle East, I know that you will base those opinions first on what He has already said in His Word − for that IS TRUTH.
God bless and keep you and make His Face to shine upon you and give you HIS shalom!
your sis J