Monthly Archives: July 2013

Racism: Who’s in the Right? And Who’s in the Wrong? (Part 9)

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Malcolm X (1925 – 1965) burst onto the American Civil Rights landscape in July, 1959, because of a 5-part documentary series entitled, “The Hate That Hate Produced,” produced by Mike Wallace and  Louis Lomax. The subject of the series was the Nation of Islam, with key interviews of Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis X (now known as Louis Farrakhan).

Lomax asked if all white people were evil. “History is best qualified to reward all research, and we don’t have any historic example where we have found that they have, collectively, as a people, done good,” replied Malcolm X.

With that reply and others, the son of a murdered Baptist preacher became the most visible spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Unlike Martin Luther King, Jr. who attended well-known universities, Malcolm X studied library books while serving a ten year sentence in a Massachusetts prison. It was there he became a convert to the Nation of Islam.

The contrast between the messages proclaimed by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X could not have been greater, especially for that time period. King emphasized integration, equality, nonviolence, and Christian values while Malcolm X preached black supremacy, a separation of black and white Americans, violence when needed, and Islam.

Quotes by Malcom X:

“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”

“Christianity is the white man’s religion.”

“Brothers and sisters, the white man has brainwashed us black people to fasten our gaze upon a blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus.”

“The ‘long hot summer’ of 1964 in Harlem, in Rochester, and in other cities, has given an idea of what could happen… For all of those riots were kept contained within where the Negro lived. You let any of these bitter, seething ghettoes all over America receive the right igniting incident, and become really inflamed, and explode, and burst out of their boundaries into where whites live…Black social dynamite is in Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles…the black man’s anger is there, fermenting.”

“Our enemy is the white man.”

“My black brothers and sisters − no one will know who we are…until we know who we are…The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is giving us a true identity, and a true position − the first time they have ever been known to the American black man…”

“I am the angriest black man in America.”

(All quotes from  The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, Random House Publishing, © 1964)

Most certainly Malcolm X was a prophet of Islam whose messages shook white Americans and revealed the bitterness, anger, and frustration black Americans felt from their second class status. At the same time, Malcolm X changed how black Americans thought of themselves.

(Continued in Part 10)

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Inside Israel

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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 …

Answered prayer is always for His glory and I want to update you on how our younger daughter is doing, as so many of you have been praying for the situation and it has indeed stabilized.  Thank you SO very much.

I told you she was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum.  She is now in a ‘home care’ situation with a nurse visiting every other day.  The nurse first arrived with boxes of medical supplies, an I.V. (intravenous hydration bag with the water solution balanced with electrolytes to keep people hydrated, like those given in hospitals), an IV pole, boxes of IV saline solution bags, syringes, and anti nausea meds to insert into the IV 6 times daily. Plus a course to teach her how to administer the IV with the meds by herself, etc.

This was the most ‘exciting’ part to her because from the time that she was a tiny child she wanted to be a doctor.  Finding out that she was profoundly dyslexic dashed that dream for her and now, here she is, being given a real hospital to play with at home.  That was her response when she FINALLY skyped us the other night.

She was weak and puffy but felt encouraged, and even happy.  There are standing orders at the hospital to admit her immediately if she comes to the emergency room.  She has seen a doctor, dietician, and psychiatrist and heard the Baby’s heartbeat.  She is not fearful anymore and is convinced the Baby is healthy and that this will all pass, at least by the end of 9 months. She has even felt the Baby move.

I located an organization dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum and have learned a great deal for myself.  They were very supportive and sent a local volunteer to encourage her and loan her a baby heart monitor. They gave her a $100 gift certificate for Baby needs.  Wow!  The head of the organization explained that they do this because women are so ill they often opt to kill their babies. They need to meet others who have endured and let them know it is truly worth it and that it does eventually end with the joy of having a child.  I am impressed and thankful and know this is TRULY an answer to your prayers.  I even believe that she will NOT be this ill for the full 9 months.

ON TOP OF ALL OF THIS, several of you have contacted me to tell me that either you live in the area or know someone who does  and who would be willing to go and encourage her and or do some meal preparation.  This was my main prayer − outreach ministry through believers.

Our daughter truly has known The Lord and loved Him.  Her husband has not yet known Him as I explained. He was brought up in a Jewish ultra-orthodox (Haradi) family (the oldest of 15 children).  They are both backslidden, but both from different places. Both are really tender ‘Truth seekers’ so I believe with all of my heart that The Truth, The Face of Yeshua, will and IS pursuing them.  Our daughter knows who my friends are. Yet she was so happy when I offered for each one to contact her and to come and visit.  (She is alone in bed everyday.)  THANK YOU DEAREST BODY OF MESSIAH.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND WALK.

A brief update from our ever volatile front row center seat is called for right now:

Unless you have been enjoying a wonderful remote vacation, you likely know by now the Americans have succeeded in announcing the re-start (yet again) of ‘peace, peace, where there is no peace’ talks.  The talks are scheduled to begin next week and already the rhetoric is heating up.  Here are two quotes:

“The collapse of the upcoming round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians may lead to the eruption of another intifada,” Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) warned on Monday.  Tibi, who served as an advisor to deceased Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat and remains close to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, said he has sensed the “bottled-up rage on the Palestinian street over the occupation and the missing of the opportunity.”  (Please understand: Ahmad Tibi is a member of our Israeli Knesset (Parliament).  He is not part of ‘Palestine,’ part of the ‘other side,’ he is Israeli.)

While Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmud Abbas said: “While Netanyahu declares any agreement will be brought to referendum, Jordanian paper releases interview with PA chairman conducted immediately after renewed talks statement. Abbas says ‘any solution must remove Israel permanently from Palestinian land’

When we arrived in 1994, the first ‘peace agreement’ had just been signed on the White House lawn by Arafat and Rabin.  It was signed amidst pools of blood and further negotiations continued as the pools widened and deepened.  Oh, that is Israeli blood that I am talking about.  There were bombings, terror attacks, kidnappings.  Through it all, the world kept telling us ‘Israel, be patient!  It is ‘only’ a few frustrated extremists trying to kill the fragile peace.’  ‘Peace’ became a holy word- a god – where human blood became a sacrifice upon the alter to the god of peace.

As a front row viewer, I believe that I am being honest when I say that there is NO ONE IN THE WORLD who longs for peace more then the Israeli people, but it is NOT peace at any price.  We know this land is not ours and it has been taken away from us before by The Owner because of our disobedience.  It is not ours to give away, that would be stealing what is His and despising our birthright.

Speaking the Hebrew language has opened up an honest window to see into the Israeli heart.  As I listen to the songs on the buses and even in the liturgy, ‘peace’ is possibly the main longing of the soul and subject of the songs.

I have been so very grateful for the MANY opportunities I have to ‘make peace’ one on one with Palestinians, to sit and talk and open hearts and allow them to see into mine.  That one on one honesty opens REAL doors of peace.  But even that is not the Real Peace which ONLY comes clothed in Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus the Messiah, the Christ.  Aside from Him there just IS no peace.

My prayer is that He will anoint me and all of my beloved sisters and brothers here to EFFECTIVELY share Him – to freely give as we have received, to plant into fertile ground that which will produce kingdom FRUIT, 100 fold and make way for The Prince of Peace again. This time I pray He is recognized and embraced by all.

As I close, I would like to ask prayer for a 41 year old Mother of 4 (?) who is in home hospice care, dealing with great pain in the last stages of breast cancer which has overtaken most of her body.  She had initially refused treatment for the cancer until it was too late.  Her name is Ayella Weitzman.  I have loved this dear woman.  I told her husband, Daniel, I would be praying for them.  Thank you.

May His Peace rule in your hearts (and mine) through the knowledge of Him and as we gaze at Him face to Face.

Lovingly,

your sis J in Jerusalem

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Summer Sabbatical

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I have two long vacations planned during the next thirty days and a new writing project which will take a lot of my time. So, I am cutting back on blogging and following other blogs for the next 45 days or so.

I will still host Inside Israel and write an article for Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope each week. These are commitments I feel I need to stand behind. As far as the series on Prayer: So Easy To Talk About, Yet So Hard To Do, this series will probably continue for months or maybe even years. We always need to be encouraged to pray. The series, Racism: Who’s in the Right? And Who’s in the Wrong, I will finish because the research is already done for it.

If you don’t see my comments on your blog for a while, just know I appreciate your efforts. You can always send an email if you need to get in touch and if you are coming to California, give me a heads-up.

God bless everyone.

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Desperately Searching for Survival

“You’ve got to do something!” the parents of the village begged. They lived in deep poverty, rejected by society and ignored by the government. Their only source of water was a hole in the ground a half mile away containing polluted, bacteria-infected water. Because of waterborne illnesses, 18 of their beloved children died in one year’s time. The villages total population was only 300 people.

Praise the Lord for Pastor Hoob who shared Christ’s love with them in practical ways. Along with a Jesus Well that supplied life-giving water for the village, a Bridge of Hope center was also opened in the area. Now the children are learning and growing in Jesus and excelling academically at the same time.

The Bridge of Hope centers provide school supplies, a daily meal, medical checkups and more. With your help, we can reach many more villages like this one with the hope found in Christ. And this is only the beginning!

God is using Jesus Wells and Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope to turn these dire situations around for good.

Give hope to child in Asia today. Sponsor a child.

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Prayer: So Easy To Talk About, Yet So Hard To Do (Part 8)

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When my son played basketball in high school, I was a member of the school’s sports booster club. We sold drinks, hot dogs, popcorn, candy, and other treats at sporting events to raise money for athletic needs. Another fund raising activity was the annual 9th and 10th grade basketball tournament held each March.

One year, I coached our 9th grade’s third string basketball team. The youths were energetic and great, but they lacked talent, height, and speed. Most coaches would have considered them cannon fodder, but that’s not how I play or coach.

At our one practice before the game, I told them, “I’m coaching to win the game and expecting you to play to win. We’ll have fun together.” They gave high-fives and loud cheers.

With 30 seconds to go in the fourth quarter of the game, I called time-out. The kids all gathered in a huddle around me. “Coach, do you have a play for us?” said a blond-headed guard.

“Yes,” I said, pointing at one player. “I want Joe to take a long shot and the rest of you to block everyone out.”

We stuck our hands in the middle and shouted, “Let’s go.”

The play worked to perfection with Joe hitting a long shot. The final score: 86 – 14. We lost.

Yet, if you would have seen the two teams on the court at the buzzer, you would have guessed my team had won. They hugged each other and me. Yes, we lost the game, but we were winners when we walked off the court because we did the best we could and had winning attitudes.

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you. (Mark 11:24)

The Greek word pas is translated into the English words all things in Mark 11:24. The Greek actually means each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, and everything. So, there’s no wiggle room in this verse. All means all!

Like the basketball team, our job as believers is to pray in faith, trusting and believing God will move on our behalf every time we pray. If we do our part, God will do His part. Sometimes, we’ll see unbelievable miracles and sometimes, He’ll collect our prayers in a censer to be used later. The choice is His, not ours.

Now, the worst thing we can do is pray without faith, using careless, idle words because we will eventually give an accounting to the Judge for these prayers.

(Continued in Part 9)

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Racism: Who’s in the Right? And Who’s in the Wrong? (Part 8)

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God provides occasions for His prophets to speak, but few have ever had a door of opportunity opened like Martin Luther King, Jr. did on August 28, 1963. It was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at which 250,000 people attended and millions more watched on TV.

King was scheduled to be the last speaker that day, behind other speakers and singers, such as Bobby Dylan, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and Mahalia Jackson. King was allocated five to seven minutes to speak.

During the day, King was concerned about the short amount of time for his speech and wondered what he should say. As the time approached, Mahalia Jackson whispered, “Tell them about the dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream.”

You see, King started working on his “I Have A Dream” speech months earlier and had used parts of it at various settings. Many of his colleagues knew about it, but none had  ever heard it spoken like that day. It electrified the crowd and America.

Now, if Martin Luther King, Jr. was truly a prophet sent by God to speak His message to America, then there is a part of King’s message which needs to be reviewed again:

“But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.” (I Have A Dream, Martin Luther King Jr, September 28, 1963)

I truly believe Martin Luther King, Jr. was a prophet of God, whose words should be followed to obtain the fullness of blessings from God.

Yet, there was another prophet in that time period, too.
(Continued in Part 9)

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Inside Israel

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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 …

Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  (Matthew 6:16-18)

Blessings to you from quiet, subdued Jerusalem.  May The Lord give us His Light into all that will glorify Him.

We had incurred some ‘city hall’ issues that needed to be attended to, and being my day off I needed to go down to city hall to see if they were open during their usual hours or if they were closed for the tisha b’av fast.

Things like that change every year. One year it will be open, and another close. One year everyone will seem to be fasting, and another not. One year I will hear weeping and prayer through the night and another not.  This year, our city hall was closed and, interestingly, so were most of the shops on Jaffa Road.

The law states that restaurants and places of entertainment should be closed but other stores do as they wish, so in the past I had only seen restaurants or stores with religious owners closed.  Being that so many were closed, I did not have to maneuver the crowds and had ample opportunity to observe.  It surprised me how many cafes were open. I understand that there must be service for tourists, but this year I did not see many closed.  Many tourists were, in fact, on the streets and some of them were obviously wondering what had happened.

Grocery stores, the shuk, public transportation, and so forth all function as normal on tisha b’av and it has been an individual choice for the 19 years that we have been here: to work or not to work.  The train was blissfully, well, not ‘empty’, but there were some seats at times and no pushing.  So it struck my funny bone to watch a family of tourists from Europe, armed with maps and plenty of food, having succeeded (with the help of passerby) at buying tickets in the automated booth, observe the bright yellow ‘IN-OUT ‘arrows painted on the sidewalks.  I told you about our unsuccessful campaign to teach locals to ‘let the crowds off of the train BEFORE you rush on’.

I was reminded just how different life is here as I watched the dad of the visiting family observe the arrows, instruct his family where to stand, push one of the teenagers further back on the arrow, and wait for the train.  It was so, well, ‘neat, orderly, and EASY’.  Why can’t we do that?  Cultural differences can be glaring and humerous and I have found that my response is a test of my walk with The Lord, one I don’t always pass. Yet, He is patient to help me learn.

There are other interesting things.  Since it is also Ramadan, Moslems are also fasting during the day hours, and Jaffa Road was full of Moslem Arabs, as well as Jews, strolling along the street.  The religious or observant men who are fasting today are obvious.  The tradition is not to cut your hair or shave from Shavuot (Pentecost, the feast of weeks) to lag b’omer (the ‘bon fire’ night) when you can cut your hair and shave for one day. Then it begins again until tisha b’av, so, by now the fasting men are obvious not only because they look quite ‘holy’, serious, hungry and sad, but because they are also very shaggy.

It started me thinking even more about fasting and what it is for and WHO it is for.

Probably many of you have read the old book,  God’s Chosen Fast by Arthur Wallis, but even if you haven’t, or if you have read others, my favorite text simply came from the scripture mentioned above in Matthew 6, which I interpreted this way:

‘Fast unto ME…secretly…tell only ME…and I will search your heart’s motives and either set them straight (my heart’s motives) or change them.  Do NOT appear unto men to fast.’

To me, that seemed simple enough.  So in my life, and maybe yours, there have been ‘seasons of fasting’ and ‘choices to fast’, times of regularly scheduled fasting and other times when it seems woefully impossible to fast and even failed attempts.  Among the faces that I see around me today there are some whom I am sure are really seeking God.  I heard that there were many many thousands at the western wall last night for prayer and reading of the book of Lamentations as well as full synagogues all over the city.

During the news broadcasts there is time given to a rabbi to share a devotional explaining tisha b’av, and since I listen to the news in English I can only hope that what is shared on the Hebrew news is deeper, somehow more meaningful.  In my readings of the prophets the reason for the fast rings loud and clear. It is NOT to mourn the destruction of the temples and the dispersion, NOR hatred between brothers, but to REPENT FOR THE SIN that turns our faces away from our God toward other things and other gods and causes our hearts to harden and REQUIRES punishment.  The fast itself accomplishes nothing without the heart, eh?  And I’m thankful that God can turn our hearts and open the eyes of every hungry heart. I am praying that He will appear to hungry hearts today.

But the grave events that have historically impacted the Jewish people on tisha b’av did not stop today.  We were shocked to receive today’s news (article below is part of an article from ynet just now):

EU bans contracts between member states, settlements

New decree restricts any Israeli entity beyond 1967 lines from EU funding, prizes, grants. Housing Minister Ariel: Decision reminiscent of Holocaust

The European Union has decreed that contracts between EU member states and Israel must include a clause stating that east Jerusalem and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) are not part of the State of Israel and therefore not part of the contract, it was reported on Tuesday.  (*Please note that they also included the Golan Heights)

The decree, which will go into effect Friday, will forbid any cooperation, awarding of grants, prizes and funding for any Israeli entity in the specified areas.

The EU’s funding, direct and indirect, of Israel bodies which operate in the settlements has long drawn fire from various organizations within the Union. The EU is severely opposed to Israeli construction beyond the 1967 lines and has acted repeatedly to draw a clear line between Israel and its settlements in the West Bank.

The latest decree resulted from the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s directives of December 2012, which stated that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

However, the directive will not harm funding for research institutes, such as the Hebrew University, which employs settlers in their staff. Government ministries, which have offices in east Jerusalem, such as the Justice Ministry, will still enjoy the EU’s cooperation as well.

An EU official said on Tuesday that Israel should not be surprised with the directive, as the issue has been repeatedly addressed and forewarned by EU officials.

The new directive, said the official, is in line with opinions in the EU which have been prevalent for several years.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office MK Ofir Akunis said in response: “It’s a wrong and regrettable decision. Such steps – even before the Palestinians announced they are even ready to return to the negotiation table – are pushing the peace talks away, not drawing them closer.”

“Let them know even in Europe – Judea and Samaria are not ‘occupied,’ they’re the homeland of the Jewish nation.”

Housing Minister Uri Ariel said in response to the decree: “This decision is tainted by racism and discrimination against the Jewish people which is reminiscent of the bans against Jews in Europe over 66 years ago,”

Minister Ariel added, “The Israeli government must not, under any condition, be a part of any future agreement which includes a clause that Judea and Samaria are not a part of the sovereign State of Israel.”

The Yesha Council stated that “To our regret, in Tisha B’av Europe has returned to a policy of boycott and segregation against the State of Israel. Europe’s unrestrained support of the Palestinian Authority has turned it into a non-neutral element.

“The Israeli government must instruct the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry to immediately halt all European projects in Judea and Samaria until this unilateral decision is aborted.”

So, the day is drawing toward a close and our landlord just came and told us that she is looking into selling the apartment that we live in and asked if we want to buy it.  Thankfully, she told us that we would be able to sign another one-year lease so I have another ‘issue’ to help learn the stance of faith vs. doubt (fear, worry, sin) Again I have not heard more from our younger daughter but I have been overwhelmed with the loving prayerful response on her behalf.  God bless you!

I must go so will sign off quickly.

Loving blessings,

your sis J

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