Monthly Archives: July 2014

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 …

Part of my regular reading this morning was in 1st Corinthians.  I was struck afresh by the wonderful greeting; so full of blessing and prayer and wanted to greet YOU that way:

 “to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace and Peace − what GIFTS He has made available to us so freely.  May you and I experience them today.

Oh was I ever blessed today in the midst of my life.  Perhaps you remember Eliyahu the plumber whom I shared my testimony when we moved into our apartment and how grieved I was at it was been received by him.  I am so thankful that today was different.

“Yoooo Hoooo, friend, come to the window.  Haaalllooo. Are you home?”

There was someone calling MY name outside from the street?  I was cleaning the bathroom and dropped everything and ran to the merapeset (balcony).  There on the street below was Rakel looking up and calling to ME of all people.

“Wow.  Rakel, come on up, I’m just one flight up.”

Rakel came huffing and puffing up the stairs, smiling her contagious smile and gave me a big hug.  “Found you,” she said.  “I knew you would be the window with the beautiful flowers hanging out.”

I smiled as my dog jumped around her legs and my bird began to sing.

I met Rakel at work, and over the years I have been able to share with her a bit how I believe, and she accepted that, so I wasn’t concerned that my Bible lay open on the chair as I showed her in.  Rakel struggles with weight and depression.  She came to Israel when she was about 9 years old from, I think, Auschwitz.  Her war experience as a child and a subsequent failed marriage scarred her terribly. She has been searching for answers to relieve her pain for the nearly 17 years that I have known her.  Because her food addictions seem tied to the pain, she actually joined AA and has lived by the 12 step program.

When she saw me be able to finally loose the 41 kilos (about 90 pounds), and then keep it off (it has been nearly 9 years now), it opened a door for me to share with her about The Lord. But at work my sharing is limited and we always said, “We should meet for coffee someday and talk.”

Here she was at my door.

Right away she began talking about her weight again.  Even though I struggled about my own weight issues with The Lord for many years, and I don’t know WHY He gave the victory at this point in my life, it was still HIM Who did it. So the conversation soon turned to Him, His ways, and how I believe.

Rakel is religious, but is always searching for God.  “I just read a scripture in Malachi about telling man how to live,” she began.

“Oh, funny, I just read this in Micah,” I said, grabbing my Bible.  I turned to Micah 6:8 and read:

He has shown you, O man, what is good;

And what does the Lord require of you

But to do justly,

To love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God?

            “That’s it!’ she exclaimed.

“Your Bible has Hebrew too.  Can I see it?” she said taking my Bible and reading it in Hebrew, nodding her head.  “Wow!  You really read your Bible a lot don’t you?” She leafed through it.

“Yes.  I love The Bible.  It is the Truth that sets us free. My Bible also has the brit h’desha (New Testament) in it.”

I showed her.

“Let me see it. And that is in Hebrew too.”

We talked a bit more and then she left for an appointment.

She is very open, but she is also open to anything spiritual, including kabala (Jewish mystical occult) and new age things.  I plan to get her a full Bible in Hebrew.  Perhaps you will pray with me for her, and also for my testimony to be received.  May His Word produce fruit in this hungry seeking lady.

Today has been Day 9 of Operation Protective Edge.

Tensions are running high as crazy information floods the airwaves and internet. The world grows darker and deeper into deception at a rate possibly unprecedented.  Surely it is compounded by the abundance of available information (truth or lies…seems to make no difference).  People read or hear something, form an opinion and then act on that opinion. It is almost as if the world has plunged headlong into one of those weird fantasy movies.

Here in Jerusalem it is, I think, the 3rd day since we have had an air raid, but non the less there is much tension and expectation of one occurring at any time.  The rest of the country has had an onslaught of more then 1,200 rockets. Our first death from a missile occurred yesterday when a 37 year old volunteer, the father of 3, was bringing food and water to troops waiting on the border.  Meanwhile, more then 200 have been killed in Gaza thus far.

It seems self-evident for us in Jerusalem, but since the rest of the world does not understand, I will share a bit of what seems so obvious:

When Israel painfully evacuated our own people from Gaza (Gush Katif) in August 2,005, all of the rich and productive greenhouses, the fertile land and most public buildings were turned over to the Palestinian government with the sincere hope that they would build a thriving economy and build their country and government.  It was an opportunity of huge value for them at great hurt and cost to us.  They burned most of the greenhouses and buildings and voted the hamas terror organization in to govern them.

The billions and billions of dollars donated to the area by the world went almost entirely into weapons development, which we are seeing now.  Instead of farming or manufacturing of durable goods for their people, they dug expensive, sophisticated tunnels, built weapons manufacturing workshops and starved their people, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  The people are filled with fear, anger, hatred and propaganda.  It deeply grieves the hearts of nearly every Israeli and totally puzzles us (me included) how on earth this isn’t apparent to the entire world.  Why is the world yelling that Israelis are using disproportionate force because our people are instructed to protect themselves in bomb shelters and follow clearly given procedures and air raid sirens and the people of Gaza are told to stand on the roofs? Their children play in the streets. Even as a believer I find this frustrating to tears.

I simply want to be sure that YOU, as believers who care and desire to know and to agree with what The Lord says, understand.  I have had a number of emails from people saying that they are thankful to hear from me what is happening because their local media is so biased or shares so little, but I ENCOURAGE you to put ynet and Times of Israel   on your bookmarks menu. Check them because things are moving and changing so rapidly and the lies are mutating just as quickly.

And yet we all know that all of the truth about what is going on will avail NOTHING without The Holy Spirit directing our prayers.  My dear mentor whom I dare have called friend used to say that we can beat the air with many poetically and spiritually worded prayers but they avail NOTHING if not filled with the Life of The HOLY Spirit.  One Word anointed by Him does the job that hours of words cannot.  I call it “silver bullet praying,” the arrow that hits the mark.

A news report came in today that you will likely not hear elsewhere:

It is only a few weeks ago that 3 of our teens were kidnapped and murdered by Arabs.  The killers have not been found as yet, but sadly, 3 young Israeli boys kidnapped and horribly murdered an Arab boy.  These 3 were tracked down and are awaiting trial, but meanwhile the homes of these Jewish boys who killed the Arab boy are being destroyed JUST AS ISRAEL DOES TO THE HOMES OF ARAB TERRORISTS.  The law is equal.

The events of these days are trying and I am likely too emotional to write about them.  I would rather turn my eyes and, “Look away unto Yeshua.”

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.”

Thank you for your prayers for Israel, for us, for the plans and purposes of God to be fulfilled and to bring glory to His great Name.  Thank you for your prayers for Rakel.  May there be fruit for His kingdom, and MAY WE BRING GLORY TO HIS NAME.  May you be encouraged, and kept in His straight and narrow path.

Lovingly,

your somewhat tired sis J

 

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Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (7/18/2014)

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I was raised in a farming community in rural Northern Illinois where farmers helped their neighbors. If a farmer became ill, his neighbors helped take care of his livestock, planted or harvested his crops, fixed equipment, or whatever had to be done until the farmer was back on his feet again.

If the husband died, the neighbors helped the widow transition through her grief to her new life. Whatever needed to be done, the farmers helped her out. All of this was a part of being a good neighbor.

This has been a part of my cultural mindset since my childhood.

Let’s look at India:

For over 40 million widows in India, life is a desperate struggle for survival. They’re blamed for their husbands’ deaths, they’re forsaken by their families, shunned by their friends, and despised by their communities.

  • One in four homes in India is home to a widow.
  • 92 percent of India’s women age 70 and older are widows.
  • Street begging or prostitution often becomes a way of life.
  • Many are left caring for their children with little help from relatives.

In order to provide for themselves and their children, many resort to gathering food from the trash. Some gain income only from selling their bodies on the streets. For those who cannot bear the shame, suicide is their only escape. (Gospel For Asia)

The cultural mindset of India is so unlike mine, but do the differences allow me to ignore them?

Today I prayed:

Lord, help us American believers return to a pure and genuine religion in Your sight that cares and helps orphans and widows in India and other nations in the 10/40 Window. (Based on James 1:27)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you?

Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.

(If you are interested in helping the widows in Asia, check out Gospel For Asia.

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Tuesday’s Prayers for America (7/15/2014)

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King Saul had reigned over Israel for two years. Then, his son, Jonathan, defeated the Philistines at Geba, causing the Philistines to muster a large army of thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops to face Israel at Michmash.

The men of Israel looked at the strength of the Philistines. Many turned and ran away in fear, hiding in caves and fleeing across the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.

The prophet Samuel had told King Saul to wait seven days and not do anything until the prophet arrived in the camp of Israel to offer sacrifices to the Lord.

The waiting on God and watching his army dwindle day by day finally overwhelmed King Saul. He decided to take the matter into his own hands.  “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings,” said Saul.

As soon as the sacrifices were offered, Samuel showed up. “What have you done?” asked Samuel.

King Saul offered his list of excuses to the prophet, but failed to mention one important point:

“You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you…” (1 Samuel 13:13 NLT)

His failure to obey God caused King Saul’s royal lineage to be aborted forever. Thus, God raised up David, who was a man “after God’s own heart.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I pray that You raise up leaders in America who are willing to do all of Your will for their generations and who will overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimonies, not loving their lives even when faced with death. (Based on Acts 13:36 and Revelation 12:11)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for America.

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Learning How to Pray Effectively in 59 Seconds or Less (Part 6)

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Marty at Walking in Faith wrote about a bumper sticker she saw on a car, which stated: “Nothing Fails Like Prayer.”

My initial knee jerk reaction to the bumper sticker was negative, as in “that sad person hasn’t got a clue about prayer,” but then, I thought more about it. And now, I pretty much agree with the bumper sticker’s logic although I would change it a little bit so it reads: “Nothing Fails Like Prayers By Christians.”

Let’s be honest, okay?

How many of us have prayed healing prayers for people? I have and many were not healed.

How many of us have prayed for people’s finances? I have and some have gone bankrupt.

How many of us have prayed for marriages? I have and a few have suffered divorces.

What’s the problem?

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7)

There are hindrances to praying effectively.

Wolfgang Simpson wrote about a group of Christians praying for a city in a foreign country. The city was filled with wickedness and darkness. They fasted and prayed for years, but nothing ever changed. The group finally decided to fast and pray to discover how to pray for the city.

After a period of time, the Holy Spirit spoke to them: “Pray that My divine plans and redemptive purposes are fulfilled in this city.”

The group began praying the way the Holy Spirit showed them.

Soon, the city’s economy and social structure collapsed. Everything was a mess, but out of the shambles a group of believers arose that brought godliness into the city.

The number one hindrance to our praying effectively is that we pray according to how we see with our eyes and know with our minds rather than according to the Spirit.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all… (John 6:63)

What are some other hindrances?

(Continued in Part 7)

P.S. If you are interested, K. P. Yohannan has a great book on prayer that is free today. Check it out here.

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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 …

Loving greetings sisters and brothers.  May we draw near to Him Whose Name is above all names, The Only True God, to Whom belongs all glory and honor and praise and blessing.

Today is an amazing day. The weather is wonderful and the wind is blowing and it marks TWENTY YEARS SINCE WE MADE ALIYAH. WOW!

Twenty years ago today, I set my foot for the first time on the ground of my ancestors, Israel, and saw a Word come to pass that The Lord had spoken to me SEVENTEEN YEARS EARLIER.  A Word that I did not WANT, nor understand, nor one that I worked out in any way to make it come to pass.

I had never seen this land and frankly, had never been much interested in doing so.  His desires and plans for us are so much better and more perfect then our own. That’s in my opinion and by my experience.  Easier?  Maybe not. But to discover Him in it all is worth everything, the pearl of great price.

So, today is day SIX of this intensifying war, and war it is.

Today faces on the train, in the store, and at the shuk showed much more strain. The people were in more of a hurry then usual.  Most wanted to be near their homes. I found my own eyes searching for the right places to take cover if the siren went off.

Here in Jerusalem we have 90 seconds.  What added tension it must be for those in cities and places where you have only 15 seconds. That is not very long!

I watched a young army soldier and his air force girlfriend, kiss goodbye and hug as she got off at the bus station. He then traveled on to his destination.

Last night we gathered together at our kehila and had a wonderful meeting.  It was very small because July is when many are away for a summer vacation, but we had more visitors then we expected.  Because of the situation (in Hebrew we speak of the mat’tsav which means the situation), we decided on worship and testimonies with a shorter then usual message.  One of our teenage boys told about how he was counselor at a believer’s camp for small children and how frightened they got at the siren. (Their parents wanted them to stay home.) He said that they prayed and The Lord gave him the scripture about The Lord being in our midst where there are 2 or 3 who believe.  He was able to use that scripture to both lead a couple to The Lord, and help them bring their hearts into trusting peace.  There were other edifying testimonies, too.

After this we broke into small groups for directed prayer, both for the issues of the war itself and for the salvation of our people.  It is almost funny how much easier it is to pray for our enemies because, indeed, we have so many.  But we felt that there was a great need to pray for our own people for salvation at this time.

We had just finished praying at 7 p.m. and stood to worship with a final song when the siren (ah’sag’ah) went off.  Now, we meet on the 14th floor of a building in the city center, which has a great view of the entire city. So, it’s wonderful for prayer and also an easy target. But I don’t think there was any fear among us as we ran into the bathrooms, which also double as bomb shelters.  We heard the “booms” and came out after waiting10 minutes to worship Him with song.

Although I am not afraid in my heart/spirit, I do have a physiological response to the siren.  I have been told that the siren is actually designed that way to cause people to move quickly. In fact, the government just ordered all emergency vehicles to adjust their sirens to be unlike the air raid so as not to trigger fear.

What happens to me is that I experience an adrenalin surge and I have never reacted well to adrenalin.  That’s why I don’t even like competitive sports.  My heart races, my blood pressure rises and I shake.  Yet I am not afraid.  I have tried jump/smile/hug, but I am still dealing with this adrenalin problem.  Thanks for prayer.

Once home again, I found my husband already watching the Hebrew news. There was a steady and heavy barrage of missiles all around the country.  On both our TV and radio, all warnings are announced in a calm but firm voice over the program − and shown in the corner of the screen − saying ‘ah’sa’gah. The area is named so that if one does not hear the siren they know to run for cover.

A message arrived from Hamas that Tel Aviv, which had received numerous missiles already, would be destroyed by their new weapon, the J80 from Iran at 9p.m.  Interesting! It was now 8:50.  Nine o’clock arrived, nothing.  At about 9:05 a number of rockets were aimed and intercepted in Tel Aviv but there was no Dooms Day as Hamas announced. Much to the disappointment of large groups of Palestinians gathered on the rooftops in Hebron and other areas, cheering and celebrating their god’s victory on Ramadan.  While they were cheering, an errant Hamas rocket fell in Hebron, severely damaging a house.  One or two also fell in and around Bethlehem.  We are never told exactly where they fall in the media to avoid giving information to the enemy.  There was a huge barrage across the country with also an attack from Lebanon in the Galilee area: 3 rockets.

We have had several serious casualties and a much damage, but thus far the several deaths have been from heart attacks.

Psalm 140:1-8 is a wonderful Psalm to pray right now:  (I know that there are many)

Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men;

Preserve me from violent men,  (THIS WORD IN HEBREW IS…HAMAS!)

Who plan evil things in their hearts;

They continually gather together for war.

They sharpen their tongues like a serpent;

The poison of asps is under their lips. Selah

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;

Preserve me from violent men,

Who have purposed to make my steps stumble.

The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords;

They have spread a net by the wayside;

They have set traps for me. Selah

I said to the Lord: “You are my God;

Hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord.

O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation,

You have covered my head in the day of battle.

Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;

Do not further his wicked scheme,

Lest they be exalted. Selah

 

Forgive me for ending abruptly, but I must go and prepare dinner.  Thank you for praying as The Lord leads, as you wait on Him for direction.  His prayers are what I call “silver bullets.”

May HE BE GLORIFIED AND BLESSED AND SEEN.  May He find us looking at Him with clean hearts and hands.  God bless you.

Love,

your sis J

 

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If We’re All Created in God’s Image, Why Must Gays Change? (Part 4)

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Is all of mankind created in God’s image?

Most of us would nod our heads in agreement because the Bible seems to state that in Genesis 1:27. Yet, let’s take the time to inspect a few scriptures before we jump aboard the stage coach and ride off into the sunset.

First of all, God is Spirit and not fleshis alive, always was and always will be. What about us humans?

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.” (John 3:3, 6-7)

Every human, except two, that has ever walked on earth – including Jesus – was born via a woman and were little bundles of flesh. But remember that God is Spirit and not flesh. So we humans, have to be born again to worship God the Spirit.

Since our earthly births, haven’t we always been considered alive?

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh… (Ephesians 2:1-3)

We were dead, but hooray! God brought us back to life in Christ and raised us up with Him and gave us a seat with Him in heavenly places. But once again, we need to remember that God has always been alive and has never died.

And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27)

All humans, with the exceptions of Enoch and Elijah, have died and will continue to die until the New Jerusalem arrives here on earth, but God has never died and never will die. He always was and always will be.

So, is man really created in the image and likeness of God?

(Continued in Part 5)

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Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (7/11/2014)

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I grew up on a farm in Northern Illinois and like most farm boys, I had chores to do each day. These chores included feeding cattle, gathering eggs, shoveling corn, working in the fields, making hay, and doing whatever Dad needed me to do that day. I didn’t consider the chores work because this was our way of life.

We weren’t rich, but my parents fed and clothed me well, treated me with love, and allowed me to enjoy my childhood with all of its many activities, such as sports, 4-H, movies, and so forth. Dad always excused me from chores if one of my activities interfered with his work schedules.

Now, look at the above photo. These are Dalit children who are forced to work in almost slave-like conditions to help their families survive or pay off debts. It is estimated that 150 million of these children suffer similar fates in India, which has the world’s largest child labor force. Abuse is common, with long hours in miserable conditions and no hope of escape. This is the fate of a Dalit child.

There was a time when I ignored the pain of children in far off lands, such as India. Why can’t they take care of themselves, like I did? I thought. My arrogance must have been a putrid stench in God’s nostrils.

But now, I can no longer disregard the truth that it was God’s grace which allowed me to be born in the “breadbasket of the world” and not in a Mumbai slum.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I pray that our American ears are opened to the Dalit mothers in India who weep for their children and who refuse to be comforted because their infant’s childhoods are no more. (Based on Matthew 2:18)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you?

Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.

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