Monthly Archives: May 2015

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 …

“Bear not a single care thyself,

One is too much for thee;

The work is Mine, and Mine alone;

Thy work-to rest in Me”

(From Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret)

 

Greetings DEAREST sisters and brothers.  I have missed you.  I greet you in The Name of Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus Christ, Lord and Messiah in Whom we are one.  May He be glorified and blessed and may you be blessed and encouraged.  This comes with much love.

Mounted on the floor near the doors of our trains, there are central holding-on areas with space for 4 people (although there are usually around 8 or so hanging on at any given time) to a sort of handled pole.  I found myself as the 4th in a group of ladies even older then I am on one afternoon.  They didn’t seem to know one another to begin with, but as it is with us, every stranger is only a new friend waiting to happen.

Apparently I boarded the train very soon after the conversation had started.  Two of the women were dati (religious as identified by their clothing) and the third, in a pants outfit, was not.  It is such a blessing to be able to understand Hebrew for these precious conversations would pass me by otherwise.

This group was talking about life in Jerusalem during the war of the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967, when Jerusalem’s Jews were cut off from food and water supplies by the surrounding Arab countries that were fighting with Jordan against us.  They were talking about having many children and how it is a blessing, but not always an easy one to accept.

“I remember that my neighbor had twins and everyone was so happy but she wept and said, ‘How will I feed two more mouths?'”

One woman said, “Ah,” and another sighed.

“But then we would find a woman who was longing for a child and give THEM the blessing.  We knew they would be loved.  We had too many and some one else had too few.”

The others nodded, remembering.

“Yes.  And when there was no water and the thirst was overwhelming, some of us didn’t have milk, but others did, so we fed one another’s children.”

Again they nodded.  A woman got on the train with a stroller and we all looked over and smiled.

“Yes, that is how we did it back then.  We just filled the need.  Some with too many, some with not enough…the needs were met.  Yes.  Children are a blessing.”

They all nodded again, each with a sad smile, a smile of knowing and having walked a long hard path.

The two religious women got off the train and said their goodbye’s while the secular lady and I began to talk, not saying much really.  It was one of those moments when a trickle of history dropped into my heart.

Another frozen moment in time posed before my eyes several days ago, also on the train.  Crowded trains bring lots of different sized people into close contact. So it was as a young mother with a little boy perhaps nearly two years old, found themselves pressed against a strikingly handsome soldier, his Uzi machine gun slung over his shoulder, pointed down as he read things on his smart phone.

This time it was 4 of us older ones sitting in the seats and watching as the little guy stared up at the soldier in wonder and let his eyes slip down over the Uzi.  He tentatively reached up one tiny finger and ran it along the gun barrel, again looking up at the soldier who was engrossed in his phone.  We all stared at this unfolding scene and at the young mother who wasn’t quite sure what her response should be.

The little one’s adoring stare finally broke the soldier’s concentration and his handsome face embraced the little guy with a big gentle smile.  Down the finger went and up again, all the while staring at the soldier while patting the weapon.  We all sat chilled and warmed alternately by the sad irony of the scene and also the pathos of it. The baby, so open and simple, the soldier so handsome, strong and also open-faced, the mother, young and loving and the 4 of us older crows, weighing the picture in front of us.

To my left the man said to the little boy, “Just wait.  It won’t be too long.  You too will have one before you know it!”

Immediately, the woman on my right piped, “Halavai!! Oo lai, lo! (or I hope not…how sad! What a shame.) Oh that it would be that he will never need to see one and that there will be no more war!”

Another sighed and added, “Ha! And we all wish, but his time will also come.”

The young mother looked around and so did I. Each one in this tiny play sat with some pretty deep thoughts, fears and memories.  The little guy, tiny, and innocent, looked up again at the soldier and the soldier saluted him and left the train for his post.  This group also scattered, but not without an imprint in my heart.

Again, I am only a translator in the gap for those of you who don’t know Hebrew and may not find yourself on the Jerusalem trains.  These small vignettes are for me true tastes of life here, small windows through which I am able to catch a glimpse of the past.

The older I get, the more I wonder about life.  What a gift we have been given.  Whether we are blessed with material blessings or health or natural talents or NONE of these, it doesn’t so much matter as what we DO with what we HAVE been given. The more I observe and listen to those around me the more I see how important my moment by moment choices are in our daily walk with Him. Each choice really IS crucial on all levels. We dare not make them alone.  How good He has been to us to give us His Holy Spirit!

 

Some of you know it’s generally crisis to crisis here and the current news is no different.  Today is the beginning of week-long home front command tests, simulating attacks on 3 fronts, from land, sea and air, with the entire country participating.  “Readiness drills” – they are called.  The group called ISIS is camped on all of our borders, with known cells already within. Since Israel is the chief prize, the “pot of gold,” we are not surprised.

Our poor fledgling government is being attacked from within and without as leaders from more countries then most people can name are waiting in line to make their stands known to our leaders.  The economy? Oy! We are engraved IN STONE as a stiff-necked people who grumble.  If you have any doubt, read the Old Testament. That’s why I had to laugh at our sizzling sha’rav heat wave that blew in off of the Sahara desert causing temperatures to soar into the high 40s Celsius (100s Fahrenheit).

As is often stated in other countries, “It isn’t so much the temperature, but the HUMIDITY,” was true here, but in a different way.  Our humidity was below 2% meaning that deadly dehydration became a serious threat to those walking around in the sun.

“OH THE HEAT! THIS IS AWFUL!” exclaimed one patient walking through the door of the doctor’s office where I work.  Suddenly I burst out laughing.

“I think that God sends us sha’ravs and blizzards just so we will give Him a rest from all of our other complaints and just focus them all on the weather.”

It really tickled my funny bone.

So as I was riding home on the bus I caught my breath as I saw that since 6:30 a.m. when I went to work, all of the flowering trees had broken open into their full glory of color. It is truly a canvas fit for The King: the array of huge purple flowering trees, blues, bright reds and yellows.

I realized that the intense HEAT had accomplished this in one morning. Whereas my little plants on my merepeset (balcony) were withering, but the trees, with their roots running deep, prospered.

Was there a lesson here?  Oh yes.  When He turns the heat on, we find out whether our roots run deep and drink from The Rock or whether our little flowers are in shallow earth. Anyway, for me it was a beautiful visual aid to think about the kingdom of God and to remember His ways.

I began this email with a quote from Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, a book that has greatly blessed me over the years and that I am again re-reading.  Being reminded that He OWNS us is such a relief to me: under the ownership of One so faithful…He is fully able to complete that which He has begun.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (5/28/2015)

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A few days ago, I was praying for America and saw a sea of deception covering our whole nation. It covered our leaders and every believer.

I wondered why we were so deceived, but it didn’t click with me at the time.

Today I prayed:

Lord, open the eyes of American believers to see our sins so that we are no longer deceived and not living in the truth. Help us Lord to understand that if we confess our sins, You are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all of our unrighteousness. (Based on 1 John 1:8-9)

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

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

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Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (5/26/2015)

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Each Tuesday, I pray and fast for the nations of Asia, where 4.4 billion people live. 

Why Asia?

1. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

2. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

3. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

4. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

Charlie Peace was a criminal. Laws of God or man curbed him not. Finally the law caught up with him, and he was condemned to death. On the fatal morning in Armley Jail, Leeds, England, he was taken on the death-walk. Before him went the prison chaplain, routinely and sleepily reading some Bible verses. The criminal touched the preacher and asked what he was reading. “The Consolations of Religion,” was the replay.

Charlie Peace was shocked at the way he professionally read about hell. Could a man be so unmoved under the very shadow of the scaffold as to lead a fellow-human there and yet, dry-eyed, read of a pit that has no bottom into which this fellow must fall? Could this preacher believe the words that there is an eternal fire that never consumes its victims, and yet slide over the phrase with a tremor? Is a man human at all who can say with no tears, “You will be eternally dying and yet never know the relief that death brings?”

All this was too much for Charlie Peace. So he preached. Listen to his on-the-eve-of-hell sermon:

“Sir,” addressing the preacher, “if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!” (Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill)

Today, I prayed for the unreached people of Asia:

Forgive me, Lord, for my apathy toward the hundreds of millions of people in Asia who have never heard Your name. Make me willing to crawl on my hands and knees across broken glass –if need be – to reach as many of them as possible for You.

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

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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 to each of you, precious to Him Who is Lord of lords and King of kings.  THANKFULLY, He is really ABLE to keep us and present us safe in Him unto that day.  Thank You Lord for Your grace, mercy and the provision of the Precious Blood!

I thought about you much on Jerusalem Day and wrote many things in my head.  There is not much like a WONDERFUL one year old Granddaughter who is severely jet lagged to disrupt your life, unless it is an earthquake or a tornado.  She’s such a joy and gift, but when she’s up at 2a.m., she has the power of all sorts of natural disasters, so we are all tired (and the older ones of us perhaps a bit more).

Yom Yerushalaym (Jerusalem Day) was this past Sunday.  It is one of my favorite days, but I was surprised that already on Thursday, very large groups of youth were walking into Jerusalem singing and waving flags, dancing in the streets.  They walk here from all over the country to celebrate the miraculous reunification of Jerusalem after 2,000 years of Jewish exile from her capital.  This celebration marks the 48th year since her return in 1967. It definitely had some unique characteristics.

I frankly wondered what would happen at all.  Since our elections and the establishment of a markedly right wing religious government, the left wing secular segments of our society, greatly supported by the network of social media world wide, have been waging a distortion, smear and hate campaign against every move they make.  That included the usual Jerusalem Day activities.  They called it a provocation and staged counter rallies calling for the cancellation of all celebrations and events and for the re-dividing of Jerusalem.

I wasn’t sure exactly what was going to take place, but to my delight the Jerusalem songs began to play and people began to wish one another “Joyous Jerusalem Day” and hang out Jerusalem flags.  It was nice to turn away from the news media and look into the faces of the people, thankful faces of people who wanted to bless Jerusalem and The God Who said that He would put His Name here.

One of the more interesting chance observations that I made, was in the shuk – my favorite observation post.

I was passing two Arabs, one a vendor and another delivering something or other.  The one spoke in Arabic but the vendor turned and answered him in Arabic accented Hebrew and from his answer I was able to gather the point of the conversation.  Thanks to social media and many other instigators, there is active recruitment for ISIS here as in other countries.  The gist of the Hebrew answer was, “What! YOU can go to Syria under Asad or those clowns if you want!  I’m staying here!  My life is far better then any of theirs!”

I love the shuk where Arab and Jew are together day in and day out and share a unique bond.  When the intifada saw bombings at the shuk, both Arab and Jew suffered, and helped one another.

This morning I was meditating in Rev 6:4 –

“And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”  

And I began to thank The Lord for the OTHER PEACE that He has been speaking to my heart about: the Peace that is NOT as the world gives. Nothing in this world can take that Peace away.  Hallelujah!  Walking through…Looking away unto Him…letting the Peace that passes all understanding keep my heart and mind IN HIM. These seem to be my major focus as I live here on the rapidly changing front lines of things about to come.  Funny how a snow ball gathers speed as it rolls downhill and grows bigger and heavier.  So these days seem to be speeding up into a blur.  I have thought about the horrors of the earthquake and avalanches in Nepal and how suddenly  those were caught in it.  When the disciples asked Yeshua, as recorded in Matthew 24

 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? It says: “ And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

In other words…take heed to yourself…not to what is going on around you.  Be sure that you are walking in The Truth and anchored in The Rock.  Yes, we see the signs of the times all around us.

Jerusalem Day passed with no major disturbances, although many tried.  The celebrations were joyful and again the promise went forth that “Jerusalem will remain the undivided capital of Israel.”

Oh well.  Both the European Union chief and UN representatives are meeting here today to challenge that.  They do keep increasing the pressure but they don’t honor the Word of God or The God of the Word.  May He open their eyes in His mercy.  With Him ALL things are possible.

And so we are now getting ready for Shavout (Pentecost).  This marks the end of the Passover time and the end of the counting of the omer.  It was the second of the 3 holidays where God commanded all Israeli men to come up to Jerusalem and make specific offerings at the temple. This is the FIRST FRUITS offering, the time of the early harvest of the grain, barley, wheat and the first of the bread to be offered in Thanksgiving.  That is why all of the people were gathered at the temple on Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover of the crucifixion and the resurrection, when He poured His Spirit out upon the people in Jerusalem as described in Acts 2. The New Bread broken among the people – now able to offer true Thanksgiving from the heart.

Deut 26:1-10 is my favorite of the many shadow descriptions of Shavout…I say shadow’ because we know it now as a “shadow of things to come.”

Deut. 26:1-10 “And it shall be, when you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land that the Lordyour God is giving you, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. And you shall go to the one who is priest in those days, and say to him, ‘I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the country which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.’
“Then the priest shall take the basket out of your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. And you shall answer and say before the Lord your God: ‘My father was a Syrian, about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. But the Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and laid hard bondage on us. Then we cried out to the Lord God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our oppression. So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, “a land flowing with milk and honey”; 10 and now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O Lord, have given me.’
“Then you shall set it before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God.

Today, for some reason that I STILL don’t understand fully, Shavout is celebrated with the eating of milk products and everyone dressing in white.  It has to do with The Word of The Lord being pure and people stay up all night in large groups studying The Word and/or particular topics and subjects to be wrestled with until the understanding comes from God.  Many do this before the Western Wall (considered the last standing wall of the original temple and the holiest place in Judaism aside from Temple Mount itself).

Thank you for baring with me through these rather poor offerings.  And THANK YOU for your prayers for us, for my people by blood and for The Lord’s plans.  May we be found standing in agreement with His Heart.

Lovingly,

your sis J in Jerusalem

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (5/21/2015)

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“Waa! Boo hoo! Everyone is picking on us Christians. Woe is us!”

I’m not totally ignorant to the problems we Americans are struggling with right now nor am I so hardhearted that I do not feel a little ticked off at the path our nation is treading on, but let’s put it in perspective, okay?

Let’s compare our problems with the ones believers are enduring in North Korea. Many of those believers are in prison, hoping to catch a mouse or rat or a cockroach to eat because they’re starving to death. Women believers in prisons are repeatedly raped and beaten. Added to all of this, they work twelve hours a day in horrendous manual labor jobs without proper clothing to protect them from the brutal cold temperatures.

And guess what?

The North Korean believers do not have Bibles to encourage themselves. All they have is a little strength to make it through each day because they have a quick glimpse of the King and know He’s worth it all.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, help us to hold fast and repent of our lukewarmness, which has caused us to be wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked before You. Give us the grace to purchase gold from You, refined in fire, so that we may enjoy Your riches and not our earthly ones. Clothe us in robes of white to cover our shame and anoint our eyes with divine eye salve so that we may see You and Your ways. (Based on Revelations 3:15-18)

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

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

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Thirty Years Ago Today

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In 1985, my life smashed into a brick wall. I needed thousands of dollars to start a publishing company and bail my family out of debt. My sources were all maxed out and the hope level in my reservoir was hovering at empty. I was finished.

The only untouched asset I had was a $125,000 life insurance policy. So, my solution seemed obvious: suicide.

As for taking my life, I had no problems with it because I was an agnostic. No God equals no problems with eternal judgment, right? It wasn’t personal, just a business solution for my family and me.

My plan was uncomplicated. I figured on enjoying one last weekend with my family and then committing suicide on that Monday evening.

Thus, on May 20, 1985, I spent the day finishing up loose ends. Then, for some reason, I stopped at an insurance agent’s office. Although we knew each other, Bill and I were not intimate friends and had never really talked to each other before that day.

Bill invited me into his office. We discussed baseball. Then in the middle of our conversation, he stared at me and said, “You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?”

His words hit me like a sledgehammer. How did he know? I told no one. It was my secret $125,000 payday. I was speechless. As I sat there, a vision played across my mind about my car ramming into a viaduct and killing me.

I wept and although I tried to regain my composure, I could not. “How did you know?” I asked.

“Oh,” said Bill, “the Lord told me while we were talking to each other.”

His words shattered my unbelief. God was alive and He cared about me. We continued talking and he finally gave me a book to read: Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers.

When I arrived home, I began reading the book. After a few pages, I walked into the bathroom, closed the door and knelt in front of the sink. Looking into the mirror, I prayed, “Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. I guess I’ll give You a try.”

Instantly, I was changed. Fear and shame were no longer a part of me, but instead, joy and hope filled my heart. Bowing and worshipping my new King, I promised to never let go of His hand.

If my story were a fictional Hollywood movie, perhaps it would resemble It’s A Wonderful Life. Jimmy Stewart would play me and Donna Reed my wife. The angel would get his wings and everyone would live happily ever after. The end.

But sadly, my life has not been a work of fiction. It has been a day to day journey, filled with a few good experiences, but also many mistakes, false starts and failures. Divorce. Loss of friends. Numerous firings from sales positions. Low-paying jobs. Poverty. Rejection. Loneliness. Not exactly, a picture perfect Christian life.

And yet, it has been in the deepest valleys where the Lord has truly revealed Himself to me. It was there He became my loving Father and I learned His grace was sufficient for me.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

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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 …

Greetings Dear Sisters and Brothers in The precious Name of Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ. May He be blessed and glorified, and may you be blessed and edified.

John 14:27 is such a familiar verse.  Many of us embraced it in the very beginnings of our walk with Him…a great and precious promise it reads:

”Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth,

give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

And John 16:33:

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

But just because it is familiar, it is no less profound.  As a matter of fact, it has taken front and center stage in my heart lately.  The fact that He was speaking these words as He was ALSO telling the disciples of VERY HARD things to come has been a great comfort to me as I confront the enemies of Peace in my heart, from both within and without.  His Peace has become more real then ever to me (as in attainable) and I find myself running after it and thirsting for it moment by moment.  There are SO many WONDERFUL promises for His Peace all through the Word…I want them all!

I thought about that as I looked around the train the other morning on the way to work.  I guess it was Friday morning as I catch the 5:55 a.m. train then to stop at the shuk for some fresh produce before Shabat and then run over to IFI prayer meeting to join in on the first half hour before again running off to work.

On Friday morning at that hour the train is pretty empty and so I was looking around at the car.  Just such a short time ago these train cars were brand new, and they HAVE been kept up well, especially considering how many PEOPLE they transport daily, except for the windows.  The windows are large, shatter-proof, possibly bullet-proof, glass. Yet nearly every one has been shattered by stones thrown regularly as it passes through the eastern side of our capital, Jerusalem.  Some of the windows sport a sign in Hebrew, Arabic and English that says: “We are sorry for the inconvenience.  This window will be replaced as soon as possible.”

Others sport a star in the corner made by a marker pointing out that, yes, it is cracked and needs to be replaced.  As I counted, I saw that probably 70% of the windows were marked for replacing.  I ran my fingers over the one that I was sitting beside.  It had obviously been hit by a large rock.  I could feel the disruption in the glass and was thankful for the technology that enabled the use of such a strong substance, none the less, some HAVE been injured in these regular incidents.

I thought about the peace of God again, and am thankful that I can honestly say that I do not have fear about these things.  I trust The Holy Spirit to lead me in the path that He has for me – either way He chooses.  I also see that one of the major aims of terror is to inflict fear and wear down the heart and will of people. Thank You, Lord, for The PEACE of God that passes all understanding and that keeps our hearts and minds in YOU.

I think of His Peace too as my poor, tortured neighbor stomps out her rage at us over our heads.  What a GIFT His PEACE is for us.

AND I think about His Peace again as I see the great divide forming across the earth, country to country. The hatred and rage between the left and the right politically and the way it is working itself out.  It was very interesting to see a replay of our elections in the UK.  It does seem as if a strange, but apparently failing, manipulation of the media, particularly the press, has been going on.  It appears to me that the rage and abuse of one side only drove the other side into a place quiet enough so that the pollsters couldn’t get a view of what people were REALLY thinking.

I know that I heard that over and again here from those who planned to vote for Netanyahu for well thought out and real reasons. They did not want to take the verbal abuse and mockery thrown at them by the opposing side and so said nothing.  Apparently the UK has seen something similar.  Whatever it is, it is embarrassing to hear our opposition working overtime, fueled by pure rage, to already bring down our newly forming government.  It is exhausting and sad, BUT FOR HIS PEACE.

And in the midst…in the midst of war on each of our borders, and in the midst of awful things being spoken about us and to us, THE LORD IS BUILDING HIS TEMPLE, HIS BODY IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL!  Yes He is…and it is glorious!  I guess it is because His ways really ARE far about our ways and His thoughts also so much higher!

It will be JERUSALEM DAY next Sunday: a day that I love.  Knowing the Scriptures makes this day all the more special.  Each year there are threats of hatred by those who hate that Jerusalem is again Israel, but this is God’s work and God’s hand. And we know that God is not beloved by the world nor are His plans. So it is a great privilege to be able to choose to stand with His plans and purposes for this land and people.

It may NOT appeal to our flesh always, but isn’t that what walking with Him is all about: choosing His way, His Word, His Heart, His choices. And so this city will celebrate the GIFT of Jerusalem!  There will be dancing in the streets and all the way down to the Western Wall.  Perhaps some of you remember the day that once again, after 2,000 years, the entire people were allowed to enter her gates, to come into her midst and to go to the Western Wall of the temple to pray.  One day HE will be revealed as Who He IS to the entire people…maybe today!

To see the story of the reunification of Jerusalem, click here.

God bless you,

your sis J

Click on to see MyGFA site.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

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