Category Archives: Jerusalem

Inside Israel

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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 in Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus The Lord, Who saved and redeemed us with His Own Precious Blood for His purposes and His glory.  May He be blessed and glorified, and may you, my sisters and brothers in Him be blessed and edified.

FIRST, I WANT TO GIVE HIM THE GLORY AND THANKSGIVING. And also thanks to you for your prayers, for experiencing the BEST healing that I ever have throughout a long history of surgeries and surprises.  THIS surprise was the best:  NO COMPLICATIONS AND A MIRACULOUSLY RAPID HEALING!

Although the surgeons did not use the word miraculous, that is exactly what it was.  I was told initially that it would be 6 weeks at home (to the panic of my boss), but with all of your prayers, that has changed.

My appointment with the surgeon was on the 30th.  She looked and was WELL pleased.  She said, “Great!  Looks wonderful.  You can go back to work TODAY if you like.”

I yelled in horror, “Has v’ha leelah!!” (literally “GOD FORBID!”) The look of horror on my face caused her to burst out laughing.  “PLEASE can I have another week?”

I didn’t need to beg much as she quickly replied, “No problem,” with a big smile and wrote out a sick note for me.  Yes, we need sick notes for work here. The note covered me until this rapidly approaching Wednesday when I must (to the great joy of my boss) return to work again.

I am exceedingly grateful for the touch from The Lord upon my body.  And I apologize for what may SEEM like ungratefulness for the speed with which I am able to return to work.  I constantly battle my flesh, which The Lord in His graciousness convicted me of YEARS ago through Proverbs 18:1

 “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.”  

Yes, I had the heart of an avowed hermit and The Lord convicted me of this a long time ago, putting a heavenly magnifying glass up to it for me and letting me see roots of self-will, fears, pride, arrogance, contentiousness, self self self!  And so, yes, these couple of weeks at home, albeit accompanied by pain, had enabled me to read, rest, knit, listen. Oh my, I enjoyed it.

Thank You Lord for not letting me enjoy it TOO much and now I prepare to re-enter the arena of service before me.

And here in Israel, as always, and actually in the entire world now, a time of uncertainty and many are fearful.

While I have been at rest,  the Lord has laid two areas of prayer on my heart that I never would have come up with myself. One has to do with our internal struggle concerning a particular group of some 40,000 Africans seeking “refugee” status here, specifically from Sudan and Eritrea.  The second I will mention first, concerning Holocaust survivors.

Several years ago, Holocaust memorial days were adopted around the world.  The observance here was established at the beginning of our modern nation and is observed 23-24 April this year.  The date floats between April and May because of the differences in the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars.

One morning as I was spending time with The Lord, I felt Him whisper to my heart, “Pray that they be able to let go.” 

 I was shocked as this scene unfolded as if it were in front of my understanding.  These people are called SURVIVORS and THAT has become their identity, character, and nature.  They have fought with everything that they have to remain alive and to carry the torch of LIFE through the fires of death.  Now, so many of them are in their late 90s, very ill, suffering AND THEY ARE UNABLE TO LET GO.

I am almost afraid to write these words.  My mind immediately goes to Kala Zeltzer. Oh what a precious lady!  I have written about her many times.  She has a room in the Holocaust Memorial (Yad VShem) here, that contains the few items she smuggled with herself through the camps. A room where she sits and tells others, classrooms of children and soldiers, and tourists and anyone who will listen, her story of struggle to survive and to believe and to live.  This talented, sweet, gentle, positive woman who said to me once, “If there was no God, how could I have survived such horrors?  He was with me through it all.”

She came out through the flames to build a life and family here in Israel and now at 96 she cannot let go, although she is suffering physically and emotionally.  She is one of the few that I have gotten to share with about Him.  I wish that I could say that she embraced Him.  She listened attentively and then we talked about “God with us.”

I also think of Ya’akov and Ruth Lorkh – atheists, actually ‘haters’ of God – who say, “If there was a God, where was HE when we were in those places?”

What different attitudes and responses.  I don’t pretend to know what makes one bitter and one sweet. I dare not be so arrogant but to plead for my own heart and the hearts of others to choose “sweet”in the face of great horrors that we don’t understand.  They also are in their late 90s in pain and torment as is Geveret Simchovich, who tells me each time she sees me, “Why am I alive?  I don’t want to be alive anymore!”

And yet they can NOT “let go” because they have MAJORED in survival.

IF this was a revelation from The Spirit of God, then I pray that you will confirm it in your own hearts. And if not, reject it, but I have begun to pray that they will be able to “let go.” AND that even now, HE will reach them and guide them home to HIMSELF.

The second prayer is more complicated perhaps, and perhaps even more controversial. Those seeking refugee status.

Maybe you are well aware of the awful wars in Sudan and Eritrea. AND of the many Christians, some VERY strong believers, and some are here.  They walked across the desert to get here. But also there are Sudanese and many other Africans seeking work, but some are “terror plants.”

We are specifically speaking of those who are from Sudan and Eritrea who are seeking asylum.  It is a fairly small number  out of the entire group.  The two ‘arguments’ are: ‘This is the one tiny Jewish’ nation on earth and we must maintain her Jewish identity.  The other side being the command in the Tenach (Old Testament) to LOVE THE STRANGER IN YOUR MIDST AND NOT MISTREAT THEM FOR YOU MUST REMEMBER THAT YOU WERE A STRANGER IN EGYPT … THEREFORE LOVE THE STRANGER.

It is a STRONG often repeated COMMANDMENT and there has been a huge rift in our nation over this. Strangely, it is the religious party that is initiating forced deportations.

Okay.

There are HUGE refugee questions around the entire world right now and HUGE problems and multi layered questions. I do NOT NOT NOT want to get into all of those.  I am speaking specifically about ISRAEL and ONLY the 40,000 possible refugees from Sudan and Eritrea who have escaped the wars there.

I have NOT wanted to get into this battle either, but I do see both sides.  Yet SUDDENLY I FELT AS IF THE LORD WAS TELLING ME THAT – YES – THIS WAS MY BATTLE TOO ON MY KNEES AND THAT HIS COMMAND TO LOVE THE STRANGER WAS A COMMAND.

My reading that day took me to 2 Samuel 21.  This is the story of David seeking The Lord as to WHY there had been 3 years of drought in Israel BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT THE LORD REPRIMANDS US IN MANY WAYS, INCLUDING THROUGH THE WEATHER.  The Lord told him that it was because of the treatment by Saul of the Gibeonites.  I’m sure that you recall in Joshua 9 how an unwise treaty was made with the Gibeonites BECAUSE Joshua NEGLECTED to consult The Lord at this step of his battle for the land.  They went by sight and not by The Spirit and made a covenant, an alliance with the Gibeonites whom The Lord said to destroy, for they were a NEAR TRIBE, although they disguised themselves to look as if they were from a distance.

2 Sam 21:2 states:

“…the children of Israel had sworn protection to them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah.”  

Now, this is NOT the same situation.  We have entered into no covenant with these people.  BUT!  The Lord brought this up to me. ASIDE from politics…ASIDE from liberal/conservative (forgive me but I hate politics!). ASIDE from all else. I could not deny that I believe The Lord was telling me that Israel was ABOUT TO MAKE A VITAL ERROR AND THAT I MUST PRAY THAT WE NOT ADD THIS SIN TO OUR ALREADY MANY sins.

I remind you that NEITHER of these subjects (the asylum seekers nor the survivors) were at all on my mind that morning. So I do believe that these were both burdens from The Lord’s heart and I am sharing them with you if perhaps He should put an agreement in your heart and also move you to pray.

And I DO hope that you pray for our nation and people and GOD GIVEN WISDOM for our leaders. NOT because we are so nice or romantic or so awful and sinful or so anything, but only because OF THE LORD, HIS WORD, HIS ETERNAL PURPOSES FOR HIS OWN REASONS AND NOT OURS, CHOOSING ISRAEL AND SETTING SO MUCH BEFORE US IN HIS WORD CONCERNING HIS HEART AND PURPOSES. THAT I AM SURE THAT HE EXPECTS US TO PRAY FOR THESE PURPOSES TO BE FULLFILLED.

AND, we have an enemy and I am not talking about Hamas or Hizbollah or Iran or Syria or Russia or Turkey but a far more enduring enemy who hates whatever God loves, and who hates whoever God sets His heart on, (which, yes, includes you and me and His body…and Israel). I’m only writing to you who KNOW that we are in a never ending battle for HIS GLORY ALONE.

May YOU be used of Him for the very same.  Our poor world is so filled with darkness and lies and sin.  But HE is The God of Truth and Mercy, Judgment, Light, Love and the extended Hand.

I do send you LOVE,

Your sis J

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Filed under America, Christianity, Israel, Jerusalem, Prophecy

Inside Israel

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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 —

To Him Who establishes our times, borders, boundaries, paths, lessons…and everything else…to Him be the glory and honor and praise and blessing!  And may you be blessed and encouraged!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!

I came home from hospital on Sunday but have not felt up to sitting at computer until today. Yet it was so important for me to thank you for your prayers and to let you know that HE has been answering.  This is the FIRST surgery that I have had with no surprises, no complications, and no bleeds afterward. Even my blood test results are better than they have been in a very long time.

I see that the rest is doing me good.  Only some stomach problems that I had hoped would be resolved with the surgery are still lingering, even increasing.  I was initially told that I needed to rest at home) for 6 weeks, but the surgeon wrote TWO weeks (one of which is over).  My appointment at the surgery clinic is on the 30th, so I will have a firmer decision by then.

      Meanwhile, I am sad to be missing the Intercessor’s for Israel (IFI) Prayer Conference, the one conference that I am involved with yearly.  The part that I so enjoy being part of is the morning meetings when we break into small groups for some real prayer.  The more informative meetings are available for free online if you care to watch, they are well worth it.  They are easy to maneuver and to listen to and I recommend it:  INTERCESSORS FOR ISRAEL

    It is a cloudy, threatening day in Jerusalem, but the rest of the country is getting flooded with a bit of an overload of the much-needed moisture – the same storm system I suspect, that many of you in Europe are being trounced with.  Authorities say that even this abundance will not be enough to change the impact of our ongoing drought, and that the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) our main water source, will still hit a 100 year low.

Our Granddaughters have been quite ill (not influenza, but scarlet fever , stomach virus’ and other child hood ailments). So my daughter has not been able to come by, but one of our nearly 80 year old patients (from the Doctor’s office where I work) came by yesterday with a pot of the most delicious Kurdish soup, meat pies and cake.  It took her a full hour to get here, but oh I do love this lady.

Tsvia Cohen is from a (Jewish) Kurdish background and for many years ran the most amazing restaurant in the neighborhood of Talpiot.  One year I invited her to our Succa, never thinking that she would actually come and she DID.  She doesn’t speak a word of English but we have really hit it off over the years.  She has told me about fighting in the wars and for Jerusalem and then her work as a volunteer with the police force.  What a woman! She does NOT mince words.

I don’t remember if I told you that my dear workmate, Mali. She left for a different job, more compatible to being the mother of two tiny boys.  She subscribed me to a website called ‘Did you grow up in Jerusalem?’  I thought ‘Why did she do that?  I didn’t grow up here and it is (obviously) all in Hebrew, but as I watched it grow, the spirit of those who grew up here gripped me. I DID see that I was old enough to remember many of the things some of those 25 and under were recording.  The site also contains some incredibly poignant, remarkable, historical insights.

One this morning brought me to tears and I want to share it with you, because RIGHT NOW this is the 70th year of the modern state of Israel AND the 50th year since The Lord returned Jerusalem to the sons of Jacob.

Yes, the words are all in Hebrew BUT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND. (I promise!) It begins with a Jewish wedding.  I have mentioned before that when the cup is broken at the wedding, Jerusalem is remembered with the vow from

Psalm 137:5 and 6 “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill!  If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth— If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.”  The film begins this way…and the rest of the 6 and a half minute video  (please watch) is this Psalm 137 sung…along with film that will impact you.  DO YOU WANT TO PRAY EFFECTIVELY FOR ISRAEL?  BEGIN HERE…. HERE IT IS:  PSALM 137  One of the people pictured may well be Tsvia…or any of the others that I rub shoulders with day by day…what an honor! 

 And it was that way, once again, in the hospital. I was reminded, from beginning to end, that there is NOTHING resembling an American hospital here. To begin with, being hospitalized is a family affair.

I remember in America time limits, age limits and limits on the number of visitors.  Here?  NO WAY! There are NOW even couches provided for family members to sleep on in many rooms.

When we first came, family members brought foam mattresses or sleeping bags to sleep on the floor, or put chairs together, even shoved the patient over to lie on the bed with them.  Family members are expected to be with the patient in pre-op while the patient is waiting to be wheeled into surgery. To the right of my little cubby was a woman about my age, very distraught, being comforted by a loving husband in a kippa, who constantly laid hands on her head praying for her and kissing her forehead, reading Psalms to her, but alas she was not comforted.  To my left was an Arab family, also doting over the woman on the bed as she too waited.

The large room was abuzz with 17 surgical teams assembling around their respective coach, each one pointing out their patient in the assigned waiting area.  I was fascinated watching these teams, much like sports teams gathered around their coach receiving last minute instructions.  And then, at a given moment, we all got wheeled away, into the cold sterile sealed operating room, still abuzz with activity. There must have been 20 people in my surgery room and I saw them as well oiled gears, all knowing their place and working in a beautifully orchestrated unity.

And then I woke up in the recovery room to the voice of my husband asking me, “How do you feel?  How do you feel?”

How did I FEEL?  There was NO way that I was going to utter a word with this ten ton truck rolling over my stomach!  Was he KIDDING?  The doctor came by and asked me my pain level. At this point, I think I was yelling a bit. When I said, “Eser plus’ (10+),” he called the anesthesiologist and told him to put me under again.  Did I mention that I am allergic to most pain medications?

Let’s fast forward.

Having a hospital where entire families (some VERY large) come to visit all day and all night makes for interesting observations.  Since my surgery took place on Thursday and NOTHING happens between Friday sunset until Saturday sunset, it is a time to watch not only families, but cultures in action.

Shabbat came in at 4:26pm on Friday so candles were set up for lighting just outside of the family room. The “family room” is a large room with a tv, microwave, frig, sink, hot and cold water and tons of disposable cups, spoons, packets of tea, coffee, sugar etc.  Large families gather chairs around low tables and feast on homemade or store bought treats. Nowadays it is Arabs on one side and Jews on the other.

I saw a Moslem on a prayer rug bowing down next to a Jew wrapping tfillin (prayers).  On this Friday there was an old Rabbi in the room to the right of the family room.  Last time that I was there for Shabbat, the Arabs blew out (I kid you not!) the Shabbat candles shortly after they were kindled.  This time, the Rabbi’s many disciples gathered in his room, stood watch over the candles as the Arabs scowled.  It is really something to see: this battle that goes on!

By Saturday night I was tired and went to bed early.  I was lovingly roused 3 times by kind phone calls from dear ones wishing me well.  I fell asleep again and this time, “What is THAT?” I nearly fell out of bed.

A LOUD concert seemed to be coming from my four walls.  “Don’t they know this is a HOSPITAL?” I wanted to yell.

Wearily I left my bed again to investigate.  In the room to the LEFT of the family room was a young man from a small village in Samaria waiting for an operation the next morning.  Many Jewish worship groups from these areas come into the hospitals to bless the people, singing Psalms. It is quite beautiful.  This group of about 7, gathered around his bed, had various instruments and was singing Psalm 121 when I got there.  Someone pulled up a chair for me.  How wonderful to lift my hands and worship as we sang.  “Yeshua, come!’ quietly I implored Him.  The quiet peace settled around us:

PSALM 121 – (THE LORD, THE HELP OF THOSE WHO SEEK HIM)

A song of Ascents  “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. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore”.

Well,it is time to wrap this letter up.  Thank you again for your prayers.  Thank you for ongoing prayer for the yet unresolved stomach problem and thanksgiving for what looks to be a successful surgery.  May The Lord Who directs us through the issues of our lives, direct us into completing our purposes in Him and through the shakings coming to this world.

God bless you, lovingly,

your sister J

 

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Filed under America, Christianity, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Inside Israel

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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 —

“BE THOU MY VISION, O LORD OF MY HEART.  NOUGHT BE ALL ELSE TO ME SAVE THAT THOU ART…”

With great thanksgiving I write this note to you.  May The Lord be blessed and glorified.  May you be blessed and encouraged.

Some of you might recognize the first line of the old hymn above.  It has always moved me with its particularly profound and yet simple words. To me they pierce the heart in these last days: NOUGHT BE ALL ELSE TO ME SAVE THAT THOU ART. Or, in more modern English: don’t be anything else to me except Who YOU ARE.

Oh that IS the cry of my heart on this, oh blessed of days, my 43rd birthday in HIM!  Forty-three years ago today, on the 15th of January 1975, HE pierced my darkness with HIS LIGHT.  HE swallowed up my death in HIS LIFE.  HE vanquished my lies with HIS TRUTH.  THE ONE WHOM I didn’t know of, hadn’t heard of, didn’t believe in, killed me and made me alive IN HIM, transferring me into HIS kingdom.  HE cleansed me from all of that filth of sin in HIS precious BLOOD.  I DIED and in HIM I LIVE. What a TRIP it has been!

And I look around me and I see people making HIM into all sorts of things that I don’t recognize. Things that pertain to this world and this flesh and I sing BE THOU MY VISION O LORD OF MY HEART.  NOUGHT BE ALL ELSE TO ME SAVE THAT THOU ART.  Let me know WHO YOU ARE.  AND LET ME LOVE YOU AS YOU ARE.  Not MY will – YOURS!  I think back to how many times in these 43 years I have actually heard brothers and sisters say, “Well if God is going to allow that…I am not so sure that I want to serve Him.”

Mark 4:36 says  And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship…”

Sometimes OUR understanding of blessing is something totally different than His. Will we still walk?

So today, as I was walking to work in the rain, I was overwhelmed, literally overwhelmed, by the sheer GOODNESS of such a GREAT GOD.  I thought back to the horrors of my life before Him: the bondages that He loosed me from and/or gave me the weapons, teaching my hands to war and the command to RESIST, STEADFAST IN THE FAITH.  I thought back to the walk and I worshipped Him.  What else could I possibly do?

Has it been easy and always victory?  HAHAHA!  NO WAY!  BUT HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE…FAITHFUL…AND INTO HIM I CAN RUN!

Today was my last day of work before going to the hospital.  I have had to train my replacement.  DID I TELL YOU THAT SHULAMIT DID NOT TAKE THE JOB?  I think that I did not.  I wrote to you about this superwoman, perfect for the job, but she said that her husband vetoed it saying that is was against halacha (the religious law) for her to bring our boss water. She could not serve another man besides her husband.  Mali, Kinneret, and Shiran, three other secretaries, all religious, were in shock.

Not allowed to bring a cup of water to our boss?’ Mali shook her head. Ridiculous!  That is not halacha. That is jealousy and control. Yes, it is ALL subject to discussion.  I wondered in how many ways I too was guilty of making Him into something that He is not…nought be all else to me save that Thou art.

So a young, 25 year old man is taking my place while I’m gone and his name is Daniel. Another one to pray for.  He is a lost soul, searching among bottles of alcohol and the magic mushrooms of Peru for answers.  He was a medic in the IDF and then spent a year trekking all over South America.  He found experiences but no answers.  He found hangovers but no Truth.

I had to call him to wake him up to get to work and now he sat beside me learning to serve these people, and we had fun together. This young lost soul and I – His Grandma’s age.  My boss came out and hugged me.  His “Hurry back well” made me smile.  How MUCH I battled to learn this job at the beginning and how much he would have loved to fire me. BUT GOD!  WHO IS RICH IN MERCY, HAD OTHER PLANS.

He still has other plans!

Our Prime Minister is currently in India being warmly received.  The country watches with interest.  The IDF destroyed another terror tunnel yesterday between Gaza and the borders of both Israel AND Egypt, he third tunnel of late. And the country watches.  Today inspectors at the port intercepted another HUGE shipment of weapons and military gear and uniforms – destination was to be Gaza Strip. And the country watches.  Last night Mahmud Abbas of the PLO made a scathing speech to the Palestinian parliament, really putting it out there and saying honestly what we all knew, that he totally rejects any legitimacy of the existence of Israel.  Everyone listened.

We see through a glass darkly still.  We think we know more than we do.  His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts way above ours and we’ve been purchased by Him at such a high price. We can only bow down and worship.

I have to tell you what happened.  Oh glory to God!

I received a generous surprise gift.  Very thankful. I sought for His direction as to how to share it and I felt strongly as if He said, “WAIT.  I have gone before you and you will see the need.” So I put it aside, but NOT FOR LONG.

Last Sunday (a regular work day here…Saturday being our Sabbath, Shabbat) I did a month’s worth of shopping AND a month’s worth of cooking.  Like the rich fool in chapter 12 of Luke I looked in my refrigerator and freezer, and satisfied I said to myself something like, “I will store all my crops and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease;'”

Out of context?  Yes!  But you get the idea.  I felt pretty good about MY work.

Tuesday I came home and went to make lunch for my husband, BUT, when I opened the refrigerator I was hit by a blast of HEAT and a STENCH.  My refrigerator had DIED.  My husband checked the motor and sure enough – dead.  The frozen food was all that was left, but to save that we would have to go and buy another refrigerator NOW. And to get delivery the same day would take a miracle.

I prayed.  I thought to the gift that had gone before us and went and got it as we called our son in law.  He was in Tel Aviv but said that he would return immediately to help us.  If we, an older couple without great Hebrew and understanding of the system went to buy a frig, we would have ended up paying double and we knew that.

Yitzhak came home at about 4p.m. and we began our search.  He took us to a place where we bargained and I found what I wanted BUT ALAS IF I WANTED IT TODAY – THERE WAS ONLY A DIFFERENT ONE  AVAILABLE.  THE MIRACLE WAS THNAT I HAD PERFECT PEACE.

We were tired and it was late.  The gift, the provision that went ahead was enough to cover the entire cost.  By 10 p.m., we had a new refrigerator. The frozen food had mostly been saved and I HAD THIS PEACE.

Do you remember the PEACE, that PERFECT SILENT PEACE that you had in your heart when He first came in and took possession of you?  Where had all of that NOISE gone?  That has GOT to be one of the most amazing things.  HIS HAND upon our hearts and the holy stillness that comes to that trembling heart.

Oh what a gift!  I can only shout GLORY!

And it is with that peace that I head to the hospital on Wed.  Yes, I do not have fear, but His peace.  Thank you for your prayers.  Thank you for bearing with me and encouraging me and for the joy of being part of one another in Him.  MAY HE BE OUR VISION, JUST AS HE IS and may we be held safe in Him, as He is, until that perfect day.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Filed under Christianity, Gifts of the Spirit, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Inside Israel

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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, DEAREST Sisters and Brothers in Yeshua, King of kings and Lord of lords.  May HE be glorified and blessed and may you be blessed and encouraged.

I road to the airport with our oldest daughter for a bittersweet parting following a very short but wonderful five day visit. On the way to the airport the sheroot (ten seater van) was full of talkative Israelis, Hebrew flowing back and forth.

Now the return trip was carrying tourists, mostly first-timers, up to Jerusalem.  I dozed on and off, hugging my daughter in my mind while listening to the hum of English and German and the driver’s radio droning on in Hebrew.  I listened to the comments and questions that the visitors. Suddenly I picked up the words on the radio … discussions, interviews, dates…1967, 1973, 1976, 1954. My ears tuned in.

There was a discussion going on about our history: the wars, attacks, and events.  As we drove past the farms and forests I began to pray for the land and for the visitors. There is just so MUCH history here, line upon line, event upon event. It becomes way too hard to even begin to explain, to share with newbie’s.  We passed the tank- sentinel memorials to the War of Independence and the battles for Jerusalem.  We passed the huge cemetery high on a hill coming into Jerusalem, but they were looking out of the other window, snapping photos of a large group of ultra orthodox waiting for a bus.

“How much will they understand, Lord?” I prayed.  “Open their eyes, and the understanding of their hearts.  Give them divine appointments. Give them discernment, concerning both facts and Truth and guard this Your land where You chose to reveal Yourself.”

I thought about how the recent history of our nation was being proclaimed on the radio at that very moment, but in a language that was not understood by those who did not know this land that were visiting.  It crossed my mind to take over and give them an unasked for tour and history lesson, but I was so tired. It wasn’t HIS Spirit pressing me, but my own thoughts. So I sat and prayed.

WHAT’S UP IN ISRAELI CURRENT EVENTS

My thoughts turned to our borders: the events heating up on all of them, on the BDS movement, on the destruction of housing in Judea and Samaria, the tunnels being built under the border from Gaza into Israel, the huge Isis attack in Egyptian Sinai, Iran on our Northern border in Lebanon, and so forth. Did you know about the tunnel that Israel destroyed from Gaza into Israel and about Israel attacking Iranian bases in Syria…

I often get the impression that most of you keep up with Israeli news and don’t need to hear any of it from me.  Indeed, some of you are better versed than I am concerning our history, geography and current events.   But then I receive emails and input from MANY others who say that they don’t find a source that they can depend upon, and ask many good questions. I’m sharing this section for you.

It would SEEM as if the apparent ending of the awful, heart wrenching Syrian war would be a good thing for Israel and none of us dare say that it isn’t. We ALL want peace and grieve because of the bloodshed.  IN FACT, I was surprised to find out how MANY people don’t know about the thousands of Syrians that have been treated in Israeli hospitals through an fascinating network. It has been nothing but miraculous, as our two countries are still in a declared state of war and have no diplomatic ties.

It began with desperate Syrians approaching the border fence under cover of darkness with their wounded children. Israeli soldiers take the injured to our hospitals and bring them back when they are well.  It has grown to include adults, pregnant women, the ill, and so forth. Soon provision were being sent from here to there. WHO?  We have never asked.  People needed help…we helped.

I stand to testify that this is what Israelis do.  Silently, secretly, the stream got surprisingly wide: the results even more surprisingly.  Over and over Syrians said, “We have always been told that Israelis are our worst enemy, the cruelest ones on earth, but we see that we have been taught lies…” In the midst of this awful conflict something amazing has been taking place, face to face and one on one.

In the mean time, Iran (Syria’s ally, Biblical Persia with the avowed goal of our destruction) has been building huge military bases on our northern border, within our sight.  This is quite a dilemma: ISIS fighting on one side and Iran on the other, both in pursuit of our total destruction.  While other nations joined forces to defeat the awful foe ISIS in the Iraqi/Syrian area, they unwittingly became enablers of Iran, a VERY smart country historically, ancient and part of the Biblical scheme.  It is painful to admit that while they were all fighting one another, we were relatively safe.  They are poised to turn their attentions toward Jerusalem – the prize.

Another result of the defeat of ISIS to the north of us is that ISIS has scattered, splintered, and of course, used the Internet to recruit.  Egypt, directly on our Southern border, is experiencing awful waves of attacks, mainly in the Sinai (the area that we returned to them). The last mosque attack just 2 weeks ago killed at least 300 people.  These violent militant groups are spreading across our southern border, to the loud applause of the people of Gaza.

GAZA!  How interesting it is to read the Biblical thread strung by Gaza throughout the scriptures.  So the world applauded the peace between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (Abbas’ Fatach party, recognized by the west) and militant Hamas so that restrictions upon Gaza could be lifted.  BUT THERE IS A PROBLEM.  Hamas has not changed

A TUNNEL was destroyed.  It was a tunnel being dug from Gaza into the Nation of Israel under the border into a border village. It was to exit under a kindergarten in Israel.  These tunnels into Israel serve ONE purpose only: to murder and kidnap.  Israel has developed a method of detecting and destroying these tunnels. There were 12 engineers in the tunnel at the time of this one’s destruction, whose bodies were on our side of the border.  Some of these engineers were higher ups in the terror network.  The ire of Gaza was released against Israel because we would NOT return these bodies for an honorable burial.

You MAY remember that Gaza has held the bodies of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul since the last war with Gaza, leaving their families anguished.  They also are holding 2 mentally challenged Israelis, one of Ethiopian descent, Avraham Mengistu, and a Bedouin man, both of who crossed into Gaza of their own accord during the conflict.  They are presumed alive, but we don’t know.  Israel has been trying to bring about their release to no avail, and now this cry went up from the Palestinian leadership, “See how inhumane these Israelis are? First they dare to blow up our tunnel and now they refuse to release our poor murdered sons.”

If it were not true, it would be laughable, but there is much support from the international community for these claims.

To our East there is much talk about our relations with Saudi Arabia and other nations who recognize the threat of Iran, but I have lived here long enough, and actually LIVED long enough to learn that where there is much talk, there is much speculation and TRUTH is a rare occurrence. So I will not comment.

I share these things with you – the events here often sound fearsome – but as believers here we are NOT AFRAID!  His promises are real bread and there simply IS no fear where perfect love exists.  His grace IS sufficient, so I hope that my sharing of the events around us does not leave you with any feeling that we are in fear.  GOD IS FAITHFUL and we believe HIM.  Period.

May we each be ones who refresh each other’s spirit.  May we be empty vessels, so easily broken that His Torch may burn brightly to those sitting in darkness. May the horn we blow be only HIS and may HE RECEIVE ALL OF THE GLORY!

Lovingly,

your sis J

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Inside Israel

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

This is little different this week. The following article is from Israel Prayer Center in Jerusalem. It’s the 11/10/2017 prayer and intercession update. I recommend that you go to the website and subscribe to it today.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind as to the outcome of Israel’s restoration in the last days; it will be glorious.  “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he has prepared for him that waits for him.” Isaiah 64:4

The promises of God to Israel are as good as done, (in that they are sure). For “God is not a man, that He should lie,  Nor a son of man, that He should repent.  Has He said, and will He not do?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Num. 23:19

Heaven and earth will pass away but His words, will by no means pass away. Matt. 24:35

But it is this very confidence, that we have, that can lead us into a ‘laid back’ attitude in prayer regarding Israel’s security and current struggle against its enemies (too numerous to list here). 

I have often found a ‘breezy’ attitude among our dear Christian friends who care deeply for Israel and God’s restoration plan for her. It is not uncommon to hear Christians dismiss Israel’s foes lightheartedly citing scriptural precedents and events where God powerfully intervened on Israel’s behalf to save her from her enemies. (See Joshua 10:10-112Chronicles 20Isaiah 37:36-38)    

This kind of attitude unnerves me, to be honest. 

There have been times when Israel’s future lay in the balance; such as in 1973, in the Day of Atonement war. So desperate was the leadership, that Moshe Dayan repeatedly “used a phrase that he would repeat in the coming days to the dismay of all who heard him. “The Third Temple,” he told Peled, “is in danger.”  (“The Third Temple was a metaphor for the modern state of Israel.”) 1

Having lived through this war, and having tasted that war as a reserve soldier, I can tell you that I cannot and will not take Israel’s existence for granted. 

“To envision a failure of the air force on top of a failure of the intelligence services would be pushing imagination to the point of perversity. Even more difficult to imagine was Egyptian infantry stopping Israeli armor. If anyone of these scenarios became a reality, it would pose a major challenge. If all three became a reality—meaning neutralization of the IDF’s intelligence, air force, and armor—Israel faced catastrophe.” 1

There was a failure on all of those three factors. This happened for many reasons which we cannot go into, but the reality was that Israel had failed to prepare for such an existential war that it was facing. Presumption, arrogance, misguided thinking all blinded Israel’s leaders, both political and military, which put Israel in grave danger. 

One would think that Israel learned its lesson once and for all. Not true! We have, in the past, also underestimated Hezbollah as a ragtag enemy that could easily be dispatched, and  we have minimized Hamas as well. 

None of this is meant to depress us or discourage us, but rather to awaken us to earnest in prayer. We must battle in prayer for the Word of God to be fulfilled. We must contend with God in the same manner that many of those who have gone before us have.

In all the biblical events cited above, in which God intervened, earnest prayer was an active ingredient. Joshua prayed while fighting a battle, Isaiah and Hezekiah prayed in the midst of a siege, Jehoshaphat’s prayed in the midst of an invasion. Earnest prayer was lifted to the Lord in the face of a real and present danger. None of these men presumed God would ‘do something’ just because they were God’s people, or because they were God-fearing, God seeking and God-loving men. They prayed and God answered!

Modern day examples of earnest prayer battles abound. Just read “Rees Howells Intercessor”, or, “Samuel Rees Howells, A Life of Intercession: The Legacy of Prayer and Spiritual Warfare of an Intercessor.” 

Interestingly that book recounts the prayer battle the Bible College engaged in, during the Day of Atonement war. 

“In October 1973, on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (as the nation was in solemn contemplation), there was a surprise attack on Israel from her neighbours, who were heavily armed with military technology from the Soviet Union. Samuel called the College back to prayer as the Holy Spirit led through another spiritual conflict characterised by many great miracles. After the great victories of this intense spiritual struggle, Samuel aged sixty-one celebrated the triumph of their intercession, as he read reports of the battle to the College. “In the Yom Kippur War, with Egypt’s greater numbers they should have been in Beersheba within twenty-four hours. The Arabs had more weapons and better weapons. In the early stages of the war, three out of every five Israeli jets were shot down. Israel suffered terrible causalities. Then Egypt crossed into Sinai, and the Syrians took much of the Golan Heights. Egypt and Syria should have beaten Israel.” Then Samuel praised the Lord for answered prayer. “If God hadn’t intervened in the Sinai Desert and if He hadn’t intervened in the Golan Heights everything would have been over. With the arms at the Syrians disposal, they should have been in Tiberias at the end of the first day. Who saved that nation? It was the Lord!” 2

Thank God for those intercessors. While Israel was fighting for its life, the intercessors were fighting for Israel in the heavenly realm. God did intervene; the Day of Atonement war ended with an amazing victory, but we should not forget the huge cost of life for that victory. The failure of the leadership in Israel prior to the 73’ war, was dangerous and extremely costly in human lives and materiel. In the same way, abandoning prayer, or praying without a true sense of the need, or without an understanding of the seriousness of the situation will prove costly. 

God is sovereign, but that should lead us into intercession not into presumption. God is sovereign, but he looks for intercessors (Isaiah 59:16Isaiah 64:7)

We should be as watchmen who are left to guard, to watch and pray while the rest of the city is asleep. We should continually lift Israel and her leadership, before the Lord that they should be awake and make ready to face all eventualities.

May the Lord stir your heart, awaken it both to the promises but also to the dangers Israel faces today. And may you be led to give yourself to intercession and prayer.

Blessings from Jerusalem,

Israel Prayer Center

_______________________________________________________
1 Abraham Rabinovich. “The Yom Kippur War.”
2 Maton, Richard A.; Paul Backholer; Mathew Backholer. Samuel Rees Howells, A Life of Intercession: The Legacy of Prayer and Spiritual Warfare of an Intercessor

Don’t forget go to Israel Prayer Center and subscribe to it today.

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Inside Israel

 

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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 —

Beloved brothers and sisters in The Lord, Messiah Yeshua, Jesus Christ, to Whom all blessing and honor and glory and love belong in God The Father, The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is THE fullness and truly worthy of ALL praise

First – as briefly as possible- I will let you know that due to an assortment of yet unhealed physical problems, I have had a rather large number of hernias.  I also have bleeding and other blood issues and do NOT respond well to surgical procedures, of which I have already had way too many.

Ten years ago I had an incarcerated epigastric hernia. The dangers of incarceratied hernia include gangrene, much like a burst appendix. At the time I was hospitalized for surgery and laid fasting on my back for 5 days while none of the surgeons who saw me were willing to take the risk of surgery because of my complications. They taught me how to push it in and told me to return to emergency if it became incarcerated again.

Last Tuesday night I awoke – and it had happened again, and could not be pushed in until 6 hours later in the emergency room. However the surgeon insisted that it HAD to be repaired NOW.

No, I have not had surgery yet.

So, it is now one week later. I again have laid on my back in the hospital while the surgical teams have debated the risks. NORMALLY, this is a rather simple surgery. Plus, I also have had bronchitis, with fever and difficulty in breathing. Yes, my husband had been away until this past Friday, but is now home!

So now I am home and resting for a while. Today, for the first time, I am feeling a bit stronger and able to sit up and write.

I have had a LOT of blessed prayer and am CERTAIN that God has it all in HIS plan and under His control. That’s just Who He IS. And I am surely nobody “special” and definitely NOT more loved than any other believer. JUST ONE OF HIS SHEEP, AND THAT IS OUR PORTION, AND I TRUST HIM FULLY FOR HIS HEALING, HIS TIMING, AND HIS PERFECT WILL.

But HE can make Himself known in hospitals too!

Even when we are feeling far from Him and feeling sorry for ourselves, but if we are willing…

So I have some ‘stories’!

I guess we all have these sort of day-dreams, right?

Since I was very young I wanted to be a Light House keeper, a shepherdess, and a forest lookout station keeper. Yep, I was a loner.

While in the hospital I was having a very difficult time staying focused on The Lord and even reading His Word. This is following two and a half weeks of a rich time with Him in His Word while my husband was away. I was getting more and more fretful seeming unable to stay on Him and to wash in His Word.

Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital sits on a mountain overlooking the Jerusalem Forest, which is surprisingly large. Even the view from the 2nd floor is lovely, but I was on the 6th floor with an expansive view. The new wing of the hospital includes some really lovely secluded sitting areas, fully windowed, with just a chair or two. With a determination I took my Bible on Shabbat and found an empty one.  I settled myself in the chair and looked over the quiet forest and said, “Lord…”and that was about it!

Along came a religious man to recite his prayers. I decided to wait until he was finished. As I waited, trying to focus on reading but not succeeding, I looked up over the forest and just thanked Him for His beauty. As I did, I saw a puff of smoke, followed shortly by an angry plume, coming up in an area between two roads, but nowhere near either of them.

Perhaps campers started a fire, I reasoned, and kept watching. The fire grew and I realized that I was in fact, watching the beginning of a forest fire. The wind was coming up and bringing it toward the hospital.

I ran to the nurse and said, “There is a fire starting in the forest! I do not have the fire department number and I think we need to call!”

The overworked nurse slowly looked up and peered at me skeptically over the top of her glasses. I continued undaunted. “It is heading toward the hospital!”

Ok, that got her.  She skeptically dragged herself toward the window, expecting to find nothing. But then she saw it and realized that is was indeed the beginnings of what could quickly be an out of control fire. She turned and ran back and called the fire brigade.

I settled down into my now deserted corner and watched. From the way that the smoke was moving, the fire was indeed raging, bursting here and there, but after a fair amount of time I noticed that it now seemed contained to one area, and was no longer spreading.  Without being able to see any fire fighters, the smoke became angry as if it were fighting back. Then suddenly, after a half an hour or so, it went out. The whole scene must have lasted little more than an hour, I think.

I sat there for a long time in my corner-turned-watchtower, turning the incident over before The Lord who seemed near again. “Okay, Lord. What was THAT about?  What are You trying to tell me? And what am I supposed to DO with the things that I see?’ I asked Him.

“Watch and tell,” was the sum of what I felt He said to my heart.

May The Lord make us all FAITHFUL in our part. So I will try to watch and to LISTEN (a part of watching)  and to tell faithfully.

And then I met Rasheed.

Perhaps you recognize that as an Arab name, as it is.

In Israeli hospitals, the activity begins on Sunday and the rooms fill up quickly. There is continual pressure and activity. The aim is to discharge as many patients as possible by Friday, before Shabbat begins. On Shabbat the hospital can be pretty empty.

It was on a Thursday that I first met Rasheed. He was heading the cleaning crew and came in with a loud, “Shalom, coolum.”  (Shalom everybody.) He had a big smile.  It was lovely.

I smiled back and he joyfully went about his work. Then he came over for a break and sat down with me. We were soon talking. This is VERY much the Israeli way, in that everyone talks to everyone and nothing is considered too personal.

He was very likeable, warm and inquisitive.  After the initial questions about where I came from and why and many questions about Alaska, I began asking him about himself.

“I LOVE learning.” he said.  “I read in three languages and love to read anything.”

His Hebrew was good, although I’m not the best judge, but his English was weak.

I asked him if he was a Christian.

“No, I am a Moslem,” he answered. “But I have read your Tenach and love the stories…”

I wondered which ones. David bringing the foreskins of the Philistines to Saul? Joshua conquering the land?

I asked him if he had also read the New Testament (Brit h’hadisha) but he was unfamiliar with the word in Hebrew or English. So I said, “The part about Jesus.”

He looked at me in surprise. “Are you a Christian?” he asked.

“I am a Messianic Jew,” I answered. “So, I am Jewish and yes, I am a disciple of Jesus and follow Him.”

His story began to unfold. He is 28 and has six sons − three of his own and three that he had to raise up as seed for his dead. His brother was killed fourteen years ago.

My mind immediately jumped to the fact that fourteen years ago, we were in the midst of a terribly bloody intifada.  He then told me that twelve years ago his father also had an accident and has been unable to work ever since.  Pieces of his story began to emerge:

Rasheed said that he was a teacher but that it is hard teaching in the Old City, so he is back in Teacher’s College now − near our apartment − getting his Master’s Degree. He wants to teach Special Ed as his first son has trouble speaking. So, he is working on a cleaning crew and going for his Master’s Degree, raising 6 sons because of a dead brother and injured father.

When I asked about his wife he told me that she lost her mind and is no longer in the picture so he must care for all of the boys. Plus, he has osteoporosis and fibromyalgia but he must be strong for them and never show them that he is really weak and that SOMEHOW he must keep going. He wanted them to go to he university, but he is so very, very tired.

My antenna went up. He had every reason possible to carry out an attack. More and more of the “lone wolf attackers” have difficult personal problems and use this form of suicide to solve their problems.  First, they are celebrated as a hero, a martyr, which makes them the strongest of the strong and respected. The financial problems of the family are solved as the Palestinian Authority pays the family a very large monthly salary, the price of a “shahid” or martyr.his family is cared for.  Thirdly, it is a way out of his seemingly impossible life.

The whole time we were talking I was looking deeply into his eyes but there was a veil there.  I also saw two fires. One very soft and kind and loving. The other, very wicked and flashing with hatred. Staring steadfastly into the center of his eyes I said, “Rasheed, how do you keep your heart tender and soft?”

He looked confused, “I do not understand these words, tender and soft.”

In Hebrew I said, “You know the word ‘ka’shey (hard)? Well, soft is the opposite.”

“I never thought about that,” he answered.

“But I think that this is a very important question because you have a very hard life. You could easily let your heart grow bitter and full of hate, this must not happen because love is the source of life.”

He looked surprised. We spoke only a little more and then someone came to call him back to work.  He hugged me and thanked me and told me that he liked me very much and would come back and talk more.

When I was left alone, I became concerned. Yes, for him, but also, being a Jerusalemite, the alarm bells went off in my inner being that this could be a dangerous situation, so I alerted a few for prayer. I lifted him in prayer. Please pray for his salvation.

How grateful I am to Him for His creative opportunities.  May we all be found faithful…wise as serpents, gentle as doves, for His glory.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Inside Israel

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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 —

“Chag Sameach!” or Joyous Holy-day from Jerusalem, dear sisters and brothers.  BLESSINGS IN THE LIGHT OF YESHUA to each of you.  To the Light of His Face may we be drawn and in that Light may we be changed by Him and for HIS glory Alone.  May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and encouraged.

I wondered what I would do.  This year, for the first time, I did NOT seem to have Sukkot (feast of tabernacles) on my mind or in my heart.  WHAT TO DO?

“LORD HELP!”  I prayed.

Since we live in this apartment, it is difficult to make our merepesset (balcony) into a sukka, and with my husband away, the difficulty is compounded.

He left for England to visit our older daughter and family early yesterday morning.  I was up at 3 a.m. to have some time with the Lord and have his breakfast on the table by 4.  We have a system here that I think is great: the sheroot.  Any of you who have visited Israel will likely at this point roll your eyes, laugh, and remember a weird and harrowing ride to or from the airport.

Sheroots are generally 9-11 seater vans that pick you and your luggage up at your apartment for about a third of the price of a taxi. Only, the drivers are humorous and sometimes grumpy total maniacs. It can be scary, downright terrifying for the uninitiated.  The assortment of people, languages, and cultures in any given sheroot can be an education. The cell phones can be maddening.  I find it funny.

The sheroot came to pick him up at APPROXIMATELY 5 a.m. A quick prayer and kiss and they were off…and there I stood.

Alone!

It was still very quiet, except for the garbage truck. At 5:15, the second morning train appears and stops for 10 minutes in front of our apartment until the 5:30 schedule gets flowing. Public transportation here does NOT run through the night but stops at 11 or 12, depending upon the line, and begins again at 5:30 a.m. It also does not run on Shabat or holy days.

As I crossed in front of the train I glanced up to see the driver.  She happened to be a woman and was intently powdering her nose in the mirror of the train. For some reason unknown to me, I began to breathe again and to feel some life come back into me and laugh.

Although I had been up for two hours already, I knew that much lay before me. I wouldn’t see my bed again for at least 15 hours.

One of our very dear brothers at Kehila lost his father on Yom Kippur.  We knew that he was taking it hard. Despite MUCH prayer and sharing, and the fact that he was with his father when he passed, his father had not turned his life over to Yeshua before dying that he knew about. I knew his grief was deep.  It is a common situation here sadly, painfully, to find ONE member of a family who knows Him. It is my situation still as well

I have explained before about the Schiva or the practice of sitting in a place of mourning for 7 days with the door open. EVERYONE comes to comfort you, to talk, share, remember, bringing food and eating WITH the grieving people. They do this so the mourning family can keep their strength up and also are distracted somewhat from focusing on their profound loss.  In this case, because Sukkot is a high holyday, one commanded in scripture, they had to get up from thjeir mourning at noon today, so the schiva was shortened.

Our brother and his family live in Modiin, a town or small city half way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  It is over the green line so we need to go through check points.  My dear sister, who is 83, offered to take me because we don’t have a car. I knew it was going to be interesting when she said, “I’m not sure how to get there but you can direct me and read the signs as I can’t see very well.”

I rode with her to Kehila on Shabbat so I know that she has a habit of just stopping in the middle of the road while she’s driving along the highway to decide if she’s going right. Armed with MUCH PRAYER, a 2005 map, and a vague address, we took off into the hills.  An hour and a half later we were stopping people in the town asking for directions.

“Give me your phone, I’ll set up your way (the local GPS) for you,” said one young man when we showed him the map.  He didn’t know what a map was.  We handed him in our phones and he couldn’t figure out what THEY were either.

“I’ll photograph the directions for you,” he kindly told us, “where is the camera?”

The generation gap was physically tangible!

BUT being lost in Modiin had one great advantage.  EVERYBODY and I mean EVERYBODY was busy building their sukkas, the old fashioned way AND I CAUGHT THE VISION AGAIN.

Here in Jerusalem over the years these sort of instant sukkas became more and more popular: either a plywood shack with a bamboo mat cover or pre-fab metal poles that hook together with prepared stamped design material walls. You know, a plastic Christmas tree approach.

When we first came to Jerusalem, everyone had palm frond roofs with rugs and assorted material walls. They were very creative and special.  In Modiin people were everywhere carrying branches and palm fronds and woven rugs made the sides. I smiled dspite the fact that we were heading to a schiva to comfort our brother.

My joy increased as we sat in a full room, off to the side with our brother, and found that The Lord HAD INDEED been encouraging his heart and the victory was all over him.  Our Lord is faithful! We had wonderful fellowship, encouraging one another with the faithfulness of The Lord.   I came home alive, inspired, victorious and exhausted.

But there ARE sukkas everywhere here as well, pre-fab and not. They are in front of every restaurant, alongside the bus stops, at the supermarket, on sidewalks, housetops, in parks, and so forth.  I, along with the other inhabitants of Jerusalem, have been delighted by what the Lite Rail has done, taking school children’s drawings and patterning them like a quilt design, printing them on a long strip like wallpaper. They plastered the ceilings of the train with these colorful rug designs.   It’s delightful.   I love to walk the dog at night and see the lights inside and the shadows of the families, laughter ringing out as they celebrate together in their homes. Many will sleep and eat there for the full 7 days.

Anyone can go into anyone’s sukka and just sit down and soon you are friends with everyone. It is a country of open houses right now as we participate in His pattern to: ‘REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US WHEN HE BROUGHT US OUT OF EGYPT WITH A STRONG OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND WE DWELT IN TEMPORARY, FLIMSY DWELLINGS.”

We get to look up at the vast sky filled with dreams of universes of stars through the God-made network of branches and tree limbs and remember how small and finite we are. He is HUGE and INFINITE!

HOW BLESSED WE ARE IN THIS!  Would that we LEARN and bend our stiff necks to worship and not forget…

It was such a short time ago that I wrote to you about the almond blossoms and the tiny first buds of the rimon (pomegranate).  Today as I arrived at work, the trees on the block were full of bursting red, ripe pomegranates.  The almond tree in front of my work is dropping its ripe almonds.

The fullness of time HAS COME!

I am writing now BECAUSE I was alone tonight in my sort-a-non-sukka-sukka.  When I walked the dog, we cut many leafy branches, including a couple of small palm fronds, olive branches, pomegranate branches, fig branches, but I couldn’t make a ceiling nor really hang up sides. So I assembled something leafy. We have a big leafy tree that hangs over our merepesset, so I look up and smile, and give thanks to HIM Who cares so tenderly and is so totally faithful, EVEN WHEN WE WALK THROUGH FIRES AND FLOODS, We must gaze at the gates of death.

So on this, the first night of Sukkot, I am finally off to bed.  Thank you for taking the time to read, thank you for your love, thank you for the encouragement that I receive through many of you, but mostly, thank you for your prayers and for being a delight to Him Who is worthy.!

God BLESS you!

Lovingly, your sis

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