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Inside Israel

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 The Name of Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ, our Lord to Whom belongs ALL glory and praise and honor.  May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and encouraged.

God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. (Psalm 140:7)

The streets are again full of people who are breathing more easily and laughing and arguing.  The cease fire proclaimed somewhere between 5:30- 6:30 am this morning had their last few (5 or 6) breaches but seems to be holding now.  The crossing to bring goods into Gaza (Keren-Shalom crossing) has re-opened. Different commentators say different thing, different critics criticize different things, different prophets are proclaiming different things.  I am privy to no “inside information” but my heart is asking for The Holy Spirit to open my ears to Him.

Most of my letters are written in the midst, and this one is no exception.  As the rockets flew and my days crossed them flying like a weavers shuttle, I was asked to share with a group here on tour.  It has been a while since I have spoken in public, and I was asked to share the testimony of my aliyah experience. I realized that I have never shared that in full before with anyone.  The best that I can do in way of preparation is a combination of reading reading reading The Word, being on my knees before Him Who Alone has things of LIFE to share. While before Him, casting my thoughts back along the path that I have walked.

As I shared last night with this humble, hungry, loving,  alive group, I realized that most of you know very little  of the path that has brought my family and I here, to the center of Jerusalem where The Lord told me: “What you see – what you hear – write.”

As the fighting began I was about to tell you about our buses which I see daily.  When I got on the 77 a few days ago, the ceiling was strung with Israeli flags.  I noticed a flag in the front window, along with the usual array of flowers, chatchkas, and notes.  I smiled and thanked the driver for the flags.  No doubt they were to encourage us all in the midst of the political mud that has kept us from having a functioning government.

I thought back to the first time I got on an Israeli public city bus and was immediately assailed by the stark difference to any bus I that I had ever been on.  First of all, the music was blaring. Each bus driver has his own taste and I can hear a full array of music as well as talk shows and news. It is up to the driver BECAUSE it is, hum, well SORT OF like a co-operative.

I think that things have changed somewhat, but when we came bus drivers took their buses home at night and parked them in the street.  At times you would see a bus driver with his family on an outing instead of hauling passengers.  Likewise each driver decorates his bus to express his individual opinions.  More and more I do see undecorated buses, but nevertheless, it is part of our society. It’s color and taste.

We have moved to smart cards for tickets, but in the days of paper-punchy cards purchased from the driver, it never ceased to amaze me to watch people entering through the rear door of a crowded bus and pass up to strangers 100 shekel bills to make their purchase.  Their ticket and complete change was returned via the same route. Hand over hand of strangers on the crowded bus.

So, how did we end up here?  Where bus rides are filled with colorful people sharing deep and wonderful stories in assorted languages with anyone who is nearby. Such a tapestry of life displayed daily before my eyes in the hustle and bustle on pressures and responsibilities.

As I told the brothers and sisters last night, we may well be the most qualified people here to write a booklet on how NOT to make aliyah!

My husband is Native Aleut (Alaskan Native) and not Jewish:  I am the Jewish partner. Although I was raised as a traditional Jew in a fully Jewish family in NY, USA, it had been many years since I had been part of a Jewish community.  I identified with the life of Native Americans and had lost myself in their midst when The Lord found me.

So how can I share this story?  And, should I?  It will have to be in short chunks…piece by piece if it is to be done, for it is very long. 25 years here. 17 years from the “call” and “the promise.”

Let’s see what happens.

The word Aliyah means “to go up.”  For a Jew to come home to Israel is considered “going up” spiritually.  Every Jew by birth (the genetic testing popular today is not accepted) has the right of return, to make Aliyah, to come home and to become an Israeli citizen.

I had NO (as in minus zero) desire in myself to EVER make aliyah.  Indeed, I had never set foot in Israel until the day that “I came home.”

Now, this is ONE thing that is NOT generally advised!

BUT, since we are just getting word that another rocket was just intercepted, I will leave this story to perhaps continue at a later date.

May you and I be filled with The Holy Spirit afresh for His glory.  May He grant us discernment and keep us each from deception in these days…may He find our hearts humble, before Him, with one another.

Lovingly,

your sis J

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Inside Israel

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 —

Now also many nations have gathered against you, Who say, “Let her be defiled, And let our eye look upon Zion.”  But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, Nor do they understand His counsel; For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor.”   (MICAH 4:11,12)

O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts.  You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord.  They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord!’ But the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed.” (EZEKIEL 13:4-6)

Greetings sisters and brothers,

In The Name of Yeshua, Jesus, King of kings, Lord of lords, the brightness of the image of The Father, our Peace and our greatly anticipated Joy.  May HE be glorified and blessed and may you be encouraged and blessed too through Him. 

How many times can I say, “What times we live in!” and how can I encourage and share when I know so little?  I must go back to what He told me to do from the beginning: “What you see, hear, WRITE.”  

 I see and hear horns of war and drums of unrest and dismay.  This is what I see and hear all around me etched on burdened faces. 

 We still have no government.  We have not had a government for a very long time and things are heating up around us.  We are still not sure if we will have to go to a third round of elections, and if we do, will the results be the same deadlock?  There is grief and discouragement with the uncertainty. 

 The air is hot and dry as a drying wind is blowing across our country.   There has not been a November like this since 2010 when the Carmel forest fire disaster stunned the country. It is hot and dry like that again.  I always listen when the weather here is strange because it often speaks of strange events waiting around the next corner.

 On the bus I was listening to the morning news trying to explain the re-opening of the Iranian nuclear facility at Fordo…and the name jarred me.  There was something particularly foreboding about that plant being deep underground, having been hidden from inspectors. 

The next morning I woke up with the name “Fordo” ringing in my ears. After prayer I went and looked up the meaning: 

translation and definition of “fordo” (English-Persian Dictionary  online):

fordo

IPA: /fɔːˈduː/; Type: verb;

کشتن

(فقط به صورت اسم مفعول) خسته کردن

(قدیمی)

ازپا درآوردن

مرکز هستهای فردو

نابود کردن

To kill, destroy.

To annul, abolish, cancel.

Fordo has a goal, a purpose that is announced in its name. 

At the Friday morning IFI meetings, Chuck has been saying that God appears to be calling the nations to the threshing floor and we are the bait. You know, it does not feel very comfortable to be bait.  Surely the nations around us are boiling.  We do not have a government but we have a promise that the government will be upon HIS shoulders, and I believe that. 

 GOD also has a goal and purposes that are also announced in His Name! 

————————————————————————-

 WELL, I wrote the above two days ago. I was EVEN going to tell you about how our bus drivers individualize their buses, but there is no time to discuss that now.  

You see, we are again in what appears to be the beginnings of a war.  I am sure that most of you know by now (thank you social media even though it’s not always accurate) but I am also sure that some do not know.  So I will share with you what I know.  

 Our south has been under constant increasing low level attack for about a year and a half.  Most of your nations would never allow a few rockets a week or weekly violent riots at your borders or sending of countless incendiary devices over our forests and fields setting them alight to raging fires.  An attack here, a murder there and so many more uncovered and diverted! 

 Apparently the main instigator for most of these attacks has been a charismatic leader of Islamic jihad named Abu Al-Atta. 

At about 4 am yesterday, Israel assassinated him as he was planning an imminent attack.  Concurrently, IT SEEMS, (these reports are less concrete) we MAY have targeted another Islamic jihad leader in Damascus.  The results were and continue to be a barrage of rockets targeting most of our coast into our central region. 

At this point the battle is escalating and Israel is targeting strategic sites in Gaza.  Schools and businesses were closed today for some 2 million people from the Gaza periphery to targeted areas along the coast and into the center.  Tel Aviv was closed down and shelters were opened.  Naturally, we are on high alert. 

At this point, Jerusalem is quiet, but still, Jerusalem is the prize.

So, it is time for prayer, because this is HIS people, HIS city and His nation. HIS plan and purposes are SO much bigger than my puny understanding of it all.  I am thankful for every ray of His light that He shines into me that I might see and understand a bit, but I am finally aware that it is really, only a BIT! 

 I would like to refer you to a fairly accurate site for local news that is continually updates itself on a live basis.  Many of their articles I do not agree with but they seem like the most accurate English source right now:    https://www.timesofisrael.com/

I will close my part of this letter here.  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR FAITHFUL PRAYERS INTO THE PURPOSES OF GOD FOR HIS GLORY.  MAY YOU (AND WE HERE) PRAY HIS HEART AND NOT OURS.  MAY WE GLORIFY HIM AND FINISH THE WORK. 

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Inside Israel

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears (2 Tim 4:1-3)

Greetings with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiach, Who has come and is coming again.  May He be blessed and glorified and may we be made fit for His use.  May you be blessed and encouraged.

Today is the Hoshana Raba – many praises – the LAST day of the Feast of Sukkot. The last day of the three fall feasts as prescribed in Torah.  BUT DON’T LET THAT DECEIVE YOU!

Tomorrow is Simchat Torah, The Joy of Torah, a most wonderful day marking the end of the cycle of reading the first 5 books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) for the year and the beginning again of the cycle.  The end of the book of Deuteronomy is completed and the prescribed reading will begin again with Genesis 1.

The prescribed readings are called the parashat h’shavouah or the weekly portion, and they are on each calendar, newspapers, just about everywhere that a date is printed.

Simchat Torah is that wonderful day when the Torah scrolls are brought out of the synagogues and into the streets with singing and dancing.  Each congregation brings out their own scrolls and parade them through the streets with blessing and joy.  The Torah – The Word of God – held high and danced around with reverence and joy.  One day The Living Word will be recognized in our midst.

It has been an intense time, this season of seasons.  It always is.  The city is filled to overflowing with visitors from over 100 nations to take part in the many Christian conferences, meetings, convocations and celebrations connected with the Feast of Tabernacles.  Others come on their own just to see.

Jews from around the world come to take part.  Schools and many work places are closed.  Sukkas are built in apartments, courtyards and on the sidewalks.  The streets are packed and at the same time so are the nature reserves, the parks and beaches.  The country becomes a big belegan – a pot of spaghetti – thrown up in the air and having as much fun as possible.  Some of you have been a prat of the Jerusalem March, a huge colorful and joyful parade through the center of Jerusalem that greatly encourages the citizens who always leave with a wonder that in the midst of it all there really are supporters who love us. I have in the past watched the encouragement rise of the faces of spectators whom I stood by. It is tangible.

I recently remembered writing from my sukka one year. It was the year that I was so deeply impacted by the gift that God had given us in these appointed feasts.  It was during the very height of the last intifada and we were weary from terror and blood running in the streets, funerals and grief.  NEVERTHELESS, WE HAD TO STOP AND CELEBRATE!  I remember sitting in my flimsy sukka with material walls and branches for a roof looking at the stars so high above and suddenly realizing this gift.  NO MATTER WHAT, WE WERE TO STOP AND REMEMBER GOD.  We are so small and HE IS SO BIG!  War? Yes, BUT GOD IS BIGGER!  Death?  Yes, but HE HAS CONQUORED THE GRAVE!

I recall being in the sukka of a family of dear friends when the first Autumn storm came up.  Remember, we live in a desert and the seasons are distinct.  No rain and only rain.  Sukkot marks the beginning of the rainy season, so we greet the rain with joy, even when it blows your sukka away, which it did that night!  We ran down the street chasing ours while perhaps 50 other families did the same, chasing theirs as the dramatically strong wind brought in the rain.  What laughter and joy in spite of a soggy dinner.

But The Lord DOES speak to us through nature, and although the storms are a blessing, several incidents have me pondering.  There were a number of drownings, terrible deadly car accidents and the powerful storm took even the weathermen by surprise.  The lightning and thunder dramatically preceded short but intense downpours.  But it was a grief to read of the death of a lovely doe eyed 14- year old boy after he and 4 other family members were struck by lightning as they made their way off the beach where they had been.  

            “Asher’s mother told reporters earlier that as religious people she and her family understand things like that can happen and the weather can become lethal.”

There just seemed to be an unusual number of deadly accidents during Sukkot and the other fall feasts this year and of course, our own precious 4 from our kehila such a short time ago.

‘What are You saying, Lord?’

Maybe I’m crazy, but I firmly believe that The Lord is speaking in and through everything.

A dear brother once told me that someone said to him, “Everything isn’t answer to prayer. Some things are coincidences.”

He laughed and said, “Well, when I pray I have a lot of coincidences…when I don’t pray, hum…not so many.”

So, yes, I do see God’s Hand everywhere and His fingerprints comfort me even in the midst of our trials..

People have been asking for my take on the situation between the Kurds, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Russia, the US. I could give you my opinion but there are so many opinions and teachings jumping in to fill that void. Many are interesting, many are very informed, many add into the mix the fact that we still don’t have a government in Israel. And what does THAT mean?  What if we go to A THIRD ELECTION? AND SO ON.  I don’t have the answers, but I DO pray.  I DO see and I DO watch and I pray.

Speaking of prayer, it just occurred to me:  why have I never sent out an invitation to the yearly IFI (intercessors for Israel) prayer conference?  I don’t know, but I would like to now.  Will you pray about coming if The Lord is calling you to?  If you are under 30 and feel that He is calling you to intercession on behalf of Israel, there are scholarships available to help with expenses.  Here is the link:

IFI PRAYER CONFERENCE JERUSALEM – JAN. 2020

This is a short note summing up an intense and wonderful season.  We are off to dinner at our daughter’s house shortly.  I am bringing two types of kubba  with soup, falafel balls, pita, challa, halvah, and a wide variety of middle eastern fair. Wish you could all join and taste!   Tomorrow (the last day that everything including public transportation is closed) is my husband’s 74th birthday. We will celebrate AGAIN with friends and family.   On Wednesday as a gift, we are sending him to London for a week to visit our older daughter and Grandchildren for Noah’s 16th birthday.  WHEW!  If this were the only letter of mine you ever read you might think that we did nothing but celebrate.

And that brings me back to the 2 Tim 4 scripture.

When things are this intense with no let up, we also cannot let up our stance of being ready for the battle.  NEVER!  We cannot be unprepared to answer everyman what is the reason for our hope.  We cannot be unprepared to hear our minute by minute marching orders.  We cannot slack in prayer.  It is life and death!

I watch the young (oh so young!) soldiers and security making their ways through the unbelievable crowds at the shukand I pray for them to be alert, not to be distracted by their cell phones or by conversation or by “selfies.” BE ALERT!  LISTEN!  WATCH!

So it is with us.  We have an unrelenting enemy who is watching for us to be distracted.  This enemy is real and deadly.  Our God is BIGGER!  MAY WE BE FOUND WITH OUR EYES FIXED ON HIS…OUR EARS TUNED TO HEAR HIS VOICE ALONE.

BLESSINGS to you all and chag sameach.  (Joyful Holyday)  May we glorify Him and finish the work.

Lovingly,

Sister J in Jerusalem

 

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Inside Israel

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 with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiach. Oh Lord, be glorified and blessed.  Oh Lord, give us understanding and Your grace to walk in Your will.  May my brothers and sisters be blessed and encouraged.  Thank You for each one.

I was afraid that someone might ask this question and here it came: “Good evening!  is it possible for you to help us understand the Israeli election system and what this dead-lock means?”

 With The Lord’s help, I will do my best, but please understand that I am an immigrant and my understanding is limited.  You will be getting my opinion and observations.  May He anoint for His glory.

The nightmare scenario that we were dreading – happened; yet another deadlock.

“How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced? For from the top of the rocks I see him, And from the hills I behold him; There! A people dwelling alone, Not reckoning itself among the nations. (Numbers 23:8-9)

God DID call us to be a people NOT RECKONED AMONG THE NATIONS and yet that is exactly what we have sought to do more and more.  Just like the body of Messiah is called to come out from among them and be separate, not being conformed to the image of The World, Israel has One Master Who has called us to be separate and different.  As I saw the election results I thought, “We have not sought You, but to be like the nations and we are now JUST like them: DIVIDED!’

I have been praying with Habakkuk –  “Lord, in wrath remember mercy.”  In MY OPINION we are seeing a measure of judgment. I have spoken to others who see this differently.

As I sought to explain, we have 120 seats in the Knesset (our parliament) and our leadership is made up of a coalition government meaning that there is generally a large party (our largest parties for a long time have been the Likud on the right and Labor  on the left.  Labor has become very small but the new party, Blue and White, has risen) which makes agreements with smaller parties and they seek to rule together, to form a coalition.

The minimum amount of seats held sitting in agreement to form a government, must be 61.  The one with less seats forms the opposition.   Each party has a leader.  Prime Minister Netanyahu has been the leader of the Likud, the top party up until now.  It now looks like Blue and White – the newest “biggest party” led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid jointly (in Hebrew ‘cokhol vay lavan’) has 33 seats and Likud 31.  Adding in their natural allies (parties that basically agree with them) so far NEITHER Likud nor Blue and While can gain enough seats to meet the required 61.

Ok.  That is the background in a nutshell.

UNITY GOVERNMENT:  Sounds ideal!

It really DOES work when we are in a war.  Although we are on the verge of war most of the time, we are not currently IN a war.  CAN THEY WORK TOGETHER?  AND WHO IS THE ‘THEY’?  In the past, most unity governments were paralyzed in many areas.

According to the news today, which changes minute by minute and between media outlets, Netanyahu has reached out and asked for a Unity Government.  Our President, NOT a close friend of Netanyahu, said, “That sounded wonderful.”

Benny Gantz said, “NONSENSE” and rejected it.

Somewhere between Sunday and Wednesday, our president, Ruby Rivlin, will name one of them to try to form a coalition government within the 24 or 48 (extended) day period.  The coalition negotiations will begin.  IF NEITHER SIDE CAN FORM A GOVERNMENT … WE MUST AGAIN GO TO ELECTIONS…for the third time.  MEANWHILE, Prime Minister Netanyahu SHOULD find out if he is being indicted or not.

Most people seem to want a Unity Government at this point as the best for the nation, but to get the parties to agree to this and iron it out is more nasty, muddy work.  We have had a fair amount of Unity Governments in the past.  There was one since we have been here and a number of times in the 70s and 80s.  We must now PRAY and wait and see and PRAY!

I will keep this short as I want to write to you about Rosh h’Shana coming a week from Sunday night.

Your sister,

J

P. S. Here are two links that have good explanations concerning our elections:

honestreporting-chaos- Israel Democracy…an explainer

Rivlin: I will do all I can to avoid third round of elections (Explaining President’s role)

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Inside Israel

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 —

Very warm greetings with love, in the name of Yeshua.  All honor and glory to Him, but oh how He loves His own and it is an honor to write to you and to ask that He would bless and encourage each one of you.  May He Alone be glorified and blessed.

Shalom!  He really paused me and had me think of each one of you, not of what I am writing, but of you who are being written to. And yes, it stopped me in my tracks to worship Him. Truly may He be glorified.

It is the month of Elul and in the morning I hear the shofarim(rams horn) being blown both is synagogues and homes. The call to heshbone nefeshor taking an account of one’s soul, the month of searching.  We as believers, are blessed to pray daily with The Lord:  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:22-24)

But my people do things according to set times and cycles, and this month of Elul is a month for laying the soul bare before The Lord.  On the train and on the bus each morning I watch many praying through Psalms or a sidur(prayer book for the season) with the intensity that says Elul is here.

Along the street that leads to my work, the pomegranates (rimonim), grapes (anavim), and figs (tenimim) are ripening quickly.  It dazzles my eyes so I begin to count for you: bay leaves, olive trees, rosemary, almond trees, mulberry trees, banana and date, olive and lemon trees, flowering trees all around, wild parrots flying above. I can barely take it in on this one street.   The streets of Jerusalem, my home, am I dreaming?  Morning by morning I re-read the prophecies and see them fulfilled with my eyes and understand that it is a deposit and that ALL of The Word will indeed be fulfilled because He IS Faithful.

The shuk is loaded with colorful fruits, spices, vegetables and nuts. Holiday wares are making their way onto tables. New table cloths, all sorts of special gifts.  The aroma is sweet and spicy and the colors are beyond description.  In my own preparations I am trying to carefully pace myself and plan ahead and pray. There will be many festive meals, guests, gifts to give, all while working, and my energy levels are older.  It is a wonderful, hectic time.  It is an ancient time. I am enclosing a partial list of scriptures that both command and speak about these 3 fall feasts: rosh h’shanna(trumpets), yom kippur (atonement) and sukkot (tabernacles) at the end of the letter.  It is worth reading through, pondering and praying and wondering how a people, EVEN AFTER A 2,000 YEAR DISPERSION, can yet keep these.  Surely The Lord is displaying part of His secret things.

 

He is faithful even when we stand before impossible elections again.  This coming Tuesday, the 17th, Israel votes again.  I don’t need to tell you how upside down the world is.  It is evident.  I have NO idea what will be EXCEPT GOD WILL HAVE HIS WAY.  And in THAT fact we must find Him and His rest as you in the midst of your respective country’s crisis.

When the store across the street from us went bankrupt,  no one knew what would happen. Thankfully a chain from the Be’er Shevaregion in the south of the country, took it over and we have been enjoying the change, watching carefully.  We are here now 25 years and this is the FIRST TIME that I have met an English-speaking cashier and she is a curiosity to the industry and a delight to me.

“We have just started amazing one day discounts if you join the new store club,” Yehudit announced last week.

When we first came and I understood NOTHING, I lost out on a lot of sales by NOT joining (free by the way) the last store.  You just wrote your name down and got a card and wham bang – discounts were yours.  I lost out on that one.

“GREAT,”I told Yehudit. “I won’t miss out this time, sign me up.”

She turned to the cash register and said, “Give me your phone number.”  Which I did and which she inserted.  With the press of a button she sent me a registered message and then said, “Now follow the link and insert the free app.”

UH, that’s where I looked at her.  No paper in the mail and no card.  I held up my old, simple, Nokia phone for her to see“No smart phone,”I sighed.

She literally looked astonished. “Well you need to get one.”

She joined the choir of voices informing me that I was NOT being plugged in.

“SOON YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO BUY GROCERIES HERE WITHOUT ONE,” she informed me.  “Soon it will all be automatic check out only with a smart phone.”

Silently I thought, “Only until the system collapses and the mark comes in the midst of the anarchy, chaos and confusion.”

 

I’ve asked myself if I’m getting too weird, a bit extreme, paranoid. You know roll your eyes.

No, I don’t have a smart phone that can leave the house. I have one for photos and yes I have what’s up and instagram because I get photos but only in the house. It doesn’t have an internal internet hook up and to be totally honest. I could EASILY love it and maybe I do.

And no, I don’t have a credit card either, other than a gift card that was given to me which I buy groceries with and am forever grateful for.  I am a nut.  But I know me.  I’m easily deceived. I have an addictive personality. I WANT The Holy Spirit to give me all of the discipline and leading that I need to be master over these things, but part of that has been His wisdom over my  VERY WEAK AND FOOLISH FLESH to help me out by just abstaining.

I know I’m weird.  I don’t deny it and it is CERTAINALLY NOT for EVERYONE and I am NOT saying “don’t have a smart phone or credit card.” I even occasionally borrow use of one from those whom I love.

And that is what they said at the bank AGAIN this week. “You NEED a smart phone.”

Here, by law, our pay checks MUST be deposited in the bank and then we can withdraw them.  It really used to be easy. My pay check, which I earned, recorded in the bank for tax purposes, but none the less, mine to take out (plus a few fees).  You would go to a teller with your bank card and receive your cash.  Simple!

Then the machines came in.  Recently the tellers were gone, no more tellers.  A technical bank support person roams the area to see which inept person can’t maneuver the machine.  The Lord has apparently volunteered me for that role (the inept person).

Once again, I typed in the amount that I needed to take out to pay the rent and the machine informed me that less than half of that amount was available for me to take out.  Up came the “technical assistant.”

She asked me for my smart phone so she could make an appointment to enter the bank.  I handed her my trusty Nokia. Many maneuvers later she returned with a number and told me that I would have to wait for about an hour (penalty for not making appointment via the app.)

I had a book. When my turn finally came the nice lady told me that I only had a small amount in the bank and that the automatic withdrawal had taken place this morning.

“Hold it!  I don’t HAVE any automatic withdrawals!”

She rolled her eyes.  It took me awhile to figure out that she (with all of this technology) had opened my husband’s work account by mistake. She couldn’t tell me WHY I couldn’t have my money, but she would issue me a specialishure  (certificate of approval) and the technical assistant would put it into the machine for me.

MEANWHILE, I got the talk that soon there would be no money and if I did not have a smart phone I couldn’t pay bills, buy food etc etc etc.  I got the message, thank you.

I got it again at the post office today while I watched all of the smart phone people swipe their phones to record the appointment that they had made on line while I waited with my embarrassing paper number.  Plus my paper book.

I don’t know about your country.

Our country is high tech, intense and tiny, so that with a very small population policies can be very quickly be enforced.  I KNOW that smart phones are incredibly helpful.  I am not sure WHY I have resisted this so firmly, but the fact that I DON’T have one to use means that I can see daily and up close what I can no longer do. To park a car here, you must use one of the “smart park” methods.  To buy tickets, make appointments at post office or hospital or phone company or doctor, you name it, smart phone app.

I honestly think that I have inadvertently taken a position that I didn’t anticipate:  I am a person without a smart phone in a perhaps – experimental country.  Are we here part of an experiment?

I don’t expect that a country as large as the US could as quickly bring the entire population in line with such massive changes. Our country is used to suddenlies.   When there is a crisis, there is no TIME to sit down and discuss all of the innuendoes of what a change will mean, you just do it.  We have become used to living that way.

I had the privilege of living in a microcosm society before and it impacted me then.  In our tiny remote Alaskan village where we raised our family, there were only about 50 year-round families.  From that small population group we had a school with teachers, a government, a policeman, a court etc.  Every able minded adult had to take on some real responsibility that had repercussions.  I had been born and raised in NYC and it is NOT like that in a large population area. The effects of policies made took far longer to have any real impact, and the ability to avoid the impact was always an option.

 

A dear sister approached me at kehila(our fellowship) on Shabbat and said with a sigh, “Well, it doesn’t feel as if things are ‘back to normal’ yet.”

What came out of my mouth surprised me when I said, “It WON’T get back to normal and it isn’t supposed to!  The Lord spilt His very precious seeds into the ground for a dear purpose and He does not want us to continue just as we were.  We MUST be changed.  The cost has been too great.”

THANKFULLY she is a mature sister and wasn’t offended by my too-passionate outburst.  She said, “Wow!  You are right.I didn’t think of it that way.”

As I continue to pray and wonder at the taking of these 3 truly golden vessels for The Lord, and a tiny new one, it was my lot this week to offer translation equipment to those who need translation from Hebrew.  A couple whom I hadn’t seen before needed translation and as I spoke with them I explained to them that our fellowship had been through the traumatic loss of 4 of our members very recently and that our pastor was away as well, sort of apologizing that “things were a bit ‘different.”

The man said, “We have lost two children…”

I was stunned.  “Was it recent?” I asked as I reached for the woman, who began to weep.

“One was 12 years ago…” he hesitated,  “and one just now. They were both accidents.”

It knocked the breath out of me. “I see He has brought you.”And indeed He had.

They had been just walking around as tourists in Jerusalem and so lonely for believes.  They sat over coffee to pray and a dear sister from the congregation approached them and began to chat (you can almost always tell a tourist, but she was led of The Spirit).  She was an answer to their prayer and directed them to the fellowship where God is teaching us something of grieving that we don’t yet fully know.

I am so impressed that God is Able, Willing and Faithful

He has been always over all of these centuries through it all.

 It is time to go and begin dinner, but I send you my love and pray that God will be glorified in you and in me… and that all of Israel will indeed soon be saved.

Lovingly,

your sis J

I hope that some of the verses below might inspire some of you and maybe be a refreshing to those of you who are well versed in the holidays (hagim) that The Lord has given. 

ROSH H’SHANA:

Numbers 10:1-10

Numbers 29:1

Psalm 81:3-4

Levit 23:24

(trumpets not rosh h’shana)

bear with us as I KNOW that Passover SHOULD

BE the ‘beginning of the year’ (or ‘rosh h shana).

But as it stands today, Trumpets is… He can and will set it right)

 

YOM KIPPUR:

Levit 16:29

Levit 23:26

Zech 8:18

Hebrews 9

 

SUKKOT:

Deut 31:10-14

Levit 23:37-43

Zech 14:16

Neh 8:13

Jn7:2-37

Deut 16:13

Deut 32:10

1 Kings 8:2

2 Chron 5:3

Ezra 3:1-4

 

 

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Filed under Christianity, Israel, Jerusalem, Prophecy

Inside Israel

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 with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiakh* May He be blessed and glorified, and may you be blessed and edified.  May He take this small offering for His glory alone and the edification of those to whom it is sent with love.

Elul is the last month of the modern Hebrew calendar.  The month of Elul will end on the 29th of September this year, ushering in Rosh h’Shana (the day of the blowing of trumpets, now celebrated as the new year), followed closely by Yom Kippur (the day of atonement – repentance – the most solemn day in the Hebrew calendar of fasting and prayer) and then the wonderful  7 day feast of Sukkot (feast of tabernacles). Autumn (‘stav’ in Hebrew) is upon us with the fall feasts rushing in!  How suddenly summer ends.

School began here in Israel on the 1st of September (yes, Sunday is our ‘Monday’ because Saturday is our Sabbath (shabbat) and being that today (Tuesday) is my day off from work, I smiled with joy as Eric and I walked our 5 and half year old Granddaughter Maya to ‘gan ho’veh’ (or ‘advanced kindergarten’ for those who get to go again).

Our daughter was taking 2 and half year old Nuria to gan, which she began on Sunday – one excited little cookie!  ‘All in our places with sunshiny faces’ was all I could sing as we made our way along with the throngs of parents and grandparents taking all of those little shiny excited faces to their respective schools or ga’nim (kindergartens).  I was totally absorbed in watching Maya on her scooter chattering joyfully to me when I tripped over part of our notoriously choppy sidewalks and fell smack on my knees, injuring my pride terribly but thankfully otherwise not doing anything serious.

‘Oh Tata! Tata!  Are you ok?  You scared me!’ (Maya couldn’t say Sav’ta when she was tiny and Tata stuck)

‘I’m fine!’ I assured her as we continued on and I introduced myself to the ga’ne’net (teacher) so that we could get through security to pick her up.  Isn’t the love of a child amazing?  (To you parents…it gets WAY better when you are grandparents believe it or not.)  May we BE like them, that tender, simple and honest love to our Abba God!

 

The past couple of weeks have been ‘belegan’ here in Jerusalem.  The last two weeks of summer vacation there is no kay’tin’ah (sort of summer ‘day camps’ that most children attend.  They are specialized and can be just play or sport or art or science, language or history , all sorts of age classified enrichment activities).

As you know, our economy here is different than in the west, a huge portion of this tiny country’s  resources  go to very necessary defense, so it is pretty rare for a family to be able to survive even simply on one paycheck. Most parents honestly HAVE to work, not to get ahead, but to survive.  HOWEVER, the last two weeks of summer, ‘someone’ needs to be home with the children (if retired grandparents aren’t available), and most vacations are taken then.

Consequently, the streets of Jerusalem have been PACKED with large families (religious families are particularly large. As I have said before, our son in law is the oldest of 14).  The time is spent getting school supplies and being out on ‘te’oo’lim’ (‘trek’ or ‘trip’, outing).  The lite rail and all buses were packed way beyond capacity as families enjoyed museums, parks, the zoo, the Old City, shops and restaurants.

Our dear friend Janet is staying with us for awhile and I have so enjoyed reading her updates (although she has been here on and off for many years, she always sees things with new eyes. I can’t help but borrow from her beautifully written letters:

She mused about large families dressing their children in identical clothing and I hadn’t thought about that for a while but I always think of them as big gardens.  The pansies are planted here and the daisies are there, then there are the sweet peas.  I think it really solves many problems:  First, like school uniforms, it solves the fashion problem.  ‘Here’s your ‘dress’ for the year girls’ and each one gets what Ima (mama)  picked out.  You surely can see your whole family in a crowd without losing any easily.  And when they are all on sale it’s a win-win situation for the family.  Often though it is a bolt of material that is on sale, and one pattern.

I’ve often wondered at the resilience of the people of this country, how it continues life in the midst of all of the stresses, threats and challenges. There is a philosophy or a culture that has been planted in the people. Perhaps a survival skill.  I heard so many stories about how people survived in the death camps of the Holocaust.  I was told by a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto about the schools that they set up, about how, in spite of starvation, slavery, degradation and death everywhere, they set up a functioning society with phony money to use to keep themselves from being penniless and to keep an order. Concerts performed by those who could sing or make instruments from garbage.  Humor and other forms of entertainment. Doctors and teachers continuing their trade so that they could encourage one another to life.  This way they kept themselves from despair and from degradation.

 

Our borders are heating up.  I know that I say that to you often, but things erupt here suddenly.  On Sunday we had a skirmish with Hizbollah in Lebanon sending residents of the North into shelters and sealing off the roads.  It did not erupt into the war …yet.  There is MUCH background fighting going on and as our Prime Minister has openly announced often, he (we) will not compromise Israeli security and will strike at all threats.  We have been doing that with missions and raids in Syria and Lebanon and in other places.

Iran has been playing a chess game against Israel, using other counties as pawns since they have no border with us, but their proxies – Syria and Lebanon do share our borders and Iran has been based there.  It has been a game of cat and mouse so to speak as Israel identifies threats (sophisticated weapons and deadly projects) and eliminates them.  Drones and drones heavily armed with highly destructive smart weapons have entered the arena.  To admit it, Iran has to expose their presence, which is illegal, so it has been covert.  But it has been intense and building.  Added to this toxic mix is Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Isis in Gaza and in the Sinai, infiltrating Judea and Samaria – our heartland – called by the world media “the West Bank.”  With continuing active riots on the Gaza border every Friday, our southern population is frayed but not Afraid

“Be strong and of good courage”…”DO NOT FEAR NOR BE AFRAID” are probably THE most oft repeated COMMAND given throughout the scriptures, particularly the Torah (the first 5 books of Moses) when the fleshly REASONS to fear were ABUNDANT.

In my 44 years of reading and re-reading through the Scriptures I am strongly struck by the irony of this command. Perhaps it is one of the PILLARS on which our faith rests. YES, the giants are there!  YES, the Sea is before you and the Egyptian army behind you. YES the inhabitants of the land are fierce and we are as grasshoppers in our own eyes and probably theirs. YES there is no water and YES there is no food and YES we are surrounded by armies far larger than we are and YES!  IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT LOOK UP!  THOSE WHO ARE WITH US ARE MORE THAN THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST US, as Elisha told his servant when the Syrian army was coming down upon them.

I listen to some who seem to feel that faith in our God is a “get out of jail free” ticket and we will be always physically well and safe but in Luke 21, Yeshua says something very interesting that bares understanding and the context of the whole chapter is helpful:

“You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.  And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.  But not a hair of your head shall be lost.  By your patience possess your souls.” (Luke 21:16-19)

SOME OF YOU WILL BE PUT TO DEATH, BUT NOT A HAIR OF YOUR HEAD SHALL BE LOST.  May our values be His, our perspective HIS.

We (as a part of the body of Messiah here) have been through fire lately in the loss of 4 beloved members.  Eliyahu Ben Haim and the three members of the Rosetsky family.  These were all people walking in the will and the ways of The Lord and living completely for Him, aside from 2 month old Itai, who had as yet done not right nor wrong). They ARE safe with not a hair of their head being lost.

His ways are not ours. His thoughts not ours but it is a wake-up call for sure.  One sister remarked to me last shabbat that “We weren’t yet back to normal’

I said, “I don’t think that we are SUPPOSED to be ‘back to normal.’  A very precious sacrifice was placed on the altar and I believe that He wants us all changed by what we have witnessed.”  

We don’t know what lies ahead, but we are NOT afraid.

We are told to fear ONLY GOD and we believe that.  Our upcoming re-elections are scheduled to be held on 17th of Sept.  Lord knows what lies ahead, we don’t.  But one thing we know (both you and us) is that the ONLY safe place in this world in IN HIM.

Our pastor is faithful to remind us time and time again to turn our faces to Him.  Run into Him!  Look to HIM! THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH!

My years are running into one another and I surely never expected that, did you?  May we ALL be found IN HIM IN (HIS) PEACE!  May His Word be a living two-edged sword in each of us.  May we be dangerous to the enemy for His sake.  May we be kept from deception. Oh may we be humble in the fear of The One True God, The Lord of heaven and earth!  May we be purified for His glory.

Lovingly,

your sister J

 

*Small note.  Lately transliterators have been writing ‘kh’ instead of ‘ch’ to indicate the sound that is like ‘clearing your throat’.  For years it has been written ‘ch’ but we know that in English ‘ch’ is pronounced like the beginning of  ‘child’ and that leads to much confusion.  I am joining the pack, so I spelled (Messiah) Meshiakh instead of Meshiach.

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Filed under Christianity, Church, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Uncategorized

Inside Israel

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 —

“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13)

Greetings DEAR brothers and sisters, in The precious Name of Yeshua h’meshiach – Jesus The Messiah.  May HE be blessed and glorified, and may you each be deeply grounded, encouraged and blessed.

At this moment, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, I could not stretch my strength further today and travel to Modein tonight to join with brothers and sisters together at the grave of our dear sister and brothers, Sophi, Rodrigo and baby Itai.  It is the shloshim or 30 days and a time for closing of the early days of grieving. Many believers (and many air force soldiers) are  gathering together  as I write, to strengthen the family at the grave site.  I am there in heart.  It was also Rodrigo’s birthday…

At the same time, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, huge fires are raging in both parts of Alaska that were my home.  In the Valley area and also in Bristol Bay.  The village that my husband was born in, a remote village of some 65 people, is on fire and in danger of being completely destroyed.  It is so remote that there are no fire fighting facilities and residents are attempting to beat it back….

At the same time, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, my boss of 21 years had a heart attack today.  Thankfully it was a light one and he has already had catheterization, but it was emotionally intense and puts the future of the Doctor’s office where I work in question.

And that was just today.

There is a temptation to be thrown off kilter ( or at least, it is for me) and try to do more than observe all of this and pray. I want to become fully involved with every cell of my being.

It got me thinking about the Indonesian tsunami that happened in 2004 which killed some 230,000 people. What I remember about the calamity was being stunned by a report that the power of the massive movement of all of that water had shifted the earth on its axis.  If you are interested, there is much scientific data.  A cursory google search just now turned up this rather easily read report —

“The devastating earthquake that struck the Indian Ocean on 26 December was so powerful that it has accelerated the Earth’s rotation, geophysicists have declared. They estimate that the shockwave shortened the period of our planet’s rotation by some three microseconds.

The change was caused by a shift of mass towards the planet’s centre, as the Indian Ocean’s heavy tectonic plate lurched underneath Indonesia’s one, say researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This caused the globe to rotate faster, in the same way that a spinning figure-skater accelerates by tucking in her arms.

The blast literally rocked the world on its axis, add Richard Gross and his NASA colleagues. They estimate that Earth now tilts by an extra 2.5 centimetres in the wake of the jolt.

The shortening of Earth’s day is no cause for consternation, particularly in light of the huge humanitarian crisis sparked by Sunday’s events. The death toll from the tsunami that lashed coasts across the Indian Ocean has now passed 100,000.

“I would be stunned if there was any change in the rotation rate that would necessitate addition or subtraction of a leap second.”

But the change will nonetheless be relevant to physicists charged with keeping the world’s official time, which since 1967 has been based on a battery of around 250 highly accurate atomic clocks in 60 labs throughout the world. These labs report to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris, which sets the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).”

 

So, those of you who have been commenting on ‘time speeding up’ are scientifically correct. 

But back to “the temptation.”  It seems to me that the temptation is to spin off center.  To be caught up in the intensity of all of this emotion.  Surely Jesus wept!  I am DEFINITELY NOT saying not to be emotionally involved since it is The Lord Who gave us compassion and emotions.  But the same Lord gave us balance and COMMANDED us to follow HIM.  I can’t follow Him very well if my eyes are elsewhere, even on the waves that are about to encompass me.

With this thought in mind, I found myself laughing about this on the train today.

The Jerusalem bus drivers are notorious for using passengers like bowling balls. You know: look in your mirror and there they are!  Passengers!  Lined up for a perfect STRIKE! Step on the brakes and swerve quickly, how many can be knocked over at once?

  Yes, I am exaggerating for humor’s sake, but it really feels as if we are bowling balls sometimes.  Today the train played a similar trick.  Usually the drivers brake slowly but perhaps the brakes were sticky today and WHAM!  Every time there was occasion to brake, we all went flying.   Keeping babies, packages and old people balanced was a challenge.

Physically, I lose my balance more easily these days, and I DON’T want to lose SPIRITUAL balance, too.

“Occupy till I come.” 

The Lord admonished us in the parable in Luke 19.

In John 15-17 and SO many other places He tells us that we are IN the world but not OF the world, and that was spoken in Israel, to Israelis first. So, HOW AM I TO WALK in the streets of Jerusalem when my own personal world is turning upside down? Experiencing an axis-tipping tsunami and my country at the same time is actively fighting wars on each border. Plus, NASTY FILTHY elections taking place AGAIN. I see the streets filthy and people worn with fatigue and cares of this world…

 “Occupy till I come.”

It’s that old Israeli army saying again about standing on your spot and guarding that ONE SPOT assigned to you: h’a’zek b’ma’amad. Hold on!  Stand your ground! Hold on to The Lord AND hold on to the vision. This is what He wants me to do at any given moment.

You are probably rolling your eyes and saying, “Well, duh!  OF COURSE!”

But it hasn’t been that easy, and yet I see that it really IS what He is calling me to do.  He keeps telling me to “Walk past the graves…even as HE DID!’  He walked right OUT of them.  His eyes were on His Father and HE AROSE TO GIVE US ETERNAL SALVATION WITH VICTORY.

Keep my eyes on Him when people look at me and ask me about what we believe or reject me and get angry for the same.  Keep my eyes on Him when my boss has a heart attack. The 21 years of work may just be over NOW, BUT I have committed my care and feeding to Him and that is settled.  My eyes on HIM.

To keep my eyes on Him when the tiny remote village so key in my family history just might fade into the past before my eyes. MY EYES ON HIM.  When the bank tells me that if I don’t make an appointment via an “app.” (Sorry guys, but I’m in technological rebellion perhaps.)

I can not cash my paycheck (deposited by law) or do any other banking business. The world is changing SO QUICKLY and yet He is giving me NO SLACK to fret or become indignant or to go anywhere for help but to HIM.

The changes aren’t letting me catch my breath. And here is a good one … make that two:

One thing that I have lacked for so long has been a steady prayer partner.  I am all for closet prayer and enjoy it daily, but I have been unable to get out at night when our prayer meetings take place aside from on Friday morning. Then I am there for such a short time.  The Lord has brought a DEAR close friend to stay with us for awhile and we have been able to pray DAILY together.  It made me realize how I was starved for a prayer partner, true fellowship before the throne.  THANK  YOU LORD!

 Thank you for praying for my trip to England and my time of sharing my testimony with my family.

My 15 year old Grandson, our oldest Grandchild, had been to a Bible camp in California while they lived there. This year, he chose to go back to the camp. This time, he gave his heart to The Lord. I have received a few messages from him and of course am praying for him to be ROOTED, GROUNDED, FRUIT BEARING, SUBMITTING TO GOD AND RESISTING THE DEVIL, LOVING THE WORD AND RIGHTLY DIVIDING IT AS THE WORD OF TRUTH AND NOT BEING DECEIVED OR TURNED ASIDE.  I believe, that HE Who has begun a good work in Noah, will perform it until that last day.  And even in THIS I must keep my balance.

Thank you for your prayers for me, my family,  and for this country, which IS  central in the Heart of God and pivotal in the last days, as from the beginning. May The Lord be blessed and Alone may He be glorified and adored.  May you be encouraged and blessed.

Lovingly,

Your sister J

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Filed under Israel, Jerusalem, jesus, Kingdom of God, One new man, Prophecy, Terrorist attacks