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Post  Admin on Mon 24 Jul 2017, 9:07 pm

Elaine, revealer of secrets! 

Gen 41:45a And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah (“Decipherer of Secrets”);

Joseph interpreted dreams and revealed their meaning to those around him, and so Pharaoh gave him the name, Tsofnat Paneach (Zaphnathpaaneah) which means the "Decipherer or Revealer of Secrets". Yeshua, (Jesus) at his first advent coming as the suffering servant or otherwise known as "Mashiach ben Yosef" also came revealing secrets; not as an interpreter of dreams, but as one who disclosed the secrets of men.

Yeshua's teaching consistently exposed the innermost thoughts of the heart, forcing them into the light. As the living Word of God His words like a sword, cut through deception and went straight to the motives of men. Exposing sin through deep conviction, He presents the opportunity for real and sincere confession. He can then remove those sins through His atoning death. 

Elaine, Yeshua's insight and the conviction of His word are a gift. If He probes you in the secret places it's only because He loves you so much, and because He wants to reveal His grace and power to cleanse you. When you read His Word or seek Him in prayer, don't be surprised if you discover some of your own secrets, things you may have even hidden from yourself. He will reveal what He wants you to see, what He wants you to confess, and what He wants to help you change. And then, you will also discover a "secret" love He was waiting to show you.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Sat 22 Jul 2017, 10:25 pm

Elaine, you are beloved! 

Genesis 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.

Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Another interesting correlation we draw from Mashiach Ben Joseph is how Joseph was the object of his father’s (Jacob) love, just as Yeshua (Jesus) was loved of our Heavenly Father. This preference Jacob had for Joseph was unequivocal, and it was also pretty controversial among his brothers. Competition among siblings seemed to infect the family just as it can in many of our own families. But the beauty of Joseph's place in his father's heart emerges when we realize that, as a type of Yeshua (Jesus), Joseph powerfully illustrates the love our Heavenly Father has for all of us, equally and intensely, so there's no need or cause for competition among us.

Now Jacob's love for Joseph was connected with his love for Rachel and the long wait for a son by his beloved wife. Joseph didn't have to do anything to earn Jacob's love. It was not based on his performance, even though it turned out that his character was pretty sterling. Likewise, our Father's love for us is totally based in His love for Yeshua, not on our performance. Our HIGHS do not exalt us, and our LOWS do not depress us in the sight of the Father. Our acceptance is not dependent on us, but rather on Him who sits on the throne, Who never changes! 

Elaine, for your are accepted in the "beloved!" You may say to yourself, "There's nothing good here!" But remember that God the Father is seeing His Son when He looks at you. Your struggle against temptation and sin only proves that you have been lovingly adopted into His family, fully identified with His beloved Son. Realizing this is a source of tremendous freedom, prompting deep gratitude and a growing desire for relationship with God.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 20 Jul 2017, 9:07 pm

Elaine, follow in the footsteps of Messiah!
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Continuing this study of Mashiach Ben Yosef (Messiah "Son of Joseph"), I want to focus on another aspect of the rabbis' understanding; that Mashiach ben Yosef will come first, and prepare the world for the Kingdom of the Lord. According to their teaching he will do this by fighting God’s wars against "Edom", which is collectively understood as the enemies of Israel in the time preceding the restoration of the Messianic Kingdom by Mashiach "Ben David" . This preparation is known as Ikvot Mashiach – the Footsteps of Messiah. Their expectation was that the entire world would be thus readied for the arrival of Mashiach Ben David, the glorious King.

Messianic and Christian believers understand that Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus) fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of Mashiach Ben Yosef in His first coming, and we anxiously await His return to fulfill the role of Mashiach Ben David. During this long interval, we who know Mashiach "Ben Yosef", the Suffering Servant, Yeshua, (Jesus) also "walk in His footsteps", preparing the world for His return.

This "walk" also engages us in a war. "Edom" represents the earthly man, the man of flesh, an enemy against whom we struggle daily, facing many battles and obstacles as we prepare ourselves and our brethren in holy living for our expected Bridegroom's arrival. Walking in His Footsteps means living a life of expectant preparation, and calling others to this walk as we preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom to all the nations. 

Elaine, let us follow faithfully in His footsteps, fighting in the spirit, the battle with "Edom", our sinful nature, and winning souls through holy living and sharing the gospel of salvation at every opportunity.
Your family in the Lord with much agape love,
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Post  Admin on Wed 19 Jul 2017, 7:32 pm

Elaine, will you let Him reign?

Genesis 37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

Luke 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

Another aspect of Mashiach ben Yosef, is that the world would resist his authority.

When Joseph told his family of his dreams, they were outraged at the suggestion that their younger brother would reign over them. They simply had no idea that God would make Joseph exactly the kind of ruler they needed.

Likewise, the world is outraged with Yeshua's claim to be ruler of this world. Never mind that His astounding humility completely qualifies Him to be loved, worshiped and respected.

Joseph won the hearts of his brothers by the grace, forgiveness, and love that he showed them after they had rejected and sought to kill him. Yeshua wins our hearts the same way, and yet we still find resistance to His authority in some areas of our lives.

The longer I walk as a believer, the more I find myself between two realities. As my life becomes more consecrated and I realize how Holy He truly is, I become increasingly aware of my own true condition,"Woe is me, for I’m a man of unclean lips!" My life may seem to be holier to the world, while inside my spirit is crying out, "Lord, Help me!" It's because I can see and feel more clearly the areas in my soul that are still not submitted to Him. Yet His Spirit is constantly nudging me, "I want this part of your life too!"

Elaine, if the Spirit of God is nudging you to surrender something, somehow, somewhere... it’s time to give it over to Him. Don’t wait another day. Take a moment and say once again, "Lord I want you to reign over all my life!"

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 18 Jul 2017, 4:24 pm

Elaine, as brothers who are blinded -- open their eyes! 

Genesis 42:8 And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

When Joseph became ruler over Egypt, his name was changed, and his identity was altered so that he no longer appeared or lived as a shepherd son of Israel from the land of Canaan, but as an Egyptian Prime Minister. The transformation was so thorough that when his ten brothers arrived in Egypt he was totally unrecognizable to them. This true story beautifully illustrates Mashiach ben Yosef (Yeshua/Jesus at His first coming), and contains a prophetic picture pointing to Yeshua and His Jewish people living today as we approach the Second Coming.

Several details elaborate this amazing parallel. After Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sent to Egypt, his life naturally began to develop in the nation of his exile, including the learning of its language and culture. Constantly proving his capacity, responsibility and leadership, Joseph was ultimately embraced by the Egyptians, exalted, and given an Egyptian bride (Asenath, daughter of the priest of On). In like manner the rejection of Yeshua by the Jews of His day resulted in His becoming a light to the Gentiles, who rightly accepted and exalted Him, so that in many ways He seemed to take on a Gentile identity and characteristics. As He betrothed Himself to this predominantly Gentile "Church" (with its Jewish roots), He ironically became virtually unrecognizable to His own Jewish people.

To illustrate further, Yeshua and His disciples had lived and worshiped according to the Biblical Jewish calendar: Shabbat, Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, Feast of Dedication (Chanukah). The later Christian (largely Gentile) church instead adapted and transformed pagan festivals and used them in their worship calendar, changing the cultural expression of the Jewish Messiah and His original followers to a Gentile expression, and even proscribing the use of Jewish festivals in "Christian" worship. All the while, Yeshua's true nature and identity remained, even as Joseph's did.

But through these parallels we can begin to understand the portent of Joseph's experience with his brothers; weeping bitterly when he first recognized them; then, carefully arranging the circumstances which would bring them to repentance, and finally, removing the Egyptians, for the dramatic revelation of his true identity to his brothers, the sons of Jacob. Likewise, Yeshua, weeping over His Jewish brothers, finally gathers them back into the Promised Land, begins to arrange the circumstances which will bring them to repentance, so that finally at some final private revelation,"they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and mourn for Him" in amazed gratitude. [Zechariah 12:10].

God, Himself, working behind the scenes, has allowed Satan to do his blinding work on Israel, for a season, while gathering the Gentiles into His fold. But this season is ending. The mystery of Israel's blindness is being broadly revealed, prompting the prayers of millions of Gentile believers, and their love for Yeshua and His Jewish brethren is making Israel jealous; so the veil is being removed from Jewish eyes, just as it was from Joseph's brothers.

And what is our part? To understand the times and seasons in which we live, to pray and labor for both the fullness of the Gentiles and the spiritual revival of Israel which will usher in the coming of Messiah and life from the dead! Through the story of Joseph and the prophetic revelation of both Testaments we know that all Israel will be saved, with the fullness of the Gentiles. Since much of the world is still blinded to Messiah, we need to make the most of every opportunity to open blind eyes, Jewish or Gentile.

Elaine, let us reveal Yeshua to the entire world, especially reaching those whom the Lord has placed in our lives. Every time Yeshua is truly revealed, another one of "Joseph's brothers" can weep with joy, gratitude and amazement, that a humble Suffering Servant is also a great and glorious King!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 6:21 pm

Elaine, you're in the hands of the Good Shepherd! 

John 10:10-11 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Joseph, the son of Jacob grew up caring for flocks, a shepherd boy,(Genesis 37:2). While we might have a romantic view of an easy pastoral life among sheep and goats, the main responsibility of a shepherd was to protect the flock against hungry predators (wolves, lions, etc.) looking for an easy meal, actually quite a dangerous job. The shepherd loved his sheep; and Joseph was a good shepherd.

Mashiach "ben Yosef " the "Suffering Servant" Messiah was illustrated in the life of Joseph. Yeshua (Jesus) came as a good shepherd to protect His flock against the enemy whose sole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. Our Shepherd Messiah was ready to give His life to protect us. And He is still watching over us – He gave His lifeblood to protect us because He loves us and we are incalculably precious to Him, each one.

Elaine, do you know how precious and loved you are? How the Son of God exposed Himself to the ultimate danger because of His incalculable love for you? How He protects you from unseen danger every day of your life? We can rest in His protective love, no matter what happens, especially because where we're going, there will never be danger again.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 3:45 pm

Elaine, He's coming as Judge, are you ready? 

Isaiah 51:5 My righteousness is near; My salvation is gone forth, and My arm [z’roah in Hebrew] shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on My arm [z’roah] they will trust.

John 5:22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,

Revelation 19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

On December 25, 1908, a newspaper in Messina, Silicy dared God to make Himself known by sending an earthquake. Three days later, the city was destroyed by an earthquake that killed over 84,000 people.

Do we really believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is returning soon? He is – He's coming back to judge this world and no one will escape His wrath except those whose sins are forgiven through living faith in His atoning sacrifice. The world in its increasing sinfulness, rejecting His Son, seems to be daring God to bring judgment. This historical event in Messina speaks with shocking clarity that the God of Creation is real, that He listens carefully to the statements we make about Him and the communications we express toward Him, (as individuals, cities, and nations), and that He is a powerful Sovereign King whose judgments are imminent and totally righteous.

Because of sin, we are all born destined to die. Every one of those 84,000+ people were corrupt from the womb and fated for death, so that when this dare came before the Lord in Heaven, He chose the moment to take them and reveal this serious and dramatic testimony of His judgment to all the world. By revealing His judgment as a warning, God shows His mercy to those who remain alive, that we all may seek the eternal safety He offers. Yeshua's sacrificial death provides eternal life for all who are destined to die from sin...that is, all that come to Him in faith. 

Elaine, God is the true, righteous, and final Judge of us all. Will you be found in Him when He judges? If clothed in His righteousness, the Lord Yeshua, we will escape His judgment for sin. Trust in Him completely and know He is not only a just judge but a "merciful, gracious, longsuffering" God who "abounds in goodness and truth". [Exodus 34:6] With judgment looming -- let's also be about His business today!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 13 Jul 2017, 2:34 pm

Elaine, know your Shepherd! 

Isaiah 40:11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm (z’roah in Hebrew), And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.

John 10:10-11 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

In Israel, we often see goats and sheep roaming the countryside. Driving through rural Israel often involves suddenly stopping to allow a herd of sheep or goats to cross the road. But interestingly, I have never seen “sheep kill" on the side of the road in all the years that I’ve lived in Israel. It’s because sheep don’t roam without a shepherd!

The Lord is gathering His lambs with His arm, and carrying them to His bosom. This is not a distant relationship but one of loving care and intimacy with His sheep. He said, "I know my sheep and my sheep know me." [John 10:14]. Then He continued, "..and I lay down my life for the sheep."

The most vulnerable time for defenseless animals is at night when they need to sleep. The sheepfold is where they are gathered by the shepherd each night; a stone compound, with rocks stacked high enough to keep out predators, but without a door. Yeshua (Jesus) declared Himself to be the “door of the sheep” [John 10:7-9] because, as a Good Shepherd, He lies where a door would typically be so that nothing could go in or out, without passing by the Shepherd!

As evil seems to be rearing its ugly head in every facet of life these days, and greater darkness seems to be looming on the horizon, we need to truly realize the powerful and complete protection that our Good Shepherd provides. Nothing can get to us unless it goes through Him! When the Lord laid down His life for us He also gave us a fortress of protection and safety which is impossible to break. 

Elaine, knowing of the dark days we would be facing Yeshua afforded us a profound sense of safety in Himself so that we absolutely need not walk in fear. Promising never to leave nor forsake us till the end of the age He gave us the security of intimacy with Himself, in and through every trial or danger. We need never doubt...that we can trust Him.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 3:56 pm

Elaine, walk with an eternal perspective! 

Luke 10:18-19 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you power to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

This is a powerful passage which believers must claim! The Greek for the word "heaven", "oo-ran-os", implies not only heaven, but also eternity. The enemy was removed from the eternal places, and his power is only temporary in this world. Our power does not come from this temporary world, but from eternity, from the eternal throne of God.

If our focus is on eternal things, and we claim our authority from heaven, we can exercise power over the enemy. His attacks are temporary and refer to our short life on earth, because his place in God's eternal realm was abolished and he was cast down. Drawing on the authority and eternal power of God, through Yeshua (Jesus) we can really tread on serpents and scorpions, overcoming the enemy's power. Whatever Satan sends our way is temporary and must submit to the authority we walk in when filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elaine, Satan's removal from heaven is good news for us. He has lost his place in the eternal realm. This makes the trials and tribulations of our life on earth much less significant. They are "light and momentary" compared with the eternal glory which awaits us...a fleeting moment, for the enemy, has been cast out of eternity and his destiny is the lake of fire!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 11 Jul 2017, 10:20 pm

Elaine, mourning will be turned to joy!

Zechariah 8:19 "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.'

Tonight, throughout Israel, on the 17th of Tammuz, Jewish people from around the world will fast and begin a three week period of mourning leading into Tish B'Av (9th of Av). On this day, according to Jewish tradition, Moses shattered the Ten Commandments after he returned from Mount Sinai to witness the children of Israel worshiping a golden calf. In coming devotionals we will recount the numerous tragic events associated with the 9th of Av, and sorrowfully remembered by Jews each year, but today I want to focus on the events particularly connected to this unique day, Tammuz 17.

The Mishnah records the 17th of Tammuz as the day the priests of the First Temple era ceased their offering of the daily sacrifice, and the same day of the following year saw the walls of Jerusalem breached by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians following a long and terrible siege. Also recorded is King Manasseh's, (one of Israel's worst kings) placing an idol in the Temple on this date. During the Second Temple era, the Roman leader, Apostomos, publicly burned a Torah on this day. Later, the Roman leader Titus breached the walls of Jerusalem on this day in 70 AD.

Tammuz 17 also, interestingly, is quite significant in American history; as the day, July 4, 1776 (on the Gregorian calendar) saw the signing of the Declaration of Independence. When the Supreme Court changed the biblical definition of marriage in 2013 it fell on the 17th of Tammuz, (remember, the same day Moses saw the children of Israel in idolatry and destroyed the commandments of God!)

Now the Mishnah also states in Ta'anit 4:8 that the 17th of Tammuz will be transformed in the Messianic era, saying, on this day "there shall be joy to the House of Judah full of gladness and cheerful feasts.” This is almost certainly a reference to Zechariah 8:19: "This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.'”

Elaine, how does mourning turn to joy? The prophet said, "...love truth and peace." Yeshua, the way, truth and life is also the source of love and the Prince of Peace. Through Him your sorrow and mourning will turn to everlasting joy!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 11 Jul 2017, 12:04 am

Elaine, adorn yourself in True Treasures!

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

The king of the birds was looking in the mirror one day and was disappointed to see that his feathers were not as bright as they were once. "I am getting old," he said, "I think it will soon be time to choose a new king". He decided to announce that on a certain day, all the birds will gather and present themselves before him so that he would be able choose from among them the most beautiful of all to be their next king. The crow got wind of the king's plans and began to fret. "There are so many beautiful birds in the kingdom and I am only a colorless crow. I don't have a chance at becoming king." Suddenly, he had a terrific idea. He began to search through the woods and fields for colorful feathers fallen from the wings of his companions, and stuck them in amongst his own.

When the appointed day arrived and all the birds had assembled before the king, the crow also made his appearance in his array of fine found feathers. When the aging king spotted the crow and all the beauty of his plumage, he immediately chose him to be king. As the crow pranced down the isle with pride to accept his crown, the birds began angrily plucking out their feathers from between his, leaving the crow nothing but an old black crow.

Too often, we try to "improve our worth" by adorning our selves in "pretty" things. Fine clothes, cosmetics, jewelry, friends, money, power, fame among others, top the list. But there is really only one way to improve our appearance. Putting our faith in the Lord and walking wholeheartedly with Him. Despite what the world around us thinks, only He can improve our fallen condition and our search for happiness. 

Elaine, those feathers we find aren't going to fool anyone -- especially our King. Let's come to God as we are today and ask Him to adorn us with the treasures he desires, peace, patience, love, joy and all the fruits of the Spirit.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Fri 07 Jul 2017, 6:41 pm

Elaine, find courage in the face of opposition! 

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Recently, I've been impressed by the Lord to address the anxieties many are feeling about the future-- how to be strong in the face of the intense opposition we’ll be facing as believers. One of the founders of the modern state of Israel, David Ben-Gurion once said, "Courage is a special kind of knowledge, the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared and how not to fear what ought not to be feared. From this knowledge comes an inner strength that inspires us to push on in the face of great difficulty. What can seem impossible is often possible with courage."

While Ben Gurion's words carry a certain worldly wisdom to inspire courage, we also can have courage which comes from a special kind of knowledge...the knowledge that we have a God who loves and supports and protects us and carries us through, even the most trying times and circumstances. So let’s not become fearful in these days – but instead become bold as a lion, to accomplish the good works He prepared for us from the foundation of the world. 

Elaine, let's walk with courage in these days in the knowledge that our God is with us, and with Him, we will accomplish great things that seem impossible because we know that He turns impossibilities into realities!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 06 Jul 2017, 2:49 pm

Elaine, repentance is a lifestyle; be ready!

Luke 12:39-40 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man comes at an hour when you think not.

When studying the Jewish roots of many of Yeshua's (Jesus') parables, and I came across an interesting saying from a Jewish Rabbi that I believe has something to teach us.

Rabbi Eliezer said, "Repent one day before your death." His disciples asked him, "Does then one know what day he will die?" "Then all the more reason to repent today", he replied, "lest he die tomorrow, and thus his whole life is spent in repentance."

When I first became a believer, I thought by simply dealing with my outward sins that I could live a state of sinlessness. But it wasn't long before the Lord began revealing and dealing with my inward sins and attitudes. Now, and the longer I walk with Him, I understand more and more the meaning of daily repentance!

If we truly want to be free and walk in His liberty, we cannot avoid this crucial requirement for freedom. Because we cannot receive His forgiveness without it, repentance must be a way of life for us [1 John 1:9]. 

Elaine, staying close to the Lord is His heart's desire for us...but one of the main conditions for it is walking in regular repentance. When we walk in humility and truthfulness about our sin -- we are walking in the light, and the blood of Jesus keeps cleansing us from sin. In that condition we are so much more able to love the Lord and those around us -- with Him, touching one life at a time. So, let's lay down our pride and turn to Him every day....with genuine repentance! 

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Post  Admin on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 10:05 pm

Elaine, remember His sufferings! 

John 12:36-38 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

The apostle John quotes Isaiah 53:1, saying to whom has the z’roah [arm] of the Lord been revealed? It’s a question that God answers throughout the rest of Isaiah 53, describing in detail the life of Yeshua (Jesus) and the ultimate price He would pay for the sins of the world.

The word translated, "revealed" (in Hebrew: "galah") actually has a more negative connotation. One of its meanings is "to be stripped naked in a disgraceful way". It also means "to be treated like a captive", and "to be carried away into exile", or, "to be shamelessly uncovered". So the Lord is not simply revealed, but stripped, humiliated, and deeply degraded in order to save us. The cost He paid was terrible.

It's never easy for us to remember this or to think much about it, since it's hard enough to imagine an innocent human being suffering so much; but then to realize that I had some part in it... Yet, we should remember; because the reality of the Lord's cross belongs to us in every way, and we may yet be called to endure our own share of suffering with Him and for Him. Remembering His sufferings will prepare us for whatever may lie ahead. 

Elaine, remember the Lord's sufferings. It will keep you spiritually honest, and prepare you for your own small share in them -- His memory will also draw out your love and gratitude, and keep your heart tender toward Him and everyone else.

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Post  Admin on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 12:50 pm

Elaine, restoration of a nation! 

Psalms 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Throughout the United States today, everyone will be celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence -- a document through which leaders of the colonies in the New World broke free from the King of England.

The declaration begins: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

While revisionist historians are working hard to remove any trace of Christian/Biblical ideals from the foundations of America, today's celebration finds its basis in a foundational document which appeals to the authority of a Divine Creator, one whom most of the founding fathers fully believed to have been the author and main subject of the Holy Bible, and who was the guarantor of certain "inalienable rights". So the Fourth of July – more than just a celebration of independence, ought also to be a day which recognizes God's participation in the nation's birth.

I've read and heard all kinds of advice about how America ought to be transformed, while a simple recognition of God's covenant offer to a nation goes ignored. The words found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 could be claimed and applied to any nation, but particularly one whose foundational documents and institutions have drawn their inspiration substantially from Biblical monotheism. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

IF we truly want to see healing brought to any nation, then this conditional covenant is for US and the restoration of our land will require our part in the covenant: humility, prayer and repentance, so that God can forgive our sin and heal our land!

Elaine, true restoration and healing only comes through true repentance and God's grace! With so much work to be done -- may restoration begin with us! 

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Post  Admin on Mon 03 Jul 2017, 8:55 pm

Elaine, rejected? relax...

Psalms 118:22-23 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily.

John 15:18 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

These first two scriptures are speaking of the same "Stone", the prophesied Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), the "head of the corner" or "rosh pina", in Hebrew. This stone is laid in Zion, a common synonym for Jerusalem, where mount Zion rests. The stone is "tried", that is, tested in every way that a stone can be; the stone is precious and excellent to be set as a sure, reliable, accurate, even everlasting foundation, and a stone which is prepared and set in place by God, Himself. Can you think of a "Stone" more perfect or beautiful than our Messiah?

Yet this same "stone" is rejected by the "builders"; but also believed in by others, who will not act hastily. The Hebrew word for "rejected", “ma-as”, carries even stronger meaning; "to abhor", "cast away", "despise", "disdain", and "be loathsome" are also denoted by it. So the "Rosh Pinah", the "Chief Cornerstone" of God is spurned, abhorred, held in contempt, and rejected.

Now the builders are the ones who ought to know a good stone for a building when they see one. They're responsible for the quality of the building. But this precious cornerstone is abhorred and cast away by them; very sad and irresponsible. Yet the prophet clearly predicts this stone will become the "Chief Cornerstone", even though rejected by the builders -- and that it will be marvelous in the eyes of some...and these will not "make haste"; the Hebrew "chuwsh" means to hurry, or even "to flee in alarm". Apparently, those, who believe, will be at peace, they will be relaxed.

Elaine, the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) said that our identification with Him would cause us to be hated and rejected too. And in this world, there are quite a few modern "builders" who have also rejected the "Chief Cornerstone", so we can expect that they will reject and abhor us who belong to Him. But the prophet said that believers in this Precious Cornerstone will not make haste, or flee in terror; instead, their belief, their faith, their trust will make them relaxed. Is that you?

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Post  Admin on Fri 30 Jun 2017, 11:07 am

Elaine, just do it!

James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Winston Churchill exemplified integrity and respect in the face of opposition. During his last year in office, he attended an official ceremony. Several rows behind him two gentlemen began whispering. "That's Winston Churchill." "They say he is getting senile." "They say he should step aside and leave the running of the nation to more dynamic and capable men." When the ceremony was over, Churchill turned to the men and said, "Gentlemen, they also say he is deaf!"

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said "The human race is divided into two classes -- those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire, 'Why wasn't it done the other way?'"

How many times have we left a job, a project, a church, an important relationship because we just didn't find it good enough? Some of us make a lifestyle of it! But God wants us to be the kind of remarkable people who don't criticize, complain and go out looking for something better all the time. He wants us to be a people who determine to make a difference in the lives of the people and situations He allows us to face!

Your job is boring and you need a change? Ask the Lord how you might grow in your giftings there. Ask Him to help you come up with a creative solution and maybe even improve your workplace altogether! Do you want to leave your church because it doesn't have an exciting children's ministry? Perhaps the Lord is calling you to help start one up! 

Elaine, let's be doers! Let's be people of vision! There's much too much to be done for the Lord to be sitting around criticizing. Let's determine to stop being complainers and go forth and do great things for Him!

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Post  Admin on Wed 28 Jun 2017, 8:46 pm

Elaine, come as you are! 

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

An artist went searching the streets of New York City for a model to pose for a portrait he wanted to call -- 'The Prodigal'. One day was passing Central Park and saw an impoverished beggar lying on a bench and thought: 'He's perfect! That man would represent the prodigal son beautifully in my painting.' He asked the beggar if he would be willing to sit for his painting and he would gladly pay him for his time. Naturally, the beggar agreed.

On the day and time appointed, a man knocked on the door of the artist's small Brooklyn studio. Excitedly, he answered his door only to find a clean-shaven young man dressed in a suit and tie standing before him. Disappointed, he said, "You must have the wrong door sir, the law office is down the hall". "But you made an appointment with me," the man replied, "No," said the artist, "I don't believe I've ever seen you before. I made an appointment to meet with a beggar here at this hour." "Well," said the man, "I am the beggar." "You?" said the artist, "You're the beggar?" "Yes, he replied. After you left me last week, I found some money and thought I would get a new suit of clothes before you painted me." "Oh," replied the artist, "Well, you're just not right for the job."

The beggar wanted to show himself a masterpiece before the artist -- but the artist wasn't looking for that. He wanted to create the masterpiece himself! Likewise, when we come to God, we must not come in our own garments of self-righteousness. We must come before him transparent, with no inhibitions, or worries, or pride. God has already seen our weaknesses and faults. We're not hiding anything from Him anyway.

Elaine, the Master Artist has an appointment with us today. Let's not come disguised as someone else. Let's come as we are so that He can make a priceless masterpiece.

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Post  Admin on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 11:32 am

Elaine, there's always a way to return! 

Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

It was a bright Sunday morning in 18th century London, but Robert Robinson's mood was anything but sunny. All along the street there were people hurrying to church, but in the midst of the crowd Robinson was a lonely man. The sound of church bells reminded him of years past when his faith in God was strong and the church was an integral part of his life. It had been years since he set foot in a church years of wandering, disillusionment, and gradual defection from the God he once loved. That love for God -- once fiery and passionate -- had slowly burned out within him, leaving him dark and cold inside. Robinson heard the clip-clop, clip-clop of a horse-drawn cab approaching behind him. Turning, he lifted his hand to hail the driver. But then he saw that the cab was occupied by a young woman dressed in finery for the Lord’s Day. He waved the driver on, but the woman in the carriage ordered the carriage to be stopped.

"Sir, I'd be happy to share this carriage with you," she said to Robinson. "Are you going to church?" Robinson was about to decline, then he paused. "Yes," he said at last. "I am going to church." He stepped into the carriage and sat down beside the young woman. As the carriage rolled forward Robert Robinson and the woman exchanged introductions. There was a flash of recognition in her eyes when he stated his name. "That’s an interesting coincidence," she said, reaching into her purse. She withdrew a small book of inspirational verse, opened it to a ribbon-bookmark, and handed the book to him. "I was just reading a verse by a poet named Robert Robinson. Could it be…?"

He took the book, nodding. "Yes, I wrote these words years ago." "Oh, how wonderful!" she exclaimed. "Imagine! I’m sharing a carriage with the author of these very lines!"

But Robinson barely heard her. He was absorbed in the words he was reading. They were words that would one day be set to music and become a great hymn of the faith, familiar to generations of Christians:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace’
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.

His eyes slipped to the bottom of the page where he read:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it—
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

He could barely read the last few lines through the tears that brimmed in his eyes. "I wrote these words—and I’ve lived these words. ’Prone to wander…prone to leave the God I love.’"

The woman suddenly understood. "You also wrote, ’Here’s my heart, O take and seal it.’ You can offer your heart again to God, Mr. Robinson. It’s not too late."

And it wasn’t too late for Robert Robinson. In that moment he turned his heart back to God and walked with him the rest of his days. [Ron Lee Davis, Courage to Begin Again, (Harvest House, Eugene, OR; 1978), pp. 145-147] 

Elaine, is this you? A devoted Christian deep in your heart, who has wandered from the faith? Your loving Father will orchestrate your return to Him. 

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Mon 26 Jun 2017, 9:56 pm

Elaine, are you an armor-bearer?

1 Samuel 14:6-7; 13-15 Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few." So his armor-bearer said to him, "Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart." And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and knees with his armor-bearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan. And as he came after him, his armor-bearer killed them. That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land. And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and the raiders also trembled; and the earth quaked, so that it was a very great trembling.

The setting in 1 Samuel 14 is war between the Israelites and the Philistines; and while King Saul relaxed under a pomegranate tree [1 Samuel 14:2], his son Jonathan along with his armor-bearer left the camp quietly to see if the Lord would fight the battle on their behalf. Jonathan had no idea what he would face out there, how many Philistines he would encounter, their battle skills or strategies. He only knew that if God delivered the enemy into his hands he would be victorious. And he was.

“Nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few”, is Jonathan's faith statement to his absolute conviction that victory is not determined by numbers but by God. But notice that Jonathan didn't fight the battle alone; his trusted companion, his armor-bearer was with him. We don't know his name, we don't have much information about him, except this one sentence, "Go then; and here I am with you!"

Jonathan rose up, a man with divine initiative, a sense of spiritual adventure, and a total conviction that YHVH was with him. He was a leader whose name is forever memorialized by deeds of valor. And then, there was this nameless fellow who accompanied him with deep loyalty doubtless inspired also by the Lord and his knowledge of Jonathan's faith and character.

Elaine, when the judgment of our works is given there will be those who were known and those who were "nameless"; loyal armor-bearers standing alongside their leader/friends whose loyalty, faith and bravery will be honored and recognized in full. Be sure of it!

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Post  Admin on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 9:38 am

Elaine, it's washed away! 

2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: Finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give to me on that day: and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

As Scotland was declaring its independence from England in the 1300's, the English were hunting for Robert Bruce of Scotland in an attempt to prevent his accession to the Scottish throne. In the search, the English put Bruce's own bloodhounds on his trail. As they grew closer to apprehending him, Robert the Bruce found a small river, and he said to his foster-brother who was with him, "Let us wade down this stream for a great way, instead of going straight across, and so these unhappy hounds will lose the scent; for if we were once clear of them, I should not be afraid of getting away from the pursuers."

Robert the Bruce escaped his pursuers by entering a river, and not long afterward, the crown of Scotland rested on his head.

The devil uses our own "sin-hounds" to hunt us relentlessly -- past and present sins, he uses, to keep us from our crown, our position with Yeshua (Jesus), and the rewards which will follow a life of abiding in Him. But we also have a way of escape! Entering into the river of God which flows with the blood of Yeshua, being totally cleansed, the "hounds of sin" cannot touch us, and we too, can come out on the other side, free, and ready to reign with Him!

Elaine, allow your sins to be washed away -- swept into eternity by the cleansing flow of the blood of Christ, and walk in the freedom that Yeshua provided 2000 years ago. Let your past with all its sins be washed downstream, realizing that a crown of righteousness awaits you, and every other saint who loves His appearing!

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Post  Admin on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 5:32 pm

Elaine, we have crossed over, now let's hold on! 

Galatians 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, and heirs according to the promise.

This amazing passage defines all true believers in Messiah as "Abraham's seed and heirs according to God's promise". Abraham was known as the first Hebrew -- literally, "one who crosses over!" Before he crossed over into the promised land, we know from the scriptures that Abraham lived in a deeply idolatrous society and that even his own father was an idol worshiper. (Joshua 24:2) But one remarkable day, a call came to Abraham....a call from the Most High God -- and he became one who "crossed over" from idolatrous polytheism into a personal knowledge of the one true Creator God. So leaving his past behind, he entered a new life of spiritual truth and holiness and a new land of promise; a profound transformation, and for us, a beautiful picture of our own "crossing over" into the new life of Yeshua the Messiah.

Now looking at Abraham's story, do we see that his life was free of obstacles and troubles once he reached his destination in Caanan? No way! Here are a few major events: he felt forced to go into Egypt to escape a famine, where his wife, Sarah, was held captive in Pharoah's harem for an undisclosed amount of time; after being liberated, Sarah continued barren until old age; then, Abraham was required by his own deep loyalty, to rescue his worldly nephew Lot and his family, risking his own life and the lives of his men; again he was tested when following Sarah's advice, Abraham conceived a son with Hagar, whom he deeply loved but was required to send into the desert with his Egyptian wife/mother. And of course, he probably faced the greatest test of faith when God asked Abraham to sacrifice the son of promise, Isaac, Sarah's only son, for whom they both had waited all their lives!

Isn't it interesting that we know nothing of Abraham's life trials before he crossed over into Caanan? Only after he crossed over do we read of the successive testings of this great man of faith -- and in fact, because of those tests Abraham is considered the "father" of faith. (Romans 4:16)

Elaine, we are called to bear our crosses daily, and also to respond with faith to whatever may come our way. And, praise God that when we do, we also will be known as those who "crossed over" and overcame every obstacle and trial of faith...having held firm to every great promise of God!

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Post  Admin on Wed 21 Jun 2017, 1:29 pm

Elaine, react with boldness! 

Psalms 2:1-3 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed [in Hebrew it is the word Meshiach], saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

Acts 4:25-28 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

When Peter and John had gone up to the Temple for prayer [Acts 3], they saw a man who was lame from birth, and were moved to heal him in the name of Yeshua (Jesus). Immediately the religious leaders laid hands on them [Acts 4:3] and kept them imprisoned for a day. The following day, with boldness, they declared this miracle was done in the name of Yeshua. I love what the "religious" leaders said next --- "they perceived that they were unlearned men and they marveled at their boldness!" Why were they bold? They had been with Yeshua, and the leaders took note of that!

It is no surprise that the world rages against the Messiah. Psalm 2 declares it clearly. Every year there are tens of thousands of believers suffering and dying for their faith, in large part because the kings and the rulers of the earth RAGE against the Lord and His Anointed. As followers of the King, we should expect this and be prepared for it when it comes.

Elaine, but, the examples of Peter and John, and every other true Christian martyr are there to inspire and encourage us that if and when the time of persecution comes for us, we too can be bold as a lion. And this boldness is no merely human bravery, but an unction from the Holy Spirit Himself. So, though the kings of the earth will rage, our simple faith and Holy Spirit boldness will testify that we too have been with Yeshua!

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Post  Admin on Tue 20 Jun 2017, 3:37 pm

Elaine, excuse me, could you direct me to the promised land?

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

It is among popular "Christian" belief that an abundance of material and other blessings follow those whose hearts are truly after God and that those who seem to consistently struggle to that end, cannot possibly be in God's perfect will. I want to submit to you a realization I had about this very thing. I think we might have it all backwards.

Almost all the great men of faith I've read about in the Bible had to spend some time in the wilderness. Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, just to name a few.

God had to make them desperate. He had to cause them to be quiet and undistracted enough to hear His still, small voice. He had to make them hungry and thirsty enough to cry out for a miracle.

Interestingly, the word for wilderness, in Hebrew, is "meed-bahr". And meed-bahr comes from the word "leh-da-behr", which means to speak. Hmmm.

Some of us are walking through the desert right now. It's hot by day -- there is only rugged, thorny, sandy terrain for miles and miles and there seems no end. By night, the wind is unbearably cold and we stumble over things we can barely see. Snakes and scorpions live here. It seems like a lonely place.

But this is actually a place of blessing! It is for our growth, and ultimately for our prosperity that God has brought us here! Like it or not, the wilderness is where He can speak to us most effectively. It is the place He can most easily get our attention. It is the place we will cry out to God and truly listen for His voice. 

Elaine, know that God is with you today! He is walking along with us through this wilderness and longing to comfort us! If we would only cry out to Him and heed His voice! The promised land awaits!

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Post  Admin on Mon 19 Jun 2017, 8:57 pm

Elaine, be a bold voice for Him! 

Isaiah 52:7-8 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the Lord brings back Zion.

In the 4th century lived a Christian named Telemachus, in a remote village, tending his garden, and spending much time in prayer. One day, he believed he heard the voice of God telling him to go to Rome, so he obeyed, setting out on foot. Some weeks later, weary from his journey, he arrived in Rome about the time of a great festival.The little man followed the crowd surging through the streets into the Colosseum. He saw the gladiators standing before the Emperor and proclaiming, "We who are about to die salute you." Then Telemachus realized that these men were going to fight to the death for the entertainment of the cheering crowd. So he cried out in a loud voice, "In the name of Christ, Stop!" Yet the games began, so he pushed his way through the crowd, climbed over the wall and dropped onto the floor of the arena. The entire Colosseum watched this tiny figure rushing toward the gladiators, crying, "In the name of Christ, STOP !!!" The gladiators thought it was part of the show and began laughing. But in a few moments, they realized it was not part of the show, and then the crowd became angry. Telemachus stood his ground, insistently pleading with the gladiators to stop their bloody show, when one of them plunged a sword into the saint's body. He fell to the sand. As he was dying, his last words were, "In the name of Christ, STOP!!!"

Then a strange thing happened. The gladiators stood there looking at the tiny Christian lying there dead. A hush fell over the Colosseum. Way up in the upper rows, a man stood and made his way to the exit. Others followed. In dead silence, one by one, everyone left the Colosseum. The year was 404; and that day saw the last battle to the death between gladiators in the Roman Colosseum. Telemachus' martyrdom initiated an historic ban on gladiator fights by the Roman Emperor Honorius. Never again in the great stadium did men kill each other for the entertainment of the crowd. One tiny man's bold voice -- one voice -- reshaped Roman history, and saved thousands of lives, by fearlessly proclaiming the truth in God's name! 

Elaine, you may be a little man, or woman, spending time alone with Yeshua (Jesus). And He may be preparing you in the quiet place, for a moment when you will be called to raise your voice in some public square or stadium, to fearlessly stand for His truth, even if it might cost your life. Remember Telemachus, whose voice changed the world because God's word was behind it. Boldness is not bravado, but is rooted in deep conviction based on deep relationship and unswerving obedience. And it's effects resound through history. So cultivate that intimate relationship with Him, and be ready to be launched into the arena of death-dealing humanity. Your lack of fear and your love for others will reveal the Yeshua whom you love, to many souls.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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