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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 2:36 pm

Elaine, get your second wind! 

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

A reader submitted a question, "How can I get my second wind?"

I believe a lesson can be learned after the disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) returned after a successful outreach. The Lord took them and set them apart in a desert place, away from the cares of this world -- and in this time of separation they were refreshed. [Mark 6-31] Oftentimes, a second wind can only come by setting time aside to seek it!

Early in the 1800's, Evangelist Charles Finney wrote about how God gave him mighty infillings of the Holy Spirit. He said, "[These infillings] went through me, as it seemed, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this...Sometimes I would find myself in a great measure empty of this power. I would go and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray with the same results. I would they set apart a day for private fasting and prayer...after humbling myself and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life."

Charles Finney set apart time to pray and fast for a "fresh anointing" from time to time!

In the late 1800's, evangelist D.L Moody stated, "I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God's law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled."

Elaine, do you want a second wind? Then let's get right with the Lord today. Let's set aside some time to get before Him and empty ourselves of the world's influences and our selfish ways that we might be filled with His power and anointing! Let's seek his face -- in doing so, we'll find our refreshment!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel


Editor's Note: My wife, Baht Rivka, will be coming to America and Mexico to sing at a number of conferences and events most of July and beginning of August. We don't know what we'll do without her but I need to stay in Israel and take care of things on the ground and also work on my long overdue book, while our kiddos focus on school. Let us know if you want her to stop in and bless you with some fun Israeli Music and testimony! Please also keep us in prayer


Last edited by Admin on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 2:40 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : footnote)
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 10:41 am

Elaine, be valiant! 

Judges 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valour!

Judges 6 begins with an angel talking to Gideon saying, "thou mighty man of valour!" However, in this passage Gideon isn't feeling very valiant -- he's consumed with his circumstances -- how poor his family is and how he's the least of his fathers' house. He doesn't feel he's done anything worthy of being called valiant, yet the angel still addresses him "mighty man of valour!"

Gideon is not the only one who struggles with feeling unvaliant, though, is he? Even the best of us struggle with feelings of failure and defeat. But we must remember that we are part of the Lord's army -- and in the Lord's army, we do not depend upon our own strength. We depend upon the power of the Lord! We depend upon the victory that He has already won!

Imagine the countless thousands of saints like Gideon who have passed away before us and now sit in heaven's glory where every tear is dried, and every wound is healed -- who have already fought the battle of life and are calling down to us from heaven saying "Fellow Saint, you can get through this thing! Fight this battle -- for we have fought these same battles in our lives and been rewarded with heaven's glory! So fight through and we'll see you soon beside us! March forward you mighty man and woman of valor!"

Elaine, the Lord stands anxiously awaiting our call. He wants us to walk in His power, not our own! Let's give him our circumstances today and strive to rely on His strength to conquer them!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Jun 2018, 12:46 pm

Elaine, He's in the midst of the fire! 

Daniel 3:17-18;23-25 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."

And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king." "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."

Continuing our study of First (Old) Testament appearances of the "preincarnate" Yeshua (Jesus), we find ourselves in the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three men refused to bow and worship another God besides the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. While they knew that God was able to deliver them, they also knew that He might choose not to do so–and whether He delivered them or not had no influence on their loyalty to Him. These three faithful Hebrews were convinced that idolatry was a non-starter for them, no matter what! Their unquestionable loyalty brought wrath upon their heads. Nebuchadnezzar's violent rage moved him to increase the furnace fires seven times! 

Elaine, isn't this the crux of the matter for all of us who live by faith? Whether He delivers us or not??!! Wasn't this the Lord's example in the Garden of Gethsemane? And don't we know that this kind of resolution will increase the intensity of the attacks against us? Our faithful obedience and loyalty UNDER PRESSURE is the most powerful testimony we can give of our love and faith in God. And one way or another, Yeshua (Jesus) will be standing there in the fire with us, just as He was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were delivered. But what really stands out is that they didn't make their deliverance an issue with God. Will you?

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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Post  Admin on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 12:12 pm

Elaine, it's all in His wonderful timing!

Judges 13:6 So the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name.
17 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the Lord, "What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?"
18 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, "Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?"
21 When the Angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the Lord.
22 And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God!"

The children of Israel were delivered into the hands of the Philistines for 40 years for doing evil in the sight of YHVH. Then a wonderful event takes place: an announcement to a barren and childless woman that she will conceive and bear a son. The announcement is given by one who is called "malach-YHVH", literally "Angel (of) YHVH. This messenger, in two separate appearances, reveals God's commandments concerning the boy to be born. At the angel's behest, the couple offers a sacrifice to YHVH, then they ask to be told his name.

What happens next opens the eyes of the woman's husband, Manoah. The angel asks why do they desire his name for it is, "פלאי", a Hebrew word translated variously as, "miraculous", "wonderous", "supremely wonderful", "secret", "beyond understanding", and a word seeming to be used as both an adjective and a noun. But then, as the flame of their sacrifice blazes up from the altar toward heaven, this angel of YHVH ascends in the flame! At this, Manoah exclaims to his wife, "We are doomed to die! We have seen God!" From this we conclude that the Image of God, the pre-incarnate Yeshua has once again appeared to His beloved servants for deliverance at a critical moment in the history of His people Israel.

Forty years, often described as a number of testing, a long season during which time the Lord allows the sins of His people to produce their inevitable fruit of judgment and subjugation. Then, at His chosen moment, our God returns for deliverance. And He returns in Person, with unequivocal authority and deep wonder.

Elaine, are you also wondering, "When will God show up!?" The story of the birth of Samson may hold an answer. God will show up precisely when His time of testing has been accomplished! And when He does, you may need to deal with the divine impact of His revelation, and as you worship Him, stand in awe of how "absolutely and supremely wonderful" He is. So, don't be impatient during the time of testing. The deliverance and the wonder will be well worth the wait.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
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Post  Admin on Thu 31 May 2018, 8:34 pm

Elaine, whose side are you on? 

Joshua 5:13-15 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?" So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" Then the Commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so.

Revelation 19:11-16 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. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Joshua son of Nun had been commissioned by Moses to bring Israel into the Promised Land. He was a leader and a general. Having spied out the land and returned with the other 11 spies, he was fully aware of the impending battle and the ferocity of the enemy.There were giants in the land. Having miraculously crossed over the Jordan with all the people and 40,000 armed soldiers, Joshua sensed deeply his responsibility to protect and lead Israel to victory and the inheritance God had promised them.

At this significant moment, somewhere near Jericho, the first battlefield, Joshua "lifted his eyes", to behold a Man. Focused in a mindset of warfare, he asks the obvious question:-- "whose side are you on?" The Man's answer immediately brings Joshua to another plane of existence: "No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come." The young general is standing before the Eternal Captain, Commander of the Lord's Army-- and the ground he is standing on is Holy!

The book of Revelation describes a Man who "judges and makes war". He is called the "King of Kings, and the Lord of Lord's", and undoubtedly He is God's 5 star General. It is very likely that this is the very Man who identified Himself to Joshua as "Commander of the Lord's Army". We know his name. It is Yeshua (Jesus). Once again, the Lord Himself appears in human form at a critical moment in history, to someone He loves. Do we recognize a pattern emerging? Abraham on the plains of Mamre; Jacob wrestling near the Jordan; and now, Joshua, right before the battle of Jericho!

Elaine, our natural tendency is always to ask "whose side is the Lord on?" How many wars have been fought by people who said, "God is on our side."? But the correct question is "Who is fighting on the Lord's side?" Who is truly standing for His interests and representing Him in the battle against the darkness? The flesh will always invoke the name of God to justify its own desires, political, military, or whatever they might be. But the Lord will only "show up" for His loved ones that are truly fighting with and for Him. So we must always ask ourselves if we are with Him. When we're sure that we are on His side, we can rest assured that He is on ours. Victory follows!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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Post  Admin on Wed 30 May 2018, 3:06 pm

Elaine, are you wrestling with God? 

Genesis 32:24-30 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!" So He said to him, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob." And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed." Then Jacob asked, saying, "Tell me Your name, I pray." And He said, "Why is it that you ask about My name?" And He blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

In the most extreme moment of his life, when his entire household was threatened with annihilation, the Patriarch Jacob wrestled with a Man through an entire sleepless night. Somehow, after this astounding encounter, Jacob came to the realization that he had been wrestling with God, and face to face! Once again, the Lord God of heaven showed Himself as a human being to a man He loved; this time, for the purpose of rescuing, blessing, and preserving the man's destiny.

Jacob was relentless during this struggle and his perseverance changed him profoundly, forever, in several ways: he was wounded and walked with a limp for the rest of his life, a sign of human weakness and dependance on the Lord; he was given a new name ("Israel") and with it a new identity, as a prince with God, and one whose struggle with the Almighty saved his life, his family, and his God given inheritance and posterity; and finally, Jacob received the long-awaited relief and closure with the brother whom he had deceived and enraged so many years before.

So this wrestling match with God was a massive turning point in Jacob's life, and though it must have taken every ounce of human effort he could muster, the victory he won affected every human being in history, since, of course, the Man that Jacob wrestled with was almost certainly the same Man who became his most important descendant, the Savior of the world, Yeshua, the Messiah; (Jesus the Christ).

Elaine, how often difficulties and crises are used by the Lord to bring us closer and to develop intimacy with Him. It is sometimes the Lord's will to draw us to Himself through extreme and even terrible circumstances or threats. The inner transformation that can take place when we pass through these intense prayer battles, cannot perhaps, be accomplished any other way. But consider the fruit and the blessing which can result from these mighty wrestlings. And consider how being that close to God Himself may change you forever. So, you who are gutting out that anguishing trial--don't let go until you receive the blessing, the change, the victory. I believe the Lord also wants to say to you--- that you have struggled with God and with men -- and have prevailed!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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Post  Admin on Tue 29 May 2018, 10:13 am

Elaine, is there anything too HARD for the LORD? 

Genesis 18:1-2 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

Genesis 18:13-14 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Genesis 18:17-18 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

John 8:56-58 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

The (Old) Testament contains numerous appearances of God in the form of a man, sitting, speaking, even eating with those that love Him.

Abraham was sitting in front of his tent on the plains of Mamre, when the LORD (Yehovah -- Yud Hay Vav Hay) came to him and declared the fulfillment of a promise He had made to him many years before, saying that through Abraham's seed the world would be blessed! (Genesis 12:7; 13:15-16, 15:18, 17:7-9) For a long season, the Patriarch had patiently waited for the fulfillment of this promise, but it wasn't until the LORD came to him personally, speaking face to face, that the fulfillment of this promise drew near. No wonder Yeshua (Jesus) told the Jews of his day that Abraham rejoiced to see Him! It was the day that the promise -- the long awaited promise -- was coming to pass! 

Elaine, the visitation of God, the Creator of the universe, to this Earth, in the form of a man, seems preposterous to normal human understanding; yet we know it is true, historical, and certain because God has revealed it to us by His Spirit and His Word. Because of this astounding Incarnation, every other promise of the Word is absolutely reliable. Faith and patience are all that are necessary for us to receive them. Is there anything too hard for the LORD? Follow the example of our Father Abraham and stand on the WORD He has given you. Every one of His promises will be fulfilled....... in His time!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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Post  Admin on Mon 28 May 2018, 9:31 am

Elaine, fight on the hidden battlefield -- and WIN! 

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for 'love will cover a multitude of sins'.

Have you ever heard of the Valley of Elah? It's the valley near Bet Shemesh where David defeated Goliath, yet this historic battlefield is virtually untouched in Israel. During the rainy season a brook runs through the midst of the valley, however it dries up during the summer. This brook is very likely the one from which David chose his five smooth stones – one of which was used to kill Goliath. Yet, this historic place has no landmarks, no churches – people drive past it all the time unaware of it's biblical or historic significance.

The present "invisibility" of this battlefield causes me to reflect on the fact that David's battle with Goliath was also won in an "invisible" place...the place of David's faith. Isn't it true, most of the battles we face are won or lost in the spiritual realm -- on a hidden battlefield where we wage war in our prayer closets? Spiritual victories in our prayer closets won't necessarily result in monuments marking them, but those victories will be well remembered in Heaven, and will leave dynamic memorials of faith in our hearts!

Elaine, is there a spiritual Goliath facing you today? If so, remember where the battlefield lies, hidden – in your prayer life! Stand strong and firm in devoted prayer...and the victory will be won – fight on the spiritual battlefield, where the greatest victory of all, Yeshua's own triumph on the cross, has already prepared the way for yours!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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Post  Admin on Fri 25 May 2018, 11:29 am

Elaine, prepare yourself! 

Revelation 19:7-8 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Since my wife and I just celebrated our 16 year wedding anniversary, it reminded me of when my wife and I were initially married in Jerusalem -- before our major wedding in the States.

During that special evening in Jerusalem, my wife elaborately prepared for our wedding. It was just a small gathering at her father's house, but it was so sweet. Her dad prepared beautiful and delicious Israeli delicacies. We built a chuppah (Jewish wedding canopy) from her great grandfather's tallit (Jewish prayer shawl). A Paul Wilbur CD played softly in the back round, and about a hundred candles lit the living room. My soon to be wife had spent hours bathing and doing her hair and getting beautiful for the occasion, and finally, out she came. It all was so romantic, well planned and wonderfully prepared.

We are our Lord's bride! And in the same way, we have a responsibility to prepare for His return! We have some work to do, don't we? 

Elaine, let's examine our hearts today and lay it all out before Him. Let's give Him the first fruits of our day in worship and study and prayer and allow Him to refine and cleanse us -- that we may be found a bride without wrinkle or spot – that we would be a holy and righteous and beautiful bride for Him and our celebration together would be glorious!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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Post  Admin on Thu 24 May 2018, 12:47 pm

Elaine, your God shall be my God! 

Ruth 1:16-17 But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me."

As we continue our study in Ruth, this Shavuot season, I want to suggest a prophetic mystery hidden in this book.

We have seen that names have significant meanings, and as discussed earlier, Elimelech, whose name means "My God is King", left Bethlehem with Naomi his wife and their two sons. The birth of these two boys must have brought joy and happiness, yet, having perished in Moab actually caused their very names to lose their original meanings. The firstborn, Mahlon, which meant "ornament", over the years came to mean "sickly". Their second son, Chilion, derived his name from the Hebrew root for "joy", but his name came to mean, "pining" and "whining". Naomi, whose name means "pleasant", changed her name to Mara, which means "bitterness", saying, "the Lord has dealt very bitterly with me."

Now Ruth, whose name means "friend", remained persistent, despite Naomi's exhorting her to separate and return to Moab. Instead, true to her name and character, Ruth invokes one of the strongest, most beautiful expressions of faith and faithfulness in all of scripture: "For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me." Thus Ruth forsakes her native land and joins herself irrevocably to the nation, people and God of Israel...a truly faithful friend, even to the point of death.

I would like to draw out from the story of Ruth, a possible contemporary meaning and application for us to ponder. I would suggest that Naomi and her two sons can be viewed as a type or picture of the people of Israel, and that Elimilech's decision to leave the Land of Promise with them became a picture of Israel in the diaspora. This present exile of the Jewish people since 70 AD culminating in the holocaust, has often rendered them both "sickly" and "pining" for home, and Naomi's experience outside the land of Israel brought death and desolation upon her.

The modern nation of Israel, birthed after centuries from the ashes of the Holocaust, and a long painful exile, has been suddenly restored to her ancient homeland, yet, in much bitterness, just as Naomi had returned to her homeland from Moab. Yet Ruth's love and faithfulness must have been a profound comfort to her mother-in-law. So, Ruth can be seen as a picture or type of Gentile (Christian) believers, whose faithful love, friendship and comfort bring deep solace to the people of Israel, who are still experiencing the bitterness of the exile and even now, the misunderstanding and opposition of the nations of the world. Many Israelis already know that their truest and most faithful friends in the world today are Bible believing Christians whose love for them is unconditional, and beautifully reflects the devotion of Ruth to Naomi.

Finally, it seems significant that Ruth's loving and faithful character became inspiration for drawing out the redemptive grace of Boaz toward Elimelech's widow, Naomi, so that her family line and inheritance were restored and preserved. As their Kinsman Redeemer, Boaz was deeply moved by the humility and faithfulness of Ruth to her mother-in-law, and as such, she can be seen as a type of intercessor between Boaz and Naomi. For if Boaz is pictured as a type of Yeshua (Jesus) our "Kinsman-Redeemer", then Ruth, lying down "at his feet" can be a picture of believers' humble prayers and intercession for the Jewish people entreating the Lamb of God for the mercy which restores us all to the inheritance which belongs to Him. 

Elaine, if in fact, Ruth can be seen as a "type" for Gentile believers, and Naomi, a picture of Israel, restored to her land, but still in bitterness, then Ruth can be an inspiration and a pattern for Christians who love Israel and who recognize her irrevocable calling as a nation. If the faithfulness of Ruth through love and intercession helped to restore Naomi to her true Kinsman-Redeemer, can it also be that the faithfulness and intercession of Gentile believers will be a powerful influence for the restoration of the Jewish people to their "Kinsman-Redeemer, the Messiah Yeshua Himself? Our friendship with Israel in word and in deed, and our prayers, in the midst of global opposition [Zechariah 14:2] will be a powerful testimony for Yeshua, and will help to remove the veil from Jewish eyes concerning His true identity. As we support the restoration of their Land (a Biblical promise), we also help to open the way for the far greater blessing of eternal life. Doing so, we also will be blessed according to these timeless words; "I will bless them that bless thee, and I will curse them that curse thee!"

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel

Elaine, who do you know? 

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Clean your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.

My wife and I are celebrating our 16 year wedding anniversary today and it would seem that I know her pretty well. But every once in a while, she says or does something that surprises me -- and I think to myself "Wow, I guess I didn't know her as well as I thought!" The more time I spend with her, the more I get to know her -- her heart, her character -- the more we become intimate.

The same is true with any relationship but especially our most important relationship, that is, our relationship with the Lord.

There's really no going around it. True intimacy doesn't come in an instant. It takes time. If we want to be close to the Lord, we must spend time with Him -- getting to know Him -- His heart -- His character.

Do you feel distant from the Lord? Let's commit to spending some special time with Him -- not only making requests and telling Him about our problems, but maybe listening a little. Perhaps there are some things He'd like to tell us! 

Elaine, there is much work to do for the Kingdom! Let's make intimacy with our Father a top priority so that we are able to get that work accomplished!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
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Post  Admin on Fri 18 May 2018, 2:55 pm

Elaine, be transformed this shavuot! 

Leviticus 23:15-17 'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord.

As the world celebrates the feast of Shavuot this Saturday evening, it's important to understand it's deeper implications for us as believers in Yeshua. In the Torah, the Lord (YHVH) commanded the grain offering on Shavuot, (known as Pentecost among Christians), to be made of the finest flour, baked with yeast, that is, leaven. Leaven, in the Bible, is almost universally, a symbol for "sin", and in the OT is strictly forbidden on the altar of YHVH., yet here, in the Feast of Weeks it is commanded as part of the offering. Just six weeks prior to this festival, Israel had spent a week eating unleavened bread, a clear picture of the connection between the Passover Lamb and the removal of sin from our lives. Now the grain offering for Shavuot contains yeast; two loaves with it. Why? A common interpretation of this for NT believers is that the loaves represent Jews and Gentiles, the two types of redeemed people, who, of course, still contain sin in our lives.

So the sequence of these two spring festivals can be seen to illustrate, on the one hand, our perfect deliverance from sin and death through the Passover Lamb (Yeshua); and subsequently, the reality of our true condition as "leavened loaves" offered to the Lord as "first-fruits". We know that having come to faith in Yeshua (Jesus), cleansed by His shed blood, we stand righteous and perfect in Him; and yet, we constantly struggle with our Adamic nature. In this light, Shavuot begins to emerge as a festival marking and illustrating the opportunity and means for our transformation. The Lord's sending forth of His Holy Spirit at this time awakens and empowers us to change; to be inwardly transformed from the old creation into a new creation.

On the day of Pentecost, 2000 years ago, this transformation process was dynamically accelerated and made accessible to every believer. Baptized with the Holy Spirit of God, and with His fire, our sinful nature with all its impurities and "leaven" takes a back seat to the powerful indwelling of the Spirit of Messiah, so that as we continually pray, walk in obedience, and thus cooperate to be filled with His Spirit, we are sanctified and transformed into His likeness - "from glory to glory", and so become His effective witnesses. Praise God that He works with our issues-- and is transforming us into a bride without wrinkle or spot! 

Elaine, allow the Holy Spirit to burn away the impurity of your sinful nature; to purge out the dross, and deeply penetrate your life. The process can be "firey" and involve some painful sacrifices, but the result is purity and the holiness without which no one will see God. And remember that Yeshua is returning soon, greatly anticipating a bride who is prepared for His arrival!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 17 May 2018, 11:17 am

Elaine, God is not finished with the Jewish people, or with you! 

Jeremiah 31:31-33 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

As I traveled across the U.S., I occasionally came across individuals who didn't believe that Israel and the Jewish people were relevant to God's redemptive plan. Amazed, I would show them this passage in Jeremiah foretelling how God would make a 'New Covenant' with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah! This scripture, an Old Testament foundation for our entire New Testament, was addressed to the two houses of Israel, yet its fulfillment in the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) was received by only a (significant) remnant of them, at His first coming.

The apostle Paul, however, unequivocally affirms that this initial remnant of saved Israel carried the Messianic revelation to the entire world and that revelation would eventually be returned to the Jewish people in full measure;

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins." [Romans 11:25-27]

And interestingly, Israel's future inheritance in the New Covenant is highlighted as well by ancient rabbinical commentary on Jeremiah 31:31-32;

"When the time of the advent of the Messiah will be near, then the blessed God will say to him: 'With him I will make a new covenant. And this is the time I will acknowledge Him as my son, saying 'This day have I begotten thee.' [Midrash Tehelim, 3:4]

Indeed ancient rabbis saw in this scripture that the new covenant was connected to Psalm 2 and would be ushered in by the Messiah, who would be God's own son.....hmmm.

Another ancient rabbinical commentary on Jeremiah 31:31,32 says, "He will sit and expound the new Torah (teaching or instruction) which He will give through the Messiah." [MidrashTalpiyot, 58a]

So the testimony of Yeshua, the Son of God, came through the Tenach (Old Testament), Moses, the Prophets and Psalms, which are the scriptures of the Jewish people, and is even supported by rabbinical commentaries. In addition, the entire New Testament (with the possible exception of Luke) was written by Jews. This people, blessed of God in so many ways, and chastened accordingly for their disobedience, is still quite relevant to God's plans. His "gifts and callings are irrevocable" [Romans 11:29]. 

Elaine, God is not finished with Israel or the Jewish people. And thank and praise Him for the faithfulness of that promise, because if He remains faithful to such a disobedient nation, He will also remain faithful to all those called and chosen through the revelation of Israel's Messiah...you and me.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 16 May 2018, 3:30 pm

Elaine, do you have a safe place? 

Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

As some of you may know, a bomb exploded in a bus within blocks of our Jerusalem apartment when we first moved to Israel. That morning, my wife and I, along with our newborn baby, were heading to the city center to run a few errands when suddenly we heard the explosion. Within minutes, the sirens were screaming from every part of the city as officials quickly made their way to the scene. Later that month, the bus I was supposed to be on drove away as I watched it carry away the 50 or so people who would be critically injured and the 8 who would be dead seconds later, when that bus exploded before my very eyes. So, to put it mildly, we have seen firsthand how terrorism works and how it affects people.

People ask us all the time -- "Aren't you afraid to be living in Israel these days?" Truth be told, there aren't too many safe places in this world anymore, are there? However, there is one very safe place we have found, and it's the very safest place there is. You may have heard of it -- it’s called "God's perfect will". We should all be striving to make our home there for the rest of our earthly days.

We may be afraid to go to those places or do those things that God may be calling us today. It could be to share your God-given talents in some far away land, and it could be across the street to help a neighbor. Whatever the case may be, it's easy to get wrapped up in other people's fear, anxiety and criticism. But we have a choice. We can either give in to those fears or stand for the Lord and choose what has called us to do. 

Elaine, let's submit all our fears to the Lord today and choose the latter. I want to live in the will of God, don’t you? He will not leave our side when we step forward to do great things for Him!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 15 May 2018, 11:45 am

Elaine, continue to lift your brother up! 

Exodus 17:9-12 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

We've now received scores of emails from readers around the world who are lifting Israel and specifically the believers here, in prayer, and what an encouragement this outpouring of support has been to us.

When Israel was fighting Amalek, Moses stood on top of the hill overlooking the battle, with his hands lifted high, and as long as they were lifted, Israel prevailed. When his arms became weary and dropped down, the battle went to Amalek; so Aaron and Hur drew up alongside Moses and they lifted up his hands, keeping them raised until sundown because Moses didn't have the strength within him to fight the battle alone. 

Elaine, do you know a brother or sister who's been going through a rough time? Someone you know who really needs prayer? I'm sure we all do. So be an encouragement this week – lift your brother or sister in prayer, stand beside them, and help them through the battle. You never know how your help might affect a far greater spiritual battle they're involved in. And with so much work to be done, remember too, that he who refreshes will himself be refreshed!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Fri 11 May 2018, 1:14 pm

Elaine, let's go deeper!

James 4:7-10 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Why is it that some believers seem to go much deeper in their walk with God than others? I believe it has to do with a desire to pursue God and not to stop until they feel His very presence in their lives. These believers decide not to settle for anything less than a growing, vibrant relationship with God, and God honors that desire for those who seek it.

Much of our walk is determined by how we desire Him. In James, the Lord promises that if you draw near to Him -- He will draw near to you. Our enemy, Satan, uses everything in his power to prevent that vibrant relationship from forming – but press through – press on – because God wants this relationship very much. 

Elaine, as we approach Shavuout (Pentecost), let's set aside this weekend to pray for a break through! Do you want more? I know I want more! God's heart and mind are infinitely deep and there's nothing more precious than knowing Him better and better. So I'm pushing through every obstacle to really show Him how much he means to me. Will you join me? We can do it together -- and together we can change our world around us for His glory! Amen!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 10 May 2018, 10:55 am

Elaine, aoooooo! 

Phillipians 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

A friend sent us the following story.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on in every person. He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves'. One is evil -- it is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good -- it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed." Need I say anymore?

Elaine, let's start feeding ourselves with those thoughts which edify our spirit, our soul and our minds, that we might flourish for the Lord and do great things for Him -- and the God of peace shall be with you till the end of the age! 

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 09 May 2018, 12:54 pm

Elaine, spread the good news in power! 

Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

One of the greatest moves of God took place in 1727 on the estate of Count Zinzendorf. Count Zinzendorf was a strong believer who was deeply influenced by the faith of his grandmother and aunt. At the tender age of 22, he opened a portion of his estate to refugees seeking asylum from the religious persecution throughout Europe.

After five years, this fledgling settlement of three hundred was growing; but in the midst of their growth, divisions were arising among the brethren over doctrinal issues. Then on May 22, 1727, the Moravians made a covenant with Zinzendorf whereby they committed themselves to the Lord, confessed the sin of religious quarreling, and "sincerely renounced self-love, self-will, and disobedience…deciding, each one, to be led by the Holy Spirit in all things."

Later that same year, on August 13th, after a week of fasting and prayer, the Moravians whose average age was around 30, were gathered, when an outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place. Count Zinzendorf called it the Moravian Pentecost. This led to over one hundred years of continuous prayer, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which supplied spiritual power to one of the longest sustained outreaches the world has ever known. The revivals led by the Wesley brothers that took place in the United States and England was a direct result of the Moravians. In 1867, one of the earliest missions established in the Modern State of Israel was also fruit of this move of God.

So what can we learn from this amazing revival? First, it began when the brethren laid down their differences and came together in prayer, determined also, to lay down their lives for the Gospel's sake. Secondly, the outpouring of the Spirit is always connected to spreading the Gospel in power, which leads to widespread radical change in the world of that generation.

Elaine, as we approach the festival of Shavuot (Pentecost), let's be stirred with a sense of urgency, also...to lay down our differences as believers, and then lay down our lives for the Gospel, so we can be eagerly expecting to be renewed with the power of God -- not only for our own spiritual quickening, but for all the souls who have yet to receive this awesome gift! With so much work to be done -- let's do it in His Power!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 08 May 2018, 10:46 pm

Elaine, take a leap of faith! 

Luke 17:5-6 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

The African Impala (an African antelope) are amazing creatures that can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance greater than 30 feet. Yet Impalas can be kept in a zoo inside an enclosure with a simple 3 foot wall. Why? Impalas will not jump if they can't see where their feet will land. Do we have something in common with these antelopes? Able to take great leaps of faith, but refusing to do it unless we can see where we'll land?

George Mueller said of faith, "Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends."

In Biblical terms: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Elaine, true faith cannot see how the landing will occur...it simply leaps under the conviction that it WILL occur. Remember, Biblical faith begins where our power ends!

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Post  Admin on Mon 07 May 2018, 10:26 am

Elaine, can't touch this! 

James 4:7 Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Carl Armerding wrote a funny story in Moody Monthly, about his experience at the zoo. "As I stood there," he said, "an attendant entered the cage through a door on the opposite side. He had nothing in his hands but a broom. Carefully closing the door, he proceeded to sweep the floor of the cage."

He observed that the worker had no weapon to ward off an attack by the beast. In fact, when he got to the corner of the cage where the wildcat was lying, he poked the animal with the broom. The wildcat hissed at him and then lay down in another corner of the enclosure.

Armerding remarked to the attendant, "You certainly are a brave man." "No, I ain't brave," he replied as he continued to sweep. "Well, then, that cat must be tame." "No," came the reply, "he ain't tame." "If you aren’t brave and the wildcat isn't tame, then I can't understand why he doesn't attack you." Armerding said the man chuckled, then replied with an air of confidence, "Mister, he's old -- and he ain't got no teeth."

Such is the devil in our lives when we realize that God is for us! We should be like the attendant. He knew that cat couldn’t hurt a fly. Satan will make a big ruckus, fussing and growling all he wants but we need to keep our eyes focused on our Lord. 

Elaine, are you being growled at today? The enemy would love nothing more than to make us feel powerless against him -- but "he ain't got no teeth" next to our Lord! Let's turn to God and put our trust in Him. If God is for us, who can be against us?!

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Post  Admin on Fri 04 May 2018, 10:45 am

Elaine, understand YOUR part in the salt covenant!

Mark 9:50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

As we continue to probe the lessons from the salt covenant, we now inquire into our part in the covenant.

Yesterday, we spoke of Yeshua (Jesus) as the unique Bread of Life– and His sacrifice our only provision for justification and righteousness.

Now remember that the salt was "added" to the bread as it was broken. This added salt provides a picture of our communion with the Living Bread being joined to Him for a life of holiness and good works. Our saltiness represents the influence we carry into the world through our union with Him. This influence is expressed through the savor of our works. That savor is something He exhorts us not to lose.

The apostle Paul expresses this compound reality clearly; "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." [Ephesians 2:8-10] 

Elaine, our part in the covenant relationship is to be salt to the world -- to be a savor which brings the flavor of our Lord to every encounter; to be a preserving influence in a world of sin and decay; and to be sprinkled around for the gospel's sake. May we remain good salty salt as we walk in all the good works He's prepared for us.

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Post  Admin on Thu 03 May 2018, 2:25 pm

Elaine, understand the Lord's part in the salt covenant!

2 Cor 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Yesterday's devotional revealed the salt covenant as a covenant of loyalty; today I want to share an understanding of the Lord's part in this covenant.

Yeshua (Jesus) said He is the "bread of life". It was His body that was broken on our behalf as the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. Notice that He never once called us to be the "bread of life"! He is the ONLY "Bread of Life" – the true bread who came down from Heaven which anyone may eat and not die. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is His flesh, given for the life of the world.

We must realize that we can ADD NOTHING to His sacrifice. If we begin to believe that any good works can add to His sacrifice then we have nullified the perfection of the Messiah's work which provides our justification by faith alone, not of works lest any man should boast. [Ephesians 2:8-9]

Understanding that you cannot save yourself by any good deeds, and falling wholeheartedly upon the sacrifice of Yeshua to save you, will remove spiritual pride, as you understand that He has provided you with the righteousness and goodness which you possess as a generous gift of His Spirit.

In gratitude you will walk in His freedom, serving the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength! 

Elaine, just as Adam and Eve put on fig leaves to cover their nakedness, we can try to cover our deeply corrupted sinful nature with good deeds or religious activity. None of this is of any use or value if we have not truly eaten the "Bread of Life", Yeshua the Messiah. His free gift of righteousness is the only way we can become good. Once He has provided that, we can begin to do works that are truly pleasing and of great value to our Lord.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 02 May 2018, 11:59 am

Elaine, season with salt! 

Leviticus 2:13 And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.

For years, when I visited my father-in-law's home in Jerusalem on the Sabbath, we would break bread and bless the bread with the traditional blessing – "Baruch Ata Adonai Eleheynu Melech HaOlam Ha-Motzi Lechem Min Ha'aretz" – which translated means,"Blessed are You Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has given us bread from the earth". After the blessing, my father-in-law would take salt and sprinkle the challah bread as he broke and passed it to everyone at the table.

I began to understand this blessing only a few years ago, when I stumbled across this verse in Leviticus about adding salt to every grain offering. Mentioned only three times in Scripture, yet this covenant carries deep significance and harmonizes perfectly with our New Covenant understanding of the gospel and its eternal blessing in our lives.

Historically, the salt covenant was used in ancient times as an expression of commitment and loyalty – affirming friendships that would last forever. It was also used in marriage ceremonies demonstrating the pact of enduring loyalty between a man and a woman. 

Elaine, so, the next time you break bread – salt it – reminding yourself not only of the Lord's body that was broken for you – but also of your eternal friendship with Yeshua and your soon coming marriage to Him – all resting soundly on His loyal covenant of love.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 01 May 2018, 9:30 am

Elaine, how will you focus today?

Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.

In the 1970s when the Alaskan Pipeline was being constructed many Texans went to Alaska to work on the pipeline alongside the Eskimos, native Alaskans. However, Texans could only work a few hours in the frigid weather, while the Eskimos could easily work for hours on end.

Some scientists decided to do a study to find out why the Eskimos could withstand the weather, while the Texans struggled. The study concluded there were no physiological differences between the Eskimos and the Texans. Then the scientists conducted a psychological study and discovered the difference. The Eskimos experienced the cold, but clearly understood that a job needed to be done. With that mindset, they focused intently on obtaining results rather than how the weather was affecting them. The Texans, on the other hand, were so focused on the cold weather it became their overriding experience of the situation, monopolizing their attention and energy and crippling their capacity to work.

When the Apostle Paul penned these words in Philippians 4:8, exhorting us to meditate on those things which are good etc. -- he was in prison. Yet he clearly had been training himself not to focus on his external circumstances but on everything good, noble and praiseworthy, and especially the Lord Himself! Paul was no stranger to discomfort or the temptation it brings. But he'd learned well that his inward attitude toward difficult external circumstances could dramatically affect the way he experienced them and also his capacity to function in spite of them.

Elaine, focus on how bad things are – the trials, temptations, the circumstances that surround you – and you will be crippled by the amount of attention you give to them. Focus on the Lord, His Word, His promises, His deliverance, and everything good He has done, and will do, and you will work like an Eskimo in the frigid air.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel

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Post  Admin on Mon 30 Apr 2018, 9:42 am

Elaine, which would you choose? 

Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

We came across this story, about a man who was slowly losing his memory. After a lengthy examination, the doctor said that a risky operation on his brain might reverse his condition and restore his memory. However, the surgery would be so delicate that a nerve could be severed, causing total blindness.

The surgeon asked, "So, which would you rather have, your sight or your memory?" The man pondered the question for a while and replied, "My sight, because I would rather see where I am going than remember where I have been."

Our enemy is always trying to dig up the past and keep us all bound up in our failures. But be encouraged! Today is a new day! Today and every day we have a choice to make! Like Paul, we must choose to press forward and put aside our past. We must purpose to keep our eyes on the Lord, not on our successes or failures, but upon on what can we do for Him today! 

Elaine, be free from the shackles of the past! Keep your eyes on the prize!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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Post  Admin on Fri 27 Apr 2018, 1:34 pm

Elaine, feast with the Lord! 

1 Chron. 12:39-40 And they were there with David three days, eating and drinking, for their brethren had prepared for them. Moreover those who were near to them, from as far away as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, were bringing food on donkeys and camels, on mules and oxen--provisions of flour and cakes of figs and cakes of raisins, wine and oil and oxen and sheep abundantly, for there was joy in Israel.

While the mighty men of David were warriors and could fight with the best of them -- they also took time to relax and feast with King David.

There are times when we simply need to take a break from warfare and learn to eat and feast with the Lord! It's during those times that we can be revitalized for the next battle! 

Elaine, even the strongest warriors needed to take a rest -- let's take a cue from David's Mighty Men -- rest ... enjoy Shabbat ... and your weekend ... while you feast with the Lord!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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