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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?!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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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.

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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,

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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,

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Post  Admin on Thu 26 Apr 2018, 2:26 pm

Elaine, perfection is coming! 

Matthew 6:30-34 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? O you of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, "What shall we eat?" or, "What shall we drink?" or, "What shall we wear?" For after all these things do the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will will worry about itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In Biblical Hebrew, the verb tenses are not like our "past", "present", and "future" – there are only two: "perfect" and "imperfect". The "imperfect" tense is that which is not yet, not done, or not completed. The "perfect" is that which is done, complete and finished.

The Bible speaks of things that are yet to come in the perfect tense, as if they are already completed; (also called the "prophetic past"). God can have a finished work that hasn’t happened yet -- for example, our salvation! In Messiah, we are a finished work that hasn't happened yet. We are becoming what we are already, in Him.

Yeshua (Jesus) instructed us to pray, "on earth as it is in heaven." Since we (believers) are born from above -- from the finished, perfect work of God, we are already participating in His perfection, though we are still on earth doing His will. 

Elaine, so, reflect on this truth of your already complete perfection in Yeshua. You will look at your problems a little differently -- actually be less worried about them from this "Heavenly" point of view. You may still be working them out with fear and trembling, yet rest in this simple and amazing fact: in Yeshua, they are already resolved!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Apr 2018, 10:50 am

Elaine, counting the omer -- and your blessings! 

Leviticus 23:15-17 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.

In the Tenach (Old Testament), the Lord commanded Israel to count the Omer (the Barley Harvest) beginning the day after the sabbath during Passover, 50 days to the Biblical Festival of Shavuot (Pentecost).

A remarkable fact is that for nearly 2000 years the Jewish people had no homeland, and no harvest to count – yet they continued to count the Omer, counting a harvest that did not exist. Then, about 130 years ago a historical miracle began as the Lord drew the Jewish people back to their ancient homeland, the land of Israel. The land was revived from dusty desert, and the barley harvest was restored, (as well a multitude of other crops), so that now, the Omer is counted as it was in ancient times, with an actual harvest!

Now, if the Jews in diaspora (dispersion) could count the days of a non-existent harvest, in expectation of a divine blessing which they earnestly hoped for, then they set an excellent example for us who trust in the Messiah they gave to the world. Since faith is the conviction of things NOT seen, we, also, can begin to give thanks for blessings we're praying for, but have yet to receive. Our unsaved loved-one, chronic illness, broken relationship, financial disaster, loss of vision.....all these are trials which are testing and maturing our faith.

We can rejoice in them, even as we give thanks in the expectation of victory, restoration, and a harvest of righteousness which is on the way. And may these come to many of us by Shavuot, this year (May 19th-May 20th). 

Elaine, thank the Lord for the blessings you're about to receive -- they're on the way!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Apr 2018, 3:25 pm

Elaine, thaw out! 

John 7:37-38 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

An estimated 500,000 tons of water go over Niagara Falls every minute. On March 29, 1948, the falls suddenly stopped. Those who lived near enough heard the overwhelming silence, and immediately they thought it was a sign -- the end of the world had come! However, after thirty hours had passed -- the flow of water resumed.

What happened? Heavy winds had set the ice fields of Lake Erie in motion and tons of ice had jammed the Niagara River entrance near Buffalo. The ice blocked the flow of water until finally, there was a shift in the blockage and the river began flowing again.

The river had stopped flowing because of ice.

If we really want the flow of God’s love, peace, joy, and anointing in our lives -- we cannot allow our hearts to become like ice. If we do, His life-giving current will stop. 

Elaine, let the Lord search your heart for those areas where the ice has built up and needs to thaw out. He will show you where they are if you ask. Our hearts should be burning for Him, so let the river flow.... once again.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Mon 23 Apr 2018, 7:59 pm

Elaine, are you at peace? 

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 

Back in the third century Cyprian the Bishop of Carthage wrote to his friend Donatus: "It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered, in the midst of it, a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy, which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians, and I am one of them."

This is the kind of peace that we are supposed to experience as believers. The kind of peace that people notice, especially when we display it through our troubles. The kind of peace we can attain when we're despised -- when we're persecuted -- when everything is chaotic around us. 

Elaine, yeah, it's a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But we have victory in our Lord. Let's determine to trust God for that victory in a way we haven't before.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Fri 20 Apr 2018, 7:09 pm

Elaine, learn from failure! 

Psalms 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholds him with His hand.

Failure is never a pleasant feeling. It isn’t enjoyable to lose a job, see a relationship falter, or fail a test. But the disappointment we feel when we face defeat can be turned to joy if we look at it the right way!

Thomas Edison was busy working in his laboratory at 2 o'clock one morning when an assistant came into the room and noticed that the inventor was smiling broadly.

"Have you solved the problem?" he asked. "No," replied Edison, "that experiment didn't work at all. Now I can start over again." Edison could have such a confident attitude because he knew that the road to success is often paved with disappointments that serve to extend the road — not to block it. Each failure brought him a little closer to success. 

Elaine, living a life of victory is not about being perfect — because we are human — and will always make mistakes. The key is learning how to get up after we have fallen. It’s natural to make mistakes — but it’s supernatural to learn from those mistakes and move forward!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 19 Apr 2018, 10:16 am

Elaine, don't forget the price that was paid! 

Amos 8:11-12 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

As Israel celebrates Yom Ha'atzmaut – Independence day – Israelis are often reminded of the price that was paid for freedom. But today, in that spirit, I want to recall a time when a heavy price was paid for a translation of our Bible.

William Tyndale, a 16th century Englishman, translated the Bible into English while living in Germany. Finally, in 1525, he was able to publish a New Testament in English. But the church authorities at the time were not pleased and they angrily sought to destroy Tyndale and his translation. Finally, he was caught and brought back to England where he was burned at the stake.

As he was dying, he uttered these words: "Lord open the eyes of the King of England." His prayer became a prophecy, as it was the King of England, King James, who finally did publish the entire Bible in English about a hundred years later.

Our English Bible translations became a reality through William Tyndale's heroic sacrifice and bravery, ultimately at the price of his lifeblood. This Independence Day, don't let your Bible sit on the shelf gathering dust. Considering the cost that was paid so you could read it in your native tongue, let's all take full advantage of this precious gift.

Elaine, the freedom that we so enjoy on this day is only a taste of the real freedom we have in Messiah; the promise of eternal forgiveness and freedom from sin. The cost of that freedom was the precious blood of the savior Yeshua (Jesus). William Tyndale offered his life so we could read about this spiritual freedom in our own language. As we celebrate our earthly freedom this Independence Day, let's not forget to also give thanks for our eternal liberty that we find in our Lord.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 18 Apr 2018, 9:56 am

Elaine, celebrate freedom! 

Romans 6:22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

Last night began Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) as Israelis remember the over 23,000 soldiers who've perished in various wars fought throughout the course of Israel's short history. Even right now, as we write this devotion, again the sirens ring aloud. Everyone in Israel can hear the sirens at this moment and just about all of them will stop what they are doing in remembrance of those who've laid their lives down for this country's freedom.

Today we mourn, but tonight we will celebrate as Israel enters into Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day). Israelis will be in the streets singing, dancing, eating and bopping each other on the head with blue and white blow-up hammers and throwing confetti. Old, young, black and white -- it's really a site to see. I've never seen anything quite like it -- an entire country celebrating together. It is truly a sign of the freedom that has been won for us.

We as believers have been given a freedom far greater than this, however.  Yeshua (Jesus) laid down His life that we might have freedom from sin -- freedom from the chains of darkness, freedom to live as we ought to live, in purity, righteousness, and holiness! How much more should we honor the Lord's sacrifice by living a life that expresses that freedom! We need to be living memorials of His sacrifice as we show forth His freedom in our lives.

Elaine, let's celebrate in the freedom He's provided -- fresh and new today for truly we can glorify in what He's done for us! 

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 17 Apr 2018, 1:17 pm

Elaine, hold the high ground! 

Phillipians 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

In the midst of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called Vicksburg "the key to the Confederacy", and told his generals, "We do not yet have the key in our pocket!"

Taking Vicksburg was a daunting task for the Union Army because of its strategic position atop high cliffs overlooking the Mississippi River. But whoever controlled Vicksburg also controlled the shipping traffic up and down the Mississippi. Some of the bloodiest fighting took place as the Northern Army mounted bold attacks on Southern strongholds fixed atop the highest points. When the Yankees couldn't drive the Confederate army from the high ground -- they finally laid siege to Vicksburg.  After a few months of being under siege they finally surrendered on July 4, 1863.  This battle, along with Gettysburg, was the turning point in the American Civil War.  While the Southern army controlled the high ground, they controlled the battle and when they couldn't be driven off -- they had to be starved off the high ground, and powerfully illustrates how critical the fight for the high ground can be for determining the outcome!

Throughout history, the same principle appears over and over again – he who holds the high ground wins the battle!

This principle of warfare can also be applied to our lives. When we walk in integrity, honesty, purity, holiness, and love – we are maintaining the high ground. However tempting it may be, this is where we must not give in, compromise, or surrender! Because as soon as we begin giving up the high ground of character, losing the battle for holiness...it won't be long before the war overtakes us too. 

Elaine, fight to hold your high ground -- strive to reach the top in your pursuit of God! Whatever the cost -- hold that high position, and soon... victory will be yours!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
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Post  Admin on Mon 16 Apr 2018, 8:52 pm

Elaine, take a "worthy" risk! 

Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

At a time when thousands of people were dying each year of rabies, Louis Pasteur, pioneer of immunology, was working on a vaccine. Just as he was about to begin experimenting on himself, a 9-year-old boy, Joseph Meister, was bitten by a rabid dog. The boy's mother begged Pasteur to experiment on her son. Pasteur injected Joseph for ten days-- and he lived. Decades later, of all the things Pasteur could have had etched on his headstone, he asked for three words: "JOSEPH MEISTER LIVED". 

Elaine, we are also called to save lives...and yes, even to takes risks to do so. Our greatest legacy will be those who live eternally because of our efforts. Thousands of people die each year never having heard the name of Yeshua (Jesus). Yet there are so many ways to reach them. We ought to risk a little time, money, or effort in that direction for their sake.

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Post  Admin on Fri 13 Apr 2018, 4:14 pm

Elaine, stand on the wall! 

Ecc. 1:5-6;9 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. 6 The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. 9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Tensions between the West and Russia and its allies have intensified leading one to wonder if we are on the cusp another major war breaking out in the Middle East.  Over the past few weeks, diplomats from all over the world have been forced out of their respective embassies due to a former Russian spy being poisoned in the United Kingdom.

In the midst of accusations by Russia and the West, tensions escalated as chemical weapons were reportedly used in Syria last weekend which killed over 80 people and injured at least 300 others.  President Trump threatened to launch missiles targetting Russian backed Syrian President Assad's regime.  Within hours of Trump's tweeted threats, Russia accused Israel of launching airstrikes which hit an Iranian base operating inside of Syria.  A few days ago, the Russian navy deployed eleven ships out of its naval base in Tartus, Syria, to counter U.S. and U.K. naval ships in the Mediterranean Sea. In Israel, soldiers were ordered back to their respective bases as weekend passes were curtailed in light of current events taking place in the region.  It's safe to say, that the Middle East seems on the verge of exploding out of control -- and the timing of these events cannot be taken lightly!

The writer of Ecclesiastes was aware of cycles in nature, how they repeat themselves. Some have noticed another interesting historical cycle which awakens our awareness at this time of year. The dates April 15th-21th contain an interesting pattern. This is a time frame which has seen the birth of much havoc in the world. Historically this is when the birth of Rome and the Roman empire took place, the birth of Napoleon and more recently the birth of Hitler and Nazi Germany occurred.

This time frame is also key in American history as these dates mark times when wars have begun; among them, The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Mexican-American War, and the Spanish-American War. 

Historically, this time frame also includes when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, the Titanic sank, America abandoned the gold standard, the Waco Branch Davidian debacle, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Columbine High school massacre, the Virginia Tech shootings, the Boston Marathon bombing, and finally, the ecological disaster of BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Elaine, anniversaries can be positive, and awaken joyful memories, or...they can recall difficult moments which cause us to brace inwardly and wonder if some kind of trouble will arrive once again. God is the Lord of history and His purposes stand for our good in any case, so we needn't fear the future under His care. During this season when much trouble has been seen in history, let us be watching and ready to stand in the gap and to unleash prayers as the need arises -- for truly it is the season for believers to standing on the wall.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 10:15 am

Elaine, remember! 

Romans 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Today marks Holocaust Memorial day here in Israel. At ten o'clock in the morning, war sirens sound calling the entire Land to remembrance of the 6,000,000 Jews who died and many more who suffered under the Nazi regime during WW2. People in their homes and workplaces rise in silence; cars come to a halt, even on the highways; pedestrians stop where they are and pause... for one minute as the sirens wail, we remember.

You may know that these atrocities and many more through the centuries were done in the name of Christianity. Hitler claimed to be a Christian while his actions clearly demonstrated he was hardly a believer.  However, he deeply sympathized with Martin Luther's antisemitism, as he murdered millions of Jews. 

Systematic torture, abuse, and murder have taken a toll on the Jewish people. The few remaining survivors of the Holocaust carry the scars of history's most recent attempt to annihilate them. The "DNA" of hatred and persecution has passed to children and grandchildren, such that the nation of Israel, partly restored to the Land, partly yet in dispersion, is deeply traumatized and constantly recovering. Yet the Lord's love and His faithfulness to Israel remains sure, as Paul said, "for the sake of the Fathers"; and their suffering also, in some way, points to the suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53. 

Elaine, we need to be praying for the Jewish people. We need to be pouring out much love upon them as we await the complete restoration which God has foreordained. As the Scriptures say, salvation is of the Jews [John 4:22]. They were set aside because of unbelief, bringing God's grace to the Gentiles. But..."if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?" [Romans 11:15].

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 11 Apr 2018, 5:40 pm

Elaine, never forget! 

Ruth 1:16-17 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

As we are enter into Holocaust Remembrance Day later this evening in Israel, I want to share a touching story about an exceptional woman who assisted 2,500 young Jewish children out of the ghettos during World War II.

Her name was Irene Sendler. She was an employee of the Polish Social Warfare Department who had a special permit to enter the ghettos to check for signs of typhus. During these visits, she would wear a Star of David as a sign of solidarity with the Jewish people. Once inside, she would convince Jewish parents to part with their children as she and others created for them false papers and smuggled them out so to put them in various good homes around Poland. Sendler then buried the children's true identities in jars in her backyard, hoping to reunite them with their families after the war.

In 1943, Irene was arrested by the Gestapo, severely tortured and sentenced to death. She was able to save herself by bribing German guards on the way to her execution. Listed on bulletin boards among those who had been executed, she was left in the woods unconscious, with broken arms and legs. For the remainder of the war, she lived in hiding. Though she had suffered much, she continued her work with Jewish children.

In 2007, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and lost to former vice president Al Gore. 

Elaine, may we take up the call of Ruth – "your people shall be my people, and your God shall be my God!" To Israel and the Jewish People, know that you have thousands of friends standing in solidarity with you!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Apr 2018, 10:59 pm

Elaine, beware of your thoughts! 

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Picture this -- you come home from a long day of work -- you walk into your living room -- plop down on your couch in exhaustion -- and there in the corner of the room -- your eyes are drawn to something moving -- it's a rattlesnake! Do you say to yourself, "Oh, I'm too tired to worry about that now, I'll deal with it later?" Of course not! You'd jump up right away, find a bat or something of the like, alert your family, call the neighbors, call 911, call the fire department and who knows what else! It's a life-threatening situation!

In the same way, we need to consider it an emergency when a negative thought enters our minds! We immediately need to jump up, put our armor on, alert others and ask for help if needed and take cover in the promises of God! When those unrighteous thoughts enter our minds, we must deal with them immediately -- lest they linger and fester -- and before we know it, poison our entirety.

Elaine, sadly this is a battle that continuously rages on. We must renew our minds daily -- and even hourly in order to remain in a place of peace. Let's not wait 'till the enemy has us in his grip! Let's put him in his place at the first sign of attack!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Apr 2018, 2:06 pm

Elaine, take out the trash! 

2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

As my father-in-law was leaving for Jerusalem yesterday, my wife made one of her frequent requests of me – “Honey! Could you take down the trash?” Well, I don’t know about you-- but this is not one of my favorite tasks. Why does it always seem like we guys always get pinned with the dirty work?! (My wife -- and probably many of you ladies out there would probably have a good laugh at that question!) But really, though -- I was sure I had just emptied that trash can two seconds ago! I mean, I turn around and it’s full again!

It amazes me how much garbage our little family makes. But it got me thinking about spiritual garbage. Let’s face it. We live in a world running rampant with spiritual trash. It’s everywhere -- and though we as believers try and avoid it, we step out our front doors and there it is to greet us. As a matter of fact, we don’t even have to step out our doors anymore! The trash has inundated our television, our music, our computers. It’s in our schools and even in our congregations! We’re probably so chock full of trash by now, we’re overflowing! I think it’s time we empty our spiritual trash cans.

Elaine, we have a responsibility to make sure we empty our spiritual trash – and empty it often. Let’s ask the Lord to help us take out this yucky mess and clean us up from head to toe -- that we might be able to do greater things for Him!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Fri 06 Apr 2018, 2:58 pm

Elaine, He's establishing His watchmen! 

Isaiah 62:6-7 6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

We've just returned to Israel and the region seems to be nothing but a boiling cauldron ready to erupt. In just a few weeks, we will celebrate the Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot, in Hebrew. Most Christians recognize this holiday as the Feast of Pentecost -- the time when the Holy Spirit descended and empowered His saints to accomplish the mission of global witness to Yeshua (Jesus). Here in the Land, there has been a call to prayer and fasting in anticipation of Shavuot and its prophetic significance for believers in Israel, as we long for a fresh outpouring of God's Spirit.

At the same moment in time there is another call; this one, for an uprising or "intifada" to begin on May 14-15th termed, "Nabka Day" intended to coincide with the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. Nabka literally means the "day of catastrope" and is held each year remembering the time Israel became a nation. The "coincidence" of these two "calls", one to prayer, the other to war, seems significant.

We believers in Yeshua (Jesus) are called to stand as watchmen. Interestingly, one of the ancient Hebrew words for 'watchmen' is the word 'notzrim' -- which coincidentally, is the modern Hebrew word for 'Christians'. Watchmen are called to vigilance and attentive awareness of the situation. Our present situation is a boiling pot threatening to overflow. Please keep watch with us; "do not keep silence, and give Him no rest, till He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise throughout the earth." This can not happen if Jerusalem is divided and overrun with those who hate the very existence of Israel. The Lord will use this pressure for His own purposes, to test nations and hearts, and to draw Israel back to Himself. Our heart cry is for another outpouring of His Holy Spirit on all flesh. Whatever peace we can hope for in this age will come from Him, and this Divine outpouring...then, finally, Yeshua will return to establish His Kingdom -- and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God.

Elaine, but for now, please stand as a watchman with us at this pivotal time..watch and pray fervently for a minimum of conflict....and for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit – the Lord will be faithful to answer our cries to Him.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 1:15 pm

Elaine, change your world! 

2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

2 Peter 1:3-4 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Living in Israel can be interesting. The people here are brutally honest. They'll tell you what's on their mind, no holding back. If you've gained a few pounds, you're surely gonna to hear about it. If you're standing in line at the store or wherever, you can pretty much expect someone to cut right to the front of the line with a sad excuse if any at all.

While I understand that there is a "survival mentality" at work here (every man for himself), I'll have to admit, I'm still adjusting to this aspect of the culture.

My wife calls this aggressive behavior she sometimes too displays (especially when she's the one patiently standing in line when someone else butts forward), "just being Israeli". But I say, God expects more of us as believers, no? And somewhere deep down, I know she agrees -- lol.

There's a story told of a man who was meditating by a brook in the countryside when suddenly he noticed a scorpion caught in the swirling current struggling desperately trying to climb onto a rock. The old man felt for the creature and earnestly tried to help it, but every time he reached down, the scorpion would strike. Meanwhile, a passerby happened upon this struggle. "Sir", he said, "don't you realize that it is the nature of a scorpion to attack and sting?" "Of course" replied the man, "but it is my nature to save and rescue. Why should I change my nature just because the scorpion doesn't change his?"

This man didn't let the attacking, stinging scorpion change his kind and gentle nature. So should we never allow our environment to influence our behavior, no matter where we are.

Elaine, God has not called us to follow the ways of this world. He's called us to lead with His gentleness and love! If we are going to world changers, we have to step up and be the example, be the light God has called us to be. Let's strive for excellence! 

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 10:49 am

Elaine, mercy triumphs over judgment!

Matthew 18:32-35 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.  Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.  “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

In the parable of the unmerciful servant, the servant mistakenly thought that he could demand justice from another servant all the while asking mercy for himself from the king. When the king found out about this servant's awful behavior, he became enraged and said to him "You wicked servant, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to; couldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" He then went on to hand the servant over to the tormentors. Yeshua (Jesus) closes this parable by saying that this is how our Heavenly King will treat each of us unless we forgive our brother from our heart." Ugggh. Harsh words. But God will not put up with us desiring mercy for ourselves, while we lack forgiveness for others and desire judgment upon them.

In light of the situation where we are, in Israel, it's natural for us to desire judgment upon those who continually wrong us. But we, as believers, have to remember that judgment against others is God's privilege alone. We are not to judge or wish judgment upon others. We are to pray for God's mercy upon them in salvation.

Elaine, has someone offended or hurt you today? During this Passover season, let's choose to forgive and pass over those offenses -- for truly blessed is the man who overlooks an offense! [Proverbs 19:11] 

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 03 Apr 2018, 6:20 pm

Elaine, believe the promises of God as a child!

Matthew 18:3-4 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

One of my favorite "hidden" lessons in the Pesach (Passover) celebration "Seder" meal is the mystery of the “afikomen.” This specially prepared meal-- during which the participants are reminded of Israel's supernatural deliverance from Egyptian slavery by the mighty hand of God-- also includes 3 particular pieces of matzah, (unleavened bread). These three are placed in a "matzah tash" -- a special pouch containing three compartments.

Some rabbis explain these matzot (matza in plural) as representing the three Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Others suggest that they represent three individual groups of Jewish people – the Priests, the Levites, and the Israelites. However appropriate these explanations may be, they seem to fall short of adequately explaining the tradition in which the leader of the Seder breaks the middle matzah in two, and hides half of it in a white linen cloth until the end of the meal. As the children finish their meal, they begin to search high and low throughout the house for the afikomen – and the one who finds it returns to the leader of the Seder demanding a reward in exchange for returning it! At the conclusion of the Seder, according to Rabbinic law, a small piece of the afikomen must be broken off and eaten by everyone present, as a reminder of the Passover lamb.

What is this “afikomen”? And what could be the real meaning concealed in this ancient tradition? I suggest that the answer to this question may be discovered when we learn that “afikomen” is not a Hebrew word, but comes from the Greek word – ikneomai – which literally means, “I CAME!” May this not point to the reality that Messiah's first coming as the Passover "Lamb of God", was "hidden" in some way from the Jewish people, as the Lord Himself said? [Luke 19:42]

Is it simply coincidence that matzah is pierced and striped? Or might this also be a "hidden" and providential indication of Messiah's experience at His first coming? "He was wounded for our transgressions..." and, "by His stripes we are healed"; [Isa. 53]. Why was only the middle matzah broken? Because only the Son was "broken" for us? Why must the afikomen be wrapped in linen and hidden away? Because the Son who died was wrapped in linen and hidden away, and may only be found through inquisitive childlike faith.....which is richly rewarded....

Elaine, there are so many wonderful mysteries hidden in the Hebraic roots of our faith – yet, to me, this one stands out boldly among them– that one must come to God with the faith of a child – not through intelligence, religious ritual, or human wisdom– but simply accepting His word and His promises as children, believing and trusting them. Isn't it beautiful that the Lord chose this humble way to reveal Himself?

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
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