Thanksgiving we can rejoice though we suffer grief in various trials

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Jackie-Evan-Lia

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade … In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
(I Peter 3-6)

What a miracle to be able to feel joy in the midst of grief! What a miracle to feel the excitement of hope while walking through the reality of mourning! In this season of Thanksgiving, I am so grateful to the Lord that he has given us new birth into a living hope and because of that, we can rejoice though we suffer grief in various trials. His great mercy fills us and his power works in us to bring us to places we couldn’t have imagined. What an incredible God we serve!

Rome

Last Thursday, my son, Evan and my granddaughter, Lia and I flew to Rome for the weekend. Rome is a popular short trip destination for Israelis as it is close, the weather is good and there is lots to do! I thought I was doing it just to bless my granddaughter on her 16th Birthday and for my son and me to get a change of scenery from our daily reality and all that we have been going through but God had other plans for me! From the start, I was overwhelmed by all that I saw there. The art work in all the famous tourist sites, the buildings, the ruins throughout the city – it all was amazing to my eyes, mind and heart.

Especially after visiting the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, I began to feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me – that I would appreciate the immensity of what man is able to accomplish under the inspiration of God. Really, there are no limits when God’s power and life fills us. We have only to say “yes” to Him! Although I didn’t imagine myself doing sculpture or art, I found myself filled with excitement and hope for the future. God was showing me that all things are indeed possible in Him! We are on this earth for such a short time and a renewed passion to make each day count was birthed in me. I returned and there was joy in my heart.

New Doors

Just a day or two before this trip, I met one of my neighbors who is also a widow. Eddie and I had originally met “D” about four years ago when she first moved to the moshav to be near her daughters, following her husband’s sudden death. At that time, she seemed unresponsive to our attempts to establish some contact with her. Now we met each other at the local store and she was very friendly and as we talked, I shared the news of Eddie’s passing. She invited me to visit and suggested we go walking together in the mornings. We have been doing that and our relationship is growing and deepening. The other night, as we ate dinner together, I spoke about the Jewishness of our faith and was able to expose so many of the lies that most Jews believe about Yeshua. Her response was to say that she envied my faith! I left her house filled with joy that God had opened this door and that I had the privilege to share His life with this very dear woman.

I am also very good friends with another widow that we had met while her husband and Eddie were getting treatment in the hospital. We discovered then that we were neighbors and Eddie and I began to visit them until her husband passed away about 6 months later. We remained friends with “C” as she walked through the last two years of Eddie’s life with us. Since Eddie has gone to be with the Lord, she and I have become much closer and I have had opportunities to share about Yeshua and his truth. And each time this happens and we talk, I am filled with joy.

And through them, I am hopeful of meeting many more women. as they are both active in various activities on the moshav. I am excited as I see and feel the hand of the Lord opening these new doors and believe that this is just the beginning!

Please pray that my relationship with both these women will continue to grow and deepen and that I would always be a true reflection of God’s love to them and for the others that I will no doubt meet in the future. Pray for their hearts to be opened to their Jewish Messiah, Yeshua.

Eddie’s evangelism lives on! He planted seeds wherever he went. I am being used to water them. May God bring the increase.

Congregation

Ahavat Yeshua is doing well and moving forward. We had a very blessed service this past week as we rejoiced before the Lord with praise and dancing. Following the service, we had our first woman’s meeting in several years in our new “club” in a nearby house owned by Ariel and Vered. (They are co pastors of Ahavat along with Jonathan and Simcha.) This club is actually a small apartment with a kitchen and a few of the women prepared a great Mexican meal for all of us. It was very special to be together in a smaller group and to have the chance to meet the women on a more personal level.

This new room has potential to be a wonderful place for people to meet together when they are in the city. All the business meetings of the congregation are being held here as well. This is a real advance as we have never had any office space in the city of Jerusalem.

Pray that this apartment would be used to further God’s purposes as we fellowship together and grow in love one for another. Pray that the leadership would continue to hear the leading of the Spirit and build the congregation according to His blueprint, as we endeavor to be a true family as well as to evangelize and bring in the harvest.

For Eddie and I, “pastoring” people was one of the greatest joys in our life. I am happy to report that God continues to use me as I meet with women in the congregation and am able to encourage and counsel as there is need and as a result, I am greatly encouraged and comforted! Pray that I would be bold and confident as I walk through each new door He is opening.

Election

The biggest news in Israel continues to be the ongoing political saga. As of this writing, there seems to be a last ditch effort going on in order to form a unity government. December 11 is the final date to accomplish this and then new elections are definite.

Sadly, the nation is being ripped apart by a spirit of division which has not been seen to this degree in its history. Earlier this week, there was a demonstration attended by thousands calling for Netanyahu’s resignation. The day before that there was a similar demonstration declaring support for him. I have read articles that say that if he is indicted and forced out of office, it will be the end of democracy in Israel and other writers who say that if he stays and gets immunity, it is the end of democracy in Israel.

Gantz, the head of the Blue and White party won’t sit with Netanyahu unless he is cleared of charges and Netanyahu vowed to stay in office while he fights the charges. In the meantime, the current government is considered an interim government and there is so much politicking happening that its hard to imagine that the government is really taking care of business. Most Israelis are getting quite discouraged as this impasse continues.

This is a situation that only God can solve. It seems as though this division is part of a spirit of division that has been let loose in the world. This can be clearly seen in the increasing polarization happening in so many countries. Please pray for God’s wisdom to bring forth a solution. Pray for a supernatural spirit of unity to dissolve the disunity. Pray that Israel would have a working government soon and that there would be true justice in the case against PM Netanyahu.

Please pray for the Body of Messiah in Israel that this spirit of division would not take hold in our midst. The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. May we be alert and sober minded and stand against disunity in whatever form it takes. May we be a beacon of unity and love and show the world what can be achieved when Yeshua is really reigning as King.

As always, I am so grateful for your support, encouragement and prayers. Because of your continuing generosity, this month Zion’s Glory has been able to help several people who have significant needs as well as a new emerging ministry. As I move forward in these days, I hope that this giving will be increased and bless many.

Life is different but I am looking forward with great anticipation to all He will do in this next season. It is written in scripture that everything that can be shaken will be shaken and it certainly feels as if these shakings have begun in earnest. More difficult times are coming and I want to be one of those who press on and encourage others with all the comfort and encouragement I have received.

Thank you for your part in this as we stand and battle for the salvation of this nation.

With love from Zion,

 

 

 

The article originally appeared on Tikkun’s website and reposted with permission.