Thursday, November 24, 2011

israel today | Israel Radio Plays Messianic Music! - israel today (Aviel Schneider )

Paul Wilbur

It was Friday evening, and my wife came to me with an urgent message: “Listen! 88FM is playing the Messianic worship song Kadosh!” Indeed, just 30 minutes before the beginning of the Sabbath, Israeli broadcaster Yehudit Ben Yaakov was playing this Hebrew song on her weekly radio program Kan, Sham U’Be’Chol Makom (“Here, There and Everywhere”).

American Messianic Jewish worship leader Paul Wilbur belted out the words: “Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh, Ado- nai Elohim tsva’ot, asher hayah, ve’hoveh ve’yavo”—“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts, who was and who is and who is to come” (Revelation 4:8). “What a holy song, and what an in- spiring way to welcome the Sabbath!” declared Ben Yaakov. “What a great song by Paul Wilbur.”

She was so excited that she played the song Kadosh again, this time by a singer called Suzanne. How amazing that on a typical Sabbath eve, Messianic worship music was wafting over the airwaves of state-run Israel Radio, which owns 88FM.

The same weekend, the weekly newspaper Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) ran a full-page ad featuring the guest house at Yad HaShmona, a Messianic community near Jerusalem. Yad HaShmona was promoting its facilities for weddings and other festivities in the ideal surroundings of biblical gardens and the pastoral Judean hills.

Although this moshav (rural community) is well known throughout the Land as being run by believers in Yeshua (Jesus), it has the freedom to advertise in an Israeli newspaper.

Not only that, but in the same paper, just two pages before, there was a double-page spread from an opponent of the Messianic Jews—the ultra-Orthodox Shas party. Shas was advertising a mega-conference at the Ramat Gan soccer stadium near Tel Aviv, featuring the party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. It is a kind of Jewish “revival” similar to those in Christian circles, but with Hebrew worship songs and rabbis preaching to the crowds. Israeli media outlets, whether TV, radio or newspapers, provide an open platform for both Messianic and Orthodox Jews.

In the same vein, a close friend of mine who is a Jewish believer in Yeshua said that a while back, ultra-Orthodox Jews hung defamatory posters around his neighborhood, showing his picture and stating: “DANGER MISSIONARIES!” Yet his Orthodox rabbi was not disturbed in the least; on the contrary, he even asked him to take on a more important role in the synagogue.

“It’s amazing how these things can boomerang!” he said. “I was sure I’d be thrown out of the synagogue because of those posters.”

While Messianic Jews face an uphill climb toward acceptance in Israel, not everything is negative. It is true that Jews who believe in Yeshua, as well as Christians, are often targeted by the ultra-Orthodox anti-missionary organization Yad LeAchim, which fears that Jewish souls will be lost to Christi- anity. This is largely a response to the bloody history of Church persecution of the Jewish people over the centuries; Jews were massacred in the name of Jesus, but now they are supposed to be redeemed by the same name. This is difficult for the Jewish people to accept.

Nevertheless, Messianic Jews are making inroads in the Jewish state and enjoy more tolerance and freedom than ever before.

israel today Israel Radio Plays Messianic Music! - israel today

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ahava Love Letter - "Courageous & Honorable"

“Courageous & Honorable”

Hold firmly to your faith. Have courage and be strong.”
(1 Cor. 16:13)

Dear family of friends,

There is a movie that recently came out called Courageous. I heard it is good. I am sure we will see it once it is on DVD. (Spending $20 for the big screen is a chunk, and hard to get out of my wallet. Plus Laurie always likes popcorn (she buys that), so there would go the monthly entertainment budget in one night. I was always taught not to spend your money all at once, in one place.)

But this letter isn’t about the movie. It is about ones that I know who I consider courageous, and honorable. It is about those I want to imitate, and emulate. These are ones that I know now, who are out there doing something to bless those they are sent to, and bring further fulfillment in others. Let me share two of those.

Morris Ruddick is an author, businessman, entrepreneur, teacher, and more ( I first met him through one of his first books entitled “God’s Economy – Israel & The Nations”. That was about 2005. Then I really met him in person this past February, 2011, at a local conference when he was a speaker. Morris, about 68 or so, travels to Vietnam, India, Israel and other locations, sharing the dynamics of the Lord’s economic principles, based on the Word of God. I can only imagine doing that when I am 11 years older. He encourages me in my quest to hear and obey.

John Ebenezer of Hyderabad, India reminds me of the Energizer bunny. He keeps going and going and going. Amazing. When he gave me his birth date this year, I realized he was 70. I was further amazed. And especially after being with him for a week in his homeland in 2010. Since we began supporting his ministry, in 2004, to the “lowest  of the lowest class” among the Hindus and Moslems, and then being with him on the ground for a week in 2010, makes one stop and see what can be done, with little in hand. Meeting the Christian pastors and their congregations he continually teaches, encourages, and presses onward into the goodness of the Lord shows that the “proof is in the pudding.” (For a short video clip: John Ebenezer - India )

When one longs to be “on the field” and do the stuff out there, the Lord brings encouragement as we see what they continue to do. Our part may be to pray, write words of hope, and give support as provision is made available. We are doing that through Love For His People.

I hope you have those who are encouraging you, by the way they press forward, through all obstacles. We are called to make a difference and bring the Lord’s abounding goodness. I can attest to ones who do, with courage and honor.

Ahava to my family of friends,

Steve Martin

Love For His People, Inc. truly appreciates your generous support. Please consider sending a monthly charitable gift of $5-$25 each month to help us bless Messianic Jews in Israel. You can send checks to the address below. Todah rabah! (Hebrew - Thank you very much.)
©2011 Steve  Martin      Love For His People, Inc.  12120 Woodside Falls Rd. Pineville, NC 28134      

Facebook pages: Steve Martin  and  Love For His People       

Twitter: martinlighthous, LovingHisPeople and ahavaloveletter 

Blogger:         YouTube: loveforhispeopleinc

Love For His People, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit USA organization. Fed. ID#27-1633858.  Tax deductible contributions receive a receipt for each donation.

Ahava Love Letter #38   Date: Nov. 18, in the year of our Lord 2011    

Steve Martin with John Ebenzer in India 2010

 Morris Ruddick

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Dream Dreams" - Ahava Love Letter

Ahava Love Letter
 “Dream Dreams”

 “…your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts. 2:17 NKJV
Dear family of friends,

Dreams. I believe in dreams that are given to us by the Lord. As the word says in these last days, “young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.” (Ok, so at 57 and counting I may be “mid-old” by the world’s standards. So I qualify.)

There are a few books out on the subject of dreams, by different Christian authors, describing the meaning of those objects, people, events that we are given in dreams. I have read at least two or three, wanting to further understand these communications from the Giver of Dreams. As the Lord speaks, and as we search Him out for understanding, it does give us further insight into His plans and purposes for our lives. Maybe a word for another too.

Two dreams that I remember from this week involved a building in one and some travel in another. In the first dream I was with a local pastor, inspecting a large building, with the objective in mind to renovate it for meeting space. I remember it was very oblong, which at first didn’t seem to be the best suitable facility for a large gathering. But at the same time it was what we believed the Lord had provided. I recall the wallpaper was going to have to be taken down, and some further re-decorating would be necessary. That didn’t seem to pose a major problem to us.

A stream was flowing through one end of the building. A bit odd, but yet it gave a unique feel to the place. We were happy with that. (Do you know of a building that has a stream flowing through it?)

The other dream took place in England. I was with my oldest son. In this dream, he was about 10. I was traveling to another place, and had gotten on a “train without tracks” to get there. Upon arrival at our destination, the conductor wanted to charge me $100 (50 English pounds). Being I only had a total of $200 on me for the entire trip, I told him I couldn’t afford to pay that for just this portion of my journey. Then a friend of mine whom I knew from a ministry helped negotiate the price for a cheaper fare, and I was free to continue on. (I don’t remember what my son was doing back at the original depot. I am sure the Lord had something for him going on.)

What do these mean? I am not quite sure yet. Maybe there is an interpretation that someone will share. In the meantime, I hope you and I continue to have more dreams. I believe the Lord is increasing His communications to us, if we are willing to receive what He is saying.

Dream on!

Ahava to my family of friends,

Steve Martin

Love For His People, Inc. truly appreciates your generous support. Please consider sending a monthly charitable gift of $5-$25 each month to help us bless Messianic Jews in Israel. You can send checks to the address below. Todah rabah! (Hebrew - Thank you very much.)
©2011 Steve  Martin      Love For His People, Inc.  12120 Woodside Falls Rd. Pineville, NC 28134      

Facebook pages: Steve Martin  and  Love For His People       

Twitter: martinlighthous, LovingHisPeople and ahavaloveletter 

Blogger:         YouTube: loveforhispeopleinc

Love For His People, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit USA organization. Fed. ID#27-1633858.  Tax deductible contributions receive a receipt for each donation.

Ahava Love Letter #37   Date: Nov. 8, in the year of our Lord 2011    

What’s the big deal about a Palestinian State? - Dr. Bill Duerfeldt

Dr. Bill Duerfeldt

What’s the big deal about a Palestinian State?

            A recent letter to the editor of the Portland Oregonian asked this question – “If Israel was created by a U.N. resolution, what’s the big deal about another U.N. resolution creating a Palestinian State?  This question reminds me of a famous quote by the 18/19th century philosopher  Georg Hegel -- “What history teaches us is that people…never learn anything from history...”

In point of fact, the Palestinians already have their own State and have had since 1922; but I’ll come back to that in a minute.  First, let’s take an abbreviated trip through history, and maybe – despite Hegel’s cynical remark -- we can learn something.

Prior to the Allied victory which ended World War I, all of the Levant (what is today Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel) as well as Egypt, Sudan, Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, and Armenia were part of the Ottoman Empire.  (It is important to understand that there were no independent “Palestinian Peoples” at this time, nor have their ever been.  All peoples living in the Levant -- whether Arabs, Jews, or Christians -- were “Palestinians” by definition.) 

During WW-I the Ottoman’s had aligned themselves with Germany in the pact called the “Ottoman-German Alliance”.  At the end of the war (1918) the Allies occupied Istanbul and the Ottoman Empire essentially collapsed.

Prior to the Allied victory, in 1917, Lord Balfour, Prime Minister of Great Britain wrote the now famous Balfour Declaration, which said – in part -- "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…”

In an effort to fill the governmental vacuum caused by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Treaties of Sevres and Lausanne sought to chop up the remains of the Empire into several different zones of influence and control.  By 1923 this had resulted in Thrace going to Greece, the expansion of Armenia, the creation of Kurdistan, and the independence of Persia and Ottoman Turkey.  In addition, the French controlled Syria and Lebanon (the French Mandate) and the British controlled Iraq (the British Mandate for Mesopotamia) and Palestine (the British Mandate for Palestine).

In 1922, the British divided the Palestinian Mandate into two administrative areas.  East of the Jordan River this area of Palestine was called Trans-Jordan. Originally the plan called for the territory west of the Jordan to go to the Jews, and the Trans-Jordan would go to the Arabs.  Remember that Arabs, Jews, and Christians lived on both sides of the Jordan River at this time.  In that same year the League of Nations recognized Palestine Trans-Jordan as a state under the British Mandate, with Emir Abdullah as the titular ruler of the state.  (This was Abdullah’s reward from the British for working in league with Lawrence of Arabia in bringing about “the Great Arab Revolt” against Ottoman rule during WW-I.)   The country remained under British supervision until 1946, when the United Nations recognized the new Palestinian Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as an independent country, and Abdullah went from being Emir to becoming King.  Here then, was the birth of the Palestinian State; an independent nation which exists to this day!

However, during this same twenty six year period, on the west side of the Jordan River, the Mufti of Jerusalem was refashioned into the Grand Mufti of Palestine, and the office was held by one Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini.  In the 1920s and 1930s El-Hussenini actively opposed both the British rule in Palestine and the renewed Jewish Zionist immigration.  He instigated Jewish massacres in 1921 and again in 1929.  The Grand Mufti allied himself with the Germans during WW-2 and also opposed Emir Abdullah for his efforts to expand Trans-Jordan as the Palestinian state at the expense of the Mandate territory west of the Jordan River.  After the Second World War the struggles between Arabs and Jews continued, with the British – generally siding with the Arabs – caught in the middle of the escalating conflict.

By 1946 Great Britain had been dealing with nearly three decades of continual unrest and had decided to end the Mandate.  However, it was unclear what to do with the territory west of the Jordan River – now generally called “Palestine” – conveniently forgetting that Trans-Jordan / the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was also “Palestine”!  The British turned the “Question of Palestine” over to the United Nations and the eleven nation UNSCOP committee.  Despite the fact that the Palestinian Kingdom of Jordan already existed for the Arabs and that the Jews had originally been promised the territory west of the River, UNSCOP recommended two independent states – one Arab, one Jewish –  with Jerusalem to be placed under international administration.  On 29 November 1947 the U.N. General Assembly voted 33 to 13 (with 10 abstentions) in favor of the Partition Plan.  The Jewish Agency accepted the Partition.  The five Arab nations who were voting members at the time, unified under the League of Arab Nations, voted against the Partition, and refused to accept it.  Meanwhile, the British government announced that the Mandate would end at midnight on 14 May 1948.

On the afternoon of Friday, 14 May 1948 David Ben-Gurion announced the creation of the Jewish state, to be called Israel, effective at midnight following the end of the British Mandate.  The United States, the Soviet Union, and eleven other nations immediately recognized the new nation.  The Arab nations did not.  Within days the new nation of Israel was invaded by Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan.  Interestingly, the Jordanian troops were led by 38 British officers who resigned their commissions in the British army in order to fight for King Abdullah!

During those initial months of war in 1948 and 1949 – now known in Israel as the War of Independence – approximately 750,000 Arabs fled what is now Israel and entered surrounding Arab countries.  At the same time, about 600,000 Jews fled those same Arab countries and entered Israel.  The Jewish immigrants were immediately absorbed into Israeli society.  The Arab immigrants were placed in refugee camps and held as political pawns for decades.  The decaying remains of some of these despicable refugee camps – those which were under the control of Jordan between the 1949 Armistice and the 1967 Six Day War – can still be seen today in areas of Israel.  It was these camps which became the breeding grounds for terrorist organizations such as the PLO, Hamas, and Hezbollah.  But that’s another history lesson for another time.

So…what about the “Palestinians”?  Shouldn’t they have their own state?  In reality, they already do.  It’s called Jordan and it is more than three times the size of all the territory west of the Jordan River, both Israel proper and the “disputed territories” of the West Bank and Gaza combined.  And those are the facts!

Dr. Bill Duerfeldt
Asheville, NC