Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pray for Jerusalem.

Tom's Journal.

Below is a snippet of a fine web page that I get sent to me, as I am interested in Israel big time -- because what goes on there has a DIRECT bearing on us here in the USA, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. 

I know and remember a lot about sirens going off as a 'early warning system' we had in Vietnam...  especially my 1st tour there in 1968, right after the Big Tet Offensive when people were still very nervous as the war kicked up and we all lost many soldiers.  We would get rocketed by the Viet Cong mostly at night, but also in the day time, and every one took over by running into our bunkers or just jumping in a near by ditch or laying down on mother earth.  The problem was usually that the sirens went off AFTER THE ATTACK!!  One time one of the guys in the same tent I was living in [for 8 long months] had an expensive tape recorder that he left on when we were attacked, and when it was over he rewound it and it played the siren all over again.  We all thought it was another attach and ran out of the tent for a 2nd time-- we were so edgy.  One of the worse times I had living in Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam, was the time that our Aviation Company took 3- 122 mm rockets in the middle of our compound, killing 3 soldiers and wounding 13.  It was nasty and bloody, and a real wake up call that we were in deed at war with a serious enemy... as I served with USARV [United States Army Vietnam] Division/ Group.  My 2nd tour was with the 240th AHC, @ Camp BearCat, RVN, and that was when I served as a helicopter door gunner for one year. 
    So, after I got home at last and out of the Army, the sound of sirens still bothered me a lot and made me nervous enough to want to hit the dirt and take cover-- just an automatic reaction many combat Veterans still have.  Just like ringing a bell every time you feed your dog -- begins to set off his salivary glands thing.  Pavlov's dogs theory.  What once was a survival technique still stays with us old dogs... lol.  Some myopic people may laugh at us, because they have never tasted fear and combat... and we Vets laugh at them too for being so darn ignorant when they get killed for their lack of knowledge and wisdom.  So too is our 'fear of the Lord'...  not that we Real Christian have a 'morbid fear' of God that He will strike us down for sinning with a bolt of lightning, but we fear to let him down with our constant imperfections and sins, because we LOVE Him!  "The fool has said there is no God." 

And did you know that about 8 million so called 'born again Christians' [and I use that term loosely] voted to re-elect obama ???  Even with the knowledge that obama fully supports the Gay agenda, Gays in the Army, Gay marriage, tax payer funded abortion on demand, and many more ilks and immoral ideas!  Don't worry folks -- there is a culpability attached to voting this way called a 'community responsibility.'  If you willing take side and support an immoral person and their ideas -- are you not sharing in his/ her sin ?  So, what ever comes down the pike now is a direct result of the MAJORITY of Americans who want it that way!  It's one thing to be deceived and make an error -- but quite another to vote for someone who is a well know liar, with eyes wide open!    Lest anyone bemoan our upcoming thrashing and pain/ sorrow, let us all understand that We, collectively asked for it! 
   However, My Camp of fundamentalist bible loving Christians all over the world believe that we will be Raptured before the real stuff hits the fan...  so why worry too much?  Of course hard times and bad economy will fall on us hard enough and soon-- I believe right after Christmas time...

My wife goes back to work after Thanksgiving, we hope, although her foot is still on the mend.  I am happy to be her safety net and support.  That's what hubbies are for, right? 

Why am I feeling like I am not ready for Winter yet?  Ha!  I am fat enough but still cold too often, even as I have nice clothes to wear...  hummmm.  

My new diet seems to be working now after I gave up drinking soda pop and eating less.  And it was the local VA in Iron Mtn., MI that helped me understand that my blood sugar is too high and something had to be done immediately.  So maybe we will save a few bucks now too.  My money doesn't seem to go very far these days, but I try to pay down my bills by giving them an extra hundred bucks extra.   So many families have it worse than us, and losing their jobs now that obama-care is here to fleece us with poor health care --  and we who depend on the VA know what sub-standard care is... and I wish more civilians could have a taste of the stuff the Gov't dishes out to us...  because that is exactly what they will get soon!  
Time for me to eat some fruit for breakfast.

Warm Regards,

The handwritten Hebrew script of the Torah scroll

Shabbat Shalom Thomas!
Welcome to Toldot (Generations), this week’s Parsha (Torah Portion).
Thomas, our ministry staff in Tel Aviv have has to go into the bomb shelters for a second day.

Last night, the sirens sounded, and our Bibles For Israel ministry staff had 60 seconds to get to a bomb shelter. "It was frightening to me and the kids, I thought I was going to have a heart attack when the sirens went off. The sound was chilling to the core of my being. We dropped everything and ran for the shelter. I thought Tel Aviv was safe, but obviously not," said Joseph.

It was the first time in 20 years, (since Saddam Hussein sent Scud missiles into Tel Aviv), that the sirens blared across the city as missiles were launched from Gaza into Tel Aviv.

Today on Friday afternoon, we just completed this Torah portion for you to read, when the sirens went off again! Another bomb launched all the way from Gaza blew up in Tel Aviv. The public bomb shelters have now been opened and people are running from cafes, and in the streets. People driving had to stop their cars, get out, lie down, and put their hands over their heads to protect themselves.

Shabbat is almost upon us here in Holy Land, though we are not going to have a Shabbat Shalom (Peace on the Sabbath), as we will not be able to go to sleep as the sirens can blast at any moment.
As we send this off to you, more missiles are coming this way.
Please pray for Israel and support our ministry in every way that you can.

TOLDOT (Generations)
Genesis 25:19-28:9; Malachi 1:1-2:7; Romans 9:1-13
“And these are the generations [toldot] of Isaac [Yitzchak], Abraham's son.” (Genesis 25:19)

This young man is reading the Torah using a yad (Torah pointer) to keep
his place in the passage of Scripture.

Last week, Parsha Chayei Sarah (Life of Sarah) began with the death of Sarah at 127. For a burial place, Abraham purchased the Cave of Machpelah, despite being offered the land for free.
Parsha Toldot (Generations) begins with a description of the generations of Isaac, Abraham and Sarah's son.
It’s interesting that Isaac wasn’t born until his mother and father’s names were changed from Sarai to Sarah and Abram to Abraham. This change in their names was accomplished with the addition of the Hebrew letter hey, which is often used as an abbreviated form of the name of God.

And so, with the inclusion of the supernatural power and presence of God in his life, Abraham and Sarah finally saw the fulfillment of God’s promise of a son.

We’re no different than Abraham or Sarah. By ourselves, we can do nothing (John 15:5). But when God gets involved, nothing is impossible!!

Esau and Jacob Presented to Isaac, by Benjamin West
But it wasn't only Abraham and Sarah that had difficulty conceiving. When Isaac (Yitzchak) took Rebecca (Rivkah) as his wife, he was 40 years old.

(Forty is a significant number in the Bible—Moses led the people for 40 years in the wilderness; it rained for 40 days and nights… the list goes on.)

But Rebecca was barren.

It is not coincidental that both Abraham’s wife and Isaac’s wife had difficulty conceiving, and this very fact displays the power of God in our lives. Not only were their children conceived through His supernatural intervention, but they were set apart to fulfill a special destiny.

A Jewish youth wears tefillin (phylacteries) while praying at the Western
(Wailing) Wall. Inside the regal silver and gold case is a Torah scroll.

The Power of a Husband’s Prayer

“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebecca became pregnant.” (Genesis 25:21)

For Rebecca to finally conceive, her husband had to come to God in prayer.

Considering the Middle Eastern cultural emphasis on the blessing of children and the terrible shame attached to barrenness, we can be quite certain that Rebecca would have been on her knees regularly praying fervently for God’s intervention when month after month after month went by with no pregnancy.

And yet God chose not to act until her husband, Isaac, got on board and entreated God on his wife’s behalf.

Of course, this is not to say that God won’t answer our petitions if we have no husband, or if our husbands fail to pray for us. Not at all!

But this definitely encourages husbands to be faithful in their role as their wife’s spiritual and prayer covering.

Oftentimes, a wife is praying and praying for changes in her family, her marriage, her children, or even herself – but nothing seems to be happening. Could it be that God is waiting for the husband, as the cohen (priest) of the home to petition the heavens for an answer?

Jewish men praying at the Western (Wailing) Wall
Thomas, click here to support our ministry work this Shabbat

Destiny, Dysfunction and Sibling Rivalry

"And Isaac loved Esau because he did eat of his venison: but Rebecca loved Jacob.” (Genesis 25:28)

During her pregnancy, Rebecca experienced a violent struggle in her womb. When she asked the Lord what was going on in there, He told her that two nations (goyim) and two peoples (amim) were in her womb.

God prophesied that even from the womb, there would be separation and mutual antagonism between brothers. Talk about sibling rivalry!

God also said that the elder one would serve the younger. Esau was born first. He was red (adom in Hebrew) and hairy all over, which seems to foreshadow his future love for hunting and the shedding of blood.

"Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau.” (Genesis 25:25)

The name Esau in Hebrew means “hairy” and is a word play on Seir, the region in which he and his descendants settled (Joshua 24:4).

A father and his children walk together near the
Western (Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.
Jacob (Ya’akov) was born grasping Esau’s heel (ekev), a foreshadowing, perhaps, of his desire to grasp his brother’s birthright. The Hebrew word ekev means the heel of the foot but also means to follow. This word also can have the connotation of deception.
Notice that the boy’s destinies were sealed in the womb even before birth!

Rebecca knew that second-born Jacob was God’s choice to inherit the birthright, even though that blessing usually goes to the firstborn.

Perhaps because Rebecca knew Jacob's destiny, he became her favorite. He was a bit of a mama’s boy – quiet, and a bit of a homebody – a boy so easy for a mother to love.

Esau, however, was his father’s favorite. He seemed to be the typical man’s man, and naturally, his dad enjoyed the venison Esau brought home after the hunt.

Later, we see that Jacob, who should have known better, perpetuated this family dysfunction by favoring Joseph, son of his beloved wife, Rachel, over the sons of Leah. How often we see the sins of the fathers visited upon the children.
Favoritism causes problems in the family, and we should take heed not to play the game of favorites in our own families.

A view at the southern part of the Dead Sea with the Edom mountains
in the distance

Despising the Birthright

“And these are the generations of Esau, the father of the Edomites in the hill-country of Seir.” (Genesis 36:9)

One day, when Esau came in from the field, he found Jacob cooking a red (adom) lentil stew.

Esau was so famished that when Jacob offered to trade some stew for Esau’s birthright, he agreed. This is also why Esau is nicknamed Edom (red) in Scripture.

Esau, like some people today, thought only of his immediate desire (he was hungry), rather than considering the future consequences of giving in to his appetite.

Jacob used no manipulation, trickery or deceit in obtaining this birthright. His request did, however, reveal Esau’s fickle, fleshy, and immature character, which rendered him unqualified and undeserving.

We learn from this that we can’t allow our feelings and appetites to rule us. Our emotions and physical needs must not become our masters. Otherwise, just like Esau, those Christians who fail to control their appetites will likely not fulfill their desired destinies or inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21; see also Romans 8:6).

Lentil Stew: When Esau came home hungry, he agreed to trade
his birthright for a hearty bowl of lentil stew that his twin brother
Jacob had made.

Famine: No Match for the Blessing of God

“And there was a famine in the land…” (Genesis 26:1)

In Genesis 26, when Isaac found himself in the midst of a famine, the Lord appeared to him and warned him not to go down to Egypt, but to stay put and keep trusting in His provision for him and his family.

How often are we tempted to give up and move on when we experience a ‘famine’ in our circumstances? But we should move only if God says to move and stay if He commands us to stay.

The Bible promises that God is well able to provide in a famine or drought when we continue to trust in Him:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7, 8)