As I watch events being played out across the world stage, particularly what appears to be the increasing marginalization of America and the daily ratcheting up of the outcry against Israel to make even more concessions to those who would destroy Her, I am left with an ever increasing sense that time is short. It is almost as if the "birth pains" are now increasing in intensity by the day.

As the world looks on with dismay and perplexity, we as Believers need to focus our attention more and more on the "author and finisher of our faith," the Word, and the need to take inventory of those things in our lives that may hinder us from "running the race that is set before us."

And as we focus our attention on those things that are above and not on the temporal, may our Yahweh instill in our hearts a sense of urgency to redeem the time, that we may serve Him boldly and that our lives may in every way glorify the King of Glory.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Update From Sderot 14/12/11

Just a quick note for those who may not know… I am currently visiting friends and family in the States and will return at the end of January. Blessings!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Update From Sderot 1/11/11

For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof goes forth as the noon day, and the salvation thereof as a blazing torch. Isaiah 62:1

On Saturday 39 projectiles, including Grads and mortar shells were fired at the southern cities in Israel, hitting populated areas in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva, and regional councils across the region including Sderot. A number of rockets caused extensive damage to buildings including a multi-story apartment building, and a school. There have been many hospitalized with injuries including small children. A 56 year old man who was injured by shrapnel to the lower limbs died on Shabbat.

An Egyptian brokered “cease-fire” was scheduled to take affect Sunday morning at 6 a.m., but that was soon ignored by the terrorists as a dozen or so Grads and mortars were fired at the southern cities throughout Sunday.

The current escalation actually began last week when a rocket hit the small residential community of Be’er Tuvia which is located south of Ashkelon. Be’er Tuvia is 18 miles (over 30 kilometers) from Gaza – That’s how far the various militia terror groups’ rockets can now reach inside Israel, at least the ones they have fired so far.

Take a moment, and wherever you are living in the world imagine an 18 mile (30 km) radius from your home. How many loved ones, co-workers, acquaintances would that radius include? Now imagine an alarm sounds and you have only seconds to find safety… you count off the seconds and then you hear the loud explosion. You then instinct fully grab your phone to call family and friends to make sure they are ok. This is the reality of those living here in the cities of the Negev.

At any given second, over 1 million Israeli citizens; men, women, and children are living under the constant fear of rockets. At any given moment the ‘Tseva Adom’ may sound the warning that a rocket has been fired. The time you have to respond ranges up to 60 seconds in the remote areas to only 15 seconds for those of us living in Sderot.

This terror, over 1 million Israelis (and the number continues to grow as the weapons reaching Gaza become more and more advanced), hardly ever gets mentioned. Many are just too busy to care about Israel’s need for security. Moreover they simply refuse to address the fact that no peace agreement can be enforced in the Gaza Strip – a cease fire can hardly be enforced!

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! "May those who love you be secure! May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels!" For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you!" For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.

Psalm 122:6-9

Friday, October 7, 2011

Barbra Streisand - Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father ' Our King)

Update From Sderot 10/7/11

I thought I would share this beautiful prayer that is sung throughout the days of reflection between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur. It is called Avinu Malkeinu which means; Our God, our King.

Security forces on high alert as Israelis mark Yom Kippur. Currently as Israel approaches her most High Holy Day, the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur a full closer of the West Bank has been put in place as well as large numbers of police and rescue forces deployed in and around Jerusalem and the West Bank. All train and bus services throughout the country have been stopped until after Yom Kippur.

Israelis, who are old enough to remember Yom Kippur 1973, recall how people were shocked to see cars driving down the streets in the early afternoon. They were rounding up soldiers as the Yom Kippur War had broken out during the day. Nearly all the soldiers, religious and secular, were at their local synagogues and army cars went from synagogue to synagogue with lists, while sirens wailed shortly afterwards in Jerusalem and worshipers raced to shelters.

The Day of Atonement provides us with prophetic insight regarding the second coming of Mashiach (Messiah), the restoration of national Israel, and the final judgment. It is also a day that reveals the High Priestly work of Yeshua as our Cohen Gadol (High Priest) after the order of Malki-Tzedek.

In Torah, the term Yom Kippur is actually written in the plural, Yom Ha Kippurim. Kippurim can be read as Yom Ki- Purim, a “day like Purim,” that is a day of deliverance and salvation.

Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of the year, yet an undertone of joy suffuses it; a joy that reveals the spirituality of the day and expresses the confidence that Hashem who accepts our repentance and forgives. Todah raba Abba, baruch ata Adonai

l’shanah haba’ah birushalayim

Next year in Jerusalem

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update From Sderot 10/1/11

L’ Shana Tova

Well as the sun is setting on this the first Shabbat of the New Year, and the week of preparation and celebration of Rosh Hashanah comes to an end, I am thankful to Ha’Shem for His many blessings. It has been a long and very full week. Before I share a bit about that let me just give a brief overview of Rosh Hashanah, the first of the three Fall Feasts all of which occurs this month.

The fall is arguably the most important time of the year in Judaism. Three of Israel’s holiest days are celebrated then, and all in the space of 15 days. They are Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and 5 days after that by the week-long Feast of Tabernacles. This season is a time of reflection, contemplation, and putting things in order and getting right our relationship with God.

Leviticus 23 calls the blowing of trumpets a memorial but does not say what it is a memorial of. Many believe it is a memorial of God’s grace to Abraham when He substituted a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac (Gen. 22). It is also regarded by both Jews and Christians as a memorial of the creation of the world. This holiday is the New Year’s Day, on which the people rejoice in grateful remembrance of God’s benefits and implore His blessing for the future year.

The Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) which follows are the holiest days of the Jewish year. These ten days are called the Days of Awe or High Holy Days. Unlike other holy days, they do not celebrate a season or historical event. This season is a time for looking inward to spiritual growth.

The giving of gift baskets is practiced throughout Israel at this time of year. Although they can be filled with many different things, they commonly contain sweet things; candy, apples, honey, and pomegranates. This past week we assembled and delivered 300 such baskets for the families we help each week, as well as those who have been injured by the kassam rockets.

On a more personal note, we celebrated Rosh Hashanah surrounded by friends new and old. We shared a wonderful meal with all the traditional foods (toda rabah Stewart) followed by an evening of fellowship. Our Thursday night fellowship has been growing and now has eight to ten regulars.

For those of you who don’t already know I will be back in the States mid November for a visit. I look forward to visiting you all once again. Please remember me in prayer as all the travel and housing arrangements are being made.

I also have another prayer request regarding an invitation I have been given to visit Christian Fellowship Church in Zambia next May. I met Pastor Victor Kunda here in Israel when he was visiting. His small village in Zambia is devastated by AIDS, poverty, and oppression. The orphan population grows larger everyday because of disease. Anyway I am praying and seeking HaShem’s will in regard to visiting and ask that you join with me. Blessings!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Update From Sderot 8/20/11

My eye is not on the circumstances surrounding me, but on the living God who controls the circumstances of my life. Baruch Ha'Shem!

I wrote those words yesterday as I answered several emails from many who sent words of encouragement following the recent terror attack on Thursday in which eight Israelis were killed. This morning the truth held within those words became even more evident.

The rocket and mortars continue to pound the southern Negev. It is very challenging just trying to keep up with the media coverage here. There have been more than 40 rockets and mortars since Thursday, and the numbers of Israelis injured is growing.

The morning headlines read, HAMAS: There is no longer any truce with the enemy. Hamas has basically removed all restraint from the various terror factions in Gaza. The de facto truce that was agreed upon in 2009 following Operation Cast Lead was frequently ignored by Hamas over the past two years. In fact there have been nearly 850 rockets since the cease-fire.

Ha’Shem holds me in the palm of His hand and protectively watches over me and continually guides and directs my steps. He whispers…

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10

I awoke this morning at 7 am and slowly made my way out to the coffee pot. On Saturday mornings I usually have time for a quick cup of coffee and a few minutes to check emails and headlines. I normally head for the shower by 7:20 in order to be ready on time to leave for Be’er Sheva for fellowship.

As I got online I notice a few messages from my daughter, but before I could open them to read them I received a SKYPE call from her. The news wasn’t good, her uncle had died, and so we talked for quite awhile. After saying good bye, I checked the time, it was nearly 8 am. I grabbed a quick shower and tried to make up the time as I finished getting ready.

By the time I was ready to go out the door I was only about 10 minutes behind schedule. As I was about to leave, I decided to run back to my room and grab my camera. I also decided to grab my first aid supplies to throw in my backpack. With all the increase in activity it just seems prudent to keep it all in my backpack. So by the time we were leaving for Be’er Sheva we were now nearly fifteen minutes behind. We picked up two more and then got on the road. But we never made it to Be’er Sheva.

About 15 minutes outside of Be’er Sheva the traffic had begun to stop up ahead. As we reached the half a dozen stopped cars we thought maybe there was an accident. We quickly became aware that it wasn’t an accident but a roadblock. Three police cars were blocking the two-lane road, and up ahead about a tenth of a mile in the oncoming lanes were more cars and flashing lights.

A grad rocket had hit the road up ahead only a few minutes before we got there. The investigation and removal of the rocket debris would take hours, and so realizing that we were not going to make it to Be’er Sheva we turned around and headed back home.

As we returned home I realize how very likely we might have been a lot closer to the Grad’s impact point if we had left the house fifteen minutes earlier. Baruch Ha’Shem! Toda raba Abba.

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”

Psalm 18:32

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Update From Sderot 8/19/11

Shabbat Shalom and thank you to all that have responded with emails and FB comments to the recent terror attacks here in the south of Israel. We appreciate your words of support and prayers. Toda rabah! I thought that since much of what goes on here never makes it into the media there in the States that I would gather some of the headlines from the past 24 hours and send some links for clarity on the situation here.

For those of you who are yet unaware of the recent terror attacks here, I will review the past 24 hours briefly. On Thursday afternoon a coordinated terror attack was carried out on Israel citizens in southern town of Eilat. A group of terrorist who infiltrated from Gaza through the Sinai Peninsula opened fire on a city bus carrying civilians and IDF soldiers. A few minutes later another bus was fired upon followed by a suicide bomber blowing himself and the bus up also killing the bus driver.

The coordinated attack continued as civilian vehicles were then fired on. The female driver of one car was killed by gun fire, while the second vehicle carrying two sisters and their husbands was hit with an anti-tank missile followed by the attacker firing at the four Israelis at close range.

As evening came, the IDF responded to the attacks with strikes on targets in Gaza. We could hear the Israeli jets flying overhead at dinner Thursday night along with the sound of Israeli mortars hitting their targets in Gaza. As the evening and early morning hours passed several rockets and mortars from Gaza terrorist were fired back into Israel initiating the “Seva Adom” alarms here in Sderot as well as Be’er Sheva, Ashquelon, and Ashdod. Grad rockets hitting Ashdod causes several injuries including someone being seriously injured.

At this point an estimated 17 rockets and mortars have been fired into southern Israel from late Thursday to early morning Friday. The residents of the Negev and the south have been given new security instructions to stay close to protected buildings and not to make unnecessary journeys outside.

Please continue to remember us in prayer for Ha’Shem’s protective hand, for comfort to those injured and for the families that have lost loved one. That the hearts of those who lead Israel would be turned toward Ha’Shem and that they would be filled with Ha’Shem’s wisdom in their actions. For us, that we might be filled with strength, courage, and discernment in order that we may continue to serve Him with boldness.

I’ve included links to the current headlines below. Please feel free to forward any of this email to those you know who love Israel and would want to stand in the gap and support Israel with prayer.

In Yeshua’s love,


“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10

Eight killed in massive terror assault near Eilat

Eight killed in massive terror assault near Eilat - Jerusalem Post

Timeline of the attacks on the Sinai border

Timeline of the attacks on the Sinai border - JPost - Defense

Gallery: Aftermath of triple terror attack in South

Gallery: Aftermath of triple terror attack in ... JPost - Defense

Sisters, Husbands Among Eilat Victims

Sisters, Husbands Among Eilat Victims - Inside Israel - News ...

Netanyahu: We Hit Back Immediately and With Force

'We Hit Back Immediately and With Force' - Defense/Security - News ...

IAF strikes seven Hamas targets in Gaza; 1 dead

IAF strikes seven Hamas targets in Gaza; 1 dea... JPost - Defense

Ashdod: Rockets fired from Gaza leave 1 seriously injured

Ashdod: Rockets fired from Gaza leave 1 seriou... JPost - Defense

Rocket Hit Synagogue, but Did Not Explode

Rocket Hit Synagogue, but Did Not Explode - Jewish World - News ...

Synagogue Hit as Grad Missiles Fired at Be’er Sheva and Ashdod

Grad Missiles Fired at Be'er Sheva and Ashdod - Defense/Security ...

IDF Releases Guide for Civilians as Rockets Wound 6

IDF Releases Guide for Civilians - Defense/Security - News ...

Another Attack Near Eilat, Egyptian Soldiers Killed

Another Attack Near Eilat, Egyptians Killed - Defense/Security ...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Update From Sderot 8/3/11

Well as my one-year anniversary quickly approaches, I am so amazed at all that Ha’Shem has done in me, and through me, but most of all in spite of me. There have been many areas where I have been challenged and stretched and yes even felt the Refiner’s fire a time or two. And in it all, my Father is always faithful, gentle, and patient in every lesson learned. When I think back over the past year and the lessons learned I would have to say that the one truth most strongly impressed upon me this year has been the necessity for absolute integrity of heart. It is what guides us through the “land mines” in this life and enables us to stand firm in our faith when challenged by the enemy to compromise.

I think that one of the most important keys to spiritual growth is wholeness of heart before God. We are to walk before God with absolute integrity. We must carefully guard the integrity of our hearts before Ha’Shem because we are called to live our lives before God and the world without reproach. Ethical integrity is one of the indispensible attributes of Christ-like character. As Believers we need to remain upright in heart and consistent in our obedience to Ha’Shem’s law without compromise.

The word “integrity” is related to the word integer and it means “whole” or “complete” as in a whole number. Integrity is being undivided without duplicity or pretence. It is being consistent; your yes is yes and your no is no. A person of integrity has private and public standards that are the same everywhere. Integrity is rock-like. It won’t crack when it has to stand alone and it won’t crumble under pressure.

Compromise on the other hand is the enemy’s most effective tool. He doesn’t yank us away from Ha’Shem, but slowly lulls us away little by little. The world pressures us to soften the edges of holiness and to round off the corners of righteousness. We deceive ourselves by the smallness of our surrenders. In other words, you can deceive yourself into thinking that a small compromise will not matter. But small steps, taken consistently, add up to a great distance. Small compromise has a snowball effect; momentum develops, and before we realize what’s happening, life spins out of control. A little compromise, a few concessions; King Solomon warned that it was “the little foxes that spoil the vine.”

Compromise is turning the black and white issues into shades of grey and the results of compromise in our life can be devastating. We are called to walk in the Word without compromise. Ha’Shem says to us, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or you turn to the left” Isaiah 30:21. It is in listening to and obeying that voice that we find protection from compromise. In Proverbs 11:3, we are told, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the duplicity of the unfaithful destroys them.” Integrity is consistently allowing Ha’Shem’s Word to be our “plumb line” in every situation regardless of who is able to see. Ha’Shem places great value on integrity. We must also guard the integrity of our heart as something precious and of great value.

Ha’Shem tells us in Psalm 78:72 that King David shepherded Israel with an upright heart. How could David after the things that he did, and after all the compromises he made be called a man of integrity by Ha’Shem? The answer is found in Ps. 51:6-10 – “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean, wash me and I will be whiter than snow… create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

David depended on Ha’Shem’s forgiving and cleansing grace to make him a man of integrity. He depended on the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to walk in integrity and to maintain it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Update From Sderot 6/27/11

The quiet of a warm Sunday afternoon is broken by the cry of the local “watermelon man” as he drives his truck throughout the neighborhood. Repeatedly he cries out in quick succession, “A-vah-te-ach, a-vah-te-ach, a-vah-te-ach.” The familiar sound, reminds us once again that summer is here.

As I look out the window to the parking lot below I can see his familiar truck with its blue shade cover and Israeli flags. Today, as it is on most afternoons, his truck is laden with the wonderful fruits of summer. For a few brief moments my mind drifts back to summers long ago. Summers, that as they approached each passing year brought with them familiar sights and sounds.

I can almost hear the familiar melody of the ice cream truck as it passed by and the excitement of chasing after it with a quarter tightly held in hand. The scent of soap and bleach from the nearby spinning washing machine reminds me of the smell of chlorine as the public pool was made ready each year for its annual opening. Each year, with great anticipation, we looked forward to that first weekend in July.

As I look back out the window to the parking lot below the large cement truck that is there suddenly seems so out of place to my reminiscing. Slowly my mind drifts back to the present… to a parking lot filled with the sights and sounds of men building bomb shelters. And as that reality comes into full focus my thoughts are turned to this past week’s news headlines; “Week-Long nationwide civil defense exercise begins” (Click here: JPost - Defense).

The “Turning-Point” exercises have been conducted annually since the 2006 Second Lebanon War. This year’s exercise will be the most extensive to date with scenarios depicting massive rocket fire throughout Israel, attacks on the electrical grid, and a simulation of a large-scale evacuation of a major population center. For the first time the members of the Knesset participated in an evacuation and “command control” scenarios played out from the brand new complex located deep underground somewhere in the mountains surrounding Jerusalem.

Israel is at the center of the current “shaking” of the nations throughout the Middle East. With the Middle East in turmoil, Israel is preparing for the possibility of a regional war. Military leaders estimate that up to 800 rockets a day could be fired into Israel in the event of a war fought on multiple fronts.

As I reflect back over the past two weeks and how we have been very busy with assembling the “War Boxes” and how the men now at work downstairs are busy completing their work and I think about the practice drills and sirens that have been part of this past week’s activity, I am struck by the realization that these are the “sights and sounds” of Israel preparing.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Update From Sderot 5/29/11

Just wanted to start out by thanking Ha’shem for His faithfulness and for the richness of His blessings and provision that He showers on His children each and every day. Baruch Ha’Shem!

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

This month has been a very busy one here in Sderot. The month started out with two weeks of preparation by Hope for Sderot for an outreach to the Ethiopian community here. The event that was held on May 19th was sponsored by The Joshua Fund. At the beginning of the month we spent several days cleaning and painting the Ethiopian Community Center here in town as well as ordering the many items that would later be given out to these families, as well as single moms and holocaust survivors. A hundred and fifty families were invited to this bi-annual event, at which food and a large variety of household items were given out, along with a brand new cart to carry everything home in.

Fifty American volunteers, who came to Israel to tour with the Joshua Fund and attend the Epicenter Conference, came down for the day to help man the tables and distribute the items. It was such a blessing to be able to share one on one with them about life here in Sderot and what the Lord allows us to do here. The volunteers were able to meet and interact with many of our families and hear about the personal experiences of those living here. At the end of the day, as the volunteers said their goodbyes we were told over and over again that this was the best part of their whole tour. Baruch Ha’Shem! A special thanks to each of you who took time away from touring in order to touch the hearts of the people of Sderot. Kol Ha’kovod! And thank you to The Joshua Fund for making the event possible and for being a faithful friend to the people of Sderot.

The day after the outreach I headed south to Eilat for a couple of days and a side trip to Jordan to visit Petra. Petra, which in Greek means “rock” is a historical and archaeological city that is famous for its rock cut architecture and ancient water conduit system. Petra was established by the Nabataeans as their capital city around the 6th century BC.

Petra is located in the mountains of Seir in the land of the ancient Edomites. In Abraham’s time Petra was known as Selah, and later known as Kadesh.

Just east of Petra is an area known as Wadi Musa, (Valley of Moses). It was through this valley that Moses led the children of Israel on their way to the Promised Land. Tradition says that the spring of Wadi Musa is where Moses struck the rock and brought forth water (Numbers 20:10-11). A fresh water spring still emerges from the rocks at the entrance of the modern town.

And as you travel past the area known as the Wadi Musa off in the distance you can see Mount Hor. Mount Hor is where the Israelites traveled to after being refused passage by Edom (Numbers 20:14) and is the site where Aaron was buried (Numbers 20:22-27).

After returning back home, we had the opportunity to visit with our friend Cheryl for a few hours. For those of you who don’t know Cheryl, she is an American journalist from the Central Coast. Cheryl and I first met in 2008 when I came on a trip to Israel with two suitcases filled with first aid kits.

Cheryl brought three friends with her to Sderot. What a surprise it was to learn they were from Atascadero Bible Church. And even more amazing, one of the ladies in the group recognized me from Atascadero State Hospital where I used to work.

Although our time together was short we were able to share about what we do at Hope for Sderot and the reality of life here. We were able to visit a few places in town such as Sderot’s Indoor Recreation Center, and the Wind Chime Memorial up on a hill overlooking Gaza. Although sad to see new friends leave I know that as they return back to California’s Central Coast they do so now as ambassadors for the people of Sderot. Shalom!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Update From Sderot 5/2/11

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, will be marked nationwide in Israel on Monday May 2nd. Yom HaShoah is a day of remembrance for the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust and the experience of those who survived its horror. As I ponder the hatred of yesterday, I am forced to examine the continued hatred I see today.

“Of all the extreme fanaticism which plays havoc in man’s nature, there is not one as irrational as anti-Semitism. … If the Jews are rich {the fanatics} are victims of theft. If they are poor, they are victims of ridicule. If they take sides in a war, it is because they wish to take advantage from the spilling of non-Jewish blood. If they espouse peace, it is because they are scared by their natures or traitors. If the Jew dwells in a foreign land he is persecuted and expelled. If he wishes to return to his own land, he is prevented from doing so.” - Lloyd George 1923

Israel, a tiny nation surrounded by those who refuse to acknowledge her right to exist, who boldly state their desire and intent to drive all of Israel into the sea. Their hate filled words are straight out of Psalms 83; ”They say, "Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!" And what of the rest of the international community who increasingly blames Israel for the volatile situation in the Middle East.

Why does most of the world resent this tiny speck of land? Have the lessons of HaShoah been lost? Anti-Semitism is far too ancient, too persistent to have merely originated in the minds of men. Edmund Flannery calls it, “… the longest and deepest hatred of human history”.

At Sinai Jews were told that there is one God, Who makes moral demands on all of humanity. Consequently, at Sinai the Jewish nation became the target for the hatred of those whose strongest drive is to liberate mankind from the shackles of conscience and morality.

At Sinai the Jewish nation was appointed to be "a light unto the nations." There are those who embrace Jews and the Jewish faith because of that light; but there are also those who want the world to be a place of spiritual darkness. They object to morality. Those would-be harbingers of darkness attack the Jews as the lightning rod for their hatred. This "call to Sinai" - the message entrusted to and borne by the Jews - ultimately transforms the world. Yet, it is this very message that draws forth the wrath of those who would give their last ounce of strength to resist it.

On a certain conscious level, people recognize the Jews' message as truth. Those unwilling to embrace the truth have found that the only way to rid themselves of it is to destroy the messengers - for the message itself is too potent to be dismissed.

Simply the answer is; the nations hate Israel because they hate God. To accept Israel, to accept her history, her right to the land would mean one has to accept the God of Israel. Anti- Semitism is at its heart anti-God. It is difficult to think of Israel apart from the God of Israel, how can you accept the God of Israel, the Bible as His Word and deny Israel? Israel is an inconvenience to those who refuse the God of Israel. Plainly, Israel reminds the world that there is a God… and if there is a God, then one must ask oneself; why do I not obey Him? Why do I not live according to His rules

Monday, April 18, 2011

Update From Sderot 4/18/2011

Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday)

In the first week of April we saw the heaviest rocket/ mortar activity since “Operation Cast Lead.” Over a 72-hour period seven communities in the south were repeatedly targeted with over 120 rockets and mortars. On April 7th a school bus was hit with an anti-tank missile, critically injuring a young teenage boy who has since died from his injuries.

During that week, residents were repeatedly instructed to remain indoors and near safe rooms. Some areas saw schools close and those that remained open kept children indoors. On the 8th 450 school children were evacuated with a security force escort.

On the evening of the 10th, the militant groups of Hamas announced a ceasefire which was broken less than a week later with two Grad rockets fired at Ashdod. And moments ago as I write this “Update” the “seva adom” is heard here in Sderot, once again interrupting lives. And so the cycle continues.

On Sunday the 10th, we enjoyed a “Day of Instruction” with some of the other storefront volunteers at the Joshua Fund’s warehouse in Beit Shemesh. Instructors from the IDF and Home Front Command shared useful information in preparedness and first responder techniques.

The pass few weeks have been a marathon of activities and preparation as we move into this Passover season. I look forward to experiencing my first Passover Seder this evening. The Israelites waiting for deliverance and redemption in Egypt is a central element of the story that is to unfold. The hope in Ha’Shem who is the only One who can bring deliverance is also a crucial element.

There is not only a sense of celebration at what Ha’Shem has done in the past, there is also an eager anticipation of what Ha’Shem will continue to do to bring deliverance to a world that still groans under its slavery to sin, and awaits it final redemption. The traditional saying “next year in Jerusalem” is an expression not only of the faithfulness of Ha’Shem in the past, but of faith and hope in Ha’Shem’s future as He continues to work out His redemption in the world. Jerusalem is really a symbol of the restoration of all things for which both Jews and Christians eagerly awaits.

So, while the Seder is a celebration of deliverance already accomplished, there is a strand throughout the Seder that recognizes the yet to be fulfilled promises of Ha'Shem that all creation will be restored and all oppression, sin, and evil destroyed. This demension is not negative, but is wonderfully positive, the expression of a faith and hope in Ha'Shem's future based on who Ha'Shem is as revealed in His past actions. We can trust that promise of future deliverance because He has delivered! And so I say to all of you... Next year in Jerusalem!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Terror Attack in Jerusalem

Sderot, Israel: Life Under Constant Terrorism from Gaza

Update From Sderot 3/25/2011

Since many of you had asked, I thought I would send a quick update on the recent increase in activity here. The past week has seen a substantial increase in rocket/mortar activity. Several times this week the IDF has advised those living in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip to stay close to bomb-proof areas. Since March 19th, 97 rockets were fired from Gaza into the southern district. The following is a breakdown of the week’s activity.


50 rockets/mortars were fired into Israel during early morning hours. Two people were reported to be injured and two homes damaged by the barrage of rockets.


Following an IDF reprisal onTuesday for continuing Hamas attacks, the IDF advises Israelis living in Gaza Strip vicinity to stay close to bomb-proof areas.

Wednesday morning two Grad missiles were fired from Gaza and exploded in Beersheba, injuring five people and damaging a house, Later that morning, seven more mortar shells exploded in the Eshkol farm region. Some mortars were found to contain phosphorus which magnifies the burn wounds.

Later that morning two more rockets exploded in Beersheba, and ten mortar shells fell in the Sha'ar Hanegev and Eshkol Regional Councils.

That afternoon a bomb was detonated at a bus stop in central Jerusalem, killing an elderly woman and seriously injures thirty-nine others. Since Wednesday is our distribution day, we were at the storefront as the breaking news was heard. As we listened to the reports, it was evident that our neighbors and volunteers were visibly shaken. The events of this past week are wearing hard on them. As we continued to monitor the reports we tried to calm our volunteers, and reminded them that “… He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.”

The violence is the fiercest between the two sides since Israel went to war in Gaza two years ago. With no sign that Israeli and Palestinian leaders are narrowing the gaps that have deadlocked negotiations, fears are growing that another grave escalation is imminent.

Wednesday night, after taking 20 assorted missiles and mortar shells during the day, three quarters of a million civilians were advised to stay close to their bomb-proof shelters and safe rooms. In addition, it was announced that schools in Beersheba and Ashkelon would remain closed for rest of week.


In the morning hours, three Kassam rockets, one Grad missile and a mortar shell were shot into Israel from Gaza. Grad missiles landed in and north of Ashdod. By evening a total of eight rockets were launched into the area.

Thursday evening, as we were leaving the market the "Seva Adom" was heard which was then followed by a loud explosion nearby.

Thursday evening, we usually gather for dinner and fellowship. As we sat at the dinner table we heard and felt at least five explosions as the Israeli Air Force retaliated.

It is a privilege to be here serving Ha’Shem and ministering to His people as we remind them and ourselves that He reigns and is in control of every detail, that He changes not… His name is El Shaddai !

Please pray for Israel’s leadership

v For wisdom and discernment

v For courage in dealing with the situation, and for the Lord to remove fear from the hearts of the leaders (fear of the world’s opinions, world’s leaders and their pressures)

v For breakthrough strategy in dealing with Hamas and terrorism

v For vision and inspiration and prophetic understanding into Israel’s future

Please pray for the nation of Israel

v For divine protection from terror and rocket attacks

v From fear and panic, especially in the children who are experiencing rocket attacks

v For God’s blessing and grace upon the nation

Please pray for the security forces

v For intelligence and alertness to deal with attacks in the making

v For success in apprehending terrorists

Shabbat Shalom

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Update From Sderot 3/12/11

Well as most of you already know, I am now back here in Sderot, Israel. What a wonderful blessing it was to have a few weeks to visit my family and friends in California. I am so thankful for the wonderful times of sharing and fellowship with dear friends and the opportunities to make many new friends.

It was such a blessing to be able to share at the different fellowships and home groups. I give thanks for each and every one of you, for your generous hearts and willingness to come along side the people of Sderot. May Ha’Shem richly bless you all. And a special thanks to those who opened their homes to me while I was there. You’re gift of hospitality is warmly appreciated. Toda Raba!

“And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

1 Chronicles 29:13

Well since arriving back here in Sderot, the Lord continues to shower us with so many wonderful blessings. A week ago we were so blessed to have a group from Costa Mesa, California come visit us. Our brothers and sisters had gathered together from fellowships all over California and came to bless Israel as well as those serving here. We were able to spend several hours together sharing about Ha’Shem’s work here. The time of fellowship continued as they invited us back to the kibbutz Nir Am to have dinner with them. We are so thankful for the servant’s heart of each one who came. To all those who came to bless us, toda raba!

Currently, details are being planned for an event this May to bless the people of Israel. Several “storefronts” will be hosting a day of gifting of food, personal hygiene, and household items to many of the poorest families here in Israel. Some of those coming to Israel for the Epicenter Conference will also be participating that day as they help us to pass out the “gifts.” Join us in prayer as we seek Ha’Shem’s leading as we plan for this day of blessing. And also that Ha’Shem will prepare the hearts of all those who will be joining us.

Another upcoming event that I am excited about is the “Day of Instruction”, as we are calling it. In the upcoming weeks we will have the opportunity to gather at the main warehouse in Bet Shemesh for a day of instruction with the IDF. The day will include instruction in emergency first aid response and CPR, as well as how to respond to various chemical attacks and non-conventional warfare . This is a very special opportunity to be able to spend the day with IDF instructors as we learn valuable information and skills.

And the blessings just keep on flowing. Recently, we were blessed by a fellowship in Southern California with the Rosetta Stone Hebrew language program. Baruch Ha’Shem !

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;” Lamentations 3:22

ידה ידה We give thanks…