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.

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.