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.

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.