Thus ever on through life we find
To trust, O Lord, is best.
Who serve You with a quiet mind
Find in Your service rest.
Our outward trouble may not cease,
But this our joy will be –
Your Word to keep in perfect peace
The mind stayed fast on Thee.
Photo: Meridel, Josh, Yeshai a friend and Jay. We read this short verse during our devotions with our team out in the garden this morning. I found it so perfect. This Sabbath, we had all of the children and grands except our second son Chris and his wife and three sons who live in Helsinki. It was a perfect Sabbath. We had excellent food. I was inspired to bake two rather scrumptious cakes and they both disappeared over the course of two days… fellowship in the quiet assurance of acceptance is what its all about. We are indeed refreshed for the new week, which for us begins on Sunday.
Thank you for your letter. I love your letters. I treasure good news from a far country. I am grateful to be able to communicate via email and internet and the websites etc. But tell me, how does all of that compare to a letter or note written in one’s own hand? There is no comparison what so ever.
Thank you for your prayers and offerings. We keep on keepin on and somehow make it through.
We have one who sticks closer than a brother at all times; and we have each other!
Josh, Jay and I were recently at a Bar Mitzveh. Adir (see below) is the 13 year old son of Natan Bivin. Natan and our son Chris grew up together and pulled the typical pranks young kids do! Natan is the only child of Biblical scholar David Bivin, and his Mom is a full blooded Armerican Armenian. Our home was a second home to Natan. So… it was a night of great joy out on the hills in a Finnish Moshav ‘Yad ha Shmoneh’ just 5 miles south of us. What a glorious evening it was, spent with some of our oldest believing friends in Israel.
The moshav’s ancient black basalt stone synagogue was donated by the Antiquities Department years ago. It stood near the Sea of Galilee before the time of Jesus. The ancient stones were loving extracted from the North because the ruin was being riffled and was disappearing. It was wisely placed in the hands of those who would use it and cherish it. If you have ever toured Israel, it looks like the first black foundation stones of the famous synagogue in Capernaum where we know Jesus taught. Here in Yad ha Shmoneh, it was rebuilt and left just as it had been found, unfinished. It sits in a beautiful location overlooking the hills down to the plains of Adjelon where Joshua commanded the sun to stand still. This is where the Bar Mitzveh ceremony took place just prior to sunset. Ancient scriptures out of Deuteronomy were Adir’s Torah portion to be read.
“Only take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your children’s children…” Deut. 4:9 I remember it well because our Daniel had the same readying for his Bar Mitzveh in 1999.
Then the solemnity of the evening became a gala celebration complete with South American music with a latin flavor. Ballons and even a dragon on stilts added to the festivities. During a sumptious dinner out under the stars, Adir’s mom sang a famous Israeli song, “Momma…” to her son. This followed by a slide show, endless desserts, visits with old friends and young people continously dancing made for a stupendous happening. We floated home in a cloud of joy that flowed from the friendships established in our early days here over fourty years ago.
This afternoon we will go to our granddaughter Liyah’s musical performance given at the conclusion of her summer music camp. She is a composer, singer and musician, and of course we are very proud of her. These are the joys that touch the hearts of grandparents like nothing else.
Reservests on Duty: I thought you might appreciate what a handful of young Christian Lebanese are doing to ‘pay back’ Israel for saving them from Hezbuloh in Lebanon. In Edinburgh the Israeli Incubator Theater joined the Int’l Shalom Festival. Three years after a large anti-Israel protest ran Israelis out. But this time these Israelis were not alone. Along with the police, stood activists from Reservists on Duty, an NGO that works to counter DBS from causing cayos. “This is what we do.” said Jonathan Elkhoury, a Lebanese Christian who works with the group and flew to Scotland to offer support. “If we have any Israelis or any Jews or pro-Israelis who are having events and people are trying to shut down their events, we go there to support them.” Elhoury fled from Lebanon to Israel in 2001 at age nine, one of husbands of Christian Lebanese permitted to live in Israel when their lands in South Lebanon were taken by Hezbulloh. Now they have returned to ‘give back’ by providing security protection to Israelis abroad. because Israel was the nation that saved their lives.”
Anti-semitism is growing world wide. Jews are talking of leaving Europe. President Trump is in hot water with Jews for his weak initial response to the riots in Charlottesville. Two days later he clarified his position against the Alt right, the KKK and the neo-Nazis. But Jews are worried. ISIS wrecked havoc in Barcelona and Turku Finland. In Syria ISIS is begging Hezbulloh for mercy. Back in 2013. Jay made a TV series on ISIS. Who listened? In 2015 we travelled across Canada challenging Canadians to vote wisely in the upcoming Federal election. Apathy has taken its toll indeed. Christians can make a difference if they WILL!
Over here in our neighborhood, Syria is becoming a serious vaccum. Who will fill it? Russia? Iran? Turkey? Hezbulloh? America? Meanwhile the so called “Middle East Peace Process” grinds on and Abbas says he will bring back the PLO government. But, I say, keep your eyes on the Temple Mount. That is the flashpoint; the key to unraveling the future. So let us watch and pray. Remember to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem… for they shall prosper who love her. Pray for wisdom and understanding. My mind is quiet because it is “stayed on thee.” The following blessing came in a card from a friend named Marilyn in England. Thank you!
There is a Warrior protecting you…
a Shepherd directing you…,
a Savior keeping you,
A Priest blessing you…
a Father loving you!
Meridel Rawlings PhD, Box 84156, Mevasseret Zion, 9079097 Israel