My Dear Friends:
Shalom…loving greetings from Israel. Jay and I (photo Lt) thank you for your friendship over many years. At this Hanukah and Christmas time, we celebrate the wonder of Light. I have lit my Hanukah lamps, you are lighting your Advent wreaths, and millions of lights decorate trees and homes all over the Western world. The Light of the Bible is the greatest threat to Fundamentalist Islam. Two hundred and fifty million Christians are at risk; in danger of being snuffed out. Israel is also fighting Fundamentalist Islam on 4 fronts… it is a time of encroaching darkness. Israel is the only nation in the Middle East where Christians are SAFE. I am thinking of Jesus in the Garden very much alone. This was the moment of a cataclysmic war between darkness and light. Twice He asked his disciples; What? Could you not watch with me one hour? Matthew 26:40 Pray that you enter not into temptation. Why do you sleep? Luke 22:40, 46. John witnessed His intense loneliness, sorrow, and agony. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God and Messiah whom you have sent. John 17:3 His glorious birth in Bethlehem was introduced by signs in the stars and hosts of angels singing praises. For there is born to you this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ [Messiah] the Lord. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men! Luke:11,14.
We cry for change and life support to flow into wounded lives threatened by encroaching darkness.
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. 1 Timothy 2:1-3.
President George Hubert Walker Bush, at age 94, left the world a legacy of faith and servanthood. Our entire household was captivated by the unveiling of his life’s story. Born in 1924, he was taught to honour God and country. He gave honour to his parents, and said, “My mother taught me; ‘never brag and always put others first.’” He was the youngest naval pilot in the US Navy and flew 58 missions in WW2. When Japanese anti-aircraft fire hit his plane, it burst into flames. Amazingly the crew completed their bombing mission before bailing out over the Pacific. When he realised that his two comrades died because their parachutes didn’t open. “Why not me?” he wept. A US submarine miraculously rescued him and he went right back into combat. Because he had faced death he knew how to live life to the full.
We watched footage of him reading his first love letters to Barbara, later to become his wife of 73 years. Their family of 6 children, 17 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren took centre stage in their lives. Robin, their first daughter died at the age of 3 after a 6 month battle with cancer. His love letter to his little girl poignantly expresses his deep sense of loss. He completed his studies at Yale in just two and a half years and struck out for Texas on his own. At one point he painted barrels to keep body and soul together before he got into the oil business. Not one to back down, later he ran for Governor of Texas. He was the US Ambassador to the UN, later head of the CIA, US Envoy to China and Ronald Reagan’s Vice President for eight years.
George W.H. Bush was elected President in 1989. Upon entering the White House he penned: “I don’t want to bring any dishonour to the office.” He was instrumental in world history as America evolved out of the Cold War. His far-reaching and wise decisions made for a better world. His nickname was: a gentle gentleman. He was one of the Fathers of the unification of Germany and witnessed the collapse of the Berlin Wall. He refused to laud this victory over Michael Gorbachev. Later he was able to introduce a successful ban on nuclear arms. Through his personal influence unified 29 allied nations to fight in the Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein set Kuwait’s oil wells ablaze. Half a million allied troops faced one million Iraqis and liberated Kuwait. He promptly ended the war after two weeks and won approval ratings of 93%; a feat no other U.S. President has ever accomplished before nor since. He was known for his thoughtful and personal notes of appreciation to anyone who touched his life. He was grateful for the privilege of serving his country and called his Presidential years, amazing. When he lost the Presidency to Bill Clinton, that last sleepless night in office, he dictated his heartfelt feelings: “Hurt, hurt, hurt! I am a failed President. However, I leave the verdict of my service to the historians to judge.” Oh, that God would give us more leaders, with egos in check in today’s world. Let’s pray and ask largely that our world may be redeemed from hatred and destruction, the path the nations walk today.
In retirement, his son President George W Bush sent him and Bill Clinton on many mercy missions to disaster areas around the globe. He raised one billion dollars for his charity Points of Light. Both Republicans and Democrats criticised and ostracised each man for working with the ‘other’. When asked, by a reporter: ‘Why’ do you have this friendship with your rival Clinton?”
The senior Bush replied; “Well, I think I am the father he never had.” He was large enough of heart to reach out to his former political opponent and not only bless and minister to him; but, together they made a difference in the lives of millions of hurting souls worldwide. That is wisdom and grace in action!
When President Bush visited Israel, while still in office, I was in Hebrew School in our local Absorption Centre.“Tomorrow President Bush will visit us.” the principal announced. When I told my husband, he encouraged me to take him a gift of our film Gates of Brass, premiered in Israel in 1986, (cutting edge at the time.) Filmed on location in the USSR, it became a voice for the voiceless Soviet Jews, prisoners on Zion; forbidden to immigrate to Israel. This film brought Jews and Christians together in major cities worldwide to hold protests outside of Soviet Embassies. The gates of the USSR opened and 1,200,000 Soviet Jews came home to Israel from 1991 on. Jay prepared a copy for the President along with a personal note. I write the following to share with you just how easy it is to miss the blessings prepared for us. I did not listen to The Still Small Voice, nor my husband. I could not rise to this occasion. I played hockey and simply didn’t show up for class. Yes, I was disgusted with myself at the time. I just couldn’t face meeting such an important person. It’s crazy I know. I got cold feet. Of course, I regret my disobedience, and missing God’s gracious plans for us at this time. Question: has this kind of thing ever happened to you, when you work against yourself?
Father God has good plans for each one of us. Wonderful far-reaching plans and when it is all said and done, “I” am the only one who can hinder my life. Many of the precious gifts, opportunities, and encounters prepared for me; can be hindered and missed by me. Why? Because my Creator gives us all the awesome gift of ‘free will choice’. I can choose to thrive or shrivel into the circumstances I was born into; to believe and obey or falter and disobey, I can open to ‘life’ or close down. Isn’t it exactly the same design at work in each one of us? Of course, I regret my lack of faith. I disappointed my LORD, myself, my husband and the work of Jerusalem Vistas. We are only as strong as our weakest moments. I had to face my fears and made a decision to be obedient and persevere in situations that are very hard. I have NO excuse.
Just to touch upon our current situation here in Israel. There are no words. Foment is going on internally and all around us in the Muslim world. We are attacked within and without. It leaves me speechless. I write a prayer letter and overnight the situation has yet another dimension… Living so close to insanity in the Middle East is nerve-wracking. The more I see and hear and learn the quieter I become. We are in the last days, it is a time of endurance and overcoming. Our world is spinning out of control. The news is abysmal. Let us pray the Almighty’s promises back to Him, like Psalm 2 and Matthew 5. Let us pray for godly leaders to be raised up. Pray for Jerusalem and all believers where ever they are. Help someone living in a conflict zone.
I am happy to report that my latest book: Erasing the Indelible Stain continues into the editing stage. It is a teaching on healing the impossible stains or in-prints from generational iniquity. The latest cutting-edge research in Epigenetic’s can now trace how our DNA is marked by our ancestors. It proves the validity of scripture which states; ‘the sins of the fathers visit to the 3rd and 4th generations.’ In this book, I share real-life encounters that I and others have survived. I carefully explain how we learned to thrive! Our hard-won victories are worth more than pure gold, for they bring life! It is not a book for the faint hearted!
Sons Chris and Daniel and I plan to revisit the Change Action Nepal family In March 2019. Jerusalem Vistas and your financial support enabled us to make a film for them in 2016. We helped them incorporate and register with the Nepali government. Our work now is to help them in the art of communicating with the outside world. Chris will teach the computer savvy, how to update the Change Action Nepal website. He built it and has maintained it for years; now its time to raise Nepalis up to do this work. Thank you for your donations to this incredibly difficult yet vital work of rescuing and educating trafficked girls and boys who still need their own home. Friends be generous! Please help us to do the impossible. We need the windows of heaven to open and pour out a blessing. Enable us to help them.
2018 has been a momentous year in the lives of our family. The most thrilling news was when my husband’s cardiologist said last month: “Jay, you have the heart of a 20 year old!” What an unspeakable gift of love.
Now, celebrate the LIGHT! IF we don’t, darkness increases. Why? Because darkness is simply the absence of light. Jesus promised: You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5: 14a, 16.
Kindly make checks payable to Meridel Rawlings or Still Small Voice. Our mail is safe. Avail yourself to my letters and articles on my website: www.stillsmallvoice.com The Pay Pal is safe and reliable.
Shalom from the Rawlings home to yours.
Picture of Jerusalem above: Photo by Sander Crombach on Unsplash