Shalom Dear Friends,
“It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, …” The Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, 1859
I think this quotation sums up our current situation quite accurately. Jay joins me in sending you our thanks and prayers for a blessed 2019. I am humbled and deeply encouraged by your loving responses. We send blessings to you. Your support keeps us working, it is just that simple. We are grateful for your interest, prayers, and response, more than you can ever know. Tell others about us and take our letter to your prayer meetings. “ I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” John 9:4 The one common theme in most of your letters is ‘change’. We sense it here also. Instead of panicking, we watch and pray and work. Photo: Our eldest son David Rawlings served in Special Forces unit ‘Givati’ in the Israel Defence Force. He enjoyed his 50th birthday in January. “For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” Ps. 18:31, 31 The vow all IDF soldiers take is: “Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit says the LORD.” Zechariah 4:6 For twenty years David led film production in Jerusalem Vistas/Israel Vision. Presently employed by The Media Line a News Prod. house. firstname.lastname@example.org
Aren’t we grateful for the Bible filled with guideposts to help us along our pathway? Don’t allow yourself to be tempted into thinking you are alone. Beloved, encourage and feed your soul daily from the Bible. By shutting out all distractions. I quieten myself before reading the Word. Often in complete agreement, I pray God’s Word back to Him.
“…But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary [harassed] and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
Israelis do commerce using the Gregorian calendar, but it is 5779 in the Hebrew calendar until the 29th of September 2019. Each Hebrew letter has a numerical value. What is the significance of 5779? Literally, it is: ‘to stamp or trample under a horses hoof…’ or ‘the adversary uses conflict to wear down and weaken.’ Trouble is no stranger to an Israeli, Jew or Christian. Have you considered this…” all things, whether trouble or blessing are to the Jew first and then all others according to Romans 2:9,10. History repeats itself. The Holocaust really began in 1933 with Hitler’s fantasy of the Third Reich, which was fully implemented from 1939 to 1945. The earth convulsed in war and 80 to 120 million were slaughtered? WHO didn’t suffer? We encourage ourselves in the Book of Daniel. He walked in victory through fearsome battles that affected nations and Israel’s history, and Jesus has shone the light on our futures.
Today Christians, Israelis and Sunni Muslims are the target of a diabolical enemy. Israel faces Radical Islamic armies on 3 borders: The Golan, Lebanon, Gaza, and Iran in the East. A friend visited recently and confided, “I’m afraid!” Israel is openly striking Iranian build up sites in Syria. The conflict is out in the open. Globally 1 in 12 Christians are persecuted, which translates into 215 MILLION currently being targeted for destruction! Just 100 miles from our home people die daily. 1,500 Christians and Yazidis are caught in sexual slavery in Syria. Little girls are sold in local market stalls like lambs going to their slaughter. Thousands are missing. With the US withdrawal, Turkey is threatening to invade E. Syria.
By way of contrast: the current population of Israel is nearing nine million. Both Arabs and Jews are blessed with creativity. All in all, it is a great place to live, especially in comparison to the crumbling Arab states in this region. Israel’s economy is strong, its technologies formidable, its diplomatic reach expanding. The security forces are vigilant, especially with the US pulling out of Syria, its democratic culture healthy, its faith vibrant and its grit undiminished. Praise God! Most important: Israel is the only nation in the Middle East which enjoys a thriving Christian population. They are said to be the richest people in Israel. Yet many other Christians around the world remain very cold-hearted towards Israel. Why? History has proven that the mainline Church has remained stunningly silent on the plight of persecuted Jews and Christians. Where are the voices raised against Radical Islam? Please don’t tell me: “But we are not political! We don’t want to get involved.” Do you realize, its time to Wake up! What your leaders permit will overtake you. The established Church remains silent and politically correct. Many of us fight for our very existence.
Hostile Territory for Jews, Christians, and moderate Muslims:
Gaza: Some of Gaza’s people are so distressed by the polluted living conditions politically and physically due to 8 months of burning tires on the Gaza Israeli border. Many are ill with respiratory problems. Sick of being forced to ‘demonstrate against Israel’ they have fled to Turkey, and are trying to get into Europe. Only 1,300 Christians remain in Gaza among a Radical Muslim population of over 2 million. They have to keep silent or lie to escape torture & conversion.
Palestinian Authority: 7% of their national budget is paid to terrorists who have killed Israelis. In 2018 there were 33 shootings, 17 stabbing attacks, 530 planned attacks stopped when 3,000 terrorists were arrested. We created a film (Between a Rock and a Hard Place – 20 years ago). We interviewed tortured Christians to prove abuse under Fatah or the PA. Today nothing has changed under Palestinian President Abbas, it has gotten worse.
Bulgaria: The only churches permitted are sponsored ‘NATO State Churches’ and mosques.
Canada: It is forbidden to preach the whole Bible and remain ‘politically correct’. One Pastor is fined 100 million dollars.
United Kingdom: Yet another nation in deep crisis. The Brexit vote by the people who chose to regain national sovereignty is in the process of being robbed by a conspiring parliament. The voice of the majority of voters has been lost. Due to increased anti-Semitic attacks led by Jeremy Corbyn, Israel expects 30% of British Jewry to immigrate. In 10 years the UK will likely be an Islamic State. Pray for Great Britain, March 29th is looming when Britain must leave the EU.
N. Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bolivia, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco are considered among the most dangerous nations for Christians.
The United States of America: The American Democratic Party welcomed Palestinian Congresswomen: Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who became famous overnight for cursing President Trump and Ilan Omar of Minnesota. Their supporters burned an Israeli flag on the streets of New York recently. Their brash anti-Israel stance advocates sweeping change for America, Israel, Palestine, and Islam!
Israel: is working to bring in a cashless society and has begun to employ the ‘chip in the hand’ technology. Are you surprised? Don’t be. Join us in prayer as we call out for a hunger for the Living Word of God everywhere but especially in Israel.
Photo: Jay blew the shofar for many years at the opening ceremony of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast was envisioned by Merla Watson of Canada. “The counsel of the LORD stands forever. The plans of His heart to all generations.” Psalms 33:11
What matters most!
Do we choose to forge viable relationships? It can be the hardest work of all, especially if a brother has been offended. In Psalm 15, read the wisdom David received. Now, he was a man who knew what rejection was. Why do you think God called him “a man after his own heart?” Do we speak kindly to our neighbor; or gossip and snipe at his reputation? Do we take advantage of ‘the other’ in any way? Do we blame, discredit, disgrace, shame or reproach a friend? Don’t confuse this code of ethics with how to deal with those who have a vendetta against us. Of course, we must protect ourselves from any danger or damage, but most of all we must guard our hearts and keep our thought life in check. We must pray for those who despitefully use us with a clean heart. How many times a day do you wash your hands? How many times a day do you wash the thoughts and intents of your heart?
The Holy Spirit has invited me to take daily communion. I partake first, after Jay, I bring my children one by one and the living parents of their wives, followed by their wives and children, (our grandchildren). And… there is so much more. Its like stepping into the waters of life and learning to relax and swim out into the depths, both cleansing and refreshing.
“…on the same night in which He was betrayed He took bread…” 1 Cor. 11:23b STOP! That first morning, the word BETRAYED leapt from the page. Instantly I saw where the hurt was at work. Who hasn’t been betrayed? We all qualify. What damage do we still lug around from those betrayals and even perpetuate them? Can we let go and forgive the collateral damage we have suffered? Can we engage our will and follow in His footsteps? “and when He had given thanks He broke it.” Verse 24 I also choose to agree with the path He has set for me. Tears may flow, followed by quiet peace! Oh, the riches of His wisdom. This is work, but it is our privilege to stand in the gap in prayer for ourselves, for family, friends, community, our city, our nations, and the nations. If we don’t do it who will? This is our first fruits. We have to love as if we have never been hurt. I’m grateful that Hope springs new. Hallelujah!
We thank you again for standing with us in 2019. God is making it a good and prosperous year!
Let’s communicate in 2019. What is your email? Please sign up for and share my cyber letter.
stillsmallvoice.tv Thanks for your voice and your help and May God Bless you is our prayer!
Meridel Rawlings: Box 84156, Mevasseret Zion, 9079097 ISRAEL.
Photo of the Western Wall above by Sander Crombach on Unsplash