Happy Thanksgiving from Jerusalem!

Well, hopefully by now you have recovered from Thanksgiving dinner and can breathe normally again. I must admit that being away from home and family for this holiday, the first time in a long time, was a little empty feeling. My sister did email some photos from our family get-together as did a cousin, but it still left a little to be desired. But, I am thankful, as I have much to be thankful for, more than I am sure I realize or acknowledge.
I won’t make a long list here…that would be too long—like yours—and some of it would be only for God’s eyes. But, a few of the things I am thankful for are as follows:
  • That I came to know the Lord 33 years ago—somehow He found me—and I know I have a Home, and ultimately it’s only going to get better.
  • A family—mom, dad, and sister—that has faithfully loved, watched over and cared for me since the time when I was too little to care for myself… even to this day (Dad’s Home now).
  • An extended family that has always been glad to see me, and showed it in so many ways.
  • Friends who have been faithful over the years, who have borne my burdens in spirit and in flesh.
  • A non-leaking roof over my head, good food to eat, nice clothes to wear.
  • Good health, despite the abuses I inflicted on my body through sports and other ‘recreational’ activities in my younger days.
  • Martyrs and heroes, who loved not their lives even to the death, that we might know what it means to have faith and to be free.
  • To be from America, and to be living in the Land that people down through the ages have longed to return to, that even Moses wasn’t allowed to enter in his natural lifetime.
  • Music, the enjoyment of it as well as the ability to play it, even though I am presently unable to play as I would like to. Still I am glad that God created music, for it is one of the highest modes of expression of love, worship and thanksgiving to God that I know.
Speaking of which, this past Friday night Shemen Sasson (Oil of Gladness, [Isa. 61:3]) where I have been plugging into held a ‘Night of Praise’ and fellowship event. SS has a gifted worship leader and song writer and the Lord seems to be bringing together a congregation with a burden to bless Israel. Recently I have been asked to come on-board to play the drums there until further notice, so I am thankful for this “open door.”
After that, a group of us Americans at CFI were invited to the home of the general manager and his wife for a Thanksgiving/Shabbat dinner, which was awesome. So, I didn’t completely miss out on our beloved American Thanksgiving holiday! Sorry, I didn’t think to get any pictures, but, you know what a turkey looks like. 🙂

Holiday Season is here
With Thanksgiving passed, the Christmas/Hanukkah holiday season is underway: they even have a “Black Friday” sales day here in Israel. It is looking like I will not be coming back to the States this Holiday season since I have to be with CFI for a year before vacation days kick in. We do have the week of Christmas off, so I may accompany a friend to Eilat and visit some friends there and get a first hand view of their ministry here in the Land.

Although we know that Peter had a mother-in-law (Luke 4:38-39), we don’t read about his family in Scripture: so I wonder if Peter and Paul missed their family while on their journeys. I’m learning more about G-d’s call, and some of what it entails. Sometimes these are unexpected things, things you figured you could handle being a ‘big boy’ and all. Life has many discoveries, about God and about ourselves. I stumbled cross this video of the late Rich Mullins this week: maybe it will minister to you.
Rich Mullins: Between the Songs – Maybe it Hurts to be Called by God
Oh, and here’s an interesting quote from our departed brother:
“I am thinking now of old Moses sitting on a mountain – sitting with God – looking across the Jordan into the Promised Land. I am thinking of the lump in his throat, that weary ache in his heart, that nearly bitter longing sweetened by the company of God…

And then God – the great eternal God – takes Moses’ thin-worn, thread-bare little body into His hands – hands into whose hollows you could pour the oceans of the world, hands whose breadth marked off the heavens – and with these enormous and enormously gentle hands, God folds Moses’ pale lifeless arms across his chest for burial.
I don’t know if God wept at Moses’ funeral. I don’t know if He cried when He killed the first of His creatures to take its skins to clothe this man’s earliest ancestors. I don’t know who will bury me –
…God, on whose breast old Moses lays his head like John the Beloved would lay his on the Christ’s. And God sits there quietly with Moses – for Moses – and lets His little man cry out his last moments of life.

But I look back over the events of my life and see the hands that carried Moses to his grave lifting me out of mine. In remembering I go back to these places where God met me and I meet Him again and I lay my head on His breast, and He shows me the land beyond the Jordan and I suck into my lungs the fragrance of His breath, the power of His presence.”
 ― Rich Mullins
Shalom in Our Shepherd,

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