Sunday, November 30, 2008

Running to Obtain the Prize

"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead," phil. 3:13
Hello Beloved,
Here it is, the last two weeks of my time here in Israel. As I sit here, I stare at the screen with tears rolling down my face to think that in two weeks from today, I will be boarding the airplane to leave the nation that my heart has been yearning for, to leave the people that my heart has connected with, to leave what I have called "home" and to go and to return to the States and to TRUST Him with the rest!
What an amazing time it has been. So many things to share and yet I don't know where to begin. So I guess I will try something new, I will give categorize this update, so you can choose and pick what you want to read. hahaha...
The Team:
4 months into the trip and we all still love each other :) It has been so encouraging to live this time of my life with Jordan, Jorge, Patti, Jackie and Dawn. A group of mighty warriors for God, a group that the Lord has used to challenge me and draw me closer to Himself. They each have continually reached out to each other and to the church here and to the nation itself. I truly believe that Israel is forever changed because of the Lord's love that has flowed through them! Please keep each one of them in prayer as they are each seeking the Lord's direction for after the outreach. Please keep Patti in prayer as she continues onward to India when we leave Israel.
The Ministry:
What an honor it has been to continually serve alongside of Calvary Chapel here in Tel Aviv. Our times have continued with them in times of helping out at the Clothing Distribution, the High School Ministry, and also the Soup Kitchen. It has been so sweet to see the Lord's hand upon the ministries and His provision for food and clothes for the people that we reach out to.
One testimony is of an elderly woman named Bella, I met her here last year and as we arrived here 3 1/2 months ago, I would look for her week after week, yet hadn't seen her. So finally, just 2 weeks ago, she showed up at the Soup Kitchen, my heart overwhelmed to see her once again. She remembered me and has been coming weekly since then. It has been so sweet to see her week after week and to remind her of God's love for her. Also to experience the Lord's favor in our friendship as she came this last week and just shared her heart and I was able to pray for her.
To think that the Lord has called me out here to simply befriend His lost sheep. It has been so amazing to walk into many friendships that the Lord has blessed me with. Friends from last year as well as new friends. A new friend that the Lord has brought into my life is, Shanee, she is 17 and we met at the High School that we go to weekly to take them lunches. It has been so cool to see how week after week, the Lord continues to pour out His grace and has been building our friendship and has increased our conversations despite the language barrier and our conversations usually consist of Hebrew, Spanish and English :) Please keep her in prayer that the Lord would open her eyes to see Him as her hope!
My little heart :)
It has been such an amazing season here in the Promise Land! Coming to a point in my walk with the Lord where I have realized my weaknesses in a way that I have not been able to deny, and greater than that, not only realizing His strength but experiencing His strength being made perfect because of my weaknesses! Being humbled day after day because of my desperate need for Him. It's amazing to think that daily, we must choose to forget yesterday and simply reach forward to what lies ahead. To forget yesterday, the good and the bad of whatever it may have contained. There are times where we can get focused on the goods of yesterday and it can be a distraction of the goods that the Lord has prepared for us today and even tomorrow, becoming so focused on it that we do not allow the Lord to work His goodness continually. And then there are the bads of yesterday that we can become so focused on, that we simply begin to become consumed with them and then we become blind of the goodness that the Lord is trying to pour out upon our lives!.....It has been a season of learning the boldness in confessing my heart before the Lord, confessing all things before Him and then allowing Him to pour out His beauty upon my circumstances. To trust Him with all parts of my heart.
The Lord has been showing me that it is one thing to love Him, but it is another thing to trust Him. I can say that I love Him all I want, but unless I trust Him with all things, especially with those things that are within my heart, it's all empty words. Trust is a manifestion of my love towards the Lord. And it's interesting to arise in faith and to trust Him with myself and then to experience His love that surpasses all knowledge. And then to allow His love to overwhelm me and then to share it with His people that are around me. I had a time like this on Thursday, as I was at the Soup Kitchen, a lady by the name of Sahava walked in and as I sat with her, I was overwhelmed by the Lord's love not only for me but for her. As I shared with her all the things that the Lord had spoken to my heart that morning when I trusted Him with all things in my life and my heart, I saw the Lord working in her and she uttered the words, "Oh! I see now! I don't have to be afraid!"...what an amazing thing, to experience the Lord's love for oneself and then to share it with others!
I encourage each one of you to take time and sit before the Throne of God, and allow His glory to shine upon your heart, upon ALL parts of it, even the parts that you yourself may be ashamed to look at, and then I challenge you to TRUST HIM with those very parts and RECEIVE His love for those parts! and don't just stop there, I then encourage you to share His love with those around you! When you are sharing the Love of Yeshua with others, you have NOTHING to lose and they have EVERYTHING to gain! Let us not go another day without telling others about this Love that we have that has brought us our of death and into Life!!!
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and for your support! This trip would not have been possible without each one of you! Know and be confident that you have invested into the lives of people across the world and because of your sacrifices, their lives are forever changed! So, on behalf of those that you may not meet until we get into eternity, THANK YOU! And on behalf of the One that holds eternity in His hand, THANK YOU!!!!
Prayer Requests:
*We will finish strong
*Love & Faith & Boldness
*Continual Unity in leadership & within the team
*Salvation for our friends: Baruch, Karina, Shlomo, Sava & Jose, Shanee, Aliya (please e-mail me if you would look like all the names)
*Team Finances $1,000

Thursday, November 6, 2008

to deny self or to deny Christ?

Greetings Beloved! What an adventure this trip has been so far! Living with five other people out here in a nation that is not my home and with one share the Love of Jesus the Messiah! So, a friend that the Lord brought into my life last year and has brought back into my life this year is Karina. A jewish woman born in England, yet makes her home her in Israel. Last year, this woman would not even dare to read the Bible, set in her mindset that she loves God and God loves her and that is all there is to it. This year, the Lord has been doing such an amazing work in her life. He has given us girls so much favor with her. She hangs out with us on a regular basis and feels so comfortable with us that she stops by our house whenever she wants without any notice of her stopping by. One of her first times at our house, she posed the question to me, "you know I still don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah, right?!" and I responded, "yeah i know." As she was sitting in our room, she looked at the wall where the passage from Psalm 139:17-19 is painted and she asked me what did that passage say, so reading the Word of God to hear of how precious she is to the Lord and how many thoughts He thinks towards her outnumber the grains of sand. This one conversation led into an hour conversation of the Prophecies that we find in the Tanakh (Old Testament) regarding the Jewish Messiah and was able to share with her how Jesus Himself was the fulfillment of those Prophecies. That one conversation led into the past couple of months hanging out with us and her coming to our Shabbat Dinners and then her receiving a Bible from us that included the New Testament and she has been reading the Word ever since and has been coming to us with endless questions and as she said it herself, "I'm coming to you guys to point me to Truth!" What an honor to be here and to have the opportunity to point His lost sheep to Him the Good Shepherd!!! What a humbling thing to be the mouthpiece to His chosen people, to the very people that received the commands of God from His very mouth and to now be here sharing it with them once again! Interesting to think that there are times though that I deny Christ by simply not reaching out to those around me because I think, "nah, they won't to hear what I have to say!" or the times that I stay to myself because of the thought, "what will they think of me? i'm just a gentile!" oh the countless times that I deny Christ because of the thoughts that fill my mind! And to think that Jesus Himself said that if anyone desires to follow after Him, they must first deny themselves and to pick up their cross daily and follow after Him. To think, for what reason do I not deny myself daily? or better yet, for who do I not deny myself? To think that every time I do not deny myself, somebody is going without hearing the Good News of Jesus! Every time I do not deny myself, somebody is on their way to an eternity apart from God!!! So the question in my mind today is, "Will I deny self or will I deny Christ?" to look at this question closely and to realize that the choice is simply one or the other.Being here in Israel, the question must be answered not only daily, but each moment. Remembering that I am out here for whole purpose to make Christ known and the times that I do not deny myself but rather give into the fear of man and into the thoughts that consume my mind with what people may think, than I am doing nothing less than denying Christ! So, here I am, with one month to go out here and the choices are set before me, to deny myself or deny Christ?! Which one leads to life? I encourage each one of us, to take what Jesus said to heart, to deny ourselves, to daily pick up our Cross and to follow after Him. Afterall, what good is it to gain the whole world and yet to lose our soul? So, let us this day deny everything that has to do with self and let us passionately pursue to know God! Thank you so much for your prayers. The Lord has been so faithful to answer each one. Please continue to pray for us as we have one more month out here in Israel.
Prayer Request:
*Deeper hunger for God
*Greater understanding of His love
*Compassion for the people of Israel
*to finish this trip strong
*continual unity in my leadership with Jordan*
continual team unity
*finances for the rest of this trip ($3,000 needed)

Monday, September 15, 2008

in the Land of the Living

"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the Living." psalm 27:13
Hello there Beloved!
What a glorious thing to daily walk hand in hand with our Maker, our Redeemer, our Comforter, our Healer, our Everything! Truly and honor to be here in the land of Israel, tasting and seeing that He is good. Everyday, presented with the opportunity to know God intimately for myself, not just someone who I speak of because of head knowledge, but because of heart experience.

It has been amazing month here so far, so exciting to stand in the gap for the people here and to pray to the One who created them and desires an intimate relationship with them. To pray to the Lord of the Harvest that He would bring the increase into His kingdom. To pray that the eyes of the people would be opened to see His glory that is surrounding them and to see their need for a Redeemer. An honor to be here to lift worship up to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, to worship Jesus, our Messiah no matter how we may feel, but to worship Him simply because He is WORTHY of our worship!

Our days have consisted of having morning worship and devotions as a team and from there taking part in the weekly soup kitchen here in Tel Aviv, where we have the blessing of serving food to the poor and homeless as well as build friendships with them. We have also been able to do many prayer walks, and it has been so amazing to walk the streets of Tel Aviv and sense the Lord's presence in the midst of the darkness that hovers over this nation.

It has also been awesome to as a team to share our in-depth testimonies with one another and truly see how the Lord has been glorified in AMAZING ways in each life that is on this team. So humbling to look at the Lord and who He is, and then to look at myself and who I was without Him and then to look at where He has placed me and for what purpose, what an honor to be a reflection of His grace and forgiveness!

To think that each day the Lord sets before us Life or Death, Obedience or Disobedience. To think of the Liberty that comes when we choose Life. So many things that come across our path as we choose Life, so many things and circumstances, temptations and trials that try to stumble us as we walk on this Highway of Holiness, yet to cling to the Truth that He will not allow our feet to stumble. So, as I sit here in my room and I reflect upon my past, I see the Lord's faithfulness in my life, no matter if I was faithful or not, His faithfulness is not determined on mine, He is faithful regardless, because He cannot deny Himself. To look at my present and to see that with everything set before me, I have two choices, Life or Death. And I desire to encourage each one of you as well to sit and reflect, and answer the question, today, will you choose Life or Death? In our mind, the things that we are thinking about...Life or Death? In our hearts, the emotions we feel that we allow to affect our actions, are we going to choose Life or Death? In everything, in how we reach out to each other, Life or Death?

Be encouraged brethren, that no matter what you may be facing, NO temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. So remember that there is ALWAYS a way out and that you ARE able to bear whatever you are going through because greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world. Also, remember that His grace is NOT in vain!!! Continue to seek His face, continue to hold onto His word, and do not lose heart, you WILL see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living! A warrior is made in battle! so continue to fight FROM victory, and not for victory. Allow the courage to come from communion with Christ!

Please continue to keep me and the team in prayer as we are fighting the good fight and are seeking desperately to make Him known to His people!

Prayer Request:
*Continual brokeness before God
*Jordan & my leadership
*Continued team unity
*People of Israel
*Calvary Chapel Tel Aviv
*Adonai Roi Messianic Congregation
*Team Finances

echoing His grace,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Psalm 34:8

Shalom! (Peace)

What an amazing thing to be walking the streets of Israel once again! Beholding the faces of a people that my heart has been longing to see once again. Being here in the Land that the Lord loves so much at such a crucial time in this world is so humbling!

So, our journey officially began on July 28th, where we embarked on our wilderness trip in San Bernadino Mountains. This time in the mountains was truly amazing for me. Walking throughout the mountains and valleys and seeing how the physical surroundings represented the circumstances that were surrounding me and I had a couple of choices, either to stay in the valley and never see the glory that lied at the top or to continue on and experience the glory of reaching the mountain top and seeing the splendor of everything around me. It was so sweet to push past through every valley, to reach the mountaintops and then to head back into the valleys, knowing that the Lord's faithfulness was enough for me to arise in faith again to go back into the valley and onto experience His faithfulness and grace once again in reaching the next mountain of His glory!

From wilderness, we continued our journey to Pine Summit (conference center in Big Bear). This week was geared up for preparation with teachings and times of worship and prayer. It was so sweet to be blessed with the opportunity to share on the topics of Intensity and then another day on Meditation. I was truly humbled by the opportunities, and at the same time was filled with such a desparation for the Lord to move on my behalf. Day after day experiencing the Lord's heart for each one of us and for the nations that He was sending us out to. Truly sensing the Lord equipping me for the season that is at hand. Never before feeling so desparate and vulnerable before the Lord and the only One that I had was Him!

During our time at Pine Summit, my co-leader Rich went mountain boarding during our free time and during that time injured his knee. Because of the injury to his knee and the report he received from the doctor, he felt led to stay back in the States. Overwhelmed with so many emotions and so many questions as to what would happen with me and the team, I became even more desperate for the Lord. And in His faithfulness, Jordan Henderson (my co-leader from last year) answered the call and will be co-leading with me here in Israel. He just came in this morning so please keep him in prayer for adjusting to the climate and everything else. I am so excited to be leading another team with him this year, truly humbled that He would bless me with another opportunity to serve alongside my brother.

This first week here in Israel has truly been a week that has left me at a loss for words. We are living here in Tel Aviv right across the street from the beach! It's so amazing to think that this will be my home for the next 4 months and to think that the Lord has drawn me out here so that I may know Him more! Man! He loves us so much! I am so excited for what the Lord has in store for this season.

I am truly feel that I have just experienced an exodus like never before, coming out of the place I was just in back in the States and entering Israel, the Promise Land. It has definately been a journey already, at times feeling like the children of Israel and just walking around in the desert in circles but the Lord has been so faithful to His promise to me and has brought me to the Land that His heart yearns for. And here I am, sitting in our apartment in Tel Aviv writing you of His faithfulness. I am so excited for this season that I am in, holding onto the Promises that He has made me of new life and peace and also so excited to see His promises unfold for our team.
So, I encourage you, no matter what part of the exodus you are on, whether you are wandering around in the desert and do not see any water around you, remember that He is all that you need! He longs to draw you to Himself so that He may fill you with HIS goodness. Whether you are in the valley, continue to press in and climb up the mountain, knowing that the mountaintop is not glorious without the valley. And if you are currently on the mountaintop, remember that He has you in this place to refresh you and give you strength for the valley that lies ahead, so arise in faith and walk through everything that He has before you. Being fully confident that every part of the exodus is leading us to His throne to behold the beauty of His glory and splendor!

So, I invite you on this journey with me into His promises. Please pray with us and we long to share the Love of Jesus the Messiah with every person we come into contact with, whether by word or by deed.

Please pray:
*God's heart for His people and for each other
*Jordan and my leadership
*Persevering heart
*attitude of prayer and worship and surrender
*The Lord's continual protection
*team unity

echoing His grace,