Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Passover Perspective

A Story for Passover

Moishe Rosen

By Moishe Rosen

Founder of Jews for Jesus


My hobby is photography. One of the photos I value highly is no prize-winning snapshot; I couldn't exhibit it or sell it for publication. But I cherish it because it has special meaning for me. It was taken in the Egyptian room of the Museum of Natural History in New York. My daughter, Lyn, was far too young at three years to appreciate the art and science of ancient Egypt, but she was delighted with the color and pageantry, the paintings of birds and animals, the statues of animals and of people and of animals that look like people.
In my snapshot she is standing before a stone Sphinx. That Sphinx weighs more than a ton, and it is mounted on a pedestal higher than my daughter was tall and she is gazing into the face of this image that was fashioned thirty-five centuries before she was born.
Outlasting Oppressors
My daughter is Jewish. Our distant ancestors were slaves in Egypt. They endured hard servitude under cruel taskmasters. They may have labored to produce the pedestal for the very image at which she stopped to gaze.
My daughter still has many years before her. But her ancestors' taskmasters, where are they? Their proud kingdom was leveled, their own people became slaves, their wisdom was lost, their idols were thrown down and crushed, their treasures were sacked to become museum curiosities and their monuments are now tourist attractions.
But we, my daughter and now even her children, are here. Our synagogues grace the avenues of great cities. Our writers have their books in every library. Our scientists have unlocked secrets that even the Egyptians did not know and have answered questions those Egyptians couldn't guess. Our physicians have blessed and healed multitudes. Our men and women have occupied high government office. After two thousand years of eclipse, our homeland, Israel, has been born anew and stands among the other nations.
Why Have We Survived?
The Egyptians were only the first of a long line of oppressors.. The Assyrians and Babylonians in turn made us captive. The Romans showed us no mercy. The horrors of recent years have surpassed anything imagined by our ancient oppressors. But where are these empires? Their relics, too, have found a place in the world's museums.
Why have we survived? It would be human to say that it was because we are a proud, independent people who rebelled at being slaves, too tough ever to be extinguished, too exclusive to meld with our neighbors and lose identity. But would it be true? A look at Jewish history through our own writing seems to say otherwise.
What the Record Reveals
Did we survive because of our pride, our love of freedom? The historical record says no. In the face of every difficulty during the Exodus account, our ancestors wept and wanted to return to Egypt:
"Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?' It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" (Exodus 14:12)
Did we survive because we were so numerous? The Scripture says:
"The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you." (Deuteronomy 4:27)
Perhaps we were too exclusive to merge with our neighbors and lose our identity:
"Moreover, in those days I saw men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language of Judah." (Nehemiah 13:23, 24)
Was it because we were a strong, tough people?
The prophet Isaiah says:
"Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness‹only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil."(Isaiah 1:5, 6)
Our faithfulness did not preserve us either, for Moses himself says:
"You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth." (Deuteronomy 32:18)
We are the Conquerors
Yet we are here. And we are the conquerors. We have survived. Our oppressors have vanished. We must come to museums to study their way of life. They are not here to look at us.
Yes, our own prophets scold us. But they also comfort us. Moses accuses us, but Moses blesses us also. The Bible gives us the answer to our survival. The Psalmist tells us:
"…indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." (Psalm 121:4)
And he has not slept, not during the bondage in Egypt, nor during the successive oppressions of Assyria, Babylon and Rome, nor in the more recent oppressions of Russia and Germany. Through it all God was keeping us. That is why we have survived and our oppressors have perished.
God Made a Promise
We have survived because God made a promise. He made a promise to our father Abraham, of a land, a nation and a blessing.
"The Lord said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.'" (Genesis 12:1-3)
The land was Israel, the nation was the Jewish people, the blessing was the Messiah.
"In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious." (Isaiah 11:10)
Blessing to all the World
We have survived because God has a purpose. His purpose is to bless all the people of the world through us.
"May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us; Selah. May your ways be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, O God: may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. Selah.
May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him." (Psalm 67)
We have survived because God has a destiny for us. Our sufferings have had a goal. God called us once that through us he might transmit his truth to the whole world. He called us again that through us his Messiah might come to bless the whole world. He is calling us again that through us he might be glorified before the whole world.
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, hut the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn."(Isaiah 60:1-3)
The three-year-old has long since had a three-year-old of her own; two in fact. Neither of my grandchildren is an expert in Egyptology. But like their mother, they are here, celebrating Passover. They are here and they are free. Free to be Jews, free to serve God, free to face oppressors in this age, knowing that God will preserve their progeny until all his world is redeemed.

(what a wonderful perspective)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Knots Prayer

The Knots Prayer
Dear God:
Please untie the knots that are in my mind, my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots, the can nots and the do nots that I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots, may nots and might nots that might find a home in my heart.
Release the could nots, would nots and should nots that obstruct my life.
And most of all, Dear God I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart and my life all of the 'am nots' that I have allowed to hold me back, especially the thought that I am not good enough. Amen.
Author known to God.

The Bible shows us people who at first thought they could not, should not, were not...and yet God used them mightily! Who, you asked? Glad you did!
Here's a few: Moses, Jeremiah, Gideon, Timothy, Sarah, Esther, Mary.

Some took a little more persuading than others.

Will you be persuaded that that not only is God able, but He has made you able also? You ARE worthy, loved, chosen, equipped, called, So answer! Hallelujah

Things I've observed in 32 years

Yesterday was my/our Wedding Anniversary. 32 years! I am amazed at the time as it has piled up into these years. And all the wonderful memories along the way. Were there bad ones? Sure! But I have a selective memory. I really do choose to think on the happier things. Why let bad times live on past the time they actually were? I'm so grateful that His mercies are new every morning. Great is HIS faithfulness! He has been so good to us and continues to be so good. I just wanted to post a Thank You Lord for all You've done along the way and all that You yet plan to do. My heart is expectant and oh so grateful. Thank you.

You know a Wedding is such a beautiful event. But you are not just having a Wedding. You are getting married. So you marry. Then you start learning things. Like how to tarry- waiting for the other one to "grow up" or for God to "show up!" You tarry in prayer over concerns. You tarry over coffee and make googly eyes.

You learn to carry. Carrying responsibilities. Carrying each other, and the confidences they share with you. You learn to carry them to the Throne of Grace in prayer.

You learn to parlay. You need to do this more in the spirit and less in the flesh.

You learn to bury. Bury the hatchet. Bury the pet peeves. And your beloved pets as they die.
And your parents. May you always be there for each other!

You learn to ferry! Ferrying stuff to one another. Juggling vehicles and time.

You learn to query. Sometimes repeatedly before you get an answer! Communication. Women live on it! Men stumble around at it sometimes, but really if encouraged and prodded (gently!) they can be quite good at it, whether they want to admit to it or not!

Ahh yes, when you marry, you have entered a live classroom where you are both teacher and pupil simultaneously and Love is the yardstick that measures the grades. Don't forget to use the erasure! "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you" are powerful at wiping away the mistakes. I pray for all of you who are entering, or are already here in this classroom, that you excell in all the subjects, by His Grace.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Forward!

Spring: To rise or move suddenly and lightly as if by some inherent power. To come into being. To leap over. To sprout or grow. Top ascend. To climb. To rise, to go up over. To excel. To be superior. To be carried away. To be taken up into. To be inserted into. To bring forth. To make to grow again. To bud. To grow abundantly.

Num 21:17 Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:

Isa 42:9 (AMP) Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Isa 43:19 Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Isa 43:20 The beasts of the field honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen,

My people it is time to spring forward! It is time to arise with the inherent Power of My Spirit. It is time to speak to the dry places, and to sing out the Promises I have spoken and watch those areas become well watered lands in your lives. I Am on the move and you must move with Me. I am doing a new thing that will not fit into your box of past experience. You must perceive it and know it by your relationship with ME. Give heed to ME and your relationship with Me. Know Me and My Word and test all spirits. But do not fear! Rather walk boldly in the new day that is here. I have given you all that you need to prevail, if you will but avail yourself of Me and draw near.

For you say you have been in a wilderness, and a dry season. A season of great trial. Did I not tell you I will make a way in the wilderness? My covenant works even there and I will show you the course and path to take. Into the desert I bring prosperity and will flood those barren places with My Self. Beloved I DO wish for your soul to prosper! My covenant provides for you in every area, so that there will be no lack or barrenness. Only come unto me and lay down your preconceived ideas.

All of earth rejoices, even the so called dumb animals, because you flourish, for you are to have dominion and establish my kingdom here on earth. You are to rule and reign as Kings and Priests, you are to take up your mantle of authority. For too long My People who are called by My Name have been too timid and have not stood in their Priestly positions to declare My Righteousness across the land. I say now " Spring Forth!" For even as some nations set their clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time, and so alter the fabric of their societies time to embrace more hours of daylight, so too as YOU spring forward, you are altering the fabric of things seen AND unseen as you embrace more daylight within yourselves and create more room for the Light of My Glory to be seen and felt in this world.

Yes there will be opposition. You will feel it in the atmosphere, you will see it in outbursts in the natural, but even as gross darkness advances YOU are shining brighter and brighter providing a glowing beacon of hope, lighting the pathway of escape and keeping open the doors of entrance to the Kingdom so that many can come in. Stand strong! Spring Forward! Ascend above what you have known, above what you feel, above the lies the enemy tries to plant to pull you down. Arise shine! For the new day of illumination and happiness in ME is here! Step into it and know Me in My fullness and walk with ME in the midst of My Glory and see the great and mighty things that shall be!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

May Jesus Christ be praised!

My husbands car broke down last weekend, so Monday we were carpooling in mine. As we drove along, I was looking at the sun peeking through the clouds and the Title to this Hymn came into my heart. I could not remember the words, so tonight a friend played it for me over the phone. When I heard it, I just really felt such a joy and wanted to share it with you. So I went online and found the words and music.

May our hearts echo with the psalmist of this hymn- MAY JESUS CHRIST BE PRAISED!

Can you hear the swelling of Heaven in the music? Doesn't it take you away from every trial and tear and despair here on earth? Doesn't it remind you of the Glory and the Splendor of our King? Some music rings with eternal praises written into them. This is one of those!

Text: Katholisches Gesangbuch (German Catholic song book)
Music: Joseph Barnby, 1838-1896
Tune: LAUDES DOMINI, Meter: 666.666

When Morning Gilds the Skies Hymn

When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When you begin the day, O never fail to say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Whene’er the sweet church bell peals over hill and dell,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
O hark to what it sings, as joyously it rings,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

My tongue shall never tire of chanting with the choir,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
This song of sacred joy, it never seems to cloy,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

To God, the Word, on high, the host of angels cry,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let mortals, too, upraise their voice in hymns of praise,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this at meals your grace, in every time and place;
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Be this, when day is past, of all your thoughts the last
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When mirth for music longs, this is my song of songs:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evening shadows fall, this rings my curfew call,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When sleep her balm denies, my silent spirit sighs,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evil thoughts molest, with this I shield my breast,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

The night becomes as day when from the heart we say:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The powers of darkness fear when this sweet chant they hear:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

No lovelier antiphon in all high Heav’n is known
Than, Jesus Christ be praised!
There to the eternal Word the eternal psalm is heard:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Let all the earth around ring joyous with the sound:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
In Heaven’s eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Sing, suns and stars of space, sing, ye that see His face,
Sing, Jesus Christ be praised!
God’s whole creation o’er, for aye and evermore
Shall Jesus Christ be praised!

In Heav’n’s eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let earth, and sea and sky from depth to height reply,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this, while life is mine, my canticle divine:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Sing this eternal song through all the ages long:
May Jesus Christ be praised!