High on Percocet, after having my wisdom teeth pulled in 1988, my soon to be mother-in-law made me a dish that would change my taste buds for ever. I thought all Israelis were the same, but I was marrying a Moroccan Israeli and apparently that meant I would eating well for the foreseeable future!Continue Reading...
Archives For Personal Stories
You must forgive me for the title of this blog, but I am just keeping it real! I mean, when your Israeli taxi driver has a revelation and exclaims biblical truth with joy that he has never known, it doesn’t always come out the way you might expect. Let me back up. I was with some friends from the U.S. Our Taxi driver, Dudu, was full of information, teaching us the history of Tel Aviv.
We began to share with our Dudu about Yeshua. Just before we arrived at our destination, I asked him if he had pain in his body. He told me that his back was giving him trouble and that he had knee pain from an operation. We laid hands on him and prayed for him. He said his knee felt better and we prayed again, but this time I asked God to allow him to experience His presence.
I asked him again about his knee and he said again, that it felt better. But then, it was clear in his countenance that God had touched his spirit. I asked him what he felt inside. He took a deep breath and it was evident by the smile on his face that something had happened. He said, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, …”
I LOVE TO SEE GOD TOUCH ISRAELIS WITH HIS PRESENCE!
By his own confession, the Lord touched his knee—at least to some degree. I only use prayer for healing of the body to get to the soul. What good is a healed knee, if your soul perishes? For this reason, I try to always pray for people to experience the joy of the Lord—the presence of God. They immediately recognize that this is not mere human emotion.
In July, I was in a Starbucks drive-through and I asked God to give me a word for the girl who would soon take my money. Nothing came! Then I said, “Then give me something to say to her!” As I approached, I asked, “Have you ever wondered how much God loves you?” She said, “Actually, yes.” Then I asked, “Have you ever felt the presence of God?” She said, “No, I have not.”
“Give me your hand.” She did and I prayed for about 30 seconds. When I let go, it was clear God had touched her. She looked me and said, “You made my day!” I said, “I don’t want to make your day, but your life! Go home and read the book of John, and learn about Jesus.” Friends, you can do that too! God is with you!
An Unepected Reaction!
Back to Dudu. So…after we stopped the camera, he was still smiling for ear to ear when he exclaimed as if he was having a revelation: Yeshua was Jewish, Yeshua was a “blanking” Jew! The word shocked us, but we were not so religious, that we could not see that Zacchaeus was right before us. I am sure the Lord encountered more startling things as He reached out to sinners and tax collectors. We all laughed together as Dudu took off. But not before I got his phone number. I have been in touch with him on SMS and hope to send him some materials.
On the way home, we had another amazing encounter. Rachamim (which means mercies) didn’t come across to me as someone open to the gospel. He was in his mid-twenties and was sporting that cool kind of quiet. It had come up that we were Messianic Jews. As we approached Tel Aviv, I asked him, “Are you curious how I came to believe in Yeshua?” Israelis are ALWAYS curious.
He said, “As a matter of fact, yes.” I shared with him my story. When I got to the part where I was explaining the gospel—that Yeshua was a sacrifice for our sin—he surprisingly seemed to understand. I told him that Jewish people think that their sins can be forgiven through fasting on Yom Kippur, but that is only because there is no Temple. When the Temple stood, a goat was sacrificed for the sins of Israel by the high priest. Fasting was merely the humble disposition the nation took, in hopes that God would forgive them.
However, after the Temple was destroyed, a new Judaism was created by Yochanan Ben Zakkai that replaced the substitutionary sacrifice with human works. Instead of falling on his face and repenting at the Temple’s demise, Ben Zakkai created a new, bloodless Judaism (see more www.roncan.net/histmess). I explained that only the shedding of blood could take away sin.
“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” (Lev. 17:11)
“That makes sense,” he said. I was kind of shocked that such a young man could embrace a deep theological concept. “I want to learn more about this.” We prayed for him to experience God’s presence and he did! I grabbed about a copy of my book, “Identity Theft” in Hebrew, and gave it to him. He was eager to read it.
Friends, this is my passion—not only to share the gospel with Israelis but to see Israeli believers equipped to share the gospel with healing power. We are seeing it more and more. Pray for these two men that God would continue to work on them and that, when I contact them, they will want to learn and hear more, even visit the congregation.
So last night was crazy. Elana was already in bed and I closed the bedroom door. I noticed the handle on the outside had been a little wobbly. I’d get to it later. I closed the door and was getting ready for bed. I went to open it again to get something and it would not open. The wobbly handle is the main handle. You know, the male handle that actually opens the door. Without it, my handle from inside had nothing to grab onto.
I said to Elana, “I think we are locked in our room.” Suddenly I realized why the handle on one of the other bedrooms was broken. When I say broken, I mean the wood from the area on the doorframe where the door closes was smashed and broken. I had asked the landlord about it when we moved in, but she clearly didn’t give me full disclosure. Obviously the same thing happened and someone kicked in the door. However, they must have been outside as the door opens into the room.
I was inside, and they built an unbreakable border-lip around the door. Credit cards were useless, because these are high end handles that work by a magnet. And the thingy that actually goes from the door into the door jam (I have no idea if I am calling these things the right thing!) is square, not rounded.
I scoured the room looking for any tool that I could use to wedge the door open. Nothing. Then I found a worthless pocketknife. Other than cutting my finger, it did nothing. We were trapped in our room. I told Elana to open the window and see if anyone was outside below. Of course then I realized my apartment was locked.
Elana said that the neighbor, Ronit, had a key. I said, “She gave it back.” Still, we called out the window at 11:30 PM, to Ronit. Nothing. Several more minutes went by. I said to Elana, “We are going to have to called the police to get us out.” Or course our phones were charging in the kitchen. We would have to wait for a stranger to walk by five stories below. Then Elana started dropping coins from our window to Ronit’s. Like that was going to work.
Suddenly Ronit opened her window and was surprised to see her neighbors trying to wake her. We explained what happened and she said, as I suspected, that she had returned the key. However, after double checking she discovered that she still had one. (We have had several issues with plumbers needing to get into both apartments, so we had given her a key on several occasions.) She came upstairs open the tour. And then I walked her through insertinga the broken handle and rescuing us.
And that is what I did last night before bed.
Dear Precious Friends,
What a glorious day it is in Tel Aviv. Even though it is sunny and about 80 degrees (27 Celsius), I am not talking about the summer-like weather we are enjoying. I am referring to the fact that Israelis will gather in Tel Aviv today, just like they did in the times of the apostles, to WORSHIP YESHUA THE JEWISH MESSIAH!
What a minute, you say, Tel Aviv did not exist in the times of the apostles. Okay, technically you are correct—Tel Aviv is a new city. But Yafo (Joppa) was a Jewish city in New Testament times and Tel Aviv was birthed as an offshoot of Yafo, when a handful of Jewish families in 1909 gathered on sand dunes just north of the city and apportioned plots to create a new neighborhood, that became the second largest city in Israel—Tel Aviv-Yafo.
The apostle Peter, after raising Tabitha from the dead, spent significant time in Yafo preaching the gospel and discipling believers:
[Tabithia’s resurrection from the dead] became known all over Yafo, and many people believed in the Lord. Peter stayed in Yafo for some time … (Acts 9:42-43)
May the Lord breath on the embers of that awakening that took place in Yafo in the days of the apostles and cause a mighty fire of revival to spread all over Tel Aviv.
Congregation Tiferet Yeshua Today
Pray for our meeting today at 4pm (9am EST). Asher Intrater, our apostolic overseer, will be bringing the message. He is preaching on “Fullness”! Pray for our worship team to move in the Spirit. Pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be in operation; especially healing and miracles. Pray most of all, that God would draw those He has already prepared for salvation to come, hear and receive the Good News of Yeshua. Pray also for Beni, the anti-Messianic, who gets paid to stand outside our congregation and try to draw our people from Yeshua. Pray that he gets born again!
For Ron and Elana
This year, since taking on the day-to-day management of the congregation, Elana and I decided to be proactive in seeking to improve our own relationship. It has been very healthy. It is amazing that you can be married to someone for 25 years and still need to understand them better. Pray for us to continue to grow together, for the presence of God to be strong in our lives and to be fruitful in the ministry to which the Lord has called us.
Ron on Sid Roth’s ‘It’s Supernatural’
I asked you about a month ago to pray for a meeting between my publisher, Destiny Image and another ministry. That ministry was Messianic Vision with Sid Roth. Sid’s show, It’s Supernatural, reaches into homes around the world. He will be interviewing me next month about my book Identity Theft. This will enable so many more to understand the Jewishness of Jesus and how it was taken away from Him (at least in how He is perceived today).
Please lift up Danielle as she continues to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces on the Golan Heights. If you never saw the interview we did with her near her base, you can see it here.
Sharon and Yael are both praying about what they will do when their lease runs out in February. Yael wants to begin her studies and Sharon wants to continue her’s in media. They attend a wonderful congregation in Richmond. Please pray for them to develop meaningful relationships there. Ask the Lord to be close to all our girls and cover them with His love.
Those were the words of Irina, one of five Israelis whom we immersed in water last Friday. She shared, as we were singing and worshipping on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea that she looked up and noticed the clouds…and then, she saw Yeshua emerging from the clouds! Moments later she was immersed in water. (If you wondering if water immersion is ‘Jewish’, click here!)
Emma, another Israeli, was very concerned because she had been declared clinically dead a few years ago. Doctors told her that she should not be fully submerged in water for a long time (actually none of us should!). However once she had waded into the Med, escorted by one of other pastors, Moti and myself, she said she felt fire, not water. When she came up from the water she was glowing. I gave her a ride home and she was in tears most of the way—tears of joy.
Barak came to faith through a couple that has started coming to our congregation that work with Jews for Jesus in Tel Aviv. As soon as we finished praying for him, as we were about to immerse him, a wave came and immersed us all. It seemed like Yeshua Himself wanted to immerse Barak. Later that evening at the congregation, he asked if I could serve him the Lord’s supper for the first time.
Leah started coming with her friend Yosi in February. They have both just finished a 12-week New Believers course with one of our young couples. Both of them were visibly touched by the Holy Spirit as they were immersed. Leah is unashamed of the gospel and has already led some of her friends to Yeshua.
The congregation was so blessed that evening at our weekly service to see pictures of the immersion and hear the testimonies of those freshly immersed. After the service, we had fellowship meal to celebrate the Feast of tabernacles. A group from the U.S. came to our congregation on Tuesday and decorated our fellowship hall, so that it appeared to be a giant Sukka. (Thank you First Assembly of Rochester, MI)
I can honestly say that Friday was one of the best days I have ever had here in my 10 years 2 months and 28 days of living in Israel!
*Some of the names of have been changes to protect identities.