Sunday, July 5, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

It has been a couple weeks since the last letter, and I very sorry for that. Callie and I are doing great, but these last couple weeks have been busy ones. We finally received all of our goods from the States and we have been joyfully setting up our home. It was like opening all of our wedding gifts a second time. With each box we opened, we remembered just how incredibly we were blessed by everyone. After 6 months of waiting, we can finally use ALL of the gifts we were given. I have to admit, it is a real treat to see my lovely wife nesting in our apartment in Israel. We also just got back from a brief trip to Turkey. The Lord open the door for us to have a very inexpensive vacation in Kemer, Turkey. Callie and I were blessed by the trip and now we are finally settling back in here. Thank you all so much for your prayers for us. It really feels like the Lord is rooting us in this part of the world and His favor through that process is something we see everyday.

Please continue to keep this nation in your prayers. With everything that has been going on with Iran, the whole region is waiting to see what the final outcome will be. Israel continues to prepare for a possible response to a nuclear Iran. The rest of the Muslim nations around us have been surprisingly silent about the whole thing. No one knows how things will end, but Israel knows she must be ready for whatever comes. May the Lord continue to watch over and keep safe this small nation of His choosing.

A pastor posed a question this week that I would like to share with you all. This pastor said, "Are we in a position in which we are waiting to receive from God, or are we waiting to take from God?" This was, to me, a very profound thing to think about. Standing on the Lord's promises is one thing, but do we start to demand that He fulfill these things when we want Him to? I think a portion of the Body has crossed over into what I would call the spoiled child syndrome. We know we are children of the king, and that we have a loving Father, but we forget that we have this position through grace. The awe that we held when we first became believers in some cases has been replaced by the idea that IF God really loves us, then He should be acting NOW on our behalf. The truth is that God has given us amazing promises to hold onto, but the fulfillment of these things will always be in His timing. He has said that He would work wonders through His children, but He will do it when He can get the most glory. Yeshua could have gone to heal Lazarus before He died, but He waited so that the Father could receive the maximum amount of glory. If you would have asked Miriam* and Martha what they would have preferred, I am sure they would have wanted that Lazarus would not have died. The children of Israel would have preferred to have gone out of Egypt before going into slavery, but they came out in such a way that struck fear into the hearts of the nations around her. Are our hearts in a place to receive what God has for us, or are we trying to grab what is "ours" from the Lord? Are we saying to Him, "You need to do this now because you promised!" Or are we content to say to HIm, "I believe what you have promised, and I wait for you to fulfill it." Our loving Father wants good things for us and He will bring them to pass in our lives, but we need to come back to that place of submission through awe. We need to know that He is God and we are His children through grace alone, and not because we deserve it. Thank the Lord that He is patient with us and may we learn of that patience from Him.

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie



*Miriam is Hebrew for Mary