Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mike Huckabee's Israel Visit

Just within the past few weeks, Gov. Mike Huckabee embarked on his 11th visit to Israel. Yesterday morning Devin and I watched a video clip of Huckabee's commentary on this most recent trip, and we were very pleased with his perspective. Huckabee provides a few brief and concise historical facts, he chose great people to interview, such as our seriously productive Mayor, and video provides excellent footage of our hometown, Jerusalem.


Part 1

Part 2

As always, anyone reading this via our Facebook RSS will have to go here to see the video clips. :)

callie m.

*Originally aired on Fox News, August 24, 2009.

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Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

Thank you all so much for the prayers you have been lifting up for Callie and me. We are continually blessed to see how the Lord uses your prayers for us as we walk out our calling here in Israel. The Lord has been gracious to us in so many ways and we can't wait to see what the future holds. Please keep Callie in your prayers as she closes in on the end of the first trimester. Her first trimester has been quite difficult and it has taken a lot of perseverance to get through it. I personally have felt very helpless at times, knowing that I can't do anything to take away her discomfort. The whole thing has taught us both a lot about relying on the Lord and finding rest in Him. Also, please pray that the Lord would show me which direction to go with His call to teach English here. Hearing the voice of the Lord concerning the business has always been crucial, but I feel increased pressure now to press in for an answer. Whether it is my own anxiety or the Lord impressing on me the need, I feel now an increased urgency to press into Him.

From the time Callie and I returned in April this year, I have been working with an intercessory ministry here in Israel whose call is to raise up prayer for Israel and the Jewish people. There are so many things happening in Israel week by week that sometimes I can feel overwhelmed by the need. Israel is in a very difficult place right now and it will take wisdom greater than Solomon's to lead this nation through it. Please pray that the Lord would make His salvation,Yeshua, known to the leaders of this nation. This is the only real way there can be hope. As we all have seen again and again, faith in politicians never really finds its fulfillment, but faith in our God always does. Please pray that we as a nation would turn to the Lord in this treacherous time.

The crumbs from the Lord's table are better than the all the honor you can get in this world. It is so difficult sometimes to keep that in perspective, and be ok with what this means. We think so much of ourselves sometimes, that we forget our position before the Lord. Even within our congregations we love to receive the honor of our brothers and sisters. We yearn for the attention that can be gained through the outworking of our anointing or calling. Our calling, many times, ceases to be a means by which we can serve the Lord, and becomes a means by which we can have status among our brothers. We have often seen people start to identify more with their ministry than they they do with their Messiah. Paul said a few times in his writings that he sees himself as a drink offering poured out before the Lord. Paul was willing to be despised and rejected for the Lord's sake. When we look into the Body of the Messiah now, how many of us would be willing to be despised by our community if it meant the Lord would be glorified? How many of us would be willing to be completely poured out as a drink offering, so that the world could see who our God is? Yes there are promises of spiritual authority and gifting in the Word, but when spiritual "ambition" (seeking to gain ascendancy through our spirituality) gets in the mix, that Godly calling can become the worst source of pride there is. The dispute that the disciples had about who was the greatest among them has been taken to the next level in our congregations. (See Matthew 18:1-5, Mark 9:33-35, Luke 9:46-48)The dispute has been given free reign by exalting our "spirituality" and forgetting to exalt the One who has given us spiritual rebirth. When we truly exalt Yeshua in our midst, nothing else is seen, and nothing else is important. Our status and even our spirituality is nothing in the presence of our Savior. The world right now sees a Body of Messiah where its members continue to jostle for position. It is time we show them Yeshua, and nothing else. Blessings!

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ity Bity Baby Bump

This week I've noticed some changes in my stomach. Today, in particular, the zipper on my skirt wouldn't quite make it to the top. Since my food intake has been rather low, I think this is the first sign of the baby bump.

Here's how I'm looking at 9 weeks. :)

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Mom Met Beth Moore

A year and a half ago, the March before I moved to Israel, my mom shared with me that she was planning to attend a Beth Moore conference. Her bible study had just completed Beth Moore's Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman series, so she was excited at the prospect of hearing Beth speak live. As we were speaking about the upcoming conference, she shared something with me.

"I think I'm supposed to meet Beth Moore when I go."

I remember thinking, "Hmm... for some reason that makes sense."

It was one of those unexplainable moments where I totally agreed with my mom, without knowing how many people would be attending the conference or what situations might be set up for Meet'n'Greets. As simple as it sounds, in my heart, I truly believed the Lord had a plan for my mom to meet Beth Moore.

Nearly five months later, (and at this point, about a year ago) lo and behold, my mom did in fact meet Beth Moore!

Beth Moore is the in the center with a yellow jacket. My mom is just below her, squatting in the center on the first row.

Yay for Beth Moore... and her hair!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

Paul, in 2 Corinthians talked about boasting boasting in the Lord. He of course write that we shod boast in ourselves, saying "Look at what I have done in the Lord!" He wrote that, within the sphere God has put us in, we can boast in what the Lord has done. The Lord has done a great many things in my life. I speak in the singular now, because I want to give glory to the Lord for what He has done in my life, and Callie is one of the greatest things He has done for me. For the Lord to give me a wife, who would follow the Lord with me in a place that was not her home, is truly amazing. Callie is now courageously looking at living here and giving birth here so that we can give glory to God through the raising of family together. There are so many things that we need the Lord's guidance in, and I can sometimes get lost in these things. But I, like all of us at times, needed to stop for a second and boast in what the Lord has done for me. Please pray that the Lord would sort out all the questions and needs we have right now. There are some doors that only the Lord can open for us and we need to have the discernment to know how to move forward. Thank you so much for your loving prayers.

Please continue to lift up Israel in your prayers. The existential dangers here in the Middle East seem to be growing by the day, and Israel will need the protection of the Lord. Amazingly, there are many voices out of the US administration that are supporting the isolation of Israel. I say amazingly, because the States has been such a close ally for so long and this sudden shift has left Israel with political whiplash. On the other hand, we see in scripture that all nations will rise up against Israel in the end so this move is not so astounding. The US has all but said that a nuclear Iran is inevitable and cannot be avoided. Israel, unlike the US, does not have a half a world separating us from Iran. Please pray that the Lord would fulfill what He has promised many times in His Word, and undertake for Israel.

I can't help to wonder what plans and purposes the Lord has stored up for my little child who He is forming right now. It is so easy to think about hopes and dreams when a chid is in the discussion. When is it that we stop believing that the Lord has these things stored up for us as well? The young one is now at the beginning of its journey in this world, and all that it is going to be has yet to be discovered. It is wondrous to think about the possibilities that this child will have. At some point we stop believing that the Lord has new and amazing things for each of us. Maybe we think we have gotten to old and set in our ways. Maybe we look at the mountain of responsibility in front of us and think that we don't have the time for anything else. Maybe we think that we have made too many mistakes and the Lord must be finished with us. We forget that even now, all creation is groaning with the pains of childbirth (Rom. 8:22). We are waiting for the ultimate redemption that will happen when the Messiah comes back. If we believe in Yeshua, we are part of God's redemptive plan for he world. When God was forming us in the womb, He dreamed dreams for us that would be part of that plan. If we think that the plans God had for us when He formed us are finished, then I am afraid we don't know our God the way we should. If we think we have made too many mistakes and that the Lord must be finished with us, then we are declaring that the arm of the Lord is too short for us. It is time we turn again and look square into the face of our God and see His character. He is a God whose love stretches beyond the limits of time. He is a God whose plan for us is only limited by our willingness to submit to it and our commitment to not give up. I wonder what the Lord has for my child, but I know the plans He has for this baby has no age limit. His wonderful plan for us is still unfolding and we need to shake of the things preventing us from seeing that truth. Blessings to you and I pray we would all find deeper revelation of our Lord on this Shabbat.

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie

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Friday, August 7, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

Devin and I witnessed the sweetest thing earlier this week. We were blessed to see our teeny tiny baby's fluttering heart beat, and the little one's silhouette. This was our second appointment. On our first visit, the doctor did a scan, so we were blessed to see the baby at 5 weeks and 5 days. Unfortunately, she did not take a picture. Not many people are given the privileged of seeing their baby so early. It was amazing to go in on the next visit, only two weeks later, to see that our baby was six times bigger than the first visit!

We took home a great souvenir:

In certain views, the baby looked much more like a baby with a big head and round belly. I wish she had taken the photo from one of those views, but the baby needed to be measured. :) Seeing how very much alive and beautiful our little one is made all difficult first trimester symptoms worth it!

Because ultra sound photos can be hard to read, I thought I'd include an image of how our baby looked at the time of our last appointment:

How cute! I've been amazed at how quickly the little thing grows and develops. By the fifth week, only one week after most women find out they are expecting, the baby's heart is already forming and beginning to beat. The rhythm evens out during the sixth week as ventricles separate, and the heart is fully visible and fluttering by the seventh week, at a heart rate nearly twice that of mine.

Though this little one is totally dependent on my body for life, this is a completely separate person from me, with its own set of tiny fingers and toes, and its own destiny and purpose in the Lord. I'm so blessed and honored to give the little one a home for the next 7 months. Hopefully I'll be a comfortable temporary living space!

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

True Love Waits... But What About Dates and Marries?

Many of us remember the days of True Love Waits conferences, purity rings, and appeals from speakers and church leaders to commit to the Virgin Lips movement, saving first kisses for the alter. But how often was this message paired with encouragement to actually get out there, get married—and do so at a youthful age?


For many of us, the true love waited and waited and waited. For some its still waiting and waiting and waiting; and unfortunately, for others, true love gave up.

Mark Regnerus takes this issue to task in his article The Case for Early Marriage, explaining that we don't need more teaching on abstinence, but rather we need to start encouraging marriage and at younger ages.

In light of recent studies that indicate 80% of "unmarried, church- going, conservative Protestants" are engaging in sexual activity of some form, Regnerus says:

What to do? Intensify the abstinence message even more? No. It won't work. The message must change, because our preoccupation with sex has unwittingly turned our attention away from the damage that Americans—including evangelicals—are doing to the institution of marriage by discouraging it and delaying it.

...Many Christians continue to perceive a sexual crisis, not a marital one. We buy, read, and pass along books about battling our sexual urges, when in fact we are battling them far longer than we were meant to. How did we misdiagnose this?

Concerned about the risks associated with marrying young? Don't worry. He covers that, too, reminding us:

First, what is deemed "early marriage" by researchers is commonly misunderstood. The most competent evaluations of early marriage and divorce note that the association between early age-at-marriage and divorce occurs largely among those who marry as teenagers (before age 20)...

Second, the age at which a person marries never causes divorce. Rather, a young age-at-marriage is an indicator of an underlying proclivity for marital problems, the kind most Christian couples learn to avoid or solve without parting.

He then breaks down the typical problems, illustrates how these problems can develop character strengths, and challenges the church to support young couples through these potential difficulties in their early years. For those details, check out the article for yourself.

Though I am now married, as someone who is part of the generation that dealt largely with this strange dichotomy of knowing it was right to wait, but generally not being encouraged to look to marriage as a healthy and biblical solution, I'm thankful for Regnerus's bold assertions. May my younger brother and sisters benefit from such a change in the purity message.

callie m.

Good Resource:
Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers by Mark Regnerus

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