Monday, May 24, 2010

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

For the nine years I have lived in Israel, I have always loved this time of the year. I tell people all the time that May is the time to come to Israel if you want great weather. But, I love the spring here because of all the celebrations and holidays happening. We just celebrated Shavuot (Feast of Weeks aka Pentacost in the church calendar). It is always amazing to think that 2000 years ago, just down the road from where we live, the Holy Spirit fell on that small group of believers. I wonder sometimes what they would think about what the Body has become today. Callie, Aviel, and I had a great time celebrating this holiday together for the first time. It is incredible to experience these holidays for the first time as a father. They have taken on a whole new meaning for me. I can not believe how much the Lord has blessed us. Thank you all for your constant love and prayers that you pour out for us. They mean more to us than you will ever know. Please continue to pray concerning my work situation. I really need the Lord to speak clearly about which way He wants me to move. I am also going to help lead a prayer conference in Scotland beginning on June 8th. I will be helping the two leaders of the ministry I work with here (Intercessors for Israel) as well as speaking twice. The conference will go for a week so please pray that the Lord would cover Callie and Aviel as I travel. The Lord seems to have provided someone to stay here with them while I am gone, so please also pray that everything would come together.

Israel is in an interesting place right now. Syria and Hizbollah are declaring often (without citing examples) that they will not stand for any Israeli aggression. This is usually a signal that they're looking for an excuse to cause trouble. At the same time, Israel has been roundly pressured by the US into starting talks with the Palestinians. The media back and forth about what is being "promised" is already in full swing. Fatah has also already declared it's willingness to begin armed struggle should the talks fail. There is no way to know what all is happening, but we can know for sure that the pressure on PM Netanyahu is immense. Having already been treated so poorly by President Obama on his last visit to the States, there is sure to be all kinds of manipulation being carried out by the president now. Please pray that the Lord would guide and strengthen Netanyahu. There is no way this man can stand under the pressure unless we do.

I think it is true to say that we don't spend enough time thinking about the greatness of what the Lord has done for us. We get caught up in the rush of life and tend to think about it only once in a while. I know this has been my experience and this week the Lord took my breath away. I was sitting with Aviel and listening to him "talk" to me, when I suddenly started to weep. I looked at our only son and I suddenly was overwhelmed by thinking about the Lord giving Yeshua for us. I have great love for my son, but it pales in comparison to the love of the Lord. Just thinking about giving up my son for someone else caused me to tear up. But, I especially couldn't fathom giving up my only son for someone who was full of sin. That is exactly what the Lord did for us and in that moment, I was swimming in a pool of emotions just THINKING about having to give up Aviel for someone. Of course, this is not something I believe the Lord would ask of me. But just thinking about it, and the pain it would cause me, brought me to a new depth of understanding about what God did for us. Our Father has the ability to love more deeply than we ever could. This means that the pain He felt watching His only Son die for sinners is equally unknowable. It took becoming a father for me to start realizing this truth. We are SO busy and many times we have good reason to be. But, if we really sit down daily and think about the amazing things the Lord has done for us, these types of revelation would come more often. Our appreciation for Him would continue to grow with each day. This is a place where I believe we all need to be before our Father. Blessings!

In Yeshua,

Devin, Callie, and Aviel