Amsterdam Conference Begins!

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Scenes from Amsterdam last night and today.

Last night, Baruch spoke at a congregation about 100 kilometres from Amsterdam. We are very thank to Dirk and William for arranging the evening seminar. We are also thankful to the pastor who made available his sanctuary for this event. Although the room was nearly full, very few of those who attended were from this congregation. The pastor is a preterist. This is one who believes that the book of Revelation is about the past and does not hold any significance for the future. Naturally, Baruch holds to a very different view. The 90 minute seminar was on Yeshua’s command to all of His disciples to watch the Fig Tree (Matthew 24:32) and the implications of this commandment for believers today. There is much confusion over the Last Days and we are encountering more and more  individuals who are not interested in this subject. Failure to discern the events of the End Times will cause one to be unprepared for what is going to take place.

Our conference in Amsterdam begins tonight!  This is an intensive time of study on Erev Shabbat, Shabbat and all day Sunday. There will be 11 teaches, all from the book of Romans, on the Relevance of the Torah according to Paul. We are hoping for a good turn out as our hosts placed advertisements in local religious papers.

Today I took the opportunity to walk around Amsterdam while Baruch was busy preparing.  It is such a beautiful city.  Unfortunately, the old, beautiful churches here are used mostly for concerts and those which do have services are attended by very few people.  We find this throughout much of Europe.

The people here are very grateful for the conference and sound Bible teaching.  As I said, it is very intensive.  People bring their picnic lunches and we have a great time studying the Word and fellowshipping.

This week’s Torah reading is Parashat B’shalach.  This is from Exodus 13:17-17:16.  One of the topics of this reading is complaining.  This is one area of our lives that many of us need to work on.  I know that I am going to pray about it over this Shabbat!

Another lesson we learn about is the double portion of manna on Friday, as none descended on Shabbat.  One thing we learn from this is that G-d will provide a way for us to obey Him.

Shabbat Shalom!

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Amsterdam!

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We had an early morning flight to Amsterdam today and arrived on time.  Very grateful for the traveling mercy.  We arrived to a very cloudy, grey day and it is now raining.

Tomorrow we will meet with our friends (who are also our Love Israel team leaders here) and then Baruch will speak in Zwolle, Netherlands in the evening.  Last time we were here Baruch spoke there as well and the response was very positive.

Friday evening the conference in Amsterdam begins.  Each year, we hold it in the same location (Holiday Inn), which is very convenient to get to.  It is right next to the RAI train station, which is one of the main train stations and it connects to just about everywhere in the country.

Thank you to those of you who have subscribed to the Biblically Inspired Life YouTube channel!  We now have 101 subscribers.  I look forward to making new videos, touching on topics some of you have sent to me.

We have some of our upcoming schedule now listed on the LoveIsrael.org website under “events.”  More detailed info is coming for the trip to the States, which is in March.  We will be in Weatherford (Dallas), TX; Merritt Island FL; and La Mesa, CA.  As each event gets closer, I will give more details here as well.

 

New Marriage Mondays Video

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Spotted in the yard of a preschool while on one of my walks last week.

So as we head into the middle of January, I can’t believe how quickly the days are passing.  The weeks, even though each is different, has a rhythm to them as we begin each week at the study center and with our Livestream and end each week with Shabbat.  In between, we have show tapings, Skypes, correspondence, and planning with our teams around the world.

Tomorrow is our last day at home before heading to the Netherlands.  Therefore, Baruch and I taped a new “Marriage Mondays” and it is now up on the Biblically Inspired Life YouTube channel.

 

Wednesday, early morning, we will be heading to the Netherlands.  For those of you who live there, you can find out more information on our Dutch website:

http://www.love-israel.nl

This will be an intensive conference, studying “Torah (the law) Relevance According to Paul”.  We will be studying Romans 2-5, 7-8.

Shabbat Shalom! Parashat Bo

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In this week’s Torah reading, there is a unique verse concerning the Exodus from Egypt. As you know, the Exodus relates to redemption and therefore points to the work of Messiah Yeshua, Who gave His life on Passover day. The verse in question is,

A night of observing it is for HaShem to bring forth from the land of Egypt, it is this night for HaShem; all the Children of Israel (should be) observing (this night) through their generations.”

Exodus 12:42

At first reading, this verse is hard to understand. Translations usually remove the difficulties so that it is easier for the reader to understand. Please realize in doing so these translations are interpreting the passage, rather than simply translating it. Many times their interpretations are incorrect and/or reflect theological biases.  It is only when one is forced to ponder these difficulties that he or she is likely to come to the actual intent of the verse. Let’s take this verse apart, word by word, and discover its meaning.

לֵיל שִׁמֻּרִים הוּא לַיהוָה לְהוֹצִיאָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם הוּא-הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה לַיהוָה שִׁמֻּרִים לְכָל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְדֹרֹתָם

The first thing which is important is that nighttime is being emphasized. According to Judaism, there is a connection between night and redemption. This is why when Yeshua was on the cross the sky turned dark from approximately the sixth hour until the ninth. Not only is the word “night” repeated twice, so is the Hebrew word שִׁמֻּרִים. This word relates to “keeping watch” or “guarding” something or “observing”. In the first part of the verse, it is HaShem Who is observing something. Most understand this to be HaShem watching to see who has kept the Passover. Those who did in fact observe Passover were brought forth out of Egypt by HaShem לַיהוָה לְהוֹצִיאָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם. It is significant that the word הוּא is used twice. The purpose of this word is to emphasize the phase which follows it. In my translation above, I rendered the Hebrew word, “it is“. The idea here is that it is HaShem’s responsibility to actually bring forth the people, something that the Children of Israel could not do themselves.

The second part of the verse begins with the same word   הוּא/ it is. Once again the nighttime is emphasized as belonging to HaShem, but the verse concludes with a change concerning the word שִׁמֻּרִים. Again this word relates to “keeping watch” or “guarding” something or “observing”. Now it is the Children of Israel who need to “guard” or “observe” this night and of course the message of Passover throughout their generations. In other words, it is our responsibility to proclaim the truths related to Passover, which all point to the redeeming work of Messiah upon the tree, to the Jew first and also to the rest of humanity.

Although Passover may seem distant to us today, as it is more than three months away, the message of redemption (the Gospel), which Passover reveals, is relevant each day of the year.

Winter is Here

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The clouds broke for a minute today!

Baruch made it home safely today from Romania.  The taping went well. Baruch finished the book of Daniel and next will begin the book of Ruth.

Typical winter weather has arrived!  It has been very windy for the last few days and we’ve also received some rain.  Between May and November we usually do not get any rain, so it is vital that we get a good amount in the next few months.  In the north of Israel, Mt. Hermon and some areas of the Golan Heights, snow has fallen.

I read that the other day an Israeli Air Force F-15 lost its canopy (big windshield).  The pilot and navigator were able to safely land it.  Quite unbelievable.  I listened to the audio and it is amazing how incredibly calm the pilot was.  So thankful it all ended well.

There is a lot of volatility in the politics here in Israel.  Please pray for the appropriate leader to get into office.  Netanyahu’s coalition collapsed and new elections are called for April 9. We need a strong leader who will do the right thing, regardless of what others say.  In order to put together a coalition, leaders many times bring in other parties who do not have the best interest of the country at heart.

This Friday night, Baruch will be teaching again at one of the Messianic congregations here in Ashdod.  We are good friends with the leader.  Baruch always enjoys the opportunity to share G-d’s Word.

 

 

Time to Reset!

Today I uploaded a new video to the Biblically Inspired Life channel on YouTube.  I hope you’ll check it out.

Even though this isn’t the Biblical New Year, it is still a good time to assess our lives, whether it is our spiritual, mental, physical or emotional area.  Throughout our lives we need tikkunim (repairs) and a time of reflection and assessment.

Personally, I always need to remind myself to live intentionally.  Sometimes I go day by day not really fully engaged in what I am doing.  When we live that way, it is easier to get off track from the goals and direction G-d has for us.  So that is one area I want to focus on this year.

As I showed in the video, I have a notebook to organise my prayer and Bible study notes. I also have a daily list for my LoveIsrael.org work.

I hope this short video will encourage you to assess and improve your walk with the L-rd!  Feel free to leave a comment with one area you’d really like to work on in 2019!

Shabbat Shalom!

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This week’s Torah reading comes from Exodus 6:2-9:35.  Here is a brief commentary by Baruch.  As we begin 2019, this is a great encouragement for us as we seek to improve our walk with the L-rd and desire to serve G-d in a greater way.

In this week’s Torah reading, one finds a message of encouragement for those who feel inadequate before G-d. The truth of the matter is that each person, whether he knows it or not, is inadequate to serve G-d. The important thing to remember is that HaShem wants to use you. Think of it this way:  a great tennis player can do great things with a not so good tennis racket. Man is just the racket; G-d is the One Who in reality accomplishes the work. Once you and I understand that the outcome is dependent upon the sovereign G-d and not upon our ability, then our inadequacy will not be the issue.

Earlier on in the book of Exodus the reader learns that Moses does not want to be the one whom HaShem uses to bring the Children of Israel out of Egypt. Once again Moses objects and “reminds” G-d that he is not appropriate to do the task that HaShem is calling him to do. Why is this? Moses does not want to go and speak to Pharaoh because he has uncircumcised lips. Moses states before HaShem,

“…behold, I am (of) uncircumcised lips, and how will Pharaoh listen unto me?”

Exodus 6:30

Moses needed to learn that the power rested in the words that Moses was commanded to speak and not in the one who simply uttered them. In other words, truth has an anointed power that cannot be hindered even by one who is not eloquent in speech. Likewise, those who speak in an impressive manner, who have a great command of the language and a voice that is pleasing to hear, cannot compensate for the lack of spiritual content. I would rather hear one stumble through John 3:16 than listen to the greatest speaker recite the most intelligent presentation of climate change or the theory for the evolution of man.

Remember the words of Paul who said that he was not appointed to preach the Gospel according to human wisdom and in an eloquent manner, lest the power of the Cross be emptied (See 1 Cor. 1:17).

The next time you feel Yeshua calling you to do something, do not ask yourself, “Am I up to the task”; rather be sure you are hearing His voice. If so, He will supply what you lack, all you need to bring is an obedient spirit mixed with much prayer.