Hugs, horses and happy memories for children of single mothers
School is out for the summer!
Though children eagerly look forward to the long lazy days, working parents often struggle, trying to find ways to keep their children cared for and safe for the months when school is no longer in session. For single parents, this is an even greater challenge.
CBN Israel is continually seeking ways to serve the community of single mothers here in the land. This summer, in partnership with Revive Israel, our team helped make it possible to send 23 kids from single parent homes to attend a unique 2-week summer camp, a camp with horses!
8 year-old Danielle is one of the children that attended the horse camp this July. When Veronica, from the CBN Israel staff came to pay her a visit at the camp it was clear that Danielle was thrilled to be around all the horses. She ran up and gave Veronica a big hug and was smiling ear to ear as she explained the different activities she was participating in. Veronica stayed and observed how with gentle strokes Danielle brushed the horse and continually looked for ways to give the horse extra hugs.
When Veronica spoke with Danielle’s mother, she shared a sweet story about what the camp had meant to her daughter. “Danielle woke up one morning and said ‘Mom, please give me your phone, I would like to bless Veronica for helping make it possible for me to go to the horse summer camp.’ “
Veronica later received that text message saying, “Hi, this is Danielle, … I wanted to tell you thank you, because it has been so amazing going to the summer camp with the horses, it was because of you that I could have this free opportunity, thank you!”
CBN Israel is thankful to the partnership with Revive which made it possible to send the children of the single mothers we work with to camp this summer!
This article originally appeared on CBN Israel, August 6, 2017, and reposted with permission.
Since its establishment in March 2012 CBN Israel has helped thousands of people through its various operations. As the foundation of Project Light Shine, CBN Israel gives help to the community through three avenues; Humanitarian aid, education and economic development. CBN Israel serves with a spirit of humility and love. Their mission is to prepare the Land and the people of Israel for the coming of Messiah Yeshua and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. The vision of their work is to see the hungry fed, the needs of the needy met, businesses established and to improve the spiritual, physical and financial situation of the local body.
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Hebrew roots of ordination
We see today the rather absurd phenomenon of people claiming to have spiritual authority and anointing, primarily by giving themselves titles and publishing advertisements about themselves in social media.
The Hebrew concept in the Law, Prophets and New Covenant is much different. Authority and anointing comes from God, and it is passed on to people together with the personal affirmation of those involved.
In Numbers 27:18-19 we see Moses hearing instruction from God, to lay hands on Joshua and impart into him a measure of the glory of God that was already on Moses.
In Acts 13:2-3 at Antioch, we see a similar process in which the saints, pray, fast, and through the leading of the Holy Spirit, lay hands on Paul and Barnabas to impart to them the anointing and authority to do the mission set before them.
Both of these passages include the laying on of hands. The Hebrew root of this idea is Sa-Ma-Kh, סמך.
- In the causative form this means to “impart by the laying of hands.”
- In the simple form it means to “trust.”
- In the passive form it means to “be based upon” or even “lean on.”
- In the adjective form it means “close to” or “connected.”
- In the noun form it means “authority” and “ordination.”
- In a modern form it can mean “authorized” or “official document.”
The recognizing of spiritual ordination involves a personal process in which trust is demonstrated and earned. There must be two groups or types of people involved in ordaining someone (I Timothy 4:14; II Timothy 1:6).
The first is the older people, veterans in the faith, who impart the type of authority and anointing that they already have. The second is the people who are receiving blessing from this person, who affirm that they trust in him. The first imparts and the second affirms.
[In my own case, for example, the “imparting” elders included Ari Sorkoram, Dan Juster, Eitan Shishkoff, Paul Wilbur, Eddie Santoro, and others; the “affirming” elders included a larger number of congregational and ministry leaders in active participation with us.]
Ordination is recognition of what God has already done (and will do in the future). First the person serves; then hands are laid upon him. The laying on of hands is a serious moment; doing it superficially can be spiritually dangerous (I Timothy 3:6, 5:22). A person can’t just print a “business card.”
At the moment of impartation there should be real people present who lay on hands. The veteran elders impart authority; the younger leaders affirm that they have experienced the fruit and integrity of the person’s life. You can’t impart what you don’t have, and you can’t affirm what you haven’t experienced.
This article originally appeared on Revive Israel, August 24, 2017, and reposted with permission.
Asher Intrater is the founder and apostolic leader of Revive Israel Ministries, and oversees Ahavat Yeshua Congregation in Jerusalem, and Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv. Asher was one of the founders of Tikkun International with Dan Juster and Eitan Shishkoff, and serves on the board of the Messianic Alliance of Israel and Aglow International.
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LISTEN: Matthew 15 – Perseverance moves God’s heart
Rev. David Pileggi, in focusing in on the Canaanite woman, describes Jesus, when He meets a non-Jewish woman who understands that He is the Son of David. When people call upon Jesus as the Son of David they do so out of desperation. She comes in the context of worship, calling him Lord, a term of great respect and honour. The disciples urge him to send her away. She kneels down before the Lord in honour and respect. God can always be persuaded; for example with Moses ‘argument’ about the Children of Israel. Does this woman know Psalm 67? All the nations will come into God’s blessings. Jesus reminds her that He is sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This is a reflection on the leadership not the sheep, led astray by poor leadership. She replies, and touches his heart; and He says, “Your faith has accomplished what you have asked for.” Perseverance makes up for many weaknesses and it is this that Jesus commends her for. Faith requires risky, total obedience. Every blessing is available to us in Jesus the Messiah.
Readings: Psalm 67 • Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32 • Matthew 15: 10: 28
David Pileggi lives in Jerusalem with his wife Carol and their three adult children where he is the rector of Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem. They have lived in Israel for 33 years where David has worked as a journalist/researcher and for 19 years was director of a study program dedicated to teaching Christians about the Jewish context of their faith. David has an M.A. from the Hebrew University in Jewish Studies and is a licensed tour guide.
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“Get rid of every weight and entangling sin”
As a Jewish believer in Yeshua as Messiah, I am aware that we are fast approaching the Fall Holy Days of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. We are entering into the time of preparation during the forty days preceding Rosh HaShanah that begins with the month of Elul. Each year at this time, I look back at my life as a believer and rejoice in the overwhelming love that G-D showed to me when He revealed Yeshua as my Messiah. This year, I was thinking about the Book of Hebrews because it is so significant to the season as it discusses the High Priest and the Day of Atonement and explains how Yeshua became our High Priest, a topic I covered in last week’s blog.
When I became a believer, one of the first books of the New Testament I read was the book of Hebrews. After all, it was written to people just like me: Jewish believers. The more I read the book the more meaningful it became and the more foundational for understanding what Yeshua did for me and all of those who accept that He is the Messiah. It helped me to understand the atonement provided by our High Priest once and for all time.
With atonement in mind, I was examining Hebrews chapter 12 verse 1:
Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also get rid of every weight and entangling sin. Let us run with endurance the race set before us.
Of course we know that Hebrews chapter 11 is the Heroes of the Faith chapter and the reason this verse starts with the recognition of the witnesses surrounding us. But, the second part of the verse is what drew my attention as we are instructed to “get rid of every weight and entangling sin”. The writer of Hebrews has completed chapter 6-10, which explains Yeshua as our High Priest, and goes on to remind us of Heroes of the Bible who acted by faith. Then he begins this chapter by telling us that because of the example of those who demonstrated faith, we should get rid of sin that entangles us.
The writer of Hebrews, unlike so many teachers today, is not telling us that it is impossible not to sin. He isn’t telling us that because of Yeshua’s atonement and offering, we now have salvation and we could continue sinning without concern. He boldly says to those he was writing to that they had an obligation to get rid of the weight and entangling sins in their lives.
Today, too many people view grace like a supernatural deodorant that is applied to cover the stench of sin in our lives. When the Scriptures actually provide the example of Paul, who, in Acts 22:13-16, shares his experience of coming to faith in Yeshua, as follows:
… came to me. Standing before me, he said to me, ‘Brother Saul, look up!’ In that very moment, I looked and saw him! “And he said, ‘The God of our fathers handpicked you to know His will—to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth. For you will be a witness for Him to all people of what you have seen and heard. Now why are you waiting? Get up and be immersed, and wash away your sins, calling on His Name.’
Notice as I did, if you will, the connection provided by the words “For you will be a witness” followed by “wash away your sins.” The same pattern we see in Hebrews Chapter 12. I know that in our culture today preaching that we can overcome sin is a much more rare thing than it was in Paul’s day. However, I still believe that today we are still to follow the instruction to get rid of weights and entangling sins in our lives. Let’s not forget that one of our purposes as believers is to be an example or a witness of G-D’s forgiveness and His delivering power that sets us from sin – not free to sin.
Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, #ManWisdom, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians, and his most recent book God Has No Plan "B".
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To whom should we show forgiveness?
The three weeks that culminate in Tisha B’Av are always difficult in Israel. This year was no different. There have been shootings, stabbings, killings, rioting and increased tension and fear. As is typical in cases like these, we begin the blame game, and begin using unhelpful phrases such as “them” and “those people.”
Some rabbis, rather than seeing a wounded terrorist as a human being created in the image of God, bemoan the fact that he is being treated in an Israeli hospital and say that he should have been killed. Though I understand the sentiment, I do believe that those in a position of spiritual leadership need to be more careful with their words.
Additionally, there are internal issues that many are facing. Two of my dear friends have cancer, and I just went to the funeral of a young mother who left behind three teenage boys, all of whom are my students. We are all aware that we must all band together, in school and out, to help these boys through their grief.
We face our own mortality during times such as these. We all take a deep, collective breath knowing, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”
Just as I was beginning to think I would simply need to come alongside others during this time (my own stuff was fine, thank you very much), my son came to me and told me he had been offered a job with a congregation with which we had painfully and completely cut ties. How are we to respond? Frankly, our knee jerk reaction was to say, “Forget it. Absolutely not. Blood is thicker than water; stay away.”
However, if we are to be disciples of Yeshua, we must be ever vigilant in seeking ways to reconcile and be a blessing. It is easy to stay in our respective corners and lick our wounds. Some wounds are very deep and need a long time to heal. If Yeshua can say, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do!” so should we!
A servant is not above his master and if our Master was betrayed, why do we think we will not be?
God doesn’t leave us in our brokenness. He encourages us to face our wounds and to grow stronger, healthier, and conform into his image. The position my son is being offered is to help kids become godly men and women to face the future with confidence and spiritual strength. He is being asked to impart the knowledge that we, as his parents, were largely instrumental in giving him.
Are we to tell him he cannot pay it forward? Or, he cannot pay it forward in that context?! Why should future generations not benefit from his wisdom and love? Do we really want to perpetuate a feud that has already hurt many families? Do we want our spiritual life to be a microcosm of the horrors we are facing in this land? How are we any better if we live in factions and unforgiveness?
Therefore, as an act of my will, because my flesh had other ideas, I will give my blessing and tell him to do a great job, as I am sure he will. I will caution him to be wary and wise—to fly and to teach others to do so, as well.
I will decide to live in forgiveness rather than bitterness, and to be an instrument of peace and reconciliation rather than division. May God help us all to mourn and grieve the brokenness, but not to stay there.
This article originally appeared on First Fruits of Zion, August 22, 2017, and reposted with permission.
K. J. Kruger is a mother of four and has lived in Israel for over 20 years. As teacher, life coach, writer, and speaker, she has been passionately involved in reconciliation between Arabs and Jews, and sees her role as being part of tikkun olam.