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NEW BEGINNINGS AT THE NEW YEAR

 

I hope you’ve been enjoying my occasional blog articles. As we enter the new biblical year and spring feasts, Kerry and I want to share personally what God has been doing in our life. Toward the end of this post, we also write briefly about Passover and the Feast of First Fruits.

Kerry is about to retire from his medical practice and “re-fire” full time into the ministry of Light of Zion. We will be moving back to Israel in the fall! As a result we’ve been earnestly seeking God for fresh direction and clarity. God has been more than gracious in responding.

Here are some of the new year’s new beginnings that are taking place. These have been made possible only through your partnership with Light of Zion. Every prayer you’ve prayed, encouraging word you’ve shared, blog you’ve forwarded along, or dollar you’ve contributed has truly counted! Thank you for serving with us to impact Israel for eternity.

God has led us into several new and revived relationships with gate keeper Christian and Messianic leaders, connecting us with them for greater effectiveness in Israel.

Because of the generosity of friends like you, we collected and wired over $5,000 for Passover food items for needy Israelis. That amount is sufficient to feed approximately 100 Israeli families who could not otherwise afford to celebrate a traditional Passover. On their behalf, thank you!

Light of Zion has just hired a full-time administrator. This enables us to expand in areas we could not when we did every detail of the ministry ourselves, from stuffing envelopes to appearing on TV. Please pray for Janna, who we hope you’ll meet soon.

Janna has established a much needed, new intercessory prayer team for Light of Zion. (More on this in a moment.)

Light of Zion has a new, updated logo representing its fresh start.

These are works and projects God has put on our hearts to expand or launch. They are in various stages of development:  

Teaching and leading prayer at Jerusalem area houses of prayer and worship (expansion of what we did earlier in Israel);

Core team participation in international believers’ reconciliation gatherings, including Messianic Jews and Arab Christians (expansion of earlier ministry);

Continuing to write weekly prophetic news articles, published by Christian and Messianic magazines, that reach around the world;

Developing a new Messianic medical outreach program for needy Israelis;

Co-laboring with Israeli ministries to expand other humanitarian outreach;

Building a new, more user friendly web site with YouTube videos; and

We are glad to share details on any of these works if you are interested. You can reach us by email at info@lightofzion.org or by phone at 949.533.8287. We more than welcome your involvement in the ministry; we are a team serving together! Meanwhile, here’s what you can do:

Pray! We need and rely on your prayer support. If you are able to join the new Light of Zion email prayer team, please contact Janna: Janna@lightofzion.org.

Pass this post along to a friend or pastor who might be interested.

Please realize that no financial donation is too small! As we expand, expenses increase. We are investing our lives and personal financial resources in God’s purposes for Israel. Are you also able to invest? As you give to this work (however seemingly small) you truly bless Israel!

Light of Zion’s mission is twofold: To glorify God and reflect His character; and to carry the One who is the Light of Zion to the people of Israel. We do this by teaching, equipping and releasing believers in their calling to reach the Jewish people with the love and truth of Messiah, and by humanitarian outreach in and to Israel. Thank you with all our hearts for being part of the ministry!

PASSOVER AND FIRST FRUITS MEDITATIONS

The feast of Passover begins Friday, April 22-23, followed by First Fruits on Sunday. These spring feasts reveal a glimpse of the gory and glory of our relationship with an all powerful, loving, holy God. The gory story is that “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all…like a lamb led to the slaughter.” (Isaiah 53:6-7) But the overpowering glory is that Messiah Yeshua, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed—once for all. The punishment that gives us peace with God was laid on Him (Isaiah 53:5).

On the Feast of First Fruits (Yom HaBikkurim) Messiah rose from the dead. First Fruits is celebrated the day after the first Sabbath of Passover, this year on April 23-24. That is why Paul describes Yeshua as the first fruits to rise from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20).

As indescribably glorious as the Resurrection is, could there be even more first fruit blessing ahead? Recall that Yom HaBikkurim, unlike Pesach, was not to be observed until Israel entered the Promised Land. That is because Passover commemorates God’s past provision. It celebrates His historic deliverance from bondage to freedom. But to the ancient Hebrews, First Fruits would have referred to God’s future provision. A command to offer Him the first and best fruit in the Promised Land – given while they wandered in the wilderness – should have stirred their faith for promises not yet fulfilled. Too often, it seems it didn’t.

Like our biblical ancestors, at times we see little evidence for God’s future provision. That is when He is stretching or refining our faith. He wants us to remember that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. The promise of full covenant blessing will be given us who live by faith. Someday, by faith, we will behold our God forever, in full glory in a most glorious land!

Happy and blessed Passover and First Fruits!