Sunday, March 15, 2015

End Times Shofar, Passover Blood Moon, Rare Solar Eclipse, and Call to Prayer

This press release arrived in my in-box this week and highlights some things God has shown me as I write the third book in my Seventh Dimension YA Series, The Castle




My research, geared toward the Jewishness of the Bible, has revealed many interesting events and facts I find hard to ignore. Because the fourth book in the series will be focused on the future, I've needed to consider important elements that will affect the plot.

Based on historical presidence, I would be surprised if the following events don't happen by the end of the year: War in the Middle East, a worldwide financial collapse similar to 2001 and 2007, and increasing persecution of Christians and Jews in the Middle East. 

Many Christians are not aware of the significance of the Jewish festivals, Jewish calendar, and signs in the heavens related to Jesus' first and second appearance. I hope blog posts like this will shed light on God's timetable. While we don't know the exact date of Jesus' return, we do know the times. God has given us many prophecies and warnings so we could know. I am one of those who longs for Jesus' return. Please keep reading to learn more.



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PRESS RELEASE

Passover Blood Moon Preceded by Exceedingly Rare Solar Eclipse Prompts Global Call to Prayer
  
Contact: Tuly Weisz, 786-275-5904

JERUSALEM, Israel, March 12, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- An exceedingly rare solar eclipse will take place next week over a most symbolic location on a day infused with both great natural significance and profound religious meaning, according to Root Source.

There will be a total eclipse of the sun for two minutes over the North Pole on Friday, March 20, the day of the Spring Equinox which coincides with the beginning of the Hebrew month of Nissan, the first month in the Biblical calendar year, a solar occurrence that has likely never happened before in human history.

"The concurrence and rarity of this natural event, together with the times in which we live, indicates the finger of God," said Gidon Ariel, an Israeli Jew and co-founder of Root Source, an online platform where Christians can learn Jewish concepts, ideas and thought, and more deeply understand the roots of their faith.

A total solar eclipse at the North Pole on the first day of spring occurs once every 100,000 years. For it to occur on the first day of the first month of the Biblical calendar year is, however, entirely unprecedented since this is only the year 5775 according to Jewish tradition, meaning that there has never been such a solar occurrence in human history.

Root Source founders Bob O'Dell, a devout Christian, and Gidon Ariel, an Orthodox Jew, are both calling all Christians and Jews to join them for two minutes of prayer as a response to the solar eclipse. O'Dell and Ariel chose a specific Bible verse for the global prayer. 

"I will be praying Isaiah 11:9 for two minutes at the Western Wall in Jerusalem at 12:18 PM local time," Ariel said.

"I invite Jews and Christians worldwide to join me at that exact moment, and to speak that verse out loud as a prayer in your native language. May God hear and quickly answer the combined prayers of all of us around the world," said Ariel.

"God directed Gidon and me to pray Isaiah 11:9, as it describes a future where all land is a place of safety because the knowledge of the LORD is as omnipresent as all the the earth's oceans, signified by the path of an amazing eclipse that eventually reaches the top of all the world's oceans," said Bob O'Dell.

For more information, visit www.root-source.com.



II Cor 15:52 states, "It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed." (New Living Translation).






The video below is worth taking a few minutes to watch. Because the passage above says "last trumpet," that leads me to conclude there must be more than one trumpet blast before His return. Perhaps the Lord is already sounding the trumpet.






Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Favorite “Top Five Young Adult Books” of all Time are…Drum Roll



Well, I had to list six. I couldn’t limit it to five. Some of the books I have listed here are not Christian books, but I didn’t know about all the great Christian authors when I was a young adult since I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. Thus, I didn’t say “Christian books,” I just said books.

For instance, I did not know about C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, George McDonald, and many other Christian authors. I did discover in the library A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine I’Engle when I was about 12, which is the only “Christian” worldview book I read as a teenager, and loved. I lament that I didn’t discover other Christian authors until I was in my 30’s, when my birthfather (whom I didn’t meet until I was 30) introduced me to C.S. Lewis.



I was introduced to other wonderful authors/books when I homeschooled my daughters, and so I have a new set of books I love in this genre now.

My first all-time favorite would be The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I have read this book at least three times and it embodies much that I want to write in my own books: Characters that are memorable, a Christian theme without being preachy, original creativity, a well-constructed plot, meaningful symbolism, and redemption. When I think of a story that is among the best, this book always comes to mind.



The second would be The Giver, by Lois Lowry. I have read this book twice, once with each of my daughters. It is hard to believe that this story isn’t real. Ms. Lowry writes such a believable story that I wonder if I could ever come anywhere close to emulating her. Because my YA Seventh Dimension Series is a fantasy of sorts (part of it), I have reflected on how she made the story seem so real.

The third book would be Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan. Again, I loved the Christian message, the symbolism, the struggle, and the redemption. I can relate to the protagonist and all that he went through.

My fourth and fifth all-time favorite books would be Gone With the Wind and The Exodus. I remember how I felt reading them as a YA and the sorrow when I finished them. I didn't want the books to end. I still remember the young girl in The Exodus who died; my heart was broken. It’s interesting that I don’t remember the exact plot. I remember the characters. I fell in love with the protagonist in The Exodus. I didn’t know it was possible to fall in love with a fictional character in a book. The same holds true for Gone With the Wind (Yes, I thought Rhett Butler was handsome and charming).



I recently read The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, and I couldn’t avoid listing it here. I don’t have the benefit of time to see where it will eventually fit into the collection of books that I have read as my all-time favorites, but because of the way she wrote it, the book touched my heart. I was drawn into her world of suffering, and the way she described the people in the attic and all the things that happened, it was hard for me to believe she lived and died before I was born.

Even when I was young, I enjoyed books that had significant undertones/struggles, and these also are the books that have made significant contributions to the literary world. I believe teens can handle difficult, heavy topics. My dream is to write books that can touch the heart of YA readers and influence their worldview with Christ’s love—enabling them to grow and become the person God created them to be.

I’d love to hear from you: What are your favorite YA books?

Note: I didn't include The Lord of the Rings Trilogy as I consider it to be more for adults. The pace is rather slow to engage YA readers, though maybe I should have listed The Hobbit. Sigh. It's so difficult to narrow it down, isn't it?



Monday, March 2, 2015

Prime Minister Netanyahu's Visit to Washington on the Day Before the Fast of Esther and Purim



I am reposting this email I received from a friend of mine. We met in Jerusalem January 1991 shortly before the Gulf War started. He and his wife, Roger and Naomi, and I were students at the Institute of Holy Land Studies during the time leading up to the war and shared the memorable experience of preparing for an attack, including how to use gas masks. 

I left in an all-night taxi ride from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv (along with other people fleeing) a couple of days before the first missiles landed in Israel. Roger and Naomi stayed, braver souls than me. 

Roger and his wife have spent their entire lives as missionaries in Asia, and he is very knowledgeable on the teachings of the Bible, particularly as they concern Israel. In light of what is happening in Washington at this moment with Prime Minister Netanyahu's upcoming visit, I feel it's important for evangelical Christians to pray for the safety of our country and Israel. I fear judgement on our nation if we do not align ourselves with Israel. Much is at stake. Please continue reading to learn more.

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Wilderness of Judea

Shalom,

We are asking you for serious prayer to our Father in Heaven in the Name of our Savior and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah FOR ISRAEL AND PM BENYAMIN NETANYAHU!!!!  Pray for Bibi's health and protection - may he show Faith in the Almighty, as Queen Esther did!!

You have heard the controversy - truth is, when Netanyahu got the Invitation from Boehner, he notified the White House of it and his intention to accept it (Jerusalem Post).  There was no response from the WH so Netanyahu accepted the Invitation - silence indicates approval. However, the WH silence was deliberate in order to falsely create a supposed violation of Protocol, a lie!  The Speaker of the House does NOT need the approval of the WH to invite anyone. Bibi did his part.

Obama hates Bibi and Israel (WHY??) and is trying to destroy him with Israel, regardless of more lies to the contrary.  Come to think of it, when has the WH ever told the truth??  The way Obama is weakening any deal with Iran shows that he wants Iran to have the bomb in order to destroy Israel, and in the meantime, betraying all relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others, who also fear Iran's intentions and have defense or cordial agreements with the USA.

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This interesting article comes from Rabbi Benjamin Blech:

Controversy surrounds the Prime Minister of Israel’s forthcoming appearance on Capitol Hill.

Invited by Republican House Speaker John Boehner to address Congress about the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed this opportunity to share his country’s existential concern as the Iranian regime comes ever closer to achieving the capability of fulfilling its avowed goal of the total annihilation of Israel. 

But the White House has made known its displeasure. A growing number of Democratic lawmakers said they would boycott his talk. Vice President Joe Biden, who as president of the Senate would normally oversee Netanyahu’s address, said he would be out of town. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she hoped the speech “doesn’t take place.”


The Wailing Wall


Why all this animosity toward the leader of a long-standing ally, the only democracy in the Middle East, to whom President Obama has long pledged his unswerving loyalty? Because the administration has made clear its fury at a supposed breach of protocol. The White House insists it was not consulted before the invitation was given. That breach of etiquette, it stoutly maintains, trumps any benefit Congress might gain from the insights of the Prime Minister of the country to be most immediately and severely affected by the present negotiations being concluded with Iran.

This isn’t the first time the issue of protocol lies at the heart of an Iranian threat to destroy the Jewish people.

There is Biblical precedent. Eerily echoing today’s story, the Book of Esther recounts the first recorded instance of attempted genocide against Jews in the ancient empire of Persia, today known as Iran. When, more than two millennia ago, Mordecai learns of Haman’s plot “to destroy, to slay and to exterminate all Jews, young and old, children and women, in a single day” (Esther 3:13), he prevails upon his adopted daughter Esther, now queen, to intercede.

But Esther is afraid. If she were to approach her husband to appeal Haman’s decree, she would be breaking royal protocol. “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces are well aware,” Esther responds to Mordecai, “that if anyone, man or woman, approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned, there is but one law for him: That he be put to death, except for the person to whom the king shall extend the gold scepter so that he may live. Now I have not been summoned to come to the king for the past thirty days” (Esther 4:11).

The Eastern Gate


Nonetheless, the Book of Esther tells us that after begging the Jews to pray and fast on her behalf, Esther chose to disregard protocol in the face of possible extermination of her people. Esther succeeded in averting the evil decree. As a result, Jews to this day around the world celebrate the Festival of Purim.

In Jewish tradition, the Purim story marks the commemoration of a different kind of miracle. In its unfolding, it is a miracle of coincidences so statistically improbable that they together speak to us of the hidden hand of the divine in human events. For that reason the book of Esther is the only one in the entire Bible in which God’s name is not to be found even once. 

Here God hides his face - but is as much involved as when he split the sea before the Jews fleeing the Egyptians. For Jewish commentators it is the message of the famous – and ironically anonymous – adage that “coincidence is merely God’s way of choosing to remain anonymous.”

And so perhaps the most remarkable serendipitous aspect of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech is that it is scheduled for the very day before Jews will be observing the Fast of Esther and Purim this year, to recall a time when a heroic queen decided that the survival of her people took precedence over protocol.

Settlements


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March 4 - Fast of Esther.  March 5 - Purim.  March 6 - Shushan Purim.  Enjoy reading Esther!!!

And please Pray daily for Bibi and Israel, God's forever Chosen People, who will never be destroyed and will be the Dominant nation over all when Yeshua Returns.  We choose to be with Yeshua and with Israel!!  

Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 
"By Faith we understand..."