Category Archives: Israel
Genesis 12:1-3 – 1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; 2 and I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; 3 and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
I am fairly certain you do not understand this passage. You may wonder how I come to this conclusion? I look at your actions and your political stances. Somehow we have taken the word bless and turned it into, “give money to” As if giving money is the same as blessing. But it isn’t. If that were true, then the whole story of Abraham and Melek T’zadik is wrong. Melek T’zadik blessed Abraham, yet Abraham was the one who gave money to the priest.
I think what bothers me most about this is that most of you don’t even bless Israel yourselves. You get all up in arms because The President, or presidential candidate doesn’t bless Israel enough, yet you have done nothing yourself. Its time for us to stop hiding behind the government and start doing things for ourselves.
When I say I bless Israel, I mean it. I have prayed for Israel for years, and I have supported Israel with my time and my money. I have been there twice and am going back in December. I have cultivated relationships with Christians, Jews, and Arabs in Israel. There are trees in Israel that I have helped to plant. There are people in Israel who have been blessed and affected because of things I have done.
Its more than money, and I am not waiting for Obama, Romney, Ron Paul, or anyone else to do it for me. Now, do not get me wrong, I do want my nation to stand for Israel and bless her, but we aren’t truly doing this right now. Sure, we give lots of money to Israel, but we use it as a smokescreen for manipulation. We give money but then Israel needs to get our permission to do anything for fear we may not give next time. Could you imagine a pastor thinking like this? “I can’t preach the cross because the congregation might not give…” LAME!
Recently we offered high grade weapons tech to Israel in exchange we asked them not to start a war with Iran. This is ludicrous. Israel is an independent nation and needs to be allowed to be an independent nation. We in America don’t wait for permission when we go to war, we do what we need to do to protect our people. Well Israel is in much more dire straits than we are, yet we expect them to get our approval? I want a government that realizes that Israel is our friend, but they are also their own nation. We should stand behind them and support them when they need it, not when its beneficial to us.
But I will leave the subject of the government alone for a minute and go back to personal responsibility. You need to bless Israel. When I was there last November, I met with the Mister of Foreign Affairs, The Minister of Information, and several members of Knesset (Israeli Senate) they all said the same thing, “The best way to bless Israel is to come here and experience our life. To invest in Israel and Israeli companies.”
Its time for us to take our ‘support’ personally. Its time to invest in the nation, in its businesses and its people. Its time to do more than “pray’ because we have some ‘Israel Mandate’ I know you can’t all shell out the money to go, but you can do something. There are organizations in Israel that need your help. Let me share a few:
- http://www.shilohisraelchildren.org/ – I have personally been to their facilities and know their need, and fully support the work they do. They need your help.
- http://seedsofhope.org/- This non profit was founded by Tass Saada, Former PLO Sniper who is now a Christian helping bring restoration in Israel. Here is a video testimony of Tass. He also happens to be the father of my friend Ben AbuSaada who is one of my Allaboutworship.com mates.
- http://www.iga-intl.com/index.php – I am a graduate of the first class of the Israel Goodwill Ambassador Academy and love the work that they are doing in Israel.
- http://www.jerusalempraise.com/ – This is a house of Prayer in Jerusalem. I have been here and served with my ministry Warring Dove International. We have lead worship and ministered to people here in this prayer room and I can’t say enough good things about Rick Ridings and his work.
- http://www.myolivetree.com/my-olive-tree/home – Rabi Curt Landry helped form this organization to plant trees in Israel and bless hem with longterm sustainable growth. Our ministry helped purchase a number of trees and are very excited about this work. Maybe you can’t buy one alone, but you and friends could do it together and fund it that way.
These are five organizations who need your support and ways you can help bless Israel yourself.
Again, I would love the US government to support Israel, but for me to expect them to do it for me is wrong. I can’t expect my pastor or worship leader to get me into the presence of God. Sometimes I have to learn to Obey the Lord myself and get my own blessing. I know this is controversial, but I do not care. Its time we stopped hiding behind the government and became the People of God we are called to be.
Genesis 12 is waiting for us to begin to fulfill it. God is searching for those who are doing it and waiting to pour out blessing. Will you answer the call? Sorry if you are offended.
Today we are continuing to celebrate Hanukkah. This year, Hanukkah last from December 20 until December 28th. Many people recognize this as the “Festival of Lights” But it is so much more than that. Hanukkah is less about light and oil than it is about dedication and faith.
You see, about 165 BC the Syrian King who ruled over Israel, King Antiochus IV appointed a Hellenistic High Priest over Israel. He prohibited the study of Torah, and he commanded the sacrifice of swine upon the holy altar. This was about as much desecration as the temple had ever seen.
This caused the Hasmoneans, led by Jewish High Preist Mattityahu and his Son Judah Macabee (Which means Hammer. I.e the Hebrew Hammer) to rebel. They sucessfully reclaimed Jerusalem and the Temple of the Lord. Hanukkah is the celebration of the rededication of the temple after it was reclaimed by the Jewish people.
The story of the Oil that we often share has several different tellings, but the basic premise is that when they rededicated the temple, they only had enough oil to last in the Temple Menorah for one day. It takes eight days to prepare oil for the temple menorah. The miracle occured when the oil lasted for all eight days until the fresh oil could be prepared.
The Hanukkah Menorah is special and is different from the traditional temple menorah. The Temple menorah has Seven candles, while the Hanukkah menorah has Nine. Eight candles for the eight days, and One for the Lord. According to Hanukkah, it is a time of celebration, there is to be no fasting or mourning, because we are to rejoice of the freedom and liberation of the Temple and the Jewish People.
It is customary to light the center candle and then each night you light one candle from the right to the left, each day you have the corresponding number of candles lit. It is also proper that the Hanukkah Menorah be displayed where it can be seen from outside, and the candles should face so that those outside see them from right to left.
Now the question for us as Christians is how to celebrate Hanukkah. What is the point for people who may not have any actual Jewish Blood. I would remind you that you are grafted into the family of God, and thus the Jewish people are now your brothers and sisters. While it is not required to celebrate, it is always good to rejoice with your brothers when they rejoice, and the mourn with them when they mourn.
The story of the Oil lasting is great, and many Jewish families eat oily foods to celebrate the miracle of the oil, however the purpose of Hanukkah is to celebrate the faith of the Hasmoneans who would not bow to any God but YHWH. Much like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, the Hasmoneans were willing to die if that was the only way to avoid serving another God.
During this season of Hanukkah we should rejoice in our freedom to be servants of Messiah Yeshua. To live and breathe as the family of YHWH. We should take this time to rededicate ourselves to the Lord, much as the Hasmonean Jews rededicated the Temple. Remember that you are the temple of the Lord. This is a season of Rejoicing and celebrating and being merry because we are free.
There are those around the world who aren’t so blessed as we are, and cannot celebrate the Lord freely and must hide their faith or lose their life. Since we are free to worship in the open we ought to worship twice as joyfully on their behalf. If you have any more questions, feel free to email me.
As an American, I get to hear all the time about being green. I hear about alternative energies, organic farming, sewage treatment, desalination, and a whole host of different environmental initiatives. However in such a big country like America, we often do not see it in action. Sure we do it all, but not in every city and every place. With such a huge amount of land things are vastly more spread out.
In Israel this is quite different. The nation is about the size of the state of New Jersey. Within that small tract of land, there are several different types of landscape. You have mountains, and valleys, rivers and seas, deserts and woodlands, farms and cities. This makes for many unique different solutions for the environmental ‘crisis’ that we Americans speak so much about. In America I put quotes around the word ‘crisis’ because things are not in dire straits for us. However in Israel these issues are real and they are life and death.
Water shortages in a desert are serious. A lack of oil in a small land without many friends matters. So this has led to Israel becoming a world leader in environmentalism. Here are some interesting highlights for you.
- Waste Water Treatment
- Electric Cars
- Solar Energy
- Wind Power
I want to focus on the top three on the list because those are things I spent the most time learning about. Lets begin with Desalination. Israel is in the process of building Five desalination plants. So far they have built Three of the five with the goal of having all Five supply 750 million gallons of water each year. That equates to roughly One Third of Israel’s annual water needs. The desalination plant in Ashkelon is the largest in the world. Israel is considered a world leader in desalination and many nations with a coastline shouold take them as an example.
Now let us discuss waste water treatment. Most people are grossed even by the thought of it, but it is a great source of water. Israel takes the waste water from its cities and then purifies it. When it has been sufficiently purified, that water is then sent to farmers. Not farms where food is produced, but places where they need water for non food plants. To the National parks to water their trees, flowers, and lawns. To textile and cotton farms, and others who are desperate for water to keep the land alive. To many Americans, even many who claim to be environmentalists this is a gross thought, but in reality it is a brilliant way to keep the economy, and the land thriving even in the midst of drought.
The third thing on the list I feel the need to mention is Electric cars. See, I m a car guy, and having seen the electric cars here in America, the very thought of an electric car is repugnant, because the term evokes images of hideous looking beasts who terrible performance that are highly impractical to anyone going on a road trip. However, once again, Israel helps to shift my mindset. This is where Better Place comes in. When I saw the schedule, it said one of our Itinerary items was to Go to Better Place. When someone tells me we are going to a better place, my first thought is not cars, but death. However I am gladly mistaken this time.
Better Place manufactures practical, powerful electric cars. They were given a grant from the Renault Automotive Corporation in France who gave them a fleet of car bodies to try their experimental engine in. It is a fully electric battery powered engine that is set in a sleek looking 4 door sedan and has all the extra amenities of a modern sedan. So, simply by seeing the car, one of my issues with electric cars was nullified. This was not an ugly eyesore. I didn’t have to give up aesthetics just to satiate my desire to help the environment.
But, the looks of the car aren’t nearly as important to me as its power and performance. How do these stack up against traditional vehicles of the same style? Luckily for all of you who are now in suspense waiting for the answer, they let me test drive it. The Better Place / Renault Fluence Z.E has a top speed of approximately 115 mph. and on a full battery can currently go about 115 miles. As the battery technology increases, that number will go up. Now in a place like America, where the land is vast and spread out this might not seem practical, but in a country like Israel which is roughly the size of New Jersey, this means you can travel almost north to south with no issue. It handles amazing and accelerates quickly. The test track had two lengthy straightaways a few curves, and a roundabout. I took most of the track pedal to the metal, because I wanted ot put the car to the test, and it drifted the roundabout like something from The Fast & The Furious. I was legitimately impressed, because I tested it by driving much harder than I would on a normal trip. So it passed that test, but what about practicality?
How do you charge it? Well, when you buy the car, you sign up for a power plan. Bascialy its a monthly fee you pay for the electricity that charges your car. So instead of shelling out a few sheckles each time you need gas, you pay up front each month. As part of this, you get two charging stations. One for home, and one to put where you need it, perhaps at the office, or some other place you spend a lot of time at? Then around the cities in Israel, Better Place is installing charging stations so that you will be able to park and charge whle you are downtown shopping or going to the movies, or anything else you are doing.
But the real key to the power issue is Battery Changing Stations. These are just like gas stations and will be found around the country. You pull up, swipe your better place subscription card and then it switches your drained battery for a fresh one. This process takes about five minutes which is about the same time you would spend at the gas station filling your tank.
All in all, better place was able to really make me rethink my stance on electirc cars, and it gives me hope that this technology will one day be practical in a place like America. Well, that seems like a long enough update. Check back tomorrow for an article on Organic Farming in Israel.
So I am sitting in the Lobby of our hotel waiting for my ride to the airport. While I am waiting, all I have to surround me is my mind. There has been so much that I am almost on overload from the last two weeks. I cannot begin to explain or describe everything in one blog, so I think I will do it in four. In the coming days look for a blog about Israel’s Government, History, Science/Technology, and finally the Land itself.
But today, I want to talk about something that has weighed on me a fair bit since I did it; Yad Va’Shem. For those of you who do not know, Yad Va’Shem is the Holocaust Memorial here in Jerusalem, and it is an intense experience. I have been to several Holocaust museums, and I have heard many testimonies of survivors, but nothing compared to this museum. Fact and figures everywhere, actual historical relics from the camps and the people, story after story telling the tale of the Holocaust. As you walk through you cannot help but be overcome. It is just so much pain to take in, but that is only the beginning.
After you have been through all of this and experienced all of the pain and suffering, triumph and tragedy, the museum ends with the Hall of Names. This is a room and Going up to the ceiling is a cone with images and names and stories of the people who had their lives taken. As you spin around you see story after story of real people who experienced more than anything you could begin to imagine. The walls of the room are lined with books. In each of these books are testimony sheets that detail someone who lost their life in the holocaust. To date they have recorded the story of over Four Million holocaust victims, and they continue every day trying to identify every single one and hae they story held in the hall of names, forever remembered for their life and their pain.
I don’t want to keep going with this because even reflecting back I am reminded of the flood of emotion that hits you as you walk through these halls. The reason we did this is because it is Israeli Law. Everyone who wishes to be an ambassador must go through Yad Va’Shem and once through it, you enter the Hall of Remembrance, a very sobering stone room with the names of many of the camps engraved into its floor. In the center is a lamp-stand that is a symbol of the pain, and a sign to remind us of their lives, next to the lamp-stand is a small stone platform, and underneath are the ashes of many who lost the lives in the holocaust. To become an ambassador in Israel, you must come here to this room, and you must lay a wreath on the platform as a tribute to the victims, and a reminder to yourself of what great tragedy helped pave the way for the Jewish State of Israel.
There aren’t words to describe all of the emotion that flows when you experience this first hand. It was so much that you couldn’t even cry, because crying didn’t seem to be enough to express what you feel as you experience their stories. Anyone who wants to be an Ambassador for Israel will partake of this ceremony and will feel this level of emotion for themselves. But for now, I wanted you to understand, even if I can’t only explain it in part, what it means to be an Israeli Goodwill Ambassador and the significance of this class.
In the coming days I will have at least four more posts written on this School, and all that I experienced, but I felt this is the thing that I wanted to express the most.
Rosh Hashanah is coming up at the end of this month. But do many Christians have any idea what that means? Sadly no. That is why I am writing this article. I believe that there is much to be learned from studying Jewish culture, customs, and their calendar. Because they receive many of these times, seasons, and traditions from The Lord himself. If we begin to understand these customs, we will be able to understand our God a little better.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is literally translated “Head of the Year.” It is the anniversary of creation. But, with our modern culture we have reduced “New Years” to A Big party, binge drinking, and resolutions we don’t intend to keep. The Jewish new year is very different. This is because the Jews are very different. For a better understanding on how the Jews are different from us. I recommend reading “To The Jew, and also to the Greek.” This is a lengthy thread, but if you just being with the First page and follow the thoughts that Yod1948 is sharing, you will get a start to understanding this mindset issue. (You may become so enthralled that you read all 10 Pages. I did)
Now understanding that Jews are different from the rest of us, it is easy to understand that their holidays would be as well. You see, Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the year, but also the begining of an important season on the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah in itself is not of much significance. It is the season that gives it significance. Rosh Hashanah is also known as Yom Teru’ah, which is The Day or Feast of Trumpets, as well as Yom ha-Zikaron, which is The day of remembrance. Rosh Hashanah is a day of remembrance. It begins the 10 days of Awe which lead to Yom Kippur, or the day of atonement.
What are we remembering? Why should those who aren’t Jewish care? Well, as Christians, we strive to become more like Christ. To live like he lived. Jesus was a Jewish man, ad observed the Torah, all of the Law, the Prophets, the Feasts and the Holy days. For instance “The Last Supper” was actually a passover Seder. Jesus being a good Jew, was observing the passover which was originally a sign that would point to who he was. Jesus never told us to stop celebrating the feasts or festivals. There is no evidence to support that the Apostles gave up the feasts and festivals. In fact one of the most important days to the formation of the early church was The Day of Pentecost. Pentecost was a Jewish holiday, and during this observance, the Spirit breathed on the early church. Perhaps at a later time, I will write a full article simply on the importance of observing the Jewish Holidays, but for now I digress to the topic at hand.
Rosh Hashanah, the day of remembrance, the feast of trumpets. What is the significance to us as Christians? Well, this is the start of a new year. A time when we let go of the past and prepare for the future. God opens up the heavens over us for a spirit of Repentance and the Fear of the Lord to fall upon us. God is preparing us for the day of atonement.
How do we partake in this? Many Christians struggle with the Idea of the day of atonement, because we have the cross which is the ultimate atonement. However, this is a season where we are preparing ourselves for God’s presence. The days of awe lead us to Repentance and the Day of atonement. However after the day of atonement, we have a bit of a break before the feast of Tabernacles begins. Tabernacles is a time of special communion with God. A time when the people set themselves apart and met God in their own tents.
Instead of looking at Rosh Hashanah as a single day, we need to look at the scope of Tishri. Which is the month on the Jewish calendar in which these all happen. God calls us to rememberance of who we are and what we have done. God begins to show us the things that are keeping us from more of him. This could be blatant sins, like sexual sins, or murder, or similar things. However, often it is mindsets and attitudes that keep us from God. He begins to show us our wrong thinking and our wrong attitudes; the things we do and say that are not pleasing to him. If you can honestly tell me you don’t have any of these and you are in perfect communion with God at all times, I suspect Pride, and Lies are your big enemy.
As we progress from Celebrating the beginning of the new year, to reflecting upon ourselves and our relationship with God, we move to the day of atonement. A time to ask God to remove these from ourselves and our congregation. To cleanse us and restore us to purity. After he has restored this purity upon us, he calls us to come aways with him. The past few years since I have begun to explore my Jewish roots and celebrate the Festivals, this has become my favourite time of the year. Each year, I become more like him, and I see an increase of his presence in my life.
Now you might argue that this doesn’t have to be done at this time of the year. You might say that you can repent of sins and mindsets any time of year, and you are right. However, this is a God Ordained season. I did not institute Trumpets, Atonement, or Tabernacles. I did not pick the dates and the traditions. God designed this time for this purpose. Yes, you can repent and experience him any time of the year. However, this is a time when he has planned it to be done and there is a special grace that is not found the rest of the year. This is a doorway in time and the door is open. When we begin to move and live in God’s timing we find ourselves having to strive less, but receiving more.
So hopefully I have given you a brief understanding of the significance of this time. I am hoping you see the importance this next upcoming season, and how it can bless you richly. The question is how do we respond to it as Christians. How do we celebrate this time, and take part in these traditions?
Well, Messianic Congregations, and those who observe the Jewish holidays hold special services. Rabi Curt Landry from House of David broadcasts these services live from his website. Last year I had the honor and privilege of going to Oklahoma and being a part of his Rosh Hashanah service. It began with a feast. This is something I loved. It was a church Pot Luck and people brought foods. (kosher of course) But families volunteered to be responsible for a table. This meant that the family would provide the dishes, silverware, glasses, everything for that table from their own home. They also served as hosts for those who were at their table. I love this because it was a great community building exercise.
After the dinner was over, we all shifted to the sanctuary and celebrated in worship. We sang, and danced, and made merry in the presence of God. (Jewish worship involves much more than singing and lifting hands. Its truly a celebration) When the worship was over, Rabi Landry came up to give the word.
First an introduction into the significance of Rosh Hashanah as a day of Rememberance and Trumpets.It was during this explanation that the sound of the Trupmet was blasted. House of David used Silver horns, but a Shofar is also widely used. There are four types of blasts sounded. First a Long blast that signifies Christ as King. Then Three diatonal blasts that symbolize repentance. Third 9 staccato blasts in rapid succession to symbolize awakening the soul or sounding the alarm. Finally One Long blast, held as long as you can stand it. This final blast is the victory blast, and shout of Jubilee. Then he moved on to the sermon. The sermon was not like a normal sermon, but it was a “state & direction of the church” message. He shared about the last year, and cast the vision for the next year. This wasn’t simply his vision, but the vision the Lord had given him.
Finally he ended with a challenge. He asked everyone to search their hearts over the next 10 days and to deal with their sins, their mindsets, and their attitudes in preparation for the day of atonement.
This is a great example of how I feel a service should be held for “The Feast of Trumpets” Begin with community, move to worship, then release the word. This year Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown Wednesday the 28th and continues to sundown on Thursday the 29th.
That Wednesday would be a great opportunity, since many churches already have a midweek service. Have a dinner, then a special service for Rosh Hashanah. Worship the Lord, and thank him for the work he has done in the last year (5771 on the Jewish Calendar) Then move into vision casting for the next year. After you have shared the vision, call the congregation to attention, and sound the blasts of the Shofar or the trumpet. After this, give the call for repentance and self-examination. As you make this call bring the worship team up for altar ministry so they can make music and worship as people come to the altar to examine themselves.
I promise that as you being to move in time with God’s calendar you will begin to see a stronger presence in your congregation. Because the Lord honors obedience, and when you move in the season he says to move he rewards you greatly.
If you are reading this, it is because you are someone who supports Israel and her interests. I am writing you to ask you to help invest in both the nation of Israel, and my life.
I have been given the opportunity to go to Jerusalem this November and study in the first class of the Israel Goodwill Ambassador Academy. This school sponsored by the Israeli government and accredited through the Ono Academic University is a ten day intensive school that will educate me bout modern day Israel, as well as equipping me to engage and educate others about Israel’s needs as a nation and defend her right to exist as a nation.
Upon completion of the school, I will be a registered Goodwill Ambassador with the nation of Israel. I will have credentials that show me as a representative of that nation and her interests all over the world.
Through this school, I will receive the education, and the equipping needed to truly stand with Israel and defend her in the onslaught the she is faced with on a daily Basis.
I want to emphasize that this is not merely a vacation to see Biblical sites. I will get opportunities to see historical and Biblical places, but the main thrust of this trip is the education. This is the first time that this has ever been offered, and it is a great honor that I have even been invited.
You may be wondering what the significance of a “goodwill ambassador” is. A Diplomatic ambassador is someone who works on a governmental level; someone who connects government to government. However, a goodwill ambassador is a much more grass roots ambassador. Goodwill ambassadors work with people. As a goodwill ambassador, I will be qualified and equipped to teach about Israel, her history, and her needs. I would be prepared to speak on her behalf to people, churches, organizations, and anyone who is interested in learning more about Israel and how to support her in this current era.
Here is a quote directly from the vision statement of the Academy itself. “Our graduates will become part of a worldwide social network of grassroots activists and think-tanks identifying challenges and helping to resolve them diplomatically. From time to time, Ambassadors may expect to receive invitations to special events and projects in Israel and other countries.”
We as Christians are quick to say we stand with Israel and say that we pray for her, but often that is the extent of it. We don’t take active steps to support her and her interests in the world.
For the last year, I have been studying with Warring Dove international ministries. I am studying in seminary and Bible College to learn theology and missions. I have been actively pursuing the calling of God on my life. This is an unpaid internship that has caused me to live by faith and rely on the support of friends and family to help me on the road to my destiny. In the last year I have made two missions trips into the heart of Mexico and have been blessed with the opportunity to teach and lead worship both here at the Missions Base in Lawrence, Ks, as well as around the world. The invitation to study at the IGAA came as an extension of my time and study with Warring Dove Ministries, and the ministry’s strong ties to the nation and people of Israel.
I am asking you to partner with me as I prepare to attend this school. The cost of the Academy and my expenses for this trip will be approximately Five-Thousand dollars. This is a lot of money, but it will be an investment in my future as well as Israel’s future.
In Genesis 12:3 God told Abraham “I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who curse you, and in you, all the peoples of the Earth will be blessed.” If you support me as I go to the nation of Israel and study, God will bless you. You might not get to go to Israel yourself, but by investing in me as I go, you will share in the blessings that I receive. This is an opportunity that I cannot pass up. Please help send me to the Israeli Goodwill Ambassador Academy.
If you are interested in supporting me on this endeavor, or simply learning more about the school I have been invited to, please feel free to email me email@example.com I would be glad to tell you anything I can. If you want to support me, you can write a check made out to Warring Dove Ministries. The address to send support is P.O. Box 507 Lawrence, KS 66044. Please include “Mathew IGAA” on the memo so that the donation is sure to get to me. By donating through the ministry you will be able to receive a tax receipt for your gift. Thank you for partnering with me and helping me serve God’s people in a greater way.
In God’s service
P.S. All Anti-Semitic comments will be deleted.
Artist: Paul Wilbur
Album: Desert Rain
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Style: Messianic / Worship & Prayer
Location: Jacksonville, Florida, US
01. Zealous Over Zion
02. Out Of Zion
03. Mountains Of Israel
04. Hallelu Et Adonai
05. I Will Never Leave You (with Sharon Wilbur)
06. Why Should I Be Afraid
07. You Are
08. Blessed Is The Lord
09. Who Is Like Thee (Mikamocha)
10. The Diamond Turns
11. Behold The Lord
12. Salvation Belongs To Our God
This is the recording of Paul Wilbur leading a live worship music concert in Israel with 5,000 in attendance from around the world who gathered to sing over the nation of Israel and pray for healing rain that would bring new life to dry hearts and desert lands. The location for this concert was En Gedi, the same desert where David hid from King Saul in Biblical times. This was a tremendous night of praise and worship and many testimonials of supernatural activity by attendees.
It is not a secret that I love Paul Wilbur. I have been listening to his worship for many years and have most of his albums, save for his ‘greatest hits’ So when I heard that he was working on a new project I was seriously excited. The Title is called Desert Rain. This is a live recording of almost entirely new songs. I was lucky to get this CD the day it came out thanks to a friend of mine. Sadly, I have not seen much press on it. I have come to expect a lot from Integrity Media when it comes to promoting a new Album, and except from one mention in an email, Desert Rain has gotten no press, at least none I have seen. Paul Wilbur is a Messianic worship leader. His songs include a mix of English and Hebrew.
This album has a wonderful flow. It begins with a very middle-eastern and Jewish intro that builds you into the first song. The First track ‘Zealous over Zion‘ is very High energy. The pace of the album is a pleasant slide downward. It begins fast and each song progresses to a slower tempo and rhythm. This is due in part to the fact that it was a Live night of worship that was recorded.
For me, there were 4 stand out tracks. Zealous over Zion, I will never leave you (which is a sung with his daughter-in-law), Blessed is the Lord, and Behold the Lord. The first two are both High Energy. Zealous over Zion has a traditional Wilbur feel to it with its distinctive rhythm and flow tailor made for the dance. I will never leave you is different in that it has more of a pop aspect to it. The rhythm is not something typical of Paul, but the song blends well into the rest of the album. Blessed is the Lord is for my money the best track on the album, and on of the best tracks that Paul has ever recorded. Its slow tempo is something that is easy to follow and sing with. The song itself is primarily keys and guitar. This makes it very simple for a church to replicate. The Chorus blends Hebrew and English perfectly in such a way to make the Hebrew easy to understand for those who do not speak it.
The album as a whole is something that any church should be able to produce musically in their own worship services and that is something I love. A lot of worship albums are super, passionate, musically incredible, and theologically great, but many lack the ability to be easily transitioned into the Local Church setting.
If you are going to buy a worship Album this month, this is the one to get. I give Paul Wilbur a standing ovation. (I am in a mcdonalds using their internet and everyone looked at me like a moron.) I highly recommend this album.
Included in this post is Paul Wilbur himself sharing the experience of Recording this album. The story of what it took to record this is amazing. Please watch, and then share.
Well, it has officially been a whole month that I have been living here in Lawrence, KS and interning with warring dove International Ministries. This has been one of the busiest months I have had in a long time. Let me give you a quick update.
The first day I moved in, I had to get everything unpacked in 2 hours, because we needed to return the uhaul, and then get on the road to Topeka. We spent the next several days helping a Pastor relocate. He was a pastor of a church that also ran a thrift shop to help keep the finances in order. They ended up losing their building, so they moved the store to two separate locations on opposite ends of the City. God has really provided for them. They are now running two store locations and were given a warehouse that is about the size of a football field. Their thrifting business is really starting to take off. A permanent home for the Church has not yet been found, but They are trusting in God and a temporary location is already awaiting them.
After we helped them with this, we traveled down to Grove, Ok, to celebrate Rosh Hashannah with Rabbi Curt Landry at House of David Ministries. The Rabbi is a wonderful man of God. I know not all of you who read this participate in the Traditional Jewish Feasts, but Getting back to the Jewish Roots of our faith is something that The Lord has really been talking to me about recently. It was an honor to Celebrate with our Brothers there in Grove.
The next day we had to begin setting up for our Weekend of Music and Ministry at Haskell Indian Nations University. Haskell is right here in Lawrence, and is the Only First Nations/Native American university in the country. This is where the tribes send their children, and many of the students from this University go on to be elders and leaders in their own Tribe. For this weekend, We had Rain Song First Nations music (Terry and Darlene Wildman) The First night of the Event was held on campus at Stidham Hall. The second night was held a few blocks away at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Then sunday we returned to Stidham hall and ministered once again on campus. This was a great weekend, because while we were having our ministry, Haskell as a whole was having Pow-Wow. For those who are not First Nations, you may not know the significance of Pow-Wow. This is a time wherein the people come together and celebrate, fellowship, and partake in many of the Native customs that make the tribes so unique. Also during this time, Haskell had its annual Art Fair. Native Jewelers and artists from many different tribes brought their art to sell at this time. As you could imagine this is a ver busy time for the college and many people are on campus that might not otherwise have been there. We were blessed by this, because as Terry and His wife made their great music to Creator God, and Worshiped his son Jesus, the sound of the song, which was very native in its tone, drew in people who heard it. This was a wonderful outreach and the beginning, I believe, of many open doors to the Gospel of Jesus Christ at Haskell Indian Nations University.
While we have been doing these events, we have also been Having our Regular Friday Night Fire Services at the Portal in downtown Lawrence. The Portal is our church home site, located right on Massachusetts street where the party scene and the bars are. God has been faithful in moving in our services, lives are being touched, people are being healed, the oppressed are being set free. It is a great time. Recently, I have been asked to take up as the Worship Leader at the friday night services. I am very excited about this and am hoping to begin building a worship team, so I am not holding the whole service work myself. Please pray that the Lord provides more/better music and sound equipment to our ministry. This past weekend someone donated to us a used sound board. It has I believe 12 channels, and I will be going out to pick it up in the next few days. The same person who donated this also Gave me a microphone. He did this separate from his gift to the ministry, because he believes that God has great plans for me in worship, and thinks I will need equipment of my own that I can better serve. This may not seem like a big deal to many, but sound boards and microphones get expensive fast.
Since I am asking for prayer in this area, here are some of the things we need. A CD recorder so that we can easily record all services at the Portal and begin sharing the Word of The Lord with others outside our own congregation. New Speakers; the ones we have right now are old, small, and not very good. If we could get a hold of a nice set of speakers that would increase our overall sound quality. A New Electric Guitar Amplifier. The one that I have currently is a digital amplifier and does not create the best sound. It is a blessing for what it does Do, but I am praying for a New Tube Amplifier to build a better worship sound. Keep praying that God continues to Provide as he already has.
Also, aside from our Friday night services, we have a school of ministry. Tuesday nights we have class/study from 7-10. At current, we are going through Kevin J Connor’s book, ‘The Church In The New Testament‘ It is a wonderful look at how the Church in the New Testament operated and was run. Then it also compares this to how we run our churches in this Modern Era. When we finish this book, we will begin a Survey Class. We will do both, Old Testament Survey as well as New Testament Survey. Aside from this class, twice a month we have The Worship College. This is a school where we study Biblical forms of Worship, and then also we hold classes for different instruments. Currently we are doing The Basic Biblical Worship course and a Beginner Guitar Course. These classes are open to anyone, if you want to come take them you can. I do not know all the details for Cost and things of that nature, but if you want to try it out, you can and the Leaders will discuss enrollment with you then.
The Weekend after our Ministry at Haskell, Chuck Pierce came to Topeka, KS. Our ministry was on staff at this wonderful event where Chuck, Rabbi Curt Landry, Dr. Jay Swallow and other came to Reestablish the Spirit of God in the City of Topeka. 100 Years earlier, Dr. Charles Parham experienced a great movement of the Spirit of God flow in Topeka and his ministry. During this time, He declared that a century Later, the Lord would once again pour out his spirit on his people, and that the coming move would far supersede the previous. The Churches of Topeka want to See Jesus Reign in their City, and see a move of God that transforms the city even to the government level. It was a blessing to be a part of this great night.
The Following weekend, a group of pastors from Topeka rented out Burnett’s Mound, the highest hill in the City for a Worship Gathering. The Gathering began thursday night and went on through till saturday morning when they had a sunrise service on the hill. Our ministry was privileged to be a part of this Ministry. Our Leaders ministered on Thursday night, and then we came back the next morning where I was blessed to lead an hour of Worship on the hill.
I know this has been a long letter, but It has been an action packed month. I have learned and Experienced a lot on the road to becoming an ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As well as the full time Internship for the ministry I am also looking for a part time Job to help with expenses like food, rent, the things everyone needs. Please pray that the Lord provides quickly. Also, if you are interested in supporting me on this journey, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org I will give you more info on how you can do that.
We have made it to israel. Our delay in philly gave us time to reconnect with our american roots and spiritual heritage. Our first day in israel consisted of driving to our hotel, with a brief stop on the mediteranian sea. We prayed for the seas to be restored for God’s Glory. Today we have spent time on a boat in the Sea of Gallilee which is called Genessaret. We were out on the waters worshiping the King of Kings. I am stopping briefly here to get out this update, but time is marching, I must go