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[Y]ou also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gifts granted to us through many (2 Cor. 1:11).
Shalom and Happy New Year to my Friends and Supporters!
The above verse aptly expresses what I feel in my heart for each of you. It is through your loving prayers and financial support that our Lord enables me to continue in the ministry that He called Barry and me to. Praise His holy name!
As I look back on the year 2017, my heart is full of thankfulness and praise to God for His goodness and faithfulness in both my ministry and personal life. I have seen God’s faithfulness as I share the Gospel message with the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” and enlighten believers to the Jewish roots of Christianity. He has blessed our outreach to the Jewish community through our fellowship, Tikvah BaMidbar (Hope in the Desert), and blessed our annual citywide Messianic Passover Seder. We also see His hand on our personal discipleship. Please pray that the Good News many heard for the first time would bear fruit. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).
As we rejoiced in the birth of our Savior, it was also a blessing to spend time with my daughter, Kipling, and grandsons, Austin and Jared. I am grateful for the good work He began in each of them and “will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (see Philippians 1:6).
HEAVENLY MUSIC ON EARTH
It was a wonderful way to welcome the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, I attended a concert featuring singer/pianist Marty Goetz, a Jewish believer (see photo below). Marty’s adult daughter, Mischa, accompanied him on a couple songs—a blessing for him and for us—especially as the concert concluded with their beautiful Hebrew rendition of the Aaronic blessing from Numbers 6:24-26: “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Marty holds a special place in my heart. Following the concert, we reminisced about Barry and the time we had invited Marty to sing at the rally of our JET (Jewish Evangelism Training) program.
MESSIANIC PASSOVER SEDER
On March 23, 2018, Tikvah BaMidbar will celebrate its 25th Citywide Messianic Passover Seder at the Orange Tree Golf Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Call or email for details.) This is an anniversary, of sorts, for me since it was exactly 25 years ago that Dr. Charles Halff, founder of the Christian Jew Foundation (now known as CJF Ministries) asked Barry and me to pray about moving to Phoenix for the purpose of starting an outreach to the growing Jewish community. He had a burden for the 100,000+ Jewish people living here—and there was no Christian Jewish ministry in sight. Tikvah BaMidbar, the Bible study/fellowship which Barry and I began in our home, celebrated its First Annual Citywide Messianic Passover Seder, 25 years ago. Please pray that the Lord prepares hearts, and that every person who attends our Messianic Passover Seder this year will be blessed. Pray that all who are not saved—Jew and Gentile alike—will see in the Passover, perhaps for the first time . . . Yeshua HaMaschiach, Jesus the Messiah.
Yes, shalom can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye—and much more. It is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare, and tranquility. It can refer to peace between two entities (especially between man and God or an external peace between two countries), or to an internal sense of peace and well-being within an individual. True shalom comes only from God and is biblically expressed throughout the entire Word of God. Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” (Sar Shalom) in Isaiah 9:6. We are no longer God’s enemies; He has made peace with us through the blood of Jesus.
Equivalent to our English greeting, “How are you?” is the Hebrew greeting: “Shalom, Ma Shlomcha?” It literally means “How is your inner peace?” Until we see our Savior face-to-face, we can trust Him for our well-being. As Jesus encouraged His disciples, He encourages us today with His words: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Thank you, my dear brothers and sisters, for your faithfulness—for your love, prayers, and generosity. Thank you for your steadfastness in standing with me for the salvation of Israel. Shalom Aleichem! (Well-being be upon you!)
In Messiah’s love and mine,
PO Box 14616
Scottsdale, AZ 85267
Phone: (800) 926-5397