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Interesting story from the Center for Science and Culture (a major proponent of intelligent design) Nota Bene e-newsletter. Consciousness and self-awareness give secularists fits. In Messianic work, it's important for us to have at least a passing awareness of issues related to secularism and evolutionism because the majority of Jewish people worldwide are secular. We can't communicate with them very well if we don't know anything about their worldview. Check it out and let us know what you think! http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/10/are_we_really_c090461.html

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As anyone watching the news can observe, the situation in Gaza is tragic. However, what one will likely not learn from their favorite news outlet is that these terrible images showing the deaths of women and children is the intentional aim of Hamas.

As Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of one of Hamas’ co-founders, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, stated in a recent CNN interview, “Hamas does not care about the lives of Palestinians, does not care about the lives of Israelis or Americans; they don’t care about their own lives; they consider dying for the sake of their ideology a way of worship” (July 24 2014, CNN Interview).

Further, it goes unreported that Hamas encourages Gazans not to leave areas where the IDF issues pre-warnings of attacks on missile-launching stations and weapons facilities which are often hidden in or beneath schools, private homes, and mosques. Rather, Hamas wants the world to believe that Israel is the aggressor in mercilessly attacking innocent civilians—and this propaganda is being puppeted almost everywhere. Most sources will not report that Hamas deprives Gazans of medical treatment offered by Israel and has even refused Israel's and Egypt's humanitarian assistance offering food for Gaza—all this while journalists are threatened not to report on Hamas' use of human shields. The real siege on the people of Gaza is the one that has been forced on them by Hamas (July 31, 2014, Honest Reporting).

Operation Protective Edge (Mivtza Tzuk Eitan, popularly understood as "Operation Mighty Cliff") began as a defensive measure after a series of events that included "the collapse of American-sponsored peace talks, attempts by rival Palestinian factions to form a coalition government, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, the subsequent kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teenager, construction by Hamas militants of warfare tunnels enabling militants to attack deep within Israeli territory and increased rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas militants in response to an extensive crackdown by Israeli troops on Hamas in the West Bank" ("2014 Israel–Gaza conflict").

When media outlets and governmental bodies spend countless hours denouncing Israel's defensive measures to eliminate Hamas' threats but show minimal outrage over the numerous public executions by Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq, it becomes clearer to see the motivation: anti-Semitism rebranded as mere anti-Israelism. Where is the outrage over the heinous behavior of the ever-growing Islamic State, which has recently warned the Christians of Iraq to convert to Islam, pay the dhimma tax, or die? (July 18, 2014, The Guardian). Where is the outrage over Hamas' terrorizing of innocent Israelis and torturing of Palestinians who do not support their regime? ("Hamas Terrorism: 101"). Israel, like peace-loving Palestinians or the Christians of Iraq, needs your voice of support as well as your prayers for peace.

As a family that spends its summer months in Israel, we are grateful for the Israeli government's strong response to Hamas' targeting of civilian population centers like Ashdod, Beersheba, Eilat, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Our children and their friends have learned well the sound of the Code Red Alert (tzeva adom), and we are thankful for the success of the Iron Dome (kippat barzel). Of course, our confidence and hope is in the true Keeper of Israel who neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4).

Tim M. Sigler, Ph.D.
CJFM Scholar-in-Residence

 


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When things do not go as planned today, please do not panic. 02/01/14 - color palette Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Genesis 1:14-19. "So the evening and the morning were the fourth day." Sometimes we forget that it takes both "evening and morning" to make a complete day. Sometimes we forget that "all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28). Sometimes we forget that "the Lord gives and takes away" (Job chapters 1 and 2). As we begin a new work week, let's not be surprised by what unfolds today.  In order for today to be a complete day, there has to be both light and dark, good and bad, success and failure, pleasure and pain, crosses and crowns. As much as we want everything to be "picture perfect," even a picture has different colored pixels. Embrace the variety that will fill this day. Don't be surprised at the different colors the Master Painter will be using to paint your day. Even though it's Monday, it will still be a masterpiece. Photo courtesy of romanlily.

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Today is Throwback Thursday! Click here to rejoin the conversation that we began 5 years ago. gambling for kids: lure of the tickets Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks.

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Ignorance is not bliss. P1090698 Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Isaiah 5:13. The prophet Isaiah tells us that ignorance leads people into bondage. How true. Ignorance of a future spouse leads you into a horrible marriage. Ignorance of credit cards leads you into financial ruin. Ignorance of nutrition leads you into poor health. Ignorance of Yeshua leads you into spiritual bondage. And the examples could go on. Thankfully, there's hope for those who are in captivity. Yeshua sets captives free. Photo courtesy of ezioman.

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What are you worried about today? 'Reminder', United States, Alaska, Naknek, Bering Sea, Bristol Bay Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Luke 5:1-11. Sometimes people compartmentalize God's compassion.  Some believe God cares about "this" but not "that."  Some believe God cares about the "sacred" but not the "secular." In our text, Yeshua cares about the crowd and He cares about Simon. Yeshua cares about preaching and He cares about fishing. Yeshua cares about spiritual needs and He cares about physical needs. No area of life is outside the care of Yeshua. "Cast all your care (anxieties, worries, concerns, stress-inducers, etc.) upon Him because He cares for you."  (See 1 Peter 5:7.) Let's cast all our worries into the net of Yeshua.  Haven't we kept them long enough? Photo courtesy of Chris Ford.

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Today is Throwback Thursday! Complaint Jar Click here to rekindle the conversation we began 5 years ago. Photo courtesy of John.    

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Are you glad today? Birthday shoot Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Psalm 32:11. When I was a little kid, I can remember not getting my way a lot of times.  During those times, I would say, "I'm mad!" My Dad would always respond the same way, "You can get glad in same pants you got mad in!" My father was trying to teach me a very valuable lesson: gladness is not the result of getting everything you want.  You can miss out on a few things but not miss out on gladness. The Psalmist is telling us to "be glad in the Lord." Today, if you are anything like me, there are things in your life that are not producing gladness. Sickness doesn't make us glad. Lack doesn't make us glad. Heart ache doesn't make us glad. Loss doesn't make us glad. Kidney stones don't make us glad. But regardless of those things, we can be glad in the Lord. This psalm begins with something that should make us extremely glad: the forgiveness of sins.  Because of the finished work of salvation completed by Yeshua, our sins have been forgiven. Being forgiven is a great source of gladness. Today when things do not go as planned, don't get mad, get glad in the Lord. Photo courtesy of Travis Swan.

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Do you finish what you start? Half Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Numbers 7:1-3. "Moses... finished setting up the tabernacle..." It might just be a personal pet peeve, but it bothers me when things are not finished. Have you ever picked up your lunch from a fast food drive through and not received all of your order? Have you ever been grocery shopping and upon putting your groceries away you discover that some of your items were not placed in your bags? Have you ever had a mechanic not completely tighten something? Many people do not finish what they start. Thankfully, Yeshua is not one of them.  He is the "Author and Finisher" of our faith.  (Hebrews 12:1-2.) What Yeshua starts, He finishes. Paul encourages us by telling us that the good works that Yeshua begins in us, He will complete. (See Philippians 1:5-6.) Three cheers for Moses!  He started the Tabernacle project and he completely finished setting it up. May you and I be found to be finishers today. Photo courtesy of Daniele Marlenek.    

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Are you a morning person? sunrise Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Exodus 34:1-2. As we begin a new work week, let's consider that there is something that some people dislike more than Mondays: early mornings. As Moses was being instructed on what he needed to do to get a second copy of the Ten Commandments, God told him, "Be ready in the morning." God did not say, "Get up in the morning." Many people are "up" in the morning, but not "ready." These are the folks who come dragging in ten minutes late and their first stop is at the coffee pot. Most people think I am a morning person.  I'm not.  I just believe in being ready for whenever my work shift begins. Being ready in the morning, or whenever, begins long before the morning.  Being ready means getting the appropriate amount of sleep so that you can give 100% when your shift begins. Yeshua rose early in the morning.  He was always ready.  Let's follow His example. Photo courtesy of Paul van de Velde.

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