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Archive for September, 2015

History

History 2

Our daughter, Debbie (pictured above), and her husband, Rick, are currently touring Scandinavia.  Debbie emailed these photos—depicting the coast in Denmark from which many Jews were smuggled in fishing boats, to Sweden in the early 1940s.

Wikipedia documents this historic, heroic rescue of Danish Jews: “Denmark’s Jewish population had long been almost completely integrated into Danish society, and some members of the small Jewish community had risen to prominence.  Consequently, most Danes perceived the Nazis’ action against Denmark’s Jews as an affront to all Danes, and rallied to the protection of their country’s citizens.  The deportation of Jews in Denmark came one year after the deportation of Jews from Norway.  That created an outrage in all of Scandinavia, alerted the Danish Jews, and pushed the Swedish government to declare that it would receive all Jews who managed to escape the Nazis.”

If your heart stirs with compassion, just from viewing the photos which recall the catastrophic years of WWII, I conclude that you may have a “Jewish Heart”.  I have always had a Jewish Heart—beginning when I was a very young child through events, orchestrated by God, which endeared me to Jewish individuals and the Jewish race:  God’s chosen people.  Those memorable Jewish Heart events happened in the 1940s—decades before that bitter cold Wisconsin January day, when I accepted and embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, crucified in atonement for our sin and risen to give us His victorious life and His literal and inerrant Holy Bible have filled my life to abundance ever since that day, in a variety of life circumstances.  Scriptures tell me that I am “risen with Christ”, and I believe that with all my heart.

Meanwhile, the more time I spend pouring over Scriptures—Old Testament and New—the more ardent and pulsating grows my Jewish Heart!  Early in Genesis, God made a promise (never to be broken or rescinded) to Abraham concerning the countless generations to come from Abraham’s seed:  “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Genesis 12:3  (I sincerely believe that many Danes and Swedes will be blessed in retrospect!)

Sadly, some Christians have decided that God’s promise of blessing for Jews was somehow transferred to the New Testament Church.  With due consideration that each individual has a right to his or her opinion, it seems obvious to me that the “Transferred Blessing” people (subscribing to Replacement Theology) have not approached Scripture with the understanding that God’s Word is literal and God means what He says.

Although symbolic language (to enable visualization of a concept) is frequent in Scripture, those principles and undeniable givens of prophecy and the fulfillment thereof do not change.  All of Scripture points to the End Times restoration of Israel and the Jewish people—along with blessings to those of us who have come to faith in our Messiah during the Church Age.  As a brand new Christian in 1971  I wept tears of amazement and joy during a Wednesday night Bible Study—when our pastor, Stuart Briscoe, fervently preached the truths of Romans 11:

“For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits:  that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob’ “.  Romans 11:25-26

That is one of countless Scriptures attesting to the future of Israel and the Jews.  Here is another of many:

“For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns.  And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness and all kings thy glory:  and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.  Thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.”  Isaiah 62:1-2

In recent years, these Scriptures have fed and nourished me.  The past history of the Jews breaks my heart; but a view of Israel’s future causes me to weep tears of joy—especially in these days of violent threats and sabre rattling in the Middle East, from godless and destructive countries which vow to wipe Israel off the map!  Every newscast I watch must be followed by a good dose of God’s prophecies and promises.  In God I trust!

Margaret L. Been — September 13, 2015

NOTES:  Further encouragement for the Jewish Heart is found in the FRIENDS OF ISRAEL publication:  Israel My Glory.  I devour nearly every word of that magazine.

It puzzles me that anyone who knows anything can possibly deny the unique quality of the Jewish people as evidenced in their survival as a race, and the incredible existence of their tiny but productive and valiantly democratic country—in the midst of godless, ravening wolves of prey! 

As a testimony to the indomitable Jewish spirit, I recommend a DVD which I love:  FOLLOW ME, THE JONI NETANYAHU STORY.  

This DVD documents not only the 1976 miraculous recovery of Jewish hostages at the Entebbe Airport by an IDF special unit, but moreover the life of that unit’s leader—a hero dedicated to freedom for his nation:  Joni Netanyahu, the older brother of current Israeli prime minister and statesman Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Birches II

In recent years, I find myself giving more advice—breaking a lifetime policy of rarely inflicting personal opinions unless requested to do so, or in situations where someone’s wellbeing is threatened apart from my input.

Always having found advice-givers to be highly annoying, I’ve militated against joining their ranks.  But now I’m holding forth because I believe that most anyone’s wellbeing is jeopardized without the following, standard bit of wisdom:

Find a passion!  Don’t grow old without it.  And especially if you live with chronic illness or pain.  Don’t neglect those creative aspects of life that make aging and chronic health issues not only do-able, but downright enjoyable—even exciting!

I’ve been blessed with many passions:  family, friends, my precious corgi Dylan, books, writing, knitting, wool spinning, music, gardens indoors and out, and now painting.  Art making is new for me; even ten years ago I did not have the foggiest idea that I’d be able to enjoy a lifelong dream.  God saved that one for me to launch when—along with all the other passions—I needed it most.

Most essential to ortho and other health issues, is to keep this body moving! Sitting for any length of time is a huge challenge.  I’ve even learned to stay home from church and other chair-confined events on the most dicey “no sit” days.  Lying in bed (supine or even with pillows) is the second greatest challenge, and for those sleepless nights painting is my great friend.  I paint standing up, and incorporate whole-body motion into the piece of work.

Art making would be wonderful enough if it ended right here, in my cozy bedroom corner studio beside a husband who is contented to sleep through soft lighting and my nocturnal whims—along with George Winston providing a mellow piano background.

But also, painting has led to a spate of new friendships, activities, and opportunities for sharing my art in our community.  Meanwhile, the history of art movements and artists has become a fascinating, inexhaustible area of study.

Thus I feel not only justified in giving advice, but actually responsible for sharing.  Don’t forget your passion.  Don’t grow old without at least one, and every day will be a fantastic adventure!

We are created in the image of a Creative God.  He desires that we somehow reflect His creativity.  Yes, He will answer prayers concerning ways we can honor him with the gifts He has given us.  When God moves, He brings a whole new quality of refreshment to an already abundant life!

Margaret L. Been — September 9, 2015

Note:  If art rings your chimes, you can check out my MESSY PALETTE blog:   https://northernview.wordpress.com/

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The Sun is Setting . . . .

The sun is setting on America

This gorgeous photo is one our grandson Tyler brought home from his year of study in New Zealand.  In the picture, the sun is setting over New Zealand, and it’s a beautiful sight.  But when the sun sets on a nation . . .

It has happened again and again, throughout human history.  Nations rise and fall.  From Ancient Greece and Rome, throughout centuries of empire building, right up to the horrific Nazi regime of my lifetime, the sun has set on nations.

Seemingly forever, it was said that the sun would never set on the British Empire.  In my mind Britain has been among the finest of empires, although my Revolutionary War and Irish ancestors would disagree.  Britain is still Britain—a very positive presence in the world.  But, Britain no longer rules the ocean.

I’ve never considered America to be an “empire”—although we have sometimes operated empirically.  Our past is shadowed with infamy regarding our treatment of Native Americans and African-Americans.  We have been a work in progress.

America’s strength and integrity have stemmed from:  1) our Constitution which in essence promotes justice by curbing the powers of any one branch of government; and 2) an ingrained morality due to our Judeo-Christian world view, and the initially declared-to-be “One nation under God.”

Whether or not our Constitution has been compromised in recent years is a matter of political debate; I believe that it has!  Meanwhile, recent legislation and Supreme Court rulings prove that our ingrained morality—wherever it may remain and continue—is no longer a matter of national policy.  In 2015, America is no longer one nation under God.

God has been incredibly patient with America.  Millions of unborn children (and we discover, some newly born children) have been murdered—sacrificed on the Baal altar of “convenience” masqueraded as “choice”.  In the America of my heritage, murder was high crime—and never a legislated option.

Marriage has been desecrated to legally include unions which are an absolute abomination to God—the Judeo-Christian God whom we are supposedly “under”.  Our legacy rightfully mandates equal civil rights for the myriads of religions and cultures in our midst; but never were our “under God” cultural standards, based on Biblical morality, to be desecrated.

Yet tragically, there is one more vastly crucial issue that places America in line for the deserved judgment which God has lovingly, patiently withheld till now:  the area of America’s dealings with Israel and God’s people, the Jews.  In His Word God says of the Jewish nation (the seed of Abraham):  “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you . . . .”  Genesis12:3a.

The United States of America has traditionally and consistently welcomed and nurtured the Jewish people.  They, in turn, have contributed immeasurably to every area of American life from intellectual pursuits, science and industry, to the arts and American culture.

God has prophesied the Jews’ return to their land.  “It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left . . . . and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”  Isaiah 11:11a, and 11:12b. 

Obviously, the above prophecy could not have dealt with the Jews’ Old Testament captivity—as in that era they were “dispersed” to Babylon, and not to the “four corners of the earth”.  The return from captivity in Babylon was the “first time”.  The 1948 establishment of Israel as a nation is the “second time”.  In my lifetime I’ve been privileged to realize the Jews’ return to their homeland—as precariously challenged and valiantly defended it has been.

Per the website of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum:  “At midnight on May 14, 1948, the Provisional Government of Israel proclaimed the new State of Israel. On that same date the United States, in the person of President Truman, recognized the provisional Jewish government as de facto authority of the new Jewish state (de jure recognition was extended on January 31). The U.S. delegates to the U.N. and top ranking State Department officials were angered that Truman released his recognition statement to the press without notifying them first. On May 15, 1948, the Arab states issued their response statement and Arab armies invaded Israel and the first Arab-Israeli war began.”

For Harry Truman’s recognition of Israel, he is immortalized as a hero by me and countless lovers of Israel.  Meanwhile, President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have (to use common vernacular) “thrown Israel under the bus” via Kerry’s “peace” agreement with Iran.*

Even many Christians have thrown Israel under the bus, by failing to take literally the Old Testament prophecies and countless New Testament verification thereof (including Romans chapters 9 and 11, and the books of Jude and Revelation).

I’m fully aware that some of you readers will disagree violently with all of the above.  That is your right.  But I have one request:  wait, wait, wait to see what will predictably happen next, unless a radical reformation occurs in America!

Daily, constantly I pray for revival in our land—and a widespread return to Biblical righteousness.  America is so far gone, so corrupt at the national and many other levels, that only a drastic movement of God’s Spirit could turn us around and bring us back to being “One Nation under God”.

If America fails to return to God’s standard—if babies continue to be brutally murdered, if immorality continues to be legalized, and if Israel continues to be compromised by our nation’s leaders—the sun will not only set:  it will go down with a bang!

Margaret L. Been—September 5th, 2015

*I cannot see the face of John Kerry on the news, or hear his name spoken, without picturing in my mind September of 1938 when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned to London from a conference with Hitler.

Chamberlin waved a piece of paper in his hand and declared:  “A British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour.”

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