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Posts Tagged ‘God’s chosen people’

Magen David

You know you are maturing when people start saying, “You have sure seen a lot of changes in your lifetime!”  I’ve not experienced as much change as my Dad did; he lived from 1896 to 1998, and throughout his lifetime he maintained a fervent interest in new inventions and rapidly expanding technology.  He would have LOVED this current cyber-age—especially the phone/cameras as photography was one of his many passions.

Of all the changes I can recall, perhaps the one I find most astounding is the research and discoveries wrapped up in three letters:  DNA.  What follows in this entry may be so boring to so many readers, that I seriously doubt it will get many “hits”.  Nonetheless, since it is of interest to me, I will continue:

I grew up in a genealogy-conscious family.*  My Mom and my maternal Grandma Kate did extensive research on their Scottish Covenant heritage.  They were descended from Campbells of Argyll and Luckeys from the Scottish Borders—sent by the English Crown to colonize Northern Ireland and make it Protestant.  Those Scots-Irish came to the new world in the late 1600s.

My paternal grandfather’s ancestors came from Switzerland in the early 1700s, and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in that German speaking community known as “Pennsylvania Dutch”.  My paternal grandmother Rose’s people escaped religious discrimination in Alsace-Lorraine, and migrated to Michigan in the mid 1800s.

So I grew up with basically 4-5 nationalities to claim pertaining to the surnames we have on record:  Scottish Celts,  probably some real Celtic Irish, German Swiss, and ancestors from Alsace-Lorraine—-with a combination of German and French given the surnames we have on record.

Then there was an undocumented report—that we also had a Jewish heritage, via my Grandma Rose.  Over the years I have cherished this “rumor”, as the Jewish people and (since 1948) the Israeli nation are among my greatest loves.

Even though Joe records our TV news broadcasts each day so that we don’t have to sit through commercials, I couldn’t miss the Ancestry.com ads that raced through our fast-forwarding act.  I ultimately succumbed, ordered the “spit tube”, and mailed a token of my origins to Utah.**  The results nearly blew me away, and have given me a new and refreshing outlook on who I am!

Some insight into the mystery:  Every person’s DNA is unique, and no other human on earth will have the same EXCEPT in the case of identical twins.  If two people are hatched out of the same egg, then as I understand it their DNA will match.  (Proof of how a Master Designer fashioned each egg to be special!)

There are subtle differences between DNA and genealogy.  Genealogy tells us where our people came from.  DNA tells us what is in each person, regardless of what they may or may not know about their ancestors’ countries of origin. 

(Please, if you are a scientist reading this blog, set me—along with other readers—straight if I am incorrect!  My majors were English literature and the French language.  Period.)

Back to my spit test.  The results amazed me on several points.  The expected Scottish Celt simply is not present.  In its place is 13% Viking!***  Now we all know that the Vikings invaded Scotland during the 8th and 9th centuries.  But it wasn’t all rape and pillage.  Some of those feisty blondes and redheads stayed in Scotland to do a number on my Argyll Campbells.  My Mom and Grandma Kate may have had lots of Scottish Celt DNA.  I have none. 

But I have a very good percentage of Irish Celt:  nearly 1/4th of my total DNA.  So the Protestant Northern Scots-Irish paired up with Green Irish either over there or in America.  Having read volumes of documentary on the beleaguered history of the Green Irish, I am delighted to stand with them—albeit as a fundamentalist/Evangelical Protestant.

There is a small amount of English in my DNA as well; I had thought there might be more, due to the plethora of English names which married into the Campbells and Luckeys.  One never knows!

In the DNA report, my paternal German Swiss, German, and French are lumped into one category:  Western European.  In my case this comprises a whopping 39%.  That was predictable.

Now the surprises, the unknowns that have proved my $99.00 Spit Kit investment really exciting and worthwhile:  13% Greek or Italian (where in the world did THAT come from—I LOVE it!) and (are you ready for this, dear reader?) 1% European Jewish.****

How encouraging!  That 1% is not a huge number, but to me it is significant.  The way I understand DNA, even with a small percentage of Jewish I could have had a Jewish great-grandmother, and my father may have had a large amount of Jewish DNA.

Where in the world is this going?  Right back to the photo at the top of the page.  I ordered my Magen David treasure via AMAZON PRIME, before I realized I could actually claim this heritage.  I love God’s chosen people, the Jews.  That’s reason enough to joyfully display the Blue and White on our garage entrance—along with our Stars and Stripes!  And now I have that 1% provenance of shared kinship!

My Superman Joe mounted the Magen David for me, on Resurrection Day weekend!

Margaret L. Been — April, 2017

*Interest in genealogy is a big Wisconsin thing.  We natives tend to say, “I’m Irish” or “I’m Whatever”—as if we had just landed on American soil, specifically on our beloved Wisconsin turf.

**A note on the spit test.  If you are inclined to pursue this adventure, remember not to eat, drink, chew, or inhale anything for at least an hour before spitting into the tube.  I didn’t read my directions carefully, and did the test along with my ubiquitous cup of strong coffee which polluted the sample.  (It might have tested out 100% caffeine.)  Anyway, Ancestry.com kindly sent me a new tube, free of additional charge. 

***In our household, that percentage of Viking is a bit of a hoot.  My husband is extremely (and rightfully!) proud of his Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish roots.  The fact that I share these roots is an eye-roller!  

****European Jewish, otherwise known as The Ashkenazim, refers to Jewish people dispersed from their homeland in the Middle East and scattered over Europe during centuries of persecution.

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Messiah Has Come--4

“And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer . . . .”  Romans 11:26

“The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of they feet; and they shall call thee, The City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 60:14

Try backtracking to November of 1945.  Imagine that you are 12 years old, in the 7th grade.  However, you’ve only attended 10 days of school so far during that entire semester.  In September you picked up a cold that mutated into a strep throat, hanging on for weeks and finally resulting in a serious case of pneumonia.

You lived in a small Wisconsin town which had no hospital.  Your home was located 8o miles north of Milwaukee.  You were sent to Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee for treatment—because a new miracle drug, penicillin (having been used in the armed forces during World War II), had recently been released to that hospital for civilian use.

You were a human guinea pig, alias pin cushion.  Every 3 hours around the clock a nurse came at you, wielding something that looked like it could innoculate a buffalo.  The needles hurt, and the serum was bulky and painful as it was administered into alternating buttocks.  This delightful scenario lasted for 2 weeks, after which you were well enough to go home where you continued penicillin treatment—inhaling the drug through an apparatus that looked like a hookah.

I was that guinea pig/pin cushion.  Praise God, I lived to tell about my introduction to penicillin.  But what does my story have to do with the above-pictured Star of David?  Specifically this:  those 2 weeks were turned into a happy and memorable adventure by a loving Jewish family.

My hospital roommate was a middle-aged Jewish lady.  I don’t remember her name, but I can still see her face and hear her voice in my mind.  She was a serene, friendly lady and she talked and listened to me a lot.  During visiting hours, our room filled with visitors–my roommate’s husband, other family members, and friends.  Since my family members were miles away, this family “adopted” me instantly.  They included me in all their greetings and conversations.  They brought me candy and gifts, just as if I were their kid.

One day the husband (a large, jolly man) brought me a glass elephant with a turned up trunk which pointed skyward.  He said he got it for me because the elephant’s trunk reminded him of my nose.  Since his nose was definitely not turned up, we all laughed hilariously about that.

As I grew older, the hospital experience faded into the misty realm of nearly-forgotten nostalgia.  But it left me with a priceless gift which I now realize is straight from God:  a Jewish heart.

Years later, shortly after becoming a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ at age 37, I attended a Bible study on the book of Romans.  The pastor explained in detail the truths of Romans 11:  how the Jews have always been and and always will be God’s beloved, chosen people, and how the Lord Jesus will return to reign as King in Jerusalem—when “all Israel shall be saved”.

My response to the truths of Romans 11 was drastic.  Love for the Jewish people welled up in me, and I did something I rarely do in public:  I wept.  As I sat there I recalled my Jewish family in that hospital room, and I reviewed the centuries of horrors endured by God’s chosen people—through the Holocaust, right up to the strife occurring in the Middle East at that very moment.

As a Christian, I realize that every moment of my life is known to God.  In Eternity Past, He knew me and He planned my life.  The hospital scenario was no accident; it didn’t “just happen”.  God knew in Eternity Past that I would stand firmly with His nation, Israel.  Years ago, long before I knew Him, God gave me a Jewish heart!

© Margaret L. Been

NOTE:  I first published this account in 2008, on another one of my blogs:  http://gracewithsalt.wordpress.com/ .  It is still available on that site, via GOOGLE under the search term “My Jewish Heart”.  Currently the reference is 7 down on the 1st GOOGLE page with those search words. 

A repeat of this entry was precipitated by current events, our U. S. president’s policies, and a purchase I made recently at an antiques mall in Waukesha WI:  a beautifully made sterling silver ring with a Star of David on it, and some Hebrew symbols—which I hope to research.

I have Star of David earrings, and a large Star of David pendant.  I also have (and wear most of the time) a smaller Star of David with the Christian Cross in the center of the Star—and a ring with colorful stones representing each of the 12 Tribes of Israel.

Several times I’ve been questioned by Jewish people about my Jewish jewelry.  When asked whether or not I’m Jewish, I always answer:  “I’m a Christian with a Jewish heart.”  On each occasion, this answer has been greeted with a spirit of friendship.  One Jewish woman, a nurse at the hospital where Joe and I spent many days and nights in 2010 and 2011, replied:  “Oh!  I love you!”

As an ambassodor for Christ I love sharing that the Jews are God’s chosen people, and that Israel is His chosen nation!  Since much of Scripture (Old and New Testament alike) proclaims this truth, it’s shameful and totally reprehensible that so many churches have discarded God’s unfailing truth for the un-Biblical notion that the Church is a “new Israel”. 

When I hear of Replacement Theology I always wonder, “What Bible are these people reading?”  Certainly not the precious Holy Bible which I hold in my hands!  MLB

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Where can I begin to thank our Lord?  I have nothing but thanksgiving:  for God, and whom He is; for salvation, and the promise of eternal life; for more blessings on earth than I can begin to count—a happy childhood, ongoing cultural opportunities, a precious marriage of almost 59 years, a large and loving family, friends, a sweet dog, fresh air, the beauties of nature, a pleasant and comfortable home, food to eat, clothes to wear, a bed, a plethora of books, and an abundance of creative hobbies.

Where can I begin?  Perhaps with that huge blessing which is not listed above, yet one for which I thank God every single day:  FREEDOM.  With all that is wrong in America, we are still free.  We can publish our views around the world, via the internet—without censorship—at least for now.  We can choose our children’s education.  We can worship in public.  We can read our Bibles and pray in coffee houses and bistros, without fear—at least for now.  We are still free!

I read a lot of historical novels and documentary non-fiction on the subject of Irish history.  Actually I know Irish history nearly as well as I know that of my own country!  As I read, I think over and over:  Lord thank you that, with God’s enabling, my ancestors (many of Scottish and Irish descent) were a part of our American Revolution.  The tenacity of the Irish people, like that of our early Americans, stirs my heart profoundly!  

I thank God that, throughout history, that there have been countless heroes who sacrificed everything they had for the cause of freedom!  And of all those heroes, no other people on earth loom larger in their quest for freedom than God’s chosen people—the Jews.  I’m thankful for American history, Irish history, and for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.  

Meanwhile although Christians everywhere have inner, spiritual freedom in Jesus Christ, much of the world is still in physical bondage.  I praise the Lord Jesus for His promise to return, and reign on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.  Someday, hopefully soon, the entire world will be free! 

“Yea, many people and strong nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.”  Zechariah 8:22 

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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