Embrace the Desert!

Long ago, the shepherds of Israel learned to find grass where most people wouldn't think to look. Here, green pastures are created as the breeze from the Mediterranean Sea brings moisture into our arid climate. It is from this moisture that a kind of dew settles upon the sides of certain hills creating little tufts of grass -- just enough for one day's feeding for a flock of sheep.

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Choose Between the Seas!

Here in Israel we have an interesting geographical phenomenon – there are two landlocked seas. One is alive and one is dead. The sea full of life is the Kinneret, better known as the Sea of Galilee. The dead sea is.......you guessed it, the Dead Sea. Now the Kinneret is constantly emptying as it flows through the Jordan River valley.... into the Dead Sea. But the Dead Sea does not empty its water at all. Instead, the Dead Sea is continually shrinking, because the intense heat at this lowest place on Earth actually evaporates more water than is flowing in. Do you see a parable here?

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Give Thanks for His Rest!

As God worked on creation for six days and rested on the seventh day, so our seven day week is established on that pattern. If, as the scripture declares, with the Lord one day is as 1,000 years and 1,000 years as a day, then the seven-day cycle also finds expression in a great historical "week". As we approach the 1,000-year reign of the Messiah, this "millennium" as it is called, (described in some detail in Revelation chapter 20), is clearly understood as a time of global rest, peace, and righteousness throughout the Earth.

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Celebrate!

Though the new cycle of Israel's feasts has concluded, I'd like to share one more observation about last week's high holy day, Yom Kippur. It is a day on which adults are afflicting themselves by fasting, abstaining from all pleasures, and repenting. But for the children, Yom Kippur is a very different holiday. This day is my son Obi's favorite holiday! Why? Because the kids are not fasting or recalling their sins or suffering at all – they are celebrating freedom!

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Get Your Lamps Lit!

During the feast of Tabernacles in Yeshua's (Jesus') day, the temple priests would set up four great lampstands with golden lampholders, which they would light with the aid of enormous ladders in the Temple courtyard. The lighting of these lamps began the celebration of the "Great Hosannah" (Hoshannah Rabbah, in Hebrew).

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