Teaching, Training, Touching Lives

Jewish Days of Distinction | Purim

Devotionals on the Jewish Feasts and Holidays Purim Purim is the Jewish holiday commemorated annually on the 14th day of Adar on the Hebrew calendar. It will fall on our calendar this year on February 24th and, according to tradition, celebrations will commence the evening of the 23rd. The book of Esther details the poignant Purim story of rescue. Haman, an evil advisor of King Xerxes I of Persia, cast

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Before I Die I Want To…

What do you want to accomplish before you die? It’s a good question, and one that Candy Chang, recently named “Live Your Best Life” hero by Oprah Magazine, used as a community project after the death of a friend. That loss brought clarity to Candy about the things that were significant in life. Through a series of events, Candy developed a community project that gave people a safe place to

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Zombies, Hobbits, and Eternity…

Not one or two—but three! There will be three zombie films at cinemas across America this December, as well as the Hobbit flick, and the beloved story of the repentant French thief in “Les Miserables.” Most of it is unappealing to me personally, but I am intrigued by patterns and trends. People love second-chance stories and make-believe, and are curious about life from the dead and the supernatural. Our culture

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November 27 2012

Jewish Days of Distinction A Messianic Study of the Jewish Feasts and Holidays Feast: Hanukkah, Feast of Dedication, or Festival of Lights Summary: In the time frame between the Old and New Covenants, Greece invaded and conquered Israel. The Greeks renamed the country “Palestine,” made Jewish religious practices illegal and captured and desecrated the holy Temple in Jerusalem. A Jewish revolt by the Maccabees led to an overthrow of the

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October 31 2012

“You’ve never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul.” That quote comes from Wayne Myers’ book, “Truth in a Nutshell.” A missionary statesman, Brother Myers has served the Lord in Mexico for decades, and just celebrated his 90th birthday. My husband, Wayne, and I were privileged to spend a few hours with this great man in Mexico City recently. We were inspired afresh in our resolve to give as never before.

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September 25 2012

The MJBI began in 1996 with a very clear mandate to train leaders for the Messianic Jewish movement. Our primary focus was to those called to start Messianic Jewish congregations. In 2000, we recognized a second mandate—to provide education to the Church concerning God’s heart for the Jewish people and the current awakening of faith among Messianic Jews. The body of Messiah must know that as God’s ancient people accept

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Sukkot 2012

Jewish Days of Distinction A Messianic Devotional Study of the Jewish Holidays Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles or Booths After the fasting and somber reflections of the fall High Holy Days of Rosh haShana and Yom Kippur, Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles is the opposite: seven days of commanded joy and thanksgiving over the fall harvest. This was the third of three annual Jerusalem pilgrimage feasts designated in the

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August 30 2012

The whole truth is often hidden from view. God sees in totality. He knows past, present, and future. The Lord Almighty just doesn’t miss a thing! Truly, He is aware of the whole of who we are, what we are called to do, and what we are facing right now. It’s difficult to live in peace when alarming events are taking place both here and abroad. Sometimes to remain quiet

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July 31 2012

We need your help! God has opened a great door of opportunity. And He did not consult us on the timing. Jonathan Bernis, president of Jewish Voice Ministries and the chairman of the MJBI Board, just returned from the most fruitful medical outreach in their history. Their focus was treating and reaching the Lemba tribe in Zimbabwe, an ancient Jewish people. The Lemba became famous worldwide in 1996 because of

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June 26 2012

In Israel, rocks are everywhere! First-timers can’t help but notice the extremely craggy terrain. Some stones are remnants of the rubble from centuries of tearing down and rebuilding fortresses and cities; but mostly, they are just a natural part of the arid, rough landscape. Each visit to Israel I am struck anew by the abundance of stones. It is also amazing to me how many plants are growing in the

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Shavuot 2012

Jewish Days of Distinction A Messianic Devotional Study of the Jewish Holidays Shavuot Shavuot is the glorious, late spring holiday that falls on Sivan 6th and 7th, seven weeks after Passover when the wheat harvest begins and the firstfruits of the seven species and loaves of bread were presented in the Temple. It is also the time when the giving of the Torah is joyfully remembered and celebrated. Read: Book

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April 24 2012

A dear friend of mine had a life-changing experience recently during a trip with me to Ethiopia. Elias Reyes, founder and president of Modern Day Missions and an MJBI ministry partner, joined me on a ministry outreach to the three locations where we have planted Bible schools—Addis Ababa, Gondar, and Woliso. Below you will find Elias’ moving story in his own words. This event was so stirring that I wanted

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April 21st 2009

“Giving has flatlined, and the needs of the community are astronomical,” says Reverend Trakel of St. James Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, according to an article in Religion posted on jsonline.com, March 9, 2009.             In the Jewish community, according to the same article, rabbis and providers such as the Jewish Family Services report a 20% to 30% increase in the number of people seeking counseling and support related to stress

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March 27 2012

After the ninth plague, Pharaoh still would not let Moses lead the Israelites out of the slavery of Egypt into the Promised Land. When God spoke to Moses, He prepared him for the tenth and final plague. He told him that every firstborn would die unless each family prepared in a certain way. Then the Lord God of Israel shared the secret. It was in the blood—the blood of a

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Purim 2012

Jewish Days of Distinction A Messianic devotional study of the Jewish holidays Purim Purim or The Feast of Lots is a celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people in Persia at the hand of a Jewish heroine, Queen Esther. The Jewish day of distinction, Purim, means “lots” and carries an ironic hidden message because Haman, the story’s villain and enemy of the Jews, plotted to eradicate them by casting

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January 03 2012

It was a daunting task. Last month we finalized our 2012 budget that is submitted to the MJBI board for annual approval. We have so many opportunities; and as with most budgets, there is more vision to spend than projected income. We carefully examined the projects line by line with each department manager. We asked how we could prioritize planned expenses based on conservatively-expected revenue. It was difficult to choose

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October 26 2011

Recently in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 were “mysterious” and proclaimed the United States and its allies “view Zionism as a sacred notion and ideology” but fail to respect the rights of other divine religions. The Iranian president continued, “By using their [USA] imperialistic media network which is under the influence of colonialism, they threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and September 11 event with sanctions and military actions.” And once again the Jewish people and their homeland are threatened by a modern-day Haman—the infamous anti-Semite who unsuccessfully endeavored to annihilate the entire Jewish nation in Persia under the reign of King Xerxes. Ahmadinejad and those who oppose the Jewish people are

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September 27 2011

America just paused to honor the fallen heroes of 9/11. It was an emotional remembrance for all of us, especially those who experienced this cataclysmic event in real time, face to face. My heart wells up with pride when I think about the heroes of our land—spanning over two-hundred years of existence. The American people continue to be grateful for their courage. They will remain bigger-than-life in our hearts and memories! Living life out loud is a cultural phrase that easily describes Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North—the keynote speaker of the MJBI’s tenth-annual banquet this fall in Dallas at the Anatole Hilton. It has been a fascinating experience to watch the evolution of this “American hero” (as Ronald Reagan described him) through the years. Most of us know Oliver North as

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July 26 2011

Let me share with you a long-term secret prayer and vision of mine. I have longed and looked for simpler and more effective ways to multiply the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute’s efforts of reaching the Jewish people. Live schools have many pluses, but a few drawbacks because they are costly to start and maintain. But I have wanted to do more—so much more! I am eager to share with you that God has answered this prayer! We are on the cusp of opening the MJBI’s online program, the School of Messianic Theology! And this will give you an opportunity to become involved as never before: perhaps as a student, perhaps as a giver to help launch the program, or perhaps as both! I can’t tell you what a joy it

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June 28 2011

Our feet are back on American soil, but we left our hearts in Ethiopia. Wayne and I just returned from Africa a few weeks ago. We witnessed the opening of a third MJBI in Ethiopia; this one is two hours from the capital city of Addis Ababa, among the Gafat Jewish people. Handsome and elegant, the Gafat are Ethiopians of Jewish descent. They were forced to separate from the Beta Israel Jewish community many years ago and traveled south from Addis Ababa to the arid and rough hills of Woliso. As a tribe, they adhere to ancient Jewish customs-circumcising males on the eighth day, swabbing lamb’s blood on the doorposts of their homes during Passover, separating women during their menstrual cycles, and celebrating the Biblical feasts according to Leviticus 23. These are

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March 29 2011

His name is Jabez, and he’s the cutest baby ever. Yes, I know all babies are special; but Jabez, well, he is over the top. He is the answer to a long-awaited prayer. Yemane and Tizita, who oversee the Beta Abraham MJBI school and Messianic congregation under Mezmur Zemichael in Addis Ababa, couldn’t conceive for three years. They offered fervent prayers to God; and in time, Tizita became pregnant. God opens the womb of the barren woman. Like Hannah, he hears the prayers of the desperate. Bonnie and I enjoyed meeting Jabez, who is just four months old, yesterday for the first time. Knowing of his parents’ struggle and heartache in the waiting makes his life even more significant. I had such a good time last evening discovering from Yemane the exciting things

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January 27 2011

I love the fresh opportunities that the New Year represents. I never really make New Year’s resolutions per se, but I do highlight certain desires and goals and include them in my prayer and preparation for a new season. Like you, I prepare my way, and know the Lord will direct my steps as I go. Another thing I like to do is underscore significant foundations of faith that are tried and true in my life. These will continue to be a “light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet.” One of these is to bless the Jewish people. With continued new reports of increased acts of anti-Semitism in Europe, Russia, and the Mid East, this verse from Genesis 12: 3 continues to be important: I will bless

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