Snow less Canadian

I was born and raised in Canada (awesome country by the way), and every winter I miss the snow, terribly. This time of year when many people have pictures of snow and tobogganing, skating and all those great winter sports that can only be done in the wonderful world of white. I’ve not played in or touched snow for around 1 1/2 years, but if you want to include seeing it, I saw it from the inside of an airport in south Korea last December. Only those who love the snow can understand the huge urge to sneak outside and start a snowball fight.

So while people are taking pictures of the great world of white, across the world, there are those of us in the south who are taking pictures of beaches and people in shorts and tank tops.

I should be thankful to Abba Father for these wonderful Australian beaches (also another wonderful country).

Queensland, Cotton Tree Beach signed 026

Cotton Tree Beach, a lovely beach. But when I see the sand I always wonder what it would be like to toboggan down a sand dune or sand board down. I guess you can’t take the part of snow out of a kid. Even if they haven’t touched it for over a year.

Queensland, Cotton Tree Beach signed 138

Sunrises are always fun, as I’m a morning person, and sunrises are the same all over the world. With snow or snowless

Afula, Flight, Queensland Australia 168 darken, deepen, signed

Water can’t replace the snow and snow can’t replace the ocean, they’re great in their own different ways.

Afula, Flight, Queensland Australia signed 116

Ok, so this isn’t a beach photo, but it shows the beauty of the Australian country side. As a Canadian I can say that the scenery is quite different. I never thought I could miss our forests as much as I do, but here in Australia they have their own kind of beauty. When my Dad moved to Canada he missed the gum trees, same as I miss my Oak, pine, and maple.

I’ll miss the snow, but I can always save up for a trip to the snowy mountains (that’s in NSW)! WHOOHOO! I won’t totally be without snow! Now that would be depressing.                      Even Israel gets snow on mount Hermon, and Jerusalem can get a bit of snow at times.

Well I guess I better sign off. Have fun in the snow! Or beach depending where you live or if you’re a polar swimmer!

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Forgive your enemy

I was reading in Matt chapter 4, where Yahushua talks about loving your enemy.

Here in Israel, we’ve been getting rockets everyday and more than 2 or 3, we’re talking about around 100-300 rockets a day. Some even with enough range to reach Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. That means over 3.5 million Israelis are in danger, and if one of those rockets (fajr 5) hits Tel-Aviv’s metro center, it would shut practically everything down, the economy, school system. It’s a big threat.

A recap of the 4th day of fighting

Rockets Stuck Israel: 170

Iron Dome interceptions: 57

Israeli’s wounded: 5

Strikes by the IDF: 300

Things are really ramping up. I’m feeling more anger over the injustice that the world’s throwing at Israel than being scared that I’m in a country that’s had over 600 rockets fired at it and even more are being fired.

People think that all of a sudden this just sprung up out of no where. No, this has been going on all year, Israel is just getting fed up with it and wants to put a stop to it.

Maybe its hard for you to imagine but, imagine if:

Sydney and the area around it got hit by rockets. What would you do? well you would demand war on the country that fired, immediately right? Of course it’s a logical answer.

or If Vancouver got hit, well Canada as a whole would be in an up roar, and wanting justice done.

What about LA? yeah that’s what I thought, someone hit LA and they’ve made themselves a permanent enemy of Americans all over.

But the entire southern region and two major cities in Israel, you could care less, actually you think that Israel deserves it. Because all you’ve seen are the children in Gaza that are suffering. But, what about the kids here that aren’t having much of a childhood because they’re running to a bomb shelter?

(<-from the haaretz newspaper)

I’ve got cousins this age, I wouldn’t want them to have to live like this always running for the nearest bomb shelter. Nor for my Uncles and Aunts to have to constantly wonder if their kids are alright after each siren.

Now back to the topic at hand. Scripture says to love your enemy as yourself and do good to those who hate you. Israel has sent help to countries that hate them, they’ve sent aid to many different places including Gaza. They sent help to Christ Church when they had their earthquake (yeah you probably forgot about what happened there). So no matter how many hate them they still reach out a hand to help people. To me that’s a good example we can follow.

I know many Christians are doing shoe box gifts this time of year (I don’t do christmas anymore but, I remember doing the shoe box thing when I was really little), what if you sent some of them to Afghanistan and Iraq. You’re thinking WHAT!? After all that they’ve done to us? Well, its not really all they’ve done to you. You’re the one in their country, destroying their homes, and many more things. The people haven’t done anything it’s the Taliban, but that’s beside the point right now.

How many children there could you bless with a simple shoe box gift. That could most likely be the only new thing they receive this year. That would be doing as Yahushua said to love your enemies as yourself. This is what Israel has done.

So before you say that Israel is nothing but, a murderer, think about what they’ve done for others that hate them, yet they don’t let that stop them. Think about what your country has done for others that hate you. America either has buddy buddies or total enemies. Have you ever sent a team over into Iraq just to help people and give them food and clothing, absolutely not! what about medical, no because you can’t stomach the thought of them getting anything like that. Well Israel did, they sent a team into Syria to do just that. Same as they’ve done for many other counties that would rather see them at the end of a rifle dead, than living and helping them.

That’s loving your enemies. That’s doing the right thing.

Support Israel, don’t let them fight on their own.

The right of self-defense

As you’re probably heard on the news the last couple of days. Many rockets have been fired into Israel, and surprisingly people are saying that Israel’s wrong to respond.

Just in the last few hours 4 rockets fired from Gaza struck Ashdod. One hit a house, another a car, a third hit near a kindergarten, and one in an open area. Yesterday a rocket hit near Jerusalem, and another near Tel-Aviv.

Seriously people all you can think of is Gaza!? Look at Gaza they are not as bad off as they make themselves look. Israel has endured over 600 rockets in the last 48 hours, and you’re thinking that Israel’s wrong to retaliate?

Hamas runs into hospitals, set up their rockets and terror points, near or in playgrounds, schools, hospitals and in other places where civilians can get hurt. Israel has no other choice but to hit those areas. Where, Hamas isn’t hitting military establishments in Israel they are aiming for civilians, not the military.

Israel has lived through terror all of its just over 62 years of existence. Most of us would have run with our tail between our legs but, the people here have stuck it out. They know that this is the promised land, the land that was promised to our forefathers and they won’t let it go. Because as the Bible says it is our inheritance, just as we are His inheritance. We shouldn’t forsake it, just as He has not forsaken us.

Defeat terror.

                      Stand with Israel.

                                                  Stand with His people.

A visit to the Eternal Capital

Afula and Jerusalem 100 signed and bible verse

We are back! I do believe I made improvement on my fear. Its not as bad as it once was, and it was fun. My parents (especially my dad) was like take the picture, take the picture! Get over your fear, and I’m like you keep doing that and I’m Not going to take the picture, thank you very much, now backup. I don’t like to take pictures under the stress of someone telling me what to do because I already know. Now if the person wants to suggest something that’s different.

Anyway, our time there was great. We got the 7:40 bus from Afula, we went shopping for a backpack for Joseph and scarves for Erin and I. We found the scarves and found Joseph a backpack.

After that we went to the Imperial, then met up with a friend, got pizza before sunset, because that Night was the beginning of Sukkot, and therefore a high Sabbath. It was SO awesome! Did I mention how much I love it there? That night we went to the wall, then headed back for bed.

The next morning after breakfast we headed down to the city of David (we checked out too). We spent most of the morning there. It was good.

OH!!! I found out more about my almost top favorite thing about the city of David! My extended family thinks I’m crazy, my family isn’t so keen on my interest with it either, but there’s just something about it that makes it so real for me. It’s the toilet. Amazing, huh? I hope you weren’t expecting something more exciting.

In area G they have excavated a house a huge house actually, and they say it was a rich mans house, and in that house they found a toilet.

Afula and Jerusalem 107 signed

See the square piece of rock with a hole in it? Well that’s the toilet.

I heard this from a tour guide (I listened in while they stopped in area G), I’ll just do a briefing.

How do they know that this was a wealthy house? By the size? Yeah maybe, but you probably know a low income family with a 2 floor house too. They found a chair made from wood, and this wood was from way up north, and only a rich man could afford it or a well off one. But how do they know that it was a RICH mans house? Simple ( you know where I’m going with this don’t you? of course you do), the TOILET! At that time, if you needed to go to the bathroom you head out into the field. Only a very Rich and important man would have a toilet, and indoor septic. You might ask how they know it’s a toilet, well… the hole in the middle is a good clue. Another good clue is the fact that they found um… excrement. Fossilized of course, and I find this fascinating they were able to send it in and find out what this person ate. The most likely last person to use it ate… OH the suspense! Raw meat! How do they know this? They found worms in the excrement, which you only find in raw meat because if you cook it there are no more worms (that is, they are dead).

Maybe I should become an archeologist. I love this kind of thing, but, no I think I would rather be behind a camera. A good thought though, maybe I’ll take it up on the side?

The fact that they found a toilet to me, proves that it was a house, a home, it was lived in. And it makes it so much more alive, and real, not just a house that was excavated but a home. The your guide said more about it but, I’ll let you find out for yourself.

When I was listening I was so excited! I always wondered and wanted to know more about it. I loved hearing about it! In fact I almost jumped up and down afterwards. I know, that is SO mature. Not really, but, that made my day. Father knew what would make my day. He knew that learning more about the toilet (so interesting isn’t it), would bring joy to my day. No matter how weird that it. And I know you agree with my extended family, I’m crazy.

I just spent most of a post talking about an ancient toilet. How weird is that?!

After the city of David we wandered to the square, then walked back down and sat by the Menorah.

Afula and Jerusalem 147 signed

Then after that I went for a 45 minute walk around. Spotted 2 minionite ladies, got a picture of the zion gate. Then met up with Mom and Dad, started back up to the square picked up Erin and Ben, and saw this.

Afula and Jerusalem 165 signed

They were heading down to the Wall, and singing as they walked. You know, even though I don’t have proof of Jewish heritage, I feel so proud when I see the IDF. If I could when I turn 18 and it is Fathers will, I would not hesitate to join them. But, that’s another subject.

After the sunset we got supper, and went to catch the tram to the bus station. As we were waiting they started telling people to move away. Apparently, someone left a bag and there was a possibility of a bomb. Sorry but the camera was in the pack and I didn’t get a picture. They sectioned off the area. About 10 minutes later the trams were back on track. It was a false alarm. So, while in Israel do not leave your bag behind.

We made it to the bus station for the 7:40 bus back. Ha, that’s funny I didn’t even think about that! 7:40 there and 7:40 back. It was a good 2 days.

Comfort and Hope

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Isaiah 41:10

Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not look around, for I am your Elohim. I shall fortify you, I shall also help you, I shall also uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.

 

I opened my bible today and that’s what popped out at me. I haven’t read it in a while, and I’ve been praying for Him to show me what to do. Ironic isn’t it, I’ve been praying for guidance, but I haven’t read the book that He gave to guide us.

He’s shown me something’s and I’ve done them but things seem to be at a stand still, for the moment. I find myself scared that I’ve done something wrong, and looking around for things that I might have missed, even though He did not lead me in that direction. I won’t go into the details of what and where.

The last while I have been having a tough time standing on my feet. I seem to keep crumbling and He just keeps lifting me back up. So the end of the verse hit me too. What ever! The whole verse hit me period the end. It fit 100%, I can’t say that I’m relaxed and that I’m doing better, but it is very comforting to know that He’s there and He knows what I’m going through.

 

Onto the news. Well we’re still in Jerusalem, we’ll be leaving tomorrow, and heading north. I’ve got a head cold and Dads been sick the last few days. Sukkot in Jerusalem is really busy but there’s lots to do and see.

Sorry but I didn’t include a picture from my new camera. I haven’t had the chance to get it set up on the laptop yet.

Exciting News! (with a bit of sad on the side)

We are now in Jerusalem, we were in Samaria for a few days visiting friends that were working in the vineyards, with the Waller group/Ya’hovel (if I spelled that right). We also got to help out in the vineyard. Its fun but not my line of work, I also got a nasty sunburn. Its blistering right now, right on the back of my neck. Oh so, very painful!

But it was worth it… I think, but I should have stayed out of the sun yesterday! It just made it worse.

Oh and some unfortunate news, my family’s mp3 officially died today, at least its unfortunate for me, actually its sad. I’m pretty sure my parents will be glad to see me with out the ear buds on.

It’s been my way of zoning out for the last 7 months. I’ve always found it easier that way, listening to praise music, I just feel so in tuned with Him. But maybe He’s teaching me not to rely on that music and learn to praise Him with the tin flute. I won’t say with singing because it is no pleasant sound, when I do it, and besides I can’t sing while playing the tin flute, so no loss there! But the words are important I think, the music is nice but isn’t it the words, that count?

I find it hard to practice because I don’t sound good at all, and we are in a hotel so that doesn’t sound fair to the other guests. Too all the music is on my dads laptop so to get to it isn’t really an easy thing to do. I really should get going on it. I did use it for a time earlier this year but people got tired of hearing the same song over and over, because I couldn’t totally remember the other songs I was learning or they got annoying too, so I stopped. I still bring it out every once and a while but I only play the songs up to 3 times before I put it away and I don’t attempt to learn anything new because, it sounds awful when I learn new ones. So to save peoples nerves and ears I leave it alone.

I’m not upset with anyone, and if I am it would be with myself, because I don’t have the self-esteem to pull it out and believe that I can get that tube of tin to sound nice! Its in note C and most music is made for D so its harder. But He has a reason for it, and I need to learn how to play it, because I know once I learn how its going to be a blessing to me. I just need to find that courage to pull it out and risk being told to stop playing.

On a better note I got a new !!!camera!!! Dad and Mom got it for me! Yahuweh knows that I’ve been praying for one, for a long time. It’s a Sony Cybershot, with 20 optical zoom and 18.2 megapixels! It’s a compact, and has more features on it than I will ever use! On a regular basis I mean. Of course I’ll use them all one day even if it is just once. It’s AWESOME! It takes twice as good pictures as my old one!

I can’t wait to get out and use it, it even has a gourmet food setting, so I can take better pictures of food. But when do I do that? Like I said so many features, I’ve even got one of those flexible tripods! I’ve always liked them.

Its like a dream come true! It still hasn’t really hit me that I’ve actually got a new camera. I still can’t believe that its mine, that its here, and that a dream is actually coming true!

I’ve been looking at getting into photojournalism, so this will be a big step in my process of getting there.

I heard something interesting while in Samaria:

“Many times we see possibilities,

Good possibilities, but will not go for them,

Because they are not perfect,

So we dismiss these good possibilities, because they are not perfect, and end up not doing anything.

Wouldn’t it be better to tryout these possibilities and of they aren’t right, trust Father will close the door. Instead of missing out on everything, by waiting for something perfect to plop into our lap.”

Interesting perspective isn’t it. Those aren’t the exact words but as close as I can remember.

Anyway, I think that’s all for tonight. I should post another one latter on, maybe with a picture from my new camera! Ok I’m kinda giddy about the camera if you couldn’t tell.

Back Next Door

OK! So we are now back across the border!

We left Jordan on Tuesday (yesterday), crossed the border. Which was a really nice crossing. Everyone was friendly and smiling. It was really great. Of course Dad, Joseph and I had our bags searched, but that was because we had:

Dad

berkey (our metal water filter)

metal bowl,

Joseph

Multi tool,

canned food,

bowl,

but mostly cans

I

Multi tool,

bowl,

tin flute,

But the great news is! I beat Dad and Joseph packing up again. Dad says I take a long time to pack up, and that I need to work on packing faster. But I beat him! YIPPY! I felt like having a party at that moment, I almost wish I timed myself like I did with my sleeping bag before we left Afula. But that probably would be too much, especially at border security. It was great though. The whole border thing was good. Then we find out that the bus to Jerusalem wasn’t until 4:30 because of Rosh Hashanah, so we got a bit frazzled at that but Father used that.

We went to stay at a hostel in Eliat named The Shelter. It’s a christian run hostel, and I would recommend it to anyone. If you have a family, great, its near a big playground, if you come as a group or by yourself, there’s always great people to talk to. The beach isn’t that far. It’s just all around great!

We rested up, then today we got on the 10:00 bus and went to Jerusalem, then caught a bus to Afula. We are now back at the same house that we house sited last month, but down in the apartment. Only for a couple of days though. Its been a good day.

When we arrived back in The Land, I found that I connected with the land but not with the people and the culture. After being over in Jordan, I see how much Israel is like North America. How people act and dress. Its nothing like Jordan. Of course Israel is a country all of its own. It’s a awesome country, but it doesn’t really have a culture. Its not middle eastern nor is it totally western. Its just kinda in-between. I still love it here, not for the culture, nor for the way things are here, but for the land.

Its great to be back. And its going to be a great fall!

Journey

Well here we are in Aqaba, Jordan. It was quite a trip to get here! Ben and I were up by 3:30 in the morning (I went back to bed for 1/2 hour), then everyone else got up by about 4-4:30. We had our boots on by 6:30, and out the door by about 6:40. We caught our bus, got down to Jerusalem. It was great to be there again, even if it was only in the bus station. By 11:00 we were on another bus heading to Eliat. Now that was a trip to remember. We had never been in the south, so it was neat to see it.

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We were on the bus for about 2 1/2 hours. Before we got to the Dead sea and Masada, we saw Jericho. One day I would like to see the Dead Sea, and Masada up close!

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I now understand what they mean by the plains of Jericho. For all around it is hills and on the other side mountains!

DSCF8720 sharpened and signed The Dead sea is in the background. There were old mud houses nearby and made for an interesting shot

DSCF8733 croped and signed Again the Dead sea. Now you will have to excuse the glare and blurriness, these photos were taken from a moving bus.

DSCF8727 signed Masada, you can see a squiggly path going up. That is a trail you can take if you don’t want to take the lift (cable car) up.

It was hot down there! The land was quite empty. There were not many communities from Jericho down to Eliat. We made a 1/2 way stop after the dead sea. Then continued on for another about 2 1/2 hours.

We arrived in Eliat about 1 hour early, and had an early supper. Then we headed to the border. It wasn’t difficult to get through. But by the time we got through we were exhausted. Some friends of a friend came to pick us up and the taxi drivers became very upset, and took the husband in for about 1/2hr-1hr. During that time other people came to pick people up and the taxi drivers had no problem with them. So, that just added to everything. Then we went to look at an apartment, we stayed here for one night but not sure about the rest of our time here. We might go sight seeing. We’re also not sure about where we should be staying whether we should do the apartment thing, or just stay in hostels on our way around.

Here is the view from the Apt.

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DSCF8751 signed

This post may not be posted for a couple of days.

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

DSCF5745 scripture verse and signed

This was taken at Lands End in Cornwall, UK. It is a beautiful place.

It was very windy so we were very thankful for our coats.

Since that trip so much has happened. Not only in my family’s life but in mine too. My faith has grown stronger as a result. It was a real trial that trip but blessings have come from it as well. I have grown in my faith and at this point I think it is the strongest it has been since I started my walk. I trust my Abba Father more now, than I did before that trip. Yes there was a lot of difficult points, and at times it was just plain horrible, but He was right there. Nothing happened to us, we got to where we needed to go no problem. Even though it was our first time backpacking, and our backpacks were twice as heavy as they should have been, we did not injure ourselves (aside from lower back pain). And that was truly a miracle!

The whole trip was a miracle! He was everywhere! He prepared everything, yes, it was still difficult. Especially when He only tells us to just move. Move where!? To this place or over here? WHERE! It happened quite often. And believe me it was not fun. It was a big step in faith for my entire family.

I changed after the trip some for the better and some for the worst. The worst part was my own fault, and the better, well that was all Him.

I can’t begin to describe how much Abba was in that trip. He guided our every step.

He brought us to the bottom, to build us back up. That trip was a breaking point for me. After that trip I was either going to build a better relationship with my Abba and His Son, or I was going to fall farther away. But by the time it got closer for us to come back to Israel, I knew my faith was going to be stronger than ever.

Let me tell you the story of us leaving Australia.

My Pa, Nan, Uncle & Aunt, oops, we can’t forget baby J (hope you don’t mind me calling him that Uncle A), drove us to the airport. We had already changed our plane tickets once so this time we had to go. We get there and wait for the lines to open up. When they open up we go and line up. We go to get our tickets but because we are flying to Israel, it said that “a return ticket may be required”, they would not give us the ticket because we didn’t have a return ticket.

The lady sent us over to the desk, where her boss was. He gave us 2 choices

1. buy a return ticket (we didn’t know if we would be returning to Australia at that time)

2. buy an onward ticket (doesn’t make any sense to buy 6 onward ticket if we aren’t going to use them)

We knew both of these choices were not what He wanted us to do. Our family was standing over to the side wondering what was happening. We were just getting a bit frustrated because we knew that we were going on a one way ticket, and that was how Abba wanted it. After a while they came over and asked us what was wrong. We explained the situation.

I kept asking Abba what we were supposed to do, and you would have thought I would be scared (as I usually would be) and nervous. But I was clam and I had a peace that I knew was His. He also kept telling me to trust Him and that He would get us through.

Finally the man come over and gave us one more choice, they would give us our tickets to get to Jordan (our flight went from Aust-Qatar-Jordan-Israel). Then it was up to them to give us our tickets. The reason why Qatar airlines wouldn’t send us the whole way was because if we were rejected entry to Israel they would face a penalty of $5,000. When he explained the third choice all our faces broke into smiles. We knew that was the road to go. We said yes, even though there was a chance of us being stuck in Jordan.

We got on the plane, and they joy that I felt in my spirit was unexplainable!

When we got to Qatar He looked after us. A stewardess showed us the cafeteria where because we had a 6 hour layover we got a free breakfast and lunch.

While we were flying to Jordan I did get a little worried because the people in Australia said that we had to go and pickup our bags, then recheck in.

So when we landed we needed to find someone to explain to us what we needed to do. There was a guy there that was yelling Tel-Aviv Tel-Aviv. We thought he was talking about a bus or something, so we told him no. He told us to go to the desk, the people there told us to go with that man. By the time it was all figured out. And by the way we were at the point of falling asleep on our feet! Finally it was explained to us that they would be bringing in everyone’s luggage and would be searching it. Because we came through countries that were hostile towards Israel, and some one could have slipped a bomb in some ones bags. The man that was in charge was really nice and helped us in every way. When it was our turn to have our bags checked. He took us into a nice quiet corner. Where he helped us check our backpacks. He was really nice and friendly about it. Then a lady came over and gave us all a glass of cold water. It tasted SO good. They then gave us our tickets no questions asked and we got on the plane.

When we got there everything went smoothly. There was absolutely no trouble about the ticket. And we were even one of the first ones through, which is a miracle in it’s self.

We caught the shurut with our bags, and went to Jerusalem. It never looked prettier in my eyes it is truly the city on the hill.

So that is my version of the trip over here. He was in the midst of it. And He makes a way where there seems to be no way. He wanted us here and No man could shut that door!

He is faithful in everything.

Have a good Shabbat.