Panama City

September 10, 2008

hey everyone, i don’t know exactly who everyone is because i doubt that anyone is still waiting for a post here. it has been a while but i wanted to at least write down for my own benefit some of my experiences this spring break. this spring break as some of you may i know i went down to Panama City, FL with some friends from school to a part of this ministry called Beach Reach. basically what we did was drive around drunk people and feed them pancakes in the mornings. for those of you who don’t know Panama City is one of the top spring break destinations for high school and college students all over the United States. fortunately for me Ohio State was on spring break the same week so i got to finally be in the majority as an OSU fan. but unfortunately for many people the main objective of spring break is hook up with as many people as possible and get unbelievably inebriated. oh the stories i could tell you that really really aren’t appropriate for people to hear. probably the best conversation i had with a person was our last night in the vans. he said that he had a lot of friends who were christians but he just couldn’t bring himself to believe because it just didn’t make sense to him. as a science major he needed something to be proven but at the same time he understood that all the evidence in the world wasn’t going to get him anywhere without at least a little bit of faith. it was amazing to me that he understood exactly what was keeping him from belief in God and he was completely okay with it. it was a wonderful week that i will never forget.

p.s. this post was written last spring and i just found it so i am publishing it now. so if you read it don’t get confused. be blessed

-Ephram

Home Sweet Home

August 17, 2007

ive been home for a week now and let me tell you its been a little crazy being back in a place where not only can i drink the water from the tap but also eat meat without fearing for my life.  i guess a reflection of the trip is in order but to be honest its a little difficult to refine almost 3 months of travel into a few paragraphs so i suppose we should just start small. my biggest prayer for this summer is that i would not be able to leave unchanged as my good friend John David Van Valin once said in a prayer at deeper “it is a dangerous thing to come into God’s presence and leave unchanged” (or something similar) anyways my prayer was definitely  answered. after spending a month sharing the Gospel with stoned Israelis I’m fairly certain any sort of human interaction will not phase me although i must say, sober Americans are far more annoying than stoned Israelis but that is just semantics i suppose. God has really convicted my heart about evangelism i realized that the reason i believed that tracts and street ministry were ineffective was that i was told that this was so by people too scared to actually go out and do it! and being scared myself i was all to eager to agree with them. but i realized that while one on one evangelism over many months is worthy of our time and a very noble pursuit can be highly ineffective! so i guess that is just one of the answered prayers from the trip, i am most definitely a different/better man but thats just my opinion perhaps we should sit down sometime and chat and let you decide. i apologize for the discombobulated attributes of this post but hey its still summer. i don’t actually have to think for another 3 weeks! blessings to all of you who have stuck with me all summer praying and reading and shame on you for not praying hard enough and allowing me to get sick 3 times in India!!!! (kidding of course if you weren’t praying id probably be dead…) anyways i hope you all have blessed days/weeks/months enjoy life and enjoy knowing that Y’shua is  our/the Messiah!

-Ephram

some pictures

July 6, 2007

hey everyone im sorry i havnt been able to get more pictures up sooner but here is a link that might help you get some idea of whats going on. theese pictures are from our days at En Gedi and Massahda. so lush greenery and barren desert for those of you who dont know your way around Israel. gotta go here is the link! http://arbor.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2011407&l=0fa4a&id=178200303 hope you enjoy! blessings to all!

-Ephram

Massah07.WordPress.com

July 3, 2007

hey! im on break in hebrew class, just letting you all know that Massah now has its own blog so check it out! www.Massah07.wordpress.com there are some neat pictures to look at. anyways enjoy your 4th of July! blessings ba’shem Y’shua!

En Gedi

June 29, 2007

hello again everyone, this week was a doozie. early in the week we spent it as usual learning hebrew and going to hear speakers. towads the end of the week we headed on down the the dead sea near En Gedi and Massahda and my goodness am i exhuasted. the best part of the week was going to the En Gedi nature reserve and climbing up the mountains that David used to hide from Saul. at the top of the mountain is this wonderful Oasis where it is rumored that David bathed and wrote psalms. pray that as we spend our last two weeks in Israel that God would reinforce our resolve that we would always have Y’shua on our minds and that we would share his Word unashamedly.  if you are interested there is a very neat video about Messianic Jews in Israel that was aired in February on tv here i have posted it below. thank so for reading everyone, sorry not much content today im absolutly blitzed we got up at 4 am to hikeup Masadah to see the sunrise. i have some great footage to show everyone when we all get home. see you all in August, blessings Ba’shem Y’shua!

I Could Sing of Your Love Forever…

June 21, 2007

last night we spend camping on the shore of the sea of Galilee or the Kin-ear-eht which means harp in Hebrew and a few things struck me. the first being that the waves in the sea of Galilee are exceedingly strong.  it was incredible to be tossed about by these crazy waves and think about how Jesus actually walked on them. Usually when i think about Jesus walking on water i figure it was all nice and easy and He is just ya know out for a stroll. but I’m pretty sure He was more likely skiing moguls as he went across the surface. it was incredible to think about God’s ultimate control over these highly physical waves. but the thing that caught my attention the most about being at the Kineareht was the sunset. as i filmed this beautiful sight and saw the sun dip down behind the mountains of Tyberias across the sea the words of a classic praise chorus came to my mind “over the mountains and the sea, Your river runs with love for me…” the river that runs into the Sea of Galilee is the Jordan river and so it hit me that as Gods river that runs with love, metaphorically of course, culminates into this Sea it was neat to see the vastness of Gods love. the Sea of Galilee is so large that it provides 40% of Israels drinking water. that is a “whole love of love”  to borrow the Led Zepplin lyric. i hope that through this jumbled mess of ideas  you will see that Gods love runs for you and provides you far more than 40% of your life that you might sing of His love forever.

the church across the street

June 17, 2007

okay so i dont know how many of you know this but appearntly isreal is a lot closer to the equator than northeast ohio… so its kind of warm. but its really okay ive resigned myself to being sweaty for the rest of forever so its okay. but anyways this post really isnt about the heat its more about the awesome congregation that i’ve gone to the past 2 shabbats its pretty awesome because 1 the service is at 11 so i can sleep in on our one day off and 2 its right across the street. but the church is really small but it has a really nice pipe organ (even though the organist has some seriously rhythm problems)  but its really neat to go to a  Lutheran church here in Tel Aviv. there is so much liturgy but  a lot of the liturgy is in Hebrew! so its like a messianic  service in a Lutheran Church. not exactly your typical Sunday morning service. but they do a little bit of everything. traditional hymns in both English and Hebrew as well as praise choruses in Hebrew after the sermon which is in English. it truly is a multicultural experience with a Norwegian clergy and a South African usher and an Israeli  worship leader. but it truly is a worshipful time that i feel really glorifies God. the church isn’t very large and i kind of like it that way. its a nice change. not that fellowship or the free mother isn’t a good time… but its kind of nice to only have 30 people in an entire church. anyways thats it for this week. we went to Haifa last week in the north and 2 missiles  exploded about an hour north of where we were about 20 minutes ago which is kind of neat.  God is taking care of  us so don’t worry everybody! but keep praying we definetly need it. God bless!

Ba’shem Y’shua

-ephram

Unreal? no….Isreal!

June 9, 2007

i know awful joke but whatever deal with it!! ever since we have been here ive been finding myself saying “this is unreal” just about every five seconds which when you think about it its kind of silly but exceedingly true! this week was definitely a doozie! we started on sunday with 3 hours of hebrew and it just got better from there! by wednesday we were in Jerusalem walking around the old city praying at the wall. bathing in the latin chant at the church of the holy sepulcher (where jesus is considered to have been crucified and buried) that was quite the experience. while on the one hand it was neat to see such places it was kind of sad to see the borderline idolitary of the worshipers there. kissing the stone where Jesus was supposedly laid while was being prepared for burial and the like. obviously the church was built on top of the crucification cite. but all in all it was a great experience. anytime you get to hear a pipe organ that big, in a church that big! is a fantastic thing to behold. and how could i not mention the ridiculous time we had on friday handing out tracts at the Gay pride parade in Tel Aviv! ive never seen people with such little amounts of rainbow colored clothes on but it was definetly where God wanted us on that day! sure we had some people tell us that we had no buisness being at a gay community function and that our parrents where less than nice things but overall our reception wasnt too bad! we got a lot of contacts and a lot of people were really interested in reading the Brit Chadasha (new testament) so we got their addresses and we are going to send them out! the culture is so jewish here that a lot of people dong even know that Jesus’ real name is Y’shua! many believe that His name is Yeshu which is an acronym for “may his name be cursed and blotted out” so you can imagine the kind of opposition that we are going to face out here! please pray that no anti missionaries find us and make trouble for us… so far we have just encountered some angry orthodox which isn’t so bad but they don’t have very nice things to say about Y’shua…. but i have to say my favorite thing that we do here as a “family” each week is our shabat dinners. last night we went to Ephraim Goldsteins house and his wife made us a wonderful meal, it was just great to sit back and look at the week and see reflect on what the Lord has done. its amazing to physically set aside a day to deliniate one week from the next. God really knew what He was doing with taking the 7th day off. anyways hope you all are having a blessed day enjoy life!

Ba’shem Y’shua

-Ephram

a third language??

May 31, 2007

so we are learning Hebrew now and I’m finding that i only have room for one extra language in my brain…and Spanish is already there. but despite the challenge i think this is going to be a fantastic opportunity for, well… tons of stuff! I’m really having a hard time to find time to actually sit down and blog a ton but I’m hoping to keep on trying to write as much as i can. the Lord has been good to us so far with beautiful weather and wondeful time of worship and of course time spent at the beach… we are heading back to Beit Emmanuel where we are staying in Jaffa from the JFJ headquarters in Tel Aviv now so i gotta head out. love you all! Lie La Tov! (Goodnight)

Jews for “MY” Jesus

May 27, 2007

hey everyone today was officially the first day of the trip even though we are still just in NYC. but i already have something i have learned to add to my life. this morning we went to church at this church that meets in Hunter College auditorium and the pastor had a lot of Good things to say. his main point that throughout the giving of the law in deutoronmy God is saying to Isreal all sorts of things but He always says them saying “MY people or…i am YOUR God…” and moses always refers to God as “His” God so remember this the next time you think that the old testament doesnt preach a relationship of Love and just teaches a law that is impossible to keep… God is always wanting to be in communion with us…uh we are leaving for the airport right litterally right now so i gotta go!! blessings!


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