Sunday, December 28, 2008

Violence and the Break Down of the Traditional Family

Intuitively, my understanding of the world leads me to believe that a healthy traditional family is good for society. Maybe this is because I come from a broken home and I've seen the dramatic change that took place in my family structure prior to the divorce and after. Or maybe it is the faith I have in the Lord's biblical instructions on marriage being something He's given us for our ability to thrive and prosper, not just a legalistic mandate. As I study the subject, it turns out that there has been research dated as far back as 1829 that supports what intuitively makes sense according to my understanding. The research didn't stop at 1829 either. It maintains to be true even today. The break down of the traditional family is in fact a root cause of violent crime.

Research by Kevin and Karen Wright, published by the US Department of Justice indicates that the breakdown and/or non-formation of the traditional family has the regretful consequence of violent tendencies in juveniles. As single-parent (primarily single-mother) families increase, so does violent crime. The research does not stop with single mothers but also includes blended families, domestic violence, abandonment, neglect, and criminal parents as other circumstances that contribute violent youth in all race and financial demographics.

This is one of many reasons why I support policy makers who hold to traditional family values. Gun control and social welfare programs may serve as temporary fixes, but they do not get to the root of the problem. This is why I believe supporting and forming a traditional family - which is indeed a biblical family - is the greatest most radical act of 'social justice' I can be part of.


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Monday, August 25, 2008

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

It has been an interesting two weeks for me here in Israel. I am sorry that I couldn't send out an update to you last week. There was so much going on, and there still is a lot going on in regards to my army service. Finally, I have been sent to the place where I will be for the rest of my army service. The time of jumping around from base to base has ended and now all I have before me is the job I have been assigned to. I have been placed on the southern border of Israel and I am joining other soldiers there to guard against illegal border crossing from Egypt. The border with Egypt is little more than a wire fence you would see on a farm in the States, so it naturally attracts people who would want to cross into Israel. These would include, terrorists, smugglers, and refugees from war torn African nations. Dealing with the refugees crossing the border is something we will have to work with from week to week, while the other groups crossing over are quite rare.

This is something I never could have imagined I would be doing. Six month soldiers usually become simple workers or drivers for the army. My little unit of 17 will be joining in with the real work the IDF does to protect this nation. I frequently ask myself why God would choose me to be so involved in this way. Asking this and listening for answers has become a wealth of revelation for my life. Please continue to pray for me through all of this and please pray that I will be a shining light for Yeshua on the southern borders of Israel.

It has been amazing to see how different the defenses are in various parts of this country. I have been on the border with Lebanon, through the Jordan valley, and close to the fence with Gaza. The defenses are different according to the perception of danger. The Lord really started speaking to me about the spiritual defenses we put up and how they are often very similar. We take our own calculations of where we feel we are vulnerable and we put up our spiritual defenses accordingly. The problem with this is that the enemy of our souls prowls around like a lion waiting to devour. He wants to exploit those places that we haven't defended well because we didn't see ourselves as vulnerable. For example, I met a missionary once who had been serving abroad for 20 years. The humility it had taken to serve a foreign people group for so many years was amazing to think about. Pride is not something you would expect from this man. However, once when I was talking to him, it was clear that he saw himself exalted over other believers who weren't missionaries overseas. This man didn't see the need to defend against pride because of the humility it had taken to serve the way he had. We must be ever watchful of our spiritual borders. We need to ask God to give us eyes to see where we are vulnerable and where we need to put up our defenses. We shouldn't think for one second that there is a place where the enemy can't hit us. I don't say this so that we become paranoid, but rather so that we understand how much we need the full protection of God. The believer of 20 years needs it just as much as the believer of 2 years. This can be difficult sometimes because we don't necessarily see the danger. That is why our walk with Yeshua is so important. He sees the danger and he sends his spirit to lead us in truth. May the Lord place his angels to watch over you all on this Shabbat.

******
This past week was my official last few regular days with my office. They had a planned holiday for this coming up week, and then I'll attend a few client meetings the next week before returning home. I ended up fitting in really well with everyone at the office and they have taken full of advantage of my 3-D Digital Modeling training. Thanks to all of your prayers, they have invited me to return in March. When I was a new believer, and a new design student, I used to joke around with my believing friends that the Lord was training me to do work on the Temple Mount. I regularly studied the passages that described the architecture of the temple and the tabernacles and incorporated a great deal of what I was learning in the bible into my architecture projects. Even my most liberal professors loved the way I could seamlessly weave together architecture theory and theology, and I was able to share the truth of Yeshua with many of my classmates through my project presentations. After our second year in school, one friend even came into the Kingdom as she was able to see the Lord through a school I had designed. Now she has an amazing ministry herself. The Lord was using me as a temple architect in those days. I was literally helping him build the kingdom and the temple of Ephesians 2:20-22 as I studied, and that was fine with me.

Well, my joking proved to be prophetic and much more literal than I ever expected. This summer I've been working with my office on an observation garden directly across from the Wailing Wall (between the archeological dig and the entry check point for those of you familiar with the area). The details of how it looks are top secret ;) but I can tell you that it will have olive trees and viewing levels for praying and observing the activity at the wall. I would imagine that the next time some of you visit the Old City, it will be complete and you might even find yourselves sitting under one of the trees. I love that I've been able to contribute to enhancing the experience of this space. It has been really exciting to work on such a high profile project, and one that required taking site visits as an office to the old city here and there. The Lord has really blessed my time in the Land, restoring the dreams of my heart. I only have about three more weeks before its time to leave. Devin is a little concerned about whether or not He'll be able to come home for Shabbat given the high intensity of his new job. Pray that we will have sufficient time together before I leave, and also keep in prayer the Lord's plans for me as an aspiring architect, especially regarding the completion of school. This is the area where I am most seeking Him for some clarity right now and I'd greatly appreciate your prayer support!

Make sure to really rest in the Lord this week, no matter how stressful or strange things are, take time to be still.

Love,

Devin and Callie

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Adventures in Yehudia

While we were engaged, we went on a hiking date in Yehudia, a beautiful Nature Reserve in the Golan Heights. Yehudia is a PG-13 hike over boulders and through streams. Its a great place to camp, do some repelling, or just hang out for the day like we did.



This is the view from the beginning of the hike. We walked through rocky trails all the way down into the valley.



As we worked our way down, stopped for a swim in the first pool (which you'll see later in this post), then continued on the rocky trails until we arrived at the pool in the image below.



The hike requires swimming through this part of the river. Isn't it beautiful?



And this is how we got down. It was about 4 meters with a little bit of a jump at the end. We climbed down with back packs, cameras and phones in water proof bags, and did some swimming in the fresh water spring.

The drive from Jerusalem had us arriving in Yehudia later in the day than we expected, so we were only able to hike part of the trail, then turn around and head back the same way we arrived. Maybe we could have done the whole thing, but we wouldn't have been able to take advantage of swimming in the natural pools!



We headed back to the first pool and took some photos.




Is it Devin... or is it Rambo?




When we first arrived, this place was packed with swimmers... us included! The pools were too deep to touch the bottom, and we could feel little fish nibbling on our toes in the water. The surrounding boulders made great places to sun bathe and picnic.




On the way out, we explored these lovely ruins known as Yehudia Village. The ruins mark the entrance of the the hike, but since we headed out the same way we went in, we spent some time admiring them at the end of our trip.




Then we headed home... but not without picking up some Orthox Girls who were hitch-hiking a long the way. Something we'd never be able to do in the US! :)

Resource:
For more info on Yehudia, go here.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Shabbat Letter- Tisha B' Av

Dear Family,

Another week in the Israeli army has brought another week of change. I left the base that was next to Gaza and I traveled to a base next to Tel Aviv. This base is so big that it has it's own bus line running from one side to the other. The base, called Tzrifin, contains about twenty smaller bases all doing their own thing. When I am on this base, it seems like I am completely separated from what is going on outside. When I was near Gaza, I felt I was right next to where it was all happening, so the change to this base was a dramatic one. We spent our days this past week in the classroom. We have been learning all about chemical warfare and the things we need to know to do our job well. I only have one more week at this base, and then I will be sent off to a base near Eilat for the rest of my military service. Please pray that the Lord would give me the grace to deal with all of these changes and the challenges that come with them.

Going to this base, and listening to these lessons has really reminded me of the book of Ecclesiastes. It is vanity to think that we will be able to stop these kinds of weapons if our enemies choose to use them. This is not to say what I am doing is futile, but it is vanity to think that we could stop these things from happening. The ONLY thing that will prevent this from happening is the Lord's intervention. The world could have been destroyed many times over, and the only reason it hasn't is because of His great mercy. It has also given me an interesting perspective on the walk we are on before the Lord. There is a fatalistic tendency within the Body that leans towards the futile. If things really are that bad, why would we try to pray? Why would we continue to work? Why would we continue to try to make a difference? We could just live a "good" believing life in our communities and let what ever happen, happen. How selfish we are sometimes! We live in light and that is why we see the darkness. We recognize it for what it is because we have the Light of Yeshua in our lives. Those who live in the darkness have no idea what encompasses them right now. How can they know if no one tells them?

How many of us are in the kingdom right now because someone prayed us in and then someone was obedient to share. It is our task to push against the darkness through our persistent prayer and to shine our light in the darkness by sharing Yeshua. We should not think that our prayers or work is useless because we cannot stop the way the world is going. The Word says it will get worse, but our job doesn't depend on the state of the world. Our lives are lived before the Lord for the sake of His kingdom and for the sake of the lost. That is our focus and we should never forget it. If we are staying in our comfortable communities and praying only what it is comfortable, we are acting like the man who hid his 1 talent in the ground. We all know what happened to him. We have been given something life changing and if we have lost the plot if we are waiting for conditions in the world to be good to act. Sow now......so that the harvest in the future may be plentiful.

******

Through out various interactions with other believers in the Land, I've heard it said on many occasions that coming into the Land is not easy. Recently, the government decided to begin enforcing its tourist and volunteer visa laws more strictly. I've seen the struggle of those around me to make sure they are secure here, and I've seen some given only a weeks notice to leave. Its been a very difficult few months for many volunteers who have no idea if they will be allowed to stay, or if they will have to go. As I've been watching this take place, my heart has become increasing thankful for the physical security the Lord is building through my marriage, for me to be able to live in the land. It brings my heart to a more focused and serious place in how I understand my calling to marry Devin and live with him here in Israel. This isn't to say that I haven't had my own hardships, though.

Last week, a close friend shared that the Lord had given her a prophetic vision of me standing face first into a giant windstorm. I couldn't have summed up the last year of my life better if I had tried. I have dealt with the strangest scenarios since about a year ago this past April, and they only increased after Devin and I became engaged. Devin has told me that the spiritual pressure I've been under is very much related to having joined myself to him in engagement. By doing so, I've made a commitment to this land and these people, and the trials I've faced are part of the cost of coming into this covenant. It has been exhausting at times, but the Lord has been so good to encourage me as I need it. This week it came through the book of Job. I'm so thankful that He put this book in the bible for us. Its a great reminder that some hardships come simply because we are righteous people. While these matters can cause trials, there's no mention in Job that his hardships are the negative consequences of his sinful actions, because of an open door or generational curse. The Lord literally said to the enemy, " Have you considered my servant Job?" Now why would He suggest Job? "He is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." (Job 1:8) "And He still maintains his integrity though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason." (2:3) Doesn't that provide an enormous relief from self-comdenation?

I don't know that my integrity has always been that of Job's, but I do know that I can rest assured that this season is of God's sovereign plan to refine me, replace my dreams with His, and to bring important relationships into His proper order. There is purpose in every moment of hurt and disappointment I've faced since last April. In honor of Tisha B'av, Devin and I went to the Wall to pray. I really gave it to the Lord and instead of asking him to remove the pressure, my prayer was "Give me the strength to endure it." The Lord gave me a picture of the wind storm, with my hair blowing all around, face stinging with pain.... Then, you know what happened? Just as I thought I was going to collapse, Yeshua walked up and stood in front of me. He took the storm so I wouldn't have to anymore. I just stood behind Him and found rest. He'll do the same for you too. Shabbat Shalom.

Love,

Devin and Callie

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Shabbat Shalom: Moving in Formation

Dear Family,

I learned something very interesting in the army this week. All the things I learned were fascinating, but this one in particular had an impact on me. We learned how to move in groups of four towards a target, while firing our weapons. How it worked was we were all in a lying down firing position, and all of us were firing our designated target. Then came the time for the movement to start. The leader of this small four man squad would yell out that he was starting to move. The others would continue to fire while the leader moved forward towards his target in a crouching run. When the leader had reached his new position, yell that he was finished moving, lay down, and begin to fire. Then the next man would repeat what the first man did. So the small unit would get closer and closer to the enemy position with three men firing at all times. I was the leader of the first of these small units and it was an incredible feeling when I started to move. Everyone had their own target, so there would be no crossing into lines of fire, but I had to run out ahead of the line of fire while bullets flew past me four meters to my right and left. It was an amazing feeling.

It struck me that we as believers have been given the task to take ground for the Lord and too many times we have tried to do it alone. If we have worked with others, too many times we have not taken our turns to advance because we are afraid we might get hit from behind. Too many times those who have stepped out trusting those with them, have been hit from behind by those who were supposed to be advancing with them. All of these things have prevented us from taking the ground from the enemy, and the Lord desires for it to stop. To advance the kingdom of God, we must work together. We must trust those around us to help in the effort, and we must stop spiritually shooting our fellow believers in the back. If we see our brother or sister advance in the Lord, we should not get jealous of them. But we should see that it is now our turn to advance. We who believe in Yeshua are all children of the kingdom and it is time we started acting like it so that our enemy's territory can be taken.

*****

Where as Devin learned about "moving in formation," this past week, I learned about "moving" and "sojourning." Anyone who has moved knows that it can be an emotionally difficult process, usually more so for woman than men. Anyone who is called to sojourn knows it requires a great deal of sacrifice. This week it occurred to me that I'm getting ready to "move." I had never really thought about all of the upcoming changes in that context before. A few days ago, while I was reading my bible on the bus, the Lord took me to Hebrews 11:13-16. Through this passage, He revealed to me how "alien" I feel on this earth. Anytime I'm in America, as much as I enjoy my family and friends, part of me yearns to be serving the Lord overseas, so I'm not quite comfortable; however, being here in Jerusalem isn't quite comfortable yet either. So, no matter what, I'm stuck in discomfort... at least for a season. This move isn't just about changing locations, but its also about joining a people who aren't my own, not temporarily, and not in a familiar American setting. The pressures from these changes have been overwhelming at times. Especially when the pressure is simply that, pressure, and not conviction by the Holy Spirit.

The Lord provided someone to speak some encouragement into my life last week, regarding the emotions of making a big move and learning to become part of a new culture. Ultimately, I discovered that I need to take care of first things first; finding a place in our Congregation and developing strong friendships. The next thing the Lord showed me was that my process of sojourning will not necessarily be like anyone else's. Anyone who has spent time in Israel knows that Messianic Congregations look very different here than they do at home. By different I mean less ceremonially "messianic." This was one of the greatest surprises I discovered on my first trip. I don't really know the reason for this, nor do I claim to be an expert, but I do know that living in a Jewish state, individuals naturally take on the rhythm of Jewish life as it it built into the nationalism of the people. Its the minority who don't keep the feast and holy days, a horn that can be heard all over the city announces Shabbat, public bathrooms are sometimes fitted for ceremonial hand washing, meat comes kosherized at the grocery store... etc. The people celebrate their heritage together, and they pay the price of living here together. Its all really amazing to me. Just as the context allows Messianic Congregations take on a different expression here than they do in American, as a sojourner, I'm discovering that the way I join the people here will also be different than in America. I have no idea how that looks yet, but I do know that it begins with a heart posture of humility. The day after the last attack, I was sitting at the bus stop waiting for the number 5 with my neighbors. We were all talking as we normally do and then we heard the growling of a bulldozer driving right across from us. Conversation stopped and all five of use glued our eyes to the driver. In silence we stared. No one spoke about it, but I'm sure we were all having the same thoughts, wondering about the emotions felt by the others who witnessed the previous two attacks, remembering those who were lost, and hoping this driver wasn't influence by the same spirit as the last two. When our bus finally arrived, none of us were lazy about getting on! After I sat down, it occurred to me that I had truly began to journey with these people. We shared something together as we sat and watched the bulldozer. I could identify with them, feel their concern but also the confidence they had to fight for each other.

There is a reason one with the calling of Ruth is called a sojourner and not a "sodestinationer." Sure, we all have an eternal destination to worship Messiah in the heavenly city, but in this present age, we are called to journey through the process of learning to love, sacrifice, and forgive as we are reconciled to one another through the Lord. Different seasons in life, and interactions with different people will call for differing levels of sacrificing my own traditions for those of my fiancee's people. As of now, the Lord has shown me to follow His lead and to be patient. If something feels forced or just to much at the moment, that's fine. He's doing the leading and I trust where He's taking me.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers....they are worth more than we can say.

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Shabbat Shalom

7/13/08

Dear Family,

Blessings to you all on this wonderful Shabbat the Lord has given us. I love the fact that the IDF tries it's best to send their soldiers home often for Shabbat. It is unlike any other military in the world in this way. One of the things that has bound the Jewish people together for so long has been the observance of Shabbat. Sending soldiers home to be with family on Shabbat is a wonderful way to honor that. After a long week being apart, Callie and I love being able to spend the Shabbat together. I see in part how great a gift Shabbat really is.

I received my new assignment a couple of days ago, and it really surprised me. A man in my position (27, immigrant, with education) usually gets the basic of the basic training in the IDF. After 2 months, someone like me is shipped off to be a worker in the army; just passing the time until my 6 months finish. I and 19 others (out of 150) were chosen this week to be a part of a unit that is taught how to detect and clean up after chemical, nuclear, or biological attacks. Before we are taught this, we have to go through three weeks of additional advanced weapons training. After these three weeks in Ashkelon, we will got to Rishon Letzion to learn about how to identify pathogens, and to clean up after these attacks. I know the Lord is in this. He is already speaking to me about it as a defense for Israel. Please pray for skill and protection as I start this assignment on Sunday.

Callie is getting settled into working in a local architectural firm here in Jerusalem. She is enjoying the process of getting integrated into the workforce here, and getting to know the Israeli people in a way few ever do unless they live here. She is talking a lot with her bosses, and her fellow employees, about how they came to Israel, and what their impressions are of living here. Please pray for her firm to be blessed with an abundance of work, so that she would remain active and invaluable to the firm. Pray that she would be able to share more of who she is spiritually with the people there.

The news of my assignment had an interesting affect on both Callie and I. We were both hoping that I would get an assignment near to Jerusalem, so that I could come home at the end of everyday. That ordinary job would have been a job any other person could do, and it wouldn't have been very crucial to the IDF. When I first heard about my new assignment, I was quite upset ... not because of what I would do, but more for how I would break the news to Callie that I would not be around much to support her. On the bus ride home from the base, the Lord started to speak to me about how my life has been , and how it would continue to be with Callie. When we turn to the Lord, saying that we will serve Him, where ever that takes us, we are not ever just going to be passing time. The Lord has something crucial for each of us to do for His kingdom. We have to be ready for the surprising form that takes. When I arrived in Jerusalem, and I finally told Callie, her first response was to say, "I am not surprised", and then she laughed for ten minutes. She told me later that she was filled with the joy of the Lord, and with His peace, because she knew I would have a unique assignment in the army. She knew this assignment would open up doors for us in the future, and allow the Lord to glorify Himself through it. It wasn't quite the response I expected, but it was the one I needed to hear. Things might not always turn out exactly the way we prefer, but when we follow the Lord, His grace covers everything. Not only do we feel His grace, but we are allowed to feel the joy He has for us, as we faithfully follow His call. That is the joy I believe Callie felt. It was the joy God has for His children when they walk and obey. It will be a tough assignment, but with all the Lord has given us through this process, I am certain that blessing will be seen constantly. Blessings!

In Yeshua,

Devin

Friday, June 20, 2008

Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Shalom from Callie (and Devin)


Dear Family,

Devin had to guard the base this Shabbat, so he asked me to write this week's letter. First I'd like to note that Devin called several minutes ago and informed me that he had sprained his wrist during a wrestling lesson today. He needs prayer for healing since these next few days of training will be very vital to fulfilling is responsibilities in the Army.

Yesterday Devin dictated a brief thought, as we spoke on the phone, regarding his time as a guard in the army and how this is building his character for the next season of life we are coming into. He compares guarding a base to being a husband and father:

"When you're guarding over a family it doesn't matter how exhausted or how preoccupied you are, or what mood you are in. It doesn't matter if any one is watching you to make sure you are doing it right. It's a responsibility you've been given and one you've taken upon yourself. It needs to be done with diligence. This doesn't have to be restricted to being a husband and father, but it also applies to everyone's walk with the Lord. As believers we have been given a gift of salvation and we've taken salvation upon ourselves. We need to remember the responsibilities of our salvation, and then guard them with diligence."

It's these very responsibilities that give us greater kinds of freedom than we'd have with out them. Devin's wisdom brings to mind a season I went through last fall. Prior to the sparkly ring, I was working hard to find a job in Jerusalem for my winter internship, but I was caught in this terrible struggle. I wasn't finding any work in the land that suited my architectural interests, and I was by-passing good opportunities in America in order to work here in the land. My emotions were so torn during that season. After we became engaged, the Lord gave me revelation as to what I was going through. Somewhere in my heart, I felt as though I was laying down dreams for a relationship with an unknown end. Even as honorable as Devin's intentions were towards me, I was still resisting making great sacrifices with only the commitment of "dating." Honestly, that's not a wrong concern for a young woman to have, especially in a culture that tells us to be maximally vulnerable before marriage (the trend towards co-habitation), and then withhold protectively afterwards (can anyone say "pre-nup?"). Devin honored me by proposing. After we became engaged, that concern disappeared, and I was more than willing to only look for internships in Israel. The responsibility he took upon himself through his promise of love and marriage released my heart to freely lay down more than a few worldly desires. Ahhhh…. I love him. Sigh!

Just as Devin's proposal freed my heart to easily sacrifice my individual goals for ones we are now building together in the Lord, this season of daily living in Jerusalem is a calling in my life to take up responsibility with Devin. If we were in Jerusalem together it would be easy for me to rely on him too heavily, and not learn for myself the inner workings of Israeli life. As we are spending time apart, Devin just outside of Gaza, and me in Jerusalem, I'm in a position to rely on the Lord in my day to day outings in the Land. Through His strength I'm learning to be independent; buying groceries, going to the post office, navigating bus routes, and taking the initiative to build friendships on my own. This is laying a strong foundation for our life together after marriage. All of the knowledge I'm gaining by living in Jerusalem without Devin near by will free him to be in his calling when we are together. I'll be much more capable of helping him accomplish day to day tasks, therefore allowing us to grow into a position of being better teammates in ministry after we're able to fully cleave to each other in marriage. Do remember to pray for me while Devin and I are apart during the week. Shabbat Shalom!

Love,
Callie (and Devin)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Shalom from Devin and Callie
July 5, 2008

Dear Family,

Blessings on you all for the prayers that you have been raising up for me and for this nation. I am sorry that there has been so much time between letters from me during this season of my life, but I am sure you can imagine the demands the army has on my life at the moment. In regards to that, this is my last week on my present base and on Thursday I should be receiving my next assignment. Please be praying for this, because no one seems to be telling us where we will be going or what exactly we will be doing. If I can get an assignment close to Jerusalem, there is a good chance that I will be able to come home every night to my apartment. They call it an "open" assignment and I would basically have a 9-5 job with the army. This would be wonderful especially with my fiance Callie living and working in Jerusalem this summer.

There are a couple areas of prayer other than what I have already mentioned. One is concerning the terrorist attack that happened this week in Jerusalem. I am sure many of you have heard about it, and I would just ask that you cover the situation in prayer. It has the potential to start another round of violence and the people here are very weary. They need a time of rest. I had an open door to share my faith with a few fellow soldiers over the last couple weeks and the response was pretty positive. One was a very secular Russian and the other was a very religious American. Please pray that the seeds that were planted would bear fruit.

This is going to be the first Shabbat letter that I have ever written with someone. Callie has been here for two weeks now, and since we are going to be married in a few months, we thought it would be important to start writing these letters together. She will share with you all now a little of what the Lord has been showing her since she has been here.

Hello everyone, this is Callie. :) It is such a blessing to be able to report to you along side my handsome fiance, who, I might add, looks especially nice in his uniform and bullet proof vest! So far, one of my favorite parts of being here is introducing myself as "Mrs. Devin-to-be." It is an honor to be engaged to a man of such strong character, and to have the promise of sharing in a Holy Spirit adventure with him for the rest of our lives. Over the last two weeks, I've experienced a sinus flu, a terrorist attack, and an odd last minute change in my summer job, but none of this has shaken me. I think this is primarily because of the confidence the Lord has been building in my heart about His plans for my life.

Shortly after I arrived, the Holy Spirit took me to Zechariah 8, which states the Lord's promises for Jerusalem. As I was reading, verse 5 stood out: "The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there." I sat and thought about it for a second, wondering why this caught my eye, then I realized, "MY children will play in the streets of Jerusalem!" Suddenly, this prophetic passage that would ordinarily be objective became personal. I am called to marry Devin and create a new family with him in the land. Neither of us needs the other to sustain our relationship with the Lord, but we do need each other to fully walk out the life He has called us to. Our up coming marriage is part of the Lord's destiny for our lives as a means of further consecrating us to Yeshua, and contributing to His plan to grow His people in the land before the Messiah's return. As a gentile girl from the south, this is not a calling I could fulfill as a single woman. Our marriage is a mitzvah, and it is a joy to know that the Lord is pleased by our relationship. This makes the trials of "leaving my father's house" (psalm 45) and enduring the difficulties of living in a spiritually charged foreign land so incredibly worth it. Shabbat Shalom!

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bittersweet - Good Book

I recently read a book called Bittersweet: The restoration continues, by Gay Lewis. This is a story for any pro-lifer who can see God's heart revealed through adoption. First published in 1984, Lewis tells the story of her daughter, Laurie, who discovers she is pregnant just weeks into her freshman year at a bible college. In vulnerability, Lewis shares their family story of walking with Laurie through her teen pregnancy and the emotions involved in prayerfully choosing adoption.

Twenty-five years after the birth of the child, Bittersweet was re-released with the addition of part two, which tells of the continued restoration of Laurie and her family as her beloved daughter, Clare, returns into her life. This is an honest story that testifies to God's ability to glorify Himself through some of life's most difficult circumstances. The struggle is present, but so is God's grace.

callie m.

Find more information, please visit The Bittersweet Website

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Adventures

Thank you for checking out our Adventures! We hope our friends and family outside of Israel will enjoy seeing bits and pieces of our life, and hopefully get inspired to come visit!

Israeli Adventures...


...At the Mt. Zion Hotel (June 2010)

...On the Jesus Boat (March 2010)

...At the Beach in Tel Aviv (June 2009)

...In the Shuk (April 2009)

...Celebrating the Resurrection (April 2009)

...In a Stalactite Cave (April 2009)

...In Ein Gedi (Aug 2008)

... In Yehudia (Aug 2008)


Part of our vision is to take the message of Yeshua into all the Nations out of Jerusalem in accord with Luke 24:46-47:
and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. NASB

We've both had experience serving the Lord overseas while we were single and hope to continue traveling as a family, sometimes for fun, and sometimes for service! Hopefully we'll always have opportunity for both on every trip! Please enjoy our...

Travel Adventures...

... In Antalya, Turkey (Summer 2009)

... In Zambia (Devin - Summer 2007)

... In Gambia (Callie - Spring 2007)

... In Senegal (Callie - Spring 2007)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Visiting Israel?

What to expect.

Where to go.

What to do.


Coming Soon!