“Who would have believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground; he had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him.” Isaiah 53:1-2 (The Israel Bible™)
The young pastors visiting the Western Wall. (Courtesy)
As 30 young handpicked pastors from the United States and Canada wrap up a life-changing first trip to Israel, they now prepare to renew their focus on Israel in their preaching back home.
Eagles’ Wings is a global movement comprising churches, ministries and leaders that emphasizes interfaith dialogue and humanitarian care. Reverend Robert Stearns, founder and executive director of Eagles’ Wings, led the group throughout the holy land for a trip that began on February 1 and will end this Saturday. For Stearns, introducing the land of Israel to others is “one of my most favorite things in life to do.”
“There’s something amazingly special to bring people to Israel for the very first time,” said Stearns in a YouTube address before he departed. “It’s always special to go, but the opportunity to bring people to the holy land on their first experience is just a special joy. I will always remember my first trip to Israel, my first time in the land.”
According to Adam Mesa, the Creative Culture Pastor of the Abundant Living Family Church in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Israel is already a topic that is frequently discussed at the church where his father is the head pastor.
“We talk through the scriptures about Israel,” he told Breaking Israel News. “We pray for Israel, [participate in the] national day of prayer, we pray for Jerusalem, and we just did a 21-day prayer fast one whole topic was on Jerusalem and peace in Jerusalem.”
Adam stressed that Israel will necessarily become an even greater focus in his church after this trip. Reverend Stearns for his part, also reflected on the importance of pastors having a solid foundation for preaching about Israel early on.
“It’s important that they have this experience when they are young rather than waiting until they are in their late 50s or 60s for their first tour of the holy land,” he said.
“If they wait that long, they would lose 30 years of their lives in which they could have had the opportunity to preach and inform others about that connection and experience with the land as well as that encounter with the land of Israel, the people of Israel, and many times the God of Israel for the first time.”
The young group of pastors visiting the Knesset. (Courtesy)
Likewise, for Jakob Pilz, team member of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO, the trip has had a significant impact on his connection with both Israel and the Jewish people and has “made everything come more alive.”
“I’ve always had a heart for Israel and for the Jewish people,” he told Breaking Israel News.
As with Adam, Jakob’s church already places major emphasis on the importance of Israel and Jerusalem.
“Every Tuesday, it is an encouraged fast day at my church, and a day that we specifically focus on Israel with three two-hour sessions where we pray specifically for Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem,” he continued.
For Jakob, who is originally from Austria, the trip has helped motivate him to act more on behalf of the Jewish people.
“With the Holocaust, it’s been important in schooling, but this trip has made my heart be more vigorous to get the message out and to be more pro-Israel and stand with the Jewish people.”
Reverend Stearns also reflected on having felt Israel come alive on his first trip to the holy land.
“I remember this feeling of saying, ‘Oh my goodness. So many things make sense now,’” he related. “That first trip changed my life completely.”
“I remember feeling like Israel was this missing piece of the puzzle of my life, of the bible, the puzzle of church history, and the puzzle of the global geopolitical story,” he added. “There were so many things that I understood when I came to Israel and so many things became clear and made sense.”
Such was the case for Paul Deary, senior pastor of the Hillside Church in Sellersburg, Indiana, who did not know any Jews growing up in South Africa.
“The big connection point on this trip has been the people,” he said. “Rubbing shoulders with the Jewish community on a daily basis has expanded things and given me a love for the people, a heart for the people.”
The young pastors visiting Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. (Courtesy)
For others on the trip like Jason Tourville, a third-generation Evangelical pastor serving as the senior pastor of the Shrewsbury Assembly in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, the visit solidified all that they understood from the Bible.
“From a Biblical standpoint, and certainly from a humanitarian standpoint, evil expands when those who consider themselves good people do nothing in the face of evil.”
Another senior pastor, Art Garcia of The Bridge Buena Park in Buena Park, CA, said that the trip has been “incredible.”
“As a Christian, I feel connected in Israel,” he told Breaking Israel News. “You can’t have Christianity without Judaism, and you can’t have the completion of Christianity without Israel.”
The sentiment expressed by Art is exactly why, according to Stearns, it is important for young Christian leaders and pastors to visit the holy land.
“For so many of them, they know the God of the Bible but it’s different when you encounter the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the land itself.”
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases