Oasis Newsletter

Oasis Volume 19, Issue 10

Thought Life: Creepy Jungle or Fertile Field

May I ask you a personal question? What are your thoughts like when you first wake up? Frankly, mine are not always positive, helpful or encouraging. At that moment I have a decision to make. Will I continue to entertain the moldering leftovers from that weird dream? Or will I push myself out of bed and author a constructive path for my mind?

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

Clearly, we are in a life-long “battle for the mind. At times, this battlefield is a weedy jungle of depressive thoughts, self-condemnation, lust, frustration with myself and others, resentment, irritations, insecurity, self-pity, and temptations to judge or reject others. That is when I must take charge of my thought life and insist that the choice is mine!

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah” (II Corinthians 10:4-5).

Here are three keys to managing our thought life:

  • God thinks, and we think because we’re made in His image. “I know the thoughts I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil” (Jeremiah 29:11).
  • God knows what I am thinking. “You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought afar off” (Psalm 139:2). Therefore,
  • The key to a healthy, fertile mind is an open conversation with God. “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

It helps to remember that our faith heroes also wrestled with their thoughts. King David told himself “Why are you cast down, o my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him…” (Psalm 42:5). From the end of the earth I will cry to you. When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).

Even the great Apostle Paul acknowledged his mental anguish. “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble … we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” (II Corinthians 1:8-9).

Both of these spiritual giants reacted to the battle in their mind by turning back to God, by declaring their undiluted trust for Him. I too need to proclaim the truth in the face of lies (Psalm 1:3; Joshua 1:8; Philippians 4:6-8). I must use praise and worship as a restorative weapon (II Chronicles 20:17-22). And finally, I can enlist the aid of a trusted friend or mentor when I’m being choked by “jungle vines” (Proverbs 17:17; 27:9). – Eitan Shishkoff

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Trusting with Little

Model of the ancient Jerusalem Second Temple. Israel Museum

Sometimes we find ourselves trying to protect the little we have, and becoming slaves to it. Yet the Lord can take the little we have and multiply it. He is the God of multiplication.
 
We are commanded to build the Temple (God’s house) and, at the same time, we are each to be an integral part of that Temple. He wants to dwell in us as His temple. When He dwells in us we can see the change in the attitude of our heart. Then we will be capable of stewarding what we have while not being enslaved to it.

Standing at the Temple in Jerusalem, Yeshua saw how the people had turned God’s house into a market for “merchandise.” In His zeal for God’s house Yeshua overturned the tables and drove out those selling sacrificial animals (John 2:15, Psalms 69:9)!

What exactly was it that caused Yeshua to respond so passionately? It was the people’s preoccupation with finances and financial security more than they were focusing on God. When Yeshua confronted the merchandising in the temple in John 2, He saw and was appalled by the rift: the house of the presence of God on one side and the people trusting in money on the other.

A parallel passage to Yeshua’s zeal for God’s house is found in the return of the exiles from Babylon (in the time of Haggai). They had come back to Jerusalem and were building themselves nice houses while the Temple still lay in ruins. Haggai called them out for their confused priorities when he said:

Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this temple lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:4)

The heart of this message is not to place our hope and trust in the money we think we need. If financial security is our focus we will never think we have enough. True peace and security will only come when we look to the One who dwells inside us, and in His purposes for our lives and resources. Yeshua is our redeemer and our provider. He is the one who began a good work in us and will be faithful to complete it.

Look to Him who declares, “‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former…and in this place I will grant peace’” (Haggai 2:8). – Guy Cohen


Registration is open for:

Baruch HaBa 2020

Intercessory Conference and Tour

Sponsored by Tikkun-associated ministries in Israel

May 5-14, 2020

Reserve your place today!

Write to baruch.haba2020@gmail.com 

or visit us at www.tentsofmercy.org/about-us/upcoming-events/

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shaveitzion.org info@shaveitzion.org P.O.B. 9609, Haifa 3109601 Israel

U.S. tax deductible online donations to support this and other education and training projects of Shavei Tzion can be  made via Return to Zion in Haifa

Renewal & Discipleship - Eagle Project Update - Summer 2019

“But those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

The Eagle Project—a united ministry of Return to Zion and Revive Israel—was created to invest in young adults in Israel and abroad, to disciple and equip them for their next steps with the Lord, and to develop the next generation of leaders and servants.

In June 2019, a group of 17 young people from 6 different Israeli congregations, having completed their military service, joined together for a month. We began our physical and spiritual journey in France, where our focus was on UNITY and FAITH. Our French hosts did a great job of planning the week, and they poured out great love upon the young people, who so enjoyed their time there. Each day we began with prayer, discussion and fellowship.

In France we visited historic sites where people were persecuted for their faith. Under great pressure during those hard times, believers experienced God in the most intimate way, saw His hand, and experienced breakthroughs. We also traveled to places where French people risked their own lives to save hundreds of Jews during World War II.

From there we travelled to Norway where we were hosted by generous and hospitable families. God showed us His miraculous creation through mountain hikes, with special times of meditating and communicating with Him in the midst of nature. The group participated in corporate worship and teaching times, and some served the local community for their first time ever with testimonies, teaching and leading worship.

These weeks were a time of drawing near to God. The young people asked questions and received answers without an agenda or a schedule. The Norwegian host families made all this possible through the welcoming environment which they created.

During the last week, the group arrived in Levanger for a huge 5 day young adults encounter conference. This event was full of worship, teaching, prayers and personal revelations.

All in all, we enjoyed a great month, walking as a group on one path with Yeshua in the lead.

I would like to urge every congregation, church and organization to continue to invest in the youth, to be a spiritual family for them and to help them to grow: encouraging them to be filled with His spirit and to live a fruitful life. We know that God has a special calling for the youth; we need them in the body of Messiah—not only in Israel but worldwide.

God continues to bless this project and open new doors. Please stay tuned and pray for us, our team and these beautiful young people—God`s special army. – Evgeni, Eagle Project Manager

Blessed to Serve

Leora Mazurovsky

When I was growing up my mother, Katya, would often tell me “When you feel discouraged, look around and see whom you can serve. You will soon find yourself focusing on something other than your own troubles and will be a much happier and more fulfilled person.”

It is so fitting that our annual Reshet Summer Camp for elementary school children (which was actually a beloved project of my mother’s) is based upon serving and blessing others. Every summer young people from our local congregations, along with volunteers of all ages from Texas churches, come together and live out this motto of generous service.

You will see from their testimonials from the 2019 summer camp, that the campers were blessed, and all who gave of themselves throughout the week received much in return:

“I loved seeing kids be kids – having a blast and, learning and being encouraged to love and follow Jesus. It was spectacular!” USA Volunteer

“Camp this year was just as good as always, although I can’t shake the feeling that they will only get better and better. The scene that keeps playing in my mind is unity of the children with the counselors when worshiping!” USA Volunteer

“I especially loved how every night we would worship and just love everyone there.” USA Volunteer

“As I watched all week at camp, the theme being, “The Armor of God,” I could definitely see the connection the children made. They connected the solider and his gear to fight physically, to God’s armor needed for a spiritual battle. Putting on a new piece of their uniform/armor each day of camp was so exciting. It was fun, but brilliant learning for all ages. Most of all, just getting to be part of God’s bigger plan, working beside my brothers and sisters. I will always cherish this week with you.” USA Volunteer

“The Lord revealed to me during my time spent with them just how much my heart can love, and although we are all so different, we’re all very much the same. We live completely different lives on the opposite side of the world for most of the year, but we all share the same love for Yeshua.” USA Volunteer

“I came away challenged to pursue Christ more in my own life, from watching how you all loved on us and blessed us.” USA Volunteer

“I began to pray for each child and child personally that God would touch their lives. I too went through change and inner learning together with the kids. It was an amazing experience because God raised up the soldier within me, and I did not get tired all week.” Israeli Counselor

“We saw remarkable unity among the children, concluding groups of boys and girls gathering around their counselors in prayer.” Israeli Counselor

“Another highlight for me was the fencing workshop by a champion fencer who imparted in his quiet way, how to use the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Israeli Counselor 


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