OUR YEAR IN REVIEW
God wants us to be good stewards of his money so it is wise to keep watch over our investments. Periodically Dan will check in with our stockbroker to see how our retirement funds are doing. Have our investments been yielding good dividends? Or should we change companies to get better security and a higher yield?
Many of you have invested in God's ministry through us over this last year and from time to time we like to give you an accounting of how your investments are doing. The good news is that your investment is secure! Dan and I continue to be part of a network of covenant relationships representing an accumulation of hundreds of man-years. Walking in unity in today's world is one of the greatest challenges but thanks to the mighty working of God's grace in the lives of our team he continues to build us together. Scripture states that when there is proper order and unity he commands a blessing. (Ps 133:1-3). Because you have been joined with us through prayer and financial support, you are receiving a dividend of blessing, not just in this age but in the age to come! You are also part of the dividend of all the ministries that serve under the umbrella of Tikkun. You are a blessing to us!
The greatest highlight this last year was when our older daughter and family came to live with us in Israel, embracing their responsibility of connectedness to their Land of Promise. Besides this glorious event, over this last year we have traveled extensively to minister to the leadership teams of thirteen Tikkun America congregations located from California to New York. We have participated in several strategy-setting board meetings, including Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, Toward Jerusalem Council II, Jewish Catholic Dialogue in Rome, Tikkun International in Jerusalem and Tikkun America. Dan had the privilege to be one of the key note speakers at several major conferences, including International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders, Christ at the Checkpoint and a conference on Israel and the Church in Valence, France. There was also the opportunity for Dan to teach at several Bible schools (MJBI online course through Kings University, and Gateways Beyond in Cyprus). However, we are trusting that the greatest yield coming from your investments will be from the time we have poured into the emerging leaders in Israel, clocking in over 50 venues of fellowship and mentoring in both one on one and group settings!
PREPARING FOR THE YEAR AHEAD
Rumors of war, violence, famine and financial collapse, this is what is being repeated across the international media grapevine. Scripture warns us that in the last days this would happen (Matthew 24:6) and that because of the increase of wickedness the love of many will grow cold (v. 12). Many will even fall away from their faith in God (1 Timothy 4:1). Everything that can be shaken will be shaken. In the natural, many have heeded the warnings of natural or man-made disasters and are taking emergency preparedness courses. Many are beginning to stock up their homes with emergency food supplies and equipment. However, as important as these strategies are to protect our physical well being, more importantly, we need to ask: what are we doing to prepare our souls for the days ahead? How is the strength of our convictions in a good and loving God and the reliability of his promises? Will our faith hold up when challenged by the torrents of anti-Christian propaganda and persecution? Can we withstand the growing temptation of joining the world's view of what is right and wrong, succumbing to the lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life? These are the days of preparation. The other day in my devotions I looked up the word "prepare" in Hebrew as it is used in Scripture. Even though words can have several meanings and one can overdo biblical word studies, I was impacted by the Hebrew etymology of the word "to prepare."
The Strong's Dictionary defines the Hebrew word for "prepare" as coming from קוּן kün; a primitive root meaning, "to set up, establish, fix, prepare, appoint, render sure, confirm, fashion, be ready, be stable, make provision".
Therefore, to prepare for the days ahead we need to fix or establish our hearts so that our faith will not become shipwrecked when the storms come, and come they will. It is my desire to encourage you, our precious friends and supporters, to lay hold of the hope that is ours in the Messiah. What is our hope? Our hope is that one day we will see the fullness of freedom from bondage to death, sorrow, disease, injustice, poverty and wickedness. One day we will have incorruptible glorified bodies as well as being part of the glory of the Lord which will fill the earth as the waters cover the beds of the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). There will be a new heaven and a new earth and one day even the animals will cease devouring each other (Isaiah 11:6). Those that are found faithful to the end will inherit the earth and will be joint rulers as the bride queen of Yeshua. In this life we have hope and freedom to go beyond the veil, having our consciences cleansed with the blood of Messiah we are enabled to receive grace and mercy in our time of need.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
What a beautiful metaphor to describe our hope. The sea represents the world, the ship our soul that can toss to and fro in the midst of the storms of life, and the anchor represents our hope that is secured in the depths below (the Holy of Holies) into the unseen firm foundations beneath the sea. The rope attaching the anchor to the ship is our faith. Because of the promises of God (his Word is eternal) and his immutable character where he cannot lie or be other than he is, a good and loving God, we have a secure place to "anchor our anchor."
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
Have a blessed New Year,
Dan and Patty