A belated Happy Hanukkah, Kings Birthday and New Year. I grew up in a British Commonwealth country and we celebrated the Queen’s Birthday on the same weekend every year. When I grew up I discovered that it was not her actual birthday but the day traditionally when we all celebrated her birthday, (long story). So it is with Christmas. It’s not the actual date of The Kings birthday but the traditional date of all the kings and queens (of the spiritual world, another long story) birthdays. The King of Kings was put in there with them. Here in Israel there are no shepherds outside watching their sheep in December; they are all inside caves or buildings with their sheep keeping warm. Whereas in Autumn they are outside in the fields at night. Autumn is the time of the Fall Feasts of Trumpets, Yom Kippur and Tabernacles and that is the time according to Biblical records, that our Savior was born. So I enjoy celebrating The Kings birthday at the same time everyone else does. It’s a good reminder, at any time of the year, that He came.
Living He loved us, Dying He saved us; Buried He carried our sins far away; Rising He justified, freely forever; He’s coming again, oh glorious day. (from a Casting Crowns song)
At the feast of Tabernacles 2017, the Tabernacle was surrounded by modern Israeli’s in their tents. The corrals for their modern camels stretched around the Tabernacle while they camped in their tents, in family groups, further away. Of the thousands that came to camp by the lake, very few came to visit the Tabernacle. We did have many overseas visitors before and after the feast.
I forgot to add in the last newsletter, that in June I went up to Shiloh to join a group of archaeologists from the USA. My contact was ABRs Director of Excavation, Scott Stripling, of https://www.biblearchaeology.org. He requested that I go and give a talk on the Tabernacle and I asked if I may join them for a day at the dig. It was marvelous. They aim to return for the next 5 years or so to continue. As you may know, Shiloh was where the Tabernacle was based for the longest time in its history; an estimated 369 years.
On the way to work one day, with the AC working in the car, I heard a noise and suddenly the car was filled with steam coming out of the vents. I was almost at the Park entrance, so I kept going and stopped in the car park. When I got out I saw the drivers-side foot-well was full of bright green water from the radiator. I rang the towing insurance people and they sent a technician to check. He showed me that the little radiator (heat exchanger) under the dashboard (that I had no idea existed) had sprung a leak. Easy fix!, just bypass it by turning the ‘In’ hose and attaching directly to the place where the ‘Out’ hose was attached to the main system; fill the water and away I could go. This little internal radiator is the heating system for winter time, so it usually has the hot water flowing through all the time so it’s there when you need heat. I have NEVER used it in all these years. It costs too much to fix especially as we never use the heat. As I left to go home that day, I felt a little prompt to check the oil. It had been just under full and now it was almost gone! I filled oil until the line (always carry spare oil, you never know when you might need it!). The oil had protected the engine in the absence of the water to cool it. Just for that emergency time; it can’t stay in that state. As I drove home the Holy Spirit just spoke to me about the importance of the water of The Word and the oil of The Spirit; both are needed all the time but in time of emergency The Oil of The Spirit can protect us. Our engine, our heart.
Technician’s drawing of the heat exchanger, on the bonnet (hood) of the car, while explaining what happened.
Had I written this newsletter earlier this would have been all I would have said on the matter. Now I must add my personal lesson.
On 7/8 December my engine, my heart had a cardiac infarction; a heart attack. I won’t go into all the details here, just to say it was many hours until I got in from work to the local hospital who couldn’t do anything but send me by ambulance with a Doctor to the regional hospital in Beer Sheva, 3 hours away, where I had an emergency procedure on Friday night. The team was called out from their Shabbat dinners and I was told I had the best of the best. It was like a dream and the whole time I was in complete peace with no panic and I knew God was holding my heart. It’s still early days. Because of the length of time my heart was in infarction, or whatever it’s called, there has been moderate to serious damage to my heart. I now have to have a series of eco-cardiograms to check progress and the cardiologist has to decide if I need a defibrillator put in (not a pace maker). At my last eco the technician told me the damage is not small! I know many of you have already heard about this and are praying. Thank you. I can testify that it is God who holds my heart. I am still physically alive thanks to Him and the skilled staff He used. May God honor them for the care, respect and honor they showed toward me in such a vulnerable situation.
As you may have noticed the Book Category, on the web site, has been replaced by Naphtali’s Corner. Within this are the books and now a section of Blogs from my brother Chris and soon hopefully we will add some of our father’s sermons. The name comes from a ‘zula’ (resting place) that Marco built when he worked at the Tabernacle. It was on the NE corner in front of the Tabernacle and had to be taken away after the October 2015 flood when we had to reconstruct the courtyard. The purpose was so people coming for tours could sit and rest while waiting. It’s basically low stone benches with a low table in front. The NE corner was the position of the tribe of Naphtali who was the rear guard of the nation when they traveled. Also, the blessing given to Naphtali by his father Jacob is that he is a doe (a deer, a female deer, ray, a drop of golden sun…!) set free, he gives beautiful words. It expresses that he had the gift of creativity. Therefore, I called the section Naphtali’s Corner where we put our families’ creative words.
I added the second book in the “God’s ..” series. It is called “God’s Global Reset” and covers the time since creation and Adam (God’s Mud Baby) to the time God reset the earth through The Flood (Noah), confusing man’s language (Babel), and dividing the earth (Peleg). It is available for purchase in the book section.
I am now working on “God’s Earthly Thoroughfare” (choosing Abraham as the human line through which the Messiah would come) and “God’s Ground-plan for Salvation” (about the Tabernacle). These are written in story style aimed at teenagers and young adults.
The Tabernacle here now has a new guide and head of maintenance, Ben. He worked with me for 2 months about 3 years ago and designed the new style courtyard fence which has lasted since the courtyard reconstruction in Jan 2016, after the flood of Oct 2015. Extremely low maintenance and looks very neat and tidy. We used to have to spend thousands of shekels each year to replace the canvas curtains and the constant replacing and tightening of the ropes. Now we haven’t replaced a single of the new curtains for 2 years, and with cable and turn buckles it is easy to keep everything taut, which is a huge saving.
Ben came just in time for our busiest month. We were doing an average of 6 bus tours a day and the private tours that came. He started on Nov 1st and after listening to the bus tours ended up doing many of the private tours on his first day on the job. His comment on the 1st day was that we need 3 people. He loves the Lord and scripture and the added advantage for me is that he grew up in Israel so knows Hebrew as his mother tongue. It is so good to be able to go back and read through the Hebrew and discus it with someone who understands the language..
I could not have physically survived such a busy month on my own as I have been doing for many years. I did not realize the extent of my stress level and how dangerously ‘over the top’ it was; I only knew I was excessively tired and just put it down to the busyness of the days. According to the Doctor this was BIG CLUE number 1 that all was not well, and I should have sort medical assistance. Ah, hindsight contains a lot of wisdom that I need to learn from. When I am permitted to return to work, I will just be giving tours and handling office work. Management and maintenance belong to other people now. In the meantime, Ben is holding down the fort. It is not such a busy season at the moment, Praise the Lord. Please pray for him as he handles everything out there. He cannot keep up with maintenance and be constantly on duty at the same time, but there is nothing too urgent and groups are coming to help soon. I should be back before Pessach.
We had a series of other visitors. An Ethiopian Hedgehog stayed a night and day under the coloured curtains which are down on the side of the Tabernacle at the moment. Many times the Ibex visited. We even had a snake on the shack which Ben caught and sent a picture to his friend who is an expert on snakes. It wasn’t poisonous, and we let it go and it headed at great speed up the hill behind us. One day a beautiful white pigeon or dove spent some time resting by the gate and on the fence before it carried on.
Also, the Antiquities department came and spent time at new digs by Solomon’s Pillars. They found 3 graves with human remains so in the summer they returned with an anthropologist and removed the bones for further study. A friend came from Germany so we visited various sites in the Park.
Another added blessing for me is that my brother Chris and his wife Rhonda are visiting from New Zealand. This was already arranged before my heart attack and is such a provision from the Lord for me at this time. I need to return to the hospital in Beer Sheva in a few days for checkup and decision time. This time I will have some of my natural as well as spiritual family with me. God is always with us, yet it is great to sometimes have ‘God with skin on’ with us.
We have had more groups coming to volunteer with maintenance projects. From South Korea (and they shared with us their food like Bim Bam Bop (I think that’s how it’s said) Rice with seaweed soup and veges and chili paste and meat???. Delicious). On the last day of their time, the Koreans were joined by a group of young people from the Netherlands who sang songs as the stretched the back of the Tahash to raise it higher to let more air in for the AC. Also, just recently a group of pastors in a masters course at Dallas Theological college. They will send their papers for us to read and gain insight from the things God has shown them. The great thing is these groups and others that are still booked to come, have committed to come at the same time next year, so we have living partnerships with people from all over the world. God is so good. It is clear that we do not stand alone.
Early in December we had some magnificent sunsets. One in particular was during an evening when I stayed late for a bus group. When I looked at the photo afterwards I found that in the darkness the curtain of the Holy was slightly open and when you zoom in you can see the priest and some of the visitors.
Well, that’s another 6 months review of activities here at the Timna Tabernacle. I hope I have covered the main points. I did have a piece of paper with the outline recorded but it’s buried in the unfinished work that was so shockingly interrupted at the end of the first week in December. I can’t afford to stress out with trying to find it, so I started again from memory. I’m in reboot phase or should I say reformat! At rehab we were told that rule number one is you are forbidden to fall; no fast anything; look where you are going and move slowly. Next, we must remember that our former life is our former life and we may never get back to it. Forget what you used to do and the speed you did it at; you must start slowly and allow your heart to recover at its own pace and accept that it may not totally recover, and we need to find the level to which we are capable without overload. Which means a change in our mental attitude and expectations. For me a major part of that is to learn not to rescue situations or people who are not my responsibility, even if I could and even if I used to in the past. A friend who came to visit me at rehab told me to learn to say, “not my circus; not my monkeys”. Good advice. My prayer is that I will learn from the Messiah and look to the Father for what I should do each day and not do more than that.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30.
Yours in the Messiah, Alimae.