Newsletter  Vol 13, No 12    December 2004

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The first night of Hanukkah is tonight - the day this electronic newsletter is being mailed out. Here you will find a selection of interesting and, more importantly we hope, challenging articles. At Hanukkah, it is tempting to just go along with the flow, lighting the candles each night and thinking about the miracles that God did in those days at that time - "Bring on the latkes and pass me another doughnut !" The real meaning of Hanukkah can easily get lost, rather like another festival that will start in just over two weeks time. Yes, at Hanukka we celebrate the victories won by the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil burning for eight days, but let's not forget that the Hanukkah struggle was about assimilation: whether to just merge into the melting pot that was the Greek empire of the the time. Our people fought to preserve their individual identity, their call to worship God alone and their distinctiveness as a people among the nations of the earth. It was a life and death struggle in more than just the immediate physical battles - it was also a spiritual struggle to restore the purity of worship and devotion, the use of the Hebrew language and maintaining the signs of the covenant that God made with us. We survived because God had a plan and a purpose for us as a people and the job wasn't finished - that needs to be our vision, whether Jew or Gentile, in these days: God has a plan and a purpose for us as believers in Messiah Yeshua and the job isn't finished yet!

Remember to let us know what you think of the individual articles (by clicking the response tag at the bottom of the articles) or the newsletter (by clicking the response tag at the bottom of this email or the on-line newsletter. Don't forget that you can read the articles again even if you have lost this email by going to our main website and selecting the Newsletters option at the top left-hand corner of the menu column.

We are still having people switch from paper to email format for the newsletter - this month's tally was eleven. We are still looking for more to make the switch and help us to be good stewards of our ministry funds in this way. We hope the newsletter is still convenient and timely in this format and meets your needs - if not, please let us know by clicking on the newsletter comment box at the bottom of this email. If you haven't made up your mind yet and are still getting both paper and e-mail copies of this Newsletter that's just fine - we want to be able to keep in touch with you in the way that suits you best. If you could consider switching over to e-mail only, then please help us to save on the printing and postage costs. This saves the ministry valuable funds that we can re-use in different areas if you are comfortable having your newsletter come that way. You can switch to email-only, or ask to be switched to the paper distribution by clicking the link further down the e-mail below the article links.

  Dan Juster: Who am I ?
An important article to address a growing issue: the question of Gentile identity within the Messianic Jewish movement.
  Mick Antanitis: Tomorrow YOU will be a BRIDE
Mick, the Missions Pastor of Belmont Church, Nashville, Tenenesse, shares the priviledge of being at a new believer's baptism in the Sea.

  Leon Mazin: Russian Bishops & Messianic Jews Dance with the Torah
A Torah-scroll dedication ceremony brings together two unlikely parties: a Russian-speaking Messianic Jewish congregation and visiting Russian bishops and pastors.
  Congregation Netzer HaGalil
As a new congregation is planted in Nazareth, a recent interview with Leon Mazin, the spiritual father of the new work ...
  All of Us - A Bar Mitzah
Ami Intrater recently celebrated his Bar Miztvah and shares his speech with us.
  Asher Intrater - More than Bar Mitzah
At his son's Bar Mitzvah, Asher shared some thoughts about what Bar Mitzvah really means: the process of growing up.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicted, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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