Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Power of a Good Story

Dear Friend, 

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Everyone loves a good story.

I know I do! They may be funny and make me smile, or even laugh out loud. They may be emotionally moving—causing me to feel deeply what others have felt and even make me shed a sympathetic tear. Or the story might even be filled with new insights that lead me to an “a-ha” moment that can significantly change my life.

Storytelling holds a special place in Jewish life and tradition. The Hebrew Bible is full of stories. So is the Talmud. Jewish people have skillfully enlisted storytelling in service to religious truth for thousands of years.

We all know that a good story does not simply tell you what happened, but engages you mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. Good stories often lead to a point designed to make an impact in your life and the lives of others. A good story draws your imagination into a vivid world that holds out the promise of transformation—a promise that it is often able to deliver. These are really the best kind of stories! God made us to be very complex creatures and we need all of our senses engaged in order to be moved to the point where we can actually consider changing our behavior or begin thinking differently about life.

Mark Twain, in his little book entitled, How to Tell a Story, writes, “I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told, for I have been almost daily in the company of the most expert story-tellers for many years.”

Storytelling is more than just a skill. It is an art. Some of us are better than others in spinning a yarn, telling a shaggy dog story, recounting a humorous incident or simply describing events in the way that helps the listener or reader feel as though they experienced the event for themselves. Not everyone can easily communicate the emotion, feelings, poignancy and pathos of life’s events. So many of us will admit that when we go to synagogue or church and listen to a sermon, we walk away remembering the point made through a story far more than anything else the rabbi or minister said.

Mark Twain added his thoughts on the most difficult stories to tell, “There are several kinds of stories, but only one difficult kind—the humorous…The humorous story bubbles gently along, the others burst. The humorous story is strictly a work of art—high and delicate art—and only an artist can tell it… .”

I think the author of Proverbs puts it best: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22).

We all like a good laugh and a good cry. Stories, whether told, written, filmed or acted should be viewed as a gift from God to His creation. From Genesis on, our distinctively Jewish take on creation and humanity is reflected in our stories. As Rabbi Nachman of Bratslov once declared, “People tell their children stories to put them to sleep. I tell people stories to wake them up.”

I hope you will enjoy these moving stories of individuals who found shalom—peace—through their encounter with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through Yeshua, who is called the Prince of Peace. And may I be so bold as to say that I hope they “wake you up”?

The I Found Shalom Website

This is one of the reasons we created the I Found Shalom website. After all, if there’s one story we can all tell—it is the story of our lives. It is very difficult to argue or debate another person’s experience and try to determine if it is true or false. But if we are receptive to another’s story, we may find that it reaches us in unexpected ways. I hope that you will enjoy the following stories, which describe the ways in which these individuals had a personal encounter with the God of the universe.

Each one of the storytellers is Jewish and experienced what may be described as a “dramatic encounter” with the Messiah of Israel—Yeshua (Jesus). We have condensed and summarized their more lengthy and very personal accounts, which are on the website, for you to read and enjoy. After you have read them, I hope your interest will be piqued enough for you to go to the website and watch them. These men and women come from every walk of life: business professionals, moms, dads, old and young. Yet, all of them say something that is remarkably similar—that meeting their Messiah has enabled them to experience the peace and joy of knowing the One who made them.

If you are already a believer in the Messiah, I know that these stories will greatly encourage you as you see God work in the lives of others. If you are a seeker and not yet a follower of Messiah Yeshua, I hope that these written summaries and then the video stories themselves will make you laugh and even move you to the depths of your soul. My prayer is that you might discover exactly what these storytellers have experienced as well.

Finding Shalom in the Messiah

It was more than 40 years ago that I had the same experience! I was raised in a traditional Jewish home in New York City. When I was 19 years old, my two best friends became followers of Jesus the Messiah. Quite frankly, I was not looking for a relationship with God and I especially was not looking for Jesus. Like many of my generation, I was raised to believe that He was the enemy of the Jewish people and inspiration for antisemitism. Most Jewish people I knew believed the same way.

But, my two best Jewish friends became followers of Jesus amidst a host of incredible circumstances. Although I couldn’t deny their experience, I would argue to the best of my ability to show that they were wrong and that Jewish people should not believe in Jesus. They did not argue back! As I watched their lives change and their new stories continued to touch my life, I saw their shalom in the midst of difficult circumstances. I was amazed to see them pray and speak to God as if He was right next to them. Then I began reading the Bible. I was completely mesmerized by the parables—the stories that Yeshua told in the New Testament. Slowly, my eyes began to open and finally I recognized that Yeshua was the Messiah of Israel for both Jews and Gentiles.

I hope you enjoy these delightful and sincere storytellers!

Visit the website and watch the videos and request the booklet you will find offered there!

And now… on to the stories!

Dr. Mitch Glaser

President of Chosen People Ministries
(and one of the storytellers!)

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Stop the Violence…In Israel!

This morning three innocent Israelis were killed in a personal terrorist attack in Jerusalem.  This is another in a long list of what may only be viewed as a new method employed by the enemies within Israel to create chaos by destroying innocent families in hopes of political gain.  And some of us wonder why peace talks have stalled?

Seventeen people were injured in what appeared to be “twin attacks” in Jerusalem by seemingly random terrorists!  It is now becoming more than obvious that these attacks are well planned and that some sinister force is behind the coordination of these “personal terrorists.”

One can search far and wide for reasons and try to even understand what motivates individuals, who also are husbands and fathers, wives and mothers to perpetrate these attacks and even be tempted to sympathize with the victim mentality portrayed by these terrorists in the media.  But, we must resist the urge to think kindly or in any way even trying to understand the predicament that leads individuals to respond in this way.  The response is far more horrible than any alleged crime.  Besides, these three Israelis were innocent.

I appreciate the comments expressed by one individual writing in the Jewish Express online version of the story,

These mass terror attacks on Israeli Jews by Palestinians using knives, guns, and autos to run down pedestrians, is a natural direct result of the PA incentivizing terror. Abbas and the PA encourage such terror, they reward it, they pay money to the family of any terrorist who is killed, they name parks and monuments after terrorists. Abbas recently said that he honors blood shed for Jerusalem That is a direct incitement. It is not the statement of a peace partner. At the same time, when Israel defends its civilians, the PA, the UN, and the media accuse Israel of being aggressors and using disproportionate response. Shooting a terrorist murderer to death is not a disproportionate response. An Israeli died from rock throwing at his car. Israeli Jews die from stabbing by Palestinians. Palestinian throwers of firebombs attempt to burn the Jews alive. It is serious and deadly. Abbas shows clearly that he has no intention of seeking peace. The PA should be cut off from support by the US and the EU.  Their corruption and incentivizing terror disentitle them to money from western countries. (Jewish Express…Tuesday)

We need to ask our elected officials to help Stop the Violence…in Israel!  I hope you will join thousands of others as we voice our concerns to our elected officials and to our Secretary of State, the Honorable John Kerry, to do what he can to meet with Mahmoud Abbas and if possible the leaders of Hamas – still listed as a terrorists group by the United States and demand that they root out whoever is controlling these “personal terrorists” and put a stop to the violence against innocent Israelis.  As you can see from the above quote – the Palestinian leaders seem to be creating the climate for these horrific attacks to continue.

We also need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  The Psalmist made this clear in Psalm 122:6.  And ask the Lord to fulfill His promise found in another Psalm, 121:3-4 and prayed in Synagogues around the world, “He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold He keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep”.

And pray especially for the victims of the personal terrorists that the Lord would bring comfort to their families.

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Turning a Nightmare into a Gospel Opportunity!

Shalom in the great name of Jesus our Messiah!

I do not usually speak about political issues, though, like you, I care deeply about the direction of our country.  That is why every so often I feel I must say something! And this is one of those times.

We are in the midst of a real crisis. It is a crisis for Israel, the United States and countries all across the globe. Allow me to express my concern as a question…

What could be more disastrous for the world than a nuclear-armed Iran?

How Real Is the Iranian Nuclear Threat to Israel?1510PZLW_Iran-Stamp-BS52160233Can you imagine the level of threat when, one day, Iran will be armed with nuclear weapons? They have already developed the missile delivery systems to reach Israel and Europe within a short amount of time.1 The very thought of this puts fear into my soul.

And, I am so sorry that our country has complied with what could be a suicidal agreement with an unabashed enemy of the free world. Even a cursory reading of the deal reveals major flaws that are a danger to Israel and the West. This deal placed unearned trust in the terrorist leaders of Iran rather than our allies and experts who have voiced their dissent. Even our Arab allies decry the deal because it spells danger for them too!

A few months ago the president and spiritual leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, wrote a book entitled Palestine. It has not yet been translated into English, but the book calls for the destruction of the “Little Satan”—Israel…and the “Great Satan”—the United States!

One of the most disturbing comments in the book is this:  “Without destroying Israel, our victory is incomplete.” 2

The book describes Khomeini as “the flag bearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem,” with a chilling message: Israel has no right to exist and must be destroyed. Khomeini uses powerful words to describe his goal for Israel’s eventual destruction—nabudi (annihilation), imha (fading out), and zaval (elimination).3

Four Critical Reasons Why the Iranian Nuclear Agreement Is So Dangerous

Let me give you four reasons why this alleged “deal” with Iran is a nightmare and can lead to the destruction of Israel, Europe and other nations within the range of Iranian missiles…and why those who love the Bible, the Messiah, and the people of Israel need to pray fervently!

#1. The “deal” virtually guarantees that Iran will one day have nuclear weapons.

#2. Iran will have billions of dollars released to them that they can use to purchase conventional weapons, arming Israel’s enemies and themselves for a conventional war.

# 3. Iran will be able to develop a new economic relationship with Western countries, especially in Europe, which will give them a platform to influence politics and economies around the globe.

#4. Inspections will have no effect on Iran’s plan to build nuclear weapons, as the methods for inspection take so long they are rendered useless.

This is all very bad news for Israel and the West. This more affluent, influential and nuclear-powered Iran is nothing less than a nightmare.

The Jewish People and Persia

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The Jewish people have a long history in Iran—ancient Persia (586–332 BC). Over the centuries, the Jewish people developed a rich culture and heritage in Persia, beginning with Cyrus who gave the edict allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem.4 Some returned but most did not and continued to build a life among the Persians which endured through centuries of Islamic rule.

In more recent times, Iran was probably the most Western of all nations in the Middle East and was quite favorable towards the Jewish people. However, after the establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948, Jewish people living in the Middle East and North Africa had to flee for their lives. Many Jewish people remained in Iran until the fall of the Shah and the rise of a more militant and fundamental Islam under Ayatollah Khomeini.

Today, the number of Jews still living in Iran has dipped below 9,000. Most Iranian Jews live in New York City or Los Angeles with the greatest number living in Israel—especially in the Tel Aviv area.

Iranians are very traditional and often quite religious. This group of Jewish people in Iran is not easy to reach for the Messiah and there has not been a focused effort to reach Iranians Jews for the Lord. But this is changing NOW!

Your Mission to the Jewish People is partnering with a ministry in Tel Aviv led by a Persian Jew who has translated and published our Isaiah 53 Explained book in Farsi—the ancient language of Iranian Jews.

We have already begun testing Farsi ads on Facebook offering Isaiah 53 Explained books for free. We are focusing the ads in Israel and the United States for now and in the future we hope to offer the book as a download to Iranians living in Iran! It is highly likely that our ads will be blocked, but we are going to try anyway.

So how does the Lord turn a nightmare into a Gospel opportunity? 

Well, in this case, by enabling Chosen People Ministries to reach Iranian Jews for the Messiah by sharing the Gospel according to Isaiah 53!

A Ministry to French Jews Too!

I also wanted to bring you up-to-date on our efforts to reach Jewish people in France, which has the fourth largest Jewish population in the world.

The more than half a million Jews of France live under tremendous pressure today.  They are surrounded by a sea of hostile Muslim extremists who, as we know, have violently attacked members of the French Jewish community. This is why many thousands of French Jewish people are moving to Israel.

We have put a strategy in place to reach Jewish people as they move from France to Israel and also those who are taking their chances by remaining in France. This is why we have translated the Isaiah 53 Explained book into French, and why we have created a French Isaiah 53 website. 

We can reach multiple thousands of French and Iranian Jewish people daily by placing evangelistic ads on Facebook, YouTube, and other forms of social media. We have budgeted $500 a day for these ads and we hope to continue at this rate for at least 90 days. 

This would be impossible to do without employing a growing media team. I wish you could meet every member of this team, and if you did I know that you would want to invest in their ministries. The work of this wonderful team of dedicated and creative younger people costs about $20,000 per month.

We want to invest our time and treasure in reaching Jewish people for Jesus. We have discovered that using social media to find these Jewish people interested in Jesus, then following up with them personally through our missionaries, is incredibly effective.

Please partner with us in prayer for the Iranian and French Jews as we attempt to reach out to them through these channels. In addition, would you pray about giving a generous donation today so that we can sustain our media department and purchase the necessary ads to reach Jewish people with the Gospel—both online and in person?

By God’s grace we have already received a gift that allows us to print an adequate number of books to provide for the mailings once they are requested. We want every Jewish seeker to have an Isaiah 53 Explained book for free.

Your generous gift today will be used to support our digital media department and the advertising costs for our French and Farsi outreach campaigns.

I certainly hope that this “deal” with Iran will be rolled back in the future. But the Messiah is all-powerful and turns nightmares into Gospel opportunities, because He is Lord!

Thank you for caring about the Jewish people.

In Him,

Mitch

P.S. Check out our online store to purchase  The Fall Feasts of Israel, written by my wife and myself. This is a great resource to understanding and celebrating the High Holy Days! 

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ENDNOTES:
1    Isaiah 45:1
1    Isaiah 45:1
2    http://missilethreat.com/missiles/sejil-123/
3    http://irantruth.org/exclusive-first-translation-of-khameinis-new-book-on-the-destruction-of-america-israel/
4    Ibid.

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