Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A precious Jewish family

These pictures just came in from Israel {where hubby currently is}, and I wanted to share them here.  The first time I ever went to Israel (December 2007) was specifically by request from my pastor to meet this family.  David and I are the same ages as this couple, and three of our four children line up exactly in ages too (they have another son not pictured).  
My childhood pastor, Dr. Vineyard (pictured on the left in the picture below) met this precious lady during a war in Israel.  Bombs were being sent over to Israel from Lebanon, and he was staying in a hotel where she was working at the front desk.  She was understandably afraid, and God used him to calm her young mama heart by reminding her that God was in control and on her side.  She loves Dr. Vineyard now like a father.
David and I have stayed in this family's home on a couple of occasions, and we consider ourselves blessed for how they have accepted us.

If you scroll back up to the first photo and sneak a peek of their daughter in purple, you will catch a glimpse of a special pouring of God's grace.  About five years ago, this dear mama was heavily considering having an abortion.  It was an unexpected pregnancy, finances were tight, problems were escalating, etc... I called her from Ukraine and begged her to keep the baby, reminding her that God was the One who placed this new life in her womb, and He would provide for the needs of another little one.  She thanked me over and over for reminding her and promised she would not go through with it.  A few months later we heard the happy news that her wee one was born and healthy!  When she was one year old, I was able to hold that precious girl and thank the Lord for the small part that maybe I was able to have in her little life.  It may or may not have been our telephone conversation that made the difference, but I find joy in the fact that it just could have been.

{Below} Picture of this couple's daughter when she was one year old.  I just couldn't keep my eyes off of her big, beautiful, brown eyes!
A true sign of friendship is sharing your hearts over a good cup of hot tea or coffee.  One of the sweet memories David and I have from this home is being introduced by this couple to delicious Moroccan tea, that they call "Louiza" {lemon verbena in English}. Several times we watched them clip the leaves right off of the plant growing in their backyard and enjoyed a steamy, hot cup of tea sweetened with raw sugar minutes later.  The flavor is better than anything you can ever get out of a tea bag, I guarantee you!    

When I think of Jewish families, I always think of this family first.  They were my first Jewish friends and will always hold a very special place in my heart. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Giveaway!

I almost let November slip by without a single post on this blog.  I have definitely come to the conclusion that traveling {especially with multiple children} is most certainly not conducive to blogging or computer time.  And I'm okay with that.  But, it is nice to know that I have been missed, so I thank those of you who have written to let me know that you have noticed my absence.

Not long ago, I mentioned that hubby has written a book.  And in my last post I promised an upcoming giveaway.  Well, here she is, folks!  We are giving away three of these books in one week, and you'll find instructions at the end of this post on how to enter.
Have you ever wanted a little additional information {to what is already available in the Bible} about Israel that would be helpful for a Christian to know in modern times?  When you hear Israel mentioned in the news and on headlines, do you wonder what direction this tiny nation's future is headed?  As Christians, we have a natural desire to know God's purpose for Israel.  This booklet, written specifically to be a condensed easy-to-read source will help today's Christian understand God's purpose for His chosen nation.

This book was written by my hubby, David, a man to whom God has given a specific passion and knowledge about Israel.  He has been to Israel multiple times and spent three months living there at the beginning of this year.  David has personal friends in the Israeli parliament and on Israeli military bases that have helped him, along with his personal Bible studies, understand from a biblical perspective what is happening in the Middle East today.  He has taken that knowledge and condensed it into this booklet to share with Christians to help them comprehend their need to support and defend Israel.

It is heartbreaking to see how many Christians have been persuaded to reject Israel and the Jews.  God chose Israel and we unashamedly stand with her.  Period.

Beginning November 27th through December 4th at midnight, anyone who comments on this post and tells us
  •  (if you have been there) what place you love the most in Israel and why.   --OR--
  •  (if you have never been there) what you would love to see in Israel and why.
Three winners will be chosen and announced soon after the giveaway ends, so please be sure that you leave a way for me to contact you if you are chosen.
For those who are interested in ordering a copy of this book, you may contact David at sloans2ukraine {at} gmail {dot} com.  The cost is $5 plus $2 shipping.

I have heard many pastors comment to their people their need to purchase and read this book.  I hope you will heed their advice!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Price list

I have mentioned that it is expensive to live here in Israel, so I thought it would only be fair to write you up a little example receipt to give you an idea of what "expensive" means to me.  I could have bored you with a much longer list, but I decided to go for something similar to what would be found in a baby book... just a couple of random items and their costs.  Hopefully this will give you a good idea of the big picture.

Now, some of you may laugh at me and my idea of what is expensive.  Just remember, I haven't actually lived in America for 10 years, and at that, I am from Oklahoma - a state in the country that has lower prices than other areas.  Despite my simplicity, though, I do think you will agree with me that $9.60 is awfully steep for hairspray!

And, just because it humors me to see McDonald's menus in other languages, I will leave you with the following picture.  Don't be fooled in thinking that the Big Mac menu has been pushed to the end of the list in order of importance, though.  Just remember that Jews read right to left and you will see that the old standby is still #1.
In case you were wondering, Israeli currency is the shekel and the exchange rate is: 3.75 shekels to 1 dollar.

{A side note to my children, who may be reading this post 20 years from now:  Yes, sweethearts, times and prices do change!  I'm sure by now you have fallen over on the floor from laughter because these amounts of money are what you pay for a stick of gum and you are probably wishing these were real-time prices for you.  Just remember what generation I live in, though, and think of how the times will change a generation after you!}

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Goodness from the Holy Land

We spent one lazy day in an orange orchard, picking and eating all of the oranges we wanted.  There were oranges all around our feet, literally rotting because there were so many and no one was taking them.  Too bad I can't fill a suitcase with these sweet, sticky beauties straight from the tree. {sigh}
Speaking of filling suitcases, that is exactly what we are doing right now.  Many of you have been asking when we return to Ukraine, and the answer is "in 4 days!"  As much as we love it here, Ukraine is our home and we soooo look forward to returning.  Our imminent return soon is also why my posts have picked up in frequency lately.  With all of my good intentions to post more often during our 3 months here, I quickly fell back into my comfort zone... my 1.4 posts a week.  What can I say?  I guess I am just a creature of habit.  {And really, who wants to spend their entire lives sitting behind a computer?} 
But, I also had so, so very much to share with you.  I will do a few more posts about Israel, but when we return to Ukraine we will be busier than ever, and this blog will soon return to its original title of "With Love from Ukraine."  If you joined this blog to read the "Tour Israel series," I do hope that you'll stick around to learn all about what we do in Ukraine.  It is an exciting journey we are on, and there is never a moment to yawn around here!
So, for this post I wanted to share one of the things we have been enjoying most of all while being here - the delicious goodness from the soil of the Holy Land.  I'm pretty sure that fruit is sweeter and veggies are tastier because of this blessed land.  Oh, it could just be my imagination, but let me relish in the thought anyway!
This fruit/vegetable market you are seeing is just around the corner from our apartment.  And, we visit it quite often.  In fact, my children even go there by themselves to choose some colorful goodness for me some days.  We are pretty much on a first-name basis with the workers too!  What can I say?  When avocados, fresh cilantro, juicy strawberries, perfectly ripe bananas, luscious-looking bell peppers, etc., etc., etc... are just a few steps away, it is magnetizing!
And can I confess that we have eaten enough guacamole to turn our skin forever green?  Well, maybe not quite, but we are decidedly leaving Israel filled with vitamins that don't come in a bottle!

Secret tip:  A popular sandwich here in Israel consists of sliced boiled eggs, sliced avocados, and sliced tomatoes.  That's it!  No meat, but plenty of protein with the eggs.  We make it with mayonnaise, sometimes add a slice of cheese, and sprinkle some salt on.  A delicious summer sandwich that is light, tasty, and healthy too!  {Now, go try making one... You won't regret it!}

Sunday, June 3, 2012


WARNING: Picture overload on this post.  Yes, I'm overdoing it on the pictures here, but you have to understand that I have been collecting these pictures for nearly three months now for this post.  You can just scan through them, really.  I give you complete permission. {smile}

One thing that is especially obvious in Israel is the modestly dressed women.  You see it everywhere.  And, let me tell ya... it is a breath of fresh air!

If you know me in "real life," then you know that I wear only skirts and dresses that come down to my knees.  I have done this since I was about 7 or 8 years old, and it is a decision I came to on my own, since it was not required in my home.  I learned about modesty in my church and made a personal decision that this was an area I could give to the Lord.  It is a very personal commitment that I have made to my Lord and kept for many, many years.

Being in Israel and seeing the religious ladies and girls and the way they dress daily is something I have thoroughly enjoyed.  They do it for God just like I do, so that makes me feel quite at home amongst them!

When my 5-year old Brianna plays at the park in her little skirts, she blends right in.  And, I have even learned from the girls here that adding a little pair of lace-trimmed "biker shorts" underneath her skirts is not only practical for playing on slides and swings, but it is also just down-right cute!

Shopping for clothes here in Israel would be a dream for me, except 1) We have enough clothes already {Really?!  Did I just type that?!} 2) We don't have room in our suitcases to take anything extra back to our home in Ukraine 3) Prices here are expensive.  But, remember? I promised to talk about that in a future post, and I haven't forgotten!

Now obviously, not everyone here in Israel dresses in skirts and dresses everyday, but for the religious Jews, it is standard everyday wear, even for playing at the park.  I took these pictures as discreetly as possible, but, unfortunately, have not taken pictures of these lovely ladies on the Sabbath.  Oh, boy... they dress up on their day of rest, wearing the equivalent of what American girls wear for Easter Sunday or for a pageant, play, or recital.  And, it is especially sweet to see several little sisters in matching dresses.  That, too, is a common sight here, and I just love it!

So, I will quit talking now and just let you browse the rest of these pictures on your own.  As always, thank you for taking the time to stop in and take a peek!

By the way, I have a video presentation I put together a couple of years ago called Modest Is Beautiful.  It has nearly 15,000 views, so if you haven't seen it yet, maybe you will enjoy it too!  {Just click on the highlighted words to open the link.}

Thanks again for stopping in for another "Tour Israel" series!  You readers are always such a joy to me, and I just love your comments so very, very much!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Okay, some more astounding Jewish culture for you...

I am sure that most of you know that Hebrew is written from right to left, instead of left to right like most languages.  But, have you ever stopped to think about what that means in everyday life for the Jews?  It is really quite fascinating!  (Most of the pictures in this post I found randomly from the internet):

Not only do they read their words from right to left, but they literally start reading from right to left!  Do you see the titles of the books on {what we would consider} the back covers?  They read from "back cover" to "front cover."
And here is a familiar children's book for you to see.  Notice the binding is on the right side!
And how about music?  It has been explained to me that they read the notes in the same direction that we do (left to right) and the words are written underneath the notes they correspond with, but the words are written "backwards." So, it would go something like this:

knahT uoy rof gnidaer siht golb 

(If you look closely, I typed "Thank you for reading this blog."  How's that for a little hidden message thrown in there for you?!)
Official documents look like this: (Notice the numbered list with the periods coming before the numbers.)
And how about some school work for the little ones?
Davey received two birthday cards in Hebrew that we'll be saving in his baby book.  Be sure to notice which side the greeting starts on!
And, my personal favorite?  The interface of computers and the way they are cleverly constructed.  The start-up button and the icons are on the right side of the screen, and the time is shown in the left-hand corner!

The little cursor also starts blinking on the right hand side and automatically moves towards the left instead of towards the right.  
We just love getting e-mails from Jews!  Even though they type to us in English, sometimes they put their periods at the "beginning" of their sentences, which for them, of course, would be the end (as you can see in the e-mail below.  Personal information has been blacked out on purpose).
And how about internet searching?  Right to left too!  Thanks, Google, for being so accomodating!
Google Search Hebrew

So, here is the question of the day:  who is really backwards, them or us?  Hmmm... seems to me that the Hebrew language has been around a lot longer than other languages, so it stands to reason that it could be us who is backwards!

But really, it only depends on what you grew up learning.  After all, we have one eye on the right and one eye on the left and they both work both ways. {wink}