Israel….Part 3 :)

 

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We were just about to leave the house, so a quick mental check.  Steph and Juju were at work, Sammy had been picked up, our bags were packed.  I’d managed to organise our flights, the Tour, insurance, three children, the welfare of my father, Sammy’s part time job, car storage, extra hotel and currency exchange, food shopping, paid the bills, all in six days!

No problems, time to grab a takeaway coffee and we were off!

We got to the airport and I could sense Neil was a bit tense, so we just stopped and chatted.  Everything was done.  His work encouraged this trip.  The only two couples who knew we were going back to Israel did so with such excitement and blessing.

We boarded the familiar Cathay Pacific plane, got ourselves ready, prayed and then that amazing feeling of speeding down the tarmac and liftoff 🙂  (I am the daughter of a Private Pilot, I LOVE planes!)

We had a short stopover in Hong Kong, and to be honest it was great doing loads of walking after being cooped up on such a long flight.  We were both so excited, and starting to relax.  Neil loves the travelators!  We were having fun, just the two of us, and realised we hadn’t had an international flight with just us, in over five years.  We were like silly honeymooners, and it was fabulous!

We got to Tel Aviv, and even just being in the taxi and looking at the motorway in all it’s madness, felt like home to me.  In amongst last years debarcle, there were fun times with Neil trying to navigate a car on the wrong side of the road, sitting on the wrong side of the car.  He drove really well and ended up horn tooting, lane swapping, driving up on the footpath and yelling out the window – my own Israeli Hoon – so proud 😉

We got to our hotel that I had booked online on the Tel Aviv beachfront.  Think 80s Miami, complete with short guy, large ego, long black mullet, fluoro clothing, jacuzzi in the room, 80s video music playing in the lobby…..oh my life!  We got our bags stored and headed down to the beach.  We found a restaurant on the sand, and there we plopped for hours until it was time to actually check in to our Miami Beach Hotel (it’s actual name).  Armed with loads of water, we just bunked down at 3.00pm and apart from briefly waking during the night, slept through till 5am the next morning.

Apparently I like waking early whilst in Israel, who knew 😉

We arose, got to our breakfast across the road, and then stored our bags again as we set off to explore Tel Aviv for a third time.  Eurovision was happening and the place was bursting with an extra 30,000 people!  The heat was intense, but as you know, I tend to thrive in the heat.  Neil, not so much.  Along the waterfront they have many water stops, where you can drink fresh cool water and refill your bottles for free.  There’s a pier that we love to walk along, with an old light house, and so we headed off there again.  It’s a place of quietness and a bit of privacy, so we can feel the wind blow and just have ‘us’ time.

All the while, there was such a joy welling up in both of us.

The previous year had been redonkulous, and we needed our tanks filled, and boy was God doing that.  Even just being together.  Just sitting on the beach people watching.  Our standing taking photos and not being ‘hurried along’ it was all shades of perfection.

We gathered our bags, called a taxi and headed back to the airport.  The bloody taxi driver dropped us off at the wrong terminal and so we had to catch a bus to the right one!  But it was all part of the fun.  We had time, the bus was free, everything was good.  Chillax!

At the airport, we spotted a seat, then grabbed a coffee and pain au chocolat croissant – yummy!  And then Neil turned around and saw Avi & Rachel Lipkin.  He was too shy to say hello, but they saw us and Avi came straight up to Neil and recognised him from last years tour.  Next thing, for two hours, we sat with these wonderful people, as Avi would up and wander around looking for ‘the lost sheep of the Skywatch Tour’.  Speaking with Rachel (she needs to be interviewed for sure!) was amazing.  What richness and depth she has…..

Somewhere along the way came Paula, Phil, Anne and we needed another table!  And eventually in came the lovely people from Lipkin Tours.  It was wonderful seeing Leora who last year was very heavily pregnant, and seeing photos of her beautiful son.  It was lovely to be so warmly welcomed and hugged by her and Rachel from the Agency.

And then, the buses!

I remember when I heard someone say they’d been in Israel nine years before – I needed to talk to that person.  Little did I know they would land at our table later!

Behind us sat Anne, and the dynamo who would be known as our Kiwi Pom – Phil 🙂  I sat like a little girl bouncing up and down in my seat, just so excited knowing we were off and it was all happening!  Hearing all the different American accents, the English accents, a couple of South African accents – yes peoples, the United Nations were abroad haha 🙂

I was quietly praying that we would either get to stay in the Dungeon at the Nazareth Crown, or at least be able to enjoy the same view.  Let me explain.  The Dungeon was accessible by going into the lift down to the ground floor, then walking along and finding the service elevator, and taking that to the bottom floor which had only been done up earlier last year.  Then a very long corridor with all the rooms with such magnificent views.

This year we got the view, and it was wonderful.  We also had people above us who were sitting outside smoking and flicking their ash down on my hair!  Never mind, let’s not freak out.  Let’s just talk REALLY LOUD so they can understand that’s not happening again!  It didn’t 😉

So, now it was dinnertime.  I wondered if they were going to separate us into buses again – it really is silly, but kind of understandable.  Yes, they did!

Next thing we knew, along came Mike & Charlotte, Carol & Jerry, Val and Anne to our back table.  The fun had just begun, and we took that fun down the back of Bus One…. 😉

 

 

Content and photos copyrighted Sandi Wilson 2019

 

Googles and Fuffoid :)

Fuff and Goog

Oh daughter of my soul

And child of my heart

You’ve come to me by Grace

and Mercy has sheltered you

Your love enfolds my weaknesses

Your laughter erases my pain

Your shining hearts melt

even the hardest of cynics.

Oh daughter of my soul

And child of my heart

Be true to the one who gave you life

Don’t depart from the music of your hearts

Don’t allow the darkness in

Shield Grace for she will always keep you

Allow wisdom to be your adornment

Be at peace with all you encounter

And trust in God alone.

Oh daughter of my soul

And child of my heart

God has given you to me

I give you back into His care

And trust in all you are to be.

I love you….

Daughter of my soul

And child of my heart……

Julianna and Stephanie!

 

 

Israel….My Story, Part 2

 

I’ve really grappled with writing this part of the story.  Knowing there is a possibility that the people concerned may read this, I am trying to be as tactful as possible…

Things weren’t right.  I was not being heard.  Even though there had been warnings about the trip to Israel and I was trying to listen to them, when I expressed them, I was pretty much fobbed off and left to it.  This would come back to haunt others in the ensuing weeks and months.

I have never spoken publically what I am about to share – so if you can’t deal with raw, honest and vulnerable, I suggest you leave the page now.

I have been attacked twice in my life, with what I would call ‘terror and dread.’  These spirits go far beyond fear, and if not dealt with swiftly, they will stay attached for as long as they can.  Once, while driving alone in the car, these hands reached around and tried to strangle me.  I called upon the name of Jesus, and he literally saved me from blacking out and crashing the car.  The second time, was in the back of the car, in a traffic jam in Tel Aviv – with this couple.  The person I was with went all black eyed and snake headed.  The words that spewed out of it were from hell itself.  Afterwards the person jumped out of the car and ran off.

I sat there paralysed in utter silence.

Welcome to Israel!

The next morning, there were prayers and forgiveness, but the shock and trauma had set in, and things weren’t ok for Neil and I.  In fact, as the tour started, I found myself more and more not being heard, and ended up hiding behind Neil – literally hiding.  The only thing that got me through, was knowing we had a nice room to retreat to if necessary!  Never mind that I was in this land I loved, I guess most of me had checked out, shut down.

It wasn’t until we got to Masada that there was a change for me.  I knew because of finding out my natural heritage, that I needed to pray for certain things atop of Masada.  After a loud disagreement, Neil and I broke away from the group, and I went to where I’d seen in a vision, a certain area to stand and pray.  It was perfect.  No one there, just Neil (who was off taking photos), myself and God.  I really sensed the Ruach wind of God.  A sense of Yeshua being right there with me.  It seemed to be of another time, it was just majestic.  I was deeply moved, deeply quiet.  I will never forget that moment.   Spiritually speaking, something had shifted….

As we travelled through this glorious land, we discovered wonderful treasures and moments of joy, but the deep overwhelming feeling of dread and terror remained.

I was shocked by some of the tour group.  Mutterings in the back of the bus about our tour guide, mocking him and saying nasty things – I’d come all this way for that?

I was utterly disgusted by one of the ‘leaders’ actions.  We’d been sent the notes beforehand on how we were to behave, and told not to disagree with the guides infront of others etc.  Well, this leader had outright arguments with our guide, so Neil and I turned off our whispers and walked away.  I had a sense this person was rather arrogant, well that darn well proved it!

The final nail in the Israeli coffin, was this American couple we seemed to get on well with.  They were wanting to share dinners, swap emails etc which seemed fine, all to then turn around and cut off all contact with us once they’d gotten the contact details of the couple we took over.  So much for befriending ‘like minded’ people!

I was ruined.  Just completely lacerated in my soul.  And I was done.  I may have loved Israel, but I never wanted to return again.  And I would never tour with American people again 🙂  Que laughter here!

When we returned to New Zealand, our middle daughter and her partner were leaving the next week to relocate to Australia.  The farewell dinner we held was the last time we ever saw our friends.  They literally live one mile away, and they just ditched us.  We were used for our money, our time, our friendship and then hurled away.

I sank into a depression.  A lot of things transpired, and I just wasn’t coping.  I reached out to the Gilberts, who were by the way, outstanding in their support and prayers!

My book was then internationally published, and I couldn’t even deal with having a book launch or celebration.  Something that had bought so much joy to me as I wrote it, and here I was not even really wanting to acknowledge what God had done through me!  My eldest daughter took it upon herself to put up posters all around our wee village, and to approach the local libraries.  She also ‘reminded’ those who had received my book for free, to get online and do a review – she’s amazing like that!

I’m not at all ashamed to say I reached out and got professional help.  Someone who went incredibly deep with me.  Someone who went into the spirit realm and routed out these liar demons that were having a field day with me.  Someone whom I have so much love and respect for.  This woman made me work SO DAMN HARD!  And I’m so glad she did, because it made a difference.  I found prayers online that went into hard areas that other Christians or Ministries won’t touch, and I WENT THERE.  And so did Neil.  He too got help.  And we got help with God.  We got healed of our ‘stuff’ and we started to move through the minefield that had been lacerated open in Tel Aviv.

Come January 2 this year, everything changed.  I woke up and felt like my Inner Warrior Princess had risen up again.  It didn’t stay that way for long, but I learnt so many valuable lessons.  But, I couldn’t write.  Even doing my study was hard, because it involves writing!  But one thing I repented of and really got serious about, was Israel.  God had placed his hand on my life concerning this, his chosen land, and no demon in hell was going to keep me from my destiny!

FINALLY, in due course, we were able to view the video of the Tour that the Gilberts sent through.  And then the next week we looked at the up and coming tour.  We blessed it and thought it sounded great, but nothing else transpired.

And then.

It happened.

Tom Horn.  Zev Porat.  Carl Gallups.  The Jim Bakker Show.

An internal ‘explosion’……

Oh boy, here we go again……..!

 

 

Content and photos copyrighted by Sandi Wilson 2019

 

 

Stephanui

steph face
Steph in fresh snow, London. Photo by Stephanie Hornell

And so here we are celebrating you, the wonderful glorious young woman Stephanie Dannella Alexandra Hornell!

What a privilege and honour to be your Mumma, to be your friend and rival Unicorn admirer in this life!

I’ve wanted to write about you for the longest time. but I couldn’t find the words.

Today the words found me….

I can’t remember life too much before you, it simply doesn’t seem worthwhile to do so.  You were the prayer most deepest in my heart, the cry of my soul, the longing for the greatest and hardest job ever – Motherhood.  I didn’t want a great career, loads of money or even a husband actually.  All I every truly desired deep in my truest soul, was you.  When I discovered on my 22nd birthday that you were there inside of me, well I think you know I felt, and still feel to this day.  As a person who cherishes words and likes to express them, Steph you left me speechless.

I think most people know you took a VERY long time to arrive (52 hrs peoples!) but when you got here, the rejoicing was endless.  Uncle Tony doing his version of an Indian Rain Dance; Aunty Caroline holding you and smiling deep into your eyes; Nana just dying to get hold of you; Poppa holding you and singing; your Dad just overwhelmed and me……..looking into your dreamy eyes and feeling whole for the first time in my life.  Knowing that I did something right, and you were IT.

I remember that evening, being surrounded by eleven people around my cubicle in the hospital, just mesmerized at this wee baby, and my how you slept.  Six hours straight, and I just didn’t want to sleep because I was so afraid that you were a dream.  That if I woke up, you wouldn’t be there.  And there you were, and here you are now.

I’ve watched you grow up and marvelled at different aspects of your personality as you grew.  Your only dolly that you really loved, you renamed Ashley after your baby cousin, and that dolly is still in this house.  You were more of a matchbox car girl, playing out in the mud and being a racecar driver!  You were certainly far more interested in burning ants outside with a magnifying glass, than being inside and raiding my make up cupboard – that delight went to your sister 😉

I would scratch my head and throw my hands up in the air when you had dismantled something YET AGAIN to see how it worked, and then struggled to put it back together!  That’s been the mainstay in your life – your mind and your inner workings are still such a mystery to me, but I behold that gift with great majesty and wonder.

Then when things like puberty hit and your body started changing, that was such a hard time for you.  Horrible comments from family members about weight etc, they were arrows in your gentle sensitive soul.  The nastiness of some around you have weighed heavily on you, but somehow you manage to rise above it and still remain so beautiful, whilst I’m wanting to lop off their heads and tell them to sod off!  You have known great rejection and abandonment in your life, yet I’ve never seen you reject a single soul.

Loyalty and faithfulness are big for you, and I so deeply apologise that others have not honoured that within you.  I again, have stood by and marvelled at how others could treat you so badly and then smile at your face 🙁  I only know that in time, they will reap what they have sown, and that their own pain has clouded their own beautiful souls.

I have witnessed your unconditional love towards your siblings – all of them – and your love runs so deep, you had their initials tattooed on your wrist.  I didn’t understand at the time, but I do now, and that you did that to physically show your love towards them blesses me immensely.  Your Mumma is so proud darling <3

Your head wobble thing you do, your sass, your individuality and knowing who you are deep inside – these are things that I couldn’t teach you, they are what life has taught you.  Your humour and quick wit are still a wonder to behold – who knew I would birth a frecken comedian?!

You bring so much love, so  much goodness to our world, and I’m so blessed to have been the one to raise you.  I don’t take my job as your Mother lightly, I never will.  You were the greatest gift I had ever received and every day I am so grateful you are here.  Your being, your soul, your heart, your talents, your goodness, your grace – they bless this world and we are surely all much better individuals for knowing and loving you.

My girl – my first True Love, I honour you today with all that I have, and thank God for the woman you are:  Stephanie Hornell.

xxx

Israel, My Story

It’s been five and a half years since my first ever trip to Israel. I have wanted to write about my journey for the longest time, but up until recently, anything I wrote just seemed to fall completely short of what I really wanted to convey.

Let me take you back on a little bit of my journey.

There are a couple who are authors, Brock & Bodie Thoene. They have a series that I read back in 2003, called The Zion Chronicles. Within the pages of these fantastic Historical Faction (my play on words) was a sentence that caught me completely by surprise, ‘Have we made Jesus a Gentile?’

I had NO idea what that meant at all! In fact, I had been taught that Jesus negated the need for there to be a physical Israel now, and we the Church were the new Israel. The Jews were stubborn and had been blinded, and they were after all responsible for Our Saviour’s death. Isn’t it amazing the rubbish one will believe?!

I prayed. Because I knew that God was on my case. Then I found out something utterly astounding – Jesus was and IS Jewish! And then I found out something utterly shocking: Jesus WASN’T a Christian. What the heck? He’s not? Well then, what the heck am I? And there in was the biggest question of all I guess – I didn’t know.

I didn’t go and enrol in Torah school, I didn’t study Judaism, I didn’t DO anything except for keep on reading everything I could find by the Thoenes. Most of their work was about the Second World War, the Reformation of Israel and fictional stories within. But there were teachings within the storylines that grabbed me. Stories of Nephilim – Neph-a-what? Stories about layers and meanings within the Hebrew letters. Stories about strong, brave and courageous people who only wanted to live, and refused to give up and die. Stories that highlighted Isaiah 53 and it’s amazing meanings hidden in plain sight. Within the pages of their stories, I found something I wasn’t bargaining on; I found life with the Jewish Jesus.

Slowly but surely God lead me on a journey, that to be honest, is still slow and steady, but as each revelation sinks in, it then becomes a part of me deep within. When I met my now husband, he devoured every book on Israel, history, archaeology and everything else that had to do with the Holy Land. He wasn’t yet a believer, when we made the decision alongside a friend of ours, to go on a Holy Land Tour. I would read to him certain scriptures as we moved through different sites, to put into context all we were seeing. Unlike other pre-Christians, he was being shown everything until he finally had to make his own decision to get off the fence! How so very loving and kind of our God to do that 🙂

Next thing you know, it’s October 2013 and we were off with a hiss and a roar. Having never been around Jewish people, not really knowing anything remotely Kosher, we got a wild education before we hit Israel, thanks to El Al Airlines! I was sitting on the edge of the seat (close to the toilets) and I was being hit on every surface. As soon as we were in the air, everyone got up and walked around, chatting to everyone – very loudly, the Orthodox Jews were wrapping phylacteries around their head and wrists, praying loudly, nodding back and forth. Large Middle Eastern men were locating things in the overhead locker and I had big tummies in my face, bums in my face, legs and arms hit by the passing traffic, the trolleys hitting my legs, and alot of loud gesticulating people who seemed to be partying down by the toilets! I watched men being asked to move so the Flight Attendants could get through; they wouldn’t. I was being yelled at by said Flight Attendants in Hebrew until I said ‘English?’ I wasn’t entirely sure I had made the right decision at this point…..

I have never travelled El Al Airlines again 🙁

We landed at night and were taken to our hotel. I awoke at 4am, and watched the sunrise over Tel Aviv. I watched as kids were walked to school, all singing and seemingly happy. This was Israel. Wow.

And then we met our Tour Guide and headed off to Caesarea. Just the three of us in a little bus, this was awesome! We had the morning with the Guide then drove over to another part of Caerarea to pick up the rest of the tour group – oh my life.

There standing in Velour Tracksuits, were a bunch of African American Queens, complete with walking sticks, a walker, wigs, cornrows, false nails and attitudes to match! God had a sense of humour and he was letting me know….

To be honest, it was fine, apart from one individual who constantly held up the bus due to her shopping habit and lack of time management, the tour itself was great. One of the greatest highlights for me was being at Capernaum and Nazareth. I had encounters there that were completely unexpected, which I detail in my novel Mirabelle. Suffice to say, God has this beautiful way of surprising and arresting us IF we remain open to Holy Spirit and His guidance.

I didn’t particularly feel the need or notion to all of a sudden up sticks and move over there, but one place that fascinated me for reasons I couldn’t understand, was Masada. It wouldn’t be until our next trip and a whole lot of revelation in between, that I would come to know some very key things about this amazing and powerful place.

Through having our DNA done and then building a family tree through My Heritage, my daughter connected our lineage through to the Tribe of Benjamin. Going through the family tree, we also discovered that we are directly connected to certain Roman Emperors (I wish this wasn’t the case) and we had relatives that were born in Qumran around the time of the Siege of Masada. I cannot say that I can prove it all with facts, figures and certificates, but this resounded in my heart so loudly, I knew we’d finally found an answer to my weird fascination with Masada. Little did I know that God had an assignment for me the next time that I would go there….

It would be quite a while before we got to go back to this magical land. In between visits, Neil and I got married (Yahoo!), Neil accepted Jesus into his life (Yay!) our eldest daughter moved to London, our second eldest daughter graduated Make Up Artistry School, our son became a Wilson, my Father needed to be admitted to a Dementia Ward, my mother and her new partner became Travelling Gypsies, and my first manuscript got accepted by a Publisher!

And then there was Skywatch. Prophecy Watchers. L.A Marzulli. Timothy Alberino. Steve Quayle. Jim Bakker. Nehpilim. Giants. Extra Biblical books. Ancient Aliens. Documentaries galore. I wasn’t ok with any of this. As a Believer for over 20 years, I’d wanted to focus on the love of God. Bill Johnson. John & Carol Arnott. John Eldredge. Worship. Scripture. Soaking. Prayer. Confession of God’s Word. And more worship!

But alas God had other plans indeedipoos!

We were learning all these weird and wonderful things and both Neil and I were seeing unusual things occur. Suffice to say, Ephesians 6 got very real very quickly! But then a couple came into our lives who were new Believers, just like Neil, and what we were studying they had just been experiencing before their Salvation a few months before.

Fast forward a few years and Skywatch announced along with Aaron Lipkin that they were going to Israel. Well, those of you who know me and have chatted with me know that explosions within my stomach are God’s way of saying HELLO and this happened during the broadcast. That was on a Friday that I watched that, but I didn’t say anything to Neil until the Sunday – which was very unlike me. I wanted God to speak to him, and God sure did!

We prayed as we walked our beloved beach, and Neil asked for a sign, something that I don’t do. Incredibly, we got one within ten minutes, we cried and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving, and so long as children and schedules could fit in easily, we were off to Israel again……

Unfortunately, because of long standing issues with ‘guilt’ I felt we should ask this said couple to join us on the trip. Immediately red flags were raised, but I went into overdrive coming up with crazy ways to get funds for this – oh that I would listen to the Holy Spirit and not ‘good ideas!’

Part Two coming soon…..

Photos and content copyrighted by Sandi Wilson 2019

Dance of Dawn

 

 

 

A flock of birds fly by at break neck speed as the sound of a car alarm disperse the early morning calm.

Engines humming as boats leave the shore to head out to fish the waters of the Hauraki Gulf.

Large grey cottony clouds hover over the island of Kawau, the whistle and songs of the native birds rousing the melody of the morn.

The occasional seagull dives and squawks as he nears his prey, whilst ducks quack their loud honking call to all who dwell in this fair Bay.

Faint whisps of colour brush the sky with the promise of another glorious sunrise, as shards of firey pink gold peak through on the horizon.

It’s the Dance of Dawn, a scene she has watched hundreds of times from this very spot, a time when majesty and wonder collide to bring forth such promise and mystery to any given day.

Not a chance of accident or evolution;  the morning glory tells the ages past of the ages present and the ages to come.

More shards of firey glory are breaking through as she looks straight ahead and watches in great anticipation.

This dance of hope and wonder, never gets old.

She sits watching as a lone bird flies past the firey scene on it’s way to join it’s friends.  She feels the warmth invade her soul as the peak of the burning sphere rises above the Island.  She covets the residents on that island, watching the sunrise without interruption….

God’s glory rises in her heart….

The wonder of a new day….

A mystery to unfold….

Not rules and principles to govern this soul, but movement – grace and hope wrapped in this ball of light.

The silence of this moment is interrupted by the sounds of vehicles revving;  the golden glow spreads like magic thoughout the sky.

She glimpses it’s reflection in her own golden hair.  Grace upon grace enfolds her heart as love awakens the Dawn.

Clouds part as shards of light disperse and the morning song becomes a crescendo of melodies calling from Heaven.

Relections of gold shimmer and dance on the water as this autumn day beckons her to the fro.

A row of trees on the island look like they’re dancing in front of a seductive camp fire…

The sun peaks out and bounces off her page as she writes.  Ahhh, the warmth of the sun, the golden glimpses that enrapture her imagination.

A snapshot forms in her mind, to go with all the other hundreds of snapshots she has taken of this wonderous moment.

For a brief time other island in the Gulf come into view, bathed in this glorious light.  Ah such awe inspiring visions of love, sent from the Father of lights, to garner our day and show His great pleasure in us.  We, He, I.

The Great  Unfolding timeless mystery of Sunrise.

 

Photos and writing copyrighted by Sandi Wilson 2019.