by Ministry of SHOFAR on October 2nd, 2013

Today we made ALIYAH!  We headed to Jerusalem!  Since it was a 2 hour drive from our previous location, we made a stop along the way and were able to meet some of Israel's brave soldiers.
Once we arrived in Jerusalem, we headed to Mt. Scopus where we could look out over the whole city.  We prayed blessing over the Jerusalem and blew our shofars with all our hearts!
We then headed to another location to look over the city where we we were joined by a camel!
We then had the awesome opportunity to visit the Temple Institute where they are making the actual instruments that will be used in the third Temple.  They did not allow pictures to be taken while in the facility, but the things we saw were incredible.  We were able to view the actual priest garments that will be worn, including the High Priest.  We saw the altar that will be used, the wash basin, and although not the actual ones, even what the curtains for the Holy of Holies look like.    The actual gold menorah that will be used by the priests was not at the institute but put out in the city for all to see until the time of the third temple.  Rabbi, Anita, Melissa and Darryl could not resist but take a picture with it.
During our travels within the Old City of Jerusalem we found the location of Aish and were also able to witness a tallit being handcrafted.
We were then able to visit the many shops within the Cardo.  Today has been truly amazing and  we all feel so full to have arrived in Jerusalem.  We very much look forward to all that lies ahead of us tomorrow as we continue our Journey of a Lifetime!

by Ministry of SHOFAR on October 2nd, 2013

We started our day with a sail across the Galilee.  We couldn't help but break out in spontaneous dance of praise as we traveled to our destination.
Rabbi shared about the power of GOD displayed on the Galilee.
Next we were able to see the "Jesus Boat" which is a boat recently discovered that dates back to the time of Yeshua.
Next we visited the Mt. of Beatitudes.  This location is covered with beautiful flowers gardens and a georgeous view of the Galilee and mountains.
We enjoyed a delicious dinner at St. Peter's Fish Restaurant.  JoAnn made an interesting discovery with her fish.
Brandy joins the artistic fish crew and Anita apologizes to Katie Wilson.
Pat Nicoson shared a song that she wrote with the group and we all joined in worship together on the bus.
We concluded the day with a powerful Mikvah (Baptism) in the Jordan River.
We have more pictures to share of today but we've had slight internet problems.  We will post these when we get to our next location! Shalom!

by Ministry of SHOFAR on October 1st, 2013

Today we explored the remains of the ancient city of Caesarea that overlooks the Mediterranean.
Rabbi shared with the Team the powerful part that Cornelius' conversion played in revealing GOD's greater plan for redeeming both Jew and Gentile (One New Man).  This course-altering conversion transpired in Caesarea.
Anita finds an appropriate symbol of this month that we are in (Tishrei) and the new Hebrew year 5774.
The Team is overjoyed to put their feet in the Mediterranean Sea!
Next we ascended to the top of Mt. Carmel where Elijah confronted the false prophets of Ba'al.  There GOD showed himself as the TRUE GOD without leaving any doubt by consuming everything on the water-soaked altar.  We could not withhold our praise/worship to HIM.
Next we entered the valley of Meggido where the last battle will be fought.  We learned about all the civilizations that have lived and been destroyed in this area.  However, GOD has a plan and a purpose for this area from which several key mountains can be seen (Mt. Carmel, Mt. Tabor, Mt. Gilboa, etc.)
We couldn't help but "Work Our Faith" while dancing to "Imma Do It" by J Moss on the grounds of Meggido.
We arrived at our second hotel and enjoyed a delicious dinner together.
After dinner we had a time to talk and share together what GOD has been doing in and through us leading up to and during this journey thus far.  We were able to have a time of prayer and ministry together as well. 
We have truly been blessed thus far and so look forward to what lies in store for us tomorrow!

by Ministry of SHOFAR on September 29th, 2013

SHALOM! The Israel 2013 Team has arrived in Tel Aviv Israel!
The Team is ecstatic to reunite with their beloved friend and guide Abie.
We have a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea from our hotel.
Israel's climate / environment can support any type of produce from around the world.  There is such a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are available in a number of markets such as this one.
And for our beloved Tamar, your gift has followed us to Israel!  We felt right at home with the delicious food we partook of at dinner held in the "Tamar Dining Hall".   
The Lord has blessed us with a safe journey across the airways and with such a beautiful view of HIS land thus far.  We are turning in for a good night's rest and very excited to continue our amazing journey tomorrow.

by Avigdor on July 18th, 2012

Our June 30th Shofar gathering was a celebration of a wonderful Gift from GOD called - TIME. Teaching from the “Book of Haggai” Rabbi Matthew led us to this point, as we embraced HIS Gift and entered into a Sabbatical Month.

A year ago, just after Ministry of SHOFAR launched out on our own, GOD revealed to both Rabbi Matthew and Anita that July 2012 would be “a sabbatical month for the Ministry as a whole - including everyone who attends our gatherings.” When it was first announced the people were understandably very surprised and concerned. For it is not uncommon for a pastor or leader to take a sabbatical for a few weeks as the church continues to function as normal. But, for an entire ministry to take a month off, well, that’s unheard of! However, as Rabbi Matthew continued to teach more on it, people began to capture the idea and the bigness of it.
As we talked about “The Gift of Time,” some people thought about being able to have “TIME” to do things they haven’t been able to do because they are so busy. A couple extra hours a week could be used very productively. Yet, it was made clear this TIME was for REST, not work. Rest in GOD, to be more specific.

In his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozier deals with the attributes of GOD. In one chapter he addresses the “Eternity of GOD.” Tozier explains that GOD exists in eternity, but Time exists in HIM. HE, as the Creator of Time, is not affected by Time. HE sees man’s existence and entire history, beginning to end, all at once. Time is in GOD; GOD is not in Time. When HE created Shabbat, the seventh day, essentially HE was creating a special day in which we could abide with and in HIM. In John 15:4; YESHUA (JESUS) says, “Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in ME.” We, the body of CHRIST, have lost that Gift and with it our fruitfulness. The Gift of HIMSELF is the Gift GOD has given us!
Emperor Constantine sought to eliminate all vestiges of Judaism from the lives of the Believers. One of the things he did was take away “Shabbat” and made Sunday the day of worship. In doing so, we lost the Gift of abiding with GOD and in GOD because we were not in HIS day, but man’s. Now, centuries later, GOD is seeking to reacquaint us with the Gift of HIMSELF.

While Shofar has never been, as one might say,  “church as usual,” one could sense that evening in June was “the end of an era of sorts” as we headed into a month-long encounter with GOD on a personal level as never before. As we began our celebration one could feel the anticipation within those gathered with us. It seemed people couldn’t wait to start seeking for what GOD wanted to do in and through them. No one was telling them how to go about it, but we gave some ideas to spark their imaginations. A new era of freedom in worship, prayer, study and seeking after GOD was beginning.
What does GOD want to do in me, in you, in Ministry of SHOFAR? We cannot find the answer unless we willingly set aside the distractions of life and learn to rest in HIM. As we discover activities that will help us reconnect with ourselves and with our families, we will also be able to reconnect with GOD. When we abide in HIM we are drawn ever closer to HIS heart. We will once again be able to hear HIS heartbeat and we will be able to hear HIS still small voice. When we come back together to worship in celebration on August 4th, it is our desire that we will all have had an encounter and experience with GOD that will change us. One woman told me, in complete seriousness, that when she comes back in August she is going to be “transfigured!”

GOD created TIME. HE does not exist in Time, but Time exists in HIM. When we abide in HIM we have all the Time we will ever need! HE is able to redeem the Time the adversary has stolen from us. As we seek to experience HIM we can begin to understand just what that means. When this sabbatical month concludes we should all have a better understanding of Shabbat and should be able to take full advantage of HIS “Weekly Gift of Time and rest in HIM.”

So, go ahead! Celebrate this month! Find new ways to express your love and praise and worship to GOD. If you are on Facebook, visit the Ministry of SHOFAR page and if HE has shown you something that you would like share with others go ahead and post it. We look forward to hearing of your explorations!

by Avigdor on June 20th, 2012

 So much can happen in a twelve month period. Take the last twelve months, for example. On June 4, 2011 Ministry of SHOFAR was launched and held our first service. Fifty people attended the service that first evening, which was held in a small conference room at the Christ Life Solutions offices. We were so blessed to be able to use that space for the month of June. It was cozy and the RUACH HaKODESH (HOLY SPIRIT) was present.

Come the last Saturday in June we still had not secured a new place to meet, but by the following Wednesday HaSHEM (GOD) had lead Rabbi Matthew to the place HE had been preparing for us. Lifehouse Community Church, just up the street from Christ Life Solutions, had been praying for another ministry to come to share their facility. On July 2, 2011 we held our first service in our new, more permanent location. Again, HaSHEM (GOD) blessed us abundantly.

 Typically when a new ministry begins the attendance is good for the first couple months. But as the newness wears off, the attendance decreases. Not so with Shofar. Then again, Shofar is not a typical ministry. It is the culmination of many years of study, prayer and seeking by Matthew Spivie, our “Rabbi” (teacher). HaSHEM (GOD) brought together people of diverse backgrounds, and various geographic locales, but with the same heart to minister alongside Rabbi Matthew in fulfilling the “Pauline call” on his life.
 
 For too long there has been a breach, divide between Christians and Jews, not just in Des Moines but around the world. Ministry of SHOFAR is called to mend that breach by educating the Church about the Hebraic heritage and Jewish roots of the Christian faith. It is also done by working with the Jewish community, here and abroad, to show that there are followers of YESHUA (JESUS), who love the people of GOD and will stand with them against their enemies.

Over the past year, HaSHEM (GOD) has been working to establish Ministry of SHOFAR as a key messianic ministry in Des Moines, Iowa and the Midwest. We have tried many different things as HE continues to refine us – our processes and personally. HaSHEM (GOD) has blessed Shofar with wonderful people who have responded to the hunger and desire HE has put within them to get back to HIS original intent. The dance, the worship, the music: all are being developed and refined to prepare us for the next step. We are overjoyed to see people of all ages worshipping together. To see the children and young people being free to express their worship in a way they may never have done before. And to see the adults allowing barriers to be knocked down so they, too, can enter into new and deeper worship and understanding.
 
So much has happened in one year, I do not have the time nor space to share it all. And this is just the beginning. I believe the surface has barely been scratched and we will continually be amazed at what HaSHEM (GOD) has in store…and humble that HE has allowed us to not only see it happen but to be a part of it. Eye has not seen and ear has not heard all that HaSHEM (GOD) has in store. Get ready for the next year. We will be AMAZED!
 
Blessings and Shalom.