Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
Born 20 September 1947, her parents are full-blooded
Polish-born Jews caught up in the German Holocaust for 5 years. Lily was born in Germany, her birth name being Lea (or Leia ?) Cirla Fiszman.
They immigrated to New York in 1949 (when Lily was 2), and Lily aspired to theater acting and
spoke Yiddish until grade school.
Betty & I first heard of The Isaacs from a
Christian Jew & his young daughter we met at the Crystelle Creek Restaurant with piano-bar on highway #321 (1654 East Pkwy, Gatlinburg, TN 37738) outside of Gatlinburg, Tenn.
in June 2003.
Lily met Joe Isaacs in New York, and they married
in 1969; a family of 3 children followed. Joe was the handsome son of a Pentecostal
preacher, one of 19 children; he was playing with the Greenbrier Boys, a Blue Grass band
playing in Greenwich Village. Joe placed musical instruments around for the children. In
1971, Lily cried her way into what she later recognized was acceptance of Jesus as her savior under most unusual circumstances (the funeral of
Joe's 27 year old brother, Delmer, at a little home-garage church, Shawhan Road Pentecostal near Cincinnati, Ohio), see
below. The details of how The Hound of Heaven (Jesus) drew Lily into belief are in her excellent autobiography, You Don't Cry Out Loud: The Lily Isaacs Story (May 2014).
Her family rejected her for a time. Lily &
family became The Isaacs, a current Christian singing group. Check her story on the group's
website and the wrenching words of her "700 Club"
appearance in August 2005 (following which the Club handled more than 600
calls from people wanting to claim Jesus as Savior) if you can find it on the internet. I did find (I looked, July 2015) this interview, HERE. Her father accepted Jesus as his personal
savior before he died. We tremendously enjoyed their performance at a 26 March 2004 Gaither
Family Reunion Concert at The Colonial Center, Columbia, S. C. (and again on 11 November 2005,
same venue). As a bluegrass Gospel group, "He Understands My Tears" is a favorite that I listened to dozens of times in and around and after the time of my mother's death in 12/2011. We enjoyed this group on April 27th 2014 at a local church where Lily told the audience of her personal story of survival after mastectomy for breast cancer at about age 35 (details). Her book recounts the fascinating story of the vision her pastor's wife was given that the cancer was within a Holy Seal (encapsulated?). Daughter, Sonya's husband, Jimmy, wrote an award winning song, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" about Lily & Joe's breast cancer experience, recorded by Martina McBride. There are other amazing divinely provided events in her life, such as the details of the money for her first trip to Israel.
Several years ago (about 1999), we had a Jewish
couple visit our Sunday School class; and the husband told us of his experience of being
almost inner-compelled to find out about Jesus. And they noted what a wonderful and
advantageous situation it was to be a family in a congregation of "messianic" or "completed"
Jews who practiced their God-loving faith and culture as Jesus following Jews. Also, as
mentioned above, on 25 May 2003, we met a man and his young child at that restaurant outside of
Gatlinburg who told of his conversion to being a messianic Jew...he originally was from
California and gave the name of Barney Russell (I never got contact info). Note the Jews for Jesus website, the International Messianic Jewish Alliance website, Life in Messiah website, and the Discovering The Jewish Jesus TV program and website. And, you may also want to see Bernard Nathanson's story.
Hound of Heaven: In some cases, salvation is forced onto someone. I call these instances "Hound of Heaven" rescues. [Wikipedia note, HERE.] In addition to former Hells Angels biker, Barry Mayson, I consider the following as sometimes even more dramatic rescues: famous originally bad-ass heavyweight boxer, George Foreman; famous Gospel blue grass artist, Lily Fishman Isaacs; famous news commentator, Kirsten Powers; former bad-ass, rough-man bully, Kirk Martin; and, former druggie captured by murderer, Ashley Smith.
COMMENT: During the past 4 years (2009-2013), my pastor has focused on (1) Jesus' clarification of the earthly component of the Gospel as being all about right relationships ("righteousness"). And (2) he has amply demonstrated how the ancient mind, able only to understand through the "mindset" of suzerain thinking, has failed to lay down a record that rightly reflects His emphasis of the primary love and grace of God, our Father, for all (not His condemnation and punishment).
Update: We came to Gaither Fest in Gatlinburg on the 26th and ended up going to the above restaurant on the 27th & THEN recalling that it was the restaurant mentioned above. Today (5/28/2016), we hbecame aware of Margaret Feinberg, Christian daughter of a Jewish father, who gave an inspiring talk on "joy" (her blog).
***give me your comments about this
check out the Highest
(posted 27 March 2004; latest update 12 November 2005;
latest addition 6 June 2016)
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now