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July 29, 2022 6:00 am
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The Bible before I started reading about Jesus. I learned that Jesus was a Jew all started together just like there are few things as meaningful as when a Jewish person discovers that Jesus Christ is their Messiah. That's the story will be sharing with you today and thanks for joining us your hostess Focus on the Family president Jim Daly and I John four, John today's guest is Louis Isaacs, cofounder of the southern gospel bluegrass group the Isaacs. Interestingly, Lily was born in Germany right after World War II. Under Jewish parents were survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, and you're good to hear more about that in just a minute. The Isaacs have been touring for more than 50 years, with 20 albums to their credit, they were recently inducted into the gospel Hall of Fame and became members of the grand old Opry will is the mother of Ben Sonja and Rebecca. All three are very talented members of the group and Lily is an author and I don't how she finds the time right in the midst of all of that but she's got an autobiography that will really capture your interest.
It's called you don't cry out loud. We got copies of that here at Focus on the Family and that you can find yours by following the link in the show notes here about Lily Isaacs speaking at Christian heritage church in Grantville, South Carolina on today's episode of Focus on the Family full-blooded Jews my mother and father were born in a town called chance to have Poland era of time when it was unfortunate for Jewish people to be living within your before World War II broke out in 1939 my mother at that time.
I sat 14 years old living at home with her mother and her younger sisters. The one with polio, a brother and another sister and my father's entire family. They were still at home as well. I think my grandmother had a premonition because you know those days they didn't have televisions, likely due in poor families didn't have a radio so in order to hear about what was going on at the beginning of the war show was difficult, but word got around in the little towns all around Poland that Germany was coming, but I don't think I'm sure that they didn't know what they were really doing.
I've often wondered why so many millions of people would allow themselves to be captured and destroyed the way that they were without some type of uprising, but that's because they didn't know what was going to happen when the Germans and the Nazis came into chance to half my grandmother as I said, she must've had a premonition because she sent my mother and her younger sister and brother to a neighboring town to buy some groceries and of course my mother didn't know any different and she land. When she came back that evening, my grandmother, and who is crippled with polio was no longer home. I believe it was that next day when the Germans came back for the rest of the people.
My father said that they would get on loudspeakers. They move in these trucks and little buses and over the loudspeakers they would make announcements and they would say everybody out on the street. Everybody must come out on the states they need to get down on the ground with their faces on the ground and their hands behind their back behind her neck and lie there for hours and they separated families at that time they separated husbands and wives, fathers from sentence mothers from daughters you here and you go there and you go here you go there at that time my father left his family. He had one brother that went with him to the camps and he never saw the rest of his family again.
He had one surviving brother after the war. My mother was taken with her younger sisters left and her younger brother Mendel. My mother was 14.
The others were 11 and 12 years old. They spent some time in the ghettos and my father said that after they worked in the ghettos for several months maybe a year they put all of the Jewish people on trains, and my father spent three days and nights in a caboose of the train parked in with hundreds of other Jewish people with no food, no water and no toilet facilities. He said people were suffocating to death and had no place to fall human people were holding the dead up shoulder to shoulder, no place to they finally wound up in the concentration camps.
Belson Barker is where they wound up in Germany at that time, the mother and father only knew of each other.
They weren't married.
Of course, and have known of each other's families back in the hometown.
My mother's youngest sister got very ill while she was in camp so my mother took a chance of stealing. She said that she slipped out of the barracks at night and she would steal food or garbage. My father said it was like Christmas time every day. When the soldiers would throw away their potato peeling or coffee grinds out in the yard and that the people pick them up into the day my father died. He never threw away potato peeling.
He ate it first.
It was like a steak somehow through starvation diet. Several crust of bread hard crust of bread and a bowl of water with a little color in it. That's what they got every day to eat and they worked hard slave labor. One time my father was carrying bricks at the latter up and down, up and down for hours and it was hot, so he rested for just a moment, one of the soldiers came by and hit them on the side of the hip with one of those bricks. He almost bled to death right there on the ground and I never will forget.
When my father passed away that scar on his four head.
When he got hit in the head with that prick. They managed to pick himself up and work and survive.
My parents spent five years in the concentration camps first in the ghettos and then in the camps. When they were liberated in 19 and 45. They only learned about what happened to the rest of their family. My mother's youngest brother Mendel who was probably 15 years old when the what would have been over close to that decided with some young men in the camps that they were going to escape. She learned right after the war that they were machine-gunned down just instantly my father's brother that went to the camps with him every day. He was afraid he would get something to eat.
The next day.
So instead of eating that crust of bread he hit he go two weeks, sometimes without eating anything. He just hit because he was afraid he wouldn't get anything when the war was over he ate too much. His stomach burst and he died, my father couldn't even get very very him himself. So many stories and atrocities that I've heard of all of my life going from my parents. Why I don't have the answer.
I don't know why but 6 million people were killed not only Jews, there were others during World War II and things like that are going on even today.
It amazes me to think how human being can be so cruel to another human life.
But it happens when the war was over. My parents were in Belson Barker. My mother said the day they found out that they were being liberated and they opened up the gates at all. She said you see all these people running out into fields and picking up potatoes. She said she had on a skirt and she grabbed all potatoes out of the ground was running within her skirt. It was starving.
My father was 6 foot one in height and weight 100 pounds when the war was over. So at that time there were organizations all over the world that helped Jewish people to rebuild their lives and they gave opportunities to all of the people that had been in the concentration camps to choose where they would want to make a life that would either be Australia United States, Israel, wherever they choose to have a sponsor, so my mother had an uncle that I was ready here in America and he told them to come here and they told me that when they came across the harbor. They are in New York City and they saw the Statue of Liberty that meant freedom. That meant a new life. So many immigrants when they came to the United States of America was a new life. They helped us get an apartment in New York City. My father and mother went to night school to learn English. We spoke Yiddish in our home and I spoke Yiddish till I started kindergarten did know how to speak English. My father went to school at night to learn a trade and became a baker bread baker sole of my life, I heard stories about my upbringing and I was very devoted. I am very devoted to the Jewish people and to the Jewish cause I've always been interested in show business always had an interest in singing and acting. I took acting in high school and I make major in college and acting. My idea of the future was to be an actress on Broadway in the Jewish the ETA and ask what I wanted to do to make my parents proud of me, so I studied it and studied voice lessons and this was my life. I met a young lady in college at that time who was also a singer and she and I just started singing together just for the fun of it with two folk guitars.
So we started a band called Lily and Maria. We started singing around different parties in college things and and one day a man was at one of these parties and he looked at us and he said that would you girls like to audition for an album on Columbia records.
We laughed at them. I said yeah sure Tamara and Sharon. We landed a contract recorded a folk album in 1967 on Columbia records. So we started doing some engagements at that time I was in college and took a leave of absence and tried to pursue a career with the little nightclub at the time called Gertie's folk city in Greenwich Village.
We had an engagement for about five or six weeks there and it was for guys from Kentucky that had a banjo and mandolin and guitar and upright bass, and I think they came to New York in a little Ford falcon had that base stepped up on top of that guitar that must've been aside and they had to sing and play that mandolin and I tell you what my mouth flew open because the only time I never heard a banjo plate was on the Beverly hillbillies that they were good and they were called the Greenbrier boys and that sparked the relationship Joe Isaacs who is the banjo player for the Dane and I started dating and it was quite a combination. Let me tell you, because he's a Kentucky hillbilly the baby child of 17 children whose father was a Pentecostal preacher and a Jewish kid from the Bronx, New York, who is a folk singer but God certainly was in the arrangements.
We dated for a couple of years and we got married in 1970. At that time.
Of course he wasn't a Christian.
Even though he was raised in a Christian home. He wasn't a believer and I was an unbeliever. I didn't know what I believed I really think at that time, I probably was even an atheist I don't know if I believed anything so we decided when we get married that this is just the way would be and we would just continue on and you know, he'd have his belief not have more we moved to Ohio where his work was. I gave up my career and I started working in an office and we were married. About 10 months when he had a brother that was four years older than him one night right before Christmas got killed in an automobile accident and it was a terrible tragedy for small children at home and a wife. We got a call in the middle of night one night and oh it was just a terrible time for the same so the funeral. Of course I've never been to a funeral before of any kind.
It was unusual to me but it was preaching and singing, but after the funeral a couple of days after the funeral.
They wanted everyone to gather together in my brother-in-law's home church where he is to attend and they invited us all to come will, of course, Joe wanted to go but I didn't want to go because Jewish people don't go to church and was against my grain. I didn't really want to go but my sister-in-law told me if I go she funny T-bone steak and I like steak and felt well you know it when I would be much of a wife and family member. If I didn't attend the service. Well let me tell you the church we went to that night was a converted garage that was made into a church and the pastor was an old, blind man the church was set had wooden pews and wooden floors. It was probably held 100 people maximum and we walked in there and I sat down in the very last. Just as close to the doors I could hit and they were singing and people were crying it was conviction in the air and I didn't know what conviction was there and I watched and listened. Something grabbed my heart night. The pastor did not even preach he made an invitation for people to come to the altar and receive Jesus and I didn't know what that night without even thinking, I got down on my knees and not little wooden peel back by the door. I didn't know what to say I've never prayed before in my life I can ask God to save me because I didn't know that I was lost I did know how to God to forgive me for not done anything but that night I wept my way through to chase. I know God understood my peers and he understands yours when the words won't come out friends. He sees he already knows the minimum he hit the ground.
That's when I open my heart to chase and he came and I begin to read the New Testament you had never read the Bible before in my life. I started reading about Jesus and then I learned that Jesus was a Jew just like me and it all started together just like apostle. I was a happy happy belief.
Oh I was just filled with the spirit.
It was so wonderful couldn't wait to go to church and listen to the singing and just be with everyone will one day one of my first cousins came down from New York to visit with us and I took him to church with me. He wanted to cut when he got back to New York. He spilled the beans on me and it was in a secretly planned in my mind exactly how is going to tell my family is going to sit them down with me and I was going to tell them how much I love them but I wanted to tell him that I found so much joy and peace through Jesus the Lord had a different plan. What would my cousin went back to New York and told my family unexpectedly. I got a call from my mother and father on my job and my mother said Lily we found out that you are going to a church and that you are praying to this Jesus. She said your father said that he would rather see you dead and buried in the grave and to be a reproach to our family and our people.
She told me that he never wanted to see me again unless I give up that crazy religion like sound and that I was never welcome back in their home ever again and they were talking to me.
I just pictured in my mind all the stories all the history all the heritage painting that was whose my father who hobbled up the streets of New York with warm bread in his arms the morning hours. After working all night slip 1/4 or dollar bill under my pillow the way he had of showing that he loved me and all of a sudden he'd rather see me to hit did six Jesus Messiah. You know it was a crossroad in my life at that point I had to make a choice. I knew it I knew it. So with the grace of the Lord. I said mom I don't want to hurt you and daddy want to lose what I found.
And do you know from months they wouldn't speak to me. I call home and they hang up, but I learned to say chase because he was all that I lost my family had lost my people. Jesus became Jesus became my mother.
Jesus became my very dearest friend. And still today, even more so today I pray I praising. He is the Almighty and you know what so many times when we go through trials. We don't know why. And then we look back. It's only to make a strong to make us shine like gold through that trial, I really became close to the Lord and it was months. It was a long time before my family accepted me back home but they saw that I wasn't going to budge, and to this day I have trouble talking to some of my immediate family but one day I was praying and I said Lord why is it that I get to go all across the country in the world and sing gospel music to people when I can even reach my own family even touch my own people and the Lord spoke back to me too small voice.
He told me live the life before him, and if you go for miles from me to the rest and that's what I've tried to do my life's not been perfect.
I've had many ups and downs just like anybody else but through it all. Jesus has still been my dearest friend in 1983 I was very sick I had was born with scoliosis and had two major back surgeries in one month time five weeks home from the hospital I discovered a tumor on my body that shouldn't of been to go right back in the hospital again.
I guess one of the things I dread the worst in my life. The doctor said it was cancer enough acclimated to raise my children but her dear sister looked at me one night in church, she said. Lily had a vision I saw you standing on a pulpit and her children were taller than you. That's been 20 years and he had several heart attacks while he was in hospitals young man 69. But while he was in the hospital the last time we get to see him. I slipped in and he was so ill and I just whispered in his ear. I said daddy do you want me to pray for you and he shook his head yes. We stood there and I prayed with Hennessey whispered, and he couldn't say he was simply walked out of the room. I'll never forget conflicts, but let me tell you this if you hear your facing across to chase people no matter what the problem with the problem can be there for you.
We can will Lily Isaacs has certainly been through her share of difficulties and yet her Messiah Jesus Christ has strengthened her and helped her all along the way. That's right. And as we often say, being a Christian doesn't guarantee a trouble-free life.
Jesus said in this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world. You know I've seen this in our own lives. When trouble comes, Jesus comes alongside us and gives us strength is done for Lily. If you family story to be intriguing. I'd strongly recommend that you get a copy of her autobiography called don't cry out loud.
Get a copy from Mr. Focus on the Family for donation of any amount and the proceeds will go right back into our efforts to strengthen marriages, empower parents and protect pre-born life should get in touch with us today.
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Have a great weekend and be sure to join us again on Monday. Will and Julie Warnock describes the challenges and unexpected blessings and raising a child with autism. If you have a child with any diagnosis and any special needs diagnosis any mental health issues autism you have been chosen by God for different life now. It's not that this thing happen to you is that he chose you to live a nontraditional life on behalf of Jim Daly of the entire team.
Thanks for joining us for this Focus on the Family project. Please take a moment reading in your pocket. Sure this episode with the on John Fuller and Buddy back once more help and your family thrive in Christ. You know, nearly 60% of American adults don't have a will in place. That's a big number and having a will can leave a heavy burden for family left behind if you need a whale but don't know where to begin.
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