Sunday, March 30, 2014

Doctor's Orders

I make no bones about my distrust and disregard of modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.  It's not "health care."  Health care would involve actually making people well, rather than disease management and discomfort masking.  When I wrote "Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?"  I made a list from the Gospel according to Luke, Dr. Luke.  Seems, there were many times over, the good doctor documented healings, but none were at his hand.  What I also discovered, was the fact that he was the only one that recorded the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Most are familiar with Messiah's illustrated answer to the question, "Who is my neighbor?"  This illustration is literally rich with inference.  From the point of departure, the victim was Jewish, and the first two passersby were as well.  First, we are told religion doesn't affect an uncaring heart.  Second, those who walk by and avoid helping are actually breaking Torah, as well as failing to demonstrate any grace or compassion.  The third man was certainly not recognized by Israel as any type of respected example at all, as the Jews of that day considered Samaritans to be inferior; yet Messiah chose to use that to further make his point.

In writing "Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?" I read this with new understanding.  Dr. Luke pointed out that the man was left "half dead."  A doctor wouldn't be prone to exaggerating a physical condition.  I'm guessing he would document as close as possible to what he saw or heard.  The remedy, also caught my attention.  He dressed the wounds with oil and wine.  As an alternative wellness practitioner and believer, which really amounts to one who continues to use remedies made by our Creator, I've known the value and utilized essential oils for years.  The mention of wine in this passage was illuminating.  Alcohol is antiseptic!  Alcohol is extracting.  Alcohol is also a natural preservative.

We've, so far, removed ourselves from simple basic health in ignoring the Instructions given to us by our Creator.  YHWH clearly gave a list of what we are to eat and what we should avoid.  He also gave strict instruction for isolating disease and how to handle accidents.  In addition to these great instructions, He had already created herbs with healing properties before He ever created humanity.  For well past a decade, I've not sought a doctor's opinion on any matter of health, but in reading The Good Samaritan, Luke offers insight none of the other Gospel writers included.  The Gospel according to Luke offers Doctor's Orders that all lead to Messiah!
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

Y'hshuwah Messiah the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.  Hebrews 13:8

Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.  Jeremiah 33:6

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Last week, I received some private feedback, indicating I may have misspoken about some ministries.  Since I didn't name any names, I feel it was generic enough to fit a number of ministries in this country, but it also got me thinking about personal accountability on every level.  In light of recent headlines, I will share a link at the close of this article that did raise a few questions as to purpose and accountability, but back to personal responsibility.

We're told, there's a day coming in which we will give an account of every idle word.  One of Messiah's parables also indicate we'll be giving an account of how we used our talents.  Another passage indicates our standard of stewardship will so be judged, and the reference to "goods," I believe translates to time and money.  Basically, come judgment day, every aspect of our life will be laid out and we'll be called into accountability.  I'm not talking about salvation by works, I'm talking about how we live because we have been saved by grace.  I'm also just flat stating what we are told in the accounts of the Gospel, will happen and for what we will be held responsible.
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  Matthew 12:36

Just because I don't have a private jet or a million dollar best seller, doesn't mean I get a pass on the assets I choose to own or how I spend the money and time within my control.  The fact that I'm not a fashionista still doesn't mean I don't have more clothes than I need.  I have been blessed to have never asked for donations for the ministry work to which I've been called.  YHWH has given me talents in which I can earn a living, as well as literally laid some special events on the hearts of others without my ever saying a word.
And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.  Luke 16:2

It's easy to look at most anyone in America and realize we have it pretty easy and fairly cushy, and for those in need, there are resources.  As I consider the true accountability to which I'll be held, I have my hands full.   I can see obvious lavish lifestyles that I am quite thankful I won't have to answer for, but I'm doing some sorting for the lifestyle I will be answering for.   Whether I'm eating or drinking . . . is everything I'm doing bringing glory to G-d?   I'm not one to bury my talents.  I've tried a few things, only to discover I've got no talent in that area . . . I shudder to think of the idle words . . . Am I a good steward?  What am I doing with what I've been given?   I've asked YHWH if He'll judge me in this life and show me that judgment, so I can repent and bring Him honor.
 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.  Romans 14:12

Seems this week has had some interesting intersections of headline events and timing.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Touchable in Ministry

America has established or I should say, continued a tradition of Rome in which those who minister are somewhat removed from the throngs.  Many big religious names in America are almost as inaccessible as the Pope.  Body guards, Associate Pastors are the evangelical Cardinals . . . Lear jets, Rolls Royces maintain privacy like the Pope mobile . . .  I inadvertently find myself upsetting the religious crowd, on occasion; as they defend their untouchable idols.  That's right, I did say idols.  I've even heard some of those big name religious demagogues refer to themselves as "little gods."  I've been around a while and "the little god" teaching was a short-lived popular trend for a time between the repackaging and rewrapping of the prosperity teaching.  The late Paul Crouch gave great emphasis to that line of thinking and teaching.

We know there are ministers who have their own jets to avoid airline crowds.  Several ministries are big, huge, tax exempt, money making machines for the entire family.  I've heard the arguments both ways on this, and frankly, I really don't think I'll ever have to worry about it, so I don't.  I think folks in ministry can be comfortable, even have some worldly wealth, but I have an expression of bewildered doubt when it comes to "filthy rich!"  I actually heard Creflo Dollar talking about amassing wealth, because he's not going to heaven poor.  He didn't impart the knowledge as to how he planned to take it with him!

There was the "confession of faith" or "speak it into existence" teaching.  I also remember the "don't touch me, I'm in the anointing," phase of the word of faith movement.  Then there were those who were "in the higher realms . . ."  The Word of Faith teaching or movement covers a great deal of ground, I simply would not call "holy."  Now, let me say this.  I do believe some people have been introduced to our Creator through some of these people, but if they truly meet Messiah and continue seeking YHWH, those individuals soon come out from among them and are separate.

I got called out for sharing a meme the other day, and to be honest, I didn't check the original source of the meme, but the concept and content really touched me.  Messiah touched people, and people touched him.  He was up close and personal, and he didn't live materially above the people.  Let's face facts, if anyone in ministry was ever used to the finer things, it was Him, He'd seen heaven.  I also took notice of the reality of the comments, especially those who were admonishing me or defending the names that were mentioned in the meme.  I couldn't help but wonder if any of those people ever found themselves in need, who they'd turn to.  Would they send a note to those big names, expecting help or would they turn to friends, family and us small time folk in ministry who are willing to share and be touched?

I've attended services of some of the biggest names in American religion, but I've served along side members of some of the smallest congregations in various communities.  Y'hshuwah healed the sick, fed the hungry, and walked from town to town.  His special amenities amounted to "no place to lay his head . . ."   Most believers in this country are blessed to live in a relative degree of comfort, and I believe we are blessed in direct proportion to our obedience and use of the talents our Creator has placed in us, but the blessings of YHWH do not have to be monetary.  Scripture tells us that YHWH is our provider, so asking for donations is not faith in His Word, but rather; it's begging.

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

A hungry person begging for food is one thing, but a wealthy person dressed well, wearing expensive jewelry and traveling in luxury has no need to ask anything of anyone, especially if they claim it's G-d's Will.  Asking for donations is begging and certainly placing faith in the crowd of givers, rather than YHWH Yireh.  He's big enough to provide what He wants us to have!  I'm not suggesting that followers of Messiah should take a vow of poverty, but according to Scripture, Messiah would not be immersed in material extravagance, while children went to bed hungry.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Controversial, but I Believe it Makes the Point

I'm not falsely accusing Solomon, but since he's the one who penned, "There is nothing new under the sun," I'm going to use him as the example, because there were a lot of potential issues, yet the choice he made is clear.  From what we know about Solomon, with all of our psychology and social labels, if he were alive today, how would he be viewed, sexually?  What would our present society "teach" him about his potential gender orientation?

He was obviously memorable in his style of clothing, since Messiah mentioned it several generations later.  Interestingly, Messiah drew the comparison between Solomon's style and the lilies of the field.  Solomon was clearly not the warrior his father and brothers were.  Not trying to add to or take away from Scriptural history, but Solomon was not the image of virility his father and brothers were.  His mother had to get the prophet to remind David that Solomon was supposed to be king and Adonijah had taken over the throne.   There is a definite sensitivity in his writings.  Song of Solomon can obviously be viewed as romantic.  Physical detail implies intimacy, while the manuscript alludes to almost a "star-crossed lovers" scenario.

As mentioned in the previous chapter, Solomon was definitely close to his mother, and she was obviously protective even into his adult years.  As a matter of fact, his mother was the only woman Solomon actually spoke of well.  He penned that he had never met a woman with wisdom.  The man had 300 wives and 700 concubines and gave every indication none of them suited him.  That's 1000 women available to meet the king's every potential whim, from a preparing a banquet to a night of intimacy!

As I've read the account of the life of Solomon, and his very sensitive writings, I've wondered just what he'd be encouraged and guided to believe about himself, if he were growing up in America today.  Since Scripture tells us "we are all born into sin," I can't say for certainty what the propensity of a specific temptation would be for someone else, but we all have a choice in the action we take.  With as many detailed instructions there are in Torah regarding sexuality and intimate partners, it does seem to indicate humanity would be tempted to deviate from the ordained norm.

In everything I read about Solomon, I think his "gender identity" could be called into question.  Yet his example and words clearly indicate we can choose to live according to Torah!

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear G-d, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  Ecclesiastes 12:13

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Traditions of Man

Mark 7:9 was not only the present observation of Messiah as he walked this earth, but also a prophetic warning . . .  Phariseeism is alive and well today.  Much of it has moved out of "the local church" as the church has aspired for "mega," so salvation has become very "user-friendly."  Meanwhile, some of the "off shoots" a.k.a. cults are really following the path trod and example set by the Pharisees.  It can be difficult to determine which groups are actual cults and which have simply left the falsehood of mainstream.

I realize there is no real way to know what people say they do and what they actually do, but the constant debates truly are self-evident.  Where in the world did we get the idea that talk was evidence of our walk? When did knowledge, even when correct, supercede the power of YHWH in our lives?  I'd think, even if we couldn't verify it through social media, there would be actual reports of miracles and opportunities to help, rather than the latest decoding of Biblical side books.  If it was all about what we know, rather than Who we know, our Creator could have just sent a decoder ring, instead of His Son.

I'm reminded of a passage from Habakkuk, in which the prophet was told, it's not difficult.  As a matter of fact, it is to be so clear and simple to understand, there will be no excuse!  And YHWH answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.  Habakkuk 2:2-3  I realize there is greater depth to our Creator than we humans can even grasp, but the only way to have a deeper understanding is to seek Him with our whole heart and be led by His Spirit.

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of YHWH unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says YHWH of hosts.  Zechariah 4:6