Sunday, November 16, 2014

Holiday Stress

Kirk Cameron is rather "spirited" this year in his campaign.  As Rick Warren and the Vatican lead mainstream Christianity into Chrislam, Kirk's definition of a woman's place is a bit unsettling.  His trailers and promos have brought many thoughts of my own history of coming to the place I now am.  Kirk Cameron's latest proclamation about how much responsibility lies on the woman of the house, brought a cavalcade of crazy memories that nearly drowned my soul.   It was certainly not a living water experience . . .  The memories of a double boiler of chocolate on the back burner of the stove through the month of December for candy making.  All the projects hidden to be worked on in the wee hours of the night.  The packages that were rewrapped by snoopers and peekers.  The money that was spent, that brought no true valued gifts to anyone's life.  As an introvert, I hated attending and even worse, hosting holiday parties, but, it was part of my responsibility to make the "Christmas magic" happen!

Even in all that chaos and mayhem, I didn't shun and reject Christmas right away.  Actually, it was quite a gradual thing of being shunned by those who participated.  Back in the early nineties I became aware of how incredibly commercialized and self-focused Christmas was.  Then when I became a true covenant believer in 1994, I truly wanted to put Christ back in Christmas, also.  The main problem, I learned later, was Christ is not the English or Latin or Greek translation of מָשִׁ֫יחַ [Moshiach.]  Messiah is the English translation of the Hebrew term and Messiah was never in Christmas.  I didn't have access to all the information that is now available on the internet, and twenty years ago, there were very few folks to ask.  Even Jews for Jesus celebrate Christmas!  To further complicate my dilemma, I didn't know how to keep the Fifth Commandment while separating myself from the traditions of "G-d, Country and Family."

Our family also embraces the tradition of dysfunction, minus the "fun," and I was a main character.  As a new believer, I didn't want my good to be spoken evil of.  I didn't know how to make up for past disrespect and absence, other than to now attend.  So, I made good food, a birthday cake for Jesus, and muddled through a couple more years.  Easter didn't hold the same dilemma.  Although I loved the colorful eggs, a sneaky rabbit had really never been a part of our Easter celebration and the 1/2 price Russell Stover's the Monday following seemed like a good idea at the time.  I didn't really feel torn between observing the Feast Days of Elohim and the traditional holidays.  They truly didn't seem related.  The Feast Days of Abba were spiritual, and the family gatherings were grueling obligations.

In 1997, I discovered the truth of Jeremiah 10:3-4 and even with the Christian explanation, I knew that was the last year for a Christmas tree. I was shown a vision of so many on their knees arranging the tree skirt and packages, I just could not "unsee" that image.  By the late nineties, I realized my former reputation in the family was going to prevail regardless of the books I wrote and the faith I proclaimed, so 1999 was the end of my attempted attendance.  There was much less chance of yielding to temptation if I simply didn't participate and attempt to defend myself.  When I married in 2002, in just a matter of months; it was revealed that my husband's solo attendance was preferred at his family gatherings, so that issue was resolved without a problem.

 I gave up on the birthday cake for "Jesus" when I realized Messiah's True name, Y'hshuah, just didn't look right on a cake in December.  Even, Immanuel, didn't look right!   Messiah said His burden is light and His yoke is easy.  If we are finding ourselves obligated to a month of high stress, a choice between overtime or debt, and feeling forced to not only smile through it, but create merriment, isn't it time to consider the real meaning of this tradition?  It's not even December yet, and taking the family to "Saving Christmas" is going to cost how much?


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Unity in The Body - Hands

The words of one of my granddaughters came to my mind this morning through my devotion time.  She had made a comment, several years ago, as I was building a fire in the wood stove in the Tabernacle.  I won't quote it exactly right, I'm sure; but she expressed her thought almost poetically.   She spoke of my hands, so strong and able to carry the logs and start the fire, yet gentle to hold and comfort a baby.  She went on with her observation of her G-ma's hands in that they prepared her good food, fixed her hair.  I was deeply moved by what she shared.  When Abba brought it back to my remembrance this morning, I suddenly saw this as a new perspective on unity.  The words of that little ten year old girl apply to us, the body of Messiah.
Many of us have spoken or written articles with the focus that we are all called to be different parts of the same body, and I am certainly not arguing that, as that is Scripture, but I also see that the same part of the body may need to function differently.  We certainly don't need to handle firewood in the same manner we'd carry a baby, and definitely vice versa!  Yet both tasks are valuable, and done with our hands.  As we are all aware, folks have a different style of presentation and delivery.  I'll scrutinize myself, first.  I tend to be somewhat blunt and to the point.  This works well with active kids under 13 and adults who prefer to do more of the talking.  On other occasions, I can speak to a crowd and seem to maintain their attention and interests.  I do have the ability to interact in conversation over coffee, but in each situation, the others involved are different.  My message doesn't change, nor do my interests and abilities, just the way I "handle" the circumstances and need.

We seem to often think in order to fellowship we must all have the same approach and "handling" methods.  What if we set that notion aside and truly considered the head of this body?  What if we really do need to use our hands to applaud other's abilities, rather than pointing fingers of criticism?  I'm not going all ecumenical and kumbaya here, but raising a serious consideration that I think is being overlooked.  Obviously we can't aim for unity, that takes our eyes off of Messiah and in seeking unity we can actually miss seeking YHWH with a whole heart.  Unity will come when all eyes are on Messiah, all hearts are seeking YHWH and we're in obedience, "busy about our Father's business."  Other than what is specified in Scripture, as outlined in the Ten Commandments we are told in I Corinthians there are many administrations of the same Spirit.

So many of the tasks Abba calls us to, doesn't really take a group to accomplish, it takes His power through those who are willing and obedient.  It would be nice to have a group to bear a unified witness of His goodness and grace.  I'm sure He's pleased with a unified people who give glory, honor and praise to Him. Messiah spoke of touching in agreement, so we know a group with hands clasped in prayer does indeed touch heaven. As we pray for Messiah's return, we do hold a piece of that answer.  His return for a bride without spot, wrinkle, or blemish, is an assembly who jointly raise "holy hands" in unity.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Greater Things

Y'hshuah said we'd do greater works, and John said the world couldn't contain all the books if everything Messiah did had been documented.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  John 14:12

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.  John 21:25

What are we missing?  We aren't even seeing what was recorded in Scripture, much less believing for what is beyond "too numerous" to document.  Why are we willing to settle for so much less and still call ourselves, believers?  What exactly are we believing?  Y'hshuah had not yet come to earth in the flesh as we read of waters parting, manna falling, flour and oil of continuing perpetual supply, the dead raised, fire that doesn't kill three brave young men, and another brave young man who is not consumed by hungry lions . . . Then Messiah comes and heals the sick, casts out demons, raises the dead, and walks on water.  After all that, he says those who believe on him will do great works . . . I want that!  And yet, we have "this" and settle for it.

It can't be obtained in increased knowledge or decoding supposed encrypted passages, or even outside resources.  That's not to say we aren't to seek to know more, because we are.  We are instructed to study to show ourselves approved, but actually we are called to seek to know Him more . . .  So many of us read the Bible as a history book and to be the "smartest kid" in the clique, but knowing the most about the Book isn't the same as intimately knowing the Author.  The book of Acts clearly states that the disciples were not highly educated men, yet they had been with Y'hshuah.   Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Y'hshuah.  Acts 4:13 

Presently, I don't really have the answer to this dilemma, and truthfully, I don't need an answer as to why we don't see it, I want to know and do what it takes for Abba to be able to use me in this manner.  I want Messiah's prophetic word in John 14:12 to be manifest in my life.  I don't really want to focus on why we don't see it, I want to SEE it!  If the very last verse of the gospel according to John tells us that Messiah did so much more than was even recorded, why are we settling for so much less than has been documented?  Is the power lost in the mistranslation of Messiah's Name?  I believe that's a part of it, but I also believe we have accepted the teachings and traditions of man that include a great many of our socially approved solutions into the equation; thus:  mixing holy with profane.

Just as faith and doubt have no place together, neither do love and fear; and most assuredly anything promoted by our current society probably flies in direct opposition to the Plan of our Creator and the Promise of Messiah!

We are going to have to come farther "out from among them and be truly separate" in our walk, talk, understanding, and application of the Word in our lives.