Monday, December 14, 2015

Sex Has Been Sensationalized To Both Extremes

This thought has been bouncing between my spirit and brain for a few weeks, now, maybe  longer, but I didn't have the words for it.  In the beginning of this understanding, I saw a continuum in which the word "sensational" was misspelled at each end.  On one end was "sexsational" and the other end, "sinsational."  With each word was a famous family.  On the "sexsational" end was the image of the Kardashians with Bruce, of course.  On the other end, with "sinsational" were the Duggars.

Obviously, the Kardashians are a sex crazed mess, from teenagers posing for Victoria Secrets, to one of them with a huge silicone rear-end, posing for Playboy.  Well I guess it's not naturally that large, but I could be wrong . . .  Adding to the craze is a 60 year old woman who is pretty and could be aging gracefully, but doesn't seem to have the class to do so.  Class can't be bought or added by the plastic surgeon, you have it or you don't . . . Then there is Bruce, poor confused Bruce.  He was once quoted to have said the hardest thing about being a woman is deciding what to wear.  Clearly, he's clueless when it comes to the difficulties real women face.  Their obvious obsession with sexuality is really beyond over the top and extreme, while they set some bizarre standard of entertainment, calling it a "reality show."

The reality of the Kardashians needs little explanation, their lifestyle and values are obvious, but the other end of the sexual spectrum is much more veiled, veiled being the operative.  The "pure extreme" still makes sex the focus, as well as forbidden, causing much ignorant curiosity, much, much curiosity.  I already know beyond a shadow of a doubt, being a well endowed female, sideways hugs only draws attention.  Healthy recognition and acknowledgement of the sexes, with reasonable boundaries is what really leads to respectability and integrity, socially and spiritually.

I've chosen to write this in the blogsite "religiously incorrect" for a very good reason.  The Duggars raised their children under what I refer to as Gothardism.  Bill Gothard was the founder of "Campus Teams, which was later named "Basic Youth Conflicts" and then in 1989 became The Institute of Basic Life Principles.  His direction of the nation's youth spanned decades from the 60s to the millenium, with the height in fundamental religious circles back in the 70s and early 80s with what was called "Basic Youth Conflicts seminar.  I sat through a week of that seminar as a single mom, having just turned 19; left the church and didn't return til my mid 30s.  There was just something disturbing about the entire ordeal that really affected me to the core.  This teaching was aimed to meet the Boomer generation, and I'd say we Boomers are the proof in that pudding!

Bill Gothard has proven to be an interesting example of the point I'm making.  As this man told men how to run their households, raise their children, and how women should help in that with large families and homeschooling.   Mr. Gothard himself, was never married and of course, never had children . . . I've already heard the rebuttals of my perspective, in that prophets and even Messiah were not married, but still gave word as to the importance of family.  If you've sat through one of the seminars and felt blessed, more power to you.  All I felt was cold, hopeless, darkness.  Could it have been my personal circumstances?  Of course, but then in the later years, it's been discovered that the Boomers raised kids, who for the most part didn't clamor to this training, as the Institute has been losing money for the past 13 years.  That would seem to indicate the boomers did not find hope in these teachings.

Mr. Gothard was also asked to resign after 60 young women came forward telling of what was perceived to be sexual impropriety.  Although he claims innocence, the Board felt the complaints were believable enough, to ask for his resignation.  Here is the official statement:
On June 17, 2014 IBLP issued a statement,[34] summarizing the investigation conducted by "outside legal counsel". In that statement they made the claim that no criminal activity was uncovered, but that Bill Gothard had acted in an "inappropriate manner" so "is not permitted to serve in any counseling, leadership, or Board role within the IBLP ministry".   

It would seem Mr. Gothard's seminars were at their height through the same time frame as the sexual revolution, skyrocketing divorce rate, and the mass exodus from the church.  I'm not saying it's directly related, but the reality is the reality.  This teaching was very instrumental in the Duggar's marriage and child raising.  When I read about Josh, I just couldn't help but draw a parallel.  In reading Michelle's comments about being "available" at any time for Jim Bob's needs, and seeing by the number of children, the man seems to have no other hobbies, what did Josh grow up hearing and over hearing?  Their house wasn't this massive until they became famous for procreating.  I realize Josh has made his own decisions as an adult, but without a doubt, his formative years were very influenced by a veiled, unspoken, and extreme sexuality.

Anything that is focused upon as a secret creates a curiosity.  The enemy knows that, and the flesh responds to it.  While the Kardashians flaunt their cleavage and outrageous dates, the Duggars insist upon side hugs and a chaperone.  Both are extreme while the focus is still sex.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pray Over It

I take a pretty bold and uncompromising stand when it comes to trusting YHWH for provision and healing.  I trust Him in other areas as well, but there aren't as many arguments in other areas.  Although the majority is dwindling, most folks who claimed to be Bible believers have taken a stand against adultery, fornication, idolatry, etc. if not in deed, at least in word, but provision/prosperity is a big controversy and trusting YHWH for healing is really outside of mainstream, if you're talking no chemicals and no prescriptions!

The book of Galatians seems to be the book most Christians believe stands as a testament to the obsoletion of Torah.  I, personally, believe most of Christendom has misinterpreted Paul's intent in writing to the new believers in Galatia, but that's not the point of this article.  Many believers are beginning to see the power grab of Big Pharma when it comes to our health and they are beginning to seek outside the social tradition of mainstream medicine.  While many have been taught and continue to teach that G-d has given special wisdom to those in the medical field, there really is no Scriptural reference to back up that theology.

Of course, we all know that Luke was referred to as the beloved physician by Paul, but there is absolutely no Scriptural reference that Messiah or the apostles sent anyone to him for healing, or even treatment, for that matter.  To get to the point, there have been several rabbis and pastors who encourage their congregants to utilize the social mainstream of what we call modern medicine.  The term "pharmakeia" was translated to witchcraft in the list of works of the flesh, found in Galatians 5.  It's as easy to recognize the root word for pharmacy in the Greek term pharmakeia as it is to see the root word "porn" in the Greek word that was translated to fornication.

Galatians 5:19-21.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
I've included the Greek term as well as brief definitions of each word according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance:
Adultery:  Moicheia: (unlawful intercourse of married person)
*** Fornication:  Porneia: (illicit sexual intercourse) (also includes eating what is sacrificed to idols)
Uncleanness:  Akatharsia:  in a moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living
Lasciviousness: Aselgeia:  unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence
Idolatry:   Eidololatreia:  the worship of false gods
*** Witchcraft:   Pharmakeia:  1.the use or the administering of drugs  2. poisoning
 Hatred:  Echthra:  enmity
Variance:  Eris:  contention, strife, wrangling
Emulations:  Zelos:  excitement of mind, punitive zeal
Wrath:  Thumos:  passion, boiling anger
* Strife: Eritheia:  electioneering or intriguing for office
Seditions:  Dichostasia:  dissention, division
Heresies:  Hairesis:  a body of men following their own tenets
Envyings:  Phthonos:  prompted by envy or jealousy
Murders:  Phonos:  slaughter
* Drunkenness:  Methe:  intoxication
Revellings:  Komos:  carousing, nocturnal riotous procession
and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of G-d.

There is an odd correlation between the Greek term for intoxication and the drug slang "meth" in our society, but what has continued to stand the test of time is the teaching that pharmaceuticals are somehow blessed by G-d and these chemical poisons are for our good.  I use the term poisons because that is the ancient Greek definition, as well as the current facts.  The reason for such strict dosage calculation and avoidance of overdose is because pharmaceuticals are carefully measured poison.

On more than one occasion, I've had people tell me, their spiritual leader has advised them regarding this word pharmakeia, to simply pray over their prescription before taking it.  My response is simple.  Is "pray over it" the spiritual counsel for the rest of the list, as well?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Promises of Our Creator

Scripture repeats many times over that our health is to be trusted to Our Heavenly Father.  I'm continually surprised, no longer shocked, but surprised; at the number of people who claim to be observing Torah with faith in Messiah who continue to place their faith in mainstream medicine.  People speak to me, as if my belief regarding health is not conviction based up Scripture.  Trusting Abba rather than using pharmaceuticals is not a matter of my opinion, but conviction of my understanding of Scripture   It's not a matter of not liking doctors or hospitals, Scripture gives clear warning that sorcery and witchcraft are sin and forbidden.  In Galatians 5:20 the term, witchcraft, was translated from the Greek word:  pharmakeia.  In the Revelation all four references to sorceries or sorcerers, come from the Greek root word: pharma.

When physicians actually taught health and "prescribed" herbal remedies, they were sharing their knowledge in how to better utilize what our Creator made for our wellness.  Of course that was back in the days in which doctors made house calls and were paid with a chicken or milk or an exchange of service.  I'm not against that at all!  We have each been given talents and abilities.  Hospitals used to be places of recovery and assisted care.  Now doctors have become representatives for Big Pharmaceuticals and hospitals are what I now term, Sanctuaries of Sorcery.   Many may take that as an over statement, but consider the number of operating rooms, the department of Xray and testing (so we can know what G-d knows,) then consider the size of the pharmacy department, and the medication rooms at each nurse's station.  Consider simply, the square footage of what I described and compare it to the single obscure room known as the inter-faith chapel.
For those who think our Creator is using that, it seems the chapel would be larger than the administrator's office, or at least larger than the restrooms.

I didn't realize how truly saddened I was at this mixing of holy with profane until this past year of hearing how many times someone "tried" natural remedies but they just didn't resolve the issue.  First, I have a few questions.  One:  Is the lifestyle, including diet and rest truly in obedience to Scripture?  Two:  How many OTC chemicals and/or prescriptions were taken before the natural remedies were tried?  Three:  How many months and years does mainstream get to resolve the problem in comparison to the days or weeks natural remedies are tried?  Last:  If prayer and natural remedies fail, are we saying G-d's promises are invalid and creation which He called "good," is lacking?    

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man . . .  
                                                      Psalm 104:14a
Big Pharma is to health care what Monsanto is to agriculture.  Improving on creation . . . taking up the slack for our Creator?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Your Call Is Important . . .

We've all heard the familiar recording when placing a call we do believe is important.  The recorded voice that states, "Your call is important . . ." is not so convincing or reassuring at all, that our call is important to whomever is busy serving other customers, receiving higher than normal call volumes, or is away from their desk.  As I sat on hold the other day, the question came to me:  How often do we do this to our Heavenly Father?  How often do we place other priorities ahead of our prayer time with Him, or worse yet allow our time of prayer to be interrupted with non-emergencies or simply being distracted?

I'm beginning to take note in my own life when a subject of prayer becomes a tangent or distracted thought.  I've also considered how easily I am distracted from matters of spiritual intimacy to focus on work and projects.  I do it with people, I know I've done it with Abba.  Although Mr. B and I do not really share any personal time, nor have we for several years . . . I do try to at least set aside some time in the evening to go through the motions of conversation.  Sadly, and admittedly, it's such a ritual, that I can do that on autopilot while I think about other matters.  As our society continues to become more impersonal with random priorities, I believe our brains and hearts are following suit.  I don't want my prayer life to become ritualistic, autopilot, or filled with distraction.  

Personal phones, smart phones, whatever seem to intensify the situation.  More and more, it seems people are not really where they are . . . I watched a couple of people out to lunch recently, and both of them were looking at their phones nearly the entire time.  It seemed so odd to watch them dining at the same table, but never engaging in any conversation.  Then I considered the fact, I was at the same table with Mr. B, and we weren't talking either, as I was people watching while I ate.  I've gotten to the place of realizing when incoming calls and texts repeatedly control the current conversation, the current conversation is simply not as important.  That's fine in some situations, but it really shouldn't be a way of life.  Every call is not more important than the person in the first conversation.

My mom gave me great insight in this when she got call waiting, years ago.  More than once she'd tell me to hang on, then leave me on "hold" only to come back to tell me she forgot about me.  She would then proceed to explain that when she hung up from the other call, her phone rang, reminding her the first line was still tied up . . .  It didn't take me long to just end our calls when she received another call, telling her to call me back when she finished, thinking it would be just fine if she forgot about me.  Through the years in ministry, I'm always saddened at the number of people who are unhappy in a personal relationship and  feel something is amiss in their relationship with our Heavenly Father, yet they invariably interrupt the conversation or even prayer to prioritize the very individual with whom they are having problems.        

I don't want any priorities ahead of following Messiah and I certainly don't want any distractions when I've been granted the privilege to come before the Throne of Glory.  How many times do we presume, the Creator of the Universe will always be available, even at the end of our distracted priorities?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

What's in a Name?

Moses went to a great deal of trouble and effort, as did the prophets and scribes who followed; to make certain, The Name spoken in Exodus 3:15 would be known throughout all generations.  The Name appears in the Hebrew Scriptures over 6,000 times.  I try to make The Name of YHWH known, and that of His Son's, then try to avoid most arguments.  Since I'm unsure where the line is drawn between proclaiming The Name and taking His Name in vain, arguing seems unwise.  There were no vowel points in the original Hebrew, so I have no authority to argue the pronunciation, nor do I spell check the transliteration.  The (Vav) can be translated to U, V, or W but the other three letters currently translate without debate.  I use YHWH as the English translation for:  hwhy

Although many promote various translations of the Bible and rail against others, I am an advocate of the King James Version of the Bible.  I came to know The Name of our Creator and the Name of His Son through the KJV with a Strong's Concordance.  I was absolutely overjoyed to realize how many times Y'hshuwah appears throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, and His Name is spoken even in traditional synagogues, today.  I did take a bit of offense at the dedication page of the KJV, but those translators were trying to "keep their heads."  There are only three major issues I take with the KJV of Scripture.   The title and position of "Lord" already existed in English nobility and peerage, designated by the King.  I'm troubled that a King would take it upon himself to designate a title for the Creator of the universe, lower than his own.
Easter in the book of Acts appears to be an intentional attempt to mislead and separate, as the same term pavsca Pascha,  is translated throughout the rest of the New Testament as, Passover. 
The translation of Y'hshuwah HaMoshiach to Jesus Christ misses by a mile.  Messiah is the obvious English translation for the Hebrew: xyXm  - Moshaich and Greek:  Messivaß -Messias.

Y'hshuwah/Jesus may or may not be interchangeable, since there is no need to translate a name, but rather; the message that has come along with the translation.  I've been told more than once, that believing the Hebrew Name of Messiah is special, compares my faith to magic or His Name to a magic word.  To believe there is power in The Name, is far from superstition.  Most Christians end their prayers with "in Jesus' name," but would never consider that be using the name like a magic word.  I realize those who have embraced the Name of our Messiah in Hebrew can become intense, but by the same token, I remember how casually the name of Jesus could be used in a sinner's prayer that basically appeared to change nothing about a person's life.  Scripture says, there is no other name given . . .  Messiah said to ask in His Name.  Whosoever calls upon The Name . . . The Bible really does make the Name sound pretty important.  By saying it doesn't matter or it's open to interpretation, lays a foundation of "changing the Bible to suit us," rather than the Bible changing us.

Since the interpretation of Paul's letters seem to be a major point of division, I'll use his terminology. He  used the term "adoption" so I'll reference, adopted or adoption, as well.  When a foreign child is adopted into a family, depending upon the age of the child, the first name may remain that of it's native country, but in an adoption, the sir name is changed and becomes, that of the parents.  In the case of a newborn, the parents choose the name.  I still remember an American couple who adopted a beautiful little newborn from China.  Her name is Rose and her last name is theirs.

Adopted children do not change the family name, nor do they change the name of the other children in the home, certainly not the eldest son who is often named for the father.  Y'hshuwah has the Name of the Father in His, "Yah is salvation." When we are born again, we become the new creatures . . . adopted newborns, if you will.  Although some believers have legally changed their names to a Hebrew name, I did not.  My name is a name in Scripture, but I didn't change the pronunciation when I became a believer.   As I consider those two options I didn't take, either one would actually make more sense than changing Messiah's name to a poorly translated Greek or English term.  Strong's Concordance clearly draws a line from the Hebrew to English translation, in the name, Joshua.

In summation, I'd like to add a footnote.  I don't give much focus to the adversary, but in this particular instance, this seems worthy of mention.  Here is the Hebrew word for Satan:  !tX Satan     Here is the Greek term for Satan:  Satana'ß Satanas
 I find it just a little more than curious that the adversary's name wasn't rendered to just a title or a poor translation.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Speaking Out

Early the other morning through prayer, I heard a simple question and a concise statement regarding the "great falling away."  First the question.  "How can a group of a few hundred people who cannot agree on a name to call themselves, a day of the week, or when the month begins even be considered a "great number?"  Now the statement.  "Men who speak to tens of thousands every week under a generic title of cohesiveness, while endorsing a Pope who endorses Islam could indeed lead a "great falling away."

Rick Warren "Our Pope"

"I love the fact that's he's made the Church more inclusive," he said. "Not trying to make it smaller, but to try to make it larger — to take everybody in. So, that just resonates with me," Osteen added.

I never really thought of needing a religious label, although it does come up now and again.  I've been a Torah observant follower of Messiah since before the turn of this century.  I still remember the day I clearly heard The Name of Messiah, then the many aspects of our Creator with His Name.  That also occurred before the turn of this last century.  I've known my call, since I first heard our Creator speak it to me, so servant of YHWH, follower of Y'hshuwah has always been adequate for me.  Our gracious Heavenly Father has let me know, He calls me His child, and we find in the Matthew 12:50, Y'hshuwah calls us siblings.

As of late, however; I've come to understand humanity has many labels, most of which can seem a bit confining.  The Hebrew Roots Movement was never attached to me, although for a time I did try to generically use the term, Messianic, but as it turns out, I seem to go in the "Sacred Namer" category.  Having had the "cult" word aimed at me through the years, that now tends to fall on me like water off a duck's back.  The apostles were referred to as the Sect of The Way, and I've grown to love that label.  Paul is quoted in Acts 24:14 to state, "But this I confess unto thee, that after The Way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in Torah and in the prophets:"  In checking the original Greek, it would appear the religious right of the day, considered the apostles to be heretics.  The terms sect and heresy were both translated from the same Greek word: Hairesis.

In studying just how many verses Paul wrote in his epistles that can be chosen to be interpreted to be anti-Torah, a realization has come to me.  There are a great many verses in Paul's writings that confirm Torah.  There is also another correlation with Paul and Moses.  According to Acts 17:23 Paul makes a very concise statement that the Creator of the Universe does in fact have a Name and title.  There is absolutely no doubt, once Moses encountered that burning bush, he came down that mountain a "Sacred Namer."
And Elohim said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, YHWH Elohim of your fathers, Elohim of Abraham, Elohim of Isaac, and Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is My Name for ever, and this is My Memorial unto all generations.

Being a "Sacred Namer" may get you thrown out of some groups, but it also lands you in pretty good company!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pagan History

This past holiday season, I almost turned off the computer.  I simply didn't know how to share and respond to all the comments and arguments against any celebration.  Social media seems to afford a great many folks a confidence and assuredness that I just can't relate to.

I celebrate Hanukkah, although I have set aside the gift giving, and don't even try to gorge on fried food for eight days.  It seems every year, as more Christians leave the church, many bring with them the same perspective that "this is how it's to be done."   All religions, of course, believe they are correct, but when one changes beliefs, coming in as an expert is simply not possible.  I was truly saddened at the number of times I received a message or read a post calling the eight days of oil, a myth.  I've witnessed and experienced several miracles in my life, but they aren't included in Scripture!  The last verse of the Gospel according to John, says the world couldn't hold all the books, if all the great works of Messiah were recorded . . . so whether or not the oil lasted eight days, there was clear victory and deliverance by the hand of YHWH.  Then there were all the research sites about the origin of every part of pagan tradition . . .

 I don't celebrate Christmas with a tree or Santa or anything else, but I do pause on December 25 to tell Y'hshwuah I'm thankful he came to this earth, and I'm really sorry about the day.  I also thank Him for bringing me to Himself and showing me this holiday is not a Holy Day in his honor.  I thank Him frequently, but I feel badly that a false image of him has been created, and the day of materialism attributed to him, while the season really screams self, materialism, and lies.  Not just ridiculous myths and fables, but big horrible lies!

Acknowledging the obvious lies and taking note of Jeremiah 10:3-4 seems sufficient to discredit Christmas as a holy day.  How much does one need to know about Nimrod's reproductive anatomy or Ishtar's fertility celebrations to know YHWH is Creator?  I remember 20 years ago, the church spent more time talking about the power and deception of the enemy than the power and truth of our Creator, and twenty years before that, the power of the devil and eternal damnation . . . Now, another generation is hearing about pagan rituals . . .  I've pondered aloud many times, "if the pagans spoke of our Creator as much as "believers" speak of the enemy, the Good News would cover at least twice as much ground . . ."  How much wrong do we need to know, to recognize what is right?

I realized years ago, I did not need to know about the devil and hell to seek a loving G-d!  He is difficult to find, however; in the local church.  I also realized, once I found our Creator in Messiah, a devil had no authority; none whatsoever!  And I soon discovered pagan rituals had no hold on my spirit!  I was a new creation in Messiah, old things had passed away, all had become new.  It seems we spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on what we don't believe and studying traditions that have no value.  Could this be what Paul was referencing with the term [vain babblings?]

I knew I had no questions for any of the folks posting anti-Christmas and anti-Hanukkah messages, but I also know I didn't do all I could to proclaim the Good News through this recurring holiday debate.  What if my silence led someone to research some of the pagan history posts and embrace any of that?

But sanctify YHWH Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  I Peter 3:15