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.