Category: General

Who we Are…

From Petah Tikvah, a Messianic Congregation in Rochester, NY.
“We believe in Yeshua the Messiah, otherwise known to many as “Jesus Christ.” As a Messianic Jewish assembly, we happen to prefer calling him by the name he used when he walked this planet 2000 years ago. Yeshua is a Hebrew word meaning “salvation.” The term Jesus comes to us from the Greek Ia-Sus, which eventually was transliterated into “Jesus.” Yeshua is our Messiah, as well as our Lord and Savior. He came the first time as the Lamb of God to provide an atonement for our sins. He will return a second time as the “Lion of Judah,” to reign and rule the world from Jerusalem, according to Isaiah 2:2-4.

Petah Tikvah is a Messianic Jewish ministry. The first believers in Yeshua the Messiah were all observant Jews. For the early decades, the only Bible they had was the Tanakh (“Old Testament”). They also had the teachings of Yeshua, which were passed on orally to his talmidim (disciples). Yeshua taught them, “Think not that I have come to destroy the Torah (Law), or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)

Yeshua never taught his disciples that the Law was ever “done away with.” Yeshua continued as a Torah-observant Rabbi. We seek to imitate our Master in this area, although we may fall woefully short. We don’t observe the mitzvot (commandments) to “get saved.” We observe the mitzvot as an expression of our love, as the lifestyle of a redeemed people. We believe in living a New Covenant lifestyle, as spoken by the prophet Jeremiah (31:31-33) and the writer of the Book of Hebrews (chapter 8:8-10): “Behold, the days come,” saith YHWH, “that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant they broke, although I was an husband unto them,” saith YHWH. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days,” saith YHWH, “I will put my Torah (Law or “Teaching”) in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

Who is this Philistine?

David was a very young man. He had spent his life obeying his father, a farmer. He had been taught from babyhood, the ways of the G-d of his ancestors and had placed his faith with his heavenly Father. Out in the fields, he had plenty of time to meditate on heavenly things. He sang his poetry, he worshiped his Creator and learned to depend on Him. He fiercely protected his sheep. They were his sole responsibility. Should lions or bears or wolves come around (were there wolves in Israel?) He was ready to fight! This is who he was – this is what he knew. He surely had many occasions to test his methods.

He learned early on to quickly obey his parents and did as he was asked – even if it was hard or seemed impossible. Once he was called in from the fields, his beloved, quiet, serene and beautiful meadows, to go on a mission of mercy. His father asked him to run to the battlefield and take food to his army brothers. This was no easy task. It was a long ways away and the load was heavy. He obeyed without hesitation, even though he knew his brothers had no love for him. There seemed to be confusion and chaos going on when he arrived. Seems there was a giant of a man threatening the Israelis – he roared and gestured and mocked from the top of the hill across the Elah Valley. Mary & I have been there and here is a rock I picked up…

David was amazed. Perhaps he had never seen a man over 9 feet tall. One could not help but compare the two. Little David in his hillblly shepherd’s outfit and this mountain of a man in full armor and a cocky attitude. There was a lot at stake. King Saul must have been desperate as well as out of his mind to allow this snip of a red-headed fellow to represent the whole Israeli army. One against one took the whole battle. David, sure of his G-d, sure of his standing with that G-d, and sure of his abilities, made his move. He presented himself to the enemy and after the roaring laughter – picked his best rock. He had four more in his pouch – not for Goliath, but perhaps if he needed them for Goliath’s four brothers?

David took a last look at the gargantuan monster before him and thought to himself, “Who is this Philistine?” (I Samuel 17:26) He took a deep breath and slung his sling. The stone hurled right into the giants forehead, knocking him out. He grabbed Goliath’s own huge sword and cut off his head. What a trophy!

Was David afraid? You think? But fear is a sin because it is a command to “fear not”. Surely David had some trepidation. He certainly must have felt at least some tension, knowing what was at stake. But he stepped out in faith and DID IT! He had enough practice behind him. He had accomplished much in the name of the Lord. He was read up, prayed up and practiced up. Despite the extreme circumstances, he knew who his G-d was. He knew the Power behind the throne. He had experienced it first hand. He was not afraid. He saw/heard the challenge and took it. Who are you? Are you ready? Prepared? Prayed up? Who is your Goliath? Can you say, with David, in great confidence, “Who is this Philistine?” as you face all of life’s battles and know in your heart of hearts that YOU can claim victory? I dare you to find out!

Shalom, Sharaka 2/14/14

Who Do You Belong to?

Are you a Believer? Do you belong to Him? If so, then you are bought with the price of His blood. You are bought and paid for. Everything you are and everything you have now belongs to your Lord and Master – Y’shua HaMashiach/Jesus the Messiah.

Your home belongs to Him – and everything in it. Do you have a mezuzah on your door? It says your home is ruled by the King who owns the place. The things that come into your home are His. Are you careful about what you bring into your home? Every book, every magazine, every article of clothing are His. Would He be comfortable reading what you bring in? Would He watch the same television shows you do? “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” says Philippians 4:8.

Would He approve of what you wear? He tells us in His Word to dress modestly and appropriately. 1 Timothy 2:9 states “…in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation,….” I believe that goes for men as well. We don’t need to dress in an outrageous manner or stick out like a sore thumb. Dress like you are somebody. After all – you ARE! You belong to the King – especially when you meet to worship and praise Him. We don’t need a fashion parade but we shouldn’t look like we are ready to clean the barn or spend a day at the beach either. Be clean and wear your best.

What do you eat? Leviticus 11 tells all. We are also told not to eat blood. Acts 15:20
“but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.”

Our thoughts also belong to the Lord. (See Phil 4:8 again…) We need to turn away from jokes that are not clean and any inappropriate speech. What about slang

Our relationships belong to Him.. What kind of friends do we have? Who do we let our children play with? Who should we marry? These things must be carefully thought about. The answers will effect our lives for all eternity! “Birds of a feather flock together”. So choose wisely who you fly with.

And lastly, our wallets belong to Him. 100% of everything in there belongs to Him! Yet He lets us keep 90%. Isn’t that a great ratio? We can give over and above that if we choose, but we are to bring His tithe “into the storehouse”. There are many worthwhile places to give and we should check them out to make sure they are honest and use our money in the right way. Some teach we should pay “where we are being fed”. I believe our first choice should be the Congregation we attend. Y’shua talked more about money than He talked about Heaven, so it must be important. For sure if He doesn’t have your money, then He doesn’t have you heart! Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

That pretty much covers it all, doesn’t it? Our homes, our clothes, our food, our thoughts, our relationships and our money. Salvation is free – to us, but Y’shua paid the ultimate price for it and shouldn’t we do our best to make Him proud of us by living and acting like we should? Let the Holy Spirit guide and direct how you live and who you are and may the Lord bless and keep you as you do your best to live for Him.

Shalom, Sharaka


My young granddaughter asked me why I love Jerusalem and why I got tears when I talked about it. I did this research and it satisfied her. Do you love Jerusalem?

There is no town as Biblical as Jerusalem, but it was neither built nor named by Hebrews. Remnants of a Canaanite town called Salem date back to the early bronze age, and the first Biblical mentioning of this place is in Genesis 14:18, where Abraham and Melchizedek meet.
First mention: Joshua 10:1
The LORD bless you out of Zion, And may you see the good of Jerusalem All the days of your life.
• Psalm 135:21
Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, 1 Kings 11:13
However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”
1 Kings 11:32
(but he shall have one tribe for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel),
1 Kings 11:36
And to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there.
2 Kings 21:4
He also built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name.”
2 Kings 21:7
He even set a carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the LORD had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever;
2 Chronicles 6:6
Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’
2 Chronicles 12:13
[ The End of Rehoboam’s Reign ] Thus King Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned. Now Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king; and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there.
• 2 Chronicles 33:4
He also built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem shall My name be forever.”
• 2 Chronicles 33:7
He even set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever;
Ezra 5:15
And he said to him, ‘Take these articles; go, carry them to the temple site that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its former site.’
• Psalm 122:6
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.
• Psalm 125:2
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people From this time forth and forever.
• Psalm 128:5
ho dwells in Jerusalem! Praise the LORD!
• Psalm 137:5
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill!
Psalm 137:6
If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth— If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.
Isaiah 2:3
Many people shall come and say, “ Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 4:3
And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem.
• Isaiah 66:10
“ Rejoice with Jerusalem, And be glad with her, all you who love her; Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her;
• Isaiah 66:13
As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” Jeremiah 3:17
“At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.
• Joel 3:17
“ So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”)
• Joel 3:20
But Judah shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
• Amos 1:2
And he said: “ The LORD roars from Zion, And utters His voice from Jerusalem;
Micah 4:2
Many nations shall come and say, “ Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Zechariah 1:17
“Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “ My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; The LORD will again comfort Zion, And will again choose Jerusalem.

• Zechariah 8:3
“Thus says the LORD: ‘ I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.’
• Zechariah 8:4
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘ Old men and old women shall again sit In the streets of Jerusalem, Each one with his staff in his hand Because of great age.
• Zechariah 8:8
I will bring them back, And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people And I will be their God, In truth and righteousness.’
• Zechariah 8:15
So again in these days I am determined to do good To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear.
• Zechariah 8:22
Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD.’
Zechariah 9:9
[ The Coming King ] “ Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 12:10
[ Mourning for the Pierced One ] “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
• Zechariah 14:4
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Makinga very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
Zechariah 14:3-5 (in Context) Zechariah 14 (Whole Chapter)
• Zechariah 14:8
And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur.

Matthew 5:35
nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Luke 24:47
and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luke 24:49
Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
• John 2:23
[ The Discerner of Hearts ] Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.
John 2:22-24 (in Context) John 2 (Whole Chapter)
• John 4:20
Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
John 10:22
[ The Shepherd Knows His Sheep ] Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.
Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 20:16
For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.
• Galatians 4:26
but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.
• Hebrews 12:22
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
• Revelation 3:12
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
• Revelation 21:10
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
• Revelation 21:22
[ The Glory of the New Jerusalem ] But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

References to Jerusalem in the Bible = 808

Jerusalem /Yerushalayim = means “City of Peace”
because it seems to mean Rain Of Peace.
Jerusalem was to be the radiating heart of a world of completeness and wholeness. It seems that history supplied her with a most suiting name.
For a meaning of the name Jerusalem, NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Possession Of Peace. Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Foundation Of Peace.

Jerusalem has been the holiest city since, according to the Biblical Old Testament, King David of Israel first established it as the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel in c. 1000 BCE, and his son Solomon commissioned the building of the First Temple in the city. In Christianity, Jerusalem has been a holy city since, according to the New Testament, Jesus was crucified in c. 30 CE.

Pop. of Israel = 7,759,300 (6/11)
Pop. Of Jerusalem = 795,291 (10/6/11)

Shalom, see you next time!                                                                      Sharaka


What is an Adult?

One who has learned the basic responsibilities of  life:

– to honor G-d and keep His commandments

– to see what needs to be done ~ and do it

– to respect and care for those around you ~man and animal and nature

– to never run from Duty ~ and do it with a song in your heart
and a smile on your face

– one who instantly forgives

– one who laughs loudly, loves passionately,
and dances ~ even in the rain

To my Granddaughter, Amy Nicole Gudmundson
with love on the occasion of her 18th birthday -  May 7, 2010

See you next time,

Shalom, Sharaka

How to Please G-d …

After the Holy Spirit has called you to Himself – and you realize you are in need of a Saviour and did teshuvah – turned around back to G-d, asked forgiveness for your sin and agreed to try to stop sinning – then you can be assured of your salvation! It’s FREE to all! But ….. then comes your part. Yes, salvation is free (He paid for it with His life!) but that’s not the end of it. You still have your part to take care of. There are five things you must do. They won’t save you – nobody can work to gain salvation, but we must do what He asks of us. You can’t just “say the sinner’s prayer” and then go on living your life the same old way. A Believer is a new creature in Mashiach (Christ)! Here’s how to please G-d:

* SURRENDER yourself into His love and care. Give yourself over completely to His will. He said once, “Why call Me Lord if you don’t do what I say?” From now on everything you do will be filtered through the Holy Spirit so that everything you do is pleasing to Him. You’ll know, in time, in your heart what is acceptable to Him and what is not.

If in doubt – don’t!

* TALK to G-d. It’s called prayer… Daniel did this three times a day. Morning, noon and night. Deut. 6:4-9, called the Shema, (hear, with the intent of obeying) mentions “when you lie down and when you rise up”. That’s twice at least. This makes it a Biblical commandment. Actually, the Word says, “pray without ceasing”. Obviously one can’t be praying 24/7, but you can remain close to an attitude of prayer all during your waking hours. One morning as I was trying to wake up, I was shocked to hear myself say, “Good morning, Lord. How’s it goin’ up there?” I felt I was being disrespectful and was instantly sorry. But I was serious and I was talking to my Father and really wanted to know how He was doing. He is our Abba (daddy) and He wants us to love Him and feel natural when we speak to Him. You don’t have to begin your prayers with high-falutin’, over stated words that we would never use at any other time.  Neither should we be over familiar and start out by saying, “Hey G- – ” Oh, that makes me shudder when I hear some do that. Talk to Him often, like you mean it and don’t come with a ‘grocery list’ of wants. Most of the words in a Jewish prayer are directed to Him with thanks and gratitude while many times the words in a Christian prayer are a ‘grocery list’ of “do this for me” and give me that”! Which does He most like to hear? Be sure to give Him His proper place in your heart and your prayers will be just fine.

* READ the Scriptures. That’s how He talks to you.  Read His Word daily and then meditate on what you have read. How can He talk to you if you don’t listen? Have a set schedule and keep to it.  Read whole books at a time. Which ever system you use – and there are many – stick to it. Write favorite verses down on paper and stick them around your house where you can see them often and commit them to memory. One day we may have no Bibles and you will need to have His Word in your heart. He did say, “Hide my Word in your heart that you might not sin against Me.”

* GIVE – Tithe your earnings. Every dollar that you earn has ten dimes. One of those dimes belongs to G-d. Start at an early age and never, ever fail to give that tithe to the Lord. Don’t say you can’t afford to tithe. You can’t afford NOT to. You are indeed robbing G-d if you hold it back from him. The Bible even goes so far as to say if you don’t pay your tithe as soon as you get it, you must add 20%! Above the ten percent tithe is the offering. You can never out give G-d. Everything you have is His anyway. Aren’t you glad He lets us keep 90%?

*SERVE Him. Ask Him what you can do for Him every morning before your feet hit the floor. Give Him your day and ask Him to show you how you can further the Kingdom of G-d. You know that driver that cut you off the other day? Maybe he/she was having a very bad day and didn’t even realize what they did. How can you serve the Lord by having a bad attitude toward that person and maybe even yelling at them and thinking bad thoughts? Be kind, be gracious. He is to us! How can we do less to others? That’s all part of serving Him. You don’t have to go to Africa to be a missionary …. We also serve Him by gathering together to worship Him. He commands it. Music is a big part of that. Sing to Him.

*SHARE the gospel. Ask Him to lead you to some one who needs your help, your love, your time and/or your encouragement. You may get a phone call, maybe even a ‘wrong number’ and He will turn the conversation to Him and you can be of help in some way. When people come to your door, don’t let them leave without at least a “G-d bless you”. They may open up to you and state some need they have or something that is troubling them. It’s easy to smile and say, G-d bless you!” – even at the check-out counter…. Somebody somewhere needs Him – and you. If He “opens the door” – walk through it. You don’t have to be preachy – in fact, you shouldn’t be. Be natural, be Godly and if He sends someone that needs to hear about Him and is ready to listen – go for it!

So that’s it!   Talk, Listen, Give, Serve and Share. It’s as easy as remembering the five fingers of your hand!

Going Home

Five little boys from four to six years old played happily in the spacious front yard of a ranch style house in the suburbs of Mill Creek. It was summer and the sun was warm and loving; the sky above  surprisingly blue for Seattle, known for its gray, misty days.  The boys ran and tumbled and played leap frog, lost in the land of Make Believe. They didn’t hear the car barreling down the street toward them. It suddenly came to a screeching halt and, startled, they looked up from their play. One little fella, dark eyes widening, cheeks swelling into a giant grin, broke from the others and dashed toward the car without so much as a backward glance. The boys went on with their games, oblivious to the loss of their playmate. Carrying its new precious cargo, the car rounded the corner and was quickly out of sight.
So how do I know all this and why should it matter?

The little boys, Greg, Jonny, Danny, Josh and Russ, were my grandsons and they were playing in my front yard. I saw the whole thing from my window. Josh was out there playing but also waiting for his Dad to come pick him up. He knew it was almost time to go home. Josh is now married to a lovely girl, is living out of State, working at a good job, thanks to the education he got while serving in the Navy, and is 27 years old.  Why was he the only one who looked up and then ran to the car? Because he knew his father. As much as he enjoyed playing with his cousins, his father had come and it was time to go home.

The day will come, and probably very soon, when all the peoples of the earth are busily engaged in the activities of their choice – some working, some sleeping, some enjoying their leisure time, when out of the blue a sound will be heard. The sound of many waters. The sound of a shofar (trumpet). A few will hear but most won’t even look up.  But those who are in the know – those who are waiting – those who are listening – will know their Father has come for them. They know they have a Home to go to.  One that has been especially prepared for them. If you’re not watching – if you’re not waiting for Him – you’re not going!

What do you need to do to get ready?  From whom do you need to ask forgiveness?  If you don’t forgive, you won’t be forgiven.  Have you made your peace with G-d? Have you asked Him for forgiveness?  He is ready, willing and able to do just that. He longs to hear your songs of worship. He longs to hear your voice raised in prayer and praise.  He wants to share His heart and home with you forever.  The Saviour came once and died because he would rather die than live without you.

He’s coming!  Are you ready to “jump in the car and disappear around the corner”?  It matters!

This doctrine is taught by many Protestant churches. It is called the Rapture or  “caught up” doctrine.
Some teach a pre-tribulation Rapture, some mid-trib or post-trib. Some don’t believe in a Rapture at all.  Some think Y’shua (Jesus) will come back to earth for the Thousand Year reign and then draw His people to Himself.  How ever you chose to think it will play out – I hope you are ready.

What if you are wrong?

See you next time,
Shalom, Sharaka

Kenneth L. Carlson – Laid to Rest

Kenneth L. Carlson – Laid to Rest

The rosy fingers of dawn climbed the eastern sky over Iacolucci’s old place next door, most likely reflecting in the pond of Martha’s Creek. “This is the day which the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I lay reflecting in the glory of G-d and in His Son, Y’shua HaMashiach – Jesus, the Messiah. Friday, September 12, 2008. The day I would lay my beloved’s body to rest. Sleep had been a welcome respite the past four nights and as much as I relished it, I knew I would have to rise and begin preparation.

Karin came first and tended to the kitchen supplies we would need for the reception. Blue and white plates, cups, spoons and forks and the napkins I had been saving for this day. I had made stacks of them. First a yellow and then a blue – thick dinner napkins in the colors of the Swedish flag, proper for the occasion.

She took the two big cakes my friend Thelma brought from Costco.
Carrot, Ken’s favorite, and chocolate. I was happy with them.

Kathy and Roger and Tiara arrived to attend to my needs. She found the sandals I wanted to wear. They were Ken’s. He never liked them – a North Dakota Swedish farmer doesn’t wear sandals. At least not this one. But Y’shua (Jesus) did and I wanted to. The soft brown suede matched the rust and black dress I wore.

I sat at the computer, making the list. Always, there is a list. Danny, my ben yamin, (my right hand man and number three grandson) was asked to take the specified three pictures to the Friendship Room at Northlake Christian Church where we would be gathering after the service. First the huge one of us kissing at our 40th anniversary that hangs in our room. Then, Ken’s favorite – the one of him, two friends and a group of Israeli soldiers we met in the desert outside Be’ersheba, Israel in November of 1991. They stood in front of their
trucks, waiting to go in for lunch. Someone took it from our tour bus and we had a poster sized copy made to frame. Ken was so proud of that picture. Then I asked Dann to take the picture of Ken sitting at the table praying over a tiny loaf of challah (Israeli braided bread for the Sabbath) and his glasses resting on his Bible.

A cup of coffee sits near by. I love that picture. It’s our rendition of the famous picture of the old grandfather bowing in prayer over his lunch. You’ve seen it. I know you have. I also took Ken’s Bible that I gave him in 1973.

The people of Northlake are a special breed. They have been so kind to us over the years. Jon has attended there over 20 some years. They are so good to him, always caring for his special needs. They brought dinner night after night when Ken had his last surgery when I was too busy to make meals for us. They offered us their facilities free of charge for this day. Northlake is directly across the street from Floral Hills Cemetery. How nice is that?

Danny was to be in charge of the roses. Rich, deep red blooms that Ken loved.

And I asked Danny to add one fern frond from our front yard. He found a beautiful crystal vase to put them in and took them to the cemetery. They sat at the casket, the only flowers there. Jewish tradition doesn’t include flowers.

Kevin, first born but always last to arrive, came at 9:30. He drove me in our red Mercury sable and made sure the wheelchair was in the trunk. I would be arriving in my chariot just in time for the 10 o’clock service. Jon’s (our youngest son) friend, Melvin Tiegs, brought him straight to the cemetery.

As we parked in our designated spot, our friend, Mike Sonnenberg of the Cedar Park Funeral Home, opened my door and introduced Sergeant Amy Balback of the National Guard Honor Guard. She told me she was honored to be there and thanked me for Ken’s service in the military. As Kevin rolled me past the young soldier standing at attention holding his cornet, I thanked him for being there. Most of the people were already seated in the 12 provided chairs or standing behind them. Our children “sat in age” with Kevin next to me. Mike came and stated that we were slightly behind schedule. I could only smile and inform him that
we operated on Jewish standard time – at least 15 minutes past the official time!

Pastor Carl Smith stepped forward and blew his shofar. He does it so well. He explained that the shofar was used, and still is, to call to assemble and for many other reasons. He welcomed our family and made a few opening remarks. He told us about the casket, which was unseen, being covered by a huge American flag.

The casket was hand made of unfinished pine by the Batesville Casket Company of Indiana, said to be the finest in the world. It was made to Jewish specification – no metal anywhere. All dowels and glue. Everything has to be biodegradable. There were four mogan davids (the Star of David) one at each corner. They were also hand carved of pine and stained a rich brown. Mike found a six inch wooden cross at the Christian Bookstore and placed it on the top of the casket as a gift to us. It was all so impressive to me. None of us has ever seen such a casket. It looked as if Y’shua, Himself could have made it in His carpenter shop. So fitting Ken.

Carl finished his remarks, recalling that he and Ken had been serving on the same island in Japan during the Korean War, unbeknownst to each other. They didn’t meet until many years later. Carl and his wife, Henrianna are dear and special friends and the first pastor we called to Avodah Yeshiva Fellowship,
our Messianic Congregation which Ken and I helped co-found in 1998. Three other founders were there – Ruth, Thelma and Donna.

Carl introduced Jim Arneson, our famous local music man. He was part of the Crossroads Quartet for many years and still heads the Crossroads New Revival, a wonderful Southern Gospel group that blesses so many. We met Jim and his five siblings in 1959. His father, Ted Arneson, pastured the little white church on the hill a mile from our house. Bethel Assembly of God. We were members there (and in the bigger building later built in Lynnwood) for many years and I was Church Secretary for over twenty. Ted, now with the Lord, and his wife, Lola, remain among our dearest friends.

Jim led us in “Blessed Assurance”, a great old song of the faith, and the “Old Rugged Cross”. He then sang a medley of songs, including “Life is Like a Mountain Railroad”. Most people probably haven’t heard it. The chorus states:

“Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us till we reach that blissful shore where the angels wait to join us in Thy praise forevermore.” Since Ken was a railroad man for 41 years, I guess that was the right song. Jim also sang, at Karin’s request, “I Can Only Imagine” and “Day by Day”, an old Swedish favorite. I wanted “Leavin’ on My Mind”, but that didn’t happen. That’s the song I was singing to Kenny just before he passed. He loved to hear Steve Brock from TBN sing it.

Here are some of the words:

This old house I’m living in it sure needs some repair;
The windows and the shutters are letting in the cold, cold air.
I say to myself, I’m gonna fix them if I can find the time;
But all I’ve been getting lately is leavin’ on my mind.

Lately all I’ve got is leavin’ on my mind;
It seems that’s all I think about most of the time;
And soon and very soon I’ll leave these troubles far behind;
Lately I’ve got leavin’, leavin’ on my mind.

Carl read the obituary from the Everett Herald:

Kenneth L. Carlson

11/19/1928 – 9/8/2008

Kenny’s gone now. He’s gone ahead to kind of check out the Place – like he’s

done for me for 52 and a half years. I miss him so much. I’ve really missed him

for over two years. That’s how long he’s had this serious heart condition.

Ken has lived in three worlds. The first was a watery one. Warm, cozy, but

pretty small. Got to be quite crowded toward the end, actually. It was a little

lonely but he had all his needs met, didn’t have to do a thing. If you would

have asked him if he would like to leave there and go to a place where he could

see better, move around from place to place, and be part of a loving group he

might have said, “I suppose – sounds good, but no thanks. I’d rather stay right

here.” He didn’t have that choice. A day came when he felt crushing pain that

got worse and worse until he exploded into the brilliant light of a North

Dakota farm house. He had to learn a different lifestyle. It was hard, but he

learned to cope. He came to Seattle in 1945, got a job, fell in love, married

(June 21, 1957) raised a family, and made a good life for himself. Then one day

a fellow came along and asked him if he wanted to go to a better place. One

where there was no more pain or sorrow. A place where he could meet his Creator

and live in His presence forever. The answer was the same. “Sounds wonderful,

but I’m not ready yet. Someday.” Again, he had no choice – the day came, as it

will for all of us.

Thankfully, he had made the decision early on where he wanted to spend eternity

and as a Believer in the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and in His Son, Y’

shua, (Jesus)Ken was ready to make the journey. He’s there now with his

parents, Oscar and Ellen Carlson, his two unborn children, his eldest grandson,

Greg, and so many other friends and family members.

He leaves his grieving but happy-for-him wife of fifty one years, Fern Julian

Carlson; his sons, Kevin and Jon; his daughters, Karin Gudmundson (Rory); and

Kathy Barton (Roger); twelve Grandchildren; three Great Grandchildren; and a

large family of Carlsons, who by G-d’s grace will be joining him one day –

including his elder brother, LeRoy, (Emmie); his youngest sister, Ardis

Shelton; his sister-in-law, Pat Carlson (Ervin, deceased) and brother-in-law,

Eugene Heimbuch (Arlene, deceased).

Ken served his country in the Army during the Korean Conflict, worked for

Northern Pacific Railway (Burlington Northern) for 41 years. He lived in the

same house he and I designed near Martha Lake since 1958. He was a quiet man

who spent his time loving his family and being faithful to his G-d. He was a

member of the Assemblies of God Church for over 30 years, and was co-founder of

Avodah Yeshiva Fellowship, a Messianic Congregation of Christians who believe

in following the Jewish pattern of worship and trying to live the way Y’shua

(Jesus) did when He was here.

We’d like to thank Dr. James Pautz of Swedish Heart and Vascular Institute and

their staff, and Dr. Henry Hochberg as well as the Evergreen Hospice Team for

their kind and loving help.

Ken never wanted a big memorial service, just a family graveside service since

he never wanted to call attention to himself. If you would like to contact his

family, we’re got the same number we’ve had for almost 50 years. It’s in the

phone book. Or e-mail us at: We’d love to hear

from you. Shalom!

After the obituary was read, Carl introduced the young man with the cornet. He

stood some distance away at the entrance to the Camelia Garden where our family

plot is. He played the most beautiful rendition of TAPS that I have ever heard.

I can only describe it as sweet and majestic. Then he and the lady Sergeant,

the Military Honor Guard, came forward and removed the flag from the casket.

With military precision, they gently, slowly and methodically folded the flag

into a triangle of 13 folds, each one representing a message. Sgt. Balback

knelt before me and presented me with the flag, saying it was an honor to be

there and a part of Ken’s service. She bethanked me for his years of military

service. Then she saluted the flag and me and was gone.

Jeff Steadman, current pastor of Avodah, sang the Mourner’s Kaddish in Hebrew.

I will do it in English every day for the next year. It is a beautiful tribute,

giving glory and praise to the Lord and it’s for the living.

Carl dismissed all but the family. The workers came to lower the casket, which

they did a few feet. Then Danny came forward with his list. First, he called

Kevin, our eldest son, who came, took a rose and laid it on the coffin. Then

Karin, our eldest daughter, came and placed one rose for her, one for her son,

Greg, who is rejoicing in heaven with his grandfather, and one for Amy, her

daughter who was home very ill. Kathy placed hers and Danny did one for Jon,

who is disabled. Then the grandchildren came. Danny, Kyle, Josh, Russ,

Christina, Joshua, Renee and Tiara. Jonathan is attending the University of

Southern California and Jason is in the hospital with mersa so roses were

placed for them. Danny placed a rose for me and of course the fern frond. It

was a very touching moment. One none of us will forget.

There was a silver bucket with a small silver shovel at the end of the casket

containing earth. Carl picked up a shovelful and sprinkled it on the casket. It

symbolizes “from dust thou art, to dust thou shalt return.” Then he brought a

shovelful to me. I took it and touched the dirt and he sprinkled it over the

casket, too. Danny, Kyle and Josh Gudmundson took a turn. It is a sign of

respect and love for the deceased. I believe it is also symbolic of the

children of Israel crossing the desert on their exodus to Egypt when they

placed rocks on graves to protect them from being disturbed by animals or

anything. Many cultures observe this and I find it a touching way to say the

final good-bye. The men lowered the casket. Carl blew the shofar one final time

and we left the grounds.


There were finger foods, fruit salad, sandwiches, a vegetable tray, cookies,

coffee and lemonade along with the two cakes over at the church. The ladies of

Northlake had tableclothed big round tables and set up eight chairs at each.

The tablecloths were an olive green and each had a large square napkin with a

dark blue background showing large fruit in fresh colors. Striking.

Tiara, our youngest granddaughter, age 6, wore a beautiful black dress and her

favorite tiara. She carried a basket of tiny Butterfingers candy bars. She

circled the room stopping at each table to ask the guests if they would like

one of her Grampa’s favorite candy bars. Of course, everyone did!

We enjoyed each other’s company for quite a while and then went our separate

ways to process the day and the meaning of it, each in our own way.

I believe Ken was honored in the simple quiet fashion he so desired. G-d was

uplifted, exalted and blessed as we praised His name and thanked Him for Ken’s

life and the fruit of his efforts. Yes, this was a day that the Lord had made

and we could rejoice and be glad! One day, not too far in the future, I will

see my Kenny again – never to say “good-bye”!


12 September 2008 – Floral Hills, Lynnwood, WA

Order of Service

Shofar Blown for Assembly

Opening Prayer

Welcoming Remarks

Shema – Carl Smith leading attendees

Introduction of Jim Arneson

Comments and Music – Jim Arneson

Comments (W/Mourner’s Prayer) – Carl

Sung in Hebrew by Jeff Steadman

TAPS & Folding & Presenting Flag


Lowering of Casket

Final Shofar

Reception at Northlake Christian Church

Freedom, Law, and American Independence

Here is a message from my friend, Pastor Joe Fuiten of Cedar Park Church:

Dear Friends,

As a Pastor, I make it a point to preach at least one message a year that reflects what I am thinking about America. Below is the message that is on my heart for this year, and which I’d like to share with you in celebration of our “Freedom, Law, and American Independence”. I hope you have a wonderful July 4th holiday.

I will be spending the holiday in Medical Lake at Silver Lake Camp. If you happen to live in the Spokane area, we would be honored if you joined us. The public is welcome each night for the 7pm service, including Friday, the final night, when I will be preaching a message entitled “America in Bible Prophecy.” It’s a great camp! I hope to see you there!

Yours for the Kingdom,
Pastor Joe

Freedom, Law, and American Independence

By Dr. Joseph B. Fuiten
June 29, 2008 Sermon Notes

It is a confusing time for many Conservative Christians in America because our long-held consensus is rapidly breaking down.

The number of Christians who can apply their faith to matters of public policy is rapidly shrinking, if we are to believe the most recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public life. “Relatively few adults (14%) cite their religious beliefs as the main influence on their political thinking – about the same number as cite their education as being most important (13%). Far more cite their personal experience (34%) as being most important in shaping their political views. An additional 19% identify what they see or read in the media as the most important influence in shaping their political views.”[1]

This bodes badly for the future of America as we have known it. In World War II, on the eve of the D-Day invasion, Franklin Roosevelt led the nation in prayer where he identified the success of the war with preserving “our religion.” Sixty years later, no American president would say we have a religion, let alone lead us in prayer for its preservation.

Virtually every aspect of our civilization is rooted in the application of Christian ideas.Last year I preached a two part message called “Christianity the Uplifting Force of Civilization.” [2] I showed what the application of our Christian faith has meant to the role of women and the family. I showed how it transformed health care, science, education, economics, and even our concepts of freedom. All these things are now at risk. They are at risk because Christianity in general, and evangelicalism in particular, is becoming increasingly anemic.

A majority (57%) of Evangelicals now believe that many religions can lead to eternal life.More than two-thirds of adults affiliated with a religious tradition agree that there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their faith, a pattern that occurs in nearly all traditions.” Fully 83% of mainline church members believe this.”[3]

These survey results essentially mean that truth has been lost to most religious people including Evangelicals. With truth lost, the things that rest upon those truths will also ultimately be lost. It may take a generation or two but when the foundation is lost so ultimately is the building.

Christians today are not what their fathers were. The God of our Fathers is not their God. As a consequence, Christians today will not be able to produce what their fathers produced. We might still be able to say the words “Fourscore and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” but we now lack the spiritual discernment and intellectual ideas to conceive a nation in liberty.

Yale historian Harry S. Stout wrote an article in Christian History magazine titled, “Christianity and the American Revolution”. Here is what he said about America at the time of the Revolution:

Over the span of the colonial era, American ministers delivered approximately 8 million sermons, each lasting one to one-and-a-half hours. The average 70-year-old colonial churchgoer would have listened to some 7,000 sermons in his or her lifetime, totaling nearly 10,000 hours of concentrated listening. This is the number of classroom hours it would take to receive ten separate undergraduate degrees in a modern university, without ever repeating the same course!

Events were perceived not from the mundane, human vantage point but from God’s. The vast majority of colonists were Reformed or Calvinist, to whom things were not as they might appear at ground level: all events, no matter how mundane or seemingly random, were parts of a larger pattern of meaning, part of God’s providential design.

The outlines of this pattern were contained in Scripture and interpreted by discerning pastors. – [Today] taxation and representation are political and constitutional issues, having nothing to do with religion. But to eighteenth-century ears, attuned to lifetimes of preaching, the issues were inevitably religious as well.

When understood in its own times, the American Revolution was first and foremost a religious event.[4]

If the founding of the country was “a religious event” the continuation of the country has become a non-religious, even an anti-religious event. The words of the Apostle Paul come to mind: “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”[5]

Too many Christians today can no longer see the connection between America and the cause of Christ. The smoke and haze of the battle have obscured their view of the battlefield. They no longer see America as something special in the plans of God.

Given the extraordinarily strong Christian faith expressed in our founding, our forefathers secured for America the blessing of God for three or four generations. Even today, we have a large percentage of Christians who serve God. I don’t know another nation on earth who would have more than we have. We have been blessed, that is easy enough to see. Such blessing is an indication of purpose. To whom much is given, much is required.

If we are indeed on the wrong track as a country, and are being undone, what is the cause of this problem? I would suggest that we have adopted a very un-American, and un-Christian view of freedom.

D. Elton Trueblood wrote, “Freedom is our holy cow. Everyone believes in freedom, just as everyone is against sin, but the meaning is far from clear. Who is opposed to freedom? Nobody!”

The current generation of Americans has changed the definition of freedom and then exaggerated the emphasis upon freedom. America in particular and the West in general, are rapidly descending into political chaos under the flag of personal freedom. In the past four centuries, we have gone from John Donne’s “no man is an island” to Libertarianism’s and Liberalism’s “every man is an island.”

The Libertarian Party, founded in 1972 in America, is a classic illustration. Libertarianism as a classic political philosophy is reasonable enough. It stresses the rights of the individual and the very Lockian ideas that we each own ourselves and have the right to apply our labor to Nature and extract ownership of land and property in that way. Historically, they have opposed any kind of taxation and government interference in the economy. There is a darker side to this. It is instructive that American anarchists in the 1800’s were the champions of Libertarianism.

John Locke and Liberty

The man most responsible for the advance of liberty in the West was John Locke. His work, On Civil Government, stood as a decisive guide, not just in his homeland of England, but in the emergence of the United States of America. He wrote the work as a kind of defense of the English Civil War and Revolution culminating in 1689.

In the great rebellion of that period, for the first time in England and in the history of the West, the king was firmly challenged in a sustained revolt resulting in a constitutional and representative government grounded in a legislature backed by private citizens who were politically active. Locke provided the spiritual reasoning and political cover for this rebellion.

Across the ocean in the colonies of America, the preachers began to read and preach Locke’s principles. In many ways they preached Locke as though his writings were the fifth gospel. In doing so, the preachers laid the spiritual and political foundation for the American Revolution and Republic. It was Locke who penned the phrase “Life, Liberty, and Property.”

A few years later, Thomas Jefferson, in writing the Declaration of Independence, would only slightly modify the phrase to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” However, Jefferson’s meaning mirrored Locke’s. For both men, there was a Creator behind the process who granted life and liberty and who was sovereign over man and king.

The meaning assigned to those famous words has dramatically changed since they were written. In fact, the meaning has been so dramatically changed that they now mean almost the opposite of what their authors intended. Consider what John Locke actually wrote in his treatise, On Civil Government:

“The natural Liberty of Man is to be free from any Superior Power on Earth, and not to be under the Will or Legislative Authority of Man, but to have only the Law of Nature for his Rule. The Liberty of Man, in Society, is to be under no other Legislative Power, but that established by consent in the Common-wealth, nor under the Dominion of any Will, or Restraint of any Law, but what the Legislative shall enact according to the trust put in it.

Freedom is not what Sir R. F. tells us “A liberty for every one to do what he wants, to live as he pleases, and not to be tied to any Laws.” But Freedom of Men under Government, is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the Legislative power erected in it. A liberty to follow my own will in all things, where the rule does not prescribe, and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man.”

In Locke’s vision, the natural liberty of man is to have only the “law of nature for his rule.” The term “Law of Nature,” had a precise meaning to Locke. God created the world, which Locke called Nature, and placed man in that world. As man worked, he came to own a piece of Nature, making it his own. The “Law of Nature” is that Law which has been established by Nature’s God. Natural Law is the rule of God. In contrast to natural liberty, Locke posed the liberty of man in society.

Liberty in society meant that man would not be governed by the arbitrary authority of a monarch. Instead, the only restraint that could be put on natural liberty was that restraint placed there by the consent of the governed expressed in a lawful legislature. For Locke, if the people elected a legislature and the legislature passed laws according to the trust placed in them to govern, this was not a restriction upon liberty.

Locke absolutely denied the libertarian vision of things which was then being expressed by someone that he calls Sir R. F. Liberty is NOT the freedom from laws or authority. For Locke, liberty is not the absence of governmental laws or legislative rules.

Freedom, or liberty, had a very specific meaning. There were several components to freedom:

Freedom required a standing rule. It could not flow from a new decision of one person, namely the monarch, or from a new rule of the group. To be a standing rule, it had to be in place before it could be violated. The rule had to be established and published before it could take effect.
Freedom required that the laws apply equally to every person. There could not be one set of rules for the King and another for the commoner, or one for the rich and another for the poor.

The rule had to be written and have been decided by the legislature. It could not be arbitrary or decided by the King alone.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” In the language of the Bible, to be free is to come under the rule of Christ. “You were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” This biblical concept of freedom is acceptable to Locke as the definition of liberty.

Locke derived his ideas from the Bible. What he wrote was a further development of Paul’s ideas. Remember, to be legitimate, the rule had to be a standing rule, and apply equally to all. In Lockian terms, the rule of Christ is legitimate because the subjects have agreed to be governed by these rules. James, the brother of Jesus, would certainly agree. He described God’s law as, “…the perfect law that gives freedom.”.

Modern Americans, including Christians, have changed our concept of freedom under law to freedom without law. We cannot stand on marriage between a man and a woman because too many Christians think homosexuals should be free — free to marry and free to violate God’s law. If left with only one alternative, the modern Christian abandons God’s law in favor of the anarchy which is what “freedom” is becoming.

[1] Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life / U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, June 2008.
[3] Pew cited above
[4] Elesha Coffman, editor of Christian History Magazine, quoting from Vol 50 of that publication.
[5] Galatians 3:3, NIV.

Dr. Joseph B. Fuiten is the senior pastor of Cedar Park Church in Bothell, Washington, and he is the former president of Positive Christian Agenda. Currently, Pastor Fuiten serves on the Board of Directors for the Family Policy Institute of Washington, an associate organization of Focus on the Family.

See you next time Have a safe 4th and stay cool!!!!

Shalom, Sharaka

Ten Commandments Concerning Elderly Disabled Persons

1. Put things back when you visit.
Everything needs to be in its place.  It’s too hard to have to hunt for something.

2. Keep the doors as you found them.
If a door is shut, make sure it is SHUT when you leave that room. If the door is OPEN when you
get there – make sure it stays open. This includes all cupboard doors. There is always a reason.

3. Call first if you want to visit.
It may be a bad day and it’s too hard to put up a front – or there may be other visitors and too
many at once is not good.

4. Looking for a gift?
Your time is always the best gift. Offer to take them to lunch, a ride in the country, to a near-by
body of water, window shopping at a mall or a favorite place. Spend quality time, asking questions
about their early life, work or war experiences, hobbies or interests. If you must purchase some
thing, make it disposable. Candles, if they would be appreciated and can be used safely, perfumes,   aftershaves,  good quality lotions, healthy food items, a subscription to their favorite newspaper or magazine. A plant. Put some thought into it and you will come up with something good!

5. Ask them what they need help with.
Do their faucets leak?  Do they need their laundry done? The carpet cleaned? The windows washed? The front porch swept? Be prepared to receive a “no” answer, but persist. They may be too embarrassed to accept your help but need it very badly.

6. When you telephone, ask if they are busy.
They may be watching a favorite TV program or have company.  They probably spend long hours alone and have established a certain routine that is rude to make them break.

7. Allow them to retain their dignity.
Be sure not to talk “down” to them or act as if they aren’t up to par mentally. They may not be, but try to ignore it and carry on a normal conversation, speaking clearly and in a bit louder tone if the person appears to be a little hard of hearing.

8. Remember each day can be different and must be treated as such.
One must “play it by ear” when you come to visit. Sometimes they will be exhausted or ill. Don’t stay too long unless specifically invited to do so.

9. It may be beneficial to play “remember when…” if you are a close friend or family member.
That will draw a person out of themselves and bring a smile as they look back on better days.

10. Take pictures/videos – with permission – and make sure to send them a copy.

Give them pictures of your self and/or your family. Encourage them to write their memoirs.
Tape or video their stories, you’ll be so glad to see them and hear their voices after they are
long gone.

Enjoy the old folks while you have them.

See you next time,

Shalom, Sharaka

Memorial Day 2008 ~ A Time to Remember

Seventy years have given me a lot of memories. Disabled, with lots of time on my hands, I sit here in my LaZboy in Seattle, thinking about my beloved hometown in the shadow of the Rockies. I remember our little house next to Foster’s Garage on the corner of Lincoln and Victory Way across from the Fairgrounds. It had that awful fake-brick siding on it but it was home. It was torn down in the late 70s, I believe, and some kind of a Trading Post was built there which eventually burned. The last time we were there in 1991 it was a vacant lot. Wonder what’s there now.

A.V. Spurgin, my grandfather, moved his family into town from Elk Springs in Badger Valley in 1933.  My mother, Alberta, married Ed Julian four years later. We lived next door to my grandparents’ until my folks split up and we left town. I continued to return to Craig every summer to stay with my grandparents. We went to the Congregational Church where Mr. Best pastored. He was my hero! He came from England, wore a black three piece suit, smoked a big black cigar, and always carried candy in the glove compartment of his car for little children. He never had a wife or kids of his own but loved children. He taught the Nursery Class on Sunday mornings and held a service in Maybell on Sunday afternoons.

I remember a lot about Craig. The people were wonderful and I had loads of friends. We watched the mail train come in from Denver in the late afternoon and waited for the mail to be sorted so we could walk downtown to the post office for our mail. We talked to everybody on the way. You could smell popcorn coming from the ‘new’ drug store next to the post office. Sometimes I even got to buy some.  Craig was a small piece of Americana where people loved God, country and each other. I’m proud to have been born in such a place.

When my grandfather passed away in 1948, we couldn’t afford a tombstone but my mother vowed to come back one day and erect one. The cemetery above Dead Man’s curve was just a big dirt and weed field. In the summer of 1976, my mother and stepfather, my husband and four children and I came to finally get the tombstone.  I was horrified when Mother told us her plans. She wanted to MAKE a tombstone for grandpa’s grave! She insisted on pouring cement in a cardboard box with the bottom taken out. I couldn’t believe it! I argued against it but she finally won me over. She said her Dad was a cowboy, born in the 1800s and many of his contemporaries were buried beside the trail. She just knew he would want something simple and home made.  We did it! It was hard to keep the cement from drying too quickly in the July heat and a big crack streaked diagonally through the piece. I wrote grandpa’s name, A. V. Spurgin, with a stick and drew his cattle brand. Bar-S-rafter.  (reading from the bottom up) Then I lined the edges with small pretty stones and signed my fjc in the corner.

The last time I got to Craig was in May of 1991. We were there for Memorial Day. It seemed like the whole town had a giant yard sale and all the stores had sidewalk sales. There was a big parade through town ending at the cemetery. No longer a field of weeds, it was well maintained with statuary and nicely manicured lawns. Grandpa’s “stone” was still there. I wonder how many of the townspeople have ever noticed it.  To my astonishment, I saw that everyone had picnic lunches and they sat on their family tombstones to eat them. Children scampered here and there and a great time was had by all. Then a detail of ancient veterans marched in carrying flags. Some had parts of their uniforms on. Some had only a hat, but they stood tall and proud and made me proud to remember the America of my youth. The America that cared so much about their soldier boys that large stars hung on the doors of the homes who had a son in the War. ( WWII ) Blue for still living ones and Gold for the ones who never made it back. My Uncle Hubert A. Spurgin and my father, Harry Edward Julian, both came home. On this Memorial Day, my last in Craig, the names of all those who had lost their lives in battle were read aloud and we enjoyed a patriotic program. I hope this tradition continues and Craig is still the same warm, wonderful, caring city of my past. God bless her.

Happy Memorial Day!
See you next time!

Shalom, Sharaka

Happy New Year!

Today is the 4th of Nissan on G-d’s calendar. The calendar we all use is called the Gregorian calendar and was put together under Pope Gregory XIII. The Wikipedia Encyclopedia on Google says, “The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today………. decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom it was named, on 24 February 1582. So it can be properly called a Catholic calendar. They say the new year begins in January. G-d says it begins in the spring on the 1st of Nissan. (Sometimes March – sometimes April)
Kevin Geoffrey, a Messianic Believer, says below “we lonely few” … Isn’t that so true? The Jews on one hand don’t accept Y’shua as the Messiah, the Christians, who do accept Him, totally reject Torah (the so called “Old Testament”) as relevant in our day. We Messianics, who believe both, are not accepted by either! That surely does make us “the lonely few”.
According to the Bible, the new month started last Sunday. Each month on G-d’s calendar begins on the new moon. I am including Kevin’s short e-mail message to me. Hope you enjoy it. FYI = Adonai means Lord and is used for God’s name.
Shalom and Blessings!

And Happy New Year, too!

Yes, the new year of Israel’s calendar has begun, and as usual, our people have no idea. Sadly, as far as the Jewish people are concerned, the new year doesn’t begin for another six months, on the first day of the seventh month, known as “Rosh HaShanah.” And so, in the quiet company of the Scriptures, we lonely few celebrate the new year Adonai actually instructed Israel to observe.

In Exodus 12:1-2 and 23:15b, the Torah teaches us, “Now Adonai said to Moshe… ‘This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you…. the month of Aviv, for in it you came out of Egypt.'” So where did Israel get the idea to celebrate the new year at some other time? By whose authority was Israel’s calendar “changed”?

As we prepare our hearts to begin again the calendar Adonai gave to Israel, my thoughts turn to my people, and I ask, “How can they ever be reached?” If their eyes are blind to the simple teachings of Scripture, how can they ever be opened to the truth of Messiah?

In this new year season and the forthcoming season of Passover, let us renew our dedication to Adonai—to live completely and utterly “sold-out” to Him. Only when we sell ourselves out to God and follow wholeheartedly in the ways of the Master will we be able to reach our Jewish people… indeed, the ends of the earth! As long as we are wishy-washy on the Scriptures and convictionless with how we mix ourselves up with the world, we fail in our calling as disciples of Messiah. Now is the time to stand in the authority given to us by the Master, and fully embrace our identity in Messiah every moment of our lives.

Let us begin by forsaking our own lives, dying to self and giving ourselves to Him, then making this resolution new once again: “With Messiah I have been crucified, and no more do I live, but Messiah lives in me…” (Gal.2:20)

In the Master’s service,

Kevin Geoffrey
President and Founder
Perfect Word Ministries

See you next time,

Shalom, Sharaka

The Family of G-d

These United States of America are made up of 50 separate States, all living under the same Federal Law.

I chose to focus on Colorado because it is almost in the center of the land and because it is my home state. All people who live in Colorado are called Coloradians.

All Coloradians are also Americans. But not all Americans are Coloradians.

The Nation of Israel, like America, is made up of different “States” – or tribes. There are 12 of them. All the tribes lived under the same Law of God. The tribe of Judah is in the central part of Israel. The people of Judah lived in an area called Judea. They were called Jews. All Jews are Israelis but not all Israelis are Jews.

By the time the New Testament was written, eleven of the tribes were scattered over all the earth and had lost their identity. The only people left living in the Land of Israel were the Jews, and a few others that had trickled in from the other tribes. So all Israelites were referred to as Jews thereafter.

Technically Believers are actually Israelis, no matter what country they live in. The Family of God is made up of redeemed people who have chosen to follow the Lord. They have accepted Y’shua as their Saviour, asked forgiveness and strive to live in obedience to His Word.

God has one Family (the Church), one set of instructions for all of them (the Bible), and one land for them (the Commonwealth of Israel).

God has one book (set of instructions) for all His family. The Bible was written by Israelis – to Israelis – for Israelis and those who chose to be adopted in.

God has one Holy Land for His family. This is the Land of Israel. Technically Believers are actually Israelis, no matter what country they live in. (You can believe this or not.)

The Family of God is made up of redeemed people who have chosen to follow the Lord. They have accepted Y’shua as their Saviour, asked forgiveness and strive to live in obedience to His Word.

The Family of God is made up of the seed of Abraham, according to the New Testament, and that includes all Believers. I trust you have that the decision to become part of the Family of God.
Ask the Lord to show you His truth and be sure to check out everything I say. God bless you!

See you next time! Sharaka

The Cycle of Life

My thumbs are a beautiful shade of brown! Both of them. I can’t make a weed grow.  BUT I have succeeded in growing one thing. A few years ago … maybe five or six … I was given a lovely basket arrangement of plants. An African violet was among them. Everything else died. I tried. I really tried, but one by one they faded away. I put the little deep purpled jewel in my kitchen window sill where it continued to flourish.

Grandma raised African violets, among hundreds of other plants, inside and out. She taught me to NEVER get water on the leaves, as that would cause spotting and eventual leaf rot – or something like that.  She fed them with some kind of special African violet fertilizer, who knows what it was. All I know is they were gorgeous and bloomed all the time. She had lots of them. She had lots of everything. Once she broke off a long stick to prop up another plant she had just put in the ground. Would you believe the stick took root and lived longer than she did?

Meanwhile back on my window sill – the African violet continued to grow. Several years passed. I tried to remember to water it often ’cuz Grandma said the soil should never dry out.  Sometimes when I was in a hurry, I wasn’t real careful about where the water went and some leaves got lots of drips.  Wonder of wonders – they never turned white or brown or dead looking. They just kept on growing!  Must be a new breed of violets these days.  Every once in a while I would notice a leaf had dried up or was in the process of it and I would snip it off. But more often than not, there would be new leaves coming on. More than the ones that died.

A month or so ago, I noticed my plant had outgrown its pot, and it appeared to have become two plants. I asked one of my grandsons, Danny, to divide and replant them. He did. They looked a little droopy for about a week in their new pots, but after that they perked up and now I can see tiny new leaves on both plants. The “old” one is full of bloom.

Today as I stood observing them, I noticed on the older plant that one of the more mature leaves has turned brown and is definitely on the way out.  I haven’t had the heart to snip it off yet. There is still a little life there.

I see my family there in those violets – and yours. If you feed and water and follow directions to the best of your ability, even if you mess up at times, you will be successful. The day will come when there has to be a division.  The old homestead is just too small. Everything might look a little droopy for a while but as everyone gets used to the change and it becomes more natural, things will perk up.  Soon there will be new growth – new life comes.  And then there is the natural progression of life. One of the older leaves will begin to lose it’s color and start to  droop. It’s a long process but eventually the leaf just withers away and is gone.

This is happening at our house right now.  Our four children have all started homes of their own. We have 12 grandchildren and 2 and a half great grandchildren.  Some new growth, huh?  They make beautful blooms that bring so much joy to the heart.  My husband has been ill for several years now. His great tired heart is winding down and he will soon join his Creator, the Master Gardner and his cycle of life will be complete.  It won’t be long.

See you next time!

Shalom, Sharaka

The Family of G-d

These United States of America are made up of 50 separate States, all living under the same Federal Law.

I chose to focus on Colorado because it is almost in the center of the land and because it is my home state. All people who live in Colorado are called Coloradians.

All Coloradians are also Americans. But not all Americans are Coloradians.

The Nation of Israel, like America, is made up of different “States” – or tribes. There are 12 of them. All the tribes lived under the same Law of G-d. The tribe of Judah is in the central part of Israel. The people of Judah lived in an area called Judea. They were called Jews. All Jews are Israelis but not all Israelis are Jews.

By the time the New Testament was written, eleven of the tribes were scattered over all the earth and had lost their identity. The only people left living in the Land of Israel were the Jews, and a few others that had trickled in from the other tribes. So all Israelites were referred to as Jews thereafter.

Technically Believers are actually Israelis, no matter what country they live in. The Family of G-d is made up of redeemed people who have chosen to follow the Lord. They have accepted Y’shua as their Saviour, asked forgiveness and strive to live in obedience to His Word.

G-d has one Family (the Church), one set of instructions for all of them (the Bible), and one land for them (the Commonwealth of Israel).

G-d has one book (set of instructions) for all His family. The Bible was written by Israelis – to Israelis – for Israelis and those who chose to be adopted in.

G-d has one Holy Land for His family. This is the Land of Israel. Technically Believers are actually Israelis, no matter what country they live in. (You can agree with this or not.)

The Family of G-d is made up of redeemed people who have chosen to follow the Lord. They have accepted Y’shua as their Saviour, asked forgiveness and strive to live in obedience to His Word.

The Family of G-d is made up of the seed of Abraham, according to the New Testament, and that includes all Believers. I trust that you have made the decision to become part of the Family of G-d. Ask the Lord to show you His truth and be sure to check out everything I say. G-d bless you!

See you next time!                                                                                                                                                                               Shalom, Sharaka

What Lies Ahead?

What a beautiful day! A few white, lazy, clouds drift above, strolling along through the heavens, watching over G-D’s creation and enjoying the view. Magnificent scenery on both sides of the newly paved highway beg for attention. So much to see – the hours just fly by. You have a song in your heart and the lyrics keep repeating themselves as you tap out the beat on the steering wheel. Not a care in the world and you are so thankful to your heavenly Father for the wonderful trip you are on.

Suddenly the road turns and quickly narrows to a country lane – a gravel road – and the forest of cedar and vine maple thins out to scrubby patches of undergrowth. The skies seem to darken a bit and the powder puff clouds give way to a buttermilk sky. What on earth? The chuck holes get deeper and the car bounces crazily up and down and side to side and starts making “transmission trouble” noises. There are no signs of civilization as far as you can see. What could have happened? There was no hint of this on your map. This can’t be right!

“Oh, G-d! Please help me!”, you cry. “Please don’t let me break down here in this wilderness!” What happened to your song? What has happened to the warm cozy feeling down deep in your soul? The car gives one last grumble and slows to a bumpy stop. You have no idea what to do. Remembering vaguely what your brother said about opening the hood, you pull the little lever and watch as the hood flips up. Well, that’s a good thing! Now what? You don’t even know what you are looking for and your eyes dart over the unfamiliar jumble of wires and assorted mysterious black objects.

“Father, please help me. I have no idea what to do and it’s getting darker and darker. I can’t DO this!” After a few more minutes of searching for some thing that “doesn’t look right” all to no avail, you slam down the hood and crawl back into the car. More praying, more whining, more trying your best to figure out what to do – and then comes a quiet revelation that G-d is still on the throne and no matter what – all is right with the world! You are NOT alone! You know He loves you and cares about what is happening to you. You cuddle into the blanket that you always keep in the back seat, and are thankful for its warmth and soon you begin to relax and talk to the Lord with a calm assurance. You remind Him that you are so aware of His promise never to leave you or forsake you. You remember the many times He has watched over you and kept you from harm. You begin to praise Him and repeat some of the Bible verses you have committed to memory. Soon you are asking forgiveness for some of the spiteful things you said earlier that day to your family. Sleep begins to pull on your eyelids and you snuggle further down in the blanket as you begin to say the Shemah.  (Deut 6:4-9)
Sunshine and birdsong grab your attention and you realize you have slept all night in this place. With a thankful heart, you fold up your blanket, return it to its spot on the backseat and step out of the car to stretch your legs. After a short walk, breathing in the fresh morning air, you decide to try the ignition again, not sure of what may happen. Wonder of wonders! It purrs and seems to feel a little sheepish about its bad behavior the night before. Creeping ahead, you say another prayer of thanksgiving and guide ’ol Betsy through the maze of dirt and gravel.

Soon the sun has risen enough to take the chill out of the air and you notice you are leaving the scrub country. The road is not so rough anymore. Looks like smooth sailing ahead! Might be a great trip after all! A roadside café appears in the distance and you’re sure you can smell that coffee already. You finish a hefty plate of hotcakes and eggs and start off once more on your homeward journey, confident that the King of kings and Lord of lords is right there beside you and nothing will happen that He can’t handle.

You don’t know about the rickety, narrow bridge that will wobble and groan beneath your car right around the next corner. You can’t see the sharp cliffs that fall below on both sides of your car, and with no guardrail, that you will experience not too far ahead. You couldn’t even begin to imagine the shock and horror you will feel when you come upon a fatal accident and there is no one there but YOU to take care of it. But in between those times, there is beauty and grandeur and you proceed, full speed ahead with a heart of love and awe at what G-d has created.

Isn’t that just like our lives? We fly along, laughing and singing in wild abandonment only to be yanked up short with one horrific problem after another. This is life on our planet. Maturity brings the assurance that G-d, indeed, is still on His throne and all’s right with the world – no matter what. Just keep your eye on your destination and what ever mishaps occur along life’s way will only serve to make you stronger and Home will be the sweeter for it!

See you next time!
Happy trails!

Shalom, Sharaka

Shavuot ~ Pentecost

“Today is 49 days, which are seven weeks, of the Omer.”

the following is from Carl Smith, Messianic Pastor
Tomorrow is the 50th day….Shavuot (Weeks, Pentecost) This remembers and celebrates the day the Torah was given at Mt Sinai (Horeb); the day Israel became a congregation; the day of the marriage to YHVH. This remembers and celebrates the special empowering of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) upon the Believers in Yeshua in Jerusalem 10 days after He ascended into heaven. This remembers and celebrates that YHVH has made Yeshua both Lord and Messiah (Acts 2:36), and that He has paid for our sins if we follow Him. “Turn from sin, return to God, and each of you be immersed on the authority of Yeshua the Messiah into forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh!” (Complete Jewish Bible, David Stern)

This remembers and celebrates the Appointed Time (Mo’ed – H4150) established by YHVH around 3,500 years ago (Lev 23:15-21; Deu 16:9-12); one that millions upon millions of His people have enjoyed over the centuries.


[Note: If you are a Believer in Yeshua then you are automatically a child of Abraham, grafted into the tree of Israel. Importantly, these are YHVH’s “Feasts” (Appointed Times, Mo’adim–cf Leviticus 23). These are His Appointed Times, His “Feasts,” not “Jewish Feasts.” These are for all of His people. (cf Rom 4:9-16; 11:17-24; Gal 3:6-7; James 2:21) That includes all of us. 🙂

It is sobering to consider that if we do not remember and celebrate these mo’adim we are dishonoring, even denying that we trust in, YHVH, our Heavenly Father and Yeshua His Son! (1 John 2:3-6) ]”

See you next time!

Shalom, Sharaka

Miss Mulligan

In the spring of 1986, we brought home a long awaited poodle puppy. It was St. Patrick’s Day and because of that and the fact that she was red – we named her Miss Mulligan. I once wrote a paper about Miss Mulligan, the dog that owned our house and allowed us to live there … That tells it all. We had her 14 years and five months. She lies buried across the driveway at our house, guarded by an elegant swan. I miss her to this day. She taught us things we will never forget.

Below is a poem “we” wrote.

A Warm ‘Thank You’ By Miss Mulligan as told to Sharaka.

One hot summer day in an old Montana town.
A kindly old vet, the nicest one around,
Pulled a nasty ol’ tick right outa my head!
“There’l be no charge,” he smiled and said.

My folks were as pleased as they could be,
And we headed back home – my folks and me.
Well, the days slipped by and summer turned to fall.
Years went on but we remembered it all!

Doc Joe knew his cattle and his horses, too.
But one little creature he never knew.
It wasn’t any insect or any kind of bug –
It’s an odd little thing – a Washington slug!

We found a wooden one and sent it on it’s way,
To give him a smile and brighten up his day.
We wanted to thank him one more time
And say, “ God bless you! Friend of mine.”

Alas, we had jes’ waited too long,
And Old Doc Joe had up and gone!
He wasn’t there and no one seemed to know
Just where the kindly old doc did go.

Now he’ll never know how much that I
Thought of him and I’ll never know why
He did such a kind deed for little ol’ me.
We should have sent that slug, you see!

I’ll never forget him ‘til the end of my days!
And I really know now that it always pays
To send a ‘thank you’ right away before
Your friend goes off right out the door!

Make a list of people you would like to thank for some kind favor, or just because you care. Send letters to them and don’t forget to do such acts of kindness in return. You may never know what a blessing you are!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka

Passover – Bedikat Chametz

Removing the Leaven

We are required to remove all leaven (which represents sin) from our homes before Passover begins. There is an old tradition called “Bedikat Chametz” which is done the evening before Passover. The house has been thoroughly cleaned (beginning the day after Purim) and there is no yeast, baking powder, flour or products made with flour in the house. A Jewish friend of mine went so far as to feed her dog outside during this time, not even wanting dog food in the house!

Each Congregation and even each family has their own version of how to accomplish the tradition of Bedikat Chametz. The following is mine which was taught to me by my dear friend, the late Ruth Specter Lascelle, whose grandfather was an Orthodox rabbi in Jerusalem. Ruth loved her Messiah and taught many, many others through her books, her brother’s radio program, Seattle Bible Training School and in speaking engagements throughout the country. I loved listening to her stories. You can find her books through her late brother, Hyman Specter’s “The Rock of Israel” website. I have added some of my own thoughts as well as from Eddie Chumney and others.

Now for the ceremony:

Father, in the darkened house, lights a candle and with the children in tow, goes about the house searching for chametz.

Mom has placed 10 crumbs of bread in plain sight somewhere in the house for them to find. When they are found, they are swept onto a wooden spoon with a feather, then dumped into a linen cloth. The cloth is put into a paper bag and left outside the house until morning when it is burned. Father prays that to his knowledge, all chametz has been removed from their house. Any unseen or unknown chametz is declared null and void. Now they are ready for Passover!


Father is the head of the house and the priest of the family. Ephesians 5:23 – ‘For the husband is the head of the wife …”

Mother (woman was made to be a help to her husband. They are to submit to each other in love.) Genesis 2:18 -“ ….it is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper…..”)

Searching for chametz (anything made with leavening). Zephaniah 1:12 “…I will search Jerusalem with lamps (candles)….” The Lord was looking for sin.

Chametz = any grain that can ferment, or flour made from any grain, (typically bread crumbs) is leaven (yeast, Baking Powder, etc. ) symbolizes sin in our lives. Exodus 12:19 – ‘For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses……’

Candle (light) = G-d’s Holy Word which shows us our sin. Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

Feather = the Ruach HaKodesh or Holy Spirit, which shows us truth – teaches us.                                                         I Cor. 2:12 – “…. we have received … the Spirit, who is come from G-d that we might know the things that are freely  given to us by G-d.”

Linen cloth = what Y’shua was wrapped in John 19:40 – “Then took they the body of Y’shua and wound it in strips of linen ….”

Wooden spoon = the tree (or cross) where Y’shua was crucified Deut 21:22

Paper bag = the tomb John 19:41,42 – “…. A new tomb ….so there they laid Y’shua…”

Burning = Y’shua descending to Hades, a place of burning Acts 2:27 – “Because You will not leave My soul in Hades.”

I have found this little ceremony to be very helpful in knowing I have done my best to remove leaven from my house, according to G-d’s commandment and more importantly, that I have prayerfully asked the Lord to show me any sin in my life so that I can repent and rebuke that which is not pleasing to Him.

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka

House cleaning for Passover?

Where to Start?

House in trouble? Don’t know where to start? Take a tip from everybody’s friend, the FlyLady! (and she’s a Believer!) If you are like most of us housewives …. Guys, you can benefit from this, too! … you want everything to look nice but the housework just seems to get away from you. So much to do – so little time!!!

I’ve created a new habit for myself – just for starters. If you do this consistently, you will be on your way to a cleaner house.

Don’t you hate to be at a nice restaurant, go into the Ladies’ Room or Men’s Room, as the case may be, and find a sink all spotted with water and soap scum here and there? Well, you really don’t want to face the same condition at home, do you?

Here’s whatcha do – every time you use a sink in your house, finish up with a paper towel or whatever you use, and wipe up your sink. Get rid of water spots, soap scum and polish the Faucet! Make your sink look like new. Soon, with a little encouragement, your family will begin to do the same. When you have a beautiful shiny sink, the counters will look so much better if you remove all the unnecessary clutter and wipe them down, too. Before you know it your whole kitchen and bathroom will be a thing of beauty! At the very least, your sinks will sparkle and you will feel a whole lot better about yourself! Just try it for a week and see. Would ya? Passover’s coming!!!!

See you next time!

Shalom, Sharaka