INDEX – DECEMBER 2004

December 1-3 blank
4 = (General) “Calendars – “Who When and Why?”
5 = (Chanukah) “The Feast of Dedication” – all about Chanukah
6 = (Chanukah) “Latke Recipe”
7 = (Chanukah) “A Different Latke Recipe – try it!”
8 = (Chanukah) “What’s it All About, Anyway?”
9 = (Chanukah) “Ancient Modi’in” – a city in Israel
10 = (Chanukah) “A Parakeet named Dreidel” – a sweet story
11 = Shabbat Shalom
12 = (Chanukah) “Dancing Chanukah Lights.” – a sad true story
13 = (Chanukah) “It’s Almost Over”
14 = (Chanukah) “The Last Night”
15 = (General) “Nocturnal Journey” a poem about falling asleep
16 = (Messianic Lifestyle) “There is Power in the Blood” = Part 3… about bloody meat
17 = “There is Power in the Blood” = Part 2… about bloody meat
18 = Shabbat Shalom
19 = “There is Power in the Blood” = Part One… don’t eat blood!
20 = (Messianic Lifestyle) “Why I Don’t “Do” Christmas”
21 = (Messianic Lifestyle) “Why Have A Mezuzah?”
22 = (General) “Does it Really Matter?” – are you doing your part?
23 = (General) “We’ve Got Kids!” on child rearing
24 = (General) “What About Slang?” – should Believers use it?
25 = (Messianic Lifestyle) “What Does Shalom Mean?”
26 = (General) “Eternity Quiz” Where will YOU spend it?
27 = (recipe) Challah – Easiest Ever
28 = (Messianic Lifestyle) What Are Tzitzit?” should WE wear them?
29 = (Messianic Lifestyle) “What About Baptism” – then and now
30 = (General) “What is Truth?” do not lie!
31 = December Index

Calendars – Who, What and Why?

Calendars – take your pick!

When G-d created the earth, He created each new day to begin at sunset. Breisheet 1:5(Genesis) tells us the evening and the morning was the first day. He created each new month to begin on Rosh Chodesh (New Moon). The first month was Tishrei (around our September). Everything from Breisheet 1 to Sh’mot (Exodus) 12 is based on that date.

In Sh’mot 12, G-d changes the beginning of the year to the month of Nissan because of Pesach (Passover). The Egyptian exodus was so crucial that it changed the whole calendar by six months. The Jewish civil calendar still begins with Tishrei in the Fall and is considered to be the “birthday of the world”. Jews send New Year’s cards to family and friends. Tishrei 1 is called Rosh HaShanah (head or beginning of the year) It is also Yom Teruah (the Feast of Trumpets) in V’Yikra (Leviticus) 23:23. So now there are two “firsts” for the year. The month of Nissan is the beginning of the religious calendar for the Jewish people. The 14th day of that month is Pesach (Passover). It happens every year on the full moon. Sometimes on our calendar (Gregorian) Pesach, the time G-d says is to be the first of the year, comes in March and other years in April.
In America, we also have two “firsts”, the fiscal year, beginning on 1 July and the Gregorian calendar year beginning on 1 January.

G-d has given us times for the day, the month and the year – but Man, being smarter (not!) than G-d has changed all of them. How do you suppose He feels about that?

The Egyptians about 2700 BC realized that the year was about 365 days. One of the most important times of the year in their lives occurred with the flooding of the Nile River. They really needed to know how to calculate that. They developed a solar (sun) based calendar of 365 days. A year is actually 365 and 1/4 days so every 40 years, one day was lost. It took them until 238 BC (Ptolemy III) to figure out that they needed to add an extra day every four years. The Greeks and later the Romans also tried to work out a lunar (moon) based calendar that would be accurate.

In 46 BC, Julius Caesar was tired of all the conflicting ideas and decreed that the Egyptian solar calendar would be “the one and only”. The Egyptian astronomer and mathematician, Sosigenes, who was employed by Cleopatra at the time, was the one relied upon by Julius Caesar to do the much of the work. This modified Egyptian solar calendar went into effect in the year 45 BC. It is still known as the “Julian calendar” and is still used in some places in the world today. In this calendar, there are 5 “left-over” days which are added on about every other month. February was considered an unlucky month by the Romans so it had the fewest days so people would have fewer “unlucky” days. In 325, the Council of Nicaea, which we hear so much about, officially adopted the Julian calendar and made it the standard for the Christian faith.

By the late 700’s, the Moslem empire was becoming established and great stress was put on science and learning. Omar Khyam, noted poet, measured the length of the year to be 365.242198581 days, an accuracy which exceeds the gradual slowing of the earth’s rotation!

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII, declared a calendar to make the necessary adjustments. It is this calendar that we use today.

Perhaps because of the earth moving on its axis during the flood, there was a slight change in our days. The Jewish calendar is no longer totally accurate. The addition of an extra month in seven of every 19 years is the basis for the Jewish calendar today. Your birthday will occur on the same day on the Jewish calendar and on the Gregorian calendar once every 19 years.

The Moslems still have a 364 day calendar and so their festivals shift throughout all seasons of the year three times every century.

On the Julian calendar, the numbering of the months began in March.

March = was named after Mars, the god of war, winter was over and wars could begin again.
April = is also Latin for aperier or to open as in buds on the trees.
May = is named after Maia, the goddess of growth (springtime)
June = is from juvenis, Latin for youth.
July = Julius Caesar changed the month of Quintilis, Latin for 5, to July for himself.
August = Julius Caesar also changed Sextilis, Latin for 6, to August for Augustus.
September = septem is Latin for 7.
October = Octo, Latin for 8,
November = novem, Latin for 9.
December = decem, is Latin for 10.
January = was named for Janus, so called protector of the gateway to heaven.
February = was named after Februlia, supposedly a time of making sacrifices to atone for sins.

Conclusion: I seem to have quite a headache now after trying to glean out all this information from all the available sources….. What I wanted you to understand is this:

G-d made a perfect day, month and year for us. We didn’t want that and so we changed it all.
We first had the Julian calendar and then a ‘better’ Gregorian calendar. One day when Messiah comes, He will put everything straight! In the meantime, we have to live in the world and abide by the world’s reckoning of time. What a day that will be when time will be no more and we can rely on G-d’s way of doing things!

In the meantime —— we begin the new Gregorian or Catholic year of 2005 at midnight tonight and I want to wish each of you a happy, healthy and prosperous year to come. May you find your true love, your best job ever, your lost dog and whatever else has been evading you all these years! Most of all, may you and your loved ones meet together one day in the olam haba (the world to come) with our Father, the blessed King of the universe, the Son, our Saviour and Redeemer and Friend and may the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth!

Shabbat Shalom.

See you next year!
Shalom, Sharaka
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What is Truth?

TRUTH 3/4/94
“What is truth?” (John 18:38) That question was asked almost two thousand years ago and is still being asked today. Y’shua said He was Truth and those who belong to Him are keepers and tellers of truth. Deceit and half-truths are lies and those who persist in this activity are what the Bible says they are – children of the devil.

Lies and their sister, Deception, have filtered down even to our Christian homes and churches today. If Mommy gets a telephone call from Mrs. So and So and doesn’t want to talk to her, she thinks nothing of insisting little Johnny say, “Mommy isn’t home.” What a role model! Then Mom wonders why Johnny cheats, “just a little”, on his school exams.

Did the store clerk give you $1.00 too much in change? Did you notice it but justified it by saying, “Well, I didn’t do it – it was his fault!” It is told that Abraham Lincoln walked three miles to the home of a customer, after work, to return a penny he had over-charged him. One penny! Today’s penny is worth almost nothing but the principle remains the same. The Word says the world will know us by our love – let them also know us by our honesty!

We are seeking to get back to our roots. Let us make Truth one of our goals and always make sure the words of our mouth are faithful and true and nothing but the truth! “Oh, it doesn’t matter. No one will know the difference anyway.” is frequently said by many of us. That, dear Mishpachah (family), is just not so! YOU know and GOD knows and that is a sentence that should never be spoken.

Let’s take this opportunity at the start of this new year to better guard our lips and determine in our hearts to stand tall before our Saviour, knowing that He can count on us to ALWAYS speak the truth in love – God helping us.

“Six things God hates – no seven….” says Proverbs 7:16, and the second one is a lying tongue.

Let’s don’t be a part of anything God hates!

Tomorrow, let’s talk about the calendar!
See you then -
Shalom, Sharaka

What About Baptism?

Been Baptized?

“The Christian practice of baptism is confusing for a lot of people. They wonder, “What does it accomplish? Does it wash away my sin? If not, then why should I do it? Will I go to hell if I don’t? How should it be done? Some churches sprinkle, others pour, and still others immerse. Who is right?” For those who didn’t grow up in church, it can all seem pretty mysterious. Even for those who did, its true significance is not always recognized. So what is baptism good for, anyway?

Here it is in a sentence: Baptism is public identification with Christ. It’s standing up in front of a group of people and saying, “Do you know what? I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I am in Him, and He is in me. I am not my own; I have been bought with a price. I am a card-carrying, flag-flying member of the family of God. I don’t care who knows it! He is my Savior!”

It is essential for every new believer to go public like this. By being baptized you are saying to the world, “I am a Christian; I belong to Jesus.” Baptism is the biblical way to profess your faith in Christ.

Biblical Christianity emphasizes the importance of public confession. Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This shows that holding it privately in your heart isn’t good enough; you also have to confess it with your mouth. You’re supposed to testify publicly. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 10:32-33? “Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” …….. This matter of confessing Christ publicly is very serious.” by James MacDonald

The above was written for his weekly radio broadcast. I agree 100%

As Christians, we were taught that we must be baptized and that is very true. But somehow things got changed and it became a different ceremony altogether. The way the church teaches baptism today is not the biblical way to do it.

What the ancients of the Bible did was to step into the water, publicly declare faith and plunge themselves into the water. This is not what saves a person. “It is the outward appearance of an inward act.” As we were taught in catechism class.

Modern baptism is what has ‘evolved’ down from the Jewish mikvah. The PROPER way to do this is to do it yourself – with someone watching as a witness. No one can baptize you – it is something you alone are responsible for. Pouring or sprinkling are not acceptable forms of baptism, unless the person is physically unable to get down into the water because of illness or old age. I have never had a PROPER baptism – and I want to take care of that this next summer at Martha Lake….

I realize G-d knows the heart and I’m not saying folks baptized the “wrong” way are not accepted as baptized – I’m only saying the modern way is not the way Y’shua did it and He told us to do what He did …..

There is no question that the church is debtor to Judaism for its main structure including baptism itself. Dr. Merrill Tenney, the editor of the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible said, “Baptism as a rite of immersion was not begun by Christians but was taken by them from the Jews.”

The term Mikveh in Hebrew literally means any gathering of waters, but is specifically used in Jewish law for the waters or bath for the ritual immersion. The building of the mikveh was so important in ancient times it was said to take precedence over the construction of a synagogue. Immersion was so important that it occurred before the High Priest conducted the service on the Day of Atonement, before the regular priests participated in the Temple service, before each person entered the Temple complex, before a scribe wrote the name of God, as well as several other occasions.

Jewish baptism has never been taken lightly, but in ancient times immersion was to be performed in the presence of witnesses [Yebam. 47b]. The person being baptized made special preparations by cutting his nails, undressed completely and made a fresh profession of his faith. The individual stood straight up with the feet spread and the hands held out in front. the candidate would totally immerse himself by squatting in the water with a witness or baptizer doing the officiating. Note the New Testament points out the fact that Jesus came up straightway out of the water [Matthew 3:16]. The earliest drawing of Christian baptism was found on the wall of a Roman catacomb in the second century showing John standing on the bank of the Jordan helping Jesus back to shore after immersion.

The Jewish baptism candidates were often immersed three times. The idea of total immersion comes from the Scripture in Leviticus 15:16 when it says, “he shall wash all his flesh in the water.” One reason it was customary to immerse three times was because the word Mikveh occurs three times in the Torah.
According to Jewish law the immersion had to have a required witness. The immersion candidate was not touched by the baptizer in Jesus’ day. Because Leviticus 15:16 says “He shall wash all his flesh in the water,” Judaism stresses that the entire body must come in contact with the water of the Mikveh. To insure the immersion was valid no one could touch the candidate.

The baptismal water [Mikveh] in rabbinic literature was referred to as the womb of the world, and as a convert came out of the water it was considered a new birth separating him from the pagan world. As the convert came out of these waters his status was changed and he was referred to as “a little child just born” or “a child of one day” [Yeb. 22a; 48b; 97b]. We see the New Testament using similar Jewish terms as “born anew,” “new creation,” and “born from above.”

According to Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum rabbinic literature uses the term “born again” to refer to at least six different occurrences. Note each of these life changing experiences:

a. When a Gentile converts to Judaism.
b. When an individual is crowned king.
c. At age 13 when a Jewish boy chooses to embrace God’s covenant and be numbered with the believers. (Bar Mitzvah)
d. When an individual gets married.
e. When an individual becomes a rabbi.
f. When an individual become the head of a rabbinical school.
Jewish law requires at least three witnesses

One of the most important teachings in Judaism is that of repentance. According to both Scripture and rabbinic literature, no matter how great the sin, if a person repents and forsakes the sin before God he can be forgiven. Does this mean that baptism saves a person? No. Not everyone who wears a badge is a sheriff and not everyone who wears a ring is married. Some people go through the motions, but without faith in their heart. Such people were unbelievers when they got into the water, and they were still unbelievers when they got out. The only difference is that now they’re wet. Salvation occurs when a person believes in their heart and confesses with their mouth (Romans 10:9).

The above was adapted from the American Institute of Holyland Studies.

So how about you? Have you taken this important first step as a Christian? Have you stood before a group of people and made known to them that you belong to Y’shua/Jesus? If not, I encourage you to get that done. It is the most basic step in the Christian life. If you have been baptized, I encourage to think back on that day. Do you remember the love that you had for Him then? Is it burning just as strong today? If not, maybe you need to reaffirm your commitment to walk with Him and to let the world know that you are His.

Baptism is not optional – Y’shua said, “Repent and be baptized”

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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What Are Tzitzit?

Tzitzit – what are they and why should I care?

B’Midbar (in the wilderness) / Numbers 15:37 – 41 tells us in the Complete Jewish Bible: “Adonai (the Lord) said to Moshe, ‘Speak to the children of Isra’el, instructing them to make, throughout all their generations, tzitziot (tassels/fringes) on the corners of their garments, and to put with the tzitzit on each corner, a blue thread. It is to be a tzitzit for you to look at and thereby remember all of Adonai’s mitzvot (instructions) and obey them, so you won’t go around wherever your own heart and eyes lead you to prostitute yourselves; but it will help you remember and obey all My mitzvot and be holy for your God. I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt in order to be your God. I am Adonai your God.”

This portion of Scripture is in the First Covenant (the words, New Testament, are not really correct. It implies the “old” is over and out and the “new” is in. Both parts of G-d’s Book are valid for us today.)

In those days the people did not have individual Bibles to carry around with them or keep in their homes. G-d made a way to have a constant reminder for them to remember and keep His instructions. After all, when you see someone with strings hanging off of their clothes – it would make you wonder, wouldn’t it?

He told us to make fringes or threads (one of them blue) and attach them to the four corners of our garments. This is so we will remember the instructions He gave us. It is something like tying a string around your finger to help you remember something. When you see that – you can’t help but remember.

He didn’t suggest it either, He said “DO IT!” The first 4 or 5 times I read that, I thought, “OK, that’s nice – but I’m not Jewish, besides, it’s in the OLD Testament and I don’t have to. Timothy (in the NEW Testament) says God has given us His Word for instruction, for correction, for reproof. Why should we think this portion of Scripture is not for us? Are we G-d’s people? Are His promises valid for us? Is Y’shua preparing a place for us? Then why do we think we can pick and chose which Scriptures we want to accept and follow and which ones to lay aside and ignore?

I strongly believe we should wear tzitzit on the corners of our garments. How we do this is a matter of personal choice. The ancient rabbis devised a way to make them and figured out how to spell the name of G-d by the number of knots that were tied in the fringes. Remember, each letter of the Hebrew alef-bet is also a number. “A” = 1, “B” = 2, etc. This is a great way to make yours! WE don’t HAVE to do it that way, because G-d only said make fringes (tzitzit) having one blue thread with the white ones in the corners of your garments. Whenever I see a man wearing tzitzit, I have the utmost respect for him because I can see that he is trying his best to obey the Lord and follow His Word. He is someone I can admire.

Matthew 9:20 talks about the woman with the issue of blood that touched the “hem” of His garment — what she touched were the tzitzit, which contained the name of G-d. She was reaching out to touch G-d and was healed. She most likely knew Malachi 4:2 – “there is healing in His wings” (tzitzit)

Matthew 14:35 & 36 also talks about His tzitzit and healing.

Since we are to “Keep the mitzvot” (teachings) Matthew 19:16&17, I think we’d best consider this one.

May I suggest you prayerfully consider this? It is a great witness tool and you may be able to lead someone into their Hebrew roots.

You may ask, “What about women – should they wear them, too?” Well, all I can say is read it over (Numbers 15:37-41) again and ask Him to show you what to do. I wear a scarf during many prayers and I have put tzitzit on the corners. The rabbis say it is for men only…. but women cannot be excluded in this if they want to do it.

Another question – should they be worn everyday or just to the services of the Congregation? What do you think G-d meant for us to do? We each have to answer to G-d for ourselves. Will you read these Scriptures over and ask Him what He wants YOU to do?

See you tomorrow,
Shalom, Sharaka
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Challah – Easiest Ever!

Challah

An easy way to have challah for your Erev Shabbat Dinner:

Jews and Messianics prepare a special dinner to begin the Sabbath. The Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday evening. This is called “Erev Shabbat”. You can buy challah at some grocery stores, (most Albertson’s carry it) or Jewish bakeries. You can make your own from scratch or try this easy way:

Start with a frozen loaf of bread. Whole wheat is best if you can find it. Mrs Rhodes is a good brand.

What I do: You may follow directions on the bag for other ways.
On Friday morning, remove one loaf from the bag and place it in an oiled bread pan. Leave on the counter, covered, until it is completely thawed out.

Check how much time you will need to thaw bread dough and at the appropriate time, depending on the season of the year = turn on the oven to “warm”. Divide the loaf in half, then divide each half into 3 equal parts. (6 in all)

Remove a tiny piece of dough about the size of an olive and remembering the burned offerings at the Temple and how Y’shua, the Bread of Life, died for our sin. Breathe a prayer of thanksgiving for Him who died for us. Throw the dough into the oven where it will turn into a tiny black charred ball!

Roll each part into a long roll and when you have made 3 long rolls,
Braid them into challah. Wet the ends, press them together and secure under the loaf.
Place on a greased cookie sheet or 9X11 baking dish

Repeat with the remaining 3 rolls. Place that loaf so that it has room to expand without touching the other..

Turn OFF the oven and carefully place the cookie sheet or baking dish in the oven, making sure it is not too hot. If it is, leave the oven door open.

Set timer for 30 minutes. And check loaf when it rings. May need to rise a little longer.

Remove pan from oven and turn oven to 350 degrees.

Place one egg in a blender or mixer or beat thoroughly by hand. Add a TBSP ofwater.

Brush egg wash on loaves – carefully so they don’t lose any air – make sure you cover all exposed areas. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and when oven has reached 350 – place on center rack.

Set timer for 25 minutes (less if your oven usually runs hot)
Check challah at that time and remove when it has a nice brown shiny color.

Wrap in Challah cover or napkin and take to table.
Time your baking so bread is ready when it is time to eat.

Enjoy!

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Eternity Quiz

Eternity Quiz ! (You have two choices on most questions…….)

If you want to see where you stand spiritually, take a few minutes and take this quiz. You’ll be glad you did!

1) Where did the human race come from?
A. From G-d B. from slime
Hopefully, your answer is A. =

2) If you say we come from G-d – think about this very carefully and answer these questions:
A. Where are you going?
1. Heaven or 2. Hell
B. How do you know?
C. What are you supposed to do while you’re here?
1. Do everything you want to do – enjoy life – get as much pleasure as you can.
2. Fear (reverence) G-d and keep His commandments.
The answer is found in the Bible – our Instruction Book. Read it daily and find out!

3) How can you get to heaven?
A. Live a good, positive life and be kind to everyone. Do your best. Be sincere.
B. Repent, ask G-d for forgiveness and make Him Lord (Boss) of your life.
You know the answer is B.

4) Salvation is a free gift, there is nothing you can do to earn it.
A. True, you don’t earn a gift, someone gives it to you because they love you!
B. False, you have to work for your salvation by being good and working your way to heaven.
A. is the absolute truth.

5) Y’shua (Jesus) said, “If you love Me – keep My commandments.” (or instructions.)
Where does that come in? Salvation is free – so isn’t that ALL you have to do?
A. Yes, just do what you can do and don’t worry about it. G-d loves everybody, so don’t give it a thought.
B. Yes, salvation is free (to us – He paid with His blood on the cross) But His commandments tell us how to live a life that is pleasing to G-d. If we continue to live only for our own pleasure and not according to His commandments, is there salvation? “Repent” means to stop what you are doing and return to G-d’s ways.
The Book of Timothy says we are to “Study to show thyself approved unto G-d.”

6) OK, what are we supposed to study?
A. The New Testament – the Old Testament is an ancient history book, no longer valid for us.
B. The “Old Testament” is the only Word of G-d Timothy and the NT Believers had. It contains all we need to know and do to please G-d. We still need all 66 books. We need to follow all that pertains to us in our day.

7) Didn’t everything change at the cross. The old “law” is outmoded and has been replaced, right?
A. True
B. False. The only thing that changed at the cross was the need for animal sacrifice. ( Sacrificial Laws) The Dietary Laws and the Moral Laws are still in effect. The penalty for sin, not the instruction, was nailed to the cross. G-d’s instructions to us are still as good as ever. “I am the Lord – I change not.” “Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, today and forever.”

If you plan to go to heaven and live with Him forever and be with all your loved ones that are there, you must follow G-d’s plan for salvation. Then live for Him. Do nothing and you will end up in hell.
What in hell do you want? Commit your life to G-d, follow His commandments and live forever with Him and His people. You WILL live forever – someplace ……..

There really are only two choices:

Heaven or Hell
Where are you going to spend eternity?

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka

What Does Shalom Mean?

Shalom

The world around us says this is the season for “Peace on Earth”, but we know that can never happen until the Prince of Peace returns! In the mean time, we can think of that great day to come and wish our family and friends “shalom”! It has great meaning.

The word “shalom” is probably the most easily recognized word in the Hebrew language. One thinks of it as a greeting – “hello” and/or “good-bye”. It is so much more than that. It is part of the name of G-d’s great City of Peace – Yerushalayim/Jerusalem, where Y’shua will reign for a thousand years!

When one meets a friend, he says, “Shalom aleichem” (ah – LE – khem), meaning peace to you. The response is – “Aleichem shalom” (and to you – peace)

Most people don’t understand what this word really means. It is not simply a greeting (hello/good-bye) it means, according to page 371 of David Stern’s “Jewish New Testament”:

“peace, tranquillity,
safety, well-being,
welfare, health,
contentment, success,
comfort, wholeness,
and integrity.”

In other words – that’s about as good as it can get!

Y’shua says in Matt 10:12, “When you enter someone’s household, say ‘shalom aleichem’ if the home deserves it, let your shalom rest on it, if not, let your shalom return to you.”

If Y’shua said to do this – it must be important and we would do well to practice it.

When we wish someone “shalom”, there is nothing better we could possibly say! It’s a good way to answer your phone or to say good-bye’ on the phone. If you can do it so that it comes naturally – why not try it?

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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What About Slang? Is it OK?

Slang – What is it ? Should a Believer use it?

“Slang” = according to Mr. Webster’s Unabridged 1983 Edition of his dictionary, page 1338, there are six forms of this word.

The first says it is “a very informal usage of an idiom which is more playful and vivid than ordinary language – such as ‘hit the road’.”

“Idiom” = “an expression whose meaning is not predictable”

The second meaning says, “the use of vulgar and socially taboo vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.”

The third meaning says, “the jargon of a particular class”

“Jargon” = the language/vocabulary of a particular group

The fourth meaning says, “the special vocabulary of thieves and vagabonds – argot”

“Argot” = “an idiomatic vocabulary peculiar to a particular group or class of people especially that of an underground group such as thieves, devised for private communication and identification.” (I don’t want to be identified with these kinds of people!)

The fifth says, “to use slang or abusive language and sixth = “to assail with abusive language”

Some slang is fine – and peculiar to Americans of certain areas. With this I have no quarrel. It’s when certain words are used that refer to the Creator of heaven and earth, the הוהי Yod Hey Vav Hey, the Saviour of my soul – to my Y’shua that I bristle. When I have mentioned this, some folks take offense and say they “don’t mean it like that!” Well, here is what our dictionary says and this is what it means. … and we MUST NOT use G-d’s name or any word referring to G-d in a flippant manner. This is dangerous!!

This paper is my own personal conviction and not necessarily the position of my Congregation. I am not attempting to force you to change your speech habits. I am merely presenting you with the facts and asking you to speak to our Father, (who said, “Let your Yea be Yea and your Nay be Nay”) about this matter and ask you to let the Holy Spirit be your guide. He asks us to be holy as He is holy. Would a holy G-d speak in this manner or be pleased with ones who do? You need to decide that for yourself!

Let’s look at some “favorite slang”:

“darn” = “to curse, damn, (see damn) darned = damned”

“gee” = “used to express surprise, a euphemism for ‘Jesus’
“Euphemism” – “substitution of a word with a milder one which appears to be less offensive or harsh” (but means the same)

“gol-darn” = “a euphemism in an expression of anger for ‘g– damn’” (sorry, forgive me, I’m just copying the dictionary)

“golly” = “Used as a mild exclamation expressing surprise – an alternative for the word ‘God’ ”.

“gosh” = “an exclamation or mild oath – euphemistic alternative of the word ‘God’ ”.

“heck” = “used as a mild expression of annoyance, rejection, disgust – euphemistic alternative of the word
‘hell’ ”.

“jeez” = “a mild expression of surprise– a euphemistic shortening of the word ‘Jesus’ “.

Are these the words you really want to say? Don’t be deceived any longer. Your words have power – use them wisely!

Guard your tongue – see the Book of James

See you tomorrow!
Shalom from Sharaka

We’ve Got Kids!!!

WE’VE GOT KIDS!

Can it be that school is out for “Winter Vacation”? Some Moms are counting the days ’til school starts again. Seems to me one of the problems we face today is the terrible lack of discipline in our youth. Don’t you hate to see little tots running rampant in our stores? The word “NO!” is a whole new concept for some of them!

Biblical discipline is not child abuse. Of course, a child is never to be struck in anger. But I believe there is a time and place for spanking. Reason with your child, give “time-outs”, do whatever you can to teach your child he/she CANNOT do whatever their little heart desires.

After all, isn’t this original sin?

“I wanta do what I wanta do!” ?

You are doing your children untold harm by not teaching them very early on that there is a better way to live. If they won’t or don’t have to listen to Mom & Dad – how can they learn to listen to their Heavenly Father?

Parents, take heed to this warning. Grammas and grampas, aunts and uncles: please take the time to pray for our little ones. A neighbor child may need your prayers – and your kind words. When you pass one of our children in the Sanctuary or on the street, give them a smile and an encouraging word!

God will bless you for it! Here’s a cute story:

OUCH!!!!

“A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all.

On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt,
he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school.
Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with desk work.

When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest.

Discipline was not a problem from that day forth!”

Makes you wanta go out and have a cast put on, doesn’t it?

Love those kids into the Kingdom!

Sometimes love hurts!

Proverbs 13:24 – “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he
who loves him, disciplines him promptly.”

Proverbs 19:18 – “Chasten your son while there is hope, and
do not set your heart on his destruction.”
Remember – Discipline without LOVE isn’t discipline.
LOVE without discipline isn’t love.

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
******************************************************

Does it REALLY Matter?

Does it Really Matter?!

“There is an old Semitic story of a young couple about to be married. They lived in a small village and had invited everyone from the village to their wedding. Each guest was asked to bring a jug of wine for the celebration. Each jug of wine would be poured into a giant vat to be shared by everyone. As the wedding day approached, each member of the village thought, “If I do not bring my Jug of wine, it will not be missed among so many other jugs.” The wedding day arrived and the couple were married and everyone was excited. But as the tap of the vat was opened, not a drop of wine flowed from it, for everyone had been sure that someone else would provide their share.”

… and so it is with all of us whether it is food or drink or funds to run the program —–.

We might think:

—— “Somebody ELSE will do it! I can just come in
and sit down and ENJOY my Sabbath.
and if I’m late – it doesn’t matter!”

OR:

—— “I’m just one person, I don’t need to bring
anything for Oneg Gadol! (A large Congregational meal)
There’ll be enough.”

OR:

—— “I really can’t afford to tithe –
I’ll just put in my dollar this week.”

We need you – all of you! We are family and we ALL need to work together to get the job done. Please attend your Congregation or place of worship regularly, be on time, bring what you need to and help do the work.
It really matters!

See you tomorrow. Sharaka

Why Have a Mezuzah?

Mezuzah

The mezuzah – meh-ZOO-zah – is a small container which is placed on the door frame/s of Jewish and Messianic homes. It shows that God is King in that home. It is a partial fulfillment (“thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house”) of Deut. 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 and contains those scriptures. Some put them on every door frame except the bathroom. It is a very good reminder and a testimony to all who come to your home.

The scriptures inside are usually hand written by a scribe in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) and should never be folded but rolled up instead with the writing on the inside. (I wrote my own in English and I am just as happy with that. I know God looks upon the heart.)

A mezuzah necklace is available to be worn by women and/or men – but without the scriptures inside. The reason being God’s Word is not to be treated lightly or carelessly. It is never to be taken to an unclean place. (bathrooms never have a mezuzah on their doors)

They can be in any style – expensive or home-made but it must show the Hebrew letter “shin” (SHEEN – not shin) which stands for El Shaddai, Almighty God, one of the names of God. This is the identifying mark.

As you stand on the outside of your house, the mezuzah will be on your right about 1/3 of the way from the top of the door post (mezuzah literally means door post) and is tipped slightly to the left. (toward the house) Look for them when you visit a new friend. You may see the nail prints of a former Jewish/Messianic family.

If you decide to place one on your door post – invite friends and bless your home – make it a party! Live the life and bless God thanking Him for every opportunity to show His Kingship over your home and life.

There is a special blessing to be said at this time. It is:

“Baruch atah Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam,
asher kidshanu b’mitvotav v’tzevanu likbo’ah
mezuzah. Amen”

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our G-d, King of the universe,
who has santified us with His commandments and has
commanded us to affix the mezuzah. Amen”

Shema

Shema (sh’MAH) = hear with the intent of obeying.

This is the first word of that portion of scripture called the “Shema” which is the backbone of the Jewish religion. Jews recite it at least twice a day – morning upon arising and just before retiring at night. It is the first scripture learned by a Jewish child and the last words on the lips of a dying Jew. This scripture is one of the main arguments a Jew has against Christianity and the one thing above all others that sent the Messiah to the cross. They said He claimed to be God and there is “only one God”. God is one God. Our human minds cannot really comprehend the depth of this statement so all we can do is believe it and go on. – fjc – 1996

SHEMA

Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God, the Lord is one!
You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your might.
And these words which I command you
today shall be in your heart;
you shall teach them diligently to your
children and shall talk of them
when you sit in your house,
when you walk by the way,
when you lie down
and when you rise up.
You shall bind them
as a sign upon your hand
and they shall be as frontlets
between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts
of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NKJV

Blessings upon you and your household!

See you tomorrow! Sharaka

Why I Don’t “Do” Christmas

I don’t “do” Christmas any more!

I remember so well when our house was the most decorated on our street…. Maybe 20 years ago. Nobody loved Christmas more than me! Every nook and cranny was filled with angels and nativity scenes and posters of the Christ child, wise men, greenery & glitz. We even had a small manger with one of the girls’ dolls in it – a life size “Baby Jesus” under our tree.

I had been looking into “Messianic things” for a while and was very interested. A Jewish friend, Polly Perkins, had invited me to a Messianic Passover Dinner (a Seder) at the Women’s Aglow where we were both officers, and I was hooked!

Christmas came later that year and a large charismatic church, where my husband’s sister & her husband were charter members, invited us to their great Christmas music extravaganza….

We went.

The air was electric! Everyone was dressed to the nines in their very best holiday clothes…. gold and sparkles (I love sparkles….) and Christmasy reds and greens were everywhere – in the clothes, the decorations – everything. You know how it is. More than beautiful!

The program started – everyone was SO excited. This church has always done grand productions. They had magnificent old English backdrops, ice skaters, falling snow – the whole thing. No expense spared. We sat in the balcony watching – spellbound.

It started very small – just a tiny uncomfortable feeling somewhere down deep inside. More music, “Winter Wonderland”, “Silent Night”, the one about chestnuts roasting and all the old familiar beloved carols. It seemed as if a cloud drifted into the room and settled over me. I couldn’t shake it. I became more and more unhappy. I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. How could anything be wrong when everything seemed so right? Toward the end of the production, I saw in my mind’s eye, the wings of the stage. I did a lot of operettas back in high school and am familiar with ‘backstage’. It was dark there but I could see a figure, standing all alone, looking out through the thick curtains, at the audience. He just stood there – alone – in the dark – sadly, quietly, shaking His head. Yes, it was Y’shua.

This whole big thing that had taken days and weeks and months to ready, was supposed to be about Him. But He wasn’t even there! He was way off in the back wondering “why”? That scene was forever burned into my memory, and it was the last “Christmas Program” I ever attended – anywhere.

After that, ‘Christ Mass’ disappeared from my vocabulary and never again did I ever consider it. Since then I have studied the subject at great length and I am totally convinced the Spirit of the Lord showed me, Himself, this is not pleasing unto Him.

Even the word “Christmas” is a fake. It comes from the Roman Catholic “Christ Mass” – meaning Holy Communion in the Roman church. The whole holiday comes down to us from the ancient Roman feast called “Saturnalia”. It occurred on December 25th. People took time off from their regular duties, slaves were freed for a time, “office” parties were common, greens and trees (did you ever look at Jeremiah 10? It’s quite revealing!) filled the houses. Alcohol and revelry of all sorts was the thing to do. Sexual perversion abounded. Holly and mistletoe had disgusting meanings. Gifts were exchanged as well as wives …. Everything you see today in the secular world was there! No Santa – no Nativity scenes, but everything else was there.

I know the Christians mean well. They truly believe they are celebrating the birth of the Saviour. People are kinder and more loving. Good deeds are the challenge of the day. It’s a time for families to gather and “mend fences”. It’s cold and dreary this time of year and everybody wants warm fuzzies and something to brighten up the long winter days. But the truth is – Y’shua (Jesus) was NOT born on December 25th. He wasn’t even born in December. In Biblical times, birthdays were not celebrated at all. Only twice are birthdays recorded and they were pagan kings! I LOVE my birthday and I don’t think there is anything wrong in celebrating them. But …. Let’s do it right!

I believe Y’shua was born on the first day of Sukkot and circumcised on the eighth and last day. This holy day usually comes in October and is called “the season of our joy” among other names. The Feast of Tabernacles is another name recorded in Leviticus 23. Tabernacle means, “to dwell with” and truly, Y’shua came down from the glories of heaven to dwell with us. It is also called the Festival of Light and we know that Y’shua said he is the Light of the World. We know that John the Baptist was Y’shua’s cousin and was six months older. We can find in the Scriptures just when he was born – at the time of Passover in the Spring. We know exactly when John’s father was doing his priestly duties. It’s all easy to figure out – from the Bible.
Go to Eddie Chumney’s link and click on his book – “The Seven Festivals of the Messiah”. See the last part of Chapter Nine about Sukkot and it will tell you what you want to know.

Our family celebrates the birth of Y’shua at the time of Sukkot. We build a sukkah (Lev 23 again) a small temporary dwelling and sit in it singing songs of His birth, remembering what He must have endured just because He loves us. We believe Y’shua was born in a sukkah – a stable, or small temporary place for animals. We praise G-d for sending His Son and we are so grateful for the plan of salvation He gave to us.

Yes, I do celebrate His birth – but I don’t celebrate “Christmas”!

See you tomorrow! – Sharaka

Power in the Blood – con’t

Power in the Blood – Part Three
Part three of a three-part article. Scroll down to read the first and second parts if you have not done so all ready.

The paragraph below is very graphic and you may not wish to read it.
This is the only ‘gross’ paragraph that I have included but we need to know some of these things. Too many horrific things happen to our animal food supply. If we knew about it – we would surely do some thing to change it. Makes a good point for vegetarians. They’re lookin’ better all the time! (Did you know “vegetarian” is an old Indian word for “lousy hunter”?)

It is said on average – 390 head of cattle per hour pass through the slaughterhouse. You can see that is not the way to handle a living animal. Dr. Temple Grandin has made a difference in procedures. I quote from her book, “Thinking in Pictures, and Other Reports Prom My Life With Autism”: “I will never forget having nightmares after visiting the now defunct Spencer Foods plant in Spencer, Iowa fifteen years ago. Unfortunately, there are some plants which use cruel methods of restraint such as hanging live animals upside down. Employees wearing football helmets, attached a nose tong to the nose of a writhing beast suspended by a chain wrapped around one back leg. Each terrified animal was forced with an electric prod to run into a small stall which had a slick floor on a forty-five degree angle. This caused the animal to slip and fall so that workers could attach the chain to its rear leg [in order to raise it into the air]. As I watched this nightmare, I thought, ‘This should not be happening in a civilized society.’ In my diary I wrote, ‘If hell exists, I am in it.’ I vowed that I would replace the plant from hell with a kinder and gentler system.” …
…and she has tried. But it is still a long way from being right. Meat that comes from a terrified, tortured creature is tough meat full of toxins.

There is a better way to do this. Bear with me. Dr. Grandin continues, speaking of a more humane slaughtering place: “The animal is slaughtered with a razor sharp knife. When the cut is done correctly, the animal appears not to feel it. From an animal welfare standpoint, the major concern during ritual slaughter are the stressful and cruel methods of restraint (holding) that are used in some plants. Progressive slaughter plants use devices to hold the animal in a comfortable, upright position. Gentle handling in well-designed facilities will minimize stress levels, improve efficiency and maintain good meat quality.”

Another author, Ben Wolfson, in Mishpahah Vol 364; August 30, 1998; pages 16-17, wrote: “It is the religious belief of the Rabbis in the kosher plants that helps prevent bad behavior. In most kosher slaughter plants, the rabbis are absolutely sincere and believe that their work is sacred. The rabbi in a kosher plant is a specially trained religious slaughterer called a schochet, who must lead a blameless life and be moral. Leading a blameless life prevents him from being degraded by his work.”

I asked Howard Johnston, a friend studying-to-be-a-schochet, why an animal should be in a calm state of mind before being slaughtered and his answer was: “In the animals excitement it can injure itself or handlers. Adrenaline and or hormones in the animal can make it tough, or worse can make its blood vessels contract which will slow down the bleeding out process and possibly allow the animal more time where discomfort can be detected. They have done studies on this very thing in Temple Grandin pages. I admire her work greatly and aspire to build one of her pens shortly.”

It has not been my intent to upset you, but to help you understand what I believe G-d meant when he told us NOT to eat the blood of ’strangled’ animals.
Many years ago when I realized the kosher laws were for us today, I quit eating pork, shellfish, etc. and began to eat according to the laws of Lev 11. It was not a problem for me. Now that I realize what ’strangled meat’ is, and that I must never again eat meat with any blood in it at all or slaughtered in an inhumane way, I can never go to McDonald’s and eat a hamburger — I’m gonna miss that! Nor can I ever buy meat in my grocery store again. But I have to do what I believe G-d has called me to do! He has shown me a better way, and “I can do all things through Y’shua who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13 There IS power in the blood. Y’shua shed His precious blood that WE might be privileged to spend Eternity with Him. If you have not considered His blood atonement as redemption for your own sin – I encourage you to do that today! Blood is precious and we are NOT to put the blood of animals into our bodies. This is not an option – but a commandment by G-d Himself. I believe G-d gave us meat to eat after the Flood, because the world-wide tropical climate changed when the ‘canopy’ came down. Cold weather calls for more protein and meat fills that need. I challenge you to study the Scriptures, pray about it, and make your own decision. If you have any questions – I would be happy to discuss these issues with you.

To recap, it is my belief that:
- we must eat ‘clean’ meat according to Leviticus 11.
- we must eat no blood.
- we must eat animals that have been slaughtered correctly,
making sure no blood remains in the meat, so that they are
not as if they were strangled.
- and most importantly, that we should remember the blood that
was shed by our Saviour and not ‘trample it under foot.’

There is power in that blood!

Blessings! Sharaka – See you tomorrow.

Shabbat Shalom!

Another beautiful Shabbat!
May you be blessed with the knowledge that He is still on the throne and He rules and reigns in majesty and perfection.

Your life is in His hands and as you surrender to His will – you will be blessed with His shalom. Enjoy your rest and your communion with El Shaddai, our Almighty G-d and King of the universe.

Sharaka

Power in the Blood – con’t

Part Two – Why is blood so important?

This is part two of a three part article – please read the first part if you have not all ready done so. It is found by scrolling down to it in the next article.

To have/make a covenant – blood is shed. The Hebrew word, “brit” means covenant. It appears 370 times in the Tenach (I counted them myself) and only as #1285 in Strong’s Concordance. It says, “brit = in the sense of cutting; covenant”. G-d made covenants with Abraham. Gen. 15:18 – where he promised the Land; Gen 17:10 – the Covenant of circumcision. In each – blood was shed. Even in the Covenant of marriage there is the shedding of blood. Also, when the bride and groom stand under the chuppah, making their covenant with each other they share a glass of wine – which symbolizes blood – as well as joy! And Adam may have lost a little blood when G-d removed the portion from his side that turned into Chanah/Eve! (Thanks, Mary Bagley, for that reminder!)

The forgiveness of sin requires the shedding of blood. Hebrews 9:22 says: “…and without the shedding of blood, there is no remission (of sin)” Y’shua shed His blood on the cross for our redemption. Sinless blood was required. His blood was not human. In the womb, there is no interaction between the blood of the fetus and the mother. Yes, the baby receives nutrients from the mother, but the two blood systems always stay completely separate.

* Dr. M. R. DeHaan, in his “Chemistry of the Blood”, (Zondervan, 1971 p 16 says), “Y’shua does not have the blood of Adam flowing through his veins. Instead, He has His Heavenly Father’s undefiled blood.” As a doctor, he is qualified to say, “During pregnancy, the woman contributes no blood at all to her fetus. G-d planned it this way so woman could bring forth a ‘new Adam’ with sinless blood which alone is able to atone for sin.” The famous brilliant newspaper columnist, Marilyn Vos Savant, answered this question: “Is there any change of blood between a mother and her fetus?” Her answer: “Actual blood cells and bacteria are too big to pass through the placenta….” Parade Magazine, 2/16/91 Today science, which has been proven wrong when it opposes Scripture, teaches that a baby’s blood has characteristics from both parents. Yet, the bloodline is accounted according to our fathers. This principle is repeatedly confirmed in Scripture.

G-d wants us to realize how important blood is. He gave the laws of Niddah for women (Lev. 12) to remind us it is no small thing and we are to properly deal with blood in all areas.

Hopefully we all agree that we are not to eat blood. I don’t believe anyone disputes that. For most of us this is not a problem. Almost every culture has some dish made from blood – Blood Pudding, Blood Sausage, etc. I understand blood is even added to hamburger to give it more weight. So what’s the big deal? The third of the four ‘laws’ is to “not eat things strangled.” When did anyone last do THAT? What could this mean? This is what I have come to believe:

If the animal is not slaughtered properly, and the blood is not drained properly it is the same as being strangled. Much blood is left in the carcass and every time you buy beef that is not kosher slaughtered you are buying and eating meat from a ‘strangled animal’! G-d forbids us to eat this.

When an animal is slaughtered by a schochet, or a kosher Jewish butcher, there are many ways it differs from a usual American slaughterhouse. The animal is treated with respect and kept calm. Pain is practically non-existent. The meat is not suddenly filled with toxins brought on by fear and pain. It does not become tough. Moreover, kosher-raised beef is not filled with hormones and antibiotics.

continued Sunday, Dec 19th. Last of three-part article.

“There is Power in the Blood”

For the next few days, I will be sharing my thoughts on “strangled meat”. Some of it is not pretty, but I feel this subject is very important and far too few people even consider it. I hope you decide to take it all in and decide yourselves what you think about it.

“There is Power in the Blood!”
2/2002

During the FFOZ (First Fruits of Zion) “Letters Conference” I attended in Phoenix, AZ. several years ago, I received a word of the Lord for me. This subject was not taught there but it came through very clearly and was very strong. My life is forever changed on this subject! I present it here for your consideration. You may or may not agree. This was not an easy paper to write. Please pray about it and ask the Lord to show you His truth. If it is there in Scripture – is it not true? You decide what YOU need to do, if anything.

Most of us have all known and read Acts 15 and understand the reasoning behind it. The ‘four things’ mentioned are to begin the process of fellowshipping together – the Jews and the new coming- to-belief-in-Messiah Gentiles. Remember, before Acts 10, Jews and Gentiles were not allowed to associate with one another. Y’shua came to break down the wall of partition between them and the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 strengthens the procedure. It is noted in verse 21 that the new Gentile Believers are to attend the synagogues found in every city each Sabbath, and learn the ‘rest of the program’. “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” Start easy and go slowly…

Two of the four mentioned in Acts 15:20 are: the forbidding to eat “things strangled and from blood”. I doubt any of us do that – so we move on, never really understanding what that means.

What is this about blood? Scripture says “the life is in the blood”. I am using the NKJV.
Lev 17:10-14 says, 10 “And whatever man (*or woman) of the house of Israel, or of the strangers (gerim or those who stand with Israel who are adopted/grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel) who sojourn among you, who eats any blood; I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off (this actually means to be put to death) from among his people.
11 ‘For the life of the flesh (meat) is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for your soul. 12 Therefore I said to the Children of Israel, ‘No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger (gerim) who sojourns among you eat blood’. 13 And whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers (gerim) who sojourn among you, who eats any blood who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh’. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh (meat), for the life of all flesh is in its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.

You will notice that G-d often says the same thing twice – and sometimes more than twice. This is called “Hebrew parallelism”. The ancient Hebrew Scriptures cannot be put in bold print, capitalized or underlined. This is G-d’s way of showing us very important truth. He says it more than once but in a little different way. This method of teaching occurs throughout the Bible.

Deut 12:23-25 & 28 = 23 “Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life; you may not eat the life with the meat. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it on the earth like water. 25 You shall not eat it, that it may go well with you and your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord. 28 Observe and obey all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord your God.
(*all the words in parentheses are mine)
I Sam 14:31-34 says, 31 “Now they had driven back the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. So the people were very faint. (I presume they were very tired and famished.) 32 And the people rushed on the spoil, and took sheep, oxen and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, saying, ‘Look, the people are sin- ning against the Lord by eating with the blood!’ And he (Saul) said, ‘You have dealt treacherously’ He went on to tell them they must not sin against the Lord by eating blood and how they should do it right before G-d, etc. etc.

Ez 24:1-14 = “Parable of the Boiling Pot” This passage talks about the siege of the king of Babylon against the city of Jerusalem. It talks about the Jerusalemites making a stew with meat still containing the blood. Verse 6 says, “….Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is in it….” Verse 7 says, “For her blood is in her midst…” Noah Webster says, “scum is a film or layer of foul or extraneous matter that forms on a liquid.” Strong’s Concordance #2457 calls it “disease”. Scum in a pot of simmering stew is the result of the rising of a small amount of blood from the meat which collects on the surface. If left and cooked further – the gray material adheres to the side of the pot. Many of today’s chefs say to “go ahead and eat it – it’s only added protein”! We know from this verse that it is blood and we are NOT to eat it. It should (if any is there is any scum at all, after using kosher meat and soaking it in salt water or kashering it in some other method) be skimmed off with a spoon and discarded. It is not to be eaten. I wipe the sides of my soup pot.

So shall we agree that G-d said Believers are NOT to eat meat with any blood in it?

continued tomorrow…….

Nocturnal Journey

For many, this can be a very stressful time of year. For those celebrating Christmas, there is the usual frantic hustle & bustle over selecting just the right gifts, the cooking, the decorationg, etc, etc. For Messianics, there is the constant trying to get away from it all —-.
Our family celebrates the birth of Y’shua on the first day of Sukkot. For whatever reason, we all need a good night’s sleep these days.

I used to have difficulty falling asleep and one night as I lay tossing about, the words to this poem began to ‘float’ into my mind …
Perhaps they will encourage you to relax and just drift into a wonderful night’s rest. Enjoy!

Nocturnal Journey

Sleep cozies in like a warm downy blanket,
brushing the cares of the day into gentle shadows
of the past as I surrender to the night.

My spirit wanders through clouds of drifting thoughts
and misty situations that never were nor ever will be,
yet seem as real as yesterday’s sunrise.

Moonbeams and starlight guide me into depths of vitality
and new strength as my Heavenly Father eases
the fingers of dawn over the horizon,

And I am new again!

fjc – 1994

The Last Night —–

We lit the last of the candles tonight. It was a little sad. I love each holiday (you know we used to call them Holy Days) the most as it comes. After I quit being sad to see it end, I brighten up and begin to think about the next one! I ‘spose it’s the child in me.

We read some Chanukah Scriptures tonight. Y’shua is hinted at in B’resheet in the very first chapters of the Bible. Verse 26 says, “Let us make …” Who is “us“? I believe it was Y’shua.

Chapter 3 – v. 8 = “And they heard the voice of Adonai walking in the garden…..” If G-d is a Spirit – He has no body. Was this Y’shua walking there? A theophany. Y’shua is the Living Torah – the Word of G-d. He has always been here. He said, “Before Abraham was – I was.” We can find Him in every Book of the Bible. He is the alpha and the omega – the aleph and the tav or the A to the Z. He is the beginning and the end. He is our everything!

In the same Chapter, verse 15 talks about the seed of the woman (Y’shua). Only here and once in the Book of Ruth does it speak of the “seed of the woman”. In both cases, I believe He was speaking of Y’shua. Women don’t have “seed”. Y’shua was to “bruise his head” (speaking of satan) and satan was “to bruise His heel”. Satan did cause Y’shua to be “bruised” but Y’shua crushed satan’s “head” or his authority at the cross.

Again still in the 3rd Chapter – it tells where G-d killed (bet it was a lamb….) and made clothes from the skins. Innocent blood was shed as a covering for man. Doesn’t it make you think of Y’shua and the sacrifice of Himself as a covering for our sin?

Bethlehem (Beit LeChem – the House of Bread) is spoken of as the birthplace of Y’shua. The 53rd Chapter of Isaiah is all about Y’shua.

And so we come to Luke, Chapter 1, vs 31, where the angel, Gabri’el, makes the announcement to Miryam (Mary) that she had been chosen to bring the Messiah into the world. Many of us believe this was at the time of Chanukah – Kislev 25. After all, He said He was the “Light of the World”, and Chanukah is the Festival of Lights! Nine months later brings us to the first day of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles – Leviticus 23). If He died on Pesach (Passover) in the spring, that is 6 months away from Chanukah, which falls in December. Most scholars say he was 33 and 1/2 when He died. I believe He was born on the first day of Sukkot and circumcized eight days later – on the last day of Sukkot. Makes sense to me! What do you think?

It’s almost over! :o(

Chanukah is a holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat!”

We have enjoyed this Chanukah so much! Our Congregational Party was great and it was so good to see old friends come and enjoy it with us.

Our times at home have been special, too, and now there is only one more night! :o Tomorrow night we are going to read all the Scriptures we can find about the conception of Y’shua – what Gabriel said to Miryam and the ones about Beit Lechem and many others. I’m so glad He left all the glories of heaven and came as that tiny baby to live among us.

What a Saviour!

Enjoy your last sufganiyot and batch of latkes….. and before you know it Purim will be here!

Blessings! See you tomorrow —
Sharaka

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