January Index

JANUARY 2005 – SHARAKA SHARES

2005-01-01 HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2005-01-02 Wash Those Hands!
2005-01-03 Why say the “Sh’ma”?
2005-01-04 How Many Kinds of Jews Are There, Anyway?
2005-01-05 Yom Hulade Sameach! (Happy Birthday!)
2005-01-06 Tu B’Shevat – 15th of Shevat
2005-01-07 Tu B’Shevat – Part Two
2005-01-08 “A Wise Woman’s Prayer” from Proverbs 31
2005-01-09 Onions, Anyone?
2005-01-10 MAZEL TOV!
2005-01-11 “Got Bugs in Your Kitchen?”
2005-01-12 A Friend’s Testimony – Dr. Joseph B. Fuiten
2005-01-13 Noahide Laws… Don’t be fooled…
2005-01-14 Trust in G-d! Don’t worry, be happy
2005-01-15 “Keeping the Sabbath Holy”
2005-01-16 “Household Tips – Part One”
2005-01-17 “A Girl’s Best Friend” -my pet poodle
2005-01-18 Wanta Be Healthy? – A paper on Vitamin C
2005-01-19 Bananas, Anyone? – Are the monkeys right?
2005-01-20 Question: “Which day is the Lord’s Day?”
2005-01-21 “A Great Alphabet!” (besides Hebrew)
2005-01-22
2005-01-23
2005-01-24 Blessings at Mealtime
2005-01-25 Looking for a Wife? – better not try it, ‘tho!
2005-01-26 His Last Blessing – as Y’shua ascended
2005-01-27 How to Conduct an Erev Shabbat Dinner
2005-01-28 Erev Shabbat Dinner – part 2
2005-01-29 Sabbath Supper – a souper recipe – Matzah Ball Soup
1005-01-30
2005-01-31 January Index

Sabbath Supper

Fern’s Famous Matzah Ball Soup
Or so some say —–

Start by kashering 2 chicken breasts, covered with cold water and 2 TBSP Kosher salt stirred in. After one hour, drain and rinse thoroughly. If you have a problem with salt, soak in cold water for another hour. If it makes you feel better – put the bowl of chicken & water to soak in the fridge….

If you start with frozen chicken – she thaws it slightly and then cuts into 1 inch cubes. It makes a nice neat cube and looks like you bought it that way. Kasher as above.

When the chicken is ready, fill a stock pot with about a quart and a half of water. She never measure, she just knows where she wants the water level to be in the pot…. You have to experiment yourself until you find the right amount. Put on high and bring to a boil.

Add the package of seasonings from a Matzah Ball Soup Mix. Straits is a good one or Manichevitz – whatever you can find. Make sure to buy the SOUP mix and not just the matzah ball mix. Turn it down to medium heat. Add pepper, basil, 3 or 4 garlic cloves, a large onion chopped into very small pieces. (Best way to do this is to cut the onion in half, lay one half on the flat side and cut into thin slices. Turn the onion around, holding it so it stays in shape and cut again. This will make pieces about as big as your smallest fingernail.) Sometimes if it’s a very cold day, I will add a touch of cayenne pepper to kick it up a bit!

Now to make the matzah balls: Put 2 eggs and 2 TBSP of vegetable oil into a medium sized bowl. Olive oil is too heavy for my taste here. Mix well with a fork, then add the matza mix. Stir gently until it clings together away from the sides of the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.

Peel and slice 4 or 5 carrots. She always uses her special “carrot knife” for carrots. It makes ridges and makes the soup more interesting. Peel and dice 2 or 3 potatoes, depending on their size. Add 1 diced turnip and 1 diced medium parsnip. You younger readers may have to ask for parsnips…. They are yellowish and look like a big carrot. Many people never heard of them . My grandma used to boil, then fry them for supper. The taste sweetens the pot and no one ever can guess what is in there! Make sure you do the carrots first because they take the longest to cook.

About a half an hour has gone by now and it’s time to get out the matzah mix. Sometimes she adds a little chopped parsley or basil. Stir the mix gently into a ball. Rinse your clean hands with cold water and begin to form balls about the size of an egg. Drop into the gently simmering soup. If there are too many vegetables, you may have to take out a bunch and finish cooking them in another pot. You will end up with about 12 balls. Cook according to directions on the box. Taste and add salt if needed, or more pepper and add about a TBSP of real butter.

Now to divulge her secret ingredient ….. Sigh! She adds a few drops of yellow food coloring to give the soup a nice rich color! Our Jewish ancestors used chicken feet instead to get that rich color. I’ll stick with the food coloring, thank you very much! But don’t tell her I told you, OK?

Happy feasting! There’s nothing like a good bowl of Mazah Ball Soup, a hunk of warm buttered challah and a tall ice cold glass of lemon water!

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Erev Shabbat

More on Shabbat Dinners

On Friday mornings, I check the newspaper or my Jewish calendar for sunset time and make a mental note of it so I can light candles and have dinner ready on time. It’s better to not light candles at all than to do it late. By the way – ‘erev’ means ‘just before’ or ‘evening of’. Erev Shabbat is Friday evening. I bake bread today, shop for weekend groceries (I have them delivered these days), straighten up the house, call our dinner guests to remind them of the time, make sure clothes are ready for Shabbat. We try to wear our best clothes on Shabbat and make sure they are clean and well put together. No unmatched socks today! :o It is by far, the busiest day of the week. I keep Messianic music on much of the day and turn on the light in my curio cabinet where I keep my momentos from Israel. This helps me get ready for the day.

The table is set early in the day so I can take all the time I need to do it. We try to find creative ways to make it different from all other dinners in the week. Make a pretty candle/floral arrangement or use seasonal themes. Winter produce can make a very pretty display this time of year. Anything G-d has created can be a focal point at the table. Sometimes I use souvenirs from Israel
Perhaps the children have made something in Shabbat School that you could use.

We come to the table about 20 minutes early (before sunset) and Father can blow his shofar to announce the coming of Shabbat and the call to worship. The table is considered an altar now and we can worship there. Mother will light the candles and Shabbat has begun! There is the u’rechatz – the washing of the hands; kiddush – the blessing over the wine/grape juice; hamotzi – the blessing over the bread; the tribute to the wife, read from Proverbs 31; the blessing of the children; and the Aaronic Blessing over all the household. Zemarot (worship songs) are sung after dinner and then you are free to discuss Scriptures, pray and speak about the Lord the rest of the evening.

The meal usually starts with Matza Ball Soup. You can either buy a box of mix from your supermarket or make it from scratch. I use a combination of the two. Either way, it’s delicious and it gives you a feeling of kinship with Messianic Believers and Jews all over the world. Chicken is often the main dish. Brisket is a good choice. This is the only night of the week we have dessert. The whole idea is to make Shabbat different and special!

This is the day that the Lord hath made and rested on…. We try not to do anything to change His creation on Shabbat. We let it rest. Isn’t it interesting that Saturday is the day most folks use to do all their extra work – like wash the car, clean the garage, etc etc.? Just like satan to try to undo all that G-d says!

It’s not our time – it’s His, so let’s do it up grand!

See you tomorrow!
Shabbat Shalom, Sharaka
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How to Conduct a Shabbat Dinner

At Our House We Do This on Friday nights:

G-d never gave us a ‘formula’ for beginning His special day of rest – He only told us to keep the day holy. Ceremonies have been invented to help us do that. The nice thing about it is we can choose how we accomplish it. This is what we usually do at OUR house. Sometimes we have other readings or just ad lib as we go. Tradition and ritual are meaningless if G-d isn’t the reason for it all and we don’t want to get stuck in the idea of “this is the way we always do it!” Make your own plan at your house to fit your own situation. I have a booklet you can follow and many have been pleased with it over the years. Or you can write your own. However, there are a few things we should keep constant no matter how we put it together.

1) Remember this is the day that G-d has asked us to keep holy. We are to give Him 24 hours of our time and attention. You need to decide what things you are going to do to make this a special day and which things you are NOT going to do on this day. Prayerfully decide, make your list and stick to it. Adults in the same household may have differing opinions on this. Each person is accountable to G-d and no one else for what they believe. The Holy Spirit will guide you.

In Israel, school lets out at noon and most work places close then as well. Special foods are prepared – some even skimp on meals during the week to be able to serve a lovely Shabbat Dinner. It is the highlight of the week. The scent of Matzah Ball Soup drifts over the neighborhoods. Jewish and Messianic families all over the world scurry around getting last minute things done – always watching the clock! It is a time of great anticipation. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? As Believers, we are to watch and wait for the King. He IS coming! We must be ready!

2) We want to do our very best! One needn’t be rich to set a lovely table and prepare special foods. Do things differently on Shabbat. Use different dishes – your best company ones. Make sure you have a beautiful tablecloth, nicely pressed. Dress up for meals. Let the children do something to add to the occasion. Help them understand this is a very special day, indeed! Husbands often bring home flowers to the wife. My husband sometimes does this and it makes the table even more special – just because he loves me enough to do this. On Shabbat we wear our best clothes – after all, we are honoring the Lord of Lords! Dress up at home and for going to your Congregation. Beach attire and jeans are for other days. Look like you mean to have an audience with the King!

In Orthodox homes, the children are never scolded on Shabbat. Everyone stays in a good mood (hopefully) and the spirit of love abounds. How much more we who know our Redeemer can do this! In fact, this is the way we should live our lives every day – but life isn’t like that, is it? Make an effort to at least do it on this day. Shop talk can be put off until the first day of the week. Our conversations should be on higher things. Give your best to Him on this day and you can have the other six days! See Isaiah 58 – last two verses, especially.

3) The lighting of the candles is what separates the mundane things of the world from the holy things of G-d. The mother of the household covers her head to shown she accepts the authority of G-d and her Believing husband. She asks G-d to bless them and lights two candles. One represents Creation and the other Redemption. The one to “observe” and the other to “keep”. I believe Hebrew was the language G-d gave to Adam and Chavah (Eve) in the Garden and the one we will speak for eternity. Why not learn a little now? A little practice and you’ll do fine. We read from a little booklet called a ‘bentcher’, which is Yiddish for ‘blessing’. I put it together from many sources. When we haven’t used it for a while and get it out again, it’s like having an old friend come back for a visit. There is something about the old familiar, traditional things that I find so comforting. Find something you like and keep doing it!

4) Eat your meals in total relaxation ands speak only of pleasant things. My friend, Joe Good, used to tell us if we strayed from doing this, “That’s not Shabbat talk!” Make this day an island of peace in your home. Your family will grow stronger, closer and you will surely be blessed. Don’t let the phone or your neighbors disturb you. Let G-d and the family He has given you have priority. TV can wait for another day. You can play Bible games or discuss Scripture together, read a new book about Him, see a godly video or think of new ways to focus your thoughts on our G-d.

If you live alone or are the only one in your family keeping Shabbat, you can still find ways to serve Him. You may want to join others of like faith or invite them in for the meal. Whatever works for you. There is a way. Seek and ye shall find! May the Lord bless you as you honor Him on His special day!

Originally written 10/96

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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His Last Blessing

Aaronic Blessing

The Lord spoke unto Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the Children of Israel. Say to them:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face
to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up
His countenance upon you and give you peace.”

This part we all know BUT did you ever look at the next verse? G-d continues: “So they shall put my name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” How is it that the priest “puts His name on them” ?

Do you remember Leonard Nimoy from Star Trek? He is a Jew. Remember that little hand sign he always did that was supposed to mean, “go and prosper” or something like that? He would hold up his hand and separate his two smallest fingers from the index and middle fingers, making a V and stretch out his thumb as far as it would go. Now it looks somewhat like a “W”. Try it and see what I’m saying. Do you recognize the ‘shin’? (It is pronounced ‘sheen’) It is the letter “S” in Hebrew that appears on every mezuzah – the door post holder of Scripture. It stands for “Shaddai” (Almighty G-d) one of the names of G-d.

Aaron would stand before the people and hold up both hands, even as Messianic rabbis/pastors do at the close of every service and bless the people making this sign before them. I love to hear this blessing sung. It makes me feel very close to G-d.

I found another wonderful thing! Remember when Y’shua (Jesus) , our Cohen HaGadol (High Priest) was getting ready to ascend into heaven from the Mount of Olives that day so long ago? The very last thing He said to His talmidim (disciples) that day was this priestly blessing of Aaron’s.

Luke 24:50-511 says, “… and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.” Oh hallelujah! I believe our Saviour left this earth praying this very special blessing over all of us – giving us His shalom (peace) as He rose to join His Father! Let us receive this blessing as from Y’shua and live as though we really believe it!

Originally written 6/7/97

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Looking for a Wife?

Top 15 Biblical Ways to Find a Wife:

1. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails and give her new clothes. Then she’s yours. (Deuteronomy 21:10-13)
2. Find a prostitute and marry her. (Hosea 1:1-3)
3. Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock. (Moses; Exodus 2:16-21)
4. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. (Boaz; Ruth 4:5-10)
5. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. (Benjamites; Judges 21:19-25)
6. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. (Adam; Genesis 2:19-24)
7. Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman’s hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. (Jacob; Genesis 29:15-30)
8. Cut 200 foreskins of your future father-in-law’s enemies and get his daughter for a wife. (David; I Samuel 18:27)
9. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you’ll definitely find someone. It’s all relative, of course. (Cain; Genesis 4:16-17)
10. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. (Xerxes; Esther 2:3-3)
11. Kill her husband and take her as your wife (prepare to lose 4 sons, though). (David; 2 Samuel
12. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, “I have seen a woman…now get her for me as a wife.” If your parents question your decision, simply say, “Get her for me. She’s the one for me.” (Samson; Judges 14:1-3)
13. Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (Onan; Genesis 39:8)
14. Don’t be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. (Solomon; 1 Kings 11:1-3)
15. A wife?…not!!! (Paul; 1 Corinthians 7:31-35)

Author Unknown

On the other hand, maybe if you asked the Lord to lead you to the right woman – he would!
Just remember – be not unequally yoked together…. if she doesn’t serve the Lord with all her heart – forget it!
Don’t ever date anyone you could not marry.
Marry someone you can easily talk to and laugh with – beauty fades, money is lost but true love and friendship never leaves…

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Blessings at Mealtime

“Blessings” originally written 5/24/97

The Talmud says, “Anything that is enjoyed requires a blessing.” This I agree with! We bless G-d far too little and when we DO say a blessing, it is often misdirected. One such occasion is eating food. Y’shua (Jesus) said a blessing before eating and we still say the same blessing today. “Baruch attah Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha’olam hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz. Omein.” (Blessed art Thou, Oh Lord, our G-d, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.) No matter where I am, I like to say or sing this blessing. Sometimes I add other things – sometimes not – and I always end with, “B’hashem Y’shua HaMashiach.” (In the name of Y’shua, the Messiah.) Bread is called the Staff of Life and represents all food eaten. If there is no bread at your meal, you may say, “Baruch attah Adonai, Elohenu Melech haolam, boray minay mazanot.” (“….. Who creates all different kinds of foods.”)

No where in the Bible does it say to “bless our food”! Food is dead and what dead thing needs to be blessed? Selah! (think about it) It is the living G-d Who should be blessed for providing food for us. Matthew 26:26 says, “Y’shua (Jesus) took bread and blessed and broke and gave it to His disciples.” In Greek there is no direct object following a verb. Translators felt it necessary to add the word “it” after some of these verbs. The reader now believes He “blessed it”, “broke it” and “gave it” when indeed, He blessed G-d instead. This same chain of words occurs many times in the Brit Chadesha (the New Testament). Y’shua always blessed G-d and we should, too. We should NOT ask G-d to bless our food! Many well-meaning people say to G-d, “Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies.” When we should be saying, “Bless You, Oh G-d, Who has provided us with this good food to nourish our bodies.”

This is simply a misunderstanding and when you consider it for a moment, you can see it is perfectly correct. Y’shua prayed AFTER a meal as well. D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 8:10 says, “When you have eaten your fill, thank the Lord, your G-d.” Literally – “And you will eat and be full and you will bless the Lord, your G-d.”

Shall we stay with our man-made traditions or shall we return to our roots and do as the Bible asks us to? Your choice!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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“A Great Alphabet!”

AWESOME A B C’s TO LIVE BY

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of “Camp Complaining”
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To “thank” is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We’ll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God most high
Yes, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but…
Zion waits in glory…where none are ever sad!

Great alphabet, huh? Wonder who wrote it?
More good news!

“I AM Too blessed to be stressed!” The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor.

The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.
Love and peace be with you forever, Amen.

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Question: “Which day is the Lord’s Day?”

“The Lord’s Day” and “The Day of the Lord”

These two phrases are not interchangeable. First let’s look at “The Day of the Lord”.
One of the major themes of the prophetic books of the Bible is the eschatological period known as the “DAY OF THE LORD”.

eschatology = es-kah-TALL-ogee:
“any system of doctrine concerning last or final matters”
In other words – the stuff that’s going to happen at the end

It was understood that this thousand-year period would conclude time. “The Day” was described as follows: judgment would fall upon the earth for seven years and then Messiah would arrive bringing peace and order for the balance of a thousand years. “The Day of the Lord” is first mentioned by Isaiah as he tells of the coming judgment. Isaiah 2:11&12. “The Day of the Lord” is referred to so often, it came to be known simply as “The Day” or “In that Day”. This time period is mentioned more than 300 times in the prophetic writings and is also a major theme in the New Covenant or New Testament.

Even though this phrase – “THE DAY” is used often, several facts are not generally known. These were discovered by Sigmund Mowinckel who is one of the most renown scholars on ancient worship and is often quoted in the Encyclopedia Judaica. “The Day”, as we will now call it, has a direct link to the fall festival of Rosh HaShanah. It is taught that The Day will begin on this festival in the year 6001 – whenever that is.

If AD – Anno Domini – begins with the birth of Christ, we already have a problem. History says that King Herod died in 4 BC. We know that it was he who ordered the deaths of all babies under two years old in Bethlehem. Another thing you may not know is that in ancient days, a child was considered a year old at birth because they didn’t know exactly how long the gestation period was and they considered life began at conception. Therefore, all babies “under two years old” would have been under one year old in our day. If King Herod died in 4 BC then Y’shua had to be born before that time. The dictionary says He was born between 8 and 4 BC. It is said Herod died right after “a grievous act performed upon the Jews”. This, no doubt, was the senseless murder of many many babies. This makes our calendar off by at least four to eight years – it is later than you think!!

“The Day of the Lord” is the tribulation and the Millennium.
__________________________________________

Now let’s look at “The Lord’s Day”

Genesis 2:3 says: “Then G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, …..”
Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the Lord, I change not.”
Hebrews 13:8 says Y’shua/Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever.
Heb. 1: 10-12 says “…You are the same…”.

Webster sez:

sanctify = 1) to make holy, set apart as sacred, consecrate 2) to purify or free from sin 3) to impart religious sanction, to render legitimate or binding 4) to entitle to reverence or respect
5) to make productive or conducive to spiritual blessing

consecrate = 1) make or declare sacred, set apart or dedicate to the service of the Deity
2) to devote or dedicate to some purpose 3) to make an object of honor

change = Strong’s #8136 = ‘shanah’ – the same root word in Hebrew meaning ‘year’, meaning to
duplicate, to transmute, alter, disguise, pervert, return, do the second time

If these things are true and we know they are, why does man say there is a change from the Sabbath to Sunday? Where is it written? We have been taught that “the Lord’s day” is Sunday. After searching a long time in my Bible I only find one reference to “the Lord’s day” and that is in Rev 1:10 where John says, “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day….” He was speaking of G-d showing him things that were to happen in the end times. I really believe he was saying “I was in the spirit in “the day of the Lord”, because he was seeing things with his spiritual eyes that were going to happen in the future in the end times or during “the day of the Lord”. Try looking at this passage and see what you come up with. If this is true then there is no such a time period ever spoken of as ‘the Lord’s day’. This is purely man’s idea and a tradition that has no basis in the facts of the Bible.

There are many places in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) referring to ‘the first day of the week’. If you recall when the days change, you will remember that after sunset – it is the next day. Matt 28:1 says “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” – that would be Saturday night. Luke 24:1-3 talks about early in the morning on the first day of the week. Who said Y’shua arose then? He was ALREADY gone! He was laid in the grave just at or before sunset and arose 72 hours later. So why is it said He arose on Sunday? John 20:19 says.. “the same day at evening, being the first day of the week..” Acts 13:14 (which was written about 62 AD some 30 years plus AFTER the Resurrection) says they were still going to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. Acts 13:27 says, “..the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day.” Acts 20 7-8 talks about being together on the first day of the week – this was a Havdalah meal which takes place after sunset on Saturday night. Acts 21:20 says there were myriads of Jews who believed. One myriad is 10,000! How many Believers were there? It also says “they were all zealous of the law”. New Testament Believers who kept the Law? Paul was accused of breaking the “Law” that would include breaking the Sabbath. He never did – AND PROVED IT! (Acts 21:21 and on) My Bible doesn’t say anywhere that Sunday is “the Lord’s day”. Does yours?

There is a day which G-d says belongs to Him. Could that day rightfully be called “the Lord’s Day”? Let’s turn to Isaiah 58:13-14. G-d is speaking and He says, “If you turn your foot away from the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on MY HOLY DAY, and call the Sabbath a delight …… I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob, your father. The mouth of the Lord hath spoken.”

Jacob’s name was changed to Israel and as Believers we are called Israelites and Jacob is our father, too! So, yes, there is a “Lord’s Day” and that day is Saturday, Shabbat, the seventh day of the week. Let’s don’t be taken in by the traditions of man – let’s follow the Lord and be true to His word.

Bibliography: Joseph Good, “Rosh HaShanah and the Coming Messianic Kingdom”
Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Wanta Be Healthy?

The Science of Vitamin C
By Gailon Totheroh CBN News Science & Medical Reporter

The RDA, or Recommended Daily Allowance, for vitamin C suggests that men should get 75 milligrams a day and women 90 milligrams.

(Note from Sharaka: If you don’t want to read all this or if you just want to skim, that’s OK. They are saying Vitamin C is essential to a healthy life, and what “they” say is enough – isn’t. I take 1000 mgs a day and if I even think a ’cold’ is coming on, I jump to 3000 mgs or more. I take a 500 mg every 3 or 4 hours and I truly don’t remember when I had my last ‘cold’….. It’s best to take flavenoids with it. –and when you eat an orange, eat all the white part under the orange peeling. That’s where they come from. Now just read a little bit, anyway!)

CBN.com – (CBN News) – If you were told there was a safe drug that would fight viruses, reduce heart disease and cancer and extend life, would you buy it? And if you found out you could get it over the counter for 25 cents a day, would you definitely buy it? And if your government and your doctor told you not to waste your money on it, would you be angry? That substance is named Ascorbic Acid, otherwise known as vitamin C. Maybe you would be better off if you were a dog. Dr. Steve Hickey, a biophysicist from Manchester, England, and co-author of “Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C,” says, “The evidence is that cats and dogs hardly ever get heart disease.” Why is that? It is because of vitamin C. But, you say, you have never seen any bow-wows at the vitamin counter, nor near the citrus at the grocery. So what gives? Hickey explains, “Cats and dogs manufacture their own vitamin C.” And, no, not in a lab, silly, in their bodies.
Hickey said this is true of nearly all plants and nearly all animals. “Humans are a little bit strange,” he says.
Hickey says humans are odd because our bodies can no longer make the Ascorbic Acid as they once did. So to get a dog’s life today, as far as heart health, we have got to get C from food and supplements. And that intake may provide more than just heart health. “Over the last 30 years,” Hickey says, “we have had repeated reports and case study data of cures and highly effective treatments, treatments that increase the life span of terminal cancer patients, [increase their] expected life span by a factor of three.” So, are Americans getting enough to keep major diseases at bay? Well, that is a good question. The government says we don’t need much. The RDA, or Recommended Daily Allowance, for vitamin C suggests that men should get 75 milligrams a day and women 90 milligrams. Yet a dog the size of an adult would internally make about 2,500 milligrams. For Hickey, the human recommendation is way too low, and should be closer to what an animal, like a dog, would make.
Dr. Hickey continues, “A normal, healthy individual might look for a 500 milligram vitamin C tablet and take it with every meal.” Nutrition researcher Carol Johnston at Arizona State University says, based on her own research and other vitamin C studies, she personally takes 1000 milligrams (1 gram) a day. The government RDA, however, will only keep most people from getting scurvy, a wasting disease that leads to weakness of skin, gums and blood vessels; reduced ability to fight disease; and premature death. You might expect that scurvy only exists in poor countries, but Johnston says scurvy is on the rise in America.Data from 20 years ago put five percent of adults at scurvy levels, with the unexpected current figures at 15 percent. Hickey says if there were an emphasis on the 1000 milligrams daily, those millions at scurvy levels would diminish and the rest of the population would be healthier. He says part of that better health would be increased resistance to deadly germs, as well as those annoying, but all too common, colds that plague us every winter.
So what error led our government down the wrong path on vitamin C? They did not account for vitamin C’s half-life of half an hour. Half-lives measure depletion from the blood. In a research study, the government waited 12 hours before looking at blood levels of people taking high and low doses. After 20-some half lives, both the high and low doses had depleted to the same level in the blood. Low doses thus appeared just as good as high doses. Hickey says that is bad science, betraying a bias for low doses. He states, “Instead of looking at that as a hypothesis, as an idea to be tested, an idea to be thrown away, if possible, they looked at it — and look at it — as a scientific law.” Hickey says that the bias against lavishing vitamin C on people’s diets is widespread and goes back many years. “The medical establishment had actually got it wrong, and their science was poor, and the physicians who were claiming enormous benefits for high doses — their science was correct,” he remarks. Hickey says that the government should have paid attention to literally thousands of studies suggesting that more vitamin C is better. “Taken as a whole,” he says, “that evidence invalidates the hypothesis that small doses and low blood levels are all a person needs for good health.” Why exactly is vitamin C so important, and why might getting more make a difference? The well-known benefit of C is as an antioxidant. That is, C helps protect the body from the damage of daily living. Not as well-known is C’s crucial role in forming collagen in the body. Collagen can be called the body’s glue. That means it is crucial for the strength and flexibility of the blood vessels, a bastion against heart disease. And vitamin C’s antibiotic properties appear strongest at very high doses of vitamin C. Some physicians have used as much as a thousand times the RDA intravenously to treat certain diseases. “And, that difference in magnitude is enormous,” Hickey says. “It’s the difference between the speed of a snail and the speed of a jet.” Even our ancient diet is believed to have included as much as 600 milligrams a day. To get that amount today, people would have to eat all fruit, all the time. And that, of course, is not practical today. Still, Hickey does recommend the fruits and vegetables. He says, “The different colors might indicate different levels of antioxidants within those skins and what you’re looking for is a lot of different colored fruits and vegetables.” Yet, he says, don’t count on those fruits and vegetable for your vitamin C; they will not guarantee a person consistent and high-enough levels of the vitamin. CBN News asked Dr. Hickey what was the best form of vitamin C to take. Hickey responded, “Well, an ideal form is vitamin C powder, because it’s low cost and it’s easy to take.” The trouble is, standard medicine has long had evidence that the nation’s top killer– yes, heart disease and strokes — result from low vitamin C. “But in the past half a century, says Hickey, “the medical establishment has not performed even a simple experiment to refute that hypothesis.” Hickey says those experiments need to be done, and if not, about 95 percent of the population could rightfully assume they are not getting enough vitamin C. The importance of vitamin C for good health is becoming increasingly evident, but with medical and government policies increasingly downplaying the nutrient, consumers are led to believe that a little dab will do you — but it won’t.
NOTE: If you have problems with acid reflux or excess stomach acid, opt for the “buffered” form of vitamin C

Be well!
See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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“A Girl’s Best Friend”

“Miss Mulligan”

January 17, 1987. That was a very special day in my life. For all you animal lovers, you will understand why. If you aren’t one – you’ll want to skip today’s reading …

Being an only child with a single mother (usually) and 5 step-fathers along the way, and moving from State to State over much of my early years, I learned that pets could fill a spot nothing else could. I am so glad our Heavenly Father created the animal world for our enjoyment! I’ve been blessed with everything – hamsters, guppies, goldfish, birds, chickens, rabbits, a pony, baby goats, and uncountable cats and dogs. The one that stole my heart was born 18 years ago today. I waited all that winter for a friend’s dog in Eastern Washington to have puppies. I was promised one – only to find out there were to be no puppies after all. I was heartbroken!

Unfortunately, two of our children were divorced. They lived with us at that time and they each brought their two children. Yes, we had a house full and I was the grandma standing on the outside looking in….. In other words, the children weren’t mine and I couldn’t be the Main One in their lives. That’s as it should be. But I felt so left out! I’ve always loved kids and now I was “once removed”. I loved them all dearly and did have a big part in their lives – still do! (one of them lives with us now while attending college. He plans on becoming a Youth Pastor.) but it just wasn’t the same. We hadn’t had a dog for a long time and I was ready! I remember crying when I found the pup I was waiting for – wasn’t.

I did what I always do when I’m sad, in trouble or just lonely – I prayed. I asked the Lord to send me a puppy that would be just right for me. We were at our cabin in Leavenworth and I began to read the classifieds. There was a possibility in Manson, near Lake Chelan, that caught my eye. Regina’s Toy Poodles. We drove up there the next morning and found a charming little farmhouse with an orchard and lots of puppies! I wanted a ‘girl one’ – feminine yet feisty and I wanted to be the center of her world. Out of a litter of five, I found THE ONE! She was the tiniest –about three weeks old and red haired. The only one in the litter who could bark! She was trying to boss the bigger ones around.- I knew she was mine! We picked her up on Saint Patrick’s Day and so named her Miss Mulligan. We left on a trip back east and she learned to be a great little traveler. Everything came easy for her. She didn’t really like anybody but me – which I was very, very proud of! She was 4 pounds of love and I needed every bit of it! We took lots of trips together, she and my husband and I. We were a Pack! We had lots of adventures – like the time she picked up a tick in Montana and I got hysterical trying to find a vet at 5 pm on a week-end. We finally found one down at the stockyards and he was so gracious! Took out the tick – for free!, did a good job of reassuring me and we gave him a lesson on slugs! He had never seen one and when he heard we were from Seattle, he sat spellbound in his grimy, smelly, stockyard jeans and listened to our stories for over a half an hour…. Dr Joe in Miles City, Montana! I will never forget him.

We were blessed with this special gift from the Lord for 14 and a half years. She now rests under our big camellia tree under a stepping stone and a fake rock that says, “Everything grows better with love”. A large plastic swan planter looks down and a yellow pin wheel flies in the wind near by. Every time I look across the driveway and see the scene, I am reminded of G-d’s great love for us and how he cares even for little things like providing us with something special to love.

Gotta go feed the “new baby”. Lady Fiona – G-d’s latest gift of love to us!

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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“Household Tips – Part One”

Here are some tips to keep handy for reference:

1) Flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hairspray and they will take a quick dive.

2) Sealed envelope – Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. (hmmm…)

3) Use empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to. Empty toilet paper roll makes a good light weight spacer when packing.

4) For icy doorsteps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won’t refreeze. (Wish I had known this for the last 40 years)!

5) Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is)!

6) Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE)! Rubbing alcohol on paper towel.

7) Whenever I purchase a box of SOS Pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. And now a box of SOS pads lasts me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get sharpened this way!

8) Opening brand new jars can be a feat in itself. Well, I have found a way to make it the easiest thing to do. Instead of banging a jar of jam, pickles, etc., with a knife until it loosens up, simply reach into the drawer and pull out the handy nutcracker. It adjusts to the size of the jar and I simply give it a good twist and off pops the lid!

9) Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little peroxide on cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Work every time!

10) Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don’t wash windows on sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.

Enjoy your home and family. Think happy thoughts and do all you can to make your world a better place!

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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“Keeping the Sabbath Holy”

“Shall We Go Out to Eat on the Sabbath”

A friend asked, “In the past I ate at restaurants on the Sabbath. Is this all right since they would be working there even without me eating there? Is it all right if I go with my family since they are paying?”

We humans always tend to justify our deeds, don’t we? First of all, by going to a restaurant, we are breaking the fourth commandment by causing others to work. You say, well, they are working anyway. If no one bought on the Sabbath – no one would work on the Sabbath. In our world stores are open 24/7 because everyone wants to make as many bucks as possible. Most Christians who say Sunday is the Sabbath, don’t even keep Sunday as a day of rest. Years ago they did – but not today. The only place in the world you can find complete rest on the Sabbath is in the Jewish sections of Israel.

Notice what the nation of Judah vowed to do once they returned to the true worship of YHVH under Nehemiah: “They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in Yahweh’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of Elohim, and to observe and do all the commandments of Yahweh our Yahweh, and His judgments and His statutes; And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons: And if the people of the land bring ware or victuals [food] on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the Sabbath, or on the holy day…” Nehemiah 10:29-31.

Did you notice the – if they sell, we will not buy on the Sabbath or on the holy day?

And again … “In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals [food). There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, ‘What evil thing is this that you do, and PROFANE the Sabbath day?’” (13:15-17)

In the rest of the account we find that Nehemiah threatened the merchants with physical action if they came again to Jerusalem to sell to Judah on the Sabbath. So they came no more on the Sabbath. Y’shua had to contend as well with the merchants who were buying and selling in the Temple (Mark 11:15-16). Although this was probably not on the Sabbath, the desecration of what was considered a sanctified place is a direct parallel to defiling through worldly business the Sabbath day that is also sanctified.

When we go to a restaurant or do any kind of shopping on the Sabbath, we are violating G-d’s instructions. It may not be a salvation issue, but there is no question that G-d has asked us NOT to do these things. The Sabbath has been set apart – sanctified – by G-d so we can focus on Him, rest from our usual labor and enjoy our time with Him and the family He has given us.

Isaiah 58, in the last verses, He has asked us to refrain from “doing our own pleasure on the Sabbath day”. Who is most important, G-d or us? Let’s honor Him in this way and save the seventh day – the Sabbath – exclusively for Him. Attend a place of worship on Shabbat and give honor unto the King of Kings. Shop and “Eat Out” on Sunday or any other day!

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Trust in G-d!

“Trust in G-d Brings Peace of Mind”

What is “trust in G-d“? It is the realization that there are no accidents in the world, and that all aspects of a person’s life are guided by the Almighty. This includes life and death, food, clothing, children, job, house and health. Trust in G-d requires that a person accept the will of G-d in all these areas since he knows that whatever the Almighty does is for his ultimate good. In this way, the person who trusts in G-d will constantly have peace of mind.

A person without trust in G-d, however, will tend to suffer even when things are going well – because of anxiety about the future. About such a person, King Solomon said in Proverbs: “All the days of those poor (in wisdom) are unhappy ones.”

The above comes from rabbinical writing of March 10, 2004.

Isn’t it good to know that we can just lean hard on the Lord and know in our hearts that He has our best interests in mind and nothing will happen to us without His permission? We CAN trust Him with everything that we have. He loves us so much that He actually gave His Son to die for us. There is no greater love. Put your cares and worries aside and just trust in the Lord. Why stress out on things you can’t do anything about? G-d has everything under control!!

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Noahide Laws…

Have You Ever Heard of the “Noahide Laws”?

A few years ago I had an online discussion with a Messianic leader. He was talking about the Noahide Laws and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I wrote and asked him the following question:

I’m wondering what you mean by “Noachdic Laws”? Do you mean the Noahide Laws as prescribed by the Jewish Rabbis, which supposedly present a way for non-Jews to gain heaven or do you mean laws given to Noah in the scriptures? I don’t believe there is a way to heaven for non-Jews based on the Noahide laws, so why would I follow them? Please clarify this. Thank you.

I give you excepts from his answer, exactly as he wrote it ….

Your question raises two issues:
1. Why should we keep God’s commandments?
2. Why do I think there is a unique Noachdic law for Gentles?
I will deal only with item two for now, perhaps I will have time to adress item one soon.

THE NOACHDIC COVENANT
The Noachdic Covenant is very similar to whatDispensation- alists call “The Age of Human Government”. The terms of this covenant are found in Gen. 9:1-17 where G-d makes a covenant with Noah and his descendants (Gen. 9:9, 12) the nations”/Gentiles [Same word in Hebrew] (Gen. 10:32). This covenant is an “ever- lasting covenant” (Gen. 9:16) and is for “perpetual generations” (Gen. 9:12). According to the conditions of this covenant G-d promised never to flood the earth again (Gen. 9:11-15). The nations /Gentiles were given animal life as food (Gen. 9:2-3);
forbidden to eat blood or flesh from a living animal (Gen. 9:4); forbidden to murder (Gen. 9:5-6); required to administer justice in accordance with G-d’s Law (Gen. 9:5-6); and required to procreate (Gen 9:1, 7).

Jews and Gentiles are also different peoples with different covenants (Rom. 9:4), different sets of Torah (Law) (Ezkl. 5:6-7 with Psalm 147:19-20 & Deut. 4:8; Acts 15:1-29; 21:20-26; Rom. 9:4; Gal.) and even different emissaries (apostles) (Gal. 1:16: 2:7-9; Acts 9:15). The New Scriptures twice condemn “those which say they are Jews, and are not.” (Rev. 2:9; 3:9).

Abraham, a wondering Gentile Syrian, (Deut. 26:5; Rom. 4:9-12) became the first of the people of Israel that we today call “Jews”. (Gen. 17:24).

Gentiles maintained a dynamic relationship with G-d through the Noachdic Covenant, having Noah as their patriarch (Gen. 9:8-9). These men have been variously called “Righteous Gentiles”; “Sons of Noah”; “G-d Fearers” or “Sebomenoi”.
These “Sons of Noah” were not obligated to keep the Mosaic Law (Deut. 4:8; Ps. 147:19-20) but were obligated to keep the Law of the nations (Gentiles) (Ezkl. 5:6-7) which is commonly called “The Seven Laws of Noah”. These seven laws are drawn from the opening chapters of the Tenach, which precede the calling out of Abraham, and therefore apply to all men.

They are:

1. TO PROMOTE JUSTICE —

2. AGAINST IDOLATRY —

3. AGAINST IMMORALITY —

4. AGAINST BLASPHEMY —

5. AGAINST MURDER

6. DIETARY RESTRICTIONS — All animals are kosher (consumable) for Gentiles (Gen. 9:2-3; see also Acts 10:15), however two restrictions exist, against eating flesh with its life still in it (limb of a living animal) and consuming blood. (Gen. 9:4)

7. AGAINST THEFT —
These Seven Laws of Noah are mentioned several times in the ancient Rabbinic writings

Instead it was determined that Gentiles should have “no greater burden than the following 4 essentials:” (Acts 15:28)

1. ABSTAIN FROM THINGS OFFERED TO IDOLS
2. ABSTAIN FROM SEXUAL IMMORALITY
3. ABSTAIN FROM THINGS STRANGLED
4. ABSTAIN FROM BLOOD

I think we have a problem here. I understand that G-d gave ONE law to the Israelites and the Gentiles. When we, as Gentiles, become Believers in the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
and accept Y’shua as our Lord and Saviour, we are grafted in/adopted into the Commonwealth of Israel. Y’shua came to break down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles. Why would we want to resurrect it? There is one law for all, is there not? I say the Noahide Laws are a set of made-up rules by the ancient rabbis to give the Gentiles a way to G-d, by-passing Y’shua. And we should not be deceived by them. There is only ONE WAY to G-d for Jew or Gentiles, and that is through the shed blood of Y’shua HaMashiach!
Do not be deceived!

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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A Friend’s Testimony

Dr Joseph B. Fuiten (pronounced Fee-ton) is a friend of mine. He is in his early 50′s and is the pastor of Cedar Park Church in Bothell, WA. I first met Joe when he announced in the local newspaper many years ago about a “Yom Teruah” Service at his church. This captured my interest and we went to the service. I found him to be an outstanding pastor, a very wise yet humble man and we have had many exchanges over Scripture. He says I am a “crusader”, meaning “any vigorous, agressive movement for the defense or advancement of an idea or cause” and I thank him for that. We don’t agree on some things, but that’s OK. I still love him as a brother in the Lord. Last fall he had a heart attack – I’m not surprised…… he’s here, there and everywhere! It was his lifelong ambition to become president of the United States – until the Lord called him into the ministry. He is very politically oriented and is not bashful about being a solid Republican. He will be attending President Bush’s inauguration in Washington DC soon. Read this ‘heartwarming’ testimony and pray for him. He has a heart for Israel (visits every other year) and is truly a man of G-d.

What I learned from my Heart Attack!
Pastor Joe Fuiten, October 3, 2004

“For at least the second time in my life, I believe God has spared my life.
On Friday, September 17, 2004 I had a heart attack. A blood clot lodged itself in the main artery of my heart blocking the blood flow. As a consequence, my heart got so irritated it stopped beating.
Prior to the event, I could tell something was happening although I was not certain what it was. For about a week I could feel a tightness in my chest but I thought it might be a muscle strain from shoveling about 60 tons of rock that I had been doing over the last couple of months. Friday morning I made an appointment with the doctor. By Friday afternoon, something changed. I could feel pressure in my throat and over my shoulders, although no pain. It was clear I needed to go to the hospital. Linda insisted that I do it right now. I took two aspirin, and we headed out.
Craig Gorc and Gary Rightenour were already at the hospital on a different matter. I called to let Craig know that I was coming in. Gary, who has years of experience with the Kirkland Fire Department, told the Emergency Room to expect me. I walked into ER. They asked, “Do you need a doctor?” I answered, “I believe I do.” I sat down to answer their intake questions. Within a minute or so, it felt like a curtain suddenly obscured my view. I said, “I am feeling light-headed.” I wasn’t feeling pain, but my heart had stopped pumping. My wife, who was sitting there with me, said my eyes rolled back and I slid from my chair slumping to the floor.
Instantly, the ER staff dragged me into a room, hoisted me onto the table, and started working on me. A “Code Blue” went throughout the hospital PA system. Four Doctors and probably six nurses showed up. One doctor leaped up onto the table and onto my chest and began CPR. Others went looking for the “paddles” to shock my heart back into operation. The paddles did their work. My heart started again and I started to breath. I gradually came back to consciousness.
The ER staff moved me onto a gurney and literally ran down the corridor to the heart catheter room. Once inside, they inserted the catheter into the artery in my groin and moved it into my heart. I watched the monitor as they moved around in my heart. They discovered the blood clot and inserted a stint to keep the artery open. All this happened within 20 minutes of the actual heart attack. Judging by the loss of muscle activity, the doctor felt I had lost about 1/8 of my heart capacity. He said the heart has excess capacity and this should be no problem.
After the shock got my heart started, it was still highly irregular and beating at about 130 beats per minute. The doctor said if it did not improve, he would shock the heart again in the morning to get it back into regular motion. By midnight my heart had settled into its regular pattern.
The next morning the doctor checked my blood and said he believed there was less damage than previously estimated. He said maybe only 1/20 was damaged. In my followup visit a week later, Dr. Kim told me there should be no lasting effects of the heart attack provided I get my exercise and take off a little weight. (After two weeks I have lost 10 pounds.) I tried without success to get him to write me a prescription for a round or two of golf a week.
The doctor told me I was very fortunate. Half of those with this kind of heart attack die immediately. Another substantial portion end up with brain damage. I did not sustain any brain damage, although my friends joke that there would be no way to tell anyway given the previous condition of my brain. I will have virtually no long-term effects on my heart. For all this I thank God. I also thank all the people for their prayers, both before the incident and after, which made my successful recovery possible. At every turn, the right things happened. If something like this is going to happen, I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right people present to help.

I am trying to learn from, and benefit by, the experience so that I will end up stronger than before in every way. As a result, I want to share what I have learned so far from this experience.

First, there are times when a man should be quiet and obey his wife. On that fateful Friday, I could feel something happening in my chest and throat but I wanted to wait and assess it a little further. I had called my doctor that morning and told the appointment person there that I was having some issues with my heart and needed to get it checked. She scheduled me for an appointment five days later. When my wife asked why I was so quiet I told her what was happening. She immediately said, “You are going to the hospital right now.” I had heard that tone of voice before and knew there wasn’t going to be any further discussion. I quietly got up and obey my wife. That act of obedience certainly saved my heart and brain, and maybe even my life.

Second, I am glad that a lot of people in the medical community went to school instead of cutting classes. Several people helped me. First, Kevin Forrester, a heart nurse in our congregation told me earlier in the week that chest pains include more than just pain and I needed to get my heart checked. When the actual heart attack occurred in the Emergency Room of Evergreen hospital they acted very quickly. They got me off the floor and on to a table in record speed. Then a ER person, I think named Michael, jumped on to the table and began CPR while they went looking for paddles to shock my heart back into activity. That ER team knew what to do and did it well. Dr. Ed Kim was called in and he was in the heart catheter room within minutes. I estimate that he was working inside my heart within 20 to 25 minutes of the initial heart attack. They knew what to do and did it quickly. At times like that you are happy to be in America at Evergreen Hospital with a well educated staff.

Third, I learned that I am blessed by a family that loves me. I really appreciate what a good wife I have and together we have some great kids.

Fourth, we are blessed with a great team of lay people, Pastors, and staff at Cedar Park. Everything continued on quite smoothly while I was gone. The board has been very supportive of me and our very competent staff never missed a beat.

Fifth, you have to keep an eye on your body because it may be trying to kill you. My body reminds me of Gollum in Lord of the Rings. It might lead you to success or it might kill you along the way. So, you have to keep a very close watch on it. Part of it tries to heal you while the other part tries to kill you.
The bad Gollum says, “Feed us. We wants ice cream and potato chips, then we want to take a nap. We wants cream on our cereal and bacon and eggs. We wants donuts with glaze for lunch and French fries for dinner. And don’t forget dessert after every meal. ”
Why does your body want that? Because it is trying to kill you. You have to punish it. Just when it is getting ready to sit on the coach and watch a comedy on TV you grab it by the back of the neck and drag it out the door. Then you have a serious talk. “Since you tried to kill me, you are going to pay. I am going to make you sweat. Oh yes, you will sweat and your heart will race and you will beg for the coach. But no, you will keep going until the sweat is pouring off you like rain in the Northwest. And that little comfort pouch under your chest has got to go. No more comfort pouch for you. You tried to eliminate me, well, I am going to eliminate that.” And late at night, when your fat little body slyly asks for a snack. “NO! Not after what you tried to do to me.”
I know that some of you don’t believe your body would turn on you. After all you’ve done for that stomach of yours, you would expect a little loyalty. That is what I thought. I am warning you, there is a bad Gollum in there and he wants to kill you.

No matter what dreams and plans that you might have, however great, you need your body to help get you there. I am laying on the ER table (an experience which I found quite shocking.) The doctor looked at me when I came to and said, “You just had a huge heart attack.” I thought to myself, “What is up with this? I don’t have time for this!” Even when you get very busy, you still need to manage the body.

Sixth, there is often very little time to pray at the moment of crisis so you depend on the prayers that have already been prayed. When I felt this might be something different I took two aspirin, said a little prayer to the Lord, and headed for the hospital. A number of you have told me that I have been in your prayers a lot lately, even before this incident. There is no doubt in my mind that those prayers kept me alive and caused all the right circumstances to be orchestrated in God’s providence.
I think we begin this process when we dedicate our children to the Lord. We begin to lay down a foundation of prayer. God keeps all our prayers around his throne forever. Without prayer, I doubt if I would be alive today.

Seventh, your prayers, and the prayers of churches across this community, were critical to me after the event. It is one thing to be alive. It is another to have the prospect of being able to go about your business without impediment. The great care of the medical team was an answer to prayer. My nurse in critical care got an email from her church to pray for a pastor she didn’t know. She prayed for me, not knowing that later that day she would be caring for me. The faith of the medical staff sure came through. One person, on the way into the heart catheter said to me, “Your guardian angel was sure watching over you today.” Another person said, you are not supposed to say that, but the message was already sent. My nurse prayed for me on several occasions. They were beautiful prayers that clearly had the Spirit of the Lord within them. I am healthy today because God has heard your prayers.”

Reprinted with permission from Pastor Joe

Wasn’t that Special? Cedar Park was given the “Church of the Week” recognition from Pat Robertson’s 700 Club last week because of the church’s ministry to the communities’ needy by servicing and repairing automobiles at the church on a sliding scale, thanks to Pastor Joe. He has Washington State’s largest Christian School and a the “Chapel of the Resurrection”, a full scale Christian Funeral Home and chapel with onsite facilities. G-d has a lot more for him as he opens his eyes and heart to Truth. I’m glad he is my friend!

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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“Got Bugs in Your Kitchen?”

Bugs, huh?

As Believers we are taught to take care of the temple – which is our bodies today. One way to do that is to keep as clean and germ-free as possible. Everyone wants to look good, smell clean and fresh and we try to keep our environment the same. One way to help do that is to keep germs out of our homes, especially the kitchen. Here are a few tips to help you do that.

Janet Anderson of Utah State University, viewed 100 participants as they worked in their kitchens. They were told they were being observed to see how they prepared new recipes but they were really being checked for their hygiene. This is some of what she found:

Less than half washed their hands before they started to cook.

During the preparation and cooking time, typical hand washing averaged 4.4 seconds and one in six didn’t use soap.

Six percent didn’t wash vegetables before handling them.

30 percent didn’t wash cutting boards after using for meat, poultry or fish

82 percent undercooked chicken and 24 percent undercooked meatloaf. Only one out of 20 used a thermometer.

24 percent failed to store raw meat, chicken or fish on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent dripping liquids down on other foods.

How do you stack up with the above procedures? I think we can all improve.

What about those sponges? It’s best NOT to use them! They are a great breeding ground for germs. Even if you put them in the dishwasher daily – it doesn’t really clean the insides of the sponge. It’s better to have a bunch of dish cloths and use a new one every day. Paper towels are best to wipe up after raw meats. If you do use a dish cloth, throw it in the wash right after using.

The Nutrition Action Healthletter cautions us against using those cutting sheets for raw meats. They are too easy to cut through, leaving a mess under the sheet. For the cost of a few packages of Saran Disposable Cutting Sheets, you can buy several cutting boards. It’s better to use one for raw stuff, one for vegetables and one for breads. You can buy different colors to keep them separate. Bed, Bath and Beyond has colored plastic ones. To keep clean – wash with hot soapy water after every use and occasionally rinse with a dilute bleach solution.

Have a happy germ-free day! :o

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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MAZEL TOV!

Most people have heard the expression – “Mazel tov!” Even if you know only a little about Jews and Judaism, you’re probably familiar with that expression. Mazel Tov is usually translated as “Congratulations!” or “Good Luck!” Neither are accurate translations.

The Hebrew word mazel means a constellation. The word itself is from the root meaning “to flow.” When we say “Mazel Tov“, we are giving someone a blessing that their happiness should cause an influx — a flow — of good and blessing to the world.

This is a great reply to someone who has just given you good news about themselves. It is repeated to new parents at the birth of a healthy child, shouted at weddings after the glass has been shattered by the groom, and any other time you might want to say, “Congratulations!”

Try it on your friends – even your non-Jewish or non-Messianic friends. You will delight and amaze them!!! :o

See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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Onions, Anyone?

ONION TEARS
“Don’t weep over chopped onions. If you cut them near an open flame, the gaseous sulfur compounds they release into the air will burn off before they can irritate your eyes. A gas burner works best, but if your stove is electric, try lighting a votive candle near your chopping board instead.” So says Martha Stewart ……

Let’s try it!
See you tomorrow!
Shalom, Sharaka
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“A Wise Woman’s Prayer”

“A Woman of Valor”

During the Erev Shabbat Dinner, there is a special time for the husband to read part of Proverbs 31 to his wife. It is a lovely tribute to her. It shows his love and admiration, not only to her but to their children and any guests that may be present. This is well and good! BUT – what about the woman who has no husband? —– the widow, the divorcee and the never married? Should she feel left out and “unsung”?

One erev Shabbat in 1994 when I was traveling alone, I was caught on the highway at sunset. I had my bencher, candles, matches, scarf and candle sticks with me. I pulled over and made my little ceremony. I love candle lighting time and have always delighted in it. I did a kind of mini-version of our family bencher (little book of blessings, giving the order of the Erev Shabbat service preceding dinner). When I came to the part where the husband reads this part to his wife, I was very sad. My husband wasn’t there! How could I read this to myself? This made me think of all the women who don’t have husbands to praise them. I believe the Lord showed me I should do something about this! A few days later, I spent some time in prayer about this and I came up with what I thought was a great idea. I have given it to many woman and I believe it has inspired them. I invite you to copy it and use it if you feel it will be beneficial to you. Share it with a friend. All I ask is that you not change any of the wording and remember where you got it. Deal?

The Wise Woman’s Prayer

“A Woman of Valor – what a rare find!”

O Lord, let that be said of me.
Cause my worth to be far above rubies.
Let my family and friends put their confidence in me,
and lack no good thing.
Help me, always, to be good to them all the days of my life.

Help me to see what needs to be done
and set my hands to do it with a will.
Prepare me, if need be, to rise while it is yet night
to supply provisions for my household.
Gird me, Father, with the strength to perform my tasks with vigor.
Remind me to give generously to the poor
and stretch out my hand to the needy.

I will not be concerned about the weather for
I will make sure I am properly attired.
I will clothe myself with the beauty of your reflection.
I will look to the future cheerfully.

Fill my mouth, Lord, with wisdom
and my tongue with kindly teaching.
I want to oversee the activities of my household
without eating the bread of idleness, so that
I can be a blessing and my family will have reason to praise me.

Many women have done well –
Let me be counted among them.
Knowing that charm is deceptive and beauty is an illusion,
I realize it is only for my respect and love for you
that I should be praised. I give that praise and all that I am
and will ever be to You – my Lord and King.
To you be all glory forevermore.
In Y’shua’s name, Amen

May this little prayer be a blessing to you and to those you love!

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

“A Woman of Valor”

During the Erev Shabbat Dinner, there is a special time for the husband to read part of Proverbs 31 to his wife. It is a lovely tribute to her. It shows his love and admiration, not only to her but to their children and any guests that may be present. This is well and good! BUT – what about the woman who has no husband? —– the widow, the divorcee and the never married? Should she feel left out and “unsung”?

One erev Shabbat in 1994 when I was traveling alone, I was caught on the highway at sunset. I had my bencher, candles, matches, scarf and candle sticks with me. I pulled over and made my little ceremony. I love candle lighting time and have always delighted in it. I did a kind of mini-version of our family bencher (little book of blessings, giving the order of the Erev Shabbat service preceding dinner). When I came to the part where the husband reads this part to his wife, I was very sad. My husband wasn’t there! How could I read this to myself? This made me think of all the women who don’t have husbands to praise them. I believe the Lord showed me I should do something about this! A few days later, I spent some time in prayer about this and I came up with what I thought was a great idea. I have given it to many woman and I believe it has inspired them. I invite you to copy it and use it if you feel it will be beneficial to you. Share it with a friend. All I ask is that you not change any of the wording and remember where you got it. Deal?

The Wise Woman’s Prayer

“A Woman of Valor – what a rare find!”

O Lord, let that be said of me.
Cause my worth to be far above rubies.
Let my family and friends put their confidence in me,
and lack no good thing.
Help me, always, to be good to them all the days of my life.

Help me to see what needs to be done
and set my hands to do it with a will.
Prepare me, if need be, to rise while it is yet night
to supply provisions for my household.
Gird me, Father, with the strength to perform my tasks with vigor.
Remind me to give generously to the poor
and stretch out my hand to the needy.

I will not be concerned about the weather for
I will make sure I am properly attired.
I will clothe myself with the beauty of your reflection.
I will look to the future cheerfully.

Fill my mouth, Lord, with wisdom
and my tongue with kindly teaching.
I want to oversee the activities of my household
without eating the bread of idleness, so that
I can be a blessing and my family will have reason to praise me.

Many women have done well –
Let me be counted among them.
Knowing that charm is deceptive and beauty is an illusion,
I realize it is only for my respect and love for you
that I should be praised. I give that praise and all that I am
and will ever be to You – my Lord and King.
To you be all glory forevermore.
In Y’shua’s name, Amen

May this little prayer be a blessing to you and to those you love!

See you tomorrow!
Shabbat Shalom, Sharaka
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