Sunday, December 6, 2009

B"H

Why was Esau evil from the womb? In Judaism humans are born with two souls. One being the animal soul and the other being a Holy soul. The animal soul being one that is worldly and unrighteous. The holy soul being one that is pure and holy unto HaShem. When the twins were born is was like the two souls were born into different bodies. Esau represents our animal soul. Jacob represents our Holy soul. Each one of us is born this way. An animal soul and a Holy soul. Why have two? What is the point of unrighteous?

The actual righteousness or wickedness of a person is not predetermined by G-d. In the words of Maimonides, free choice is "a fundamental principle and a pillar of the Torah and its commandments," without which "What place would the entire Torah have? And by what measure of justice would G-d punish the wicked and reward the righteous?"

Evil is created in our animal soul so that our Holy soul may overcome it. Without unrighteousness we would not need Torah. We are presented evil daily. We can either fall into it or overcome it. Evil is here to show us our Holy soul. In the sense that while certain souls enjoy a life wholly devoted to developing what is good and holy in G-d's world, other souls must struggle against negative traits and ominous perversions implanted within them in order to elicit that special delight that can come only from the conquest of evil.

Shalom

Lee

Believe....

B"H

As I sit at my desk there is a calendar hanging on the bulletin board. As with most American calendars is read the month of November this time of year. I never really paid an attention to it until today. Above the simple writing and dates there is a saying “Believe” and underneath that is “If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing stand in your way. The best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities.” Believe in what? Believe in what I am doing and let nothing or anyone stand in my way. Like my job or marriage? If I believe in what I am doing then it will work out right? As long as I don’t let anything get in my way. Such a worldly statement. I do believe, but it’s in something completely different. It should read “believe” “If you have faith in Him, nothing will stand in your way” Our reliance in our own thinking is what gets us into trouble. I have to believe that the Holy One will deliver me in whatever I do. Believe that He is what keeps me motivated. Believe that He is the one Who restores my soul to me in the morning. Believe that with His help my children will grow into children of G-d. Believe that I will continue to have undying faith and dedication. Believe in Him Who was the same at the beginning of time, the same now, and will be the same for all eternity.

Shalom

Lee

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Light

The other day something very interesting occured. My husband and I were at Costco together when an older gentlemen came up behind my husband, laid his hand firmly on his shoulder and said "Will you pray for us?" My husband quite taken by surprise, quickly regained his composure and asked "What is your name?" The man replied "Frank, but you will forget that the minute I turn around." My husband very confidently responded, "I will not forget you Frank." Frank laughed a laughter of relief and joy and mumbled something about Lee being strong. Lee asked if there was something in specific. He appeared to not want to answer but said "My wife and I were just married..." I responded "Then blessings" He laughed "Yes wow Yes!" Lee said, "Baruch Hashem". The man seemed amazed and overjoyed and walked away. We continued our shopping in amazement ourselves and wonderment. Now this would seem very peculiar indeed if this happened say a year ago with Lee out in his cargo shorts and a Larryboy t-shirt. However, my husband sports a substantial beard, a kippah, and tzitziot. He appears by all means, Jewish and that is because he is- Jewish- as he most recently found out and confirmed. The Jews, that is the religious ones, have such a deep devotion to Adonai that surpasses many, mine most definitely. Others look down on them for their "rituals" and how they hold tightly to their "traditions". I, however, commend them and wish to imitate them. They have something that I can only pray for- discipline, commitment, devotion- they show their love and obedience to the Creator by every action they are doing. In every blessing and prayer they repeat, everytime they put on their tzitzit and tefillin, wash their hands, touch the mezuzah, break the challah, light the candles, they show an upmost reverence and devotion to Adonai. Why wouldn't I want my family, my children, even myself to want every moment to be a blessing to Him, for every hour to bring my focus back to Him, to have reminders of the one true Lord all around me. I do not know if Frank was aware of this himself and that is why he approached a Jew to pray for him, or perhaps it was just because they are "G-d's chosen people" so they must have an IN with HIM. I don't know but it made me realize once again that He has changed my heart and my life -our lives- so much. We are blessed that we are part of this and have chosen to live like such, but even more so we have Yeshua HaMashiach first and foremost in our lives. Everything we are doing would be for not- we are doubly blessed beyond measure. Now was this man led to approach my husband by some misguided concept that he could not pray to Adonai himself? Perhaps. We weren't there to question him- or Adonai. We were asked to just pray. And pray we have been doing. Maybe we should have stopped there and then and laid hands on him and prayed. We would love to have sat down with him and spoke with him more and shared with him the grace and mercy of Hashem that is available to all through His Son Yeshua, that we can go to Him ourselves and speak to Him and ask anything in His name. But it wasn't to be- Frank disappeared into the crowd at Costco and we continued on our way. Did we understand what Frank wanted, do we understand the mind of Adonai, no we do not but we do know that Hashem has sustained and brought us to this very moment and we need to make the most of what He has given us- to reach the lost and hurting. To be a light.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sandra's late night thoughts

I have heard and read the life of Joseph since I was a wee one. However, studying him through Hebraic eyes is a whole nuther story. There is so much that I won’t share it all on here (Lee might however), but one thing I will share was that Joseph was not recognized by his brothers. Why? Because he didn’t look like a Hebrew anymore!! He was their savior and they didn’t even recognize him as one of their own. Many Jews don’t even recognize their savior, their Mashiach because we have made him into a gentile. We have stripped him of his Jewishness! Most Jews don’t want anything to do with him because they can’t even recognize him as a Jewish brother! Just as His own will look on him and weep because they did not recognize him the first time, I wonder how many believers will be in shock when they see the Messiah walk into the temple in Zion wearing his tallit and tzitziot- maybe even some earlocks, as he ascends to the bima and begins to read from the Torah and all that we have missed!! Yes, Jesus is a Jew. He lived a Jewish life. He kept Kosher, the Feasts, the Torah. He wrote the Torah HE is the Torah!! He is righteousness! He said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” But I digress, the difference is that Joseph was welcomed with open arms by his brothers- he was not rejected.-they still didn’t trust him as we see at the death of Jacob. We must present the Messiah to his own as one of them, not tell them they have to be like us to follow Jesus. Just as we see a lot of extremes in Jewish culture so we see it in the Christian realm as well. The Jews are so caught up in following God’s laws the best as they can. They love God and the Torah and they are only trying to do what they think is right. Yes they have lost sight and they need to be pointed back to the original purpose of Torah and to their Messiah. That was Jesus’ ministry, to reach his own. 36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." LOVE is what the law is about. Mercy is what the law is about. Many had forgotten. Many still forget. As the Christian leadership has decided that we are no longer under the law but only love and mercy, many Jews ONLY hold on to the law and forget love and mercy. As we are just trying to follow and love our God the best we can- so are they. I believe we have gotten too relaxed in our “freedom in Christ”, that’s why we look at these orthodox Jews and scoff and pity. As extreme as they are in trying not to look like the world, how much so have many of us conformed in looks, speech, lifestyle-we look like the world but still claim Christ’s blood over our lives? We were told not to conform…well the Jews were but since we are grafted in it is to us also.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are you ready for this? We WERE!!

This is a bit late but I am finally getting around to posting. This is the first year my family has not celebrated Christmas. (Pause for sounds of groans and shock to die down). We have been doing the biblical feast days as best as we could, last year being our first year. My husband was really feeling like we need to abandon the Christmas festivities. Now for a little background, when I was 6, my mom (who came out of a very Roman Catholic culture) got saved and learned about the paganism of many holidays. That year our tree and all the trimmings got thrown out into the trash. Christmas was just like any other day to us. We did go to the service however to “celebrate” the birth of Messiah. My husband’s childhood was just the opposite. I like to say that I had all Christ and no Christmas when he had no Christ but ALLL Christmas. Christmas started creeping back into my life little by little with the birth of the grandkids. My sis In law at that time even bought me a mini tree which was very weird for me to put up. When I moved out I left all that behind again. With the start of my own family, it was requested to make the holiday feel real Christmasy- like when he was growing up. Honestly- it was a chore for me. I didn’t realize how hard it was for me to just decorate and get into this “holiday spirit”. As my desire to live for God grew and to “train up my children”, I really stressed the importance of the birth of Christ to my kids. I was on my own. I was doing the Jesse Advent Christmas (awesome book by the way for Christmasers and non alike.) I baked a “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake, I would even look for scriptural or “holy” wrapping paper. When it came to Christmas morn it was all for naught however. “Hey kids, before you rip into another gift, whose birthday are we celebrating?” “Uh I don’t know…is that one mine? Do I have more?” Oh the frustration, the stress, the money spent. The meaninglessness. I would even try to bring meaning to my in-laws Christmas which was also frustrating “Oh thanks Sandra for the “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” door hanger. My mom and dad were more low key and all about the Messiah…they would give small meaningful presents to each of us. They even began decorating a bit. No tree however. Granted my children are yet small, at this time 6, 4, and 18 mos, but I felt like I was losing them to the world already. When Lee made allusions to the fact that we won’t be doing the whole Christmas thing this year I was YIPEEEING on the inside. Explaining to the fam was a different story. The only ones we really told were the parents . The biggest concern from my family was “You aren’t going to celebrate the birth of Jesus?” Well, just because we aren’t decorating, going in debt to buy gifts for everyone and their uncle, and eating a Christmas ham doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate the birth of Christ. OF course we understand the awesome significance surrounding his birth. However, we also know that (as many have heard) Jesus wasn’t born at this time. To say that we really don’t know when isn’t true either. Looking at the first chapters in Matthew and at Jewish history going back thousands of years (they are very good at keeping records by the way- not getting them destroyed is the hard part), we learn that Zechariah who we know is a priest of the temple, was up for performing a certain ceremony. They actually have a calendar of when each line of priests were performing what. So they know what month they were in when Elisabeth conceived. That also gives us a clue to when Jesus was conceived therefore pointing to a time of birth. More than likely he was born during Sukkot. There are other plausible ideas pointing to this. Most Messainics DO celebrate the birth of the Messiah during Sukkot. There are reasons why the 25th shouldn’t be coincided (however innocently) with Yeshua’s birth, but I will not go into that here. There is much debate amongst believers. SO the Houstons had nary a hint of Christmas in their home. IN FACT we chose to celebrate Chanukah at this time. It started a week before Christmas. Although it is not technically a God commanded biblical feast, we know that Yeshua himself was at the temple during Chanukah. If He celebrated it we want to also! So we got our Chanukah Menorah and candles and dreidel and yummy gelt and Chanukah books. I have to tell you, it was WONDERFUL! It became tradition here in America to give gifts on the 8 days of Chanukah because the Jewish kids were jealous of their Gentile friends that got gifts for Christmas. Traditionally, they only gave gifts to the young ones and only to their own family-and not putting emphasis on the gifts. We decided to give gifts this year only to our children. I purchased dollar store gifts and we also had few family gifts. It was so wonderful, that my children were excited to hear the miracle of the menorah every night and not asking about their gifts. Most nights, it was forgotten altogether. I would give them to them and they would be grateful but it wasn’t a big deal. The traditions we chose to include were more exciting to them .They learned about God and His wondrous works every night. We talked about Jesus being the Shamash candle- the center one that lights the rest. We said the blessings , we danced and sang the traditional songs. We ate the oily food that once again reminded us of God’s miracle! Yes we practiced tradition, but it all pointed to Messiah. No stress, disappointment, frustration. So needless to say I am happily giving away my Christmas d├ęcor.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The love life

John 15:9-12
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

Love each other as I have loved you. This is an amazing verse. We all know that Yeshua loves us. So how are we to love each other as Yeshua has loved us. I believe that we are to love everyone as Yeshua loves us. Not just other believers. We may not like what others are doing. We don't have to love the sin but we are commanded to love the person. It's so easy to hate in this fallen world that we forget what our master has taught us. So I have been searching for the scripture for answers. Other then Yeshua our savior one man comes to mind. Abraham had the love life that Yeshua is trying to teach us. Some sages believe that by the age of three Abram was already understanding that idolatry was wrong. He had an understand that there was Elohim, the one true God. The sages also believe that he knew Noah and Shem for a time. This would give Abram some incite about Elohim and the flood. Here is a timeline:





As I continued to read about Abram many things that he did reminded me of the love life we are to have when interacting with others. He loved the way Yeshua wants us to love. Here is some examples of Abraham's love life. Abram's and Lot's Shepard's started to quarrel with each other. So Abram decided to separate. He did not want any strife with is brother in-law so he gave him first choice. Lot then gets captured and Abram does not hesitate to take up arms and rescue lot from the four kings with 318 servants. He also begged Elohim to save Sodom because his love of his brother in-law. He always brought strangers into his home and fed them. He was even upset when he sent Hagar and his son away. Gen 21:11-13 And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham's site because of his son, but Elohim said to Abraham, "do not let it be displeasing in your site because of the lad or because of you bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. "Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed. Now many will argue that he only gave them one wine skin and some bread in the middle of the desert, but I believe that he trusted Elohim. He understood that Elohim would take care of his son while he was wondering the wilderness, and He did. Plus He told Abraham that he would make a great nation out of Ishmael. Of course we know the story of Issac's sacrifice. Abraham's love for Elohim was so great that he knew even if Issac died that Elohim would bring him back to the living. Abraham was not perfect, but Abraham's love life is a great example of the love life that we are to keep as believers in Yeshua.

Baruch Hashem

Lee

Friday, November 14, 2008

When we can’t get along with someone, we like to blame it on that person’s faults: Stupidity, incompetence, outrageous actions, aggression or some other evil.

The real reason is none of these. It is that the world is broken, and we are the shattered fragments.

And all that stops us from coming back together is that we each imagine ourselves to be whole.