Easter Among The Brothers

Let me tell you this: I used to slaughter and BBQ a live rabbit every Easter just to drive the point home to my baby girl that there was no bunny in Easter.  I served him on a platter with a small apple in its mouth.  Furious at what human beings had done to mock the conquest of death by Yahusha.

Appropriately, and coincidentally, I am listening to the soundtrack of Fury Road as I write.

Today I dressed in a suit I have not worn for 23 years.  In fact, I forgot that I owned this particular suit for a couple of decades, and rediscovered it when packing some things a couple of months ago.  Nice suit, and still fit.  A wee bit tight in the waist but still comfortable.

I NEVER wear a suit, although I have several really nice silk Italian suits from a past life.  I usually wear blue jeans to church, but when its hot I will wear shorts.  Sometimes I wear my Springfield Armory XD-M 9mm Compact on my hip under my shirt or in a shoulder pack.  I sit on the front row, far right seat, directly in front of my Pastor.  If anyone wants to harm him, they must first get past me.

Getting past me is no easy thing. For His own purpose, Yahuah built me for battle. From the core of my soul, I am a fighter. It makes me different, and although I love peace , my ability do discern the wicked is astonishing. Yahuah has given me a gift that is quite uncomfortable to possess, as there is much wickedness in the world.

I am sure that many of you possess this same ability.  We “just know” who is gentle and who is hostile.  Its like an energy field that either puts us at ease or puts us on guard.  Trust that, for sure.  Respond to it.  When you have the urgent desire to move away from a person or a place, react.  If you sense that a person is wicked, be on guard.

Guard the sheep.

So today, I was in a suit, as was my Pastor.  He always wears a suit.  Looking around the church, I noted that every other person I saw was in blue jeans 🙂

“Easter”, which is essentially a Catholic pagan construct, is still very important to the Christians.  They have genuinely made this so-called holy day into an actual holy day.  “Holy” means “set apart”, and it is.  They celebrate the rising of Jesus from that stone slab and walking out of His stone tomb.  His conquest of death for all of us.  That’s a pretty good reason to commemorate the day, don’t you think?

Of course it is.

Torah is certainly valid.  Absolutely we are expected to abide by Torah, but we will stumble through it all the days of our lives.  Paul called the Instructions a “curse” because failing to abide by any part of the Instructions meant failure of the entire body of Instructions.  Its like a piece of glass which, when we break any part of it, the entire sheet of glass shatters into a thousand pieces.

Failure in any part of it means failure in all of it.  That was the basis of Paul’s statement.

I have a friend that I met in a Messianic Jewish congregation 23 years ago.    He is hard into Torah and has been for a long time.  But as I have watched him progress in his education, I also observe that he has left me as a friend.  He has become too good for a person like me, because I do not condemn the Christians.  I see their weakness, but I do not turn my back on them.  He considers me as lost, if you can believe that.

He has become Pharisee – judging people because they do not believe as he does.  Condemning people because they are not bound by the curse.

I used to attend the gatherings of my friends in our little Torah band, but they argued too much.  They argued and were nasty about various differences.  It is shameful, and not at all like our Messiah.  My friend got into an argument with another very kind brother in Torah that escalated to the point that my friend considered shooting our brother.  How’s that for wicked?  Merciless.  Evil.  Torah Observant.  Letter of The Law.

The point is that we are called to be the salt of the earth.  We who follow Torah are correct to do so, but we are also commanded to obey the Words of Yahusha.  We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Our neighbors are Muslim, Christian, Atheist and everyone on earth.  If we do not love, we are worthless and the love of Yahusha is not in us.  If we have not love, we are just running our mouths, braying like jackasses into the wind.

If a Christian responds to you with the words “Jesus Christ is Lord”., will you rebuke him?  And what does Yahusha say about this?  That if those who praise Yahusha are not against him, then they are for him.

So be counted among those who call Yahusha their Lord.  Their understanding might be shallow, but just imagine the good you can do when you patiently teach them what “Righteousness” actually is.

You do know, right?

Loving Puts A Shine On Your Soul

Remember when you first started using email, and sometimes you would hit the SEND key before you edited your fresh composition?  Or maybe you wrote a real payback-is-hell email to your boss or wife or husband or friend, and it was mostly an exercise of “Oh I wish I could send this”, and you sent it?

I did that two minutes ago.

Not an email but a posting that went out to a whole bunch of subscribers.  It is a piece about fidelity, respect, obedience from wives to husbands.  I have some wonderful women who subscribe to me and I do try to be sensitive to “feelings”.

Nonetheless, Yahuah is no respector of persons, so neither should we be.  And wrong is wrong.  Sin is sin and we all need to love more faithfully.

I’d like to speak to Mr., now.  Husband, father, son – the man.  Commanded to love his wife repeatedly by Yahuah, what does that tell us about men?

That we need to be reminded a lot?  That it is a command and not an option?  Sure, yes, all of that.  But the main takeaway from all those “Thou shalt love..” is this: Love is a decision.

Men choose to love or not to love.  We don’t get a “feeling”, and it isn’t chemistry.  It is a decision, like whether or not to mow the lawn, wash the dog, read the Word or take a shower.  Love is the end result of “I will”.

I like that.

Choosing to love can be a very difficult choice.  Loving an unloveble woman can be quite difficult, as one might imagine.  Unlovable means just that: not lovable.  Some women make it extremely difficult for a man to love them, and then they wonder why they are not loved.

Make it easier to love you, ladies.  If you need some pointers, read this.

A disrespectful wife is the most difficult woman to love, brother.  They are contemptous, loud, bossy, arrogant, deceitful and in general not worth having around.

Proverbs speaks to this several times, citing the fact that it is better to live in the corner of a roof than in a fine home with a contentious woman.  Or that it is better to have a little bit in peace than a lot of stuff in strife.

That said, if you are married, and if your wife does all that stuff and you are miserable, guess what?  Yahuah never promised you a rose garden.  He never said you would have Miss Manners for a wife, or that your wife would not be a closet man-hater.  You married her and now you get to start the long march.

But you can do it.

Love is simply love.  It is not slavery, or some way to break your will.  You can love your wife very deeply but never do the fawning roses and chocolates and the “yes, dears” and the “doing whatever she wants because that what she wants to do” thing.

You can love her just fine while watching the Superbowl with a room full of friends.

You can love her just fine while her mother complains about you behind your back, and your wife says “mommy, you are so smart”.  Faithful wives are hard to come by.

But you can still love her, and love her deeply.

Love does not require you to check your self-respect at the door.  You still get to be all the man that you can muster.  Maintain your self-respect, maintain your dignity.  Do things that you know are good for you, and help your wife when she needs help.  If she asks for help, help her.  Be polite to her.  Treat her with respect because when you are disrespectful to anyone, you are disrespectful to yourself.

When she does things that confound you with illogical thought processes, love her anyway.  Let it go.  It is not love to go about correcting and perfecting her.  She gets to live her life, in large part, as she see’s fit.  As long is she plays within the parameters of the Word, she is good to go.  Let her roll her way.  Don’t be afraid that, if she does some things her way, that you will be less a man.

A strong man will give his wife all the latitude she needs.  Unless it is sin, encourage her in her endeavors.  That is love.

You can try a good many things to build your relationship with her, but again, if she is a modern man-hating type of woman, then she certainly is not easy to love.

Just as some men are simply wicked, dead soul types, selfish to the core and interested only in their own personal comfort, many women are exactly the same.  You might be married to one and guess what?  She just might burn in hell for her rejection of Yahuah, and you might be married to her until the day one of you dies.

If that is your situation, you can still love her.  She might complain first thing every morning and throughout the day for the remaining 90,000+ days of her bitter life, and that might be one of the most profound blessings you will receive from Yahuah.

If this is your life, rejoice because you get to submit to Yahuah out of respect to Him.  He says “love”, she says “beat it” and there you are, torn between your desire to honor Yahuah or to call down sulfur upon your once-upon-a-time-a-long-time-ago delightful bride.

But He is watching.

He is mindful of your desire to obey Him.  He knows that you want to love her as He commands, and He does see everything you do.  Keep it up.  Live your life.  Offer to read the Word with her.  Keep that door open, always.  Yes, it might be like studying the Word with Louis Farrakhan, but the Word will do its job, and in time, if she is willing, her heart will open.

Some women have been deeply hurt by men.  So badly wounded that they are unable to trust even their husband.  They marry, hoping that their love or fondness or whatever is running through their mind for the guy they marry will transform them/her into the happy, trusting girl that she was before evil came.

That’s where you can be a real blessing to her, because although you might never know about her wound, if you can win her trust, you can win her heart.

You win that trust by loving, and it is a richly sacrificial love that you bring to the table, too.  You are going to take some licks from her as she tests you.  She wants to know where your breaking point is because she is looking for that moment where she can say “Aha!  You are all the same”.

But if you love her, your desire is Yahuah and not her.  She will find you very hard to antagonize.

There are no guarantees except for this one: If you choose to love her in spite of her utter disdain for gracefulness and respect to you, you will become a better man.  You are not some door mat or whipping post.  No need to argue or even have discussions with an overtly hostile woman.  Pointless.  Do love, do help, but go about your life taking care of your business, biding your time, and waiting for Yahuah.

He’s patient with us, and we are the most faithless creatures he made.

 

Wife: Respect and Submit To Your Husband

There is a personal, direct, on-going “walk” (‘walk’ seems cliche’) with Yahuah that runs through the souls of His sons and daughters.  We feel His presence, we talk to Him and He ministers to us through His spirit.  We are, to quote the street, “‘feelin’ it, dawg”.

As a man and husband, I am keenly aware that I am commanded to love my wife as I love myself.  It is a command, not an idea or a suggestion.  Love also covers a multitude of sins, or transgressions of the law.

Continue reading “Wife: Respect and Submit To Your Husband”

Knock Knock! “Who’s There?” :)

05:49 AM, Friday.  On the headphones is the band Imagine Dragons, an Indi Rock band that I have grown quite fond of.  The album is EVOLVE, and the music is great.  Just fantastic, and I like it at about 50 percent volume.  Louder would be just fine for me, but not for my ears.

The particular tune playing as I start this is the song “Rise Up”.

I encourage you to read and study the Word of Yahuah.  Trust Him, lean on Him, and never try to “figure Him out”, because you can’t.  No one can.  Paul tells us that Yahuah is “inscrutable”, and that means “you cannot figure Him out”. Continue reading “Knock Knock! “Who’s There?” :)”

No “Lovin’ Feeling”?

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. - Matthew 7:14

I ride a mountain bike for fun and relaxation.  In order to get to the “relaxation” part, I generally have to exhaust myself, and brothers and sisters, I do mean exhaust.  Sometimes my legs are wobbly as I load my bike onto its rack on the back of my 4Runner.  This is because in order to get to that “relaxation” part, I have to ride 3+ hours, and its 3+ hours of some serious mountain biking (MTB) effort.

Continue reading “No “Lovin’ Feeling”?”

‘Gods you are , And sons of the Most High’

I think X-mas is tomorrow. How ironic it is that the “X-mas” thing, which is so offensive to most Christians, is also quite true. There is nothing of Yahusha in this pagan holy day.

But today is too important to spend it discussing what has already been put to bed.

Instead, let us talk about lust – you know – the “thirsting for another” kind of lust. Have you ever done that? Have you ever been snuggled up to your husband or wife or girlfriend or boyfriend, or crusing in your car or on your motorcycle or sitting alone on a park bench or sitting in church, burning with aching desire to have the person across the room, or in some other town, or across your dinner table?

Continue reading “‘Gods you are , And sons of the Most High’”

Love: The Best And Most Difficult Choice.

Through a glass, darkly.  That is how the best of us live, seeing our lives through the Holy Spirit (if saved and having turned from our disobedience to obedience) and filtering the truth through our human minds and emotions.

Until we are free from our physical, dirt-centric human vessels, we must endure the imperfect understanding we live with now.  As human beings, we can never walk as we will walk with Him in the next.

So we march along, sometimes smug in our status, sometimes shamed by our sin, always dealing with the contrast between our dirt foundation and the righteous perfect love made manifest by the Holy Spirit, who dwells within those who love Yahusha and obey His commands.

Like shape-shifting “aliens” (demons) with a broken “shift shape now” feature, we shift in appearance from darkness to light like a chameleon that changes colors from green to gray to brown to mottled black.  Not as the mood strikes per se, but as selfishness, lust, greed, hatred, judgement  and every other evil spirit taunts and tempts us.

Disobedience is is built-in.  Did you know that?  Yes it is.  We are genetically hard-wired to disobey Yahuah, and Paul instructs that if we live according to the flesh, we are going to die.  The flesh has a weakness in it, or a propensity to declare itself “god”.  We all deal with it.

“Rom 8:13  for if you live according to flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body, you will live.

Further – Rom 8:3  For the Law being powerless, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh,

Sin, then, is part of our physical makeup.  Its built in, I suppose.  Not by Yahuah but by a 1000 generations of disobedience.  But then, Adam and Eve disobeyed His command, and they were made without sin until they chose to disobey Him.  Interesting and I am off topic.

Bear in mind that the adversary stood in front if Yahusha Himself and tempted Him.  If he can stand before Yahusha, he can and will seek to own you, too.  Be mindful.

We live in a dwelling of dirt, but soon we will live in the light.  That day is coming, and most of us will walk the earth until the moment the change comes.  We will see it.  We will watch it born in this world.  You, me, our children – the hour is descending upon mankind like the light of the orbiting sun brings glory to the morning.

In my life I have done almost every evil thing.  I have hated, lusted, lied, been bitter, resentful, jealous, envied, drunk with hatred for the good.  Although the difference between that man and this one is immeasurable, still I wear this dirt.

My journey into the Word that began a year or two ago, taking me through Torah and the understanding that Yahuah deeply loves those who hold to His commands has taught me that obedience to Him is impossible.

Not that His standards are unreachable.  In fact, we can easily comply with all of His instructions.  The problem is that we don’t really want to comply.  The fault, you see, is ours.

1Jn 4:8  The one who does not love has not known God, because God is love.

The greatest command, the one that truly defines our worship, is love.  If we do not love those who are most wicked, we completely miss the message of Yahusha.  It is easy to love people who love us.  In fact, loving people who love us makes every day like the Sabbath day – restful, easy, comfortable and sweet.

Loving the people who hate us, who spitefully use us, looking out for their best interest, serving them with kindness – this is our calling.  This is who we are to be, glorifying Lord and Son Yahusha.  He was always merciful, even when he wrecked the money changers in the Temple.  He fulfilled before them the prophecy that the coming Meshiach would be filled with zeal for the Temple.

(7) Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; Dishonor has covered my face. (8) I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother’s sons. (9) For zeal for Your house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

When we are called by Yahuah, we are called to life, but that path to life runs straight through the valley of the shadow of death.  We are called to walk through this darkness, though filled with the good light of Yahuah.  And we walk that path of sorrows in our dirt suit.  Truly we are pitiful creatures if there is no Savior, foolishly loving the haters and encouraging others to love those who persecute them.  What fools we are if there is no Truth.

But I see the Truth.  I see Him now.  I see Him in the face of my children, I hear Him in their voices, in their laughter.  I see Him in the warm light of the morning sun, which rises directly through the window in front of me.  His Word speaks calmly and wisely to my spirit.  The more I learn, the more I desire to learn.

There is no end to the Word of Truth.  The Word of Truth is like an infinite number of truths, all of them connected to all of them.  Imagine one scripture that you read and understand.  Then, later you understand another scripture, and in your understanding of it, you realize that it is directly connected to the scripture you previously understood.

You continue to read, and you gradually understand more and more, and reading for months and years, you see that all scripture is connected to all scripture, that more connections are established as you read more and more, until if the scriptures were mere points in space, they would connect into a solid sphere of light, with no part of that lattice of connectedness unlit by the pathways connecting the Words.

This is the Living Truth – a light unto the World, giving life to all who pursue it.  In it there is no darkness at all.

Love, then, is the key to life.  That is my calling, and yours if you follow Him.  Yahusha had the power and the authority to do whatsoever he liked in the face of satan and his servants.  They are wicked beasts of human beings, those who reject Yahusha.  Some quite likely in your life, perhaps in your own family.

Turn your face from them.  Face Yahusha, and let Him be the light that shines from within you.  Love those wicked haters who spitefully use you.  Though it might seem impossible to conceive of a way to do so, yet Yahusha knows exactly the path whereby His love can connect to the wicked, calling them into the very light of The Truth, connecting them to Him, to you, and to every man and woman who is His.

Just as Yahusha said “I and the Father are one”, so are we one with Him when we love the loveless in His name.

Life in the Spirit
Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to flesh, but according to Spirit.
Rom 8:2  For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set me free from the law of sin and of death. (like the “law” of gravity, sin [disobedience to Torah] leads to death. – “(KJV) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. i John 3:4 – jd)
Rom 8:3  For the Law being powerless, in that it was weak through the flesh (we don’t want to obey), Yahuah, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh,
Rom 8:4  so that the righteous demand of the Law might be fulfilled in us, those not walking according to flesh, but according to Spirit.
Rom 8:5  For the ones that are according to flesh mind the things of the flesh. And the ones according to Spirit mind the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6  For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace;
Rom 8:7  because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards God; for it is not being subjected to the Law of God, for neither can it be.
Rom 8:8  And those being in the flesh are not able to please God.
Rom 8:9  But you are not in flesh, but in Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, this one is not His.
Rom 8:10  But if Christ is in you, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11  But if the Spirit of the One having raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One having raised the Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies live through the indwelling of His Spirit in you.