Building A House: Journal – Part 9

It is hard to believe it is already November and my last House Journal post was August. So we have the last pretties from the garden and the septic tank installation above. Rain and coordinating people is always the biggest challenge. I am always thankful for progress. Praise God.

Above is the house progression sequence from July 2018 until now. And below you can see the beginnings of the floor. There is still much to do, but it is good to see. I am praying we are on a roll now and will get dried in by the end of the year.

When Forgiveness is Difficult.

Have you ever wondered why sometimes it’s so hard to forgive? We know that we ought to forgive and we know that forgiving is good for us, so why does it sometimes seem impossible?
Beloveds, many times it’s because when someone we love betrays our trust, the pain we feel is so intense, all we want is to lash out because we feel so helpless.
Listen to how David lamented about being betrayed by a close friend in Psalm 55:12-14,
“For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
    then I could hide from him.
 But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend.
 We used to take sweet counsel together;
    within God's house we walked in the throng” (ESV).
If it had been an enemy who had betrayed him, David could have handled it. But this was a close friend, a counselor, someone with whom he had shared the secrets of his heart. That kind of betrayal is so very painful! Why? Because when we’ve opened our hearts and given our trust and that trust is broken, there’s no place to hide from the pain.
Have you ever stubbed your toe on a table, and you’re jumping around holding your foot  when the other person in the room says something like, “What happened?” and you feel like you want to bite their head off? (I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ever experienced this!) There’s something about the intensity of the pain combined with feeling like that table leg just jumped out and blindsided us that makes conversation impossible!
You may say, “But, Suzanne, when my toe stops hurting, I can talk to my friend again. And I don’t have to forgive the table leg, I’m the one who stubbed my own toe!” And you’d be quite right! But that sensation of pain and feeling like something hit us from out of nowhere is what makes us want to lash out, and forgiveness is the farthest thing from our minds.
When we stub our toe, or fall out of a tree, hit our thumb with a hammer, or bump our head on a shelf, it’s obvious that we have been physically wounded. We can put some ice on it, go see a doctor, take an aspirin, certainly pray over it, and in a little while we’ll feel better.
But when someone hurts us emotionally or spiritually the wounds are very painful, and they go very deep. What’s more, they’re invisible and we don’t have any way to bandage them up.
To make things worse, we not only feel excruciating pain, but we can also be shocked, embarrassed, confused, and angry. Sometimes we feel so angry, we forget that before we got angry, first we got hurt.
If we jump straight from pain to anger we don’t realize that we’ve been wounded, and while we’re feeling the anger, our wound is going untreated.
If a person falls out of a tree and breaks their leg, they don’t stay up at night planning ways to get revenge on the tree. They treat the wounded leg.
Likewise, when we are hurt emotionally or spiritually, the first thing we should do is treat the wound, not look for someone to blame. When we’ve been hurt, first we must tend to the hurt, then we can deal with the issues behind it.
That, Beloveds, is where forgiveness comes in.
Where we get confused is where we think what we’re dealing with is anger, but what we’re really dealing with is pain. We think that forgiveness is a way to let the person who hurt us “off the hook,” so they’ll never have to take responsibility for their actions. And because we’re angry, that’s the last thing we think will satisfy us.
But here’s how it really works…
Forgiveness is the medicine, the healing balm that we apply to the situation, that heals the painful wound.
The equation is: Forgiveness = Healing = Freedom.
This means that as soon as we are wounded, instead of leaping over the pain straight to anger, we stop, and realize our condition: “I am hurt!”
Where there is loss, there is pain and there is grief. It is important that we acknowledge this and not run away. When we feel the loss, the pain, and the grief, our hearts remain soft and open. When we run from them, our hearts become hard and we turn to rage and blame.
In Ephesians 4:32, Paul reminds us to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (ESV).”
To be kind to one another, first we must be tenderhearted. To be tenderhearted, we must stay present with what we’re feeling and not close off our hearts. To forgive, we must remember that we have been forgiven.
When we remember that we have been forgiven, we also remember that we are not alone. When we remember that Christ’s Holy Spirit lives within us, to help us, guide us and comfort us, we turn away from anger and we turn toward our Savior.
We need the help of our Savior because forgiving is difficult, and often we can’t do it on our own.
But look what Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, as paraphrased in The Message translation:
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed (Isaiah 53:4-5).
The English Standard Version says, “…and with his wounds we are healed” (53:5b).
Jesus was wounded for our sins. Our sins, and all the suffering they cause, were placed on him. And he suffered our punishment.
Yet he said, “…Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34a ESV).
When we find it difficult to forgive, we must stop - realize that we’ve been wounded, and be present with the pain. Then we can turn to Jesus immediately, because he knows what it means to be wounded by sin. By his wounds, and through his forgiveness, we are healed, and with his help we can forgive, as we have been forgiven.
Remember, we are not alone. As God said to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 ESV).
Is there anyone in your life, including yourself, that you haven’t been able to forgive? If so, you’ve been wounded, and your wounds need healing! Please stop chasing after the person who hurt you and turn to the one who died to save you. He will teach you to forgive, and his love will set you free.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 ESV).

Kanye?!? For Real?!?

I do not know. What do you think? I do know this: the conversion of Kanye West to Christ sure is generating a lot of necessary public discussion about Jesus. Should we be skeptical? Absolutely! Examining a believer's fruit, including and especially our own should be a constant. Should we as believers give him a chance? Absolutely!

For now, he is not a Biblical scholar and not claiming to be. He is a new believer, his testimony is enough, and he is using his position that God gave him to proclaim the Gospel. Praise the Lord!!! We must lift him and his family up in prayer, to be led to proper instruction, fellowship and growth, and also that God will indeed use him mightily to lead many to salvation.

Remember the Pharasee named Saul who felt it was his sole purpose to hunt down and exterminate those who proclaimed the Name of Yeshua? We now know him as Paul the Apostle who was dramatically changed (Acts 8-9) to know our Lord. Shortly after he was blinded, the Lord instructed a believer named Ananias to help Saul regain his sight.

Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your Name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My Name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. ~Acts 9:13-15

No one is worthy of the calling, BUT GOD can use anyone He chooses. Each one of us has gifts and a sphere of influence to use for His glory.

 

Unbelievable! Kanye West Turns Airplane Trip Into Church Service

Kanye West's Christian Conversion: Genuine or False? By Steven Bancarz

The Key to Overcoming Anxiety.

Many times and in many ways the Bible tells us to “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6). In fact, Paul reassures us that if we will not be anxious but in all things make our requests known to God, God will give us – not earthly peace, but his peace – and his heavenly peace will guard our hearts and minds in the power and authority of Jesus Christ (4:6-7).
What keeps us from believing this, and why are we still so anxious and filled with worry?
Jesus gave us the key to understanding in his sermon on the mount. Let’s have a look at what he said:
““Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25 ESV).
He begins by telling us not to be anxious about anything in our lives; things as essential as where our next meal is coming from, to things like clothing that we sometimes take for granted, like clothing, that for some can mean the difference between freezing to death or surviving another day.
And honestly, if we back up a few verses in chapter 6, we read that Jesus actually begins this thought by telling the multitude not to be lovers of money. He’s telling us, as he told them, that we are not to be anxious for any of the “essentials” – not money, not food, not clothing, not even about our very lives.
That may have been easy for Jesus to say because after all, he is the Son of God, who turns water into wine and serves up bread from the storerooms of heaven. But the question is, how are we supposed to not be anxious? Especially today, when being anxious has become a way of life for so many people.
Beloved Friends, Jesus is saying that God never intended for us to constantly suffer from anxiety. Anxious worry was never built into God’s original design for humanity. Worry arises as a symptom of mankind’s fallen condition, and even after we are saved, we can become anxious because we occupy a broken world where everything seems to be falling apart. Life on earth can be scary and painful, and God is invisible so it's hard to walk by faith. We love Jesus, but we're worried about what’s going to happen next!
Jesus knew this. And because he knew this, he gave us keys that unlock the chains of worry. Let’s listen to what the Master said:
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all” (6:31-32).
It’s perfectly fine to eat food and wear whatever kind of clothing suits us. God knows that we need these things, and he intends that we have them. The point isn’t whether we should eat food or get dressed. The point is not to be anxious about our lives at all.
Jesus goes on to instruct us that instead, we should “…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (6:33).
Ok, now we’re getting somewhere, but how exactly do we seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness? What does that mean?
Let’s look for a minute at what Paul wrote to our Brothers and Sisters at Philippi:
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV).
Both Jesus and Paul are telling us that the key to overcoming worry can be found not in our strength or in any earthly means of support, but rather that the secret to being content in all circumstances is found in God’s strength and in his kingdom.
Ok, but how do we do that? Peter gives us another key when he says, “…Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:5-7 ESV).
So, through Peter, the Holy Spirit is saying that instead of worrying about what kinds of earthly things we should “put on,” we should be “clothing” ourselves with humility. That when we hang on to anxiety, we are operating from a place of pride because we’re depending on our own strength and not on God. And that the way to clothe ourselves with humility is to literally cast, or “throw” (Greek: epiripto) all our cares onto Jesus. Because he cares for us! And he is mighty! He can handle everything better than we can, so why are we worried?
This is what Paul was talking about when he wrote to the Philippians, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NLT).
Jesus preached in his Sermon on the Mount that our Father God knows everything we need. Paul wrote that even in terrible circumstances, he had learned how to be content. Peter instructs us that when we have cares and worries, we are to literally throw them onto God. Are we seeing a pattern forming here?
Let’s look one more time at what Paul said: “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV).
Notice that he didn’t say something like, “God has seen to it that no bad thing ever happens to me.” Or, “God promised me that I will always be rolling in dough and my bank account will always be full!” (The “dough” God gives us is the Bread from Heaven, but that’s for another post!) Or, “I’m not worried because I’ve worked so hard for God, he owes me big time!” No, Paul didn’t say any of those things, because he was a seasoned, mature man of God. He knew better than to boast or complain, because he had years of experience serving God in a broken world under his Belt of Truth.
Paul knew that times could get tough. He also knew that good times would come, when he could rest and be comforted. But he wasn’t filled with worry about future challenges, nor was he overly impressed when he was showered with abundance. Paul had learned that the secret to being content in all circumstances is only unlocked with one key. And that key is remembering that in fact we CAN do ALL things, but ONLY by depending on Christ and HIS strength, following God's will, and not our own.
When we cast all our cares on God and depend on him to see us through both the good times and the bad, we can live our lives in peace and confidence, knowing that no matter what happens, God will make a way to see us through.
Let’s close with Peter’s final words to the church, before he was executed by the emperor Nero in Rome, around 64 AD:
“…Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’
 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (2 Peter 5:5-11 ESV).
So dear Friends, cast all your cares onto God. He is standing by your side, ready to strengthen you, equip you, and establish you in everything that he has called you to do. Don't worry about tomorrow. Jesus is also waiting there ahead of you, in every moment of your future, to guide your every step. There is nothing to fear. He's got you in the palms of his hands.

Fall High Holy Days – Part 4

Sukkot – Ah!!! The Joy Of Camping

Maybe I should say, the adventures of camping. In my family, many a vacation trip was a camping trip. We have pleasant memories and stories of beautiful hikes and encounters with wildlife, singing around the campfire, eating smores and marshmellows, and waking up to some of the most amazing sunrises with a fresh cup of coffee. It is to be a time to rejoice and celebrate the works and beauty of God.

But there are also stories of not so pleasant encounters with wildlife, such as skunks, snakes, and bears, waking up in the soaking rain with half of your sleeping bag in a puddle, violent storms, running out of food down the wilderness trail, bug bites, poison ivy and being generally hot or cold and uncomfortable. As we get older we camp less even though the younger ones eventually talk us into it with their enthusiasm. “Come on," they say, "it'll be so much fun!”.

God’s Annual Camping Trip

"Why?," you ask. To remember and to rejoice.

You shall dwell in booths (temporary shelters) for seven days. All who are native Israelites (including those who are grafted in – Ephesians 3:6) shall dwell in booths, Why? …..that your generations may know Remember that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. ~Leviticus 23:42-43

A wilderness experience is a time and a place of learning, some but not all of it can be unpleasant. But still, we are to rejoice. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.~James 1:12

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our trouble, light and momentary (like a camping trip), is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, as we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You. ~Psalm 51:11  Rejoice

Chag Sameach Sukkot!!!

Happy Feast Of Tabernacles -

Sunday, October 13

through Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Festival Of Sukkot - How to Celebrate

We Will Run/ Ani Ma'amin - Paul Wilbur

The Sukkot Secrets of the Spirit - Jonathan Cahn

Sukkot: You Shall Rejoice - 119 Ministries

Meditative Prayer

Have you ever come across a special Bible verse, maybe in your morning devotional or on your favorite Christian blog that spoke directly to something you were going through and you wanted to remember it, but found that it had completely slipped your mind after about fifteen minutes? Me too, and it’s not because we’re over fifty, it’s because we just have too darn many distractions, all day, every day!
 Meditative Prayer is an easy and enjoyable way that we can carry helpful scriptures with us, revisit them throughout the day, and even end up automatically committing them to memory so that they’re always on tap when we need them. Plus, Meditative Prayer is a simple method that takes us into the deeper meaning behind the scriptures, providing fresh insight every time we use it.
Want to get started? Here’s how…
You’ll need your Bible; your favorite pen, markers or pencils; and a package of 3x5 note cards or something to write on that you can easily carry with you.
Next, think about your favorite scriptures, a situation you may be dealing with, or a topic from the Bible that strengthens you and brings you comfort.
One of my favorites is from Isaiah, and I meditate on it when I’m feeling exhausted or overwhelmed:
 “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
    they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint”
(Isaiah 40:31 ESV).
Let’s say that you’ve just come across this verse for the first time, and you’d like to be able to understand it better and remember it when you need it.
Here’s what to do:
Take a few minutes to prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to help you either find the verse that he wants you to meditate on, or use one of your favorite scriptures, or the verse we’ve written above.
Write your scripture on your 3x5 card, remembering to add the chapter and verse so you can find it again later.
Now just set everything aside for a few minutes, and slowly read the scripture you’ve written on your card. Speak it out loud if you can.
Remember that Jesus said, “’It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4 ESV).
That literally means that God’s Word is spiritual food. It is heavenly bread that feeds our spirits. When we practice Meditative Prayer, what we are doing is taking a portion of God’s Word and we chew on it – as if every word of scripture is a bite of delicious bread.
 In fact, the word meditate can mean to ponder, mutter, reckon, chew on, weigh, add up, consider or decide. Have you ever seen a mama cow, ruminating – or chewing on – delicious grass? That’s how we want to ruminate on our scriptures. Chew and digest. Chew and digest.
Let’s look again at our sample from Isaiah, starting with the first line:
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;”
In Meditative Prayer, we read the line to ourselves, ruminating on one word or idea at a time, like this:
We say to ourselves, “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.” Then we ask ourselves, “What does it mean to wait on the Lord? How can I wait on him? Lord, are you asking me to just be still and wait? Ok, I’m waiting for you, Lord. You know what’s best for me!”
Next, we ruminate on “shall renew their strength,” and we say to ourselves something like, “Waiting on the Lord is renewing my strength. Lord, when I stop what I’m doing and wait for you – when I’m in your timing and not mine – I can relax. Thank you, Jesus, that I can wait for you and trust you. Your timing is perfect, I don’t have to hurry.”
Then we take the next line, “they shall mount up with wings like eagles,” and we meditate on those words thinking something like, “Lord, I want to rise up above everything I’m dealing with, like a soaring eagle. I want to see things from a higher perspective. Help me rise up on eagle’s wings as I wait for you. Please renew my strength!”
Next, “they shall run and not be weary;” and we say, “Lord, I have been truly weary. Help me to run the race you’ve set before me. Help me to run this race with joy and not complaining. Give me your strength, Lord Jesus!”
And finally, “they shall walk and not faint,” and we say, “Jesus, I know that everywhere I walk, you go with me. You promised that you would never leave me or forsake me. You’ll never let go of my hand. Help me to walk through this broken world. Help me to walk, and not faint from weariness or be afraid. Lord, help me to be patient and wait on you, and renew my strength!”
Can you see how this is a mixture of both prayer and meditation? This method of Meditative Prayer teaches us how to incorporate God’s word into our prayers and makes his promises a part of our conversation with him. When we pray God’s Word, we remind ourselves of – and we let God know that we have heard and believe – his promises.
The key is to take your scripture card with you, and meditate on it throughout the day, It only takes a few minutes, and you’ll find that each time you pull out your card and chew on your scripture the Holy Spirit will reveal a deeper understanding of the verse to you, as you nourish your spirit on God’s bread from heaven.
We’ve listed several scriptures on what the Bible says about comfort on our Words of Comfort page, at https://speakcomfort.com/words-of-comfort/ , and here are some other verses from the English Standard Version translation that you can write on your prayer cards to get started:
When you need patience:
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
 
When you feel lonely:
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
 
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land (Psalm 68:5-6).
 
For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called (Isaiah 54:5).
 
When you feel afraid, or are facing a challenge:
 
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (John 14:27).
 
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2).
I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed (Psalm 34:4-5).
When you want to praise God:
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1).
 
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! (Psalm 34:34:3)
 
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150:6)
For peaceful rest and sleep:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7).
 
If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet (Proverbs 3:24).
 
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
 
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, therefore we will not fear…Be still, and know that I am God…the Lord Almighty is with us (Psalm 46:1-2, 10-11).

Fall High Holy Days – Part 3

Yom Kippur – Tishrei 10, 5780/October 9, 2019

For the ancient Israelites, Yom Kippur was the one and only day of the year when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle to make atonement for the sins of the nation. This was to insure that the names of the individuals were written in the Lamb's Book Of Life (Exodus 32:33, Revelation 13:8). One bull, one ram and two male goats were to be offered. It was also to be a day of affliction and remorse for sin. (Leviticus 16)

In the days of Isaiah the prophet there was plenty to be remorseful about. The nation had fallen far from God, steeped in wicked idolatry and divided. The idolatry of Baal worship involved debauchery, sacrifice of babies and children, slavery and sexual rituals, (much like promiscuous sex, gender confusion, drunkenness, abortion, human trafficking and Satanic ritual sexual abuse and sacrifice of humans of all ages that are all taking place today). Their sacrifices to Yahweh were useless. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. ~Isaiah 1:14-15

Because of the intercession by Moses and other prophets for this people, Israel, that God had chosen to use for His purposes and plan, God as always in His infinite mercy, calls for repentance and obedience, and promises abundant life.

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord,“Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. ~Isaiah 1:18

The Scapegoat

The yearly sacrifice to Yahweh included two male goats. One of them would be offered as a sacrifice on the alter and the other would take the confessions of sin upon its head along with a scarlet cord and be set free into the wilderness. According the Talmud, another scarlet cord would be hung on the door of the temple, that would turn white when the goat reached the wilderness indicating that the sacrifice was acceptable. The scarlet cord continued to turn white each year until AD 30.

What happened around that time? The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As believers, we know that the sacrifice of animals was and is no longer necessary.

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’ ”
Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all. ~Hebrews 10:5-8

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”then He adds, Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. ~Hebrews 10:16-18

Rahab’s Scarlet Cord

Not only was Rahab a harlot, she was an idolator. She lived and conducted business in Jericho just before the time God called the Israelites to destroy it after their time of wandering in the wilderness with Moses. The stories of the miracles surrounding the children of Israel and their God had spread far and wide. They were coming to Jericho and because of the extreme wickedness (Baal worship) of the city, they were not taking captives. She hid the spies in exchange for her safety and that of her household marking her dwelling with a scarlet cord. (Joshua 2, 6:22-25) By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. ~Hebrews 11:31

She repented of her former life and sought to became one of God's people, eventually marrying into the line of Judah and becoming a direct ancestor to Messiah Yeshuah. Yeshua/Jesus Was and Is God's plan (Revelation 1:8) for the salvation of the whole world. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~Hebrews 4:14-16

Today we have the same choice as we look forward to Christ's imminent return. That return could be today, tomorrow or 100 or 1000 years from now, but this life here and now is short and even the youth are not guaranteed tomorrow. God will not continue to tolerate the wickedness of the world, but he desires that people would repent and be saved.

Jesus became our scapegoat, and once and for all sin offering. However you choose to celebrate Yom Kippur, let it be a reminder of this gospel.

Cleansed/ Nothing But The Blood/Praise Break - Charity Gayle

The Year The Scarlet Thread Stopped Turning White

The Scarlet Cord

More on Yom Kippur- Hebrew4Christians

Fall High Holy Days – Part 2

Rosh Hashannah/Yom Teruah/Feast Of Trumpets 5780

Tishrei 1, September 29, the Feast of Trumpets, marks the beginning of the Jewish new year, 5780. Many believe that, some unknown year, the rapture will take place on Yom Teruah (Talmud, Rosh Hashannah 16b). Because the spring feasts fulfilled the first coming of Yeshua, it is expected that the fall feasts would be the time to fulfill the second coming. It is also considered to be Coronation Day for the King of the Universe, whom we know is Yeshua Ha Mashiach/Christ Jesus. It also marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, which are the last ten days of Teshuva/Repentance before Yom Kippur.

 

Shana Tova!!!

 

Dip Your Apple - Fountainheads Rosh Hashanah

 

Preliminaries of the Prophetic for the new Hebrew year 5780 | Troy Brewer | OpenDoor Church

 

More on Rosh Hashannah- Hebrew4Christians

The Shofar Call of Messiah’s Return

Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, so with Him God will also bring those who have fallen asleep in Yeshua. For this we tell you, by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the blast of God’s shofar,  and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left behind, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air—and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. ~1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Behold, I tell you a mystery:

We shall not all sleep,
but we shall all be changed—
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last shofar.
For the shofar will sound,
and the dead will be raised incorruptible,
and we will be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility,
and this mortal must put on immortality.
But when this corruptible will have put on incorruptibility
and this mortal will have put on immortality,
then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.” ~1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Fall High Holy Days – Part 1

Teshuva

Teshuva (Hebrew) is a 40 day time of reflection and repentance which begins in the Hebrew month of Elul/September leading up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, with Rosh Hashannah/Tishrei 1 in between. It is preparation for the joyous celebration of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. It is considered a time of awakening for the coming of the bridegroom, Yeshua. The feasts are our dress rehearsals.

 

Yet everything exposed by the light is being made visible, for everything made visible is light. This is why it says,

“Wake up, O sleeper!
Rise from the dead,
and Messiah will shine on you.”

So pay close attention to how you walk—

not as unwise people but as wise.

~Ephesians 5:13-15

 

Psalm 51 Song - Create in Me a Clean Heart O God by Jason Silver

Turning Back To God - Hebrew4Christians

Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

Psalm 51

For the music director: a psalm of David,  when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he went to Bathsheba.
Be gracious to me, O God,
according to Your mercy.
According to Your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions
and my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
and done what is evil in Your sight,
so that You are just when You speak,
and blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was born in iniquity and in sin
when my mother conceived me.
Surely You desire truth in the inner being.
Make me know wisdom inwardly.
Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean.
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness,
so the bones You crushed may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from Your presence—
take not Your Ruach ha-Kodesh from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
and sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then will I teach transgressors Your ways
and sinners will return to You.
Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God—
    God of my salvation.
Then my tongue will sing for joy of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare Your praise.
For You would not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it,
nor be pleased by burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.
A broken and a contrite heart, O God,
    You will not despise.

In Your favor do good to Zion.
Build up the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will be offered on Your altar.

The Problem of Evil and Suffering: Part Four – It’s Not All Doom and Gloom!

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad” (Psalm 126:1-3 ESV).
Beloved, even in the midst of trials and suffering, God wants us to be able to rejoice in him, because he has done great things for us and he wants us to be glad.
One of the things that sets us apart as believers in Christ is our ability to rejoice and give glory to God in the presence of even our deepest pain. But how is this possible? How can we as just regular people manage to see beyond loss, or suffering, or grief and give God thanks in the middle of a terrible storm?
We can do this because, as the prophet Ezra said in the book of Nehemiah, we are assured that “The joy of the Lord is our strength,” and that as Jesus said to his disciples as he prepared them to face his coming crucifixion, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (Nehemiah 8:10; John 15:11 ESV).
God intends for our joy to be full, not because we are able to continuously make ourselves happy (because we surely can’t!), and not because our circumstances always make us happy (because they surely won't!), but because the joy of Christ abides within us. Jesus made it a point to tell his closest followers that he wanted them – and all who were to follow him after them – to be filled with his joy. It is through the Lord’s joy abiding in us that we find our greatest happiness and strength.
What is it, then, that makes God so happy that his happiness overflows to fill us with joy so that our joy is full?
In the gospel of Luke, chapter 15, Jesus gave us several parables about what happens when something that is lost has been found. He said that when a shepherd finds his lost sheep he picks it up, carries it on his shoulders and calls all of his friends and says, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that is lost.” Jesus told the story of a woman who lost a part of her dowry, a silver coin, and she lit every candle and swept her house clean until she found it and said to all her friends and neighbors, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.”
Jesus said, “Just so I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10 ESV).
Notice that Jesus said that there is joy “before the angels.” Who is it that is rejoicing in front of the angels of heaven but God himself!
To illustrate this Jesus goes on to tell the parable of the wealthy father whose youngest boy leaves home, squanders his fortune and winds up eating food that he was supposed to be feeding to pigs. When this young man finally realized that even the servants in his father’s house were being treated better than he was, he set out toward home, hoping that since he had thrown away his birthright, maybe his father would be willing to take him in as a servant.
But what the young man found was not that his father had turned away from him in anger as he deserved, but he had been watching and waiting for him to come to his senses and come home. Jesus said that when the young man was still a long way off, in the distance he saw his father running toward him, and when he reached his prodigal son, the father threw himself on the boy’s neck and kissed him. He covered him with a royal robe and placed shoes on his feet and his signet ring on his hand – the declaration that everything that belonged to the father belonged to his son. And then his father threw him a big welcome home party! (See Luke 15:11-32.)
The prodigal son knew that his behavior warranted him being an outcast from his father’s house, but his father’s love for him was so strong that as soon as his son turned toward home, he ran to meet him, clothe him in his finest garments and acknowledge him before everyone. He said to his servants, “’For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found,’ and they began to celebrate” (15:24).
Beloved Friends, we are that prodigal child, God is our Father, and his servants are the angels in heaven. His greatest joy is not only for us, but God’s greatest rejoicing is because of us. Our Father rejoices in the presence of his angels whenever a child of his turns toward home.
Our Father wants us to remember him, to trust him, and to come back to him so that he can acknowledge us as his children before all of creation.
But how can we do this? What makes this possible? Here’s a really cool thing about the story of the prodigal’s return…did you know that the younger son had an older brother?
He did, indeed, but in the story that Jesus told, the elder brother was a little put-out when his little brother came home, and dad threw him a party instead of grounding him for the rest of his life. After all, big brother had stayed home, tended his father’s flocks, always been obedient, and never asked for anything. But he never got a party.
In fact, he complained to his dad when he said, “…Look, these many years I have served you, and I never  disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends” (15:29).
Obviously, that’s not the cool part of the story, because elder brother was totally not cool.
But have you ever wondered why, since the father had two sons, he didn’t send the elder boy to go out and fetch the younger? I don’t see any indication in the story that big brother ever even got it into his head to bring the boy home.
So, here’s the cool part…if we are the sons and daughters, and God is our Father, and the angels are his servants, who is the real Elder Brother? Who did the Father actually send to fetch the prodigal children?
Of course, you know already that it’s Jesus. You see, God – our heavenly Father – loves us so much, that he sent his beloved Son, his only Begotten Son, in whom God is well pleased, to come down here where we are, in this classroom where we are learning about the nature of good and evil, to fight for us, pay the price for us, rescue us, and bring us all the way home.
The best story of all is that we have a Savior, who not only loves us but was willing to die on the cross to save us and redeem us from all the effects that this world filled with sin has had on us.
Beloved Friends, we have a Hero. And not just any Hero, but the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Lion of Judah. The Light of the World. The Prince of Peace. The Lord of Hosts. The Big Kahuna. Very God of Very God. Lord Almighty.
He is our Elder Brother, and he is on our side. He’s got our back. He goes before us, he walks beside us, and he’s got all our bases covered. He has done great things for us. We do not have to be afraid, because God has a mighty plan for each one of us.
Psalm 126 closes this way: “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (v. 4-6 ESV).
All of this is true because “...God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17 ESV).
Because God sent his only Begotten Son to bring his children home, no matter what circumstances we face, we can praise him and rejoice because the joy of the Lord will forever be our strength.