Bible Study – Genesis 1

I just love the book of Genesis. It is our introduction to Yahweh and literally the beginning of His story. I want to point out that our Adonai is 100 percent trustworthy because He is the Creator of the Universe and all that it contains and because His Word is His gift to us so that we may know Him and His Way, it is also 100 percent reliable and a firm and immovable foundation, no matter what snake comes to say otherwise. Also, at least in my opinion, the study of Genesis is the key to understanding the rest of scripture.

So the goal here is not necessarily to get through the whole Bible, but at least give some tips on how to study the rest of it for yourself. I do plan to work through all of Genesis. What in incredible journey it is.  The best and simplest way to study is to read through the whole Bible and begin again when you finish. Take advantage of the side references (most Bibles have them) to other parts of scripture.

As you study, always ask the Ruach Ha Kodesh, Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding and remember that this is not the only way to hear from God, but it is the main way that God speaks to anyone. Any other way must always be consistent with scripture.  It is very important to know what God really did say as we will see in Genesis.

Some helpful study tools that I like include interlinear Greek and Hebrew verse by verse on biblehub.com and a parallel feature on biblegateway.com which allows you to see at up to 4 versions of the same passage side by side.

Here We Go

B-re'shiyt (In the beginning) bara (created) Elohim (God) et (aleph-tav) hashamayim (the heavens) v'et ha'aretz (and the earth). ~Genesis 1:1 - Hebrew transliteration

I want to point out a little Hebrew word, et, which is usually left out of English translations because they do not know how to translate it, but it packs a mighty punch. The Hebrew letters are Aleph Tav, the first and last letters of the alphabet. In Greek they are Alpha and Omega. Sound familiar?

"I Am the Alpha and the Omega (the Aleph and the Tav), the Beginning (B-re'shiyt) and the End," says the LORD, "Who Is and Who Was and Who Is to come, the Almighty." ~Revelation 1:8  

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. ~John 1:1-2

I so love seeing Yeshua in the Old Testament, yes, from the beginning.

The earth was without form and void, tohu wa bohu, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. ~Genesis 1:2

In the first two verses we have the Elohim (plural); the Abba Father, the Son- the light, the beginning/end, The One, and the Ruach- Holy Spirit which hovered over the face of the waters. Yahweh created light, Shalom, which is perfect order, to overcome darkness, ra or tohu wa bohu, which is utter disorder, chaos and confusion. The mystery is where did the disorder of verse 2 come from? Some speculate that it was the time when Lucifer fell from grace.

Day one is Yom Echad in verse 5. The Hebrew word, echad has a fuller meaning than just number one, it means a single entity made up of more than one part (plural) which is different from the word, yachid, which is singular.

Extended dry land, raquia was formed, then the sky, shamayim (heavens), grass, herbs and fruit trees according to their kind.  lights, greater and lesser to divide the day from the night and for signs, seasons - moadim (divine appointments, rehearsals), days and years. It can be difficult to grasp that God exists outside of time and that He actually created it. Then animals were made according to their kind.

I will mention that the moadim are the feast days which Yahweh gave to the Israelites which includes Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Shavuot/Pentecost, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. I didn't get to write about them all this season, but I am blessed to have celebrated them.

And He made humans in His likeness which means that they have greater abilities than other creatures to think, create and to have compassion. All were commanded to multiply and to fill the earth and the humans were given dominion to manage it. Notice there was never meant to be a limit to this. God called it all good.

All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~John 1:3-5  

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~John 1:14

Other helpful links include:  

YouTube - Inspiring Philosophy - Genesis 1a: And God Said!  and Genesis 1:b: And It Was Good

news.kehila.org/the-meaning-of-the-word-echad-one

Where is God When We’re Lonely? Repost.

A Pew Research poll recently found that in the United States, 27% of people sixty and over live alone, compared to 16% living alone elsewhere in the world, where elders in the Asia-Pacific region, Sub Saharan Africa, and the Middle East are least likely to live alone, at only 5%.
But Beloved Friends, these are the days of Covid 19, when people of all ages may be in quarantine, and those of us who want to be with our loved ones may be prevented from visiting friends and family out of concern for their health, and even their lives.
How can we cope in isolation? Where can we go when there is literally nowhere to go? To whom can we turn for help when we can’t reach out to the people we need the most? What do we do when we miss each other and all the little joys and pleasures of life that we once took for granted, in a world where everything familiar seems to have disappeared right before our eyes?
The two-part series reposted below, “You Are Not Alone,” follows some of our heroes and heroines from scripture in their loneliest and most difficult times, and asks the questions “What are we missing?” “Why are we here?” and “What do we need?” when we are feeling a loneliness that we cannot escape.
Even though these articles were written in 2018, well before the time of this pandemic, God’s Word is eternal and it applies not only to the heroes of scripture, but to all of us who are called to hold on to hope and courage during the many trials that life here on earth inevitably brings.
We hope you enjoy reading God’s answers to the questions above by clicking on the links below.
As I wrote in “You are not Alone:Part Two”:
 “Rick Warren reminds us, ‘God uses problems to draw you closer to himself. The Bible says, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit [Ps 34:18].’ Your most profound and intimate experiences…will likely be in your darkest days – when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great – and you turn to God alone.’“
Always remember that especially when the night seems to be the most dark and the days are unbearably long, Jesus promised to all who believe in his name, “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.”  (Matthew 28:20 GW).

Pray for the United States and All Our Leaders, All Over the World.

As citizens of the United States, whether we are natural-born or naturalized, we learn to recite the Pledge of Allegiance:          
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
We recite the Pledge, because we believe in the founding principles of our country that are based on the equal standing of every human being before Almighty God and our God-given rights, which are to be protected by a freely elected government that is established by the people in order to be for the people - as stated in our Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
But in these tumultuous times, a spirit of unrest, hatred, and division is attempting to destroy what our Founding Fathers and Mothers built. And yet, because we remain one nation, under God, it is our duty as citizens of the United States that we pray for the healing of our nation. Otherwise, the blessings of liberty and the freedom to practice our religious and spiritual beliefs – whatever they may be – will be taken from us.
It is recorded in all three of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) that Jesus stated very clearly that “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand” (Mark 3:24-25). Therefore, what kind of a spirit is it, that goes against the words of Christ, attempting to divide what God has put together?

Therefore, as Christians it is our duty to pray for the healing of the divisions that are beginning to form in the United States – and in our world. God said, in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Beloved Friends, wherever we are in the world, from whatever nation, as children of God, we are citizens of heaven. And as brothers and sisters who are citizens of heaven, it is our duty to pray according to God’s instructions. As God instructed the young pastor Timothy through the apostle Paul, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Therefore, I ask you today, to please join us in prayer for our nation, and for every nation. For all our leaders and for every leader on the face of this good Earth. And I ask you today to join us in prayer for all peoples, that all will be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth of salvation through Christ Jesus. Because as the sweet psalmist King David wrote, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers [and sisters] dwell in unity!

And I humbly and sincerely ask you to join us in special prayer for our President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania and their family, for healing, strength, comfort, and wisdom. And for continued health, strength, and wisdom for Vice President Pence and his family. And I ask you to join us in prayer for former Vice President Biden and his wife and family, and Senator Harris and her family, that they will continue to be healthy, and for strength, comfort, and wisdom.
Please pray that whomever is granted the privilege of leading this country in all the levels of government now and in the future will be guided by the word of God, and led by his Holy Spirit to uphold the principles of peace, faith, morality, and equal justice under the law.
“For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
 guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
(Proverbs 2:6-8)

 

All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.

Beauty for Ashes.

In his book, “Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit,” Henri Nouwen wrote about the experience he had watching a sculptor chiseling away at a large block of stone. As he watched, Nouwen wondered whether the striking of the hammer against the chisel, and the chisel against the stone caused the rock to feel pain. But suddenly, he realized that emerging from the marble was the form of a beautiful dancer. In that moment, Nouwen understood that in the hands of God, everything is grace.
The gospel of Luke tells us that immediately after Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan river, he “…was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil” (4:1:2). Luke went on to write that afterward, again being led by the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth in Galilee, “…and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country” (4:14). When he came into the synagogue on that Sabbath day, Jesus unrolled the scroll of the book of Isaiah before the people, and read:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
And Jesus said, “’Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:18-19, 21).

While Jesus was forty days fasting in the wilderness after his baptism, he was given his assignment by God the Father, through his Holy Spirit. No wonder the enemy chose that time to come against him and tempt him to abandon his mission!
But the prophecy of Isaiah did not stop there, and neither did Christ’s ministry. When we continue to read the words that God gave to the prophet in Isaiah 61, the next part of Jesus’ commission unfolds:
“…to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.”
(Isaiah 61:2-3)
Jesus’ mission to the world is one of transformation, bringing us beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning, comfort for pain, and strength in his Holy Spirit for our weakness in times of trouble.
The prophet Ezekiel wrote of God’s promise to transform our hearts from cold stone to warm flesh, when he wrote, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (36:26).
Like a potter working the clay, and the sculptor wielding hammer and chisel, God forms us and shapes us, making all things new. He transforms us from the inside out from spiritually cold, dead stone into his redeemed people, filled with the breath of his Holy Spirit and the gift of eternal life.

If you are feeling that the mission God has planted in your heart is facing opposition from the enemy, or that the hammer and chisel of transformation are ringing a little too loudly in your ears, fear not, dear Friend! God is at work in you, right now, to bring forth the original purpose he designed specifically for you. Sometimes God’s handiwork feels like trials and testing. But remember, our mission is to allow ourselves to be transformed so that we may glorify his name – and then – give him all the praise as we become his hands and feet sent out into the world to speak his word with boldness and his truth with love. Isaiah saw this when he wrote, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’” (52:7). Jesus demonstrated this to his disciples when he washed their feet at the Last Supper, before his crucifixion (See John 13).
As Henri Nouwen discovered, with God, everything is grace. As we climb the mountains set before us, our steps become beautiful as Jesus transforms our journey from the ashes of mourning to joy and beauty. Because he is with us, we have nothing to fear, and there is no need to rush.

On the road to Emmaus, Luke tells of two of Jesus’ disciples who were walking away from Jerusalem, heartbroken at the tragedy of Jesus’ death. Suddenly, a man appeared on the road, who went with them, revealing to them the mystery of the scriptures from Moses through the prophets. Once they realized that it was Jesus who had been walking with them all along, they proclaimed, “…’Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’” (24:32). While they walked along the road, they were being transformed by the presence of Jesus and the word of God. They didn’t even realize it, until the moment when they recognized who had been with them all along. The presence of Christ transformed their journey from mourning to joy and from ashes to beauty, while they were walking, until their broken hearts revived and burned with a fresh fire within them.
Beloved Friend, Jesus is doing the same with you. Stay on the straight and narrow road. Just keep moving forward and do not be in a hurry. The God of Transformation is at hand, and he will never leave you nor forsake you, whether he is walking with you on the mountain or in the valley.
Jesus assured his disciples, “… And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). As he was with them, so Christ is with you. 

 

 

All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.

Rosh Hashanah 5781 (2020)

Shana Tova!!!

And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt (lost to the world) will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem. ~Isaiah 27:13 

Tishrei 1, 5781, September 18-20, 2020, the Feast of Trumpets, marks the beginning of the Hebrew new year. Rosh Hashanah is also known as "the day and hour that no one knows" because within the two day period one searches for the sighting of the new moon which means the beginning is then official and the shofar is blown to make the announcement. And because the spring feasts Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost fulfilled the first coming of Yeshua, it is expected that the second coming of our Lord would be fulfilled during the fall feasts, the year of which is still yet to be determined.

A Time Of Return And Restoration

Therefore, thus says YAHWEH, "If you will return (repent), then I will restore you-- Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious (Godly wisdom) from the worthless (ways of the world), you will become My spokesman. They (the lost souls) for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them (do not seek their counsel)." ~Jeremiah 15:19 

Yahweh is seeking spokespeople for the great End Times harvest of souls. This is the battle we are fighting and YAHWEH WINS!

Again, if the trumpet sounds a muffled call, who will prepare for battle? ~1 Corinthians 14:8

Speak loud and clear!!!

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ~Ephesians 6:12

What is the Rapture?

Have you ever heard of the rapture? Most non-Christians, and even many believers, either have not heard about the event known as the rapture, or do not really understand what it is all about. Part of the reason for this is that the Bible does not specifically use the word “rapture” to describe it, but instead uses the Greek, harpazo, which means to seize, catch away, call up, or take for oneself (Strong’s #726).
Let’s look at a very interesting, and supernatural, way that the term rapture – or harpazo – was used in the story of the apostle Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch, beginning in Acts 8:26…
Philip and the other apostles were preaching in Jerusalem, when an angel appeared to Philip, and instructed him to Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza…And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Queen Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come up to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
And the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to sit with him…Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture [Isaiah 53] he told him the good news about Jesus.
And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away [harpazo], and the eunuch saw him no more, and he went on his way rejoicing.
But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed though he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:26-40)
Can you imagine what both men must have experienced, as Philip disappeared from the Eunuch’s sight, and suddenly found himself in a completely different city? The beautiful Greek phrase for what happened is, pneuma kyrios harpazo philippos, or “the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away.” The Holy Spirit literally raptured him and set him down in a new location! Therefore, we can understand through this example that the term rapture can refer to being bodily caught up by the Spirit and set down in another place.

Now let’s look at how Paul uses the term harpazo in his first letter to the church at Thessalonica:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep [died in Christ].
 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up [harpazo] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Notice that Paul makes a distinction between the living and those believers who have previously died, or “fallen asleep.” As we can see, he is specifically saying that those who are alive will be caught up, harpazo or raptured, to meet the Lord (along with those believers who have died and gone before them) in the air. In Acts chapter 8, we witness Philip being caught up or raptured by the Holy Spirit and carried bodily to a new location on Earth. Here, Paul describes believers who are alive being caught up to meet Jesus in the heavens, using the word harpazo, or in the Latin, rapturo, and in English, rapture.
Notice too that Paul specifically instructs the church to comfort one another and take comfort in these words, this blessed hope, of the rapture. Why is it that the hope of the rapture should be comforting to believers? 1 Thessalonians 1:10 tells us that Jesus saves believers from the wrath to come, and Romans 5:9 states, “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”

There is a time, during the second half of the seven-year Tribulation period, that God’s wrath will be poured out on those who remain on the Earth. Jesus refers to this time as the Great Tribulation during his prophetic Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” However, God will not focus his wrath on the Church, which is the Body of Christ, because at the cross Jesus paid the full price for all our sins. For all those who believe in the finished work of Christ at the cross and accept him as their Lord and Savior, God’s wrath against sin has been satisfied, and we are saved from his wrath forever. Therefore, when the wrath of God is poured out on the unbelieving world, the Church will have already been raptured, or caught up to heaven. And so shall we always be with the Lord.
When will this blessed event take place? That is something that it has not been given to us to know. In fact, Jesus himself stated, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36). Only our Father in heaven knows the perfect timing of the moment when God will instruct the Bridegroom to call for the Church, and his Bride will be caught up to heaven in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52). However, in Luke’s description of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus instructs us, “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28).

In Matthew 16:3, Jesus scolds the Pharisees for not being able to discern the signs of the times, and Jesus, himself, has given us a picture of what to look for in these last days. If you want to know more, take some time to read both versions of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and Luke 21, and look around and see if what Jesus was pointing to looks familiar. And if you discover that it does, remember Paul’s words of comfort and Jesus’ exhortation to recognize the signs of the times, and do not be afraid, and do not get caught up in anxiety and worry about what is happening in the world. Jesus instructed us to look up and not to focus on the troubles of this world, but to keep our eyes firmly fixed on our Redeemer. He is drawing nigh, and when our Father gives the call, the Body of Christ will be caught up together, to meet the Bridegroom in the air. And so we will forever be with the Lord. And the Lord said, “…’Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!...” (Revelation 22:20-21).
If you are unsure whether or not, when the call comes, you will be included in the number of those who are caught up together in the rapture, please take a moment and read and pray this Prayer of Salvation:
Dear God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake, and that He has risen from the dead for my deliverance. Lord, I receive your Word, and I repent of my sins.  I receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive Your complete forgiveness and my new birth into Your kingdom. I receive Your Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me, and I make You the Lord of my life. I receive salvation in the holy name of Jesus, today and forever. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer from your heart today, then you have been cleansed of all your sins and born again into new life through Jesus Christ, and we are so happy for you! We suggest that you find a copy of the Bible which is God's Word, and begin reading with the Gospel of John in the New Testament. Please consider visiting a Bible-based church in your area and let them know that you have recently received salvation, so that you can enjoy fellowship with other believers and ask any questions that you may have. We are praying for you, we love you, and God bless you, in Jesus' name.
Jesus said, "In the same way God's angels are happy when even one person turns to Him" (Luke 15:10 CEV).

 

 

 

 

All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation unless otherwise noted.

It Is Well, A 911 Tribute

It Is Well With My Soul

 Horatio Spafford, 1828

 

When peace like a river attendeth my way

When sorrows like sea billows roll

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say

It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well (it is well)... with my soul (with my soul)

It is well it is well with my soul
Though satan should buffet, though trials should come

Let this blessed assurance control

That Christ has regarded my helpless estate

And has shed His own blood for my soul

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought

My sin, not in part but the whole

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more

Praise the LORD, praise the LORD, O my soul

And LORD haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound, and the LORD shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul
Thanks to Dan Gold on Unsplash for the spectacular photo

911, A Day Of Remembrance

If there is one thing we learn in this life, it is full of trials and loss. I am sure most of us remember precisely where we were and what we were doing on September 11, 2001 when we learned of the tragic events that turned our world up side down. And the battle rages on today as we are now facing domestic and bio terrorism, and out of control wildfires.

We continue to pray for our president and other government leaders, our law enforcement, our firefighters, our military, our healthcare workers and others who knowingly put themselves in harms way, many times sacrificing their lives, to serve and to protect the people of our beloved nation.

We have an awesome God! Our Yahweh is One Who remembers us as we praise His mighty hand in the good, the bad and the ugly whenever it comes our way. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose..........and who shall separate us from the love of Yeshua? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution, or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels not demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD. ~Romans 8:28, 35-39

And Yeshua commanded us, "Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do as I command. ~John 15:12-14

Prayer For America – Part 2

Prayer For Safe, Efficient, Peaceful, Fair And Just November Elections

Glorious Jehovah Shalom,   Thank You for the precious gift of life. You so carefully created each soul fearfully and wonderfully from within the womb. Even our thoughts are valuable to You and You are mindful of them (Psalm 8:4) Each and every life matters to You. You never made any mistakes when You made Your children, male and female and You brought the two together in marriage and in union with You for the purpose of raising, protecting and nurturing children to glorify, serve and honor You. (Genesis 2:22-24, Psalm 66:9, Psalm 139)

Your beauty is upon us and You have compassion on Your servants to number our days, teach us wisdom, and establish the works of our hands. (Psalm 90:12-17) Help us to love You with all of our heart, mind and strength so that we can in turn love our neighbor as ourselves. (Matthew 22:37-39)

Yeshua, we sing to You, "Worthy are You to take the scroll and open it's seals, for You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation (and color), and You have made them a kingdom of priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth." ~Revelation 5:9-10

We know that it is not Your will, Abba, that we live such that every person merely does what is right in their own eyes (Deuteronomy 12:8) and that because of transgression (and corruption) of a land, many are its tyrannical rulers; But by a man of understanding and knowledge Right will be prolonged. ~Proverbs 28:2  Those who forsake law and order praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek Your face, Adonai, understand all. ~Proverbs 28:4-5  One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, he himself will fall into his own pit; But the blameless will inherit good. ~Proverbs 28:9-10

We know that you, Yahweh, created law and order and without Your guidance, that order will disappear and turn into chaos. You bless everyone who obeys Your Law and when law is perverted against You, we must choose to obey You rather than human authority and that we are to stand up against those who practice iniquity. (Acts 5:29, Romans 13:1-2, Psalm 94:16)  We know that you test us with trials and You hate those who love and approve of violence. (Psalm 11:5)  

Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it. Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets. ~Psalm 55:9-11  Humble those who have no fear of You (Psalm 55:19) Expose their deeds and bring them under peaceful law and order.

For we, as believers in Yeshua, were called to freedom, brothers and sisters. Only we must not use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. ~Galatians 5:13  Our hope is to preserve the environment of freedom where the Great Commission of the Gospel would flourish so we can passionately continue to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything You have commanded us, And surely You Are with us always, to the very end of the age." ~Matthew 28:19-20  

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all people, for kings (presidents) and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~2 Timothy 2:1-4

So in obedience to You, El Shaddai, as we go to the polls this November, help us to keep Your good and perfect will in mind as we choose and establish leaders, president, judges and officers in all positions of authority, which the Lord our God gives us, according to our nation and communities and they will judge the people with just judgement who will not pervert justice; who will not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. We will follow what is altogether just, that we may live and inherit the land which the Lord our God has given us. ~Deuteronomy 16:18-20

In Yeshua's Mighty Name We Pray, Amen

Homestead 1

So my House Building Journal is now my Homestead journal. I am having to learn to enjoy the process, as frustrating as building a house can sometimes be. This really is more of a homestead project. And between what I have going on here and also gleaning from family and friends, there is so much I cannot wait to share with you: chickens, goats, garden, bees, healthy living, etc. I should say that though I have some experience, I am certainly no expert on the subject, so we have much to learn together and I am so glad that you have joined me in this adventure.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. ~2 Corinthians 9:8

Alfie (the white one) is one of my roosters. I had three roosters, but I just gave Skidaldy Pop (the Bantam) to my daughter who needed a rooster for her fifteen hens. I selected a variety of chickens so I don't know all of which kind is which for now. I just picked out by color when I went to Tractor Supply in May. Skidaldy Pop is now at his new home in a separate cage until the hens get used to him. It sounds like I don't know what I am doing, but I have had chickens before. Ha ha.

Baba Yaga, the hen was very unwelcoming as she mercilessly bit him on his comb. Poor guy. I am told that the drama has subsided since I left. He will be fine.

We finally have a deck on the house. We had to get this part done because it is covered and it had to be complete before we finish the roof.

My daughter raises goats. Here is a picture of mama Moon with baby Cardboard. My daughter's silly friends named the baby. They (the goats and the friends) are a hoot.

Featured Herb

She Zu (Not sure of the spelling) All I know about this lovely purple Chinese herb is that it grows similar to a mint and it makes a pleasant stomach soothing tea. If I find out more I will update. A dear friend shared it with me for a delightful addition to my garden. 

 

 

Below is a bigger picture of my garden and some random wildflowers I'll just call Black Eyed Susans.

What to do When You Feel Helpless.

On the first day that Moses led the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, hard-hearted Pharaoh and his chariots pursued them all the way to the shore of the Red Sea. Caught between drowning and destruction, the people were understandably terrified. They cried out in fear, “But Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again’” (Exodus 14:13 NLT).
Saint Paul wrote about some of the things he suffered as a minister of Christ in his second letter to the church at Corinth: five times he was beaten with the lash and three times with rods. He was shipwrecked and lost at sea. He faced ongoing threats from robbers, unbelievers, and even his own countrymen. He was persecuted, mocked, exhausted, in constant pain, hungry, cold, and naked. He spent much of his ministry in prison and was constantly burdened by the care of all the churches he had planted from Athens to Asia (2 Corinthians 11:16-33).
When he pleaded with God to relieve him of this constant torment, the Lord answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). About which Paul proclaimed, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (v. 9).

The book of Galatians instructs us to be strong in the Lord and his might, and when we have done all we can to stand, clothed in the full armor of God, praying in the Spirit for all the saints, and watching with all perseverance to see the power of the Lord in action (Galatians 6:10-20).
Again, and again the Word of God instructs us to stand still, keep calm, and witness what God will do, when we are faced with what certainly appear to be insurmountable obstacles. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul said we should be strong – not in our own might, but in God’s – and to the church at Corinth, he was glad to boast in his own weakness, so the power of God could work through him. When they were trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea, Moses commanded the children of Israel, “The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm” (Exodus 14:14 NLT).
The next time you find yourself in a situation that is so big, so frightening, so unexpected that you feel that there can be no way out; the next time you feel, like Paul, that the whole world seems to be working against the call God has placed on you; when you feel like you just can’t face another day that brings another battle, and you feel like you’re ‘caught between the devil and the deep blue sea’ – let not your hearts be troubled! Stand still, keep calm, and see the salvation of the Lord in action! Every time we come up against a circumstance that unavoidably demonstrates our own helplessness and weakness, we have at the same time come upon an opportunity to stand still and stay out of God’s way so that he can demonstrate his almighty power.

As Paul, who was once a very influential Pharisee (before he was knocked off his high horse on the road to Damascus in Acts chapter 9), came to understand, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). But Paul never became strong in himself. The strength that he received came from God, because our strength can never be sufficient to meet the forces that are arrayed against us. So, no wonder we often feel helpless! When it is time to meet a challenge, we must embrace our own weaknesses as blessings and have confidence in the power of God and his Christ to see us through the storm.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but as King David wrote in Psalm 103:1-5, in times of trouble our response should be:
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
 may I never forget the good things he does for me.
 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
(NLT)
Be still, stay calm, and let God fight for you. As the prophet said to the children of Israel, “…Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's’” (2 Chronicles 20:15).

 

 

All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation, unless otherwise noted.