From Facebook to Blogging

computer-image

This past week and through the weekend has been very spiritually and emotionally taxing on me.

I have been stretched spiritually to examine what I believe about the Word and why and then defend it publicly.

I have become aware of the emotional challenge I am up against when coming face to face with the fact that almost everyone I know and love disagree with me. Not just a little bit. Vehemently.

There is no other time in my life I can compare it to because even when I became a believer in Messiah, I didn’t have any backlash. Being a “Christian” is still socially acceptable in most non-liberal circles (and I do use the tag Christian very broadly there.)

I guess being a follower of the entire Word is a different story to people. I get it. We are programmed to think if you are a Christian, you MUST believe this and reject that. It is drilled into us. The problem is, the more I read the Bible, the more I see the stark contrasts between what we are taught and what is actually written.

Up until now, I have posted things on Facebook regarding these discrepancies because Facebook is where I get most of my social interaction and where I keep in touch with basically everyone I know. I have gotten a few different reactions.

  • There have been some people that are offended that I would talk about things other than what I ate for lunch, what zoo animal is giving birth or my outrage at the weather patterns in northeast Ohio. (Note to these people: I am sorry for bringing real life to the time wasting realm of social media.)
  • There have been people who want to prove to me why the literal words and context of Bible are wrong and begin to twist it to fit their preconceived notions. (Note to these people: I understand. It is easier and a lost less scary to keep doing what you’ve always done. Remember though… the path is wide that leads to destruction. I encourage you to look for the narrow way.)
  • There have been people who seem genuinely concerned that I am going off the deep end. (Note to these people: I am certain that many Jewish followers of Messiah had well meaning family and friends who thought they had lost their minds also because they (their loved ones) couldn’t see what the believers saw. I am not succumbing to a movement or a teaching of men. I am searching the Scriptures and letting the Spirit lead me into obedience to them.)
  • There have been many people who have said nothing at all and just read through (and hopefully thought and prayed on what they read). (Note to these people: Two things I have learned on this journey so far: Read your Bible and test everything. You don’t have to engage in conversation to be changed by God. I pray for the “phantoms” on my page quite frequently)

 

Now, I want to make sure (in case you haven’t read my other posts) I am clear in this: I don’t know everything. I don’t think I know everything. I don’t think I am smarter or more enlightened than other people. I am a work in progress. The grace and mercy of God are the only reasons I see what I see and respond in obedience. My prayer is that through documenting this process, I will be able to get others thinking and digging into His Word as well.

I have decided to stop sharing my journey on Facebook and focusing solely on sharing through posts here at the blog for three reasons #1. I can share more here (instead of a tiny screen shot of a verse), #2. These posts will be here and easily accessible (FB posts disappear and are hard to find after awhile) and #3. People seem to think if something is posted on Facebook it is put there as way to start a commotion (that is not, nor has it ever been, my intention.) My posts are not about foolish things like what song to sing or how fancy our church clothes should be or what color the carpet should be. They are about the very Words and commands of God. This is not a vain controversy. This is important stuff that should concern us all.

The discussion is open here as it was on Facebook. As long as no one is hateful or derogatory, they are free to share what they believe and why.

Be sure to follow the blog to be alerted when something new is posted.

 

Advertisements

Renewed

RENEWED

It’s not enough to have a “word” or a theme for the year. In order for real changes to happen, goals need to be set. Measurable, practical areas of growth and transformation. I have identified five sections of life that can use some rejuvenation.

1.Faith

~My relationship and understanding of YHVH and what I do in response to this knowledge.

2.Marriage

~Being a better wife and growing a closer relationship with my husband.

3.Children

~Parenting, intentionally getting to know my kids better, homeschooling, discipling, etc.

4.Reach

~This will include my friends and neighbors, relationships with extended family and outreach into my community.

5.Self

~Personal health and wellness are important and often take a backseat to caring for others, but it is so  critical to be my best so I have the ability to give to the rest of my list.

 

I will be making small, attainable goals and posting about each individual area over the next week or two. I hope you will join me in making 2017 the year for real RENEWAL.

img_4606

 

Out with the old….

Sitting here reflecting on what I was doing this time last year versus what I am doing now.

Last year was typical: gathering things for our annual family NYE fondue and games party. Pork and sauerkraut in the fridge for New Year’s Day. Getting ready to take down all of the Christmas decorations, lights and tree.

Things are so different this year: No tree or other remnants of Christmas. No pork (all beef hot dogs and turkey kielbasa with the kraut this year!). Preparing NYE food and festivities a day early since the first part of our celebrating falls on Shabbat.

So many changes took place in 2016. In every area of life. Internal and external.

And there will be many more shifts in the year ahead. As YHVH continues to open His Word to us, we will adjust accordingly. We must. Why? Well, as someone I respect very much said to me, “Once He shows you something, you can’t UNsee it.”

His job is to reveal. Mine is to respond.

This response has brought my to my focus for the year 2017 and the verses that I will cling to throughout:

RENEWED

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19

img_4607

Sabbath (part 2)

Sorry for the long wait for my follow up post on Shabbat. Between weddings, homeschooling and sicknesses, I have been otherwise tied up. I wanted to be sure to get this out there before another Sabbath passed though. So here it is!

 

img_3859-1

How?

How do you observe the Sabbath?

The Rabbi’s have added many, many stipulations to God’s word over the years. Although I understand what they are trying to do by interpreting their own rules into the Law, I am not looking to conform to man. Sola Scriptura.

From what I have found in my study of Scripture, everyone who wants to observe the Sabbath should:

1. Not cook or gather (purchase) food (Exodus 16:23-29)

2.Keep the day holy (Exodus 20:8)

3.Do no work (and don’t cause others to either) (Exodus 20:9-10)

4.Don’t make a fire (Exodus 35:3)

5.Remember (Deut. 5:15)

6.Do good (Matt. 12:12)

Beyond that, and including that, I believe that the Lord will convict you about how and what your and your family should do. And as I have said before, It’s a process.

As for our family, here is what we do accordingly:

1.I do not cook and make sure all of our food is purchased and prepared ahead of time. This is where a couple loaves of challah and a slow cooker come in handy.

2. We study the Word. Either personally, as a family, or with a small group of other like-minded believers.

3. We don’t preform the work that we do as our normal occupation. As a homemaker, that means I do not cook, clean, plan or homeschool.

4. No fire? This isn’t a usual thing in our house, so no big deal.

5. We remember by observing a Christian Erev Shabbat ceremony on Friday nights (I will explain more below.)

6. We are still working on this part and would like to start doing some sort of service or outreach as a family on this day.

It is important to keep in mind that Jesus said “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). This is a gift to us. It is a way for us to grow closer to Adonai and walk more like Jesus (who clearly observed the Sabbath all throughout His time here). It is not a legalistic burden. It is a joy!

Our family has really grown and we so look forward to Sabbath Eve (Erev Shabbat) every week. We have taken some traditional rituals and made them our own. Each week is a little different, but these things always stay the same:

1. We light 2 white candles. One symbolizes creation (when Shabbat was instituted) and one symbolizes redemptin (when Christ bought us back).

2. We read the Scriptures that tell us to remember and observe the Sabbath.

3. We have communion. The challah (one three braided one for the trinity and one seven braided one for the creation week) is blessed and used as Christ’s body which was broken for us. The grape juice (and wine) which symbolizes Yeshua’s blood poured out for our sins.

4. We pray. Each of us takes a turn praying for friends, family, neighbors. We give thanks and adoration.

5. We sing a hymn. Each week one of the children picks a song from the hymn book we have and we sing it as a family.

6. We sing and dance to Shalom Aleichem.

7. Saturday is often different but as often as possible we meet up for fellowship with other believers.

8. On Sunday morning when the kids wake up I have cleared away the burnt candles, vase of flowers, challah plate, etc. and placed a bowl of something sweet for them. Jesus’ resurrection is a sweet gift!

There you have it! Nothing fancy. Very personal. Poignant when you think about everything it means. When you realize people all over the world are doing the same thing. Resting in Adonai. Finding peace and strength for the week ahead. Why would we not?

img_3639-1

 

Unwavering beliefs

As I start this journey, I have an open mind.

I don’t want to build my faith on man made beliefs.

I want to be firmly planted on the pure and unchanging Word.

So I am trying to UNlearn things I have read, been taught or picked up in some other way over the years.

Making room for the Spirit to teach me straight from the Scriptures.

However there are some things that I want to make clear from the very onset.

Unwavering beliefs that I know will not change because they are clearly stated in Scripture.

Truths that are true regardless of what else comes to light.

Hopefully these are the things that I can use as common ground with friends, family and acquaintances who don’t agree with changes I may make down the road because of my studies.

I BELIEVE

Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah.

He is the second person in the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

He came to earth (born of a virgin) and lived a perfect, sinless life.

We are all sinful and separated from God because of that.

Christ willingly gave His life on the cross to reconcile mankind to their Creator.

Our salvation and eternal life is found only through the blood of Jesus. We can not earn our way to heaven by good works, obedience or keeping the law. 

God’s grace and redemption are not something to be squandered by living our lives for ourselves (or our family, friends, church, etc) We are called to make changes in response to our belief in the sacrifice of Christ.

As new creations, we are called to continually grow in our relationship with God– through prayer, worship, study of His word, etc. And this would manifest itself in outward changes  (behavior, lifestyle, interactions, serving…) as well as inward changes (renewing of our minds, deeper understanding, being more sensitive to the Spirit….) and is an ongoing process until the day we die (continual sanctification).

God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is unchanging. Since Jesus is God, the same holds true for Him and thus anything God has said, He agrees and vice versa.

The Holy Spirit is alive in believers, moving and guiding as God wills. Therefore, we can learn and understand His Word without interpretation from other people (although learning from others is not BAD, it should be supplemental.)

I think that is a pretty good outline. Basically I am saying that I still hold fast to the basics tenants of faith that most Christ-followers do. I am just digging deeper to see exactly how God wants us to live by studying what He has said in His Word and the way that Jesus lived while He was on earth.

I have a strong suspicion that things just aren’t as they should be and I’m on a mission to fix that in my own heart, mind and life.