I keep going back to the idea of manipulatives. I want my heart to always be kneeling towards the Father. I want Him to be in my thoughts all day long. I want the love of Him to saturate all of my actions. I want His esteem to be made known in everything I say or do.
Today James posted in his Morning Meditation about his efforts and discouragement in the Tent of David project. It can be hard sharing news about the Jewish Messiah, and most churches do not want to hear it.
I know exactly what James means. I am not in the position that I may have an impact on a church, because I’m still just a young adult. But I have been working in my college ministries. And by working, I mean that I try to have God-focused conversations, and if I feel someone is ready I will share awesome stuff about Hebrew studies. I receive a variety of responses which is probably analogous to what you find among working adults. Some students are interested in the sense that they say “Oh, that’s cool, I didn’t know that,” but it does not actually inspire them to go deeper. A few people will argue with me, but they are the minority. But those few people are usually closer friends.
Small group was wonderful today. The girl who was not able to make it last week came today, and we had so much fun. We were only supposed to meet for 90 minutes, but we ended up meeting for 3 hours! The girls just had so much fun in the presence of YHWH, and with each other. I am so thankful, because I have been praying for these girls. My prayer has been that we can become like a family.
I have been observing Sabbath for a while now, at least a few years. And although Sabbath is restful, sometimes I feel like I am lacking something, as if resting is its own kind of work. And as I have studied Hebrew culture, I learned that Sabbath was (and is amongst modern Jews) a family event. And I realized that I was missing a family in my Sabbath. I am the only in my physical family who observes Sabbath, except for my mother. But while I am at school, it is just me.
How Holy do You Want to Be?
Music is very important to me. I know a lot of people will tell you that, and for me it is true. (Not to say that it is not true for others.) I’ve been playing piano since I could talk, so I jokingly consider it my second language. I have learned many instruments, and I love to sing. I sing almost all day long.
We need to be careful what we listen to.
Hey! Sorry I didn’t update sooner. Yesterday was busy.
My first small group went well. I was really blessed. I had planned for four students to come (in addition to myself and my roommate.) One did. Granted, one had valid plans to see a friend in the city. The other two have decided that their schedules are too full. I am not offended or discourage. Papa is good, and He is faithful. He promised me five to seven people, I will have five to seven people.
The girl who did come is such a blessing, and I am so happy to have her. She is a beautiful, bubbly girl, and she is so thirsty for more! When I told her we would be spending most of our time in Torah, she was so excited! She said that she has been wanting more OT education. Halleluyah!
As I rambled, I ended up having more time than I had planned. My little speech only lasted five to ten minutes! But Father blessed my tongue, and gave me the words to say. It was absolutely wonderful, and we ended the time in worship.
It may not have been the impressive small group I had been anticipating, but I had so much shalom. YHWH is tov. So so good!
I am really excited for this small group, and especially to see what YHWH is going to do in our hearts. His plans are so wonderful. I know this will go well.
As I mentioned in a recent post, I want to include more about a “Hebrew” lifestyle on this blog. So I’ll be posting photos of myself, sharing examples of dressing modestly and beautifully.
Actually, I love the story of this scarf. Around the time of my birthday this past October, I had finally decided to wear a head covering. The desire to wear one had been burning on my heart for a few months, but I had waited because I wanted to be sure the desire came from God. I wanted to be sure it was out of love, not fear. But first putting it on, I felt an overwhelming shalom. And I knew, that I wanted to keep wearing head coverings.
When I told my roommate, she’d thought I’d crossed a line. She did not understand, and it was awkward. But she did say, “But I understand that if Yahweh put this on your heart, than it’s what you need to do.” And so, she gave me this beautiful scarf for my birthday. I was so blessed! To me, it was a symbol that although she did not understand it, she was supporting me in my decision.
Modest does not have to be unattractive.
Yes, as Peter/Kepha admonishes us, beauty is not in what we wear, but in the attitude of our heart. That said, it is still nice to look pretty. And what’s more, it’s a wonderful feeling to dress beautifully in a way that gives honor to YHWH.
I’ll be posting more pictures of me in head coverings and outfits in the future. Look for them!
Holiness is so so so important. Actually, it is going to be the topic of a bible study I’m leading in my dorm this semester. I will probably chronicle much of what happens in my study, as well as thoughts along the way as I research and plan what to share.
I thought I’d share something that just happened on Facebook. I shared an article from Relevant Magazine entitled, “Is the Sinner’s Prayer Biblical?” And basically, the point of the article is that the gospel is so much more than redemption and salvation. A friend commented:
I was reading the bible last Sunday, after the first passover in Canaan, when a man took the devoted things from the plunder. God was no longer with the tribes of Israel so they were losing horribly. The man confessed and gave the things back because it’s the right thing to do. So god had the man and his entire family, all of his possessions, and his animals, stoned horrible, then burnt alive, then stoned again for good measure. Supposedly that pile of stones which buried the family in this brutal murder remains to this day, as evidence to the crimes committed by the people of Israel. It was horrible, and goes to show what prayers for forgiveness are worth to a vengeful god.
I wasn’t sure how to respond at first, and I first commented something about a repentant heart. Which is true. But later, I rushed back, deleted the comment, and added this instead:
You cite an excellent example. Thinking that the story you cite is about forgiveness is the same error as thinking that the gospel is only about forgiveness and redemption. It is so much bigger than that. It’s about God making us holy, and living a life of holiness, and pursuing God. The story of the Israelites coming into Canaan is part of the story of God setting Israel apart as a holy nation, a people dedicated to serving Him, and living with Him. The story is an excellent example of how our individual behavior does not only affect ourselves, but the lives of the people around us. The man’s sin in taking plunder wasn’t just about him, but it affected the holiness of Israel. Israel must be completely holy in order to dwell with God, and that man put that holiness in jeopardy. That is why it was such horrible crime, and why he had to be punished the way he was.
God wants to set us apart, to make us holy, so that we can dwell with Him, and anything that gets in the way must be removed.
The gospel is not just about getting to Heaven at the end of it all. The gospel is about ultimate redemption so that we may be holy, so that we may dwell with Yahweh, and to pursue a relationship with Him. Now we can encounter an unclean world, and sin as we tend to do, and still have a relationship with Him. We can encounter a deeper level of holiness than ever before. The set-apart one of Israel, whose spirit was so holy that if you did not go through the proper ritual you would be died, can now reside within our flesh. And now we can live life with our Father, for our Father. Our lives can be so much more than just trying to survive, but worshipping God in everything we do and giving all the glory to Him. And of course, there’s still even more to it.
The gospel is way cool.