Why is this so hard?

Paradigm shifts are rarely easy. And, for those on the cutting edge, they can be particularly difficult.

Many readers are in some stage of ‘coming to’ or beginning Torah observance, and the whole process is challenging. But, why? In theory, this should be easy, right? Read the Scriptures. See truth. Walk in it.

As humans, we tend to act like pack animals. We have way too much of a herd mentality. Deep inside, whether a lie of the adversary or voice from our flesh, we do not want to be different or perceived as ‘outside’ the fold. We even know that Yeshua clearly taught that following Him was the antithesis to crowd following.

Yet, we follow. Comfortably. And, justify it.

In truth, this should be simple, but we make it hard. Too, hard. We should simply say, ‘Abba, You call, I haul! Just show me truth in Your Word and I’ll walk in it.’

That’s it! No dickering or negotiating. No checking with men and their doctrines. No worrying about what the neighbors or family members will say.

Just see it, believe it and walk it out.

I pray each of you cease to negotiate the price. Stop trying to find the easy path. Give up on pleasing the folks around you. Just focus on the Word and what it actually says.

Selah!

The Moving Cloud and Difficult Truth

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Numbers 9:15-23 explains in detail the travel habits of the Children of Israel in the wilderness.  The abbreviated version is that they followed the Pillar of Cloud.  When the Cloud moved, they moved.  When the Cloud stood still, they camped.

Some camp locations were mere days long. Others, like Kadesh Barnea, were lengthy, up to 19 years.

Imagine having lived in a location for a year or two and the cloud suddenly moved.  You would have had to make the decision to move or to stay.  While most moved, I am sure that there were those who, at every move, decided to stay put.  Kadesh must have been the hardest!  Houses had been built, stables had been fortified and even orchards planted and harvested from.  Then, boom!, time to move.

This Hebrew roots/Messianic walk is much like that journey through the wilderness.  We’ve been pulled out of Egypt in a glorious but difficult awakening, Continue reading “The Moving Cloud and Difficult Truth”

Musing: The angst inducing chains of tradition…

Lately, I have been pondering the chains of tradition and why they cause us such angst when we make a break from the accepted warped norms.  I recall the first six months of our transition to Torah and remember multiple times, waking in a cold sweat and running to the kitchen table where my books were often laid out to be reassured once again that the Scriptures indeed say the Torah is forever and THE way of life.  The Christian traditions of my fathers and the doctrines I learned in seminary and then parroted from the pulpit had indeed become chains upon my soul.

Now, don’t misjudge what I just said, because Christendom contains much, MUCH, truth, but mixed with that truth are pillar doctrines that are demonstrably false.  The angst comes when we finally know, undeniably, that the pillar is wrong, yet we want to still cling to it even though we know we must remove it.   Let me give you a practical example, then a real life theological example.

Tearing down walls…

Over the summer my school schedule lightened a bit, so I decided to do a little remodeling in the house.  Central to the remodeling was the decision to open up the pantry/kitchen/living room area.  To do so, I needed to remove two load bearing walls, something I have never done before.

I thought about the process for weeks.  I would look at the walls, tap on them, picture how to do it. Continue reading “Musing: The angst inducing chains of tradition…”

How RtB changed a man’s life and marriage

The tension between them was visible and he was clearly not comfortable.  My wife and I sat to the left of them for dinner on the first evening of the Second B’ney Yosef North America Summit in Mesa AZ.  His somewhat pointed and at times combative conversation with the gentleman to his right was curious, particularly because he was aggressive towards the Messianic perspective, yet he was in attendance at a BYNA event!

I listened a few minutes and realized his wife was ‘all in’ and he, not understanding even RtB ad FB clickbasic Hebraic thought, was here to protect her.  Later, I found out she was fervently praying for him and was happy that he had even come to dinner.  His plan, as I understood it, was to not participate at all.

My passion is to compassionately and clearly explain what we believe, and why, from the Scriptures.  I have a Masters of Divinity and ten years of experience in the pulpit of a Presbyterian church, yet the Father opened my eyes and showed me much more than the Reformed traditions I was reared with.  When this gentleman we were providentially seated next to mentioned his Presbyterian background, I had my opening.

We talked about twenty minutes in a conversation that began tensely Continue reading “How RtB changed a man’s life and marriage”

Paradigm shift: BE the Kingdom v. TO the Kingdom

Recently, Al McCarn and I have been road-less-traveledhaving a really good running conversation discussing some changing thoughts on the nature of the Millennial Kingdom.  As we continue to study and grow, we continue to re-evaluate the traditions we inherited from our fathers and try to bring them more into line with Scripture.  I will reserve the Millennial discussion for another day because it will be quite long and I have more to sort out.  Suffice it to say that I am experiencing another paradigm shift…

In our most recent exchange, Al said something very profound that immediately brought clarity to that portion of our conversation.  He said,

All this time we [Christendom] have focused entirely on getting to the Kingdom.  If this is so, then our focus should be on how to BE the Kingdom.  It’s the greatest paradigm shift of all.

(brackets and emphasis mine)

Wow! That is a mouthful and enough of a thought to make one’s head explode.  I think back over decades of living in Christendom and the last six years as a Torah-keeping believer in Yeshua and I can tell you, the statement rings true!!

In general there has always been a focus on head knowledge Continue reading “Paradigm shift: BE the Kingdom v. TO the Kingdom”

Spirit-filled Orthodox Jews? Paradigm-shifting.

My right knee is pretty sore.  I really should have stretched before starting to inline skate, but such is the way with a 49 year old that thinks he is 19 years old!  The bottom line is that I am thankful I have nothing more than a stretched (strained) ligament in my knee and though it is quite sore, I will recover.

I have learned that our Father is a bit more tender than the pavement in stretching us and 20161024_215220-2generally, He is quite patient if we will work with Him and allow Him to stretch us.  My family and I began this Hebraic/Messianic walk about five years ago and it has been a process of stretching and recovering from each successive step that our Father has led us through.

Each step has taken us out of this box or that box, shifting our paradigms and helping us to learn and grow and understand Him and His Word more.  Some steps have been HUGE.  The first six to eight months of this journey was like wrapping my mouth on a firehose.  My head almost exploded!  But, graciously, after each new step, Father gives us periods of time wherein we can recover and process and adjust to our new paradigm before He leads us farther forward.

The past five weeks or so have been one stretching paradigm-shifting event after another.  We had been in a somewhat relaxed/recovery phase before our recent trip to Israel, but He shook us up good on this trip and so stretched us that it has been much like those early days drinking from a fire hose.  I am still processing so much. Continue reading “Spirit-filled Orthodox Jews? Paradigm-shifting.”

Tolstoy on the Messianic Message…

Actually, Tolstoy was referring to something else, but this quote perfectly fits the Messianic message.

“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

    — Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, 1828-1910, Russian short story writer, novelist, playwright, and essayist.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to walk out what we are learning as living examples.  When we speak it must be in love and with patience.  And, we need to know when to shut up!  Too often, in our zeal, we say too much.  Paradigm shifting truth can only be absorbed in small increments.

Let the Ruach (Spirit) do His part in His time.  Our job is to simply plant and water….

(A ‘thank you’ to Ed Boring, BYNA Elder, for forwarding this quote…)

The Good Samaritan: Another Perspective

Once in a while I will be reading Scripture and suddenly a whole new picture will spring from the page and I will have a paradigm shift in perspective.  Remez is a particular favorite shift where one story tells another story.  One example I have written about and recently been reminded of is David and Goliath and their connection with the Book of Revelation!!

Triumphal entry of the Good SamaritanWell, a couple days ago, while searching for a Scripture verse that had the word ‘journey’ in it I stumbled on Luke 10:33, a verse I have read many times, but suddenly it jumped off of the page in a whole new way.

33 But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,

I couple questions popped into my head and in just a matter of seconds I knew the name of the Samaritan!!  Seriously!  And, the name of the man who had been beaten and robbed!

Let me explain.

We can often get locked into a specific or dictated view of Scripture that may or may not be right.  What we do know is that there are great depths to the Word of our King, some of which are only being revealed in our day… Continue reading “The Good Samaritan: Another Perspective”

Torah IS life!

tree of life“Torah IS life!!”

You won’t hear that from most pulpits, yet that is exactly the testimony of God breathed everlasting Scripture, contrary to millennia of false doctrine.  Here are a few statements from Yehovah,

Deu. 30:15-16 “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.

Deu 32:45-47 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law (torah).  For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. Continue reading “Torah IS life!”

Blood moons, Paradigm-shifts and Prophesy…

Here are multiple recent items that I have see that I want to share…

First, an email today from the authors of the Lost in Translation Series,

Hi Everyone,Just a glance at the September 2015 calendar should send a few shivers down your spine:

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13
solar eclipse
Solar Eclipse
14
Feast of Trumpets
15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23
Yom Kippur
24 25 26
27
blood moon
Super Blood Moon
28
Sukkot
1st Day
29
Sukkot
2nd Day
30
Sukkot
3rd Day
     

Many things are converging and climaxing in 2015 – too many for coincidence to be at play here. YHWH says the moon and the stars are for signs and mo’ed – appointments (Gen. 1:14), and He’s got His fingerprints all over these signs in 2015. In the history of the world there has NEVER BEEN a super blood moon on the Sukkot following a shemitah year (the sabbatical year which occurs every seven years).

What is a super blood moon? A blood moon is a total lunar eclipse. But the blood moon on Sept. 27, 2015 isn’t just any blood moon – it’s a super blood moon.

Continue reading “Blood moons, Paradigm-shifts and Prophesy…”