Saturday, July 6, 2019

A personal testimony

Mishpocah, I must share a personal testimony with you that directly concerns one of the passages in this week’s Torah portion – something ADONAI did in my life back in the Fall of 1996, approximately a year and a half after I “got saved” in a little Baptist church in Missouri. The passage was this:

Deuteronomy 1:5 There, beyond the Yarden, in the land of Mo'av, Moshe took it upon himself to expound this Torah and said: 6 "ADONAI spoke to us in Horev. He said, 'You have lived long enough by this mountain”…. (CJB)

The reason I mention this passage is because this is the same passage He used to get me to move to Colorado Springs from Seymour, Missouri way back in 1996! You see, approximately a year after the Ruach got a hold of me at the ripe ol’ age of 44, I started “hearing” God’s voice telling me to “move to Colorado Springs!” For at least six months, that phrase was the first thought in my head every morning and my last thought before falling asleep every night.

While I was sure it was the Ruach’s prompting, I couldn’t believe that God would tell me to move to Colorado Springs, because that was the place where my adoptive father (my mother’s new husband who brought us to the US from Germany) started seriously sexually abusing me when I was only 10 years old … and I do mean SERIOUSLY … whenever he got the chance - since my mother worked as a waitress during the evening hours.

Regardless, I kept feeling the Ruach nudging me (very insistently) to move to Colorado Springs. Oh my gosh, it was NERVE WRACKING and I honestly thought I might be cracking up, because I could NOT get it out of my head! Of course, I did my level best to ignore that “voice”; however, one day, while doing my daily Bible studies (reading my way though the Bible for the first time in my life), I “happened upon” a passage that “jumped out at me” as if it had been written just for me!

That passage was the one I mentioned above. 'You have lived long enough by this mountain…MOVE to Colorado Springs!”

I was stunned and frankly, quite angry, because I knew He KNEW what had happened to me in Colorado Springs. I remember myself at 10 years old BEGGING Him to stop my father, but He never did. How dare He do this to me, now? WHY would He want to?

HOW COULD HE DO THIS TO ME?

Well, okay, by that time I had learned enough about God and the Bible to understand that when God speaks, you DO – whether you like it, or not. There were plenty of examples in Scripture.

Still, I was truly upset and so, gripped by anger, I raised my eyes upward and yelled out loud: “Okay, FINE! I’ll move to Colorado Springs! I’ll stay for a year, but if I don’t like there, I’m moving back HERE because that’s where all my friends are!”

And so I did. I sold all my possessions, put my house up for sale, and moved to Colorado Springs, not knowing what lay ahead.

Well, all that seemed to lay ahead was a year of total disappointment, loneliness, Bible studies, trying to find a “good Baptist church” like my pastor demanded, cleaning houses to make ends meet, and working as a part-time receptionist until I could land a job in my career field of journalism. The cost of living in Colorado is much higher than in Missouri, and I could not long survive solely on my military retirement.

Time went on, people weren’t all that friendly here, and I couldn’t seem to make any new friends, and so, by the end of that first year , I was still cleaning houses and working as a receptionist. I had found a “good Baptist church,” but kept feeling “something very important was missing in the church” – but in those days, I had no clue what it might be. (YHWH didn’t reveal Torah to me until approximately six months later.) I wasn’t happy with ANYTHING.

And so, one Sunday, while crying in my car after church, I again became angry and yelled at God to let Him know I was DONE with this and going back home to Missouri. “I’ve done as you asked, and NOTHING has happened here after a whole, entire YEAR, so I obviously didn’t hear You correctly!” I yelled. “So, tomorrow morning, I plan on packing and moving back to Missouri, because I can’t do this anymore!”

Well, amazingly, on Monday morning, I got a call from the owner of the Colorado Springs Business Journal, informing me I had been selected to become their Associate Editor, effective immediately….

Hmmm. Okay. So, I stayed.

While I was still a new believer (a total of two and a half years at the time), I was smart enough to realize that YHWH had a sense of humor and He had taught me a great lesson: TRUST HIM and don’t ever test or try to make deals with Him when He is clearly trying to DO something in your life! (Remember, I had told Him I would move to Colorado Springs “for a year” and if I didn’t like it, I was going to return to Missouri….

Well, He had let me make my “deal” and allowed me to wait exactly a year before FINALLY revealing His grand plan for me! All my whining and fretting and sweating and getting nothing much accomplished (except to finish the year-long Bible study that my pastor had given me before I left Missouri) had been for naught. I could have saved myself a whole lot of trouble by simply TRUSTING Him to do what needed to be done for HIS Glory.

Believe me, that is exactly what I’ve done, ever since – and my life has been full of blessings, ever since!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

A word about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Tweet about Ivanka Trump: "Being someone’s daughter actually isn’t a career qualification."

Well, newsflash, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez: Being a former waitress and bartender doesn’t actually qualify YOU to be a member of Congress, yet there you are!

Now, it’s no secret that I’m no Trump fan – but the man IS our President and it’s his prerogative to hire whomever he wishes to be his advisers. In this case, he’s appointed his daughter Ivanka.

Say what you will about Ivanka, but she is also a fourth generation business woman who followed in the footsteps of her great-grandparents, serving for a time as an executive vice president of the family-owned Trump Organization. She was also a boardroom judge on her father's TV show The Apprentice.

Unlike many couch-potato Americans who are busy pointing fingers and making fun of Ivanka, she has been WORKING for a living. A fashion designer, author, and reality television personality, she is also married to Jared Kushner, who is an American investor, real-estate developer, and newspaper publisher who is currently senior advisor to his father-in-law, Donald Trump, the President of the United States.

As for the illustrious Ocasio-Cortez (who is busy trashing both Ivanka and her father in a clear attempt to build herself up), she majored in international relations and economics at Boston University, graduating in 2011. Afterward, she worked as a waitress and bartender before running for Congress in 2018. To her credit, she also served as an educational director for the five-day-long 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series for the National Hispanic Institute (Source: Wikipedia, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)

NONE of those things serve as actual qualifications for her lofty goals. Not one.

So, my advice to AOC is: By all means, reach whatever goals you can, but at least have the decency to stop trashing others on your way up.

Just because New York was liberal and dumb enough to elect you to Congress, doesn’t mean you are actually QUALIFIED to be there. Judging by many of the things YOU’VE said, you definitely aren’t

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Some thoughts about Matthew 10:5-6

There is so much to learn in just this one tiny little passage!

Matthew 10:5. Y’shua sent these twelve and commanded them and said, Do not go by the way of the heathen, and do not enter the cities of the Samaritans. 6. But you go, rather, to the sheep that are lost from the house of Israel. (AENT)

Many insist that the House of Israel consists only of the "lost tribes" of Israel and that Torah was "only for the Jews" and NOT for the Gentiles. NOTHING could be further from the Truth!

First of all, there weren’t any “Hebrews” or “Israelites/Jews” before the patriarch Jacob had his children. As a result, the first 20 generations of the human race were simply people called to righteous behavior by YHWH with no ethnic identity attached to them at all.

In the meantime, ALL who accepted YHWH as their ELOHIM were obligated to obey His commands. (See Exodus 12:49 and Numbers 15:13-16.)

Therefore, after Torah was formally given at Mt. Sinai to ALL who stood before YHWH (including the pagans who had followed Moshe out of Egypt), we are left with little doubt that AFTERWARD the “light” of Mashiyach was to be presented to the “Goyim” (nations or Gentiles) by way of the Jewish nation.

Mashiyach Y’shua himself did not go to the “Gentiles”; therefore, it is imperative for non-Jewish people to comprehend the roots and origin of Mashiyach and the Renewed Covenant according to Torah and the original Hebrew and Aramaic languages.

The footnote to the verse above in the Aramaic English New Testament says that Matthew 10:6 (and 15:24) links to Psalms 119:176 and Jeremiah 50:6 via the hermeneutic rule Gezerah Shavah (Equivalence of Expressions). The Hebrew “sey” (sheep) and “abad” (lost) are common terms, abad (lost) means perished or destroyed, rather than “geographically” lost.

Since YHWH’s people have been led astray by false shepherds through disobedience to His Covenant, their relationship with Him has been destroyed in much the same way that Adam and Eve lost their chance at immortality by following the deception of the serpent.

Counterfeit theologies can easily displace the truth if a person does not access the words of Y’shua in their original context.

Shabbat study for July 6, 2019: Parashah 44: D'varim (Words) Deuteronomy 1:1 through 3:22

For those who wish to get started on this week’s Torah portion, check out our synopsis of Parashah 44: D'varim (Words); Deuteronomy 1:1 through 3:22.

Deuteronomy - or D'varim (pronounced "De-var-eem" in Hebrew) is the plural form of the word "d'var," which means, "word." This Torah portion actually serves as a recap of the major events in the lives of the Hebrews who were rescued from Egypt.

To get started, imply click on the link above to read our synopsis, and then read all of the Torah, Haftarah and Brit Chadasha portions outlined in our article.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Got “baggage”? There is a way to get rid of it!

Are you being kept from being the person ADONAI meant for you to be, because you’re dragging some “baggage” around? If so, it’s time to let go!

Let’s start with a cute little parable that a wise old pastor once shared with me because he noticed I was “dragging baggage”:

A mother wolf once had her babies in a farmer's barnyard and then promptly abandoned them. Naturally, the farmer took pity on them and raised each one, himself. They were playful and adorable, and he loved them all. Once they started growing, they began to banter and play by grabbing a hold of the farmer’s pant legs and allowing him to drag them around the barnyard on their bellies. While this was cute and a lot of fun, the farmer noticed that as those little wolves got bigger, they were harder to drag along. Eventually, after just a few months, he couldn't move at all anymore when they descended upon his pant leg…

The above example can be likened to the "baggage" in our own lives. The baggage is hardly noticeable at first, because we feel confident that we’ve dealt with it; but as time goes along, we begin to realize that those “bad memories” we thought we had dealt with, keep coming back to haunt us. In other words, the “baggage” starts getting heavier and heavier; and pretty soon, it bogs us down altogether to the point where we can hardly function in our daily life.

What do I mean by “baggage”?

Well, “baggage” consists of the deep emotional scars caused by hurtful words or actions imparted on us by parents, spouses, relatives, friends and even strangers. These scars can be a result of a one-time event or an ongoing situation that had such a major, painful impact on our psyche that it continues to affect us for years on end – in many cases, even into old age.

Many tend to subconsciously drag their “baggage” into every relationship, never being able to figure out why their unions never seem to make them truly happy or allow them to feel complete. They usually don’t recognize that THEY often cause their own problems, and that they themselves are their own worst enemy - BECAUSE they have never “dropped the baggage” - and the reason for that is because this “baggage” became a part of their life somewhere along the way!  It’s almost as if they feel entitled enough to say, “This is me. This is who I am, and YOU need to accept me exactly as I am and learn to deal with ME and MY moods!”

Let’s use as an example, physically, sexually or emotionally abused children whose entire childhoods are ruined at the hands of some callous, me-oriented, mean-spirited older sibling or adult. The victims (even when very young), of course, realize that the abusive behavior is bad; but if it happens often enough or on an ongoing basis, it tends to become a part of the victim’s life – something they simply learn to  “live with” and even come to expect. It’s a rut in which they become stuck, with no way out … even after they become adults. In other words, it “becomes part of them.”

In the end, the victims often tend to either become abusers themselves (because it is what they learned during their formative years); or they choose to continue “being a victim” – many ending up as derelicts or sex or drug addicts or alcoholics with a perpetual desire to “drown” the pain that always returns once they sober up. They basically feel angry, sad, depressed and/or worthless, never being able to get ahead, and constantly attracting the same types of people they’re “used to” … because it’s “what they know” ….

It’s the rare person who is able to break the cycle and live a “normal” life. Unless one RECOGNIZES that they are stuck on a perpetual “merry-go-round” of emotional baggage, they will continue to cling to those painful memories that keep haunting them.

Some have the strength to learn “what NOT to do” from their awful childhoods, and to actually lead fairly “normal” and productive lives – but studies have shown that many, if not most, still tend to have “baggage” to deal with along the way, because the pain of their past can be triggered by many things, to include sights, sounds, songs, touches or smells….

One sad fact about many people with abusive pasts is that they tend to become self-centered, either incessantly talking about, or making everything about themselves - or going in the opposite direction to totally clam up and refusing to give of themselves at all. People who have suffered severe abuse in some way tend to lead either an overly-organized life, or they live in a continuous state of messiness, chaos and confusion. Their lives center around “how THEY feel” and what THEY think” and “what THEY want” – things that can drive a hard wedge into a relationship.

Some who were traumatized as children adopt the habit of “running” … leaving the relationship the minute they feel unhappy. It is a self-defense mechanism that says, “You hurt my feelings and therefore, I’m going to punish you by removing ME from your life!” or “I’m leaving YOU before you have a chance to leave me, because I don’t intend to let you hurt me!”

Emotional scars can be completely CRIPPLING!

The sad truth is, we ARE what we were molded into as children. If we grew up in a dysfunctional family, chances are great that we, too, will end up being dysfunctional and treating our spouses and children exactly the same way we were treated, dragging our “baggage” into every situation … UNLESS we follow some critical steps (not necessarily in this order, but they all need to be followed):

(1) Recognize that we have “a problem” and seek counseling from a Christian or Messianic counselor to learn how to CONFRONT and DEAL with it. Rarely can people accomplish the road to freedom on their own.

(2) Find your way to our Creator, YHWH, and accept the sacrifice His Divine Messiah made on our behalf. True healing from the inside-out comes ONLY from our Creator – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!  HE KNOWS what you’ve been through and He wants to help you grow and mature by allowing you to learn from, and overcome your problems. But He doesn’t “just take them” from you …

He expects you to LEARN to let go so you can become used to doing this on your own, becoming stronger every time you “give it to Him” and move on, instead of becoming depressed or throwing tantrums or running away,  Remember, He often allows us to go through situations so that we can learn first-hand … in other words by "refining us in the fire" as beautifully illustrated in this story: until we have been molded into His Image!

(3) Forgive the person or persons who hurt you - even if they can’t, or do not wish to cooperate in this matter. If it helps, write their names on a piece of paper, tell them out loud that you are NOT allowing them to continue having any kind of hold on you; and then burn it, telling ADONAI you’re turning the perpetrator over to Him.  It’s a very liberating feeling to do something tangible to “cut the ties” from those who hurt you.

A word of caution: Please understand that none of this is going to be easy and healing won’t and can’t happen “overnight”! Seeking counseling is NOT easy, because “peeling back those nasty emotional scars” HURTS! Unfortunately, it’s the only way for healing to take place. Once you give in and decide to kick God’s enemy, Satan, in the face, by learning to RECOGNIZE and DEAL with those triggers, you will eventually begin to notice that you react differently to the taunts of the enemy, in your quest to escape his claws.

May YHWH be with you as you start your journey toward healing so you can become the servant HE intended you to be!

Does life keep giving you more "bad" than "good"?

Does life keep giving you more "bad" than "good"? If so, we cannot always blame it on Satan or on others. Sometimes we need to step back and ask ourselves if WE aren't our own worst enemies.

Take a look at this little parable:

A guy comes to a "fork" in the road. He looks to the left and sees a lot of bumps and potholes. He looks to the right and the road looks a lot newer and better, so he takes that one. He walks for a long time with no problems, then all of a sudden, he falls into a huge pothole - one so big, it takes him days to climb out.

So, he goes back to the fork in the road, looks to the left and the right. The left has all those potholes and the right is still smooth, so he figures, now since he knows where that big pothole is, he will just walk around it, and so he takes that "right" road again.

When he gets to the pothole, he walks around it, but didn't realize there was another, even bigger one on the other side, and he falls into that one, which again takes him days to climb out of.

Once he does, he goes back to the fork, but rather than to try to see where that other road leads, he once again decides to take the smoother-looking road...because now he knows where those two potholes are, and he'll just be extra careful this time....

Are you getting the meaning? Sometimes - especially when we notice that our life seems to be at a stand-still and we're "going nowhere fast - we have to realize that "our way is not necessarily God's way!

Sometimes, we must choose to take the more difficult and complicated road, constantly seeking the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) and praying for divine guidance. ADONAI will NEVER lead us down the wrong path, even though it may well seem like it at the time.

In other words, don't be afraid to travel on that rocky road, because those lumps and bumps can serve as "teaching moments" to help you learn and grow.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Talking back to “weatherman” Sam Champion and his insistence that the world needs to “get used to” gays….

On today’s “Good Morning America” show (Jun 28, 2019), ‘weatherman’ Sam Champion” made a couple of statements that absolutely made me “see red!”

It’s one thing for Champion to “be gay” – I don’t “hate gays” and I don’t care what people do with their lives.  But I DO draw the line when it comes to being told what I should think and believe and how to live my OWN life!  Someone else’s “rights” END where mine BEGIN in my own home!

Anyway, this morning, Champion, with that ever-present flashy blinding smile of his – proudly shared a quick story about a couple of "gay penguins" in a London zoo, and he said it’s time we all learn to "deal with it” (homosexuality) because America “should be getting used to it by now."

EXCUSE ME?  Unlike Champion, my husband and I – as fervent believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob  – LIVE our faith (which is our RIGHT under the Freedom of Religion Act!)  And OUR GOD (THE Creator) calls homosexuality an ABOMINATION!  Not MY words, but HIS.  Take a look:

Leviticus 18: 22 - You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination. (CJB)

Deuteronomy 22:5  "A woman is not to wear men's clothing, and a man is not to put on women's clothing, for whoever does these things is detestable to ADONAI your God.  (CJB)

Revelation 22:14-16: How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city! 15 Outside are the homosexuals, those who misuse drugs in connection with the occult, the sexually immoral, murderers, idol-worshippers, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (CJB)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (CJB)

1 Thessalonians 4:3: For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality....(CJB)

Romans 1:24: For this cause, Elohim gave them up to the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies with them. 25. And they changed the truth of Elohim into a lie; and worshipped and served the created things, much more than the Creator of them, to whom belong glory and blessing, forever and ever: Amen.

26. For this cause, Elohim gave them up to vile passions: for their females changed the use of their natures and employed that which is unnatural. 27. And so also their males set aside the use of females, which is natural, and burned with lust toward one another; and, male with male, they did what is shameful, and received in their core substance the just recompense of their error. (AENT)

And finally, here's a real wake-up call:

1 Corinthians 6: 18-20: Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (CJB)

Now – having said the above, in MY household I do NOT have to conform to the lifestyles of the ‘Sam Champions’ of this world.  Is that perfectly clear?  I will NEVER "get used to" something YHWH considers an ABOMINATION!  The homosexuals of the world better get used to THAT because I will proclaim THAT till the end of the world!

Here’s a wakeup call for those who believe homosexuality is “normal” and that the rest of the world needs to “get used to it” …

First of all, penguins are BIRDS. Our Creator gave Torah Rules (Divine Instructions in Righteousness) to HUMANITY, not to birds, fish or other animals! The last time I checked, we humans are to live HOLY, set apart lives according to YHWH's standards. (I can cite MANY scriptures.) Animals don’t have to do that.  They do exactly what they were created to do.  If some of them seek same-sex partners, it implies they are confused, not “gay” by choice!  To suggest otherwise is totally asinine!

Secondly, the animal kingdom didn't SIN; yet they were ALL punished the day Adam and Eve sinned; and, consequently, they are all living in a fallen world BECAUSE of us.

Thirdly:  When YHWH created life, He commanded ALL life to be "fruitful and multiply!" That commandment CANNOT be obeyed if you're in a same-sex relationship. Same-sex relationships only serve to douse "the Image" of God....

So, WHOSE fault is it that there are some "confused” penguins????