"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Combined Talent

Every once in a while, good talent makes me cry.  I simply find it so beautiful that we find gifts as displayed in this video.

I love Ricky Skaggs. Always have. So great to see him still doing what he does best.

I love Jay Sekulow. I have so much respect for him and all that he stands for and works toward for America.  I only recently found out about his talent in the area of music.

I had never heard this song before...shame on me...I know. I am pretty much strictly country in what I listen to.  Shame on me.  I know!

But these two men - that I love - brought me to tears with their combined talent.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wake Like a Lion

I don't seek out controversy. I really don't. But there is a part of me that seems to find it. I don't know what to do about that. I enjoy studying and learning, and I care deeply about my faith, the church, and politics. Hmmmm...Well there you have it - that's gonna bring controversy.
Of late, I have been deeply concerned about the direction some segments of the church are taking. I have written about it in depth. Not here, as I have wanted to keep this blog for the most part "non-controversial". My last "controversial" post probably would have been the "emergent church" series that I wrote.
This week, some news made the headlines that vindicated me somewhat in some of my opinions about the direction some segments of the church are taking. I didn't need that news, and neither did it  surprise me. What did surprise me was the support from Christians I saw via the internet that stood in the opposite way of what I had expected. I was absolutely shocked by the numbers and the comments. Even more than that, it literally made me sick to my stomach. I wept and I wept. I am not going to go into the controversy here. I wrote about it sometime ago, on my other blog. I may repost it there for those who have that mindset. I won't trouble the rest who read here who simply have stopped for a hopeful moment of enjoyment.
This morning, a devotional that I read fairly regularly brought much needed encouragement for me. Isn't that like our Lord? He knows what we need, just when we need it. Now don't get worried! The author of this devotional is Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein who is a Messianic Jew and the founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. I enjoy the Hebrew perspective and literal translation he brings to his devotionals. With that being said, as we read this, we must remember, we will never have perfection on this earth until Jesus returns again, and we are washed holy only by the Blood of Jesus. I like this morning’s devotional, though, because it gives us no excuses. It is a call to action. That's where my belief lies. We are here to act.
I thought you might need some encouragement this morning, too. We share what we enjoy, don't we? But no, I am not advocating following Jewish holidays. Relax and enjoy. Then, get to work. ;-)        
Rise up like a lion, in the Spirit of the Lord!
Continuing to continue...

Wake the Dawn

October 17, 2014

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. — Genesis 2:3
Today marks Simchat Torah, which literally means “rejoicing in the Torah.” As we celebrate the completion of the annual Torah readings, we immediately begin the new year of Torah readings. Because this is a non-working holiday, today’s devotion was prepared in advance for you.
We begin our new year of readings with the Torah portion, B’reisheet, meaning “in the beginning,” from Genesis 1:1—6:8, and the Haftorah is from Isaiah 42:5—21.
This week’s Torah portion begins with the story of creation. At the end of six days, God looked at all that He had created and declared that it was good. Next, God rested on the seventh day. The Bible says it like this: “Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
In the original Hebrew, however, the verse is a bit more difficult to understand. Literally translated it reads: “Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work which God had created for it to continue to make.”
What exactly does that mean?
The Sages explain that when God created the world, it was only the beginning. God created humans so that together, they could continue to create the world and mold it into a perfect place. This is what the verse means in Hebrew by “the work which God created for it to continue to make.” God laid the foundation. He created everything necessary to continue the job. However, it’s up to us to finish the work as partners with God.
Earlier, when man was created, God declared, “Let us make mankind in our image . . . ” (Genesis 1:26). Who was God talking to? The Sages explain that God was talking to all humanity. It’s as if God were saying, “Let us create humans together. Let us work together to create this wondrous being called a human being and develop all of the latent potential which I have placed within him or her.”
Every day we have a mission and a partner with which to accomplish it. Our mission is to make ourselves and the world a better place in any way that we can. Our partner is God.
The premier book of Jewish Law begins with instructions as to how to go through our days. It begins, “Wake like a lion!” The Sages explain: “A person must wake the dawn.” We need to begin our days with enthusiasm. The dawn shouldn’t wake us up; rather, we should wake up the dawn with enthusiasm to start our day.
The word enthusiasm comes from two Greek words— en Theos — which mean “in God.” When a person feels that he or she is with God, that person is motivated and inspired. This is how we need to begin every day – with the knowledge that we are with God, as His partner, accomplishing a most important mission.
Ultimately, it’s not so important when we wake up in the morning, but how we wake up. We need to start each day with the kind of passion, enthusiasm, and determination that can chase away the darkness of the night and bring the morning light.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

Monday, October 13, 2014

Remembering Isaac...

Remembering today and always...


SYOTOS, Nephew!

In Memoriam:



Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;   ~Titus 2:13 KJV


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Me? Blog?

“Me? blog?” Those were the first two words I ever wrote in the blogging world. I barely knew what a blog was at the time. I almost can’t remember how many blogs I had read before I decided to partake. I was late on to the scene, I know that. Probably about ten years late. No surprise there, fads and trends usually always leave me far behind.
I have noticed on my blog roll, that I am about the last one that even still bothers to write. Maybe that will change as the colder weather arrives and people have more time indoors. Or maybe blogging is a thing that has run its course and it is starting to go by the wayside. I don’t know. I don’t think this is the end of my blog. I like to write; it relaxes me. I don’t think it is the end. But I am beginning to feel all alone out here…at least in my little corner of the world.

There is good and bad to this new fashioned (now apparently becoming outdated) thing called blogs…where did that word ever come from…who knows? I don’t. I would guess it is a mashing of the word “bibliography” and “log” as in” log book” or something like that. Whatever! But it has been a great way to stay in touch with people and see what they are doing in their lives. It can be kind of like getting a letter in the mail; albeit a letter that is shared with who knows how many people. But it has been a good way to see and share photos, as well as a fun way to connect with people…much as Facebook, I suppose. I actually did Facebook, before I ever blogged. In fact, I believe that Facebook prepared my "psyche" for blogging…it enabled me to feel comfortable and convinced me that somehow it really is ok to share thoughts with people one doesn’t even know. I suspect that is true for a lot of people. When a norm changes in society, it is always done gradually. While not meaning to give a negative example here, the analogy of the frog in the hot water fits from what I am trying to say. Throw a frog into boiling water, and he will jump out, put the frog in water of a normal temperature, and turn the heat up slowly and the frog will be boiled to death. That is how our society changes, it must change slowly for people to accept the change. But I love blogs! We simply wouldn’t have found them so acceptable - say in the 40’s or 50’s. That is all I am trying to state. This does, however, lead me to the downside of the blogging world.

The downside of blogs is that one can get so much incorrect information. Now granted the personal blogs are mostly just opinions, and thoughts and ideas about any number of things. But there are also blogs that are opinions that are being written as fact. Especially concerning, are the political blogs, or the ones about faith. Well really, disconcerting is any blog that claims to be a resource about a particular topic that is in reality only the author’s opinion.

I know there are some people that do not condone blogs because they can be too egocentric and focused on self. I suppose there can be some truth to that. But I don’t view any of the blogs I read in that manner. And really that should be a personal conviction; not a directive from any one person to another. There is certainly nothing in Scripture that tells us not to write about our lives.

My pastor has often stated, “Don’t get into that blogging world.” It is just not healthy. (Not an exact quote, but simply the main idea.) And he is absolutely right, if one is looking to back up facts, or statistics, or a belief system from blogs. His concern was that there is too much wrong information out there influencing people incorrectly. And he could not be more correct about that. I am certain he wasn’t talking about the personal blogs that simply share their lives, recipes, and photos of their families. But when one writes to change an idea, influence opinions, or present ideas as facts, it is then we need to be concerned.

Honestly, it is my belief that blogs are an important reason for so much of the distortion in Biblical teachings, church doctrine and inconsistent dogma permeating the church today. People that don’t study the Word properly read something on a blog and somehow it becomes a fact in their lives. They believe it because they found it on the internet, without properly validating sources. This idea seemingly written in innocence spreads and spreads and pretty soon we have a little sect built out of someone’s personal idea that may be contrary to Scripture. I am 60 years old, I have been a Christian a long time and in all those years I have never seen such a myriad of differences in our faith as we see today. I believe the internet and blogs are partly responsible for that.

I think this is true in the political world as well. Someone writes incorrectly about something that may have happened or something someone may have done, and then with an incorrect spin of facts, careers can be built or destroyed. Values can not only be influenced, but totally changed, by things that catch fire and run rampant with an incorrect ideology or statement.

While the internet can be a great place to get information, it is also a very dangerous place. We all know that. Blogs have definitely influenced our society. There are just no two ways about that. I mean it is difficult enough getting accurate information from supposed trustworthy news sources, but add personal blogs to the mix and it is nearly impossible to keep facts pure unless one is to do their own research. And even then, one must be very careful in the sources they choose to use in their research. Facts must be footnoted and the footnotes must be from a valid, trustworthy source, or they have no meaning at all.

I have always tried to be very careful, to check facts from more than one source if I am reading something that claims to be truth.  I make sure that the sources I check are a site that I trust and know to be accurate. I am certainly not going to trust a site that makes any kind of blanket claim, if they have a monetary stake in the game. If they stand to make money off their claim, then I want to research that even further and deeper.

When I am blogging (or Facebooking) I try never to link to an author, or post a quote from an author (for example) that I know is mostly wrong in their beliefs, or agendas. Even if I happen to like one thing they say, no way am I going to post something from them that would cause someone else to go to their works (book, movie or blog) and thereby be misled with the rest of the person’s ideas that maybe dangerously inaccurate. I take very seriously that which I share is not something that will mislead someone in anyway…especially when it comes to the Word of God or something shared in the political realm. Those two things are very important to me, and in fact I believe should not be separated from one another, as the trend seems to be these days…but that is for another post. I am not talking about the separation of church and state here. That is another example, however, of something that has been totally misconstrued in these later years of our nation…but like I said…that’s for a whole other post.

As well, I tried to be very careful about the books, I kept in my bookstore. I simply did not want to share anything from any author that held inaccurate beliefs in the way of faith or religion. It was probably my undoing, but I did not want to be one who was helping to spread all the incorrect doctrines that are permeating the church today. Those false beliefs have since become even more rampant.

Anyway, I am getting off track again. Back to blogs…what a curious thing in our society! Certainly blogs have been a way to share news, and ideas and hobbies and faith. Just about everything can be and has been shared in the blogging world. Most of that is good. I just don't know how careful we have been to keep that which is truth, strictly truth. For a lover of truth, (which I truly am and always want to be) my first two words in the blogging world say it all, “Me? blog?”

I only want to be careful, in what I read and what I write, when I decide to write facts. I hope others are careful as well. I want to enjoy many personal blogs for a long time to come. But more than that, I hope the blogs that seek to do harm in our society are exposed for what they really are.
Me? blog? I hope, only in and for truth.