I Believe

I believe…

what is made mention

of the plan of G-d for man

was to purchase my redemption;

Jesus had a master plan.

His atoning blood, remarkable grace,

of these I do believe!

Yet, oft’ times in the valley,

it’s doubt that I perceive.

“Tis not the sound of unbelief

left ringing from these words,

but mercy without measure?

To me, that seems absurd.

His Voice, I know; and words I keep

hid deep within my heart,

His Psalms of hope to which I weep;

What glory they impart.

You see, in my darkest hours

it was faith that carried me.

If not for these…my testaments,

would I still believe?

****** The Sweetest Story *****

I know of a love story;

it’s the sweetest ever told…

How the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

Surprised the Heavenly Host.

“Let Us make Man in Our Image!”

A plan that soon would grow

into this sweet love story,

for we, He Loved the Most!

We were not supposed to die

for we were perfectly designed;

for from the earth our flesh was formed;

and with His breath, He gave us life.

Then, our destiny was challenged

as God’s enemy drew near,

and we knew not that serpent

for he was so cavalier!

We believed his lies of grandeur;

causing death to reign…so near!

The sons of God now swallowed up

in darkness, and in fear.

But God, the Father, devised a plan

to defeat this enemy,

and I glory in the Love

that was soon bound to a tree.

God, the Son, in this sweet story

took on our wounded flesh,

and it was in this highest office,

 life, eternal, was re-addressed.

So, Death…Where is your Victory?

Death, Where is your Sting?

It was swallowed up in Jesus

Our King, who reigns supreme!

Easter or Passover…There Goes Peter Cottontail

Before I commit to this blog, let me say that I DO NOT believe that if someone dyes Easter eggs, and fills a basket with chocolate treats for the little ones to empty so they can collect the eggs that the Easter Bunny hid while they were sleeping, is going to hell.  I say this because we, as a nation, have cultivated tradition as it applies to our Holidays so deeply that the mere mention of their pagan origins not only incites hostilities, it almost always ensures a “slammed door” on the conversation. You see, I not only ran with fervor as a child to fill my basket, I faithfully filled baskets for my children and stayed up late to hide the bunny’s loot!  I get it.  I am not suggesting that Easter Egg Hunts be outlawed, or that Peter Cottontail be tarred and feathered; but that the fun and games not overshadow the reason we celebrate Easter…the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of the living G-d. For the most part, we as Americans are not aware of the feasts, or festivals that were ordained by G-d as they, among other Torah perspectives, have been perverted from their original meanings. We forget that he first believers in Jesus were all Jewish and not until the salvation of Cornelius, in the tenth chapter of Acts, do we see that the Good News of the Kingdom was opened to the gentiles. When the gentiles became co-heirs of the Kingdom, major changes took place, first among the Jews, and also among the gentiles. The gentile believers were known as the “G-d-fearers”, who left paganism and incorporated the teachings of the Torah with some even attending Synagogue. It is certain that within both groups of believers, the working of Messiah within the Sabbath, the festivals, and customs were understood. In the year 66 C.E., the Apostle Paul died and the Jewish nation revolted against the Roman Empire.  Four years later the Roman Legions encircled Jerusalem at the feast of Passover. Jesus was clear that the generation that was alive at the time of His death would see the destruction of Jerusalem. He had instructed that when the city was encircled by the enemy, they were to flee and this is what they did, enter, The Diaspora, or dispersion. The Jewish people became scattered throughout the Roman world, a world hostile to the Jews, where anti-Jewishness became popular and the opposite was interpreted as not being loyal to Rome. In spite of this, Jews were still becoming believers, as well as many Gentiles. Later, Constantine, the Caesar of Rome who, for political reasons, embraced a group that was now called Christians. In 325 C.E, The Council of Nicaea was formed. Included therein were the leaders of the churches throughout the land, with the exception of even one Rabbi. They prevailed to outlaw the Biblical Calendar, making the Sabbath a Sunday, as well as replacing Passover with Easter, in honor of the Babylonian goddess of fertility, and Sukkot with Christmas, for the Roman Sun God’s birthday.  Hence, the “Christian Creed” and the New Testament Writings came forth from the findings of this council. The faith was now a totally different religion; having Greek names, concepts, and holidays that substantiated the gentiles. Yet, in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus, we see how the feasts, or festivals represent G-d’s appointed times. They are to teach of Messiah. In the festivals G-d explains, defines, demonstrates, and reinforces Himself, and His Plan. The Festivals are a picture of G-d’s plan for man. The first festival is called Passover. In Exodus 12, G-d instructed that on the 10th day of the month of Aviv (March 21), each family was to bring into their home a male lamb, without fault or blemish. For the next four days, they would nurture and inspect it.  It is no coincidence that the Lamb of G-d entered Jerusalem this same day. We see in Mathew 21. 7-9, that Jesus, the Lamb of G-d, followed the procession of the Temple Lamb, after which, he was “inspected” for 4 days; and no fault was found in him. Finally, at 3:00, or the ninth hour, the priest would blow the shofar to announce the lamb had been slain; and we see Luke 23:44–46, that this is precisely the time Jesus died. The feast of Passover, when a sacrificial lamb would take away the sins of the world, was a “holy convocation” (Leviticus 23), or recital, which pointed to Jesus as the perfect sacrifice…Jesus was and is enough. It would be precarious for me to even hope that we, as a nation, would integrate the Levitical Feasts into our culture as a social norm, however, I can hope that consideration of the Feast of Passover be honored with a fresh understanding of G-d’s Love for Man.

An Open Letter to Ministers

the bible

It is not uncommon for theological perspective to form concepts which, by a spirit of religiosity, doctrine, and ceremony, obliterates and perverts the  simple message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Sadly, this religious orientation renders the theologian unobservant to the consequences of his actions.

Jesus preached primarily on the subject of The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.  He preached that He didn’t come to abolish The Law but to fulfill them (Mt 5:17).  He said, this is my commandment: that you love one another…(Jn 15:12).  A comprehensive review of The Parables from all 4 Gospels would serve as a reminder of our purpose in the army of The Lord…a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation…a peculiar people that show forth the Praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His Marvelous Light (I Pe 2:9,10).

There are so many people who appear ungodly and unlovable, many wounded from being rejected by shepherds who failed to discern them as a baby lamb, a lamb that the wolves have attacked, or a lamb that knew not a herd.  They probably dress poorly, speak abruptly, and use alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism for their pain.  Beware!  A quick review of The Parodical Son should serve as a reminder of The Love of God for the lambs you ignore and reject.

There was a homeless man who set out to find Jesus.  He had met Jesus while in prison and the two of them spent a lot of time together.  When he was released, he couldn’t find Jesus on the streets of the busy city, though he searched both day and night.

One day, he saw a church with a big, bright sign above its door…”COME to JESUS!”  As tears flooded his eyes he rushed in and sat in a back pew.  Oh, he wished he had new clothes, a haircut, new shoes… then suddenly, one of the Pastors approached him and asked him to leave and not to return until he made himself presentable!  As the man left sobbing, his hopes forever dashed, Jesus appeared saying, “Dry your eyes, for I am not welcomed here either!”

My final admonishment is to remember the spiritual laws regarding mercy; and yes, there are spiritual laws which govern the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.  Be merciful and judge not.  Remember, you could even be entertaining angels unaware (He 13:2).

A Jewel In the Book of Luke

While reading the story of Jesus’ birth from the Book of Luke with my grandson, the Lord presented me with a “golden nugget” that I would like to share.  I have been taught to pay close attention to the words that I speak.  I have done studies on the impact that the words of our mouth has on our lives, in respect to related scriptures from the Old and the New Books.  I get the “rudder” on the ship scripture and have spent many an hour contemplating “life and death is in the power of the tongue.”  I take this very seroiusly and am acutely aware of the attention required in bridling the tongue, an art few have mastered.

This is why I am so compelled to revisit Zacharias and Elizabeth in the Book of Luke.  We are told in ch 1 vs 5,6,  that Zacharias was a priest (Tribe of Levi), that Elizabeth was of the daughters of Aaron, and that both were righteous before G-d.  The Word goes on to tell of His temple duties, to which he was attending when the Angel of the Lord appeared to him with the news that his prayers were heard and that he and Elizabeth would bear a son.

Notice Zacharias’ reply!   Verse 18: And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.  Finally, I am at the  exciting part!  The keyword here is said! He spoke in line with his unbelief!  His words did not agree with G-d’s words as delivered by Gabriel!

Zacharias was struck dumb and not until the birth of John did he speak again.  You see?  When we fail to agree with the Word of G-d with our mouth and when we speak unbelief, we actually empower Hell!  Had Zacharias not been struck dumb, his words would have impacted the resulting miracle awaiting him; The birth of John the Baptist!

I trust that this will bless you as much as it did me and also that it act as a reminder to guard our words, bringing them into captivity to the Word.

Peace/Shalom