Aug 282015
 

Over the past three years, I have been asked to write this post at least a few dozen times. I’m sitting down to write it, now, but I still don’t know what to say. The question is usually worded like, “This Torah thing…how’d that happen?” or “Can you explain this change that has happened in your life?” And I can’t completely explain it except to say that I took the red pill.

It’s no longer present in mine, but if you pick up a brand new Bible there’s a page between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and that’s the only page in the Bible (unless you have a version with commentary) that was not inspired by the Holy Spirit. That page of separation between the beginning of God’s book and the end of the same God’s [same] book was inspired by a man named Marcion. Look him up; you might find his ideas a little interesting.

As I type it’s starting to come back to me. It seems like so long ago. The kids and I had just moved into our very own single-wide trailer. Most of the stories in Little Children. Big God. happened in that tiny home of ours.

There were two things I’d decided to institute upon moving into a home of my own. First of all, I would bring back Sabbath. We’d been Sabbath keepers (on some level) before, but somewhere along the line I’d let life and [earthly] obligations get in the way. I desperately missed that day of rest, and we were going to keep Sabbath if it killed me (and, as it turns out, it didn’t).

Second of all, I’d decided to eat biblically clean. This one is a little trickier to explain because I literally cannot remember what my reasoning was in the beginning. I was a gentile’s gentile. All of my favorite meals involved a good measure of unclean meat. I still have a bone to pick with the Father over His even creating the crab and the scallop. I had just begun to closely examine my diet, however, due to some long-term health issues. I had a few friends who didn’t eat pork or shellfish (for health reasons), so I guess the initial thought came from there.

While all of this was going on I was reading through and editing the most important book to ever enter my life (apart from the Word of God). As I read Renee Stein’s Everything Old is New Again: A Jewish Midwife’s Look into Pregnancy and the Feasts of Israel, little gears began to snap into place. She talked about the law of God as if it were a good thing, as if it were a freeing thing. I nodded along as I read her praise of Sabbath and the Feasts of the Lord. She wasn’t writing to me as an outsider; she was writing to the people of God (to all twelve tribes of Israel and the strangers grafted in). Still, I’d read and nod, nod and read, and then I stop and say (out-loud in my living room at midnight), “Why do I agree with this? I don’t live like this?”

It was October, and as I read about the Feasts I knew I wanted to celebrate one. I didn’t know when they were, so I turned to my good friend, Google. As it turned out, Sukkot (Tabernacles, Tents) was just beginning, and I was overwhelmed with a joy I cannot even begin to explain. It’s the season of joy, Sukkot, but I didn’t know that yet. Happy tears streamed down my face as I transformed the kids’ room into an indoor tent (because it was too cold to camp outside). I published these pictures on my blog.

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One month later, after spending a few months working on our own Sabbath traditions, I also published this post.

 

That’s when I received the following e-mail where a former “lurker,” now close personal friend, absolutely called me on the carpet (in the nicest possible way).

 

letter 1

 

I searched for the above e-mail because I could have sworn she’d said, “Do you believe this or are you just playing games?” Turns out she was sweet and gentle. The Holy Spirit, (who’d interpreted her words in the way I needed to hear them), not so gentle.

 

I wrote back with some stuff I no longer believe (and some stuff I still do).

 

letter 2

 

And then she really got tough.

 

letter 3

 

I wrote back a short and sweet e-mail because, whoa, I knew I had a lot of studying to do.

 

 

letter 4

 

 

I did get to my reading. Over the next year I spent so much time studying and learning that bad habits dropped from my life without any effort on my part (though I still have a very long way to go); there wasn’t time for anything but Him. At some point during the year it finally hit me how far-reaching and vastly impacting this all was; that’s when I wrote this post. And when the year was over, I published this post.

I guess that’s a pretty good overview, or as best as I can piece it all together. I’m also including the following video because it was so helpful to me in the beginning. Of course, if you want, feel free to come out of lurkdom and send me an e-mail. A girl can never have too many friends.

 

Related posts:

http://kingdomtwindom.net/anoldstory/

http://kingdomtwindom.net/because-chartreuse-isnt-purple/

 August 28, 2015  Christian Roots, Christianity Comments Off on This Torah Thing…How’d That Happen?
Jul 262015
 

Last night I was thinking (yes, I still think lots of thoughts, I just don’t always share them) about the Azazel goat (first mentioned in the current Torah portion—Leviticus 16). The sin of the Israelites was symbolically placed on the head of the Azazel goat, and then that goat was forcibly driven from the camp.

Because Yeshua is our High Priest in the Heavenly Tabernacle, and because we have received atonement through His sacrifice, we are no longer intimately familiar with the Yom Kippur rituals and the casting out of the Azazel goat. This, our forgiveness through Yeshua, is a beautiful thing that should never be taken lightly. But because we are not familiar with the yearly physical ritual, the picture, the earthly shadow cast by the spiritual reality, because we can’t see it leaving, we sometimes open the gate and let that damned goat right back in.

goat fence

I’m the kind of person who can tangibly feel her sins following her around. I often hear goats bleating in the middle of the night. It’s fairly easy for me to forgive other people; the Father has been gracious to teach me. I’ll admit, though I’ve grown in this area over recent years, I still struggle when it comes to forgiving myself.

Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t fully make the connection between what I just wrote and what I am about to write:

I never get away with anything.

Some people get away with murder.

But I never get away with anything.

Case in point, I can still remember that terrible day when I showed up to my private high school in faintly pinstriped pants (almost the required “solid color,” but not quite). Would my rebellion go unchecked? Nope. Why?

Because I never get away with anything!

For a long time I have lived with the consequences of my sins as though my sins were not yet forgiven. But does forgiveness mean a lack of consequences? Does consequence mean that the goat has come back, or is discipline simply another matter? If I ground my daughter for playing games when she was supposed to be taking a test, is she forgiven when she says she’s sorry (and I say that I forgive her) or when her grounding is over?

Of course, I forgive her as soon as she asks. And sometimes, sometimes, I will cancel the consequence because I’m Mom and I do what I want. But what if I did that every time? Would that be in her best interest?

Genesis chapter fifteen is one of my favorite stories in the entire Bible. Right smack in there though is a curious little verse, verse sixteen, that used to cross my eyes:

“Only in the fourth generation will your descendants come back here, because only then will the Emori be ripe for punishment.” (CBJ)

“But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” (KJV)

“In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” (NIV)

Huh?

In II Maccabees, chapter two, the writer details the horrible defilement that happened to the Temple and the Jewish people around 167 BC. It’s hard to read, especially if you love God’s law. And no, Maccabees is not included in the Protestant cannon of Scripture, but it is historically important (in my opinion).

After the writer speaks of the persecution of his people, he says something I find to be extremely profound, especially in light of Genesis 15:16.

He says this:

“Now I urge those who read this book not to be disheartened by these misfortunes, but to consider that these punishments were meant not for the ruin but for the correction of our nation. It is, in fact, a sign of great kindness to punish the impious promptly instead of letting them go for long. Thus, in dealing with other nations, the Sovereign Lord patiently waits until they reach the full measure of their sins before punishing them; but with us he has decided to deal differently, in order that he may not have to punish us later, when our sins have reached their fullness. Therefore he never withdraws his mercy from us. Although he disciplines us with misfortunes, he does not abandon his own people.”

In other words, God’s people never get away with anything. And this is good. Someday His fist will come down and He will say “Enough is enough!” He waits for the wicked to reach the full measure of their sin; someday He will destroy them completely. Thank God He does not deal with His own people this way.

If you’re living in a season of discipline, as I often feel I am, do not misconstrue His chastisement as a sign of wrath or unforgiveness. The goat is long gone; let it die in the wilderness where it belongs. But be thankful for His mercy that often comes in the form of discipline, because He loves us too much to leave us as we are.

 July 26, 2015  Christian Roots, Christianity Comments Off on On Trespassing Goats and Getting Away with Murder
Sep 062014
 

My kids and I love reading through the Torah Portion each week; it’s our favorite part of the school day. If the term “Torah Portion” is unfamiliar to you, a better explanation might be “Portions of the Pentateuch”. The Torah (the first five books of the Bible) are divided into fifty-four sections that are to be read throughout the year. The new cycle begins immediately after the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). Starting with the new Torah cycle, we’ll be sharing our lessons with you! We’d we honored if you would use these simple lessons in your congregations and in your homes. Hard work and many hours will go into making the lessons accessible, and your one-time or monthly donations will be very much appreciated.

Each new week’s Torah lesson will be posted shortly after the close of Shabbat. They’ll be available through the “Torah Portions” link at the top of this page. Take a sneak-peek at the first lesson below! If you plan to read through the Torah alongside us, please e-mail me and let me know. We’d love  a headcount before we get started, and we may organize an online group for sharing additional resources and ideas. See you after Sukkot!

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Portion 1

Administration

 

 

 September 6, 2014  Christian Roots 1 Response »
Sep 022014
 

I feel like telling a story. I would make one up, but there’s this old one that’s my very favorite. Every time I hear it, each time I tell it, I’m struck by something new. You’ve probably heard it before, but you might like hearing it again.

Once upon a time there was a man. He was a wanderer, and he had no children. He did have a beautiful wife and many faithful servants, but he longed for children of his own. Maybe he longed for children more than any man has ever longed for children. He longed so, because He followed God. And when you closely follow God, He will soften and mold your will until you yearn precisely for the things that He intends to give you. And God did intend to give this man children; He intended to give this man an entire nation of children.

Though He ended up giving him two nations.

One night in the dark God talked with this man–consoled is more like it. Out of obedience to his God, this man had just rejected the fortune of a king–a fortune he’d very much earned. This man had taken a small army of three hundred men and with it defeated four kings of five nations. He’d come back with their spoil and had tithed of it to God; then God asked him to give it all up. He gave up the wealth of five nations! Some people say that all God required of this man was faith, and I guess that’s true; but I’ve never walked out my faith like that. So under a blanket of stars God promised this man land…land that He would give him. He promised this man protection. He promised this man great reward, and He promised this man many children.

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We call this man Father Abraham.

That night under the stars, God and Abraham made a deal. In God’s world, the word is “covenant”. When a covenant is made in blood, as this one was [Genesis 15], death is required of the one who breaks it. If this had been a typical covenant, one a man would make with another man, it would have gone something like this:

“I promise to give you everything I own so long as you are loyal to me. Do you agree to pledge yourself to me in the way I have defined it for you?”

“I agree.”

Then both men would walk through the blood of a freshly sacrificed animal. With each step they took, they were declaring, “I swear on my life.”

But this is not what happened in the dark that night in the covenant God made with Abraham. When it was time to walk through the blood, God passed through as fire and smoke. God walked through as fire. God walked through as smoke. Abraham was never required to place his feet in the blood, because God had walked through for them both.

If you are familiar with the old, old story of God dying on behalf of mankind, you may have read that last line and sighed a long, deep breath exhaling with the word, “Messiah“.

The covenant God made with Abraham was not made with Abraham only. God also made these same promises to Abraham’s generations. So the covenant passed to Isaac, and then from Isaac it passed to Jacob. Jacob is a favorite character of mine–so wonderfully and beautifully flawed. In “Little Children. Big God.” I wrote the following passage about Jacob:

  lcbgquote

Jacob’s twelve sons from four mothers made one heck of a dysfunctional family, but their calling was larger than life. God delights in choosing the unworthy, that way we can clearly see Him. And so we know the twelve sons of Jacob by a much more glorious title: They’re the twelve tribes of Israel.

The tribes of Israel’s family flourished and grew while they were enslaved in Egypt. God had sent them to Egypt to keep them alive; when it was time for them to leave, not even Pharoah himself could stop them. Once rescued, God reminded His people of a different way to live. They had been living in Egypt as slaves. Now they would live as free men. Beginning in Exodus chapter twenty, God begins to explain this freed life. These instructions are called God’s Torah. Someone has told you that the Torah is bondage, but that’s not what the Almighty says.

Exodus 19:5 KJV Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

The nation of Israel continued to grow and to learn; they eventually entered the land God had promised to their Grandfather Abraham all those years before. They would not stay, however. Disobedience would lead to the exile of the ten northern tribes of Israel. Eventually Judah (along with Benjamin) would be exiled as well, though their sentence would not be as long. Just as God had warned He would, He scattered His people throughout all the world. Still, He wanted His people back.

Jeremiah 3:12 KJV Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, ‘Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever.’

 

To be continued…

 September 2, 2014  Christian Roots 1 Response »
Aug 282014
 

I don’t expect this post to go viral. I know it will ruffle some feathers…maybe even evoke a few tears among relatives who might feel I’m stealing from them or from our history. Still, the carved pumpkin display in front of Kroger today kinda forced my hand in this matter. It’s time to tell y’all the truth—to fess up. I’m not writing this post to persuade you of anything. This is simply an explanation of me and my life and choices.

And no, this post isn’t about Halloween. I never celebrated Halloween, so it’s not something I lost with “my new religion.” I know not celebrating/celebrating Halloween is controversial in itself, and I do understand the potential for community outreach at that time. It would be a loss to miss any opportunity to win souls. As a teen I attached a homemade tract to only the best bars of candy. I still buy candy in case the kids swarm my door; I’m not about to turn a child away. Even still, this post is not about Halloween. This is a much…a much touchier subject than that.

Last year in late December, I took my youngest daughter on a date to the dollar store. Wait, let me back up a bit. Last year in early December, I took all of my children to the dollar store. They wandered through the tiny aisles while I stuffed pre-planned items into my basket. When we got to the register, I distracted the kids with quarters which they merrily plunked into the gumball machine that dispenses plastic hands. I felt like a big spender that day.

I had five of most things. Of the pinker things I’d grabbed three, and of the bluer things I had two. “Are you filling Christmas boxes?” the checker asked cheerfully. The toothbrushes made that a logical question.

“Not today,” I told her. “Just Hanukkah shopping for my kids.”

Five kids. Eight nights. Less than forty dollars.

There was silence for just a few seconds as she continued to scan my finds. I worried she’d stay quiet forever. I don’t mind silence unless it’s loud. “I’ve been thinking about how Christmas is nowhere to be found in the Bible,” she blurted as if we’d been carrying on a telepathic conversation that suddenly burst into song.

“You’re right! It isn’t!” I said a little too enthusiastically. “But Hanukkah is (that’s the Feast of Dedication),” I added with a grin. She smiled back, then she looked down. Her face quickly processed a hundred expressions, and I watched the wheels in her head spin around. I imagined what she was thinking; perhaps she knew He was Jewish but hadn’t thought of the implications. Then, “You’re right!” she said.

Fast forward to late December. Hanukkah was over, and it was the day before Christmas Eve. On the way to the store I had warned my daughter, “Now, people are going to wish you a ‘Merry Christmas’. You respond however you’d like, but at least say ‘thank you’ and smile.”

The man behind the register was tall and young. Somewhere around twenty-five. He flashed a big smile at Miss C. His eyes twinkled with holiday cheer as he leaned his forearm on the counter. “Are you excited for Santa?” he asked her. She froze with an expression that looked like someone had licked her face, and she stared at me in horror because I hadn’t prepared her for that. “We don’t do…” I started. And “Oh, I’m sorry!” he caught on. We both smiled pleasantly at each other. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next, however, because then (without even the hint of an inaudible conversation) he said, “What winter holiday do you honor?”

“Hanukkah, we like Hanukkah,” I answered. Then, with an exaggerated frown to Miss C, I said, “But it’s over now, isn’t it?” She returned a sillier frown.

Keep in light. Keep it loose. Keep it happy! That’s my motto when it comes to confrontation.

As he continued to scan my purchases (I do a lot of shopping at the dollar store), I stood and wondered why on earth he would assume that we don’t celebrate Christmas simply because we don’t “do” Santa at our house. I grew up keeping Christmas, and there was never a Santa to be seen. There were no elves on our shelves. “Since when are Santa and Christmas inseparable?” I thought. But seeing he was a good ten years younger than me, I figured that he would know. I just stood puzzled until he began to speak again.

“My girlfriend’s family is Jewish,” he said.

That’s when I braced for the worst. I assumed it was an anti-semitic lead-in like, “My best friend is black; so I can insult black people whenever I want.” What he did say was even odder.

“We have kids,” he said (Can I admit I found that a little ironic?). “When she first got pregnant, we were talking about the holidays: they celebrate Hanukkah, and we celebrate Christmas. I told her, ‘Your family can do whatever they want, but our kids are going to be Christians!’ ”

I wore a wide-eyed kind of stunned smile. His exuberance was humorous, and it clearly wasn’t meant as an attack. Worried it might have seemed like an attack, he quickly added with even more spark and passion, “But I believe that we should honor everyone’s beliefs!”

I smiled again.

On the way to the car I kept kicking myself, and I apologized to my daughter. “I’m a Christian. I’m a Christian! Why didn’t I tell him that I AM a Christian?”

She patted me on the back, because she’d heard me say that before. “It’s OK, Mom. It’s OK,” she said. The hardest part of this journey to The Old Ways has been the reaction from fellow believers. I’ve been accused of denying the One most precious to me—and this accusation has not come merely from dollar store checkers.

 

Jeremiah 16:19 (KJV), says:

O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, ‘Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.’

 

This is how I’ve spent the past two years: Is it in the Bible? That’s what I want to know. ‘Cause the truth is, we’ve added a lot of things to the religion our New Testament apostles lived, and more isn’t always better. In the adding, we’ve lost some precious things that would connect us to our roots. It’s those roots I want to find because I just want to know my Savior. I want to know the road He walked down day-by-day, and, where possible, I want to walk that road now. He’s the only One to have ever lived who has fully preached the Torah. That’s pleroo, the Greek word we translate, “fulfill.” So, I want to eat what He ate, serve like He served, love like He loved, teach what He taught, and celebrate the days He celebrated. Where’s the crime in that?

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Will I fail? I know I will fail! That’s why He had to die. But in my trying to honor His ways, it’s my brothers and sisters whom I have made unhappy. I haven’t denied our Savior because I’ve traded Christmas for the day He gave me: Sukkot (Tabernacles). I certainly haven’t forgotten His death because I’ve traded Easter for the Feast He fulfilled: Passover!

Stories of red, red blood and hearts made white are sweetly told through candy canes. But stories of a tabernacle for a king in the wilderness, a baby king born to tabernacle with the world, and our soon-coming thousand year tabernacle in the heavenly kingdom He’s prepared are so, so much sweeter than that. They’re sweeter because He wrote them. Gospel candy canes and new-birth Christmas trees: He didn’t make that up; WE made that up. That makes it a “doctrine of men.”

It’s in my nature to apologize, and I am sorry for causing offense. I don’t mean to step on toes, and I’m sorry for any walls that my beliefs seem at times to build between us. I hope this post tears those walls right down. I know you’re not upset about the missing Christmas presents from me…I could never afford many, anyway. If you’re upset because you cannot buy for me: you can buy for me whenever you’d like! I’ll still do the same for you. Why should any day dictate generosity? But I think it’s not about the presents. I think it’s not about the tree or the food or the songs… I think it’s about the feeling of being judged, by me or by others, for the way you are choosing to honor your Savior. So as much as I can, I want to put that to rest: I am not the judge.

 

May 112014
 
uglyhousephotos.com

uglyhousephotos.com

It’s like your whole life (before Google) you thought that chartreuse was a shade of purple. Then, one day out of nowhere, you realize it’s the most hideous shade of back-of-the-fridge yellow that you’ve ever seen. You’re shocked, embarrassed, and mostly mortified that such a color even exists. Your brain begins to rearrange each memory that has in any way contained the idea chartreuse. You now know that Grandma’s carpet was chartreuse. You find yourself correctly using the word chartreuse–simply because you can. In just a few days, the shock has worn off completely. Any memories of chartreuse as purple have all but been erased. You can move happily forward in your new-found knowledge; but barring head injury, you can never go back to chartreuse as purple–even though you might prefer it to be true.

I lived my entire life believing things that I no longer believe, and I’m happy with the beauty of new-found realities. I discovered that chartreuse wasn’t purple, and in the process I stumbled onto mauve. The paradigm shift was sudden, and it’s hard to remember why I believed the things that I used to. The Bible was a conglomeration of inconsistent truths held together by made-up seminary words and highbrow sounding phrases which are found precisely nowhere in the pages of Scripture and are meant to intimidate people like me. And that was okay…because everyone around me believed the same way I did. Until one day when it wasn’t okay, and I started asking “Why?”.

Why was Yeshua killed?

I mean, I know that He had to die for my sins, but why was He hated so? Why did they want to kill Him?

Why were they singing His praises on “Palm Sunday” just to kill Him four days later?

I’ll admit it. This one has always bothered me.

Why did they rest “according to the commandment” if we’re not supposed to honor the Shabbat today?

The women didn’t tend to Yeshua’s body until the third day because they were busy with the Feast and corresponding Shabbats. Why didn’t Yeshua warn them that He was coming to put a stop to such things?

How does a paid debt translate to an abolished law?

Isn’t it either one or the other? If the law is gone, what do I need to repent for? If the law exists, it’s our penalty that He has put under His blood.

It’s silly that these questions (and the answering of such questions) has been labeled as a “movement” within the church. This isn’t a movement as much as a backpedal. Sometimes it’s a sitting-and-pondering rest from all movement. This is not a new thing, but such an old, old thing that it appears as if it is new. This is a “What Would Yeshua Do?” tied as a sign upon our hands. And then a “Ooooh! Oooooh! Then I want to do that, too!”

See, I now understand that Yeshua was killed for teaching against the law. Not the Law (big “L”): the law (little “l”). They didn’t rightly differenciate between man’s law and God’s Law any better than we do today. We still read of Yeshua picking grain on the Sabbath and cry “Sabbath breaker!” like a Pharisee. We don’t even realize what we’re saying! For if our Passover Lamb were to break even the least of all of the commandments, then He would not have fulfilled the Law. He would not have been the perfect sacrifice. We would still be dead in our sins.

The Pharisees hated Yeshua for good reason…almost. Deuteronomy chapter thirteen commands Israel to reject any prophet that teaches against the Law–even a worker of miracles. In fact, they were commanded to kill such a teacher. The Pharisees did well to adhere to this warning; they simply couldn’t see the forest for the fences they had built around it. They were protecting their own laws. They weren’t protecting God’s.

Yeshua and His Father are of one mind. There is no rivalry between them. What is holy to the Father is holy to the Son. The Law of God is the Law of Christ. The Law of Christ is the Law of God. Yeshua is the Word of God made flesh (filled up, more fully revealed), so He had a vested interest in making sure it was being followed in the Spirit with which it was given.

Yeshua pick, pick, picked at these extra and burdensome commandments, and it was this picking that lead to His death. Though, in the end, those who accused Him knew they were killing an innocent man. They loved their traditions. The different sects Yeshua bantered with had differing sets of traditions, yet they often held their traditions as law–as equal to God’s Law. Yeshua continually questioned their interpretations when they added to the Law of God. They didn’t enjoy being questioned, so they bribed false witnesses to claim that Yeshua taught against the Torah. And as a false teacher–a Torah breaker, He had to be put to death. But He wasn’t a Torah breaker–hence the need for calculated lies [Matt. 26:59].

The day we call “Palm Sunday” is more accurately the 10th of Nissan. It’s the day the High Priest paraded through the city with the Passover lamb.  The people would shout and cheer “Hosanna!” as the lamb passed by. But on this particular 10th of Nissan that we refer to as “Palm Sunday,” another Lamb also rode through. This one rode on a donkey. Many in the crowd must have made the connection, and their joy bubbled over in unimaginable praise. Their uncontainable joy made the Pharisees increasingly nervous, and this hastened His trial and conviction so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. Yeshua had to be killed on Passover.

When Yeshua died, He died on a preparation day. He didn’t die on a typical preparation day, however (the day before the weekly Sabbath). Because the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread  (the day following Passover) is a commanded High Sabbath, Yeshua’s followers had two very solemn Shabbats before they were again face-to-face with their Lord. How badly they must have wanted to visit His tomb in the days between His death and resurrection! But they rested and feasted instead...according to the commandment. It seems walking and talking with Yeshua didn’t prepare one for the abolition of the Law. It seems ten years post Yeshua was not enough time for Peter to understand that a Christian could “eat all things” [Acts 10:14].

It’s seem likely that someone is confused. It seems less likely that someone is Peter.

The audience of the New Testament is primarily Jewish: Law-keeping, law-keeping Jews. The kept the Law for salvation. They kept the law for salvation. This was never the intent of the Law, and the law was never intended. When preaching to an audience such as this, one would rightly downplay the big “L” (and reject the little “l”) just to restore a proper understanding of the grace that had always saved them.

When I read these Scriptures now, they make sense! They make so much sense that I can barely remember when they seemed in any way strange or disconnected. I am truly free from the penalty of a life-time of breaking His commandments (both accidentally and on purpose)! Now I’ll live a life intended to please Him–not according to my heart, but as instructed by His. I’ll do this not to be adopted, but because He’s already given me His name. And now everything is mauve.

 

Apr 062014
 

It’s Saturday, and Saturday is my night. It’s a short night because we don’t get home from church until pretty late. But it’s my night, and I love it.

Each of my children get a night, every week, where they stay up later than the others so we can talk about their lives. As a homeschool mom who has just survived a long winter inside with my children, you’d think I’d know all about their lives without any extra effort…but you’d be wrong. I mean, I know the visible stuff. What I don’t know is the invisible stuff. And the invisible stuff is infinitely more important. On each of these talking nights I learn things I would never know if I didn’t take the time to pry…if I didn’t ask the questions they were dying to answer. I shudder to think of the doors left cracked for the enemy if some small secrets remained hidden to quietly grow and grow. Every night I am shocked, amazed, stunned, and proud to get to know the warriors I am raising. I ask them…

 

“How was your week? What was the best/worst thing about this week?”

“How is your thought life?”

“Have you had any good/bad dreams this week?”

“What are your sin struggles? How can I pray for you?”

“How are you working to improve _____ (something that was mentioned the week before)?”

 

Saturday is my night. It’s the night I take special care to approach the Father as His daughter…and to tell Him about my week. He already knows the invisible things, but He likes to hear from my heart. I know, because He’s a parent, too.

 

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