Friday, June 26, 2020

My Jewish Savior & My Jewish Family

I was watching some Bible study videos recently because I am fascinated with the Hebrew language. Chuck Missler does a great job of breaking down the original Hebrew in some of his studies. Go over and check out this series of his. (Really. Seriously. Go NOW and check it out. Thank me later.)

This guy here caught my eye and I really like his word studies and his teaching style.  Of course, as usual, the YouTube algorithm sent me down a rabbit hole by putting anything with "Hebrew" and "Bible" into my recommendations list. One of them was this from the Tree of Life Ministries Israel:

What? Why did I not know this? I assumed that the Jews had the same Bible I did (minus the New Testament) and never considered that anything was withheld. (I subscribed to the channel, of course!)

Again, thanks to YouTube and its rabbit hole of recommendations, I saw another interesting video:

Okay. By this point, I am in full praise mode and weeping with joy. I subscribed to this channel as well and have been watching more of their videos, including this one which I've watched over and over.

So, as I often do, I was reminded that we have the Jewish people to thank for Jesus. It is out of them that he came. It is their language that he spoke and their culture that he lived in. Our Savior came out of the Jewish people and yet we sometimes forget to include them in our prayers and outreach.

Silly, arrogant me, I had zero ideas about what the Jewish people of today believe or have been taught about our Lord. These videos were stunning to watch.

Please, join me in reaching out to those of the Jewish nation or donating to those who do so. As mentioned by the speaker in the "3 Reasons" video, giving money is not as important as giving it to the best outreach. I will be praying more for my Jewish family and hope that you will too.

This is the donation link at One For Israel.
This is the link to get Eitan's book.
This is the link to Eitan's 2020 video on anti-Semitism.

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:3)

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Blessings I Forget To Count

The other day, I started sliding into one of my every-now-and-then-funks. I have put on 5 pounds, I need to deep condition my hair, and my meds made me sicker than usual. Yeah. And it was the 5 pounds that hit me hardest. I was struggling to zip my best pair of jeans and had to suck in deep to make that work. That sent me into an immediate sob session.

So, when I finished crying, I felt slightly better but was still determined to avoid looking in the mirror for a while. I was psyching myself up to practice better eating habits (at least for the day) and as I made a list of some fruits and vegetables to order for the week, a realization hit me.

I am so spoiled by the many blessings in my life that I often forget to count some of them. Or I tally them in the wrong column - under Trials instead of under Blessings.

I stood there in the kitchen, looking into a decently stocked fridge and chastised myself. Instead of ordering produce, I spent some time thanking God for the blessings I had just been crying over. This reminds me of the First World Problems community on Reddit. 

How dare I worry about gaining 5 pounds when there are people who aren't eating? I'm fat because I have an abundance of food. I just need to choose healthier meals. I can't get into my "best" jeans but I have enough clothing to call some of them my best or worst or too small, or too big, or - and this is shameful - too "dressy".

This quarantine situation is only "boring" to me because I am tired of my TV, computer, tablet, books, music, and peace and quiet. I can't imagine the people in this world that would give just about anything to have one of those luxuries. Just to live in a peaceful environment is worth all the fame and gold there is.

I'm sick from my medication because I live in a country where medication is available for my condition. I'm not some poor, diseased orphan, sitting around uncared for and dying of neglect. I have family and friends who care about my health and sanity, God help them. I go to a hospital with trained and equipped professionals who make it their mission to keep me alive and in a decent quality of life.

Every now and then, I have to remind myself to stop hanging my head in sorrow so that I can look up in joy. The other day, I forgot for a moment to count all these blessings. And, even when I am dealing with serious trials - you know, more serious than a blow to my vanity - I need to remember this:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces [a]patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be [b]perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.(James 1:2-8 NKJV)
If the past several weeks have taught me anything it's that life can change in the blink of an eye. We should take nothing for granted - not the blessings or the trials we live with. This current situation might not be the beginning of the "last days" but we are each going to face our own personal last day at some point. Let's never forget to enjoy each pleasure and blessing because it could be for the last time. I want to live every moment of my life in thankfulness and hope.

Speaking of this global situation we are dealing with, I am truly thankful for it. Because of the pandemic, there are a lot of people having serious discussions online about life and death. More people are thinking about their eternity. Right now, I am so blessed to know what mine holds.

To end this post on a humorous note, I saw this meme going around about quarantined parents. I almost broke a rib laughing!

If you are going a little stir crazy, I have posted some resources over on Being Free.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The "Out of Shadows" Documentary

I recently watched a video called "Out of Shadows" made by a former entertainment industry stuntman. After a long career, he was injured and then came to know God. He started questioning the whole agenda of Hollywood and the industry. The documentary is about some of what he learns and how it changed his whole perception of reality.

Some parts of the documentary - or people's comments about it - reminded me of how I felt after I had first watched G. Craige Lewis' "The Truth Behind Hip Hop" (TTBHH) and read the book. I felt betrayed by my own blindness and my love of music and the artists I grew up listening to. I realized that, as a Christian, I should never have been looking to these people as "idols". Best of all, I started really paying more attention to the many ways we are being indoctrinated and lulled by the industry.

The Bible warns us about Satan and his agenda but we compartmentalize our Bible reading away from our daily life. There is a reason for everything the Bible tells us. The main thing I have to remember is that Satan is called "The Prince of the power of the air" and Ephesians 6:12 tells us that:
we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (my emphasis)

We read that - I read that in my studies - and the go right out and don't see the agenda behind so much of society. And notice that it's not "flesh and blood" we are wrestling against - not the singers and actors and their puppetmasters - but Satan and his army who controls all of that.

Anyway, I just wanted to post about the video because I think it's an interesting watch. It meanders a little in places, but I am glad that people are seeing it and being nudged to pay more attention. (I am suddenly reminded of the line from "Amazing Grace" about having once been blind but now being able to see.)

By the way, TTBHH videos have to be purchased from the EX Ministries site and are well worth it. The series has grown to over 12 videos.