Monthly Archives: January 2018

The Apostolic Family

Traveling is more affordable then you think. So often when considering raising money for college for our children we neglect the importance of having a vacation fund. Between school, work, extra curricular activities and the like we often consider vacations optional. Travel where few have gone before! Don’t think of traveling as just a vacation, but be on a mission as you go. Father Abraham paved the way for us concerning how we should look at traveling.  Abraham was given an amazing promise because he was willing to obey God and move from that which was familiar to him to look for a city whose builder and maker is God. (Heb. 11:10)  I would venture to say if where we are is not that place for us, then traveling is in your future.

There are so many benefits to traveling that we often take for granted.  We have such a, work yourself to death mentality that we develop vices that take our money to escape the slavery and drudgery work has become.  I don’t believe when Yah created man he intended for work to be drudgery but rather to be rewarding.  I believe he intended for couples to enjoy each other, enjoy family, enjoy work, and enjoy rest.  However, rest has become synonymous in the minds of most to laziness and this train of thinking comes from having a slave mentality.  A belief that you have to be busy every second of the day so much so that your mind and your body is on constant overload and in constant go mode which doesn’t surprise me ends in exhaustion and many brain disorders.  We do to ourselves what we don’t even do to computers.  Leave a computer on 24/7 without allowing it to be shut off and notice how much slower it moves, and how quickly you will have to replace it.  Yet, we think we are so sophisticated that we can just go and go without ever taking a moment to rest and we can just catch up some mysterious day in the future.  Life unfortunately doesn’t work that way.  Lost sleep can’t be regained on a later date it is simply lost and with each loss we depreciate the life of the battery put in by the Father for us.   While we are fearfully and wonderfully made as we are able to go and function up to12 + hours a day 6 days a week by design without malfunctioning we too have been given a mandate by our Creator to rest one day a week, and he didn’t stop there he gave us 7 separate vacations of rest every year.  Talk about a benefits package?  Straight from heaven!

Yah intended for you to spread out and fill the earth, his name was to be heard around the world and one of the best ways to take a city is to rescue a family.  To rescue a family you need a family to do that.  The world is seeking models of peace and a loving family walking in the fear of the Lord and the keeping of His Word sets the proper model for reflecting the manifold wisdom of Yah and changing lives for his kingdom.  It’s the sort of work one can rest in.  If we keep the weekly Sabbath and the 7 Holy Feasts of the Lord then we would naturally find ourselves in a position to receive and partake of God’s wisdom and understand what true vacations are made of.  Living by his precepts, judgments, statutes, and commandments allows us to live the life the world desires but have never seen with their own eyes.  It also allows for families to enjoy the benefits of travel as these feasts were not simply vacations, but they were saved up vacations, as a portion of your tithes was used to get you to the set apart place that Yah has established for His people. (Deut. 14)  Like the day of rest was set, so was the place where 3 of these feasts were to be kept.  It is the place he said he would make his name to abide. (Deut 16:16)

How to travel otherwise to distant lands spreading the Gospel of peace!  Having those days set and that place set doesn’t mean that Yah won’t make it possible for you to see other lands and spread the gospel other places.  One should always consider their travel a two fold blessing; time to connect with the family away from the distractions of daily living, and customary work that keeps your body and mind occupied as well as an opportunity to witness of the faithfulness and goodness of the King of Kings that has made it possible for you to do what you are doing.  The natural outcome of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving is the desire to share the goodness of what the Lord has done for you with others, and to encourage them that what he did for you, he desires to do great things for them as well.  While God’s plan for everyone is not the same, God has a plan for everyone and his desires and thoughts for them are only good and never evil, to give them a hope and a future.  Families need to hear and see the witness of that.  Our prosperity should be used to provoke unbelievers to jealousy for our God.  For them to want to serve the Daddy that has been so gracious to us to provide what we have need of, give us such great and awesome instructions that are truly the keys to a fulfilling life, and the freedom that comes from being set free from the bondage of sin that binds our hearts, and minds because we walk in shame instead of the liberty that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection made possible for us.  A world bound in its sin don’t you think they need to hear that important message?  Well, if we don’t tell it then how will they know?  How will they hear if we don’t preach it?

Cultivating a shepherd’s heart in your children.  It’s no coincidence that the man after God’s own heart was a shepherd, and more then a shepherd, a vigilant one.  He took his responsibility to take care of his Father’s sheep serious enough that he didn’t consider his own life when protecting theirs.  Think about it, not just for a young boy but for a grown man taking out a lion and a bear is no small feat.  He revealed the Source of his strength to Saul, as he was humble enough to recognize that it was Yah who gave him the victory, which tells you that he was in communion with him. (1 Sam. 17:36) He was operating the way Adam should have operated in the beginning and this was revealed even when David was King.  He didn’t presumptuously go to war but he inquired of the Lord whether or not he should go up or not.  This wasn’t something that just started when he became the man of war, but when he was the ruddy boy tending to his father’s sheep.

This story reveals that it is never too early to begin teaching your children how to have the heart of a shepherd.  While David’s lesson came in tending sheep, traveling can open up the same opportunities as well.  Families reaching families for the glory of God, on one accord can change the way children interact with other children their age.  Rather then them, your children being led by the snare of the enemy, they can be used to conquer the control the enemy has over the entire world.  Making disciples of children while the parents make disciples of the parents.  As David learned the voice of the Father tending sheep so do your children learn how to tend the Father’s sheep by the voice of their parents.  As freely as you reveal in word and deed the character of Christ, it becomes a natural expression for your children.

A prophet is not without honor save in his own country and within his own home. (Matt. 13:57)   For this reason one should not be surprised that they will have less inhibitions, and much greater success when they leave from home.  At home everyone already has made up in their mind what your potential is and they close themselves off to the blessing you were intended to be.  Whereas, when you leave you will witness more fruit because people will more easily be able to see past you to see the God in you and be blessed by Him.  We too will be less stigmatized when we leave.  The bottom line is it is easy to take people for granted that you see everyday.  You become dull to hearing them and therefore it will take someone from outside to reach them.  To me this is the greatest argument I could ever consider for why families should travel.  You enlarge your territory and your area of influence simply by being in a different space because strangers are intrigued.  We tend to love to hear the stories of other people’s lives we don’t know and likewise does this occur for the people who we talk too.  This gives you an awesome opportunity to witness to them the love of God.

The Apostolic Vacation Fund

I have spent a great deal of time sharing why you should go on vacations, but now I want to pick up on the first thing I said concerning how to do this affordably.  The first thing I would say is put aside money for a vacation fund, whether that is a savings account that money goes in but can’t come out until that time arise or if self restraint is that big of an issue consider starting an investment fund in a CD or some other program that penalizes taking money out.  Make sure the money that you set to come out for your fund comes out before your bill money and after your tithes.  This is like paying yourself first.  If you don’t have any children or if you have very young children this will be even easier without the temptation of spending as your child should be the central focus for the first few years of their life anyway.  Traveling should be minimized because its not convenient and it exposes them to issues that could be medically conflicting.  A stable environment is what is needed at the formidable years of their life and there really is no incentive to travel with babies other then they travel free, but they won’t remember any of it, which makes the experience a waste of time for them.  Having you is the most important thing they can have at first.  However, consider where they are right now and you basically have a Ten to Twelve year span that you can begin saving money for travel.  Small trips within 60 to 200 miles can be done without even touching the vacation fund and check out my website for some great ideas for traveling local. The travel fund should be for big trips beyond the borders of your country.

Are you ready for God to enlarge your territory?  Set realistic goals and start reaching out right where you are.  Even though Jesus (YeHoshua) said he couldn’t do much in his area because of unbelief he did do the little he could do when he was there.  We are to do the same.  Begin sharing what Yah puts in your heart concerning outreach beyond the borders of your home.  Explain the benefits of stretching your family beyond your comfort zone so that your children will be well rounded people and develop the character of Christ by having a heart for people who they haven’t even met, and may be completely different from.   Much of the issue we have in schools with children bullying other children come from ignorance and lack of proper exposure to different people.  First and foremost make sure you have shared the gospel and your children have received the Gospel in their hearts before reaching others.  This is the hallmark for knowing when it is time to travel and get your feet wet in areas beyond your borders.  Like Father Abraham he commanded his children and household after him, we must do the same before we can be ready to experience the nomadic life of traveling in the footsteps of Christ. (Gen. 18:19)  The world have enough of itself being replicated, they don’t need any more people doing that.  What they need is biblical examples to imitate.  We need to know what Christ did and do the same.

Finally, we need to be balanced in our approach, because our God is balanced in his.  Vacations are simply that a means of vacating the premises, surroundings, and circumstances that we are used to and exploring areas beyond our surroundings.  As much as traveling should be relaxing and rejuvenating, it too should be about more then just us site seeing and having fun.  We should observe and immerse ourselves in the culture and not see ourselves as being separate from the pain and problems we see in the places we go.  Giving money is not necessarily the answer to solving these deep seeded issues, and if it were we would see more examples of Christ doing that if it was. Instead we see that he met their physical and mental deficiencies that prevented them from meeting their own needs.  If not being able to walk was the problem, he didn’t give money he gave the ability to walk.  If there was an issue of blood he didn’t pay for the surgery to correct it, he healed it.  I believe our obedience to step out in faith towards God will bring about fruit in diverse places and recapture the family our Savior died to save.

If traveling is something of interest to you and you would like to begin this amazing adventure then feel free to subscribe to The Critique where I will be sharing tips on how to travel affordably, comfortably, and safely.  If visiting the Holy Land is of interest to you be sure to invest in my upcoming documentary where I share with you how my husband and I traveled to Israel on round trip tickets for less then $500.  Also find out how to avoid some of the tourist traps.

 

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The Way Up is Down

This is a saying that we have heard in many different contexts, but nowhere is it more evident then in the chronicles of scripture.  When we look at what brings a man down we will find the words pride, haughtiness, and proud somewhere near its vicinity.  However, equally as true we will find near the word humility, meekness, or humble, the words exalt, exalted, above, lifted up, and grace.  It is in our weakness (not in our strength) that his strength is made perfect in us.  (2 Cor. 12:9) Thus, out of weakness we are made strong, and those who consider themselves strong are made weak.  Hebrews 11 chronicles what men in faith towards God were able to  accomplish, not in their strength but in their weakness, God’s strength prevailed and they received the victory over various trials of life.  The economy of God doesn’t operate by the same currency exchange rate that we are accustomed to in the world system.  Our resume of awards, accomplishments, and education are counted as dung, reckoned as filthy rags, consistently we see ordinary men who did extraordinary things not by picking themselves up by their own boot straps, or do the acts of self made men pave the way, but rather men and women who took Yah at his word were able to do what men who were considered great in the world were not.  Yah would over and over again show us in battle he didn’t use thousands of men, but will obtain the victory over the enemy of His people by using small armies to gain mighty victories.  Why, you may ask?  Because it serves as an example of this very principle I am sharing with you in this article that its in our weakness, weak positions, lowly spirit, that He is exalted.  It stands to reason and too easy for man to get the glory when a million man army with unending arsenals can defeat a 100,000 man army with limited arsenals.  It illustrates that with Yah you always have the majority on your side even when in the natural it doesn’t look like it.  As John the Baptist made clear that he must decrease so that the Messiah may increase.  The world knows that He has come when the impossible, becomes possible.

When we come to the end of ourselves then low and behold this is when we have an ear to hear from the one who can deliver us from all our woes.  The world can be very loud and it seems to want to amplify itself and the term it uses when it wants to exalt men is the word “proud”.  Yet this is a word that never in scripture is positively used when directed towards mankind.  It was actually the catalyst that would bring a person down so that they could be exalted through the act of humility.  Yet this is a word we use positively to express our feelings towards acts we approve of.  So in effect that which Yah has called evil, we have categorized as good. (Isa. 5:20)  We give glory to man for what Yah made possible to accomplish and then wonder why our children don’t believe in God.  They attribute their accomplishments in life to what they did, in total unbelief not realizing that when they receive the benefits, raises, or achievements that it is God who giveth man power to create wealth. (Deut. 8:17-18) It is the power of the Almighty that makes prosperity possible for us to have, because despite popular opinion, there is no good thing that dwells in this flesh.  (Rom. 7:18) That which is good, right, and holy in us is inherited through our relationship with Christ, Messiah Yehoshua.

Even our “good” if you will has selfish motivation apart from Him.  This is why we can only know love because he first loved us. (1 Jn 4:19) The concept of sacrificing yourself for the very people who are responsible for taking your life is not something any man would do.  How many are up for dying for your friend?  This one life you got with no promise of what will happen next, are you willing to give it up for a friend, even a best friend?  Your child, your spouse, perhaps, but a friend?  We might give a kidney but our life, hardly.  The idea of giving to people who can’t give to you, the proof that we can’t do it in and of ourselves nor would it come into our mind is revealed in how we live our lives today.  How often do we pour our finances or our time to benefit people with absolutely no expectation of receiving anything in return?

Here you have Yehoshua our Messiah in the prime of life, at the age when most people are just beginning to become established.  He himself was being established in the miracle making business going about doing good in all the land.  At a time when many of us would be comfortably married in our single family dwelling with 2 cars and 2.5 kids with great jobs with benefits our Savior was crucified with none of those things.  In fact when asked by someone who was interested in following him it was said of him that he didn’t even have a place to lay his head.  (Mat 8:20)  Be honest, how likely would you be to follow or join anyone’s network marketing business who didn’t have a home to share their home based business to you with?  This would in effect be the very opposite resume of one who we would consider successful and would want to follow, yet on what would definitely be considered the way down was he lifted up and us who put our trust in Him lifted up with him.  It’s the best illustration in scripture I have of what it means to humble yourself before the Almighty so that he can lift you up in dew season. (Jas 4:10)

Where do you find yourself in 2018?  Are you in a place of introspection wondering what has happened to your life?  Perhaps you are on top of the world and financially in the strongest position you have ever been but feeling a lack of fulfillment?  Maybe you have no money and wondering where you went wrong.  Many are sick and crying out for answers to a merciful God how you found yourself here?  Many would say life is what you make it, but in reality life is who you make it about?  If life is about you, your family, or your business then a sad life it will be because you set the bar too low.  If you are going to set a standard for your life why choose an imperfect model to build upon?  That is like building your life on sand instead of on a rock.  A rock is steady, unyielding, and will stand the test of time, whereas sand is destined to settle and give way to the changing climate of the atmosphere.  The only blessed assurance we can have is to humble ourselves into the hand of the Messiah and to lift up Him which cannot be brought low, yet was brought low for us only to be lifted up and to lift us up with Him into heavenly places within His kingdom.  Indeed Father what is man that you are mindful of us. (Psa. 8:4)  So what do we say when we are faced with situations that would tempt us to answer with “I’m pro-d of you” find a way to point them and keep yourself focused on the one who made the moment possible.  My new response is to say, “Father I am humbled by you”, and to the person who made their goal possible, “praise God for giving you the victory” or “To God be the Glory”.  Because its his anyway, for every good and perfect gift comes from him. (2 Cor. 9:8; Jas 1:17) If you must be proud of anyone then be proud of Yah, for it is He who made the person and the moment possible, and be happy for them for they are the beneficiary of God’s grace in their life.