Category Archives: Purposeful living

New Year, New Season, Spring Cleaning

Rosh HaShanah!

The head of the year A.K.A. The New Year has come in and come Sunday evening, it will be the fifteenth day of the first month on the Creator’s Calendar, and April 1 on ours.  Every year we come into a new season I ask the Lord what He wants to show me about Passover that I didn’t know before.  What new thing in me does He want to renew and what old thing in me does He want taken out so that I can continue to walk in victory.  This year would not leave me wanting for anything as I have more that He is sharing then I believe I ever had before.

Getting My House In Order!

Passover has a built in filter for the process that we have termed “spring cleaning”.  There are several things in particular I want to point out concerning this Passover that is important.  The cleaning was one thing that was significant, but one difference from our spring cleaning and the cleaning required for Passover is the cleaning that Yah instructed His people to do during this time was specifically related to leaven.  Biblically speaking leaven has both a positive and negative use, just like a battery.  Leaven in scripture is compared to sin, but is also positively used to describe how Yah has sowed His people in the earth.  (Matt 16:6,11-12; 1 Cor. 5:6-8; Matt. 13:33)

In First Corinthians we are admonished to get rid of the old leaven, and to become a new lump.  The dual principle of leaven is it shows us that when we do what we do in our own strength, carrying out the rudiments of our own ways that it is unprofitable for the kingdom, but if we allow the Lord to sow us in the earth like leaven we impact the world for His kingdom.  Nevertheless the purging is essential because over time we begin to find that we collect things that the Lord has not given us nor instructed us to carry.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat 11:30)

This scripture to me is a very easy way we can see if we are taken in more then we can handle.  The more we have the more responsible we have to be with what we have and this in and of itself can be burdensome.  The tell tell signs that you are biting off more then you can chew is when you are unable to sleep, you don’t have time to fix a proper meal for yourself or your family, unable to take one day off to rest, and physically you are tired, blood pressure is high, and immune system is low.  We often times just use drugs to bandaid these warnings, but the truth of the matter is these are signs that you are biting off more then you can chew.  You are looking to yourself rather then looking to the Author and Finisher of your faith.  This is a good time to look and see if you are carrying things or holding on to things that Yah is saying let go of, give to another, lighten your load, get rid of.  Too often we take on projects and attempt to meet the needs of others when in reality what we need to take is a break.

Everything that Yah created for us to take into our bodies was meant to come out.

The things God has for us to consume are like us and the things that we need to live, its death in us producing life in us.  Just as real food expires, we expire, and guess what no two seasons are the same.  There may be some things that God has planted in your life to be like a tree that should never be taken down.  I liken those things to being your legacy.  Your legacy represents what you plant in the earth that is to be perpetually producing even after you are gone.  However, we don’t want to confuse that which is supposed to be a tree (legacy) with that which is supposed to be the fruit on the tree.  Fruit, unlike the tree has a time that it is to be picked, a certain amount of time that it should be consumed, and in time if it is not consumed it will expire or rot.  Probably one of the most profound truths that Yah has given us in nature is the picture of what happens when we allow the perfectly good fruit He has given us to waste rather then us to consume that thing so that it can fulfill it’s purpose.  Like that fruit we allow a thing Yah has placed in us to expire rather then maximize the benefit of that thing.  Think about it, when we waste a piece of fruit the ground gets the benefit of its nutrients, if we would have consumed it our bodies would reap the benefit, the fact that it is adding to our life means that others get to benefit from the strength it provides to us, and finally the ground still gets the benefit of it because what comes in is destined to come out and to the ground is where it inevitably goes.

Do we fully fill our purpose? Like so many things in my freezer we try to hold on and extend the life of something till it is convenient for us to consume it and by the time we are ready that thing we eat has lost much of its nutrients and if we wait too long becomes unprofitable altogether for us.  I liken this to a purpose not fully filled.  We may do our part to begin with, we pick it from the tree, we wash it and preserve it, if we aren’t ready to eat it we store it.  However, everything that is made to profit our bodies expire whether we use it or lose it.  To put in all the grunt work to preserve the food, only to let it spoil is to start a project that never is completed or begin a race where you get to the finish line and just stop.

If we take that fruit to its end beyond storing it but actually consuming it then we have fulfilled the purpose of the fruit. For the fruit wasn’t created to just rot and go back to the ground it was created to first be consumed by something else that has life, human or animal and then after decomposition within our system return to the ground as fertilizer.  To grow and then wither without being consumed is like aborting its purpose, for us to live and die but haven’t fulfilled the purpose to which we were called is the same thing.  This is why it was important for Messiah’s disciples to understand what He mean’t that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood.  If we come close enough to study God’s word, to teach others about its importance but we never make a commitment ourselves then it is as if we just trodden His precious blood underfoot and trampled on it.  We won’t get the benefit of His word unless we consume it and make it apart of our life like that piece of fruit becomes when we digest it.

Another aspect of leaven is it holds you down and too much of it becomes a burden.  It is just like the principle of giving and receiving.  We are called to be vessels for His glory there is but so much that He gives us to retain, the majority is to be poured out like the blood of our Messiah was poured out for us on Passover.  The other picture of removing the leaven is the emptying of ourselves so that we can be filled with Him.  Most of us are so full of ourselves there is no room in us for God’s glory, and since He won’t share the space He created in us with anyone else we find ourselves further from hearing and doing what He has called us to do.  Thus, removing the old unprofitable, out of season leaven makes room for the new.

Preparing for Departure:

The final aspect of Passover that Yah has been dealing with me on didn’t begin  this year but in the past few years is living ready to leave.  The greatest challenge our forefathers faced who lost their lives in the wilderness was an attachment to the convenience, the comfort, and “perceived” reliability of the house of bondage.  While they complained about the harsh treatment of Pharaoh such that their cries reached heaven and Yah begin to make preparations to deliver His people. (Exo. 2:23; Exo. 3:7)  The constant murmuring of the people in the wilderness was about returning to this place that was a place of harsh bondage.

Never confuse the time to get patriotic and fight with the voice of Yah to go!

We should never become so determined to be somewhere that we can’t hear the voice of the Father when He is instructing us to go.  The greatest picture of the place where God’s presence is to dwell is within us.  While during the time Messiah walked the earth there was a temple that was built by man’s hands but the evidence that was clear was that God’s glory wasn’t there.  Sounds familiar?  We need to really be honest with ourselves and ask if what we are doing, how we are worshiping God if His glory, His presence is really with us?  The worst deception that we can be in is to be self deceived.  This is one of the benefits to me of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread because a New Season opens the door for not just getting old things out in the natural but doing a real self check on where we are in our walk with God.  Like the instructions given in scripture concerning  fruit trees if what we are doing isn’t producing fruit and it should be then we need to really analyze do I continue or do I start fresh? Am I wasting my fertilizer (finances, time, and energy) on this particular tree that could be producing something more somewhere else?  Do I need to just take some time and determine where I should be?  Should I be walking, sitting, or standing?

If we haven’t reached whatever that level was we had hopes for something its okay to acknowledge that and move on.  It is better even to bury that thing and move on, knowing that when or if Yah desires to bring that thing to pass He is able to resurrect it.  However, there comes a point where human effort is futile and acceptance that you have beaten whatever that horse is long enough has to be acknowledged and you just move on.

This moving on in life was a part of the Hebrew culture.  I am always amazed as I consider the life of Father Abraham.  Here is a man who was willing to follow the Father, leaving behind the comfort and familiarity of home to go where the Father led him without having a sure planned map.  It is no wonder he is considered the Father of our faith because too many of us become too comfortable with remaining stagnant when the writing is all over the wall that the Father has moved on.  Fear of the future paralyzes us to remain comfortable in the present, and usually it takes becoming extremely uncomfortable or as it has been in the past few years a need for God to tear the structure completely down before we catch a clue.  In fact, this is also apart of Abraham’s life, the two times he found himself in Egypt he willingly gave his bride away was in search of food.  Hunger will drive you out of a place and into another, however the danger in that is like Abraham and like Lot you risk losing your family chasing convenience at the expense of following Yah.

It is said of Abraham that he was looking for a city whose builder and maker was God. (Heb. 11:10)  I don’t know if he actually found that place while he walked the earth, but I can sure appreciate His trust in God to chase after Him instead of the deceitfulness of riches and the lust of other things which hinder so many of us from moving with Him.  We have so many excuses for why we can’t simply do what the Father calls us to do.

To that end walking in the Spirit has been what the Father has led me to focus on this year.  My goal is to do a series of articles on the fruit of the Spirit spoken of in Galatians.  If there was ever any time in history that we needed to know that we are standing on a sure foundation this is it.  So many of us are always learning, with knowledge being so abundant, but how many of us are coming into a knowledge of the truth? How many of us are doing what the book of James admonishes us to do, which is not just be hearers of the word but doers?  This is a new season and like Passover was when it was originally put into place we had better be ready, with our staff in our hands and our shoes on our feet. Ready to move with the Spirit of God and to leave the place and things of bondage to pursue that place that the Father has prepared for us.  A New Year, A New Season, and Now it is time for Spring Cleaning!

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Paying Close Attention to the 70 and the 50

In the wake of the very loud Trump that sounded just before the Gregorian calendar or should I say our political calendar year began, we find ourselves in the midst of many prophesied firsts. While most are glued to the political debacle taking place in the U.S. we are remiss if we should keep our eyes off of the events taking place in the land of Israel and among the people who are the children of Israel. Many believe the two are mutually inclusive.  Scripture makes it clear that Israel is a people, who were given possession of land as an inheritance by the Almighty.  Those people were represented by the son’s of Jacob which encompasses twelve sons who were split later on into two groups.  One lost their identity in the world, while the other preserved their identity, yet failed as well to complete the mission assigned to them by the Almighty.

But back to the significance of the year that is to come according to YHVH’s (God’s) calendar.  The importance of this year being the 70th year that Israel has been back in the land, and the Jubilee or the 50th year that Jerusalem has been back in the hands of Judah (Jews) is very important.  Scriptures that warn us to be watchmen as written in Ezekiel or admonishing us to watch and pray as in Mark 13 and Matt. 26:41 was written for such a time as this.   These are two anniversaries that have biblical significance worthy of paying close attention to. The end of 6017 represents the end of the 50th year from Jerusalem, and 6018 the one we enter into represents the 70th year celebration of Judah being back in the land of Israel.

On the other hand the question might be why haven’t we seen more signs taking place? Well, I would say we have but many of us don’t recognize it’s significance. On the eve of the Anniversary of the first Abomination Desolation which took place on the Winter Solstice in December on our calendar, which is the darkest day of the year, the world witnessed the signing of a decree to attempt to take back Jerusalem from Yehudah (Jews).  As the world longs and attempts by any means necessary to bring about peace in the middle east the enemy convinces the powers that be a two state solution is the answer, when in reality it is the enemy of our soul attempting to stand in the face of Yah to boldly proclaim ownership of something that belongs exclusively to the Almighty and thereby will use any force available to him to distract naive eyes from the real truth.

Preparing for Perseverance

Challenges we as a nation have never faced before may soon become more real then the distraction of the paparazzi and it’s mold making news has afforded us.  While the nation is waiting to blame the current President for every issue both foreign and domestic that this nation face we will be severely distracted from the true call that can save us.  The call to pray, get instruction and direction from the Almighty, get sin out of our lives and homes as the children of Israel were instructed to do so many thousands of years ago from what will be the anniversary of this momentous event only a few weeks from today.  Those of us who don’t find the houses of our souls under the sacrificial blood of Messiah will find ourselves indeed in trouble in this hour.  Those of us who have made that our proclamation but choose to live our lives in the world instead of in Christ will find ourselves like many of the mixed multitude who died in the wilderness because they lacked trust in God, but rather looked or were looking to man or things to deliver them and to worship.  But then there are a remnant who will prepare now to persevere through the trials that must come to test our faithfulness to our King and find themselves among the delivered, either in life or through death.  Carrying their cross come rain, sleet, or snow making no excuses and no compromises concerning their obedience to Yah and their faithfulness to His statutes, judgements, precepts, and commandments.

This year being the 50th year Anniversary since Jerusalem has no longer been trod under the foot of the Gentiles is prophetic.  (Luke 21:24)  It should not surprise us that the enemy would rise up to make his stand in the year that Liberty is being proclaimed a great time of worshiping YHVH for the liberty He has given could only be a time of praise for the enemy of our soul who would like nothing more then to turn the year of freedom into a year of desolation.  It was Daniel who told us so as he predicted the 70 week prophecy that we can see also coincides with the 70th year Anniversary that the land has been given back to Israel in the Balfour Agreement.

Both of these Anniversaries have one significant meaning to those of us who represent the Ten Lost Tribes that find ourselves still lost concerning our identity, yet known by the enemy in the world.  It is no coincidence that more than ever people are more interested in discovering their roots.  No surprise that DNA technology would make discovering our identity possible and traceable would exist during our day.  Technology and desire would converge in which more and more people are willing to leave the nest of the U.S. and discover through their own exploration what the rest of the world is like.  A greater return to returning has intensified from curiosity to acceleration.  This New Year coming up in a week as we look up in the sky to behold the beauty of the first sliver of the New Moon, let us indeed recognize the signs in the sky, understand why YHVH would instruct our forefathers to take note of the new moon all the more as we see it’s prophetic significance in our day.

Lastly, I leave you with this ‘Tis the Season’ to be wise, and not foolish.  Removing every golden calf in our lives and questioning every tradition we have.  No longer engaging ourselves in idolatrous worship ceremonies and rituals and rather then just continuing to do what we have been taught to hold every ritual under the scrutiny of the word and allow the word to guide us into the truth. (Jer. 16:19)

The Danger of Developing A “Forever Home” Mentality

We either need to break away from the idea of living in a forever home or we need to build a home we can live in forever. Depending on your family dynamics this notion can be an impossible accomplishment all in and of itself. Most of us don’t even consider the fact that we can have some down time between here and the grave we just believe we will have the same energy, stamina, ability, and mobility that we have today as we age. This is not a guarantee of life and as such we either need to allow for flexibility in our mind that at some point leaving what we consider home to be a possibility or we need to build a home that can accommodate whatever season of life we are blessed enough to enter. The greatest struggle I have faced with dealing with a loved one with cognitive deficits has been letting go of a home that they already had a vision in their minds that they would never have to leave. Their reasoning for keeping the home was to pass down to their kids but their kids no longer live in their state nor has an interest in the home. However, this being the case had no bearing on the attachment even when it was not feasible or functional for them to inhabit it.

The Lord revealed to me that if they do not let go of the home they will not live and the struggle to let go of that home has been the underlying root of every setback.  Whenever they would let it go they would begin to recover, but whenever their minds would send them back to it and they would try to recapture what is gone they would go down.  It is a real battle taking place in their mind as much as the battle the Israelites had with the Amalekites just before entering the promise land.  Like Moses when he was able to lift the rod the Israelites would win, but when his arms would drop the Amalekites would win. (Exodus 17)  It required two people to assist him to keep his arms up.  Likewise this battle for my family would be fought the same way, but the rod is prayer.  When prayer and intercession would go forth on their behalf the Lord would hear and they would get victory, but when prayer and intercession would cease they would lose.  Indeed God’s response to our prayer changes things.

Becoming comfortable can become disabling

What I find is we allow ourselves to become comfortable in whatever position we find ourselves in in life and our mindset can be our downfall. When it is feasible to do so keeping a home to pass down makes perfect sense, but when it is detrimental to your health and well-being you have to make room in your mind while you have your right mind that if circumstances dictated that the house you thought you would live forever in is no longer functional for you to do so it can be let go of.

Contentment with godliness is great gain, but attachment to structures can be devastating and lead to great pain.

The greatest legacy we leave our children is a relationship with the Messiah Yehoshua (Jesus the Christ). Because as long as we have him we have what we need in this life and we are prepared for eternity whenever it knocks at our door. Things come and go, homes can come and go the same way, we cannot put our trust in these things nor allow ourselves to get too attached. There is only one attachment man can have that will not lead to an unhealthy life and that is by design and that is an attachment to the Lord. We are told to meditate on His word day and night. (Joshua 1:8; 1 Thess. 5:17)  We are admonished to pray without ceasing, constant connection to the heavenly Father through our relationship with his son is a healthy habit we are encouraged to have. While too much water, food, and exercise are all things that are needed to live can lead to death or disease if done in excess, too much of Yah is not possible. We can never walk too close to the Lord, the closer we get to him the healthier we will be, the more we will accomplish in our lives and the more we will bless and love other people. A right relationship with Christ can only lead to a healthier, happier, more fulfilled life.  Disclaimer:  Don’t mistake what Christ gives us in Him with what the world gives us because they are against him, or what Satan will pull against us.  Remember the book of Job, Job went through a lot as a righteous man before the Lord, so don’t think that trials won’t come, sickness can’t come, and poverty is impossible, just know that if you walk with the Lord the peace He gives is irrespective of the things you own or don’t own, or the losses you suffer for righteousness sake.  He is the only healthy attachment, the home without limits that we can and should expect to live forever in and that no one can take away from us. Because once he is in us, he is there to stay.  The true forever home that can never be gone or go wrong.

The Real Expense of Our Baggage

Anyone who pays for luggage today to travel by plane, but has lived long enough to remember the days when luggage was a free commodity can understand just how much things have changed.   The days of 25 cents to mail a letter has now long since gone, for sure the transport of weight is at an all time high premium for those of us who travel or ship cargo. Today luggage is very costly to transport by plane and regardless of how valuable your things are to you, you will either have to pay the cost for your weight or lighten your load. Yah is the first one to encourage us to travel light, both physically and spiritually. Scripture is replete with encouragement to cast our spiritual weights upon him, to lay down every weight that so easily besets us, and to carry neither purse nor script when we are being led by him. (1 Pe 5:7; Heb. 12:1; Luk 10:4; Mar 6:8; Luk 22:35-36)

Messiah understood and walked in this weightless provision. When money was needed for taxes he paid from the mouth of a fish not from a wallet in his pocket. (Matt. 17:27) Weights not only cost you money, but it weighs you down. Those who have more then they can carry find themselves challenged with understanding what’s really important in life. They’ll fill their barns to the full with stuff that will out live their ability to use them. They’ll lie to themselves and others, cheat whomever they have to to hold on to what’s not important and in the process lose access to what is. We give more value to the things we possess in this life then the relationships we have. The man who can live his life not attached to these things will not only lighten his load but free himself up to care about the things that are important to God.

Consider “forever homes”, the issue I have with forever homes is the mental block it sets up resident in a persons mind to accept. We will give power to a house that’s sole purpose for existing is to accommodate the needs that our families have into some sort of unholy shrine that we must defend and preserve at all cost. A home fulfills a purpose like clothes fulfill a purpose if that home fulfills that purpose for you until you die you keep it, but if like clothes that become too small you pass it down to someone else, when homes outlive there purpose in your life you should not allow the home that blessed you to become the house that buries you.

To die for a friend is noble to die for a cause is admirable, to die for things is foolish. Father Abraham understood that what God gives you; you don’t have to fight to hold on to. While he was given much, nothing he was given had him. Thus it is said of him that he was looking for a city whose builder and Maker is God. (Heb. 11:10) What exactly are we looking for? Do we set ourselves up for failure when we look for those things in the things we possess, including our home? Sure we do and many of us will drive ourselves mad trying to hold on to something that God is trying to pry from our hands. Not because God hates us, but because He has something else for us. He is exposing the unholy attachments that we have placed in our lives so that we can free our resources, our minds, and ourselves to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

What is the fascination with things anyway? Think about it, the things that we struggle to acquire in life rob us of valuable time doing and spending with the people that we say matter most. This is why we have to be reminded that life doesn’t consist of the abundance of things that we possess, but it does consist of something are we missing that something that life does consist of? (Luke 12:15) He who puts his trust in riches will be shamed, but he who puts his trust in the Lord will never be ashamed. We are so weighed down in this world with so many things that even airplanes have to extract money from us to carry it, which should tell us something?

What are you worrying about today? Or more appropriately put what load are you carrying that is weighing you down? You may not be struggling with sin, but you have so much baggage that you can’t see the forest amidst the trees? There is a call that the Lord is giving us, and that call is to lay down our burdens at his feet, if we say we trust God in any area of our life we are called to stand by that trust regardless of what it looks like or feels like. If we are suffering from unbelief, then He doesn’t mind us asking Him to help us with our unbelief. Consider this what do we have to lose trusting him with our baggage? Is worrying, anxiety, and the distractions of daily living getting us closer to where we want to be in life? If it isn’t then clearly we are doing something wrong, and perhaps Yah is allowing it to consume us so that we can see that we aren’t able to bear it and we will finally give it to him before He has to pry it from our closed fists.

Consider the complexity of the universe we have inherited. How seasons come and go regardless of any preparation by us, yet like clockwork we know what to expect in winter and what to expect in the summer. Now, if God can handle the complexities of the universe causing the cycles of seasons to continue to evolve from one side of heaven to another why do we have problems giving him the stress of our mess to place in order? He is finite we are not, the one weight that we must contend with is the weight of the limited seconds, minutes, hours, and days we have on this earth, and while every year we commemorate our birth we simultaneously are made aware of the reality of our death which is to come. Question is, when that day comes will we be found faithful and will we be ready? I myself endeavor to be ready, and naked I came into this world, and naked shall I return into the loving arms of my Creator. Let’s not let our end be the only time that we lighten our load. Let’s endeavor to lighten our load today and experience the freedom that living footloose and fancy free can bring.

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.

 

A Return To Respectable Femininity

In our politically correct culture there has been an assault on gender roles. Somehow it has become passe or a curse word to discuss gender roles and mostly pronounced by women then men.  For some reason both men and women have inadvertently diminished the prominent position women play in the family.  

Having an appropriate and biblically ordered family where the man is the head of the wife is associated with dishonor and is fought against with ill repute.  But for those of us on a rampage to erase these roles their seems to be a lack of thought concerning who will accomplish these very important tasks that still need to be done if we as women abandon them.  We sacrifice our children’s development on the table of institutional education which says career should come before love, being able to be “independent” is more desirable then trusting God.  Because it’s dependent on you to create wealth, although scripture reveals it is Yah who gives us power to create wealth. (Deut. 8:18) 

Yet all the women in our lives who we hold dear, albeit a grandma who raised us or an aunt who rescued us, or a mother who nurtured us, we respect and hold them dear not because of their education, but because of their presence, their sacrifices, and their love.  They didn’t give us lots of stuff but they gave us what they had.  However, we abandon their wisdom to follow our own path, make our own name, or to place the untested knowledge of book scholarship against the proven experience of a humbled life, then we’re surprised when scholarship failed us and our families suffer.  Marriages broken and children destroyed, we can’t figure out where we went wrong because our children received all the stuff our parents or grandparents couldn’t afford, but at the expense of the one thing that made a difference in our lives, relationship. 

Respectable femininity doesn’t have the new world perspective of success.  Its not quick to sacrifice its true assets for the paper substitute, nor the things that it can buy. It rejoices over teaching their children about God, sharing the importance of keeping their home, being there to share what’s important in life and willing to share both our failures and successes to protect and prepare children for life.  All of which can only be done by being present. 

This is the wife husbands should seek, a family man should be the husband a wife should want.  False understandings of security lead women to believe fat bank accounts will make them more secure, when the opposite is true.  In many cases more money attracts more women for men which usually result in infidelity and may end with you having some of the money, but no husband, thus no father in your home.  Interesting scripture doesn’t say a house is taken by freezing bank accounts, but by binding the strong man. (Matt. 12:29)  We foolishly believe we win in divorce if we get half of their assets, think nothing about how we’ve sacrificed our children’s security and how they lose their identity.

A virtuous bride, who desires to be a faithful and present mother is of greater value then riches. The world may never appreciate her, but the future is secure because of her.  She trains her children in the things of the Lord, and her reward continues even after she gets older.