Sometimes I wonder if people think I’m “super religious” now that I’ve joined what is often perceived as this strange, cultish “movement” known as Hebrew Roots.
I’ve been accused of being Jewish. I’ve been asked what is going on with me now. I’ve seen some curious looks cast my way. People think it’s weird that I don’t eat pork and feel sorry for me because I’m missing out on the “benefits” of bacon. I’m sure some have even questioned my salvation now that I don’t go to church on Sunday anymore.
In fact, I don’t go to church at all. I keep the Sabbath on the seventh day, the day YHWH created and sanctified (not a man or church system), with a group of believers. The locals think we are Jewish Hippies, actually. It’s kind of like church, but different. We study and discuss large portions of scripture for hours, for example. Not just sit and listen to an uplifting message built on a few select scriptures that may or may not have been taken out of context.
A local paper has written several articles about our group, as many people are curious as to what we’re all about. See, “Jewish hippies”! We are not offended by that at all, and often joke about it. Apparently, someone saw myself and another lady sitting out in front of the building one day. We had on our bandanna headcoverings (read why I cover here if you’re interested) and I may have had on a tie-dyed skirt. How easily we make assumptions about others, huh?
Let me fill you in on a little secret, though: I’m not super religious or spiritual. I’ve not transcended to a sinless realm where I never break a commandment. I’m still dreadfully human.
One of the things I still struggle with is daily prayer time.
Why is that such a struggle? I love YHWH, I want to hear from him and understand his words and ways. When I accepted Him and His son, Yeshua, I committed to joining HIS family and it is my duty to learn His “family rules” – not make up my own rules. And, he doesn’t have one set of rules for his “natural” children (the Jews) and a different set of rules for his “adopted” children (the Christians). We are one family, with one set of rules…his Torah…and I just want to understand those rules and how they apply to life in 2015.
This is a relationship I’m in with him…not just a religion. A relationship means both parties devote time and energy to nurturing the relationship. In this case, I’m the one at fault…because I know HE spends time trying to get my attention each day.
Sometimes I notice. Many times I do not.
I took this picture at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. That sweet dove caught my eye and reminded me of these words in scripture:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
“and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.” Exodus 33:22
“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah” Psalm 32:7
We are now in the month of Elul on the Hebrew calendar.
It’s a month of introspection, reflection, of searching out that which offends YHWH hidden in our hearts. It is a time of preparation for the upcoming High Holy Days – Yom Teruah (also called Rosh Hoshanah) and Yom Kippur, also known as the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement.
Naturally, I know I should be spending time each day in serious soul-searching. Especially since I was blessed to have been able to spend time in the Holy Land this summer. I walked where our ancient spiritual forefathers walked. I even walked on the same stone pavers that Yeshua did.
There’s my feet. Standing in the holy land…where Abraham, Issac and Jacob walked and the Israelites were led by YHWH for forty years. Where Yeshua, the living Torah, walked out how to live YHWHs Torah so we could see his example and follow it.
And yet, I still allow life to crowd out that which is most important.
This week I have resolved to not pick up my phone until AFTER I’ve had some quality time with YHWH.
My smartphone is not inherently evil. In fact, it is very helpful! It helps me stay on track with my health by helping me log what I eat, stay connected with other ladies on the same “diet” as me, find information about supplements that help keep me, and my family healthy.
It also helps me search out the original language of the scriptures as I read, which enlarges my understanding of the Word. I can find history and commentaries as well to help put what I read into proper context, something that is sadly missing in many Sunday School lessons and sermons.
But, it also sucks up a lot of my time. So I have resolved to break that bad habit of checking on electronic, cyber stuff before checking in with YHWH in the morning.
This morning, I clearly heard “Put your house in order.”
My next question was “What house, YHWH? The physical or spiritual house?” My physical house needs some attention…we’re almost midweek so clutter has accumulated in its usual spots. The dog is in her annual August Shed All The Fur cycle. Spiders have decided to come inside and take up residence in the corners of the rooms. There’s certainly work that needs done.
The answer? “One is a reflection of the other.” No matter which one you look at, physical or spiritual, it is often a reflection of the condition of the other. Several years ago, YHWH showed me that the condition of my outward surroundings is a reflection of the condition of my heart. As he has healed deep wounds and delivered me from spiritual bondage…cleaning up my heart…I’ve been able to reflect that change in my surroundings by keeping my home neater, cleaner and more orderly.
Read a series I started last year. I need to revisit it!
Cleaning is a spiritual endeavor.
Pesach, or Passover…one of the Spring Feasts, is a time that I always receive some deep, spiritual revelations while cleaning. This year was no exception. So I am anticipating, as I clean and organize now during this Fall season, receiving some more spiritual enlightenment.
YHWH said “get your house in order” this morning, so I have two choices…obey or not obey. If I seek direction in how to get my house in order, he will give it to me and again I will face the choice to obey or not.
If I do what I so often do and devise my own plan to get my house in order, I will probably accomplish some good things but will I accomplish what HE wants me to accomplish? I may eradicate spiders and their evil lairs from the corners of the rooms but will I also eradicate the sticky traps of sin in my heart? Will I even see them?
There is much speculation and fear abounding concerning this Fall Feast season.
You may have heard of the Blood Moons, Shemitah, economic collapse and utter chaos that are predicted to coincide with this year’s Fall Feasts. You may be frightened, or you may think it’s a bunch of hooey…or fall somewhere in between those two extremes.
I’ve been interested in end times prophecy and conspiracy theories for years. As I’ve come to a greater understanding of Torah and what it means to be a follower of Yeshua, I’ve taken more of a watch-and-pray stance. If YHWH moves me to say something I will, but other than that I feel my role in all of this is to be watchful and pray. (The above links are provided to spur your own research, I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with what is in them.)
A sense of fatalism has settled over me like a blanket.
This past week especially, I have really just been enveloped by a sense of Ecclesiastes-ness. VANITY VANITY ALL IS VANITY! EVERYTHING IS FUTILE! seems to be the resounding theme of that book of the Bible. Yet at the end, we are told the conclusion of the matter…
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
I really appreciate this essay. Not sure exactly why, but it caught my eye- and I believe there’s a reason that it did. I love the advice, no electronics until the relationship is tended to. Good advice which I will incorporate.
Hi Sharon! I’m glad this post caught your eye and encouraged you to put your relationship with the Father first. Thanks for stopping by and for the comment, I appreciate that!
I thought you might appreciate this. Thanks for your wonderful recipes and inspiration.