Harp and Story

Travel Journal 2018, Autumn in Colorado

I love fall! The warm days, chilly nights; the leaves turning varying shades of yellows, golds, reds, and oranges. And anything and everything to do with pumpkin; tea, coffee creamer, pie, cheesecake, milkshake, ice-cream, donuts, soup…yum! Now, I don’t eat most of that anymore, but I do have many fond memories of when I did!

State Hwy 550 from Ouray to Durango over Molas and Red Mountain Passes

We spent Feast of Tabernacles with the Montrose, CO, Covenant Hebraic Fellowship. Steve and I shared from the Life Model with those gathered, about 35 or so of us. We taught on Remaining Relational in a Non-relational World which included topics on Grace, Living in the Now, Maturity, and Joy and Quiet. Howie and Aline of Mishkanim were also with us. What great musicians and ministers they are! Our time spent with this beautiful group of people was delightful! We thank you for the invitation!! But wouldn’t you know it when it came time to return to the eastern half of the United States it turned cold and down came the snow! Quite a drive over Vail and Loveland Passes on Interstate 70!

Colorado State Hwy 550
Aspens in their fall glory!

We are in Iowa at present helping a Joy Starts Here group get going. This is also a part of the Life Model. For more information on the Life Model go to http://www.joystartshere.com and/or http://www.Thrivetoday.org. This tour we helped start a Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You group, (also a part of the Life Model), in Wisconsin, and helped initiate a group start in Reno, NV.

I have been thinking about fall turning to winter and then to spring. In Exodus 12:2 we are told that “This month shall be unto you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” That is the month of Nisan, in the spring of the year. This has come to be called the beginning of the religious calendar while the month of Tishri, in the fall of the year, remains the beginning of the secular year. As I have pondered the significance of these two beginnings of the year, some patterns begin to emerge.

Colorado State Hwy 145 over Lizard Head Pass

Genesis, chapter 1, tells us that the evening then the morning begins a day. All feasts as noted in Leviticus 23 follow suit beginning in the evening as does the feast of the first of the months. So, for the year to begin in the fall follows the pattern of night beginning a new day or season or month or feast, as fall is ending a time of harvest leading into a time of winter rest. 

So, why change the beginning of the year to the spring? I believe we have insight into that question found in Revelation 22:5, “And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”

United States “Matterhorn” on Colorado State Hwy 145

YHVH changed the beginning of the year, in my opinion, as a promise of what is to come. The end of darkness in the presence of the eternal light of Yashua who was quoted as saying in John 8:12, 

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

What an amazing and wonderful promise and reason to celebrate the beginning of each year in the spring, Nisan 1.

Even so come, Adonai Yashua!

Are You Really Different?

Are You Really Different?

I was in a discussion with a young man the other day that grew up Buddhist and then converted to Christianity and is now a practicing Buddhist again.  “Why?” I asked him.  His reply, “they are so closed-minded, (referring to the Christians), they say Jesus is the only way to heaven, they just shove Jesus down your throat.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  The Buddah is much more open-minded and accepting. Buddah, Mohammed, Jesus, Moses, they all show a way to heaven, there is more than one way, too closed-minded to think there is only one way.  The Christians always say, ‘but the scriptures say, Jesus is the way…’  I say NO!”

He went on to say, “I live from my soul.  My soul tells me what to do. It’s the good energy that I want/try to live in.  Enough good energy in the world is what we need, you know, it’s all about good energy, the frequencies, a lot more dimensions are out there than we realize and if we just get in tune with all that good energy we can make heaven on earth.”

The Buddhists have a way to “heaven” called making merit.  I asked him about this and what he did to make merit – to be good enough for a better life.  “Oh that,” he said, “today they, the monks, want donations, more and more, bigger and bigger, but I practice making good energy so I’m something good in next life.”

Reflecting on this conversation I thought how very much alike are the major religions of the world; they all to one degree or another use good deeds, making merit, mitzvoth, to ensure their standing in the next life.  I grew up in a Christian church that recorded weekly how many articles of clothing had passed out, how many cans of food had given away, how many times  the church lesson had been studied and on and on. As a child I would lay awake nights wondering if I had done enough, if I had been good enough.  I heard my 102 year old great grandmother ask the pastor, “How do I know if I am good enough, if I have done enough for God?”  She died a few months later still not knowing the assurance of salvation.

 Y’Shua says He is enough – do we really believe He is enough? His death and resurrection assure all who believe on Him eternal life – reconciliation with YHVH – and from that place of acceptance we then begin to work out what He has put in – we live Matthew 10:6-8 “…but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”  Do we do this or have we too become about “donations, bigger and better donations” oriented as our entrance pass into the next life?

For the last several years many US ministries have established a “work” or headquarters in Israel.  There is much apocalyptic focus on Israel as we go through this 4th turning of crisis and ministries are using this time in the history of the world to gather in large sums of money from misguided supporters.  At one time I was giving to one such ministry.  They had great literature full of compelling stories and heart rending pictures, they also gave thank you gifts for my support; the more I gave the greater the gift.  Then one day I saw the organizations financial statement – almost half a million dollars was the founder/president’s annual salary not including traveling expenses and other miscellaneous expenses.  In my opinion he was using the emotions of his following public to make himself wealthy.  What ever happened to, the foxes have dens and the birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head?  What about he who would come after Me let him deny himself, take up his execution stake and follow Me? 

For years, in one form or another, Christianity has been about making the world ready for Jesus to come back. Y’Shua did tell us in Matthew 28:18-20 to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”  But the Buddhists, the Moslems, the Jews, the Christians all believe that it is up to them to make a “Garden of Eden” if you will, that the Madi, Buddah, Hare Krishna, The Prophet, 12th Inman, the Last Pope, Rabbi Schneerzon, who ever, will come back from the dead to rule and reign in a pre-made glorious kingdom where we will live in “Nirvana/Heaven” forever.  We know one group that concentrates their efforts on promoting the making of wine for the coming wedding feast of Y’Shua and His Bride!  Y’Shua wants us, His Bride ready for Him!  Nothing more – nothing less than ALL of us! The end of everything else is found in Psalm 2:9  “You, (Y’Shua) shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” And in Revelation 19:15  “From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of YHVH the Almighty.”  If the world is a perfect place when Y’Shua returns, why is there a need for Him to rule with a “rod of iron?” Answer: Because not everyone is going to choose to be His Bride!  Jeremiah 31:33  “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares YHVH: I will put my Torah within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people.” The rest of the world is the nations that will be instructed in Torah by Y’Shua’s rod of iron.  Zechariah 14:17-19 says that there will be no rain on the lands of those who do not go up to Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkot; that will be the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

Whatever happened to Y’Shua’s commission to us, his disciples – to go into the entire world and make disciples?  Whatever happened to going to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, preaching that the kingdom of heaven is at hand?  Whatever happened to the fields are ready for harvest, pray for laborers to go gather in the harvest? 

Sitting on the doorstep of my little bamboo hut in the jungle of western Thailand I guess I see things differently than when I am sitting on my comfy sofa back home.  We have been given a commission and from my present perspective we are failing that commission miserably.  America seems to have lost the zeal for the harvest – now-a-days a “team” will come for a week or two, take a lot of pictures – smiles with the locals, hand out clothes, feed the poor, pass out Bibles, sing some songs with the kids – for a couple of days – then off to the elephant park, or sightseeing at the waterfalls, or playing on the white sand beaches.  But the report is bustling with all their good deeds, how they made life a bit more bearable for some dirt-poor villagers.  Personally, I think YHVH is spitting all this luke-warm slop from his mouth. 

Are we so caught up in end-time, apocalyptic prophecies that we have forgotten our purpose; our purpose being to seek out the lost sheep of the house of Israel and make disciples.  97% of all church monies is used for church programs in the USA. 2% of remaining monies is used for programs in developed countries; 1% is spent on missions. Pretty pathetic! But we can change things, we can become more like Y’Shua. How about finding a mission to do volunteer work with for a month or three months or a year or more.  How about coming out from under the clutches of Babylon so you can be a volunteer. How about trusting YHVH to make a way so you can go into the harvest – wherever that harvest field may be.  How about stop making excuses as to why you can’t go.  It’s hard to get out from under the control of Jezebel; her influence is strong in Laodicea America; she works diligently to keep those under her thumb apathetic and depressed and despondent, but you can get free, you can become “hot” for YHVH.  Press on, press through, there is victory for the one who keeps their eyes on Y’Shua!

2Co 6:17-18  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith Yahweh, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith Yahweh Almighty.

Two years ago YHVH highlighted these words to Steve and me: “The end of the peregrination of the sons of Israel in the land of Egypt.”  We have prayed about and wondered on this word for two years.  We thought maybe it meant a transition from our harp and story ministry to a community week ministry, but I’m not thinking that so much anymore.  The ancient Israelites didn’t immediately go from Egypt to the land of promise, they wandered about for some time in the wilderness – granted, longer than they had to.  I don’t want to be luke-warm.  I want – no – I need to live in the dictate of Matthew 10, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not to the Gentiles or to the villages of the Samaritans, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  As we go into the entire world we will find the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  It’s not a comfortable assignment, but the end reward is well worth the effort! 

Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of man shall come in the majesty of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his deeds.”

It is time I am more earnestly about My Father’s business!  How about you?