Personal musing: What is going on? Way too much silence!

Yes, I have been quiet. I even neglected to write what would have been important blogs during important times such as my birthday, independence day, father’s day and other moments where I certainly have had thoughts pondering and percolating.  Yet, I have failed and not lived up to this commitment. It is something God has called me to do but I have let self get in the way. For there is always a reason not to write something. It is too late, I am too tired.  Things have kinda spiralled a little down for me since April. Now a lot of the focus was on prayer for Freedom house and there battles. Yet, as that battle went on and things started moving forward in some directions the energy and ability to push through from me was lacking.   Certainly at some point inertia sets in and trouble with motivation. So it may be that slipped into doing just a enough.  It also may be that writing opens me up to others in terms of my thoughts and ideas. There may be factors that were not directly at top of my mind that end up impacting mood and energy. I know something is not quite lined up as it should. I may be learning and discovering what that may be on the surface and the other issues God is working with me on.  So to all those who read and follow and have any care of what I have to say and share I apologize.  I do know I have pains and wounds of some sort that will need healing as when I examine self the pain is there.  So know this I am hurting for reasons not entirely know. The hurts have led to silence. The hurt leads to growth. And strangely it is my giving speech at church which I have yet to publish on the blog that really was a beginning. I promise to get that posted this week. I hope have not lost all who have followed. I know it is hard when you read others thoughts, they go silent and sometimes never return to writing. Well I have been silent but not gone. Do pray for me and for healing as I in turn work to help others in their process.

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Personal Musing: What we have here is a failure of engagement blamed on a little thing: A virus

Yes, there has been a lack of fresh content on here for some time. It is a failure and wrongdoing on my part. My apologies for that, it has not been what God desires, rather it comes from letting self settle back and not engage in things I need to engage in doing. There of course are reasons for the inaction but still not what God was leading. Now that being said, the biggest reason in the lack of engagement and new writing is this writer has been sick. Either there has been one ongoing long-standing virus or there have been several back to back. So, I got sick. Still, could have engaged in even simple small posting and the re-engaging has been slow going for me as getting healthier. The main point in lesson, is the small things every day matter. It is real easy to get wrapped up in self and pull back, disengage, or not even think about others. Now, there are things, be they ever so small that have profound impact. One simple virus can cause a man to feel ill and to be fighting energy and motivation on an ongoing basis. Small things can lead to choices. Just one more day; do it tomorrow; wait till feeling better; and other rationalizations to failing to engage. See we all need to be obedient, even when we do not feel like it. Things are tough. We focus on self and own comfort or we sit back. Now all that being said, God does have us take times of rest, but sometimes we stay at rest when need to be moving forward and engaging. So, am taking steps to move forward. There are things that need to be done, words need to be written, people need to be reached and help. If do not engage and move forward and get done what needs to get done, it is to my loss. So need to engage the forward movement as God brings changes and pressures around to push and nudge toward changing and engaging. It is a difficult thing and uncomfortable when folks ask what have done to move forward, and you know you have not been doing all you can be doing or should be doing. Well, I need to engage, need to move forward whether I feel the energy or not. Here is a truth, when move past the barriers of self, and do what God is directing, there is joy and freedom from obedience. When there is lack of obedience, there is a drain and we can even be interfering with God is seeking to do. So, the past couple months this one man has had a virus, but there are deeper issues and selfishness and a failure to obey. So I need to take steps of obedience and will see what God will do.

#wcaacc Day Three: Stirrings Energerize to Move from the Silent Waiting

 

Day Three at the American Association of Counselors World Conference was one that was for me a very important day and a day where God was moving in my heart and mind with stirring still being defined. The day for me started with being in a quiet reflective state. The state in part feels like where been at for the past year. During the morning session John Ortberg spoke and he talked about the “Saturday” which is really the time between crisis and resurrection. It is a time of silence where one can only wait. For me this feels like where my life has been at in the past year. I left the National Conference feeling refreshed quickly settled into a time of silence as ended up feeling stuck. No matter how often looked to restart it remained.

 

After that period timed moved to a focus really on the brokenness that exists in life. Going back to the fallen state of man who moved from full access of God’s glory into the fallen state where we now experience shame and fear. We live in a world where people are hurting and hurt. Emerson Emmerich and Wes Stafford bu Emerson in his work and bringing healing and restoration to marriages and Wes Stafford in reaching children throughout the world. In their periods of pain and silence they were activated by their faith and obeyed t shared parts of there stories of pain that God used to shape their call and direction. God and walked the path God laid before them. God activated who they were with faith. So while there was great pain, there was the restorative power of God to draw out who He made them to be. Now during the point of focus on the brokenness, including being overwhelmed with the empathetic response to pain for me the point of saturation was reached. It seemed that I was reaching my limit.

 

Then the final track and training of the day came. Mitchell Elliot spoke on a Christian perspective on emotion. He discussed thought processes regarding emotions from a biblical frame of reference. What God stirred in me was not so much related to the content, but a stirring of energy and a deep longing of moving ahead and seeing the hope and light that God clearly is at work and stirring things within others in similar but different ways than me. God confirmed this further during a mixer with the Society of Christian Psychology division of the American Association of Christian Counseling.

 

Summing up the days experience and stirrings the theme seemed to be that God works in the silence and pain and moves in the direction that is in alignment with His will and plan. He will bring into paths and ways in alignment with who He created us to be and what He does in our life. Taking steps to trust and obey move from periods of silent waiting into the empowered advance. It happens in but a moment. It happens in faith and obedience, and it happens in engagement with others. And God moves in a way always consistent with His design. For me God’s design is one of a person who bring honor to God and is used to bring people to peace and wholeness as God grows me in knowledge, understanding, discernment, and wisdom. There is no doubt in my mind that the seeds have been planted and soil tilled for what lies ahead.

#AACC World Conference: A focus on renewing faith

Today I am headed off to the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference. The theme for the conference this year is renewing your faith. Today as prepare to head to Nashville for the conference there is a definite felt need of renewal and renewed faith. Last year went to the National Conference and felt refreshed but when returned things just stalled for me. There was a distinct reluctance to leave as the conference ended. Still do not have finger on exactly what happened but at each point where attempted to re-engage forward movement in my life it was met with quagmire. The thing is when had left in my mind there were several goals, things that wanted to focus on but each attempt at setting and meeting goals led to little follow through. This stall was seen in many areas of my life. For example, there are several blog articles that were started but never completed or published. They sit unfinished on drive. So today I will leave with a prayer of renewal of faith. There is a need to be not just refreshed but energized to move ahead in all areas of my life.

As sit here just sharing my thoughts as embark on the steps needed to take in order to leave, it occurs to me that the conference begins tomorrow, September 28th. It is the start of Rosh Hashanah, the New Year in God’s festivals. So it is a perfect day to start a conference with the focus of renewal of faith. It is a time to take a good look at what is going on in my life and what to need to change in mind, heart, and action. My thoughts will be posted during the course of the conference on this blog and occasional quick comments on my twitter account @peacebringer. Please take time to pray for me during the four days of the conference and time in Nashville.

Now before close this post it is good to begin with brief musing on renewing faith. Those two simple words have a lot of depth of thought. Renewal can be connected with revive and awakening. It is a recharging and coming alive again. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen per Hebrews 11:1. It has two components assurance and conviction. It is being confident and sure. It is knowing that he who promised is faithful. When faith needs renewal there has been a loss of confidence and surety at some level. There has been a loss of vision or a focus on the barriers of what is ahead. It may even be simply overwhelmed with the task and barriers ahead that the confidence and surety become diminished. In some way the endurance and resoluteness has become diminished by whatever barrier or battle. There is a loss of strength and loss of focus. Even a lack of mental toughness. There is something that happens that leads to a lack of finishing strong. As am writing these thoughts the collapse of the performance of the Minnesota Vikings football team the last three games enters my mind. The perseverance wanes and the result is a faltering. My mind lately has already been stirred to think more of what is an enduring faith. Well, it has to start with the basics. The basics come down to who God is, who he made me to be, and where God is leading to Impact others. At the basic level a renewal of faith will entail being refreshed in confidence and surety in those areas.

The Correct Pentecost/Shavout Date: Lessons on getting things right!

Actually contrary to my previous post the correct date of Pentecost was actually May 31st rather then May 29th as widely reported on both Jewish and Messianic information site.  The error of date was pointed out during forum discussion here: http://www.peacebringer.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1661 and was given sound correction on the matter.  Craig, an author of several blogs with his primary blog being www.messianicmusings.com, actually provided sound detailed information:

The original Hebrew of the relevant passage (I’m not going to look it up at this hour, so this is a loose rewording) says, on the morrow after the Sabbath, hold a sacred assembly (Feast of First Fruits) and then count off seven sabbaths(49 days) and on the morrow after THAT Sabbath, hold a sacred assembly (on the 50th day, which is Shavuot/Pentecost).

As a result, counting from the Feasts of First Fruits, Saturday, May 30 (Gregorian) is Day 49 of the counting of the Omer, so Sunday, May 31 is Shavuot/Pentecost.

So why do so many people – including the rabbis – get it wrong? It has to do with the difficulties of translation, actually.

You see, many people base their impression of the relevant passage on a Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint. In the Septuagint, the rabbis translated “sabbaths” as “weeks.” And that began the confusion.

See, the whole question of when to start counting comes from this. You see, first fruits is to be held “the morrow after the Sabbath,” but it doesn’t say WHICH sabbath specifically at that exact point in the text. So the rabbis (and many in the Christian church) said “Gee, Passover is a Sabbath, too… so first fruits must start the day after that.”

But Passover falls on a different day of the Gregorian week each year. This year, Passover was on a Wednesday and therefore many held First Fruits on Thursday and started counting from that point… because the Greek Septuagint says “weeks” not “sabbaths.” That puts the 50th day on Friday, May 29.

But there’s a problem with all that, or many problems.

First and foremost is this: the Greek Septuagint is a TRANSLATION, not the source language. The source language is the Hebrew, so we need to pay attention to what the Hebrew says, not the Greek.

And the Hebrew word is SHABBATH (Sabbath) not SHAVU’OT (weeks). Count off seven regular Sabbaths is therefore the more accurate translation… meaning the rabbis who translated the Septuagint got it wrong.

Here’s another problem: You can’t count off seven sabbaths and have the morrow AFTER THE SABBATH be the 50thday, unless you get lucky and passover falls on a sabbath (seventh day) that year.

So, the only correct way to read the passage… linguistically, even… not theologically… is that you hold first fruits on the morrow following the next regular sabbath and start counting off seven regular sabbathsfrom there, with the count beginning on the first day of the week (Sunday). Only in this way will the 50th day fall on the morrow after the seventh sabbath, which would be Shavuot/Pentecost.

Now, here’s where there’s a nice TREAT in the spring festivals for Messianics and Christians alike…

If First Fruits is practiced in the proper way… the morrow after the next regular sabbath, so you can count off 49 days and have the 50th day be another morrow after the sabbath and not just any old day… then here’s what happens:

First Fruits is actually symbolic of the resurrection… Yeshua rose on the the first day of the week! This, I think, is why the rabbis probably started counting the Omer differently… as a reaction to Christianity/first-century Yeshua-followers.

If you then count off the Omer, Shavuot/Pentecost ALSO falls on a first day of the week (Sunday).

Does this mean the Sabbathis changed to the first day of the week? No, but I won’t re-open THAT controversy here at length.

It should just be nice to know that when one starts the counting of the omerproperly by placing First Fruits on the morrow after a regular Sabbath, then the resurrection symbolism is restored to that feast of the L-RD because that’s when Yeshua rose from the dead… on a Feast of First Fruits… on the first day of the week (Sunday)!

By rendering the placement of First Fruits as immediately after Passover, as most rabbis do, and rendering the counting as “weeks” instead of “sabbaths,” the spring festivals are thus disconnected from their fulfillment in Yeshua… which would lead folks astray from a proper understanding.

Hope this helps.

The very fact that I had the date wrong on when Shavout really occuredis a real learning experience and gives some important lessons. The first lesson is again the importance of checking out the sources of information and continually be looking for the truth.  It was really easy to look, find the date, and accept it as accurate and act on that information, as I did.   In sense we can often go by what we are told and assume it is correct without verifying for self.  However, the seeking of truth means one needs to check, verify, and recheck the validity of a matter. 

The other lesson that strikes me as important is how easily we settle for what has been established. The fact that multiple sites including those from a “Messianic” perspective just failed to recognize when the counting of Omer is actually to start.  We can easily stick with the way things have always been reported and practiced without challenging ourselves.  This becomes a form of inertia and gives us an inability to be taught.

In actuality, one can find upon looking folks that will insist that the Pentecost calculation should be done differently and give even what seems solid evaluation of the differences.  When I think of this fact, whether we have the day correct or not really becomes irrelevant, what matters is what we do in faith before God and what he leads us to do.  For me Romans 14:4-9 really stress what any believer in Jesus in Messiah should hold to as a mindset: 

(ESV)4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

So when it comes down to it, Biblically which day is considered as a day to honor before God is irrelevant, what is important is that we bring honor to God.  Yet, sometimes each of us can get so caught up in “getting things right” that we ultimately start bringing honor to our point of view rather then ultimately honoring God.  We can become so wrapped up in being right that we lose sight that it is all about bringing Honor to God, to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit.