Why you need copy editors and proofreaders…

It is much easier to spot someone else’s errors because your brain will not as easily assume what the author meant to write. I do try to check my posts, but sometimes things will get by me and I do not have a proofreader. So, please show mercy if you see an error. Just make a note in the comments section and I will fix it.

This former copy editor and proofreader thanks you for your understanding.

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The Twists and Turns of Life…

I have been watching the depths to which our nation has sunk. What used to be a straightforward, bipartisan examination of the merits of the candidate has deteriorated into grandstanding for the next Presidential election and mudslinging. The time of people voting a qualified candidate in even though they happen to disagree with their political philosophy or even if the President is not of their own party…is over.

When all of this bad behaviour is called out, people are accused of being partisan. Hmm…well, if it is one party that is doing this then it is the party that is being partisan, not those who are brave enough to call it out.

It saddens me to see all that is going on. A good man, totally qualified, is then vilified and falsely accused of unspeakable things in an effort to get him to withdraw. When he bravely refuses to withdraw and the evidence shows no support for the accusations and his own evidence showing he was not the person is compelling, then they attack him for the way he reacted.

I know of no other job interview where an eminently qualified person is supposed to be rejected because of his reaction to attacks against his good name and reputation resulting in nasty emails to his wife and threats of violence against his whole family. Seriously? His normal and natural anger and his willingness to call out those who contributed to this mess should disqualify him? I would be very worried if he was NOT angry and upset! I would wonder about his mental and emotional state if he could sit through that calm and collected.

Let’s not forget, no other candidate had to pass a test like that. And I seriously doubt anyone currently sitting on the bench would do any better than Judge Kavanaugh did. In fact, I watched as he worked very hard to control his emotions. If it were me, I think I would have been screaming and yelling.

Well, it is “over” now. I put that in quotes because, even though he is confirmed, you can bet there will still be some noise for awhile and he and his family will live with this for the rest of their lives. How very sad.

All of this had an effect on me. Not only am I a survivor of rape, but I have also been falsely accused of very serious things. I was attacked and vilified. To this day, some believe me innocent and some believe me guilty. It will never be “fixed”. It will never go back to what it was. Friendships were lost. I have moved on.

However, all these shenanigans have brought a lot of it back up for me. Between that and some other personal challenges, what had become a fairly “quiet” time of year for me has now come to the fore once again. Thankfully, it is not in the same way as many years ago, but it is here. It is time to process some more.

I will be OK. The very faith that made me a target previously, also kept/keeps me strong. The Creator is bigger than any and all attacks against me or against any person of right standing.

I really feel for Justice Kavanaugh and for his family. I feel for his friends having to watch him go through this. I ask the Creator to bless them for standing with him in this trial and to bless him for his bravery and refusal to back down.

I sure hope our country turns around. For too long, we have allowed certain people in leadership (and I don’t just mean government leadership) to divide us. They work hard to create barriers between us over a variety of things. Color. Culture. Sexuality. Gender. Income. You name it, they will find a way to divide us over it.

Why do they do this? Because dividing is one of the steps to conquering. While people are up in arms about this or that, our dear leaders have been taking steps to turn this nation away from its roots, away from the Constitution. They want us to become a socialist nation. And because they have done such a good job of revising the history of our nation and of the world, most young people today have no idea what socialism really is or how it leads to Marxist Communism. They have no idea of the millions of people who have suffered and been murdered in the name of Socialism aka Progressivism.

I pray people educate themselves and wake up. Read older history books. Read books by people who lived through the Communism of the Soviet Union and other communist nations. Hear from them what it was like. Listen to people who have come out of those nations not that long ago. They are there. They are trying to speak, but no one wants to listen so they are silenced. Find them and listen to them. They know what communism looks like and they are telling us we are on our way. They came here to get away from it and now they are fearful for they see what happened in their previous country starting to happen here.

Read up on our form of government. Compare it to other forms and prepare to be amazed. When the Constitution is actually followed properly, there is no other country like us in the world. Think about it. If our nation was so bad, why do so many people from all over the world want to come here? Does that make sense?

Will we wake up? Will we realize what is going on before it is too late? Will we turn to our Creator for help? The evil that wants to rule and run this world is bigger than we are. We need help and we need righteous men and women to rise up and become leaders.

Will we learn in time? Or is it too late? I hope you think about it…and then act.

Posted in Beit-Shalom, Creator, government, Lessons, Life, Personal, Reflections, this world, Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The stresses of life…

The stresses of life…

This last month has been very full with responsibilities, losses, joys, sorrows and life in general. Even positive things can be stressful (think of a wedding or buying a home) and that stress can affect a person’s body and health.

I am so glad I have my Creator to walk with me through life…through the ups and through the downs…through the joys and through the sorrows…through the calms and through the shocks. He is faithful.

The High Holy Days (HHD) in the fall are jam packed. They come close together. There are many services to attend and I have the responsibility of making sure there is an Admin in every chat. It is an honor and a privilege to have that responsibility. I love being able to serve my spiritual family.

I was shocked by two losses. One is the loss of Ari Fuld, of blessed memory. Ari was like his name indicates…a lion for Israel. He told it like it is and did not dance around the truth. He hosted a radio program and was in the IDF, always leading his men and carrying the heavy stuff just like the younger guys. Yet, he was also a rabbi who taught out of Torah and loved Hashem. He was personable and willing to answer people’s questions about anything.

Sadly, a coward stabbed him in the back leaving a wife and four young children behind. He was a hero in life and a hero in death as he pursued his attacker and injured him in an attempt to keep him from hurting anyone else. To the end, Ari Fuld protected Israel and his community. He was always fighting for truth, freedom and safety.

Another loss was connection with a ministry. I won’t go into the details because it is not important. Let me just say it was a shock that a whole group of us are reeling from. A long time relationship is gone because of choices made by the other ministry.

There are other things that have impacted me during this last month, but they are personal and I prefer not to share them at this time. I only want to acknowledge that those things also added to the stress of this month.

But I am here, very blessed to have another day of life and service as I await the coming of Mashiach/Messiah. Yeshua is coming to set up the Messianic kingdom. There will be a new heaven and new earth. The Fall HHD are prophetic in nature, pointing us to Mashiach’s coming. I so long for that time, but I also want to see everyone get in. So, I wait until everyone who is going to get in…does.

May you be blessed as you seek our creator!

Posted in Beit-Shalom, Feasts, Life, mashiach, messiah, Musings, Personal, prophecy, Reflections, spiritual journey, Spirituality, this world, Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Times that try men’s souls…

Times that try men’s souls…

As I watch what is happening in my country, a famous quote comes to mind. It was Thomas Paine who so famously said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” What was the context? The Revolutionary War. Here is the whole quote:

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated”

We are in a war of another kind right now. It is the war for the preservation of our nation and of our very world. Ever since the first garden, we have had a spiritual adversary who has been set on destroying this world and all in it. This adversary hates the Creator, hates peace and tries to get humans to do evil against the Creator and one another. You can see the results all around us.

What is saddest of all is that it does not have to be this way. Once you properly identify the real enemy, he becomes powerless. He can only win by lies and deceit. When a people walk in Truth, there will be no evil. When they walk in lies, there will be evil everywhere and that is exactly what we see, is it not?

These times DO try men’s (people’s) souls. It seems as if darkness continues to descend upon our nation and evil appears to win. I thank my Creator that this is not all there is. There is a perfect world to come for those who seek Him and want to be in right relationship with Him. This is a proving ground, a refining time. Who do we serve?

One of the lies of our adversary is that we can serve ourselves. In reality, the One who made us knows what is best for us, which is why we should obey Him and serve Him. Left to our own thoughts and devices, well, the results of our choices are pretty obvious. When we serve ourselves, we really serve the adversary for anything that is opposed to the Creator is adversarial.

Think about it. What kind of world do you really want? Truth is worth fighting for…and living for. Are we so unwilling to put our own desires aside for the betterment of others? Our Creator teaches us to love Him first and foremost and to love others as ourselves. Is that what we see happening in the world? I see love me, me, me…even if it means you lose your rights and your freedoms.

The darkness over our nation can be scary. I remind myself on a regular basis that my most important citizenship is not the nation within which I am blessed to live, but the kingdom in which am more blessed to belong.

Where does your loyalty lie? Are you willing to do what it takes to keep our nation free? Well, it is a battle on two front. It is not just about fighting the evil running rampant, it is about sharing the truth that changes the hearts and souls of people so they will no longer be pawns to the adversary. We need to share that they are not evolved, simply being a higher form of animal. NO! They are created in the very image of the Creator! They are loved. They have purpose. This is not all there is. There is a perfect world to come and the Creator WANTS them there! Show them the Light. Show them the door to Truth.

And do NOT be afraid. Yes, these are times that try men’s souls, but they also prove men’s souls. The victory goes to the overcomer!

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One year out…another year in

As this time of self reflection comes to a close, I am thinking about the past year and the year to come. Did I make the most of the past year? Will I make the most of the coming year? Did I grow and mature during this last year? Will I grow and mature more in the next?
 
I never want to stagnate. I always want to keep growing, learning, and maturing in soul and spirit. I want to become all I was created to be and make a positive difference in my community and in the lives of the people around me.
I want to be a light that shines in darkness, a comfort in the midst of grieving, a hope in the midst of despair, a kind word and smile in the midst of loneliness.
Posted in Beit-Shalom, Life, Personal, Reflections, repentance, spiritual journey, Spirituality, Teshuvah, Thoughts, Yom Kippur | Tagged , | Leave a comment

When worlds collide…

I live in two worlds…my Creator’s and man’s. Each one has its own calendar and they often collide. These collisions actually happen every weekend, but this month is the perfect storm of collisions.

The Fall High Holidays are very important to me…part of the Creator’s calendar. These are His moedim…appointed times. Yeshua (Jesus) made it clear that none of the Torah (teachings… which include commands) were done away with. In fact, Yeshua taught that anyone who annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Clearly, this is important to Yeshua. This is about obedience. Both the annuller/breaker and the keeper are in the kingdom of heaven. It is a question of who is considered least and how is considered great. However, I believe there is something that is even greater than obedience…not replacing obedience, but deepening it. That something is love.

We are to love our Creator with everything we are and everything we have. We are to love our fellows as ourselves. Our motivation for obedience is to be love. Every thing we say and think and do is to come from a heart that loves our Creator and our fellows.

We see in the Bible our Creator placing a very high value on obedience and on love. In fact, love is of the ultimate importance and we are told that what comes out of the mouth is actually coming from our hearts. Are our words reflecting a heart of love?

Something to think about.

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Elul 29 – Erev Rosh HaShanah tonight

Elul 29 – Erev Rosh HaShanah tonight

Why are we lazy? Why do we overeat? Why are we always getting angry?

If we are ever reprimanded for improper behavior, we usually have one ultimate response. “That’s how I am.” We are what we are.

This answer, in effect, is a way of saying we are not responsible for our actions. We are saying we cannot change ourselves because that is how we were constructed. In other words, we do not have the free choice to be otherwise.

“That’s how I am” is such a popular response because, in fact, most of us do not believe we have free choice. This is one of the characteristics of modern man.

There are good reasons why we like to avoid the belief we have free choice. One is it is more convenient for us to do so, for it helps us avoid guilty feelings for any of our shortcomings. We are interested in following our lower desires and do not want to feel guilty about our behavior. No one needs to feel guilty about a nature over which he has no control.

Another reason is the deterministic attitude of science, which has permeated all levels of popular thought. The evolutionary description of the origins of man turns him into another animal. We are, like animals, a bundle of nerve-endings and emotional drives. Animals have no control over themselves. It follows that neither do we.

If our appetites and drives define us, then we have no reason to change.

Rosh HaShanah is a time when we can begin ridding ourselves of this attitude. This is the day, the first of Tishrei, which corresponds to that day when the first human was created. We, as well, are able in a sense to recreate ourselves on this day.

Man’s creation was unique among all beings created before him. He was the first being with free choice. Only he could decide his fate. Only he could choose between good and evil. Only he could rise above his nature.

Man was given this unique quality because God wanted him to choose out of his free will to recognize Him and to adhere to His laws. In fact, this is the purpose for which God brought all of creation into being. To do this, man had to have free choice.

This is why the Sages say, metaphorically, that on the first Rosh HaShanah, God was recognized for the first time as “King.” Similarly, in our prayers on every Rosh HaShanah, we address God as our “King.” King in Hebrew has a special connotation. A king is a sovereign who is accepted willfully by his citizens, unlike a ruler who imposes himself on his subjects against their will. Since a “being with free will to choose” now existed, God could now be recognized for the first time as “King,” willfully accepted by mankind.

The first day of man’s creation is also the day of his judgment. Because man has free will, he is responsible for his actions. A responsible person has to answer for his actions. Just as on that first Rosh HaShanah man was given life, similarly on that day every year God judges man as to whether he deserves to live for another year.  

This judgment depends upon whether or not man has used, and intends to use, his free will properly. If man chooses to use it to subordinate himself to God, he deserves life; otherwise he does not.

Choosing to subordinate our lives to the service of God is not an easy task. But it is not possible unless we bring home to ourselves that we have free choice to act as we want. For without the capacity to choose, how can we decide how to direct our lives?

We never lose the capacity to control ourselves. We never lose the capacity to choose.

The holiday of Rosh HaShanah is a time when it is vital that we regain our belief in our free choice and that there is nothing stopping us from changing. The next time we feel like saying, “That’s how I am,” we should ask ourselves instead, “What would I prefer to be?”

 

Shared by our Rebbetzin Judy Sekulow  (original source unknown)

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Elul 28 – Approach to Rosh HaShanah

Elul 28 – Approach to Rosh HaShanah

Elul, the Jewish month preceding Rosh HaShanah is known to be an acronym for the Hebrew words: Ani l’dodi v’dodi li – “I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me.” This month we have had a special opportunity to become closer to God, our “dodi,” our beloved friend who is anxiously awaits us.

However, as Rosh HaShanah approaches and the 10 Days of Repentance begin, we start shift to referring to God as “Avinu Malkeinu” – our Father and our King.

What happened to the “friendly” God we were getting to know?

Why the sudden shift in gears from love and closeness to fear of a stern, kingly figure?

In Elul, God is the visiting friend who knocks on our door, as hinted to in the Song of Songs that writes (5:2) “the sound of my friend (dodi) knocking”. The question is: Do we hear the knocking? And if we do, do we open the door and let Him in?

During Elul, God is no longer the stranger we leave standing at the closed door. He’s our close friend who we welcome into our home, hoping he’ll stay a while. And when an invited guest staying in our home arrives from afar, we open the door, help him in with all his bags, and move things around in the spare room to make some space, change the sheets and make sure he feels at home.

Likewise, we need to make God feel at home as our houseguest. First of all, we need to clear some stuff out and make room for God in our hearts. It would be rude to ignore our Guest. We need to spend some quality time with Him, come up with topics of conversation that will interest Him, ask Him what He would like and how we can best accommodate Him. This is the work of Elul, when “I am for my beloved friend as my beloved friend is for me.”

Just how much space do we have to set aside for God? The Midrash on Song of Songs (5:2) says: “Open up for me an opening like the eye of a needle and in turn I will enlarge it to be an opening through which wagons can enter.”

God just needs an opening as big as an eye of the needle. If you take the initiative and allow God to enter into your life through a tiny hole, you’ll see exponentially greater results.

How do we put this into practice during Elul? Making room for God and letting Him in starts by clearing out distractions and desires that control us and get us off track. For different people, these distractions manifest themselves in different ways. For some, it may be spending too much time on their mobile device, surfing the internet, watching T.V. or movies, or playing video games.

For some, it might be overeating or an inability to share of their wealth or possessions with others, and for others it may be a tendency to hurt their loved ones with words, lies or disloyalty.

This is the time to take a look at your values and priorities, rearrange some furniture where you know you’re clearly blowing it, and start putting together a plan of action for realignment.

So as we move toward Rosh HaShanah, we need to make the firm commitment to create a permanent, defined place where God can make Himself comfortable, become a part of the family, and move into our home.

We’re not just moving things aside for the week, waiting for Him to leave so we’ll have our space back. Rather it is taking one small step within an area of our lives we know needs fixing, and relegating control of that small space to God.

Now it is a room He can call His own. It may start small, but it’s His room, His permanent dwelling space. God now becomes our father, and He’s moving in!

On Rosh HaShanah our relationship with God changes from beloved friend to King. We come to realize that God is not just our houseguest. He’s not even an elderly father we’re allowing to move in. Rather, He is the King!

It’s His house, He is the Host and He is benevolently providing us with everything we need to live a comfortable, productive existence. On Rosh HaShanah, we coronate God as King, keeping in mind the world and everything in it is ultimately His anyway.

He has a purpose for each and every one of us. On the first day of the new year, as we set the “destination” on our GPS device for the journey of the coming year, our goals and priorities need to take that in to consideration. This has to be our perspective. We’re not the ones making space for God; He’s the One making space for us.

Are you ready to crown Him King? Then come Join us at Congregation Beth Adonai @ 8:00pm tomorrow night and start the process.

 

Shared by our Rebbetzin Judy Sekulow (original source unknown)

Posted in Beit-Shalom, Elul, Life, repentance, Rosh Hoshanah, spiritual journey, Spirituality, Teshuvah | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment