Hanukkah 2020 Message

חג שמח! Chag Sameach!

Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate this joyous holiday.

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The Torah parashah for this Shabbat is called Vayeshev, which relates the story of Joseph. It begins with Israel giving him the coat of many colors, how he tells his brothers of his dreams showing he will rule over them one day which leads, along with other reasons, to his brother’s plot to destroy him, to him being sold into slavery in Egypt. While a slave, he is unjustly accused by his master’s wife, thrown into jail, and while there he interprets the dreams of the Pharaoh’s Baker and Cupbearer. The parashah ends with how the Cupbearer, after being restored to his post as Joseph saw in his dream, forgets to mention Joseph to the Pharaoh.

I think, though, instead of the parashah, I would like to talk with you about Hanukkah. After all, we all know the story of Joseph, but how many really know about Hanukkah?

You won’t find the story anywhere in the Tanakh, and it’s only mentioned, briefly, in the New Covenant. The places you will find the story of Hanukkah, which is told in the Books of the Maccabees (there were originally supposed to be five books, but they have been condensed into two), is in the Talmud, Septuagint, and the Apocrypha, and the only place you will find the Apocrypha included with scripture is in a Catholic Bible.

In the first book of the Maccabees, we are told how Antiochus IV Epiphanes was continuing the program called Hellenization, which was started about 1-1/2 Centuries earlier by Alexander the Great. Hellenization is the replacement of all cultures with that of the Greeks, and so in Judea, under Antiochus, circumcision and any other Jewish ritual or worship was strictly forbidden. He sacrificed pigs on the altar in the Temple of Solomon, which is the abomination that causes desecration Daniel prophesied about.

One of the generals, in a town called Modein, was enforcing these laws and as one of the priests of the town was converting to the Greek religion, the father of the Maccabees, Mattathias, became zealous for God and killed the priest, as well as the soldiers of the king. After this act of rebellion, he and his 5 sons hid in the desert, and as word got around he gained followers who wanted to rid Judea of the Seleucid rule.

Eventually, there was a full-out rebellion, and these Jewish farmers and shepherds, with little more than pitchforks, hoes, and other farming implements, fought against what was probably the best armed and most experienced professional army the world knew at that time. Imagine a man with a sharpened stick going against an elephant wearing armor plating on its body and archers sitting on its back. That would be like you or I standing in the way of an Abrams tank!

And the real miracle of Hanukkah doesn’t have to do with a lamp but is the fact that we won!

The temple was cleansed and ritual purification was to begin, with the relighting of the Ner Tamid, the Eternal Light that was never supposed to be extinguished.

Now, here is where the story is embellished with Jewish mythology from the Babylonian Talmud: there is no mention of oil lasting 8 days anywhere in the books of the Maccabees. According to legend, there was only one day’s worth of ritually purified oil for the Ner Tamid, but it miraculously burned for 8 days, which was just the right amount of time needed to produce more ritually pure oil. This is why we light the Hanukkiah (it is not a menorah) with a new candle every night during the 8 nights of Hanukkah. The ninth candle, which is called the Shamash (leader) is used to light the other candles as we recite the prayer for the Hanukkah candles:

Bah-rookh ah-tah ah-doh-noi, eh-loh-hay-noo meh-lekh hah-oh-lahm, ah-sher ki-deh-shah-noo beh-mitz-voh-tahv, veh-tzee-vah-noo, leh-hahd-lik nayr, shel kha-noo-kah
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

The second book of the Maccabees is a continuation of the story and outlines the events after the initial rebellion, the leadership by the oldest Maccabee, Judas, and how he restored Jewish rule and freedom of worship in Judea. It also tells of the eventual plots against the Maccabees, resulting in they’re being deposed by the very people they saved.

There are also a number of atrocities outlined in these books regarding the torture of the Jews who refused to accept the Greek religion. When Antiochus heard of a rebellion, his army slaughtered some 40,000 men, women, and children, and another 40,000 were enslaved.

One story from 2 Maccabees is about a woman with 7 sons. They were told they had to eat pork but each refused, being tortured to death, one-by-one, with their mother watching. As the last son refused, it is told how the general even begged the mother to tell her son to comply so she wouldn’t have to lose all her children. Instead of telling her son to eat the pork, she told him not to eat the pork so that the death of the other sons was not for nothing.

Other stories of torture include ripping pregnant women apart, sliding men down a ramp with sharp knives along the way, whippings, cutting out of tongues, hands being cut off, and roasting people alive on a metal pan over a burning hot fire.


But, despite the torture, the desire by the populace to do what is right in God’s eyes, even to the point of death, is what the Greeks faced, although there were many who turned from the faith. Eventually, God came to the aid of his people when they rebelled against this evil.

There are some who refuse to celebrate Hanukkah simply because it isn’t commanded in the Tanakh, even though they recognize it is meant to glorify God. That is their choice, and I suspect they don’t celebrate Purim or Simchat Torah, either, since neither of those holidays are commanded. And, again, I don’t want to originate a discussion about whether or not you should celebrate Hanukkah or Purim or Christmas or Easter, or whatever- frankly, if it isn’t commanded to be celebrated, then it is a personal choice.

Today we see a similar sort of evil in America: not that there is a king taking away our ritual worship and torturing people, but there is a growing societal conversion from morality and righteousness to selfishness and the condoning, actually more than that, the enthusiastic supporting of sinfulness.

Have you noticed that in family-oriented commercials now there is almost always a same-sex couple? Have you heard about how already there are some states that don’t just allow abortion, but now they are able to kill the child after it has been born if the abortion failed!

Hello, Molech- welcome back!

The recent pandemic has been turned into a political weapon, and instead of helping people cope with it, many of our country’s leaders are using it to shut down businesses and cause fear, with which they can control the populace.

There is no temple in Jerusalem suffering the abomination that causes desecration, but we can see it in our society! I won’t go off on a rampage here, and I don’t want to initiate any political battles, but it is clear to anyone who knows anything about the Lord, God that our society is not all that far away from what Antiochus was trying to do some 200 or so years before the Messiah came, which was to remove all God-fearing worship and lifestyle from the society.

Hanukkah is a joyous celebration of the miraculous overthrow by God-fearing people of a corrupted and evil government, and I have to wonder: couldn’t we use a Mattathias or a Judas Maccabee, today?

Thank you for being here; please subscribe, share these messages with everyone you know, and I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom!

Always Give Thanks to God

I am waiting for my new webcam to come and also will be busy baking dessert for this afternoon’s feast, so I am going to make this quick and easy.

With respect to everyone’s personal opinion about man-made holidays, for those who will be giving thanks to God for all he has done for you and for others, my wife and I wish you a peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving Day.

It is NEVER wrong to give thanks to God.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

How Can We Help Sinners If We Are Separated?

That’s a good question, isn’t it? I mean, if we are to be separated from sin, and not take part in sinful activities, how can we ever reach the sinners?

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Yeshua ate and drank with sinners- all four Gospels write about that, and how it was used as an attack against him. Yet, he said it best when he replied that he came to call the sinner, not the righteous.

We are also commanded to be holy, as God is holy, but how can we be holy, which means separated, if we are in the midst of sinners?

It seems to be a complicated situation, but the answer is really quite simple: the separation we need to maintain is not a physical one, but a spiritual one, which we demonstrate in the real world through our speech, actions, and lifestyle.

In Mark 7, Yeshua said that what makes us unclean is what comes from our hearts. Now, in that case, he was talking of ceremonial uncleanliness with relation to traditionally washing the hands before eating, but I think we can safely take that teaching one step further.

Being in the company of sinners doesn’t make you a sinner, nor does it make you unclean, so long as you, yourself, maintain separation from what is in the hearts of those sinners, and by doing so, you become a symbol and example to them of righteousness.

We need to be separate but not separated- what good is a lamp if it is placed under a bowl, right? We need to let our light shine, but not in the sunlight- that is useless. We aren’t told to preach to the choir, we are told to be a light in the darkest of places.

In other words, we are to work in a fish market for hours at a time, and come out still smelling like a rose. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? But, as Yeshua said, with God, all things are possible.

When we are told to be holy as God is holy, that is a spiritual condition. We are humans, born into and with iniquity and to think that we could ever be really holy, inside and out, is a pipe dream. God told Cain that sin is crouching at his door, and that means we cannot ignore the existence of sin within us. That is what the Enemy wants us to think because that is how he can sneak sin into our lives.

When we are always aware of the potential to sin, we will always be on the alert. There are a number of biblical parables Yeshua gave about always being prepared, and I believe that also means to always recognize the sin within ourselves, which is how we can be in the midst of sinners and stay separated from their sin.

If you want to fulfill the commandment to find new disciples, you will have to go where angels dare not go. You will have to go into the lion’s den, into the fiery furnace, and do so willingly. That doesn’t make you unclean- remember those three guys came out of the furnace without even smelling like smoke, so you, too, can be amongst sinners without getting your clothes stained.

Be the light in the darkness, and always be aware of your own weakness- that, and being guided by the Ruach HaKodesh, is how you can be surrounded by sinners and still be separated from them.

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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

I Got Nothing! (Again)

Usually, I come up with messages, inspiration, whatever you want to call it when I am riding my bicycle and praying. Too often I can’t stop and add it to my calendar, and by the time I get home, I forget what it was. I don’t know if that’s because it wasn’t really what God would want me to say, or just a result of my age.


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In any case, I have nothing on my calendar except to make a blood donation at 1100 this morning. That, and a whole lot of complaints about the Facebook postings I see, which reminds me how easily people can be manipulated.

And why is that? Why does it seem to be so easy to manipulate thousands, if not millions of people? Josef Goebbels did it to the German people, the Creel Committee (under President Wilson) did it to Americans so we would enter WWI, and it seems that both the news and social media are now the means to get people to believe whatever propaganda the “powers that be” want them to accept.

And maybe that’s the message for today- don’t believe anyone. And you can believe me when I tell you that.

I saw a post about a secret government unit that identifies cyber-security infractions and it is being used to register and document all the voter fraud that is happening in the current US election. It has captured the use of a CIA program designed to manipulate voting results, which has been used in foreign elections but is now being used in this Presidential election.

And here’s what I found interesting: they posted a picture of what is supposedly the room where this is done, and all the computers were running Windows 8:

So I have to wonder how did anyone manage to get a picture of such a secret unit, and why is a top-of-the-line tech unit using an operating system that was replaced many years ago?

The obvious answer is something ain’t kosher about this. Maybe it’s the picture or maybe it’s the whole story, but whether or not it is legit, I am taking it as nothing more than some fertilizer someone is trying to spread to grow their story.

And you know what? It might all be true! But not for me; at least, not until it becomes public knowledge in a verifiable way.

The problem is that so many people will buy into this, immediately, because it is what they want to hear. And that is how people can be manipulated: tell them what they want to hear and they will buy into it, ASAP!

So when you listen, don’t listen with your glands but with your brains, and don’t believe anything you hear, no matter how wonderful it sounds, or (for that matter) how bad it sounds. Do your own research, realizing that if you research on the Internet, you are trying to smell a rose which is hidden in the middle of a fertilizer factory, so be careful, use discernment, and believe only that which seems to be believable.

As the old saying goes: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

One last thing for you: this system of reviewing and thinking about what you see and hear is not just something that is good to do when listening to the news or on social media, but it is really important to develop this talent because we are warned about false messiahs and how many will be turned from the true faith by them. Those will be the people who want to hear only what they like and ignore what they don’t like; they are the ones who tell you they love the Lord but will be first in line to take the mark when it is offered. And how can that happen? It will happen because they will hear what they want to believe and not use discernment.

When people do not think with their brains but, instead, believe with their emotions, they are easily led astray.

God has given you not just a brain, but through his Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), you have the opportunity to call upon his divine discernment so PLEASE! -for your own sake, use it!

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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Are Different Versions of the Bible a Problem?

If you go to a book store, to the Religion section, and look for a Bible, you will see many different versions. A quick Google search shows no less than 35 different versions of the Bible.

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Even more confusing is the fact that all these different versions have been translated into hundreds of different languages, each with its own challenge to express the proper meaning and not have it lost in translation, resulting in the situation where now we have so many different versions of the Bible in the world that it is impossible to find two different versions that match, exactly.

In fact, from what I understand about copyright laws, there is a limitation on how many verses can be written exactly the same (somewhere around 500) without written permission from the author, and they cannot be presented as an entire work.

In other words, it is illegal (at least here in the USA) to have two different versions of the Bible that are exactly the same.

So, nu? If the Complete Jewish Bible says one thing, and the New International Version says another thing, and the King James Version says something completely different, which one is correct?

I could give examples of these differences, but that would take more time than is necessary, so if you don’t believe there are significant differences, just use whichever search engine you like (Google, Bing, Mozilla, Yahoo, for example) and do a search for a few of your favorite verses, then compare the “hits” you get. I am sure you will be amazed at how different some of them are.

For me, there is one version I would never recommend, and those are the ones that call themselves extended language versions. The reason is that they are “filling in the gaps”, so to speak, of what is written that may be difficult to comprehend, or they just add a lot of words to try to make some things easier to understand. We are told, very plainly, in Deuteronomy (more than once, in fact) that we should not add to or remove any words from the book, so (in my opinion) by God’s command these extended language versions are just not the place where you want to get your information from.

So, again, who do we believe? How we can trust what we are told is “God’s Word” when the word, itself, is so different?

My belief is that we can trust what we read, no matter which version we read it from, so long as we read it trusting not in written words in a book, but in God’s Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to give us the true understanding of what God is telling us.

And my belief is founded in what Isaiah heard God say, which was that God’s word will never return void (Isaiah 55:11)!

So, when people argue the Bible is untrustworthy because it has so many differences between different versions, or that the Zachariah mentioned in Luke is not the same Zachariah mentioned in Matthew or any other number of apparent discrepancies within the Bible and between Bibles, my reply is that human error will be found in anything humans do, but God can overcome human error.

The way God does this is through his Holy Spirit in those who have accepted it, and USE it when reading the Bible. Yes, we can have the Holy Spirit but ignore it, if we choose to, and often (too often!) I have heard people say things that aren’t from the Bible, but from their own flesh, yet they use the Bible to justify what they want.

I am sure you have run into this, as well- someone who clearly has decided what they want the Bible to mean, then pull passages and verses out of context in order to prove their point.

You usually cannot argue effectively with these people because they are the living example of the old saying “I have already made up my mind- don’t confuse me with facts.”

The most important thing about the Bible is that it tells us how to worship God and how God wants us to treat each other. God doesn’t have any religion, just his instructions to us; and when I say “us”, I don’t mean just Jews, I mean everyone. God told Moses that the Israelites would be his nation of priests (Exodus 19:6), which means priests to the world, and as such the instructions God gave to the Jewish people through Moses are meant to be taught to the world. That is why he told Abraham, long before the Torah was given, that his descendants would be a blessing to the world.

Let’s face it, salvation is the goal we all want, and every Bible ever written will have one thing that will always be understood to have the same meaning: Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. In other words, it is through faith, and faith alone, that we can be saved.

The problems start after this, usually with the confusion about faith and works, but that’s for a different message.

The Bible is not God- it is a book about God. And since it is written by humans, it will have faults. The most dependable word of God is the Torah, and I mean a Hebrew Torah because of all the painstaking steps that are employed when copying one Torah to another; for example, did you know that when the Sofer (Scribe) copies one new Torah from another, one of the tests they use to ensure accuracy is that every single letter is counted to make sure nothing is missing?

Read the Bible, read whichever version you find easiest to understand, but never read it without first praying to God to give you HIS understanding of what the words are supposed to mean. Remember that Yeshua didn’t teach just the P’shat, which means the literal meaning of the words, but he taught the Remes, which is the deeper, spiritual meaning of the words, so don’t let different words or what seem to be discrepancies confuse you.

Know what God wants you to learn from his word by praying for guidance by, and listening to, the Ruach HaKodesh, which God will help you hear when you ask him to do so.

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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

God’s Punishment Proves His Love

We all know there are more than one or two proverbs about how we should not avoid disciplining our children, which means that punishment is mandatory for raising a child correctly.

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But if we punish them, it causes them pain and can even traumatize them, so if we harm and traumatize our children does that mean we don’t really love them?

Of course not!

All God’s creatures need to be taught what is good and what is bad for them, whether it be a mother lion teaching her cubs to avoid the cobra or a human mother teaching her child to stay away from strangers. All youngsters need to learn what is useful and good for them, and what is harmful, and since humans are, by nature, rebellious and curious, the lessons often need to be accentuated with a slap on the tuchas to demonstrate that doing wrong hurts.

God loves his children more than any human ever could, and being God, his punishments can be more terrible than any human could come up with.

The main difference between human punishment and God’s punishment is that humans almost always punish when they are frustrated and angry. Too often, because humans are self-absorbed and prideful, parents will punish as much because the child isn’t listening to them as because of what the child is doing, and often we punish others as a means of “getting back” at them.

God punishes us for disobedience, as well, but he has no prideful desire to get back at us, and when he punishes it is usually after a long and drawn-out period of him putting up with our rebellion and sin. Humans punish pretty much right away, but God waits a long time before issuing his punishment because he loves us so much, he wants to give us more than enough time to repent before we have to suffer the consequences of our actions.

And when we repent, we are forgiven. But, although we have forgiveness through Yeshua the Messiah, that fact is not going to save you from the consequences of what you do while you are alive. Forgiveness of sin through the Messiah is on an eternal plane, and is meant for our spiritual beings; while we are on the earth, we will suffer for our sins.

Another thing about God’s punishment, which is usually referred to in the Tanakh as God’s curses, is that he doesn’t really do anything to us; he will simply leave us alone. The world is a cursed and fallen place and when you separate yourself from God by sinning, he will simply stop protecting you from the world. Without God’s kippur (covering) of protection, it is you against the world, and I don’t have to tell you who will win that battle.

However useful punishment can be, it is a two-edged sword: it can humiliate us to the point where we stop doing what we want to do and realize that God’s way is best, or we can become angry and more rebellious, blaming God for the problems we have (which we caused) and turn further away from him.

Humility and knowledge of the Bible are things, in my opinion, which will help us choose to have the right reaction to God’s punishment, and believe me, it is always our choice how we react. Whether we obey or reject God, it is always our decision, and even if you are following the teachings of another, it is your decision to accept those teachings as valid.

“I was just following orders” did not save anyone at the Nuremberg Trials, and it certainly won’t save you from God’s judgment.

If you feel you are being punished by God, be grateful that he loves you enough to try to steer you back into communion with him, and for your own sake, humble yourself and listen to him. God has told us in his Torah all we need to know in order to worship him correctly and treat each other as he wants us to do; and, when we do that, we will be blessed- that is his promise, and he always keeps his promises.

Read Deuteronomy 28 and see what wonderful blessings you can have for simply living your life as God instructs; and, while you’re there, after the blessings read the punishments that will follow if you choose to ignore God.

Punishment is necessary for learning- that’s just the way it works. If you ever have to punish someone, do so using God’s example, and don’t punish from anger or spite or a need for revenge, but do so with love and desire to help the one you are punishing; if you can do that, then you may just save their life.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe, share these messages with others and until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Are Man-Made Holidays Bad?

As we come closer to Christmas, we will begin to see the numerous postings about this holiday, about how it is pagan, and about how no “real” Christian should celebrate it.

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We will also see postings to justify Christmas, saying just because it is celebrated on the same day as an old pagan holiday, that doesn’t make it a pagan celebration.

We will see the same spurt of nonsense come April regarding Easter.

I say it is all nonsense because I know that anything being done in Yeshua’s name or which honors Yeshua and/or God is OK by him.

How do I know that? Simple: Yeshua said so.

Both the Gospels of Mark and Luke relate how the Talmudim (students) of Yeshua told him of a man that was driving out demons in Yeshua’s name, and they told him to stop doing that because he wasn’t one of them. Yeshua told them they were wrong to do that.

This is what he told them:

Mark 9:40For whoever is not against us is for us.

Luke 9:50Yeshua said to him, “Don’t stop such people, because whoever isn’t against you is for you.

Yeshua understood that whatever was done for good in his name or that brought glory to God was something that confirmed he is the Messiah, and as such, could never be used against him, meaning to deny God’s power and authority.

In plain English, whatever we do that gives honor and glory to God (or his Messiah, Yeshua) is a good thing.

So what’s this have to do with Christmas and Easter?

I’m glad you asked

These Christian holidays, which (for the record) being Jewish I never really cared about, anyway, are man-made, they are not biblical, and they are, essentially, a rebranding of an old, pagan holiday. But they do not celebrate the pagan gods; they celebrate, respectively, the birth and resurrection of the Messiah of God, and as such they bring glory to God.

And, because Yeshua said that whatever is done for him is not against him, i.e. it is a good thing to do, then these holidays must be acceptable to Yeshua.

And what is acceptable to Yeshua is acceptable to God.

Despite the modern-day commercialization of, or the original reason for those days to be celebrated, Christmas and Easter are good things, and celebrating them to honor and glorify Yeshua and God is also a good thing.

And, for that matter, any man-made holiday created to glorify God or the Messiah is a good thing.

Now, if you still feel that because these are man-made holidays or because they were originally celebrations to glorify pagan gods, therefore they shouldn’t be celebrated, then go ahead and reject them. That’s fine- they aren’t required celebrations according to God’s instructions in Leviticus 23, and choosing not to celebrate them is not a sin or condemnable.

But telling others that they shouldn’t celebrate is no different than what the disciples did when they tried to stop the man expelling demons in Yeshua’s name, which Yeshua said was a wrong thing to do.

Whoever is not against is for, so anything we do in order to honor and glorify God or Messiah is a good thing.

And that comes straight from Yeshua, himself!

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And remember… I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Who’s Really in Charge?

Do you believe in Predestination? Do you think that God has already planned your entire life and that no matter what you do, it is already set out? Is it true that you are either saved or condemned to hell before you are even able to determine right from wrong?

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And while we’re asking questions, do you believe that God is in charge? Is God really running the show, making the decisions every moment of every day, and ensuring that all he wants anyone do to is being done, just the way he wants it?

I don’t believe in predestination, and I’ll tell you why: God told Cain that sin is crouching at his door and he must master it (Genesis 4:7), so it is clear that when it comes to what we do, it is our decision. God didn’t say to Cain, “Sin is waiting for you and you can’t fight it- you’re chosen to be sinful and you have no way out of it. Sorry ’bout that, but that’s how it goes for some people. I spin the dice and you pay the price.”

Don’t worry- that’s not how it works.

God gave us all Free Will, the right to choose what we will do and say, and throughout the Tanakh God lets us know that whatever we decide to do, it is our choice. When we do what is right (in his eyes, not our eyes) we will be blessed, and when we choose to reject his instructions, we will be on our own. The world is a fallen and cursed place, under the dominion of the Evil One (remember that Satan was thrown to the Earth) and when we reject God, we lose the kippur, the covering, of God’s protection.

God doesn’t curse us when we disobey, he just leaves us unprotected from the world.

So, nu? If God gives me the right to choose what I do, then is he really in charge?

Yes, and no.

Yes, God’s plans will be fulfilled, and the way he wants them to be fulfilled, yet while we are waiting for that day, we have the ability to do what we want to do.

I once heard that God is the captain of a ship that is going from here to there, and along the way, the ship stops at many different ports. We are able to get on the ship or off the ship every time it stops. In fact, we can even “jump ship” between ports. Eventually, the ship will land at its final destination, and obviously, you want to be on the ship when it gets there.

I was in a position of management for most of my career, and when you are in charge you learn that you need to allow those under your authority to learn, and the way to do that is to give them the freedom to be in charge of themselves. The really good Boss is the one who can let people make their mistakes, and still correct those mistakes before the mission is compromised.

Being in charge often means ceding authority to others so that they can become leaders in their own right. Micromanaging never works out well for anyone, and God is the absolute best manager of all, for he knows everything you will do before you know it yourself, but he is willing to allow you the freedom to do it, even when it may result in pain. He can always soothe the injury and heal us, but if we are never allowed to burn ourselves, we will never learn to be careful around fire.

God is in charge, but you are still the only one who is responsible for what you do and say. If something bad happens, don’t blame God, and don’t say that you are under attack. Of course, you may be under attack (from the Enemy) at times in your life, especially if you are doing what is good and helping to advance God’s kingdom, but for the most part (if you ask me), when bad things happen to good people, it’s just that the good people may have slipped a bit, or as the saying goes, “Stuff Happens.”

We live in a fallen and cursed world; every now and then bad things will happen. You can’t walk through a field of sheep and not end up stepping in something, now and then. And according to the Bible, it will only get worse, so remember that you are the only one who you can blame for what happens to you.

The answer to today’s question is that God can be in charge of everything whenever he wants to be, but when it comes down to your life he will take charge only after you ask him to do that.

In the end, the one who is really in charge of you is YOU!

Thank you for being here and please subscribe, share these messages and check out my books. If you like what you read here, you will like my books, as well.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

This is Worth Repeating

There is no video today and I am not even writing a new post.

The link below will bring you to a post I did a while ago, which in light of the upcoming election and the different party positions regarding abortion, I thought it worthwhile to repost this so anyone still considering which party to align themselves with would have a chance to be informed before they make their choice.

And when I said that your vote is aligning yourself with that party, don’t hand me that lame excuse, “I’m not really voting for this one, I just don’t want to vote for that one” because your vote is always FOR someone, never against someone, and those who are not for us are against us, which means who you vote for is who you ARE for!

Click on this link to go to today’s (repeated) message, and please vote with discernment:


Why Does Sin Just Feel Better?

(I am at the dealership this morning getting work done on my car so there will be no video for today’s message. )

I am going to be talking to you, but about me.

I have this problem with food: I don’t eat “bad”, really, and I don’t have a weight problem, but I do like to eat and I am heavier than I should be. The real problem is that when I overeat, I enjoy that feeling more than when I eat the correct portion and do what I know to be right.

So what, right? I mean, there are a lot worse sins to commit than a little food indulgence. And you’re right, but the question I want to drash about for today’s message is why, at any level, does it seem to be that when we do what is wrong it “feels” better than the sense of accomplishment we get when we do what is right?

Now, maybe I am making an improper assumption because I believe that everyone reading this has had a similar experience. Maybe I am not the case, but the exception, when I confess that more times than not, when I do what is not right (to some degree) I get more emotional and/or physical satisfaction than when I do the right thing.

This isn’t always the case. I carry MRE’s (ready to eat meals, the ones used by the military) in my car so when I am at a stop light and there is a (supposedly) homeless person there, I offer them a meal. I feel really good when I do that, both emotionally and spiritually.

On the other hand, when I overeat I know I have done something wrong because I haven’t shown the proper self-control, which we will all need to have when the End Days come. I need to be able to control my emotional desires, and when I eat to a point past full, well into satiety, I know I really shouldn’t have.

But, Oy! That feeling of a full stomach is, well, pardon the expression…heavenly.

There are also times I get angry and channel my Marine Corps vocabulary, and even though I know I shouldn’t do that, it just feels so good to let it out.

Do you also have similar experiences? Do you also do things that make you feel good but you know are wrong?

I suppose that’s why throughout the Tanakh we are told that no one is good and all sin. Iniquity was found even in the most beautiful of angels (yes, I am talking about the Father of all Lies, that old devil, himself, HaSatan.) And, for the record, iniquity isn’t sin- it is the desire to sin.

God told Cain that sin crouches at his door and he must master it, so is there an extra large portion of french fries in the kitchen with my name on them? If I eat the giant hoagie instead of the medium sized one, is that sinful? Not necessarily, but lack of self-control is the foundation upon which sin is built.

So what is the answer? It is simple: when we realize and accept that feeling good when you do wrong is the natural order of things, that understanding of why we do it will help us to develop the level of self-control which will eventually allow us to overcome sin. Never all of it, but a little more, each day.

We are sinners from the moment we exit the womb, and only with the help of God through his Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) can we overcome sin. If you are going to say that sin was overcome with the sacrifice of the Messiah, Yeshua, you are wrong. His sacrifice did not overcome sin- it gave us the opportunity to be forgiven of the sin we commit. The only one who can overcome sin is you. We are totally responsible for what we do and say, and therefor we are the ones who must develop the self-control to keep ourselves from doing that which we know to be wrong.

Any thing that is not right in the eyes of the Lord is something that will, probably, feel good in our flesh.

The good news is that even if it feels good in your flesh, when it feels bad in your spirit, you are on the right track. You need to work on that spiritual feeling, and remind yourself (as I do, constantly) that it is better to feel spiritually good than it is to feel physically satisfied. The physical is only for the here and now, which is nothing more than a mist, and is over faster than the blink of an eye, but that spiritual feel-good feeling will last throughout eternity.

So, as we are told in the Bible (Hebrews 12:2), we must keep our eyes on Yeshua, meaning to maintain an attitude of righteousness and run the good race. That means, in plain language, even if it feels better to do wrong, it is still wrong and we must call upon the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to overcome the innate desire to do what feels good but is not good to do.

I pray for forgiveness every day, in Yeshua’s name (of course!), and also for the strength to see and conquer sin before I do it. I confess it doesn’t always work out that way, but as I said, so long as we feel, in our spirit, that we need to do better, then we are walking the proper path, and we ARE keeping our eyes on Yeshua. Do not let the Enemy fool you into thinking that it is a waste, and what feels good must be good- that is the lie that leads to death.

The truth is that what feels good in the body is more likely bad for the spirit, and when we realize this and take it to heart, we will improve.

As I often say, and will end with today:

We can never be sinless, but we can always sin less.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe, check out my books, and I always welcome your comments.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!