For Auld Lang Syne

A new year, a new beginning for most everyone in the world. But how do we start it?

Many make resolutions to do something that they know they need to: a diet, give up smoking, be more helpful to the needy….whatever.

As for me, I think the best way to start anew is to get past the past, and the only way to do that is to learn forgiveness.

And that’s not just a good idea- it is a commandment!

 

Parashah Yayyechi 2017 (and he lived) Genesis 47:28 – 50:26)

This week we come to the end of the book of Genesis.

Jacob blesses Joseph’s children, and adopts them. He later blesses each of the 12 Tribes, then acob dies. The book ends with Joseph’s death and his request to make sure his bones are brought back to the Land when the children of Israel return.

When Jacob blesses Judah, we have a messianic prophecy of the coming of Yeshua…or do we? Where as Christianity sees this as a messianic prophecy, Judaism rejects it as such,,,but why?

Relationship is Like a Belly-Rub

My cat was next to me in bed last night, and as I was stroking his head he rolled over and exposed his belly to me, obviously wanting a belly-rub.

When I complied to his request, his purring got so much louder that I knew he was happy, and his joy became my joy, as well.

When we “roll over” to God and expose our “belly” by praying to Him from our heart and coming before Him with a contrite, humble and appreciative spirit, which is an act symbolic of complete trust and love, He finds great pleasure in providing blessings for us.

How To Recognize a Demagogue

Part of the definition of a Demagogue, according to Wikipedia, is:

Demagogues overturn established customs of political conduct, or promise or threaten to do so.

Although the term is usually applied to a political system, can it be found within spiritual circles?

And if so, how do we recognize it?

 

Parashah Vayyiggash (He came near) Genesis 44:18 – 47:27

As this parashah starts, the brothers have been accused of stealing a cup from Joseph’s house, and Benjamin is found to be the one holding the cup. They are brought before Joseph, and Judah pleads for Benjamin’s life.

His plea is so heartfelt that Joseph can no longer hide his identity, and upon the brothers being reunited, Joseph has them all move to Goshen for the remainder of the famine. Of course, they stay a little longer than that.

Joseph tells his brothers that what happened to him was God’s work, which provides us a great lesson to remember when we have Tsouris in our own lives.

 

How To Blow Up a Bridge

A bridge gives us passage from one place to another over a terrain or obstacle that cannot be crossed by walking or driving. In the Marines Corps, one of the things I was responsible to do was to be able to blow up bridges that gave the enemy a tactical advantage

We have a bridge that is between us and God, which has it’s entrance here in the world and leads to salvation. Like all bridges, it is composed of components that provide the support needed to allow us to cross over.

The enemy of God wants to destroy that bridge, and we need to know how he plans to do it.

Humility Takes Strength

Many people believe that to be humble means to be weak and ineffective.

Some are humble from self-doubt or a low self-esteem, but those who are humble in the way God wants us to be humble find that humility comes from inner strength, and as a result strengthens oneself to not feel the need to prove oneself to others.

Those who are humble before the Lord and show that humility in their relationship with others are, for my money, the ones I want to have on my side if there was trouble.

 

Talk in a Worldly Way About Unworldly Things

Before I was saved, one of the things that always turned me off, right away, to those “Born-Again” people was that they talked so “spiritually” about everything.

When you don’t have the Holy Spirit, you can’t relate to it, or to people who talk using spiritual terminology.

We need to take a lesson from Shaul (Paul), and talk to people in a way that they can relate to us if we want to be able to open their ears and minds to the truth of God’s plan of salvation.