pink or blue- does it matter to you?

The demographic group being referred to as “Millennials” are those who were born in the 1980’s and reached young adulthood around the turn of the Millennia. I read a recent article about how the majority (almost 2 to 1) of this demographic group thought there is nothing wrong with using the bathroom for the gender one “identifies” with.

Maybe that’s because they don’t have a 13 year old daughter going into a bathroom, followed by a 45 year old man.

There are other social “norms” that have been changed, such as same-sex marriage and open carry laws being relaxed. Yes, I know there is a difference between having a gun and being married to the same gender, but the one thing these changes in attitude represent is a devolution of society. It is not evolution, which implies an improvement, but it is devolution, indicating clearly a return to a worse condition.

Sodom and Gomorrah had no gender identification issues- everyone did anything with anyone. Rome, in it’s heyday of perversion, was the same way. There have been people who identify with the opposite (physical) gender since God first made gender, so what’s the problem?

The problem is you can put a square peg into a round hole if you jam it in there hard enough, but it will never fit right and neither the round hole or the square peg will ever feel fulfilled because they are not doing what they were designed to do. It’s that simple- round-to-round, square-to-square: anything outside of what the design is made to do should not be.

OK- so maybe I say I am a man in a woman’s body, or vice-versa, but what really makes a man a man, or a woman a woman? In the past it was the genitalia, but today it is more the emotional and mental state than the physical state. And therein lies the problem- since when has the human race ever demonstrated a sane, emotional state of being?

Hormones are what drives us, emotionally- too much Testosterone and you are an aggressive male, too much Progesterone and you are an effeminate male. This is all too evident when we consider that it is the hormonal treatments which are the essential first step in sex change operations. The genitalia are less important when it comes to gender identification than the hormones racing through our systems, and when we have an hormonal imbalance we have gender identification problems.

There is more to it than that, surely, but hormones are the foundation on which gender is going to be based, emotionally.

It is mostly in third world countries that we still see very harsh treatment of homosexual activity. We, uh…”civilized” nations (as we like to call ourselves) are more tolerant (accepting) of homosexuals, as well as of many other (previously called) abnormal, or degenerate, activities. So far, sodomy (sex with animals) still seems to be frowned upon, but give it time.

All of these societal changes are preparation for the rule of the Antichrist. I know that sounds very “religious”, but it is, like it or not, the truth of the matter. The Antichrist is not just against God, but against everything pure and good. Hedonism must have been the first evil that left Pandora’s Box because it has such a strong hold on nearly everyone. And, unfortunately, many, many things that are bad for us, spiritually, feel so good, physically. I guess that is really the definition of what living in a cursed world is: the good things are hard and the bad things are easy.

Personally, I do not want to be using the urinal with a woman next to me, and I really, REALLY don’t want to think of a young girl being in a bathroom with a adult man in the stall next to her. Call me old fashioned, but the bad people do what they want, and have no honesty in how they present themselves. If I am a man who likes to take advantage of young girls, I am going to stand outside the woman’s bathroom in the same way the lions hang around the watering hole. I guess if animals could talk, the lion would tell us he identifies with antelopes and feels he has a right to hang in the middle of the herd.

At least, until his stomach starts to grumble.

Look- I am not “bashing” anyone: all I am saying is that when you learn about carpentry (remember Yeshua was a carpenter) you learn to use a hammer to drive nails and a screwdriver to twist screws- you don’t bang a nail with the handle of a screwdriver or use a chisel to insert a screw. You use the tool in the manner for which it was designed, and when you do the finished product comes out looking, and performing, correctly.

Our society is not working as it should- true, it never did, but things are devolving at an alarming rate, which means that the End Times are just around the corner.

The real issue is not which gender you choose to identify with, but who’s servant you will be.

Parashah Pinchas, Numbers 25:10 – 30:1

The previous Parashah ended with Pinchus, also called Phinehas, killing the prince of the tribe of Simeon along with Cozbi, the daughter of one of the kings of the Midianites. It was this act of zealousness for God’s law and honor that stayed the plague God had sent among the people for turning to the gods of Midian.

Now, God states that Pinchus and his descendants will be the high priest as reward for his actions. God then commands Moses to take a census of the people (meaning the men) aged 20 and older (except the Levites are to be counted at 1 month and older.)

After we are told the results of the census, the next chapter is about the daughters of Zelophehad, who died in the desert but had no sons. Their request was that they inherit their fathers portion, even though they are women. God agrees that the family should have their share of inheritance, and so the law is created that if there are no sons, the daughters inherit but they must marry within the tribe so the overall property distribution remains stable.

Moses is told that it is time for him to die, and the first thought in Moses’ mind is not about himself (remember- he is the humblest of all men) but for the people, so he asks God to provide a leader. God tells Moses to appoint (no surprise here) Joshua. Moses lays his hands on Joshua in the sight of all Israel so that they know Joshua is the Man!

Finally, God has Moses remind the people about the rules for sacrifice and the festivals that they are to maintain forever once they are in the land.

Some have argued over the years, especially in recent times, that the bible is sexist and God is a misogynist.  The story of the daughters of Zelophehad shows this to be untrue, and unfair. It is an absolute fact that the rights of a woman in those days were no where near the rights women enjoy today, with regards to job opportunities and legal status within the social structure. But, on the other hand, they were given important responsibilities within the family structure and, when you read the bible carefully, you see that they were not really second class citizens (OK, OK- I agree the laws regarding a Get, the divorce decree, are unfair) but simply have a separate and distinct role within the society. Proverbs is very complimentary to women, and show them to be very influential.

The fact that God decreed woman have the right to inherit and own land is unique among the other peoples of that day, and to require marriage within the tribe is a legal matter to maintain the proper distribution of the inheritance the tribe receives. This one section demonstrates that God is not a misogynist.

The chronological order of events in the bible is not always clear, but here we are told that this is some 38 years after the people refused to enter the land, which was only a few chapters ago. Eleazar is the Cohen HaGadol because Aaron is dead. The daughters of Zelophehad tell us their father died in the desert, and the results of the census show that no one who was counted in the first census coming out of Egypt is alive today.

The time to enter the land is coming quickly: all those who were to die are dead, there is a new High Priest, Joshua is now in charge, and Moses is about to die. We’re on the precipice of the desert, about to cross over the Jordan into the land of promise. That is why God tells Moses to remind the people about the laws for sacrifice and the festivals so that they will not forget and sin when they first come into the land. That would be a pretty lousy start, don’t you think?

“Well, here we are…in the Land…finally! Let’s forget everything we are supposed to do and with out first step in the promised land we can fall flat on our faces.”

Not a good idea.

The lesson I see here is simple- the best way to not forget what to do is do remind yourself of it, constantly. God has Moses review the commandments, He told Joshua to write it on the stones on Mount Gerizim, later God tells the kings of Israel to have a copy of the Torah with them always and to read from it every day, and we all (should) have our bibles close at hand, and read from it everyday.

I often tell how I keep my bible in the bathroom, because I know I will be there, at least once, every day of my life. That is how I can guarantee I will have 10 minutes or so, undisturbed, in which I can read a chapter or two, daily, without fail.

Where is your bible? How often do you read it?  Daily? Once a week? Do you take it with you to worship and go to the place in it that the Priest, Pastor or Rabbi tells you? Or do you just figure if you go to services someone there will read something from it to you?

God holds each and every one of us accountable for what we do, and if we do what others tell us, it is still what we do. And you will be held accountable for it! If you only allow others to read the bible to you, then you will not be able to hear the Holy Spirit talking over the sound of the human being reading. Humans shout, but the Holy Spirit speaks in a still, quiet voice. If you want to hear the Holy Spirit ( in Hebrew called the Ruach HaKodesh) then you need to be reading the bible in a still, quiet place. Otherwise, how will you be able to hear the the Lord whispering to you?

Today’s parashah lesson is this: be zealous for God and demonstrate it by reading His word daily. This is the best way to learn about God, what He wants from you, and to hear from the Ruach HaKodesh when it speaks to you. And don’t worry about the “boring” parts, just go through them. That’s what is so wonderful about the Spirit- you are reading a bunch of names and numbers and can’t even figure out why this stuff is in there, and suddenly something you have read a dozen times, that seems to have no impact or worth,  comes alive in your mind and you see a deep and abiding truth that God put there, just for you! That’s right- He had Moses put that in there, millennia ago, just for you.

And now you get it. That’s why we need to read, over and over, until we know it well enough that we can get past the P’Shat (plain language) and into the Drash (deeper meaning). It’s like math- you first learn to count, then how to add and subtract, then how to multiply, and eventually you are doing quantum mechanics in your head.

Well, maybe not in your head. But you can do it! That’s why we need to read every day what God has for us.

It’s like Cracker Jacks- the word of God is like honey on my lips, taste and see that it is good (Psalm 38);  as you devour the word, loving every bite, you will find, hidden deep inside, a prize. That prize is the revelation God has for you, just for you, and it is in there.

You only need to look.

Making Time for God

We, as a nation, a people and a society, are just too busy doing something to be able to do anything. We are so involved in getting things done that we don’t get anything done- it’s Crisis Management as a lifestyle. And how many of us force our kids into so many activities they don’t have time to just be a kid?

I enjoy the “quality time” I get to spend with Donna, like last week when we were on vacation, and also when I can take a day to just sit on the beach and catch up on my reading. Or take a leisurely bike ride for 18 or 20 miles without having to worry about getting back in time for something.

We are so busy getting things done we miss out on the most important thing we can do with our time, which is have quality time with God. Maybe we think since He is omnipresent we don’t have to schedule time with Him- after all, He’s always here, right? I often tell about how I keep my bible in the bathroom because it is the only place I can guarantee I will have 10 minutes or so of total solitude and quiet to read His word. It may seem funny, it may even be “gross” to some, but I do get that quality time every day to read His word. I also pray during my drive to work- more quality time alone.

I really feel for those with children- it’s hard enough to do what we want to do when it’s just us, but with kids, too… oy!

This blog has been quality time for me, as well. I started out writing every weekday, and then went to Monday, Wednesday and Friday because I am learning Hebrew for a trip to Israel later this year and do that on Tuesday and Thursday. I do this early in the morning, before work, so that I can have time with Donna when I get home. And I have sacrificed my morning workouts, as well, to get these things done.

I am going to try to teach myself to write less in each post to have some more time for a short workout in the mornings, so if these blogs seem to be getting shorter it’s by design. I am probably too long winded as it is. I guess that’s just the way it is when I start to talk about God- there isn’t enough time in eternity to say how wonderful He is.

Do you really believe you dedicate enough time to God? If you aren’t sure, then you don’t. Of course, it would be great if we had nothing else to do, at all, except worship and dedicate our lives to serving God as a Rabbi, Priest, Minister, whatever. But that’s not reasonable, and that isn’t what God wants. Shaul (Paul) tells us that we are all parts of the body of Messiah, and everyone should use whatever talent or gift God gave them to serve Him. An ear should be an ear, a mouth a mouth, feet for walking, etc. No one part is more important than any other part, and all must do what they are designed to do to be effective.

There are many ways we can serve God. Taking care of others is a way to serve God (Matthew 25:40); doing whatever you do in a way that glorifies God is serving God (Collosians 3:23); whatever you do for your family that directs them to act in ways that please God’s is serving the Lord.

I am going to ask you, if you like what you read in this blog, to share it with others. I constantly strive to speak God’s word to you, and for the enlightenment of those who don’t know Him. This is my ministry, and without trying to sound self-important I would ask that you buy and read the book I wrote, share this blog with everyone on your Face Book and contact list, suggest it to your religious leaders to see if they would recommend it. I know that God will make happen whatever He wants to make happen, and I pray that He is behind my efforts to bring people to know Him through this blog and my book: and I mean know Him- His word, not the word of religious leaders, not the rambling of Replacement Theologists or Ultra-Conservatives. People generally do not know what is in the bible, and even those that are Believers (from my experience) know what they have been told by others but usually don’t take the time to really read it, to take time to go to the bible and verify what they have been told; to quietly sit, open the Manual and let the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) guide them in their understanding.

They’re just too busy.

God has a plan for you: He has a message for every single one of us, and it changes as we change. The message is there, in the bible- how many times have you read the same thing, over and over, then one day it just hits you- “Oh! That’s what He means!”

You need to make the time to spend quality time reading the bible: if you don’t, how will you know the message God has for you?



We Aims to Please

Do we, really? In a retail environment, the salesperson certainly wants to please the customer.  In work, we want to please our Boss. At home, pleasing the spouse isn’t even a choice- you’d better!

But what about pleasing God? Do we put as much effort into pleasing God as we do to please people more “directly” influencing our lives? Maybe I should say more “visibly” influencing our lives, since God is in charge of everything and influences our lives from before we are even born, but He is invisible and people are visible; they are tangible and always in sight. Not in spiritual sight, but in physical sight; God is in the heavens but people are where we are.

In my experience I have seen people who do almost anything for someone that they believe can help them attain what they want in the world, but they are pretty much cavalier about pleasing God. Don’t they realize that what they have in the world, no matter how much of it they own, will be someone else’s when they die? That point is well made in Kohelet (Ecclesiastes.)  Then they will only have the treasure they have already stored in heaven to spend eternity with. Think about it: would you rather live in a mansion for 30 years and a shack forever, or would you rather have a humble home for 30 years and a mansion forever?


I would like to offer an excerpt from my book (to buy the book, hardcover or downloadable, see the right margin) that briefly discusses how to please God. If you find this interesting or useful to you, please consider buying the book.

“Then tell me how to please the Lord”, you may ask. Sorry, but I will not tell you what to do, or (for that matter) what not to do. That would make me just like a religion. What I will tell you is what the Lord tells us. And the Lord tells us that to please Him we must obey His commandments. I will give you 2 places where He does this, although He tells and shows us this throughout the entire Bible. The places I will mention are in the Tanakh and in the B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant).

   In the Tanakh go to Deuteronomy 28. This is the chapter where God gives us the listing of His blessings for obedience. You can see He blesses us going in and out, home and away, pretty much 24/7/365. Clearly, obedience pleases Him. The other place is in the Gospels where Yeshua (Jesus) tells us that if we love Him we will obey His commandments. Everyone is pleased by having people they love show that love back to them, and Yeshua is telling us that showing our love for Him (which must please Him) is through obedience.

   Yeshua makes it even easier to demonstrate obedience. He tells us that the two most important commandments are to love the Lord and to love our neighbor. If we simply do this than everything else falls into place.

For the record, this isn’t a new idea. Yeshua was quoting Tanakh; in fact, there is nothing “new” in the “New Covenant”.  It is all strictly and completely from Torah and the other Old Covenant writings. Every single reference Shaul makes, as well as John and James (Ya’akov), is from the only scripture that existed at that time, which is the Tanakh.

    So there it is. How do we please our God? Simple- follow His commandments. That’s it. He doesn’t say to follow all the regulations and traditions that the religion to which we belong adds or takes from His word. He simply says do as He says. He even tells us that what we should do is not so hard to do. It is not so far away that we need someone to bring it to us, or so deep we can’t see it, or so high we can’t reach it. He says it is right in front of us, within our grasp. True, we can’t do everything as He wants us to do it; we are sinners and we are sinful, and our very nature makes living a perfect life impossible. That’s why He promised a Messiah. But Hey!, that’s no reason not to try!

Brothers and Sisters, please hear me now: God has no religion. His Word, His commandments, His Blessings, His House of Worship, His Messiah and His Salvation is for ALL people! Just as His judgment will be on ALL people.

I think it is important to remember, especially, that last sentence: His judgement will be on ALL people! And that judgement will be based on our heart and our actions, but it will not be based on what others tell us is right or wrong.

You need to understand (and I believe the Bible supports me in this) that God will judge fairly and rightly, but what He judges us on will be what we did and not on what others told us to do. That means if the Rabbi, Priest, Pastor, or whomever leads your religious organization tells you to do something that is contrary to God’s command, you will be responsible for your actions. And using that old, “I was just following orders” excuse won’t carry water with the Lord. He told us how he wants us to worship Him, how we should treat each other, what is important and what isn’t. And if you aren’t sure how to tell what is important and what isn’t, I will make it easy for you: if it is in the Bible, it is important. And, if it is important you had better know about it, right? So read the book! Don’t be a dope and just believe what anyone tells you the book says- read it for yourself. Read it for yourself because you will be held accountable for what is in it!

Think about that: in fact, don’t waste time thinking, just do. Read the Bible, start today. Only a chapter a day: do it at lunch, do it when you get home, do it before you get ready for work. Or do what I do- keep your Bible in the bathroom. No one bothers me there, and I have a guaranteed 10 minutes or so of quiet.

Please please God first, then people, if you must, but not at the expense of pleasing God. I think you wil lfind that if you concentrate on pleasing the Lord you will be surprised at how much more you will be pleasing to people.

The Best Diet in the World

In today’s world, when we hear the word “diet” used, it usually means someone is trying to lose weight. That isn’t what diet really means, though- a diet is simply a kind of regimen. It doesn’t even necessarily have to do with food. The Greek word, diaita, means “a way of life.”

If we work with the Greek meaning, which was one of the earliest uses of the word, we should then ask ourselves, “If I am going to diet as a way of life, what is the best diet I can choose?”

What comes to mind for me is not just a means of living, but is a (sort of) food, too, and I found it in the Bible:

Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

A diet, to be successful, has to become your “way of life”; it has to be done according to the rules, and even though every now and then we all “pig out” on something (that would be Chicken Wings, for me) we get back to the diet the next day.

My diet is God. Every day I read a chapter or two from His word. In fact, to make sure I have 10 minutes or so of uninterrupted peace and solitude, I keep my Bible in the bathroom. No one comes in and bothers me there, no one knocks on the door, it is quiet and serene; it is the only ‘throne room’ where no one asks for an audience.

I start at the beginning and go to the end, which for a nice Messianic Jewish boy such as myself, means from Genesis 1:1 to Revelations 22:21. I even look at the maps and glossary. Then, when I am done, I go back to the beginning and start all over.

What’s your diet? Are you eating Wonder bread, or the Bread of Life? Do you drink bottled water, or the Everlasting Water? Do you hunger for Burger King, or the Eternal King?

They say that to make something a habit, do it 21 times in a row. So, then, here is a challenge: read a chapter of the Bible for the next 21 days in a row. I strongly recommend you follow my example of leaving it in the bathroom, right there with the crossword puzzle and silly jokes books. Read just one chapter every day while you are sitting there with not much else to do. I don’t think it’s disrespectful to have a Bible in the bathroom. In fact, I think the most disrespectful thing we can do with our Bible is to leave it unread. So long as we are reading it, who cares where we store it?

There’s your challenge: who’s up to it?

Where’s Your Bible?

I suppose that just about everyone reading this ministry blog has a Bible, aka The Manual. If you are reading this and you don’t have one, please find one. You can always go online to Bible study sites, but it is best if you have one in your hand, paper and binding, so that you hold it. It is to be loved and cherished, and you can’ t do that with an I-pad. Also, I challenge everyone to not take what I say as true, but to look it up in the Manual and verify for yourself the veracity of what I say. I try to discipline myself to never teach about what is in the Bible that you can’t go in there and find for yourself, and I pray that God leads my teachings to reflect only what is right in His eyes. Besides that, you need to develop the habit of checking what you are told.

Someone once told me never believe what you hear, and I took it with a grain of salt. 

So, nu? Where’s your Bible? Is it on a shelf? Is it in a place of honor (collecting dust)? Wanna know where mine is? 

It’s in my bathroom. That’s right- right there on top of the toilet covering the Readers Digest from April of 1995. 

Oy! How disrespectful! How could you do that to the Word of God? 

Before I answer that, let me ask you, “Is it really disrespectful to keep my Bible in the bathroom?” I am sure some of you will say yes, and some will say no, and some just won’t know. That’s how it is with questions.

As you are thinking about your answer, let me submit what I think is the most disrespectful way to keep your Bible: to keep it closed. Whether on a shelf, prominently displayed in a case, or under the table leg to keep the table steady, in my opinion not reading your Bible is disrespectful to the Word of God. He gave us His word so we would know how to worship, how to live, and (consequently) how to be saved from ourselves. He tells us how we got here, where we are going, and about Messiah, who will lead us to Him, forever. It’s all there, but it’s useless if you don’t read it.

“Oh, but I go to church every Sunday”, or “I attend synagogue every Shabbat. When I’m there they tell me what it says.” Lazybones! That’s not going to float your Salvation, Brothers and Sisters. You need to read it, for yourself. You need to let the Ruach guide you. There are three levels of understanding when reading the Bible: the P’Shat (written word- that’s all you get when you listen to someone else read the Bible), the Drash (this is like reading between the lines- it is a hidden message that the Ruach makes clear to you), and the Sud ( this is a deeply spiritual, almost mystical understanding that comes from Ruach-led reading and a deep knowledge of the Word). 

I don’t believe you can really get the deepest and most fulfilling understanding of what God wants to tell you if you don’t hold the book in your hands and read it. 

“But I am sooooooo busy! I have my job, I work out, and then the kids take up all my free time. I really want to read the Bible every day, that’s my intention, but I just don’t get to it.”

Every hear this old adage: The road to hell is paved with good intentions? 

Look, I had kids, I worked a job with a 2-hour commute (one-way) and I know what “too pooped to poop” means. So, take the Bible to work and read it on the train or bus. If you drive, take it to work and read it during your break or lunch.

Or, do what I do- leave it in the bathroom. The Bathroom! Ah, yes! The one and only place where everybody can be guaranteed about 10 minutes of peace and quiet every day, alone with their thoughts. That’s why I keep my Bible in the bathroom. I read at least one chapter every time I…, well, let’s just say I read a chapter daily.

Is this a disrespectful place ? I dunno! Maybe it is, but it is not disrespectful that I read His word every day. And it is not disrespectful that I come to Him as humbled as can be (what’s more humble than on a toilet seat?) I can even say every day I come before His throne while on my throne.

Ouch!! Okay, maybe that was a little too far.  🙂

Seriously, though, I do not believe it disrespectful, otherwise I certainly wouldn’t do it. And because of where I keep my Bible, I easily get to read a chapter or two every day. I like to go in order, from the beginning of Genesis straight through to the end of Revelations. When I reach the end, I do what every Jewish person does on Simchat Torah, which is to take great joy in turning back the Torah (in my case, I go to the front of the book) and starting all over again. I don’t like the idea of these daily devotionals that skip around and jump all over the book. I know that it is OK to do so, in that what I read in one place will confirm what I read in other places (this is known as hermeneutics), but the book has a rhythm, a pace, and a hierarchy. How can I really feel the pain of watching Judea fall deeper and deeper into sin as we approach the end of 2 Kings if I am in 2 Kings, then John I, then Leviticus, then Mark, then…then…then…?  I want to feel the joy as God reveals Himself and I want to feel the pain as we fall further and further from His grace through our own sin. I don’t want to just have someone tell me what it says, I want to live it. I want to experience the full emotions of the history of my salvation. I can only get that from reading it and letting the Ruach Ha Kodesh lead my understanding. After more than 17 years of being saved and having read the Bible cover to cover dozens of times, I still get chills and cry at certain parts. And I thank God that I do: I don’t ever want to become inured to His word.

I’ll ask again: where’s your Bible? If you aren’t reading a chapter every day, and it’s not in the bathroom, maybe you should put it there?