Saturday, November 21, 2009

Grant peace - Sim Shalom

This is called Sim Shalom (Grant Peace). This is one of the songs/prayer from their prayer book. I love it. After the interview part, the music starts.

This is what the song is about. ( I don't know if he is singing all this or not.) Here is where I got the translation.

"Grant peace, happiness, and blessing to the world, with grace, love, and mercy for us and for the people Israel. Bless us, our Father, one and all, with Your light; for by that light did You teach us Torah and life, love and tenderness, justice, mercy, and peace. May it please You to bless Your people Israel in every season and at all times with Your gift of peace. Praised are You, Lord who blesses His people Israel with peace."

May God's peace, happiness, blessing, grace, love, and mercy be for all of us.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rebecca and her water

There is an interesting Jewish custom in the kind deeds Rebecca displayed.

Genesis 24: 18She said, "Drink, my lord." And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. 19When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, "I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking." 20So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels.

The Jewish way of understanding this passage is like this:
After letting a stranger drink from her jar, Rebecca had to make a choice. She couldn't have taken the rest of the water home to give to the family after a stranger drank out of it. But it would be rude to the stranger if she spilled the water in front of him. So Rebecca told Eliezar that she would give water to the camels also, then pour the water into the trough. She wanted to maintain the dignity of the stranger. She genuinely cared about others. ( and animals at the same time)

I think she is quick to do the right deeds. She reminds me of Abraham.

I found similar commentary here. This website is not a Messianic but I think we can learn a lot from their way of understanding.

The roots still support the branches.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fertile Crescent and God's trace

Here is a quote from Wikipedia.
The term "Fertile Crescent" was coined by University of Chicago archaeologist James Henry Breasted in his "Ancient Records of Egypt", around 1900.[1] The region was named so due to its rich soil and crescent shape.

"Due to its rich soil and crescent shape," it says!
Here is the map that shows the Fertile Crescent. I was amazed to see the map!! It is as though God has blessed Abraham wherever he went! I think it shows how God was truly with Abraham! It is as though God was already blessing him, and the rich soil is the evidence.

It is just like Christians because we carry God's light.

My son took me out to dinner last week when the rest of the family was out of town. His choice was an Asian restaurant where they displayed the whole body of so-called gods. He said, "It's a little dark, not so crowded, and some statues of Buddha are there." And he smiled. At first I resisted, then decided to go along with him because he said that we carried the light of Jesus and go in there. We had a good time and enjoyed the food.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sarah's life (Chayei Sarah)

Abraham wanted his servant to find a bride for Isaac. Eliezar, Abraham's trusted servant, is just like Abraham. He left with gifts right away to Abraham's brother's town to look for Isaac's bride . Just like Abraham he was quick to obey.

An interesting thing I noticed was that even though Eliezar was sure that God guided him to Rebecca, he wanted to see what they thought, for he said this to Rebecca's family: v,48 “Then I bowed low and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham, because he had led me straight to my master’s niece to be his son’s wife. 49 So tell me—will you or won’t you show unfailing love and faithfulness to my master? Please tell me yes or no, and then I’ll know what to do next.”

He knew God led him, but he didn't push it to the other party. A wise man! I like his approach.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dance with me

After digging into God's words and looking into Hebrew dictionary with numbers, then my textbooks and more numbers (because I am studying med. billing and coding), I remembered to look up again... Thankfulness and worship are essential for my soul yet I ...sort of... neglected because I was reading and I thought studying was satisfying my inner self. Over and over again I do this. Over and over again the LORD is waiting.
Lord, I seldom dance, but ..

Dance with me!

I feel like it today. What a great song!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A year ago

In October 2008 I was laid off from my part time job after 8 years, and God opened a door for me to go to a vocational college. Usually I don't have much confidence in daily lives but when I was trying to decide whether I could go through a school or not, God gave me encouragements from different directions. The courage sprang up within me gradually to make a decision and jump into the program . The final encouragement from God for this decision came to me after I signed up. I came home that night and turned on DVR and watched Pastor Joseph Prince. He was teaching on tithes. We give ten percent to God because the number ten represents the whole 100 %, he said. We give him 10%, ( = first fruit) to God and he will bless the whole thing. Since 10% represents the rest of it, the whole 100% becomes blessed. All God wants is 10%. If the first fruit is holy then the rest is holy. Pastor Prince went on to talk about our brain. (as if this message was for me who didn't have confidence in my brain) People say that we use 10 % of the brain. Pastor Prince basically said that if we dedicate the 10% of our brain that we use, then the rest of it becomes blessed because the 10% we give to God represents the whole. This whole message made sense to me and I was greatly encouraged by it, because my concern had been that my brain may not be good enough to go to school. But God was encouraging me to simply give the 10% to God, then he will bless the whole brain! It may sound silly, but I believed. If I trust God in this and keep Him first, I believed God would bless me.

Now I am almost done with the program (it is a one-year program), and getting ready to go on. It was an amazing, amazing experience. I was so blessed. Praise God.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. (Zech. 4:6)

List of Genesis portions for the beginners

Genesis is divided into 12 portions or stories.

Jewish title
English translation
B’reisheet In the beginning 1:1-6:8 God's creation
Noach Noah 6:9-11:32 Noah's story
Lech Lecha Go forth 12:1-17:27 Abraham's story
Vayera And he came 18:1-22:24 The LORD appeared
Chayei Sarah Life of Sarah 23:1-25:18 Sara lives on
Toldot Generations 25:19-28:9 The coming generations
of Isaac
VaYetze And he went out 28:10-32:3 Jacob went out
VaYishlach And he sent 32:4-36:43 Jacob sent gifts
to Esau
VaYeshev And he settled 37:1-40:23 Jacob settled in
the land
Miketz At the end of 41:1-44:17 Joseph explained
the dreams…
VaYigash And he drew near 44:18-47:27 Judah drew near to
face down ….
VaYechi And he llived 47:28-50:26 towards the end of
Jacob's life

Reading the scriptures as stories helps me a lot, I think. I like the way it is divided.

Today's song in my heart.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit”, says the LORD of hosts. (Zech. 4:6)

My church in Japan used to sing this a lot. I just started singing this while I was on line looking for a job, remembering that God is the source of everything.

Monday, November 2, 2009

And He Appeared (Vayera)

Gnesis 18:1-22:24 is titled "And he appeared".

The title for each weekly reading is usually taken from the beginning of the portion. The LORD and two men appeared where Abraham was - at the door of the tent. According to the commentaries I read, this was when Abraham was hurting the most after the circumcision.

Abraham is always quick to obey God's words and he is kind.

  • He was told to leave his father's house and he did. (Genesis 12)
  • He gave up his right to choose the good-looking land and let Lot decode which land to take when the possessions grew too big. (Gen 13)
  • He got up and departed to rescue Lot after he heard that Lot was captured. (Gen 14) --Then apparently Lot went back to his wicked city.
  • He let go of Hagar and Ishmael when Sarah was not happy. Abraham was reluctant but God told him to listen to Sarah.(Gen 16)
  • He circumcised himself and his household soon after God told him. (Gen 17)
  • He was willing to to sacrifice his only son ( he left the next day). (Gen 22)

Now when the LORD showed up with two other men, Abraham ran to meet them, then he asked them not to pass away. He said he would bring a little water to wash their feet, and a morsel of bread. Then he hurried to Sarah and asked her to bake a large bread with fine flour, then ran to fetch a calf tender and good (he even picked it himself), and told the young man to dress it. Then he took the butter, milk and the calf to the men. Abraham stood by them while they ate. What a man! He spoke humbly, but his action was great.

Let's compare Lot to Abraham.

Lot chose the best-looking land when he had a chance to choose land. When the two of the men who visited Abraham went on to Sodom where Lot lived, he told them that they could wash their feet with water and spend the night. And Lot cooked flat bread. I wonder if his wife was from Sodom because I don't read about his wife until after he moved to Sodom...

Our kind God asks, “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” (Genesis 19:12)

A few years ago as I was looking for a direction for prayer for my father, I felt like this was what God was asking me. "Do you have any family member in the city?" My quick response was, "My father is still there in the darkness, and he doesn't know it!! And he doesn't want to get out!" Then in Genesis 19:16 says this: "When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful." My prayer for my father changed that night! I asked God to grab his hand and take him out of the darkness, because he will not be willing to leave the darkness. A few weeks later I went to see my father and I witnessed a miracle of this stubborn man nodding to my question, "Do you want to believe him?"

Silent three days

In a way, Abraham's son was dead for 3 days... I wonder what Abraham and Isaac talked on their way to the place where the LORD told him to go. After 3 days, Isaac was about to be sacrificed but the LORD told him to stop, and a ram took his place. Until the LORD told Abraham not to sacrifice Isaac, it must have been as though he was dead...and came back to life.