Let Your Light Shine Before Others

Are you a light to all in the house?

In Matthew, Yashua has a pretty clear opinion on how visible our light should be: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – 5:14-16

How many of us are actually holding true to this teaching and emanating the light of Yahweh to the world?

Back in December of 2013, I touched on this topic. However, that post was more focused on standing up for what was right in the face of unrighteousness. What I am trying to focus on now is living a life filled with light.

1 John 1:5 helps teach us what that entails: God is light. So letting our light shine before others, would be letting our God shine before others. God is also defined as Love in 1 John 4:8. So, letting our light shine before others, could also entail letting our love shine before others. For God is love just as he is light. Moreover, it is both together, for letting our love shine before others is to let our God shine before others.

This would pose another idea, if we are to take that shining our light is producing love as truth, then that would also mean that love would produce good works, for it is through others seeing the good works that they give glory to our Father in heaven.

That would suggest that love is not a feeling or emotion, but an action. An action with visible results. Can people see the works of your love? Or do you only “love” on the inside?

So, I ask again, are you a light to all in the house? Are you a beacon of love to everyone that sees you? Would the witnessing of your life cause the glorifying of God?

Or, have you taken on the likeness of the world, so that when others see you they just see the same world that they have always seen?

No one claims it to be easy and would create a “happy” life. Perhaps this is why directly before Yashua teaches this lesson, he blesses those who mourn, who are merciful, who are meek (humble), who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are pure in heart, who are PERSECUTED. He blesses those who are persecuted, because he knows that following his teachings will bring persecution and this is supported in several other scriptures. He goes to the extreme of telling us to rejoice and be glad when others revile us and persecute us and utter all kinds of evil against us falsely on his account.

If you are actively shining your light on the world, persecution is sure to follow.

If you aren’t being persecuted on Yashua’s behalf. Maybe you should ask yourself, why not?

A Call for Righteousness

How do you keep from overflowing with passion at what is true? How do you keep it bottled inside without screaming and shouting on roof tops and road ways? Better yet, how do you keep it hidden inside yourself that not even you can tell that it is even there?

We have become blind to our own passions, floating through life doing whit is expected and what is agreeable to others.

On one hand, that could be the right way to go about things, for it is written: “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” However, does peace mean traveling through life numb? And that is where the answer is “peace”. What does peace entail? Thus unravels the other part of the answer, “as far as it depends on you”. Yashua is to be our example, he is the living word; therefore, he was living in peace with everyone as far as it depended on him.

We have no control over how people will react to us living righteously. This is clearly seen with Yashua; he lived his life by and taught love and he was hated. It even warns us that we will be hated. Yet we live in fear of the hate no matter how we deny it.

So, instead of standing up, in fear of being the nail that is smashed down, we shrink into the crowd doing what is right in the eyes of the herd instead of those of Yahweh. Never truly breaking Yahweh’s will, but never standing up.

Perhaps, on a rare occasion, we muster up the courage to do what is righteous, but the reward doesn’t pan out or the consequences are too steep and we shrink back into our camouflage of normality.

Even knowing this truth isn’t enough to make us act. No amount of knowing can change our heart. Is has to take hold of your soul and change your entire being. It is not something you can plan or do on your own. In fact, it might not happen; in likelihood you do not want it to truly happen.

But those whose hearts are longing and pure- He hears your cries. Be obedient. Be persistent. Don’t let go. 

Finding Love Part 1

Love, we all look for it and seek to define it. I want to know how my Papa defines it. What is love according to YHVH.

According to Interlinear Scripture Analyzer, the word love appears three hundred and eleven times in two hundred and eighty one verses. It first appears in Genesis 27:4 when Issac is talking about meat. Now if Issac was the first person to have a documented account of using the word love, that would imply that neither Adam and Abraham used the word. While that is much easier to believe with Adam, since he so easily turned on his Isha; I needed to go back to be sure.

The closest thing to love Adam showed Chavah was in Genesis 2:23 when he says “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Isha because she was taken out of Ish. For this reason man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; and they will become one flesh (echad).”

Now, for some reason ready this piece of history and then how he so easily turns saying “the woman whom you gave to be with me.” He never appeared to truly treasure her. Here YHVH fashioned an Isha, the perfect help mate, something so precious and Adam didn’t cherish her. It kind of upsets me, but at the same time it makes me step back and wonder what YHVH has done for me that I haven’t cherished or taken as precious like I should.

Reading through Abraham and Sarah’s story again I was struck by a hard thought. When they enter Egypt Abram asks Sari to say that she is he sister, because he knows that they will see that she is beautiful and want to take her for themselves. She trusts in Abram so much that she agrees to say that she is his sister knowing that it would place her in a potential “danger”. Even when she is taken to the Pharaoh’s courts, she continues to trust in Abram’s judgment.

I honestly don’t think that at the point I am at in my life I would be able to obey my Ish so completely without question and have such unwavering trust in him. I know this, because there is a piece of me that still struggles to trust in Yashua and He has never changed. So, if I have difficulty trusting someone that is the embodiment of trustworthy, how can I trust someone who I know will be tested? So, if I can admit to myself that I don’t yet contain the capability to follow my Ish when he asks me to trust him, why in the world would I expect Papa to bring him into my life.

I can see piece by piece how much more I must focus and work on myself if I want to be anything more than a burden to the one that I was made for. I know that I have the ability to trust inside of me, that I will heal that I am a new creation and that all things are possible through Him who strengthens me. But, just because I know it intellectually does not force the change to happen instantly. Through prayer and perseverance though, I shall become the beacon of light I am made to be.

For those that seek shall find and to those who knock it is opened and those who ask receive. So, I will ask, knock and seek until I am the person I know that I can be. Until I can stand unwavering next to my Ish, because I can trust in him, because I trust fully in Yashua and know that He will be guiding both of us.

 

I find it just a little funny that as I search for the answers to what love is I am uncovering who I am and realizing who I want to be. Papa, hear me now and hear my heart’s cry. I want to be perfected. I need to undergo the transformation that will bring me to the higher calling I know you have set aside for me. I am yours Papa. Where I ran before and sought my own way, I am ready to listen and follow you unwavering.

 

Crashing and Burning and Coming Back with Flames

“Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28

Recently, I have been sick; nothing serious, but a constant dragging that adds to the endless feeling of being tired. I finally heard my Papa calling to me: “Do I have to make you sick for you to rest.” So, I spent an entire day in bed “resting” and thinking that would make everything better. However, I was missing the big point; I was missing the type of rest I was supposed to be receiving. I just continued to grow more tired and the more tired I became the easier it became for the enemy to prey upon me.

I had allowed myself to grow completely blind to the stronghold the enemy was building on me. I was growing angry- really angry. I was angry at men, all men. I got so low I was ready to give up on love. Give up on ever finding anyone that would be everything I was looking for. I was so down I threw myself a nice big hate filled pity party. I kept thinking back to all the men who had done me wrong and all the pressure and chaos that was in the world.

I wanted to explode with all of the emotions raging inside of me. And then Matthew 11:28 rang through my ears and Papa calling out to me and asking me to rest. It wasn’t the physical rest that I needed (though I had been lacking that too), I needed to run to the one man that had proven himself trustworthy time after time; the only man that had never hurt me and only ever loved with a love so powerful it is hard to comprehend.

I had already been feeling the push to truly reveal what love was according to YHVH. This was just more of a reason to find the answers. I had been using the idea of “love” to beat myself up and ride myself to basically a breaking point. The spiritually conscious part of my brain knew that this wasn’t real love in the slightest.

After deciding to do this study, redefine myself to be focused solely on YHVH and Yashua, to light myself on fire for YHVH more than ever before, something hit me. That while I had been angry and moping about my Ish not being here and wondering where he is and what he is doing. That entire time how much was I dulling him? How much harder was I making it for him to stand? How long did he struggle while I was letting my flesh control me? The very thought sickened me. I made a decision then and there that I would do everything in my power to be the very best Son I could be so that I would not burden my Ish, but instead be the suitable helper to lift him up and empower him like I am supposed to.

So my quest for both of these starts with this study. Starts with finding out everything I can about YHVH’s love and how I can embody that love to share with those I encounter. So here goes. Here is to setting my soul on fire, for finding my voice once again, to becoming wholly YHVH’s with a heart for Yashua.

Genesis Reflection One

I started re-reading my bible today from the very beginning. At first I was just reading through knowing that out of all the books Genesis is the one I know best. But then I slowed down and started over and really focused on the words and everything I had studied on it before and it was beautiful.

The love story portrayed in those first few verses is simply priceless. YHVH takes this ugly, void, chaotic mass and sees something precious in it. So, He extends Himself over it and pushes His light into it. Before YHVH puts His Spirit on the mass it is complete darkness, but afterwards the darkness can be separated from the light. So, there is still darkness, but now there is light to see, feel, cherish, and take hold of.

YHVH doesn’t stop there, He also molds and shapes the mass constantly separating and binding up. After each thing He does He blesses the mass.

Then the truly marvelous part, He turns an ugly chaotic void into an Isha by giving her the power to create life. By giving her the ability to bear seed, He is accomplishing something remarkably beautiful.

Yashua will mirror this same scenario. He comes into a dark, desperate, dying, unrighteous world; yet, he still accepts it as his bride. He teaches and grooms showing how to grab hold of the light and depart from darkness. He reforms as he heals the sick, dying, and dead. Finally, he gives his life so that his bride can have life again by taking hold of his life.

To me the comparison really stands out, but I am struggling to put the concept into words. It’s just something that when it hits you it is wow. It made me step back and realize that I once was ugly, void of life, emotion, happiness, love, and chaotic. However, YHVH saw through as dark as my life was and saw something in me that no one else not even I could see. He wrapped Himself around me and introduced light into my life. Then piece by piece he remolded me by loosening all that was unrighteous and unholy and binding love, faith, and obedience. He placed a light in me that I can share through love to bring life into the world- a light so precious and worth more than any jewel. With that He is constantly blessing me and building me up even when I start to look ugly again, He brushed me up, pushes in deeper, and brings my light back full force.

I am an Isha, because my Papa, YHVH, has made me one. I am a bearer of life. I must keep that in the forefront of my mind, because if my light becomes dim it not only harms me, but everyone who then can’t see my light which is my Papa’s love in me.

Creating a Proclimation

Here I am in a new year and wondering how I got here.

I am become more and more aware that I am an adult. That I have a job, bills, and that if I’m not looking out for myself, I am the only one to blame. It seems odd to finally have that feeling of: wow, this is what life is like; while at the same time still feeling just a bit like a kid. I have been struggling a growing through a few things.

I am learning that there is a lot to learn about my body. Over the past few months I have begun to change my diet to eat healthier foods and cut out the junk that I don’t really need. It came as a shock to me to find out that I had taken healthy eating too far and that I actually needed to eat more calories than I was taking in on a regular basis and that I needed even more since I have begun to exercise regularly.

See, my goal is not to lose weight in any of this. In fact, I am very happy with where I am at physically even though the actual number confuses me. My goal is to be able to keep up with the boys in the fire station and to be able to be at 100% throughout my entire twelve hour shift at the hospital. Right now, my endurance and strength just aren’t up to par. On top of all of that, I am still healing from previous injuries to my back, hip, and knee.

My plan of action included integrating yoga into my life on a regular basis. I have actually fallen in love with yoga, and if I haven’t done my yoga for the day I have a longing for it. I did a short session this morning and plan on completing another routine before bed.

The other part of my plan was starting some sort of high impact physical exercise. At first I was kickboxing and now I am doing Jillian Micheals 30-day shred. And if the pain I am feeling now is any indication, by the time I am done with the work out I should be much stronger.

Despite all of this: the eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of me: I still feel…lacking? I’m not sure what the proper word choice should be. I know that I will dress up really nice and proclaim that I am beautiful, because if I’m not the one saying it then no one else will. It kind of wears on you when no one takes a moment to point out that they think you are beautiful, that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. Instead of doing what some of my friends do and say that I am ugly fishing for a compliment; I will walk into the room with a smile, do a little runway strut, spin 360, and compliment myself.  Sometimes I think it annoys my friends, but I have to keep proclaiming that I am truly beautiful if I am going to make myself believe it.

In the bottom of my heart I know that Papa thinks I am so incredibly beautiful and that He believes I am gorgeous even on my very worst day. But, for me to actually truly believe after so many people telling me that I am not is an uphill battle every day and it is only through the strength YHVH gives me that I am able to look in the mirror and be proud of who I see.

On that note, however, I have let my relationship with my Papa slide. Perhaps that is way the little battles day to day are becoming harder for me. I pray every day, but I have made it routine. Something I do out of habit rather than an intimate relationship with my counterpart. I had myself convinced that reading a chapter of my bible every now and then was sufficient because I was busy.

I am standing up to myself now to say “NO!” that is not okay. How dare I proclaim to people that I am a Son of YHVH and believe in His word as the absolute truth when I haven’t read every book there is, let alone every word.

I am going to start from the beginning and read through. I will share questions and experiences with you as I do. I’ll share everything I can. Through reading I will also refocus myself.

I will rekindle the fire that burns within me that is so in love with YHVH. I will have an even more intimate relationship with my Papa than I have ever had before. I will be a Son approved and an Isha to be cherished. I will be the bride ready and waiting for Yashua’s return.

Creating Growth, Confusion, and Longing

So many thoughts running through my head, I’m not sure how to even begin to sort them all out.

The end of last month I threw myself a pity party. It was big and it was pathetic. I wallowed in feeling sorry for myself over basically nothing. Thankfully it only lasted a few days before I heard a few harsh words I needed to hear and I slapped myself together. Trying to remember now…I have absolutely no idea why I was even feeling sorry for myself. I write this now as a reminder to myself not to allow any part of my mind to wander back to any of those thoughts.

After I pulled myself together, I enjoyed graduating my new member academy at the firehouse and conquering my first twenty four hour shift. I also dominated an interview for an emergency department tech position and was offered a job; I go over the details tomorrow. With that I was able to put in my notice at my current job.

I think leaving my current job is going to be an enormous positive influence in my life. Though I truly believe I am a stronger person now for enduring the time I spent there. Who knew working at a pizza place would be so hard. From the teasing and sexual comments to the constant ridicule about my beliefs and the way I live my life, to the continuous harassing about how pure and innocent I was as if it was a bad thing.

Since when is the word “virgin” used as an insult? Or more importantly, why? I choose to live a biblical life. Because of that, I don’t eat certain foods, I don’t cuss, I don’t participate in dirty jokes, and I don’t mess around with boys. Why is all of that seen as a bad thing?

What has happened to our society that I have been told by different people that my flaws include being “too pure” and “too nice”? Why in the world is purity and kindness frowned upon? I wonder if it is just a scary thought for those that aren’t. The people that want everyone to play in the dirt with them so they don’t feel so dirty. I think that is kind of pathetic.

Why is it that people are so quick to judge, label, and wish to change or destroy?

For instance, today, for the first time ever, I started talking to a friend of one of my friends. Out of nowhere I am starting to be interrogated by that person’s ex simply because I was having a conversation with someone. I am still trying to piece together what made them jump to the conclusion that something was going on between me and a person I had barely known for three hours. Is that how to world normally works? Am I just working on some other weird level and I’m the one out of the loop? If so, keep me out of the loop. I don’t want to partake of that kind of world.

I’d prefer stay on the outside if the inside is that ugly. However, I am learning I cannot do that with all the aspects of my life. It is still my responsibility to love and to show kindness and mercy even to those that have hurt me- especially to those that have hurt me. So, I am learning how to smile even as I see the knife coming to stab me again.

I admit it is hard and my flesh wants to fight it the whole way…but my heart knows it is the right thing to do and therefore it is what I will do. I will love and show kindness, even if it means being hurt again. I will do so, because I know that is what my love desires of me and he paid such a higher price for me than I could ever even imagine partaking.

p.s. Oh Ish, I know not where you are. Until you find me I lean upon Yashua and look to him for guidance. I am doing my best to stand strong and firm and wait patiently for you. I could wait until the end of my days, because I know that even if I don’t see you here on this earth I will be with you in the kingdom. However, I wish dearly to be with you. For you to hold me in your arms, play with my hair, and whisper YHVH’s words to me to build me up. For you to be here to encourage me in my growth and help pull me through the trails. I wish to fall deeper and deeper in love with you each and every day. I wish to have a family with you and make a home. Oh how I wish for you to find me. Until then I am loving you and preparing myself for you.

Creating… a memory?

So, here I am attempting to recapture the many thoughts I never pinned to paper with a pen. Life has been moving so quick-slow that a week has felt like a month but at the same time has flown by. I mean, I hope a month would flow by if it was squished up into only a week.

In this past week I have started my internship at the firehouse, started working on my book again, and started writing my testimony. All the while attempting to oversee construction on my house when I really have no idea what they are doing or if they way they are doing it is the way it is supposed to be done. Therefore I must trust that everything will be completed before the impending deadline rears its ugly little head.

That’s not mentioning the roaring battle to reclaim my house from these little mice that have decided to make my home theirs. For months we have been attempting stay alive traps that you then go off and release them somewhere. However, I am fairly sure that the same pesky mouse we released down the street has made its wormy way back in. So, after one of our little rodent squatters decided to poke its little head out of our stove and into our cooking food- we decided enough was enough. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that all the mice just go away and don’t end up in one of our no see traps or dead somewhere from poison. I honestly hate the idea of taking any type of life, but it is becoming a hazard to keep the furry little critters around.

Anyways, I am finding that as I write out my testimony of how to I came to be the person I am and the mess that YHVH brought me out of I am in awe. After typing the first couple entries I just started bawling. I was so incredibly grateful that I have the life I have now and that with my Papa I was able to overcome what I was certain would be the death of me. It makes you so much more grateful to be alive when you realize how close you were to simply not existing.

I feel like I am getting off topic, but at the same time there is no set topic. I guess I don’t really know the purpose of this post except maybe to capture some of those wandering thoughts before they too disappear forever.

It was interesting, it wasn’t Yom Kippur that made me decide to share my story, but it helped cement the fact I needed to. For those of you that don’t know, Yom Kippur is a day of atonement and reflection as well as a day of celebration for what Yashua has done for us.

So, I was fasting as is custom, but I didn’t feel satisfied with that. I felt like there needed to be more that I was missing something vitally important. So, I had a discussion with my brother about it and we talked for a bit and in the end I felt a little more placated, but still a bit unease. It wasn’t until I was driving into work, that I realized during the discussion I was having, I was quoting scripture right and left without having to think about it- it was just coming naturally.

That’s when it hit me: Yom Kippur is about self improvement realizing where you are doing better, where you are lacking and taking the path towards improvement. I was happy with my growth from last year and hope to grow even greater in the time to come and in the now.

Creating Understanding: Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the start of a new year. I have never really looked deeper into this holiday. Never really attempted to understand its significance or importance. I was told it was a day of reflection and repentance and took it as that. However, I decided accepting what others have told me will not satisfy me. So, I set out to find my own answers.

It is widely believed that on Rosh Hashanah YHVH opens the book of life and the book of death and that between then and Yom Kippur He decides whether or not your name will be written in the book. So it is in that time that people repent for all the sins that they have made and promise to be a better person. In the biblical times a sacrifice was to be made: “Speak onto the children of Israel, saying, in the seventh month, on the first day, ye shall have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing trumpets, a holy convocation. Ye shall not do servile work: but ye shall make an offering made by fire onto Yahweh.” –Leviticus 23:24-25

So, people focused on the last part, and made a sacrifice. It was a tradition to wave the life offering over your head as a way to have it represent all of your sins and then you would sacrifice the animal and your sins would be washed away.

However, now we have Yashua, who has already made the ultimate sacrifice to wipe away our sins. Therefore, there is no need to sacrifice animals any more. For Yashua is our representative with the Father.  We can repent, shed our sins, and start a new life with YHVH at any time; we need not wait for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur to be cleansed of our sins. You can choose to be a Son and walk as Yashua walked at any time.

Some believe that if you are really good between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that your name will be written in the book of life and you are fine to do whatever you want the rest of the year until Rosh Hashanah comes back around. I do not believe this to be true. YHVH does not wish for people to revel in sin the whole year and only clean their act up for a few days out of fear and a twisted understanding of the word, only to fall back into their immorality.

We are to be cleaned and purified daily and walk in holiness constantly attaining for perfection. Walking closer and closer with YHVH and becoming more and more like Yashua. We should constantly be reflecting on who we are and where we are in our walk. It should be a natural thing to realize when we have strayed from the path and to eagerly come back running. It should be a constant journey- not just something done once a year.

With that part of the holiday out of the way, I turned my attention to other part of it: a memorial of trumpets and a meeting of holiness. What is this grand meeting and memorial for? After doing some research I realized that Rosh Hashanah is also celebrating the creation of the earth and the coronation of YHVH as King of the universe.

It is a day that we celebrate the crowning of the only true authority in existence.

I had never looked at it this way before. I had never really stopped to think that at some point everyman must choose to accept YHVH as their king or not. They must choose whether they will bend the knee and serve or if they will look for another master.

For me the choice is simple. I choose to accept YHVH as my only authority and almighty king. I choose to serve only one master with everything that is in me- mind, body, soul. I choose to celebrate joyfully that YHVH is a gracious and wonderful king to have.

I would like to share some words that helped to get me thinking: “On Rosh Hashanah, we devote two days to the search for the voice of authority we so deeply crave, for the king of the universe we have been seeking since our childhood. But don’t look for Him in the synagogue, in your prayerbook or in the rabbi’s speech. Look for Him in your deepest self: in the things that no one has to tell you, because you already know them absolutely; in the commitments to which you willingly submit, because you recognize them to be expressions of, rather than impositions upon, your true will.” By Yanki Tauber

So, yes, take the time to evaluate yourself and see if you like where you are. If you don’t, then change it. Check in on yourself often, sometimes life makes you think things that aren’t all that important are and you lose track of the good stuff. But also remember that there is a King waiting for you to decide to serve Him. Trust me; His authority is greater than anything this earth has to offer.

Now it is time to decide, how will you live this new year?

The Art of Creating

Every second of every day, with every breath we take, we are creating. Now, the choice is what to create. We can create life, love, happiness, growth, art, peace; or, we can create fear, stagnation, hate, strife, and even death.

It has become my core belief that everything I do creates something because of the choice I made. Knowing that I have that power means I have the obligation to use it. Like Spiderman taught us, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  The tricky thing is that everyone has this power. Every single human being has the potential to create. Again the question falls to: what do you create?

I chose to create life, to create love in the footsteps of the great creator, my Papa, YHVH.

I guess the next question is, how? I am still working on that one and will tell you as soon as I have the answer. I think it is something you have to choose every second of every day. With every breath I breathe I have to choose what I am going to create in that moment and who I am going to be.

Breathe in. Choice: create life. Breathe out. Choice: be a Son of YHVH.

And then, one day, you find that making the choice to create life and love and live the life of a Son is as natural to you as breathing. To not do so is to not breathe. And like not breathing, if you do it long enough pain fills your being and begs you to take in that much needed breath or your very survival is at risk.

So I chose to breathe. I chose to live. I chose to create like my Papa creates. I chose to create life and love with every second of everyday.

 

created Sept. 20 for one of my best friends and sister’s birthday.

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