The day of Passover begins tonight at sundown and the seder meal occurs tomorrow evening. All of the preparations for the moed of Pesach should be complete except for one: the final search for chametz/leaven.
Movieguide.org recently released their 2014 annual report and made the observation that for the first time in their 22-years of reporting, religious, family-friendly, and patriotic movies made up nine of the top ten grossing movies in 2013. They found the top movies with faith-centered themes of redemption earned over 400% more on average than those with a non-Christian worldview. It would seem that Hollywood has taken note and they're beginning to deliver more of what Christians want.
Or are they?
Tuesday morning. 7:20AM.
Traffic is really backed up on the off-ramp today.
Cars take turns: one car exits and one car enters and one car exits— until Red Suburban Man.
I exit... well, try to exit.
Red Suburban Man wants to skip common courtesy and
HEY! YOU ALMOST RAN INTO MY NEW CAR, YOU JERK!
My new car honks to let Red Suburban Man know his social skills need improvement.
A window rolls down and Red Suburban Man gives me two small gifts: the bird and a loud "F--- YOU!"
Like a scene from The Matrix, time... slows... to a sudden... crawl...
In a recent FoxNews.com article entitled "What the Bible Really Says About Sex", Pastor Mark Driscoll outlines several of our society's issues with sex and contrasts those with the Bible's position on the topic. He does a fairly good job of expressing Scriptural truths and shares what he calls "seven essentials" about sex from the Bible.
Soon after his article appeared, another FoxNews.com opinion columnist, Shari Johnson, delivered a response entitled, "My Lesbian Daughter, the Bible and Sex". In her article, she shares that her "world was rocked to its core the night my 37-year old daughter called to tell me she is gay. Did I run out to find a gay parade to march in? No. It was a painful process for both of us."
She also expresses her concerns regarding two of Pastor Driscoll's seven points:
#3. Marriage is for one man and one woman by God’s design, and
#5. Sex outside of marriage is a sin.
Ms. Johnson makes this statement in her article:
When I hear terms like “God’s design” and “Biblical marriage” I have to wonder who decides these things.
The answer, ma'am, is that G-d decides these things. That's kind of the point of the Bible: to provide a source of instruction for all humanity regarding G-d's ways.
When I first read the headline I chuckled and thought, "what new way did guys find to get in trouble now?" Then I read more of the CNN article entitled Why Men Are in Trouble and pondered the serious questions it raised. Here is the problem outlined in various quotes from the article...
For the first time in history, women are better educated, more ambitious and arguably more successful than men.
Now, society has rightly celebrated the ascension of one sex. We said, "You go girl," and they went. We celebrate the ascension of women but what will we do about what appears to be the very real decline of the other sex?
"Shop for today's most coveted fashion and luxury brands at up to 60% off retail."
Anyone who frequents this blog knows about the "Words For Thought" series where I examine words, their meanings, and their use in a Scriptural context.
Two of the words that I found to be rather interesting lately are liberalism and conservativism. They don't always mean what we think they mean. This article (and the next few that follow it) will examine these words. Let's start with...
1 : the quality or state of being liberal 2 aoften capitalized : a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity b : a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class) d capitalized : the principles and policies of a Liberal party
The Psalm11918.org team is pleased to announce our partnership with Gary Mink in delivering his insightful observations and commentary about the Sacred Name Movement.
The Psalm11918.org team has designed and implemented Mr. Mink's library of information on a new website at www.sacredname.com
Please take a look and let us know your thoughts about the design and information on that site!
I came across an article today and as I read it I was grieved in my soul.
The article, entitled "Go Ahead and Follow Your Heart. God Wants You To", was on the blog site named PersonalFinanceByTheBook.com.
Upon reading the title a handful of verses immediately came to mind. Chief among them was this:
"The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick;Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
Since this is true, why oh why would G-d want us to follow our hearts?
The author, Joe Plemon, includes this definition of heart in his article:
Pastor Rick Warren defines it thusly, “the bundle of desires, hopes, interests, ambitions, dreams and affections that you have."
The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for March 4th was licit.
conforming to the requirements of the law : not forbidden by law : permissible
In their "Did you know?" section they provided this:
"Licit" is far less common than its antonym "illicit," but you probably won’t be surprised to learn that the former is the older of the two. Not by much, though: the first known use of "licit" in print is from 1483, whereas "illicit" shows up in print for the first time in 1506. For some reason "illicit" took off while "licit" just plodded along. When "licit" appears these days it often modifies "drugs" or "crops." Meanwhile, "illicit" shows up before words like "thrill" and "passion" (as well as "gambling," "relationship," "activities," and, of course, "drugs" and "crops.") The Latin word "licitus," meaning "lawful," is the root of the pair; "licitus" itself is from "lic?re," meaning "to be permitted."
Recently the men of my congregation met and discussed several matters regarding our community. One of the matters discussed was the increase in email traffic which focused on the activities of the current U.S. administration and the concern it was generating among some of our families.
News and rumors regarding violations of the constitution, health care rationing, socialism, geriatric euthanasia, government funded abortion, and other serious matters abound. Some emails have alleged government conspiracy. The prophet Isaiah had a few words to share about that:
"You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. (Isaiah 8:12-13)
These echo the very words of the Messiah:
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
I recently saw this video on You Tube entitled DID JESUS GIVE US THE NAME OF THE ANTICHRIST? The author of the video proposes that Messiah Yeshua gave us a warning regarding the name of the antichrist in Luke 10:18. He suggests that a Hebrew translation of the passage would essentially read "I beheld Satan as lightning from heaven [Hebrew: barak obamah]". After watching the video I became curious and decided to investigate the matter for myself.
About a month ago I met with a group of men with whom I regularly study Scripture. We were studying Romans 7:7-12
What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET." But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. (NASB)
We discussed the word for "sin" in Hebrew (chata) and that it means to "miss the mark". Initially the discussion centered around an archery target with a bulls eye in the center and how we shoot and hit all around the bulls eye but never quite hit it dead-center.
There was a moment of revelation in our discussion when I realized there is another way to look at "missing the mark" is to "fall short".
Rand Abdel-Qader, a 17 year old Iraqi student, was beaten to death by her father . Her crime? Speaking to a young man whom her father did not approve: a British soldier.
The local police? Rather than arresting him they congratulated him.
His community? Rather than condemning him they are providing support to "disappear" in Jordan for a few weeks "until the story has been forgotten".
This is the religion of peace? That upholds the faintest whiff of dishonor over life?
Jezebel was born a princess and her name means "baal exalts" or "baal is a husband to". Her father was King Ethbaal (whose name means "with baal") in the land of Sidonia (1 Kings 16:31). When she grew up, she married an Israelite King named Ahab.
Why did Ahab not marry an Israelite (as commanded in Deuteronomy 7:3) and keep the commandments of God? We do not know, however, 1 Kings 16:30 tells us that Ahab, the son of Omri, "did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all the kings who were before him". After he married Jezebel, Ahab built an altar for Baal and made an Asherah pole in the house of Baal which was built in Samaria (verse 32).
As the saying goes "art imitates life" but it seems that recent events may put a new spin on that phrase with art imitating death.
Yesterday there was significant uproar online surrounding reports that Aliza Shvarts, a Yale art student, artificially impregnated herself and then used an herbal "abortifacient" substance to cause abortions multiple times over a 9 month period for an art project.
Today, however, the NY Sun and other sources including the Yale Arts Library Blog are reporting that Yale officials are claiming that the horrific events never actually occurred but are part of the student's "performance art" and that the events described were simply "creative fiction".
Fox News reports that a Georgia State University economist has found that divorce and out-of-wedlock childbearing is costing U.S. taxpayers over $112 billion [yes, with a "b"] per year. As a child of divorce I recognize that, while there is a financial cost to society, the greater (and less quantifiable) cost is in the damage it does to the children in those situations.
The most significant part of that damage is stunting of spiritual and personal growth of the children who do not have both parents in the home modeling proper man-woman, husband-wife, father-child, mother-child relationships. Granted, even in homes where both parents are present, there is not always proper modeling of those relationships but the complete absence of one parent or the other makes it especially difficult for the remaining parent.
As we draw into the final week before the moed of Pesach/Chag HaMatzot we should give heed to the instruction found in the Torah:
Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
As always, the physical commandment provides us with a picture of the spiritual truth. Both should be obeyed. We should clean the leaven from our homes both physically and spiritually.
Yom Shabbat, 10 Nisan, 5783
Saturday, April 01, 2023