Tag Archives: Coming close to God

Looking at the time when the Torah was given

Ruth in Boaz's Field

Ruth in Boaz’s Field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At nightfall tonight, we spend the entire first night of Shavuot studying Torah.
The traditional Tikkun Leil Shavout (“Rectification for Shavuot Night”) study program includes the opening and closing verses of each book of the Written Torah (Tanach), as well as of each Parshah; the entire Book of Ruth; the opening and closing sections of each tractate of the Talmud; a list of the 613 mitzvot; and selected readings from the Zohar and other Kabbalistic works.

On this day, Moses made a covenant with the Jewish people at the foot of Mount Sinai at which the people declared,

“All that God has spoken, we shall do and hear” (Exodus 24:7)

committing themselves to observe the Torah’s commandments (“do”) and strive to comprehend them (“hear”), while pledging to “do” also before they “hear.”

Remembering that on the 6th Sivan of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), seven weeks after the Exodus, mankind was blessed by the Elohim revealing Himself on Mount Sinai and wanting to give the Words of Guidance.

Taken the day of Erev Shavuot of 2008 at Valle...

Taken the day of Erev Shavuot of 2008 at Valley Beth Shalom’s main sanctuary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The entire people of Israel (600,000 heads of households and their families), as well as the souls of all future generations of Jews, heard God declare the first two of the Ten Commandments and witnessed God’s communication of the other eight through Moses. Following the revelation, Moses ascended the mountain for 40 days, to receive the remainder of the Torah from God.

The Torah itself does not explicitly mention the connection of this day with the the giving of the Torah on Sinai (Matan Torah). It merely says,

“You shall count fifty days (from the second day of Pesach)… and you shall proclaim on that selfsame day: It shall be a holy convocation unto you.”

Now although we know that the Torah was given on the 6th of Sivan, during the time when the calendar was fixed by eyewitnesses to the new moon, the fiftieth day — Shavuot — could fall on the 5th, 6th, or 7th of Sivan. Therefore I would love to mention this today and call to you for remembering the set apart moment of the elohim coming closer to His People, giving them something precious to hold on, so that they could be sure to please their Most High Maker.

Nonetheless, now that the calendar is no longer variable, Shavuot always coincides with the 6th. And there is also a Biblical allusion to the significance of Shavuot in the fact that unlike the other festivals, the word “sin” is not mentioned in connection with the special sacrifices for Shavuot, and this is related to the Israelites’ acceptance of the Torah, which gave them the special merit of being forgiven their sins.

Within the diversity of the world we as lovers of God do have to come in unity with the divine Maker. When we look at the world around us, there are enough things which reveal the Master Hand of the Divine Creator. This should give us confidence that the Most High is always active, omnipresent and that it is on Him we should rely.

In the month of Nisan we remembered how God’s People “fled” from Egypt, both literally and metaphorically — fled from the knowledge of the world and were filled only with the revelation from above. Their unity was of the world-denying kind. The elohim for them was One because they knew only one thing, because the world had ceased to have being in their eyes.

Iyar, the second month, is the month wholly taken up with the Counting of the Omer, and preparing ourselves for the coming events at Sinai. The divine Creator wants each of us to be aware of ourselves and likes to see that we can have our world as something apart from God which has to be suppressed.

Now in the third month, Sivan, we look up at the time when the Torah was given, when God and the world became one thing.

This was the moment of genuine unity, when what had seemed two things became a third, including and going beyond both. {Jewish saying}

We must look at ourselves and recognise that we are still far off from being really totally “one with God”. We are not yet at one with the Eternal Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Many still even do not dare to come close to Him pronouncing His titles or to enunciate His Divine Name.

We should be aware that first of all there has to be a willingness to come close to God. The best way to do that is by studying the Word God Himself has delivered to mankind. Today nobody really has an excuse that he or she would not have been able to hear God’s Word. Nearly everywhere in the world the Word of God is available in oral form, printed form with Bible translations in lots of languages so that people always could find one or an other language they can read and understand.

The ultimate unity with the Most High comes only through (learning) Torah, when the mind of man and the will of God interfuse.

Tomorrow I’ll look at two other events which occurred on Shavuot

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Preceding articles

Elul Observances

9 Adar and bickering or loving followers of the Torah preparing for Pesach

Next

To turn the world into a “vessel” receptive of God

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Additional reading

  1. Why Sabbaths or Sabbath plural “shabbatot”
  2. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  3. Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing

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Filed under Religious affairs

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

When people are hit with something terrible, or something they cannot grasp, they suddenly seem to look for a Higher Being that they can blame or that should find a solution for the agony they are feeling and the trouble they have to face.

When fifteen years later an adolescent remembers that when he was a seven years old how the country returned to God, there must have been a remarkable shift in the way people around him spoke about God and went to worship services. When we hear that the Americans “As a nation hit their knees, and drew close to God.” We may wonder where their feeling is for that same God. How quickly have they forgotten Him.

At the day itself many could not grasp what was happening an how such a terrible thing could happen. For thousands it was a nightmare which seem to take hundreds of hours. For many it was also something that only the day after could start to really sink in.

“It’s not until after you close your eyes and your body finally succumbs to sleep. You awaken in the morning to the stark reality. It’s true. It really happened. You get to make the realization all over again. Somehow the roots start to take hold. Before maybe it still could have been a dream.” {The Day After}

The United States, Canada and Europe were shaken and got an infuse of nitrogen. The acts of terrorism running through the blood vessels. Every month there was something new to remember them that they had come in a stage which would not end so soon. The sharp knife was cutting through the Western flesh, the poisonous arrow in their soul.

A wife, mother, daughter, friend, and doctor has this unyielding desire to help people fulfil their potential. In her blog she wants to to express what is not discussed by the professionals in the medical field. She always hate it when a movie or story has a dream sequence.

 It’s always during that part of the story that just can’t be real, the most horrifying part, the death, the carnage, the loss.  And then the hero wakes up.  None of it was true.  It was all a dream.  Except in life, that never really happens.  The truth is the truth.  You don’t get to shake it off.  You don’t get to say, oh wow, thank God that was just a dream!  No.  Reality is often much worse than that. {The Day After}

For that doctor

The day after a tragedy is probably one of the longest days on earth.  It feels like walking through thick smoke, breathing in thick dust, feeling the heat of flames licking at your face.  Wandering.  Lost.  Confusion.  Why?  Could I have done something?  Could the tragedy have been stopped?  If only I knew something was wrong. {The Day After}

Lots of people wondered what went wrong and how this could happen at the beginning of the 21st century.

Vipers saw their chance to tell people of all falsehoods. With devious talk they could put people to their will. By now so many have fallen in their trap.

Question now is how shall the next generation look at those events that changed the Western world and how shall the youngsters carry with them what they saw when their eyes were too young to see such horror?

We can only hope they shall be able to analyse it with refreshed eyes and tackle it better than those who then where so much taken by fear, they even when they so called had found God again, did so many things against the Will and against the commandments of that God.

The terror is not gone yet, and it will stay some longer time with us than we would love it to do. It has been a nightmare which has become daily reality. And we have to learn to live with it.

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Jecelyn Ann does not remember what anyone on the news was saying, but for her , like many all over the world, the image of the New York Twin Towers since 1973, falling will be forever burned into her brain.  She is now 21 and lives in Northern CA. She has a lot of interests and dearly loves life, and whatever she does she wants to do it with great passion and intensity. Fifteen years ago she stood in shock as she watched the Apple’s symbol “crumble again and again and again”.

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Preceding articles:

Nailed to our chairs, never to forget

What we do

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Read also

  1. Of old and new ideas to sustain power and to feel good by loving to be connected and worship something
  2. Knife-trust in democratic sore back
  3. Don’t be Muslim
  4. Father explaining Paris attack to young son
  5. Before you blame All Muslims for the terrorist attack in Paris
  6. For more than Three thousand people fifteen years ago this world came to an end

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Further reading

  1. Voices of the firefighters in the South Tower moments before collapse
  2. Photo: Firefighter’s Workout Honors 9/11
  3. 911
  4. New York City: 9/11
  5. 9/11
  6. Remember 9/11
  7. Remembering 9/11
  8. Where were you when the world stopped turning?
  9. What I Remember on 9/11
  10. The Day After – Looking Back
  11. 9/11 — Former CIA Boss John McLaughlin: “So, that’s it.”
  12. Sept. 11 Legacy: One Endless War Against Many Radical Enemies
  13. What Happened on the Planes on September 11, 2001? The 9/11 Commission “Script” Was Fabricated
  14. Guest Post – Remembering 9/11 – Laura Bloom
  15. 9/11 official story problem
  16. 15 Years After 9/11, a Sharp Partisan Divide on Ability of Terrorists to Strike U.S.
  17. I Was Five… (Remembering 9/11)
  18. September 11th Remembered: Through the Eyes of my Father and I
  19. September 12, 12:47 AM.
  20. To: Me, From: September 11
  21. More about that Tuesday
  22. 58 long, dark nights for America: Pneumonia and solemnity
  23. in honor and remembrance, we will never forget
  24. Yale University to hold 9/11 ceremony mourning the loss of victims
  25. Local 9/11 victim remembered at Waikiki banyan tree ceremony
  26. DayBreaks for 9/12/16 – Children of 9/12
  27. Further and Close
  28. #NeverForget
  29. 9/11: In Remembrance
  30. Truth About 9/11
  31. Reflecting
  32. 9/11 to heal
  33. False Alarm
  34. Fighting Fear with Love
  35. 15 years ago America was attacked by terrorist. Sadly, we’re now destroying America ourselves.
  36. Nineeleven – herinneringen

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Jecelyn Ann

September 11th, 2001. I was seven years old. I was young, but that is a day I will never forget. I remember walking out to the living room and standing in front of the television. I stood in shock as I watched the towers crumble again and again and again. I don’t remember what anyone on the news was saying or what my parents were doing, but the image of the towers falling will be forever burned into my brain. They played it over and over and over. The fire, the smoke, and then straight down they fell. I’m still broken hearted about the lives that were lost that day.

Then everything changed. I remember trick or treating seven weeks later, and parents were being warned about possible anthrax attacks halloween night. There were so many warnings about anthrax in the months following the attack. I remember thinking over what…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, History, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, World affairs

May we have doubts

Not all of us are sure about all things. Lots of matters may bring questions onto our mind.

Some may say doubt originates in a double minded person. Others say it is because a person is not enough believing in God. Others say he is not believing in Christ. Several Christians look at a doubter as a person not trusting Jesus.

Is this really so. Are we less better than other Christians when we have questions about certain matters? No, not at all.
Is doubt a sign of lacking faith? Perhaps. But it can be that you really do your best to walk in faith.
Is it because you do not believe in Jesus his victory over circumstances and trials? Perhaps, but not necessary so.

Is it because you cannot see the victory in your life you are seeking? Did you try already to check if you are really looking for the right victory?

Have you ever tried to think that what you would love to have and to see for yourself might not be in God His Will?

We are all human beings with our limitations and ‘malfunctions’.  We all have our little problems and as such we should know that every house carries its own cross.

Having all those difficulties coming over us, no wonder that we sometimes worry and question of we are doing it right or if we are following the right coarse.

In the Holy Scriptures we are advised to question everything. This means that God does understand that we more than once shall have questions with what we hear or read, and that is good, because we should question all those sayings.

For many life is an ongoing cycle of wandering and restoration. And though many would wish it were otherwise, this makes many sometimes going to and fro, coming close to God and at other moments being far away from God. Though some may desire to never depart from God, they keep losing track. Also for Jesus it seems for many Christians often difficult to keep feeling him nearby. On many occasions confronted with the realities of life we may have lots of doubts about many things.

The reality of our sinful human condition makes it so that we also have periods where our relationship with other human beings, with Christ and/or with God is disturbed a lot.

In our technological age of communication it looks like many have lost the good communication with the Most High Divine Creator.

James Paulgaard, a fellow traveller on the journey of life, also sees some problems of this time and age. He writes:

For centuries, up until the Sixties, the Church was perfectly designed for our culture. When a group of immigrants settled in a new area, one of the first things that they did was to build a church in the centre of the community. People valued going to church as a good thing. It made people into good citizens. Encouraging the Christian faith was seen as a valuable in our society at the time. There were benefits to going to church. You could build your network of social and business contacts and perhaps even meet your future spouse there. The church was perfectly designed to develop people in that environment into followers of Jesus. {Following Jesus on His Mission: Doing the Simple Things}

Today people have found other networks which they do find more important.

Choluteca Bridge

This bridge was a well-designed and fully functional bridge, but in 1998 Hurricane Mitch dumped 36 inches of rain on the area in just a few days and amidst all the other damage caused by the hurricane, the deluge of water carved a new channel for the river around the bridge and the bridge now spans dry ground. It is a perfectly designed bridge that doesn’t work anymore because the river moved. (Photo from the article: Following Jesus on His Mission: Doing the Simple Things)

Now, being part of a Christian Church is no longer seen as a desirable by our culture. Encouraging the Christian faith is no longer valued by our society. People do not need the church for social or business contacts or to find a spouse. We have websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Plenty of Fish for all those things. A church that was perfectly designed to make disciples in the world of sixty years ago and older struggles to engage with the mission of Jesus Christ in the world of today because the river has moved. {Following Jesus on His Mission: Doing the Simple Things}

When you follow the articles on Our World and perhaps form your newspapers or journals on television, you are probably aware how bad the state of church attendance is. All over the industrialised countries we do find a secularized community. In some countries there may still be a solid core of people continue to value faith; but a growing core do not. { find a.o. Reginald Bibby, A New Day: The Resilience and Restructuring of Religion in Canada (Lethbridge: Project Canada Books, 2012), 5, 10, 34.}

Lots of people got to hear from their preachers that Jesus is God because no human being is ever able to follow God’s Will. Because of that lie, people have no trust in that Jesus any more and do find it rubbish that at other moments priests or pastors say they have to take the armour of Christ and become like Christ. That then would mean they  had to become like God, which is something impossible.

And in case it is impossible fro any human being to follow the Will of God, what use would it than be to even try, if no man ever could succeed.

Lots of people do forget that Jesus was a man who lived some two thousand years ago. He was a real person, others could see and not fall death (In the Bible is written that people cannot see God and live). That man, born in an Essene family from the tribe of king David, had to learn everything. People should know that God knows everything but this Jesus did not. He also had to disappoint those who wanted to know where they would be seated with him in God’s Kingdom. In case Jesus was God he could have told them because he would have known, but Jesus did not know it and had also to disappoint those who wanted to know when he would come back. Jesus always wanted to do the will of his heavenly Father and did not want to lie, like his heavenly Father does not tell lies. Not knowing when the end times or Last Days of this time system would fall, Jesus could not tell them, nor us, when he would be coming back.

In the Gospels we also can see that Jesus at moments had doubts and even wondered why God had abandoned him. So, in case Jesus dares already to ask God why He had left him, why should not such thoughts may or could come up in our minds.
What is important is how we cope with such thoughts. How we cope with our questioning God? And how we dare to question God.

We may ask God lots of things, but we have to do it in a proper manner. We also may request Him things, but we should know that God knows best for us.

Jesus has already done the hard work of living a perfect human life, dying on the cross and rising from the dead to reconcile all of creation to God. Jesus is the one doing the supernatural work of drawing people close to him and planting faith in their hearts.

as Greg Finke, {Joining Jesus on His Mission: How to Be an Everyday Missionary (Tyler TX: Tenth Power Publishing, 2014), 42-43} and James Paulgaard  {Following Jesus on His Mission: Doing the Simple Things} puts it.

English: A statue of Jesus Christ at a church ...

A statue of Jesus Christ at a church in India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus paved the path to God; He restored the relation between God and man and has become our mediator, now sitting at the right hand of God (notice: not on God’s throne).

The problem of today is that most people do not know the real Jesus.

To help to find Jesus and to get to see better the importance of what he really did, dying for us all, whitewashing our sins, there has been started a new website. “Messiah for all” wants to show the world that Christ Jesus was and is there for the whole world. He does not want to miss any body. He gives everybody the opportunity to get to know him and to get to know the way to the Kingdom of God.

“Messiah for all” is there for you to help you find Jesus and to find he is worth all your trust and all your faith.

Please do find that site for you and me, and start reading: Are people allowed to have doubts

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Find additional reading:

  1. What’s church for, anyway?
  2. Obstacles to effective evangelism
  3. To be prepared and very well oiled
  4. Impediments in our way
  5. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  6. Looking for Free Blogs and blogging
  7. Those who love Jesus
  8. Humbleness
  9. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  10. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  11. No time for immorality

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  • Augustine on the Difference between Christianity and Platonism (booksontrial.wordpress.com)
    The difference between Platonism and Christianity is not merely a difference of interpretation, but the difference between perception/speculation on one side, and reality/true knowledge on the other. To use a Biblical imagery, there is a great gulf fixed between them. It is the difference between death and Life, between an inanimate object and a living being. Though philosophy may delight man with a magnificent picture of truth and beauty, it is nevertheless dead, and so the greatest philosophical ideas cannot be compared with the smallest life-giving word of God.
  • Most Blessed State of Being for Now (relijournal.com)
    A Christian is saying “I’ve got to be me” when the Holy Scriptures indicate we are to be crucified in Christ? I have to wonder how much spiritual damage was done to other by that worldly thinking. What “Christian” singers sing does not supercede the written Word of God. The Holy Bible does not indicate we have got to be “ourselves,” but it does state we are to be like Christ.
  • Living in the Wrong Time (histruthwillsetyoufree.wordpress.com)
    The best days are when I live in the present,  with my friend, the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.  With Him, there is no room for Regret or Worry.
  • Evangelists Want to Convert Heathen Computers To Christianity, Create Army Of ‘Robot Pastors’ (addictinginfo.org)
    On Wednesday, Gizmodo’s Zoltan Istvan reminded us that, soon, the world will be full of “autonomous, self-aware super intelligences” created by humans. Obviously, some Christians see this as an opportunity to convert something to their religion.

    Evangelists told Gizmodo that these sciencey, autonomous computer brains probably can, and definitely should, be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

  • Equal to Christ. Septuagesima 2015 (deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com)
    Jesus gave Himself for us to make us His own people who are zealous, eager, passionate about doing good works.  Christians have been born again so that they may live a new life of service to God in good works.
  • The Journey of Love and Commitment (vineandbranchworldministries.com)
    When we wonder about in life, do we ponder the meaning of the many gifts before us and offer praise and thanksgiving or do we literally take life for-granted.  Sanctification sets us apart and instills our hearts and spirit with the desire to follow the pattern Jesus gave.
  • Excuse My Scepticism (pastorcharleschipere.wordpress.com)
    In our Christian Faith, we are taught to believe rather than to be a doubting Thomas. We are taught to trust rather than mistrust. We are taught to give a person the benefit of the doubt before we dismiss them. But my journey of faith has had some encounters with reality leading me to embrace some sceptical attitude towards some things I have observed in the land of the living. Before I delve into my observations, please excuse my scepticism. But this scepticism does not take away my faith in God.
  • An Unfathomable Gift (connywithay.wordpress.com)
    “All other religions and sects teach that man has to perform many good works in order to gain bliss – salvation is dependent on man. The Christian faith is completely the opposite. It is God working salvation on behalf of man – salvation is dependent on God,” Jan Blonk writes in his book, The Unfathomable Gift: God’s Astonishing Grace.
  • The Other Side (culturalatheist.wordpress.com)
    Do you have a people or place that you have determined God is not present and the places and people are demonic and unclean?
  • The Call of God (mississippipep.wordpress.com)
    If God were human, how sick and tired He would be of the constant requests we make for our salvation and for our sanctification. We burden His energies from morning till night asking for things for ourselves or for something from which we want to be delivered! When we finally touch the underlying foundation of the reality of the gospel of God, we will never bother Him anymore with little personal complaints.

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Religious affairs