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July 4, Picnic day

“After Joshua had dismissed them, the People of Israel went off to claim their allotted territories and take possession of the land. The people worshiped God throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the time of the leaders who survived him, leaders who had been in on all of God’s great work that he had done for Israel.  Then Joshua son of Nun, the servant of God, died.  He was 110 years old.  They buried him in his allotted inheritance at Timnath Heres in the hills of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash.

“Eventually that entire generation died and was buried.  Then another generation grew up that didn’t know anything of God or the work he had done for Israel.”

—–Judges 2: 6-10, Message translation.

Generations of Americans have come and gone since the original founders risked their lives and those of their families to declare freedom from oppressive government.  They passed on to their children their stories, their principles, and their values as patriots.  Each generation fought for their own freedoms.  There is a group we call The Greatest Generation, those who beat back two dictators in the 1940s so we could have peace and prosperity.  They’re almost gone.  Who is left of their children, the Baby Boomers, to teach the spirit of patriotism, to ensure that this will continue to be the land of the free? Are there enough to pass it on? After the sexual revolution of the 60’s, who is  left?

As I have tried to talk of how things used to be, of who came before us as if maybe there’s something the next generation could learn, I have never encountered so much apathy and resistence.  The only people who didn’t have someone to learn from were Adam and Eve.  The rest of us are idiots to shut out the past.

Do not forget how easy it was to turn Germany from a people whose many cultures lived peacefully into a nation that killed millions based on first, their value to government, and second, their faith.

Lincoln’s birthday used to be a day off from school.  Washington’s birthday was separate from Lincoln’s.  They are now combined and generically called President’s Day, set on a Monday so people could have another 3 day weekend. Never mind who’s actual birthday it was.

Memorial Day was moved from the 31st of May, a day set aside to commemorate the soldiers who kept the United in the United States.  It’s now an official holiday on the last Monday of the month, and many have no clue what they’re supposed to remember.  It now signifies the beginning of summer.

I wonder when this generation of politicians will change Independence Day to the first Monday of July so — are you getting it yet? — we can have another automatic 3 day holiday.  The real motivation may be the blurring of why it was called Independence Day into maybe Fireworks Day.

I’ve said it before.  If we don’t indoctrinate our children in our ways, somebody else will indoctrinate them in theirs.

The biggest and the best day ever

The Resurrection, the climax to the greatest story ever told.  God created the beauty and comfort of the garden for man.  When Adam and Eve fell, the plot thickened.  As the story unfolded — prophecies, the flood, kings good and bad, cycles of blessings and exiles, obedience and rebellion rolled through the ages — the common thread of promise was woven, that of a savior who would sacrifice Himself for all.

I am going to thoroughly enjoy our Easter Sunday celebration, all the music and the joy.  I think He got out of that tomb immediately after midnight Saturday, that rolling the stone away and posting the angels was for the benefit of those who came to the tomb at dawn.  I think the shroud is what they say it is, that being a proud Dad, God took a picture of his kid on His graduation from death to life.  I think Yeshua greeted his disciples with a huge grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye — hugs all around, tears flowing freely, maybe even uncontrolled fist bumps and air leaps.  I’m going to celebrate this holiday with all I’ve got in me!

But we’re missing a few things after 17 centuries of dilution, religious wars, distortion and antisemitism.

The feasts given to Moses in the wilderness were the pattern of how that promise first mentioned just prior to the expulsion from the garden would be fulfilled both in the coming of the sacrificial lamb which we celebrate now and that of the victorious conqueror, soon to come again.

This year I attended Passover with my Messianic Jewish friends.  They set it a day early as Yeshua did that fateful year of His sacrifice, knowing He’d be “busy” on the cross as the real and final lamb precisely when lambs were being slaughtered in the temple.  Passover is the 14th of Nissan also known as Aviv.  That year it fell on the Sabbath, sundown on Friday, explaining the hurry to get Jesus’ body in the borrowed tomb late that afternoon.

Our Church traditions have disconnected from the Passover with both the Roman calendar based on the sun (they were sun worshipers) and by renaming His Passover celebration exclusively as The Last Supper.  By doing so, we come away with only bread and wine, still a beautiful sacrament.  We’ve even diluted the wine part of that last feast of Passover by interpreting His statement that He would not drink of the cup again until He returned, as a teaching against all kinds of alcohol consumption.  Instead He was referring to the fourth cup of the Passover feast.

We’ve lost a vast amount of value and blessing by obliterating our Judaic roots without considering Yeshua’s Jewishness and that He followed all the customs and feasts as did the first century believers. Want to know how that happened?  Here’s an excerpt from this:

Passover, which fell on the 14th day of the month of Nisan, always fell on a full moon. Some Christians, principally those in the East, known as the Quartodecimians, thought Easter, too, should always fall on the 14th day of the lunar month, which was, by definition, the full moon, since the month started at the new moon. Others thought Easter should always fall on a Sunday, since that was the original Resurrection Day. This led to conflict: One reason to convene the Nicene Council was to prevent the resulting, threatened schism.

The Council decreed Easter to be the first Sunday after the Full Moon following the Spring Equinox, March 21, unless that Full Moon fell on a Sunday (in which case Easter would be the following Sunday).

In addition to the perfectly reasonable desire to keep the memorial on the same day of the week as Christ’s Resurrection, there were other, ignoble motives for separating the Christian celebration from the Jewish holy day. In his letter to those not at the Nicene Council, the Emperor Constantine spells out some of what we would refer to as anti-semitism:

“Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.”
– Eusebius The Life of Constantine

Other Reasons for Easter’s Date

The dating of Easter could have been intended to include pagans rather than exclude Jews. it would be fitting for Constantine, as a sun-worshiping pagan, to have selected the vernal equinox, representing the rebirth of the sun, in the same season as the blood-letting pagan Hilaria and Taurobolium festivals.  Hence, “Sunday.”

These changes wouldn’t have been much of a problem had the Jews not been excluded purely on a prejudicial basis and the Passover been scrubbed as exclusive to them.  A much better way would have been to acknowledge the actual date of Nissan the 14th as Passover, that that was the last meal of our Lord, associate it with the crucifixion and set up the nearest Sunday as a celebration day for the convenience of the community’s work schedule and to commemorate that Yeshua did rise on the first day of the week.  And that’s about all the blending I’m willing to tolerate.
Remember, you are now brought out of your ignorance of the origin of those infernal eggs and rabbits used for fertility worship in Baal’s temple in Babylon.  When we have the whole story, when we realize how God’s first commandment in the Big Ten was “thou shalt have no other gods before me” did not say it’s okay to have other gods’ stuff in your house as long as you worship Him too (see the lessons on leaven).  Realize also that Jezebel, not one of God’s examples of purity, was a practicing prostitute in the Baal temple with all those egg and rabbit symbols.  Realize too that the next king after her husband Ahaz razed the Baal temple and turned it into the community toilet.
Do you get the pagan symbolism yet and God’s hatred for them?  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  When Jesus walked through the locked door where the disciples were hiding, He did not bring Easter baskets.

going to Passover this year

First, an update on the domestic upheaval.  The dining room is almost done.  About a third of it needs a second coat, but if we close the blinds………..  The furniture is still out of place supporting things like a tape measure, wallpaper remover spray bottle, a Phillips screw driver when we’re looking for the pliers, homeless CDs, and a confused and homeless shower curtain.

Most of the bathroom has one coat.  I love the color—love it, love it, love it.  Imagine the velvet backdrop of midnight with only the stars and moonlight.  Not black, not blue, not purple … none, but all three.  In other words, there’s not a towel out there that will match it so we go with white and white only ….. midnight and snow, yeah, that’s the ticket!!

“Honey, put hinges on the list with the plumbing thingy dingy. There’s a pen on top of the frig—there used to be a pen on top of the frig—what’s the third thing I just said?”  What is that third thing?

I have one more weekend to get things finished and back in place before the kids fly in on the 9th for Resurrection Celebration aka Easter.

On Tuesday the 7th, I am joining Messianic friends from Shomair Ysrael to celebrate the Passover Seder, the 15th of Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar, the night of the full moon after the vernal equinox.  They chose to celebrate a day early which is precisely what Yeshua did with His disciples, knowing that He would be giving His life as the Lamb of God at the very hour that lambs were being slaughtered in the temple for the Passover that fell on the Sabbath that year making it a high holy day.  How much higher holiness than the Lamb that takes the sin of the world once and for all?

I have previously blogged about the pagan nature of our Easter traditions.  I have not changed my opinion that our traditions are pagan in origin.  That is fairly common knowledge lately.  We can paint them Christian, we can say we took them away from pagan history and gave them new life and new meaning.  The truth is that Constantine was anti-Semitic and recreated the existing celebration away from Passover and assigned it to the known pagan date as a rebuff to Judaeism.  Why keep the the Baal/Babylonian symbols after we know where our Easter traditions came from?  Why??  Entertainment for the kids?

Why not teach our children the majesty and magnitude of the meaning of the feast of Passover, that Yeshua celebrated it, that He didn’t include Baal worship’s eggs and rabbits and fertility rites in the upper room, why He wouldn’t drink of the last cup of Passover wine (hint–it wasn’t to prohibit drinking wine), how the foot washing fit in with the Passover ritual, the prophetic importance of His prayer in Gesthemane, the incredible heart wrenching beauty of the blood streaming down the cross, its fulfillment of the Temple sacrifice system He set up long ago with Moses, that our life is in His blood.

Let’s wake up to and teach our children that Jesus, Yeshua, will return for us when we recognize and include our Judaic roots, the Messianic believers, Jesus’ Jewishness, His desire for Jews and Gentiles to unite, to merge as one.  That was His prayer in the garden.

I propose we celebrate Hebrew festivals with our Jewish brethren in our church along side our innocent and rich traditions, not to be saved, not to make points.  God shows up at the parties He planned and we’ve been standing Him up.  They’re for us to meet with Him, we do it to witness to yet more Jews to bring them into the fold, we do it to meet God, we do it to embrace our Jewish roots.  It can’t and shouldn’t become legalistic, but be considered a privilege.

Did you know what was the hem of Yeshua’s garment that the woman touched and was healed? His talit — his prayer shawl, just like the one Jews wear to this day.

In Luke 8:43 the woman with the issue of blood for twelve years, came and touched THE BORDER OF HIS GARMENT and was healed. That word BORDER comes from the Hebrew word tzit tzit meaning twisted coils, fringe, or tassel. (Remember the commandment of the Lord from Deut. 22:12 to wear the twisted coils?) What did she touch? The twisted coils on the border of the garment (His Prayer Shawl) that Jesus being Jewish, would have been wearing.

(Check out also the part about wings)

Christianity was Jewish first.  They decided to include us then. It’s time, in these end days, to include them now.  Jesus wants oneness.

Say when.




Remember

That was 9 years ago.  Up to 6 additional attacks on New York City have been thwarted.  They haven’t given up and won’t give up until either they or we conquer the other.  There will be no truce despite those who believe appeasement and discussion is the answer.

Never forget what we’re up against and what they want to do.

Veterans Day

vet·er·an      [vet-er-uhn, ve-truhn] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation

–noun

1. a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation, office, or the like: a veteran of the police force; a veteran of many sports competitions.
2. a person who has served in a military force, esp. one who has fought in a war: a Vietnam veteran.

–adjective

3. (of soldiers) having had service or experience in warfare: veteran troops.
4. experienced through long service or practice; having served for a long period: a veteran member of Congress.
5. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of veterans.

[Origin: 1495–1505; < L veterānus mature, experienced, equiv. to veter- (s. of vetus) old + -ānus -an]

I appreciate #2 of the definition above, pulled from dictionary.com, that illustrates a military veteran as a “Vietnam veteran.”  All too often our focus ends with a WWII veteran.  We’ve just about run out of WWI vets and the WWII vets, now called the Greatest Generation, are dying at the rate of about 1000 a day.  In the flurry to honor them while we still have them, we can lose sight of the men who fought in Korea because that was a police action headed up by the United Nations.  Our Viet Nam vets often take a back seat.  Those are the men who were spat on when they came home.  They are the ones who sometimes don’t tell people that they are veterans who were fighting to keep communism at bay and were trashed by a generation of college students whose motives are still under debate, many of whom themselves embraced Karl Marx’ communist socialist policies.  At least one of them is currently running for president.  Personally, I believe their politics were wrong then and they’re still wrong.  Enemies don’t stop fighting and back down because we yell “peace.”

Honey’s great-grandfather, George Wesley Brock, at the age of 16, volunteered to preserve the United part of USA in the War Between the States.  Geo.Wesley’s grandfather, also a George, fought in the War of 1812, the “second revolution” against Britan’s attempt to recapture us, was himself captured by Indians sympathetic to Britain and survived a gauntlet because he said, “I’m half Indian.”  My father wore the army uniform in WWII to defeat two nations who would destroy our freedoms.  His great, great grandfather, John Murphy, Sr, fought to create a free nation in the Revolutionary War at Valley Forge as did his father-in-law, William Cooke.

So, which veterans are we honoring and if you say “all” are you limiting the celebration to those who served in combat in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, The Gulf War, and Iraq?  What about Bosnia? Afghanistan?  What about the desk jockeys, and those who put in duty in Germany in peacetime?   Anybody who’s worn the uniform, whether he or she is shooting a gun or working at the PX, signed a contract that committed them to following orders, giving up their right to free speech, and going wherever and whenever, even at the cost of their lives.

Honey enlisted in the Navy in 1968 while Viet Nam was still in full swing.  He signed the contract, put on the uniform and boarded ship.  He’s a veteran by definition #2.  This morning he had the priviledge of honoring men and women in our congregation as well as veterans in general.  This is what he wrote: 

Today on the Veterans Day we gather together around the Lord’s table to give a tribute to our forefathers who paved the way for the freedoms we so richly enjoy today.  But more importantly, we come here today to honor a savior who died for our eternal freedom.

Today, we salute the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel for their mission.

We remember the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

We honor the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat, but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and then teaching them how to watch each others’ backs.

We salute the barroom loudmouth, dumber than a box of rocks, whose overgrown fratboy behavior is outweighed a hundred times by four hours of exquisite behavior near the 38th parallel.

We remember the parade riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

We remember the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket–palsied now and aggravatingly slow–who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife was still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

We remember our Navy signalman who still holds close a tear stained picture of a best friend who lost his life in the line of duty.

Yes, we honor the ordinary, yet extraordinary human beings who offered some of life’s most vital years in the service of their country, and sacrificed all of their life’s ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

Most importantly, we honor and remember the greatest soldier of all, Jesus Christ our Lord, who came to earth to fight the Good Fight, Who took up the sword of righteousness on behalf of all mankind and became the greatest testimony this world has ever known for the greatest promise ever given.