Makes Me Feel Some Type of Way

Feelings are like pathways that show you where you’ve been or where you perceive you’ve been. It’s funny because we’ll often make decisions based off of what we feel or we’ll want someone to make decisions based on what we feel.

What we feel in a situation usually points to an idea we have that we may not even be aware of. Feelings are not enemies. They are not fact or standard necessarily either. But, they’re so beautiful.

We’re often conditioned to only feel a certain way. “You shouldn’t feel like that.” This makes us live dishonest lives with ourselves and others. There are times where I feel I should be feeling happy or what have you, but I don’t. Once I make space for that feeling(s) without judgment, then it can pass and I can see the idea or behavior pattern it’s attached to. Then, God starts to deal with that thing at the root, slowly but surely.

Honor your feelings, but always challenge them. If we can’t heal in our emotions, we’ll unknowingly make decisions that keep us running on the same hamster wheel. The better we can make space for our feelings, the better we can make space for the feelings of others.

When we don’t know how to create space for our emotions, then we often bombard others with our emotions to get THEM to create the space for us. What that does is cause resentment, shutting down, and dependence in some cases. Boundaries are disregarded because there’s such a need to have our emotions validated.

Making space for your feelings is the act of sitting and playing at the feet of God. It’s being a child before Him. It’s being. It’s sitting without guard because you KNOW you’re in a safe space. When we can learn that within ourselves, we restore value and carry the capacity to restore it in others.

This is how the kingdom truly grows. People get vulnerable before YAH and this vulnerability spreads. The longer society refuses to be vulnerable before God and others, the more issues will be exasperated. I believe this affects our health–mentally, physically. Our bodies start to break down because emotionally, we haven’t rested.

When you first start this process it’s painful. You will want to run and hide from what you find. You’ll dabble in doing it yourself and depending on others to do it for you.

An example.

My sister might tell me about a new boundary she’s setting with the family. “I’d prefer that you don’t do fill-in-the-blank anymore.” Something about her saying that triggers an irritation and sadness. So, maybe I assume she’s wrong for telling me that.

But when I’m accustomed to making space for my emotions, I sit with them. Patiently.

What they are connected to will come to light. Maybe I find that her telling me that I can’t do such and such anymore made me feel rejected or like she didn’t like me and I often feel this way with my sister or in general. When I’ve done that, I can validate myself and respect her boundary. This has been a game changer in my life and relationships. Telling myself that I couldn’t feel certain things or to shut up and keep going, ended up making me see myself as less valuable.

As I’ve continued to do this, I see the way YAH sees me—I’m beautiful. So beautiful. I can stand upright in situations because I know who I am.

Your feelings are not facts, but they are probably some of the most valuable tools God gave us.

A pastor used to preach that God didn’t care about your feelings. We used to laugh about it, but now I see. Nothing could be further from the truth. We live with that ideology when we think we have to present ourselves to God a certain way.

Making space for your feelings, being vulnerable before God means that you can stand before any measure of man and not flinch or budge because you know who you are. “Don’t worry about man who can only destroy the body.” “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Brings new light to these verses.

If God has approved me, who can disqualify me? NOBODY. If I don’t have to present myself before God a certain way, then I don’t have to present myself to man according to his standards.

I stand confidently before YAH because I know I’m right in His eyes. How many people can truly say they KNOW they’re right in God’s eyes? I used to feel like I was right in God’s eyes if I was “on the right track” or ticking off all the “saved” boxes. But, from the perspective and experience as His child, I can play before Him without hesitation of my place before Him.

He’s providing for me.

Am I Done Pretending?

I’ve always known I wasn’t the most feminine woman. I had a deeper voice, didn’t like carrying purses, wasn’t the neatest, and didn’t like pink; so, this inevitably meant I just wasn’t fem. I’m cringing thinking about it!

I had a very surface-level idea of what femininity is. With this shallow understanding, I overcompensated by trying to talk softer, seem less alarming, smile, be agreeable (to a fault), and market myself as a highly domesticated woman. This overcompensation is evidence of a few things I’d like to explore in this blog.

Today, my understanding has moved (thankfully) far away from the surface and is increasing as I explore the depths and wonders of this enchanting energy I possess. Truth is, I wasn’t super feminine and overcompensated like a @%!*#, but the why is just as important as the what.

I did not know who I was.

I knew who or what I wanted to be and always found a deep deficit in those spaces. So, I set out to prove I was something I wasn’t. One way of saying I didn’t know who I was is to say I was missing information. Part of a woman being able to live from her feminine energy is having had a father that stood confidently in his masculine. This dynamic provides information that I received in part.

I was protecting myself.

In protecting myself, I subconsciously activated very masculine energy. Masculine energy strives, wrestles, protects. I didn’t want people to see how underdeveloped I was, so I tried to protect it while it was still in development. Because I was striving, I also repelled potential bodies to meet my femininity with masculinity. Additionally, the feminine energy in me could not truly flourish because the masculine had taken over.

I did not know my value.

I craved for someone to see my value. I’d go above and beyond to make my value known. This brought short spurts of validation. This only sent me further down a path of finding quick fixes for realizing my value. It all becomes about keeping up appearances. Living for appearances is incredibly unfulfilling because the standard is always changing.

Aside: This is what I think is the problem with society as a whole. There is no standard. This produces disorder, anxiety, and a wealth of mental health issues. But, that’s a blog for a different day.

I did not know light.

God is light. Light is the standard. It is the only source of truth and power. I thought I knew this truth, but I didn’t.

I grew up aligning myself to Christian beliefs or standards which on the surface seemed to have had a good grasp of the masculine-feminine dynamic; but, they were surface-level, too!

Many Christians are living this way, today. They have created their own “whats” and “whys.” They’ve created “laws,” so to speak, to make simple a deep enriching aspect of life. Men always ____. Woman always ____. On a certain level, it is validating once you’ve mastered these “laws.” It makes you feel like you’re on the right track.

Being on the right track, most often, doesn’t feel like being on the right track. [Insert ironic laugh here*] When we create laws where there are none, it cuts off the opportunity to experience the many facets of life. Many people who have lived like this have merely found satisfaction in the validation that has come from someone else noticing that they’ve perfected these “laws.” What good is perfection when you’ve looked upon the wrong thing as the standard?

This was Yeshua’s issue with the Pharisees. It is not that they followed laws, it’s that they created their own. While they were perfect in their own law, they no longer looked to Light to define what was or was not.

Follow me, for a moment. When we are not presented with the perfect picture (light), we are forced to find things in reach for our best attempt at a perfect picture.

So, we collect our leaves, sew them together, and walk the runway of life. Everyone’s looking on. We put up strobes and spotlights that illuminate the garments we’ve used to keep ourselves hidden.

True light has a way of coming in and challenging the fabric of our garments. If we sit still long enough, Light will slowly and gently singe the fig leaves and we’ll be naked before the One who made us.

In Christianity, I’d never experienced true challenge (having light reflected on me). It’s not a part of the culture. First, a person that truly challenges, does so from vulnerability and the fruit of having already been challenged.

In Christianity, people don’t challenge others because they are afraid of it being returned. They are afraid, unfamiliar, and uncomfortable with the vulnerability that comes with being on the receiving end. So, we don’t challenge.

Instead, I’ll validate your fig leaves and you’ll validate mine and we never get to truly know God. We’ll make gods of ourselves. We’ll designate a select few (pastors, ministers, etc.) who are allowed to examine and challenge but will call the return of that ‘rebellion.’ We create our own laws and standards and congratulate ourselves on our obedience. But what about the true standard?

How healthy are we if our fashion and figures of speech are us pretending? What’s wrong with saying you don’t know the standard? Why make it up? Why create your own traditions? Why create your own definitions for what YAH has already defined?

We pretend because we don’t trust. We don’t trust because our environments have taught us it is unsafe to be vulnerable. Our environments have indirectly taught us conditional love. But, in order to know the standard, we will have to be vulnerable. It becomes a lot easier when we learn that YAH makes Himself vulnerable with us before He ever requires that of us.

So, in my journey the past few years, I’ve been learning to present myself to YAH without fig leaves—no pretending, no protecting. I don’t have to pretend.

You don’t have to have it together for Him to be pleased with you. He is pleased when we are vulnerable with Him. I’d ask you to examine your life and discover where you are hiding parts of yourself to the people around you. Where are you performing for those around you? What image are you constantly trying to portray?

The question is am I done pretending? Am I done seeing YAH as someone to protect myself against? Am I done needing the things I’ve used to fill voids? Am I willing to let Him fill those spaces?

Dear Church: I Left And I’m Not Going Back

I left because I started to ask, “why do we do what we do?” “What does Scripture say?” Finding the answer to those questions is what led me here.​

Christians don’t know what to do with those who leave the church.

I’ve seen a few typical responses. These are either reactions to or explanations for people leaving. These responses indicate something about the foundation and dynamics operating in the Christian Church.

These will be in no particular order.

  • Indignant. Some are incredibly angry that a person would not agree and align with their idea of the importance of church or traditional Christian ideals.

This indicates there is a foundation of control upon which Christianity is built or the conduit through which it is practiced.

  • Control. Some are frustrated that this person is no longer able to be controlled.

This points to how powerless people in religion feel and their need to cover or compensate for this powerlessness. This is evidenced in various doctrines and traditions.

  • Fear. Some are afraid that you’ll be lost or “the devil’s going to get you.”

This shows how many have been shamed and scared into life with YAH.

  • That’s none of my business. Some don’t feel they are mature enough to relate and converse with someone who may be grappling with their faith and religion. So, they avoid it altogether.

This points to the social system embedded in the Christian church and how people see their roles therein.

  • Longing. In a phrase, “I wish I could do that. I wish I was strong enough to do that.”

This points to the exhaustion of people in religion. Many are tired as they run on the hamster wheel of religion, but it keeps you codependent upon its system. So, you can’t really leave (you can, but you feel like you can’t).

  • Devalue. This is the belief that you are of no value or importance if you are not a part of this belief system anymore.

This points to the incomplete system of validation the Church has set up. People look to pastors, church community, no other Christians to validate themselves. Anyone who does not adhere to this value system immediately and innately loses their value.

Your response to this shouldn’t be to cover up or justify how you or your church normally responds. My encouragement to you if you’ve read this through, is ask. Figure out why people are leaving the Church and Christianity as a whole. Don’t make assumptions.

I left because I started to ask, “why do we do what we do?” “What does Scripture say?” Finding the answer to those questions is what led me here.

People are leaving a system they once felt so strongly about. I felt I had to defend this faith. I felt a responsibility and a weight that many feel today.

I’ve been hesitant at times to share more about my beliefs before I left because people use that to explain away why I left. They’ll say, “You just weren’t doing it right. You just weren’t serious. I’ve always been certain about _. I’ve always known that! You were just at the wrong church. Not all churches are the same.”

I’ve reached a place now where I’m okay with the conclusions people will draw. I think one of two could happen if people started being curious when people leave.

One. They will start to look at what the Church has been doing for so long and make radical changes.

Two. Others will start to leave — much like an exodus.

This is what I think some pastors or Christians are fearful of. They’re afraid to look within. They’re afraid to question and challenge. What if I find out something I don’t like? What if everything I’ve built my doctrine on falls apart? Where would I go? What would I do?

It’s okay to not have the answers to those questions. So, if you do find yourself in that place, feel free to reach out to me!

He is good.
Everything will be okay!

Would I Ever Go Back To Church?

Below is an entry from my journal. I hope it brings encouragement and provokes thought in you as you are going on your way!

I’ve finally reached a space where I truly believe “Church” has nothing to offer me.

I do believe it is one of those situations where it’s “throw the baby out with the bath water.” I think what keeps people so tethered is fear. Some fear because they are uncertain of another way to secure their relationship with God. Some fear because their identity is contingent upon being validated within that system.

To throw it all out would raise the question: what do we do now? That’s the same question I had when I left the church almost two years ago. What now?

There’s a quieting that took place during that time. I resisted the urge to “know.” I resisted the urge to “know the future.” I resisted the urge to quickly join another church. I resisted the urge to distrust myself because I didn’t have the backing of Christians or Christian leadership. I didn’t give in and I’m so glad I didn’t.

Sometimes, I wish I could say the moment I stepped away from Christianity everything was solidified. But, that’s not what happened. I was angry and still am sometimes. It has often been lonely. I’ve experienced soft rejection from Christians whose faith couldn’t take them where I was at. I’ve been sad and scared. But, I never stopped moving forward.

I’ve learned more in the almost two years leaving the “safety” of religion than I have my entire time there. People don’t often understand why I’ve criticized the church SO MUCH. I think it’s easier to assume it’s church hurt. When that friend that only comes for Easter and Christmas criticizes the church, we think it’s “church hurt,” rebellion, or a lack of commitment on their part. It can be easy to dismiss it from those people. I can imagine what it must be like to hear criticism from a friend who was incredibly and heavily involved in church. I went SO HARD for this stuff man; hence the reason my frustration when realizing this all didn’t do me any good.

My criticism of the church probably sounds vague to most. I think I gave a better explanation of it in a recent blog, “The Church: We Got It All Wrong.” But, I can sum it up like this: the issue with the church is the underlying foundation upon which it’s built and the unwillingness/fear of people to challenge/examine that foundation.

Many hide behind popular verses and church jargon to avoid going through the process of wrestling with what they believe.

Additionally, unfortunately, most Christians do not have the tools to properly challenge the system anyway. So, while they’re in it, they’ll always find a way to stay connected in a way that can be blinding. Plus, the doctrines in place make it difficult to consider much fallibility.

At this point, I believe the so-called church needs to be done away with. People need to go back home and allow the healing process to begin to take place.

It amazes me that my family never experienced true healing while involved in the church system. But now that we’ve all stepped away, it’s given us the space to see ourselves and to develop the perspective YAH has about us.

That’s where I’m at. I’m seeing more clearly. But, getting here is requiring me to be vulnerable about how I do not see clearly and the source of this. So, I’m grateful to YAH for showing me the complete picture and showing me who I am and have always been.

Parables and the Torah, An Introduction

Many of us have become those with no ear to hear. The Church (or those who so claim) is sick because she is disconnected from the Way (Torah) that the Way (Yeshua) taught of.

Have you heard the account of Joseph? In case you haven’t: Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers after he’d revealed he’d had a dreamed that he would one day rule over them. This account can be found in the book of Bereshit (Genesis) chapters 37-50. This is a very popular account taught on a many of occasions. It provides encouragement as ministers extract principles and lessons from Joseph’s experience. “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” “Your setback may be a setup for victory!” “What the devil meant for evil, God means for your good.” “He makes all things work together!” The list goes on.

Another perspective people tend to take when reading Joseph’s story is a very “me-centered” perspective. “Sometimes, you can’t tell everybody your dreams.” “Some of y’all got some haters acting like they’re your friend.” The emphasis quickly becomes Joseph or ‘us’ reading the story. Every other person becomes an extra in the story of Joseph. If we read Scripture this way, we will always walk away with a partial understanding or none at all.

Joseph’s story has little to do with dreams or personal victories. Joseph, like others read about in the Bible, is a small piece in the major scope of Scripture. No one’s story is ever just about them. To some extent, I think we know that — in a very general sense. However, I don’t think we know that within its proper context.

If we continue reading Joseph’s story, we find that his experiences positioned him to help all of Israel. Additionally, he was able to reconcile and be one with his brothers again (which nullifies the me-centered, hater sort of perspective). See, every account, parable, and ‘character’ will always relate back to the grand picture of YAH’s relationship with Israel.

We have to begin reading all of Scripture in this light. Let me demonstrate the importance of this.

Preachers know that Yeshua (name Aramaic and Hebrew people called the Messiah) used parables to deliver deeper truths to the people listening and will use this approach to illustrate ideas they’ve extracted from a text.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with using illustrations to help people understand the deeper truths.

However, it quickly becomes an issue when the message, Scripture, and illustrations are filtered through our culture that is already counter-Scripture. I came across a post on Facebook once that shows the juxtaposition of Hebrew thought and Western (Greco-Roman) thought. Here are a few examples:

  • Man-centered universe (W) vs. God/tribe/family-centered universe (H)
  • Freedom orientation (W) vs. Security orientation (H)
  • Life analyzed in precise categories (W) vs. Everything blurs into everything else (H)
  • Rugged Individualism (W) vs. Importance of being part of group (H)
  • Worth of person based on money/material possessions/power (W) vs. Worth derived from family relationships (H)

My desire in writing these blogs about the Torah is to strike curiosity in your mind about Scripture. This is enough to bring someone closer to truth. I walked very devotedly in Christianity for 20+ years of my life. So, I know the ins and outs of the objections of some of the things I may present via my blog. This is to say, I understand. My blogs are never to shame readers who may still consider themselves Christians. Instead, it is to challenge your perspective and encourage you toward deeper truths. For something is only as strong as it is challenged.

Some will say knowing the culture of the Hebrew people is unnecessary. “We’re not meant to be Jews.”

First, we need a better understanding of the concept of culture, especially as it relates to Scripture. Mostly, we understand culture to be the traditions, foods, music, holidays a group of people hold to. While we can certainly identify those things in Hebrew culture, what we observe of Israel and their interaction with YAH recorded in Scripture is not simply “their culture” — especially not in the same way we understand culture today.

So, what’s the difference?

The Torah (first five books of the Bible) contains a way of life. Even more — it is THE WAY of life. It is literally how life/nature operates. It reveals the character and nature of YAH. Hebrew culture is built on, recorded, and encompassed in the Torah.

When Yeshua said, “I am THE WAY, the Truth, and the Life,” He was making Himself equivalent to the Torah. He was saying I am the Torah — the written ideas of YAH — made flesh

“Aleph Blessed are the perfect in the way, Who walk in the Torah of יהוה (Ps. 119:1)!”

“Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth (Ps. 119:142).”

“For the command is a lamp, and the Torah a light, and reproofs of discipline a way of life (Prov. 6:23).”

Many of us have heard the verse, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).” Many of us have been taught the Bible is the Word of God. But, Scripture says that Yeshua is the Word. But, what is the Word?

In the Greek, the word for ‘Word’ is logos. Logos means ‘divine utterance’ or ‘expressed idea.’

We’ve been taught it means Yeshua is the ‘’expressed idea God had.’’ This is true, but incomplete. What is Yeshua the expressed idea of? What idea did God have? The Torah! So, to understand Him apart from the Torah, within the context of our culture, is to barely understand Him at all.

So, how can we expect to understand what He taught if we are unwilling to study the very ideas from which He taught? 

Second, the culture we are engulfed in today is a syncretism of various ideologies that make YAH pluralistic, dualistic, and watered down. A lot of the traditions — if not most — observed in Christianity are due to a mixing. They have been observed due to many concessions and manipulations made by the early church (when it linked with Rome’s government) in order to “tame” the pagans of their time. (Read more about it here: http://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/2014/05/21/how-the-church-divorced-itself/). So, the very theology many of us defend was not originally ours to begin with.

The messages many of us extract from Scripture is counter-Torah or are incomplete applications of Scripture.

When Yeshua told parables, they were always directly related to the Torah. It created a picture that derived from the foundation. If those that heard were not truly connected to the foundation, the root, then “they did not have ears to hear.”

Many of us have become those with no ear to hear. This is not really our fault. We’ve passed down information gained by those with a genuine desire to know YAH and commune with Him. Regardless, the problem in Christianity is we’ve assumed there is little relevance to what Yeshua taught (Torah) because “it was just their culture.” Nah. It wasn’t just culture as we understand it — it was the way of life! Their whole culture is built on the Torah. The Torah is the foundation of Hebrew thought.

Problematically, the Church has divorced itself from anything Hebrew and has lost proper interpretation and foundation of Scripture. How do you know?

  • Unless we learn the Torah, we will read the account of the woman caught in adultery and think its central message was about not judging or the grace of God. 
  • Unless you learn Torah, you will read about the Pharisees and think that Messiah’s opposition to them was because He was doing away with “the Law.” 
  • Unless we learn Torah, we will read Joseph’s ascent into governmental authority and think the story is about accomplishing your dreams.
  • Unless you learn Torah, you will continue to think that Messiah did away with the Torah rather than the law. (There is a distinction; ‘under the law’ doesn’t mean what you may think it means).

It is time for us to truly understand and apply Scripture. 

Many have found themselves drawn to study the whole Bible without knowing why. Many have felt the need to start over. There is a reason for this. YAH is providing foundation for His people. YAH is providing healing for His people. Healing will come from a proper application of Torah. Guaranteed. 

The Church (or those who so claim) is sick because she is disconnected from the Way (Torah) that the Way (Yeshua) taught of. As long as we keep applying society’s idea of religion to our lives and study of Scripture, we will never walk in the fullness of intimate communion with Him.

That is all.

Be sensible. Be fools.

Over and out.

You Can’t Escape It!

Worship is life. Worship is behavior. Worship is action. Worship has nothing to do with sound, music, and is not a specific religious discipline. Your entire life is worship! The system of life is worship. You can’t escape it!

The world is changing, so people say. I don’t think that it is. Life has a cyclical nature. I.e. history repeats itself. People are no more evil or good today than any other time. I used to think we were better off now. I see advantages and disadvantages for any moment in time. So, while we’ve seen development, increase in access, extensive knowledge, different uses of resources, the nature of man has not changed. Thankfully, the nature of YAH hasn’t either.

I used to have a particular childlike reverence for Christianity and maybe it was never that. I believed we were the only ones who knew truth and had access to it.

Due to misinterpretations, mistranslations, political interference, and other forces, truth has been distorted into Christianity as we know it today. Let me be crystal clear: Christianity was never a good thing at any point in history. I mention this because the argument I hear to refute criticism of the Church or Christianity is usually something along the lines of, “That’s just modern Christianity. Ancient Christianity wasn’t like this! This is just post-modernism. We need to return to the work of the first-century church!”

(Disclaimer: Granted, by saying Christianity has never been a good thing, I am not criticizing directly the people).

Many desire for the church to go back to what the first-century church was doing — the New Testament Christianity. However, “New Testament Christianity” wasn’t really Christianity at all. It didn’t look the way we think it did. In fact, it looked like what Hebrews were already doing in the “old testament.” The root was different. The fruit was different.

We’ve bought into this idea that what (we think) is old and outdated (Torah) is done away with and it has cost us greatly!

Firstly, the Torah is not old or outdated; instead, it is everlasting. If you were to reflect on the love of God, would you describe it as old or outdated simply because you’ve known of its existence in ancient times? No. We understand the love of God is so intimately Him and is everlasting–meaning: it was, is, and will be.

The Torah is the same.

The Torah was, is, and will be. As a Christian, I imagine this thought would sound terrifyingly heretical. It would sound as if I’m saying we should worship the Torah. And yes, we should; but, not as we currently understand worship.

Worship is life. Worship is behavior. Worship is action. Worship has nothing to do with sound, music, and is not a specific religious discipline. Your entire life is worship! The system of life is worship. You can’t escape it!

Given that humans are behavioral (in that they behave from the belief systems they’ve learned), your behavior, conscious and subconscious, indicates your belief system. This belief system could be control, manipulation, rest, etc. Regardless, you will always behave in accordance with your belief system whether it is healthy or not. Behavior indicates foundation. Foundation is where our loyalty, commitment, and duty lies. We are loyal and committed to it until and unless that foundation is challenged.

So, when I mention that we ought to worship Torah, I mean it must be our foundation. We must live it. We cannot live it if we have not challenged our current foundation or system. As long as our foundation is allowed to stay in place, we will always behave from that place.

John 1:1-14 describes the intimate relationship between YAH and the Torah. It begins, “In the beginning was the Word…” The Torah is the Word and the Word is YAH. YAH has revealed Himself in His Torah.

This may be a hard pill to swallow. I imagine upon accepting or at least exploring this at truth, some of us would become particularly religious and committed to reading this text. And we ought to read it! However, Torah extends far beyond the text itself.

Torah is life. Life is Torah. It is the parameters within which we experience life. This is to say, whether or not you believe Torah, life is happening around in accordance to it. That sounds a bit grand, I’m sure! But, it’s true!

As we live, we have the choice to go with the grain of Torah or work against it. This may be the operation of free will. Many of the institutions, systems, and ideals permeating in society operate from a foundation that goes against the grain.

Participants in these systems bear weight, incessantly attempt to validate themselves, are independent, unwilling/unable to be vulnerable, and do not trust. This is the cost of doing away with Torah.

The Church was built on a culture that goes against the grain of the flow of YAH, of life — of the Torah. Its culture is labor. When we invest our resources (energy, intellectualism, finances, etc.) into validating ourselves to others, we are laboring.

What is the benefit of learning Torah?

The Torah teaches rest. The Torah speaks heavily about Sabbath. Christians don’t often know what to do with that. If I were to suggest that we should keep Sabbath, the response from many would be, “Jesus is my Sabbath.” Most times, they don’t really know what that means. These are just pre-recorded responses for anything that hasn’t been searched out.

I do believe we ought to keep Sabbath, but my understanding of Sabbath is deepening. Sabbath is more than a day. Sabbath is a constant. It is a cycle by which we experience healing and can determine where we are truly resting. Rest signifies confidence. Rest signifies trust. When I learn to rest, it means I am confident in YAH, have trust with others, and am confident in myself. Rest signifies understanding your place in the world and seeing YAH for who He is — the Provider/Source.

The Torah teaches vulnerability. The culture of religion leaves no room for real vulnerability. The culture of religion fosters a need to cover deficiencies, immaturity, or lack of knowledge. We have this idea that we need to be at a certain place by now and this “certain place” is often manufactured by people. This creates an unsafe space to be exactly where you are and identifying exactly where you are is the starting point for healing. Because the Torah offers a different perspective on sin, life, God, family, prayer, baptism, etc. than those pervading Christian circles, those that know it learn to live lives of vulnerability before YAH. They understand the way YAH sees them and there is no fear in approaching Him. So, doing away with the Torah (though it can never be done away with) keeps vulnerability away. As long as we stay unsure about how God sees us, we’ll never come boldly to the throne.

The Torah teaches trust. An underlying precept in what the Torah reveals is that nothing exists in isolation of anything else. Everything is connected. Nothing can provide for itself. To allow myself to be provided for, I must trust. To continue the cycle of healing, I must trust. For the family to be whole, I must trust. Trust is a beautiful picture that is displayed in all things. We often talk about trust in two main areas: romantic relationships and spiritual matters. It’s so much deeper than that. Trust is the foundation of the worlds. This is why it is imperative that we learn trust. When we learn trust, we operate with YAH and not against Him. It breeds rest. It elevates us to peace!

The Torah teaches YAH. Have you ever said these words: “I just want to know You” or “I just want to be like You”? The Torah is the answer for that! You see, YAH is light. Light is a picture of knowledge. Knowledge is light. Light is standard. YAH is standard. YAH is truth. To obtain knowledge is to obtain YAH — to know Him, to know truth, to know peace. That’s all knowledge is. It’s Him. How can you know Him if you do not know His Torah? His Torah reveals His heart, His ideas, His nature.

The Torah is the answer for all calamity in the world. The very topics that Christians debate about, doctrinal differences, sin’s rampant run in society, etc. can all be healed through Torah. But, we have to be willing to challenge the things we say we believe. Whether we submit to it or not, the Torah is happening around us every day. You can’t escape it! It’s happening in our lives, daily, weekly, yearly. Will you wake up and know it? Will you perceive it?

Who Is God?

Most of the time, figuring God out looks like describing Him. “He’s the God who heals.” Good is an understatement about who He is. Evil is a falsehood about who He is. So, who or what is He by definition?

There is perhaps no other verse quite as significant as the one that records the conversation between Mosheh (Moses) and YAH (God).

“And Elohim said to Mosheh, “I am that which I am.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘I am has sent me to you.’ (Exodus 3:14 TS2009)

At first glance, I’ve always found this declaration significant. But, my perception paled in comparison to the depth of significance of such a statement — of such a reality! It would be difficult to understand the magnitude of this declaration if I simply read it within the context of this one story. As I read and live Torah, the significance of this statement takes shape.

Any being that would introduce themselves this way would spark great curiosity. I’ve always believed we should always be curious about YAH. If we can completely figure God out, or think we can, it’s probably that we never had Him figured out in the first place. Most of the time, figuring God out looks like describing Him. “He’s the God who heals.” “He’s the God that sees.” But, we rarely ever truly define Him. There is a difference between description and definition. (But that’s a blog for another day). Who or what is He by definition?

  1. God is not A being. He IS being.

We often say, “God is the most powerful being.” This is faulty. To put Him in a realm with other beings is to say he can be matched. It is to say there are others like Him or there are others other than Him. “I am יהוה, and there is none else – there is no Elohim besides Me.” (Isaiah 45:5). This sounds good; but, what does it really mean? It does not mean there is a being that is beneath Him or He is greater. It means, He is all there is. If He were a being, then He would derive His identity and being from another. He would exist through emulation or comparison. But, because He is being (existence itself), He is complete within Himself and does not need to inquire to gain insight as to who He is.

2. God is omnipotent.

He does not go to another to tell Him who He is or what He can or cannot do. For there is no other to go to. This speaks to the power He has. A lot of us would love to not have to answer to anyone. But, “with great power, comes great responsibility (shout out to Stan Lee).” He does not have to request permission to be or to create. Wow! He can create? Cool! This makes God sound like He has superpowers. Let’s take a closer look. It is not to say that He has ‘more powers’ than another. It is to say, He literally has all of it. He is the only one with it. Whatever is ever given power or life must be sustained through Him. Nothing can exist on its own. He is never caught in the act of existing, He is existence. In this way, He is omnipotent.

3. We have existence. God does not.

God is not given existence. Who would give it to Him? What can He interact with outside of Himself to authorize Him to exist? He is existence. “I AM THAT I AM”: I was being. I am being. I will always be. He gives us existence for as long as He desires — even what/who may dare to oppose Him must be given existence from and through Him.

4. God is omnipresent.

All things don’t merely exist because he gives existence externally. An image comes to mind of humans being handed rations of existence. It is to say humans can go away from Him and handle their existence as they will. This is inaccurate. Nothing exists outside of Him and never leaves His presence. The psalmist David speaks to this truth. 7 Where would I go from Your Spirit? Or where would I flee from Your face? 8 If I go up into the heavens, You are there; If I make my bed in She’ol, see, You are there. 9 I take the wings of the morning, I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 There, too, Your hand would lead me, And Your right hand hold me. 11 If I say, “Darkness shall cover me,” Then night would be light to me; 12 Even darkness is not dark for You, But night shines as the day – As is darkness, so is light (Psalm 139:7-12).

I used to think this set of verses was pointing to the compassion of God. Sure. That may be true; but, it is incomplete. David, having been raised knowing the Torah, understood this complex truth.

All things exist within Him. The universe is in Him. We are in Him (John 1). In this way, He is omnipresent. There is no space in the universe where the presence of God does not exist. For all things have their existence through (INSIDE) Him. “In Him, we live move and have our being.” If we can grasp this truth, it will be revolutionary.

5. God is truth.

He is not truth because there is right or wrong. There is simply Him. He is the basis for reality — therefore, what is truth. He is the context within which all things exist. His essence provides the principles by which this life/reality is governed.

6. He is knowledge Himself.

God does not learn. What is there that He does not know? He is complete within Himself and can do what He wills. What can He teach Himself? In this way, He is omniscient. He knows all, because He is all. We acquire knowledge by going through the process of challenging what is about us and come to the conclusion of truth — Him. When we acquire knowledge, we acquire Him. When we acquire knowledge, we learn to exist as He does — complete, lacking nothing. Ponder these verses:

The fear of יהוה is the beginning of knowledge;”

(Proverbs 1:7 TS2009)


“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

Colossians 1:9

“In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:3

7. He is one.

“Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one” (Deut. 6:4 TS2009)!

Much of the perspectives that pervade society align with the idea of a dualistic world. One dualistic perspective indicates there are two (potentially equal) forces in the world that exists in every being — good and evil. Sometimes, unknowingly, we subscribe to this belief that God is dualistic. It is problematic to apply this filter to Him.

God does not consist of parts or contradicting forces. He is not confused, wrestling with whether or not He’ll be evil or good today. He is who He is. “I AM that I AM.” He is existence itself. Good is an understatement about who He is. Evil is a falsehood about who He is. He does not need to subscribe to our small ideas about what it means to be good. Truthfully, the reason he is good is because we know exactly what we can expect of Him — to be one. He is one. He is whole and complete. I can always examine the work of His hand and it will produce and reveal oneness.

“And Elohim said to Mosheh, “I am that which I am.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘I am has sent me to you.’ (Exodus 3:14 TS2009)

YAH sent Mosheh to tell His people that I AM is with you. In other words, “Existence itself has come to rescue you.” Taking into account everything written in this blog, this is to say that YAH has decided to give existence to the people of Israel and therefore, absolutely nothing can oppose them! YAH would have to give existence to the opposition in order for it to prosper.

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall prove wrong. This is the inheritance of the servants of יהוה, and their righteousness from Me,” declares יהוה.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 54:17 TS 2009

“Who can stand against?” “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” These commonly known verses speak to this truth and how Hebrews understand the power of YAH.

YAH is power. He is not merely powerful. He is power. So, you can trust that the force at work in your life is Him and you can trust Him.

“For thus said יהוה, ‘When seventy years are completed, at Baḇel I shall visit you and establish My good word toward you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares יהוה, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy” (Jeremiah 29:10-11).

The Church: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

This dependence upon the church system is very subtle and marketed as commitment and duty. The Church will not see true change until it untethers itself from its erroneous ideas of “the church house” and return to the actual house — the family.

The society in which we live, in the United States, can trace its roots to Greco-Roman culture–our government, religion, education, hierarchical ideals, architecture, economy, philosophy, sports, etc. Today: This is the source of much of the Church’s ideals, Church doctrine, structure, participation in government, and various practices.

  • It can explain why congregations have typically met in buildings of a particular architectural structure and leadership organization.
  • It can explain the leadership structure and power dynamic between minister and church-goer.
  • It can explain the relationship between churches and the government.
  • It is seen in the growth of mega-churches.

The evidence of Greco-Roman influence is still readily seen in the Christian Church today. But, where did it come from?

Yesterday

In the 4th century, Constantine, Rome’s first Christian emperor, legitimized and legalized the practices of early disciples of Messiah, which came to be known as Christianity and condemned to death those that wouldn’t follow it. He and other Roman emperors of that time harnessed control of the people through religion. He influenced the way in which believers walked out their faith. Interestingly enough, the religion he legitimized (as we knew it then and today) is not the way of life believers were walking during Jesus’ time or a couple hundred years after.

Essentially, Constantine made it legal to be Christian. Many theologians and Christians praise him for this. However, this praise may be given too swiftly. Emperor Constantine and other leaders helped propel the Church in a direction she is still reeling toward. He and others before and after him are responsible for:

  • Sunday being the preferred day of worship. There is significant evidence that for the first couple hundred years following the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah followers of Yeshua still kept the Sabbath and met on the Sabbath.
  • Christianity became a Roman-rooted religion and divorced itself from anything remotely Jewish or Hebrew (Even the Messiah took a hit with that one).
  • The legitimization of the Trinity doctrine.
  • Celebration of holidays that were originally in no way connected to the faith of the followers of Yeshua (Christmas, Easter, Lent, etc.) The first-century apostles were still keeping feasts and festivals of YAH (Leviticus 23). Check out Zachery Bauer’s video about this subject.
  • Belief that the Torah (first five books of the Bible) and law were done away with in Jesus.
  • Jewish observances (such as the Feast Days) and religious practices were banned and replaced.

Today

Christians and Christian churches have long been protected and “legitimized” in this country–similar to Rome. It is only a matter of time before the government attempts and succeeds at dictating what the Church and Christians can and cannot do to a far greater extent. From whom you are given freedom, with them lies the power to determine the extent to which you experience that freedom.

This is why the current model of the Church is ineffective. They operate tethered to society but desire to effect change in society. The Christian Church has been neutralized.

Interestingly, the power and authority of their walk lies in the protection from their government. This means, Christians are legally allowed to exercise their faith in the United States and find a security in this.

The Church system has created a “law” of “going to church” for Christians. Christians find Scripture they believe support this practice in the way it’s been taught. This “law” is fostering a dependence upon a system. This dependence is very subtle and marketed as commitment and duty.

Take a look at the Catholic Church. The Pope told parishioners not to worry about coming to confessional amid pandemic — go directly to God. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, if there is no priest available (during moments of grave), a Catholic is to confess their sins to God directly and ask for a pardon from Him.

This emphasis on church has crippled the actual Body of Messiah.

What happens when you can’t assemble in a building as a government-protected assembly?

What happens to your faith when you don’t have a pastor elevated in a pulpit bringing the Word?

What happens if the government removes the 501c-3 status of churches and requires they pay a tax? Are you going to call it persecution?

What happens when the government dictates how you will apply your faith?

What happens when the government enacts legislation that is in conflict with your doctrinal belief? What happens when they enforce it?

Tomorrow

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged Christians to consider their connection to church, government, and society. Many, in beautiful vulnerability, described a feeling of being displaced, confused, strange, and the like without having the regular practice of church-going.

Many have spoken up and expressed how the pandemic gave us the opportunity to reconnect with God and family in a fresh way. This is key!

Prior to the church becoming the center of discipline and life, it was the family. This is still God’s elected system. The Church will not see true change until it untethers itself from its erroneous ideas of “the church house” and return to the actual house — the family.

Some resources to review after reading this post:

How the Church Divorced Itself From Its Hebrew Roots: http://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/2014/05/21/how-the-church-divorced-itself/

The Church: We Got It All Wrong

Much of the traditions a church practices are someone’s idea of what metric is appropriate to measure progression or right and wrong. People often ask, “Why is the Church so divided?” We don’t know the real metrics. We don’t know the standard.

“This will be quick,” is what I tell myself every time I begin writing a blog. I’m wrong a lot of the time. But, we’ll see.

So! I just had the most enlightening and encouraging conversation with my sister and so many things were brought out that I’m sure I’ll be meditating on for some time. I’d like to share one of them to challenge our perspective and encourage us on our journey.

The two major questions posed by my sister and I were:

  1. What is sin?
  2. What if it’s (life) not about maturity, but about humility?

Today, I’ll focus on the second one.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed a change or shift in perspective– especially in the last two years. Almost two years ago, I left the church and Christianity behind with no idea as to where I was going. What I’ve experienced in my time since leaving has been monumental and incredibly life changing.

As a Christian, unknowingly, I would create big and tiny metrics by which to measure my success or failure at living right or pleasing God. This process is something I see Christians do all the time. It is the general foundation for religion in general. Honestly, I’m still in the process of unlearning and challenging these metrics because there are moments they still have authority or influence in my life.

Much of the traditions a church practices are someone’s idea of what metric is appropriate to measure progression or right and wrong. Some churches emphasize baptism, how you dress, operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, consistency in disciplines like praying, fasting, reading the Bible, outreach, or going to church. Most, if not all, emphasize the appearance of a thing and make inferences about what that indicates about your spiritual maturity (i.e. purity culture, your excitement for the “things of God” vs. the “things of man,” your profession, etc.).

It gets even more convoluted when you observe what metrics each individual has set up. “Did I curse today?” “Ooh. I’ve been tithing regularly!” “I’ve been serving diligently at church.” “I haven’t listened to any secular music in a while!”

People often ask, “Why is the Church so divided?” The picture I’ve just painted is precisely why. We don’t know the real metrics. We don’t know the standard.

Another way to say this is: we have no root. Because we have no root, we have to make up (manufacture) fruit and a process (religion) by which to attain it. Christianity is a rootless tree. Its participants spend time validating themselves one to another with their various metrics and live with an uncertainty/anxiety about how God feels toward them. “My metric is better or more important than your metric” — hence all of the infighting.

In all my time in religion, I never found rest. There was always someone to whom I could compare myself and make myself feel more mature or someone I’d feel inferior to. This is the continuous cycle that religion aids in. It arms you with the tools to make fig leaves, to seek and reject validation, and to go against the grain.

We are uncertain of who God really is. We know the God we’ve made up for ourselves. And because we’ve made Him up (or others have done so for us), we have all of these made up ideas about what it takes to please Him.

We are afraid to find out what does please Him because we’re afraid we’re not enough. This idea of us being born sinners and being undeserving of Christ is keeping people bound to a vicious cycle that will refuse to release us. It keeps people believing, “I don’t deserve it. He’s so much greater than I am.”

Aside: It makes me wonder about the relationship between a parent and child. No parent living from light desires to always be greater than their child. They desire for their child to elevate and surpass their level. God is no different. “Greater works shall you do…”

We are afraid to face Him.

We are afraid to truly know Him and be known by Him. So, we create processes and milestones that make us feel worthy to be associated with Him. We seek maturity, spiritual mastery, knowledge, accolades and such to validate ourselves to Him.

This is where the second question comes in.

What if it’s (life) not about maturity, but about humility?

There are many quotes that seek to define humility. I’m sure there is a precise way to define the word, but I’d like to look at the picture of humility. It involves ‘light.’

“God is light and in Him is no darkness” (1 John 1:5). Scripture also refers to Jesus as light. “Therefore יהושע spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life.” (John 8:12). The Torah is light as well. “For the command is a lamp, And the Torah a light, And reproofs of discipline a way of life” (Proverbs 6:23).

There are a few important precepts to understand about light.

Light gives life. This is to say it is the only Source/Provider.

Light challenges. This is to say, light will expose what something is or isn’t. It will call it to its highest self or truth.

Light reflects. This is to say that light provides identity.

Light is authority. This is to say that light is foundation, seed, root, and dictates the identity of someone or something. It IS the standard.

As a child of Light, we can expect: for God to be our provider, to show us who we are, to challenge and remove what isn’t Him, to be the authority by which we function in this world, and to reveal His standard. Doesn’t this kind of sound like Jesus? “I only do what I see my Father do.” Jesus was called a Son of God because he learned from (submitted to) Light. He’d gone through the necessary process/cycle by which light becomes the only standard.

We often see life as a process by which we are growing to maturity. This is true. But, maturity and humility do not cancel each other out.

Humility is a state of being in which I am submitted to light. Humility is vulnerability. It doesn’t matter if I think or others think I’ve matured if I am untrained in vulnerability. Humility is a picture of trust. If I have not trusted God to provide for me, to show me who I am, to challenge and remove what isn’t Him, to be the authority by which I function in this world, I have simply reached a level of “mastery” in the eyes of society/world.

To describe this humility: I’m not worried about tomorrow and the alleged milestone that may be waiting there for me. I’m not worried about what metric I’ve set up to feel like I’m progressing. I’m not worried about my wants and needs. I’m not worried about giants. I’m not trying to pave my own way. I am present today resting, trusting, open before Him so that He may show me Him.

My sister said this and it drove it home for me. “A child isn’t worried about being able to walk. A child isn’t worried about what they sound like. A child isn’t worried about how to eat or where their next meal will come from.” A child trusts. A child is surrendered. A child rests. A child explores. A child has no care of danger.

In the Church, they talk about having child-like faith. This is a description of it. I am vulnerable and open before my Father. I trust my Father. I see He is good. I see I am good. I am not concerned with getting to a place where I no longer need help of a particular kind. That time will come naturally. It is not my concern the appointed seasons in which I’ll develop this or that. My only responsibility is to stay connected to Him through vulnerability and trust. The connection is what signifies real maturity.

Considering these ideas, my perspective shifts when I think of popularly quoted verses. “I know the plans I have for you.” “Trust in the LORD with all your heart.” “Come boldly to the throne of grace.” “Do not worry about tomorrow.” “Does he not feed the birds?”

Every day, I’ve begun to wake up with the expectation that God will provide for me. God will show me who I am. God is the authority by which I navigate and learn. God is my Father. God knows me. God loves me. God thinks I’m worthy. God knows.

The system and surrounding systems of religion ask us to bear responsibility that isn’t ours. Again, my only responsibility is to stay connected to Him through vulnerability and trust. The steadfast connection is what determines and signifies real maturity.

Religion is Unnatural

We live in a society that values toiling. Toil is a sign that the conditions are not ideal for what is natural to be brought about. Religion is unnatural.

It was always YAH’s intention that mankind WORK — cultivate and steward. It was never His intent that mankind TOIL (go outside of Him to produce what was naturally to be ours).

Let’s observe a tree! (The tree is an example used in Scripture and Hebraic perspective to describe YAH, us, and how life works). To some extent a seed and the root system must work in order to establish what they are naturally to be and become. The roots push through the soil in order to be established. That is work. It is not toil. When they toil, it is a sign that the conditions are not ideal for what is natural to be brought about. Then the gardener must heal the unhealthy conditions and the effects thereof.

We live in a society that values toiling. Our society values going outside of YAH to get what is naturally ours. We are taught to invest resources (intellect, finances, time, energy, etc.) into the institutions and ideas that are valued by society as a whole in order to validate ourselves to society.

Daily life seems like a balancing act between toiling and working. To work is godly — as in, it is natural. (I’m not talking about a job or career). Our entire lives are work. Our lives are the acts of creating, cultivating, and stewardship. This is work.

Everything created works and must rely on something outside of itself to produce the best. This is the picture of trust. The world was created on the system of trust. Toil is not trust. Toil is a picture of the response of one who has not been experienced in trust. Trust requires me to be provided FOR. Toil requires that I provide for myself. Toil says, “I do not trust for someone else to provide this for me.”

Storytime:

I had a mishap recently in which money was withdrawn from my account without my authorization and it left me with nothing. The process of getting it back is going to take longer than when I needed it. I’m traveling tomorrow and had very little gas in my car. The struggle was real. So, I had to ask my Dad for the money to “hold me over.” As I told him what was going on, his response was, “Dang! Sounds like you’re in between a rock and a hard place!” My response was, “I am! I really am! (Laughing).” During this whole interaction, I realized that I do so much to make sure I’m not in the position to need someone else’s help financially. One could rationalize this with, “I have to make sure I don’t need anyone because I couldn’t ask anyone around me for help if I needed to. So, I gotta grind!” That sounds like it makes sense and it does — according to the system of toil! Living in the space of not needing someone else’s help produced a false confidence in me and has only assisted in isolating myself from the richness of vulnerability and trust.

The foundation of our relationship with YAH and all life is trust. Trust is natural. Independence is in direct conflict with trust.

The conditions that promote toil tell us we must sustain ourselves. It tells us we must be independent. Work gives us the opportunity to be vulnerable and value others. Work allows us to be strengthened — to live in community with others.

The Voice of Religion

The foundation of our relationship with YAH and all life is trust. Trust is natural. It is natural that YAH provides for us. Religion is unnatural.

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you’ll see me reference ‘religion.’ When I say religion, I’m not merely talking about organized religions recognized by civilization. I’m speaking to a system (that can be found at the foundation of various institutions), by which people attempt to access what YAH freely gives through their many traditions. Religion requires and justifies toil through shame and fear.

“If I were serious about God, I would be doing _____.” “If I don’t do this, God might do that.” “This is what you do when you love God.” “When you’re a leader, this is what you do.” I’ve heard these things from pulpits from the most well-meaning of people. I’ve used these thoughts to motivate me to “do the right thing.” It does not work. It only keeps you in a cycle of fear and shame. A lot of us are not interacting in relationship with YAH through true connection, but from fear.

In YAH’s system, anything I am to do, would naturally be produced in me if He’s the root, the mirror, the foundation. If I have to manufacture conditions in my relationship, something unnatural is being applied. This means, trust is not the connecting point. This means vulnerability is not the connecting point. This means I am trying to cover myself. We look at the story of Adam and Eve and don’t see the fig leaves we live with every day. We just enjoy being clothed. The worst part is religion compliments you on your fashion. Fig leaves keep out vulnerability and the fruit thereof.

Religion promotes deficiency and arms us with the tools to cover them. Here are some, to name a few: knowledge, church leadership, promotion, recognition, financial progression, pedestal living, etc. The voice says, “As long as I have _______, I’m alright!” Religion promotes a self-image of lack. Religion says, “I should be further along than this. So, here’s what I’ll do to cover where I truly am.” Toil indicates I am in lack and therefore I must strive to be complete. Work sees oneself for who I am and sees value in self and others. Religion is toil. Religion is exhausting. Religion is accusatory. Religion is weak. Religion is unnatural.

Vulnerability is the foundation for work.

Back to the Basics

Let’s glance at Scripture.

WORK

“And יהוה Elohim took the man and put him in the garden of Ěḏen to work it and to guard it.”
Berĕshith (Genesis) 2:15 TS2009

STEWARDSHIP

“And Elohim blessed them, and Elohim said to them, “Be fruitful and increase, and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over all creeping creatures on the earth.”
Berĕshith (Genesis) 1:28 TS2009

COMMUNITY — INTERDEPENDENCE

“And יהוה Elohim said, “It is not good for the man to be alone, I am going to make a helper for him, as his counterpart.”
Berĕshith (Genesis) 2:18

VULNERABILITY

“And they heard the voice of יהוה Elohim walking about in the garden in the cool of the day, and Aḏam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of יהוה Elohim among the trees of the garden.”
Berĕshith (Genesis) 3:8 TS2009

The story of creation portrays a picture of vulnerability and trust.

I’m Tired of Religion

Religion is the manmade system to access what YAH freely gives. For humans to create an entire system for access to something, it is saying, “I don’t trust the method You (YAH) will choose to give it to me. I don’t trust that You will. I don’t believe that you value me enough to do this for me. You will only do this for me if I make you happy by doing _____.” You do not toil for love. You do not toil for holiness. Love and holiness require work (cultivating and stewarding) — not toil. Vulnerability is the foundation for work.

Think On: If you are unsure as to whether or not you’re toiling, take this opportunity to reflect on the following statements. Write down your thoughts and feelings as you read them.

Shalom.