Saturday, June 26, 2010

YHWH sends Light

Today as we studied the Parashat Balak, YHWH revealed in His Word this Truth. When Bala'am went to the third place Balak took him, so he could curse Israel, YHWH's Ruach moved upon Bala'am. Then Bala'am precedes to bless Israel for the third time.

Our Bible dictionary, Torah, tells us the first time that the Ruach of Elohim moved something special happen.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters. And Elohim said, Let there be light: and there was light.
(Gen 1:2-3)

Did you catch that? When the Ruach of YHWH moved the next thing that came was Light. His Presence moving is a precursor to Light.

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
(Psa 119:105)

His Spirit moves then He sends His Light.

In Psalms 29:3 His voice moves upon everything then YHWH blesses His people.

When the Ruach of YHWH fell on Bala'am the first thing out of Bala'am's mouth is "How lovely are the tents

How lovely are thy tents, O Yaakov, and thy tabernacles, O Yisrael!
(Num 24:5)

Bala'am saw the camp of Israel as YHWH saw them, lovely. YHWH wants us to see His Bride the way He sees us. Lovely.

Stop seeing with an evil eye. Look at YHWH's people and know that He loves us. He has provided and will continue to provide for us. Water from a Rock, shoes for our feet, food from the heavens and a Shabbat to rest.

Soon and very soon, we will come together. YHWH will be our cloud and our fire. He will be Yireh YHWH and we will be His People.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Dad

Roy Leman Cagle (my dad) was the third child of seven. His dad was a Pentecostal preacher turned used car salesman who loved talking and joking around. Dad's mom was a hard working dedicated woman who loved God and supported her husband.

My dad started smoking when he was young and had surgery on his lungs in his early twenties. Sadly that didn't slow down his smoking and he smoked until the day he died. Dad had the reputation of a daredevil and he showed no fear in taking risks. Ultimately, his adventurous spirit led to his death. He was always on the verge of being kicked out of school due to his orneriness.

My memories of dad are mostly centered around his sense of humor and his work ethics. Dad was always joking around with me and my brother and loved to make us laugh. Most times dad was working at least 2-3 jobs. We were probably poor by most peoples standards but I didn't realize it because I was happy. My mom got to stay at home and take care of us because dad worked so hard. Dad was an auto mechanic, a tow truck driver, 18 wheeler driver and worked in a salvage yard. He was nothing but bones, grit, muscle, caffeine and nicotine.

As I have grown older I have learned to appreciate the good things dad taught me.

1. Hard work is a man's lot. Stay busy and keep moving
2. Don't take yourself too serious. Learn to laugh and smile.
3. No fear. Do not be afraid, but if you are stay calm and don't show fear.
4. Enjoy everyday and live life to it's fullest.
5. Allow your wife the freedom to do what she needs to do without getting in her business.

The last day I ever spent with my dad he was trying to make us boys happy. We had just returned from a long vacation in Missouri visiting relatives. Dad had stayed in Avondale this time so we hadn't seen him for a while. My brother and I begged him to take us swimming so he promised to do that the next day. The next day was the typical Arizona scorcher and dad kept his word and took us out for a swim. We ended up at an irrigation canal in Phoenix and the water was swift and sorta cool. Dad took one too many risks and as a result drowned that hot summer day, I was eleven and my brother was fourteen. I still miss him and will never forget looking into his eyes right before he went down the last time.

My Heavenly Father was watching over us boys that day. We had our neighbor friend with us, so three young boys could have drowned as well that day. Thank you YHWH for your mercy.

The last lesson dad taught me was to remember that today could be your last day. The words you just spoke could be your last words.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Looks Like I Will Be Committed

I have been at my current job for almost three years. It has been a blessing to be able to deliver hot meals to the disabled and shut-in senior citizens. There are many lessons I have learned while dealing with these clients. One of the hardest parts is getting attached to someone who inevitably passes away. I have had the misfortune of seeing death, but the joy I bring to them is worth the pain I sometimes feel.

One of the lessons that really hit home is what I want to share today. The services we provide are funded by the U.S. government, so the client doesn't have to pay for these benefits. However, we do accept donations and some clients are faithful to pay even when I can see it is difficult. Here is what I have learned:

1. The client who never donates always gripes and complains.
2. The client who donates seems to appreciate the food and always takes an interest in the process.

So after noticing this I begin to contemplate why this would be true. The simple answer would be what we invest in we take interest in as well. What goes through my mind when I ponder this is the Words of my Master:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(Mat 6:21)

Yahshua was speaking about putting value in the proper things when He spoke these Words. The Words He spoke would have been in His native tongue, so let's look at their Hebrew meaning.

The word heart is leb in Hebrew, it is spelled lamed bet. The lamed in ancient Hebrew was a picture of a shepherd's staff, while the bet was a picture of a tent. Combining these two letters, the word means "authority inside". The consciousness of man is seen as coming from deep inside the chest, the heart. Thirst as an Inside desire for water.

The word treasure is awtsar and translates as storehouse or cellar.

So what we can see is Yahshua is saying, "You will surrender authority to what you have invested." Those who invest in the meal program have a commitment. Commitment makes you appreciate the benefits.

Now days marriages last about as long as high school relationships. WHY? What makes someone walk away from those they have professed to love? NO INVESTMENT!

I have twenty three years invested in my marriage. Let me tell you, if I didn't love my wife (and I do, with all my heart), I would not walk away from my investment. After twenty three years she knows what I like and what I don't like. She knows what makes me happy and how to brighten my day. Is there any logical reason I would try and develop this commitment with someone new? Not only that, I have twenty three years of hard work and bread winning invested. That makes me appreciate everything she does for me. It's a great program and I whole heartedly support its continuance.

Now think about your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Do you appreciate Him? If not maybe it's because you don't have an investment. Have you laid up treasures in His Kingdom? When you do it will cause your opinion of His "program" to change.

Those who murmur and complain have NO investment. Putting something into the "program" will change your whole attitude concerning the "benefits" you are receiving.

As a man I must remember these things so that I may be the example my family needs. How will my family ever understand Scriptural principles if I don't put them into action? YHWH help me lead my family and invest in the "programs" you have given me s
o I will appreciate your "benefits."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Why Am I Here, Do I Have a Purpose?

The world has spiraled downward into a mass of confused people who seek to fulfill fleshly desires. Mankind has a purpose. Everything YHWH created has a plan or purpose. Until man has defined and accepted that call, he or she can never be content.
Hebrew scholars teach that everything YHWH created, was created to help mankind fulfill His purpose, and man's purpose is to fear (yirah) YHWH and keep/guard (shomer) His Torah. We know this is true since Shlomo (Solomon) said:
Ecclesiastes 12:13
(13) Let us hear the conclusion of the entire matter: Fear Elohim and guard His commands, for this applies to all mankind!
So if everything, every tree, flower, cloud, bird, deer, river etc. etc., was created to help us complete His purpose, why do we have such a hard time figuring out that purpose?
Man has written thousands of books defining what we are "here for." The Purpose Driven Life became a best seller and still didn't give the right answer. We have seminars and self-help groups, psychologist and physiatrist, counselors and pastors all giving the WRONG answer.
It really is this simple; fear YHWH and keep His commandments. When we do that we are then qualified to be like everything else YHWH created and help others find their purpose.
Trees and hills, rocks and birds don't get to decide. They were created without the ability to choose. The trees in my front yard are praising YHWH right now because that's what they were made to do. They want to help me find "my purpose in life." The birds in my trees sing praises to YHWH just to help show me what I was created to do. If I ignore them and choose NOT to fulfill my purpose, I insult His creation by not letting them do their job.
Once I have learned to yirah (fear) YHWH and I am shomer (guarding) His Torah, I have chosen to be a light to the Nations. I then become part of a city set on a hill that shines as a beacon to others so they too can find their purpose.
YHWH help me to know your secret (sod).
Psalms 25:14
(14) The secret of YHWH is with those who fear (yirah) Him, And He makes His covenant (Torah) known to them.
Find out the reason you were put here today and start helping others also find this secret.
Sirach 34:11-15
(11) When I travelled, I saw many things; and I understand more than I can express.
(12) I was ofttimes in danger of death: yet I was delivered because of these things.
(13) The spirit of those that fear YHWH shall live; for their hope is in him that saveth them.
(14) Whoso feareth YHWH shall not fear nor be afraid; for he is his hope.
(15) Blessed is the soul of him that feareth YHWH: to whom doth he look? and who is his strength?
Sirach 40:26-27
(26) Riches and strength lift up the heart: but the fear of YHWH is above them both: there is no want in the fear of YHWH, and it needeth not to seek help.
(27) The fear of YHWH is a fruitful garden, and covereth him above all glory.
Proverbs 14:2
(2) He who walks in his straightness fears יהוה, But he whose ways are crooked despises Him.
Proverbs 14:27
(27) The fear of יהוה is a fountain of life, To turn away from the snares of death.
The beginning of wisdom is the fear/Yirah of YHWH. Fear/Yirah shocks our ego/nephesh, breaking the natural thickness of the heart, that thickness or selfishness that prevents one from being truly receptive and perceptive to reality outside oneself in general and the Divine Essence of all reality in particular.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Friend till the end.

I am not a young man. I realize that at 45 (next week) I am definitely middle aged. I have no real problem with getting older and embrace the things that come with age. Every experience has been an opportunity to learn, unfortunately we seldom learn from our tests.

During my lifetime I have been blessed to have many friends/comrades/accomplices. My view on friends and what they mean has altered greatly in 45 years. As a child a friend was someone who would play with me. I didn't really judge anyone except by that measuring rod. So consequently, I started with lots of friends. But as I got older the barometer changed thus my friends became fewer. As a teenager a friend was an accomplice and a confidante. I would gauge them by their willingness to participate in my orneriness and how well they guarded my confidence. This caused the list to grow even more slim. As an adult the friend qualifications have been extremely confusing. Oft times those I viewed as friends proved they were not and this causes stress and frustration.

So how do you determine who is a friend? What qualifications make a person friend worthy? Let's look at the Owners Manual.

Beni (my son), if thou put up collateral for thy re'a (friend), if thou hast shaken hands in pledge with a zar (stranger), Thou art snared with the words of thy peh (mouth), thou art trapped with the words of thy peh (mouth). Do this now, beni (my son), and deliver thyself, since thou art come into the palm of thy re'a (friend); go, humble thyself, and plead with thy re'a (friend). Give not sheynah to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
(Proverbs 6:1-4)

Shlomo (Solomon) says don't even sleep until you make a matter, that has went wrong, right with your friend. So the relationship between friends seems to be very important according to this wise man.

The interesting thing here is the word that Scriptures use as "friend". Let's look at the ancient Hebrew lexicon:

Strongs #7453: AHLB#: 1453-A (N)

1453) Ayin Resh : Feed co: Shepherd ab: Desire: The pictograph resh is a picture of the head of a man, the ayin is a picture of they eye. Combined these mean "man watches". The shepherd closely watched over his flock, often they are his only companions.
Nm) Ayin Resh - Friend: A close companion. [df: eyr] [freq. 188] |kjv: neighbor, friend, another, fellow, companion, other, brother, husband, lover| {str: 7453}
Friend: A female companion. [freq. 3] |kjv: companion, fellows| {str: 7464}
Friend: A female companion. [freq. 6] |kjv: neighbor, another, mate| {str: 7468}

There is a lot to comprehend here, so I will take this a little slow. First the word used for friend in Hebrew is reyah. It is a feminine gender word. Why is the feminine gender used? Well the definition of the word clarifies the gender. The word is connected to the act of shepherding a flock. Watching over someone as a shepherd watches a flock. What did Cain say when YHWH confronted him about his brother Abel? "Am I my brother's keeper?" You see a friend or brother is in fact a "keeper" a shepherd, a close companion, watching over those they have befriended. Like a mother (feminine) watches over her baby chicks.

A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
(Proverbs 17:17)

The word friend here again is reyah and the word brother means someone connected to you. Friends watch over you, those who are connected to you who are not real friends are born for trouble. WOW!

A man of many friends must show himself to be friendly, But there is a Loving One Who sticks closer than a brother!
(Proverbs 18:24)

You cannot have lot of friends unless you also watch over and shepherd those you call friend. However, there is an ahab (Loving One) who sticks closer than a brother.

Now look at your "friends." Do they watch over you? Do they tell you when your foot has gone astray? Do they take the rod and staff and lead you to green pastures? This kind of makes us reconsider what or who a friend really is.

Now I have to reevaluate how I have treated those I say are my friends. Am I shepherding them? Do I tell them when they get off the Way? Do I lead them to green pastures? Or do I pacify and turn the blind eye? If I love you, I must be accountable for you. You may not always love the relationship, but you will always love the results.

I have only began to know who my friends are and start appreciating them for who they are, in light of this revelation.

To you TRUE friends, thank you.

Let's let the book of Sirach define this in closing:

A faithful friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found such an one hath found a treasure. Nothing doth countervail a faithful friend, and his excellency is invaluable. A faithful friend is the medicine of life; and they that fear YHWH shall find him. Whoso feareth YHWH shall direct his friendship aright: for as he is, so shall his neighbour be also.
(Sirach 6:14-17)