Saturday, October 18, 2014

Shabbat Notes// Parashah B'resheet

We start reading the Torah all over again today. This Is the 5th time I’m reading it and it’s actually pretty cool to think of that ‘cause a lot of people skip the first 5 books of the Bible because it’s ‘boring’ and ‘done away with’ so to think that I’ve read it 5 times over is quite awesome actually.

For a while now I’ve been reading more from my Complete Jewish Bible ‘cause of the easy translation and I really like how some Hebrew words are thrown in there. I thought that I’d just share some of my thoughts and notes that I took today from the Torah portion and the Haftorah as well.

Firstly I really loved how the importance of the Shabbat is stressed right in the beginning. In chapter 2 of Genesis God says that this 7th day of rest is to be holy and a blessed day. I don’t understand why so many Christians are determined not to keep this commandment. Is resting for an entire day and dedicating one day out of your week to YHVH such a burden? If so, then I feel sorry for you ‘cause you have not yet experienced the God of the Universe and His love.

Just like God told Adam what to eat and what not to eat, what to do and what not to do, He’s done the same thing for us. He’s given us His Word/Torah that leads to life but of course so many of us are tricked and deceived by the enemy by the ancient sentence that changed the world, “Did God really say that?” Do you see a pattern here? God tells Adam not to do a certain thing for his own good but he goes ahead a does it anyway and does what was right in his own eyes. God tells us not to do certain things but then the enemy creeps in with a “did God really say that?” and we follow in Adam’s footsteps of doing what is right in our own eyes. If you believe that the Torah is not for today then this is exactly what you’re doing.
In case you haven’t noticed God doesn't like that and our sinful lifestyle will lead to curses instead of blessings and even death down the road.

You do not fully know the Father if you’re still following the lies inherited by your fathers. You can be saved and out of covenant and many people are and don’t know it. The covenant is the Torah, the marriage contract between Him and us. Destroy that and what do you have? Nothing.

ISAIAH 42:21 – Adonai was pleased, for His righteousness’ sake, to make the Torah great and glorious.

This is God’s plan for His Torah but the people who claim to follow and love Him are doing the complete opposite … what does that mean? They're decreasing the importance of the Torah.

I'm sorry but you can think and feel as much as you want that you are so close to God but if you are still believing in lies and practicing pagan holidays then there's no way on earth that God will be close to you on an intimate level that He had with the heroes in the Bible. The only way you can draw close to Him is by holding His Word and what's dear to Him dear to you too. God can't trust you with great responsibility if you're believing lies and attaching His Holy name with profane practices. God won't be able to use you the way He used David or Esther or Abraham while you're eating your pork and hallowing the worship of Tammuz. 

It's impossible.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Something Better ((Simchat Torah))

Something amazing happened today.

In one of my previous posts where I wrote about God blessing us with a job for Mark flying in Botswana and how He provided for us an awesome car of our very own, I shared some details of how everything that was happening was lining up with the meaning of the YHVH’s Feast days and once again God showed us His amazing love and care for us, again lining up with His calendar.

A few months ago my mom, Mark and Mike tried to start their own business. They researched many different products that have not yet been introduced here in SA but many of them have been tried and failed except for this one. They got the product here, they built it and now all it needs for it to be a huge success is an investor. Since Mark will be flying my brother would be the main person in the business who is running it with my mom helping too but the business is in my brother, Mike’s name and so it’s ‘his’.
Well, it’s been quite a few months with the product not moving and sometimes it was looking like it’s too big a dream and not worth the time and money. They've met a few possible investors in the past but of course something would always happen that would make it fall through. It was tough and stressful and there were plenty of times when they almost gave up. We didn't understand why God didn't want this to move forward since a lot of people have said that it will be a huge success.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned during this time is that everything definitely happens for a reason and if something fails or doesn't work out it means that God has such a better and bigger plan for you that you can never imagine. He just asks us to be patient and to trust that yes, He actually does know best, believe it or not. I’ve heard so many believers fall away and become atheists and God-haters because He didn’t come through for them or didn’t answer their prayers. I didn’t want to be like that. I’ve had my many doubts in the past. Wondering if God is here, if He’s with us, if He cares or even if He exists. I guess He knew that those doubts would come and so He ingrained inside of me His Word through Rico Cortez. I listened to him through a whole Torah cycle when he was studying the Torah according to the ancient Near East. Not fluffy spiritual things, but logical, scientific proof that God’s Torah and Word is true. He showed me how God works, truly works and so I couldn't deny Him.
I couldn't pack my bags and fall away like so many other people because it looked like He wasn't coming through for me in my way.

Today is Simchat Torah. The day where we celebrate the Torah, God’s wonderful Word that He has given us. The new Torah reading cycle begins tomorrow so new beginnings. The time in the desert (Sukkot) is over and we rejoice and start fresh in His Word. To me is also means new life so of course I was expecting something dramatic to happen  on this specific day because our lives have been lining up too much with the calendar for something not to happen.
I was right.
One day while we were at the park with Sebastian, Mike got a phone call from a person who works in one of the biggest banks in South Africa, ABSA. They want to see him and discuss his business product. When did they want to meet? Today, on Simchat Torah. Coincidence? I think not.

Mike was so nervous. Rightfully so. He’s almost 21 and starting up this big business that will boom once it starts. God has blessed my brother magnificently with a natural business mind. He’s never been to business school. Heck, he doesn’t even have a Matric but he just knows what he’s doing and he blows many people away with this talent. I’m so proud of him and I’m even amazed when I hear him talk business. This is my brother? Wow.

Anyway, today he met with this person from ABSA and joy of joys and glory all to God. The lady loved Mike. She adored him and has so much favour for him that she is going to push this business of his to the best of her ability. We were so happy today and so amazed. While we’re getting sad that small business men didn’t want to invest in the past God was just sitting up there planning one of the biggest banks in SA to be the investor instead. Hello? Is anyone else shocked and amazed?

When I think of the people who think that kids without Matric or High School Diplomas will be losers and working in McDonalds I laugh. Here’s my brother with neither of those things but he’s starting his own business with ABSA as an investor. And then you get people who go to Matric and University and they just become like everyone else. Working for someone else. Some of the biggest success people in the world didn't finish school. Did that stop them? No. Did that limit them? No.
Of course we both ‘finished’ school but we don’t have a certificate to prove it. Did my mom plan this for us? No. Life got in the way and it was practically impossible for us to write exams. But in a way I’m glad ‘cause I’ve been able to focus my time completely on God’s Torah without any distractions. I’ve grown to be able to be who I am without conforming to other's beliefs, I’ve grown and learned to think for myself and question everything that comes my way. Not many people do that ‘cause it’s trained out of you. But God has kept me safe and for that I’m so grateful to Him and also ashamed for my lack of faith and my complaining in the past when I should’ve been more grateful and trusting.

I still battle sometimes though ‘cause sure this is all happening to my brother and it’s fantastic but I’m still sitting on the sidelines waiting for my turn to come when God will call me to do something amazing. But when I see what has happened to my brother I feel hope ‘cause maybe all my attempts to start something, to get a job or whatever has failed because God has a bigger plan for me.
It’s exciting yet hard to be patient. Right now all I’m doing is practicing to get my driver’s license.

But again, that can all be part of God’s plan for me. Get a driver’s license to become more independent so that He can send me wherever He wants me to go. Just a thought.

When I observe and listen to some other people’s lives I realize how blessed I’ve been these past few years. Sure we’ve moved a lot and it’s been really unstable. B+B’s and bunking with other people aren’t ideal but I’ve lived in many different places. I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life. It’s not grand. I’m not jetting off to Paris or New York but in my own little world I’ve lived. I’ve stayed in cities, I’ve stayed in small towns where I don’t know the language (don’t laugh ‘cause I don’t understand Afrikaans, please, lol), and I’ve lived way out in the country. I’ve met people who have inspired me and I’ve met people who irk me and show me how not to be. I’ve learned a lot about life and God and that’s priceless and something I wouldn’t trade for sitting in a classroom to get a certificate that really means nothing and doesn’t define me.

I’m living an adventure and it’s only going to get better. 

Stay Strong and when it's tough, be grateful and look around you and you'll see how good life is. 

Shabbat Shalom!