An excerpt from CGWKBK 5 Vol 1: Vayigash
Disappointment Can Create Two Kinds of Deep Six Death
Jacob resigned himself to losing his youngest son Benjamin, the one in whom his own soul (nefesh-appetites, emotions, desires, intellect) was bound. Although Judah stood as surety, something still had to die in his father in order to release Benjamin to his care. How hard is it to let go when living requires giving up those soul comforts we hold most dear? Jacob's relationship to his son was so close that Judah acknowledges the loss of Benjamin would kill his father.
Jacob's release of Benjamin was with full acceptance of his loss. Jacob's soul went "deep six," which means he resigned himself to the worst that could happen. We may fight our worst fears for many years, even a lifetime, but when Messiah asks us to trust him, we eventually die to our personal expectations of our future in order to live to his. Jacob acknowledges his death by sending burial spices along with gifts of hope. Every gift of hope carries the possibility of its death. It is beyond the death that resurrection occurs.
The true gift of repentance is brought after a death. The spices and myrrh are the balm that help us to endure the space of time between the death of the carnal man and the resurrection of the completely healed spirit, soul, and body, for there is a period between death and resurrection in repentance. What dies?
For Yeshua's disciples, it was their expectations of him. If we believe that Yeshua never disappointed anyone, we are deceived. Yeshua disappointed those who had fixed ideas on what a Messiah should be, what he should do, and how he should do it. To them, he was too harsh with some and too lenient with others. The disciples needed to die to their expectations and resurrect with Yeshua to a new one, a willingness to move with God's plans instead of their own.
It is often because of expectations that we either intentionally or unintentionally wound others or others wound us. Because they don't do or say something that we expected them to do or say, we shoot arrows that wound deeply in revenge, or we turn the arrow on ourselves. Jacob wounded his sons by showing favoritism to Joseph, yet their sin was magnified when they sold Joseph out of revenge for feeling less accepted and loved by their father. The brothers turned the arrow on themselves when they shot Joseph. Do you ever feel better when you hurt someone else because you've been hurt? If so, then the spirit has been sickened by a hot nefesh. Most of the time, however, even that little shot of soul satisfaction is tempered by a sadness of the spirit that rejects revenge as a balm to disappointment or loss of power.
Disappointment occurs in the empty space between what we expected and what we received. If left unresolved, offense will reside in the empty space between what we believe we deserved and what we received. Joseph didn't blame his brothers for his captivity. He blamed the Father's plan for resurrection within their family. Quit blaming the Church, the rabbis, parents, the government, economics, and the million other instruments of Adonai that have been used to bring you as the unique Israelite individual into completeness in His family. Praise the Father for the plan He has made to resurrect the remnant.
It is less important to gain new information in the Torah than to be resurrected by it so that the new information imparts life and hope, not bitterness and blame. Be part of the emerging plan. It is impossible to describe the human being if we confine our study only to the process of its formation in utero. It is impossible to describe the complete process in utero merely from observing the adult human being. Grow and praise the One who is responsible for both the process in utero and bringing the completed human being to birth and maturity.
Avoiding the bitterness of broken hopes will require a daily resolve to deep six and break the surface waters of the Mikveh Yisrael, Messiah our Hope. When one plunges into the healing mikveh of the water, the view above is blurry. It is not until we stand up in that water and break the surface that the view once becomes sharp. What good are tears? They give our eyes a bit of a spiritual mikveh, and amazingly, the tears can make vision sharper. We can see in the distance with more clarity as the tears prepare to fall.
The Torah walk today for non-Jews is a challenge. They have a home neither within Christianity nor Judaism. Even those who seem to be of like faith can turn out to be very different, even hostile or caught up in bitterness or pride in "correctness." If it's any comfort, our problems are so First Century!
On the other hand, consider remodeling a home. In the first days of a remodel, there is so much dust that you can hardly see. Cabinets and floors, even walls may be demolished and removed. Wiring is redone, and leaky plumbing replaced. If there is mold or decay, those parts of the house must be removed and replaced or treated. It's hard to even live in a house when a big remodeling job is underway. Fingers are hammered, nails are stepped on, elbows are skinned, and muscles ache. You sneeze dirt! And this is all before you start on the outside where all the debris is piled.
Eventually, though, the plan starts to take shape. The structure becomes sound again, lighting improves, new paint and solid floors invite human beings to come inside and fellowship in peace.
Yeshua is rebuilding the Father's House. If we are in a state of total disarray, don't be discouraged. We may have envisioned that something apocalyptically glorious was right around the corner just because our eyes were opened to Yeshua in the Torah. Truthfully, he just showed you a glimpse of the glory as he did with his disciples, but the daily work is a pretty big mess. The tragedy would be to stop in the middle of the remodel because we became tired of the daily dirt and confusion. The tragedy would be to listen to those who merely drive by and take note of the trash piled up in the front yard each day.
Every Torah portion encourages us that the Father has a beautiful plan in place regardless of the messes we face daily. What we see as "men like trees, walking," will one day become clearer when we break the surface of the waters of tears and resurrection. Look for those trees bearing good fruit, and they will encourage you on those days when all you find rotten, dead wood. You are part of the House that the Hope of Israel is building.
Sometimes I cringe at the mess and the meanness, and it is tempting to lose hope when so many bite and devour one another. Some things, however, are not maliciousness, but immaturity. Chronological age or education does not always equal spiritual age and discipline in the Word. On those days, what gives me hope? The fruit on the trees that make up this House! Just in the past year,
Now with fruit like that, what right do I have to be discouraged by the old, rotten wood stacking up in the yard? That's the evidence of something alive within! As long as the Chief of the Corner is supervising the job, the mess is under control. My job is not to focus on the dead wood, but on those who are choosing daily death and resurrection in the Word. My job is not to focus on those growing from bitter roots wound around the leaky septic tank, but on the trees of righteousness filling the House with the Light of His Torah and the lamps of His commandments.
- together we built and are maintaining an orphanage for Torah observant children in Kenya
- together we provide Bible study materials to prisoners
- together we put a Torah believer in Kenya through undergraduate and graduate school
- together we purchased a milk cow for the orphanage
- together we provided a scholarship for a pastor to experience spiritual renewal in Israel
- together we have laid hands on the sick and seen them recover
- together we've lifted up critical prayer needs among us
- together we are building a solid foundation studying each Torah portion so that we can understand the rest of Scripture
- together we sow teaching materials into the lives of those on a limited income, especially widows
- together we provided funds so that Torah observant believers in Kenya could experience Passover and Sukkot
- together we laughed when that was all that we could do
- together we birthed BEKY Books for Hebraic Roots beginners
What kind of fruit will we have in the coming year? With the help of our Father, may we add even more fruit that glorifies Him and helps to restore order inside, regardless of the mess in the yard. No human eye has seen, nor human ear heard, what kind of home is being prepared for us.
Strap on your toolbelts and let's get busy!
 Mikveh also means "hope."
ISRAEL STUDY TRIP
We still have two seats available on the March 19-30, 2017, Israel tour. Our focus is preparing for Passover as we walk in the ancient paths of our forefathers' faith. We're looking for spiritual renewal, and studies will focus on both the observance of Passover in the First Century as well as its spiritual and prophetic place in our lives and apocalyptic prophecies.
Cost is $2100 plus your airfare. For more information or registration, go to
and view the Pennington/Alewine tour: Standing With Israel: the Revelation.
If you are unable to go, but you'd like to assist someone else, we do have a person in need. Those who contribute
any amount toward this pastor's trip will be given access to an extended video teaching on Chanukkah and the Seven Shepherds, so
be sure to include an email address to receive the link.
The teaching points include:
- Why did Yeshua say that we should pray that our flight be not in winter or on Shabbat?
- What did the Prophet Chaggai prophesy about Chanukkah? How did Zechariah extend this Chanukkah "blessing" to the nations?
- Where is the First Mention of chanukkah in the Torah, and how does it relate to the time Yeshua walked in the Temple at Chanukkah?
- What was the context of the Pharisees' challenge to Yeshua at the Feast of Dedication, and how was his answer prophetic of the "other flock" and how he would accomplish the task of bringing them to the House?
- When was the "real" Chanukkah, and what does it have to do with Passover Sheni in the Torah and the Chanukkah celebrated today?
- What do Yared, Enoch, and Methuselah have to do with Chanukkah and the 1,000-year reign? What about the loosing of the Adversary after 1,000 years?
If you can help, click
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. Please put "Shepherd" in the Comment section so we can know who the donation is for. Alternatively, you can send a check (memo line: "Shepherd") to
PO Box 846
East Bernstadt, KY 40729
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Truth, Tradition, or Tare: Growing in the Word
Readers of the Newer Testament can find its treatment of tradition confusing. Many of the customs in its pages are Jewish, and therefore foreign to non-Jewish believers. Yeshua (Jesus) sometimes corrected those observing religious customs, yet at other times he said they should have observed them. Paul does the same in his letters, and twice he instructs non-Jewish believers to keep the Jewish customs he passed on to them.
Among believers in Yeshua today, some enjoy incorporating tradition into their worship. Some dismiss all customs as "man-made," and therefore extraneous at best or the sin "adding to" the written Word at worst. There is a way to determine the relationship of the written Word to tradition, for the Word would not leave us without comfort on such an important question. Our Father wants His children to grow in wisdom, maturity, and favor before Him as well as their communities.
The methods used by the prophets of the Older Testament (TANAKH) as well as the writers of the Newer Testament (Brit HaChadasha) did leave readers guidelines to divide the Seed of truth from tradition, and then to separate a tradition grown from truth from a "taredition" grown from a different seed. Additionally, it is just as important to the disciple of Yeshua to test the goodness of the soil on which the practice of the Word grows. The most important consideration in the Older Testament's, Yeshua's, and the apostles' instructions is the sincere heart that holds justice, mercy, and faithfulness as the weightier matters of any religious custom.
By evaluating the traditions that one chooses to observe or not observe, the individual can avoid the lament:
"O Lord, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: 'Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.'"
By applying the instructions in the Word, every believer is encouraged in his or her growth. A careful examination of Yeshua's instructions lifts a nuance that is frequently lost in discussions of truth and tradition. The first step is to identify whether that tradition is a tare. By throwing all tradition into a mental trash bin labeled Man's Tradition, it is possible that one could throw good plants and fruit into the bin with the tares. This is a logical fallacy called oversimplification. Yeshua's parables encourage his disciples to learn critical thinking skills so that growth in the Word is abundant life.
When a disciple of Yeshua examines his or her walk in the Word, there may be times that he or she feels that there is not enough growth. The very fact that we question our growth is a sign of readiness to grow. The next step is to allow the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) to teach us how to bear good fruit. To do that, every disciple can identify beliefs and practices that either stimulate healthy growth in the Word, or they stunt it. Welcome to the living fields of the Father's Garden!
LaMalah Children's Centre
Thank you for your faithful donations! We hope to be able to take in two more youngsters on the waiting list soon.