I'm Tired. Just tired.
There's a saying in Modern Hebrew that I've been using a lot. "
Ain li koach." Literally it means "I don't have strength." Situationally, it translates into Modern English more like, "I don't have the energy for it; it's pointless to even talk about it."
Ever wonder why you're so tired this time of year? It's pretty normal, actually. The Torah calls the season of the fall feasts the "turn of the year" or the "going out of the year." Good fruit has aged to maturity, and now it will die only to be reborn the following spring. The Last Day approaches, the final day of the feast sabbaths at Sukkot; all the fall feasts, however, are interconnected in theme.
The Great Trump declaring a new year won't blow for ten days after the Last Trump awakes the dead at Rosh HaShanah.
The shofar blown at Trumpets is the Last Trump, signaling the Last Day. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we will be changed as the shofar blows. We wear white to the congregation, signifying our death garments, for Israelites are buried in white. Our white garments, however, are our birth garments, for in the twinkling of an eye, we will be resurrected to another cycle with a fresh course set before us.
The assembly at Sardis in Revelation, which corresponds to the Feast of Trumpets (see
CG WKBK 1
, The Seven Assemblies of Revelation), is reminded of the approaching death and resurrection.
Here is the admonition to those who gather on the Day of Blowing, Yom Teruah, as prophesied to the Fifth Assembly of Revelation, Sardis:
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; these things says he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and
strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. (3:1-2)
Works are important from Yom Teruah to Yom Kippur because these are marks of maturity; Passover is the festival of teaching children to separate good from evil. At Rosh HaShanah, those doctrines and deeds should have matured to adulthood, aging to death all leaven of hypocrisy and self-deceptive doctrines.
As the Feast of Trumpets approaches, we are tired. Just tired. We must evaluate the past year as Jewish tradition and the message to Sardis urges. Where did we fail? Let it die with the last echo of the shofar. Where did we overcome? Strengthen it; don't let those good works die. Prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good. It will resurrect to life.
Could I have been a better wife in the past year? Definitely.
Could I have been a better teacher? Absolutely.
Could I have been a better friend? Yes.
Could I have done a better job for HRN? Much better.
Could I have been a better servant of Adonai? So much better.
In self-evaluation, sometimes it is only in hindsight that we see things that we could have done better; at the time, though, we did the best we knew to do with the information we had. We should have seen it coming, but we didn't. Next year, we'll do better. We'll learn.
Until the shofar sounds at the Feast of Trumpets, though, all I can say is that I'm tired. Just tired. I've emptied myself, and all the strength I have left is the power of the Ruach HaKodesh.
Ain li koach, but
in my Father is all resurrection power. Even so, Lord Yeshua, come quickly. We're just so tired.
Forgiveness and Repentance at the Feast of Trumpets
Why does it hurt so badly to be betrayed?
A friend and I were emailing last week, and she quoted concerning a divorce that's been in the news lately: "You can't build your happiness on someone else's pain." As human beings, we need to trust others, especially those closest to us. When they don't meet our expectations, the foundations of our world fall apart. Bitterness will grow in the gap between what we expected and what we received.
Rosh HaShanah/The Feast of Trumpets is an opportunity to deal with that pain. It presents that disappointment to the only other being in the world who can truly assuage it, the Father in Heaven. If we only knew how acutely He feels the pain with us. If we only knew how close He is when He catches our tears in a bottle.
Even when we target our Father as the One Who didn't care or the One Who didn't stop the tragedy, we are at least attributing that power to Him and not another god. It is not so great a step from there to accept the change in our lives and partner with Him as the only other being in the universe who can rebuild our happiness: us. I am the human being in His image, and I start with forgiveness. Whether I feel forgiveness or not is irrelevant; whether I choose to obey Him and forgive is relevant. My feelings may never catch up to my choice.
No, you can't build your happiness on someone's else's pain, but I do think you can build your own happiness on your own pain if you forgive. Forgiveness and time, or at least that's what I think. The things that I can forgive, I can leave behind. If my Father can cast my transgressions into a sea of forgetfulness, then that seems the healing course for me to take with others.
It's not that His memory is faulty, but that sin cannot live in His Presence. If we choose to obey and forgive, then the more we live in the Presence, the less the feelings can feed on my wound. Sometimes that means detaching from the one who habitually wounds me so that I create a healing distance. I can choose to forgive, and then to live. The transgressions cannot live in my presence if I immerse myself in His truth.
Will the wounds always hurt when my mind retrieves a bad memory even after I forgive? Likely. But over time, there is less to retrieve. What do I do when that happens? Redirect to a living thought so that the bitter thought cannot re-attach and form a lifeline with bitter feelings. With the passage of much time, perhaps I can retrieve a memory and think through the circumstances without the passion of pain. Yes, it still hurts, but the pain has ceased to be the primary thing...how the fossilized memory helped me build my current happiness will become a life wisdom that helps others.
The Feast of Trumpets is a greater resurrection day. Take advantage of it to strengthen the good things in your life and detach from deathly relationships. Embrace the course He has set before you in His Book of Life. Forgive, and then live.
Monday Night Online Torah Class
We have a couple more spots left on the Monday night online class via WebEx after Sukkot. We will use the Creation Gospel 5 Torah commentaries as a "jumping off place" for the class, which will look into the weekly Torah portions. The class will run from 9:00 - 10:00 pm EST on Monday nights. An additional class will be held on Tuesdays at 1:30 pm EST.
Because most will be Sukkot traveling or camping for the first portion of Bereishit, it will be held early, October 10.
This class will not require homework, although there will be suggested study assignments and students will be encouraged to connect for extra study on the portion.
The cost will be $20 per month. I'll need to compare the final number to my current WebEx plan to ensure we cover costs. Students will need to install WebEx on their computers, but the system also accommodates phone logins, which is handy when traveling. Students will have access to the video files of each class for up to one month following, so when life gets in the way, the lesson can be watched or listened to at a later time.
If you are interested in joining the class, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and email address for updates. An informational email will be sent out by the end of September for those who send an email.
LaMalah Children's Centre
We can't thank our donors enough for their monthly support of the Children's Center in Kenya. We are saving for the purchase of a vehicle for the Centre, so if you can help, please click on the link below: