Shalom, New Moon – June 22, 2020

Shalom,
New Moon
The New Moon has been seen in Israel!
We enter into the fourth Hebrew month.
Look toward the western sky at sundown tonight and celebrate the goodness of HaShem in our lives.

Celebration Tips
Lighting of the Menorah
Reading Psalms
Sounding of the shofar
Celebration dinner
Special time of thanks and blessing.
Prayer for peace of Jerusalem (Ps 122:6) and regathering of the family of Israel.
(EZ 37)
May HaShem open His floodgates of blessing upon you in this new month.
Chodesh Tov. (Good month)
Be Strong,
Mike Clayton
Joined To HaShem
 
Disclaimer: This email is not intended to set a calendar or appointed time. It is only to announce the sighting of the New Moon in Israel. It is to be a reminder to those in exile that Jerusalem should be the focus and center of all we do.

 

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Shalom, New Moon – May 23, 2020 – Daniel 9 Prayer Song – James Block

Shalom,
New Moon
The New Moon has been seen in Israel!
We enter into the Third Hebrew month.
Look toward the western sky at sundown tonight and celebrate the goodness of HaShem in our lives.

Celebration Tips
Lighting of the Menorah
Reading Psalms
Sounding of the shofar
Celebration dinner
Special time of thanks and blessing.
Prayer for peace of Jerusalem (Ps 122:6) and regathering of the family of Israel.
(EZ 37)
May HaShem open His floodgates of blessing upon you in this new month.
Chodesh Tov. (Good month)
Be Strong,
Mike Clayton
Joined To HaShem
 
Disclaimer: This email is not intended to set a calendar or appointed time. It is only to announce the sighting of the New Moon in Israel. It is to be a reminder to those in exile that Jerusalem should be the focus and center of all we do.

 

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100% FREE ONLINE RECOVERY PROGRAMto anyone who wants to fully recover. We are a Biblical Online Recovery Outreach Program that is life changing and empowering. Adult & Teen Challenge Certified Teachers and certified Life Coaches will be working with you, and your loved ones, by video conference and phone with 24/7 support by text, chat and email. Contact us today and receive our gift of recovery.

 

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Dan 9:1 In the first year of Dareyawesh the son of Aḥashwĕrosh, of the seed of the Medes, who was set up as sovereign over the reign of the Kasdim –
Dan 9:2 in the first year of his reign I, Dani’ĕl, observed from the Scriptures the number of the years, according to the word of יהוה (Yahweh) given to Yirmeyah the prophet, for the completion of the wastes of Yerushalayim would be seventy years.
Dan 9:3 So I set my face toward יהוה (Yahweh) the Elohim to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.
Dan 9:4 And I prayed to יהוה (Yahweh) my Elohim, and made confession, and said, “O יהוה (Yahweh), great and awesome Ěl, guarding the covenant and the loving-commitment to those who love Him, and to those who guard His commands.
Dan 9:5 “We have sinned and did crookedness, and did wrong and rebelled, to turn aside from Your commands and from Your right-rulings.
Dan 9:6 “And we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your Name to our sovereigns, our heads, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
Dan 9:7 “O יהוה (Yahweh), to You is the righteousness, and to us the shame of face, as it is this day – to the men of Yehuḏah, to the inhabitants of Yerushalayim and all Yisra’ĕl, those near and those far off in all the lands to which You have driven them, because of their trespass which they have trespassed against You.
Dan 9:8 “O Master, to us is the shame of face, to our sovereigns, to our heads, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against You.
Dan 9:9 “To יהוה (Yahweh) our Elohim are the compassions and forgivenesses, for we have rebelled against Him.
Dan 9:10 “And we have not obeyed the voice of יהוה (Yahweh) our Elohim, to walk in His Torot, which He set before us through His servants the prophets.
Dan 9:11 “And all Yisra’ĕl have transgressed Your Torah, and turned aside, so as not to obey Your voice. So the curse and the oath written in the Torah of Mosheh the servant of Elohim have been poured out on us, for we have sinned against Him.
Dan 9:12 “And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our rulers who judged us, by bringing upon us great evil. For under all the heavens there has not been done like what was done to Yerushalayim.
Dan 9:13 “As it is written in the Torah of Mosheh, all this evil has come upon us, and we have not entreated the face of יהוה (Yahweh) our Elohim, to turn back from our crookednesses, and to study Your truth.
Dan 9:14 “Hence יהוה (Yahweh) has watched over the evil and has brought it upon us. For יהוה (Yahweh) our Elohim is righteous in all the works which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.
Dan 9:15 “And now, O יהוה (Yahweh) our Elohim, who brought Your people out of the land of Mitsrayim with a strong hand, and made Yourself a Name, as it is this day – we have sinned, we have done wrong!
Dan 9:16 “O יהוה (Yahweh), according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your displeasure and Your wrath be turned away from Your city Yerushalayim, Your set-apart mountain. For, because of our sins, and because of the crookednesses of our fathers, Yerushalayim and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us.
Dan 9:17 “And now, our Elohim, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the sake of יהוה (Yahweh) cause Your face to shine on Your set-apart place, which is laid waste.
Dan 9:18 “O my Elohim, incline Your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and see our wastes, and the city which is called by Your Name. For we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great compassions.
Dan 9:19 “O יהוה(Yahweh) , hear! O יהוה (Yahweh), forgive! O יהוה (Yahweh), listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my Elohim, for Your city and Your people are called by Your Name.”
Dan 9:20 And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Yisra’ĕl, and presenting my supplication before יהוה (Yahweh) my Elohim for the set-apart mountain of my Elohim,
Dan 9:21 while I was still speaking in prayer, the man Gaḇri’ĕl, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, came close to me, in swift flight about the time of the evening offering.
Dan 9:22 And he made me understand, and talked with me, and said, “O Dani’ĕl, I have now come forth to make you wise concerning understanding.
Dan 9:23 “At the beginning of your supplications a word went out, and I have come to make it known, for you are greatly appreciated. So consider the word and understand the vision:
Dan 9:24 “Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and for your set-apart city, to put an end to the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to cover crookedness, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Most Set-apart.
Dan 9:25 “Know, then, and understand: from the going forth of the command to restore and build Yerushalayim until Messiah the Prince is seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It shall be built again, with streets and a trench, but in times of affliction.
Dan 9:26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off and have naught. And the people of a coming prince shall destroy the city and the set-apart place. And the end of it is with a flood. And wastes are decreed, and fighting until the end.
Dan 9:27 “And he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. And in the middle of the week he shall put an end to slaughtering and meal offering. And on the wing of abominations he shall lay waste, even until the complete end and that which is decreed is poured out on the one who lays waste.” (a) Footnote: a Mat 24:15.

 

 

Living Torah Commentary – Mishpatim (Rulings) – Attitude Check! – SCRIPTURES FOR February 22, 2020

Torah Commentary
Mishpatim (Rulings)
Exodus 21:1-24:18
Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26
Matthew 5:38-42; 15:1-20
Acts 23:1-11
Hebrews 9:15-22; 10:28-39
Attitude Check!
We now begin to expound on the Ten Words. Before we do, we need to consider the reason we are moving on: Why do we desire to live by His Words?
This may seem like an oversimplified thought, but I believe it is much needed. Stop for a moment and ask yourself this question, “Why do I desire to obey His commandments?”
Now let’s look at some possible answers.
FEAR. 
Many of us grew up in the days of hellfire and brimstone preaching. Some even made it to an altar to “get saved” just because that hell thing sure did not sound like a good option for us. We were given this picture of a God who is sitting up there somewhere just waiting for us to mess up so He can swat us like a little bug and send us to the hell He really wants us to be in after all. Now none of us would verbalize that this is our attitude toward our Heavenly Father or the reason we are following Him, but the question should be asked. How do the teachings of our past affect the way we live today?
EARN RIGHTEOUSNESS
We have all read the scripture which states we are saved by faith and not by our works, but do we really believe this? After all, we are told there is nothing free in life, not even a lunch. The concept of redemption being a free gift just seems to go against our very makeup. We all know ourselves. We know what we have done in our lives. We know the secrets of our closets. To think that He will forgive us of even the darkest hour of our life and make it as if we never even did it is just hard to accept. In the end, many of us give lip service to forgiveness, but still harbor the thought that there is a catch, that He won’t fully forgive us until we do something specific, even though in the end it is nothing that we do that causes that forgiveness.
SHOW OFF
Now, we would never admit to it, but this may be the easiest trap to fall into. This can become the motivation to “be right.” We have all seen the divisions through the years regarding calendars and pronunciation of The Name. Is it good for us to study? Yes. Can our study become about us showing our great knowledge and being right in all things just so we can make ourselves feel good and heal some deep rooted hurt of life? The answer, again, is yes.
I am sure there are many other things we could go into, but I will leave them for you and Father to deal with. Let’s take a look at the right reason for obedience.
LOVE
Yeshua said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John, the beloved disciple said in 2 John 1:6, “And this is love, that we walk in His commandments.” Why should we desire to walk out His commandments? The reason is given in the instructions concerning a Hebrew servant, “Because I love my master.” It is as simple and complex as that.
One final thought. Have we considered that the hangup may be that we are having a hard time loving Him because we have never come to the place of understanding that He loves us? Just how great is that love? Please read the following scriptures.
John 3:16. I know you can quote it, but open your Bible and slowly read it. Now read it again and where it says “The World,” insert your name.
Romans 5:8 Insert “me” and “I” for “us” and “we.”
The Hebrews in Egypt did not DO anything to earn His love. They did not earn redemption or a visit to The Mountain. It was all because of His love that He acted on their behalf. The same is true for us today. Question is, how will we respond? Will it be out of fear, a sense of trying to earn something, to show off to others, or will it be, “I love my Master because He first loved me?” (Click to Source)

Torah Commentary – B’Shallach (After he had let go) – SCRIPTURES FOR February 8, 2020

B’Shallach (After he had let go)

Exodus 13:17-17:16
Judges 4:4-5:31
John 6:25-35; 19:31-37
Revelation 15:1-4

Finally! A Formula!

Have you ever thought that it would be nice if HaShem had given us some formulas in scripture? In this weeks Torah portion, we find one. The Hebrews have left Egypt with wagons full of “stuff” they have been given by their old neighbors, and they now begin the exciting journey to the Land of Promise. What are the chances of it not going the way they all planned it to go? Knowing a bit about The Almighty, well, you know the answer to that one.
The first item in the formula for getting all these people from Egypt to Canaan is not to take them on the easy route, but rather on what, from their view, would be a round about way. Yes, the first lesson to learn is that He is not as concerned about getting our physical being from one place to another, but rather working on our spiritual being, which always takes time and effort.
The second thing He does is take them to a dead end so there would be no direction to look but up. While they are standing with a large body of water in front of them, mountains on each side and a bunch of angry Egyptians beginning to breathe down their collective necks, Yah now says not to fear. No problem! Fear never crosses your mind when you are in a situation like this. Yeah, right!
Third on the list is to stand still. This is a tough one. In the midst of dire circumstances the last thing most of us want to do is stand still and do nothing. Human need of survival tells us someone needs to do something. The key to being able to stand still is in the Hebrew word used here, yatsab. The word means to present oneself and stand with someone. This takes us back to step two in that He does not stand with a person who is presenting themselves before Him in fear instead of faith. So for us to be “still,” we must present ourselves to Him in faith, knowing and being confident that He will deliver us through our trouble.
Step four brings us to a word we considered a few weeks ago, ra’ah, which is translated as “see”. It is not to only see with our eyes, but to perceive with our whole being. What is it Yah desires for us to “see?” The answer is quite simple. He desires us to see Him. The word in 14:13 which is translated as “salvation” is the word Yeshua.
Let’s take a break form the formula and think this through. He has orchestrated all the events of the last year or so of their lives for this one reason, so they could come face to face with Him. If we could all get this point it would have a great impact on our lives. No matter where you or I stand today, the purpose for the journey which brought you there is to see Him face to face.
Now it is time to move on, and this is where it gets fun, for this is where the miracles begin. Angels mess with the lug nuts of the chariot wheels and pillars of fire move with purpose through the sky. Of course we also see that little parting of the waters thing which leaves the guy who once thought he was a god laying dead on the shore waiting for the next seagull feeding time.
At this point it would seem the formula for deliverance is complete, but there is still work to be done before the fullness can be realized. The journey still has many twists and turns before we can get to the destination. There will be bitter waters and opportunities to gripe, complain, and say we can not go on. During the journey, most will forget about the formula which got them where they are. They will exchange faith for fear, forget Who is standing with them and begin to see with only their eyes. Very few will continue and make it to the end.
Today, many of us find ourselves in situations we never dreamed of. At times it can be like the proverbial rock and a hard place. It looks like not only is history repeating itself, but He is repeating Himself. We are people just like they were. The formula which was used for them is once again being used. The question we must ask is will we walk in it and find Him or find ourselves as bones scattered in a wilderness? (Click to Source)
Shalom and Be Strong,
Mike Clayton
Joined To HaShem

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Torah Commentary – Pinchas”Phineas” – Zeal In The Camp – SCRIPTURES FOR July 27, 2019

Torah Commentary
Pinchas”Phineas”
Numbers 25:10-30:1
1 Kings 18:46-19:21
2 Timothy 1-4; Titus 1-3; Philemon 1
Zeal In The Camp
Reading about the Hebrews and their journey through the wilderness  has taken on so much meaning in the past few years. With each passing year it becomes more and more special to read about their lives. It is not that the accounts of their lives become more exciting, but as His Day approaches, reading about the lives of the Hebrews causes me to sit back and allow my own thoughts to wander. I think about how different their walk was from ours today, but with the differences come so many striking similarities. Their walk was different because times have changed, but it was so simular because people do not change.
This week we read about people who no matter the blessings of The Almighty in their lives desired the quick passing pleasure of sin rather than the righteousness of their Creator. We read about one man who took the bull by the horns and made a difference. If you look between the lines we also see the masses called the majority who just sat and watched as spectators on a sideline.
The main character in the opening words of this weeks Torah is a man named Pinchas. He came on the scene rather quickly last week and became the hero of the day to stop a plague which was sweeping through the people because of sin in the camp. His heroic efforts cause him to not only take a place in recorded history, but also brings him and his family into a promotion promised not only for the lifetime of Phichas, but forever.
What was it that brought about the blessing Pinchas would walk in? It is boiled down to one word, zeal. But what exactly is zeal?
Webster defines zeal as “great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.” Zeal is something which is easy to define, but rather hard to teach. Fact is, I do not think you can teach zeal. You can teach emotions and hype which last about as long as the passing pleasure of sin, but zeal is another matter. I have come to the conclusion after years of teaching that there is no way to teach zeal. Zeal can not be taught, zeal must be caught!
Pinchas did not get his zeal from a book. We are not told where Pinchas got his zeal from. It could have been directly from Moses himself. Or maybe it was Joshua? There is an interesting thought. Maybe there is more to the man Joshua than we know up to this point. So far all we know about him is that he stuck pretty close to Moses most of the time. He was no doubt addicted to the presence of Elohim, for when Moses left the Tabernacle, Joshua would stay behind. What was Joshua doing with his time during a normal day though? Maybe he was passing on a zeal he had not been taught, but rather had caught from his time in the presence of Moses and of course Elohim Himself. If this is so, it sure paid off not only in the life of Pinchas, but in the lives of many Hebrews that infamous day.
This of course brings us to a question. How is our zealousness today? Do we have the kind of zealous pursuit of HaShem that causes others around us to sit up and take notice? Do we have a zealousness that is affecting other people around us? Are we ever zealous enough about Him for people to notice?
A zealous lifestyle will cause you to do things others are not willing to do. Zealousness will cause you to step out of a crowd like Pinchas or a Judas Maccabee. It will cause you to do things others are just not willing to do. Zealousness will cause you to be different from the crowd. Zealousness will cause you to be admired by some, but not accepted by most. Zealousness will cause you to be misunderstood most of the time. Zealousness will cause you to loose many friends, but in the end have the greatest influence on people. Above all, zealousness for Him will cause Him to be zealous over you. Personally I can not think of a better reason to desire to catch this wonderful trait of His the scripture calls zealous. (Click to Source)
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Torah Commentary – Korach (Korah) – The Stand Which Proved The Man – Joined To HaShem – SCRIPTURES FOR July 6, 2019

Torah Commentary
Korach (Korah)
Numbers 16:1-18:32
1Samuel 11:14-12:22
2Timothy 2:8-21
Jude 1-25
The Stand Which Proved The Man
We come to the infamous account of Korach this week. You have to admit that with all that has happened in the camp since Israel left Egypt, events which clearly showed Moshe as the leader, this was a pretty gutsy move made by Korach. Well, maybe gutsy is not the right word to use here. How about just plain dumb?
Imagine the looks on the faces of those who stood in rebellion as the ground under their feet began to shake. Maybe a gentle rumble preceded the earth splitting in two before swallowing the mass group of “position seekers”. This is an incredible display from Yah confirming His seal of leadership on Moshe…As most of you know, I love the quote by John Wayne, “It’s hard to stop stupid!” I wonder if Mr. Wayne might have come up with that quote after reading this week’s Torah portion. Probably not, but it sure fits.
In Chapter 17 we read that it was the very next day after the Korach incident when stupid re-entered the camp. Consider the scene. The ground may have still been separated in the very spot where Korach and his bands had once stood. Even with the evidence of judgment still smoking in front of them, the people rebelled with complaints against Moshe.
What is the theme we are seeing? We find it by reviewing the previous portion where Miriam and Aharon spoke against Moshe . Rebellion is at the heart of their actions. Pride goes before a fall. We see rebellion against Moshe, the Torah and Yah’s direction for them.
In our walk, we must begin to look at Torah, Yeshua and walking in His principles as a package. It is all or nothing, not multiple choice. Most of us are accustomed to going to a restaurant and ordering from a menu. We find the combination which is close to our desires. If one item isn’t appetizing we ask the server if we can make a few changes like substituting onion rings for the fries. Is this our mindset regarding Kingdom living? In their day it was “Hold the manna, we will take a large order of quail!” What are we trying to substitute?
We read this week of a story of Aharon, Moshe’s brother, that shows he “got it.” In the past, we found Aharon to be a people pleaser. He walked through some rough trials before reaching this portion. He was not known for taking a stand. It appears Aharon learned from his mistakes displaying, in this account, to be the man Yah created him to be.
When the plague permeated the camp Moshe and Aharon fell on their faces to intercede for the people. Moshe gave Aharon specific instructions to “Take your fire pan, put fire from the altar in it, lay incense on it and hurry with it to the assembly”. Scripture records Aharon’s immediate obedience. He took a stand for the community through intercession and action. As a matter of fact, he responded to the instruction and “ran” to their aid. Imagine the scene. Aharon was no spring chicken in age you know, but he ran to take the stand to what Scripture records as “between the living and the dead.”
How did Aharon know the plague would stop? He didn’t. That is the overlooked point. This event was more than giving an account of the people’s rebellion towards Moshe’s leadership. It was about the transformation in Aharon, the man he had become. It was unclear to Aharon the outcome of his obedience. He simply followed directions. He was willing to die trying to save the sheep called Israel.  On this day Aharon proved himself to be a true shepherd.
This act of obedience or rite of passage could have been the catalyst for Aharon to be trusted with the budding rod. His humility and shepherd’s heart led to him being a shadow of the ever budding life of Messiah in the camp!
For a shepherd, the question of giving his life for sheep who may not be very deserving is one which is easy to give a verbal answer “yes” to. It is not until a shepherd is tested that he or she finds if they are truly up to the task.
May we see more people like Aharon raised up in our day.
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Addiction Ends at the Foot of the Cross by True Salvation thru Yeshua the Messiah – Jesus Christ

Torah Commentary – Sh’lach L’cha (Send on your behalf) – The Tourists Connection – SCRIPTURES FOR June 29, 2019

Sh’lach L’cha (Send on your behalf)
Numbers 13:1-15:41
Joshua 2:1-24
Hebrews 3:7-19
The Tourists Connection
If a list were made of the top ten stories the Hebrews are known for during their sojourn in the wilderness, the account of the twelve spies would certainly be found. Many fingers have been pointed at the faithless reports given by the ten spies. Is there a deeper level of understanding regarding the reason behind the difference in the statements shared by the ten versus the two? Could we find another lesson from their experience that can give instruction to us today? Let’s see.
The Hebrew word translated as spies is “tuwr.” It is interesting that the word sounds like our English word “tour”, though it is not the actual root of the word. We can use the comparison to draw a lesson. We can look at these men, not as it describes as “in the Land”, but rather as tourists? At the time, they were travelers, not dwellers. Consider, after all, when they returned to camp they brought back souvenirs of fruit of the land to show off. The fruitful bounty could have been inspiration to take the Land as Yah directed. Yet, it is not what they brought back on their shoulders which truly mattered, instead, it was what was in their hearts.
It is hard to envision the immense feast of produce these men saw or the terror of the massive size of its inhabitants during their “tour.” A few years back a section of the wall of Hevron was found that dates back to the time of Scripture. On one of my trips in Israel I was able to visit that section of unearthed wall. I remember just staring at it. I have always had a connection to Joshua. The haftorah readings for the Torah portion related to my birthday are verses in the first section of Joshua. That day at the wall I just stood and stared as I considered that ancient stone and pondered whether it may have been a spot Joshua had fixed his own eyes upon.
All twelve of the men saw the same sites, ate the same food and walked the same soil, so why the different accounts given upon their return? Most would say it was based on their level of faith which to some measure, I agree with. Going back to our original question whether we have another lesson from the spies experience, let us consider this point of view. I believe we can also reflect on the word “connect”. Joshua and Caleb connected with the Land. They were able to see past the giants inhabiting the area, even the bountiful harvest. It was their King’s Land. He was calling them to possess His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Their heart connection to Yah instilled a deep passionate connection for His Land, their inheritance. It appears the other ten did not make this connection.
My friend and brother Hanoch Young says it best, if you connect with the Land, the Land will connect with you. For Joshua and Caleb, the Land became a part of their very hearts. Sadly it seems for the others it was just another random handful of dirt.
As with Joshua and Caleb, you and I will fight for our heart’s desires and what and who we are connected to. That connection will manifest itself in actions which may in the end be termed faith, but faith begins with the relationship established in our heart.
What did Joshua and Caleb connect to? The answer is found in Deuteronomy 11:12 which reveals to us that the eyes of Yah are continually on that Land. Eyes do not lead your heart, they follow your heart. What your eyes gaze upon is an outward manifestation of where your heart is.
The eyes and hearts of Joshua and Caleb connected with the eyes and heart of the Father Himself. This is why they were allowed to enter the Land and would later give their very lives to possess it.
What caused Joshua and Caleb to connect with the Land and the others did not? I wish I could give you a complete answer. What makes one person go to Israel and weep while another is engrossed in taking pictures and playing on their cell phone? That is a question I cannot answer, but I am certain it involves the heart.
I have taken hundreds of people to Israel through the years. Most everyone will take pictures, bring home souvenirs and have stories to tell friends and family when they return. For the majority the memories will fade and become like the memories of taking the children to an amusement park. For others, life will never be the same. What is the difference? I do not know. What about the person who has never stepped foot in Israel, but yet the mention of the word brings tears to their eyes? I don’t know.
Joshua and Caleb connected to Israel on that day. They joined to the heart of their Father. This connection gave them the faith to see past giants and other obstacles. Their relationship gave them the blessing to cross over Jordan and enter into the Promise Land!
My prayer as I read this Torah portion is, “Father, I desire a heart like Joshua and Caleb, a heart for what is important to you. Give me the heart that brings forth the faith to see past giants so I too may enter your Land, my destiny!” (Click to Source)

 

Shalom, New Moon – May 6, 2019

Shalom,
New Moon
There are no reports of the New Moon being sighted in Israel as of yet due to overcast skies. Mathematically we enter into the second month.
With over 600 rockets launched into Israel this past weekend, spend a few extra moments considering the people who live in The Land and the great sacrifices they endure. 
Look toward the western sky at sundown tonight and celebrate the goodness of HaShem in our lives.

Celebration Tips
Lighting of the Menorah
Reading Psalms
Sounding of the shofar
Celebration dinner
Special time of thanks and blessing.
Prayer for peace of Jerusalem (Ps 122:6) and regathering of the family of Israel.
(EZ 37)
May HaShem open His floodgates of blessing upon you in this new month.
Chodesh Tov. (Good month)
Be Strong,
Mike Clayton
Joined To HaShem
 
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Torah Commentary – Va’era (I appeared) – His Promise – SCRIPTURES FOR January 13, 2017

Torah Commentary
Va’era (I appeared)

jesus-jew-2

Exodus 6:2-9:35
Ezekiel 28:25-29:21
Romans 9:14-17
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
His Promise
It is too easy for us to scan through Torah portions that have become familiar to us. I challenge you to slow down and consider the people who are living these recorded days then bring the words forward to our day and our lives. Take for instance the four “I Wills” of Exodus 6:6-8. These are words we speak of every Passover, but have we really considered them?

Here are the four promises. “I will free you, I will take you as my people, I will bring you into the Land and I will give you your inheritance”. For the Hebrews, they did not listen to those words because they were discouraged due to slavery. Are we not listening to them because we are prosperous? Ouch!

Let’s look at the promises one by one for ourselves. I am going to ask some questions regarding the promises. Pray about what they mean to you and how you might answer them.
“I will free you.” – Free us from what? We are free, aren’t we? Are we?
“I will take you as my people.” – We are already His people, right? Can we truly be His people while living in exile?
“I will bring you into the Land”- How do we define “the Land”? Interesting that for some this is actually a question.
“I will give you your inheritance.” – Do we know what our inheritance is? Hint. Look at Deuteronomy 33:4 for one. Look at “I will” number three for the other.
How is our longing to walk in the “I Wills” or are these words only spoken at Passover with no meaning. Is it similar to saying “Next Year in Jerusalem”?
The balance of this Torah portion will be devoted to the dialogue of Moshe and Aaron with Pharaoh as well as the plagues. What are these plagues about? Are they really judgments on the Egyptians for making the Hebrews into slaves? At one level the answer is yes, but let’s look at it from a different angle. Are the plagues more about the Hebrews seeing what life in Egypt really was? Is the fall of Egypt as the world power more about ripping their love of Egypt away so they could realize Egypt as exile and not home? How does that speak to us? Just how many plagues would it take for you to pack your bags and not “Move to Beverly” or “Head west young man”, but to leave everything behind and head east to home?
One more thing, in Exodus 9:16 Moshe is told to tell Pharaoh that the only reason he has been kept alive is to show forth the power of the Almighty and make His name resound through the earth. As Moshe was heading to the palace to deliver the message, did he stop and think that these words were not only for the Pharaoh, but were for him? Moshe’s parents could have followed the orders of the Pharaoh and put him to death. He could have been eaten by a croc in the Nile River. He could have been put into slavery instead of raised in the palace. He could have been put to death after he killed an Egyptian. He could have died of thirst, starvation or a rattlesnake bite in the desert. Moshe was alive. His life had been spared and protected. Why? For the same reason as Pharaoh, to show forth the power of Yah and make His name resound on the earth.
Any idea where I am going next? Think about it. What about you and me? Through the years I have had the honor of sitting down and getting to know many of you. You have told me about some of your past and I have shared with you some of mine. A theme has arisen many times in conversations when we look back and see how many times our lives were protected and spared by the Almighty. I wonder how many times He spared us and we did not know it? Why were we kept alive? Why were we called to the walk we are on? Is it not for the same reason Pharaoh was kept alive, the same reason Moshe was kept alive? Humbling isn’t it. Guess it just proves one more time that life really is not about us, but it is truly about Him.  (Click to Source)