Thursday, October 16, 2014

Excerpt Winds Of Change by David C Russell

Hello Grafted in Readers,
Today is October 16, 2014, and the extra day of the Fall Feast of Tabernacles. In Messianic parlance, we celebrate Yeshua as Messiah, and further accept his invitation to abide in his presence, abide in his power, and abide in his teachings. See John chapter 15, New Covenant Scriptures.
-Below is an excerpt from my novel, "Winds of Change" CrossBooks, 2012, which fictionally reflects on this particular feast.
*******
Note: Characters are Seth and Leah Scott, Dan and Rhonda Hansen, Pastor and Mrs. Bentley. Setting is a fictional town in northern Wisconsin, time of year is Fall.

Midway through the Fall, the Scotts and Hansens decided to have a small dinner party, in part to learn more of the Hansens' involvement in a small Messianic faith community. Of course, Rhonda and Leah and discussed this on occasion at work. Dan and Jefferson occasionally spoke of it when they met. Both couples wanted to include Pastor Bentley and his wife who were quite classic in their Lutheran ideology. They agreed on the second Saturday in October, and each would provide a dish that began with the first letter of their last name. Jefferson and Leah spent the afternoon preparing scones and salad. The Bentleys were bringing surloin beef tips, and the Hansens' were providing herbal lightly-steamed vegetable platter. Seth Scott was spending the day and night with a school friend video gaming and such. As the afternoon hours faded into evening, the couples arrived at the Scott home. The Bentleys were the first to arrive. "Oh, Pastor Bob, glad you and your wife Ruth could join us. Just put your coats on the bed in the main beddrom," Jefferson advised.

Over the next 45 minutes, the Hansens' arrived and were welcomed similarly. As the women finished dinner preparations, Jefferson, Dan and Pastor Bentley watched the final minutes of the college football game on TV. Fortunately, Illinois and Minnesota were equally matched in skill, offensive and defensive game execution. In the final minutes, Minnesota managed to pull out a victory with a 35 yard field goal by one of the team's lesser known players. As the couples assembled at the table,Leah asked her friend Rhonda to offer the table grace. As they joined hands, Rhonda began, "Lord God, King of the Universe, we bless you for all you provide. Blessed oare youwho provides bread for the earth and nourishment for our being," all responded with amen. Pastor Bentley was somewhat suprised by this table grace as it did not compare with what he hear from a members home, expecting more a standard grace from liturigcally-influenced Christians. The dinner went on with small talk about work, hospital, school and other trivialites. As dinner included all went to settle in the livingroom as Leah started a fire in their fireplace.

In the pleasant glow of the fire, the conversation turned to the topic of faith. Jefferson began by asking Dan about his recent weekend trip to observe the Fall Festival known as the Feast of Tabernacles. Dan shared that as with the Spring Feast of Shavuot, known to many as Pentecost, they went to Madison to observe this with other believers. This was a day-long convocation, but the theme was the celebration to commemorate God's dwelling with his people in times past, present, and future. "It's all about relationship," Rhonda added. They met in, and utilized the facilities of a Lutheran church near Madison.

"Do you think church people would be interested in this sort of thing," asked Ruth Bentley not really directing her question to anyone in particular, but hoping her husband would respond. "I know a number who already are, but for some reason the church at large seems stuck or oblivous to anything beyond its mode of operations for centuries," said Dan. "Observing Rhonda as a colleague at work has given me the opportunity to note that there is something quite unique about her outlook and faith. Quite frankly, the more I observe the more curious I become," Ledah stated. Pastor Bob remained quiet, but his facial expression was a slight smile mixed with a degree of pondering.

*******
Rereading this with you, has given me the desire to be consistent in my abiding with and living for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords..
-Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be that which attracts us to Him, and we find our innermost cravings and thirst satisfied by He having ongoing fellowship with us.

If interested, Winds of Change can be ordered through Amazon or any major book store. Comments welcomed!
Mellow Roc

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hallelujah, Tanakh and Tehillim - Hebrew Words Deep Meaning

Hello Grafted In Readers,
Last post, "You Are My Hiding Place" I mentioned we would devote the next few visits to considering the Hebraic and/or Jewish roots of the Christian faith. I hope you find these short posts informative and enriching, and can use them in your daily walk.

One site loaded with informations is the ongoing "hebrew4christians" and secondly, "The Ancient Hebrew Research Center". My posts will be drawing from both of these sites and others.

-During Sukkot, Feast of Tabernacles, which is an annual Fall Feast to celebrate the harvest and God dwelling with us, one traditional practice is for the congregation to publicy proclaim the Hallel, from which we have the word Hallelujah. Blessed is He who comes in the Name of Adonai, the LORD. When the Temple existed, people would march around the temple during feast times proclaiming the Hallel.

Tanakh, An acronym describing the parts or sections of the Hebrew Scriptures. Torah, Prophets, writings, poetry.

Below is from www.hebrew4christians.com

The English word “psalm” comes from the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew word mizmor, a word meaning “melody of praise.” The various mizmorim (psalms)were compiled into a collection, perhaps by King David himself, and were later codified by Ezra the Scribe when the canon of the Tanakh was established.

-Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence elicit our ongoing thanks and praise!
Mellow Roc

Friday, October 10, 2014

You Are My Hiding Place - song by Selah, Contemporary Christian Group

Hello Grafted in Readers,
First, I want to thank Mary for her comment on our last blog post, and always welcome comments from any of you!
This is the third day of The Feast of Tabernacles, and I am taking inb a few of the webcasts offered by the United Church of God, feasts.ucg.org.
I also want to share with you some facts about this particular feast as mentioned by the director of the Orthodox Jewish site, torah.org.
Consider that this may complement the Apostle Shaul/Paul, who in the letter to the Galatians in the Apostolic Scriptures mentions the fruit of the Spirit in the believer's life.
I have a couple additional things after this citation. From LifeLine, torah.org.

One of the themes of the holiday of Sukkos is that we are all bound together. The Torah tells us to take four species: the Esrog, a citrus fruit with a pleasant taste and smell; the Lulav from a Date Palm which produces fruit but is not fragrant; Hadasim, myrtle branches which are aromatic but does not provide edible fruit; and aravos, from the willow, which has neither taste nor smell.

IMG_2693
As we discussed last year, the fruit symbolizes the Torah inside a person, while the fragrance represents the Mitzvos, the deeds a person does which affect those around him or her. The four species represent those who have both Torah and good deeds, those who have one but not the other, and even those who have neither.

--Early next week, I hope to post some online references one can use to further inform themself about the Jewish Roots or Hebraic roots of the Christian faith. I will also post a brief excerpt from my novel, "Winds of Change" CrossBooks, 2012, that in part introduces the reader to this topic. This title will be 3-years-old at the end of November and thankfully is still "alive".
Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be strength to you.
Mellow Roc

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Seven Days of Security

Hello Grafted In Readers,
This evening on this side of the equator begins the 7 day Feast of Tabernacles, booths, in Hebrew, Sukkot. This is a time that celebrates God leading the children of Israel through their 40 year wilderness experience, and has led and continues to lead His people today. If you are unable to attend public observances of this feast, you can find webcasts on line. Google webcast feast of tabernacles and choose from the results.
In honor of this celebration of Spiritual security, I am posting one of the Psalms here that would have been chanted as the pilgrims made their way to the annual feast. See Psalms 120 through 134, "Songs of Ascent".
Kevod Yeheveh, His presence accompany us through our journey which has its ups, downs, moments of tension and relaxed.
Psalm 125 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Security of God’s People
A Song of Ascents.
125 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides for ever.
2
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem,
so the Lord is round about his people,
from this time forth and for evermore.
3
For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
upon the land allotted to the righteous,
lest the righteous put forth
their hands to do wrong.
4
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good,
and to those who are upright in their hearts!
5
But those who turn aside upon their crooked ways
the Lord will lead away with evildoers!
Peace be in Israel!