Friday, December 11, 2009

Blessed Hanukkah

Hi and Shalom,
This brief reflection is from the Jewish Federations web site and is timely for this current Hanukkah in North America.
Let us recall as we celebrate the Light in our world being Yeshua Hamashiach, and like He, be about saving others from their numerous sins."
I will not be posting until January 2010 and will then resume thoughts from the title, Bound For Freedom.
Please leave comments or contact me at
Now the reflection.
> Jewish Reflections From the Front: A Hanukkah Thought
Jewish Reflections From the Front: A Hanukkah Thought
Rabbi Mitchell Ackerson
Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel), U.S. Army
Brigade Chaplain, 220th Military Police Brigade
Senior Jewish Chaplain, Operation Iraqi Freedom
December 19, 2003

Tonight Jews around the world will begin to celebrate the Festival of Hanukkah. The candles will be lit and the festivities will commence. Most will think of it as a very happy holiday (as it should be) but most will not dwell too long on the concepts of freedom, Jewish self-determination, and religious rededication that are the true core values of Hanukkah.

We too will start Hanukkah tonight. Soldiers everywhere in this theater will gather together as you do, but our thoughts will be a little more directed.

Most will have struggled to get someplace that a rabbi might visit this next week, they have argued vociferiously in many cases to be able to find a place to light the menorah, and they will have lived first-hand the experience of bringing freedom and religious rights to others.

While I am sure I will write after Hanukkah, I wanted to present you a thought that says we should not only wish each other a freilche (happy) Hanukkah, but an illuminating Hanukkah. That we should look at the flames' flickering glow and remember the sacrifices that the Hasmoneans 2,000 years ago in Modin endured, and what Jews have continued to sacrifice for those ideals over the centuries until today.

The candles should be illuminating, lighting our ways and opening our eyes to the struggle and sacrifice that many have endured so that others have the chance to enjoy the fruits of freedom, and religious observance around the world. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are at the vanguard of both the sacrifice and the thrill of seeing those freedoms realized.

As you light your candles tonight think of all those who could not, or who do so in conditions less than ideal. Let the light open your eyes and warm your hearts to remember the essence of Hanukkah and those who struggle to observe it.

As we say in one of our American favorites, "My Country 'Tis of Thee:"

"Long may our Land be Bright, with Freedom's Holy Light"

May the Holy Light of the Hanukkah candles burn bright, not only in America, but around the world, heralding freedom and a rededication to our faith.

A very happy and Illuninating Hanukkah to you all.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Lord Bless You and Keep You - Aaronic benediction

Hi and shalom!
About 35 to 40 people assembled at the Howard Miller Community Center, Zeeland Michigan, on both last Friday and Saturday to study how the Jewishness of Jesus could transform their life.
The main speaker was David Bivin, noted author of Shedding Light On The Difficult Words of Jesus, and lesser known fact, married to his wife 40 years the last week of September.
"Is there anyone here who would like prayer for anything before we start," adding, "I have my oil here from Jerusalem to anoint you, and we will believe God to prepare all of us to be students over the next 2 days."
Learning that contemporaries of Jesus - Yeshua, went through a process of education in the Torah, between 5 and 15-years-old, some of that group went on to be disciples, aprentase under a Rabbinic, i.e. indentured servants, and serve in that capacity for 2 to 5 years, then either become Rabbinics themselves or return to life before their discipleship program and continue study while running the family business, was quite intriguing.
I thought to myself, We have disciple so narrowly defined in seeming comparison, a follower suggesting a somewhat passive role as compared to an indentured servant, one who is actively going about serving their teacher.

Professor Bivin's work has focused much on the synoptic Gospels and their compared and contrasted accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus. You would best be served to read his original title, or the second, Shedding More Light On The Difficult Words of Jesus edited by Lois Tverberg and Ann Spangler, Zondervan Publishing.
I come away from the workshop encouraged to share with others, not by correcting and or informing, but perhaps be more questioning when the opportunity presents itself and suggest this or that to perhaps stimulate interest in further exploration of Jewish roots of our faith in Yeshua.
As Ms. Tverberg put it during her remarks, "Be a bridge not an island."
One common thread that seemed to exist for all who attended was the notion of how do you share this information with others once returning to your place of residence.
Mr. Bivin quipped, "Learn Hebrew and Greek."
"Buy 1, 2, 3 cases of our books and hand them out."
One other suggested, "Be an influencer for change."
This blog thus our time together, here is designed to be that, an influence for change on perhaps several levels, but the most basic, to encourage us all to keep trusting in our Savior, and know He is still working with you and I, his
indentured servants..
Am glad to be back home, but will recall this opportunity for a long time to come, and share more soon.
His presence be with you today. Write soon please!
Mellow Roc

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

another manic Monday is a song lyric and melody that runs through my mind on just about any Monday.. I had a friend some years ago, who surmised Mondays were invented just to get through. Mine is busy with work, and later having some work done by remote support on my work computer. Oh well busy hands are supposedly happy ones. I just started reading a blog titled, written by a lady who is traveled, and she and her hubby are literally a married couple on the move. Though she aspouses a different lifestyle compared to one I prefer, her posts are a reminder to be genuine, be real, and God's reminder to pray that one day she may experience a fuller dimension to life with Him as her loving merciful Messiah..
I don't have any book knowledge to pass of today, but happy to have 1 follower acknowledge them self, thanks bunches :) and welcome your comments if so inclined!
His presence go with you today.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Light of Yeshua Shines

as encouraged to read the FFOZ blogs : Messianic Movement In Prison which is a brief account by an inmate of the effect the FFOZ ministry is having on some who have found faith therein. It is exciting to know that the light of Yeshua shines anywhere it is allowed entrance. You can read this blog by typing "ffoz blog messianic movement in prison" at your fave search engine. His presence accompany you today.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Extraordinary Thursday

Today is Thursday. On this day in my personal history: grandparents used to come over and play cards with my parents on Thursdays as a youngster, I proposed to my wife on a Thursday, we had our first date on a Thursday, 3 summers ago I began to have a phone study with the late Rabbi Stan Greene, who gets the major credit for introducing me to the Messianic Perspective of faith, and subsequently, I often use Thursday evenings to further educate myself in faith matters. I will likely read chapter 2 of Bound For Freedom, this Thursday..
This morning, we read more of At The Feet of Rabbi Jesus, and learned how the tossils on garments were a symbol of faith and authority in the ancient Middle East, and to a great degree still today.
So when Yeshua asks, who touched the hem of my garment, on the account of the woman healed of a long-term blood disorder, it wasn't just a quip, Who touched me, who bumped me, who is in my way?
I hope one day conventional church leaders will begin to integrate facts like this into their sermons... I yet to hear one contend that Pentecost and the giving of the commandments at Mt Sinai likely occurred around the same date, though different times, but illustrates God ever wanting to communicate with humankind, us..
Back to tossils and such, We all probably have long-term things we want to "touch the hem of His garment" with. I pray with you today for God to be merciful and gracious as you pursue touching Him in prayer again. I remind you and myself, his favor, grace, is made perfect in our weakness..
One final item, I was at the Messianic Musings blog by Derek4messiah, and cannot figure out how to comment. I often lurk there as I like the topics discussed generally speaking.
Thanks for your time with me.. :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

bonhomie to you

It is just a little before noon on this Shabbat, Sabbath, Saturday, and listening to some praise music from the UCB channel. I want to thank the 2 folks who sent comments on my first blog, thanks warmly and hope you will feel free to leave more as time passes.. I like acquiring words of the day from and saw the above word, bonhomie, which means good natured. For me, that can result when at peace with G-d, others, family, and myself. I know the grumps too, ask my wife and kids about that.. Do you think being good natured is a trait that might be something a believer should possess, is there a place for the grump too? See you again soon, probably in a couple days..

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


his is my first attempt at blogging but the subject at hand is a familiar one to those who share interest in the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith. There are blogs a plenty on this but am hoping to meet some new folks through this means and share together what latest thing, concept, word, insight we have been privileged to gain. I have been a believer much of my life, middle-aged and married, see profile. Unique to me, I am an out of sight guy, have been since infancy due to premature birth and optic nerves becoming split from incubation; lucky or rather blessed to be here.. Favorite authors in this realm include: J. K. McKee, Tom Bradford, Lois Tvertberg, Marvin Wilson and about to embark on a book by Gordon Larsson titled Bound For Freedom, commentary on the Tanakh book of Exodus. I hope you might say hi, and will post 2 or 3 times a month. If interested, you can view columns I have written titled Shalom Reader that appear in the Pilgrim Lutheran Church newsletter, go to their web site. I don't have the URL in front of me. Meantime, shalom and thanks for reading and responding. Mellow Roc