Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Everday Is A Winding Road (contemporary Song, Sheryl Crow)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Wednesday, May 24, in my corner of blog land. We are one week away from the Feast of Pentecost or Shavuot. This week also begins the reading of the fourth book in the Torah, (first five books of the Bible, or Moses, known in English as Numbers. In Hebrew it is B'Midbar. This book is highlighted by "numbers" or census taken throughout. The Torah is given in the wilderness. There is an interesting article featured at the Website, My Jewish Learning that discusses reasons for the Torah being given in the wilderness and not in Egypt or in the Promised Land. The wilderness also contained desert, fire, and water. These elements are gifts of G-d in our world. Arguably, water is less available to some. The point being, Torah is a gift of G-d to any who will receive it. Torah means instruction. Instruction comes to us to change us or change something we are perhaps doing that could be improved or perhaps banished. Maybe for example, we could benefit from improving our vocabulary by learning one new word a week. Or, we could improve our health by walking 15 minutes a day. Or, our faith could be enhanced by reading a chapter from the Bible daily or weekly. I think you understand the idea. We are on a journey, in fact, our blog recognizes that. We celebrate being given God's instruction on this journey at Shavuot. It is not just a birthday party for the Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Pentecostal church in the western world, or the independent fellowships that exist. So, may I wish you, Happy Shavuot!

Editing begins on the anthology, Waiting For Messiah! This is exciting! Eight authors have created stories based on select Bible characters who have imagined their encounter with Yeshua the Messiah and how that enriched their personal life. This is planned to be published in eBook form on Smashwords by September 2017. You will be among the first to know!

Are you doing summer reading this year?

I have a couple books by Nora Roberts and Devin Baldacci that will be occupying my reading list this summer. Currently, about two-thirds of the way through "Chasing Fire" by Nora Roberts and enjoying it immensely. I'm giving the 350 page novels a chance, though I prefer the novella of about 200 Pages or so to be honest. That puts me in a reading minority according to the stats.

Meantime, glad we had this visit. I know they have become a bit more sporadic, but hopefully the quality is still here. Please drop me a line at
david.sonofhashem@gmail.com
and say hello. Or, if we're Facebook friends, please do the same there.

Kevod Yeheveh, his presence be with you in your wilderness and on your plateau.

David Russell

Mellow Rock

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tribute: New York State of Mind, Billy Joel, American Entertainer

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Tuesday, May 09 in my corner of blog land. Our weather continues to be Fall-like with light frost overnight, and daytime temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees C, which generally means between 50 and 65 degrees F. Mostly sunny, but we have had our share of rain and some flooding too.

Today our look back is right here in the good old USA. It is based on a reference from The Writer's Almanac about one of our entertainers who has had quite the illustrious career. See below.

It's the birthday of Billy Joel, born in the Bronx (1949). Soon after he was born, his family moved to Long Island's Levittown, the first suburb in America. His dad was a classical pianist, and his mom made sure that young Billy learned the piano too. He started playing when he was four years old, and showed a natural talent. His father left when Billy was eight, and his mother moved with the two kids to Hicksville. She worked hard to support the family, but money was very tight. Billy fell in with a rough crowd, and took up boxing in his teen years.
He was not quite 15 when he saw the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, and decided then and there that he would make music his career. He joined a succession of bands. He sneaked into a Jimi Hendrix concert by carrying around a bunch of electrical cables and pretending to be a roadie. He eventually dropped out of school to work on his first album, Cold Spring Harbor (1971), which was not a success. He moved to Los Angeles and took a job playing piano in a lounge on Wilshire Boulevard, using the stage name "Bill Martin." That job ended up inspiring his first big hit, "Piano Man." He stepped away from the pop music business for a while, beginning in the 1990s, in favor of composing classical music, which he released on the album Fantasies and Delusions (2001).
"I never wanted to be an oldies act, but I suppose I am," he said in a recent interview. "I never wanted to be a nostalgia act, but I suppose I am. But I listen to Beethoven, and that's really old stuff. Is that nostalgia? To me, that music is as alive as it ever was."

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence is with you and may He give us a new song of praise to sing!

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Look Back: Faith Heritage In Your Bible?

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Monday, May 1 in my corner of blog land; happy May Day!
We are returning to our look back at faith heritage this post. For those of you who have Bibles with both the Tanakh and the New Covenant Scriptures, as you read through your Table of Contents, what is the title of the Book after Hebrews?

In some translations it may be titled, Jacob.

An informative Daily History post pasted below from Biblical Archaeology Review will provide an explanation:
I invite you to read on.
The problem of names surfaced at a recent Bible study at the St. Paul Union Church in Antalya, Turkey. Pastor Dennis Massaro was discussing the three men named “James” in the New Testament: Two were apostles, and the third was the leader of the Jerusalem church and author of the eponymous letter—the Book of James. Participants in the study came from a range of countries, including the Netherlands, Iran, Mexico, Moldova and Cameroon. When I asked what the name of these men was in their languages, they all said “Jacob.”
When I was teaching a course on the New Testament General Letters (Hebrews through Jude), I began by introducing the Book of Jacob, also known as the Book of James. Students were perplexed until they learned that Jacob is the proper translation of the Greek name Iakōbos. One student wrote later that knowing this “turned my understanding of the writing upside down.” Another observed that “with the name change, the loss of the Jewish lineage occurs.”
So how did the Jewish name Ya’akov become so Gentilized as James? Since the 13th century, the form of the Latin name Iacomus began its use in English. In the 14th century, John Wycliffe made the first Bible translation into English and translated Iakobus as James. (However, in both the Old and New Testaments he arbitrarily used the name Jacob for the patriarch). In all future English translations the name stuck, especially after 1611, when King James I sponsored the translation then called the Authorized Version but since 1797 called the King James Bible.
So what is lost by using James instead of Jacob? First, it has created an awkwardness in academic writing. Scholars providing a transliteration of James indicate Iakōbos, which even lay readers know is not the same. Hershel Shanks has noted that the reason Israeli scholars failed to understand the significance of the eponymous ossuary is that they didn’t connect James with Ya’akov.1
Second, James’s ancestral lineage is lost, as the student noted above. In Matthew’s genealogy, we learn that Joseph’s father was named Jacob (Matthew 1:16) and that his family tree included the patriarch Jacob (Matthew 1:2). James was thus named after his grandfather. As Ben Witherington writes, “It is clear that the family of ‘James’ was proud of its patriarchal heritage.”2 So Jacob was the third Jacob in the family.
The religion section of most bookstores includes an amazing array of Bibles. In our free eBook The Holy Bible: A Buyer’s Guide, prominent Biblical scholars Leonard Greenspoon and Harvey Minkoff expertly guide you through 21 different Bible translations (or versions) and address their content, text, style and religious orientation.
Third, James’s Jewish cultural background is minimized. Tal Ilan identifies Jacob as the 15th most popular name in Palestine in antiquity, with 18 known persons carrying it.3 Including both the Eastern and Western Diasporas, Jacob was the third most popular Jewish name, with 74 occurrences.
Fourth, the Jewish literary heritage is muddled. The Book of Jacob (i.e., the Book of James) is addressed to “the twelve tribes in the diaspora” (James 1:1) and full of references and allusions to the Torah and Wisdom Literature of the Jewish Bible (Christians’ Old Testament). Scholars consider James the most “Jewish” book in the New Testament. Its genre is considered to be a diaspora letter like Jeremiah 29:1–23 and the apocryphal works The Epistle of Jeremiah, 2 Maccabees 1:1–2:18, and 2 Apocalypse of Baruch 78–86.
For these reasons, changing English translations of James to Jacob makes a lot of sense. In my lifetime we have adapted to a number of name changes: Bombay to Mumbai, Peking to Beijing, Burma to Myanmar, and Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. These changes were soon incorporated by the media as well as in subsequent editions of geographical and historical books. Making such an onomastic adjustment need not be too difficult in religious circles, either.
But can such a switch be made practically? Biblical scholars and publishers would need to agree that continued use of “James” is linguistically indefensible and culturally misleading. Most difficult to change would be Bible translations, which are very conservative. To start, a footnote could denote that James is really Jacob. And while we’re at it, let’s rehabilitate Jacob as the name of two of Jesus’ disciples/apostles. These connections, now lost only for English readers, were caught by Greek-speaking audiences as well as modern readers of translations in most other languages. Let’s give Jacob his due.
 

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with us always.

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Saying Good-Bye to Loved Ones

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Tuesday, April 25 2017, in my corner of blog land. It has been a rather sobering month for my immediate family, as my 92-year-old father has been in and out of the hospital in another US state. He had cardiac issues which turned out to be gastrointestinal in nature. Presently, he is home, but talking with him on the phone, one can tell the stress is taking its toll even though he is strong and has a strong faith in G-d. Now his focus is learning how to "hang in there." What does that mean to any of us?

I am going to take a segue from our Jewish Heritage discussion, and return to the Mayo Clinic HouseCall newsletter of this week. There is an excellent article about caring for a loved one who is approaching the end of life. I cannot highlight all the tips given here. I'll give the starters though.

Our role, not easy, is to provide comfort and relief. Hopefully, some discussion has occurred to plan for that.
- Is care going to be at home by family, friends, or an agency or hospice?
- If inpatient care is chosen, will a holistic approach be considered? This provides symptom and pain relief, some spiritual/psychological care, focus on symptom control if supports are not to be used. This would be like respirators, ventilators, dialysis, etc.

Saying Good-bye
"You can help your loved one communicate their final wishes to family and friends. Encourage him or her to share their feelings, thanks or forgiveness, and give others a chance to say good-bye. This may stimulate discussion about important, unsaid thoughts, which can be meaningful for everyone."

The article suggests having the loved one leave a legacy albeit some letters, recording, or communication that conveys who they are and what is important to them that others recall. My mom before her passing, urged us to think of her when looking at the stars in the night sky. Her name was Stella, which means star.

Again, these are some things we can do to make the end of life for our loved ones a bit more graceful for them and perhaps for us too. It is by no means an exhaustive list.

I sent my dad an email this week. On the phone, I told him the email contains the current book I am working on, Waiting for Messiah, and it is the draft form. I don't know how much time he has left, but wanted him to have something of me in his life. If he reads any of it or not, that is strictly up to him. Right now, when we talk, my goal is to have each conversation be respectful and treat him with dignity. Honor your father and mother that it may be well with you. Very, very true!

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Today is April 18, 2017 in my corner of blog land.

In previous posts, I mentioned working with other writers on an anthology on the topic of forgiveness. Well, I am pleased to tell you that work in progress is now reality! Last Friday, The Power of Forgiveness: A Collection of Short Stories was published on Amazon and CreateSpace. Some of the stories are based on true life events, while others are speculative fiction from the group Writers 750 on goodreads.com.
The link is rather lengthy and pasted below for your possible interest and perhaps purchase.
The Power of Forgiveness: A Collection of Short Stories
Hot off the press!  #AmWriting flash #Fiction - some stories based on true life events.

From the authors of Writes 750 at Goodreads comes an anthology that is now published at Amazon in time for Easter: The Power of Forgiveness

Edited & published by Stephanie Baskerville; edited and cover art by Glenda Reynolds; edited and conception by David Russell. We would appreciate some book reviews for this and if you could share with your friends, family, and church groups.

 www.amazon.com/Power-Forgiveness-Collection-Short-Stories/dp/1545309507

Forgiveness%2B6x9_%2B5B%2BDARK…


- I have two stories in the anthology. One is titled Released; the account of a personal friend's struggle with acquaintance, and, Forgiveness Takes Time, a speculative fiction piece on the Bible story of Joseph and his family from the Tanakh or Older Testament.

In my own life, forgiveness is a process ongoing with a person near to me. I don't know how it's going to conclude so names are left out. I can say it hurts not having contact with this person, but that's the way they want it!

- I keep working on my current anthology, Waiting For Messiah, playing piano gigs at a local restaurant and feeling somewhat young again in doing that. I'm glad younger folks are still singing I'll Be Watching You and Stand By Me for example.

Until we chat again, thanks for stopping by. If you care to drop me a note visit david.sonofhashem@gmail.com

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with us daily.

David Russell
Mellow Rock

Friday, April 14, 2017

New Anthology, Count the Days, David and Others

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Friday, April 14 in my corner of blog land. We find ourselves in the forty-nine-day period between the Festival of Passover and Pentecost known in Hebrew as Shavuot, and we will then celebrate G-d giving his Word, Torah (instruction) to Moses, the children of Israel and Hebrews of all time to aid our daily living empowered by the Spirit of G-d. We may count each day in preparation for receiving His word as direction to us. May our beings, souls, minds and hearts be clean and ready to hear what G-d wants to say to us. At evening some observe a custom called counting the omer. The following may be recited each evening.
"Blessed are you Adonai our G-d, Sovereign of the universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments, and commanded us to count the omer."

After reciting the blessing, one states the "appropriate" day of the count: This year counting began on Wednesday evening, so as of this post, tonight will be day three. After the first six days, one includes the number of weeks one counted. Example, Today is one week one day of the omer. You can read more about this by doing a Google search on "counting the omer" and suggest either My Jewish Learning, or hebrew4christians.com.

***** Announcement:::::

I am very, very pleased to let you know the "Forgiveness Anthology" has been sent to CreateSpace.com for publication and is reportedly available for purchase now. The title is "The Power Of Forgiveness" authors: Glenda Reynolds, David Russell and Stephanie Baskerville. There are twenty-one stories in this volume that focus on forgiving or being forgiven. They are well-written, genuine, and suggest the process is not necessarily an easy one for many of us. A Kindle edition and paperback edition are available at market prices. It would make a good reflective read! I am pleased to have two stories included. One is an adaptation based on the Bible story of Joseph and his brothers, and another, is the story of a personal acquaintance and the struggle to forgive her parent for childhood abuse.

Until next visit, may the presence of Adonai be ever near us as we lie down, wake, go about our day, ponder, piddle, play, or plow ahead at what tasks face us. I am glad for our visits!

David Russell
Mellow Rock

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Looking Back: Reflection For The Season by Julia Blum

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is April 8 in my corner of blog land. In most places the season of Passover begins this evening, and Jewish people internationally, recall and celebrate their freedom past and present from Egypt w which began with the Exodus over 3500 years ago.

Christians, internationally prepare to celebrate Passion Week or Holy week by remembering Yeshu's entry into Jerusalem. There are some parallels between this and Passover that are contained in a blog post I wish to share with you by author Julia Blum. This is posted below from Biblical ETeacher.
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PASSOVER REFLECTIONS: ENTERING JERUSALEM
In Blog by Julia Blum/April 6, 2017/7 Comments
When  did  Jesus  enter   Jerusalem?  
Christians over the world  know that Palm Sunday is the beginning of Passion Week. But do you know why Jesus was entering  Jerusalem on that particular Sunday? We can find an answer in the first verses of Exodus 12. In the beginning of chapter 12 of the book of Exodus, God instructed that the lamb that was to be slain on the eve of the exodus, be separated out four days beforehand:
In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house…
 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening[1].
So, we learn from the book of Exodus that on the 10th of Nisan, the Passover lamb was chosen and set apart and preparations began for its slaughter. For this very reason, Jesus had to enter Jerusalem on that very day, the 10th of Nisan – the very same day when the perfect lamb was to be selected and set apart.  According to the synoptic Gospels, Jesus was arrested on Thursday, the fourteenth day of the month, on the eve of Passover; four days before this, on Sunday, the tenth day of the month, He entered Jerusalem and began preparations for His sacrifice, in order to become the Passover Lamb on 14th of Nisan! The Gospels show clearly and convincingly that everything that happened to Jesus fulfilled the scenario laid out by God during the time of the Exodus.
Jesus’ Tears  
However, before this entrance to Jerusalem, something very important happens to Jesus: something that definitely belongs to His suffering, to His agony, to His pain – and in this sense, also belongs to His Passion week, even though it happens before the week itself. What are we referring to? In Luke 19 we read that when Jesus approached Jerusalem: “He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.  For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”[2] This episode is often overlooked or forgotten, however it is of crucial importance for those who want to understand His heart. Do you remember how many times Jesus weeps in the Gospels?  Years ago, my book about God’s tears over Israel’s suffering (“If you are the Son of God…”) started from the realization (revelation) of this simple and obvious fact that I had never before considered: in the entire New Testament, Jesus weeps only twice – once here over Jerusalem, and once over Lazarus (“Jesus wept”[3]). There are no coincidences in the Word of God, therefore it is important to see these scenes alongside one another, and the lessons to be learned from this juxtaposition are immensely profound. Of course it’s impossible to cover it all in one post – I have a whole chapter in my book about this juxtaposition – however, it is essential for us   not to overlook this scene:  knowing that He came not only for His own suffering but also for the suffering of His own people, for turning them into “enemies for your sake” – Jesus weeps openly over all the torment to be unleashed on Israel in His name.
A Man with a Jar
In Matthew 21, we see Jesus and his disciples approaching the Holy City. Jerusalem was swarming with people who had come for Passover. Every house had additional guests, every room was packed, yet Jesus seemed strangely unconcerned about a place to eat the Passover meal. Confidently, He told His disciples, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters.”[4] How did Jesus know they would meet a man with a water jar? A man with a water jar was a very unusual sight, as this was ordinarily women’s work. Why would a man be carrying a water jar in Jerusalem?
The only group of Jewish men that traditionally did carry water jars, were Essenes. Since Essenes were mostly celibate, their men did women’s work. Therefore, a man carrying a water jar could only have been an Essene. Essenes had their communities, not only in Qumran, but in various towns. They also had a community in Jerusalem. Josephus tells us that one of the gates of Jerusalem was called “the Gate of the Essenes”. Apparently, it was through this gate that they entered Jerusalem, and from Jesus’s words, his disciples understood they had to enter the city through the Essene’s gate. Also, since Essenes used a different calendar, their guest rooms were still available. That’s why the Teacher knew that a room would be available for the Last Supper.
What did the people of Jerusalem shout?
We know that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, “the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest!”[5]
What is the meaning of these words in Hebrew? What did the people in Jerusalem think and understand about Jesus that made them use this particular Scripture?
I suppose that most of my readers know that the English word “Hosanna” transliterates Hebrew Hoshia Na (הֹושִׁיעָה נָּא – Literally: “save, please”) and that these words are taken from Psalm 118:25: Save now, I pray, O Lord אָנָּא יְהוָה הֹושִׁיעָה נָּא
What you may not know however, is that Psalm 118 is one of six psalms (113-118) of the so-called Hallel (Hebrew for Praise), the songs of praise and thanksgiving. There are special occasions when we have an additional obligation to praise God, and on these special occasions we recite special psalms, known as Hallel. According to the Jewish sages, there are several fundamental themes distinguishing the psalms of Hallel – and one of them is acknowledging the source of salvation.  On the other hand, we know that Psalm 118 was recited on the way to the Temple and also in the Temple on Passover Eve, Erev Pesach, at the time of the slaughtering of the Passover sacrifice (“korban Pesach”). So these words from the Psalm 118 not only confirmed that Jesus entered Jerusalem as the ‘Ultimate Sacrifice’ – as the Passover Lamb – but also recognized and acknowledged Him as the source of salvation.
CHAG PESACH SAMEACH! MAY YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL, TRULY BLESSED HOLIDAY SEASON!



Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with us always and forever freeing us from that which holds us enslaved.

David Russell

Friday, March 31, 2017

Looking Back The Balance of Power and the Past

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is the last day of March in my corner of blog land. Tomorrow we begin April, and according to the book of Exodus, (Shemot) it is also the month of Nisan in which the Festival of Passover occurs. Biblically speaking, Happy New Year!

See Exodus chapter 12. Remember, the Hebrew calendar is lunar/solar whose months start with the appearance of the new moon.

As we continue our look back at faith heritage, I want to share with you this post, a short commentary from the Website www.torah.org. It is based on the reading for this week from the Torah and in particular, Leviticus 1 through Leviticus chapter 5 verse 26. This will give you a snapshot of what this book is about and the belief of the time.
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Note from the Director
Perfection
In this week’s reading, we begin the third of the 5 Books of Moses, Vayikra, or Leviticus. It was undoubtedly dubbed "Leviticus" because much of it concerns the Temple services, done by the Kohanim, the Priests, descendents of Aharon HaKohen, of the tribe of Levi.

Here, at the beginning of the book, some of the first offerings to be discussed are those when various individuals commit a serious transgression through negligence -- by, for example, forgetting that the behavior was prohibited. And the Torah prescribes different offerings based upon who committed this sin: there is an offering for a High Priest who transgresses. Then there is one for "all of Israel," by which the Torah means if the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court, were to rule incorrectly in a matter of law, only realizing its error later. Then there is one for the King, and finally for the common individual.

Long before the modern era, the Jews had a Balance of Powers. No one could claim absolute authority; rather, King David himself had to consult with both the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) and the Sanhedrin.

But furthermore, everyone had to second-guess his own conduct -- even the King, even the Sanhedrin itself. There is no equivalent to "papal infallibility" in Judaism; on the contrary, no individual could avoid the possibility of transgression.

We could seek no better proof for the idea that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. So no one should look back at the past, and lose hope for the future. Nothing can stand in the way of sincerely turning back to the correct path, because G-d will always accept a sincerely repentant person. And as we see in this week’s reading, everyone does indeed make mistakes -- even the judges themselves!

Kevod Yeheveh, His redeeming presence sustains us.

I look forward to visiting with you again.

Mellow Rock

Monday, March 27, 2017

Don't Know Much About History (classic song, 1970s, Faith Heritage Continued)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is March 27, in my corner of blog land.

I titled this post, Don't Know Much About History, based on a popular song in the recent past sung by various artists, which espouses romantic love as a certainty even though the lyricist claims not to be an expert in the humanities. Recently, I learned from some discussion with others that history today focuses on the reason for events as opposed to when events occurred. When we read Bible stories, there is a school of thought called Purpose History that encourages a similar approach. It encourages us to ask:
Who is the audience? What are they being told? What reaction might they have to what they're being told?
What is the ultimate result of this information they have received?
How would you or how do you respond to this?

This removes the us versus them or minimizes it. You realize human beings were living and responding to something occurring then for some reason. For example, the last three minor prophets wrote after the Israelites returned from 70 years of exile to Babylon. Conditions were pretty bad and these committed people had to rebuild the temple, rebuild Jerusalem, and rebuild life as once known. They took their sweet time in doing so, and Haggi, the prophet, urged them with God's message to do otherwise, which they did!

Today, the Christian church still likes to blame the Israelites for being neglectful, forgetful, sarcastic, accusing, misinformed, and that Yeshua and G-d had it with the old covenant and instituted something brand-spanking new that is the be all and end all. Now, just love your neighbor as yourself and love God. That's it. Nothing else required. Soon, the hymn of the day may be, "All You Need Is Love" by the Beetles; some argue for their song, "Imagine."
Have the rules changed, asks writer Skip Moen.
Author Skip Moen makes some telling observations on how the Christian church may be doing with this mode of peration:
I say, congratulations Catholics, Episcopalians, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Church of Christ, Quakers, Christian Reformed, American Baptists, Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, you're doing a "damn" good job. Woohoo!

1. Do justice – recent reports rank the USA near the bottom of countries with equal opportunities for self-realization. We might quibble over the measurement, but any serious look at our society certainly demonstrates a lack of justice.
2. Righteousness – since the Bible defines righteousness as alignment with Torah in relation to God, even a cursory review of American society shrieks disconnect here. The fact that American religious institutions lead the way against Torah should be enough to make us shudder.
3. Deliver the one who has been robbed of power – Today’s legal environment seems to do just the opposite. Coddle to the one in power. Ignore the oppressed. On a national scale, we fail.
4. Do not mistreat – The Bible lists those near to God’s heart. As far as I can tell, the stranger, orphan and widow have a very difficult time in this society. There are approximately 400,000 children in foster care in the USA. Perhaps we find solace in the fact that there are 60 million orphans in Asia, but what excuse is there for 400,000 in the richest nation on earth?
5. Innocent blood – Since Roe v. Wade, almost 60 million children have been killed before they were born. They are the most innocent of all innocents. Did we think there were no spiritual-social consequences for this atrocity?
Jeremiah is right. We have the results. In Jeremiah’s time it led to Babylon. Do you think God changed the rules somewhere along the way?

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence become your shalom!

Mellow Rock

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Looking At Words (David Russell)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is the second day of Spring or Autumn depending on what side of the equator one is on. I am on the side favoring Spring. I love many of you on the Autumnal side though. I appreciate a couple of you who have subscribed to my blog from the UK.

A few weeks ago I subscribed to the Weekly Prayer Letter by author and teacher, Joseph Shulam. He is based in Israel, and has an international ministry but this particular newsletter has been of interest. I share the content with you as it fits in our current look at faith heritage. I title this post, Looking At Words, because that is what this reflection by Mr. Shulam is largely about. I hope you enjoy and are also informed.
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The Jerusalem Prayer List – February 23, 2017
By Joseph Shulam  – From Belo-Horizonte, Brazil
We have been in Brazil for a week.  In the city of Vitoria we had the privilege of inaugurating a new congregation.  The name of the new congregation is Hesed V’Emet – Grace and Truth.  The text is taken from John 1:14, 17.  In the English Bibles and in other Christian Bibles you will find this term only in John chapter 1:14,17 – but if you check the Hebrew Bible you will find it more than 20 times.  The key to understand this term is in Exodus 34:6-7.  The reason that you don’t find this term in most Christian Bibles in the Old Testament is that the Christian translators decided that it would be confusing for Christians to find “Grace and Truth” in the Old Testament since the text in John 1:17, says: “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”  So if Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ – there must have not been Grace and Truth in the Torah or the Prophets or the Writings (the Old Testament).  Wherever there was “Grace and Truth” the translators masked it by using synonyms like: Gen. 24:49 “if you will deal kindly and truly” – Ex. 34:6 “abounding in goodness and truth” – 2Sam. 15:20 “Mercy and truth be with you.” – Psa. 25:10 “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” – Psa. 40:10 “Your lovingkindness and Your truth.” – Psa. 85:10 “Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.”   These are just a few examples from the Old Testament.  The translators masked the fact that the Torah and the Prophets and the Writings – the whole Tanach – is full of Grace and Truth, and they did it by using synonyms.  So, we have a new congregation associated with Netivyah in Israel by the name Grace and Truth – Hesed V’ Emet.  We took a Torah Scroll as a gift for the new congregation and they have built a wonderful Torah Cabinet and a reading table.  However, the most wonderful thing about this congregation is that it is made up by young families full of energy and zeal to please God and to do His will.  Most of the members – are survivors of a previous congregation that we had a hand in establishing in the same city – a congregation that developed spiritual and moral mold and an abusive leadership of directed by women.  So, praise the Lord that gave Noah and his generation an boat to ride out the storm, and not in the city of Vitoria – there is God’s Hesed V’Emet – His grace and truth – to provide a home and a community for healthy growth and godly leadership that will work together and network with all brothers and sisters in that city and in Brazil.
This week the Parasha is Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18), The Haftarah (Reading from the Prophets is: Jeremiah 34:1-22, and the reading from the New Covenant is Mathew 15:1-14.
Immediately after God gave HIS instructions for everyone at the foot of Mt. Sinai – God expands his instructions (The Ten Commandments) and details the laws and the statues for the children of Israel and for every civilized society. The text starts with the laws of how to handle the weakest link in the society at that time, how do deal with a Hebrew slave.  The Torah sets limitations to power and authority.  When there is a person who out of circumstances in life had to become a slave – and even if you are a master – you can’t do with your slave as you wish.  You can’t abuse the slave, and you must remember that the slave is your “brother.”  There are so many interesting laws that God has given his children to regulate and have a society that is responsible for the weak and for the strong, and treats the weak and the strong, the poor and the rich, righteously and with disregard for the social position or political power.  Please read the the Torah and the Prophets and the passage in the New Testament and ask yourself the following questions: 1) Why did tradition chose the following readings in the Prophets and in the New Testament to accompany the reading of the Torah?  2) What are the principles and benefits that I can glean from these texts that would help me become a better person and a more faithful servant of God?

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These are questions we can all use in whatever portion of G-d's Word we are considering. Until next visit, Kevod Yeheveh, may the presence of G-d be very real to you and me!

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Yeshua the Messiah a Legalist? (David Russell)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is March 15 in my corner of blog land, historically known as the Eides of March. On this historic date before the common era, Roman ruler Julius Caesar was put to death as he was deemed to be too dictatorial for what several wanted from Roman rule. They wanted more leniency from Government. Several decades later, during the latter part of the first century when the Messianic believers were both consisting of Jew and non-Jew, customs and culture were being worked out. Most worshipped on the Sabbath, and many observed the "law of Moses" as it defined moral and ethical behavior toward humanity and personal regard and reverence for G-d.

According to an online article titled "Understanding Acts 15" by Robert Clanton from www.auburn.edu, he notes there are two types of gentiles, non-Jews, described throughout the Bible.

-Proselytes: This person is also called the "sojourner" as he might be regarded as Jewish in religion. The proselyte if male, is circumcised, and thus bound by the Sabbaths, 613 commandments, and may have been a God-fearer but then decided to adapt proselyte status. He made the choice.

-The God-fearer is the gentile who denied belief or adherence to foreign gods and idols regarded by pagans and other gentiles. He/she professed faith in the one true G-d. These persons were not required circumcision, but if they did observe the feast of Passover, males were to be circumcised. They were not required to keep the ceremonial law in order to "participate or enter the congregation of God." They did observe the Sabbath and other feasts out of choice and desire rather than obligation!

Today, many programs define commitment in increments of days, weeks or months. Perhaps even in terms of dollars and cents. We have taken the Jewishness out of much of our faith practice in the western world. A God-fearer today may be regarded as opposed to grace and a staunch supporter of legal Christianity. Yeshua was a legalist in that He kept the Torah perfectly and in Him was no imperfection found!

Thank you for joining us as we take a brief look back at our faith heritage. I hope you are enjoying these glimpses.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with you this hour and always.

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Monday, March 13, 2017

In The Beginning: Passover and Purim (David Russell)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Monday in my corner of Blog Land. A taste of winter has returned to my corner or region of blog land, and some parts are anticipated to receive major amounts of snow over the next couple of days. Our previous month had several days of above normal temperatures and now we are being reminded that the season of Spring is yet to arrive.

Meantime, we continue looking at faith practice in the light of Jewish heritage. Today our thoughts are courtesy of an article by Messianic Rabbi, Russ Resnik, from The Messianic Times. It is titled,
Purim, Passover and the Hidden Messiah

"Who has believed our report?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" Isaiah 53:1

Citing Rabbi Resnik, "The phrase, the arm of the Lord, normally describes the mighty and undeniable acts of God. It reminds us of Passover, when God revealed himself openly to Israel and Egypt by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Isaiah says that "He is one from whom people hide their faces," (53:3) which reminds us of Purim not Passover.

Purim is the festival of exile, a time when God seems hidden. Passover is a festival of redemption, when God is undeniably present! The Good News of Mark 1:1-11 may well answer where we are today. Verse 24 even points out the demons believe Yeshua to be the hidden Messiah.

Purim reminds us: Things are not always as they appear. Outsiders and even God will ultimately put in place those who seem powerful and in control.

Note: One common practice during the festival of Purim, is public reading of the book of Esther that clearly shows how God did act on behalf of His people. Most main-line churches ignore this occasion and prefer instead, to paint the Jewish people as unfortunate, incapable, misinformed, persons who "didn't get it." Thank you for joining us in our look at our faith heritage.

Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence is full of shalom!

Mellow Rock.

Friday, March 10, 2017

In The Beginning (Breishit 1, Genesis 1)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Friday, and at sunset, the weekly Sabbath will begin in our corners of the world. This has occurred each week since creation for an estimated 5771 years. As mentioned in my last post, we are going to spend a few posts looking at our Jewish heritage as persons who practice faith. It is a vast subject, and one that we can only brush against here. If you are curious and pressed for time, start by perusing Bible History Daily from the Website, Biblical Archaeology Society, or grab a copy of their magazine, Biblical Archaeology Review and read some articles inside.

I was given an online membership to the Website by my family, and found a very interesting article at Bible History Daily under the Beginnings of Christianity where I would like to begin our look today.

About six years ago, officials in the country of Turkey announced that through ground-penetration radar, a well-preserved large church building had been located. This church is in Laodicea, and probably built during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Constantine, in the early fourth century, but survived an earthquake that hit the city in the early 600s. Some speculate that this building may have been where the Roman Catholic church held its Council around 363 A.D. Laodicea had at one time been a prosperous center, but in the latter portion of the first century - believers were threatened by the rule of Diomician. He decreed that people also honor the state in order to trade and sell, or the option was famine, starvation and ultimately death. It's in this dynamic we read in Revelation, Because you are neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

Imagine yourself in such a predicament. You have a family or yourself to support. What do you do when your life is literally on the line?

Have you heard this explanation from the pulpit?

Another Bible History Daily article by Dr. Douglas Boin, titled, "The Archaeological Quest for the Earliest Christians", alleges that findings indicate early Christians were not too impoverished or disenfranchised to leave mementos behind. There have been artistic works found near Bethlehem for example that depict representations of personages during the time of Christ. These are not in great quantity, but do suggest all may not have been as bleak as has been portrayed down through the years.

Thank you for taking the time to look back with me at a facet of our faith heritage. Please share this with someone who may be interested, or leave comment if you so desire.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with us always.

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Time To Return to Truth

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is March 07, 2017 in my corner of blog land. Of late, we have been getting intermittent spring weather with temperatures between eight and fifteen degrees Celsius and even broke some old weather records toward the end of February with temperatures nearing fifteen to eighteen degrees C. For those used to readings in Fahrenheit, that means anywhere from above freezing to the high sixties.

This will be our last blog post focusing on health issues for a little while. I would like to direct our attention for a few posts back to faith heritage, which is also called Jewish roots or Hebrew roots. I will mention this at the end of the article by suggesting an article for you to read on line, from the periodical, Newsweek Magazine, published in the USA.

Today though, here are some tips about improving sleep that I found in the most recent edition of the Mayo Clinic newsletter, HouseCall.

These are not in any order of importance:
- Choose Bedding that you find comfortable
- Get comfortable. Consider room temperature, having minimal noise, dim lighting or no lighting
- When going to bed, read something for a few minutes or listen to some calming music or white noise
- Create a bedtime ritual be it a warm bath, shower, quiet time, prayer/meditation
- Do not go to bed on a full or empty stomach
- Go to bed around the same time each night and get up around the same time each day; or reverse if your schedule is reverse.
- Consider what is keeping you from getting sleep: illness, work situation, relationship issues, other.

Jewish Roots

As I mentioned, for the next few posts, we will return to learning some about the Jewish roots of our faith. I want to suggest you note and read the following article online from Newsweek Magazine that was published some months ago. Some of the info will perhaps be new and shocking. Remember, the Holy Catholic Apostolic church is run by humanity and has been since its inception. If you can accept that, then you can probably forgive the mistakes it has made and hold the current clergy accountable for covering up its bloody history. You have a right to know church history and not just the pretty parts!
See you next post. Here is the link, please continue to self educate:
The Bible: So Misunderstood It's a Sin - Newsweek
www.newsweek.com/2015/01/02/thats-not-what-bible-says-294018.htmlResult details
Dec 23, 2014 - Instead, a Church of England committee relied primarily on Latin manuscripts ... Those who believed in the Trinity butchered Christians who didn't. ...

Mellow Rock

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Falling (The Civil Wars, Acoustic)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is February 23, 2017 in my corner of blog land. This is the last post by me as a 64 year-old blogger, as in a couple days I have a birthday! When I took the course, Developmental Psychology, over forty years ago, age 60 and over was considered elderly. Whether that has changed or not, I haven't noticed. Anyhow, today I was looking at the Mayo Clinic newsletter, HouseCall, and they had some tips on the issue of falling. This is a leading cause of injury for older adults. I paraphrase the recommendations offered.

- Wear sensible footwear, no high heels, pick footwear with non-skid soles. Choose slippers that fit properly.

- Keep moving. Consider walks, water workout, or a gentle form of balance exercise called tai chi.

- When visiting your primary care provider, discuss what eye or ear disorders contribute to risk of falls. Review what supplements or medications are taken, especially those considered to be sedating or anti-depressant. Some adjustment might be made in dosage of these medications or supplements if felt to raise significant risk for fall.

Other Items: I am currently reading an autobio of American Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin. He is originally from Boston, comes from a family of 17 children, had a variety of occupations, wrote extensively.

I am helping edit stories included in a forthcoming anthology about forgiveness. When these are published, will advise and highly recommend readers consider obtaining copies. Stories are personal and well-written accounts about this human action. One thing seems true for all of us, forgiving takes time and practice.

Until our next visit, thanks for stopping by and saying hello when you do. Your words are truly welcomed!

Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence be with you.

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

EndrTimes: The Jews of Adventism

EndrTimes: The Jews of Adventism: Mark A. Kellner News Editor Watch more video from the Top Picks channel on Frequency Growing in number, ancient and modern sabbata...

Friday, February 17, 2017

Some New Trending Words: It All Depends

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is winter, February 17, 20176 in my corner of blog-land. I was just looking at trending words from the Merriam Webster online dictionary site. Generally, this refers to words people may be looking up that have been seen or heard as a result of recent popular news items. Here are just a few. I, of course, will add a little editorial comment..

Feminism: Defined to mean the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. That's safe and unchanged from previous decades.

Chimera: Scientists create a human-pig Chimera. Defined in Greek mythology, a fire-breathing female monster. Hmmmmmmm.

Odiele: Hanne Gaby Odiele, discloses that she is intersex. Okay, I'm turning 65.

Sycophant: "You are not supposed to be sycophants," former President Obama. Defined as, Obsequious flatterer or self-seeking.

Note: Most online dictionaries feature trending words to show what people may be looking up. See Cambridge Dictionary online, Merriam Webster online or dictionary.com online for example.

Meantime, thanks for dropping by and noting a few words, or leaving some as a comment.

Kevod Yeheveh, the Presence of Adonai be with you always!

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Umteenth Valentines Day (Story by blogger and author, David Russell)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

For Valentines Day which is February 14, I would like to feature a flash fiction story I composed titled, The Umteenth Valentines Day. Do Barry and Belinda love by letting each live their life, or do they love by doing what the market specialists advise?

Any comments, please leave them after you read this.
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The Umteenth Valentines Day
David Russell
Barry put his coffee cup in the sink, put on his winter jacket, stepped out into the big winter chill and began to scrape the overnight ice off the front of his Ford Torus. He thought,
"I'm tired of these damned cold February mornings. The car barely starts. I always have to scrape the windows. On and on and on. Sheesh, when will it end?"

These thoughts were not new to Barry. They rumbled like a train through his head on schedule every winter. They started after the first of the year, and traveled like a train with 175 cars going at a cautious rate of speed until the last one passed on the track. Every year he felt like the driver sitting motionless while eyes view the passing train cars and noting the endless trail of them. The only consolation is to day-dream about someone you wish were there.

Then, the numbing radio ads:

"Buy your honey a Pajama-gram."

"Buy your sweetie a Vermont Teddy Bear."

"Buy your lover a weekend at the Motel-6. We'll leave the light on for you."
"Buy your honey a divorce," he said one morning in retaliation.

February 12 rolled around, and Barry was clueless as to what he would do for the Umteenth Valentines Day. He and Belinda had been lovers for 16 years. They had two adolescent children that added to the momentum of daily life. One was in volleyball and the other was in gymnastics.

He went to work, and filed the accounts that were on his desk leftover from the previous day. Late in the afternoon, he received a phone call from Rene who managed the Badinage, a cozy, modest-priced restaurant that had a sing-along piano-bar in its confines.

"Barry, we're in a pickle. Bernard cannot play tomorrow night. Would you fill in? Will buy you and Belinda dinner and drinks?"

Barry felt like he had been rescued from a sinking ship and whisked on to a lifeboat. He could feel the air of salvation.

"Sure, what time?"

"How about from 6:00 until 9:30?"

"Got it, will be there."

"Thanks Barry. I knew I could count on you!"

Barry and Rene knew each other from university chorus when they attended Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant. They now lived in Lansing, the state capitol. Rene managed the Badinage restaurant, which attracted young professionals and divorcees looking for new beginnings. Often, patrons would sing solos that portrayed what might be going on in their private life. Over time regulars became friends and a sort of social therapy group loosely formed. Barry would occasionally fill in for Bernard, their regular piano man. He envied his position but more the patrons.

"Belinda, this Valentines Day you get to be my groupie. We're going to the Badinage for dinner, drinks and piano-bar entertainment."

"Oh joy. I would rather stay home and watch Jeopardy."

"You don't want to be with your husband, the star of Lansing?"

"I"ll wait up for you."

So, the Umteenth Valentines Day included Barry and Belinda eating breakfast together, separating for work, and then watching the 11:00 news together when he arrived home after playing at the Badinage and having a club sandwich with Rene and the staff.

"You know Belinda, love might just sometimes be letting each other live life the way each is meant to live it. Happy Valentines Day."
"Happy Valentines Day to you, Barry." They embraced and she tweaked the hair on his chest for a while, which he liked before they married. He gave her a body massage while some music by J. S. Bach played in the background on the CD player. Then, in private intimacy, they laid side-by-side like spoons and found contentment in just being together, drifting off to their sleep abode.
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Mellow Rock
David Russell

Monday, February 6, 2017

Wildest Dreams (contemporary song, Taylor Swift)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is February 6, 2017 in my corner of blog land. It is my dad's 92nd birthday and also the birthday of baseball great George (Babe) Ruth. It is said of him, Babe Ruth, in 1929 he earned more money than the US President to which he responded that he did more than the US President that year. Maybe so. Dad is still living and fortunately has many of his faculties about him!

This week, the Mayo Clinic Newsletter, HouseCall, has a brief article about the condition, pneumonia. It seems to be most rampant during the winter months in north America. Various organisms are the possible cause for pneumonia in humans. Pneumonia is defined as an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The lungs fill with fluid or pus. This can cause cough with phlegm or fluid, fever, chills and difficulty breathing. Medication treatment is recommended by a healthcare provider qualified to do so.

In the anthology world, work continues on both the Forgiveness Anthology and the Waiting For Messiah Anthology that will be released in spring and late summer, respectively. I am looking into publishing options for the Waiting For Messiah anthology and considering one of three prospects.

Until our next visit, keep warm and stay in good health!

Kevod yeheveh, His presence be with us.

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sample: Waiting For Messiah by David Russell and Others

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is January 30, 2017 in my corner of blog land. Winter has returned, although in a mild form with at least an inch of snow outdoors and temps seasonal. That's fine with me. I continue reading the memoir of former US First Lady, Laura Bush, wife of former US President George Bush. She has an interesting story and background in both writing and teaching. Their twin girls are named after their respective mothers. The book is titled, Spoken From The Heart by Laura Welch-Bush.

I continue to be involved with work on two anthologies. One is on the theme of forgiveness and will tentatively be released in Spring.

The second, Waiting for Messiah, tentatively will be released late summer. It will feature about fifteen stories or poems centered around first century citizens of Israel awaiting the arrival of Messiah and what the wait may have been like for them. The authors are doing a very fine job at imagining likely emotions and circumstances in retelling certain Bible accounts. I am contracting outside assistance to copy edit these stories and may publish either with Lulu or KDP Direct. Here is an excerpt of one of the potential pieces that I have written.
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Musings Of A God-fearer
© David Russell


An upheaval has come that will reshape the lives and identities of people of faith throughout Israel for an inordinate time to come. Our city and its treasures lie in ruin: treasures of pottery made by our people are but shards; a treasury of ideas, produced by the minds of our people, have been rendered senseless and chaotic; even our greatest treasure, the Temple, the earthly dwelling of Adonai,
Who lives and reigns forever, is despoiled.
A great wailing is heard, for our temple is destroyed. Holiness and mercy were present in this
dwelling-place made for Adonai by His people. Where, now, will we find peace from our travails,
mercy for our transgressions, convergence with that which is holy?

The fragrance of our offerings to Adonai is replaced in our nostrils by a lingering, acrid stench issuing
from caustic decrees made by a merciless world power bent on global domination!

The conflict has been simmering and boiling for months, years, generations.
Conflict dressed as old opposing new; together follow only Adonai as our G-d, versus discordantly follow Adonai and any other gods of one's choosing; bring on the miracles to show us Messiah,
versus grant us wisdom, self-realization, understanding, and peace.

Adonai, Blessed be He, knows our Messiah from before creation of the world.
- Adonai knows the name of Messiah.
- Adonai knows on what date the Messiah will arrive.
- Adonai knows when and how the Messiah will establish his kingdom.

" His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)





Meantime, Kevod Yeheveh, his peace be yours today and tomorrow.
Mellow Rock
David Russell

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Regards: Extraordinary Thursday!

Hello Grafted In Readers,

I titled this Blog, Extraordinary Thursday, as it is Thursday January 19 in my corner of blog-land. In the USA, it is the last Thursday that our current President serves in public office. Friday noon, we inaugurate a new President, Donald J. Trump. This blog began in 2009, during the first term of our current President Obama.

My wife and I met on a Thursday in November 1995, and since marrying in 1996, often bid each other an "extraordinary Thursday" as we part on that day of the week to begin our respective work days.

Today, I want to share three things with you: A health tip from the Mayo Clinic HouseCall newsletter, Expert Answers concerning a universal blood donor type, a reflection from "Priceless Integrity" by Rabbi Daniel Travis of www.torah.org, and a book or author recommend.

Mayo Clinic

The question appears about there being such a thing as a universal blood donor type?

In Expert Answers, we are reminded of the four basic blood types: Type a, Type B, Type AB and Type O. Moreover, Type O blood is classified as positive if it contains an RH factor, Rhesus; or negative if it does not contain this red blood cell antigen. In cases where there are blood transfusions, one is usually given blood that is compatible or most compatible with their blood type.

If there is an emergency situation, or life is threatened, or blood supply is nominal, then and only then, Type O negative red blood cells are administered.

Priceless Integrity
Rabbi Daniel Travis is the author of a book titled "Priceless Integrity." Installments of this are offered to email subscribers by the Orthodox Jewish site, www.torah.org. I found this week's installment titled, Accepting The Blame, to be of interest. I have condensed it here for our purposes.

God asked, "Who told you that you are naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat?"

Adam replied, "The woman that you gave to be with me, she gave me what I ate from the tree." (Bereshith # 11, 12)
Note: This is Hebrew for Genesis 3:11-12.

Excerpted Comment: R. Travis

Instead of trying to cover up his guilt, Adam should have tried to repent by admitting his misdeed. .... The ability to be honest with oneself to admit that one did something wrong, and that one is to be held responsible for it is a prerequisite for repentance."

Author Charles Bukowski

This week, I began reading the 1971 best-selling Novel titled "Post Office" a biographic memoir by the late Charles Bukowski. Some online investigation on my part and with the aid of an author acquaintance or two, reveals him to have had quite a fascinating and varied life as a writer and person. One can find some audio/visuals influenced or directly attributed to Bukowski by typing
YouTube Charles Bukowski.

Someone sent me a link that features a few poems and miniature film clips said to be by him. His novel is a bit raw, language adult, the work-place and relations described quite frankly, but yet there is something I find to be revered in this man's legacy. He in my mind is unique. Consider spending time getting to know about one of our past authors, Charles Bukowski.

Thanks for dropping by; do say hello if so inclined.

Kevod Yeheveh.

Mellow Rock

David Russell

Friday, January 13, 2017

Classical For Colds: Piano Quintet, E Flat Major, Robert Schumann

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Friday January 13, 2017 in my corner of blog land. For the past few days I have had a "common cold" for which there is no cure. The "HouseCall Newsletter" from Mayo Clinic though suggests some remedies to possibly make one feel less agitated during these experiences. The common cold can last for up to two weeks. I did add a remedy of my own today that I used as the title of this post; yes it is a bit high-brow I know for a mellow rock listener but hey.

The folks at Mayo Clinic recommend the following remedies to not rid the cold but ease the misery of one.
- Rest and hydration with water, juice, clear broth, or warm lemon water with honey. This evidently loosens congestion. Coffee, (oops), caffeinated sodas, and alcoholic drinks can make dehydration worse.
- Add moisture to the air. Use a humidifier or a vaporizer.
- Take Over-the-counter medications or decongestants as directed! These will differ for children and adults.
- My remedy: Enjoy some classical music, in particular the Piano Quintet in E Flat major by composer Robert Schumann.

Meantime, Kevod Yeheveh and enjoy a good story.

Mellow Rock

Thursday, January 5, 2017

This Will Be Our Year (Acoustic, Kelly Willis)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

This is our first post of 2017, January 5, and it is cold outside in my corner of blog land. Somewhere below freezing and slightly above 0 Fahrenheit but probably in the low teens if that. Cold! I'm not as being indoors for two days settles that issue for me! There are a few topics to highlight today.

-On the health front, the Mayo Clinic newsletter, Housecall, has an interesting article about sleep and weight loss. It might take a few minutes to fully wake up from sleep, especially deep sleep, because growth hormones, stress hormones, and insulin hormones get released when we are in deep sleep. Everything goes back to some type of normal. If we get fragmented sleep or poor sleep, is there really a difference, then we snack the next day and might eventually gain some weight. The hunger hormone is complaining and being passive aggressive. My interpretation from being a parent.

The Mayo experts tell us to consider changing the type of pillow. Look at what disrupts sleep and get rid of it. No, not your honey. Also, turn off the mobile devices and "find a screen-free way to relax." Cuddle with your honey..

-On the writing front, late last summer I answered a call for submission from author Dan Gilbert, and today, am in his poetry worship anthology titled, Stones Before An Ocean. Paper copies are available internationally from the book seller online, Lulu. I pasted a blurb below.
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s
Stones Before The Ocean by Various (Paperback) - Lulu
www.lulu.com/shop/display-product.ep?pID=5478351Result details
Dec 16, 2016 - Visit the Lulu Marketplace for product details, ratings, and reviews. ... Stones Before The Ocean is an anthology of poetry for use in prayer and worship, featuring over 200 poems from modern and classic poets. ... Copyright: Daniel Paul Gilbert (Standard Copyright License); Publisher: Hewson Books ...

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Please tell your friends who practice faith about this volume. I am happy to be one of the authors with a short poem herein.

-For reading pleasure, "Coffee With" by fiction crime writer, Margaret Maron. A college Art Department chairperson is murdered by someone who taints his coffee and a few hours are being spent reading about "who done it." Answer yet to be revealed! There are eight or so possible prospects. The book in audio form is about six hours long and I have a little under 90 minutes remaining.

Until next post, Kevod Yeheveh, His Peace is with us in our moments of success and struggle.
Thanks for the drop-in!
Mellow Rock
David Russell