Wednesday, February 8, 2012


"The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change  the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how i react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes." 
Charles Swindoll 

As I was digging through some old files today, I came across this old quote from years ago. As I read it, many emotions came rushing to my mind from the past and those days when this statement impacted my life in the days I needed it most. Today is not much different than those days years ago. Oh how I needed to be reminded of this. Oh how, even after speaking about "Lashon Hara" and "baseless hatred", I am reminded how my attitude is what dictates my speech. Lord, forgive me for my attitude. Forgive me for allowing my negative attitude to affect my negative speech. Forgive me for allowing the enemy to make me believe in such negative thoughts. "Restore unto me the joy of your salvation and renew a right spirit within me"... Psalm 51:12

As a community, may we be reminded everyday that the enemy, the accuser, Ha-satan is constantly trying to destroy the Temple with baseless hatred. We must be on our guard against gossip and negative speech. Instead encouragement, exhortation and reconciliation should be on our minds.

"Be angry, but don't sin - don't let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger; otherwise you leave room for the Adversary. The thief must stop stealing; instead, he should make an honest living by his own efforts. This way he will be able to share with those in need. Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them. Don't cause grief to God's Holy Spirit, for he has stamped you as his property until the day of final redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted; and forgive each other, just as in the Messiah God has also forgiven you". Ephesians 4:26-32 CJB

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"How Long Will You Refuse"

Exodus 16:22-30
On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.” Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” So the people rested on the seventh day.

Do you ever read portions of scripture and ask questions? In the passage above, a whole host of questions could be asked, like, why does God ask the people to not go out to find food on the seventh day? Why can't He just give them food seven days a week? Not to mention what is this stuff He's giving them anyways?

As we read the story of Moses, it is amazing to see God's power, His mercy, grace and lots and lots of patience. This is just one example of the many times the followers of YHVH chose not to obey the Lord or refused "to keep" His commands and instructions. After just witnessing the greatest miracles the world had ever seen, these people failed to trust God for food AND in resting on the Sabbath. They lacked trust. For whatever reason, they didn't trust that God would provide for them nor did they trust that they could take a day of rest.

It's interesting that even though these events took place thousands of years ago, they still apply to us today. Do we too struggle with trust? The FFOZ commentary had a great quote regarding this,

"Manna can teach us about money and materialism. God provides the bounty of the material world for our welfare. He provides adequately for our needs, sometimes in scarcity, sometimes with abundance, but always with sufficiency. “He who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack” (Exodus 16:18). When we try to hoard wealth, though, it can turn into something spiritually ugly. Just as the manna turned rancid and wormy, hoarded wealth sickens the soul. It causes us to cling to material things. We no longer need to rely on God because we can rely upon our savings and investments. We no longer need to pray for our daily bread, as Yeshua taught us to do. As Yeshua warned us, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:23).

We can also be challenged by the Sabbath. According to Biblical calendar, beginning in Genesis 1, the Sabbath is a Holy day. A day God ordained for US! A day for us to rest and to spiritually recharge in HIM. This day begins, according to the Greco-Roman calendar on Friday night at sundown and ends Saturday at sundown. A day for our rest and a day that God provides for us, physically and spiritually. For the followers of YHVH, the sabbath was a big deal. God wasn't merely giving a suggestion, it was something He became quite upset with upon their lack of observance.

I wonder, do we have that same lack of trust? Does materialism and the world's idea of monetary security control us? Does the Sabbath mean anything to us, or is it just a day for chores and to do lists? I wonder, is God asking us, "how long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?"