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Redeemed Israel
Batya Ruth Wootten

The Sabbath is a sensitive subject that has divided Christians and Jews for centuries, but it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s what David Nekrutman demonstrates in his book, Your Sabbath Invitation: Partnership in God’s Ultimate Celebration.

As an Orthodox Jew who has worked to improve Jewish-Christian relations for many years, Nekrutman has a passion for sharing Hebraic biblical insights with Christians in the interest of deepening their understanding of the scriptures. His outreach coincides with the Torah Awakening among Christians that has inspired a movement toward observance of the seventh day Sabbath (Shabbat in Hebrew), and other biblical celebrations like Passover. These holy times do have meaning for Christians, especially since Jesus (Yeshua) and his followers observed them. That is why Christians of all denominations will find Your Sabbath Invitation a valuable resource in their journey toward deeper understanding of God’s Word and His ways.

Your Sabbath Invitation

The 1776 Project
by The President's Advisory 1776 Commission

Once I heard a bit of colloquial wisdom that has become a proverb for me: “Better to aim for the stars and drag your feet in the treetops than to aim for the trees and land in the mud.”

Where and when I heard this is now lost to my memory, but the lessons thereof continue to bear fruit. The proverb helps persevere through hardship and disappointment because I am committed to something much higher than myself. It helps me remember that setting lofty goals is in itself admirable even if I never reach them. If there is an ideal, a standard, a higher calling that continuously stands before my tired eyes and jaded heart, then I still have a reason to rise above the pettiness and hypocrisy of daily existence and try to make something better of myself and of the world within my reach. 

Five Years with Orthodox Jews
Bob O'Dell with Gidon Ariel

Question: if Christians and Jews each claim to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and each revere the same body of authoritative writings (namely, the Bible, or at least those books of the Bible each holds as scripture), then why have they been opposed to one another for nearly two millennia?

It seems that people on both sides are beginning to wrestle with that question. No one denies that there are fundamental differences in the beliefs of Christians and Jews, but in recent decades a growing number of people have made a concerted effort to look beyond the differences and see if there might be common ground on which to build enduring relationships.

Bob O’Dell and Gidon Ariel are two of those people. In 2014, they collaborated to established Root Source, a forum in which Orthodox Jews and Christians of many streams come together in an attitude of mutual respect to learn from one another. The success of Root Source is what moved them to collaborate on Five Years With Orthodox Jews: How Connecting With God’s People Unlocks Understanding of God’s Word. 


One bit of biblical wisdom Bible says, “He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding” (Proverbs 17:27 NASB). To put it another way, it is not necessary to fill volumes with one’s thoughts; better to distill them through the filters of time and experience and dispense them when their potency has achieved its peak. That way even a slime treatise can speak louder than twelve tomes. 

If this is true for a single human being, how much is the truth multiplied when the words are those of an entire people? Or even many peoples with shared and linked cultures that have endured the same crucible of experience over centuries?

This is what Alaskan Native author Suuqiina has done in his deeply profound and deceptively simple novel, Okvok: An Elder’s Story.

Loved. I. Am!
MelanEE Lisa Davidson

Is every single human being who has ever existed created in the image of God?

Assuming they are, then is every single human being who has ever existed precious in the esteem of our Creator?

Again assuming they are, is every person who has ever existed equally as precious and loved in the esteem of our Creator?

Yes again? Ah, then that must include people who define gender differently than humanity has commonly defined it – as in girls who think they are boys and boys who think they are girls even though their biological identity indicates otherwise.

And there we have a whole new level of complication. Because if such people are just as precious in the esteem of the Creator as the “nice” people whom society finds easy to accept, then we have to find some way to understand and deal with them. That, after all, is what our Creator would likely have us do.

Does that mean we must endorse without question gender definitions and sexual preferences other than what we find articulated in the Bible? Not necessarily, but it does mean that LGBTQ people are first and foremost people, and as people they are entitled to the same respect as all human beings made in the image of the Creator. That is one important message from the memoir of MelanEE Lisa Davidson. She tells her story in a fast-moving volume she calls Loved. I. Am! One Woman’s Journey of Shattering Shame Through Experiencing PAPA’S Great Love!

Ten from the Nations
Rivkah Lambert Adler, Ph.D.

The history of humanity is filled with mothers in all eras and all cultures saying to their children the equivalent of, “I don’t care if you don’t like how that tastes. Eat it; it’s good for you.” In my case, it was broccoli, but I can imagine children around the world sitting glumly in front of their food as their mothers tell them they won’t grow up big and strong unless they finish their borscht, ceviche, pho, or ugali. God created mothers to be right about such things, which is why each generation survives and (depending on the degree to which they listen to Mom) thrives.

This principle works just as well regarding nourishment for the mind, soul, and spirit as for the body. That is why those who persevere in reading and studying even when the subject matter is uncomfortable tend to come out much better in the end – smarter, wiser, more tolerant, and better able to cooperate with others in the interest of a greater good. Rivkah Lambert Adler has provided rich nourishment of this sort in her book, Ten From the Nations: Torah Awakening Among Non-Jews.

The Hope Merchant
Adam Berkowitz

Social commentary is perilous.  Since those who engage in it usually have an axe to grind, they too easily succumb to bitterly cynical sarcasm, or pitifully ridiculous absurdity.  On occasion an angry social critic will get it right and inspire generations with profound observations of civilization’s problems – regardless whether his or her prescriptions for fixing those problems have any chance of working out as intended.  But for the most part, this kind of social commentary serves only to make people more angry without addressing the root problem.

See Something Say Nothing
Philip Haney & Art Moore

How long would a people be content to suffer outrageous violations by their rulers before they do something about it?  And if they are so moved to take action, what would they do?  Thomas Jefferson pursued that line of reasoning 240 years ago when, in the summer of 1776, he penned these words:

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long-established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

The Cooper Chronicles
Daniel Holdings

What happens when an author combines the mega-conspiracy theories of Thomas Horn, the spiritual warfare depictions of Frank Peretti, and the science fiction apocalyptic vision of Larry Niven?  The result is The Cooper Chronicles, Daniel Holdings’ End of Days trilogy recounting the adventures of physicist and inter-dimensional globetrotter Dr. Bryce Cooper.

The Restoration and the Gifts of the Spirit
Dr. David E. Jones

A pendulum swing is taking place in the Hebrew Roots movement in America.  Many followers of Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus Christ) who have sought to embrace the Torah walk He modelled have moved beyond traditional Christianity.  In practical terms, that means they have left the organized church in its various denominations and moved into something that looks sort of Jewish (as in keeping Sabbath and observing the biblical Feasts), but retains faith in Yeshua as Messiah. 

Now that this process has been going on for almost a generation, many are beginning to wonder if we might have left some very important things behind in the church.  Things like fellowship, unity, brotherly love, and the Holy Spirit.  This does not necessarily mean that Messianic and Hebrew Roots believers are ready to return to the church, but rather that we are beginning to realize the same thing about Christians as we have come to understand about Jews:  the things we hold in common are far more numerous and more important than the things which divide us.  Consequently, Hebraic believers are now reexamining once again what they believe, taking steps to mend broken bridges and restore precious things which we may have jettisoned too quickly in our zeal to put distance between ourselves and the traditions of man.

The Star of Bethlehem
Earnest L. Martin

Everyone knows when Jesus was not born.  Even the most devoted Christians understand that December 25 is not the date their Savior came into the world.  But when exactly was He born?

The average person would say that no one knows.  That answer is incorrect.  It is possible to know when Jesus (Yeshua) of Nazareth was born – at least within a few days of the event, if not the actual day.  That is the message of Earnest L. Martin’s work, The Star of Bethlehem: The Star That Astonished the World.

Know the Time, Change the World
Barry L. Miller

A pendulum swing is taking place in the Hebrew Roots movement in America.  Many followers of Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus Christ) who have sought to embrace the Torah walk He modelled have moved beyond traditional Christianity.  In practical terms, that means they have left the organized church in its various denominations and moved into something that looks sort of Jewish (as in keeping Sabbath and observing the biblical Feasts), but retains faith in Yeshua as Messiah. 

It seems that everyone is expecting the world to change for the worse in September 2015.  That, at least, is a prevailing topic of conversation here in the United States.  I have been part of such discussions many times over the last few months, and regardless how the discussion begins, it invariably comes down to the question, “What do we do now?”


The Revelation of Jesus Christ Revealed
Christine Miller

If most of the events prophesied in the book of Revelation had already taken place, would we live our lives differently? That is the question at the back of the reader’s mind while processing the wealth of data presented by Christine Miller in her book, The Revelation of Jesus Christ Revealed.

Another question one might ask is why the world needs yet another book on prophecy. The answer, like the book, is logical and straightforward: we need an understanding of how the symbols in Revelation correspond to real events and people in the history of the world since the Apostle John wrote Revelation in the year 96 CE. In other words, Miller cuts through the hyper-sensationalized end-of-the-world drama to examine what Revelation really means in a way that readers not only can understand, but can use as a starting point for their own study.

The Rapture Verdict
Michael T. Snyder

What do Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the pre-Tribulation rapture have in common? There is probably a joke in there somewhere, but the punch line escapes me. The answer, though, is that all of them are part of mainstream Christian practice (at least in the West), but none of them have much basis in Scripture. When held up to the light of Scripture, the Jolly Elf, the Whimsical Rabbit, and the Get-Out-of-Persecution-Free Card actually belong more in the realm of legend, myth, and wishful thinking.

The Button Tree Prophet
Will Spires

One of those unfortunate traits of any generation is the tendency to ignore our elders. Those who take time to talk with and listen to parents, grandparents, and other older people often come away with unexpected blessings. After all, they have lived through experiences that everyone must encounter at some point, and thus have acquired valuable lessons to share with younger people who have yet to go through those experiences. Of course, that is what we expect. What surprises us is that the ordinary life experience of our elders frequently turns out to be the stuff of legends. Will Spires discovered this in conversation with his father. What he learned about his father’s childhood in Columbia, South Carolina, during World War II inspired him to build a coming-of-age story that resonates with readers on many levels.

The Scroll
Miriam Feinberg Vamosh

It is surprising to consider how pervasive the legacy of Rome is on the global culture. Even those nations which never felt Rome’s touch directly still labor under the political, economic, and social order that the Empire bequeathed to its European children. Tales of the Roman era still find a familiar place in our consciousness. Whether one is looking for the real King Arthur in the detritus of post-Roman Britain, reveling in the semi-mythical exploits of Maximus after the death of Marcus Aurelius, or absorbing the accounts of Christian martyrs in the days of Nero, the grandeur of Rome captivates the imagination. That grandeur certainly includes the glory of the Caesars, the logic of Roman law, the enduring architectural monuments, and the lingering vestiges of Latin, but too often it obscures something else: Rome, the insatiable beast.

Redeemed Israel
Batya Ruth Wootten

One of these days, the people of God will be amazed to learn that any power Satan retains is only that which God allows him to have, or that God’s people themselves give to him. That is the testimony of Scripture (Job 1:6-12, 2:1-10; Isaiah 14:12-20, Colossians 2:8-15; Ephesians 4:7-10; Psalm 68:18-19). It is a testimony lived out in recent centuries as Christians and Jews of all denominations and sects cling tightly to their own unique perspective of the Creator’s work, while questioning the inclusion of others with them in that work. The result is a terminal fragmentation, evident in the declining effectiveness of the church (at least in the West), and a Judaism split between an assimilated Diaspora and an internally focused observant segment largely concentrated in Israel.

Where is the remedy for this sad state of affairs? Batya Ruth Wootten offers an answer in Redeemed Israel – Reunited and Restored. Her answer rests squarely on the question of identity, a question that leads her to ask, “If our God is the God of Israel, and the Jewish people are Israel, then who is the Church?”

American Born Chinese
Gene Luen Yang

I remember fondly the last Chinese American colleague of my military career. She was my supervisor: a very kind, patient, conscientious, hardworking, and highly competent person. It was she who explained to me the difference between American Born Chinese (ABC), and Chinese who had just immigrated and were, therefore, Fresh Off the Boat (FOB).

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