The National Shabbat movement arrived in the Lone Star State through a gathering of about 100 people on March 19 at Fischer Park in the city of New Braunfels. As with National Shabbats in Georgia and South Carolina, some participants traveled many hours to get there, coming from as far away as Sabine Pass on the Louisiana border, Wichita Falls near the Oklahoma border, Arlington in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, and Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast. Most of those assembled in New Braunfels came from around Austin (Georgetown, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Kyle) and San Antonio (Boerne, Converse, Poteet, Adkins, Floresville), with a significant number from the Houston area (Katy, Sugarland, Pasadena). Please click here to continue reading
What is it that brings God’s people together faster than anything else? How about praising and worshipping our Creator together on the day He set aside for that purpose? That is the purpose of the B’ney Yosef National Shabbat:
“Once a month, there will be a Shabbat [Sabbath] experience that will bring Northern Israelites together from fellowships, congregations, and homes to express and declare to Avinu (our Father) that we are the people of Northern Israel. There will be no teaching, but occasional presentations about our national restoration and Scriptural discussions promoting a national outlook.” – B’ney Yosef National Shabbat Vision Statement
The National Shabbat first appeared in Georgia, and then South Carolina, and now it’s coming to Central Texas on March 19, 2016. Here are the details:
- When: Saturday, March 19 from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
- Where: Fischer Park, 1820 McQueeney Road, New Braunfels, TX 78130, off I-35 between San Antonio and Austin. For map and directions click here.
- To download a .PDF of Fischer Park click here: Fischer Park Map
- For planning purposes, we would appreciate if you visit this link and RSVP:
- Gather with us as we celebrate Shabbat as the Nation of B’ney Yosef (Children of Joseph) of the House of Israel. Those who choose to arrive at 12 noon will begin our time of fellowship eating lunch together.
- We will hear opening greetings and Scriptures, and then take time to praise and worship Yeshua our King!
- Ephraim and Rimona Frank from Israel will be sharing, along with Sister Kaye, who lived in Aqaba, Jordan, for 25 years. We will hear the report from the B’ney Yosef North America Summit in Tampa, Florida, and be given a glimpse of expectations for the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress to be held in Ariel, Israel this October.
- We look for the possibility of folks from across Texas and even neighboring states to join us. You won’t want to miss meeting fellow Hebrews of B’ney Yosef!!
- There is no charge for this gathering, but we will have an offering box available for those who would like to help with the costs of the National Shabbat.
- Please bring sufficient food for your family for the evening meal also, as well as any snacks and drinks that you and your family may require. PLEASE BRING FOOD FOR YOUR OWN FAMILY ONLY!! Due to park regulations we are not able to have shared food at this gathering. ALSO, PLEASE BRING LAWN CHAIRS.
- All children and teens will be expected to have PARENTAL supervision AT ALL TIMES, please!!
- We mention here this park rule: GLASS beverage containers are prohibited at the park.
- To make sure everyone has the best possible National Shabbat experience, please click here to review additional park rules: Central Texas National Shabbat – Fischer Park Rules
© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2015-2016. Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
It has been more than 500 years since Christopher Columbus mistakenly identified the indigenous peoples of the Americas as “Indians”, and yet that name has remained the popular collective label for the many hundreds of nations more accurately identified by their own names, such as Arawak, Pequot, Lakota, Yaqui, Quechua, and Navajo. Many of these nations have ceased to exist, the victims of disease, war, enslavement, and cultural genocide. Others have come into existence as dispersed and diminished peoples have merged to make new nations. Still others have persisted in their identity to this day, enduring beyond hope as distinct peoples. All of those things describe the Seminole Nation, which now resides in the states of Oklahoma and Florida. The Seminoles did not become a distinct people until late in the 18th century, when remnants of the Muskogee (Creek) and other peoples of Florida and what is now Georgia and Alabama combined to form a new nation. The Spanish called them cimarrones, meaning runaways, or free people. This term referred to the fact that the tribe included many escaped slaves, both African and Native American, who had joined with others from broken, scattered tribes. In the Muskogee tongue, cimarrones became semulon-e, and eventually Seminole.
This people who originally were not a people soon developed a strong sense of national identity which compelled them to resist all efforts to conquer them. They fought against the Spanish, the English, the Creeks, and, inevitably, the Americans. Three bitter wars from 1817 to 1858 left the Seminole Nation broken and divided, but still unconquered. Most of the surviving Seminoles were removed by the United States government to Oklahoma, but a remnant remained in the swamps of southwestern Florida, where they remain to this day. The Florida Seminoles are unique among Native American peoples in that they alone have never signed a treaty of peace with the United States. Those who were removed to Oklahoma may have agreed to peace with the U.S., but they maintained a fierce independence in their new land. Efforts to integrate them into the Creek Nation of Oklahoma met with determined resistance. In time the Seminole remnant in Oklahoma reestablished their tribal identity, and today exist as a separate and distinct nation.
It may come as a surprise, but the greatest story in the Bible is about a nation created from a people who were not a people. The tale begins with the account of Joseph and his brothers, but the story as yet has no ending.
There was a time I wrestled with God. The wrestling match began in my teenage years, when I detected certain inconsistencies in the instruction handed down from my elders. From my Southern Baptist church and family I learned that God had given free will to every human being, and that we could choose whether to follow Him or not. From my Presbyterian school I learned that God had foreordained everything, and that a process called predestination somehow influenced the choices we make. This was not the only inconsistency encountered in my Christian upbringing; there were and still are many. The question of free will and predestination, however, shaped the context of my wrestling with God from the beginning. I had no reason to doubt the sincerity of my elders, nor had I reason to question the truth of what they taught me. What I questioned was how these seemingly incompatible truths fit together. I still do not have the answer, but a very wise man helped me find a way through the dilemma. He was my Bible teacher. One day in class someone asked him to explain which was correct, free will or predestination. He may have been the only person in the school qualified to answer that question. He was an ordained Baptist minister, and had had ample opportunity to consider the subject as he taught Bible in our Presbyterian academy. His answer was surprisingly Hebraic, both imminently satisfying and frightfully frustrating: he asked us if both concepts were present in the Bible. When we said yes, he said, “Then they both must be true.” And that was the end of the matter.
And the beginning.