The Pain and Joy of the Fragments

BFB220423 Poussin - The Crossing of the Red Sea
The Crossing of the Red Sea, Nicolas Poussin, 1632-1634, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Being in the world and not of it is an easy game to play as long as the world system allows us to mimic the Kingdom of Heaven. The façade inevitably wears away, though, and we have to make a choice. That’s when those who opt to run after the Kingdom of Heaven become the outcasts of society, while the rest continue to run after whatever new normal brings a new illusion of peace and safety. Everyone experiences pain in this process, but some will have joy in the end.

Exodus 13:1-15:26, 22:24-23:19; 34:1-26; Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17; Leviticus 19:9-10; Isaiah 10:20-12:6; Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23; John 6:1-14; Revelation 21:1-4

Click here to listen to the podcast: The Pain and Joy of the Fragments

Click here to download the transcript: The Pain and Joy of the Fragments.pdf

Music: “It Is Well / I Exalt Thee,” Celtic Worship, Morningtide, Integrity Music 2021. See the official video on Youtube at https://youtu.be/jqKO-oScDBI. Celtic Worship’s music is available at https://celticworship.co.uk/

Joined by the Blood

BFB220416 Tissot - The Signs on the Door inset
The Signs on the Door, James Tissot, 1896-1902, The Jewish Museum, Brooklyn, via Wikimedia Commons.

So much of this walk with our Creator involves our identity. If we know Whose we are, then we can know who we are – and then maybe we wont’ be so threatened by those who share that same identity, but express it differently.

Exodus 12:21-51; Joshua 5:2-6:1; Jeremiah 23:7-8, 16:14-15; Genesis 25:27-34; Luke 20:1-39; John 11:45-52; 1 Corinthians 5: 6-8; Ephesians 2:11-21

Click here to listen to the podcast: Joined by the Blood

Click here to download the transcript: Joined by the Blood.pdf

Music: “Come Thou Fount,” Celtic Worship, Morningtide, Integrity Music 2021. See the official video on Youtube at https://youtu.be/XKOoeTbjSeI. Celtic Worship’s music is available at https://celticworship.co.uk/

Weekly Bible Reading for April 10-16: Pesach (Passover) & Matzot (Unleavened Bread)

This coming week, April 10-16 (9-15 Nisan 5782), the Bible reading plan covers Pesach (Passover) & Matzot I (Unleavened Bread)

10 Apr Exodus 12:21-28 Job 6:1-7:21 John 18:20-40 Proverbs 20:15-22
11 Apr Exodus 12:29-32 Job 8:1-22 John 19:1-22 Proverbs 20:23-30
12 Apr Exodus 12:33-36 Job 9:1-35 John 19:23-42 Psalm 79:1-13
13 Apr Exodus 12:37-42 Job 10:1-22 John 20:1-18 Psalm 80:1-7
14 Apr Exodus 12:43-47 Job 11:1-12:25 John 20:19-21:8 Psalm 80:8-13
15 Apr Exodus 12:48-51 Job 13:1-14:22 John 21:9-25 Psalm 80:14-19
16 Apr Numbers 28:16-25 Joshua 5:2-6:1 Acts 1:1-26 Proverbs 21:1-6

The complete annual Bible reading plan for 2021-22 (Hebrew year 5782) is available at this link:

Weekly Bible Reading for March 28-April 3 2021: Pesach (Passover) &; Matzot (Unleavened Bread)

This coming week, March 28-April 3 2021 (15-21 Nisan), the Bible reading plan covers the following portions.

Pesach (Passover) & Matzot (Unleavened Bread)[1]

28 Mar Exodus 12:21-51 Joshua 5:2-61 John 13:31-14:7 Proverbs 19:15-21
29 Mar Leviticus 22:26-23:44 2 Kings 23:1-9, 23-25 John 14:8-31 Proverbs 19:22-29
30 Mar Exodus 13:1-16 Numbers 28:16-25 John 15:1-17 Psalm 78:1-15
31 Mar Exodus 22:24-23:19 Nehemiah 5:1-6:19 John 15:18-16:11 Psalm 78:16-33
01 Apr Exodus 13:17-22 Nehemiah 7:1-42 John 16:12-33 Psalm 78:34-53
02 Apr Exodus 14:1-25 Nehemiah 7:43-8:18 John 17:1-26 Psalm 78:54-72
03 Apr Exodus 14:26-15:26 2 Samuel 22:1-51 John 18:1-19 Proverbs 20:1-7

[1] Pesach (Passover) is sundown, March 27 to sundown, April 4. Matzot (Unleavened Bread) begins at sundown on March 28, continuing through sundown on April 4. Yom Habikkurim (First Fruits) is April 3-4 (sundown to sundown.)

The complete annual Bible reading plan for 2020-21 (Hebrew year 5781) is available at this link:

Not Satisfied with Half the Picture: My Quest for Truth Beyond Tradition

In April 2017, Dr. Rivkah Lambert Adler sent out invitations to participate in a book project with the working title, Ten From The Nations: Exploring the Torah Awakening Among Non-Jews. Her motivation is to increase awareness of the fact that we are witnessing the gradual fulfillment of Zechariah 8:23. She did so by compiling testimonies from non-Jews who have experienced a Torah awakening of some sort, and from Jews who are actively building relationships with those who are stepping forward from the nations. Her book includes the voices of Christian Zionists, Bnei Noach, Ephraimites, Gerim and more.
It is an honor to be one of those invited to submit a testimony. What follows is the story of my journey into an appreciation of Torah and the Hebraic roots of my Christian faith.
For more information on Ten From The Nations, visit http://www.tenfromthenations.com/.

For the first few years of my life, people fell into one of two categories:  white, or black.  Then the rules changed and the world got complicated.

Scenes of my formative years. Left: going to church in Pensacola, Florida, with my father and older sister in 1962. Right: Dawson Memorial Baptist Church (with Pastor Edgar M. Arendall) and Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, Alabama.

The world into which I was born was white, Southern, and Baptist.  That was in 1961, when the requirements of my father’s career in insurance caused my parents to depart from their native Alabama and take up temporary residence in Pensacola, Florida.  As we moved back to Alabama in 1963, the Civil Rights Movement entered its most active stage.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his Letter from Birmingham Jail, sit-ins and marches defied segregationist strongholds, and the Federal Government took steps to correct a longstanding injustice.  Little of this turmoil impacted me until 1968, when a Federal judge ordered the desegregation of Birmingham’s public schools.  One day I went to school with my all-white third grade class of about 20 students; the next day the class had swelled to over forty, half of whom were black.

I cannot say whether the addition of so many new playmates of color caused any trauma to myself, but I know that it shook my parents to their core.  At the end of that academic year, they removed my brother and me from the public school, opting to make the financial sacrifice of placing us in the sanctuary of a Christian academy where we could receive a better education.  It also had the advantage in their eyes of being an all-white school.

Well, almost.  What may have escaped their notice was that Briarwood Christian School had a non-discrimination admissions policy.  That explains the presence of one black child in the kindergarten – the only black child enrolled there during my years at Briarwood.  My education was hardly interracial, and yet this turn of events triggered inexorable alterations to my worldview.  By the age of 8, I learned that the antiseptic white society into which I had been born was less utopian than I had been taught.  There was a world of color awaiting my exploration, and a host of questions that the scripted answers could not begin to satisfy.

What I had been taught was not all wrong.  Much of it was right, but it was incomplete.  So was the worldview of my black counterparts –much of it quite right, but incomplete.  Our combined worldviews formed a far more complete picture, with the white perspective filling gaps in the black perspective, and vice versa.  Thus my education proceeded along two parallel tracks:  a formal track provided by the teachers and preachers at school and church; and an informal track hidden in the recesses of my heart and soul and mind.  The hidden track evaluated everything presented to it, often reaching conclusions at odds with the accepted norms.  Hence the reason it remained hidden.

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