Today is Pentecost Sunday and for most of my life, I had no idea what that meant.  At some point,  I eventually connected it to what happened when the Holy Spirit blew into Jerusalem.  But I never realized just how significant that day was until I started studying the Hebraic roots of Christianity.

In the beginning of the book of Acts, Jesus had been crucified and resurrected.  Before ascending into heaven, Jesus instructed the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for “the promise” (which we know to be the Holy Spirit).  So that’s what they did.

Acts 2:1 says that they were all together when the day of Pentecost arrived.  I always read that to be referring to Pentecost as the day the Holy Spirit came, which is correct, but also way bigger than that.

See, another name for Pentecost is Shavuot. which is Hebrew for “weeks.”   Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, is something that had been celebrated by the Jews for over a thousand years at that point.  We read in Leviticus 23 where God lays out and explains these festivals he required the Jews to keep and how they were to keep them.  And in verse 15, he starts explaining the Feast of Weeks, which is seven weeks after Passover, or 50 days…hence the name Pentecost, which turns out is Greek for “fiftieth day.”

Passover was the time after all the plagues when the Jews were finally allowed to leave Egypt and so according to the calendar, it would have been about the time of Shavuot when they arrived at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19).  Moses leaves Aaron in charge of the people and went up and spent a few days with God on top of the mountain.  In Exodus 19:18, we read that while Moses was up there, Mt. Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord descended on it in fire.  When Moses came back down the mountain, he brought with him the tablets on which God had written his law, or Torah.  Therefore, Shavuot (Pentecost), in addition to celebrating the wheat harvest, became a day to celebrate God’s giving of the Torah (law or instruction) to his people.

Okay, so pause that and jump ahead to Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.  The disciples are gathered in Jerusalem and it’s time to celebrate Shavuot.  All of a sudden a mighty wind blows through and flames land on the heads of the disciples and the next thing you know Peter is preaching and everybody understands him.  Since Shavuot was one of the festivals that required you to come to Jerusalem, there were people there from all over and they didn’t all speak the same language (thank you, Tower of Babel).  So you see how awesome this is, right?  Peter’s preaching, but the people are all hearing him in their own language.  Amazing!

So, just knowing the story of what happened that day when the Holy Spirit blew in is pretty mind-blowing in and of itself.  But when you connect it to what that day already represented, it’s just incredible!  At Mt. Sinai, God descended in fire and gave his people the law.  In Jersusalem, God descended in fire and gave the people the Holy Spirit!

Another thing you don’t want to miss is this:  do you remember what Moses found when he came back down the mountain?  He found that the people had gotten impatient waiting and had fashioned a golden calf and were worshipping it.  Dang, Moses was mad.  And it’s a little comical how Aaron explained it to him.  He basically says to Moses, hey look bro, I just threw everybody’s gold into the fire and this calf just popped right out (Ex.32:24).  Uh, okay, Aaron.  Whatevs man.

Anyway, in Exodus 32:26, Moses gives the people an ultimatum.  Either you’re on the Lord’s side or you die and it ends up that about three thousand people fell by the sword that day.

So again, skip ahead back to Jerusalem where the disciples have managed to wait it out without any idol worship, and in Acts 2, Peter preaches his best sermon ever.  Then verse 41 says this:

So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

About three thousand, y’all.

At Mt. Sinai, three thousand turned their back on God and perished.  In Jerusalem, three thousand said yes to God and found life eternal.

God is in the redeeming business, for real.  And his timing isn’t accidental.  The Holy Spirit didn’t just trip and fall out of heaven on Shavuot.  He was sent with purpose at a time when there were a whole bunch of folks gathered together to celebrate a law that they couldn’t possibly keep.  He’d just sent his Son to overcome sin and death as payment for their (and our) inability to keep that law.  And boom, then He turns around and sends the Spirit, the Promised One that points the people right back to that very Son, Jesus.  I tell ya.  God is good.


Does your church observe Pentecost?  Had you ever made that connection before between what happened at Mt. Sinai and what happened Jerusalem?  Had you ever heard of Shavuot before now?

I’d love to encourage you to dig deeper into the Jewish roots of Christianity.  You’ll be blown away at what you find! 

It’s raining today.  It’s been raining off and on for the last few days.  You ever notice how everything looks brighter after rain?  Like the grass looks greener.  The dirt looks darker. All the colors are more vivid after rain.

I have a little container garden on my back patio.  It’s not much.  A few tomato plants, cucumber, squash, lettuce and a grape vine.  Honestly, I haven’t done a whole lot to it.  I picked the suckers out of the tomato plant as it grew, but I’m no super gardener.  Yet, somehow I’ve managed to grow actually tomatoes, a couple of cucumbers, and a couple of squash.  (Still waiting on the grapes to show up, but the vine’s going crazy.)

I water my little garden everyday, but one thing I noticed is that it seems to look better after a little rain than after I’ve watered it.  I don’t know why that is.  Maybe it’s in my mind because it takes less effort for the rain to water the garden than it is for me to lug a gallon water jug back and forth from the kitchen sink a bunch of times.  You know, like kinda how dinner always seems better when you eat out and somebody else cooks it?

But either way, it’s got to be watered.  Whether it falls out of the sky or pours out of an old milk jug, in order to grow and produce fruit, the garden has to have water.

There’s been times over the years that I’ve felt God’s presence so powerful in my life.  Like I can feel him with me, leading me, speaking to me.  And then there have been times when it feels like he is silent.  Like I can’t feel him, can’t see him, can’t find him.

And I’ve realized that in the silent times, which I’ve had a lot of over the last couple of years, if I let myself get lazy and stop watering my soul, I stop producing fruit.  And if I’m honest, I’ve gotten pretty lazy.  Since we’ve been “between churches,” I’ve let myself get lax about being in the Word and spending time with Jesus daily.  And I can tell it….my soul feels dry.

But when in those times when I’ve been constant, I feel myself bubbling over with him.  God’s Word brings revelation about who he is and about who I am.  And when I’m spending time with Jesus, he sends revelation, sometimes in the most unexpected places and they surprise me and delight me.

So as the rain falls outside this morning, I’m reminded of how much my soul needs water and I’m encouraged when I feel my heart being drawn towards him.

He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. – Psalm 147:8


Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”- John 4:13-14 

It’s the last week of school for my youngest, thank the Lord.  I don’t have one more single week in me.  I feel like I’ve been on autopilot for the last couple of weeks as it is.

I wish I was one of those moms who had a slew of things planned to do over the summer.    But I’m not.  Not even close.  I’m really just looking forward to not having get up at the crack of dawn for a little while.

One thing I do hope to be doing more of this summer is writing.  I recently joined a group called Hope*Writers and I’m already feeling more inspired than I have in a long time.  The group is made up of writers in all stages of writerhood.  (Probably not a word, but you know what I’m saying.)  Some haven’t actually started writing anything, but know they are called to.  Some have blogs, some podcasts and some are published authors.  Some write fiction and some write non-fiction and some do both.  One thing they all have in common is the desire to put words together to tell a story and to encourage other writers to do the same.

One of the things somebody mentioned in the group was how important they felt reading was to a writer.  Not just that somebody else reads your work, although that’s important and kind of the point of being a writer, but also that you are reading the works of others.

I’ve been an avid reader pretty much all my life.  I remember taking car trips with my family and bringing a book with me to read.  I’d barf my head off if I tried that now, but it didn’t seem to bother me when I was younger.  As an adult, I’d almost always have a book with me and often more than one.  If you asked me what I was reading, I’d usually have three titles to offer you because it wasn’t unheard of for me to be reading more than one book at a time.  Seems crazy I know, but I’d just read a couple of chapters out of one and then get distracted by another and just go back and forth, usually with non-fiction.  Most of the time with fiction novels, I’d devour them in a couple of days because I couldn’t wait to see how the story ended.  

But in the last few years I haven’t really been reading as much, neither fiction or non-fiction.  Out of habit, I’d still carry a tote bag of books, my journal, and my Bible around in my car just in case the notion hit me, but honestly I haven’t really read that much.

What I have been doing is watching a freaking lot of Netflix.  And Hulu.  And Amazon Prime.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all, but for me I’m realizing that it made me creatively lazy.  Part of reading is using your imagination.  Picturing the characters in your mind and imaging the things the author describes.  Allowing yourself to determine how something makes you feel rather than going with the interpretation of the actor on the screen.  Reading activates a part of my brain that TV and movies just can’t access.

Now I’m not saying that movies and TV are bad.  No way, man.  I love me some Jane the Virgin and rom-com movies.  I’m just saying for myself, I’ve realized that for creativity’s sake, I need to make my brain work out how I see the characters sometimes.  I need to make my brain do a little thinking about how things look or smell or feel.  And I need to get up off my couch and leave my house, which I can do more easily with a book than I can with Netflix.

A friend told me about a couple of books last week that she thought I’d like, so I went to Barnes and Noble and picked them up and sat down with the first one.  I had that thing finished in a day and a half.  Granted it was a good book, but also I’d forgotten how much I love to read!  I’d forgotten how it felt to get caught up in the pages of a story like that and not be able to put it down.  As soon I finished that book, I immediately picked up the next one and devoured it as well.  (I’m open for suggestions for what to read next, by the way.)

So what’s my point here?  Well, it’s not that you shouldn’t watch TV.  It’s also not that you should go out right now and get yourself a book to read.  No, you do you, friend.

My point is…is there something in your life that brings you joy or makes your brain flow creative that you’ve stopped doing?  Something that you love dearly, but just allowed to fall out of your routine for some reason?

Is it because you think you don’t have time?  Because I thought the same thing.  I got to a place where I thought I didn’t have time to read.  But then I somehow going forward managed to find the time to watch Netflix.  I realized that I was making time for the things I wanted to make time for and if I’m honest, I had more free time than I wanted to admit to myself.

Reading takes effort.  Writing takes effort.  I was choosing not to make the effort.

Stop for a moment and think about the things that maybe you’ve told yourself that you don’t have time for.  Evaluate your days honestly and see if maybe there’s more space there than you think.  Or maybe there’s something that you’re doing that you need to say no to for a while and give yourself that space for one of those passions of yours.  It’ll be worth it, ya’ll.

I started this blog probably about ten years ago.  I named it Covered In His Dust because it’s where I wanted to be at the time.  It still is.  Have I ever told you why?

It’s from an old Jewish saying.  During the time of Jesus and before, there weren’t microphones or any kind of technology and you walked everywhere you went.  I mean, unless you rode a donkey or something.

A rabbi would walk along the roads and his disciples would follow along, but if they got too far behind him, they wouldn’t be able to hear what he was saying.  They had to stay close.  And because they walked on sand and dirt, they would get the dust kicked up by the rabbi’s sandals all over them.  Hence, they would be covered in his dust.  It sounded like exactly where I wanted to be with Jesus.

My level of dustiness has definitely waxed and waned over the years.  There’s been times when I’ve been covered head to toe and other times when I’ve barely got any on me.  There’s times when I’ve been lightly sprinkled with his dust and times when honestly I’ve choked on it.  Following The Rabbi is hard sometimes, especially when I’m being stubborn or lazy…or when I’m running my mouth instead of listening.

I was talking to a friend the other day about the name of my blog.  How it felt so far away from where I’ve found myself over the last couple of years.  It feels “holier than thou” for me because in many ways, I know I’ve fallen behind a lot.  She pointed out that we all get like that sometimes.  We all have times where our passion waxes and wanes.  But we just keep moving forward, keep following.

So maybe for now I’m just in his dust somewhere.  I might be covered today, choking tomorrow, and lightly coated the next day…but I’ll be in it one way or another.


Image:  view from Mount Precipice in Israel

Well, I’ve lost my journal.  It’s the one I took with me to Israel.  I bought it thinking I’d have a ton of stuff to write about while I was there, but it turns out I only used about ten or fifteen pages.  I just didn’t have the time I thought I’d have.  For future reference for my next big adventure, whatever that ends up being, I think I’ll just bring something small with me to jot down notes and save the big writing for when I get home.  We were on the move so much that I didn’t have time to really stop and write anything coherent and by the time we got back to the hotel and showered and had dinner, all I wanted to do was fall into the bed and sleep.

Anyhow, for a while after I got back, I didn’t write anything in this journal because it felt sacred somehow.  Even though I’d written so little in it, I didn’t feel like anything I experienced here at home was worthy enough to be included in a journal that had been to Israel and back.

But I finally did let go of that notion a few months ago and started writing in it.  And although it’s temporarily misplaced,  I’m sure it will turn up eventually…at least I hope so, but for now, I don’t know where else to look.  I’ve checked all around my house, my car, the few places I’ve been that I would have taken it with me, but to no avail.

I remember a time a few years ago that the same thing happened with my Bible.  It went missing for about a week or two and I’d looked everywhere in the world I could think of and couldn’t find it anywhere.  I finally gave up, my heart broken, because that Bible had years of notes and highlights and how do you replace all that?

I decided maybe this was God’s way of saying that I needed a fresh start, so I gave in and went out and bought a new Bible.  Not long after, I ended up finding my old Bible in the laundry basket underneath all the socks that needed matching.  How it got there, I don’t know, but I fully blame my husband since he cleans like a whirlwind without giving much thought to where he puts things when he’s “putting things away.”

Right now, I have a giant laundry pile in the corner of my bedroom that needs folding.  It’s been there a week or so…okay so probably more on the “or so” side than the “a week” side.  I’m hoping maybe I’ll find my journal there whenever I get around to the pile, although I really doubt it.  I’m thinking the laundry has been there longer than the journal’s been missing, as sad as that is to admit.  (I just hate laundry.  I’d rather load and unload the dishwasher 20 times than fold and put away a load of laundry.)

I’ve been reading Searching for Sunday, by Rachel Held Evans and she talks in one part about how this guy once told her that after searching around different churches, he realized that because the Spirit lives within us, any place can be a sanctuary.  In a way it made me think of my missing journal.

I was waiting for something holy or sacred to write in that journal.  I was expecting it to have to be something big and important to be worthy to fill those pages.  But what I didn’t consider is that the day-to-day can be just a sacred as Sunday morning church.  Because ultimately nothing that I or anyone else does makes us holy.  It is the Spirit of God living on the inside of us that does that.  God’s holiness is what makes moments and spaces sacred.  And because He goes with me wherever I go, I can find sacred moments and spaces most anywhere at most anytime.  I just have to, as Rachel says, “Pay attention.”

In the meantime, I’ll get a notebook to jot my thoughts in, but I have hope that eventually I’ll find the missing journal and continue to fill it with the big and small sacred things.

I’m sitting here this morning drinking my coffee.  Billie Eilish is playing on Spotify and the dogs are getting settled in for their first morning nap.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Rachel Held Evans.  She was a writer and speaker in the Christian community and she recently passed away at 37 years old.  I really was only vaguely familiar with her writings…honestly, I was just familiar enough with her to decide I didn’t really care to hear much of what she had to say.  Depending on which direction you lean, she could be quite controversial.  She was very outspoken in the areas of racism and feminism, as well as a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community.

And I had no doubt that she and I would not see eye to eye on anything.  Ever.

I decided though to start reading one of Rachel’s book this week called Searching for Sunday.  I bought it a while back around the time that I first left my church, but for whatever reason, I never did read it.  Actually, I’d completely forgotten I had it until I went online to buy it and realized I already owned it.

What’s funny is that this morning, upon scrolling Facebook, it showed me a status that I’d posted five years ago today.  It went like this:

You can call me conservative, close-minded, or backwards.  You can call me intolerant, lame, or stupid.  Call me whatever you want…it makes no difference.  The only thing that matters is that HE calls me daughter, and really He’s the only One I’m living to please.

Boy.  I knew then what I believed and why I believed it and I didn’t have a whole lot of space in my brain for anything else.  (insert strong fist pound on table here)

Five years later, I’d like to think that I’ve changed and grown.  I know in some ways, I have.  I’d also like to think that I’m still so sure of myself, but the reality is that I’m not.

Honestly, my first reaction sometimes is still to bristle at things that go against those beliefs I’ve always held dear.  That thing in me that wants to stand up and fight for what’s right is most certainly still there.  I still have very little tolerance for the misuse of God’s word and for allowing “feelings” to trump what I know to be truth.  But over time,  I’ve also come to realize that sometimes there can be a bit of a gray area where truth is concerned because it’s very easy to confuse God’s truth with my own.

As I’ve been reading Rachel’s book, I’m realizing that she and I weren’t so different in our thought processes.  It made me a little sad that I hadn’t picked her book up sooner.  But then, maybe if I’d read it sooner, before I’d started my own “search for Sunday,” then I likely wouldn’t have heard what she had to say.  Timing is everything I guess.  And while I don’t necessarily I agree with her in every aspect, I have seen a new perspective…a kinder one.  Toward others and towards myself.

I’ve been in a processing mode for the last few years.  Going back and forth between a soft and a hard heart, between anger and sadness, between listening and being closed off.  Trying to be more loving, more welcoming, more willing to hear, but not knowing exactly how to go about that without what I felt was a betrayal to myself and what I knew to be right and true.  Blanket accusations made me angry, but then I’ve realized that I’ve gotten pretty cynical with my own accusatory glares.

So here I’ve landed.  Wrestling somewhere between trying to stay the course while also getting over myself.  It’s been a good and awful trip getting here.  And I know there’s more road to be traveled.

On a side note, we left our church again.  I mean, I guess you could call it that.  I don’t know that I was ever completely convinced we were supposed to go back when we did.  We went there because it seemed like the natural place to go because it’s the place we left to begin with, but deep down it just didn’t feel like home anymore.  We aren’t really going anywhere right now, although we do watch different churches online here and there, but none I’d call home.

Right now church for me looks like conversations with a dear friend waiting in the carpool line or at the coffee shop.  Or Thursday night Bible study with some of the sweetest souls I’ve ever known.  Or laughing with my out-of-town sister-friend at the salon while she gets her hair done during a quick visit home.  Or poking through my little garden in the backyard in wonder at the beginnings of things growing in the sun.  God’s in all those places.

And right now, I’m trying to put aside all my own notions and just listen to Him.  And be more honest with myself.  And make some space for different perspectives.

And so my own search for Sunday continues…


How about you?  Are you feeling out of place or a little off center?  Are there things you’re seeing differently or completely new right now?


Also, if you have a moment, say a prayer for Rachel’s family.  Her death was sudden and she leaves behind a husband and two children and many others who loved her dearly.

Lord, y’all.  Last week was spring break and let me tell ya.  It was super nice to not have to be anywhere at the crack of dawn.  That already makes the day more calm.  Of course, I had double the work though with my doctor and another doctor because I was covering for one of the other girls.  Yes, I actually do have a job in case you didn’t know that.  I am a medical transcriptionist and I type for an ENT doctor.  So it’s mucus and ear wax and tonsils all the live long day.  Been doing that for about ten years now.

In addition to being a work-at-home transcriptionist, I am also a habitual procrastinator with “throw in the towel” tendencies.  I have great ideas, but that’s usually all they end up being.  What I mean is that I often put things off because either I don’t have the time to concentrate enough to finish the whole thing at once or else the task seems beyond overwhelming, so I will eventually very likely give up on the thing completely.  It’s like, the moment has passed and whatever I had in my head has just kinda fizzled.

This is the case with a lot of current events.  I’ll see something on the news or online and immediately start to write about it in my head.  But then by the time I actually sit down at the computer, the media (and the attention of the public) is already on something new.  Of course, I guess in reality that might not be such a bad thing.  I have a big mouth and big opinions and so maybe that’s God’s way of keeping me from spouting off and saying something stupid or offending someone (which isn’t really hard to do anymore).  Unfortunately, sometimes I find a work-around and throw an angry or frustrated thought up on Facebook.  That’s ended badly more than once.

I’m planning though on trying a new creativity tactic.  On this last episode of Jane the Virgin…P.S. if you don’t watch that show, you should.  It is stinking hilarious and one of my favorites!  Anyhow, in this last episode, Jane immediately wrote her thoughts down right when a thing happened.  She wrote on scrap paper, napkins, or whatever she had, but she wrote in the moment right in the middle of feeling what she was feeling.  Maybe I should give that a go for a few days and see what happens.  Maybe I’d have more things to write about that way.  (I also have the attention span of a gnat and the memory of….of a…….I don’t know.  Whatever thing has a short memory.   I probably should be on medication.  Maybe I’d actually get something done.)

Anyway.  That’s all I’ve got for today.  At least for now.  And obviously my brain is all over the place.  I just re-read what I wrote and sheesh.  If you’ve read this far, then good on you.  You probably got further than I would have if I weren’t the one typing.  But I’m hoping to get in a habit of writing more, so in the meantime, please forgive my nonsense drivel.

Happy Monday!


I watched a message yesterday by Amir Tsarfati about Jesus and the Passover.  It was so good y’all!  I’m including the link for it because I hope you’ll go watch it too.

One of the things Amir mentioned has been tumbling around in my head since yesterday. It came from this bit of scripture about Jesus’ trial before he was crucified:

Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.  At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas.  So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”  For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.  While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”  But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.  “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered.  “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”  – Matthew 27:15-22

I’m not sure I ever really thought a whole lot about it before that Barabbas’ name was actually Jesus Barabbas.  (Jesus was a fairly common Hebrew name.)  It’s why when Pilate asked the people who to release, he had to specify between which Jesus…Jesus Barabbas or Jesus, who is called the Christ.  (Depending on what version of scripture you’re reading, it may say Jesus Barabbas or just Barabbas.  Some leave the Jesus off, I guess to be less confusing.)

But what Amir said, that I don’t know that I’ve ever  realized before, is the meaning of Barabbas is “son of the father.”  In Hebrew, “bar” means “son” and “abba” means “father.”  So Jesus Barabbas was Jesus, son of the father.  And this gave me pause.  Son of the father?

I looked up a little about Barabbas because honestly I couldn’t remember what his crimes were, and what I found was that he was said to be a murder.  A taker of life.

The people chose one who takes life over one who gives it.

And why?  Because it made them feel better.  Because that other Jesus was too controversial.  He was too uncomfortable.  He did things weird and different from what they’d become accustomed to.  He said things that didn’t line up with their manmade assumptions about God.  He didn’t follow their rules.  He couldn’t be coerced or forced into their mold of godliness.

So they picked Jesus, son of the father over Jesus, Son of God the Father because it felt better.  And yet even though they chose wrong and Jesus Barabbas ran free, Jesus the Christ went to the cross anyway.

Do you see it?  The Father of Lies gave the people a counterfeit son hoping that when it came time to decide, they’d pick the one that makes them feel better.  And they did.  And Jesus went to the cross anyway.  He didn’t have to.  But he did.

Lord, how many times in a day do I pick the thing that makes me feel better?  The thing that doesn’t cause me to have to change much.  The thing that seems right in my own eyes (Prov. 21:2).  I shudder to think.

But the breathtaking part is that even when I choose wrong, the cross was still for me.  The sacrifice Jesus made there is still for me.  Even knowing we would choose wrong so many times, Jesus went to the cross anyway.   And even when we royally mess up, even when we think that we’ve totally blown it, the cross is still for us.

The cross is for all who choose it.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Jesus overcame death on the cross and rose from the grave.  He did all that so that we didn’t have to.  He offers life to all who will receive it, and none of us deserve it.

We all choose wrong sometimes.  Some of us, most of the time, Lord help me.  We pick the counterfeit because it feels good or fits into our box better.  But thanks be to God for his grace, because in all our wrong choosing, Jesus still paid it all for us.

The Giver of Life still chose us.


Be sure to go and watch Amir’s message!



Sometimes the hardest part of writing is finding an end.  In school, you learn to write proper stories with an introduction, a body, and a nice clean conclusion that ties it all in a nice bow.  Except for that in real life, sometimes there’s not a nice conclusion.  Sometimes there’s no conclusion at all.  Things just happen and tomorrow comes and nothing changes and the problem doesn’t get solved.  Sometimes there’s just another day of the same.

We don’t like having to fill in the blanks.  Like those movies that end sometimes and you’re staring at the end credits with all these questions still lingering.  Or the TV shows that end a season with a cliffhanger so your heart’s in your throat and then you find out the show has been cancelled and it’s like, but what happens now???  Is disaster averted?  Does your favorite couple get married?  Is the villain of the story eventually stopped?  HOW DOES IT ALL END?

Life feels like that a lot.  Like I keep waiting for things to get tied up in a nice neat bow, and then tomorrow comes and nothing’s solved.  The problems from yesterday have followed me into today and tomorrow’s not looking too good either.  I hesitate to write and have a big wall in my mind sometimes because the reality is, for the most part I have no conclusions yet for many of the things I could write about.  You want to be encouraging and say, this is what’s going on with me, or this is something that’s been bothering me, or whatever, but I’m still feeling pretty crappy about it and I have no encouragement to offer anyone, least of all myself.  I mean, really.  Who wants to hear about your heartaches when you don’t have the “and this is how I overcame it all” ending?

But then I guess, we’re all in those places somewhere in our lives.  We’ve all got things we’re walking through, fires we’re standing right smack in the middle of and there’s no good ending yet and no moral of the story with which to encourage anyone else.

Sometimes life just momentarily sucks and there’s no good reason and no good ending.

So what do we do when we find ourselves in places like that?

Well, if I knew that, I’ve have my conclusion then, now wouldn’t I?


I co-led a class this morning on the Biblical Feasts.  This is one of my favorite subjects to talk about because it’s usually not taught in depth in church and is a great way to help Christians connect deeper with the Jewish roots of their faith.  After all, Jesus was Jewish, and he kept the feasts just like any good Jew would do.

Christianity was founded on Christ, but before Christianity was Christianity, Jesus was the Jewish Messiah come to fulfill God’s plan.  Now I realize we tend to think that the Jews don’t recognize Jesus as their Messiah, and while that’s probably true generally, it’s also true that there’s a considerable number of believing Jews out there.  It’s also true that the first followers of Jesus were Jewish.  But then we can tend to forget that.

And that’s no surprise.  For a long time now, the Church has made efforts to separate itself from the Jews.  We learned this morning that early on as far back as 325 AD during the Council of Nicea, the church was already trying to break any connection with Judaism and by the time the Council concluded, we no longer had a Passover in relation to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, but instead celebrated what we know as Easter (which interestingly enough sounds a lot the name of the Roman goddess of spring).

As time has gone on, more and more, the Jews who were believers in Christ were required to renounce their roots.  We even saw this morning when at one point, Jews were required not only to renounce their heritage, but to eat pork in front of witnesses in order to prove they were Christian enough.  Can you imagine?

You find anti-semitism staining the history of the Church to the point that even Hitler himself used Martin Luther’s sentiments again the Jews to justify the horrors of the Holocaust.  And here we are in 2019 and we still see anti-Semitism around the world.

Don Finto says this in his book Your People Shall Be My People,

None of Jesus’ hearers could have imagined what would transpire over the next years: that Gentiles would take control of the books of Moses and the Prophets – so much so that the Bible, God’s inspired Word, would be appropriated by Gentiles for themselves to the extent that it is now known primarily as a Gentile book; that this Man in whom they now believed, this Messiah, this Christ, would become so “Gentilized” that even His own people would fail to recognize Him as one of their own; that millions of Jews in the twentieth century would be killed at the hands of those who gave lip service to their Messiah.”

A Gentilized Jesus.

No wonder we don’t hear too much taught in the Western church about the Jewishness of Jesus.  Because going back centuries, there’s been an under current that says the Jews rejected and killed Jesus and God’s done with them.  It’s usually referred to as replacement theology…where the Church has replaced the Jews as God’s chosen people.

But a word of caution…the Bible speaks about a time of the Jews being blinded so that the Gentiles could be brought into the family of God.  Romans 11:25-26 says this:

For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be ignorant of this mystery—lest you be wise in your own eyes—that a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, 

“The Deliverer shall come out of Zion.  He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”


In other words, Christian, don’t go being haughty about your place in the family tree of God.  Don’t forget, we – the Gentiles – were grafted into the vine and we have no business boasting against the branches (Romans 11:18).

Now I’m not saying all this to say that the Church is bad.  Only that at this point, the Church is just ignorant and that’s a shame.  When you see God’s plan of redemption being hinted at all the way back to even in the way he laid out these times of remembering for the Jews (Leviticus 23), it can only deepen your faith.

And rather than separating from God’s chosen people, we should be praying for them and for Israel and finding ways to connect.  God’s not done with the Jewish people.  Not by a long shot.

I’d also encourage you to spend some time looking into the Jewish roots of your faith.  You’ll understand the Bible in ways you never have before and the teachings of Jesus will take on even deeper meaning.


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