Monday, December 29, 2014


This is a very difficult post for me to write, but I feel like I need to speak what I have found to be true regardless of what people might think. This post is going to be my personal views; I do not necessarily want everyone who reads this to automatically adopt my views. I simply want people to, "...test everything; hold fast what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

I was told a number of years ago that some of the practices and customs of Christmas had their origins in things that were not only not Biblical but actually came from pagan practices. I remember being surprised but not really challenged or affected by what was said. I feel like I really didn't believe that what was being said was true. After a few years I think, I heard again about the root of traditions like the Christmas tree, finding out later that even the date has its origins in false idol worship. This time I was given greater proof... but I remember thinking something to the effect of: "Well, I'm not doing these things for a pagan god, I'm doing them for Jesus"

After a year or so of ignoring these realities, I did a year of volunteer work in Houston where the focus of the year was to rethink what our view of the poor was as well as taking another look at what we value in our society. We watched a film called, "What Would Jesus Buy?" Which is a film that looks at, through a very satirical lens, consumerism in the West, especially the holiday of Christmas. It was sobering and eye opening to take a look at this holiday that is so beloved and see how the main focus of the celebration (giving extravagant gifts to children) is actually very damaging in quite a lot of ways. That really made me rethink gifts for that year at least.

I then did more research into what exactly the backgrounds of the traditions of Christmas are. Here are just a few things from probably not too good of resources, but are things that continually cropped up in my research:

"In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside... In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia—a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture—was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down... In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra’s birthday was the most sacred day of the year. In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday... Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival." Taken from History Channels website
"The evergreen tree was an ancient symbol of life in the midst of winter. Romans decorated their houses with evergreen branches during the New Year, and ancient inhabitants of northern Europe cut evergreen trees and planted them in boxes inside their houses in wintertime. Many early Christians were hostile to such practices. The second-century theologian Tertullian condemned those Christians who celebrated the winter festivals, or decorated their houses with laurel boughs in honor of the emperor: 'Let them over whom the fires of hell are imminent, affix to their posts, laurels doomed presently to burn: to them the testimonies of darkness and the omens of their penalties are suitable. You are a light of the world, and a tree ever green. If you have renounced temples, make not your own gate a temple.'" Taken from a Christianity Today article

These were pretty surprising finds to me. I then thought, as I did before, "But I'm not doing these things for the purpose of worshiping pagan gods, I'm doing these things for the One True God!"I then decided to search the scripture, and I found these verses:

29 “When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. 
Deuteronomy 12:29-32 ESV

I know that people might say that this was the Old Testament and things are different now. In once sense, yes things are different now, but I heard it put another way which I think has forever changed how I look at all these things.

Someone told me to look at it kinda in this way. So, when you give your LIFE away to the LORD, you are then in a relationship with Him. Say that you are married to someone and they ask to celebrate your birthday on the birthday of someone they can't stand. All the decorations used are also things that your spouse hates. You tell them that you love them so much and love to celebrate their birthday and that though these things originate from someone else that you are doing it all for them.

Now, people could make the argument that I am criticizing people who have been celebrating Christmas for years and years and being very disrespectful and condemning to people in the past who have celebrated this way. And to that I say again, this blog post is NOT to convert someone to my point of view but to state how I came to a conclusion myself. However, considering that topic I would in NO way condemn anyone of the past in this anyway! Simply because they didn't know the truth. It says in Daniel 12:4 that knowledge will increase in the last days, and it has! I hope I would NEVER, EVER hold somebody accountable to something that they did not know about or don't follow because of sheer ignorance.

But again, this blog post isn't about that, its about what I have come to believe. So all that to say, I am no longer into the Christmas traditions anymore at all. I have found l i f e in celebrating the Biblical feasts like Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles and others. Do I condemn people who celebrate Christmas and other holidays - N O. This is just what I believe the LORD has led me to do.

Phew that's over

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Tide Turning

I've realized as of late just how... stuffed I've felt.

Stuffed with selfishness, covetousness. Headstrong bent on making my way by myself. Content with pity parties and negativity. And generally just clogged by all of the noise.

Then... through several Divine ways YHWH broke through my hardening heart and mind.

Yes, there are things that are a struggle here and I want out at this moment... but. This - where I am at this point in my life, my location spiritually physically and all other ways - is not forever. Time goes so fast, the next few months will be gone before I know it. I need to seek to live life EVERYDAY for YHWH... no matter were I'm at. But also.... I must prepare. It really just clicked to me how extremely different Papua New Guinea will be from where I am here and how much I need to prepare not only physically (getting things ready, buying what I need, garnering support) but socially, mentally, spiritually. I need to develop a deep heart for these people who I will be in contact with as a stranger and alien in their country. I need to be aware that I will be a visitor in a strange land.

This has set the adventurer in me on fire!

Also, the pity party part about being lonely and feeling secluded (which I'm seeing still more of and more in the future)... Yah wants needs to be my everything. When I am absolutely alone and no one else is around, He is there. When I feel so broken, confused He is there. When I am in AWE of the beauty and mystery around me He is there. He is the only One who without a DOUBT will ALWAYS be there.

Please, do yourself a big favor and watch this

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Song in my head

:) first heard this song at Bethany Community Church while living in Seattle... seems appropriate as Winter is fast approaching here, and I also kinda feel like it could be a back and forth song with me and the LORD...

Things have changed some in my life currently, but YHWH hasn't

Expect more blogging soon... !

Thursday, November 6, 2014


So things are pretty exciting for me at this point!

There is officially movement forward with me moving to Papua New Guinea and the visa and work permit process has started. I've got some money raised and am starting to get some of the supplies I'll need - exciting stuff! I also feel the LORD calling me to put my trust and hope in Him for the rest of the money and the timing for everything.
Though things are going fairly well for me personally, I feel I am constantly being hit - hard - with devastating realities and circumstances in the lives of individuals around me and around the world. It seems like I find out each day of a new school shooting or a death by a terrorist attack. There seems to be so many people who are loosing loved ones to a variety of illnesses and suicide, not to mention the exponential increase of people being diagnosed with various diseases. And throw in the rapid degradation of morality in this country and around the world.
*I know there are a lot of opinions on the heated political topics of the day and what would be considered "moral" degradation. The way I see it, the opinion that matters the most about what the definitive right and wrong is, is the One who created all. Who IS right and thus knows wrong and has given us a written document of what He thinks on these subjects. The subject of what is right and wrong, good and bad as well as the inherency of scripture could be an infinitely long conversation. With that said I'm writing this blog post from the standpoint that there are moral standards and that they can be found in the Bible because YHWH, the God of the Universe had His Hand in writing it.
I read a very interesting chapter of scripture the other day in the book of Judges where a woman asked his son to take money she dedicated to the True God and to make an idol with it. It also talks about a man who makes his own personal "house of God" and hires a Levite to be priest in his house of God which is also home to other household gods. It says at the end of the section in verse 6 of Judges 17, "At that time there was no king in Isra’el; a man simply did whatever he thought was right." (CJB) This was after Moses and the laws/guidelines were given, but it was also after the leaders were gone and the guidance, direction and rules given from YHWH through Moses were not available to the people as individuals. So the people were in fact, "...without a shepherd" (Numbers 27:17, Matthew 9:36).
I think many (not all) facets of the believing community (I'm including myself in this) have been living life simply doing, "... whatever [we] thought was right" and I don't think our Creator is happy about that. 1 Peter 4:17 says, "For the time has come for the judgment to begin. It begins with the household of God; and if it starts with us, what will the outcome be for those who are disobeying God’s Good News? —" Yes, people who do not know of God and the Good News of His Son are doing horrible things in increasing measurements, but I'm not talking about them and neither are these verses: "The Lord will enter into judgment with the elders and princes of his people: 'It is you who have devoured the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses." Isaiah 3:14 "...when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning." Isaiah 4:4 "As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord God." Ezekiel 20:46 "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak..." Matthew 12:36 "...and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment." John 5:29 (ESV)
As I stated before, I believe there is a perfect manual for how to live a life that produces blessing and that is pleasing to our Creator and Father YHWH, and that way of life is found in the TOTALITY of His written Word.
One of the words for repent in Hebrew is nacham which means to sigh implicating to be (feel, deeply) sorry. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:17 ESV. The other word used is shuv which means to turn back. Back to what? A better question is, back to Who?
We know the answer, its an easy answer. The crux of all of this is the terms to which we turn back or repent. This is where I feel for decades we've been getting it wrong. We've been returning to God in ways that we thought were right, instead of going to the WHOLE counsel of His living Word, Genesis to Revelation, for the answer... and not necessarily going to any mans opinions of what that Word says.

I'm feeling what the LORD wants us all to do is set aside everything. Our opinions, our leaders opinions, our families opinions, popular opinions, non-popular opinions and seek for only HIS opinions of how He wants us to live; how He wants us to love Him, serve Him, serve others. We can find this out in His Word - we even have the availability of the original languages for free! This is so much more than what almost every other generation has been given, what have we done with this kind of knowledge available to us?
I'll leave you, and myself, with these verses. This first one was our Saviors first words as He started His ministry, "From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17)

The second is 3,000 year old wise, wise words:

"The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ESV

Friday, September 12, 2014

O Death

...Father... Give me strength to be what I need to be... help me point to You, and be Your physical comfort to those who need it... I don't ask for answers... I ask for Your Spirit... I have felt so much need lately... with this I am reminded that YOU are the ULTIMATE Provider and that if I seek first the Kingdom, I need not worry about anything else. For most things are out of my control... Oh Abba... help me hold Your hand today... help me to show others how to take Your hand as well... prevent me from getting caught up with unanswerable questions but not to refrain others from asking them. O Ruach... Breathe Your Comfort through me...

Again.... ah... again. I'm subbing at the high school all this week and last night... a well known/loved senior took his life.... I know I'm blogging and that is talking... but I don't even really feel like talking about it... There's been so much death... I guess that happens as you get older...

It just hits you when its the young ones.

Pray for the town of Quincy and the Prchal family... pray for all who are mourning... thank the LORD that they will be comforted

Psalm 77
English Standard Version (ESV)

In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord
To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.

77 I cry aloud to God,

aloud to God, and he will hear me.

2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;

in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;

my soul refuses to be comforted.

3 When I remember God, I moan;

when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah

4 You hold my eyelids open;

I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

5 I consider the days of old,

the years long ago.

6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;

let me meditate in my heart.”

Then my spirit made a diligent search:

7 “Will the Lord spurn forever,

and never again be favorable?

8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased?

Are his promises at an end for all time?

9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?

Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah

10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Reward of Righteousness

I feel that YHWH is calling me to a greater set-apartness.

I feel Him asking me to step closer to Him, further away from the ways of the world and closer to His ways... to His Son's way....

Sometimes its hard to think about that because I know that there will be (even though here being in the first world sense...) scorn and persecution from living differently than the prevailing culture and seeking to maintain a standard higher than that of those around me (NOT for the sake of being "holier than thou" [OH that I would be caught up and shot DOWN if my seeking to live unlike the world was out of that desire] but, out of true obedience to what I feel I'm being called to do). We are made in acceptance by the Father and defined as good by Him (Genesis 1:31) and (especially for women, Genesis 2:23) our fellow humans. So when we don't receive that by one, we feel less than who we're suppose to be.

But reading the Prophets section of the Torah portion this week is giving me SUCH encouragement to give fully into the ways He is asking me to live.

Here's Isaiah 50:4-9

Adonai Elohim has given me
the ability to speak as a man well taught,
so that I, with my words,
know how to sustain the weary.

Each morning he awakens my ear
to hear like those who are taught.
Adonai Elohim has opened my ear,
and I neither rebelled nor turned away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who plucked out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from insult and spitting.
For Adonai Elohim will help.
This is why no insult can wound me.
This is why I have set my face like flint,
knowing I will not be put to shame.

My vindicator is close by;

let whoever dares to accuse me
appear with me in court!
Let whoever has a case against me step forward!
Look, if Adonai Elohim helps me,
who will dare to condemn me?
Here, they are all falling apart
like old, moth-eaten clothes.

(Underlining, bolding, italicizing, making different sizes... all mine :)

Therefore, my dear friends, since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that can defile either body or spirit, and strive to be completely holy, out of reverence for God.

2 Corinthians 7:1 CJB

“The time has come,
God’s Kingdom is near!
Turn to God from your sins
and believe the Good News!”

Mark 1:15

Amen :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What I want for today


A primitive root; to repose, that is, desist from exertion; used in many implied relations (causatively, figuratively or specifically): - (cause to, let, make to) cease, celebrate, cause (make) to fail, keep (sabbath), suffer to be lacking, leave, put away (down), (make to) rest, rid, still, take away.

**Also, I probably will be writing in here more :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014



There is so much I can say on this Shabbat.... I'm just floored. YHWH is SO good, even in the midst of our nothingness, our anguish, our joy- our everything!

For those who don't know, it looks like I'll be heading to Papua New Guinea to help out this wonderful missionary couple Marlin and Lynda Stucky towards the beginning of next year. I prayed quite a bit about this when I was let known their need for a media person once again (I had been hearing about them for years from some friends) and felt that through a few different confirmations that this is the direction that I was suppose to take. I've been met with interesting mixed reviews from people as well as in my own heart. I want SO DESPARATELY to dive into fundraising and preparing every little detail for this transition, being SO EXCITED about being in a new place again (and, to be honest, getting out of Quincy again [not to mention this time the United States!]).

But I feel this interesting restrain (I think) from God as well as actual restrain from circumstances about getting the right information and everything regarding this trip. I feel Him (and can concretely see) desperately asking and pleading me to wait on Him, His timing and His way, I was told even to consider that Elohim might have me prepare for months for this and end up having me do something else.

Even typing this out brings me some frustration and is revealing in me another layer of sin that, though I'll admit that I struggle with it, I haven't fully dealt with and that is control. I'm realizing that I am so forward thinking I can hardly take anything in right now, everything has to be planned out to the smallest detail. And also, I am so sure that I'm right (another problem :/) that I want people to do exactly what I want them to do and then everything will be right for them.

Now, Yah has been dealing with this in me for a while and the paragraph above is a description of the worst of this. I now see how our beautiful God is (sometimes rather forcefully) leading me out of this way of living and into constant dependence on Him not only for what to do and how to live life but also (just as importantly) how to guide others in this life.

For those of you who follow the feasts of the LORD, we are currently counting the Omer (I believe today will be the 40 or 41st day). I ran across a blog that I'm excited to fully explore that is about keeping the instructions of God in His word (Old and New Testaments) that has a FACINATING article about the Omer count that seemed to speak a LOT into my current situation... hopefully its true and not just wishful thinking ;)

Shabbat shalom all!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"I've been to the mountain top.."


Haha, sometimes life just happens and I forget to record it on here. Things have changed so drastically in my life since I last came around here its rather comical. Blogging is such an interesting thing. Is it a private journal that people can see or is it something else? I'll have to blog about that later ;)

Anyway, so I quit grad school. Straight up quit. Haha! I was SO scared and unsure about that a couple of months ago. Ah, can I tell you? YHWH God is SO amazing! We can get so off track sometimes.. He is so GRACIOUS when we are O P E N to admitting that we were wrong AND changing our ways... He is the best thing ever guys!

So yeah,

Quit grad school, started volunteering again (deep exhale) at Quincy CTC Youth Coalition and Solomon's Porch! Both have brought me so much life! Even though they both can be exhausting and both have been going through major changes since the time I started volunteering with both, I can safety say that all the panic attack symptoms I was experiencing before, GONE!!! I am SO grateful to YHWH for that! As I've told many people before, I actually feel like I'm living my life again... haha! SO GOOD!!

And guess what... I actually went to San Francisco!!!!! The place I had felt called to for nearly 2 years... I was able to actually go last week with 2 of my FAVORITE people on the planet! Such a FUN trip! Got to serve some super cool people, now comes the part of digesting all that went on and deciphering the voice of God in it all

(Did I say yet how AWESOME Elohim is???)


All of this to say (and to make sense of the title of this blog)

I feel like the Almighty might have shown me something when climbing up a mountain in San Francisco (was SOO blessed to be able to do that!). A metaphor for Torah observance... and really just for life.

So as I was walking up one of the more strenuous parts of the mountain, I looked off into the distance at the BEAUTIFUL sight of the Bay Area. I looked at my feet as they were walking and took a little bit of time to rest. I've been told many a time that life is like a journey. I thought about the current journey that I was going on, up to the top of a mountain. I continued thinking, when we are born; we are innocent. Though we have the propensity to sin, there are so many things of evil that are completely foreign to us. I believe (at least at this point) that in some ways we are the closest to our Creator at the time of birth, freshly breathed over the breath of life from our Life-Giver. I then thought of Moses and one of my new favorite verses:

So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was
       Exodus 20:21

So if we are close to God when we're born, and if we just look at Exodus, in a way we can look at life as a mountain and the top of that mountain is YHWH. We start out around there and almost immediately book it down to the bottom of the mountain the super bottom. A crevasse, deep, dark and eternally away from even the foothills of the mountain. By the Blood of the Lamb we are put at the mountains base and we can again see where we belong, with our Creator on the mountain top! So we start our climb! The first while is really easy, beautiful and enjoyable, being able to see again what we were made for! Then the road gets rough, maybe there are a few different paths that need choosing to take, some of them easier, some of them more difficult but could put you at a closer place, some of them leading back down to the crevasse out of need for comfort of what is "familiar". You see people heading both up and down the mountain, some people stopped, taking a pause at where they are at, some people setting up camp there...

This analogy could really go all over the place and maybe its not completely accurate, but it sort of help me understand my walk with YHWH a little bit better especially when it comes to keeping His mitzvot. Instead of viewing the Torah/commandments as this looming list of do's and don'ts it helps to view it as a journey that aids in your breathing and living relationship with the Father. Not by ANY means as a way of appeasing or making things right with the Father, but as a way of knowing Him, seeing what HE desires and considers a good path to walk.

I feel things shifting.

I really think my time in this little town I've called home for so long might be running short... Please pray for my family if you read this. My Aunt Glenda's health is waning and I feel there is spiritual and physical attack happening to my family because I also believe that YHWH has something AMAZING planned for ALL of them that might be coming soon...

We're in exciting/scary times. But as long as our faces are heading towards the Father by means of His Son, we can say along with Brother Martin,

"I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I'm happy, tonight.

I'm not worried about anything.

I'm not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!"


Trekking up the hill

Mikey and a view from the top :)


Thursday, January 2, 2014


So grateful to YHVH for His grace, forgiveness, patience and help.

God opened a door to do some design work for this Messianic youth magazine called Harvest Mag. I feel more and more God calling me to walk out His Word, His commands, His desires for me and everyone without shame  with grace, mercy and humility in my heart and on my sleeve.

Thank you God, Baruch Adonai