Ponderings: Religion

If you are afraid, it might be that you are involved in a religion.
If you are involved in a religion, you may be afraid of being rejected by those within that religious community.
But if you are rejected by the religious community you belong to, aren’t you seeing the words of Yeshua come to pass?
He said we who believe in Him–the Word made flesh–would be rejected by men for His name’s sake.
We are not called to be a part of any religion, but G-d often uses religion to cause us to see there is a higher power.
We are called to follow Truth, and Truth can be found in any religion.
Truth is not equal to one’s opinions, but opinions can be based on the Truth.
When we use the Truth to further our own opinions, we get religion,
When we base our opinions on Truth, we attain spirituality and relationship with our Creator.
Truth can be found in any religion, yet Truth is not confined to any one religion.
Truth is not confined to any particular religion, but there are some religions that have more Truth than others.
Ya’akov, the brother of Yeshua, says that true religion is caring for the orphans and widows.
How many people in this world help the poor and widows outside of the confines of religion?
Here we see that taking care of “the least of these” is universal; it spans all religions.
Care for these precious souls is love for our brothers and sisters.
Love for our brothers and sisters is what we were sent into this world of existence to learn.
If we can learn to love, truly love, without condition and without boundaries,
Then we will attain an affinity of form with our Creator,
Then we shall be like our elder Brother, who gave Himself for the salvation of the entire world,
Without condition and without boundaries.
He came to show us the way;
It is through death to self and self-preservation,
Through the ability to stand on our own, apart from the crowds of religion, that has its own agenda,
That we can hear the Voice calling us to love one another, even as we have been loved.
If we can stop being afraid, maybe we will finally be able to love–for real.

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Ponderings: Menachem Av

On a regular basis, I get phone calls and emails and private messages on Facebook. It doesn’t bother me; it is a blessing; it lets me be who G-d has made me to be–an encourager and exhorter. I love to listen and to speak words of life and blessing to others. Sometimes, however, it does take its toll, and I am learning that all the difficulties in this world are not for me to carry, but to offer up into Abba’s care time after time–to never stop surrendering to His will.

These past few weeks during the Dire Straits have been particularly trying for me and for many of my friends and acquaintances. I have felt raw, and completely exposed to the elements. I know my Covering is still there, but He has felt a little distant.

Last night, I spoke to a friend on the phone and I found myself speaking these words: G-d doesn’t show His character to those He doesn’t love.

Who does G-d love? He loves all. So then, how does He get those whom He loves to see His character? Through trials, through illness, through hunger and thirst, through sleepless nights–by whatever means necessary. For how can we recognize the true nature of our Father unless we know we are lacking, unless we see that there is a Great Provider, the source of all life and peace? He makes us to feel the lack of Him, in order that we will, like a little child who’s gone too far from her mother, notice the distance and run back to her mother’s arms. He makes us feel alone so that we know that we are never alone; He is steadfast; He is always there, longing, waiting for us to run back to Him.

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Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

He speaks to my heart; is He saying something like these words to you as well? “Will you come to Me; will you come to Me even now? When your world is crashing down around you? When all hope seems lost? Come. Cast all your cares, your worries and fears on Me.”

O, how He longs for you and me, how His arms ache to comfort us.
Run back, dear ones of the Father, run and He will run to meet you, and take you up into His bosom and hold you tenderly. Let Him love you; let Him show you who He really is, for He is the Father of all comfort. Truly, He is Comfort.

To learn more about the month of Av, I highly recommend K. Gallagher’s post here: Month of Av: Tisha B’Av and Tu B’Av
I also recommend The Power of Rachel’s Tears from Aleph Beta Academy, which speaks specifically about the purpose for fasting on 9 Av.