What is up with the world right now? Could things get any crazier, any weirder, any more hateful and divisive? Are we having fun yet? I’m obliged to tell you that things can, and will, get worse. The world has always been engulfed in sin; there have been many periods of time of violent upheaval. Right now it seems especially
Introduction Timing is always important! It is true in everything from knowing when to buy or to sell shares of stock; or when to negotiate the best price on the lease or purchase of a car; or to lock in the lowest possible interest rate on a mortgage. Good timing can save you multiplied thousands of dollars, or earn them.
While the unity of Jew and Gentile in Yeshua certainly comes as no surprise to you, the members and friends of Shema, there are many – most, in fact – to whom this concept is (pardon the pun) alien. Regrettably, for many centuries there has been a detrimental, man-made, barrier separating us, and far too many religious leaders, whether out
A little wit from wise King Solomon: Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything. …and a warning He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 10:19 and 5:10) A big warning from wise Rabbi
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake; some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2) Despite the disdain for messianic Jews, especially among Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jews, we have something more in common with them, than with the rest of the Jewish community combined: namely, a firm belief in the resurrection of
Every year as the members and friends of Congregation Shema Yisrael gather to celebrate Passover, we recite the following words from the Haggadah: “This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt; let all those who are hungry enter and eat of it. All who are in distress, come and celebrate the Passover.” I’d
Would you agree that we are occupying what is a very brief, remarkable period of history? We live at the tail end of an amazing 244-year old experiment in human freedom and dignity. For us, the concept of being a servant or a slave is entirely academic. Yet, the New Covenant Scriptures were written at a time when indentured servanthood
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what
Matthew 5:13-15 and Luke 6:46-49 (Matthew 7:24-27) Fact: you are salt “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Sodium chloride, a.k.a. salt, is absolutely essential for human life. Salt is
“God works in mysterious ways!” You hear it all the time. Sometimes you hear it from people you’re pretty sure don’t even believe in God. It’s become an expression people use when things go very unexpectedly, but turn out well. It’s like saying, “Boy, I didn’t see that coming,” but since things turned out okay, you chalk it up to
Kanye West has apparently gotten serious about the Lord. I was really happy to hear about it, but apparently, I underestimated how significant this was for a lot of people. For the next several weeks, it seems like it was wall-to-wall Kanye. Kanye releases a Gospel album. Kanye leads worship services. Kanye makes a guest appearance at Joel Osteen’s stadium.
Just this past month, on October 2, the trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger came to a close. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean, a man who lived in the same apartment complex. On September 6, 2018, returning home from work, Guyger walked into Jean’s apartment, for some reason thinking
One day, two little kids, brothers, were playing “Noah’s Ark” in the bathtub, and they made an impromptu ark with a few animals. After the “flood” subsided (meaning bath time was over), and they were in their pajamas, they decided to also act out Noah’s sacrifice when he came off the ark. One of the boys said to his brother,
Here we are – once again approaching the most delightful of holidays, Sukkot – the Feast of Booths, or Shelters, or Tabernacles; the seventh of the annual God-given holidays found in Leviticus chapter 23; completing the cycle of these sacred times. Whatever name you choose to call it, Sukkot is, I think, the most joyous of celebrations, and the most
The story is told of a man who was a lover of old books. One day he ran into an acquaintance who, in the course of their conversation, casually mentioned that he had recently thrown away a Bible that had been stored in the attic of his family’s home for generations. “I couldn't read it,” the friend explained. “Somebody named
We are nearing the end of the yearly cycle of Torah readings, at which time we’ll return to Genesis. This week’s parasha, entitled Vayyelech, covers Deuteronomy 31. Israel has just reaffirmed the Covenant, and been assured, on the one hand, of great blessings if we would be obedient, but warned of dire consequences if we chose disobedience. Our attention now
Years ago at a diner in New Jersey I read a humorous saying on a packet of sugar: “experience is a valuable thing; it helps you recognize a mistake when you make it again.” You know, they say the mind is the first thing to go. I disagree. What is the first thing to go? Well, anyway, I disagree. You
Because human beings tend to think in pictures, we sometimes learn and remember a truth better when it is taught to us through a story, or by the use of images, symbols or metaphors. This is why the prophets of Israel so often employed parables, or else compared individuals, nations or situations to things that people were familiar with, and
This week Rabbi Loren, Rebbetzin Martha, Rabbi Glenn, and Rebbetzin Alexandra discussed Proverbs 17 together.
Rabbi Loren and Rabbi Glenn discuss together Proverbs 14.
Every so often, the evangelical world is rocked by news of some high-profile leader walking away from the Faith. This past month, it was Joshua Harris (no relation), who first achieved notoriety with his best-selling 1997 book I Kissed Dating Goodbye – published when he was just 19 years of age. It was followed by another best seller, Boy Meets
Verses 1-2 (author/recipients – note three-fold formula of greeting) Jude, a servant of Messiah Yeshua and a brother of James, to those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Messiah Yeshua: mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. Almost certainly, this is Yehuda or Judas, Yeshua’s earthly half-brother, since he calls himself
Think for a moment about the more memorable stories from the Bible; don’t they usually involve men and women who rose to the occasion and showed courage in the face of danger? Those are the stories that make it into children’s Bibles, and into a lot of sermons, precisely because they inspire faith. This morning, as we consider seven acts
Introduction: “Safety First” has become almost a mantra in our litigious society. Doesn’t it seem like every TV or radio ad ends with a litany of disclaimers, meant to protect the maker of the product from legal action, should anyone have a bad experience? It seems like every message coming at us urges us to exercise caution. Wear your seatbelt,
We’re doing something a little different today. I’ve expanded the parasha to be our main message this Shabbat. There is a theme woven throughout this section of the Torah, and I felt it deserved our deeper consideration. First, I’ll give an overview of the parasha, then we’ll address that underlying theme, and draw some applications. But I’ll begin with a