Author Archives: akleslieprice

About akleslieprice

I am an author of good books, novels intended to be self-help books that entertain. I am writing the Baker family saga and have published the first four on Amazon.com and Createspace.com That night, with a body throbbing from the jolting ride and a soul sore from a sense of great loss, Evelyn sank to the ground and wondered who was going to cook their supper. They had brought lunch baskets, from the cook, but had left the cook (that most necessary constituent) behind through some lack of understanding as to where one gets one's meals. Perhaps Father didn't know where his meals came from. Evelyn did know from whence came hers. Lawrence did something with the animals and walked slowly back to the wagon. "We didn't bring any servants," he reminded Evelyn gently, "so the women will have to cook the evening meal." Evelyn looked at him as though he had lost his mind. "What women? “She asked. "We were never taught to cook. Someone should have thought of that before we left all the servants behind. I knew we would need them." As it turned out Evelyn's sister Julie's husband let some of the older boys take care of his stock while he went from wagon to wagon giving the incredulous women instructions on how to prepare a meal for their starving families. As for Evelyn, she made a horrid meal of hard black beans, and flat bread that tasted like the dishrag smelled. "It’s not fit for anyone to eat," she said "I did exactly as I was told and it just didn't work. SOMEONE IS GOING TO HAVE TO TELL ME HOW TO DO IT RIGHT AND I SHALL HAVE TO START OVER," she cried through her tears, forgetting all the lessons about not showing her emotions that she had ever learned. Lawrence put his arm around her, and patting her back with a very tired hand, said in a tired voice, "No, we don't have time for you to prepare another, even supposing that the other would be better. We will eat this one. Evelyn jerked away from his embrace and said sadly, "How can we eat this mess? She pointed to it as if it were a nest of vipers, and added, "It’s simply not possible." http://www.amazon.com/Allison-Kohn/e/B008AC5XWK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1 https://www.createspace.com/3956186 https://www.createspace.com/3944018 https://www.createspace.com/3959705 https://www.createspace.com/4049576 I am 74 years old and live in Gypsum, Colorado with my youngest daughter and her husband - her family is grown and on their own. i am an ordained elder with a belated BA in history, acquired after i was 65 years old. I enjoy water aerobics and hiking, and seeing this beautiful country with my daughter and her husband.

The Baker Family Saga

The Baker family lived in the Willamette Valley – Ferndale, Oregon to be precise. Way back in 1842 before Linda was born her grandfather, Jonathan Baker, decided that his whole extended family needed to move to the west coast. He bought what he thought was a house big enough to accommodate them all (he was wrong, it turned out to be a log shack) and began the work of convincing his children and their spouses that his plan to plant a town with them in Oregon Territory was a good idea. That was before Oregon was even a proper Territory; it belonged to the country that could populate it first.

Jonathan and Margaret Baker had five children and ten grandchildren when they left for the disputed part of the Louisiana Purchase. The family didn’t want for money or land but Jonathan had always been an adventurer and being among the first families to settle in the west coast would be his ultimate adventure.

Not all of his fellow travelers were as fortunate as the Baker family and didn’t possess the biggest and best wagons for traveling. Most of the families either had nothing because of the Crash, or because they just had never had anything go right for them. The Thomas family was an example of the latter families. But Mrs. Thomas had a scheme that was surely going to pay big dividends – this time. She wanted Jonathan to join her but he wasn’t interested. She took his attitude as a personal insult and had a life-long grudge against “that snooty Baker family.”  She hired a man only known as “the red haired man” in the first book – Sam – and used one of her sons, the poor Chester who is mentioned in the first chapter of the fourth book, to get even with them. So far the only plan that had succeeded was the slow murder of Jonathan. That wasn’t much of a victory since the Baker family didn’t even realize that their beloved patriarch hadn’t just died of old age. But he kept trying until, in Angels, Eagles and Fire the third book in the saga, his obsession drove him into a mindless deviant who did nothing the rest of his life but suck his thumb.

It was in the second book, Day by Day that Mr. Ed, as he told the girls they could call him, came into the story. Eduardo was the law in the Spanish town in Californio where Sam robbed and killed a business-man. He tracked Sam to Ferndale and was there when Chester and Sam kidnapped one of the Baker girls. Linda’s sister Alice Mae – who was a child still in grade school – followed. She intended to save her cousin somehow. Chester tried to shoot her but the lawman got there in time to save her life.

In the fourth book, the family had grown and expanded. The town that Jonathan established had attracted other families, so Ferndale was now a good sized town for that day and time. The boys in the family were all encouraged to go back east and finish their education so they got a taste of cultured society, but the girls were not so fortunate.

The Baker family decided to remedy the situation by exposing three of the oldest girls, Linda’s older sister Alice Mae, and her cousins Donna, and Rose to the culture that they heard was in California.

No one would have believed, in their wildest dreams that Alice, Donna, and Rose would end up in a desert, or as potential wives of a kind Mormon. Or doing washing from a boiling pot, over a fire; and bouncing a fretting baby on a hip; or clothed with itchy wool instead of the satin and silk the girls were used to.

But that was all worked out, and that generation married – some with little ones of their own. The Willamette Valley was growing with the rest of the country.

Alice and Ray were married, Jacob and Donna were happy with their little girl, Darlene and Chad Evert, Daniel and Rose, Gene and Pamela, and Pearl and Eli Thomas all had young families.

Banner of Love started a few months before the start of the American Civil War, and ended after the war came to an end.

Linda and three strapping male cousins had gone to visit their married cousin, Mary, in South Carolina. Linda and her southern cousin and the war were a bad mix – sort of like Clorox and acid, and when the mixture blends, it boils over.

In this book it was 1865; the war was over and most of the family had returned home. Cousin Robert wouldn’t be going home because he was buried in a southern battle field. His brother Wayne was captured by Union soldiers and left in the woods when the Confederates rallied and the Union army ran for their lives, leaving their prisoners behind. Linda didn’t know where he was.

Linda had met Nat Thomas during the war. He was a Union Major who was a close family friend from Ferndale, Oregon. He fought opposite Phillip, who fought on the side of the South in the late war. He saved Phillip’s life and, in the process, caught a ball in his knee cap and was on crutches. Phillip was a Confederate Private who Linda met while she was working in one of the South’s hospitals.

When the war was over Linda, Phillip, and Major Thomas left together for the Willamette Valley on a stage coach. That ended when Nat’s injured knee got jammed up against the door and began to swell and throb with pain. When the three of them started for the west coast in a stage coach, the other passengers pressed against Nat’s leg and his knee was rammed against the door of the conveyance. His leg swelled up and forced them to abandon the stage. That left them with no choice but to buy a wagon and ox to finish their trip.

The man who told them where to get the wagon also reminded them that Linda and Phillip couldn’t go home in a private transport without an older woman for a chaperone unless they were married. When they explained that they were going to her home in the Willamette Valley to get her father’s permission to get married the man just shook his head and led them to his pastor.

From Slaves to Soldiers

Chapter 19

Yahweh told Moses and Aaron to get a ritually clean cow that had never been in harnessed and give it to Eleazar the priest to take outside the camp to butcher while he watched. Rashi says it was to be a perfectly red cow[1] and David Zucker says[2] parah adumah may have meant “ruddy” and because Hebrew doesn’t have a word for “brown” that is probably what is meant in this context.

The Jerusalem Post says the rarity of finding a cow that meets the stringent stipulations of Jewish law; and the level of required supervision over such beasts makes it challenging to fulfill the law’s regulations and produce a true red heifer[3]. “Some Fundamentalist Christians believe that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ cannot occur until the Third Temple is constructed in Jerusalem, which [would require] the appearance of a red heifer born in Israel. Clyde Lott, a cattle breeder in O’Neill, Nebraska, United States, is attempting to systematically breed red heifers and export them to Israel to establish a breeding line of red heifers in Israel in the hope that this will bring about the construction of the Third Temple and ultimately the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”[4] Hebrew4Christians points out that these things were shadows of things to come and the “red heifer” is a picture of Yeshua/Jesus[5] and the temple[6] is a picture of the Church – including both Jew and Gentile. Yeshua doesn’t need either a cow that meets the requirements of the law, or a physical temple to be built. Only Yahweh knows the day and the hour when the Son of man will return,[7]or the conditions under which he will return. What we do know is that Yahweh has told us what is good and what he requires of us: to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with him. He told us how to do what he requires when he gave us the ten commandments; and he made it possible when he “sent his Son” – came to us in the form of human flesh to defeat sin and death by his own death and resurrection. He is the resurrection and the life, blessed is his holy name.

Eleazar was to take some of the blood from the butchered cow and sprinkle it seven times in the direction of the Tent of Meeting. Remember that seven is a number signifying completion or perfection. The cow was butchered outside the camp[8]. It had to be perfect. The cow was a picture of the one who would restore purity to the world[9]. The symbol of blood is the life of the flesh, so when Eleazar sprinkled the blood toward the Tent of Meeting – the symbol of Yahweh’s presence – it pictured perfect life toward Yahweh – acknowledging that Yahweh is perfect life.

Yahweh told Moses and Aaron that the whole cow – hide, meat, blood, and dung – was to be burned under the supervision of Eleazar.

Cedar symbolizes power, majesty, royalty, and beauty. Hyssop was for healing, and scarlet represented suffering and sacrifice. Yahweh instructed the priest to take a stick of cedar and some hyssop wrapped in a piece of scarlet material, and throw them on the burning cow. These were pictures of the attributes of the one the cow represented – Yeshua ha Mashiach/ Jesus Christ, the one who overcame sin and death when he rose from the dead[10]. Rashi said that the cedar is the highest of all trees, and the hyssop is the lowest of them all. This symbolizes that the one of high standing who acts haughtily and sins should lower himself like a hyssop and a worm [for the תּוֹלַעַת means ‘worm’ as well as ‘crimson.

The people of Israel would have been familiar with ancient Egypt’s approach to cleanliness. The rituals of washing, bathing, and applying cosmetics were very important to them. They believed that the cleaner and better-oiled the person was, the closer they were to their gods. They used a scented paste consisting of ash and clay for soap; therefore, the chosen people would have understood that the ash of the pure young cow was for cleansing.

The priest and the Levite who burned the cow were both unclean. They had to take off their clothes and bathe well with water. When they were washed they could return to camp but were ritually unclean until evening. Remember that death is the result of sin and corruption and; therefore, represents the rottenest evil. Yahweh made special mention of the priest’s condition and the instructions for him because he represented the people to Yahweh and Yahweh to the people.

A ritually clean Levite was to remove the ashes to a ritually clean place outside the camp. The congregation was to keep them for the Water of Cleansing and the absolution Offering.

The man who gathered the ashes was to scrub his clothes because he, too, was ritually unclean until evening.

Yahweh reminded them that the rule about touching a dead body was perpetual and inclusive. The health risks of dead bodies, according to Wikipedia, are dangers related to the improper preparation and disposal of cadavers. When the decomposition and putrefaction of cadavers goes unchecked, it raises a series of health, logistical, and psychological issues. Disease from dead bodies is due to living in harsh conditions with poor sanitation – or when death is caused by contagious diseases. The substances cadaverine and putrescine – toxic in large doses – are produced during the decomposition of animal (including human) bodies, and both give off a foul odor.[11] The ancient Israelites wouldn’t have known any of this, but they would have had some of the same ideas that are held by the Spiritual Science Research foundation[12]. The ceremony that Yahweh commanded his people to go through would elevate these fears; but Yahweh was teaching his people spiritual truths. He wanted them – and he wants us – to realize that death isn’t the result of perfection. Corruption – sin – causes death and Yahweh is the author of life[13]. Death is as sin made visible.[14] Death is the result of sin. Therefore, death is the symbol of sin.

Yahweh repeated his instructions for a person to purify himself or herself after contact with death, and added that the ritually unclean must purify himself or herself on the third day with the Water of Cleansing[15] so he or she could be clean on the seventh day. The water purification ceremony was a picture of purifying the heart by the Word of Yahweh[16]. The number three pictures completeness, but to a lesser degree than the number seven, and points to something that is solid and substantial. Also in Jewish tradition graves were watched for three days. The number three is used in the Torah to mediate between two [2] opposing or contradictory values. The third value mediates, reconciles, and connects the two. Three is the number of truth.[17]

A person who was ritually unclean needed purification, and could not ignore their condition, but was still part of the nation – unless they refused to correct their unclean condition. Today if we are “bathed” by Jesus, we only need to – symbolically – have our feet washed, as they become unclean in the normal practice of life. Yet, if we don’t let Yeshua/Jesus “wash” us, we have no part with him. We must receive a once-for-all cleansing Yeshua/Jesus brings to us when we are born again; but we must also come to him continually to be cleansed of our “day-to-day” mistakes. Under the New Covenant, the Christian also has a special call to purity, because we can also defile the dwelling place of God [18] the ancient Israelite who refused to perform the ceremony of the Water of Cleansing couldn’t be one of Yahweh’s chosen people but was cut off from his people.

Everyone who went into the tent where someone died was ritually unclean for seven days. Every receptacle, without a cover fastened over it, in the tent where someone died was unclean. Anyone in the open field who touched one who died in any way, even a bone of a human, or a grave, was to be considered unclean for seven days. An open container could potentially harbor disease causing bacteria. The lesson Yahweh was teaching his people is that death is corruption at its worst and they needed to avoid it at any cost.[19] Death is our enemy. Yahweh is the author and sustainer of life.

Yahweh instructed that the ashes be put in a bowl and fresh water added, then a ritually clean Levite was to dip a sprig of hyssop into the water and sprinkle the affected tent and its contents along with the people who were in the tent. The ritually unclean person was to be sprinkled on the third and seventh day. After that he or she would considered clean and had to scrub his or her clothes and take a bath to be clean by the evening of the seventh day.

For a ritually unclean person to refuse to go through the procedures set by Yahweh, he or she was desecrating the sanctuary of Yahweh and was to be excommunicated from the community. There were to be no exceptions. It was a matter of believing Yahweh. Uncleanness cannot correct itself. The unclean person must do what Yahweh says must be done in order to be clean. Human plans or schemes for spiritual cleansing are ineffectual. Obedience is the result and sign of belief and belief is an act of the will. The ancient Israelite had to make the decision to believe Yahweh whether he understood or why or didn’t understand. The same is true today. We must make a decision to believe Yahweh whether or not we understand. The natural mind cannot understand spiritual things but when we make the decision to believe Yahweh his Spirit gives our spirits understanding and confidence.[20]

Ritually uncleanness included the one who sprinkled the water of cleansing so he had to scrub his clothes along with anyone else who touched the Water of Cleansing or the ritually unclean person. Uncleanness was easily transmitted, but cleanness had to be deliberately sought.

 

Summary of chapter 19

The Bible Commentary of the United Church of God says that this is one of the most mysterious sacrifices in the Bible. We may not understand all of the symbolism in this most interesting offering, but we do know that we are cleansed by the blood of the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ[21]. The book of Hebrews confirms that this is part of the symbolism here. The heifer was also a representation of Israel in the Scriptures. Perhaps, there is some sense of this offering being fulfilled in the people putting to death their old natures. Indeed, that would seem to tie in with having our consciences purged from dead works. Christ stood in Israel’s place in a number of respects. Besides the spiritual significance, there was a medical benefit to what God was prescribing here as well, just as there was with the laws for dealing with leprosy. Jeffrey[22] says, “The water of purification described in Numbers 19 actually had the ability to destroy germs and infection. The resulting water of purification solution contained ashes from the Red Heifer sacrifice combined with cedar, hyssop and scarlet thread. This water of purification contained ‘cedar’ oil that came from a kind of juniper tree that grew in both Israel and the Sinai. This cedar oil would irritate the skin, encouraging the person to vigorously rub the solution into their hands. Most importantly, the hyssop tree—associated with mint, possibly marjoram—would produce hyssop oil. This hyssop oil is actually a very effective antiseptic and antibacterial agent. Hyssop oil contains 50 percent carvacrol which is an antifungal and antibacterial agent still used in medicine, according to the book None of These Diseases. When we note that the waters of purification from the Red Heifer Sacrifice were to be used to cleanse someone who had become defiled and unclean due to touching a dead body, we begin to understand that this law was an incredibly effective medical law as well as a spiritual law” (p. 153).
Of course, it is not clear how much of the cedar and hyssop oil would remain after burning in the fire. There was probably some. Perhaps God was interested more in the symbolism of cleansing agents here than their actual effectiveness. Burning is itself symbolic of purification.[23]

 

Prayer: Lord, I know that death is the absence of life and you are life. The grave – or Hell- is the eternal home of death. Every perfect gift is from above and comes down from you, the Father of Light. Thank you for going to the extreme lengths that you did to show your creation what is good and right and what you require of us. Thank you for your commandments. They spell out graphically how to be just, how to love mercy, and how to walk humbly with you. Thank you for the pictures in your legal ceremonies that point to ultimate solution of what to do about sin and death – your Son.

 

 

Things to think about

  1. Why do you think Yahweh instructed Moses and Aaron to get a cow without blemish? Why would he specify the color? Why do you think it had to be a young cow that had never been harnessed?
  2. Do you think Israel needs to produce a perfectly red cow before the Mashiach can come? Do you think the temple has to be rebuilt before Yeshua/Jesus returns? What do you think about what Hebrew4Christians’ says about the cow being a picture of Yeshua ha Mashiach and the temple being a picture of the Church?
  3. What does the second coming of Christ – Yeshua ha Mashiach – have to do with the way we live today? Is it more important for us to try to figure out when he will return, or for us to live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God, Yahweh until he returns?
  4. Why do you think Yahweh instructed for the whole cow to be burned completely? What do you think the consuming fire symbolized?
  5. What did your meditations on the symbols of cedar, hyssop, and scarlet tell you?
  6. Do you think it is wrong for you and me to touch a dead body?
  7. What did our Savior, Yeshua ha Mashiach’s death, burial, and resurrection do about death?

 

 

[1] http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9947/jewish/Chapter-19.htm#showrashi=true

[2] Page 149

[3] http://www.jpost.com/Not-Just-News/Holy-Cow-Biblical-Red-Heifer-in-production-409240

[4]  “Readings | Apocalypse! FRONTLINE”. Pbs.org. Retrieved 2015-06-03. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_heifer

[5] Hebrews 9:11-29 CJB (Complete Jewish Bible)

[6] I Corinthians 3”16

[7] Mark 13:32; Matthew 24:36; Revelation 16:15

[8] Hebrews 13:11, 12

[9] Rabbi Chaim Richman, the world’s foremost expert on red heifers and director of The Temple Institute https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/17303/holy-cow-red-heifer-born-us/

[10] Romans 6:

[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_risks_from_dead_bodies

[12]http://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/spiritualresearch/difficulties/ancestors/deadbody_effects

[13] Romans 6:23

[14] Romans 5:12; 7:24

[15] That has the ashes of the cow in it, combined with the symbols of Yeshua – scarlet, cedar, and hyssop and his work of salvation – For soap Egyptians used a paste containing ash or clay http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/cosmetics.htm

[16] James 4:8

[17] http://www.betemunah.org/three.html

[18] John 15:5-11; I Corinthians 6:19-20; https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/guz/numbers-19.html

[19] Proverbs 8:36; John 5:24; I Corinthians 15:26

[20] I Corinthians 2:14-16

[21] 1 John 1:7; Hebrews 9:13, 14

[22] https://www.amazon.com/Signature-God-Revised-Conclusive-Teaching-ebook/dp/B0036S4BPS/ref=la_B000APP9Z6_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486828217&sr=1-1

[23]http://bible.ucg.org/bible-commentary/Numbers/Red-heifer-for-purification/

Chapter 1 of The Taxpayer’s Account – a book about the gospel of Mathew

Matthew’s record began with the family tree of Jesus[1] as the legal heir to the royal throne of the house of David. The record of his legal ancestors started with Abraham and included the information that Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Uriah’s wife Bathsheba were all necessary members of his linage. Matthew showed Jesus as the legal heir to the throne by tracing his ancestry down through the royal line of the kings of Israel.

William Struse says, “The list is missing several of Yeshua’s ancestors, it’s got a glaring inaccuracy in its math, and frankly, it is written more like a riddle or a code than a straightforward testimony to lineage. Let’s take a look at this enigma, but while we are at it, keep in mind the peculiar way YHWH has of showing His hand in history—of doing the unexpected. With just a little faith—and a little investigation—I think you will see His glory expressed here as well[2].”

Matthew arranged the list into three groups – two of fourteen each and one of thirteen, calling attention to the number 14 and causing us to consider Yeshua’s lineage in terms of a larger chronological context. All the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon thru Jesus are fourteen generations. “You see, Yeshua—the 13th generation of Matthew 1—died and then rose again from the grave, and in so doing He became the 14th generation as well[3].” As the fourteenth generation he will rule forever as King of kings. Jesus was the literal son of David through Mary, who was a descendant of one of David’s sons. Nathan. He was the legal son and heir of David through King Solomon. Jesus’ foster father Joseph could lawfully transfer his right to the throne to his legal son, Yeshua Ha Mashiach. It was important to identify Jesus as the Son of David, because it was a popular label for the Messiah.

Jews had a comparatively broad and inclusive interpretation of the family, and a woman was considered the partner of her husband[4]. Ancient Jewish engagements were legal contracts and part of the civil law as binding as marriage. Joseph and Mary’s arrangement was a legal commitment. Mary was Joseph’s wife and when he discovered that she was pregnant he could have legally divorced her. If she had been caught in the act of adultery with two or more witnesses she would have been worthy of death. Marriages were arranged and Mary and Joseph wouldn’t have spent much time, if any, in each other’s company. Married couples got acquainted after the marriage was consummated[5].

When an angel told him in a dream to go ahead with the marriage because the Holy Spirit of Yahweh had made Mary pregnant, he called him the “son of David” indicating that his son would also be the “son of David” – the Mashiach. He told him to name the boy that Mary would bring into the world Jesus, which means Yahweh saves, because he would save his people from their sins[6]. Immanuel is Hebrew for “God is with us”. Matthew made sure that there was no doubt in the minds and hearts of his readers that Yeshua Ha Mashiach[7] was Yahweh come down to live among us in human flesh[8]. The great I AM, reality behind all reality came down and dwelt among us.

Mary was a virgin until after Jesus was born.


[1] Yeshua Ha Mashiach

[2] www.the13thenumeration.com The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bible’s Messianic Symbolism, page 11

[3] IBID

[4] https://www.wdl.org/en/item/17543/ Women held jobs outside the family and could reach higher positions in the society, such as a judge or official

[5] http://www.bible-history.com/biblestudy/marriage.html

[6] Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

[7] Jesus Christ

[8] Romans 8:3, 4, John 1:1

will and shall Allison Kohn author

“You shall not bear false witness,” said the Father.

“You shall be witnesses for me,” said the Son.

Shall is an imperative. He didn’t say, “Will you?”

We have free will. We must decide if we will follow instructions, advice, or laws.

The law says “you shall”, and we make a choice: “Will I obey this law? If I don’t, what shall the consequences be? If I do obey this law, the consequences should be good.”

FYI: I am an old woman and when I was a young woman I had a dictionary where the differences between the words shall and will were more distinct than they are today. Shall was imperative and will was conditional.

When the Son said “You shall,” I believe he neither said, “you must,” nor did he ask if we had the will to obey.

I think of “You shall be witnesses…” as a law of nature. The son was telling us how it would be. In the same way that we have no choice in our birth, we have no choice in our height, and we have no choice in the direction of the wind or rain; we have no choice in this. When we are born into the family of God, we automatically become a witness of the character of our Creator. Whether we are true witnesses to the character of our Maker depends, or a false witness is where our will comes in.

We, in Adam, were originally created to be his mirror image as he is recorded as saying in Genesis 1:26-28. We were created to reflect his glory and do his will on earth, but as I see it, because he has free will and we were his image, we have free will. We, in Adam, made the choice to disobey and marred that perfect image. We no longer had direct access to our Maker – death is separation and the result of sin is death. Now when we are born into this world, we separated from our Architect by the weakness that dwells in our bodies through this natural estrangement.

Through the Son, who is the exact representation of the Father, we are destined to again reflect his glory as we spend time with our Savior. We can spend a lot of time memorizing pat phrases that we believe will identify us as good Christians and still be false witnesses. Some people get what they believe is a fire insurance from hell by repeating a prayer and then going on with their lives as though they had never met the Savior. They are false witnesses. Some well-intended people spend a lot of time in church doing good works and don’t have time to spend in private fellowship with their Savior.  They are false witnesses because God’s character can’t rub off on them since they hardly ever come in contact with him.

I want to be a true witness so I will spend time with the Son through the pages of his Word and world.  He inhabits the praises of his people so I will tell of all his wondrous works – both in word and deed. I will be his hands and feet and voice, ready to be uses when he is ready to use me. I will wait upon the Lord and my strength shall be renewed – and I shall mount up with wings as an eagle and soar on the power of his love.

Day forty of Running The Race As a Winner

Lloyd Olgive said in his book You are Loved and Forgiven that the Christian is the dwelling place of Christ. ” … the glorious riverbed of the flowing streams of the living Lord. The experience of the indwelling Christ has transformed both my personal life and my ministry. When I was gripped by this liberating experience it set me free from compulsive efforts to earn my status with God by being good enough. It replenished the parched places of my soul that kept my Christian life a constant dry spell. The indwelling ?Christ gave me all that I had previously worked to achieve, studied to understand, and struggled to accomplish,”

As a winner in the race you have that rest that God promised … the peace that passes all understanding You have been liberated from the struggles and labor of trying to get all the good things that God has promised to those who believe. You know that they are yours and you take them for yourself and use them daily.

As a winner you let the word that can discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart be your guide in all that you do so that you can think with the mind of Christ and react with his emotions. You will follow Jesus as a sheep follows his shepherd until you know his every move – his very thoughts.

Discernment has a price. You must eliminate distractions, practice daily, and train constantly. You will spend your time with your greatest love, and hunger and thirst after righteousness. Forgetting those things which are behind, you press on toward the high calling of God which is in Christ Jesus. The difference is worth the distance run. You will glue your eyes to the goal – Jesus – and run with endurance.

Prayer: Teach me your way, O Lord; I will walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise you, O my god, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your mercy toward me, and you have delivered my soul from the depths of hell.

Love Like A Rock

In this sixth book of the Baker Family Saga it was 1865; the war was over and most of the family had returned home. Cousin Robert wouldn’t be going home because he was buried in a southern battle field. His brother Wayne was captured by Union soldiers and left in the woods when the Confederates rallied and the Union army ran for their lives, leaving their prisoners behind. Linda didn’t know where he was.

Linda had met Nat Thomas during the war. He was a Union Major who was a close family friend from Ferndale, Oregon. He fought opposite Phillip, who fought on the side of the South in the late war. He saved Phillip’s life and, in the process, caught a ball in his knee cap and was on crutches. Phillip was a Confederate Private who Linda met while she was working in one of the South’s hospitals.

When the war was over Linda, Phillip, and Major Thomas left together for the Willamette Valley on a stage coach. That ended when Nat’s injured knee got jammed up against the door and began to swell and throb with pain. When the three of them started for the west coast in a stage coach, the other passengers pressed against Nat’s leg and his knee was rammed against the door of the conveyance. His leg swelled up and forced them to abandon the stage. That left them with no choice but to buy a wagon and ox to finish their trip.

The man who told them where to get the wagon also reminded them that Linda and Phillip couldn’t go home in a private transport without an older woman for a chaperone unless they were married. When they explained that they were going to her home in the Willamette Valley to get her father’s permission to get married the man just shook his head and led them to his pastor.

Running The Race As A Winner – Day Eighteen

I Value my adoption – loving, honoring, and obeying my father;
And Yeshua my Savior, my Lord, and my Brother;
My Kinsman redeemer who cares for me.
I will demonstrate love to this Royal Family, to which by his grace I belong.
Father, humble me and make me your own true child.

We have been adopted by the Father and are of the seed of Abraham. We are children of the promise by faith. We are positionally a royal family member; therefore, we walk worthy of our calling with all discernment and gentleness; and with tolerance accepting one another in love.

Knowing Yeshua compels love; it is the result of knowing the One whose name is Love.

We love God with every emotion available to us, with every breath we take, with every thought; and we love him as mighty, as strong, and as intently as we are able to.

In loving Yeshua we love ourselves because he loves us; and we love others because he loves them – because we understand how precious and dear every individual is to our Father. This is the complement of love, that our self-interest grows to include God and others with an awareness of “being” in relation to the family of God. The total of our personality finds expression. We are integrated with the Love of God and that love finds its fulfillment in its expression to others.

As winners in the race we have a mindset toward comforting love, affection, and mercy in the Spirit; and we are aware of our place in the body along with the equal importance of every other member of the body. We regulate our actions for the good of the whole with the spirit of co-operation.

Prayer: Lord, you are Love. You are the love of my life. I commit my will to you and your love flows through me like rivers of living water. I have not always known how to love or why I should love. The world has a counterfeit love that I have often confused with real love. I will practice the love which my position in you makes me capable of and I will rely on your love to take over where my practice is faulty. Thank you, Love. And blessed be the name of the Lord God from this time forth and forevermore.

Running The Race As A Winner – Day Seventeen

Trusting in my father for the consequences
I will follow his leading
Not counting the cost
Allowing him to lead in all that I do
I live by faith.

In every circumstance of our lives, bad or good, we are more than conquerors through Yeshua through his love for us. We don’t know what the effects or costs of following Mashiach will be but we can trust him and know that, although sometimes it seems like this may have been a bad idea, it’s a good idea because he is in control; and is working everything together in our lives so we will be more like him. The prize at the end is worth it all and we have his power in the fallouts of running faithfully under his yoke.

We and our Father are committed to each other. We have chosen to join forces. Sometimes the fog rolls in and the darkness hides his face. We can’t see what he’s trying to do. We can’t hear his voice. The words in Scripture are just words. We try but the fog is obliterating everything. It seems he must have left us alone and forgotten us – but he couldn’t have left us because he said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  We don’t see, hear, or feel him but we know he is with us because he said he is, so we keep our eyes on the lookout for him, our ears open to hear him. The fog will lift and the Light will shine through the darkness. He is the light at the end of every tunnel. When he was in the world, he was the light of the world. Now his followers are the light of the world through the power of Rauch Ha Kodesh. As we wait for the fog to lift and the light to shine on the face of our Savior in the countenance of each other, we cling to the truth and keep running.

Prayer: Lord I believe. Help thou my unbelief.

Running The Race As A Winner – Day Sixteen

My constant concern must be
To deliberately perform well.
I must conduct myself in such a way
As to glorify my father.

Faith is a product of grace; the material and evidence of our unseen hopes created from promises God made to us. Mashiach/Christ is the one who our faith comes from and he is the only one who can strengthen and work it to perfection. We are his well-done, completed production; therefore, we function correctly.

In the beginning God created us faultless. However; through our disobedience since the beginning we are dead (separated from God) in our transgressions and failings. But God, rich in mercy, great in love; by grace made us alive in Christ, which united us again with our Creator.

We are his workmanship: the product of his effort. Created unto good works, we are not repaired with old parts, but given new parts that are working right and made into a good man in good working condition. God takes the dim eyes and gives them clear sight, the ears that are heavy and gives them hearing; the slow tongue, he gives words to utter.

When the gears get dirty, we wash them in the water of the Word and oil them with Rauch Ha Kodesh/the Holy Spirit. When they wind down, we plug them into the power source – The Light of the world.

Prayer: O Lord, from you comes every good and perfect gift. In you there is no shadow of turning. You are consistent in all your ways. You have brought me forth by the word of truth that I might be among the kind of first-fruits of your creatures. For this reason, Lord, you will direct me into and through the perfect law of liberty, so I am working well to demonstrate your attributes to the world.

Revelation Lesson Twenty-five

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The Revelation Given to John by Jesus Through the Angel

Lesson Twenty-five

Revelation 13:11-18

[i]Another Beast – a man without a soul, with the nature of a beast – comes from the foul dirt of the earth. His very nature is that of the gutters, only fit for the trash heap. I believe the two horns like a lamb portray a meek and gentle appearance, and the speech that resembles a dragon is a symbol of fearful, threatening speech. He has no thoughts of his own, however. He simply preforms as he is controlled by the first Beast.

His magical signs are sleight of hand tricks, even the fire from heaven, but he dazzles a wide audience of people who have blinded their eyes to the truth by deciding to believe lies that are popular to the world.

He is even able to set up an image of the Beast

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