Love Your Neighbor Means Helping Others

Have you ever heard of Nicholas Winton?  What about the Kindertransport?  One man got involved when he didn’t have to and saved hundreds of lives in WWII.  See the link HERE for a video and blog post on this.

With our world spiraling out of control, or so it seems, what are each of us doing to help others?  Are we especially helping our faith family?  What can you do today that will assist your brother or sister in need?

Homestead Word of the Week: Market Garden

MARKET GARDEN:  Small acreage growers that sell directly to customers, whether individuals, restaurants or retailers, are called market gardeners.  Their produce is usually diverse and may include fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, etc.  While market gardens can be under an acre in size, they have good income potential when high-value crops are raised.  These are cash crops, but smaller in size than most commercial growers.

Backroad Tales: Family Wheat Farm

There’s never a lack of uplifting, inspiring stories from Texas Country Reporter.  What a great example of working together!  This episode is from 2010.

Texas Country Reporter is a long-running television program exploring the interesting stories, people and places of Texas.  Bob Phillips has been roaming the backroads and sharing stories since 1972!  He and his program have become legendary across the state.

Leadership Model

Nehemiah was intelligent, full of self control, dynamic, fearless in the face of the enemy, and an obedient and humble servant to the Lord. For me, this is the model that a believing leader in the Kingdom of God ought to emulate. And such leadership is vitally needed in the 21st century when Christianity and the Jewish people are under attack (within and without) not seen since perhaps the days of Nero. Such leadership, especially in the Church, is at the moment in short supply, and the people are asleep. But even good leaders can do nothing if the people are too fearful or indifferent to arm themselves and fight. We must rid ourselves of our passivity, fear, and willful ignorance of God’s Word and instead acknowledge that while we are so greatly privileged to live in a time that the Prophets of old would have given anything to experience, a great responsibility goes with it. And that responsibility is to stand up and be counted, to comfort and defend God’s chosen people Israel, to get our hands dirty to do God’s work on this earth, and to reform that which has gone terribly astray among God’s people; that is, within Christianity and Judaism (no matter how unpopular that might be).

…Let us agree to be as Nehemiah and the restorers of Jerusalem, and like the coming Tribulation Saints of the End of Days who put aside self interest to go against the Anti-Christ when the last remaining Believers alive finally understand that we have always been in a battle to the death since the day God separated Abraham and his future descendants from all others on this planet. It’s only that most of our brethren and our leadership has decided to sit it out and hope for the best.

~ Tom Bradford, Torah Class

Click here for the link to Torah Class Lesson 6 of the Book of Nehemiah.

No Going Back

While encouraging others is a key reason this blog exists, facing reality is no less important.  Do you realize that the stuff-hitting-the-fan moment so many have talked about for years has happened?  It is in our past.  We’ve seen it, experienced it.  The stuff has already hit the fan!  Read that again.

Reality isn’t always pleasant, but we can’t be wise if we are living in la la land, a fairy tale.  Wisdom requires reality.  So brethren, please realize that there is NO going back to “normal.” There is NO going back to what life was like before the virus and the lock downs.  That existence is finished.  What lies ahead is a much different life and world.  That is reality.

Take time to mourn, if needed.  Grieve and get it out, then put it behind you.  But we cannot, and should not, despair.  We must keep focused on the Author and Finisher of our faith, and not on the world or our circumstances.  He is our hope.  We must endure to the end, as the Scriptures say, which implies it will not be easy.  Hold fast to Him.  Stay in His word.  Do not let your desire for “normal” fracture your faith.  He isn’t surprised by what is happening.  We may be, but He is not.  Man’s evil inclination and disregard for YHWH’s instructions is having its inevitable consequence.  It will get worse – much worse – before Messiah returns.  But He WILL return and reign!

Homestead Word of the Week: Dry Farming

DRY FARMING:  Farming done without irrigation and in an area with limited rainfall is known as dry farming or dryland farming.  Moisture-conserving techniques and drought-resistant plants are two keys to success in this type of endeavor.  Native Americans are known for utilizing dry farming, as do current day farms in some arid regions of the country.

The Anti-Examples

Do you have someone in your life that is a good example of living right, someone you admire for how they live?  Do you see people around you demonstrating how to live a successful life of faith?  Most of us do not.  Of course, our ultimate example is Messiah Yeshua.  But, as perfectly as He walked out this life, it can be challenging to translate 1st century times to modern existence.

Sometimes people search for biographies or auto-biographies of great people to find footsteps to follow, someone to imitate.  While reading a narrative can be helpful, witnessing a life being lived is vastly more impactful.  Sadly, those of us focused on pleasing the Father and not conforming to the world, have few options for mentors or role-models.  We realize that no one is perfect – save The One – but even finding decently righteous attributes to emulate in modern society is seriously slim pickins!

In my own life, and in Dear Hubby’s, we have had more success looking at anti-examples – those people who show us clearly how NOT to be, and what NOT to do!  Whether it’s a co-worker, neighbor, or relative, we find direction by pursuing the opposite of what we see in toxic people.  The key is in holding the action, intention, mindset, thought-process, etc. up to Torah.  How does it match up?

It’s certainly challenging to live for YHWH in this modern world.  He calls us to love Him with all, and others as ourselves.  Those are the two greatest commandments which color everything in life.

So, if your co-worker speaks negatively about anyone not currently in the room, that does not match up with a loving heart.  Doing the opposite would be to focus on positive things, speaking uplifting words or nothing at all – especially not speaking ill of anyone behind their back.  The opposite matches with Torah.

If your mother complains about cleaning her house before company comes, dreads someone stopping by, and complains about visitors staying too long, that does not demonstrate hospitality or a loving heart.  Doing the opposite might involve encouraging yourself to keep your home clean, enjoying that “chore” for what it can bring – the opportunity to be more relaxed and hospitable when you get an unexpected knock at the door.

If your neighbor constantly berates, belittles and demeans her husband, that is certainly not loving and does not demonstrate honor or respect for him.  Doing the opposite?  Lift up, encourage, and praise your husband.  Be his biggest cheerleader.  Only bring concerns or gentle rebukes to him privately and with humility.  That matches Torah!

Sometimes the best examples we have in this upside-down world, are the anti-examples.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?  When the world is flipped on its head, so are its people and their hearts / actions.

May we become righteous role-models for faithful living in a fallen world.  Shalom!

Homestead Word of the Week: Transplant

TRANSPLANT:  This term means moving a plant from one location to another.  Often seeds are started, and young plants are kept, in small pots inside a home or greenhouse.  Once they have grown to a sufficient size and the outside temperature is warm enough (with no more chance of frost), they are transplanted into the ground.  Mature plants can also be transplanted from one outdoor location to another.  In such cases, extra care must be taken to ensure the already established roots adapt to their new spot.

RIP Brad Scott

For those who have not heard, a few hours into Sabbath, late Friday night, Brad Scott of WildBranch Ministry entered YHWH’s forever rest.  His battle with the “pest” is over and he is with his Savior and Creator.  Please keep his wife Carol and their kids and grandkids in prayer.  May this precious man rest in Messiah’s peace.