Appearances

Today especially, let us remember to restrain from every appearance of evil.  Can we be truly set apart when we partake of things just as the world does?  The argument that this is “just a harmless day of fun” makes light of something that is not at all trivial.  Mankind isn’t the one who determines what is right or wrong, good or evil.  Only the Creator of all things has the authority to say what is acceptable and not.  He created all and He defines all.  Period.

trick-or-treating-2
graphic courtesy of Yisrael.me
jack-o-lantern
graphic courtesy of Yisrael.me

 

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Salt Not Sugar

Have you ever thought about the fact that we are called “salt” of the world, rather than “sugar”?  Consider the popular philosophy of most churches that they need to sweeten the message in order to reach the lost.  They pour verbal sugar down congregants’ throats in order to keep them coming back.  Sugar speaks to our fleshly desires, is addictive, and can be very detrimental to health (contributes to obesity, tooth decay,  and cancer).  Salt, on the other hand, has been erroneously maligned for years.  Finally the truth is coming out that salt isn’t bad for you.  It is actually beneficial.

In Biblical times, salt was an essential part of life, both seasoning foods and preserving them.  If we are salt for the world, then we do the same.  We season this sin-filled world with a glimpse of YHWH’s truth, love, and grace through our obedient set-apart lives.  We preserve this world by persisting in prayer for it, living a repentant life ourselves, and humbly asking forgiveness for our brothers and sisters.  Remember how Daniel prayed, taking responsibility upon himself (“we have sinned” not “they”).

Salt becomes worthless when “outside influences” contaminate it, destroying its usefulness.  We cannot be set-apart (the definition of “holy”) when we look, act, talk, and basically live just like the unbelieving world.  With those thoughts in mind, review the verses below that we’ve read so often.  See them with new eyes.  Shalom!

You are salt for the Land. But if salt becomes tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except being thrown out for people to trample on.  ~~ Matthew 5: 13

Indeed, everyone is going to be salted with fire. Salt is excellent, but if it loses its saltiness, how will you season it? So have salt in yourselves — that is, be at peace with each other. ~~ Mark 9: 49-50

So every one of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has cannot be my talmid. Salt is excellent. But if even the salt becomes tasteless, what can be used to season it?   It is fit for neither soil nor manure — people throw it out. Those who have ears that can hear, let them hear!  ~~ Luke 14: 33-35

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. ~~ Colossians 4: 5-6 (English Standard Version)

The Larch in Autumn

larch geography
Graphic from Wikipedia article.

An amazing part of autumn in NW Montana is watching the larch trees turn yellow.  They are an interesting deciduous coniferous species found in this area.  Here’s a peek at our autumn scenery, including these incredible golden giants!

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Computer Crash

Ah… the joys of technology!  Our computer died so we’ll be out of touch briefly.  It’s a good reminder that circumstances shouldn’t set our attitude or outlook.  It’s frustrating, yes, but meaningless in reality when compared to Adonai’s love. Shabbat Shalom!

More Insanity

Supposedly the Palestinian Authority (PA) is planning to claim the Western Wall as part of the al-Aqsa Mosque.  This ridiculous claim will go to a committee at the United Nations and is expected to be accepted.  See this link for the story.  There seems to be no end to the insanity!

Turn My Eyes Away From Worthless Things

Another great thought from Psalms 119!

Teach me, Adonai, the way of your laws; keeping them will be its own reward for me.  Give me understanding; then I will keep your Torah; I will observe it with all my heart.  Guide me on the path of your mitzvot, for I take pleasure in it.  Bend my heart toward your instructions and not toward selfish gain.  Turn my eyes away from worthless things; with your ways, give me life. ~~Psalms 119: 33-37

Very thankful this day as Elohim is actively turning my heart, mind, and eyes (as well as Dear Hubby’s) away from so many things.  As He conducts His work in us, we see everything through different eyes and that picture gains clarity more all the time.  What a patient, loving, merciful Abba Father we have!  Praise to Him!

Instruction Over Wealth

This passage spoke to me today.  Often the greatest blessings are the intangible ones.  Let us be sincerely thankful for His instruction.

I rejoice in the way of your instruction more than in any kind of wealth. I will meditate on your precepts and keep my eyes on your ways.  I will find my delight in your regulations.  I will not forget your word. ~~ Psalms 119: 14-16