What William Alan Believed about God

My husband Bill went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, July 18, 2009. He didn’t plan it. He drowned and the Lord took him home. I implore you, especially if you don’t believe in the Lord Jesus, to read this entire post, not for my sake, but for yours and to honor his memory. I ask that you read what Bill believed with an open mind.

Bill believed that the world had a Creator and that the Creator was God. He believed that no matter what happened to him, God would be there. He believed that when he died, he would have the privilege of spending eternity with God, in heaven. He believed that Jesus Christ (or to my Jewish friends and family, Y’shua HaMaschiach) was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, received a horrible beating and died a horrible death (as predicted by the Hebrew Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 53, written between 650 & 700 years before Jesus birth). The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, and Bill believed that Jesus took our sin upon Himself and paid the ultimate price (death). After 3 days, He rose from the dead, the first of the resurrected, which is a very Jewish belief, btw. As the Bible teaches, Bill believed that by his faith that Jesus’ death and resurrection were true, and by repenting and turning away from his sins, he would be saved, that is, spend eternity in Heaven and not Hell. Millions of people around the world, including me, believe this also.

But you say, I see no evidence of God. I can’t see, hear, smell, touch, or taste Him. If a deaf person can’t hear a baby cry, does that mean the baby isn’t making crying sounds. If a blind person can’t see a beautiful sunset, does that mean it isn’t beautiful. You get the idea. Lots of folks believe in many things that they can’t verify with their senses. Here’s a partial list: UFO’s, life on other planets, reincarnation, ghosts and psychic predictions. Why then do many people refuse to believe in the possibility of a Creator? Maybe you feel that you’re not good enough. God will meet you where you are. Maybe you feel that you don’t want someone telling you what to do. Guess what, if God is real, then you’re not wanting someone to tell you what to do is irrelevant, because He already is in control of your life. Maybe it’s against the religious tradition you’ve been taught all your life. How many things have you realized that your parents and elders were wrong about, especially if they taught you things that they were taught, but didn’t necessarily believe?

Why am I telling you this? I want each and every one of my friends and family to spend eternity with the Lord Jesus, in heaven. I am also being selfish, because I want to spend eternity with you also. Everyone will live forever in eternity, the only question is, will you be in heaven with God, Bill and me, or in hell with everyone else who chose not to have a relationship with Jesus. I know some of you might “unfriend” me because of this post, but I know that you’re really not rejecting me, but the One who I love and worship. I will still love you and miss you if you unfriend me, but I can be silent no longer. Remember, tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Bill was drinking coffee on the morning he died, not thinking anything extraordinary would happen.

If you’ve read this far, I thank you and ask that you search out the truth yourself. Don’t just take my word for it.

The Most Important Gift Ever Given

I know I haven’t written for a while, but it’s been an interesting time of growth and depending on the Lord for me. I’ve got something kicking around in my head to share about this time, but I wanted to share this with you now.

When I was growing up I had a normal (for the time) nuclear family. Mom, dad, 2 kids and a dog. One Grandma who was still alive, aunts uncles, cousins, great aunts/uncles. I thought this was the way it was supposed to be. I was surrounded by people who loved me because we were related, and it was good.

Then I grew up and my cousins started getting married so there were “others” who were now cousins and this was good. Then I got married and I got “in-laws” and a whole new family to interact and become a part of. I was surrounded by people who loved me because we were related, and it was good.

During all this time, people I grew up with and loved were dying, because of age or illness. I had less people surrounding me who loved me, and this was NOT good,

Then God, in His infinite wisdom, decided to give me a second chance at love. He sent me a man who loved God and loved me. The funny thing is, we did not share a culture. We shared a loved for God and Jesus and that was enough to build a life and for me to become surrounded by many more people who loved me because we were related and it was good.

God took a twice widowed middle aged barren woman, and surrounded me with people who loved me.. Some who have been there since the beginning. Some, like my great-niece Athena who will be one tomorrow, are new. Some are related by blood, some by marriage, some by our mutual love of God.

He gave a woman who never bore a child a stepson, daughter-in-law and grandkids. I have close to 30 nieces and nephews from my marriages to Michael and Bill. And oodles and oodles of great-nieces and a great- nephew or two.

Ok, so you’re asking why are you sharing this today? Well, part of it is that while God always gives us what we need, exactly when we need it. He doesn’t always give us what we want. On this Saturday, as we await the most important Sunday of the year, please remember, that Jesus died and rose so that you can spend eternity with Him in heaven. As blessed as I am that He has surrounded me with a family that loves me, nothing show God’s love for me (and you) more than His Death (on the Cross yesterday) and Resurrection (from the grave tomorrow).Image

How do you celebrate Messiahmas (Christmas)

When I was young, my parents would hang stockings from our fireplace. There was one for me, one for my brother and one for the dog. I guess my parents didn’t want to deal with explaining that Santa didn’t come to the houses of Jewish kids. My mom also took us to see Santa in the stores. Things were very different in the 60’s.  When my brother was 6 or 7, they decided to tell us the truth and that was the end of the Christmas Stocking and visiting Santa traditions.

 I also remember that every year, on Christmas Day we would get up really early. We would meet Uncle Herbie and Aunt Beryl (dear friends of my folks) and their kids at a diner  on the way to New York City. After breakfast, we would head for New York and park the car. Then came standing in the freezing cold (felt like days but was probably less than an hour) to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show, which if I remember  correctly,  consisted of a Christmas movie of some sort, and the Rockettes. After the show, my dad and Uncle Herbie would argue a bit about which Chinese restaurant they wanted to go to in Chinatown. Funny thing was, neither one of them could remember where we had gone the year before. I remember always going down into some sort of basement/street level restaurant and always having the best Chinese food, I’d ever had.

 Today, I am a Jewish believer in Y’shua (Jesus). When Bill was alive, we would go out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve and then spend Christmas Day with his family. I’ve continued that tradition since the Lord has took him home. This year, however, because I’ve been ill for so long and still need so much pain medication for my shoulder, I think I’m going to have a very Jewish Christmas. My plan this year, is wake up Messiahmas morning, say Happy Birthday Y’shua (Jesus) and go back to sleep. At some point, I’ll go out and get Chinese food and probably watch a movie. I did, however, wish my brother a Merry Christmas today. While he rejects the religious aspects of the holiday, he embraces the traditions of Christmas Eve Mass, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day gatherings, presents under the tree to respect his wife and her traditions.

 So how do you celebrate Christmas?

Ruach HaKodesh

In Hebrew, the Holy Spirit is actually called the Ruach HaKodesh. HaKodesh is easy to translate. It means “The  Holy”. Ruach, however, can be translated among other things as wind, spirit, breath. So in English, we call the part of God that resides in all believers The Holy Spirit.

Last week, I was in my car and the wind was really kicking up. I saw the clouds moving through the sky very quickly…. Something we don’t really get to see very often. Usually the sky is calm and the clouds are moving slowly or it is too overcast to see any movement. At that moment, I realized that a storm was coming and the strong wind moving the clouds reminded me of how the Holy Spirit can move quickly into our lives. He usually is gentle and caring and doesn’t rush us, but when a storm is coming, He can move more quickly and powerfully than we can imagine.

We usually look at the approaching storm and fret and worry. We forget that the Creator of the Universe, the One who  allows and forms the storms of our life, is also residing within us and is there to be our anchor, our help, our hiding place. 

I don’t like storms, neither the physical nor spiritual kind. I prefer to get out of the rain, because I don’t like getting wet and windblown. While I would love to get out of the spiritual storms in my life, I’m glad the Lord allows them in my life. If He didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to grow in Him and learn to depend on Him. For without His Guidance, His Grace, and His Help, I would surely be lost in the midst of the storm. In Hebrew, the Holy Spirit is actually called the Ruach HaKodesh. HaKodesh is easy to translate. It means “The  Holy”. Ruach, however, can be translated among other things as wind, spirit, breath. So in English, we call the part of God that resides in all believers The Holy Spirit. Last week, I was in my car and the wind was really kicking up. I saw the clouds moving through the sky very quickly…. Something we don’t really get to see very often. Usually the sky is calm and the clouds are moving slowly or it is too overcast to see any movement. At that moment, I realized that a storm was coming and the strong wind moving the clouds reminded me of how the Holy Spirit can move quickly into our lives. He usually is gentle and caring and doesn’t rush us, but when a storm is coming, He can move more quickly and powerfully than we can imagine.  We usually look at the approaching storm and fret and worry. We forget that the Creator of the Universe, the One who  allows and forms the storms of our life, is also residing within us and is there to be our anchor, our help, our hiding place.   I don’t like storms, neither the physical nor spiritual kind. I prefer to get out of the rain, because I don’t like getting wet and windblown. While I would love to get out of the spiritual storms in my life, I’m glad the Lord allows them in my life. If He didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to grow in Him and learn to depend on Him. For without His Guidance, His Grace, and His Help, I would surely be lost in the midst of the storm.

Miracles

Why do we doubt God? He makes us promises and He always keeps His promises. In the book of Matthew, Chapter 19 verse 26, Jesus tells us: “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “’With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Jesus was talking about Salvation, but this verse is applicable to many other situations in our lives. We tend to forget how much God does for us. We forget the small things, because we are probably looking for the huge miracles, like the parting of the Red Sea. Here are a few things that the Lord has done for me. I’m not sure they are equal to the Red Sea miracle, but they are miracles none the less.

  1. Technology has grown in leaps and bounds in the last 50+ years. I’m pretty sure this couldn’t happen today in a developed country. Before my birth, my mother was told by her doctor that she wasn’t pregnant. She was told that she had a fibroid tumor and needed a D&C (a procedure used in abortions) to remove it. My mother didn’t believe the doctor and decided to go back to her doctor in Brooklyn, from before she was married. She was told, yes, she had a fibroid tumor, but also that she was going to have a baby. If my mother had listened to the first doctor, I would not have been born. Now, I did have a “womb-mate”, but the Lord protected me, even before I was born.
  1. As a young child, I fell down the steps at my grandmother’s house. They were concrete steps. I was young enough not to remember. How do I know that I fell down the stairs? Because I have a scar from where I bit through my lip. That’s it, just a small scar in what could have been a life-altering or life-ending fall. Again, the Lord protected me even though I was too young to remember.
  1. Fast forward to a few years ago, Bill and I went on vacation to Washington DC. We were only there overnight and went to Arlington National Cemetery for Bill and the Lincoln Memorial for me. We stopped on the way home to have dinner with one of our  nephews, and when we got home, Bill started to unload the trunk. I noticed that my laptop wasn’t part of what he brought in, but figured we’d find it in the trunk in the morning. The laptop was nowhere to be found. Bill asked me why I had taken it. I said, well I was afraid to leave the paperwork, money and checks from the small home business we had, at home. He told me I was being silly and I agreed. I told the Lord I was sorry for not trusting Him and called people to let them know their credit card information may have been compromised. When we got home, there was a message on our machine from Arlington National Cemetery. They had the laptop. Bill had taken it out of the trunk to put my roller (walker with wheels) back in and forgot to put it back in. Not only was the laptop there, but so was the cash, the checks and the people’s credit card information. Arlington said that they would ship it back to us. They told us it would cost extra to FedEx it, so they were going to send it UPS. Bill and I discussed it and we called them back. When we asked them to FedEx it and that we would pay the difference, they said, oh never mind, we decided to FedEx it to you, and not charge you the difference.

These are just 3 examples of how the Lord did miracles in my life. I’m sharing them with you, but I’m really writing this to remind myself that while I feel that the problems in my life today have no earthly solutions, I’m going to hold on to the fact that the Lord tells us that with God all things are possible. The Lord tells us in the Book of Philippians, Chapter 4 verse 6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Later in verse 19 He tells us “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”.

So I’m going to reread this as many times as it takes to remember that all I need to do is follow what it says in Matthew Chapter 6 verses 31-34. 31) “Do not worry saying ‘What shall we eat’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘What shall we wear’ 32) for the pagans run after all these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33) But seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34) Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

What miracles has the Lord done in your life?  Do you think about them and give Him Honor and Praise? Have you told anyone? If not, this is the perfect time of year to talk about God, Jesus and Miracles.

 

Who is the true King of Israel?

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and she was telling me about the first time she heard or considered the possibility that Y’shua (Jesus) was the Messiah. It was when she was singing a Christmas Carol when she was part of a choir. 

That got me to thinking about the first time I even thought about Christians worshipping the Jewish God. I was in my Junior High School’s chorus, in the early 70’s. We were putting on the annual Christmas Concert (back before you needed to be PC and call it a Holiday Concert). In addition to all the Christmas Carols we sang, we also sang the Dreidel Song. It made me happy that the concert included a “Jewish song”. Here’s the first verse if you’ve never heard of it. It has 3 other verses, but like most Christmas Carols, people usually only remember the first one,

“I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay. When it’s dry and ready, then dreidel I shall play.

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, then dreidel I shall play.”

Of course, most of the songs we sang were Christmas Carols. I remember “The First Noel” in particular, because it talked about the King of Israel. As far as I knew, God was the King of the Universe (Melach Ha’Olam), but there hadn’t been a King in Israel for thousands of years. Here’s the first verse. There are 5 more verses after this one, all followed by the refrain.

“The first Noel the angels did say Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay; In fields where they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep:

Refrain
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.”

I was really confused about why a Christmas Carol would talk about the “King of Israel”.

Many years later, after putting my faith in Y’Shua (Jesust) I read and started studying the book of Judges. The Judges were righteous men and women that God put in charge of the Nation of Israel before He permitted the Nation of Israel to have a king. I always pay special attention when the Lord repeats Himself in Scripture. Judges 17:6 says “In those days there was no King in Israel, but every man did what he thought was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:20 says “In those days there was no King in Israel and; every man did that which was right in his own eyes” I quoted both of these verses from one of my Tenakhs (what Christians call the Old Testament). This Tenakh was given to me on October 15, 1971 at my Bas Mitzvah from the Sisterhood of the Synagogue my family attended. It was published by the Hebrew Publishing Company in 1939. I’ve checked these Scriptures in other copies of the Tenakh and also in the Christian Bibles I have, and they are all basically the same.

While attending the Bible Study on the Book of Judges, the Pastor asked us to consider that the King spoken about in Judges was non-other than Y’shua (Jesus) Himself. That made a lot of sense to me.

The Prophet Hosea writes in Chapter 10 verse 3 (again from the Tenakh) “For now they shall say ‘We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us’”. The NKJV translation is practically the same; “And now they say, ‘We have no king, because we did not fear the LORD. And as for a king, what would he do for us’”. The interesting thing about this is that when Hosea was writing his prophesies, Jeroboam was the king of Israel.

Now let’s look at the New Testament. The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1, verses 30-33, in the New King James Version  states: 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

After King David’s death, his son Solomon reigned over Israel. At Solomon’s death, the combined Kingdom of Israel split into the separate Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The last King of Israel was Hoshea who reigned from 732-712 BC and was king in 722 BC when the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to Assyria. The last King of Judah was Zedekiah, who reigned from 597-586, which coincided with the Babylonian exile. There were puppet kings after that, but no true king of Israel. While Luke was not Jewish, he knew about David and David’s throne. This Scripture tell us that Jesus will be given the throne of David and rule over Jacob (Israel) forever.

So the answer to the question of Who is the True King of Israel is Y’shua (Jesus).

 

 

My Testimony (How I became a believer in Y’shua (Jesus)

I was raised in a Conservative Jewish home. I attended Sunday school and Hebrew School, and at 13, I was a Bat Mitzvah and then continued my studies at Hebrew High School. The following year, I started to feel that there was something missing in my relationship with God, so I began attending an Orthodox synagogue for a few years. After that, not only didn’t I feel any closer to God; I started to doubt God’s very existence and went to synagogue mostly on the High Holy Days, more to please my parents than because I actually believed.

In my early 20’s I realized that I had never really doubted God’s existence, but that I was totally dissatisfied with my religion. I checked out a Mormon Temple once and actually considered converting, but had a problem believing in Jesus. In my late 20’s I married a man who was somewhat more religious than I was. He had a more traditional Jewish upbringing and so I started to go to synagogue on holidays again, but more to please him and our parents than for any other reason.

My father passed away in May of 1992, my husband in December of 1992, and my mother in October of 1993. I felt the Lord’s presence in my life, but didn’t really understand about having a relationship with Him. All I knew was that something was keeping me sane and able to continue to go on.  I started searching for answers to the “meaning of life,” “what happens to you after you die,” and ideas along those lines. I began to believe in re-incarnation and reading Tarot cards. I also recognized that if I didn’t want to do something, all I had to do was agree to do it and then something would happen to prevent my having to do what I didn’t want to do. At the same time, I was praying to God to let Him know that I knew He existed and wanted to make sure I believed in Him the right way.

On the day before my 41st birthday, a friend called me and asked me to go roller-skating with a group of people she knew. She said they were going to church and dinner first and would I like to go. I agreed to meet them for dinner, but had no interest in going to church.

I was excited about skating again. I hadn’t had a pair of skates on in years. When I got the skates on, I stood up and went to get onto the rink and immediately fell down. The only thing that really got hurt was my pride. I ended up sitting and watching folks going around and around the rink. My new acquaintances kept asking me to join them on the rink, but I declined. I suddenly realized that was a picture of what my life had become  — watching life from the sidelines, watching and waiting for something good to happen. Not only was this a lonely existence, it was a miserable one too. I left them at the rink and went outside and cried. I drove off and stopped to get gas. While filling up, I realized I had behaved badly and drove back to the rink to apologize.

One of my new acquaintances, Doug, asked me if I wanted to start reading the Bible. I had been thinking about it for quite some time, but never had gotten around to it. I told him I would study the Bible with him, but that he couldn’t use the Bible to try to “convert” me. I told him that he couldn’t use the New Testament at all and that he couldn’t bring Jesus into our conversations. I really thought I was safe. Here was a way for me to get more “Jewish” and not have to worry about trying to be converted to Christianity. 

Doug suggested that I start by reading Genesis and he began asking me some questions that I couldn’t answer. I know now that the questions were directed toward my finding the truth about Jesus. Doug also had me read Isaiah chapters 52 and 53, in addition to some of Leviticus and various other passages. I felt very uncomfortable, because this was the Old Testament and I should have been able to answer his questions. This went on for a few weeks and I was having more and more questions but no answers.

My wedding anniversary was on November 2, and after Michael died, I sometimes went to Temple close to that date to be with God. Although I had never been to a Christian church, I decided to go on Saturday, October 30, 1999, figuring that God lived in a church as much as He did in a Temple. I listened to the worship part of the service and was impressed. I even commented later that it was a shame that Jews didn’t worship God with the joy and happiness I saw and heard there. That night, I also heard the truth about Jesus for the first time. I was pretty amazed. It was also astonishing that the Bible was being read and explained in a way I understood. There was no “preaching” going on – just a clear concise interpretation of the Bible. But being Jewish I knew I couldn’t just accept Jesus.

After services that night, a bunch of us went out to dinner. I had many questions and the Christians I was with were patient and took the time to answer them as best they could. After we left the restaurant (about 1:00 in the morning), Doug and I stayed out in the parking lot talking. I had many questions, like, “If all this is true, then that means I won’t see my husband or parents again, because they didn’t believe in Jesus?” and “Would I still be Jewish if I accepted Jesus as my Savior?” Finally Doug told me the one thing I needed to hear in order to believe in Jesus. He told me that God knew me and that He loved me. I had always told God that I wanted to hear that.  Once I did, it was easy to realize that Jesus had to be who He said He was.  I still had many questions, but it didn’t matter. I knew I had to acknowledge Jesus as my God and my Savior.

I didn’t feel comfortable accepting Him in the parking lot of a restaurant, so Doug and I got back in the car and pulled over to the side of the road. Doug told me that all I had to do now was acknowledge Jesus and that there was a simple prayer I should say to do that. I wasn’t able to say the prayer. It felt like something was desperately trying to stop me. I got to the point where I couldn’t breathe and told Doug to take me home because I couldn’t do this. He agreed and on the way home he said we had to pass the Church and did I want to try accepting Jesus again.

I told him I did and he pulled in the Church’s parking lot. It took quite some time for me to say the prayer. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and my stomach was going to explode. Every time I ran out of air, I would feel the wind coming through the open car windows giving me fresh air to breathe. It took some time, but I was finally able to acknowledge Jesus as my Savior. Doug told me later that he knew there was a battle going on for my soul and that the angels were dancing because I chose Jesus even though I had been a child of the enemy. (The following week, I destroyed my Tarot cards and my crystals. I’ve also lost the ability to control the future by agreeing to do that which I don’t want to do.)

Doug and I stayed up the rest of the night and went to the 8:15 am Sunday morning service. I heard the altar call this time and came forward and publicly repented of my sins and acknowledged Jesus as my Lord and Savior. 

 9 That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV)