Random Thoughts As I Approach the New Year

Picture12Yom Teruah (the Day of the Trumpet Blast), aka Rosh Hashanah (the Head of the Year) is almost upon us. My wife is out visiting a friend who is in need of encouragement with our two little ones, my daughter is entertaining a friend she just made at her new school, and I’m in the kitchen cooking for dinner at Tikvat David, our (possibly permanent) new synagogue home, tonight. Yes, I’m cooking. I find it relaxing and it gives me time to think.

I’m currently thinking about the past year, and it’s been an incredible one. On the downside, I had to step down from being associate rabbi of my own congregation due to conflicts over direction and teaching with the head rabbi. However, out of that Hashem gave me the opportunity to interact with several other Messianic rabbis, who gave me the wise advice to take some down time before getting back into ministry. Hashem also provided me with a much more lucrative secular job, enabling me to take better care of my family, to see the inside workings of a company that has striven hard to build a really good and completely honest culture while maintaining a stellar growth (obviously lessons that will be important in one day founding and growing a ministry), and to do so while putting my organizational skills to work in a satisfying way.

I’ve neglected this blog in part because I’ve simply not had as much time due to moving to a better place while learning the new job, and in part because I seem to be in a period of learning more than teaching, as I’ve said before.  However, I’ve continued teaching on The Iron Show with Johnny and Matthew, who have both been a real blessing to me during the time when I felt rudderless and despondent.

So as I sit here in between prepping ingredients, I think I’m in a place to think a bit more solidly about the future. Obviously, there are some significant challenges and tribulations ahead. Five out of the nine Supreme Court members have decided to declare war on the covenant of marriage. This issue is already being used to attack Christians, particularly those with businesses and in the public sphere. And those persecutions are really quite mild compared to the holocaust being experienced by our Sunday Brethren over in the Middle-east at the hands of ISIS and similar groups–a holocaust that, just like the one against the Jews during WWII, is being completely ignored by the world at large. Israel is finding herself standing alone with only Hashem on her side while Iran continues to push forward its nuclear program with a wink-and-a-nod from the rest of the world. And of course there is another economic downturn coming–even secular economists have taken note of the stock market’s seven year cycle, and a few have even noticed that it is linked to Israel’s Sh’mittah year, which begins at sundown today.

Does that mean the end is nigh? Well, yes, in the sense that it has been since Israel was restored as a nation. But are we about to enter the Seventieth Week? Maybe. I’ve maintained for over a decade now that the Seventieth Week will coincide with the Sh’mittah cycle, with the seventh year of the Week being a sabbatical year. That means that the next available “slot” for the 70th Week to begin would be in the fall of 2016.

But I’m not really sure that we’re there yet. While I’ll be the first to admit that modern history has a way of turning on a dime thanks to our travel and communication advances, it still seems to me that there are a few things that are not fully set up yet. Maybe I’ve become a little cynical, having been watching world events (and watching the prophecy watchers) since the ’90s.

Maybe having kids has given me the father’s natural desire to see them grow up in a stable environment, so maybe that’s interfering with my vision.

The Days of Awwwwwwwwwwwwww!
The Days of Awwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Whatever the case, whether the last Week begins in 2016 or 2023 there’s a lot of work to do. While I’ve been taking it relatively easy, I know that I’ve only been given a short season of rest, and the time to get back into the game will be starting again soon. I also know that there isn’t a Talmid Yeshua (Disciple of Yeshua) out there who doesn’t have a job assigned to him or her from Heaven, and that the time to get those jobs done is running out.

New Years resolutions are often forgotten. Let’s resolve to treasure the time we have, whether long or short, and to not forget our duty to our King and Savior in the press of day-to-day life.

Shalom, ul’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem,
Peace, and may you be inscribed and sealed for a good new year.

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