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And Now the News

And Now the News

The world seems to be falling a part right before our eyes. There are natural disasters, and both wars and terrorist activities are happening in an ever increasing rate. The Cold War, which was once viewed as history, has come back into view as a clear and present danger. ISIS has risen from the ashes of Iraq and Syria and is perched if not abated to take over a large swath of the Middle East. The UN again is shaking its fist not against Countries with advanced records of atrocities against its minorities but against Israel the only democracy in the region which provides freedoms to all of her citizens. Russia has begun to march into its neighboring countries in efforts to reestablish the Soviet Union. In the United States, morality is under attack and civil unrest is being stoked like the embers of bonfire in attempts to instigate a race war and a war on Law Enforcement. Every day we find out that something we are eating or drinking is killing us and that the medication that was touted to save our lives and cure all our ailments has side affects that are worse than the original problem. Our families are separating; our children are being drawn to secular activities and walking away from their faith in God. We have family members who are sick and some dying. Friends are losing their homes and jobs and much, much more.

For many believers, the above paragraph sounds very much like the prayer time they started the day with. A list of personal and universal crisis that we feel responsible to provide a daily news update to our Creator each morning including our intelligence report with suggestions on how each situation should be handled and the desired outcome expected.

The truth however, is that none of the information that we provide in our daily briefings is unknown to God, and He really doesn't need our assistance in either providing the reports or our suggestions on how He as King of the Universe should deal with each and every event we have reported to Him. If we review our actions honestly, we will notice that our prayer times that are supposed to be intimate encounters with our Father have in many cases become more of a briefing than a time of fellowship and communion. What is supposed to be a spiritual interaction has become limited to a review of daily tragedy, reported as if God could be spoken about as Elijah spoke of the prophets of Baal. Maybe He was too busy to notice the events happening around the world which He has created.

Imagine that you were an unbeliever listening to your prayer time. What would your impression of God be based solely on the words expressed in your prayer this morning? Would the hearer come away knowing a God, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, a loving provider who is in control of all things. Or would they think Him to be uninvolved, uninformed, and too busy concerning Himself with the praise of His people to be active in the lives of His people.

Instead, if starting our day providing a news update to a God, who already not only knows what you are going to say and knows everything about those things you are going to say. Let's change our intentions. Instead of praying to God, let us pray with God. Saying it another way, let us seek His will and pray for it to come to pass and for the ability to participate in bringing it to pass through our faith and actions. Remember, prophesy already told us the things happening around us would happen, and we have that prophesy because the One we are reporting to told us about it thousands of years ago.
Victory is easier than destroying a Death Star

Victory is easier than destroying a Death Star

I went to watch the latest Star Wars movie the other afternoon. Yes, even rabbis take the time to enjoy entertainment with their friends and family. Like most people I enjoyed the movies special effects something that Industrial Light and Magic has for over 30 years excelled at. The movie was well acted, and the storyline was interesting although I ended up with more questions than answers when the closing credits began. However, the more I thought about the movie, the more I realized that the entire Star Wars series is nothing more than a tale of a dysfunctional family among a world of dysfunctional families.

The reason for the popularity of the series may not have anything to do with the characters, the Jedi or Sith or the Millennial Falcon and Death Stars. I think the popularity over these movies is because so many of us see our own story within the scenes presented on the Big Screen. In a society that once prized family above all other things, today we have more broken families, then whole families. More orphans and single parents just trying to make it through the week at a time in history when with all of the advancements and technology we should have stronger families advancing daily building better futures.

Between the broken lives and broken hearts, hurt feelings and dysfunctional people we see on in the Star Wars saga, we can look at our lives and say, hey maybe we aren’t as bad off as we thought. If these people are so messed up in the future with all the medical and technical advancements light sabers, computerized replacement body parts and droids, then we, by comparison, are in pretty good shape.

But the truth is that Star Wars is not a movie about the future; it is a movie about the present. Yes, it is set in the future, but the tale is about you and I. It is about good vs. evil. It is about light vs. darkness. It is about who we will turn to when we need saving. In the movie, those needing saving can either turn to the dysfunctional Empire and submit to the evil it demands, or they can turn to the dysfunctional Rebellion and join its fight against the Empire.

The real problem is that the story should not invite us to join either of those two horribly dysfunctional groups. The movie should make us realize that those are not the only two choices. The real choice in watching this movie should bring us to is the choice to fight not to join in a perpetuation of dysfunction. Instead, we step away from the path that leads to destroyed families, hurt and abandoned children and a life based upon “empowering your feelings.” We should look not to the lesser or greater of two evils especially when there is an option to choose not just good but great. We don’t have to believe that broken families need to remain the norm of society. That divorce is inevitable. That it is just the way things are in the time we live in. No there is something more for us! We don’t have to choose one form of failure as opposed to another form of failure. We can choose success! We can have good life-long marriages. We can have families that have children and raise them according to Godly values. We can stop the flow of destruction and restore our families. And the truth is, it is easier than destroying a Death Star. It only takes choosing to love God and to love others more than yourself.
Answers to Questions in Life

Answers to Questions in Life

The world is filled with questions and people search for answers to those questions. Why is there so much death and destruction? Why is there poverty and want? Why are so many children orphaned and alone? Why are so many families in turmoil and divided? Why is there so much hatred and violence? Why does greed seem to overcome generosity? Why are so many lives snuffed out before they even enter this world? Why are prisons overcrowded? Why is hope waning and fear rising? Why does is perversion being exalted while morality being diminished?

These questions are clanging loudly in the minds and the hearts of people all around us. The questions are not overstated or filled with hype nor do they ride on the wings if hysteria. They are the reality that has swooped into our lives and changed our perception of our world. These questions are the motivation for the social justice mindset that has risen up today among young people hoping that they can ride the white horse of the knight riding to the rescue or maybe the cowboy dressed in white riding his pure white stallion.

Those around us see crisis on every hand and no matter where they look they are not seeing solutions. They honestly desire not only to have solutions but also to become a real and active part of those solutions.

The problem is that the solutions offer are the same failed attempts that have been tried since the foundation of the world. Political solutions that balance power not by increasing the status of all but rather but exchanging those who are in power with those who are not while leaving the majority in the exact same condition that they were to begin with. It matters not if it is capitalism or socialism or any other ism. All fail because all are based upon giving authority to a human being.

Another option has been a politically driven religious endeavor that clothes the greed within the folds of a sacred text interpreted by the elite few who are spiritual enough to understand the hidden meanings of the scrolls. This method is even more insidious that the political because its deceit uses the manipulation of a call to a higher power.

In reality, the answer to each and every question above is available to every person equally not hidden in a text, which is difficult to understand which requires a secret decoder ring or a mysterious seer who divines the meaning of the words. Instead, it is written in a way that is simple and straightforward profoundly scribed in simplicity so that everyone could read and understand.

The answer comes when people read the Holy Scriptures with humility and love. When God’s kingdom becomes more important than ours, and when we understand that prosperity is not having things but sharing things. We can stop poverty, destruction, hate, greed, murder, abortion and all of the other social problems of our world as soon as all people who claim to love God decide we truly want to love one another.
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MT logo 01 revThe Messianic Times has become the leading international Messianic Jewish newspaper since its inception in 1990. Started as a quarterly publication, it is now published six times per year by Times of The Messiah Ministries. It includes news from the worldwide Messianic community, Israeli current events and analysis, opinion pieces, book and music and film reviews, informative articles and a directory of Messianic Jewish congregations.