Guest blogging for CityView

As I had stated previously, I had an opportunity to be a guest blogger for a local church. This church is a new church in the greater Little Rock area, and has been spearheaded by a friend of mine, Ryan Byrd. The church is called Eikon, and is passionate about reaching out to people in this area with the message of Christ. They recently started a blog experiment called CityView in which they have picked 10 people from various religious backgrounds be guest bloggers on their website and blog uncensored on any topic of their choosing. I was blessed to be one of these ten. Here is a link to my contribution. I would love to hear some feedback on this.

Goodbye Hudson

We left Hudson, Wisconsin yesterday morning after a wonderful week at the Shavuot conference hosted by Beth Immanuel. We are so thankful for all of the many blessings we experienced during this week. We were blessed by the teaching, by the hospitality, by seeing all of the friends we have made over the last few years, and by making new friends. We left feeling inspired and challenged to take the message of the Good News to our world.

One of the blessings of this conference we didn’t anticipate was that there was an organization which had just just set up a full scale replica of the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) in Wisconsin just 10 minutes from Beth Immanuel. Not only did we get to tour it and experience it in a tangible way, but we were privileged to be on the tour with Joseph Good, who is one of the foremost Temple authorities in the world. He was able to elucidate many aspects of the placement of the furnishings of the Tabernacle, as well as answering many questions as to the methods by which they functioned. We couldn’t have paid for a better tour guide!

This year was different than the last few, but it was also very special. We are thankful to you, Beth Immanuel for all of the hard work you put into the conference. It was a blessing, and a time we will not quickly forget.

Daniel’s Messianic Midrash on Numbers 4:21-23

We had our Monday morning Torah service today, and the first reading was the following:

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Take a census of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers’ houses and by their clans. From thirty years old up to fifty years old, you shall list them, all who can come to do duty, to do service in the tent of meeting. (Numbers 4:21-23)

Daniel Lancaster made an excellent midrash on this passage. He discussed the problem with the seeming contradiction between this passage and Numbers 8:24, where the age for the beginning age of the Levites is not 30, but 25. He stated the answer given by the sages, that the 25 year olds were being taught by the retired 50 year olds until they can actually  take part in the duties of the Tabernacle at the age of 30.

He then applied this midrashically to the Messianic movement. He said that the reason Messianic organizations, particularly FFOZ, has had so many major shifts from the left to the right and vice versa is that we have a lot of 25 year olds, but very few (if any) 50 year olds. The 25 year olds have been zealous, but haven’t listened to the 50 year olds. We need more 50 year olds and their wisdom in the movement, but they will only be developed over time.

I thought this was a great analogy that really made sense.

Evangelism from a Torah Perspective

This is the topic of Beth Immanuel’s Shavuot conference this year. As you can guess, it’s going to be more than the “Roman Road to Salvation” or the “Four Spiritual Laws.” Evangelizing from a Torah perspective is more than a close-your-eyes-and-duck-your-head-and-raise-your-hand-for-instant-salvation-and-eternal-fire-insurance moment. But what exactly is it, and how does it look?

I would like to hear YOUR perspective on this topic. How do you approach evangelism from a Torah perspective? How do you think it should be done? Where do you start? How much info do you give them? How do you get them to understand some simple concepts without taking them through 5 years of Torah Club? ;-)

I would like to hear from each of you on this topic. I think it’s a really important topic, and one worth discussing. Please post your comments and let’s talk about this.

Shavuot Conference at Beth Immanuel

Today begins this year’s Shavuot conference at Beth Immanuel in Hudson, WI. Outside of Passover, this has been the highlight of our year for the last three years. This year is no exception. We arrived Friday afternoon and were able to enjoy Shabbat with the Beth Immanuel community and some of the people who came early for the conference as well. It’s been great to see familiar faces and experience the unique dynamic of Beth Immanuel, and be challenged by Daniel Lancaster in person.

This Sabbath was extra special in that we got to experience both a Bar Mitzvah and a Bat Mitzvah. It was wonderful for our children to be able to experience this.

Well, tonight starts the conference, and I look forward to everything that will be shared. I’ll try to post every now and again about what’s going on.