Self-Discipline

This weekend we have been privileged to have Boaz Michael and his family be with our community. We have really enjoyed being with them, and look forward to a great day today in the culmination of the FFOZ seminar Knocking on Heaven’s Gates tonight.

Having Boaz and his family has already been a tremendous blessing. Seeing the self-discipline of his family, however, has been both a huge inspiration as well as a little bit of a discouragement. The inspiration is obvious. Boaz and his family are an incredible encouragement in all that they are doing to live out their faith, and help those who are living a Torah-pursuant life.

The discouragement aspect is not the fault of Boaz and his family at all. It’s like running a 100 mile race, and reaching the first mile marker. The thrill of the race, and the excitement of the first milestone are motivating, but realizing that you’ve got 99 more of these to go is slightly disheartening. Seeing where Boaz and his family are and then looking back at where we are as a family and a community could easily open a floodgate of tears if I dwelt on this aspect alone. However, I know that I must not focus on the distance, but on the destination, and enjoy the journey in the process. Otherwise, the journey will be unbearable, and the destination unreachable.

Jason’s post, Inspiration that Creates Action, is a good summary of what I’m feeling. I (and also “we” as an infant Torah community) are making what feels like gigantic leaps on the one hand, but on the other hand they are merely baby-steps. I have an internal struggle that wants so badly to be in close proximity to those who are further along this road than I in order to excel in my learning and my application of Torah, but I know that Hashem is growing me at this pace for a purpose. Maybe I’m not as ready for something like this as I think I am. Maybe I’m not as malleable as I think I am, and would merely snap with all of the stretching that would be required in an environment like that. Maybe I just have a different calling and purpose. Whatever the case, I must keep in mind the words of Rav Sha’ul, which states:

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Messiah Yeshua. (Philippians 3:13b,14)

Brokenness

For those of you who have wondered where I’ve been the last few months, it’s been a difficult road. I’ve been busy and broken. I haven’t really known what to write, and how much to divulge. My business has kept me extremely busy, and has also provided the opportunity to be broken before Hashem. Currently, I’m in the middle of the brokenness that has come from some very poor choices on my part over the last two or three years. I’ve realized the error of my choices, as well as patterns in my life that have been needing attention for a long time. I’m currently working on true repentance in these areas. Repentance which is displayed in my change of action, rather than my words. I’ll continue posting things little by little, but this will suffice for now.

Thank you for your prayers in advance as I learn this lesson from our Heavenly Father.

Men’s Torah Group

Hashem has begun to answer some long-term prayers of mine by opening some doors recently. At the request of a couple of friends, we started a men’s Bible study group whose focus is to learn Torah, and strip ourselves from our pre-conceived concepts and indoctrinations. We started a few weeks ago with myself and two other men. This week it grew to a total of five men, and others have already expressed interest in joining us. I would appreciate your prayers in leading this group so that it won’t be a group focused on what I have to offer, but what the Ruach (Spirit) is doing as we return to the “old wine” (Luke 5:39) of the Torah. I’m currently trying to decide on whether to use a study program (Torah Club?) or not in our studies in order that everyone would know exactly what we will be studying from week to week. Your prayers are definitely needed.