As I was looking over my last post, I just had to add one more post regarding First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ). If you have not been to their website, you should. I don’t know of any other Pro-Torah, Messianic organization working as hard and as diligently as these guys. They are phenomenal and deserve our support.

Boaz Michael, the President and Founder of FFOZ, is a very genuine, passionate man of God. I seriously can’t believe what he has been able to accomplish (albeit through the grace of our Heavenly Father) with this organization. He has written and co-written several works including the Light In The Darkness book and DVD on the topic of Hanukkah, and Passover Encounter, FFOZ’s new Haggadah for Pesach. I’ve had many conversations with Boaz, and I don’t hear words–I hear his heart.

Tim Hegg, teacher, speaker, and a theological editor of the organization, has contributed to several significant works including The Letter Writer, Fellowheirs, the It is Often Said series, as well as numerous articles for FFOZ publications. Tim also has his own website called Torah Resource that has some excellent resources available.

Daniel Lancaster, writer, speaker, teacher, (jokester?) and theological editor for FFOZ has contributed a numerous articles for the FFOZ publications, co-written the new Holy Cow! book (on the Biblical dietary laws) with Hope Egan (below), two massive volumes of Torah commentary (Torah Club, Volumes 4 and 5) wich contain between 1,000 and 1,500 pages each, and his newest work (which I mentioned previously) ResTorahtion.

Hope Egan, best-selling author and writer, has contributed several articles for FFOZ publications, as well as co-authored (as the primary author) FFOZ’s newest work Holy Cow!, as stated above.

And yes, there are lots of other people in the mix as well who I just don’t have the time or space to name, such as Boaz’s in-laws (hello Michael & Rebecca!) who take care of most of the distribution. They all do an excellent work, and live out their faith and devotion to Messiah Yeshua and the Torah of our God.

May they continue to prosper in all of their ways as they continue to be a blessing to so many people around the world.

Chazak! Chazak! Vanitchazeik!

Random Thoughts

Still trying to figure out how to change the template on this blog. I’m not the most technical person in the world, and tend to lean towards the artistic/design side of things rather than the coding. It will happen some day…

I’m about 75 percent finished with my “Visions of Sugar Plums” article, which addresses the issue of the popularly accepted, and widely propagated misinterpretation of Peter’s vision in Acts 10. I’ve written it in laymen’s terms in a very easy-to-follow, logical manner. It starts off with a very disturbing statement, intended for shock value and to draw the reader into the subject matter. Can’t wait to finish and see what ends up being the general response to it. This is actually a bit humorous in its timing, as one of the pastors (and dear friend of mine) of the church next to my office is setting up for the “men’s night crawfish boil” even as I type. The irony…

FYI – I’m also tied up with a few other things, such as getting our invitations and haggadot ready for Pesach, and reviewing Daniel Lancaster’s (FFOZ) new book, ResTorahtion. Daniel’s book is going to be an excellent resource you’ll definitely want to pick up immediately.

I guess that’s about all I have time for today.



Welcome to the Digging With Darren blog, “Digging Deeper.” I’m in the process of fixing the template to match the rest of my site, but this will do for now.

Well, fyi – Digging With Darren has been a dream of mine for about three years, and it’s finally coming to fruition. It seems like I can’t spend enough time on it, but I guess I’ll just have to pace myself and work on it a little each day. I may be taking comments and suggestions in the future, but right now I want to get it at least to the point that I have envisioned before trying to make tweaks.

I’ve recently added a few photos to the Kursi section (which will eventually move to its own page) on the archaeology page which might be of interest. I’ve got tons more that I will be adding, along with a map showing the precise location of the dig site, more detailed information regarding the dig process, as well as my personal journal during my trip from 2002.

One of the things I would like to have available on the site is resources for Torah-based congregations, such as Torah-reading sheets for the aliyot breakdowns of each parashah, commentaries on the parashot, festival resources, etc. I guess it will all be in due time.

I will also be writing a review of a couple of events I recently attended:

  1. Debate between a Messianic Jew and a Church of Christ minister over whether or not the Old Testament and the Law have been abolished or not
  2. Local Jewish Food Festival

I guess that’s about it for now. Again, I’ll post more information as I have time.

September 29, 2002

(5:27pm Jordan)

We’re on the bus that will take us to Israel. Our guide’s name is Emad. He taught us two Arabic words:

shukran=thank you

(5:03 pm—1:03am Israel time)

Well, I’m finally in Ha’Aretz! I’ve been here since about 8:45 last night. It took us about 4 hours to go from Ammon and through both Jordanian and Israeli customs and get across the Israeli border. Everyone in our group was searched at the Israeli border (with the exception of Tom). The woman going through my bags came across my fold-up keyboard and was impressed. She had to show it around. Everyone in my group seemed put out by the security measures, but I really didn’t have a problem with it. I know they are dealing with some high-security issues and can’t take any changes. It actually helped me to work on my Hebrew a little.

Anyway, once we safely arrived at our hotel, we were immediately taken to the dining room for a WONDERFUL (did I say WONDERFUL?) buffet meal with all kinds of middle-eastern treats. I thought I had actually gone to heaven already.

After dinner (about 9:30 local time) Dale & I walked into Tiberious (about 45-60 minutes one-way). We went to The Galilee Experience, which was actually closed, but opened for us. It is possibly the largest Messianic bookstore in Israel. We got to look around and purchase some things that I couldn’t get anywhere else. We walked back, and my feet are ACHING big time. I was wearing new shoes, and they don’t have the arch support I’m used to having.

Well, just wanted to log a little time as to what went on today. I’m sure I’ll write tomorrow. Shalom!

September 28, 2002

Depending on who you believe (the pilot or the stewardess), I am currently flying at an altitude of between 28,000 & 33,000 feet. It’s amazing how perspective affects one’s relationship to your surroundings. As I’m flying high above the clouds, I am beginning to realize how my perspective & God’s can be vastly different on the same subject. The distances that seemed so far when I viewed them from the ground, now seem ever so small. I can almost squeeze them between my fingers. The buildings that seemed to tower above the ground, now appear to hug it tightly. The mighty rivers and lakes are but broad strokes of a painter’s brush.

I am beginning to see that while something may seem huge and impossible from my perspective, it is nothing from God’s.

I also see the “bigger” picture of things from this perspective. While I can only see one facet of a forest or field, or subdivision from the ground, from the air I can see a beauty that is altogether absent from the ground. Lines, curves, colors, textures, shapes, order, symmetry, asymmetry all emerge with new beauty. This “higher” perspective is definitely more appealing than that to which I have grown accustom.

I have also become aware of my limited scope of vision by way of distance as well. Although I may not be able to see further than a few miles horizontally from the ground, I can see many more from above. And the abrupt horizon that is seen from below is only a blur from above.

If only the prophets could have seen what I see now. Surely the Psalmist was correct when he said that יהוה “rides on the clouds.”