My thoughts on Christmas

*First I want to start off by saying, I have gotten a comment or two, here and there, but for some reason wordpress hasn’t let me reply to them. So I do apologize for that.*

So everyone, it seems like, is celebrating Christmas. But not me. Nor my family. This is actually our first year of NOT celebrating it. What do our kids think? Well they actually are very much okay with it. We explained to them our reasoning and they understood them and are respecting us as parents and our decision. What is our reasoning? I’m glad you asked. Christmas is pagan. There, I said it flat out. It is NOT of Yahweh.

Growing up, Christmas was always about the birth of Christ. We would put up a Christmas tree and so many decorations, that boxes from storage would take over the whole house while we decorated. It was always a fun time for my whole family. But then I got older.

When I was in college, I had a friend (she was actually my best friend at the time) who was Wiccan. I remember in my freshman year, we were hanging out, and she said to me this, “You do know that Christmas and Easter aren’t from your religion, right?” I was shocked and a little offended. I mean, how dare she say that, when everything I held dear to me was stabbed at. But then I got to thinking about things. Like, where did the tree come from? Why do we give presents? Where did Santa come from? Where was all of this in the Bible? And of course, when I asked different people these questions, the typical response was that I was being negative, or they were simply  substitutions for the real thing.

Well let me just say this: NO. Just no!  When people put up their Christmas trees, it is the ways of the pagans (Jeremiah 10). Yahweh specifically says for us to NOT worship Him in the way that others worship their gods (Deuteronomy 12:4). Also, when we place objects as a substitution for Yahweh, our Abba, then what difference is it than when the Israelites made a golden calf to substitute when Moses was on the mountain? There is no difference. If Yahweh was upset about it then, surely He is upset about it now.

When it comes to the man-made traditions (see what I did there?) of Christmas, we need to figure out where they all came from, because we know that they did not come from Yahweh. The cutting down of the trees, decorating them with silver and gold, and bowing down to them (yes, that is what you essentially do when you gather the gifts from underneath them) comes from pagan traditions. The whole day of Christmas doesn’t actually originate from the birth of Yeshua. It originates from the birth of Saturnalia, one of the sun gods. The whole holiday originates from the sun gods.

There is so much history and legends parallel to Yahweh. However, these are lies produced by Satan. That’s what Satan does: lie. He’s the king of lies. He is the king of taking scripture and twisting it to his own agenda. Sound familiar? He is the king of taking scripture and twisting it just enough to make it sound like truth. Think about when Yeshua was tempted in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). But when we are firm in Torah, when we are firm in the foundation of Yahweh, His Word, then we will know. We will be able to see these traditions for what they really are: lies.

When you have the time, which is roughly two hours, please take the time to watch this video: Jim Staley truth or Tradition. It explains the traditions and origins of them, plus the history of where everything came from (Note, this is not my video. I did not make this video. This video is from Passion for Truth Ministries. It also deals with Easter along side with Christmas, which we don’t celebrate either). I feel that this video explains everything in such a way that is very easy to understand. It’s much better than me rambling on about it (While I do know the histories and legends, I’m afraid I would muddle them up a bit).*WARNING: It does have graphic images and some graphic content, so please be advised when watching around children*

You’re probably asking yourself, what on earth does she do then to celebrate anything? I will tell you: Leviticus 23. It outlines all of Yahweh’s holy days. Not holidays. Holydays. completely different. These are days, set apart and sanctified, by Yahweh, as days He wants us to celebrate. Some of them are more than one day, some of them are only one day. They are such a beautiful blessing to be able to celebrate them. One thing that I have noticed people saying to me when I tell them I celebrate these days: “But those days are Jewish holidays. You’re not Jewish, so why do you celebrate them?” Well, they are not strictly Jewish feast days. They are Yahweh’s feast days. They are His appointed days and times. And it specifically says for everyone in the tribes to celebrate them, including the stranger to the land, the visitor, the alien. That means, everyone is supposed to celebrate. While the feast days for the rest of this year, 2016, has already passed, I do look forward to next year’s feast days! Shalom!

 

Book

I know I haven’t posted in a while. Many apologies. I actually started writing a book! I’m sitting at about 12500 words right now. I’m really excited for it! It definitely has traces of my beliefs in it, and it’s going to be a young adult mystery sort of novel. I don’t have any thoughts on what my title is going to be yet though. But as soon as I get my synopsis written up for the book, maybe I’ll post that and then someone will have an idea on some title names. 🙂 Shalom!

Head Covering

I’m nearly a year into head covering. I’ve had some pauses here and there with it, so it hasn’t been full time. There are months when my hair won’t show a bit, but then there are months when I wear nothing to cover my hair, aside from the times I pray and do my devotions at home, or go to church.

There are a few reasons why I cover my head. And sometimes when I cover my head, it’s just that…my head. not my hair. The first and most important reason why I cover is for       1 Corithians 11:2-16:

Now I praise you because you have remembered everything I told you and observe the traditions just the way I passed them on to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is the Messiah, and the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of the Messiah is God.Every man who prays or prophesies wearing something down over his head brings shame to his head, but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame to her head — there is no difference between her and a woman who has had her head shaved.For if a woman is not veiled, let her also have her hair cut short; but if it is shameful for a woman to wear her hair cut short or to have her head shaved, then let her be veiled. For a man indeed should not have his head veiled, because he is the image and glory of God, and the woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man; and indeed man was not created for the sake of the woman but woman for the sake of the man. 10 The reason a woman should show by veiling her head that she is under authority has to do with the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in union with the Lord neither is woman independent of man nor is man independent of woman; 12 for as the woman was made from the man, so also the man is now born through the woman. But everything is from God. 13 Decide for yourselves: is it appropriate for a woman to pray to God when she is unveiled? 14 Doesn’t the nature of things itself teach you that a man who wears his hair long degrades himself? 15 But a woman who wears her hair long enhances her appearance, because her hair has been given to her as a covering.16 However, if anyone wants to argue about it, the fact remains that we have no such custom, nor do the Messianic communities of God. (CJB)

There are some people that say this passage is solely about a woman’s hair being her covering. And while I personally believe that a woman’s hair is for her glory (or beauty), just as the scriptures say, I don’t believe that’s what it means when it speaks about a covering. I also don’t believe that it’s speaking about a spiritual covering. I believe it’s an actual physical covering or veil.

There’s a few reasons why I believe this. In the first couple of verses that say “covered” or “uncovered,” the Greek word used is katakalupto (cover) and akatakluptos (uncover). Then later the Greek word peribolaion is used, which means an actual veil or cover, something physical. So if hair length was the sole reason for covering, or that hair was the actual covering, it doesn’t make much sense. For example, if you substitute long hair for cover and short hair for uncover in the verses, it doesn’t make sense at all. However if you substitute veil or unveiled, it most certainly does make sense.

This passage never says anything about covering the hair, but rather the head. This is very important because it has to do with submission to Yah. It’s a symbol of authority, by way of the angels and by nature.

The way that I see it is first and foremost is Yah, second after Him is my husband. Both of whom I submit to. Now when I say submit or submission, that doesn’t mean that I’m a slave. It means that we work together. For Yah, I listen to His word and obey. For my husband it’s respecting him and his decisions for our household. When I leave the house with a covering on my head, I have a constant physical reminder to obey Yah and to respect my husband. It’s a form of modesty for me (though that one is not biblically based but rather my personal feelings).

At first my husband was actually really upset that I chose to cover. He didn’t want me to cover outside of the home, or even inside. He would make a face every time I put a scarf on. He was scared for my safety is how he put it a few times.  After a while, he got more and more used to it, and now he loves my coverings. What got my husband on board with it was explaining to him that I needed to do this. That I felt this is really what Yah was and is telling me to do. And he understood that. I told him that if this is what Yah has told me to do then I will be kept safe. He respected me for that and supports me doing what Yah has told me to do.

I can tell when I take breaks from covering. I always have that pull back to it to cover again. It never fails. And then I pray to Yah to change my heart and my mind so that I will obey Him and what He tells me to do.

There are times when I get too caught up into covering that I miss the point of it. That’s usually when I take a break from it. I don’t want to get caught up in the legalism of it all. After all, covering my head isn’t going to save me. So I don’t need to feel guilty for not covering one day, or one week, or one month. And it’s not something that I need to argue with others about, or feel like I have to persuade them. That is definitely something that has to be between her and Yah. Her own conviction. I can’t force my conviction onto anyone else.

 

Baby Steps

I have been talking to some people over the last few days, and I really feel like this needs to be said. Even though I have another draft going on, I feel this takes precedent over that.

When first coming into the Torah life, it can be confusing at best. Especially when you’re an adult and didn’t grow up this way. There are so many “rules” as some like to put it. Let me just say this right now. Do NOT let others dictate your personal relationship with Yah. Your walk is between YOU and HIM. Not a third person, not a fourth person. You and Him. Period. When starting out, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to get everything right 100% of the time, straight off the bat. And if you’re not familiar with this lifestyle, or haven’t even read the whole Torah, this is going to be extremely hard to do. You might even get discouraged. I know I did. Many times. I wanted to give up because I was constantly comparing myself to others who have been in the Torah life for many years. But baby steps.

Baby steps is the best way to go. It’s the best way that you’ll learn something. Once you get one thing down, and you know it well, move on to the next thing. So for me, it was learning about the Biblical feasts and holy days. Once I learned those, I went on to Shabbat. Once I learned that I went on to something else. etc.

I tried, and still try, not to get caught up in the semantics of it all. What one person says is a must, may or not really be a must. It’s good to not let the traditions of men cloud your way. If it’s not in the Bible, don’t worry about it. If it is, do your best to follow it. It’s good to know that yes we are all human. Yes we are all sinners. We all fall short of the glory of Yah.

Romans 3:23 since all have sinned and come short of earning God’s praise. (CJB)

If we get caught up in the legalism of following the Torah, it defeats the purpose. We can’t follow the Torah and expect to be saved from that. It’s impossible. And we will never be good enough. Not ever. That’s exactly why Yah sent His son Yeshua to die four our sins. He alone was the ultimate sacrifice  for our sins. He alone grants us our salvation, because He alone is the only one who is perfect in every way. Yeshua followed the Torah perfectly, to lead us by example of how we should follow it.

My Starting Journey: The Torah Life

I just wanted to share with you a little bit about my starting journey living out the Torah life. I’m not going to lie and say that it’s been super easy for me, because it’s hasn’t. I will tell you this: it is amazing for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Growing up, I was told by my parents that church is where you need to be. Every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. There was no room left for argument or interpretation. And no, I could not have church at home. In college I strayed away for a bit, but then came back to the church shortly before I met my husband. Growing up, my parents and the church told me that the Old Testament had been done away with, and that we don’t live by that anymore. All of that changed after we moved to England.

Being in England literally changed my life — forever. I am not the same person that I was four years ago before I left America. The change has been fantastic! Shortly after moving to England, a friend of mine suggested that I connect with a friend of hers in Wales. I ended up contacting herHer family opened up their home to my family. They didn’t even know who I was, who my husband was, or how well (or not well) my kids behaved. Nothing. They just said, “Sure, come drive up and stay for a holiday!” I am so glad that we did.

The night we got there, our kids and their kids hit it off really well. As the night went on the kids grew tired. Us adults sat in the living room and talked. First it was just about life in general, but then the conversations grew deeper and deeper. Eventually we were on the topic of theology. I have always wanted to study theology, but didn’t quite know how. My new friends were telling my husband and I about the biblical feasts and how they aren’t just Jewish holidays. Rather, they told us that the bible taught about feasts and holy days of Yahweh.

I was amazed! I had to learn more about the feasts, Sabbaths, and holy days! No one had ever mentioned anything to me before about these things. All that I had read (which was only about the Shmitah) was really daunting, and not really something that one would want to look in to.

Holy cow, something in me was sparked. That’s when I started doing all of my research. It was slow at first. The more research I did, the more I read my Bible. The more I read my Bible, the more I felt that there was something that was truly missing in my life. I couldn’t put my finger on it.

About a month went by, and I started to have a longing to cover my hair. At the time, I had no idea that head covering was in the Bible. I had only associated it with Muslims. I didn’t even know that Orthodox Jews [and some Christians] covered! All of me really wished to cover, but I was so scared. I didn’t tell anyone.

I would play around with the hijab style of head covering in my bathroom, then quickly took the scarf off before anyone had a chance to see me. One day, it dawned on me to actually look up head covering in the Bible. The only thing I can say is that it was a Yahweh thing. I mean, who really thinks, “Oh I’m just going to look up head covering in the Bible,” not many people. But what I found was amazing!

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God. (1 Corinthians 11:2-16)

My husband was completely against it at first (he is very okay with it now, and even defends me). He kept telling me that there was no way I was leaving the house with a scarf over my head, whether it was wrapped like a hijab or wrapped like a tichel. I finally had to tell him, look, this is what Yahweh really wants me to do. I prayed and prayed about it. I knew it in my heart this was right for me.

About a week after I started covering (so far only at home though) I took another trip to Wales. I sat down with my friend, and asked her what she thought about covering. She had another friend over who told me that she also used to cover full time, and really missed it. So I ended up covering the whole time I was in Wales. It felt amazing and oddly liberating. During a couple of our conversations, the Sabbath came up. I still didn’t know fully what that meant, other than to rest. Quickly my friends shared with me that they don’t do dishes, clean, or go to shops on Sabbath. They don’t do any work. I was shocked! No shops?! What kind of crazy shenanigans was this?!

But when I got home, it stuck with me. I still had the pull on my heart and mind to cover, and I did — even when leaving the house. I didn’t do it much in front of my husband yet, but he was slowly getting used to the idea of it.

Then a crisis happened.

I had to have a surgery that would forever change my life. After that surgery I quit covering. I quit reading my Bible. I sinned. A lot. At first I was afraid to say just how much I sinned. But now I have owned up to it, asked for forgiveness, and I moved on.

When I moved on, I also moved back to America with my husband and kids.

It wasn’t until we moved back that Yahweh started pulling on my heart strings. I began reading my Bible every day. Even though I didn’t understand all of this, the thought that Torah should still be followed stayed with me. I had zero “proof” to back that up, especially after  how everyone my whole life had told me it no longer exists, but only for the Jews. It was, “done away with.”

I started studying more and more. I got involved with a Torah group, only to have the group disband shortly after I arrived due to some unfortunate circumstances. After the group disbanded, I felt hurt and alone. I felt betrayed. Some from the group took sides, and it got awful. I went from truly loving Yahweh to not understanding why He said for me to follow the Torah. I was lost and confused.

Our church slowly started to push me aside. The more I talked about the Torah in my private life and showed support for its need in modern days, the more invisible I became. I’m not going to lie, it’s been really hard. There are so many days when I just want to give up.

My husband is not Torah Observant. He was very much against my being Torah Observant in the beginning. We even argued about it. I hated it. I begged Yahweh to take away the burning for it. But He didn’t. He told me to stay straight on it.

Since my husband isn’t in line with me, he does go out on Saturdays. For me, I feel like the hardest part is keeping the Sabbath. I will be great one week, then fall of the wagon the next and go to the shops. Since I’m still so new to this, I can’t beat myself up on every little hang up. All I can do is ask for forgiveness and move on.

After all, Yeshua is the only way to heaven! Many people think (and have even asked me) that I’m Jewish. That I converted.

I did not. I do not believe that following the Torah will get me into heaven, or that it got me saved.

Only Yeshua can do that. I follow the Torah because I feel that is how I am to be obedient to Yahweh as a Believer. It’s the way I’ve chosen to express my joy in following Him. This is the greatest burning in my heart and in my soul. All I want to do is to be more like Him — to be close to Him. And for me, this is the walk I have chosen.

“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14-15)