Hold On To The Written Torah

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Through Water & Fire

I have discussed trust, faith and encouragement in my previous posts and as I've posted about these subjects I've found that I have only scratched the surface of each one. So in this post I would like to encourage you to look deeper into the One who we should put our trust and faith in.
As you read the following passage, take it in and make it personal.
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 43 1-5 But now, thus says Yahweh, who created you, O Yaakov, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am Yahweh your Elohim, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life. Fear not, for I am with you.”
Now that we have this encouragement, we can have confidence that when we are faced with the rising waters of anxiety we will not be swept away into the abyss of despair. When the fire of fear is lit within us we can know that we will not get scorched if we put our trust in Yahweh. It is an amazing thing to be told that Yahweh has called us by our name. This tells me that He has placed us here on His planet for a purpose. Even when that purpose doesn't seem clear or even apparent, we can have confidence that Yahweh will bring us out of the water and the fire of hopelessness.
I have made metaphoric references to the water and fire in this passage, but I’m well aware that these are physical promises as well. There is a great account of three men who endured a very hot fire and came out of it without even the smell of fire upon them. The account is in Daniel 3. Now please bear in mind that when we read these accounts that they were to prove out the faith of the individuals. I’m in no way suggesting we go out and do anything that would put us at risk. If you notice all of the accounts of water and fire are faith related to show the sovereignty of Yahweh.
So look up to The Holy One of Israel, your Savior and be strong and courageous in the face of great trials.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In whom do we place our trust?

When we are faced with dire circumstances we often find ourselves asking “who can we trust?” “Who will save me?” Let’s think about the word trust for a moment. The English definition offers us this; a person on whom or something on which a person relies. This definition gives us a clear choice on where we can place our trust; we place it on someone or something.
A Hebrew definition offers us this; חָסָה Chasah from (Shamuel Bet (2 Samuel) 3) to seek refuge, flee for protection and to put trust in, confide or hope in. With the Hebrew definition we are given the impression that we are seeking refuge and hope.
Look at what David said in Shamuel Bet (2 Samuel) 2-4 and he said: “Yahweh is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The Elohim of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.”
So with this very powerful statement we are encouraged by David to place our trust in Yahweh Elohim. So when we are faced with fear and doubt we can trust that when we call upon Yahweh He will hear us and save us from our enemies!
What or who are our enemies you may ask? For this post I’m going to suggest that we think of fear and doubt as our enemies. I have found that when we are faced with a dire situation fear shows up almost instantly and the feelings of anxiety and doubt begin to creep into the front of our minds. This, as I have said before, is usually because we were told certain negative things in our past that cause us to have a negative reaction to the event that is currently happening to us.
What then can we do to combat these real feelings? I would suggest that we first be honest and admit that we have them and then move into a trust position right away. This is not an easy task to accomplish at first, but as we place our trust in Yahweh, as David did we will find it easier each time an uncertain incident comes forth.
Remember the key statement of the passage David wrote; “Yahweh is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The Elohim of my strength, in whom I will trust.”
May you be blessed and encouraged!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fear Not

If I haven’t mentioned it before I would like to suggest that we can live without fear. How do I do that you should ask? Well I have discovered it is not an easy thing, to live without fear. But it is possible however. Look at what Yahweh spoke in
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 41: 8-10 “But you, Israel, are My servant, Yaakov whom I have chosen, the descendants of Avraham My friend. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to you, you are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your Elohim. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” This is very encouraging when we feel that we are slipping into that dreadful state of fear and anxiety. We can feel confident that no matter where we are on this planet, that Yahweh has created, that He will help us and uphold us.
It is a wonderful thing to know that we are chosen and that we are not cast away. To know that we are strengthened by Yahweh our Elohim should give us the confidence and joy to combat any fear that wells up from within our pool of despair, that has been created by the negative bombardment, from all those who have filled the pool with doubtful and deceptive words.
It is even possible to live without fear when we are faced with economic uncertainty. This however, can seem a bit more difficult especially when our finances are tied to our being able to stay in our homes and keep the lights on. When a person is faced with this particular reality, that individual must grab onto a passage like Yeshayahu 41: 8-10 with both hands and accept it as a reality for ones life.
So it is possible to live life without fear, even when we feel afraid, we can turn to the promise of Yahweh our Elohim and be courageous!

Monday, November 19, 2012

To only have Strength and Courage

I would like to feel strong and courageous all of the time! I do however find I would like to feel strong and courageous all of the time! I do however find myself having some weakness and fear every once in awhile. I found this passage as I was going through my notes on encouragement and I thought it would be helpful to some of you who may feel timid, shy and otherwise scared to be out in the world. It is good for those of you who are more advanced in your strength and courage lifestyles.
Yahoshua (Joshua) 1: 7-9 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the Torah which Moshe My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left that you may prosper wherever you go.” ”This Book of the Torah shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for Yahweh your Elohim is with you wherever you go.”
This is a great encouragement to have in front of you when you are feeling less then courageous. Now I know that this was spoken to Yahoshua three days before he was going to cross the Yarden and enter the Promised Land, but I think we can apply this to our lives today. I believe it is not a stretch, that this passage was spoken the way it is so that anyone who is seeking Yahweh and His word can grab hold of it and take it very personally.
It is an amazing encouragement that Yahweh tells us to “Only be strong and courageous” when it comes to observing and doing all of Yahweh’s Torah. It is fantastic to know that through strength and courage, while following the Torah, that we will be prosperous and have good success! So even in the face of financial hardship, loss and loneliness we are commanded to “Be strong and of good courage” Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:6-8 and to remember that “Yahweh your Elohim is with you wherever you go.”
So we now know that it is possible to “Only be strong and very courageous”. So I would like to encourage you to reach out to someone you know and lift them up with these passages and let them know that you are there with them in the pursuit of strength and courage!!

Seeking Every Good Path

I have heard and have been told that life is a journey and that a person needs to find their own path. If that is the case then how do we find our own path? The statement, “find your own path”, seems to be a bit misleading since we as individuals tend to pick things up as we grow in knowledge and understanding. It appears to me that it is probably someone else who sets us out on our first path. I have come to somewhat of an understanding that when left alone humans tend to make their own paths difficult and sometimes very depressing.
As I’ve stated before we tend to be a product of the words and actions that were thrust upon us as we were starting out on this planet. So what I’ve done is first I dealt with the reality that there have been some pretty nasty things that were said and done to me in my early years. So, after dealing with that knowledge, I accepted these wretched things as being the reality that was given to me. I then decided, with help from a trusted friend, that I could actually change the way I view myself despite all of the torment from my past experiences.
When we look at our lives as being on a path, we need to understand that we may not be on the best path to help us on our life journey. Therefore we need to seek out a good path to walk upon. Look at what Shlomo said in Mishlei (Proverbs):   
Mishlei 2:6-9 For Yahweh gives wisdom; From His mouth comes knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.
This to me is great news!! It is wonderful to be reminded that Yahweh is the giver of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. With this in mind, we can know that when we chose Yahweh’s path it is the right path for our lives.
So set out to find Yahweh’s path and know that when you seek Him, He will reveal Himself to you and show you His good path.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Untwist the Roots

When you feel alone and entangled in the twisted roots of anxiety remember that Yahweh is there to give you his Shalom. So peer out from the torment and call upon the name of Yahweh.
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 33:2-3 Thus says Yahweh the creator, Yahweh who formed it to establish it Yahweh is His name. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Here we can see that the prophet Yirmeyahu is being told by Yahweh to call upon His name. Yahweh is stating that He will show Yirmeyahu things he doesn't know when he calls upon Yahweh. From this we too can have the confidence that when we call upon Yahweh, He may show us things we do not know as well. Occasionally however, we may feel that we are not getting the answers we are seeking. Does this mean we should stop calling? Of course not! We need to continually call upon Yahweh and acknowledge that He is the creator and we are his creation.
Think on Tehillim (Psalms) 46:10-11 Be still, and know that I am Elohim; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Yahweh Tzvaot (of hosts) is with us; The Elohim of Yaakov is our refuge, Selah. So with this in mind, the next time we are set upon by the twisted torment of anxiety, be still and call upon the name of Yahweh.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Light to my Path

Tehillim (Psalms) 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

In this portion of Tehillim (Psalms) 119 we see that a word can give us light and help us to see our way upon our path. This is an important thought when we think about the words we say to ourselves. Upon occasion I feel myself slipping into the darkness of self doubt and anxiety. Even with my positive self talk in place, circumstances can creep in and I find myself wandering down a dimly lit path.
I have found that most of us tend to focus on the unfortunate circumstance that has befallen us instead of remembering the positive words that Yahweh has spoken about us. I occasionally find myself in this position and let myself journey down the path with very dim lighting. So what do we do when we are stumbling and bumping into doubt and anxiety? Turn on the lamp! Shine the light of the Word of Yahweh Elohim upon the uncertainty of our current situation! We need to hold fast to the promises that Yahweh has made to us His chosen people and remember to say encouraging words to ourselves.
If we are having difficulty coming up with encouraging words to say to ourselves then we should look to some place that has encouraging words already put into place. An excellent source for encouragement is Tehillim. The reason it is so full of encouragement is because King David followed the Mitzvah (Commandment) in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:18-20 that commands any King of Yisrael to write a copy of the Torah and to study it all of his days. So in reality all of David’s encouragement came from the Torah. Therefore we too can trust that the Word of Yahweh is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
I keep this encouragement with me as I journey along my path so that when things seem dark ahead of me I can shine the true light of Yahweh’s Word on my path. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Lean not on your own Understanding

Try not to lean on your own understanding when it comes to your perceived self image. Consider what Shlomo (Solomon) said in Proverbs 3:5 Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
So what does it mean to lean on our own understanding? I believe that the proverb is referring to how we perceive ourselves based on how we were spoken to as we grew from childhood to an adult state. So let’s say that we were constantly told negative and hurtful words. It would stand to reason that your own understanding would be a direct response to those negative thoughts and feelings. Therefore the Proverb is encouraging us to trust in Yahweh and to change our understanding to reflect how Yahweh perceives us.
Remember Yahweh considers His people to be a “special treasure” so if you consider yourself to be among Yahweh’s chosen people you need to change your negative understanding of yourself. As I’ve gone through my life journey I have come to realize that I must strengthen my resolve that as I have “special treasure” status I need to stop looking at my present situation to shape my view of myself and focus on the place that Yahweh has put me in. This place is a secure and peaceful one where I can enjoy the support of Yahweh’s grace and mercy. 
So as I go out into the world I need to hold fast to the words that Yahweh has spoken of me. This is to give me confidence that I can stand up to the doubt vendors that try to sell me on the idea that I’m less then what Yahweh has spoken of me.       

Monday, September 10, 2012

Words we say to others

Words that we say about others are just as important as the words we say to ourselves. I discovered a long while ago that the way I viewed others was a reflection of how I felt about myself. For example; if I thought someone was speaking a negative word about themselves I found myself getting upset with that person. I came to understand that I have had a tendency to speak negatively about myself which I then got upset with myself about. Therefore what I was upset about within me became a sticking point for me with others. So it would make sense that the less negative I spoke about myself the less I will be affected by the way others talk about themselves.
So now with all of that wisdom flowing within me, if I hear someone talking negative about themselves, instead of getting upset with them I can offer them a word of encouragement.
If I hadn’t dealt with my own internal situation it would be difficult for me to be in the place were I can offer words of light and truth to others. So I would like to offer these words of encouragement to you. You do have a choice as to the way you speak to those around you. You can offer up words that will bring a person to the heights of confidence or cast them down upon the jagged rocks of despair. This may sound contradictory to the true statement “we can’t change anyone else, we can only change ourselves” but lets look at it in this light; we can, with our words have slight influences on the people we come in contact with. It is not that we are trying to change others rather we are trying to change the way we ourselves interact with others. This brings to mind Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. The word fitly in this reference means in a timely manner or at the appropriate time. We can see that if we use a positive word at the appropriate time that the word is as precious as silver and gold.
With that in mind when we interact with others let’s try to lead with a positive uplifting word and remember that like us others need encouragement as well.         

Friday, September 7, 2012

Who Do You Believe You Are?

I have found that it has been very helpful for me to focus my thoughts on Elohim. When I focus on The King of the Universe I get a deeper understanding of positive self talk. How do I do that you might ask? Great question!! First you must accept the word that Yahweh Elohim has spoken about his chosen people. Look at Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7:6 “For you are a holy people to Yahweh your Elohim; Yahweh your Elohim has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.” This is what Yahweh spoke to Moshe, to in turn speak to the people of Yisrael. If you count yourself as a part of Yisrael then these words were spoken to you.
We need to not only hear these words but also act upon them. We need to say them out loud to ourselves so that our Nefesh (Soul) begins to accept them and believe them.
In this verse we see that Yahweh has said we are a “holy people”. The word holy means set apart. The reason that it is important to know that meaning is to show us how special we are. We are set apart from all other people meaning that we are unique. These words were not meant to vainly puff us up but rather to reassure and lift us up. This verse should excite us and bring great joy into or innermost parts.
Think about the part that states that “Yahweh our Elohim has chosen us to be a people for Himself”. We need to internalize this so that when any of the negative thought merchants try to push a thought of doubt or discouragement upon us we will know deep within us that we are the chosen of Yahweh!
We need to hold fast to the section that calls us “a special treasure”. Shout aloud to yourself that I’m Yahweh’s special treasure!!!! You can have complete confidence that this is a righteous and truthful statement.
The more you say the words of this verse out loud to yourself and internalize these words, you will begin to see positive changes in the way you perceive yourself.         

Truth and Light

Words can bring strength and gladness or fear and dread. We need to be mindful of the words that come into our Nefesh (Soul). We need to examine them to see if they are true about us or not. Do the words that are said by others have the sound of truth and bring us to a place of encouragement or do their words have the feeling of dread and darkness? Do the words we say about ourselves bring us closer to the light of truth, or do they drag us down into the darkness of despair?
Try to remember a time in your life when someone said something positive about you and how great you felt. Did the time and place immediately jump to the front of your mind? Did you suddenly feel the rush of exhilaration at the memory? If so, congratulations you are doing quite well and need to keep in touch with those positive uplifting people, but if you are having trouble remembering a time in your life when someone really encouraged you, be at peace and know that there are a lot of us in that situation. So what can we say about this dilemma? We can say I will be the one to give myself the positive affirmation I want to hear. What? That sounds awfully self-centered doesn’t it? In the extreme, any self talk can become a source for self centered thoughts, but if we are careful and keep in mind that we can only change ourselves and not others we can begin to shape our thoughts into a positive stream of great mental behavior.
What I found myself doing was trying to figure out what I wanted to hear and then how I wanted to feel. The first thing I wanted to hear was that I’m a great artist, so I began to say out loud, “I’m a great artist”. Now with that kind of statement I wanted to make sure that I at least had some talent or ability so I decided to show my work to a few people I could trust to be honest about my work. They all agreed that I was a good artist and one of them even said my art was great! Right then I realized that the positive self talk combined with the decision to timidly reach out and show my art to some one resulted in gaining the words I wanted to hear. I was able to shine the light of truth into my Nefesh.
Now that experience was wonderful but I also realized that I still had to work on my belief system and learn how to mentally defend myself against the doubters and the dream stealers. How tragic it is that there will always be negative and abusive people in the world. So we need to always be building our positive internal word arsenal so that when the deceit peddlers come against us we are ready to say no to their bill of lies.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sticks and Stones

You are most likely familiar with the statement “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, this statement may seem helpful on the surface but there are some misleading concepts involved here. Let’s look closely at this statement to see if it is truly accurate or helpful. The first part claims that “sticks and stones may break my bones”; let’s think on that for just a moment, better yet you can prove this statement out for yourself. Go outside and walk by some sticks and without touching them see if any of them can actually break your bones. Pick one up and see if just holding it in your hand will accomplish the actual breaking of your bones. Strange isn’t it that the stick has no power of itself to fulfill the bone breaking statement. Now try it with some stones. Find a place were the stones are gathered together closely in one place and walk slowly by them. Do you feel any bones begin to break within you? No? How strange. Try picking one up and hold it in your hand. Is the result the same as the stick? Yes, of course it is. You have now proven that sticks and stones left on there own cannot break your bones.
Now let’s examine the latter part of the statement “words will never hurt me”. This part is a little harder to prove out because it involves being honest about how we feel when words are used for or against us. There is a Proverb that I like to quote when dealing with words, it is Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. This is very powerful when you understand that the words that are spoken and heard stay within us forever. So if someone speaks negative words to you, you will begin to think negative thoughts and those negative thoughts will begin to form negative behavior. If you are honest with yourself you know when an insult hurts you and how it makes you feel. You know that it stays in your mind for quite along while. You know that if you dwell on the insult long enough that it can actually change the way you think of yourself. With that said, we now can see the words can and do hurt us.
We all would like people to say good and righteous things about us, so how do we get them to do that? Keep in mind we cannot change others we can only change ourselves. So we need to begin to speak positive words about ourselves. What? Did I just say that we need to say positive words to ourselves? Yes indeed we do, because as I stated earlier we cannot change anyone else we can only change ourselves. So to clarify that statement we cannot make someone say nice things about us so we need to say nice things about ourselves and maybe, just maybe, as we begin to say good and righteous things about ourselves others may pick up on it.
Ultimately we need to be speaking life giving words to ourselves and then speak those same life giving words to others.
There is a simple phrase that you can start with. I would suggest that you do this in the privacy of your own space. Yes you need to say this out loud. The phrase is: I’m a winner. This is not, I repeat, not designed to make you feel superior to anyone else or to vainly puff you up. It is designed to give you a feeling of confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Now to back up your new found feeling you need to go out and win. One way you can do this is to say to yourself, today I’m going to say hello to one person that I don’t already know. A safe place to do this is in a neighborhood grocery store or a one stop shopping center. Remember all you are doing is saying hello. Once you have said hello to one person congratulations, you are a winner!
There is one more statement that you can make that will help keep you motivated. It is: I feel good, I feel great! The good part of the statement is fairly easy to achieve but the great statement is what you are ultimately striving for.
You must own each of these statements. That is to say that you must accept and believe you are a winner and that you do feel good and that you do feel great. I would suggest that you say these statements out loud to yourself a few times in a row each morning. I’m not suggesting that you chant them or use them in some bizarre ritual. Simply say them out loud, accept them as true statements about yourself, and then go about your day and see what happens.
This is the beginning of your journey into self motivation and happiness. Remember, you are also trying to speak life into others as well.