Leviticus ‘Bible Overview, 4/66’

leviticus

Leviticus

I have realized that until I understood the book of Leviticus, that I couldn’t understand the majority of the New Testament. Jesus did not come to do something new, but to fulfill what was already taking place. God is a good God, who loves His people, and desires to be in the midst of everything that they do.  Jesus is the perfect priest who will live forever and has given me the greatest gift of all, a clean conscience, His power, and promises.  My desire is that my life would reflect this with Jesus. By coming to the cross I have been awakened about how horrid my sin really is, and that it only brings destruction. I repent and have brokenness, choosing to never go back. I am saved by faith, through Christ in grace, and I now desire to live a life that shows my faithfulness, a loving intimacy that reflects the Character of God. My daily desire is to live a life of faithfulness to the One who has set me free, cleaned my conscience, and has given me the example of what it really means to live. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and I desire to be faithful!

The name in English is derived from the Greek name of leyiticon which means “things concerning the Levites”. This is somewhat misleading because it is really a book for all of God’s people and not only the Levites. The Hebrew name vayyiqra means “and he called” which is in agreement with the tradition of using the first words of book for the title.

The author of this book is attributed to Moses after the exodus from Egypt and encompasses a year of time while they are camped at the Mountain of Sinai.

The purpose of this book is to take the ‘Egypt out of Israel’. God freed the people and redeemed them with His power by proving to Egypt He was greater than there ten gods, including Pharaoh who was considered a god. By power it was easy to free the slaves, but the challenge was to get the slave-mentality out of a freed people. This book is God’s process of discipling a free nation who thinks, acts, and believes like a slave despite being free. He is calling them to be different from any other nation, to reflect Him, to be Holy as He is Holy, and live out the freedom that they now have (Leviticus 11:45; Leviticus 18:5). This is the heart of the Pentateuch, being the reflection of God’s Character to the nations.

The literary style is a narrative of what God speaks to His people.

Leviticus 1: Burnt Offering
Leviticus 2: Grain Offering
Leviticus 3: Peace Offering
Leviticus 4: Sin Offering
Leviticus 5 – 6:7: Guilt Offering
Leviticus 6:8 – 7: Ceremonial Rules
Leviticus 8: Preparing the Priests
Leviticus 9: Aaron’s offering
Leviticus 10: The sins of Aaron’s sons
Leviticus 11: Clean vs. unclean animals
Leviticus 12-15: Laws of Cleanliness
Leviticus 16 – 17: Atonement
Leviticus 17 -20: Do not’s of the Law
Leviticus 21-22: Priestly Laws
Leviticus 23-25: Celebrations
Leviticus 26-27: Consequences

The first section of this book is about the five sacrifices: 1) Burnt offerings 2) Meal offerings, 3) Peace Offerings, 4) Sin offering, and 5) Trespass Offering. The burnt offering was symbolic worship, giving the best of what one has voluntarily. The smoke is a reflection of heaven and earth coming together. We learn that worship is about us giving to God, not us asking God to give us. The meal offering or grain offering was really a worship to share a meal with God, He would enjoy the smoke connecting heaven to earth, and the priest and his sons would eat the rest. This was an offering that blessed the ministers and provided for them. The Peace Offering was a way for the people to come and share in fellowship with God. These first three are important to understand because the sacrifices aren’t about blood and guts, but about intimacy with God and changing man’s heart. The Sin Offering and the Trespass Offering are very similar in that an individual who sins “unintentionally” would understand the high cost of their sin[1].

In sin they would have to sacrifice their best, making them poorer, and helping the individual, their family, and the whole community to understand that sin only has one possible consequence, death. Not only death, but by breaking God’s design for man there is brokenness, poverty, broken relationships, and a lack of peace. In each one of these, the key is not the sacrifice itself, but rather the heart of the one giving the sacrifice, a heart of brokenness and repentance. We can see throughout the whole Old Testament that the individual, who really knows God, says this phrase, “I would give you sacrifices, but you do not desire them, you want a repentant heart and contrite spirit.”[2]

The sacrifices were a fruit of a transformed heart, but the sacrifices and blood never changed the individual. They were saved through faith, in God, by grace, and the sacrifice showed their heart’s desire to walk in obedience. In Hebrews 9:22, it states that “almost all things are cleansed by blood.” The poorest were forgiven by a grain offering. Something unique in this part of Leviticus is to see that all of these sacrifices are only for “unintentional sin.” God NEVER intended for His people to willing walk in disobedience and live a life of intentional sin, making a conscious choice to do something against God’s law.

Sacrifices:
1) Only for unintentional sins
2) They show that God never intended intentional sin for His people
3) There was a cost of Laying on of hands in a symbolic way
4) It is a substitution but not guilty (Ezekiel 18:4-20)
5) There must be repentance and understanding of the seriousness of his sin. (Lev 16:29 and 31)
6) The person is forgiven
7) Saved by grace through faith

[1]Leviticus 4:1-5:13 (Instructions), 4:3-12 (For the Priest), 4:13-21 (Sin offering for congregation), 4:22-26 (Sin offering for a leader), 4:27-5:13 (Sin offering for individual, not always a blood sacrifice), Hebrew 9:22

[2]2 Samuel 11; 2 Samuel 12:13; Psalm 51:16-17; Micah 6:6-8; Isaiah 1:10-15; Isaiah 1:16-17; Amos 5:21-23; Amos 5:24; 1 Samuel 15:22à; Jeremiah 6:20; Jeremiah 11:15; Proverbs 15:8; Hosea 4:6-8

God chooses to come and dwell in the middle of His people. They camp in a rectangle around the Tabernacle, not facing outward to protect themselves from their enemies, but facing inward relying upon God to be their salvation and provider. Aside from the sacrifices we begin to see that God creates a calendar year full of celebration and remembering who God is, and who the people are being created in His image. This is a year of forming a culture where food, drink, celebration, government, family, work, business, and society in whole are centered on an intimate relationship with God, YAHWEH. This creates a society that remembers where they came from in slavery, and that their blessing and future depends on a relationship with the Almighty, Infinite and Personal God, YAHWEH.

Festivals:

1)Sabbath
2)Passover
3)Feast of Unleavened Bread
4) First Fruits
5)Week/Pentecost(50 days of denying oneself)
6)Trumpets
7)Atonement
8)Tabernacles

Again we can see in this book that God is a God of all nations. He doesn’t choose Israel to hide them from the world, but rather to build them into the perfect reflection of Him in order to bless the world and the nations. Israel would become an open door for all nations to intimately know, experience, and enter into a covenant with Him. We can see how God’s desire is not to have a king and prophet, but rather a nation of priests and prophets, where everyone heard from God and submitted to Him on an individual, family, clan, tribe, and national level, speaking on behalf of Him in all that they do.

When you have time to really study, one can see that everything in the tabernacle has a meaning for the Jews. God was teaching them about purity, cleanliness, and holiness, being set aside and different. Aside from the normal sacrifices, every year, God created a day of atonement. The design of this day was to provide a sacrifice for all of the unintentional sins of the people that were never brought into the light. They would fast and pray, preparing themselves to have a clean-conscience, and then on the day of Atonement they would celebrate, going into a new year with the slate wiped clean. This is the picture of Jesus. Two goats are brought forth, one has the lot of the sin of the people and is set free, symbolic of the sinful individual being released without the consequence that he or she deserves, while the second goat, the one that represented the pure and righteous, was the scapegoat and would be sacrificed.

When Jesus came He was all of these things for us:

  • The Passover Lamb: saved by faith in God, through grace, and obedience followed to show fait
  • He was our Atonement and Scapegoat: the righteous for the unrighteous, the just for the unjust. He has washed us and set us free, giving us a clean-conscience and we are new creations.

One last thought on this amazing book. Leviticus is one of my favorite books of the Bible, and like I said, I was unable to understand most of the New Testament until I understood this book. Our concept of FAITH in today’s world has little to no connection to what the Jews understood by FAITHFUL. I believe we can only understand the FAITH of a Christian, someone who is Christ-like, when we understand the FAITHFUL from the Old Testament.

Misguided thoughts of Faith Biblical Faithful
Blind, just believe Proof, based on evidence
Without Reason A logical response to a real God, this is real worship ‘a lifestyle’
A thought or belief An action or reaction based on experience, conviction, and relationship founded in Truth.
Spiritual Involves the mind, will, and emotions
No action required, action is seen as legalism Action is the natural fruit of a loving relationship. There can be no faith if it is not seen in action.
It is seen more as a feeling then real, it is contrasted with Reason or Logic It can be contrasted with being an unfaithful person, both however are active decisions based on the individual’s response to what was communicated and agreed upon.
GREEK PHILOSOPHY BIBLICAL TRUTH

Leviticus as a book is a perfect example of Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

[1] I Corinthians 15:3, Galatians 1:4, Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 9:26, Hebrews 10:12, I Peter 3:18, I John 1:17, I John 2:2, I John 4:10, Revelation 1:5, Isaiah 53:4-10, Luke 22:19, John 10:15, Galatians 2:20, Titus 2:14

Advertisements

Exodus 3/66

Exodus

The name Exodus refers to the exodus that takes place of God freeing Israel from 430 years of slavery in Egypt.

The author of Exodus is attributed to Moses and was written between 1446 BC and 1406 BC, which is between the Exodus event and the death of Moses.

The purpose of this book is to show the salvation of God’s people and the origin of God’s people.  He gives the people the law, not just for behavior, but to understand what it means to reflect the character of God, being a Holy Nation, to bless the Nations of the world and not be contaminated by the sin of those nations.

The Literary Style is a prose, narrating a lot of what takes place from Israel’s journey from Egypt to Mt. Sinai.

After seeing God’s purpose in Genesis to rise up a nation to bless the nations of the world, we see that He brought Israel into slavery for 430 years.  They grow from about 70 people to 2,000,000 – 3,000,000 people, during their time in Egypt.  God placed Israel in a protective bubble, living in the land of Goshen because as Shepherd’s they are unclean in Egyptian eyes.   So, the Egyptians leave them alone to grow and multiply, maintain their own religion, values, language, and culture.  After the time of multiplication, a new Pharaoh takes power and is fearful of their great numbers and losing power to them.  This takes us up to the beginning of Exodus.

The first section of Exodus focuses on Moses and how being a Jew, circumcised, he grew up, first, being raised by his birth mother at a young age and then, in the palace trained and educated in all things.  In Acts 7:25 we can see that Moses sees the trouble of his people, the Jews, and he tries to save them by killing an Egyptian, but the Jews didn’t understand at the time.  God must take Moses through a Discipleship Training School of 40 years where God works on his heart. Within these years, God takes time to form his Character; He cares about quality in leaders.  After 40 years, the Jews begin to call out to God and He appears to Moses, and despite the 5 excuses of Moses of why he is unable, he obeys God and returns to Egypt at age 80 to set his people free.

A big part of this book is God revealing Himself to the Jews, Egyptians, and Nations as “I AM who I AM”, Yahweh, the Lord, who was, and is, and will be. He is the uncreated, one, true God.  Each of the 10 plagues represent one of the Egyptian Gods and God is showing both Israel and the nations that Yahweh, the Lord, is the one Supreme God of all the nations, Exodus 19:3-6.  In the Exodus a ‘mixed multitude’ leaves with the Jews and again we see how God always was a God of all the Nations.  Choosing one nation was not to be selfish, but to be like God and bless all the other nations of the world, being a reflection of Him.

The rest of the book of Exodus is the story of an all-powerful God whom just saved His people, redeeming them with His power (Exodus 15:13-16). He promises to protect them and care for them, and they promise to love Him and trust Him.  This is better understood when we study the Suzerain Treaties of this time-period in history.  God creates a covenant with His people, a people chosen to be a Nation of Priests (Exodus 19:6).  Despite their disobedience, and rejection of God, He continues to be faithful to them, conquering their hearts.  The people reject God, but God’s plan for man has not changed, “create a nation of priests who love and trust God, reflecting Him in all that they do.”  We see and learn from this book that God is the One True God with all power and He never intended for man to need ‘external government’ with laws and consequences, but to live as a “nation of priests” having internal government, reflecting God in all that they do, with the Lord as their individual, family, and national leader.

On a personal level, this book always challenges me just how patient God is, and how much He does care about our character as leaders.  We are called to reflect Him.  Blessing is not for personal and selfish reasons, but rather blessed to be a blessing.  “I did not choose you because you were so good”, but rather because the other nations were so evil.  Transformation comes from God, not from my own power.  It is easy to have tunnel-vision and look at myself and nothing more, but this book helps me to remember that God does what is best for everyone: nations, tribes, clans, families, and individuals.  His wisdom is so much greater than my own and His choices always take into account all of the Nations.  This is my desire, to not only see what “I need”, “I want”, or “I feel”, but to see what “my wife”, “my child”, and all of the “others” in the world would need.  God is the all-powerful God, in His Natural Attributes: supreme in power, supreme in knowledge, all present, uncreated, triune, eternal God. By His power I have been saved and baptized.  It is a wise choice to submit and follow the God of the universe, and I must remember where He has taken me from, and what He has done in my life.  REMEMBER, “In the beginning, God, ‘NOT YOU/ME’ created”.  For Him, by Him, and through Him!

“Job” Bible Overview Part 2

JORD8985_-_Version_2-1

Job

The name Job comes from this famous historical story, of a real man, at a real time in history and his life teaches us a great lesson.
The author is anonymous, but we know that it takes place sometime around the time that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were alive, others say before the flood; but what we know is that it is one of the oldest Historical Books written around the same time as Genesis.
The purpose of Job, a real story of a real man in history, is to show the reality of some of the toughest questions in life. Why does evil exist, where does it come from, can a righteous man suffer, can men be righteous, and is there a spiritual world that affects us? When we study what was happening at, both, the time right before the flood and during the patriarchs, we understand these are key moments in history. The nations had rejected a Personal Real God and a lifestyle that acknowledged both the Physical and Spiritual realms. Job is not just a story about Job’s life, but a message for the nations to answer these tough questions during a difficult time in history.
The literary style is a mixture of a ‘sandwich’, the beginning and end are prose, while the middle is composed of poetry written in Ancient Aramaic, which in time branched off into Hebrew, Syriac, and Aramaic.

The Prologue
Section 1: Chapters 1:1-2:13 (why Job suffers)
1:1-15 Job, a righteous person); 1:6-22 (First test); 2:1-13 (Second test)

The Discourse:
Section 2: Chapters 3-31 (Job’s discourse with his three ‘comforters’ Eliphasz, Bildad, Zophar
Section 3: Chapters 32-37 (Elihu’s discourse with Job)
Section 4: Chapters 38 – 41 (God answers Job; Job responds in Job 40:3-5)

Cycle of Dialogues as Poetry (3:1-27:23)
Job’s Lament (3:1-26); First Cycle (4:1-14:22); Second (15:1-21:34); Third (22:1-27:23)

Poem about Wisdom (28:1-28)

Monologues as Poetry (29:1-42:6)
Job’s final speech (29:1-31:40); Elihu’s Monologue (32:1-37:24); Divine Monologue (38:1-42:6)

Conclusion in Prose (42:7-17)
God’ rebukes Job’s friends (42:7-9)
God restores Job (42:10-17)

The Epilogue:
Section 5: Chapters 41:1-6 Jobs response to God
Section 6: Chapter 42:7-9 God’s response to Jobs’ comforters
Section 7: Chapters 42:10-17 Job’s restoration

Job is one of the most difficult books in the Bible to study because of it’s Old Aramaic linguistic style. It is also one of the oldest books as it is written, most likely, at the same time as Genesis. Job knew God as the ‘Almighty’ just like those before Abraham and he wasn’t a Jew. This book shows us that God was always a God of all the Nations, not just the Jews, that Righteous men can suffer, and in a fallen world where Satan is very real, he is continually accusing God and man. Despite Job never sinning, which God affirms over four times and is repeated in other parts of the Bible, Job had no understanding of the spiritual realm. He was righteous, but he did not acknowledge Spiritual Warfare and the works of Satan. Job attributes God taking away, God giving Him the boils, and God causing suffering through this book, yet the verses are clear that Satan is responsible for each of these adversities.

There is a common thought during this time period, over 3,000 years ago, that righteous men can not suffer, people only suffer because of sin, and that the Spiritual Realm is not real. This book shows these ideas are wrong; God is real and good, but Satan is also real and his desire is to destroy us, the righteous can suffer, and God is bigger and more powerful than Satan. Spiritual Warfare is real and the things we do in the physical world matter and affect in the spiritual realm.

We can see in other passages, like Ezekiel 14:14, 20 and James 5:6, 10, 11, that Job was righteous. Free-moral beings can suffer for many reasons. We can suffer because of our own sin, because of the sin and/or corruption of others, and because Satan is seeking to destroy. Spiritual Warfare is very real, but if we hang on to God, trust Him, and resist the enemy, he must flee from us. The first step in Spiritual Warfare is living a righteous life.

“The Lord began by declaring Job blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil. God’s final opinion of Job was that he spoke what is right about God. Since God never changed His estimation of Job’s character, those who ultimately accuse Job of some kind of evil are incorrect. Otherwise, they portray God as either mistaken, at best, or lying, at worst.”
– Michael R. Saia

“For many people, the book of Job seems difficult to understand. But the basic themes of the book are easy enough to decipher. The difficulties arise when the reader’s concept of God’s character conflicts with His actions.”

We can see that despite suffering, God will bring justice. (Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 11:28)

In this book I have found much comfort in very difficult times of my life. God is Good! He is wise! He is more powerful than the enemy and He will not allow the enemy to do anything to me that I can not overcome! Spiritual Warfare is very real and Katie and I must always discern if God is speaking something to us, if we are simply suffering natural consequences from our decisions, or if the enemy is coming against us. We can choose to live a righteous life, a life of loving God and others before ourselves, but we also are finite and limited and must grow and learn daily, repenting from our ignorance and tendency to look inwards rather than to God. Through much suffering and difficult situations, God has continually reminded me of this phrase, “Your circumstances should never define your relationship with God, but rather your intimacy with God should define every situation that comes up!”

dliving4u.hpage.com

First Blog of Bible Overview

Tags

,

It’s crazy to think that five weeks have already passed. My original thought, was to add a small blog each week as we walk through a Presuppositional Truth journey of the Bible. After five weeks, we have covered two-weeks of Biblical Worldview studying the Biblical Truth perspective of man, government, sin, God, and creation. Also, we have covered a week of hermeneutics, meaning how to study the Bible, a week on Genesis and Job, and now we are finishing a week on Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Our goal in this four month journey is to see God clearly, discovering who He is through the Word, not who we want Him to be, creating God in our image, but, with a humble heart examining the Bible and being willing to change for whatever Truth will show us being created in His image.

Our methodology of studying the Bible during this time is through the “Historical Grammatical Method”. In brief summary, our goal is to understand what the original author’s intention was when he wrote each book, what the words in their original language and context meant, and what the recipients at that time and culture would comprehend. Scripture has one intended meaning by the author, guided by the Holy Spirit, and our goal is to find that single, intended meaning and apply it to our lives. We are always asking who, what, where, when, why, to whom, at what time, what did they understand, what did that phrase mean to them, what are their customs, and what is happening in history?  We are also looking at the context, the literary style, and the message of the book, as well as, the general focus of the section, the paragraph, the sentence, and then even individual word meanings when in doubt. In four months we can’t do an exhaustive study of the Bible, looking and fully understanding every tree in the forest, but we can look at the ‘forest and mountain it grows from’ and understand the big picture, where things are, why they are there, and what that reveals to us.

“You will be a reflection of what you worship!” Independent of what our systematic theology might want to say, we want to acquire a big-picture, clear understanding of the God of the Bible. The Bible is supreme and our God is One; we want to know Him and understand Him to apply His Truth and live as a reflection of Him.

Our first two weeks of class focus on the Torah, which are the first five books of the Bible, the Law of Moses, and we also studied the book of Job. This is where we can find who God is and what He has created us to be. These first five books were so important that the Jews by age 12 would have them memorized.

Genesis

The name comes from the Greek Word gignesthai which means ‘to be born or produced’. The Hebrew title of the book is ‘bereshit’ which means “in the beginning”, the first word of the book.

Written by Moses most likely between 1446 BC and 1406 BC, before Moses died

Purpose is to narrate the beginnings of all things, of the nations, and of God’s people, Israel. This book covers more time then any other book in the Bible.

The style is primarily a narrative written in Hebrew.

Genesis:

A book of creation and beginnings, Genesis shows our design and purpose to reflect God as human beings. Being created in His image and likeness we have a mind with the ability to reason, think, dream, focus, remember, imagine and much more. We also have emotions giving us the ability to enjoy and experience life, a magical gift from God. God has also given us a will, demonstrating our ability to execute decisions independent of what we feel in our emotions, guided by reason and Truth in the Spirit, to create with God and execute a life with purpose. We were created live by choice, based on reason with a beautiful ability to enjoy everything.

Our purpose is to reflect God’s character in faithfulness, mercy, justice, righteousness, love, and holiness, as well as to fill the earth, pro-create, and rule by being stewards and improving what God has entrusted to us. When two become one; being different in functions, but same value, man and woman, in marriage is a reflection of ELOHEEM, God the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Sin is a great distortion of our original design. From the fall we see a massive change in relationship between man and God, man and man, and man and creation. God still blesses man in Genesis 2, 3, 9:8-17; 15:9-21; and Genesis 17. We are blessed to bless the nations. God’s heart in Genesis is to create a Nation that will reflect Him to bless the Nations. Genesis 19:5 “if you obey me fully and keep my covenant.” We were created with an ability to choose what is right, according to truth, and this always brings blessing.

We see how God’s heart is broken over sin; Genesis 6:6 “and God was sorry He created man, and He repented for having created him”. God didn’t desire for evil or create it, but man is free and with freedom there is power for life and death. Man knew what was right and wrong but had never experienced it. The lie from Satan and the world has been, “you must experience it yourself to KNOW and it is foolish to trust God.” As stewards of creation, we choose! We look at God’s intimate relationship with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph and how He is patient and willing to disciple and develop character.   Despite living in a fallen world, men can seek God and live for Him, transforming the nations. This is the book of Beginnings, design and purpose for man and nations, and a huge insight into who is God.


For both Katie and myself this book has been very key in our lives.  It has helped us see how God works with Individuals, preparing their character and discipling them which has challenged us a lot as we grow in leadership.  After we were married, Katie used to always tell me, “my dream is for us to be ‘naked’ like Adam and Eve were in Genesis.”  What she means is that we would learn to live a life of transparency and love before God and each other through which their is nothing hidden, no shame, and no darkness; to be ‘naked’ without shame in the presence of each other and our Creator.  A third conversation we have had a lot, which has developed even more since having our first son is the way in which we understand ‘Eloheem’, or the God-Head from Genesis.  One God in three distinct persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).  In marriage taking two completely different individuals and making one 1+1 = 1 Flesh has been teaching just how wise, patient, loving, and humble the Godhead is.  Our dream is be unified as they are in purpose while still walking in distinct functions.  Difference is good!  We have the same value, but very unique and different callings/functions, but we must be united in purpose!

dliving4u.hpage.com 

Link

Finding Joy

For our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for a Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ” – Phillipians 3:20

“See I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity… You choose” – Deuteronomy 30:15

These are two of the verses that have most marked my life, living in Mexico and serving the Nations.  Traveling through almost every state of Mexico, Gautemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, South Korea, Jamaica, Saint Croix, Soth Korea, and even the United States I have seen some differences.  This together with understanding that comparisons can never have a positive result, it is sinuating that one is better then the other.  God, being a God of diversity has created with purpose a life full of diversity, these differences are not better or worse, but much like a Man and a Woman, different.  The same value but a different function.

To let go and allow God to open my eyes to what He sees has removed the veil from my eyes on so many different occasions.  In the previous Blog I shared a little bit of the reality that confronted me almost four years ago, it was just a glimpse, but a very real moment of my reality that both defined me and wakened me.

As a family we have made a decision to never move forward without first finding a Word from The Lord.  He is not a means to an end that we hope to achieve one day, but rather the End in itself.  All for Him, we are sold-out and have staked our lives on it, having given everything over to this reality.  There are definitly highs and lows, but remembering what lays before us and the joy that has followed each step of our journey continues pushing us onward toward the goal.

How does His perspective change things?  Ten years ago I spoke no Spanish at all, had no radar on ever stepping into Mexico, I had no desire to be a part of the Latino Community and little to no understanding what was happening outside of “my little world”.  I had clear goals in College, job opportunities, friends, and a set journey.  Looking back ten years now, I have done almost everything that I said I never wanted to do, gone everywhere I said I would never go, and found a life in what never even existed in my Mind.  God’s Faithfulness is beyond measure!  He asked for a small choice here, a change of direction there, and despite being where I never imagined and doing what I could have never believed, God has fulfilled the desires of my heart.  The big choices are easy, but it’s the little things that define “life and prosperity”.

I would NEVER give up what I have “many times nothing in the material world” but I have gained the joy and peace of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right people.  God has blessed us with a marriage beyond what we could have dreamt of, the ‘Gerber Baby’ as a first son, and family and friends in every place that the sole of our feet touch.  We still have dreams ‘they seem to exponentially grow by the year’ because the impossible now seems real.  If God is for us, who can be against us?  When I stop looking behind us and can keep my eyes from jumping 10 or 15 years into the future, I find myself looking at today, this night, right where we are.  All that I can say is Joy!  The Holmbergs; Katie, Daniel, and Caleb have found the ride of life.  Not from here nor there, but Ambassadors preparing the way, being treated as Royalty, for our Father is a King!  And He is faithful!

As I close my eyes and lay down to rest all I can do is thank The Lord for having us here, in this moment, in this place, together, we are Home!

We begin full classes tomorrow for the Bible School of the Nations which we are leading, and I hope to use this Blog as a means to share the journey that we are embarking upon.  4-months and studying all 66 Books followed by 2-months of training and teaching local church leaders in week-long seminars on “what Truth is, who God is and what His ways are like, man’s Design and Purpose, and what the Spirit and Purpose of the Law is”.  Don’t miss this journey, the Foundation that Transforms Nations, “Know it, Live it, Be the Living Word!”

dliving4u.hpage.com

Link

A season in review

After looking back ten years , I’ve come to an understanding that one-third of my life living in another culture has placed me between two worlds. Getting married a few years back was the first time to actually live in the United States and speak English as a main language in many years. Arriving in Mexico at age 19, really still a youth, and returning to the United States as a man brought forth a huge culture shock.

It’s funny looking back because I felt crazy to give up everything and move to Mexico without speaking a word of Spanish. It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, but I knew it was the right step. There were challenges and times of great loneliness and a feeling of not belonging, but nothing compared to what awaited me back in the Freeway of life in the United States.

I lost friends and relationships which is normal after being gone for over 7 years, but what I didn’t expect was that I no longer belonged. I wasn’t Mexican, but my worldview and values had shifted, my way of communication and understanding, and even the ability to fully express myself in my native tongue seemed almost undoable. My culture shock, was coming home to the United States.

I can’t find the words to really explain it, but the joy that I had expected to await me upon my return seemed much more like being lost in an ocean of thoughts that had no answer. Nothing big enough to put my finger on it and call it by name, but there was a fracture within when the revelation hit me that I don’t belong. Neither here nor there, but somewhere in between. Lost between a world of the Politically Correct fighting for an American Dream while losing oneself in the lie of consumerism. Racism and (reverse racism) which is definitely not politically correct in a battle of study to get into a good school, go to a good school to get a good job, get a good job to work hard to pay off school (don’t let marriage or family ‘now undefined’ get in the way), and one day pay off student-loans and save to buy a house, car, and vacation, to one day retire and enjoy life while all too often it has already passed by; or worse it was all a front hidden behind Credit, nothing real, just a mask. This is an extreme view that isn’t complete or probably completely accurate, but it is what my eyes could see and they were overwhelmed and confused.

The other side was a war of Cartels. Blood, money, and power. “Why do today what I can do tomorrow”? Relationships as a first priority and work as an afterthought. Abuse, Matriarch Society and Machismo, but family matters. Drinking a life away, but loving today with no thought for tomorrow. Timely and accurate communication appearing to be an unknown principle and changing plans more then the thought of even planning. Offending with every wrong look or too honest choice of words and feeling lost in a world that appears to be hiding behind another mask.

Looking back it seems almost silly but two worlds separated by a river that might as well have been an ocean. The greatest challenge was yet to come. Despite facing a wall in returning Stateside, the bigger bridge to cross was driving back with my new wife. I had left the US as a young man finding a way in Mexico, returned to the Staes and understood who I was as a man and after 7 years, everything that never bothered me or I had even noticed kept me from seeing beyond. It seems like I had gone the wrong way, everyone coming North and we had moved South of the Boarder.

An island in an ocean without a Motherland to connect to, simply trying to find a way. Brokenness to find breakthrough, and being lost to be found. Coming Home to Mexico that would really never be home again. Nothing had changed, but me, something had shifted, the American Dream? No but a vail had been lifted, we were now stuck between.

A baby and a move to bring us into a new season and finally the answer seems to appear. Not where we come from, not what we have come to, but who He is. We aren’t from here (but our son is now Mexican being born here) and we don’t belong there (but we love and miss our family and friends daily), but we have created our own culture, our own family, our own dreams.

A citizenship from out of this World. Like a chameleon fitting in wherever we go, a glow on the face that shines for His glory and a fluid tongue whether in Spanish or English but now we know. We don’t belong, we are stuck between, but we are Home, together we are home!

Edited with BlogPad Pro

dliving4u.hpage.com