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Showing posts from August, 2015

“Packing” & Praying Down at the Church

A church in Calhoun, Georgia has put together a team of volunteers armed with guns in order to protect churchgoers during services and events. Thirteen members of Crane Eater Community Church are undergoing a 22-hour firearms training and safety course in order to add more security to the facilities. The passage of Georgia House Bill 60 allows guns to be taken into churches and places of worship. Read the complete article at -- http://www.fox4news.com/news/u-s-world/13196815-story

Are you seeing the people in the Bible in "Their Contexts” or “Your Context”?

When reading the Bible, we are the Receptor and it is our responsibility to search for the Source’s “bundles of associations” and make sure we attaches the Source’s “bundles” to the words of our Bible. Read this BHC Bible Study Blog at http://bhcbiblestudies.blogspot.com/2015/08/are-you-seeing-people-in-bible-in-their.html

From Jewish Messiah to God Incarnate

Dr. James Tabor’s latest blog provides a wealth of information about a subject that Christians have debated for almost 2,000 years now. Regardless of what one’s beliefs about Jesus are, it must be clearly understood that other Christians have held – and do hold -- other beliefs about it. Or, as we like to say, “many different memes have been attached to Yeshua over the centuries.” For more information go to -- http://therealyesua.blogspot.com/2015/08/from-jewish-messiah-to-god-incarnate.html

The Days of Transformation

This piece is a shout out to my friend Jim Myers and his Real Yeshua Blog. The Hebrew month of Elul comes before the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Traditionally it is a time of inner reflection which we call in Hebrew Heshbone Ha Nefesh, literally, “an accounting of the soul.” Friday, August 14th was the start of this sacred season.
As Jim points out, an important component of this time is repairing and reconciling broken relationships. There are three basic relationships involved:
(1) The one we have with ourselves.
(2) The one we have with our Highest Power or Highest Love.
(3) The ones we have with the rest of creation.

Unfortunately for us, we are responsible for repairing and reconciling all three. Read Rabbi Leynor’s complete blog at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-days-of-transformation.html

One Small Word Makes a Big Difference

Take the 40-Day Real Yeshua Challenge - it begins today.

One of the most important teachings of Yeshua isn’t taught in most churches, but you will find it in most Twelve-Step programs. Pay close attention to the words of Yeshua (highlighting added to stress specific words):
Therefore if you bring your QORBAN to the ALTAR, and THERE you REMEMBER that your brother has something AGAINST you, leave your QORBAN there, before the altar, and FIRST be reconciled to your brother, and THEN come and offer your QORBAN. (Matthew 5:23-24)
Yeshua was clearly addressing people who understood what he was talking about because it was something they and everyone they knew did. The Temple’s sacrificial rituals were part of Jewish life. QORBAN is usually translated as "sacrifice" or "offering.” In 21st century America, both words are understood to be an act in which the one presenting the QORBANlosses or gives up something.

But, in Yeshua’s world, the meaning of the root of QORBAN was understood -- QRB means "to draw near." Read the comple…

Was Jesus the Son of God? It's Complicated

Scholars are aware of the rich and diverse ways in which the term "Son of God" is used in the Hebrew Bible, in subsequent Jewish literature, and in the New Testament writings themselves, not to mention various non-Jewish texts (including inscriptions and coins) of the Greco-Roman period. Most of us who teach in the field of Christian Origins get asked from time to time by students or in public lectures, "Professor, do you believe Jesus was X." Sometimes X is "Messiah," other times it is "Divine," but in my experience, most often, the question is "Do you believe that Jesus was the Son of God." In good Socratic fashion one is tempted to reply, "Well what do you mean by the term 'Son of God,' and such a counter question is certainly more than subterfuge. Here is a listing of most of the complex ways in which that term is used in the Christian Bible and other related traditions. Read the complete article at -- http://www.huffi…

Jewish Groups Raise More than $17,000 To Repair Torched 'Miracle' Church In Israel

A Jewish fundraising campaign to rebuild a historic Christian church in Israel that was damaged by arsonists has been very successful. The "Restoring Friendship" drive to raise funds to repair the Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha,where Christians believe Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, eclipsed its goal of about $13,000, as support has poured in from Jewish people in far-flung places.
"Burning any house of worship is a crime against human spirit," one donor wrote. "I expect all people, regardless of their faith (or non-faith) to condemn it and to fight the fundamentalist waves that enable & encourage such despicable actions." 
"We affirm a vision of Judaism that sees all people as created in the divine image -- and seeks not to diminish or demean anyone, but to honor and enhance our shared humanity," another donorcommented.

Read complete article at -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tabgha-church-fundrai…

Did Paul learn to write Epistles from Gamaliel?

Gamaliel the Elder(Rabban Gamaliel I) was a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the early 1st century CE. He was the son of Simeon ben Hillel, and grandson of the great Jewish teacher Hillel the Elder, and died twenty years before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE). In Jewish tradition, Gamaliel is described as bearing the titles Nasi and Rabban (our master), as the President of the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Read the complete blog at -- http://bhcbiblestudies.blogspot.com/2015/08/did-paul-learn-to-write-epistles-from.html

Is “Just Come to Jesus” the answer to all problems?

About a year ago, the woman teaching the Sunday School class in my church suggested in conclusion to her lesson that we should "throw away" our depression medication, our therapy appointment cards, and our books about mental illness. "Just come to Jesus," she said, "He will heal all." I think I've heard this dozens of times in my life, but it hurt me badly at the time. I was only recently recovering from a long, five-year episode of suicidal depression, and also in the midst of mothering a teen who was suffering suicidal depression. This advice felt like a slap in the face to all my struggles. But since then, I have spent some time trying to figure out what to say to those religious people who do not understand that not all problems are solved by simply "bringing them to Jesus." Part of the problem is, I think, a lack of empathy. It can be easy to look at other people and only see where they are now, rather than where they have been. . . Ano…

What’s a Death Midwife? Inside the Alternative Death Care Movement

What’s a Death Midwife? Inside the Alternative Death Care Movement From funeral cooperatives to green burials, there's a kinder, gentler, less expensive way to die.
Over the smell of coffee and freshly baked tarts, she was going to advise a client on how best to host a special event at her home, helping coordinate everything from the logistics of the ceremony, to how to dress the guest of honor. People might cry, they might laugh, and all attention would be on the person of the hour—only that person would never see, hear, or enjoy the festivities, because they would be dead.
“People looked at me like I had two heads when I said, ‘Keep the body at home after the person dies,’” says Barrett, a Seattle-based funeral director and certified “death midwife.” “For families who want it, they should have the right to do it.” Barrett has been practicing home funerals in the area since 2006 through her business, A Sacred Moment. In a home funeral service, the body is either brought back to the …

Israeli Archaeologists announce the discovery of a monumental city gate of the biblical city of Philistine Gath (home of Goliath)

“We knew that Philistine Gath in the tenth to ninth century (BCE) was a large city, perhaps the largest in the land at that time,” excavation leader Professor Aren Maeirtold Live Science. “These monumental fortifications stress how large and mighty this city was.” According to Maeir, the monumental gate is among the largest ever found in Israel and confirms that Gath was one of the most influential cities in the region at the time. See pictures and read article at -- http://www.timesofisrael.com/archaeologists-unearth-the-gate-to-goliaths-hometown/

What Fundamentalists and Scientists may have in common.

What could a fundamentalist and a scientist have in common? Both build barriers around their conclusions and refuse to consider anything else. You may have noticed that the media usually place fundamentalists in the spotlight and focus on their close-mindedness. However, I just finished reading a great article in BBC’s Science Focus (Issue 282 / July 2015; p. 23) by Robert Matthews -- How a `crackpot’ theory has just been proved correct. Matthews puts scientists in the spotlight. Read the complete blog at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2015/08/what-fundamentalists-and-scientists-may.html

How Violent Video Games Really Affect Kids

Greg Toppo’s article -- How Violent Video Games Really Affect Kids -- in the July/August 2015 issue (p. 40), focuses on a question that has been debated for decades. Toppo closes the article with a statement by media scholar Henry Jenkins that is well worth your consideration.  Read the complete blog at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2015/08/how-violent-video-games-really-affect.html

Citizenship Returns & the Returns are TOV!

In this week's Parade Magazine there was an article called, "Operation Good Citizen: How we're teaching kids to do the right thing.”  When I was in elementary school, there was a class on citizenship. It disappeared from the curriculum for decades and is now it’s returning in the 2015 version. A fitting definition from Webster's is, "The quality of an individual's response to membership in a community." A number of schools saw a drop in violence, vandalism, weapons and substance abuse. Fights were down 84% as well as harassment and bullying. Attendance, grades and SATs were all up. Read Rabbi Leynor’s complete blog at -- http://tovcenter.blogspot.com/2015/08/citizenship-returns-returns-are-tov.html