Elul 1 - 30




Teshuvah 1

Teshuvah 2

Teshuvah 3

Teshuvah 4

Teshuvah 5

Teshuvah 6

Teshuvah 7

Teshuvah 8

Teshuvah 9

Teshuvah 10

Teshuvah  11

Teshuvah 12

Teshuvah 13

Teshuvah 14

Teshuvah 15

Teshuvah 16

Teshuvah 17

Teshuvah 18

Teshuvah 19

Teshuvah 20

Teshuvah 21

Teshuvah 22

Teshuvah 23

Teshuvah 24

Teshuvah 25

Teshuvah 26

Teshuvah 27

Teshuvah 28

Teshuvah 29

Teshuvah 30

(Feast of Trumpets)

Teshuvah 31

Teshuvah 32

Teshuvah 33

Teshuvah 34

Teshuvah 35

Teshuvah 36

Teshuvah 37

Teshuvah 38

Teshuvah 39

Teshuvah 40

(Day of Atonement)

(Feast of Tabernacles)


Deliver Me


















































































































The Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, Israel


Psalm 122:6  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you. 


The following daily Teshuvah devotionals were written and composed by:
Curtis from Beit Yeshua


Teshuvah 1


On the Jewish Calendar Elul 1 is the beginning of a period of time called "Teshuvah".  Teshuvah is a 30-day period for repentance before Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah/Feast of Trumpets on Tishri 1 (and 40 days before Yom Kippur on Tishri 10).  “Teshuvah” is a Hebrew word that means “Return”.  Yeshua/Jesus is coming back for a Bride that is without spot, blemish or wrinkle.  Only Yeshua can do in reality in our lives what the Mikvah (Baptism in water) did symbolically - cause us to die to self and be reborn a new, spotless before Him.  Teshuvah is an opportunity for us to search out the corners and crevices of our heart and see if there is anything that would be unpleasing to our heavenly Bridegroom.

Over this next month as we move toward Rosh Hashanah, may the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) speak to our hearts, revealing to us those things in our lives that do not please Him.


Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father, Our King), look down upon us in mercy and grace and see if there is anything within our lives that is not pleasing to You.  By Your Ruach Ha Kodesh, reveal it to us and give us the strength to lay it openly before You.  We repent of our sins, known and unknown, and we Teshuvah, "return", to you with all of our hearts, mind and soul.  Draw us closer to You, Abba, and deepen that relationship.  Give us a renewed love for Your Torah and all your Holy Scriptures.  Speak to us in dreams & visions and in that “still small voice” that we love so dearly.  B’Shem Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah).  Amen!


1 John 1
9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

There are SO MANY styles of worship and I believe God truly loves and appreciates them all when offered from a heart of love.  I, too, enjoy all types of Praise & Worship music. I love Messianic Music, but every now and then I also enjoy Gospel (especially the stuff from the Bill Gather Homecoming Friends – it’s what I grew up with as a child).  I also love Contemporary Christian music – and even stuff with an International flavor.   Worship music has been an important part of my life ever since I was a young man, too.  May the music videos (even the numerous styles) minister to your spirit.  B'Shem Yeshua (In the Name of Yeshua/Jesus).

YouTube Video: SHANNON WEXELBERG “All Your Promises Are True!” 


Teshuvah 2


This evening at sundown is Elul 2 and the beginning of the 2nd day of Teshuvah – a time of repentance before Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah.  Have you sensed the Ruach Ha'Kodesh (Holy Spirit) drawing you? ...speaking to your heart? ...wooing you?  He is our Heavenly Bridegroom and He loves us.  We were “betrothed” to Him the moment we confessed our sins and invited Him into our heart.


This prayer (Psalm 51) was written by King David, who scripture calls a "man after God's heart".  David was a Psalmist, Worshipper, King – as well as an Adulterer and Murderer.  He was also a "Repent-er".  How wonderful that when we have sin, iniquity & transgression in our lives, Yahweh provides ATONEMENT (At - One - Ment, or restoration) for us through the blood of His son Yeshua.


Psalm 51
(Red - From Strong’s Concordance)

1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions (rebellion/sin).
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my (sometimes habitual) sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.
Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean (pure) heart, O God,  and put a new and right spirit within me.
11Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.


B’Shem Yeshua Ha Mashiach (In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah)!

Maranatha!  Come quickly, Yeshua, Ha'Mashiach (Yeshua, the Messiah!

Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: SHANNON WEXELBERG “God Will Carry You” 


Teshuvah 3


This evening at sundown is the beginning of the 3rd day of Teshuvah (Elul 3).  Teshuvah is always special to me – each year even more so as we anticipate the return of Yeshua.  This past year however has involved some very unique personal and family struggles.  There were times when all I could do was just be on my face before the Lord – times when a miracle from the Lord was desperately needed – times when I had absolutely no strength on my own and had to totally lean on Him.  But you know what? His hand was never too short to provide just what was needed – the encouragement – the miracle – the strength – the forgiveness.  Perhaps you’ve had similar struggles this year, yet what a loving Abba (Heavenly “Daddy”) we have.  Part of our continued walk with the Lord is that “purging” that He CONTINUALLY does in our lives.  If He’s coming back for a bride that is without spot, wrinkle or blemish, we have to welcome His work within the various aspects of our lives.  We live in a carnal  world, and we have to keep our eyes, ears and hearts on Him to keep that carnal world from “rubbing off on us”.


Proverbs 3 sums it up pretty well:


My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 I
n all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble;


One of the nice things about being a "retired" school teacher is that I can stay up late and even sleep late (sometimes). Sleep is always better when there is Shalom (Peace) in your heart because you're in "right" relationship with Yahweh.


24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.


May your sleep be filled with His Shalom.  May He draw you ever closer and closer to Himself during this season of Teshuvah. B’Shem Yeshua (In the Name of Yeshua)!


1 John 2
1My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.


Abba, Todah Rabah (Thank You so very much) for Your continued work within our lives.  During these days of Teshuvah, reveal to us the things in our lives that are not pleasing to you and give us the strength to release them and lay them totally upon you. Forgive us and deliver us for our sin and iniquity.  We CHOOSE to Teshuvah (Return) to You with all that we are and trust You for EVERYTHING within our lives.  When Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (Yeshua the Messiah) returns, may we be like the 5 wise virgins – watching –  with  our lamps trimmed and with an ample supply of oil.  Lord, Bless our homes – our spouses – our children and grandchildren.  May each of them walk in Your Yeshua (salvation).  We stand on Your promise in Proverbs 22:6 . We love You, Abba!  B’Shem Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah).


Proverbs 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.


Close your eyes and listen to this wonderful song by Messianic recording artist, Philip Stanley Klein


(Click Below)

Deliver Me

by Philip Stanley Klein
from the CD "In Awe of You"

I didn't mean to say it, it was just a little lie,
But it came so easily, like all the other times,
Hiding from the truth, is what I've always done,
Now it's catching up to me and I don't know where to run.
I didn't mean to hurt them Lord, didn't want to make them cry,
Flying off the handle, pushing all their love aside,
I want to settle things with you, Lord, right here and now,
Giving up control, take the wheel, here we go.
Deliver me, Lord, Deliver me!
Holy Spirit, turn my life around and set me free!
I'm up to here in sin and I don't like where I've been,
Lift me up and let me in Lord, Deliver, Deliver me.
I didn't want to leave them, Lord, didn't want to say goodbye,
I looked for a reason, Lord, only found my selfish pride,
Lord, by Your grace, love me in this place,
Wash me clean, till I'm redeemed, I'm here to seek Your face, Your face.
Deliver me, Lord, Deliver me,
Holy Spirit, turn my life around and set me free.
I'm up to here in sin and I don't like where I've been,
Lift me up and let me in Lord, Deliver, Deliver  me.

Deliver me Lord, Set me free!

Deliver me, Lord, Deliver me,
Holy Spirit, turn my life around and set me free.
I'm up to here in sin and I don't like where I've been,
Lord I need your touch, cause I hurt so much,
I hurt so much,

Take this sin that covers me, Lord, and deliver, deliver me, Lord God!
Deliver me!


A "preview" of Philip Stanley Klein's songs can be found at
Look at the bottom of the page


The song can also be ordered on iTunes


Teshuvah 4


This evening at sundown is day 4 of Teshuvah - a time self examination, repentance and returning to the Lord. 


Acts 3
19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, 20so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Yeshua


Beginning on the first day of Elul until Yom Kippur, Tishri 10, the shofar is sounded every day as a warning to "return to God in repentance."  If you count only the days from the close of Rosh Hashanah (a two-day feast) until the beginning of Yom Kippur, they total seven--the number of years in the Tribulation itself.  This is called the "Time of Jacob’s Trouble," and the "Days of Awe," and will be a time such has never been seen on the earth.


Teshuvah reminds us of the constant need for self-examination, repentance and returning to the Lord before the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble”, so that we might be "hidden" in that day.  How beautifully this is pictured in Psalm 27.


Psalm 27
5For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.


The Prophet Isaiah also referred to this "hiding away".


Isaiah 26:21-22
Come, my people, enter into your rooms and close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while until indignation runs its course.
For behold, the LORD is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; And the earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer cover her slain.


Yeshua had much to say about His second coming in Luke.


Luke 21
24… Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.  25“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. (Interesting in lieu of the abundance of  hurricanes in the Atlantic the past few years; the oil spill in the Gulf)  27Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.  28Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  29Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.


The fig tree is Israel, which sprouted in 1948.


Isaiah 61:4  They (Israel) will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago.  They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations.


I was raised in the church – but didn’t become a Believer until I was 17.  I had read the Bible from the time of my youth, including Luke 21, but about 8 years ago I read it with different eyes.  “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled”.  I knew that this had come to pass in 1967 at the end of 6-Day-War when the Jews had taken possession of the city of Jerusalem for the first time in 2000 years.  The scripture goes on and says, “Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place”.  WOW!  Can you see why my eyes were suddenly opened that day?  I found myself in tears – not tears of sadness – but tears of joy that He had chosen our generation for His return.  I had heard of the Rapture and His return all my life, but it had been like a fairy tale.  Now suddenly, it was real.  God has not forsaken or replaced the Jews.  They still have a definite place in His final plan.


Abba, Clothe us in garments of salvation and drape us in a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).  Use us, Lord, to point others to You.  B’Shem Yeshua (In the Name of Yeshua)!  Amen!


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: SELAH “Wonderful Merciful Savior”


Teshuvah 5


This evening at sundown is Elul 5 on the Jewish Calendar and day 5 of Teshuvah - the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord.


Psalm 103
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.


Sometimes Believers have a tendency to simply say, “Lord, forgive me for my sin.  Amen.”.


Jewish thoughts about Repentance & Confession: 
According to Judaism, confession is an important part of the repentance process. It is simply not enough to feel remorse and forsake sin (although such feelings would indeed be a commendable first step).  The Talmud asks the question, "Who is the person whose repentance ascends until the Throne of Glory? — (he is the) one who is tested (again) and emerges guiltless". A person should not simply renounce sin in general, but rather be specific about the sin. The penitent person must literally put his or her feelings into words and essentially say, "Lord, I did ‘such-and-such’ and for that, I am sorry." Excuses for sin and rationalizations of the sin are not accepted at any stage of the repentance process. Verbal confession does not necessarily need to be a confession to another person. Confessing alone usually allows us to be more honest with ourselves and with God.  However, confession is slightly different for sins committed against God or one's self than they are for sins committed against another person. True repentance requires the repentant person to approach the offended brother or sister and correct the sin however possible.


Matthew 5:23-24
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.


Psalm 27:1-3
The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?  When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

Abba, show us “specific” sins within our lives and give us your grace to truly repent of them. B’Shem Yeshua.

Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: CLAY CROSSE "I Surrender All"


Teshuvah 6


This evening at sundown is Elul 6, day 6 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord.


“The first two words of the Lord’s Prayer – “Our Father” – can teach us a lot about prayer.  The Lord’s Prayer reflects Jewish tradition by using the phrase “our Father” rather than “my Father.”  Unlike our tendency to focus on our own individual needs, Jewish prayers tend to involve community prayer for the needs of the whole people.  Even today, some Jewish prayers cannot be offered unless a minion (ten adult male Jews) are present to represent the people as a whole.  Notice, however, that while Jesus taught his disciples to address God as “our Father,” he himself spoke to God as “my Father” , in the singular.  In Jewish prayer, God was sometimes called “our Father” but “my Father” was daring, almost unheard of.  Remarkably, Jesus spoke of God as “my Father” when he was only twelve years old.  Remember his response to his parents when they discovered his conversing with scholars at the temple: “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)  Even at that age Jesus was well aware of his identity and mission.”   Sitting At the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, p.83


Jeremiah 3
12…Return, faithless Israel, says the LORD.  I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, says the LORD; I will not be angry forever.
13Only acknowledge your guilt, that you have rebelled against the LORD your God…


Psalm 27: 4-6
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.  For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord


Luke 21:26
Watch, therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.


Our Father, Abba, Thank You for loving us, redeeming us, delivering us, forgiving us and cleansing us.  Thank You for giving Your only Son, Yeshua, as at ATONEMENT for our sins.  Help us Abba to love You more & more each day and to walk in obedience to Your Torah.  B’Shem Yeshua Ha Mashiach (In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah).


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

YouTube Video: HONEYTREE “Clean Before My Lord”


Teshuvah 7


This evening at sundown is Elul 7, the beginning of day 7 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord.


Matthew 24
3And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:
18Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:
21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

 22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
23Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25Behold, I have told you before.
26Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (“that Day and Hour Knoweth no man” was a Hebrew Idiom pointing to Rosh Hashanah)
37But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Interestingly enough, too, God forewarned Noah and his family who were spared from the destruction that was soon to follow.)
38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Even if we know the Feast that points to His return, we don’t know the hour or even the year of His return.  Rosh Hashanah is also a two-day festival so we don’t know the day  – that’s why He told us to watch for the signs in the earth & heavens – so that we’d not be like the unwise virgins who weren’t watching and didn’t have their lamps trimmed.)


Abba, forgive us for our unrighteousness and let us be found watching and ready at the time of Yeshua’s return.  B’Shem Yeshua Ha Mashiach (In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah).


Psalm 32
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.  Selah
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.  Selah


May His Simcha (Joy) be ours, knowing that our sins are covered and forgiven.  May there be no iniquity or deceit found within us.  May there be much happiness as we anticipate the return of Messiah Yeshua and the "catching away".  May all His Brachot (Blessings) be ours.  B'Shem Yeshua Ha'Mashiach (In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah).


Part of the simcha (joy) for many of us is the ability to take a trip to Israel and join others who are praying at the Kotel in Jerusalem.  There are actually live web-cams at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem where you can see people praying and worshiping Ha'Shem.  Visit the link below and you’ll enjoy three live web-cams at the Kotel (the Western Wall).  Israel’s time zone is about 6 hours ahead of us.  12:00 (Noon) is a great time to see a large crowd – but anytime is great.  You’ll notice the men’s court on the left, and the smaller women’s court on the right if you look at the long-distance view.  The web-cams are turned off for Shabbat but will be on part-time during the upcoming holidays.  It’ll be worth your time to check back frequently.  You’ll want to visit during Sukkot for sure.

Check Out This Link to the Kotel:


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: CHRIS RICE "Smile"


YouTube Video: CHRIS RICE "It Is Well With My Soul"
We has to have at least one Hymn - and this is one of my favorites


Teshuvah 8


This evening at sundown is Elul 8, the beginning of day 8 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and drawing closer to the Lord.  Have you sensed His presence in Your daily life over the past week?


Isaiah 55
Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;
Let the wicked
forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the LORD, that He may have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.


A Closer Look at Isaiah 55:

Let the wicked FORSAKE their way! 
(Azab: HEB) to loosen, relinquish, leave

Let them RETURN to the Lord! 
(Shub: HEB) To turn back (hence, away) not necessarily with the idea of returning to the starting point; generally to retreat; repent, requite, rescue, restore, retrieve

He will abundantly PARDON! 
(Salach: HEB)  forgive, pardon, spare


Teshuvah 9

This evening at sundown is Elul 9, the beginning of day 9 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord.

Ephesians 4
31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. 5:1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 5:2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.


This scripture is so important to our Teshuvah experience.  Have you ever noticed how quickly we are to share the “latest news” with others about a brother or sister or to let them know when we don’t like someone?  Ephesians says we're not to allow bitterness, wrath, anger, wrangling, slander or malice to exist in our lives.  We're suppose to "put it away".  That's sometimes hard to do with those who have hurt us, said things about us that aren't true, or talked about us out of jealousy behind our backs.  Yet Paul is explicit in his inspired writings to the Ephesians - we're suppose to live in love - even as Messiah loved us.  WOW!  That's sometimes hard to do, but it should definitely be our goal.


1. How is your relationship with your spouse?
I learned early in my marriage that when my relationship with God was “off”, so was my relationship with Carolyn.  If my relationship with HIM was strong, so was my relationship with her.

2. How is your prayer life?  Are you praying for your spouse (& children) daily?
Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing  – when you’re working – when you’re driving – when you’re cutting grass – when you lie down and when you get up.  Conversational prayer – not always asking for something – sometimes just talking to Abba because we love Him and He loves us. 
It’s hard to gossip about others when we’re lifting them up in our prayers instead.

3. Are you spending time in the Word?
The Jews consider Studying the Scripture the purest form of worship.  It also opens a door for the Lord to speak to you.  I never read the scriptures but that the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) doesn’t have something to speak to my heart.


Abba (Father/Daddy), if it exists, reveal to us unforgiveness for those who have hurt us.  Give us Your ability to sincerely apply forgiveness to these situations, by your Ruach (Spirit).  Forgive us for gossip, back-biting and slander.  If we need to personally go and ask forgiveness of others, reveal that to us also.  May we truly be IMITATORS of Yeshua.  May we love as Messiah loved.  Work in our hearts, Yahweh, to make us better children, spouses, parents, friends and servants.  Give us a hunger for Your Torah (Your Holy Scriptures) and a desire to spend more time alone with You.  B'Shem Yeshua Ha'Mashiach (In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah).


1 Corinthians 13
4Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

YouTube Video: PAUL WILBUR “For Your Name Is Holy” 

YouTube Video: SELAH “You Are My Hiding Place” 

Teshuvah 10


This evening at sundown is Elul 10, the beginning of day 10 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord. (1/3 of the way to Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah/Feast of Trumpets).


I’ve been involved in learning about the Jewish Roots of my Christian Faith since the late 1980s, but even before that I had been aware of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) wooing and drawing me in the fall of each year.  It had become something so regular in my life that after a while I seemed to know it was coming again with the next year and I looked forward to it (and I usually needed it, too).  I was even baptized in the Holy Spirit during Teshuvah (when I was a young man of only 19 years of age at the Balls Creek Campground).  Years later when I learned about Teshuvah and the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, everything began to make more sense.  This time of the year was indeed a special season for the Lord.  His special time.  He wanted to fellowship with me and he wanted me to desire to fellowship with Him, too.  However, for us to fellowship, I needed a pure and clean heart.

From Yeshua's words:

Matthew 6
12Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. 14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  (B’Shem Yeshua Ha Mashiach! - In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah)


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

YouTube Video: ICZC Feast Highlights 2007,
BARRY & BATYA SEGAL “On Your Walls O Jerusalem” 


Teshuvah 11


This evening at sundown is Elul 11, the beginning of day 11 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord.


The summer has been a long hot one with temperatures hovering in the upper 90s, but before long we’ll start to feel a change in the outside temperatures.  We’ll notice a coolness in the air as leaves begin to fall off of the trees in our front yards.  As the first signs of the Fall season approach we are reminded that seasons change in our walk with God, too.  Just as we need to prepare for the fall and winter seasons on a physical level, we need to prepare our hearts for the change of spiritual seasons which provide us with wonderful opportunities to draw closer to the Lord – and grow in Him.


I’ve been a worshipper from the time I was a young man.  Carolyn & I had been accustomed to setting aside “special” days for the Lord even when we were in college, but it was hard to find a place where we could get together and yet be alone with the Lord.  We’d call them our “date” nights with the Lord. We’d pick a time and place and several of us would gather and spend hours in praise, worship and prayer.  Frequently it would be the Episcopal Church – which was one of the few churches in our college town that they actually left unlocked on campus for student use.  It wasn’t unusual to start praying with one group of people and a different group be there when the evening was over. One of our favorite places was the chapel at First Baptist Church.  We’d actually “slip” into the chapel before it was locked up, carrying our Bibles, a record-player and some records (does that date our age?) and for the next few hours we’d get alone with the Lord.  We’d sit, or lay, on the floor and talk to Him about EVERYTHING.  We were in love with Him and loved to just sit and talk with Him. 


Curtis & Carolyn (1974)


One special weekend evening about Midnight, after spending some time in prayer, we felt impressed to observe communion. We were at the Episcopal Church, but there were no stores open at that late hour to get the proper supplies.  We ended up using a grape soda and peanut-butter crackers from a vending-machine at the local laundry.  Jesus said in the scriptures to “do this in remembrance of me” – and so we did.  The rest of the evening was spent in some really sweet fellowship with Him.


These intimate times continued even after we were married.  Surprisingly enough, we set aside Friday evenings as our “date night” with the Lord.  We’d minimize the lights and put on some Hosanna Integrity cassette (obviously a different season – from records to cassettes) and spend the next few hours in the Lord’s presence – worshipping, praising, dancing, lifting our hands, praying.  The kids were small but when the music started and the lights went dim, they came from their bedrooms into the den where we were to be with us.  It was as if they were drawn – we didn’t require it – they just came.  I’m reminded of the scripture, “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he’ll not depart from it” – thankfully both of ours love and serve the Lord today and still share a wonderful relationship with us.  When I learned that the Biblical Sabbath was from Friday evening till Saturday evening, my mind instantly went back to those “date nights” that Carolyn and I had with the Lord in college – and after we were married.  It seems that the Lord had been directing our paths all along – even without our knowing it.  Seasons of preparing our hearts.  Seasons of teaching us to hear and follow His voice.  Seasons to learn how to love and trust Him.  Seasons to be intimate with Him.


Ecclesiastes 3:1 
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.


Psalm 25
8Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in His ways.
9He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.
10All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.


Psalm 73
22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel and afterward receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.


Psalm 119
18Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law (Torah).


Abba, Thank You for Your great love for us.  Forgive us for becoming lackadaisical in regards to our relationship with You.  Cause us to have a great hunger for a deeper relationship with You and love for Your Torah.  Help us to guard our hearts, our “eye gates” and “ear gates” – allowing into our lives only those things that truly bring us closer to You. Help us to love you more.  B’Shem Yeshua.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

YouTube Video: DC TALK “What If I Stumble”

YouTube Video: DC TALK “Consume me”


Teshuvah 12


This evening at sundown is Elul 12, the beginning of day 12 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord.


Carolyn and I would frequently meet at the Episcopal Church  in our college town to spend time with the Lord.  We used the Episcopal Church because they never locked the doors.  Even after someone stole some implements & decorations, they still refused to lock the door and simply put a written request on the door that the items be returned.


The Lord’s voice was always clear and recognizable to us when we met at the Episcopal church.  We’d usually start off praying together but would eventually move to a solitary corner or pew to spend more intimate time with Him by ourselves.  I’d pour out my heart to Him about my cares, concerns, wishes and dreams.  Sometimes I’d talk to him about teaching school and about the students I was teaching in my 6th grade internship at the local elementary school.  Once I remember telling Him how much I enjoyed it when the students came up to me at school and would talk to me personally about themselves and what was happening in their lives.  His response to me was, “Then you know how I feel.  I feel the very same way.  I, too, enjoy it when you take the time to talk to me – spend time with me – share what’s happening in your life – and ask for my guidance and direction.”



It wasn’t unusual to spend 2 or 3 hours in His presence – praying, listening to records and worshipping, just resting in Him.


It was also in this same Episcopal church that Carolyn asked the Lord if she’d be getting married before the Rapture – and if so, to who!  On this particular occasion she had gone to the church to pray and spend some time with the Lord – all by herself.  After asking Him if it was in her future to marry before the Rapture, she opened her Bible to Psalm 19:5 and her eyes fell on the portion that said, “Which is as a Bridegroom coming out of his chamber…” – not knowing that I had just left my dorm room and was headed to the Episcopal Church (not knowing that she was there).


He’s so very faithful – caring about EVERY area of our lives – wanting us to seek His face and trust Him for everything – not because He needs it, but because we do.

It’s difficult to walk in worldly sin when you’re deeply in love with Him.  It’s only when we take our eyes off of Him for too long that we begin to stray, wander and even drift away.  Why would we ever do that – but we do.

The wonderful think about Teshuvah is that it reminds us that He still loves us.  He still wants to spend time with us if we’ll repent and turn to Him.


Psalm 51
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.


Psalm 55
Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.


Psalm 69
Hear me, O Lord, for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
And hid not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonor…


Psalm 71
Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape; incline thine ear unto me, and save me.
For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.
Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.


Todah Rabah (Thank you very much) Abba (Daddy/Father).  Help us to fall in love with you daily.  B’Shem Yeshua!


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: ZEMER LEVAV “No More Will I Run From You” 


YouTube Video: ZEMER LEVAV “Mayim Chaim”


Teshuvah 13


This evening at sundown is Elul 13, the beginning of day 13 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord.


Have you ever been so hungry for the Lord that you would do anything (regardless of how foolish) just to spend time with Him?


My college roommate, Bill, and I had tried praying in our dorm room on campus, but the walls were thin and the sound carried easily.  I was already Baptized in the Holy Spirit, so prayers were not always “quiet”.  There were times when we just want to SHOUT and bless the Lord.  We sometimes prayed quietly, but there were times when we were loud, too, especially when we’d crank up the music (listening to LAMB or one of Maranatha’s PRAISE Albums).  That didn’t make us real popular with all of our dorm mates.


The Episcopal Church was a great place to pray, BUT you seldom had the space to yourself.  You’d start with one group of people and 2 hours later there would be another group that you didn’t even know.  Sometimes that was good, but other times it just made us desire a place to be alone with Him.


We eventually learned that the chapel of the 1st Baptist Church was unlocked during the day and that afforded us some great times alone with the Lord.  Carolyn, Bill and I would go there in an attempt to spend some more intimate time in prayer.


On one occasion Carolyn, Bill and I decided we wanted a “date night” with the Lord.  We agreed to meet in the 1st Baptist Church Chapel just before they locked the doors for the evening.  Carolyn was the first to arrive in the chapel and waited on Bill and me.  Shortly after she arrived, she realized that someone was coming into the chapel and that it wasn’t Bill or myself.  It was the church janitor!  Her first reaction – lie down on the church pew and lift her feet.  She did – and WASN’T discovered.  She also didn’t sit up right away – fearing he’d turn around and return to the chapel.


Curtis & Carolyn (1974)


At the very same time, I was just starting down the long hall connecting the various corridors and Sunday School room behind the large sanctuary and smaller chapel.  Suddenly I was aware that someone from the other end of the hall was beginning to turn off the lights.  I knew if I was discovered, that I’d be asked to leave – so I took off in the other direction.  Every time I turned down one hall, it seemed the janitor was coming in the very same direction – turning off light after light.


I eventually found myself in the stairwell, but was determined NOT to leave without spending time with the Lord.  Instead of exiting the building, I headed up the winding stairs to the 2nd floor landing – only to discover the door to the 2nd floor hallway was locked!  Suddenly I heard his steps starting up the stairs, so up I went to the 3rd floor landing.  To my regret, the doors to the 3rd floor hall were also locked!


I heard the janitor try the doors to the 2nd floor hall to be sure they were locked and knew it was only minutes before I’d be discovered.  What was I suppose to do when he rounded the corner of that final flight of steps to the 3rd floor? … say “Hi!  How you doing!”


I said, “Lord, he’ll never believe my motives were innocent and that all I wanted to do was pray in the chapel.  I had visions of jail & the police – but to my amazement, he stopped after checking the doors on the 2nd floor hall and went back down the steps and exited the building!


Phew!  I couldn’t believe the janitor had heard the sound of my pounding heart!


I EVENTUALLY left the safety of the 3rd floor landing and headed to the chapel where Carolyn was waiting.  I let Bill in through the side door and the three of us spent several hours in His presence – at first together – but eventually by ourselves – just us and Him!


Have we lost that desire of intimacy with the Lord and settled for an hour on Sunday or Wednesday?  Have we become so involved with work – or even family and church – that we don’t have time for intimacy with HIM?  Dennis Jernigan describes “intimacy” with the Lord as “into me see.


May We turn our hearts and all that we are back toward Him.


2 Chronicles 7
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.


Micah 7
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of your possession?  He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in showing clemency.
He will again have compassion upon us; He will tread our iniquities under foot.  You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.


Abba, Continue to change us – making us more and more into the image of Messiah Yeshua. Teach us what it means to truly love You and how to worship You in spirit and truth.  Use us as witnesses to share the Good News of Messiah.  B’Shem Yeshua (In the Name of Yeshua).  Amen!

Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

YouTube Video: CHRIS TOMLIN “Indescribable”


YouTube Video: CHRIS TOMLIN “How Great Is Our God”


YouTube Video: CHRIS TOMLIN “Everlasting God (Strength Will Rise)”


YouTube Video: CHRIS TOMLIN “Amazing Grace – My Chains Are Gone”


Teshuvah 14


This evening at sundown is Elul 14, the beginning of day 14 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord.


I was Baptized in the Holy Spirit at the age of 19 in the fall of the year between my Freshman and Sophomore year on August 25th.  Do you know what season it was?  Teshuvah!  Even before I knew it, He was woo-ing and calling me.


The Lord had connected me with an older couple at the Baptist church I attended.  They constantly encouraged me – and pointed me toward the Lord.  They loved Him and I wanted to be just like them.  They had just heard about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and said, “Curtis, doesn’t that sound like something you’d like to have?”  … and of course I said, “Yes”.


Prayer time my Freshman year at college was usually spent sitting on the floor of my 7th floor room, looking out the window toward the stars.  For the biggest part of my Freshman year in college, I actually prayed, “Lord, baptize me in your Holy Spirit” – not really knowing what that meant.  All that time I do believe He was preparing my heart.  I NEVER heard one negative comment about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit or speaking in tongues.  I suppose I’ve been fortunate.  God has always kept the doubters away from me until after I’ve had an experience with the Lord.  My Freshman year of college ended and I moved back home for the summer.


Our family had always “tented” at the Balls Creek Campground in Catawba County.  The Methodist campground had an old-time arbor in the center of the location, with wooden shacks that folks stayed in for two weeks in the late summer of each year.  My Dad was one of 19 children, so I had lots of Aunts, Uncles & Cousins there.  Each night of campmeeting, there was always preaching and singing, but they also had youth services from 9:00 to 10:00pm each night of the last week.  One particular night I decided to go.  To my surprise, there were a group of young people from “Lamb’s Chapel” in Charlotte, NC, – run by Harry Bizell.  They shared their testimonies of how the Lord had dealt with them (many of them having been drug attics before turning to Him) and how He had Baptized them in His Holy Spirit.  I couldn’t believe it.  This was something I had been praying for – something I had desired for over a year (of my young 19 year old life) – and now here was my opportunity.


Balls Creek Campground, Catawba County, NC


They talked – and talked – and talked – and talked – and talked.  I didn’t think they’d ever stop talking, because I knew it was my night to receive the Holy Spirit.  At the end of the service, they asked if anyone wanted to receive salvation or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  No one went up for salvation – and I was the only one who came forward to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. They had been enjoying conversation with those who had attended the meeting, but when they found out that I wanted to be prayed for, they left everyone else and pulled me aside.  They shared scripture with me – prayed with me – and I received my “prayer language”.  It was like I was walking on clouds – BUT that was short-lived.  Within days someone said to you, “Are you sure you’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit?  You don’t look any different!”  I was devastated.  I retreated to the solace of some prayer time with the Lord and asked Him, “Lord, did You really baptize me in the Holy Spirit?”


He said to me, “Did you ask for it?”


I replied, “Yes!”


He responded, “Then, that settles it.  You asked for it, and I gave it to you.”


Luke 11:9-13
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?


One thing about folks that have been baptized in the Holy Spirit – they look and act different.  They talk different.  They seem to smile all the time.  My local pastor came to me shortly after that and told me that I’d have to renounce the baptism of the Holy Spirit or he’d never let me do anything in the church again.  I told him, “if you would have told me that two months ago, I would have believed you.  You’re the pastor that led me to the Lord and I respect & love you tremendously, but now I’ve experienced this new relationship with the Lord after being baptized in the Holy Spirit.  I know it’s real!”


One of the interesting things about my baptism in the Holy Spirit experience was that I never told my Mom and Dad about it, but remarkably within a few weeks they came to me and said, “There’s something that’s different about you.  You act different.  What’s happened and brought about this change?”  It gave me the opportunity to share my story with my parents and eventually the opportunity to pray with both of them to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, too.


The Lord has EVERYTHING that we need – salvation – deliverance – baptism in the Holy Spirit – life satisfied – needs met even before we ask – joy unspeakable – BUT only if we walk with Him.  There can be no joy or satisfied life without putting Him first.  This Wednesday, August 25, 2010, I’ll be celebrating my 38th year of walking in the Spirit.  What an absolutely AWESOME God we serve.  It’s not always been easy, but it’s definitely been worth it!


Ezekiel 14
6Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.


Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.


Here’s a great song by Robin Mark that I think you’ll like.  It speaks of all the Lord is trying to do in our lives during Teshuvah.

Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

YouTube ROBIN MARK “Work a Miracle in My Heart”


YouTube Video: ROBIN MARK “There’s a Cry”


YouTube Video: ROBIN MARK “Garments of Praise”


Teshuvah 15


This evening at sundown is Elul 15, the beginning of day 15 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord.


After college and marriage, the Lord gave us an Interdenominational Spirit-Filled Church to raise our children in.  Leaders in the church just assumed (as did I) that since I was a school teacher, my calling was to lead Vacation Bible School and work with the Youth in the church.  Even though I was a school teacher by trade, my heart was in a different location when it came to church ministry.  Surprisingly, the Lord moved me into leading praise and worship at the church Carolyn & I attended in Catawba County. We had attended a Charismatic Bible Study in college and knew more scripture songs than anyone – and we loved to share them with friends from church when they came to our home to visit. We began studying the Tabernacle of David and learning what it truly meant to worship the Lord as David did – sometimes singing a known chorus or hymn and at other times a “spontaneous” or “new” song.  It was during those years that the Lord began to direct our paths toward the Jewish Roots of our Christian Faith.  The only “Messianic” music group at the time was LAMB (with Joel Chernoff & Rick Levi Coghill) and we had been collecting their records ever since we were in college.  (Isn’t it interesting how the Lord directs your path – even when you don’t realize He’s doing it?)  Paul Wilbur was an unknown singer at the time and was just starting a new group called "Israel’s Hope" when we first heard them at a Festival Conference in SC.  Everywhere we went it seemed the message was about “Restoration” – a restoration of David’s Tabernacle – a restoration of Praise & Worship – a restoration of “spontaneous” praise (a “New Song”) –  a restoration of Davidic Dance (Israeli Folk Dance) – a restoration of the Biblical Festivals and Shabbat – a restoration of the Jewish Roots of our Christian faith – a restoration of the Jewish people and Israel - and most recently a restoration of Torah.  Some saw what God was doing as bondage, yet others saw the freedom of worshipping the Lord at His appointed times and in His appointed ways.  As we get closer to the time when Yeshua will return, the church will again begin to again resemble the early church – which was (for the most part) Jewish.


Carolyn & Curtis (1975)


Psalm 27 is recited daily throughout the month of Elul, along with other prayers.

Psalm 27
The LORD is my light   and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh - my adversaries and foes - they shall stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.


May the Lord's brachot (blessings) overtake you as you move closer to Him and into His presence.  May we be hidden in His Shelter on “the day of trouble”.   B’Shem Yeshua.

Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

YouTube Video: PAUL WILBUR “Show Me Your Face”


YouTube Video: PAUL WILBUR “For Your Name Is Holy”


Teshuvah 16


This evening at sundown is Elul 16, the beginning of day 16 of Teshuvah, the time of self-inspection, repentance and returning to the Lord.


Scripture speaks specifically about three types of sin with our lives: (1) sin, (2) iniquity and (3) transgression.  Is there a difference? 


(1) The word "Sin" comes from the Hebrew word CHATTA'AH, which is translated as "sin, offense, lead astray and to miss the mark".  These are "accidental sins" - or sins committed without our being aware of them.


(2) The word "Iniquity" comes from the Hebrew word AVON, which is translated as "sin, mischief, iniquity, moral evil and perversity".  Iniquity is "willful sin" - we knew it was sin and did it anyway.  It's a willful violation of Torah - things we can't claim to have done in ignorance.  It gives new meaning to the old slogan, "Avon Calling!" (Sin Calling).


(3) The word "Transgression" comes from the Hebrew word PESHA, which is translated as "sin, transgression and rebellion".  It's "Rebellion" against Yahweh Himself.


Israel was punished because of their sins.


Ezekiel 39
And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their INIQUITY: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. 24 According to their uncleanness and according to their TRANSGRESSIONS have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.


Yahweh does not desire separation from us, however.  He loves us so much that He made provision for us through his son, Yeshua - all we have to do is accept it!


John 3
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


And how about those (1) sins, (2) iniquities and (3) transgressions in our lives?


Isaiah 53
But He was wounded for our TRANSGRESSIONS, He was bruised for our INIQUITIES: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the INIQUITY of us all.


Lord, forgive us for our sins (even those sins we aren't aware of), wash away our iniquities (the willful sins within our lives), and blot out out transgressions (the rebellion within our hearts).  Abba (Daddy/Father), teach us to seek Your face instantly when sins, iniquities and transgressions try to enter our lives.  Cause us to remember our Betrothal to Yeshua.  Help us keep our lamps trimmed, and dress us in wedding garments without spot or blemish (only through Your Son).  B'Shem Yeshua Ha'Mashich (In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah).


Isaiah 1
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.


Look at the words to the song “Purify Me”, by Clay Cross and check out the YouTube Video of the song.

Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

YouTube Video: CLAY CROSSE “Purify Me” 


YouTube Video: CLAY CROSSE “Testimony: Pornography”


YouTube Video: CLAY CROSS “Testimony: Freedom Begins Here” 


Teshuvah 17


This evening at sundown is the beginning of Elul 17 and Day 17 of Teshuvah.


The Baal Shem Tov (founder of Hasidic Judaism) taught that everything we see, whether good or bad, is really a reflection of ourselves. If it was not, we'd simply not see it.

This phenomenon is part of a merciful way that G-d has of teaching us lessons in life. Most of us have a difficult time hearing from others that we have a flaw which we ourselves don't recognize. Therefore, G-d sets us up to have a confrontation with a person who exhibits that same flaw in some form. We see it and we say "how terrible." But then it dawns on us that we exhibit the same behavior, though perhaps in different form.

The same is true for positive things. We recognize a positive characteristic in others because we have it in ourselves. If we didn't have any element of it, we wouldn't recognize it.

In other words: You are what you see. And you see what you are.

Many Jews living in Germany in the 1930s didn't recognize the evil of the German people because they had none of it in themselves. They couldn't fathom that anyone could murder them in cold blood. If you are incapable of a crime, it's impossible to imagine that someone else is capable of it.

There are atrocities that we can't even relate to because we're not capable of doing such a thing ourselves.

The same is true for goodness or holiness.

Many of us are cynical because we never met anyone truly holy or truly pure. So we don't believe that it's possible to be that way because it's not part of our own experience.

Ask yourself: Are you cynical about the holiness of others? Do you see the goodness around you? When confronted with a behavior that you dislike, are you able to see the same flaw, in some form, in yourself?


Psalm 1
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

YouTube Video: MARTY GOETZ “He Is My Defense”


Teshuvah 18


Today at sundown is the beginning of Elul 18 and Day 18 of Teshuvah.


Dedicate some of your time this weekend for spiritual introspection, making the most of the opportunity that this month of Elul offers. Sincerely express to God your desire to return to your Divine calling and relationship with Him.

Find a place where you’ll not be interrupted and spend some time in Bible study and prayer.  Just you and HIM.  Don’t just talk – but spend some time listening, too. 

I had an older Christian friend of mine 15+ years ago that told me God had never talked to her.  I was shocked.  Ever since I was a young man (and especially after being Baptized in the Holy Spirit), God had been speaking to me (in my spirit and heart) and it never crossed my mind that others didn’t hear His voice.  I don’t doubt that she was a Believer or that she prayed – perhaps she just didn’t stop talking long enough to listen.  How many others make the same mistake.


John 10
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:


Psalm 4
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.


So often Believers just “dart” into God’s presence, tell Him what they want and then leave.  Psalm 100:4 tells us that we’re to first come before him with thanksgiving and praise.


Psalm 100
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.


There are so many things we should be doing for the Lord.  We should be sharing the Gospel and winning souls, we should be giving of our finances to the furtherance of His kingdom, we should be laboring in numerous areas of ministry – but that’s not why we were created.  Ultimately we were created to fellowship with Him – that’s what He did with Adam & Eve – walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day.  When we’re in frequent fellowship with Him, we’re less likely to have a “wandering heart”.


Abba, we love You and bless Your Name.  Your Word says, Your sheep hear Your voice and they follow You.  Open our ears to hear Your voice – clearly and distinctly.  In these perilous days & times, let us follow no other. Teach us to value those intimate times that we have with You and teach us how to worship You in spirit and truth.  Lord, You placed Adam in the Garden to “shamar (Heb)” (guard, build a hedge, to be like a watchman, to protect, to preserve) it.  Help us to “shamar” our eyes, ears and hearts.  B’Shem Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah).


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: KAREN DAVIS “Yeshua Adonenu”


YouTube Video: KAREN DAVIS “Interview: Sar Shalom”


Teshuvah 19


This evening at sundown is the beginning of Elul 19 and day 19 of Teshuvah.


Psalm 25
2O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
5Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
7Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.
11For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
16Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.
17The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.
18Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
19Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
20O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.


From “Sitting At The Feet of Rabbi Jesus” by Ann Spangler & Lois Tverberg:

The idea that we are continually in the presence of God is emphasized in some branches of Judaism.  The reason many Jewish men wear kippahs/yarmulkes is to remind themselves of God’s presence all around them.  There is a Hebrew word kavanah, which means “intention” or “direction.”  The word conveys the idea of being profoundly aware of the One to whom we are speaking as we direct our heart toward heaven.  Because so many Jewish prayers are repeated, the rabbis emphasized the need for kavanah, so that each time a person prays, the words are fresh and full of passion, with a sense of reverence for God. The rabbis say that we should have kavanah in (1) prayer, (2) studying the Scriptures, (3) performing acts of loving kindness, and (4) doing our life’s work.  Each should be done with a profound awareness of the fact that God is present, desiring to speak and work through us at every moment.  Imagine how meaningful each day would be if we undertook all our endeavors this way.  Living with kavanah utterly changes our experience of life. 


Jewish life from morning until evening is saturated in prayer.  Remember how Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)?  At first this sounds like an impossible command.  How could anyone pray all the time?  This week let’s try to find a way to increase our kavanah - our attentiveness to God’s presence.


The following blessing is from the AMIDAH.
Lead us back, our Father, to Your Torah; bring us near, our King, to Your service, and cause us to return in perfect repentance before You.  Blessed are You, O Lord, who accepts repentance.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: Robin Mark “There’s a Cry”


Teshuvah 20


Today at sundown is the beginning of Elul 20 and day 20 of Teshuvah.  Rosh Hashanah is in 10 days.


Revelations 2
I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.


From “Sitting At The Feet of Rabbi Jesus” by Ann Spangler & Lois Tverberg:

If you have ever seen the movie Fiddler On The Roof, you will probably remember that Tevye, the Jewish milkman, was always pausing mid-scene to discuss something with the Lord – right out loud.  Back and forth he goes, arguing with God, arguing with himself, pleading, bantering with God as though he’s an old friend.  God might be invisible, but His presence is obvious.  Tevye had a sense of God’s continual nearness and an easy comfort in his prayer life that many of us might envy.  At one point in the movie, someone questions the rabbi, “Is there a blessing for the sewing machine?”  The rabbi replies, “There’s a blessing for everything!’  He was talking about the rich Jewish tradition of the blessing. 

A few hundred years before Yeshua’s time, Jews developed a tradition of offering specific, short prayers throughout the day, from the instant they awoke until the moment they fell asleep.  This has been the practice of many Jews from Yeshua’s time until today, to remind themselves of God all day long by saying short prayers of blessing.  Each tiny prayer of blessing is called a “brakha” (bra-KHAH), which means “blessing.”  To “bless” the Lord is to “praise” Him, to acknowledge Him as the source of all blessing.  King David said, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy Name” (Psalm 103:1 NAS).  The word for “bless”, barakh, can also mean “to kneel.”  It is as if you are momentarily “kneeling down” mentally and humbly praising God for His goodness. 

Even in Yeshua’s time, many of these short blessings started with “Blessed is He” (or “Blessed are Thou/You”).  They would have probably awakened to a rooster’s crow.  After thanking God for returning their soul to them for another day, they may have said: “Blessed is He who has given the rooster understanding to distinguish between day and night.”  (Have you ever thanked God for giving people the intelligence to create clock radios?)  As they opened their eyes they would have prayed: “Blessed is He who opens the eyes of the blind,” and then they would have said another dozen or so short prayers praising God for every body part sill functioning.  Just walking outside presented many opportunities for blessing the Lord.  Even in times of grief, when someone had died, Jewish people would bless God saying: “Blessed is He who is the true judge,” reminding themselves that no matter how difficult the situation, God is still good and that He will intimately bring justice, righting the wrongs of the world.


Blessed are You O Lord our God King of the Universe who has given us this season of repentance in order to allow us to be in right relationship with You.  Blessed are You who has given us Your only son, Yeshua, as an atonement for our sin. B’Shem Yeshua.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: Robin Mark “Blessed By Your Name”


Teshuvah 21


This evening at sundown is the beginning of Elul 21 and day 21 of Teshuvah.  Rosh Hashanah is in 9 days.  The one message I have heard during Teshuvah this year is how the Lord is consistently working in the hearts of those who are seeking Him.  Sometimes that work isn’t easy – sometimes it’s a struggle.  There are some things we actually struggle to hold on to – even though they keep us from moving closer to Yahweh.  But the Ruach (Spirit) keeps working in us, cleansing us, changing us.


Psalm 31
1In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
4Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
9Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.

24Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.


Psalm 51
 1 Have mercy on me, O God,  according to your unfailing love;  according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity  and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,  and my sin is always before me.


James 4
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.


Abba, Search our hearts, find those secret sins that we hold on to and deliver us from the patterns that keep us in sin.  We do long for freedom and to live in Your truth and deliverance.  We desire to be more like You.  Create in us a clean heart.  Change us on the inside - not by might - nor power - but by Your Spirit.  B’Shem Yeshua!


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: BRIAN DOERKSEN “Change Me on the Inside”


Teshuvah 22


This evening at sundown is the beginning of Elul 22 and day 22 of Teshuvah.  Rosh Hashanah is in 8 days.


Luke 21
They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” 8And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.  9“When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” 10Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.  25There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,  26men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  27Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory.


In the past few years we've seen tsunamis, an increase of hurricanes and their damage in Florida, Louisiana, Texas & the entire Gulf area, severe drought in the east, severe flooding in the mid-west, forest fires in the west, Wars between Russia & Georgia, the disastrous oil leak in the Gulf, increasing tension in Israel and the conflict there, "rumors" of war with Iran, the rise of Islam, a President with Islamic connections, perversion in our country like never before, gay marriage, abortion - all signs that He is coming soon.  The time is quickly approaching.  Can there be any doubt that Yeshua is coming soon?


Without knowing HaShem, the times in which we live could really be tremendously frightening.  Many in this country have chosen to put their trust in the government, in stimulus packages and other economic "relief".  Others seem to trust in their own ability to provide for all their needs without giving a second thought to the Lord. 


James 1:7 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."


The only hope that we have for real shalom (peace) during the current or upcoming difficult times is by putting our trust in Him.

Matthew 6:25-34

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Deuteronomy 8:18
But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

Abba, forgive us for trusting in ourselves, our jobs, our abilities, and even government provision.  We turn our eyes toward you as the source for all our provision.  Every good and perfect gift comes from You.  We repent and return to our dependence on You.  Gently teach us to love and trust You more.  B'Shem Yeshua.  (In the Name of Yeshua)


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: DC TALK "I Wish We'd All Been Ready"


“I Bowed ON My Knees And Cried Holy” 


Teshuvah 23


This evening at sundown is the beginning of Elul 23 and day 23 of Teshuvah.  Rosh Hashanah is in 7 days.


I Thessalonians 4
15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


Carolyn and I have always enjoyed fellowship.  From the time we were first married, we've enjoyed opening our home to friends.  It wasn't unusual after church on Sunday to invite 5 or 6 couples over to spend time together.  When they came over, we didn't spend time watching movies or playing games - it was usually spent around the piano singing to the Lord and worshipping Him.  When time came for them to go home, we'd usually walk them down the sidewalk to their cars and tell them how much we enjoyed our time together.


It was this situation that prompted a dream that I've never forgotten.  In the dream, it was night and Carolyn & I were walking some friends to their car after a visit.  As we walked down the sidewalk back toward the house, we looked up at the night sky and noticed the biggest brightest star we had ever seen.  We both stopped on the sidewalk to see this beautiful star in the eastern part of the night sky, when suddenly we realized the star wasn't stationary but actually seemed to be coming lower and lower in the sky.  As it got closer, we realized that it wasn't a star at all, but was really a "Cross", with beams of light coming out from every part of it.  As the Cross/star got closer and closer, we realized that it wasn't just a cross, but was actually Yeshua - and this was the RAPTURE.   At that realization we suddenly started to rise in the night sky - with our hands lifted and our eyes totally on Him.


Why is it we wake up just when the dream is gettin' good?  Talk about being disappointed! 


He's coming back for a bride without spot or blemish (through Yeshua's atonement) - a bride with plenty of oil and her lamp trimmed - a bride who is looking for His return.  Then it won't be just a dream - but the real thing!  Be ready!


Abba, cause us to love You above ALL else.  B'Shem Yeshua.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break
(or maybe a little longer)

If you're not familiar with the music of Dennis Jernigan - let me introduce you to him.  Many of his songs have touched my heart and brought me into the Lord's presence when I desperately needed it.

YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN "I Will Be There"


YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN "You Are My All in All"


YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN "The Point of Grace"


YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN "It's Gonna Be Alright"


YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN "Daddy's Song" Part 1


YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN "Daddy's Song" Part 2


Teshuvah 24


Shabbat Shalom!  This evening at sundown is the beginning of Elul 24 and day 24 of Teshuvah.  Rosh Hashanah is in 6 days.


A friend of mine recently shared with me that his grandfather would soon be celebrating his 90th birthday and had never given his heart to Yeshua!  It really started me thinking.  It's amazing that anyone could live in a world without HIM for 5 minutes - let alone 90 years.


Romans 10:9-13
... if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

If salvation is not a difficult thing, why do so many wait so long?
Even though I had been in the church from the time I was a small child, I didn't invite Yeshua into my heart until I was 17.  Why was that day when I was 17 any different from any other day that I had heard the message about salvation in Yeshua?  Well, on that day someone asked me personally, "Would you like to invite Him into your heart?".  And I did!

There are many who realize that they're in need of a Saviour, but feel that they're not worthy of Yeshua's salvation and deliverance because of a particular sin or something they've done.  The truth is that they're right - they are not worthy of His salvation!  They have to come to a point where they realize that in spite of their sins, iniquities and transgressions, God still loves them - and that Yeshua came to bring salvation, healing and deliverance to all who are just like this.  Not because they're worthy - but because of His mercy, grace and love.  If they were worthy, they wouldn't need a Saviour.


As a young man, I shared Jesus' love with an older friend - but her constant reply was, "I'm not worthy - I've done too much stuff.  He'd never accept me".  She'd weep when we talked about the Lord and I knew she wanted to invite Him into her heart - but she didn't.  All she could see was her sin– her mistakes – her weaknesses – her shortcoming – her imperfections.  We talked about him for months when we were together.  Eventually she took her eyes off of herself, and when she did she was able to see Him - and see the great love He had to offer her.  She prayed and invited Yeshua into her heart and walked with Him for the rest of her life.  She died last year.  How thankful I am that she finally found the grace to stop looking at herself - and start looking at the Lord.


1 Corinthians 15
51Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed..


Abba, Thank you for continuing to work in our hearts and lives.  Show us unsaved family and friends and give us the desire to share Yeshua with them.  Then provide the opportunity. Help us take our eyes off of ourselves - help us to take our eyes off of others and what they'll think about us if we suddenly start talking to everyone about Yeshua.  Help us to keep our eyes on You.  The time is short - cause us to be about "Your business".   Speak to us in dreams and visions.  Lead us by Your Word and by Your Ruach (Spirit).  B’Shem Yeshua.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: MERCY ME “I Can Only Imagine"


Teshuvah 25


This evening at sundown was the beginning of Elul 25 and day 25 of Teshuvah.  Rosh Hashanah is in 5 days.


One of my hobbies since I've retired from teaching is researching my family genealogy.  My father's lineage has been in the US since about 1636 - and living in Catawba County for 8 generations.  I just recently had an opportunity to visit with a cousin (Lois) who is 101-years-old.  At 101 her mind is still "sharpe" and she is still living in her own home - by herself (she gave up driving at 97).  She told me he how after hearing an evangelist preach about the 2nd Coming of Yeshua (in 1920), she invited Yeshua into her heart.  She was 12 years old at the time.  Lois will be 102 in December of this year - which means she's been walking with the Lord for 90 YEARS! 


I went to visit Lois to ask her about my Grandfather and Great-Grandfather since she knew them both for about 30 years.  I never had the opportunity to know either since they died in the 1930s.  Lois would tell me a few facts about my Great-Grandfather - then she'd start talking about the Lord.  She'd tell me something else about the family - then she'd tell me about the church she attended.  We'd talk about the family  some more - and she moved the conversation to how she always wanted to be a missionary.  Even though she enjoyed talking about the family members she had know, she was much more interested in talking about the Lord - how good He is.  Even at the age of 101, Lois is still "on fire" for the Lord - looking for His return at any moment - and will preach you a mini-sermon at the drop of a hat.


Sometimes, however, in our walk with the Lord we discover that we're not "on fire" for the Lord like we one time were.  We realize that we’ve grown “lukewarm” or even “cold”.  Our love for the Lord isn’t as intense as it “used to be”.  Without even noticing it, we've allowed other things to become the first priority in our lives and we’ve “strayed” from Abba – or found ourselves reaching back to things from our past.  Like the “Prodigal Son”, we’re ashamed with feelings of unworthiness.  Yet Luke 15 tells us the beautiful story of a loving Father who graciously welcomed his prodigal son back home when he returned with a repentant heart.


Luke 15:11-32
 And He (Yeshua) said, "A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me'- So he divided his wealth between them.  And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 

Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.  So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 

But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!  I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men."' 

So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'  But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate. 

Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.  And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be.  And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.'  But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.  But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends;  but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'  And he said to him, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.  'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'"


Abba, as we approach Rosh Hashanah, continue to shine a light into our lives, revealing those things in our lives that are not pleasing to You.  Our heart’s desire is to stand totally clean before you.  Forgive us of our sins and write the words of Your Torah fresh upon our hearts.  Let Your love burn in our hearts and restore the fire of the Ruach Ha'Kodesh (Holy Spirit) within our lives that we might serve You more effectively.  We thank you for Your Torah of Grace.  B’Shem Yeshua.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: CASTING CROWNS “Prodigal”


YouTube Video: CASTING CROWNS “Your Love Is Extravigant”


YouTube Video: CASTING CROWNS "Glorious Day"


Teshuvah 26

This evening at sundown is the beginning of Elul 26 and day 26 of Teshuvah.  Rosh Hashanah is in 4 days.

Luke 21
Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away


Psalm 139
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


Thank You Father for Your love for us.  Thank You for giving Your Son Yeshua as our Atonement - surpassing the blood of bulls and goats.  Continue to work in our hearts and lives, Abba. B’Shem Yeshua (In the Name of Yeshua) - Amen!


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: CAROLYN HYDE “Fine Linen - The Wedding of the Lamb”


YouTube Video: CAROLYN HYDE "Yet I Will Rejoice"


Visit Carolyn Hyde's website at


Teshuvah 27

This evening at sundown is the beginning of Elul 27 and day 27 of Teshuvah.  Rosh Hashanah is in 3 days.

In this time where we live it seems like so many are going through “things” – some as a result of our own works – sins, iniquities and transgressions - and some that just come out of the blue.  Yet through it all, God doesn’t close His ear to us if we call out to Him.


Luke 21
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation (excessive drinking) and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, 35like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”


Psalm 141
Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door to my lips.
Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.


Psalm 142
Bring my soul out of prison that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.


Continue to work in our hearts and lives, Abba. Let our first thoughts in the morning and our last thoughts before bed be about You.  Fill the fullness of our days with intimate moments with You.  We want to love You more.  B’Shem Yeshua (In the Name of Yeshua) - Amen!


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: HOSANNA INTEGRITY “More Love More Power" CLICK HERE
This is definitely my prayer for this Teshuvah season


YouTube Video: HILLSONG “From the Inside Out, Lord”
Awesome Lyrics

YouTube Video: CHRISTENE JACKMAN "I Will Dance"

Teshuvah 28

This evening at sundown is the beginning of Elul 28 and day 28 of Teshuvah.  Rosh Hashanah is in 2 days .

Yeshua teaches on Rosh Hashanah…


John 5
1After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.


Psalm 143
 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust; cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.


This old song sung by Steve Green says it so well.  He Who began a good work in You will be faithful to complete it in you. 


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: STEVE GREEN “He Who Began A Good Work in You”


Thank You for Your great love for us, Abba. We thank You that You will be faithful to complete the good work that You started in us.  B’Shem Yeshua (In the Name of Yeshua) - Amen!


Clay Crosse’s Testimony:
Clay’s career took off when he was declared 1995’s New Artist of the Year with the song “I Surrender All”.  During all of this Clay found himself dealing with the sin of pornography.  This video is Clay’s testimony of God’s dealing with him, his deliverance and restoration.


YouTube Video: CLAY CROSSE: “Deliverance From Pornography”

This is one of my VERY FAVORITE songs by Clay
YouTube Music Video: CLAY CROSSE: “Purify Me” – After his deliverance from pornography


Dennis Jernigan’s Testimony:
Many of you are familiar with Dennis’ music and his testimony.  As I was looking for testimonies about God’s grace and goodness, I thought about Dennis and looked to see if he had his testimony at YouTube – and he did.  You may not have been involved with the sin of “homosexuality”, but Dennis’ testimony is still worth hearing because it speaks of the Father’s heart toward us and any sin within our lives.  It speaks of God’s love, grace, help, direction and deliverance from any sin that you’re dealing with.


YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “Freedom From Homosexuality 1”

YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “Freedom From Homosexuality 2”

YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “Freedom From Homosexuality 3”

YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “Freedom From Homosexuality 4”

YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “Freedom From Homosexuality 5”

YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “Freedom From Homosexuality 6”

YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “Freedom From Homosexuality 7”

YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “Freedom From Homosexuality 8”

YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “Freedom From Homosexuality Conclusion”

Music by Dennis Jernigan:
If you're not familiar with Dennis' music, I KNOW you'll be blessed

YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “When the Night is Falling”


YouTube Video: DENNIS JERNIGAN “If I Could Just Sit With You Awhile”


Michael English’s Testimony:
Michael’s a wonderful singer and had his big break when he joined the Gaither Vocal Band.  He eventually went “solo” and ended up with several Number 1 songs, before he found himself involved in an adulterous relationship.  As a result, no church in the country would have him – even though he had repented for the sin.  He turned from Christian music to Pop music in an attempt to renew a failed career.  Eventually that spun out of control into depression and “controlled substance” drug abuse.  Reaching the bottom, he found that he was not alone – but God was still with him – ready to deliver and restore. 


YouTube Video: MICHAEL ENGLISH: “Testimony, Part 1”

YouTube Video: MICHAEL ENGLISH: “Testimony, Part 2”

YouTube Video: MICHAEL ENGLISH: “Testimony, Part 3”

YouTube Video: MICHAEL ENGLISH: “Testimony, Part 4”

Music by Michael English:
YouTube Video: MICHAEL ENGLISH: “In Christ Alone”

YouTube Video: MICHAEL ENGLISH: “I’m Free”
With various members of the Gaither Vocal Band - After Michael’s "restoration"


Teshuvah 29


This evening at sundown is the beginning of Elul 29 and day 29 of Teshuvah.  Rosh Hashanah is in 1 days.  Friday evening at sundown is the beginning of the two-day festival of Rosh Hashanah (Yom Teruah - Day of the Awakening Blast).


Numbers 29
And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.


Psalm 144
…happy is that people whose God is the Lord


1Corinthians 10
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.


Psalm 145
The LORD is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy
The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: He also will hear their cry and will save them.
The LORD preserveth all them that love Him: but all the wicked will he destroy


Thank You Abba for the cleansing power of the blood of Your Son, Yeshua, in our lives.  B’Shem Yeshua (In the Name of Yeshua) - Amen!


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: MARANATHA SINGERS "White As Snow"
(the song starts half way through the video)


Teshuvah 30


This evening at sundown is the beginning of Tishri 1 and day 30 of Teshuvah.  It’s also the beginning of the High Holy Days.  Teshuvah will continue through Tishri 10 – Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement).  This period of time between Tishri 1 and Tishri 10 is also called “The Days of Awe”.  Today is the first day of the two-day festival of Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), also called Yom Teruah (Day of the Awakening Blast).   "Day of the Awakening Blast"!  Does that remind you of anything?


Leviticus 23
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 24Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
Other names for Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year):
*Yom Teruah/Day of the Awakening Blast
*Yom Ha Zikkaron/Day of Remembrance
*Yom Hadin/Day of Judgment
*Yom Ha Meleck/Day of the King
*Day of the Loud Shout
*That Day
*Festival of the New Moon
*Day of the Hidden Moon
*Feast of the Last Trump
*Day of the Sounding of the Shofar
*Feast of the Born Again
*The Jewish New Year


Psalm 147
The LORD taketh pleasure n them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy.


Psalm 149
For the LORD taketh pleasure in His people: He will beautify the meek with salvation.


Teach us, Abba, the truth revealed through Your Feasts.  Help us to see the picture of Messiah that they tell and understand them more fully as we “remember” and “rehearse” for Your coming.  B’Shem Yeshua.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:

YouTube Video: JONATHAN SETTEL "Shehechianu"

Additional Music:
YouTube Video: GAITHER - ISRAEL HOMECOMING “Blow the Trumpet”
Recorded live in Jerusalem

YouTube Video: DAVID PHELPS & Gaither Vocal Band in Israel “These Are They”
Recorded live in Jerusalem


Teshuvah 31


Teshuvah will continue until we arrive at the feast of Yom Kippur/The Day of Atonement.  The 10 days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur are also called the Days of Awe.


This evening at sundown is the beginning of Tishri 2 and day 31 of Teshuvah.  Today is the second day of the two-day festival of Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), also called Yom Terual (Day of the Awakening Blast).


Isaiah 53
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.


The words to this song are awesome – read them carefully – and check out the YouTube Video below. 




I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven – is more than just avoiding what some might consider the “big” sins of life.  To live as one who’s been forgiven also entails our attitudes toward those around us – our negative or critical conversations – our cutting and hurtful remarks.  So greatly pardoned, I’ll forgive another – regardless of the hurts we’ve experienced from others.  In the Lord’s Prayer Yeshua prayed “…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  I’ve been so loved that I’ll risk loving, too takes us off of the bench of non-commitment to those around us – requires that we reach out to those in need – requires that we open our eyes.  The closing line of the song really sums it all up - May You feed a hungry world through me -  and is indeed a wonderful pray for this new year.


Teach us Abba how to apply the words of this wonderful song to our lives.  Let us truly be living examples of Your Word.  B’Shem Yeshua.


Teshuvah 32


This evening at sundown is Tishri 3 and day 32 of Teshuvah.  Yom Kippur in 7 days.


As we continue to prepare our hearts for our heavenly Bridegroom, it’s important that we put on the “whole armor of God”.


Ephesians 6:13-17 (American Standard Version)
13 Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 withal taking up the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:


Sin moves from our “mind” to our “heart” to our “will”.  If we’re to truly be overcomers, we have to be dressed and ready for battle.


His Word is Truth, and Truth is the “belt” that hold everything together.


Putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness means that we’re actually putting on HIS Righteousness.  We have no righteousness within ourselves to put on.  Isaiah 64:6 says “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” .


When we have our feet shod with the gospel of peace, we have total trust in HIM.  Our peace is not based on the circumstances in our lives, but instead on our relationship with HIM.


With the shield of faith we’re able to deflect the devil’s arrows – the temptations he hurls at us.  Strongholds, arguments and thoughts are all darts that the enemy uses against us. The Sword of the Spirit is equipped to deal with them all.


The sword of the Spirit is an unmistakable weapon of offence. No doubt that it can also be used as a tool for defense. This however is no ordinary sword. This sword is made of the Spirit and the Word. In spiritual warfare the battles are fought with words. Words packed and backed up with the Spirit of God.


The helmet of salvation is a part of the fortification that we receive from God by way of prayer in the Holy Spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to “Pray without ceasing”.  Our relationship with Him should be so constant it’s as if we never stop praying or talking to Him.


The true test of a person’s character is what it takes to stop him.  Our daily prayer should be, “God with Your help I will live with day-by-day obedience”.


Abba, We love You and desire to walk in righteousness before You.  Forgive us, Lord, of anything within our lives that is not pleasing to You.  Use us, Father, to share the "good news" of Your great love.  B'Shem Yeshua!


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: ROBIN MARK “Be Unto Your Name”


Teshuvah 33


This evening at sundown is Tishri 4 and day 33 of Teshuvah.  Yom Kippur in 6 days.


Psalm 32
1Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
5I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.


Father, Thank you for giving your son Yeshua as an atonement for our sins.  Thanks you for your love, mercy & grace.  Thank you for choosing us and inviting us to the wedding feast. B'Shem Yeshua.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: HONEYTREE "Father Lift Me Up"
Great song from the 1970s and "the Jesus Movement"

YouTube Video: HONEYTREE "I Am Your Servant"
Great song from the 1970s and "the Jesus Movement"



Teshuvah 34


This evening at sundown is Tishri 5 and day 34 of Teshuvah.  Five days till Yom Kippur.


Romans 6
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.


Tommy Tenney, author of “God Chasers”, was a recent speaker at Covenant.  He spoke about living life like Joshua & Caleb and facing the giants in our lives.  That’s our theme for Teshuvah – walking victorious with the Lord.  He made an interesting statement, “You can’t be an overcomer in the obstacles of your life without facing those obstacles”.  No one wants the “temptations” each of us endure, yet to live victoriously we have to face them head-on trusting Yeshua to be our “strength” to live as overcomers.  We don’t go looking for those temptations – they’ll find us on their own.  When they do, He can and will give us the victory – and with each victory we’ll become more and more conformed into His image.


Abba, thank you for the strength to daily crucify the "old man" that we might not serve sin.  Give us Your ability to overcome the obstacles in our lives.  Help us to keep our eyes, ears and heart focused on you.  Let this new year be one of power, miracles and great service for you.  B'Shem Yeshua!


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: CHRIS TOMLIN "I Will Follow"


YouTube Video: CHRIS TOMLIN "Our God is Greater"


YouTube Video: CHRIS TOMLIN "Unfailing Love"


Take a video trip through Israel


YouTube Video: ISRAEL “Landscapes 1”

YouTube Video: "My Beautiful Israel"


Teshuvah 35

This evening at sundown is Tishri 6 and day 35 of Teshuvah.  Four days till Yom Kippur.

Proverbs 4
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
24Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
25Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
27Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil


What do we look like when His Word does not depart from our eyes?  We see ourselves as righteous in Messiah, we see ourselves as overcomers in all things that Satan puts in our path, we see all of our needs met, we see ourselves walking in health, we see ourselves loved and cared for by a caring Heavenly Father.


The opposite is true when we’re not spending time in His Word and thinking about it -  in other words, when we let His Word departs from our eyes.


Ultimately what we give your “attention” to is what we’ll desire.  Desire doesn’t just show up.  Whatever we spend most of your time doing is what we’ll desire.  Whatever we’re watching the most…hearing the most…doing the most…that’s what we’ll desire.

Attend to HIS Words…

Abba, May we be more obedient in attending to Your word.  May our desires be totally focused on You and Your kingdom.  B’Shem Yeshua.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video - ROBIN MARK "As the Deer Pants for the Water"


Teshuvah 36


This evening at sundown is Tishri 7 and day 36 of Teshuvah.  Three days till Yom Kippur (Sunday Evening).


1 John 4:20
If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.


Abba, Make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, Let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
and Where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
B’Shem Yeshua.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: THE KATINAS "Draw Me Close to You"




YouTube Video: THE KATINAS "Thank You"


Take a video trip through Israel


YouTube Video: ISRAEL “Jerusalem”


Teshuvah 37


This evening at sundown is Tishri 8 and day 37 of Teshuvah.  Two days till Yom Kippur.


Prayer is such an important part of our relationship with God.  How can we really have a “relationship” with Him if we’re not talking to Him?  How can we “attempt” to even begin to walk righteously if we’re not praying?  In a recent survey only 60% of “Christians” say that they pray every day. The largest group of that 60% was Jehovah’s Witnesses – the 2nd largest group was Mormons – finally the 4th largest group was Evangelical Christians.  If these statistics are true, then it definitely has a lot to say about our prayer life and our relationship to God.


1 Thessalonians 5:17
says “Pray without ceasing” and verse 18 says,In everything give thanks …”


Our daily walk should consist of longer prayers, but also short prayers like this …

Thanks You O Lord for giving us good health with which to serve you today!  B’Shem Yeshua!

Blessed are You O Lord our God, who is the source for all of our provision! B’Shem Yeshua!

Thank You Lord for guarding my household, my spouse, my children & grandchildren!  B’Shem Yeshua!


Here’s a great song/prayer by Karen Davis – “Avinu Malkeinu”/”Our Father Our King” ...


Avinu Malkeinu

YouTube Video: KAREN DAVIS “Avinu Milkeinu”


James 5:13-16
Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Abba, Continue to teach us about the importance of prayer and blessing.  Deepen our relationship with You.  By Your Ruach (Spirit) continue to “woo” us – causing us to desire You as the first and most important thing in our lives.  Let this new year 5771 find our relationship with You in the most intimate place that we’ve ever been.  Teach us to love you more.  B’Shem Yeshua!

YouTube Video: ISRAEL “Hatikvah”


Teshuvah 38

This evening at sundown is Tishri 9 and day 38 of Teshuvah.  One day till Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement, occurs on Tishri 10 and is the most solemn holiday of the Jewish year.  Those of us who know Yeshua as Messiah, can also see a  reason for celebration since He became the "Atonement" for our sins with his sacrificial death.


Leviticus 23
     27  Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
     28  And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a Day of Atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
     31 shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
     32  It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.


To "afflict your souls" is a Hebrew idiom which refers to "fasting".  Jews and Messianic Believers around the world traditionally fast for 25 hours.


This is what Yeshua said about fasting:
Matthew 6:14-18

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.


The Jewish day begins at "even" (sundown) on the evening before each festival day.


According to Jewish tradition, three books are opened on the Feast of Trumpets and closed on Yom Kippur.
1. The Book of the righteous
2. The Book of the unrighteous
3. The Book of those in-between.


Revelation 20
     12  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  Another book was opened, which is the book of life.  The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.


If a man is deemed righteous, his name is written in the Book of Life for the righteous at the Feast of Trumpets. If a man is unrighteous, his name is written in the Book of the unrighteous. If a man is deemed in-between, judgment is delayed for ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. It is during that period of time that a man is given opportunity to repent before the book is closed and his destiny sealed on Yom Kippur.  Sounds like a prophetic picture of the feasts as they’re fulfilled in Messiah – doesn’t it?  …those who are righteous are redeemed on Rosh Hashanah while the unrighteous are judged on Yom Kippur.


Abba, Search our hearts and see if there is any wicked way within them.  Forgive us of our sins, iniquities and transgressions, Yahweh, and write our names in the Book of the Righteous.  B’Shem Yeshua.


Teshuvah 39


This evening at sundown is Tishri 10 and day 39 of Teshuvah.  Yom Kippur begins this evening at sundown.  It is customary to fast on Yom Kippur.


The “Scapegoat” on Yom Kippur

Leviticus 16
     7  And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
     8.  And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat (Azazel).
     9  And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.
     10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness


Two goats were set aside at Yom Kippur  – one for God, and one for Azazel (HaSatan or Satan). The High Priest cast lots to determine their fates. The one for God was sacrificed, and the other (the Scapegoat) represented Israel and the sins of the nation. Tradition teaches that the scapegoat had a scarlet ribbon tied to its neck with a portion of the same ribbon tied to the door of the Temple. The scapegoat was driven into the wilderness (and in later years thrown over a cliff).  If the Jews had repented, the scarlet ribbon tied to the door of the temple would miraculously turn white – a sign of God’s forgiveness.


It’s interesting to note that the scapegoat was driven into the desert, the same place the Ruach Ha’Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) led Yeshua after he was baptized of John to be tempted by Ha’Satan. (Matthew 4:1)


The Mishnah tells us that 40 years before the destruction of the temple, the ribbon stopped turning white. This would have been during the time of Yeshua’s ministry, death and resurrection.  The “scapegoat” was no longer necessary as God provided another way for the atonement of sin.  Yeshua, Himself, became the perfect atonement for all our sins – past, present and future.


The casting of lots (Lev.16:8) reminds us that Messiah himself will one day judge the nations on Yom Kippur.


Revelation 20:11-12
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.


There are three primary shofar soundings associated with the festivals. These three trumpets are:
     "The First Trump" at Shavuot (Pentecost)
     "The Last Trump" at Rosh HaShannah (Feast of Trumpets)
     "The Great Trump" at Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement


2 Thessalonians 2:15-17
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.  May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.


Abba, We thank You for the perfect and complete atonement provided for us by Your son, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach.  Firmly establish us in Your Word, write the words of Your Torah upon our hearts, and use us for Your glory and in the work of Your Kingdom.  B’Shem Yeshua.


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: BARRY & BATYA SEGAL "Shimcha Kadosh - O Holy One"
The song starts in Hebrew and switches to English


Teshuvah 40


Today is Yom Kippur - the final day of Teshuvah and the LAST of my daily Teshuvah emails.  This evening at sundown is Tishri 11.  Sukkot is in four days.


2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.


James 1:12-13
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;


Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: AVNER & RAHCEL BOSKEY "King"


YouTube Video: Brian Doerkson "Creation Calls" &
AVNER & RACHL BOSKEY "Temple Meditation"


Tishri 15 - Sukkot/Tabernacles

Five days after Yom Kippur (the the last Teshuvah reading above) is the Festival of Sukkot.  Tishri is the 7th month of the Biblical/Jewish calendar - containing the Festivals of Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) on Tishri 1 & 2, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonemnet) on Tishri 10, and Sukkot (Booths or Tabernacles) on Tishri 15 - 21.  Sukkot is a seven-day festival.
Leviticus 23
     34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
     39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath.
     40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
The Four Species mentioned in the scripture above are:
     Etrog - the fruit of the goodly tree (a citron)
     Lulav - the palm branch
     Hadas - the myrtle branch
     Aravah - the willow branch
The Lulav, Hadas and Aravah when combined are referred to as "the Lulav".
The Four Species are help together and waved to the North, South, East, West, Up and Down, showing that God is everywhere.  They Hebrew phrase "Hodu L'Adonai Ki Tov, Ki L'Olam Chasdo", meaning "Give Thankt to the Lord for He is Good", is spoken as the Lulav and Etrog are waved.
     41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year.  It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
     42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths.
     43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
The booth (or sukka) can be constructed of any light weight material.  Just remember that it is a temporary shelter.  The most important part of the sukka is the roof.  Branches of "goodly" trees are used for the covering but you must be able to see the stars.  Wooden slats on top of the sukka allow you to place the branches on top of the structure without them falling on your head.
Scripture says that you are to "dwell" in the sukka.  Dwelling implies eating, sleeping (if weather permits) and study.  It's considered a great joy to be able to have guests in your sukka.
The Festival of Sukkot reminds us that life is temporary.  Even our bodies are temporary homes as we prepare for eternity with Adonai.  In John 14:2, Yeshua said, "I go to prepare a place for you."
Deuteronomy 16
     13 Thou shalt observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, after thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine.
     14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.
Even if you're not native-born Israeli, or even Jewish, scripture says that even "the stranger within thy gates" is to observe the Feast. 
The Festival of Sukkot will be observed during the Millennial Reign of Messiah Yeshua.
Zechariah 14
     16 And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
     17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
This has become one of my favorite festival scriptures.  Not only does it speak of Sukkot, but it also informs us that we'll be observing Sukkot during Messiah's 1000-year reign on Earth.  The scripture puts to rest the belief, that some have, that the festivals are a thing of the "past".  They should also be a thing of our "present", just like they will be in our "future".
The following song by Barry & Batya Segal is my favorite Sukkot song.  It speaks of the "Latter Days" when all the nations will go up to Jerusalem to keep the Festival of Sukkot.

Take a 5-Minute Worship Break:


YouTube Video: BARRY & BATYA SEGAL "Latter Days"


YouTube Video: BARRY & BATYA SEGAL "Go Through the Gates"