More in Israel…

Wanna hear something AMAZING?!?!?

A true and amazing story told by Ohad Shaked:

I received a phone call on Sunday from “A,” one of the Iron Dome commanders who was a student of mine about 6 years ago. I was glad he called. “Where can a person learn Torah in Ramat Gan?” He asked me leaving me baffled being that he was far from Torah and mitzvot. “I’m going to be released in a couple of months, and I want to learn in a Yeshiva – I saw the Almighty with my own eyes!” He said, nothing more and nothing less. “What happened?” I asked him. “A Missile was fired from Gaza. The Iron Dome can detect where the missile is going to fall within a 200 meter radius. This particular Missile was heading to the Azrieli Towers, or to the railroad tracks. Either way, hundreds could have paid with their lives!

We sent the first “dome” and it missed. Then the second as well as the third dome missed, this is a very rare occurrence. To date, only two other such cases occurred. I was in shock! We had four seconds until there is no way back and the missile would hit. We had already informed and dispatched emergency services, the police and the fire department, to the location.” Then the commander spoke excitedly as I kept on listening. “Suddenly, without any preliminary design from the Iron Dome system (which calculates the possible wind currents, etc.) a strong eastern wind blew – a wind that we have no idea where it came from and cast the missile right into the sea. We were all in shock!!! I stood up and started screaming ‘There is a G-d’! ‘There is a G-d!’ ‘There is a G-d’!!! I saw this miracle with my own eyes. No one told me about it, it was not reported to me. I saw the Hand of Hashem fling the missile into the sea!

Of course this was not reported for security reasons, but it’s enough to witness the miracles with our own eyes to know there is Hashem (G-d). I ran to one of the religious soldiers and asked him to put on tefillin. I took it upon myself to keep Shabbat, and that was the very best Shabbat I have ever had.” This is what he told me. I was so excited that it even brought a tear to my eye. “Ashrecha” (praisworthy are you) I said to him, “that you merited to witness this incident and to understand that it’s from Hashem (G-d)!”

The number of miracles in Israel at the moment…!  It’s amazing.  I clicked on SIX pages of them, upon getting on-line, today!  But anyhow, this was my favorite, so I had to share it.  And if you want something more on the subject to read, try this:  Mosiach must be really, really close!

Israel

I wrote something last week on my Facebook… it was too long-winded to have been a status update.  I need to STOP blogging over there and keep my stuff here.   But anyhow, I’m cutting/pasting what I wrote, over here… because I wish to expand on it.  Which means this might get a little long, but it’s SO important, right now.  This is prophecy, happening before our eyes.

Anyhow, here’s what I wrote on FB:

It has come to my attention that four of my FB friends support Palestine. They have recently begun posting things that say that Israel should not have it’s own country, that the land belongs to the Palestinians, that Israel is a band of murderers…

This grieves my heart. Because before 1964, Palestine was not a nation – Israel was an occupied territory since AD70 by the Arabs, who did not want to give it back to the Jews. They banded together when Israel was granted back (a portion of) her land, Arafat was the one who called them Palestine, because it’s a throwback to the Philistines, the nation that was enemy to the Jews.

10488196_488969204580821_8150023149179871855_nAnd yes. Israel IS bombing at the moment. They’ve been hit almost constantly for years, now, by the Hamas and PLO… but because they have created an ‘Iron Dome’ defense system their people do not die – the missiles are detonated in air before they hit Jewish civilians. They are also required by law to be within 30 seconds of a bomb shelter at any time. Israel protects its own, to minimize casualties. They’re old hat at it, anymore.

So the outcry of ‘poor Palestine’ getting retaliation hits is ridiculous. THEY are the ones bombing Israel daily, month after month, year after year. And yes, Palestinian people are killed in the retaliation. Because they PUT their rocket launchers in schools, churches, and markets so that – when Israel targets them – their own people are killed and the outcry can go up in their favor. It’s dirty and horrible. They do NOT protect their people, they use them as shields and play it to the West as an atrocity caused by those defending themselves.

I’m not going to post about what’s going on there on my FB everyday or anything, but I want the facts straight. And for the record, the rabbis are saying what has begun, this summer, is the beginning of WWIII, the Gog/Magog war prophesied. They are watching for Mosiach, at this point. And the stories of the miracles coming out of Israel…!! It takes my breath away!

In addition (what I wanted to add) was that there was a HUGE discussion on one of these people’s sites, and it was amazing, what was said:

Israel is much stronger than the Palestinians, this of course is true.  In a full-blown war, Israel could literally wipe out the population of Gaza. THAT would be genocide. But that’s not what the government wants, it’s not what the Israelis want, and it’s not what Israel is doing. And it’s why the term genocide is inaccurate, inflammatory, and doesn’t promote an ultimate solution.

Instead of genocide, the government is trying hurt Hamas — and its ability to launch rockets which DO target Israeli civilians. Keep in mind that Hamas is an organization devoted not just to a Palestinian state, but the complete destruction of Israel. They want it, and all the Jews who live in it, gone.

So Israel has done what no other country in the history of battle has done — warned people before attacks in a genuine attempt limit civilian casualties. And to a large degree, it’s worked.   Are the results perfect? Of course not. Gaza is an complicated area — the population density is very high. And Hamas is a complicated enemy — they will intentionally launch and store rockets in and near homes, schools, hospitals, mosques, etc, knowing and hoping that an Israeli response will create pictures and video that will incite the world. It’s very cynical PR, but it’s often effective.

In the end, there are two objectives Israel has in being stronger. The first is what we’re seeing now — the ability to defend itself against enemy attacks. But the second, which less noisy, is the one we usually see: to prevent and deter attacks in the first place. If the Palestinians were interested in making peace and (this is important) had the ability to enforce the peace, I’m very confident the Israeli population, both liberal and conservative, will gladly welcome the end of the conflict.

At the same time as the war wages, Israel is swearing in a new President.
http://matzav.com/reuven-rivlin-sworn-in-as-israel%E2%80%99s-tenth-president-peres-says-goodbye

Lazer wrote about the miracles, but hasn’t even scratched the surface
http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2014/07/missile-miracles-and-miles.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2FpGFj+%28Lazer+Beams%29

And then more:
http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2014/07/hashems-miracles.html

Did you hear about the miracle grenade?
http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2014/07/the-miracle-grenade.html

IDF soldier’s letter is an amazing read:
http://muqata.blogspot.com/2014/07/an-idf-soldiers-letter-from-front.html

On CNN and Hamas’ human sheilds:
http://cosmicx.blogspot.com/2014/07/cnn-and-hamass-human-shields.html

And since I wrote this last week, the whole thing about Hamas using 800,000 tons of cement to build tunnels thru to Israel in order to infiltrate the Jewish areas has come to light.  Concrete given to the Palestinians to be used for infrastructure to aid the people – NOT the army.  If that doesn’t tell you what the mindset is (screw our people, we’re going to kill the Jews at all costs), I don’t know what would.  It’s crazy.  Here’s some of the article:

…Where did Hamas get all that concrete? Most of it came from you and your government. Hamas got its hands on the supplies it needed to build the tunnels after it pleaded with the international community last year to help redeem Gaza from the throes of a humanitarian crisis, caused by the fact that both Israel and Egypt closed their borders to Gaza, because both countries grew tired of having their soldiers and citizens murdered by terrorists. Needless to say, Israel’s concerns about how the concrete would be used were universally derided in the West as inflicting cruel and needless suffering on the people of Gaza—who, needless to say, didn’t receive any of the concrete for their own use. The priorities of Ismail Haniyeh’s government were crystal clear—to use all resources at their disposal to launch another war with Israel.

This morning, here’s the latest – a big decision is being made:
http://palmtreeofdeborah.blogspot.com/2014/07/turning-point.html

02:44: According to a Channel 10 poll, 87 percent of the Israeli public would like Operation Protective Edge to continue, and 69 percent want Hamas to be toppled entirely. 7 percent want an immediate ceasefire. Six percent answer that they don’t know.

09:31: The Security Cabinet met into the late hours of the night. The IDF awaits instructions as to how to proceed in Gaza. It remains unclear if the ground operation will expand to eliminate Hamas’ rocket-firing abilities or if it will wrap up with the destruction of the tunnels.

The government has the vast majority of the public’s support and approval for finishing the job. The army awaits it orders. Today marks a turning point in this process, just as we all knew it would. What will be in the coming pivotal hours and how might it change all of our futures?

All of Israel is watching with bated breath, because they KNOW what this means.  One blogger said that this is the ‘third Messianic War’ – the first being in 1948 when the Jews were able to return to the land, and the second in 1967 when Israel got back most of its land (and Jerusalem)… and this third one will bring Mosiach back.  So there’s some amazing stuff going around about these things.  But my favorite is this one:

” …When seven years remain of the years comprising the ‘appointed time’ (הקץ), these will be the years when redemption commences, for the Sages provided an identifying sign for them when they said: ‘the week (שבוע) when the son of David comes….’ During that week Edom will rule over Israel for a period not less than nine months and no more than three years. This is because Israel can only take sovereignty away from Edom, as Scripture affirms: ‘Edom will have possession; Se’ir, their enemies, will have possession, but Israel will powerfully prevail. One from Jacob will rule, and he will destroy what remains of the city’ (Num 24:18-19),….

I find it more than a little interesting that Shimon Peres, the only remaining high-profile leader from the original yishuv, who has been in the Israeli government for its whole existence, attained the Office of the Presidency seven years ago. Yesterday, his seven-year term ended and he stepped down to become just an ordinary citizen.

It’s the end of an era and hopefully, the end of the seven years just prior to the ushering in of the messianic age.”

In other words… Just as Peres’ seven years is over, war takes the stage – and they’re saying Edom will rule for up to three years. Remember, they don’t believe in Revelation, which says Israel will be trodden for 42 months… three and a half years. Isn’t that interesting?!?!

Snapshot Sunday

This weekend, we *FINALLY* made the goat pens bigger.  The girl pen was big enough, but the boys… well, you can see in this first picture that their pen was small and just muddy.  And when it rained?  They WADED in it.  It was bad.  Really, really bad.  They needed more space.

IMG_2908 (666x500)The brown solid is where the girls were.
The brown muck was boy pen.  It doesn’t look like much added,
but that six foot is a LOT.

Plus the boys had three plastic dog houses, and put their hooves thru the roofs of all three.  So they needed new houses, and we found two of these K-spans on the side of the road for sale.  We only wanted one of them, but the man selling REALLY wanted them to just go and get out of his way, so we got both pretty much for the price he’d had for one.  We took the pair, and will use the second one for storing hay.  If it’s high ground, and facing away from the wind, it’ll work fine for that.  But even with the new shelter… it wasn’t going to fit in the old pen very well.  We needed to make it bigger.


On top of that, two winters ago, a tree fell over the girl pen, remember that?  The tree, of course, is LONG gone, but the fence panels have been needing repair, ever since, and driving us crazy.  So there was also that.  Yes, things had to change out in Critter Corner.  And this was the weekend for it.

So we measured EVERY panel that we had laying around, and then I sat down with manipulatives (ie. strips of paper the size in centimeters of the length of the panels in feet), and re-configured the pens, so that the boys would gain two feet to the south and six feet to the east, and the girls would LOSE the two feet to the south, but gain six foot to the east.

The first job was getting the K-span into the existing pen, because then we could trap the goats inside of it, allowing us to be able to pull apart the fence sections and not worry about critters getting loose.

IMG_2899 (666x500)Nice new K-span… with goats shut inside.
Just until we get things situated, of course, though.

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Brian had to cut back the woods, a little, to make room.
We live in a forest, pretty much, you know.

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Mama and Daddy did the carrying of panels (H.E.A.V.Y!)
But kids helped out by holding things in place once they were situated.

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And opening gates for us to bring stuff through.
They were very good at that, too.
They also scrubbed out the water pails, since it was about that time.
And fetching tools… and clamps…

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And making lemonade… and taking breaks.
Aaron was out for the count, having cut his foot early on.

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And it looks so nice, expanded for them all!
((Now we just have to mend the damaged panels.  Someday…))

Shabbat Shalom!


Tonight is the new moon, but not until after sunset,
so Av doesn’t begin until Sunday evening!

  • For Payday.  It’s payday, by the way.  I like payday.  By the time we get there, it’s a relief.  Not that we overspend, mind you.  There’s just seven of us on a single income, that’s all.  We do okay, but it’s pretty much paycheck to paycheck.  Which tends to make a body very much thankful for that paycheck!  But we’re on NO assistance, have only Brian’s truck for debt, and have enough saved to see us thru an emergency… so how can I complain?  I don’t – I’m just REALLY grateful for each payday!
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  • For my kids.  We’ve been doing a lot of crazy reading, this week.  Just fun stuff instead of the heavy stuff.  It being summer (and us being beyond week 36 of school), I figure it’s okay to lighten things up.  They like it, too.
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  • For Trimming.  See, I’m kind of a tree-hugger.  Which means I let stuff grow in on us.  But we need the space, so Brian is constantly all “Can we cut THAT?!”  and I’m always “But it’s so LUSH and BEAUTIFUL!”  But occassionally I get pissed off at nature (like when my hair gets caught in branches like Absolom while I’m mowing), and then stuff has’ta be trimmed.  We trimmed.  It looks nicer.
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  • For Two chairs!  I have six chairs at our dining table, and seven people.  Which wasn’t a big deal, but Owen is getting near to being out of the clunky plastic high chair/youth seat, and I’m getting ready to ditch that eyesore, once and for all (it’s been at our table for FOURTEEN YEARS!).  So I went on a hunt to find chairs that might look SOMETHING like the ones we have, right now.  Not an easy task, I assure you – to find two chairs that not only match each other, but come without a whole table set and look like your own?  But on my very first attempt… there they were!  They’re naturally not identical, but size and basic shape?  It will work, if I re-cover all of them the same, I think!
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  • For answered Prayer.  The day after I prayed that the Lord take my mother out of the picture so that we could pull our jet-skis out of the water before the storm, we went out and there were two boats on either side of our skis – NOT hers.  So she’d had to park somewhere else… and we were able to get our machines… AND go for a swim on the other side… AND have pizza supper, AND make it home just in time to get the laundry off the line before the dark clouds started rolling in and the wind picked up.  I believe in the power of prayer!
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  • For Navy nail polish.  I got a weird hankerin’ for dark blue nail polish.  I thought it would look STUNNING with our light golden tans.  So I dragged the kids to the store and the ALL had fun trying to find the darkest of the dark blue polishes on the shelves… and they found me navy blue.  ((It actually has a purple base to it once it’s on, which irks me, but MOSTLY it’s navy blue.))  And for the record?  It *does* look stunning with a tan!
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  • For Romans Study.  I’d gone into this wanting to try pictorial journaling (I looked thru my original blue Bible journal, and it was… not of much help to me).  I’d wanted to do Romans because we do OT for school and NT/gospel stories after supper, and I thought I’d do the letters – Romans being the first, thereof.  But I had NO idea that it was going to be so RICH!!  I’m having a wonderful time with this!
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  • For Languages.  Here’s something you probably didn’t know – I’m a bit of a language nut.  I love learning different languages.  We mostly dabble, but it’s still so fun.  This past week I found ‘Chinese with Emma’  on YouTube, and I’m absolutely loving her.  I just need more time at McDonald’s to download these videos so that I can play them over and over and not KILL our bandwidth!  And of course we do Spanish and ASL and Hebrew for school… we’re supposed to add Latin, but I’ve put it off for a bit.  And we did numbers in 20 different languages this year.  I just… am thankful for so many different ones to play with!
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  • For Energy.  I don’t know what is is about camping, but from the moment we came home, the amount of energy I have was tripled.  I have been just going to TOWN on projects, this week – it’s even kinda skeery to me!  It’s like being out there revitalized us all.  I love it.  Brian jokingly says we just need to plan camping every other week, to keep up the momentum.  Silly boy!
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  • For Fencing.  We were able to pull out all of the extra fencing this week, and clean out behind the barn (Yikes…) and this weekend’s projects include fixing the broken/bent panels and then re-configuring the goat pens so that the boy area is twice the size that it is, now.  They need more space – they’re a MESS.  I have NO idea how we’re gonna do that, so it’s on my list of things to finagle, today (on paper, anyhow).  But that will be a HUGE project, accomplished, if we can do it!
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  • For Scrapbook Progress.  I. Have. Been. BUSTINGHINEYLIKEYOUWOULD *NOT* BELIEVE the past month or so.  We were FOUR books behind, and I have no idea how it got that bad.  But as of yesterday, I was caught up to our Great Wolf Trip (in March!)… so I’m almost ready to tackle Wisconsin pics.  ((They’re still on the PC.  They intimidate me.  So do the dance recital pics… which are also still on the PC.))  But you have NO idea what an incredible blitz of scrapbooking that is.  Those books are NOT small, and I have the pages FULL.  It’s crazy, but being on the deck and working on it while the kids play really helps.
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  • For EasyPeasy.  I have this problem.  See, if something is popular… I stay FAR away from it.  If everyone is talking about it, by default I refuse to even consider it.  It’s like stabbing myself in my own foot, sometimes, my ridiculous need to NOT be like the group.  Don’t ask, I’m sure there are deep-seeded psychological reasons underlying the whole thing, but I don’t go there, either.  ANYHOW (long story short), EasyPeasy is a free on-line homeschool curriculum that EVERYONE is raving about on FB.  And as a result, I’ve been blowing it off for about six months, now.  Just because… well, I use AmbleSide Online – which is a free on-line homeschool curriculum that NOBODY raves about.  So why would I do what everyone else is doing when what I have works really good for us?  Besides, if it looks too good to be true, it usually is, right?  And there’s no perfect curriculum out there, and I don’t NEED to second-guess myself, yadda-yadda.  Then I just… had a moment of weakness, this week.  I clicked on the EasyPeasy site address… and my JAW. DROPPED.  There are some AMAZING things, over there!  I’ve bookmarked the Music History, Art, Music, and Spanish… I’m thinking of incorporating them instead of what we have going, now.  It’s good stuff!  Whaddya know?!
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  • For Accomplishment.  I got our music theory workbooks assembled and printed this week.  It’s 34 pages (one for each week, with two free weeks)… and takes care of THAT hole in my program.  WoooooT!
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  • For Gratefuls.  I have SO many things to be grateful for.  Last night on the way home from a library event, Lydia asked me how to be happier.  She said that sometimes she gets so worried about things, and feels so much like there’s too much to learn and too much to do and is overwhelmed, and then thinks about the things that could go wrong… she wanted to know how to be happier.  I told her to count blessings.  Because when you consider all the wonderful things that you accomplish, when you think about the miracles and the gifts from the Lord and the little things that work out JUST right… you can’t help but be happy.  Oh, I occasionally put them up, here – a few of them, anyhow – but there are just too many blessings to write about!  ANd isn’t THAT a terrible problem to have!

New Testament Study Series

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Chapter 4:  Abe & Grace

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?   For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Romans 4: 1-3

0001  The first three verses of this set us up for something important.  We’re going to be talking about God and Abraham and the dynamic between them, and the ONE thing that matters the most about Abraham is right here, in these verses.  He BELIEVED.  Period.  He didn’t go to Shul (there were no churches or synagogues at that time), he didn’t have Torah… he simply believed.  And that’s where it starts, isn’t it?  (I drew Abraham and started it off with a big ol’ look at the patriarch.

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  Romans 4:4-5

0002Now this is tricky.  Because we have some definitions here.  Work is _____________, and faith is _____________.  A little fun, if you’re doing a journal of your own.  Cuz… you see that, right?

The question is, does that mean that works are void?  Paul never says that, does he?  (In fact, in a moment, he’s going to say the exact opposite.)  What we have here is setting out the definitions of things.  Works are because we feel we owe something.  And honestly, doesn’t everyone owe EVERYTHING to the Lord, for His provision?  It’s a debt we can never repay.  But at the same time, it’s our faith in that provision that leads us two that place where we feel we owe Him our devotion, our praise, our lives, our obedience.  Remember James 2:17 – faith without works is dead.  Faith is what justifies us, but works is how we act out our gratitude, and without the actions that show that faith, it’s not faith.

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.  Romans 6:6-8

0003THIS. IS. AMAZING, because up until now, we’ve been talking about faith vs. works… even in this chapter!  But now look at this!  Paul references David… and David backs up the ‘gift of righteousness’ thing that we’re talking about seeing thru Abraham.  Right?  BUT… in the verses he quotes from Psalms… do you see the words ‘faith’ or ‘works’?  NO.  How about THAT!   So that got me to thinking… are we so sure that this whole Abraham thing is about faith vs. works?  Because from what we’re seeing here, it kind of pulls something TOTALLY different out of the Abraham situation.  It’s talking about GRACE.  The Lord imputing righteousness, forgiving iniquities, and covering sin… as He so chooses.  Without regard to faith or works at all.  When He chose Abraham, it was because that’s who He decided to show grace to.  Period.    We’ll come back to this with an analogy in a moment, but for number three, simply look at what Psalms says, and consider what’s being talked about there.  Faith?  Works?  Or grace?  ((((yowza.))))

Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.   How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.  Romans 4:9-10

0004Once again, the word ‘circumcision’ here is an indication of obedience.  If you were to replace the word ‘circumcision’ with ‘obedience’, it would say “Is this grace only for the obedient, or on the disobedient, too?   Abraham was righteous by way of his faith.  When was that?  When he was obedient, or yet wayward?  Not in obedience, but while he was yet wayward.”  See that?

Now compare that to the Psalms question.  Are we talking about Abraham’s faith, or lack thereof… or are we talking about Yehovah’s grace in that He extends mercy upon whom He will have mercy?  Interesting to contemplate, isn’t it?  That’s why I called this ‘Abe and Grace’.

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:  Romans 4:11
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0005Ah… HERE are the works.  Abraham believed.  We established that.  We also argued that, while faith is what brings righteousness, the works must also manifest or the faith is dead.  Abraham believed, and the first thing that happened was… okay, not circumcision, but the command for him to leave Ur and head to Canaan.  Works.  Obedience.  Abraham’s faith wouldn’t have been worth a hill of beans if he hadn’t followed the will of God in obedience.  And yes, he circumcised himself – it is a setting apart by the shedding of blood – to seal his faith.  Another act of works wholly necessary to show his devotion and belief.  Fun, this little game, isn’t it?
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And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.   For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.   For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:  Romans 4:12-14

 0006Did you get that?  Abraham, chosen by grace, was the father of all heirs of righteousness… and those heirs were chosen by grace BEFORE they even existed, let alone made signs of obedience or faith!  Love it!!!

Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.  Romans 4:15
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YESSSSSSS!!!!! That’s what I was saying, earlier.  Paul does NOT negate the Law.  It is a vital part of everything.  The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul (Whoops, forgot the ‘address’ of that Psalm.).  You can be redeemed or saved if there’s nothing to be redeemed/saved from.  Verse fifteen is HUGE, because it states the purpose of the Law/Torah!
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Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,  Romans 4:16
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 0007I hate breaking this into one verse at a time, but this is SO important.  Because verse sixteen is the “BUT” that follows verse fifteen.  For while the Law shows us what sin is, the redemption cannot come from the same place.  Salvation comes from OUTSIDE of the Law, so that people don’t equate salvation to obedience.  It’s by grace thru faith (Ephesians 2:8), not by way of the Law.
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img001a (323x579)I drew a picture on my note page to illustrate this, and it’s SO perfect in explaining it.  Here it is, again.  It’s the Law that ground us, defines sin, and ‘holds us’ accountable.  We’d be grounded if there was just the law.  But then came the Promise given Abraham (and us!)… and we received the balloon that would take us to that higher place… IF we have faith that would lift us!  Without the Law, you go nowhere.  There’s not even the potential for a journey.  It’s STILL relevant.  BUT that basket only carries us if we have the promise and the faith to go!  Do you see why verse 16 has to be it’s own point?  ((grins))
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(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.   Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.   And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:   He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;   And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Romans 4:17-22
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0008Back to Abe!  Here’s a fun thing:  Look at verses 17 thru 21, and write down the things that describe Abe (or that he did).   I got two in all of them except vs. 20 (three!), 21 and 22 (just one, each.).  But some of those… they’re VERY convicting.  If only I left no room for doubts, and glorified Ha’shem more than I do.  If only I had a complete belief that I’m useful to the Lord – I always worry that I’m not smart enough or good enough and can’t articulate, or am not a good enough representative of Him… Abraham is inspirational.space

Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;   But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up [Yeshua] our Lord from the dead;   Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.  Romans 4:23-25spa

0009IN SUMMARY.  Abraham was counted as righteous for his belief… and we also – if we believe ON HIM THAT RAISED UP YESHUA – will also be counted as righteous.  Point number one, here:  Christians say ‘believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved’.  This says ‘believe in Him who raised Yeshua’.  Interesting, isn’t it?

And I didn’t go into it on my journal page (cuz it’s ALL thru scripture), but the last bit of this section also briefly touches on (as a reminder) the fact that Yeshua ‘was delivered for our offences’.  In other words, His blood was shed in place of the OT covenant of shedding blood to cut oneself off from sin (aka circumcision).  In other words, Abraham was circumcised by his own shedding of blood, and we’re circumcised from sin by Messiah’s blood.  Kewl, dat!