As a Messianic Jew, I have the joy of celebrating New Year’s twice every year!
The exhilaration and hope that comes with the anticipation of new beginnings, the opportunity to close a chapter and even to start over if needed, is medicine for the soul, giving us a sense of forward progress. We are, after all, one day closer to the coming of Jesus!
The New Year is also a time for new resolutions, new plans and new priorities. Personally, I enjoy jotting down a few “predictions” for the New Year, just to see if I get close! I find that my “predictions” of the past usually turn into prayer requests more than prophecies or strategic plans.
I am also keenly interested in your predictions, particularly when it comes to your views on projected trends in our culture, country and church. Like you, I want to be tuned in and more sensitive to the needs and challenges our families and congregations will face in 2012. I know that in order to serve my community, I need to remain rooted in Scripture and stay vigilant in observing the direction of our culture and country.
Would you take a moment to share with me your answers to three questions?
1) What do you read to keep up-to-date? I would be very interested in your recommendations of at least one website, magazine or publication or resource.
2) Could you recommend a book or two that you believe would help us to be more faithful and productive in the Lord’s service in 2012? I would be so grateful for this help that if you take a moment and make a recommendation I would be happy to send you a brief, hundred-page book on sharing the Gospel with Jewish people.
3) What are one or two trends that you think will have an important impact on our ministries this year–whether cultural, political, church-related or theological?
I will compile the results and post them on one of my next entries!
Let me quickly share my own answers.
1) As I am New Yorker, I try and read the New York Times almost every day. Although it is only one of many sources for news, it does help me to better understand the Jewish community I am called to reach.
2) I recommend is the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It is a fascinating look at the life of a man who revolutionized so much of our way of life and culture. (Yes… I use a Mac!)
3) One website I enjoy reading occasionally is the CNN Belief Blog. It is also a good place to comment, allowing us to engage with a more “spiritually involved” segment of the population who are not necessarily believers in Jesus.
Happy New Year and I look forward to hearing from you!
4 responses to “New Year’s – Twice a Year!”
Dr. Glaser; I have a suggestion for any pastor or author/writer. I believe that many Christians are lacking in compassion when it comes to not only their illegal immigrant neighbors but also their legal ones. The anti-foreigner rhetoric coming from Christians is quite disheartening. As a Christian myself, I am perplexed by the apparent lack of human decency and frankly, I am embarrassed. When I tell folks that I am a Christian, I am told, “OH, you’re one of those people that want a whole sub-culture of uneducated, sick and dying people in our country to do our dirty work?”. Trust me in this, it is very hard to convince someone that has been hearing Christian’s talk about denying others basic human dignity and comfort that it’s actually, anti-Christian to wish anyone harm. I basically have to un-teach them all they have heard, and assure them that if Jesus would break a God-made law to feed his disciples, certainly Christians would break a man-made law to feed his brothers and sisters. We are led by the Spirit and as directed by Jesus and Paul, to do nothing less then heed the Spirit. I also share that Christians are not afraid of limited resources, because God provides for all people that live in Christ and through Christ and for Christ and that shine like a light in the darkness. We have no fear of the World, because we are of the SPIRIT.
Persons claiming to be Christians have suggested that not everyone born in this country should be allowed to become a citizen. Other Christians have suggested that illegal immigrants not even be allowed to secure housing or medical attention or be allowed to drive to work. (I won’t get into what THAT would do this society.) I know these people are pretending to be Christians to give us a bad name….and they are succeeding. I believe that this is a pivotal time for Christians in this country. Will we become the shadows crawling along the wall, or join the Light that shines in the world? Our voices must be raised, our actions must be witnessed so that we can never be accused of ignoring the Spirit or failing Jesus. And our silence does just this.
So many people that can be saved (so many of our illegal immigrant sisters and brothers have been saved and can teach us “American Christians” a thing or two about living in Christ), so many souls looking for hope, and instead of meeting that spiritual need, there are shouts of “Send them back, keep them ignorant, we are weak and scared.” We lack faith and forget the miracle that has been wrought for us and is being wrought for us every second of our lives.
Perhaps I shall write this book, as I feel there is a great need to connect Christians to their original purpose, thru the HOLY SPIRIT, back to agape love, especially in this area of immigrants.
I don’t know how to close this….
The Peace of Christ be with you.
I have received the book “I have a Friend that is Jewish, Do you?”. It presents many facts, scientific and historic for our faith and insight into the Hebrew background for Christian and Jews. I am getting several more to give out.
I see a trend of many turning to the Messianic Jewish congregations. I have recently attended Gesher Shalom. Many are looking more into the true roots of their Christian faith and see the lies that the “church” has been based on from the Roman influence that has controlled all Protestant churches. The Spirit is leading us into all truth and revealing the deceptions. Israel and Jerusalem are as much a part of our family heritage as for all natural born Jews. When God said to pray for the peace of Israel, it is not praying for a foreign government but for our own homeland. We as Gentiles are adopted into the family of Abraham with all the rights of that family. Adopted children do not continue to live apart from the family that adopted them, do they?
The Christian churches demand the tithing law of the Old Covenant is required, yet, they ignore a commandment that was given from the beginning to observe, the Sabbath, 7th day not sun-day, and one that Yeshua even told us to honor. Everything Christ did was associated with the Sabbath. It appears to me that He actually rose from the tomb on the Sabbath not the first day of the week as we are led to believe. Mariam went to the tomb on the 1st day because it was against the law to go to a grave on the Sabbath!
Wow! I never expected this.
1. Chosen Peoples’ newsletter (of course), Friends of Israel’s newsletter, Southwest Radio Bible Church’s newsletter, The People’s Gospel Hour’s newsletter and the evening news.
2. Gold Cord by Amy Carmichael. It was not some boring account of life on the mission field. It was the account of a women who truly loved the Lord and desired to live a life that had no rights to win the lost. It was so very convicting.(I will be waiting for that promised book from you.)
3. Christians looking more like the world and less like the Lord, which would lead to less giving to ministries such as your’s, less concern for souls. Also, churches and ministries compromising on what they believe,in order to attract a wider base ( of less committed supporters.)
Hope this goes thru. Having a hard time posting.
Bible Prophecy Today Blog, Understand the Times.org, Israel watch with Jim Fletcher, and apprising ministries with Ken Silva.
2.”Future Israel” by Dr. Barry Horner, and Israel in the Plan of God by David Baron.
3.Replacement Theology, Contemplative Prayer, Postmodernism and the Emerging Church, plus the attempt at calling certain religions Christian.