Messianic Legalism, Christian Liberalism or something else?

legalism vs grace Christianity

NB: This is quite a long post so, please excuse me as I process some thoughts.  This post also links to earlier ones on Grave verses the Law here and here.  There are also some interesting links at the end of the post.  Shalom x

I’m spending Shabbat (Sabbath) at home today, as I have done off and on since January 2014. I was on a journey and knew I was being called to sit at the feet of Yeshua.  My beliefs were slowly diverging from that of the congregation I was in, as they were moving ever deeper into a place of legalism I was seeking and needing to experience a different truth and intimacy with YHWH. The thing that I really miss about that congregation was the love and sense of community there, there is a definite hunger for the people to have a deep knowing of who YHWH is however the enemy is at work there also.  Just before I left YHWH used Eke and I to preach on several occasions, messages of the love, grace and restorative power of YHWH over the man-made doctrines and legalistic rituals found in many Messianic and mainstream churches. However, when it was time to leave I left but with that congregation still holding a piece of my heart.

I recently heard that a ‘law’ had been passed in the church, I have no idea whether it’s true or not. The law is that they should not say God, Adonai (I think) or amen. I was asked if I wanted to go back there to visit, my answer of late has been no – I don’t want church politics, or ambitious striving to be seen/heard, my Sabbaths are waaaaaayyyy too precious to me – to blink and ask myself where the day has gone to. So today, I’m at home again and I’ve been reading God’s Word and reflecting about the struggle of grace vs the law within the Messianic church and the wider Body of Messiah. Continue reading Messianic Legalism, Christian Liberalism or something else?

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The Give and Take of Mutual Relationships

Humans can be very self-centred, this is really highlighted within relationships whether with man or God. Yet relationships are or should be about reciprocity, mutual benefit or put another way give and take.

give and takeWe are OK when it comes to taking but not so much when it comes to giving. We find it much more easy to receive and very difficult to release.

I see this a lot in the online world, people are used to taking. There are free offers everywhere and we collect and hoard them, store them away but they hardly see the light of day if at all. They are like trophies or tools that we collect just in case we need them.

But when does taking stop being taking and start to become stealing (taking more than what was given/intended)? Continue reading The Give and Take of Mutual Relationships

What is Faith? And do you need more of it?

A few days ago on Facebook somebody posted this quote as their status:

Quotation-D-Elton-Trueblood-faith-trust-belief-proof-Meetville-Quotes-62488

It actually annoyed me because these are the type of quotes people put without sitting down to examine for themselves what faith according to scripture really means.  Most of the stuff that we Christians have accepted as truth are just things passed down from generation to generation, from one teacher to another – it’s things that have been recycled and maybe even up-cycled without looking at the components or the underlying foundations. Continue reading What is Faith? And do you need more of it?

Keep Holding on to His Word

When I wrote last Monday’s blog post entitled “Your Exceeding Great Reward”, I was unaware at how much God would use it to bless and encourage so many people.  The words of the post resonated deeply with many people showing me that regardless of where we may live in the world that our fellow brothers and sisters are going through very similar struggles.  Does it remind you of anything?

How about the words of Peter:

AV 1Pt 5:9 … knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

It must be the season…

Funnily enough, I have found that it’s around this time that you tend to find many Believers becoming more disheartened and faint-heartened.  Why?  Because the year is drawing to an end and maybe what we have dreamed, hoped for or even worked for hasn’t yet come to pass.

Each year many of us start off with hopes, dreams and New Year resolutions, when they seem not to be coming into fruition then this generally leads us into a place of despair, frustration, anxiety, stress, disillusionment etc.

Even if we haven’t set ourselves our own goals to accomplish maybe we have heard or been given a word from YHWH and we are still yet to see it come to pass and as the year draws to an end we have become weary, agitated and begin to loosen our hold on His Word.

Peter gave us advice when in such a situation, he said:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:6-10, ESV)

We are told to:

  1. Humble ourselves under His hand – this can be really difficult to do but what we go through is not in vain.
  2. Be aware of the tactics of the enemy particularly in such times as this.
  3. Recognise that you are not alone and find others who can encourage, empower, equip, edify and pray for you.  And vice-versa.
  4. Be ready to be transformed!

I actually prefer the words of the KJV of verse 10 which says that Elohim will make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.  – ie He will complete you, make you whole, restore you by doing what it takes to get you to that place.

Dear brother/sister, it is not an easy road but there is HOPE not the vague secular kind but the firm confidence and assurance we have in God through the Messiah.  We have an exceeding great reward and that is the Hope of Glory starting and manifesting here, yes even here on Earth and culminating in being fully perfected and complete in eternity.  And do you know what, I can feel it happening already, I can feel it in the air and I know that YHWH is about to do some great healing and transformation in the lives of His people – halleluYAH.  A dear sister also has been feeling the same thing, I read her own encouraging post last week and was so touched and blessed by it.  She says the following:

We are entering into a spiritual “new season.” Many of you have been in a type of “wilderness” season. Do you discern the changes? Transition and change are in the horizon. Don’t look to the things of the past but move forward into the new season. Forget what lies behind you. A new day is emerging. Go with the flow of the Holy Spirit, He will lead you and guide you during this transition time.

You can find the rest of her encouraging post here.

The fresh wind of the Ruach is moving, He cannot be stopped, ready to breathe upon those whose hearts and minds are already attuned towards Him – let us not miss Him as He passes us by.

This week, I want to share something really special with you.  Two weeks ago my dear hubby was invited to speak in our congregation, I am truly not being biased when I said that it was a powerful, much needed Word of encouragement and empowerment for everyone who was there.

It gives me so much pleasure to share this timely teaching with you my online Brothers and Sisters, it encourages us once again to go back to the Word of God and use it as our anchor.  Unfortunately the recording was cut short so it does not go on to the end but I pray what you hear will bless you anyway wherever you are today.

So grab your Bible, notebook, pen etc and settle down to be ministered to.

Be blessed as you listen to this teaching and feel free to contact me or post any comments or questions.

“Hang onto the Word of God” – 43 minutes by Eke Ukoumunne

Shalom in Messiah xxx

PS.  Don’t forget to subscribe to my website to get two new posts every week.

Why am I struggling to Forgive?

Have you ever asked yourself that question?  I have and so have many people if they are honest with themselves.

The last few weeks have been trying for me, I lost my uncle and my dad had his appendix removed and during this time I was challenged by the behaviour of someone very close to me who knew what I had been going through but still acted very badly towards me. Continue reading Why am I struggling to Forgive?

Sharing my testimony of God’s goodness to me

Dear friends,

I know it’s been a while since I have properly been here but today I just wanted to come over and share this testimony with you all, the first three paragraphs are a short background and after that is the testimony.

You know that things have been tough for me both health wise and financially, I fell ill in 2008 due to excessive stress and work and left my job in 2009 partially as a consequence of this but would have probably stayed on if God had not asked me to leave.  I have worked sparadocially since then knowing that it is not God’s will for me ‘to work’ in the same field/role that I had been in.  In 2010 my hubby and I had our traditional wedding, a small intimate affair in my dad’s house and in the same year we lost our own home.  We moved ‘temporarily’ into his mother’s house as she was away for 6 months, when she returned hubby remained and I moved in with my dad.  This was the case until January this year.

In around February/March hubby began to experience strange symptoms (I won’t go into the details) but we were worried, he was on antibiotics for a bit, went to A & E and even was referred to a specialist.  Slowly, hubby began to hear God asking him to “come out of her” ie. the slave system of the work he had been doing.  He was working so many hours, trying to be a man of excellence and integrity but the more he gave never seemed to be enough, in fact his co-workers became jealous of his success and started to plot against him.  After taking nearly a month off due to illness, he finally accepted that God wanted him to leave his place of employ and start his own company.  So he did.

My husabnd’s last pay package came in, we used it to set up the company and live.  We felt so sure that the business would be successful from start as many of his previous clients on hearing that he had left asked him to contact them, but every door we had previously thought would lead us to a fertile plane had a no entry sign on.  It seemed that financially we were in a tight spot, we only had £30 left to go on food and electricity.  We had two choices in front of us:

  1. Try and do something to bring in money e.g. work, beg or borrow.
  2. Trust in God in what He was teaching us and showing and see whether He really is El Shaddai

We decided to do the latter.

The testimony Continue reading Sharing my testimony of God’s goodness to me

He heals the broken-hearted…

I wrote the following post in August of last year, this is a post about promise.  God is a giver, He gives life, someone said it this way God wants to serve us, He wants us to eat of Him and feed off of Him, He is so hungry that we be filled up to overflowing.  If you are in despair today, think of God as someone who wants to lead you to those still waters and lush pastures, He wants to feed you with His goodness and by allowing Him to serve you, someway, somehow He also heals our broken-heart and binds up our wounds.  I can feel the difference He makes in me everyday, I am walking towards that land of promise.

Please take the time to read the post below and listen to the accompanying song and be blessed in Him.

Shalom in Messiah.

He healeth the brokenhearted, and bindeth up their wounds.

Psalm 147: 3

It’s another week for us all and I was thinking about what I would write, I thought today I could finish the second installment on what God had revealed to me about faith, but to be perfectly honest I’m not in that place to write about faith today.  I will write about one simple truth today, and that is Love, the Father’s love for us to be more precise.  Some people call it Agape after the Greek word found in the Bible, but as someone who taught the psychology of relationships in a previous life, Agape is just a word, used by people to explain a phenomenon, it has no soul, no essence to me, so I would rather not use that word to describe the Father’s love for His children.

It has been a very hard couple of weeks for me, I used to suffer quite a bit from panic attacks but since just after my MRI results in November I hadn’t experienced any panicky sessions at all, until 2 days ago.  What’s been happening to make me feel panicky?  Well, it’s been a gradual onset but I first began to see real signs after the London riots this month and there has been a lethargy that has crept up on me and a desire to not face the world has steadily grown stronger.  I know that this is the enemy, but nevertheless the battle is real for me, more real to me than the ones usually broadcasted everyday on the news.  There is a battle for my soul.

Continue reading this post at Shalom Candles

Ministry article published

I guess perseverance does pay off as an article I wrote late last year on the Health and wellbeing ministry God placed in my heart to set up  has just been published online…

This gives me extra motivation to stand firm in the work God has given me.

This week I’m linking up with Rhoda for the Friday UK fellowship

I enter the Holy of Holies

All week I have been pondering how to write this post, you see Christmas time is a difficult time for many people but it is also a very difficult time for the body of Christ albeit not all members are aware of it.  The difficulty comes in the conflict of beliefs surrounding Christmas (Easter is a whole other issue), to be honest I was in ignorance about this conflict until I became more open to the Hebraic origins of Christianity.  You see there is a spectrum of beliefs held regarding the celebration and significance of Christmas, there are those who:

  • on one side love it and view it as a great time to celebrate, have fun, attend church and catch up with friends and family
  • and there are those who are disgusted by it and view it as a form of pagan worship and an opportunity to over indulge in the wrong type of things,
  • then there are those who all they really care about is remembering the birth of Emmanuel, God made flesh and honouring and glorifying Him.

I personally have not celebrated “Christmas” for the last few years, and if asked my own view of where I place myself on the spectrum I would say I lie in-between the last two points.  Even though I don’t personally believe Jesus was born on the 25th of December I do believe that Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity to extend the love and light of Christ to those who are still in darkness.  Why am I brining this all up?  Well, simply because like I mentioned there is a lot of conflict within the body of Christ and to be honest I’m tired of it.

Continue reading I enter the Holy of Holies

Cramp Fasciculation Syndrome an autoimmune story

*** This post has been updated, please see the notice at the end.  Thank you***

The last week or so has been an immense struggle for me, recovering from the flu has affected me more than I realised which makes me think that my health condition is immune-related.  I actually did not want to write about this today, I wished I could be more positive and give more upbeat advice but the truth is that I have good days and very bad days and coming down with the flu has seemed to exaggerate my symptoms ten-fold.

So what exactly is wrong with me, then?  Well, to be honest no one actually knows but I have been given varying diagnoses and I have chosen the one which seems to reflect my symptoms the most.  According to a Neurologist at St. Bart’s London I have a ‘minor’ form of Peripheral Nerve Hyperexciatability disease called Cramp Fasciculation Syndrome or Benign Fasciculation Syndrome, you can find out more information about the symptoms of CFS here and here.

I accept the fact now that Cramp fasciculation Syndrome may be an auto-immune disorder because of the huge spike in my symptoms prior, during and after coming down with the flu.  I also often experience a worsening of symptoms just coming up to menstruation and wonder how this could be linked in to the immune response, some experts argue that PMS (pre-menstrual stress) can create a vulnerability in the immune system due to the change in hormones and the build up of toxins ready for release.  This does make some sense to me because my symptoms tend to subside going into menstruation.

I also notice that stress in general aggravates my symptoms and this may also explain why I feel so much worse pre-menstruation and when I am feeling ill.  There is much to be said about the negative effects of stress on our overall well-being, chronic stress has been found to suppress the immune system which in turn can give rise to a number of modern day illnesses that we experience such as cancer and auto-immune illnesses.

So the question for me is two-fold.  What do I do now to alleviate my symptoms and how do I keep on trusting and relying on God when my body wants to play up?  If you’ve researched a little about Cramp fasciculation Syndrome, you’ve probably found that there are different types of pharmaceuticals available to try to suppress or manage the symptoms, back in the day prior to God’s revelation concerning my body being His vessel I was prescribed something to enable me to sleep, but it worked short-term, in the long-term I experienced some negative side-effects.  So I am very adamant on trying to deal with Cramp Fasciculation Syndrome or whatever it is naturally.  I have tried a number of natural supplements including a Spice supplement which cured a previous patient of CFS but it didn’t work for me, I have prayed about this extensively that God will open my eyes to see, my ears to hear and my heart to understand His desire for me in this journey.  I have a few things which I currently do now but will post about them at a later date.

I do believe that God will heal me and this is part of my affirmation, (read the First day of my life) but I really do need the prayer and support of my brothers and sisters in faith to get me through this time.  Hopefully, next time I blog I will have something more upbeat and positive to say.

Update August 2014.

It has taken 6 years to be diagnosed with peripheral nerve hyperexcitability disorder (PNH) and to find out that it is actually an autoimmune condition.  During this time I have learnt how to manage this illness without any drugs and have had some fantastic days being symptom free as well as some rough days, mostly I operate at a 7 out of 10 – I am aiming for 9 by the end of the year.  I have been prescribed anti-epileptics, however since receiving them a couple of months ago I have probably only taken 5, mainly because I would rather not take medication and secondly I am able to do well in the most part without them.  I use diet, natural supplements/herbs and faith medicine to support and heal my body.  Please visit my CFS page to find out my top tips for kicking CFS/PNH where it hurts.

Update February 2017

Since my last update I am happy to say that apart from the sweating symptoms the fasciculations are mostly gone or not noticeable unless I am stressed in some way. I rarely take my medication and when I do it’s usually the minimum or close to minimum dose and that’s only if I am pretty stressed through not being good with my diet (gluten, corn, dairy, chocolate) or have fallen ill but, saying that, I caught a cold this week and I have had very little if any symptoms at all! I take this as a sign my immune system  is settling down and healing and I truly thank God for that.

I share this with you to encourage you and give you hope, when I first started my healing journey I didn’t believe that I could be where I am today. But today I DO BELIEVE and I believe that there is even more to come.  I would focus on building up your belief around healing as that will take your mind off your body and allow it to begin it’s healing process.  I don’t know if you are a man of faith but my trust in the goodness of God has been so important in decreasing my stress load and allowing me to heal.