Crystal Writes A Blog

A Place to Read What "Crystal-Writes"

The Home of the Future


1957 House of the Future, Shared by Flickr User James Vaughn, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

1957 House of the Future, Shared by Flickr User James Vaughn, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I remember the first time I saw a futuristic attraction at a Disney(R) theme park. So many cool inventions and ideas, and what did I remember the most? The TV phone. I mean, it hadn’t been that long since we got our first touch tone phone (and The Pushbutton Telephone Songbook, Vol. 1¬†to go with it ūüôā ), and here they were telling us we could talk to each other face to face on the phone. Wow! And while I never saw, in person,¬†The House of the Future shown above, I did see it in books and thought the concepts were amazing. (The attraction was demolished in 1967, and even the story of the demolition is interesting. Learn more at the Yesterland site¬†and¬†at Wikipedia as well.)

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 29:12 through Deuteronomy 29:14¬†(Complete Jewish Bible)¬†we’ll read just three verses again, and these are about God’s plans for a home of the future. I’ll paste the text from the New Living Testament (NLT) which has the same verses as¬†Deuteronomy 29:13-15 because the CJB tries to match the Tanakh

By entering into the covenant today, he will establish you as his people and confirm that he is your God, just as he promised you and as he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

But you are not the only ones with whom I am making this covenant with its curses. I am making this covenant both with you who stand here today in the presence of the Lord our God, and also with the future generations who are not standing here today.

I consider those of us who are now of the seed of Abraham, and those of us who have become the seed of Abraham by being grafted in with a circumcised heart, as the audience to whom God was referring when He says, “…future generations who¬†are not¬†standing here today.” We are blessed and privileged to be able to step into the promises of God’s covenant to His people. As it says above, by entering into that covenant, we are established as God’s people.

When we read the news of wars, terrorist groups, spreading diseases, etc., we may be tempted to feel hopeless about the future. We may wonder if we’ll ever get to the innovations being dreamt up by Disney’s current¬†Imagineers. But, even if we never get to some of the futuristic ideas now being created, we have a futuristic hope planned by the greatest “Imagineer” and Creator ever. He wants us in His “Home of the Future” attraction with such desire that He paid our admission price for us, and it was a huge price. More than an E-ticket* attraction, this one cost Him His all.

*Before one-price park admission, patrons used to buy ticket books with rides designated by the letters “A” through “E.” Of course, A-rides were the lightest and slowest, or kids’ rides while E-rides were the ones everyone wanted to go on. It seems there was also a park admission, but I don’t remember for sure. As an FYI, the¬†Monsanto House of the Future above was actually a free attraction and didn’t require any lettered ticket.

Think about this: If Heaven was a theme park with pre-paid admission, and the throne of God was an E-ticket attraction, would we be willing to pay something more than just accepting His gift of salvation to go before His presence? Do we¬†desire to fall at His feet and worship Him enough to lay down our own will and ways and walk in obedience of His word? As it says in the last verse of the song¬†This is Just What Heaven Means to Me (made popular by Vestal Goodman of “The Happy Goodmans”)…

And when at last we see the face of Jesus
Before whose image other loves all flee,
And when they crown Him “Lord of All” I’ll be there,
For this is just what Heaven means to me.

And that’s my idea of a home of the future.

September 7, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blessings and Shalom


Shalom Cups by Flickr User W Keown, CC License = Attribution

Shalom Cups by Flickr User W Keown, CC License = Attribution
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I decided sometime ago to include “Blessings and Shalom” in my e-mail signature for personal messages. Sometimes I also include it for professional messages, but not always. Sometimes I add “Love with blessings and shalom” to the signature because I want to communicate my love, but I also want to speak God’s blessings and peace. In all cases, what I am wanting for the recipient is a taste of God’s presence and God’s peace that passes all understanding. I truly believe in Yeshua’s admonition to His disciples to go into every home with a pronouncement of “Shalom” that peace would find rest with those who live there that seek it.

In today’s reading from Numbers 25:10 through Numbers 26:4, we begin a new week and a new portion. Parashah 41 is called¬†Pinchas and is the Hebrew for Phinehas (Phineas), the son of Eleazar the high priest who is the son of Aaron the former high priest. At the end of the last portion, we read how Phineas stopped the plague against Israel by running his sword through the bellies of an Israelite and a Midianite prostitute who were openly defying God’s law.

God talks to Moses and says that Phineas has deflected His anger against Israel by being as zealous as He (God) is, and that deflection kept God from destroying Israel in His zeal. Because of that, God gives Phineas His covenant of shalom and His covenant of a perpetual priesthood in his bloodline. God says that because Phineas was zealous on behalf of Him, and because he made atonement for Israel, the office of priest will now be in his family forever.

The reading then gives us some history about the two people killed to make the atonement. The Israelite was a son of a leader from the tribe of Simeon, and the Midianite woman was a daughter of a leader of a clan of Midian. In other words, both of them should have known better, and actually they probably did know better and were acting out in defiance, which is why they paraded themselves in front of the tabernacle before going into the tent to commit adultery.

God tells Moses to treat the Midianites as enemies and attack them. As I studied a bit deeper into this, it appears that Balaam may have gone back to Balak and told him that he couldn’t curse the people because God controlled his tongue, but he could tell Balak how to make the people curse themselves. This is shown in Revelation 2:14 where it says Balaam taught Balak to trick the people of Israel by causing them to eat food that was sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual sins.

It’s one thing to blatantly advertise sins to the world, but to parade them to Christians to try and sway them away from God and toward the flesh because you want them to be cursed is not something God takes lightly. He calls the whole thing the “incident at Peor” and future Scriptures will deal harshly with the Midianites, and Balaam, on account of it. Of course, this lines up with the prophesies of Balaam who spoke that he was able to see these things with open eyes, but when God’s Spirit was no longer speaking through him, apparently he went back to being a blind leader of the blind.

The reading ends with the beginning of a new census of the people and tribes of Israel. God wants Eleazar to count the entire assembly who are twenty years of age and older and subject to military service, and number them by their ancestral clans. So Moses and Eleazar call to all those twenty and older who came out of Egypt, and they gather them in the field by the Jordan river across from Jericho.

As of yesterday, I was thinking that Balaam had started as an unbeliever and become convinced of God by walking in His presence. I mean, he spoke God’s words, he saw God’s angel, and he even witnessed as God made his donkey talk. But after all that, it turns out that Balaam was worse than a donkey–he was an ignorant beast. He didn’t learn anything from all his experiences. He was a man whose own mouth spoke words that would bring blessings and peace, and yet he chose instead to play around with curses and chaos.

If we want God’s shalom in our lives, it takes more than just talking about it. We can pronounce every blessing in the Holy Scriptures from our mouths, but if our hearts are far from God, they will also be far from His peace.¬†I bid you, my readers, blessings and shalom, from my heart to yours, and I pray that you are a true seeker who longs for the presence of Yahveh Almighty from the depths of your soul. I’ve heard it said that the Bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not just cake for special occasions. The same can be said for God’s peace and His blessings. May those of us who have even an inkling of thought toward God let it become a head over heels love toward Him that will have us walking in His blessings and shalom every moment of our lives and right into eternity with Him.

June 28, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Right of Redemption


Redemption Poster by Flickr User Sapphire Dream Photography, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial

Redemption Poster by Flickr User Sapphire Dream Photography, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

When you purchase an item, especially when it’s¬†something from a salesman in your home, you usually have what is called a “right of rescission” where you have a chance to change your mind. It is often¬†used when getting a loan as well, and most of the time, it is a “cooling off” period of about 3 days. It gives buyers a way out of their “buyer’s remorse” when they feel they’ve made a bad purchase decision.

In today’s reading from Leviticus 25:19 through Leviticus 25:24, we read about the opposite of rescission. It begins with God answering a question He was sure the people would ask about how they would eat during the years their fields were in Sabbath rest. He tells them He will bless the sixth year to make it produce for three years. That would make sure it provided for them in the 6th year when they both planted and harvested, in the 7th year when they ate from the harvest of the 6th year, and in the 8th year when they planted but still had to eat of the old harvest while waiting for the time of the new harvest.

After speaking to them of harvest, God reminds them again that their land does not belong to them, but it belongs to Him, and they are foreigners and temporary residents on the land. He explains that this is also the reason they cannot permanently sell their land but must always include the right of redemption.

When God made us, He gave us our temples to live in as temporary residents just as He put Israel in the Promised Land. Though He gave us free will, He reserved for us the right of redemption. Like the land He owned, He has already bought and paid for our souls and redeemed us for Himself. By paying for our sins before we ever asked, He has gone way too far to change His mind and rescind the contract, so once we accept His salvation, we can trust that God will not try to undo the contract.

The definition of redemption comes from the Latin word redimere¬†and Old English redeem,¬†and it means to “buy back.”¬†The right of redemption we have in Christ to buy us back from our sins is not a contract He entered into lightly. After all,¬†He paid the price with His own blood and life. We know He won’t have any buyer’s remorse because He knows exactly what He’s getting into when He makes us His own. Therefore, we should make sure we don’t end up with a case of seller’s remorse by taking care to¬†not enter into our covenant with Him as if it’s a minor thing.

In fact, the covenant He wrote for us in His own blood is a major thing. But, oh what a pleasure to know that God first showed His love for us by redeeming us while we were yet sinners, and that He continues to show His love for us with mercy that is new every morning. And there is coming a day when He will claim His right of redemption over us once more, when we are redeemed from this temporary home to live in eternity with Him.

And with that, here’s a video of another older song I love to listen to and to sing. It’s called “Temporary Home” by The Heritage Singers…

April 28, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Promised Land Stake Out


Today’s section runs from Genesis 23:17 through Genesis 24:9 and¬†begins with the purchase of land for Sarah’s burial. Apparently, burying his wife has reminded Abraham of his own mortality. He calls in his longest term (aka most faithful) servant and makes a request from him about the future of Isaac. I’m guessing Abraham has been praying about a wife for him because he tells the servant what steps to take and assures him that an angel will go before him to bless him in his efforts.

The servant takes an oath (signified by placing his hand under Abraham’s thigh, but I haven’t yet learned what that practice means) that he will do all Abraham asks. Mainly, Abraham wants to make sure that his son does not marry into the foreigners of the land where they dwell as strangers, but he also does not want his son to go back and live in their homeland. He is dependant on this faithful servant to go to Abraham’s birth land and find a wife to bring back to him.

If I were to tell the story in a modern way to make it easier for myself, I would say that Abraham is like a life-long American missionary that has been told to claim a particular land for God. That missionary might have a son that is marrying age, so he has someone go back to the states to find an American wife for his son. He doesn’t want his son to go back to America yet himself because they still have much work to do, and he wants his son to stay until the word of God to them has been fulfilled. Abraham said it this way in Chapter 24, verses 6 & 7, ‚ÄúSee to it that you don‚Äôt bring my son back there.¬†Adonai, the God of heaven ‚ÄĒ who took me away from my father‚Äôs house and away from the land I was born in, who spoke to me and swore to me, ‚ÄėI will give this land to your descendants’–he will send his angel ahead of you; and you are to bring a wife for my son from there.”

I imagine Abraham was still trusting God to fulfill the promise of giving that land to his descendants, so his descendant had to stay there until that was done. And maybe Abraham was even a little concerned that if Isaac went to visit another land, he might be enamored by something new and want to stay there rather than continue to stake out the place of promise. And I think this is a good thing for us to remember as well. Sometimes, it may seem like a long period of waiting to receive something God has promised us, but if we continue to have faith, trust God, and stake out the promise, it will be just as God has promised it will be. Bless God for ALL His promises and blessings!

October 27, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Covenant God


The reading for today is all in Genesis 9 and is a very short set of verses from 8 through 17. Noah, his family, and the animals are off the boat. Noah has offered the first sacrifice to show his thankfulness for their salvation. And now, with this family ready to replenish the earth, God has made a promise, and he has given a sign for that promise that we still see today; the rainbow.

I downloaded an image I really like by rwangsa at Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwangsa/452128709/)…

Image

You know, there are many gods out there that people try to please with various works, but most of them are just trying to get those gods to carry them to an eternal paradise. They will give it all for a promise that may or may not be true. But our God and Creator, Yahveh Almighty, has promised us so much more than an eternity in paradise. He has plans so awesome that He says they haven’t even found a way to enter into our thoughts or imaginations.

I was talking with a friend today, and we were discussing what we have with God that so many others do not have with their gods. The greatest thing we have of course is His Love. It’s not just an end game, but a gift He desires to shower on us in every moment. He wants us to trust Him so much that you will see many covenants He makes with His people throughout Scripture. This covenant in today’s reading is not only a promise, but a promise that comes with a sign both to us and to Him. He says that when we see it, we can remember His promise to us. And He says that whenever He brings clouds upon the earth, He Himself will see the sign and remember His promises. It’s like two best friends that tie a string around each others’ wrists or pinky fingers to remind the other that they will be best friends forever. God is our best Friend, a covenant Friend and a covenant God, who will be there for us…forever! Hallelu-Yah!!!

October 9, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Above The Earth


Something came to me about the readings for the last three days, and I want to bring it up before I jump into today. In Genesis 6:8, Noah found grace in the eyes of God. In Genesis 6:9, Noah was righteous & wholehearted, and he walked with God. In Genesis 6:18, God told Noah He would establish a covenant with him. In Genesis 6:22, Noah did all that was commanded of him. In Genesis 7:1, God says to Noah, “I have seen that you alone in this generation are righteous before me.” In Genesis 7:5, Noah did all that God ordered him to do. Can you see a pattern here?

Remember, this was before any of the levitical laws were given, so what do you suppose made Noah find grace in the eyes of the Lord? And that brings us to our reading for today from Genesis 7:17 through Genesis 8:14. Verse 17 tells us that the ark was lifted up above the earth. And that’s where I want to focus.

Noah, whose name actually means “rest,” had a spirit that was above (not obedient to) the flesh. He was, like the ark that he built, lifted up “above the earth” if you think of earth as¬†representing flesh since that’s what we are made from. None of the Scriptures I found say anything about his wife, sons, or sons’ wives being holy, obedient, or finding grace in the eyes of Yahveh.

So, we can sum it all up this way: A man called¬†Rest¬†(and remember our Savior Jesus is¬†The Rest wherein the weary may¬†rest)¬†was righteous. He built a vessel (like our Savior robed Himself in flesh) that would be lifted above the earth (like Christ was lifted up on Calvary and lifted above sin) to save those he loved from complete destruction. Now go back and read the story of Noah as if you’re reading the story of salvation, and ask yourself yesterday’s question…will you get in the ark?

October 7, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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