Today is my birthday – my 70th birthday. Even though the Bible doesn’t give specific customs that relate to the celebration of anyone’s 70th birthday, the Jewish sages not only thought 70 was a special number but also thought that it was definitely appropriate for a person celebrating a 70th birthday to mark the occasion by expressing gratitude for having lived what the Rabbis considered to be “a full life.”
For sure, biblically speaking, 70 is a special number that appears over and over again in Scripture. Therefore, 70 is a number of significant importance, especially since 70 represents completeness – the completeness of the nations of the world, the founding members of the Children of Israel, and the components of the authoritative judicial body of Israel. These and other biblical 70 years, according to the Jewish sages, are also why a person who has reached the age of 70 has achieved a “fullness of years.”
“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.” – Jeremiah 29:10, TLV
“Seventy weeks are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to put an end to transgression to bring sin to an end, to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Holy of Holies.” – Daniel 9:24, TLV
In the Torah (Old Testament), the number 70 is often connected with YeHoVaH’s creation of the nations of the world, according to the number of Israel. After the Flood, the world was repopulated through 70 descendants of Noah (Genesis 10). Seventy (70) souls of Jacob’s family went down to Egypt (Genesis 46:27). Seventy (70) elders were appointed to help Moses administer Israel in the wilderness (Numbers 11:16); the people of Judah spent 70 years of exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10). Seventy (70) weeks, 70 units of seven for a total of 490 years, were decreed by YeHoVaH as the period in which Messianic redemption was to be accomplished (Daniel 9:24). In the New Testament, Yeshua sent out the Seventy (Luke 10:1, in some manuscripts the number is 72); Yeshua commanded forgiveness ‘until seventy times seven’ (Matthew 18:22).
Once again, even though the Bible doesn’t give specific customs that relate to the celebration of anyone’s 70th birthday, the Jewish sages not only thought 70 was a special number but also thought that it was definitely appropriate for a person celebrating a 70th birthday to mark the occasion by expressing gratitude for having lived what the Rabbis considered to be “a full life.” Today is my birthday – my 70th birthday.
Thank You, YeHoVaH, for letting me live to see my 70th birthday. Happy Birthday, to me!
Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, so with Him [YeHoVaH] will also bring those who have fallen asleep in Yeshua. For this we tell you, by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the blast of [YeHoVaH’s] shofar, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left behind, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air—and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, TLV
There have been many times that I have been asked the following question: Do you believe we will be able to recognize our deceased loved ones when we see themin Heaven? My unequivocal answer is “yes.”
I believe everyone Yeshua saved will not only spiritually see and recognize their loved ones in Heaven but also will spiritually reunite with them. In 1 John 3:2, the apostle John says, “Loved ones, now we are YeHoVaH’s children; and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. But we do know that when it’s revealed, we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
The above-quoted 1 John verse should make today’s believers in Yeshua ask, “How are we who have never seen Yeshua in His physical form going to recognize Him in Heaven when He will be in His Spirit being form?” I believe the apostle John’s verse is true because I believe everyone who is Yeshua’s spiritual Bride will definitely see and recognize Yeshua with his or her born-again spirit in his or her glorified body as soon as He gathers His Bride together (reunites everyone) in the air and then takes everyone with Him into the Third Heaven.
In the Old Testament, we read that King David was comforted by what he believed, which was that he would see his deceased infant son again. David says, “It is I who will be going to him, but he will never return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23b). David also writes, “Precious in the sight of [YeHoVaH] is the death of His kedoshim” (Psalm 116:14). The Hebrew word “kedoshim” means holy ones.
In the New Testament, Peter, Jacob (a.k.a., James), and John, who were with Yeshua on the Mount of Transfiguration when Yeshua was transfigured and His heavenly Shekinah Glory shone through Him and through His clothes, recognized Moses and Elijah when they appeared. Now, none of Yeshua’s disciples had ever seen Moses or Elijah, yet the Scripture says, “And as they were leaving Yeshua, Peter said to Him, ‘Master, it’s good for us to be here. Let’s make three sukkot: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he was saying” (Luke 9:33; see also Matthew 17:3-4).
At His Last Supper, after Yeshua had blessed and offered up to YeHoVaH a cup of wine, the Lord says the following to His disciples: “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that I will never drink of the fruit of the vine from now on, until the kingdom of [YeHoVaH] comes” (Luke 22:17-18).
All the verses I have quoted above are why I believe our born-again spirits will not only see and recognize our deceased loved ones when we are all in YeHoVaH’s Heaven but also our born-again spirits will reunite with them there. We will see, recognize, and reunite with our earthly families and loved ones, as well as with the people of YeHoVaH from all the ages – those we had seen before, and those we had never seen; those who had died a physical death, and those who had never died. Shalom!
For this reason I, Paul, am a prisoner of Messiah Yeshua for the sake of you Gentiles. Surely you have heard about the plan of [YeHoVaH’s] grace given to me for you— that the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote before briefly. When you read this, you can understand my insight into the mystery of Messiah—which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as it has now been revealed by the Ruach to His holy emissaries and prophets. This mystery is that the Gentiles are joint heirs and fellow members of the same body and co-sharers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua through the Good News. – Ephesians 3:1-6, TLV
YeHoVaH certainly moves in mysterious ways. Case in point, on Epiphany – a man-made holiday on which many Christians celebrate Yeshua’s physical manifestation to Gentiles (the Magi) – YeHoVaH allowed just a few of America’s many Trump enablers to experience a personal epiphany about how mentally unfit the leader of the free world is.
It took the failed insurrection on January 6, 2021, which Trump incited, before some United States senators, representatives, and the Vice President (Magi, of sorts) had a sudden and striking realization that theirs and Trump’s lies, conspiracy theories, and hateful rhetoric had motivated a pro-Trump mob – thugs, rioters – to breach Capitol security. After the smoke had settled, five Americans were dead. Their blood is on the hands of the following Republican Senators: Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Cynthia Lummis, Rick Scott (Florida), Roger Marshall, and Tommy Tuberville. These disgraceful seven Republican senators, and over a hundred dishonorable Republican representatives, carried through with objecting to the electors AFTER witnessing firsthand the pro-Trump mob’s anarchy.
The second day in America that will live in infamy – January 6, 2021 – also is a day that exposed just how fake many American Christians are, especially the ones who support Trump. Indeed, Muslim nations not only are laughing at our democratic process but also are laughing at the mayhem American Christians created.
There is nothing Yeshua-like in a President who cannot accept defeat and who still is unwilling to officially concede the 2020 election. There is nothing Yeshua-like in a President who spent months stoking the anger of his supporters with lies about the Democrats stealing the 2020 election. There is nothing Yeshua-like in confessed believers storming, rioting, vandalizing, and looting the Capitol Building. There is nothing Yeshua-like in elected Christian congressional officials who not only refuse to ask the President to repent, after making so many false claims, but also reiterate the same false claims, while they, too, refuse to repent.
The epiphany so many Christian Americans – politicians, religious leaders, police, churchgoers, and so forth – should have experienced, either on January 6th or the day after, is that President Trump is not mentally sound. Without a doubt, YeHoVaH also has shown Americans how rotten our government and our Christianity are – rottenness that is in President Trump and runs throughout the United States Congress, law enforcement agencies, and Christian churches. A word to the wise should be sufficient.
6 And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honors Me with their lips but their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 Having left behind the commandment of [YeHoVaH], you hold on to the tradition of men.” – Mark 7:6-8, TLV; the bracketed word is my emphasis
8 See that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men and the basic principles of the world rather than Messiah. – Colossians 2:8, TLV
As it was in biblical times so has it been in our Common Era. In fact, it would seem that religious leaders have always had a propensity for either inappropriately adding their man-made traditions to the Law of YeHoVaH or completely replacing His Commandments with their own. Moreover, each time they added their own traditions or replaced YeHoVaH’s Commandments, those new man-made customs and replacements made YeHoVaH’s Law of no effect. Now, it should be noted that the word traditions, as used in this blog entry, means that which has been handed down or passed on to others – whether by word of mouth or in writing.
The above-mentioned truth about added traditions of men making YeHoVaH’s Law of no effect have is why Yeshua knew full well that, if He disregarded the seemingly harmless traditions of the religious leaders in His day, His behavior would stir the Pharisees’ righteous indignation. Furthermore, Yeshua not only violated the man-made traditions of the experts in the Law but also taught that these religious leaders’ traditions were dangerous.
Today, believers in Yeshua can see the massive damage that man-made traditions have done to so-called Christians. Because of the often referred to as harmless man-made holidays – many of which have either added to or completely replaced YeHoVaH’s Moedim and other Holy Days (Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Day of First Fruits, Feast of Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the regular Sabbath) – and because of the additions of church programs (orders of worship), gimmicks, man-made holidays, and hierarchies that often are referred to as harmless customs, Christians have essentially developed a lack of personal holiness, an infrequent faith-walk, and a socially acceptable complacency, as well as have effectively blocked most of YeHoVaH’s intended way of life He has wanted His Children to live on earth.
Since this is the Christmas season, showing a sharp contrast between the Law of YeHoVaH and religious leaders’ traditions of men is necessary. Yeshua, Himself, declared that the Jewish religious leaders had “…left behind the commandment of [YeHoVaH]…” (Mark 7:8), had “..set aside the commands of [YeHoVaH], in order that [they] may validate [their] own tradition” (Mark 7:9), and were “making void the word of [YeHoVaH] with [their] tradition that [they’ve] handed down…” (Mark 7:13) by not keeping what “…Moses said…” (Mark 7:10).
Without a doubt, most modern-day Christian religious leaders have continued many of the old traditions of men started by the Roman Catholic Church. Most of those old traditions of men had completely replaced the Moedim (appointed times or holy days) of YeHoVaH with new religious seasons, sacred days, and holidays – like keeping Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath and celebrating Advent, Christmas, Epiphany (Feast of Three Kings), Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Good Friday, and Easter.
For centuries, men have been adding their oral traditions to the written Word of YeHoVaH. Beginning with the written Torah, as dictated by YeHoVaH to Moses who wrote it down and then shared YeHoVaH’s Law with the Israelites, this written Torah was significantly expanded with the oral Torah, which includes The Mishnah, the Talmud, the Tosefta, the Kabbala, and so on and so forth. Each one of these oral traditions became additions to the original written Law of YeHoVaH. They were humans’ interpretations – what men thought YeHoVaH intended to express in Scripture. My point here is that the Roman Bishops and other religious leaders in the early Roman Catholic Church were not the only ones who added to the Word of YeHoVaH.
The problem is that YeHoVaH has warned His Jewish people and, by extension, all of His Children who are saved through Yeshua, about altering His Word. He advised them, and us, about not adding to or subtracting from what He gave to them – and to us via surviving manuscripts. In spite of His clear biblical warning, adding to and subtracting from His Word is exactly what has happened.
At Yeshua’s First Coming, the traditions of men had become the Letter of the Law – completely taking over the Spirit of the Law. As a result, Yeshua repeatedly called the Pharisees hypocrites. Since then, many non-Jewish religious leaders have moved the masses of so-called Christians so far away from, for example, YeHoVaH’s Law, including His established eternal Moedim, by completely replacing them with many seemingly harmless oral traditions. As previously mentioned, the result has been that Christians have essentially developed a lack of personal holiness, an infrequent faith-walk, and a socially acceptable complacency, as well as have effectively blocked most of YeHoVaH’s intended way of life He has wanted His Children to live on earth.
It should be clear that no man-made tradition is better than YeHoVaH’s Law. Even so, the sad truth is that many Christians who keep breaking His Law by adding to or subtracting from YeHoVaH’s Word will hear Yeshua tell them to depart from Him because He knows them not. When Yeshua returns again for His Second Coming and finds left behind Christians continuing, for example, to keep Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath and/or continuing to celebrate Advent, Christmas, Epiphany (Feast of Three Kings), Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Good Friday, and Easter instead of observing YeHoVaH’s commanded Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Day of First Fruits, Feast of Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the regular Sabbath, Yeshua won’t just call these surviving or resurrected Christians hypocrites. He will cast them into the Lake of Fire.
11 Then [YeHoVaH] said, “Let the land sprout grass, green plants yielding seed, fruit trees making fruit, each according to its species with seed in it, upon the land.” And it happened so. 12 The land brought forth grass, green plants yielding seed, each according to its species, and trees making fruit with the seed in it, each according to its species. And [YeHoVaH] saw that it was good. – Genesis 1:11-12, TLV; the bracketed words are my emphasis
3 to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of [YeHoVaH], that He may be glorified. – Isaiah 61:3, TLV; the bracketed word is my emphasis
3 And He told them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, a sower went out to spread some seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some seeds fell by the road; and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil. They sprang up immediately, because the soil wasn’t deep. 6 But when the sun came up, they were scorched; and because they had no roots, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew and choked them out. 8 But others fell on good soil and were producing fruit. They yielded a crop—some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
23 “Now the one sown on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands. He indeed bears fruit, yielding a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty times what was sown.” – Matthew 13:3-9 and 23, TLV
22 But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23, TLV
The gifts of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), which are given to born again, saved, justified, Spirit-filled, and being sanctified Yeshua believers, empower them for service – they (the spiritual gifts) give Yeshua’s believers spiritual Power that enables them to do ministry work. Without a doubt, YeHoVaH makes it clear in Genesis chapter one that the service Yeshua’s believers are called to do is symbolized by YeHoVaH’s planted, cultivated, and harvested seed that makes fruit according to its species. For sure, some of the ministry works Yeshua’s believers are called to do are as follows: function as evangelists, participate in missionary activities, minister to the needy, teach Bible classes, and so forth.
Again, in Genesis chapter one, YeHoVaH says that every fruit tree makes “fruit, each according to its species with seed in it,” and Yeshua says that a tree is known by its fruit – either good or bad (see Luke 6:43-45). What the Father and the Son say about fruit-bearing trees are why it important for Yeshua’s believers to understand that it is the Work of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) that empowers them with spiritual gifts that make it possible for them to function as evangelists, participate in missionary activities, minister to the needy, teach Bible classes, and so on. Furthermore, it is the Work of the Ruach HaKodesh that yields the following fruit in Yeshua’s believers: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Recently, some Christians commented on my Facebook posting about evangelism being the central work of Yeshua’s believers that evangelism isn’t the chief work believers are called to do. These Christians either claimed that love or worship is the principal work of Yeshua’s believers. I responded by telling them that neither godly Love nor godly Worship is WORK. I added that godly Love is a FRUIT of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirt), and I declared that this kind of Love originally/initially comes from a SEED humans did not plant, did not cultivate, and did not harvest.
The Divine Truth, where each Yeshua believer is concerned, is that it is Yeshua who Plants a SEED in “good soil” (every born again and saved spirit that hears the sown Word and understands It). After Yeshua plants the SEED, it is Yeshua’s Ruach HaKodesh who cultivates that SEED until it matures – grows into a tree of righteousness, which spiritually means that each Yeshua believer is spiritually being transformed into the image of Yeshua who is symbolized as the Vine or the Tree from which spiritually mature/healthy branches (believers) not only sprout but also bear much fruit (see John 15:1-3).
Once there is fruit on a tree of righteousness, it is the Lord’s Ruach HaKodesh who harvests that fruit from each branch – gathers the fruit which has a seed within it. Spiritually speaking, Yeshua’s fruit-bearing believers won’t initially be gathered until the time of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Nevertheless, the spiritual point here is that the fruit of the Ruach HaKodesh is every Yeshua believer’s transformed spirit, and the harvest is that of saved, justified, Spirit-filled, and sanctified living souls – both the living souls who are dead and alive in Yeshua. Put differently, Yeshua’s believers on earth who bear much fruit only do so because of the Ruach HaKodesh’s progressive Work that is happening in their spirits (good soils). This ongoing sanctification Work of the Ruach HaKodesh results in the spirits (good soils) of Yeshua’s believers yielding, again and again, much fruit, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. They continue to bear fruit until they have been transformed into Yeshua and become overcomers who are ready to receive their glorified bodies.
Secondly, where the kind of godly Worship YeHoVaH expects is concerned, this kind of worship is done in Spirit and in Truth (see John 4:24). Without a doubt, the Spirit part of godly Worship refers to the Work of the Ruach HaKodesh. He stirs within good soils the holy desire to celebrate YeHoVaH, as well as the holy desires to rejoice in YeHoVaH and to give thanks to YeHoVaH. This worship of YeHoVaH in Spirit happens after the Ruach HaKodesh awakens in the spirits of Yeshua’s believers a spiritual awareness of YeHoVaH’s Glory, Beauty, and Power. Moreover, this worship of YeHoVaH in Spirit also happens after the Ruach HaKodesh opens the spiritual eyes of understanding within Yeshua’s believers and then empowers their spirits so that they are able to show YeHoVaH how much they comprehend and appreciate everything – all the Godhead’s treasures – YeHoVaH has made available to them through His Son, Yeshua. Again, the spirits of Yeshua’s believers only pertains to the born again, saved, justified, Spirit-filled, and being sanctified spirits that hear the sown Word and understand It.
Now, as far as the Truth part of godly Worship is concerned, this part also refers to the Work of the Ruach HaKodesh because He is the only One who knows all of YeHoVaH’s Truths, as well as knows ALL truths. Only the Ruach HaKodesh can teach, explain, inform, and reveal YeHoVaH’s Scriptural Truths, and only the Ruach HaKodesh can teach, explain, inform, and reveal YeHoVaH’s Scriptural Truths to Yeshua’s born again, saved, justified, Spirit-filled, and being sanctified (transformed) believers’ spirits. Since human interpretations and opinions do not create the atmosphere in which YeHoVaH-exalting worship takes place, this Divine Truth is why the said believers’ godly worship in Truth not only must be informed and conformed by the Ruach HaKodesh’s Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding of YeHoVaH’s Scriptural Truths but also must be founded, embedded, and focused on the Ruach HaKodesh’s Scriptural Revelations of the Truths about YeHoVaH and Yeshua. In other words, the spirits of Yeshua’s believers who are worshipping YeHoVaH in Truth can not do so if their worship is based on the traditions of men or on erroneous human interpretations or opinions about YeHoVaH’s Scriptural Truths.
So again, godly Love and godly Worship are the Works of the Ruach HaKodesh – not our works. Furthermore, the uncomfortable Divine Truth is that we do the work of an evangelist, and all the other ministerial services we are called to do, because we love YeHoVaH and Yeshua enough to want to obey their Commands, as well as love YeHoVaH enough to desire to Worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. However, we must realize that we only can do the work of an evangelist; love YeHoVaH, Yeshua, and our fellow human beings; or worship YeHoVaH in Spirit and in Truth when the Ruach HaKodesh’s Work makes it possible for us to have the spiritual power, will, fruit, and gifts to do so. Shalom . . . .
YeHoVaH has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers, which struck the people in wrath with continual strokes, which ruled the nations in fury, with relentless persecution. – Isaiah 14:5-6
On November 5, 2020, a Republican shared an image that had the same wording as the wording in the image I posted with this blog entry. There can be no doubt that these words were meant to insult the Democrats’ character – and specifically the character of the presidential candidate, Joe Biden.
Not liking this posting’s wording, I posted the following comment, with a few adjustments for this blog entry, on the said Republican’s shared posting:
Nebuchadnezzar is already in office and has been there since he was elected in 2016. Furthermore, many Democrats (that includes me) and Independents have been living in exile in Babylon and behaving just like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. More importantly, we have behaved more like Yeshua and the persecuted early, mostly Jewish believers than the majority of the people who elected America’s Nebuchadnezzar in 2016.
For this blog entry, I have added the following:
Praise YeHoVaH! We are free at last and looking forward to our Promised Land returning to some resemblance of normal.
Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris! Shalom . . .
…Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities! – Luke 12:48b, MSG
Yeshua’s watchfulness and readiness parable (see Luke 12:35-40) is the context in which He speaks the above verse to His close Disciples. In that parable, Yeshua explains how important it is to be alert and prepared for His return.
After Peter asks Yeshua if He is speaking just to His Disciples or to everyone, Yeshua Hamashiach uses another parable. In His second parable, He defines a watchful and ready person as a “faithful and wise manager” (Luke 12:42) who has been given the responsibility of using the gifts/resources he or she has to further YeHoVaH’s heavenly Kingdom and proclaim His Glory on earth by, for example, giving food and other needed essentials to the disadvantaged and doing so at “the proper time” (Luke 12:43).
There can be no doubt that Yeshua is saying everyone – whether saved or unsaved – has been given gifts/resources. He adds that some people are given great ones and others are given greater ones. Moreover, He makes it clear that regardless of what gifts/resources each person has and regardless of how many or how much of them each person has, the bottom line is that everybody’s faithfulness to YeHoVaH and Yeshua requires that he or she behaves like a trustworthy and insightful manager who uses responsibly – wisely and unselfishly – the gifts/resources entrusted to him or her.
Contrary to popular opinions, no one is supposed to use whatever YeHoVaH has entrusted to him or her to make his or her own individual life comfortable, secure, wealthy, famous, and etc. In other words, no human being can afford to take his or her responsibility lightly. If he or she does, Yeshua says that when He returns that person will suffer severely for his or her unfaithfulness (that person“…will be harshly whipped” – Luke 12:47, TLV). In contrast, the individual Yeshua finds faithfully and unselfishly doing what he or she is expected to do with the gifts/resources he or she had will receive a great reward, as well as will be put in charge of everything Yeshua owns (which is everything YeHoVaH owns).
Responsible stewardship should be everyone’s goal – especially everyone who is a Yeshua believer and follower. In the end, each Yeshua believer and follower who is found to be a faithful steward will receive a greater reward in Heaven than anything he or she ever could have had on earth.
But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Ruach, let us also walk by the Ruach. Let us not become conceited—provoking one another, envying one another. – Galatians 5:22-26, TLV
It has been years since I last saw Aunt Eleanor, which was on January 13, 2007. She was back in Wilkes-Barre on that day to say her final goodbyes to a sister who helped raise her – my Mom, Lucille Wade-Drayton.
The last thing I heard my Mom say about Aunt Eleanor was how powerfully she prayed for Mom. This prayer happened some weeks before Mom died peacefully in Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center. So, what stands out the most when I think about my Aunt Eleanor, is that she was an evangelist, a pulpit preacher, and a prayer warrior.
She also was very sweet and soft-spoken, and these two things I realized about her when I saw her on January 13, 2007. While I was sitting in Mount Zion Church’s multipurpose room – where the family had gathered before my Mom’s homegoing service started – Aunt Eleanor came close to me, commented on how much I looked like my Mom, told me she had heard some great things about me during her frequent talks with my Mom, told me how sorry she was about my loss, and gave me a big hug and a sweet kiss on my right cheek.
Most of what I know about my Aunt Eleanor I learned from my Mom because my aunt lived in Chicago while I was growing up in Wilkes-Barre, so I rarely saw her. Nevertheless, I do have some things that I liked the most about her because they are things we have in common.
The first thing I like about Aunt Eleanor is how deeply she loved YeHoVaH. As I already mentioned, she was a preacher and an evangelist; however, what I recently learned is that she preached the Gospel of Yeshua every 4th Sunday, and she evangelized on the streets wherever she went, up until the end of her life. That information inspired me, as I am a preacher and evangelist, too.
Like me, Aunt Eleanor also experienced the loss of a child. She lost her son, Franky, in 2013, and I lost my son, Ade, in 2017. But what is most important is that none of her losses kept her from doing what YeHoVaH called her to do. It is my prayer that someone one day will say the same thing about me.
“Godly Woman” is the poem that I have dedicated to my Aunt Eleanor who was a godly woman. I finished writing this poem just a few minutes before I posted it here. This poem is my tribute to an aunt I rarely saw or spoke to, yet I know more about her than I know about my aunts I did see and did talk with more. The poem I wrote is as follows:
Godly WomanSome people you can know for years,
Yet not know the real them;
Other people you can know of but neverSpend much time with them,Yet know their spirits and their souls.Aunt Eleanor is an old soul who displayedWisdom and special talents in her youth;Her sage-like qualities put her in a worldOf her own – peerless vision mom noticedAbout her when she was just a teenager,Exhibiting a special talent – an empatheticFlair to connect with people – spiritualityToo hard to ignore, as was her giving gift.She consoled others even when she hurt,She lifted her head and walked in turmoil;She spoke constant words of wisdom – notMalice, or envy, or gossip, or resentment;She rejoiced in YeHoVaH with a gratefulSpirit and joyful one that inspired womenLike me – her niece – who saw in my auntStrength to carry others’ burdens, courageTo take the fall for someone else’s misdeeds,Love to pray powerfully and compassionatelyFor others with heavy-laden heart, gentlenessTo admire other women and compliment themGenuinely, humility to admit she was wrong orAdmit she needs help, peace to help her endureEvil words and actions from haters, kindnessTo be friendly and considerate to everyone,Faithfulness to be generous enough to blessOthers with the things she needs, patienceTo wait on YeHoVaH’s Promises, joyfulnessTo praise and worship YeHoVaH in times ofTrouble and comfort, and self-control to loveHer enemies and her neighbors as she lovedHerself – and to serve others.Aunt Eleanor’s life typifies that godliness that’s inPeople who are so full of The Spirit’s Fruit, Power,Authority they’re able to spiritually and faithfullyWalk on water, raise the dead, and feed thousands.
- Composed September 1, 2020
Rest In Peace, Aunt Eleanor!
Lastly, the funeral services for my aunt, Eleanor Wade Goins, will be next Friday, September 11th, at Taylor Funeral Home located at 63 E. 79th Street in Chicago, IL 60619. The wake is at 11am, and the homegoing service is at 12 noon.
After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace—who has called you into His eternal glory in Messiah—will Himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. – 1 Peter 5:10, TLV
If he didn’t want you,
Forgive his green-eyed stares
Watching you from aDistance now as your blossoming
Lotus petals open inSpite of the mud he thoughtHe smothered you in –Pain so deep and dark washedOff by murky dirty waterThat ironically re-created you unsoiled.
He’s threatened by theBeauty that broke through theHeartache his rejectionPrompted – an ill-fated decision
Resulting from his lustOf flesh and eyes that failed toDiscern the grass is onlyGreener wherever it is watered –So, he left instead ofWorking on turning green the meadowHe now covets, afterDevaluing and dismissing your potential.
Jealousy, a soul-devouringSickness, lays dormant until he seesHow you emerged spotlessOn the outside and strong on the inside
While outwardly he fakesFeelings meant for you and inwardly pines,
So afraid to use the remedyHe once used – surrendered pride and joyFor pride and joy he thoughtLooked better on the other side of the fence.
He refuses to grab hold of
Hard to express feelings that are eating a
Hole in his sad soul and in
His ever-bleeding heart that knows you’re
His true love and she is
His first aid quick fix that never helped him
Heal self-inflicted wound –Hastily divorcing then remarrying becauseHe promised her, yet forgotHe promised you first ‘til death do we part.If he didn’t see you asSoulmate then, just forgive his
Blindness and egotismThat make him want the new youWho remarkably grewThrough his mud toward the light,Warmth, and splendorIn the grass he was searching for When he settled for anImitation – a forlorn decision that Foreclosed any possibility
He’d realize your anchored strengthAnd flexibility often lookFragile on the surface but are why youRose through adversity andBlossomed so strongly and stunningly.
- composed August 17, 2020
Alongside Babylon’s rivers we sat on the banks; we cried and cried, remembering the good old days in Zion. Alongside the quaking aspens we stacked our unplayed harps; That’s where our captors demanded songs, sarcastic and mocking: “Sing us a happy Zion song!” – Psalm 137:1-3, MSG
A keyless, noteless, lyriclessChanson is known only by itsAnnual wedding anniversaries –Twenty-two sequential somberReturns out of fifty minus one.August thirteen’s forty-ninthReturn reopens invisible chronicWounds then heightens their painWhile displacing summer nuptials’Joy – much like how a Blues styleSyncopation de-emphasizes strongBeats and accentuates weak beats.La-la stopped meaning ‘love you’Three decades, three months afterDelfonics earned a place on Soul’sInternational map with baby talk –A young male’s frequent utterance.Life has repositioned love’s dynamicDownbeat – relocated to an upbeatSpot known as the joke’s on me –Where misery’s stereophonic soundDrowns out all hope of loving anew.Sorrow is the song my soul hasSung each year for a score plusTwo years – after my divorce,Which unleashed a whirlwind ofEmotions that mark my life as aSad survivor of a modern tragedy.
- composed August 13, 2020