Define Love

Define Love

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Love is the sacrificial giving for the betterment of the other.

Object Solicited Love vs Subject Generated Love

Think about 7th grade grammar. You learned what the subjects and objects of sentences are.

Subjects do the action.

Objects receive the action.

i.e.: Jack (subject) hit the ball (object).

There is no such thing as “Object Solicited Love”, but the whole world is built around it. Drive the right car, get the right haircut, go to the right school, live in the right neighborhood and somebody, maybe everybody, will love you. Not true. That is not love. It is something else—admiration, lust, envy, maybe even trust. But it is not love.

We love because He loved us. This is love, not that we loved him, but that he loved us.

He loves because it is in his nature to love us, not because of something that we do, or did, to make him love us. We cannot do anything to make Him love us more, or less. He loves because that is who and what He is—the one from whom love flows. His love is what flows through me.

I love you because He loved me. You cannot do anything to make me love you. I love you because the love of the Father flows through me.

The Father is the subject of love. He is the one doing the loving. I love because he loved first. Anything less than that is not “True Love”. Anything less than “True Love” is not love, it is a lesser thing.

I am the object of His love. So are you. I love you not because you have done something to make me “love” you. That is impossible.

This is love: God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

We didn’t do anything to make Him love us; He just did.

That’s True Love.

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Re-thinking the Parable of the Wineskins

Matthew 9:14-17 ESV

Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

I “got saved” in 1976. For more than 40 years I understood these words of my Lord to mean that Jesus’ teaching does not fit into Judaism. He brought something new. Christianity could not be contained in the old wineskins of Judaism. The old wineskins of Judaism must be replaced with new wineskins.

Then in 2016, I went to Israel. My tidy world of Christianity was shaken to the core. (I will go into that more in another post.) As my husband and I walked out of church a few weeks later, I asked him, “What is this THING we do on Sunday morning, and why is it so different from what we read in the book of Acts?” Thus began our radical journey to becoming Messianic Gentiles.

Now I know that Jesus did not come to replace old ways. He did not start a new religion. He was a Torah keeping Jew until the day he died, rose again, and left. When he returns he will rule the whole world with the Torah as our constitution.

I am learning to read what we now call the Apostolic Scriptures through the lens of the Original Scriptures. It is impossible to understand the Gospels, Epistles and Revelation without following the “hyperlinks” on every page back to Torah, the Prophets, and the Wisdom writings that make up the Bible that the writers of the NT knew.

Here is the filter:

If Jesus had not been Torah observant, he could not be the Messiah. Those who opposed him knew that. They tried over and over again to trap him, or to prove that he was not Torah-observant. They could not prove it.

Yeshua himself said: Matthew 5:17-19

Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete, (or verify) it. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah—not until everything that must happen has happened. So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot (commandments) and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

This means that whenever and where ever we read something that seems to contradict his Torah observance, we have to dig deeper than what we have been taught, to find the truth.

The parable of the wineskins presented just such a conundrum to me yesterday.

I found the explanation in Jewish Commentary by David Stern

This verse and the next speak to the issue of whether faith in Yeshua the Messiah can be combined with Judaism. Here the old coat is Judaism. The unshrunk cloth is Messianic faith which has not been adapted (“shrunk”) to the framework of Judaism as currently practiced. (“Shrinking” here is simply an aspect of Yeshua’s “patch” metaphor. It does not imply that Messianic faith must be diminished in order to fit into Judaism.) Combining un-adapted Messianic faith with traditional Judaism doesn’t work–the patch tears away from the coat; that is, faith in Yeshua apart from Judaism–and, later on in the case of Gentiles, faith in Yeshua apart from the foundational truths about God taught in the Tanakh, is useless and worthless. Not only that, but it leaves a worse hole-attempting to combine un-adapted Messianic faith with traditional Judaism leaves Judaism worse off than before. The implication is that one must shrink the new cloth-adapt Messianic faith to Judaism-for Yeshua does not imply that there is anything wrong with patching an old coat! The early Messianic Jews did adapt Messianic faith to Judaism, but the later Gentile Church did not. Instead, some forms of Gentile Christianity became paganized precisely because the Tanakh was forgotten or underemphasized. Messianic Jews today are once again trying to bring New Testament faith back to its Jewish roots.

Verse 17: Whereas in v. 16 Messianic faith has to be adapted to Judaism, here it is Judaism which must be adjusted to Messianic faith. If one tries to put new wine, Messianic faith, into old wineskins, traditional Judaism, the faith is lost and Judaism ruined. But if Judaism is freshly prepared, reconditioned so that it can accommodate trust in Yeshua the Messiah, both the faith and the renewed Judaism, Messianic Judaism, are preserved.

This understanding is undergirded by the writer’s careful choice of words: “new” (Greek neos) wine, “fresh” (kainos) wineskins. “Neos” means “new” in respect to time, implying immaturity or lack of development. “Kainos” means “new” or “renewed” in respect to quality, contrasting with “old” or “not renewed” and implying superiority. Old wineskins have lost their strength and elasticity, so that they cannot withstand the pressure of new wine still fermenting, although an old wineskin can be restored to service if its useful qualities are renewed.

The meaning of the figure is that the new wine of Messianic living cannot be poured into old religious forms if they remain rigid. But if the old religious forms become “fresh,” they can accommodate Yeshua.

 When “kainos” is rendered “new,” as in many translations, the implication seems to be that Judaism cannot possibly be a suitable framework for honoring Yeshua the Jewish Messiah-only the “new wineskin” of Gentilized Christianity will work. This is a peculiar conclusion, especially if it is recalled that Yeshua was speaking with his fellow Jews.

 As rendered here the point is that the only vessel which can hold the new wine of Messianic life in a Jewish setting is a properly renewed, restored, reconditioned and refreshed Judaism, such as Messianic Judaism was in the first century and aims to be now.

Taken together, verses 16 and 17 imply that both Messianic faith and Judaism should adjust to each other. However, the accommodating must be true to God’s Word; on that there is no room for compromise.

See Matthew 13:52

And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

A Torah-teacher who has been made into a talmid (disciple) for the Kingdom of Heaven, that is, a committed and knowledgeable Jew who has become Messianic, brings out of his storage room, out of his treasury of knowledge, both new things relating to Yeshua and the New Covenant and old things, relating to the pre-Messianic Judaism he already understands. The storage room contains good things, things the house-owner wants and treasures. Some of the good things are new, some of them old. Likewise, the new Messianic and old Jewish things can both be good. Thus the Messianic Torah-teacher is uniquely placed to enrich Messianic Judaism by expressing Messianic truth in Jewishly relevant ways, to repair old coats with good patches and restore old wineskins for new wine.

A good Jewish education, far from being a prophylaxis against believing in Yeshua and the Kingdom he preached, as some opponents of Messianic Judaism suppose, instead ought to provide “rich soil” for bringing forth for Yeshua “grain, a hundred… times what had been sown” (13:8). The outstanding New Testament example is Sha’ul (Paul). Jewish New Testament Commentary. David Stern. Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. 1992. pg. 37

BTW Paul was also a Torah-Keeping Jew until the day he died!

My husband and I have been studying with materials from First Fruits of Zion for several years. We are thankful for their thoughtful, professional teaching. We are approaching the end of a two-year study titled “Jesus, My Rabbi”. Check it out at



Our Friend Laura, Me and Tim Costumed for Purim

Why Should Gentiles Celebrate Purim?

Purim is the holiday associated with the story of Esther. She was chosen to be queen of Persia, “for such a time as this”, her uncle Mordecai, told her, in order to save the Jewish people from an extermination plot. You can read her story in the Bible, the book of Esther. Today Jews all over the world sing, dance, feast, and act out the story. The children boo and hiss at the name of Haman, the villain; cheer for Mordecai ; and sigh whenever the name of beautiful Esther is mentioned.

So why should Gentiles celebrate Purim?

Several years ago as Tim and I walked out of church on Sunday morning, I asked him, “What is this thing we do on Sunday mornings, and why is it so different from what we read in the book of Acts?”

As we started our research journey on the history of the “church”, the first stopping point was learning that the word “church” in the New Testament, never meant a building or a “Christian” congregation. The word translated, “church”, we learned is “ekklesia”–it means the called out ones, or an assembly of the called out ones.

All of our paradigms began to change.

We have been studying the Jewish roots of Christianity ever since. We have come such a long way in this journey, and learned so much that it will take many blog posts to map out the path. So today, I will just say this:

To read what we call the New Testament, without understanding the Jewish context of it, is like reading a webpage and not clicking on the hyperlinks. Nearly every verse of the New Testament refers back to something in the “Old” Testament. And ALL of the “New” Testament was written by Jews, with the probable exceptions of the books of Luke and Acts. The whole Bible is Jewish.

We used to call ourselves, “Christians”. We now call ourselves, “Messianic Gentiles”.

In the coming weeks I hope to map our our journey, to explain the changes, and, Lord willing, inspire other people to dig for the roots.

So, why did a couple of aging Gentiles and our friend, dress up on costumes and go to a Purim party? First because our new Messianic Jewish friend invited us, but mostly because we want to draw closer to the Jewish community, learn from it, to demonstrate that we understand that the Jews were chosen by God to deliver his Word to the world. They were, and are, the chosen people. Jesus is a Jew. For that we are, and will be, forever grateful that Esther was chosen to save the Jews from annellation thereby enabling us to be grafted in.

Goat Dairy, Grace Harbor Farms, History, Walking by Faith

Grace Harbor Farms History 1999-2019


I am in the process of writing a history of Grace Harbor Farms. This PowerPoint presentation I put together two years ago . It is a good preview.

We started with two goats in 1999. Several years ago we farmed out all the animals because our seven acres could not support the number of animals we needed to meet demand on our seven acres.

Last year, just a few months ago, we brought goats back to the farm. You will be seeing more of them soon–as the kids start arriving in the Spring!

2019 goats

Believer's Path, Creation or Evolution, Evolution, fourth commandment, Sabbath Keeping, Walking by Faith

Evolution vs The Fourth Commandment


Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

“Mom, why don’t Christians keep the 4th commandment?”

My young daughter had recently started to read the Bible when she asked me this question. I didn’t have an answer for her. I am not even sure if at that point I could have said what the 4th Commandment is. Her question haunted me. It has for more than 30 years. Recently I set out to figure out the answer to that question. The answers I found have changed the pattern of my life. By God’s grace, my husband agrees with me. We now “honor the Sabbath” and are learning to “keep it holy”.


Notice that this commandment is the only one that begins with the word “Remember”.


Because God knew that we would forget.

Why did he want us to remember?

Because he did not want us to forget, to neglect, the truth of creation.

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:11

What has our culture forgotten, even despised?

Answer: Six Day Creation

Recently my family had a big crisis that began when my granddaughter asked, “Couldn’t God have used evolution?”

My husband and I, with firm commitment, and, tragically, with lack of grace for my granddaughter’s struggle with this question, said “No! God could not have ‘used evolution’.”

We told her, in no uncertain terms, that if evolution were true, then Genesis is not true.

We told her that if evolution were true, then death is not the result of the fall because there would have been death for millions of years before Adam and Eve.

I asked her, “How could sexual reproduction evolve?”

I explained how I had realized that Jesus could have created everything with the appearance of age, because he had served cooked fish and baked bread to thousands of people without those things going through any process that took time. He created them, ex nihilo, on the spot.

Tim told her that if death did not result from the fall, then what did Jesus save us from?

My granddaughter could not deal with our empathic defense of the six-day creation. She left the table, and later insisted that Tim and I not come back to their home that evening.


Because this culture is not “Remembering the Sabbath, to keep it holy. . .because in six days God created everything.

At the point of that family crisis, Tim and I had not yet realized the connection between the 4th commandment and the problem of believing in the theory of evolution. We put those things together as I began to ponder my daughter’s question from 30 years ago.

“Why don’t Christians keep the 4th Commandment?”

I am convinced that this commandment begins with the word “Remember” precisely because God knew that at the heart of the apostasy to come would be the devastating lie that creation could not have happened in six days.

I have come to understand why the 10 Commandments are so offensive. It is not because they tell us not to tell lies, steal, or kill. It is not because they tell us to honor our parents, and to be sexually pure. It is because the satan does not want us to remember that God created everything in six days.


Because if God did not create everything in six days, then the story of creation is not true, so the Bible can’t be trusted; death is not the result of sin; and we don’t need salvation.

God said “Remember the sabbath” because he knew that by ignoring the truth of the six-day creation people would think that they were not created by God for his purpose, they would lean on their own understanding, they would not acknowledge him. This would lead to all kinds of debauchery as Paul explains in Romans Chapter One.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse
Romans 1:18-20

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Romans 1:24 – 32

This is what happens when the 10 Commandments are removed from our consciousness, from our government, from our marketplaces, from our schools, and from our families. When people “believe in evolution” they don’t keep any of the commandments.

I am 70 years old, this year—2019—I could never have imaged the depravity of society that we are seeing today when I was growing up. I grew up in the Bay Area of California. I didn’t even know one person when I was in school whose parents were divorced—NOT ONE. The 10 Commandments were still in our schools then. We even learned, with shock, that in Russia the Bible was not allowed in schools!

Read Paul’s pronouncement above and think about what has happened since we took down the 10 Commandments and specifically denied that God made everything. People no longer think that we will be held accountable to him–that we need to be saved. What Jesus did became irrelevant.

In our quest to understand how to “keep the Sabbath holy” we are not trying to set up a bunch of rules, but we are attempted to keep the 7th day separate from the other six days of the week. We have a special dinner on Friday night, and another one Saturday evening to mark the start and end of our sabbath rest. We decided to close our farm store for the whole weekend, instead of just Sunday. We are basking in the peace that these decisions have made in our lives.

There is a lot more to say, volumes, about sabbath keeping. I am not going to go into any of that right now. If you have read this far in this blog, I encourage you to check out all the controversies about, and history of, sabbath keeping. Perhaps you will come to the same conclusion we did.

“Remember the Sabbath, to keep in holy, because I created everything in six days.” Amen.