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Welcome to WJBsTurn

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Welcome to WJBsTurn, a place where I will take my turn to share the Word of God and my views and musings. I plan to post occasional, sporadic, thoughts on a potpourri of topics. As you read my posts, please consider that some of my views are in the process of refinement. Also, many, especially the devotionals, apply to me as much as they do you.

Please feel free to comment on my posts.  I’ll review your comments and permit them to be displayed, maybe, sometimes, if I feel like it…:-). Seriously, I would like to have some constructive dialog, but I do reserve the right to limit comments.

I invite you to follow and/or subscribe to my blog. If you subscribe, you will receive an email whenever I add a new post.  I do not expect there to be frequent posts, though they may come in short bursts.

Finally, please note that I am not necessarily endorsing someone when I reference, quote, or otherwise share something they wrote. I quote someone or post their content because it fits my context and/or spoke to me. However, that does not mean that I agree with or endorse everything that individual or organization stands for.

Blessings
W.J. (Bill) Borden

It’s Time to Decide

The following Lighthouse Network Devotion from April 24, 2021 is shared with permission.

On What Do You Rely?
Accomplishments and Failures … or Jesus?

Transformational Thought

Wouldn’t you love to have a rewind button for your life? Think about it. What if you had the power to go back and change a few events in your life? The chance to correct a decision that moved your life down a wrong or painful path. The chance to achieve the peace and fulfillment that is just out of your grasp.

We’ve all done things we wish we could take back. Maybe we’ve lived a sinful lifestyle, been selfish and unkind, made parenting mistakes, said hurtful things to a loved one, or just experienced a lot of failure in life. Maybe we still struggle with relationships, anxieties, guilt, shame, and “what ifs.” On the other hand, maybe we’ve lived a pretty good life and achieved a high level of success. In fact, we really like defining ourselves by our victories. We like feeling satisfied about what we’ve done. The praise and admiration of others energizes us. Maybe we really love helping others.

But you know what? Our accomplishments aren’t really that impressive to God. He sees our hearts. He knows that they are not always pure. Praise God that He doesn’t define us by what we’ve done … regardless of how good or bad it’s been. He judges us by whether we accept what Christ did for us. He knows we need Jesus. But we need to know that, too. 

I don’t know why Jesus gets such a bad rap or is so hated, but that’s another Devo. Jesus died on the cross so that the penalty for sin could be paid and our sins could be forgiven. And when we believe and accept the sacrifice he made for us, we are cleansed. Then God sees us as though we had never sinned! Our record is clean. We inherit Christ’s account. And that’s our new identity … a follower of Christ, clothed in His righteousness. 

You see, we know we’ve made mistakes. But, since we’ve done some good things, and we can do even more, we underestimate the big gap between ourselves and HOLINESS. No matter how hard and long we try, we can never, absolutely never, make up the gap between ourselves and God. One zillion (an indescribably large number) good deeds will not fill that gap.

We can’t do enough to earn our way. That’s why we need Jesus. We are defined not by our accomplishments or failures, but by who we are in Christ. All the accomplishments in the world mean nothing when it comes to getting right with God and spending eternity with Him. 

Today, if you are not a fully committed follower of Christ, you can make that decision right now. No matter what your past … no matter how good or bad your behavior … you need Jesus. He loves you and is reaching out to you right now. Do you want to meet Him? Just tell Him that you know you need Him … and that you want to follow Him. Why wouldn’t you want Jesus in your life? He is ready … are you? Whether you turn your life around now, or you are willing to settle for less is your decision, so choose well.

If you are a Christian, rejoice as you did the day you accepted Jesus in your life as your personal Savior. Send this to someone you love who needs Jesus and follow it with a phone call to discuss this blessing. Whether you make Him the Lord of your life, or you continue to exalt yourself as lord is your decision, so choose well.

Prayer

My Father and my Lord, I believe that Your Son died for my sins. Please forgive me for all my past. I’m ready for a change. I want to follow You … and do life Your way. I know that I cannot undo my past through my own accomplishments. Thanks for sending Your Son to pay the ultimate price, to pay my penalty for me. I pray this and all prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, who died so that I may have eternity with the only God; and all God’s children say – AMEN!

The Truth

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:23-24

The post On What Do You Rely? Accomplishments and Failures … or Jesus? appeared first on Lighthouse Network.

If you prayed to accept Yeshua as your Savior and made Him the Lord of your life or rededicated your life to Him, please contact me by replying to or commenting on this post.
Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

Teaching Prejudice

Did you know that your children are racist? President Joe Biden’s administration says they are and wants to fix them.  The U.S. Department of Education is preparing to advocate the idea that America is systemically racist and anyone who thinks differently, children included, are part of the problem — whether the students know it or not.

This is an important read for anyone with children in public schools or who has friends with children in public schools. We also need to contact our legislatures at both state and federal levels to block this move. For more details see this article.

Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

Would I Be a Peter?

By Sue
While reading about and pondering the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus this past week, my heart has been drawn to Peter. I have been asking myself if I would have done what Peter did—deny Jesus, not once, but three times?

After walking with Jesus for a longer period of time than Peter did—51 years compared to 3 years—would I declare my love and devotion to Him, only to deny my closest friend and teacher?

On Palm Sunday, the crowd was cheering and welcoming Jesus as royalty. Peter and the disciples probably thought they were even more dedicated to the Master than the crowds. Then, less than a week later, some of those same people were calling for His crucifixion. And, at a desperate time when Jesus needed them the most, the disciples fell asleep and finally deserted Him.

When times of persecution come to us in our nation—and that is happening right now. When I am told that I can no longer worship or possibly even speak to others the Name of Jesus, how will I respond? When those in authority ask me whether I believe in Jesus what will I say? What will you say?? Will I be willing to lose my life to keep it? Will I stand with Jesus or desert Him?

These are very real questions that we need to wrestle with NOW! The day may be coming, though I pray not, when we will be challenged to stand firm with Jesus or deny Him. And, if we don’t have our hearts and minds settled now, we may find ourselves being a “Peter”!

Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

Happy Ressurection Day

I hope that you are enjoying your Easter Sunday, which is better referred to as Ressurection Day because we are celebrating the resurrection of Yeshua, the Son of God, and the Passover Lamb who was slain for your and my sins. As the following Stepping Stones devotion asks, “Where do you keep Yeshua (God)?”

Do You Keep God in a Box (or Tomb)?

Transformational Thought

For our Easter celebration, let’s continue our journey back in time to that first glorious Easter morning than more 2,000 years ago. When Mary, Mary, Salome, and the rest of their crew visited the tomb that day, they were sad, upset, worried, and edgy. They had just lost their leader at the end of a bizarre and devastating but prophesized week. It actually started with a triumphant entrance on Palm Sunday and ended with the execution of Jesus by all the powerful ruling elements in their land. 

Would they be rounded up as well to endure a mock trial, persecution, and violent execution? What should they do next? Remember, they didn’t have the benefit of the completed Bible like we do. They only had a promise of something that had never happened before. But they must have forgotten the prophecy that was passed down over the years. 

So imagine their surprise when they saw the stone already rolled aside. They had no idea what to make of the empty tomb. They still didn’t remember the prophecy. Thankfully, they met two angels who explained that Jesus was not there, He had risen. But, they still didn’t believe. They just thought the body had been stolen. Then they ran to tell Peter and John, who were perplexed as well. Didn’t they read all the Old Testament prophecies either? They needed to come to the tomb to figure it out. Once inside the tomb, seeing the evidence of the wrappings, they were still confused. Mary really didn’t get it until she spoke with Jesus outside the tomb.

I can’t understand their stupidity, ignorance, disbelief, and nearsightedness. Jesus performed so many miracles, talked of ruling His kingdom, raised Lazarus from the dead, and taught that He would rise from the dead in 3 days. Why were they afraid, sad, and surprised instead of expectantly excited? Why were they fearful when they saw an empty tomb? Why weren’t they expecting it, rejoicing and happily guessing where they would see Him for the first time? 

Stupid, thick, dim, mistrustful. Can you guess where this is going, cause we need to get off our high horses. How often do we react the same way as they did? Thinking that God is limited like us and restricted to the same reality we are indicates we don’t believe His promises and predictions either. We underestimate His power and knowledge every day. I have no right to criticize Mary, Mary, the disciples or other followers. I have the whole Bible, know how the story ends, and I still limit Jesus and God just as they did.

So today of all days, don’t put God in a box. My life has really changed since I realized He is bigger than I am and that He will stand by His promises. I now expect the awesome unexpected and so can you! Don’t think He’s dormant in a tomb. He is at work in and around you. Expect it, embrace it, and enjoy it. Thank God the tomb is empty. I hope you aren’t dismayed in the midst of your everyday trials, because God will show up. Remember, He didn’t rise from the dead immediately. He waited three days for a specific reason. So be patient. His timing is always better than yours.

Happy Easter from Honey Lake Clinic and Lighthouse Network. May His power over death give you boldness and courage as you advance against whatever trials and threats you face. Please go and wear His power on your sleeve so that everyone without exception will see your joy and His glorious victory over despair and death. Whether you let God be God, or you put God in a box and keep Him in the tomb is your decision, so choose well.

Prayer

Thank You, Father, for Christ’s death and resurrection, which has given us power over sin’s grip and Satan’s schemes. Give me a heart that will love You even 1/1000th of what You love me. Keep Your promises and character fresh in my mind, so that I don’t put You in a box and limit my expectations and understanding of Your plan and power, especially during times of uncertainty. I pray You grant the Stepping Stones readers eyes that see and trust to accept Your awesome plans for them. In Christ’s powerful and magnified name; and all God’s children say – AMEN!

The Truth

For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40

for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. Mark 9:31

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” John 2:19-20

The post Do You Keep God in a Box (or Tomb)? appeared first on Lighthouse Network.

Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

Disclaimer: As mentioned in my Welcome post, I do not necessarily endorse authors or organizations that I quote or repost. This also applies to Lighthouse Network. I am blessed by many of the Stepping Stones devotionals and they give blanket permission to share them. However, I have not researched any of their help resources and, therefore, I do not personally endorse them.

A Cool Video for Easter

I saw this video this morning and had to share it. The video was created by the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and tells the Passover story in a unique way. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Passover Pesach Technion 2016 Breakdance High Tech Haggadah.

As you celebrate Yeshua’s Sacrifice and Resurrection this weekend, remember the Passover story. It belongs to all of us who follow Yeshua (Jesus), not just Jewish people. Without it, we might not have had Yeshua, the Lamb of God, whose ultimate sacrifice and resurrection, enabled us all to become part of God’s family.

Refer to my posts Passover and Easter, What Do Easter and Passover Mean?, and An Appointment with God–Passover.

Have a joyous weekend and

Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

Tempted and Tried

Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long,
While there are others living about us,
Never molested, though in the wrong.
Farther along we’ll know all about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

SOUTHERN FOLK HYMN

Yeshua is always by your side if you will just look to Him! Have a good day!

Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

Easter Traditions

While writing the “Passover and Easter” post, I got to thinking about some of the usual American Easter season traditions. I recalled my mother doing a thorough spring cleaning of our home around the time of Easter and a special Easter meal following church on Easter Sunday. We went to church every Sunday and had a nice Sunday dinner afterward. But Easter dinner was usually something special, sometimes with guests. My wife remembers similar traditions in her home.

But, where did these traditions originate? I haven’t researched their origins, but could spring cleaning be derived from the Jewish tradition of cleaning all the leaven from the home? (Leaven represents sin.) Could the special Easter Sunday meal be derived from the special family meal on Passover? I’m not sure how ham got into the picture, but we won’t go there today.

Just a fun thought to keep in mind as you observe your personal Easter Season traditions.

Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

Passover and Easter

Yesterday (3/28/2021), Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) around the world celebrated the first Passover when God Passed-Over the homes of anyone who followed God’s instructions to place the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their homes. This blood protected their firstborn from death. This plague of death was the final plague before Pharaoh’s heart was finally softened and he allowed the Israelites, the Jews, to leave Egypt as commanded by God.

We often forget that Gentiles participated in the first Passover. It is not improbable that some of them placed the blood on their doors as well. The band of people who left Egypt included many Gentiles who wanted to tag along because: they were already followers of the God of the Israelites; they were impressed by Pharaoh’s defeat; they realized the Egyptian gods were not gods and came to faith in the God of the Israelites; they were non-Israelite slaves who wanted to escape; or because they wanted to follow the crowd (Ex 12:38).

It is appropriate for all followers of Yeshua to celebrate Passover, Jew and Gentile alike. Without the first Passover there would not have been a second, Great Passover—Yeshua’s final Passover before He willingly shed His blood as the most important Passover Lamb in history.

With Good Friday and Easter occurring this coming Friday and Sunday (4/2 & 4/4/21), I want to remind us all that Good Friday and Easter were not added to the calendar until hundreds of years after His crucifixion. They are not the dates of Passover and we should be celebrating His ultimate sacrifice according to God’s schedule. (Refer to: “An Appointment with God–Passover.“)

Besides, Good Friday and Easter have pagan origins, as do many of our “Christian” holidays. I’m not going into those in this post. However, if the Easter season is when the congregation that you attend celebrates His sacrifice, please celebrate that and not the “Easter Bunny.”

When celebrating Yeshua’s last Passover, which we do every time we observe Communion, we must never forget the greatest event of all—His resurrection from death as promised by the prophets. Without His resurrection, the first Passover and His last would have had no meaning! It is His resurrection that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is the Son of God, the promised Jewish Messiah, and the Savior of mankind!

He came proclaiming that the Kingdom of God was at hand and calling mankind to repentance. Because through His sacrifice as the Lamb of God, and His resurrection from the dead and ascension to the right hand of God, every man, woman, and child who repents of their sin (living in opposition to their Father God’s direction) will receive the Holy Spirt to help them in this life and will live in the presence of God their Father for eternity!

If you have never answered Yeshua’s call to repent and acknowledge Him as your Savior, do so now! If you did acknowledge Him at one time but have strayed from Him, repent and renew your relationship with Him now! It is never too early or too late to acknowledge Him. But what better time to do so than when celebrating His reason for coming to earth! God created you to have a relationship with Himself. Repenting and turning control of your life over to Him is not hard or complicated. Simply tell Him in your own words or use words similar to this simple prayer:

Father God, I am sorry for the many ways that I have ignored You and Your instructions. I thank You that because of Yeshua’s sacrifice and resurrection I have Your forgiveness. I give You my life. I will allow You to guide me as a member of Your family. Thank you, Father. Amen

After praying to give your life to Yeshua, or to rededicate it to Him, get a Bible and begin reading it daily. Start with the New Testament Book of John followed by the Book of Acts. Start talking to Him daily like you talk with a good friend (that’s called prayer). If you don’t have a place to worship, find one that teaches the full truth of the Bible. Among other things, that means that they teach repentance and honor the Jewish people as God’s chosen people.

Also, please contact me through my blog site and tell me of your decision to follow Yeshua. That way, I can pray for you. I promise you will not be put on some automated email list—a least not unless you subscribe to my blogJ)

May God richly bless you as we walk together as members of His family.

Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

What Do Passover and Easter Mean?

Hope

I am the Lord. I will bring you out… (Deut 6:6-8)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah! According to his great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua from the dead. (1 Pet 1:3)

Deliverance

…from your enslavement to the Egyptians, I will rescue you from the hard labor they impose…
(Deut 6:6-8)

The Father has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col 1:13-14)

Redemption

…and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be My people, and I will be your God and you shall know that… (Deut 6:6-8)

He gave Himself for us to set us free (to redeem us, purchase our freedom) from every kind of lawlessness [from all violation of Torah] and to purify for Himself a people who are truly His, who are eager and enthusiastic about living a life that is good and filled with beneficial deeds. (Titus 2:14; Deut. 14:2; Ps 130:8; Ezek. 37:23)

Sanctification

…I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from your enslavement to the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord! (Deut 6:6-8)

Praised be Adonai, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven. In the Messiah He chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in His presence. (Eph 1:3-4)

Remembrance

Remember for the rest of your life the day you came out of the land of Egypt. (Deut 16:3)
So you shall remember and do all My commandments, and be holy to your God. (Num 15:40)

You should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of your Master and Savior. (2 Pet 3:2)

Love

The Lord! The Lord! A God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness and truth, Keeping mercy and loving-kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. (Ex. 20:6, 34:6-7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 7:9)

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His loyal love endures forever. (1 Chron. 16:34)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. (John 3:16)


Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

An Appointment with God—Passover

This year (2021) Passover is March 28, but it starts at sundown on March 27 because the Hebrew or Biblical day runs from sundown to sundown. Passover is then followed by a 7-day feast called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Over time, the two feasts have been grouped together and simply called Passover.

But, what is Passover, or Pesach (PAY-sach)? You may know it as something that the Jewish faith celebrates every year, but what and why are they celebrating?

Passover is one of the seven appointed times (meeting appointments with God) that He scheduled with the Israelites (Jewish people) in Lev. 23:1-2. Through each of these meetings, He reveals more of Himself and calls His followers into a deeper relationship with Him. All seven yearly Feasts or festivals commemorate His faithfulness and the many miracles of deliverance that He performed as He set Israel apart as His own special people. They serve to remind us of His holiness, our impurity, and that, despite the disparity between God and man, He wants us to be in fellowship with Him.

But, you ask, “I am a Gentile, why should I care, even if I follow Yeshua as my Savior?” Well, I’m a Gentile as well, so I’ll try to provide a brief answer to your question.

The fact that these festivals are part of the Old Testament, or better yet Bible Part 1, they are often considered as being irrelevant for New Testament, or Bible Part 2, believers.  However, they open up a complete understanding of the continuity of the Scriptures and just how central Yeshua is to all the festivals. And, Yeshua faithfully observed each of these seven festivals. If we are a follower or disciple of Yeshua shouldn’t we follow His example? After all, a disciple emulates his leader.

So, without digging deeper into that question (we’ll cover that in a future post), let’s move on to the subject of this article, the Feast of Passover. God introduced Passover and the Feast of Unleavened bread in Ex. 12:1-20 and Lev 23:5-8. As you probably recall from Sunday school, the first Passover occurred, on the night of the last plague when God was releasing the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Now, He could have easily accomplished this very quickly without doing the “plague thing.” However, He wanted the Egyptians to know without a doubt that He was greater than every god they worshipped.  Each of the plagues was a direct assault on one of those gods. I encourage you to read the story of the plagues and the first Passover for yourself. It is found in Exodus 6:28-12:32.

The Passover was the defining moment in Jewish history. God called them out of slavery and delivered them from 400 years of bondage in Egypt to give them a land of their own and make them not only a people but a nation. Now, that is something to celebrate! It even surpasses our Fourth of July. 🙂

Even better, though, is that the Passover is prophetic of the coming of Yeshua. It presents a scene or a shadow of something yet to come. The Feast of Passover looks back to the liberation of Israel from the land of Egypt, and it looks forward to the saving work of the Messiah, Yeshua, our Passover Lamb. Because Yeshua came 2000 years ago, we, Jew and Gentile who follow Him, can celebrate Passover as a celebration of His death as our Passover Lamb and Resurrection as our Savior. There is nothing more worth celebrating than the sacrifice of Yeshua. It completed His purpose of proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is at hand and His call for all mankind to repent of our sins and turn to Him, our once-and-for-all sacrificial Lamb.

The celebration of Passover is centered around a meal. What’s a “feast” without food? The story of the first Passover is retold with various food items as symbols of the suffering and sacrifice associated with the first Passover. Leaven is not permitted at the Passover meal and during the following 7-day Feast of Unleavened bread. Leaven, or yeast, symbolizes impurity, sin.  The Passover feast includes a specific remembrance service called a Seder (SEY-der). The order of the service is outlined in a booklet called a Haggadah (HAH-gah-dah), which means “telling”. It guides the service and prayers using the symbolic food items while it explains the significance of the event. A full-blown Passover Seder can last for hours, though most are only an hour or two.

In future posts, I plan to cover the meaning of the symbolic items in a modern-day Seder, Yeshua’s last Seder before His crucifixion, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Bill

Scriptures related to Passover:

Exodus 12:1-20, 39; Leviticus 23:4-8; Deuteronomy 16:1-8; Luke 22:1, 7; Acts 20:6; 1 Cor 5:7-8; Hebrews 11:28

For further study:

Arlene Bridges Samuels, “Passover and Easter”, The Christian Broadcasting Network
Barney Kasdan, “God’s Appointed Times”, Lederer Books
Jewish Voice Ministries, International, “The Spring Feasts and Purim”, JVI Publications
Kevin Howard, Marin Rosenthal, “The Feasts of the Lord”, Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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