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2 Tim 4: Thoughts for Today

Paul’s charge to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4: 1-2, 5¹ is for all who claim Yeshua as Savior and Lord today. His warning in vs 3-4* is at its highest point to date in history, at least in the USA and in the American Body of Believers. It will get only worse if we don’t wake up! Yes, it will probably get worse as we progress further into the end times even if we do wake up, but at least we’ll be prepared to handle it. The majority of Messiah-followers, and the general public, are not prepared today, nor are the majority of the leaders in the organized church preparing us.

Mankind in general and, yes, those who claim to follow Yeshua, have turned from hearing the Truth and are instead seeking after myths and a watered-down  Gospel that pleases their ears (2 Tim. 4:3-4¹), rather than challenge them. They are more interested in having a good time, than in what is happening under their noses that will change their lives and the lives of their descendants forever if allowed to continue. I pray that I will never be numbered among them, though sometimes I have to wonder.

Paul is calling all believers to “Preach [live] the message, be ready (persistent) whether it is convenient or not” and to “be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry.”¹ By the way, “Evangelist” doesn’t mean just those who are preaching the Word in a pulpit, nor does “ministry” mean serving as a Pastor or Sunday school teacher, etc.  Both mean serving Him in whatever we do.

The Lord is calling out to all mankind through the pandemic and the social unrest we’re experiencing to wake up and turn to Him—to live according to His teaching. The solution is not in man’s ideas; the solution is not in demonstrations, especially not in actions of destruction. Unfortunately, this applies to those in the church almost as much as those who are not. Too many have allowed themselves to come under the enemy’s spell, under the cloud of deception that hangs over our country and the world.

The solution is in Father God and His Son, Yeshua. The solution is in acting out the Truth, the principles of His instructions in love and compassion. Church leaders especially must be taking a strong stand and teaching their flock to live according to the Word instead of providing entertainment and worrying about numbers. Lord, do not let me be counted among them!

I want to be counted among His disciples who live out the two greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God and Love your neighbor as yourself”² This doesn’t mean that you and I sit idly by and let those who want to destroy the good in America and around the world have their way. It does mean that we stand up for God’s Truth and not what is politically correct.

If you are reading this and have never accepted Yeshua as your Savior and the Leader of your life, I urge you to do so today. If you are a believer or unbeliever who is following popular myths and striving to be “politically correct,” even supporting subversive movements, I urge you to get on your knees, repent, and turn from your “wicked” ways.³ This is the only way you, the United States, or the world will be saved.

Until the next time…“May the LORD bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; May the LORD make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; May the LORD lift up His face toward you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).” (Numbers 6:24-26)




  1. 1 Tim 4:2-5 (NET): (2)Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. (3) For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. (4) And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand, they will turn aside to myths. (5) You, however, be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry.
  2. Mark 12:30-31 (NET): “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength… [And].Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
  3. Read and consider 2 Chron. 7:13-19 (NET): When I… send a plague among my people, if my people, who belong to me, humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, and repudiate their sinful practices, then I will respond from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Now I will be attentive and responsive to the prayers offered in this place…Do everything I commanded and obey my rules and regulations. … “But if you people ever turn away from me, fail to obey the regulations and rules I instructed you to keep, and decide to serve and worship other gods, then I will remove you from my land I have given you, I will abandon this temple I have consecrated with my presence, and I will make you an object of mockery and ridicule among all the nations.” I believe this applies to America as much as the Israeli people to whom it was originally given.

Clickety-Clack Life

Clickety-clack, clickety-clack goes the train down the track. Places to be, stations to see, switches to choose, choices to make.

Ok, so I’m not a poet, but you get the idea. We are on a journey just like a train, just like the Israelites were during the 40 years in the wilderness. Traveling here, staying there. Making stops and then continuing on clickety-clack down the track, making many choices like a train when it encounters a switch enabling it to change tracks.

We all start life the same—we are born. Then there are enumerable stops or stations along the way such as learning to walk, school, rites of passage, careers, marriage, spirituality… and on and on. Our train may stop briefly at some stations and then move quickly on. It may pass some by, not stopping at all as the platform whizzes by. Or, it may stop and stay awhile, like a train on a siding.

In reality, the train analogy breaks down a little because, while a train can follow only one track at a time, our lives can follow several concurrent tracks. We have the track of marriage and family, the track of career, the track of interests/hobbies, etc. We also have the track of our spiritual life, which can be likened to the center rail on some model trains. Our spiritual life, or lack thereof, is the center track of every other track we follow.

But where is our train (my train, your train) headed? Throughout the years, it follows many different tracks, taking many switches, making many choices. Just as switches are the mechanism by which a train changes tracks, our choices determine which track of life we follow and where we end up. Sometimes, we get to choose which track we follow, sometimes the choice is made for us. We all hope that our train is never switched to the wrong track by choice or circumstance. But unfortunately, or fortunately, some do end up on the wrong track. I say unfortunately because we all make wrong choices that we have to live with. I say fortunately because, though the track may seem to be the wrong one at the time, it often proves to be the best one when we reach the next station.

Sometimes, the switch takes us down a sidetrack. These sidings can be good or bad. Some are for rest and rejuvenation, some are for growth, and some are mostly of our choosing and represent fleeting temptations and desires that can damage us spiritually and physically. Some of these sidetracks have a dead end, just like some train sidings. In that case, we have to back up to the switch to resume our travel. But they all work together to make us who we are and to prepare us for the rest of the journey (Rom. 8:28).

When we all reach the end-of-the-line, our train will have one more switch to traverse. That switch is pre-set by one important, life-changing, choice you make during your life – whether to employ Yeshua, the Son of God, as your train engineer (director, manager, Lord). If you chose Him, your switch will be pre-set to take you on the final correct track.  If it is not…

With Him as your train engineer, your train may still go down some tracks that you’d prefer not to travel, but He is always taking you through life to a higher calling (Heb. 11:1-16; 13:14-21; 1 Pet. 2:11; 1 Jn. 21:15-17) and He will always ensure that you still end up at the correct destination station.

If you have never accepted Him as your Lord, or need to recommit to following Him, do so now, today, this very moment. Just talk to Him, tell Him that you are sorry for the wrong actions and attitudes in your life (called repentance) and that you want to make Him your train engineer for the rest of your life. Then, get a Bible, start reading, and learn how He wants to direct your train.

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


Musings on COVID-19 #2

Musings on COVID-19 #2

Many have been looking to God during this pandemic; will they continue to do so afterward? Or will they slowly turn back away from Him as they slowly return to the old “normal”? We’ve heard testimony from pastors who are seeing a higher number of individuals attending their online services than attended in person. Some of these new attendees may be watching because their home congregation is not doing online services. However, will those who are truly new show up when in-person services are permitted again? Will they continue to attend online, if the congregation they are watching continues online services in conjunction with in-person services?

Only time will tell. I hope and pray that I am wrong, but my “Doubting-Thomas” side says, “No, they will disappear into the woodwork until another crisis occurs”. My question for them is “what if you don’t have the opportunity to turn to God before the next crisis occurs nationally or personally and it costs you your life? Don’t say that it isn’t possible. Unfortunately, many in this world pass suddenly who have said, “Tomorrow I’ll commit to Jesus.” I am confident that many who died from COVID-19, died without the Lord as their Savior because they delayed the decision, fully expecting to recover. Besides, it isn’t just about being His disciple when you pass; it is also about having Him in your life today, to help you through crises in your life, major and minor.

If you are reading this and you have never made a decision to accept Jesus as your Savior, or if you made such a decision once but have grown cold towards Him, don’t delay another moment. It is simple, you don’t have to say or do anything special. You only need to tell Him, in your own words, that you are sorry for how you have lived, how you have ignored Him (that is called “repentance”), and that you accept Him as your Savior and want to make Him the Lord of your life. Then, start reading your Bible, find a congregation that supports your decision, and start learning how He wants you to live. When you make this decision to turn your life over to Jesus, or if you even have any questions, contact me by commenting on this post via my blog site. Provide your contact information and I will get in touch. Your personal information will be kept confidential.

Until the next time…“May the LORD bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; May the LORD make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; May the LORD lift up His face toward you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).” (Numbers 6:24-26)



Happy Passover and Resurrection Day!

Chag Sameach–Have a Happy Passover and a Happy Resurrection Day!

I love it when Passover, Good Friday, and Resurrection Day coincide on the calendar. (I prefer to call it Resurrection Day over Easter because that is the key event of the day, the truth that it represents.) I believe that all Believers in Yeshua (Jesus) should celebrate both and that we should celebrate them together every year, but we won’t see that happen until Yeshua returns. (Jeremiah 14:16-17; Revelation. 19:9)

Why celebrate Passover? Passover is one of the Lord’s special festivals, His appointed times. It is a celebration of when He freed the Israelites, the Jewish people, from Pharaoh’s bondage. At the same time, He showed His superiority over the Egyptian gods—each plague addressing an Egyptian god. The story of the first Passover is told in Exodus 5:1-15:21. Try reading it sometime and imagine that you are actually there in the midst of the plagues—imagine yourself living through them.

Of course, the key event that we are all familiar with is the placing of the blood of the lamb on the sides and top of their doors (Exodus 12:7). It is a beautiful illustration of what Yeshua does for mankind. The blood of the lamb was sacrificed for the redemption of the Israelites. The blood of the Lamb (Yeshua) was sacrificed for the redemption of mankind. (John 1:29, 36; 1 Pet 1:19).

This event is one of the great historical events that ensured that the line of Yeshua, Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, the Savior of all mankind, was persevered. Is it possible that without the events of Passover, we would not have had a Messiah? We’ll never know and the truth is that God would have brought Salvation to the world regardless. His greatest desire has always been to have an eternal relationship with His creation. However, as we look back on the history of the world as it has occurred, it is undeniable that this is a key event in His plan. It paved the way for Good Friday and Resurrection Day.

OK, so why celebrate Good Friday? Because it is the day that Yeshua paid the ultimate price by submitting to sacrifice on the stake, shedding His blood to pay the price of our redemption from sin.

And Resurrection Day? Without His resurrection on the third day, as predicted in Isaiah 53:10, His sacrifice would have been for naught.

These events occurred first of all for the Jewish people because He is their promised Messiah (Anointed One—Mashiach in Hebrew—Christ in Greek). It brought Salvation to them as promised in Isaiah 53:6-8. Secondly, it occurred for the rest of mankind (Gentiles), so that we could be adopted into Father God’s family and one day spend eternity with our Creator (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5, 2:11-20; Titus 3:7).

Thus, these two events enable all mankind, including you and me, to become part of God’s family and have the power of His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) enabling us to live in right standing with God—provided we accept Yeshua the Messiah as OUR Savior. Have you? There is no better time than right NOW!

So, again I say, Happy Passover and Happy Resurrection Day!

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


HaShem Protects

An encouraging thought for you during this time of COVID-19…

As I was reading this week’s Hebraic scripture portion, I saw an analogy that I believe brings comfort in times such as this. I was reading from Exodus 35:1—40:38. The concluding verse, Exodus 40:38, reads:

For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in [plain view] of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys. (ESV & [NET] Full quotations are at the end of this post)

This cloud was their guidance and protection. The LORD was always with them in the cloud and guided them by day and night, including providing the light by which they were able to see their way, as it says in Ex 13:21-22. 

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not remove the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night from before the people. (ESV & NET)

The cloud and fire were a physical manifestation of His presence. Notice that He never removed His presence from them!

I believe that the cloud also protected them as they traveled, just as it did in Exodus 14:19-20 as they prepared to cross the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his army in hot pursuit. He protected them, just as He had promised through Moses in Exodus 14:14: The Lord will fight for you…

Though we may not see a physical cloud and fire today as we walk through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is present with those of us who follow Yeshua as our Savior, our Messiah. The Ruach is our cloud by day and fire to light the way in the thickest darkness. As it did at the time of the Exodus, His revelation illuminates and protects the righteous, though it usually appears opaque and dark to those who deny Him.

Adonai knows the cure for this virus, just as He knows the cure for all viruses and other sicknesses.  He was not caught off guard by its appearance and He is in the process of revealing the medical cure. I am positive we will also hear of miraculous cures and protection as well. It will all happen in His timing and according to His purposes.  Our only responsibility is to trust Him, to keep our face turned toward Him, not taking Him for granted, but keeping ourselves clean before Him, just as we are keeping our hands clean with soap and water and sanitizer, and keeping “social distance.”

Stand firm in Him today and, if you have never repented and given your heart to Him, asking Him to be your Savior and the Lord of your life, do so right now! If you need to repent and rededicate your life to Him, do so right now! In your own words, ask His forgiveness for ignoring Him, for violating His teachings and guidance for life, and ask Him to be your Savior and to fill you with the Ruach Hakodesh, the Holy Spirit. He never rejects anyone who asks. In fact, He is just waiting for you to choose Him because He paid the price for your sin and He wants to give you the Ruach HaKodesh to guide and support you here and now.

Full Scripture References

Exodus 40:36-38

Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in [plain view] of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys. (ESV & [NET])

Exodus 14:19–20:

Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night without one coming near the other all night. (ESV)

Exodus 14:13–14:

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. (ESV)

Scripture quotations are from:
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016)
The NET Bible. (Biblical Studies Press, 2005).

Ticket to Heaven?

It’s not just a ticket to Heaven: “It is not a question of being saved from hell, but of being saved in order to manifest the life of the Son of God in our mortal flesh, and it is the disagreeable things which make us exhibit whether or not we are manifesting His life.” (Oswald Chambers)

By “disagreeable things”, Chambers means our self-will and the way we react to circumstances.  We must constantly ask ourselves whether our attitudes and lifestyles reflect the Messiah or if they reflect what we are without Him.

Chambers goes on to say, “Keep your soul fit to manifest the life of the Son of God. Never live on memories; let the word of God be always living and active in you.”

We are saved to be God’s active representatives in this world, not just to receive a ticket into the next.

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



Discipleship is More than Following

Peter illustrates true discipleship in his response to the report of the women regarding the empty tomb.  “But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He bent down and saw only the strips of linen cloth then he went home, wondering what had happened.” (Lk 24:12 NET)

We often consider “discipleship” to be simply following Yeshua because that is what He called His disciples to do.  We think we are disciples because we have acknowledged Yeshua as the Messiah, as our Savior and Lord.  However, discipleship is much more.

Peter’s response to the report of the empty tomb in Luke 24:12 illustrates a major characteristic of a true disciple–finding out for yourself.  He went to see the empty tomb for himself so that he could make up his own mind.  A disciple is someone who learns as he spends time following Yeshua–learns what He taught from the Torah and the prophets.  True discipleship is listening, thinking, exploring, and coming to your own conclusion as Father God instructs you, and then applying what you learn to your life.

I have to ask myself if I’m a true disciple.  How about you?

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


Thought for April 19, 2017

“God invites our engagement in his divine plan but does not need it. Failure of nerve on the part of human beings does not ruin God’s presence in the world.” (Paula Gooder, This Risen Existence) and, in my NSHO, most of us have lost our nerve.  He has invited us to proclaim the best possible news–that Yeshua,  the promised Messiah,  has risen from the dead and has ascended to sit at the right hand of our Father.  However, even if we run away like the women at the tomb did (Mark 16:8), Yeshua has still risen and Adonai’s purposes will still be accomplished.  Unfortunately, those of us who run in fear and those to whom we could have told the Good News may be the losers.

I ask myself, “Have I run away?”  I ask you, “Have you run away?”  Do we stand for the truth of Adonai’s Word in all circumstances or have we taken the easy PC path of conforming to the world’s way?

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


Second Chance of Life

“Live today as one sentenced to judgment, but who has instead been set free and given a second chance of life, because of the love and sacrifice of Him [Yeshua the Messiah].” (Jonathan Cahn)

This is an excellent goal for every day, but it is especially worth considering as we approach Passover and Resurrection Day.  Think about it;  you were (maybe are) in the position of Barabas at Yeshua’s crucifixion.  Through Yeshua’s death and resurrection, you have been given a second chance at life.  If you have repented of your wrongs and accepted Yeshua, God’s Son and the Savior of all mankind, as your Savior and the Lord of your life, you have been given a second chance.  You have been adopted into Adonai’s family, with all the rights and privileges that go with it and ultimately given life throughout eternity in a place Yeshua has prepared just for you.   If you have not repented of your wrongs and accepted Yeshua as your Savior and the Lord of your life, do not lose another moment, do so right now.

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


Fill in the Blanks

I invite you to place your name in the blanks in the following paraphrase of John 3:16.  This is exactly what God did for you through His only Son, Yeshua.    For this is how much God loved your name: He gave His only and unique Son to die and to rise again so that if your name believes in Messiah Yeshua, your name will have Yeshua living with your name daily and so that your name will not perish but have eternal life.  (Bill’s paraphrase of John 3:16)

If you already know Yeshua as your Savior and Lord, this is His assurance for you.  If you have never repented of your sin and accepted Him as your Savior and Lord, this is your opportunity to do so.

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


For those who may be wondering, “Yeshua” is Jesus’ Hebrew name, the name He would have been called by His contemporaries while He was on earth.  “Yeshua” means “salvation.”  “Messiah” means “the anointed one”.  It is the original Hebrew for the Greek “Christ.” Father God promised a Messiah, the anointed one of the line of David who would redeem mankind, Jew and Gentile alike. Yeshua is that promised one, the promised Jewish Messiah.

I prefer to use Yeshua, Messiah Yeshua, or Yeshua HaMashiach (Yeshua the Messiah) for a couple of reasons:  First, I prefer “Yeshua” because “Yeshua” is His name–how He was called by His contemporaries.    For example, my name in Spanish is Guillermo, but when I travel to Ecuador, they call me “William” or “Bill”, not “Guillermo.”  Conversely, I do not call someone named Guillermo, William or Bill. Second, I prefer “Messiah” because it has so much more meaning than “Christ”.  The final reason is because “Jesus” and “Jesus Christ” are common swear words.

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