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Archive for August, 2008

I thought it was about time for a garden update. We have all been very busy keeping up with the harvest. We have been getting plenty of tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, green beans, and watermelon. However, today is the day we have all been waiting for…Sweet Corn! Yes, I realize that we at least a month behind on harvesting our corn but the first batch didn’t take so we had to re-plant. It looks like it has been worth the wait though. There are few things that are as good as fresh corn-on-the-cob.

My lovely wife has been extremely busy canning and preserving everything she can get her hands on. So far she has canned about 50 quarts of green beans. This weekend she made the first batch of homemade salsa with our own tomatoes and onions and jalapenos from a neighbor. She has made several batches of dill pickles and a batch of bread-and-butter pickles. The peaches she has canned look fantastic. I can’t wait until a cold day in December when we can pop open a can of fresh peaches. How great is that! The last couple of days she has been making either apple butter or apple sauce. One of our neighbors has a couple of Golden Delicious apple trees. We traded a watermelon for as many apples as we want. I’m pretty sure we ended up on the better end of the deal! Anyway, she has been working very hard to preserve as much as possible.

The children and I had a great moment this evening as we were shucking corn. Eli looked up at me and said “Papa, we need to tell YHWH about our corn.” I told him to go ahead. As we sat in the backyard shucking corn he looked up to the sky and said “Thank you YHWH for our corn!” How sweet to see a three year old begin to understand where all our provision comes from. We can till, sow, weed, water, and tend our crops continually but unless the Father commands it there will be no harvest. (This could turn into a post all by itself)

All this to say, we are so gratefull to the Father for his wonderful provision. All of our provision comes through Him and by Him. Thank you Father!

 

~Pa

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The History of the Beard

Several years ago while perusing the back cover of a book my father-in-law had given me, I noticed the title of another book by the same publisher. I believe the name of the book was “The Biblical History of the Beard”. While the title of the book really intrigued me, I did not persue getting a copy. The idea that somehow the beard was important to the Father seemed to set into my spirit. The idea stayed in the back of my mind but I didn’t spend too much energy thinking about it. About a year after that I decided to do a litttle internet research about the beard in history and in the Bible. I don’t really remember a lot about what I found but I do remember somehow coming across an Islamic thread in which one of the gentlemen basically said “Christians can say what they want to but they do not obey the commandments in the Bible…the Bible explicitly says not to shave but nearly all Christian men are clean shaven.” This statement really made an impact on me. Could it be that the Father wanted me to keep a beard? For what purpose? What does it matter to YHWH if I have a beard or not?

Skip ahead another year or so. As the Father deepened our walk with Him, we began to learn about separation. The Father began to show us that He desires His people to be separate from the world and to be different. He was showing us that this separation is not purely spiritual. While our hearts are to be separate from the world, we are likewise to be physically separate. “For I am the LORD your Elohim, you shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.” (Lev 11:44, I Peter 1:16). One definition of the word “holy” is “separate”. The scripture then looks like this…”For I am the LORD your Elohim, you shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be separate; for I am separate.” The LORD is separate if not anything. There is none like Him nor worthy of Him. He is separate and our desire should be to align ourselves with Him. The Father’s character is perfect and His law is a reflection of His character. The LORD’s law is perfect and is a delight. “Make me walk in the path of your commandments, For I delight in it.” (Psalm 119:35) “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” (Romans 7:12)

Lev 19:27  states “You shall not shave around the edges of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.” A few months ago, I decided to take the plunge. I decided to stop shaving and allow my beard to grow. I really was not ready for the flood of comments that I would get. Some comments have been approving, some indifferent, and some negative. I never realized that my having a beard would be notable enough to be a topic of conversation. I have been given funny looks, been told that I need to shave, asked if I was becoming Amish, and been complimented.  I was even told that “Only ugly men grow beards!” It seems as though wherever I go someone makes a comment about my beard. Just today at the local grocery store I was asked by the cashier “How long have you had your beard? Why do you wear it?” What is funny is that I was in line behind a gentleman that had a beard atleast twice the length of mine. Why is it that she asked me about my beard but not the other guy? Who knows but it has definitely shown me that having a beard has set me apart to an extent. I have heard it said that any man who refuses to shave because of a conviction in his spirit, is an anomaly. I would have to agree.

From another perspective, our society is consumed with a desire to look young. Plastic surgery, Botox, wrinkle creams and the like are normal. A large majority of our culture wants to look like they did when they were 20 even though they are 50. We spend large amounts of money on new hairstyles, make-up, gym memberships, and hair removal. All this to make us look perpetually young. “You shall rise before the gray-headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your GOD: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:32) If we are not careful we will not be able to tell who is old and who is young! Seriously though, the beard is an indicator of age and manhood. According to the order/model of life YHWH has given us, both age and manhood are to be revered and celebrated. By our actions and attitudes we disagree with GOD’s model.

So that is my story on why I have grown a beard.

The following link has a great teaching about the beard from a Biblical and historical standpoint. I highly recommend giving it a listen if the topic interests you. He has a much better laid out explanation that what I can give here.

http://lazarusunbound.com/audiosermons.shtml

~Pa

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