“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” So said Lao Tzu, the ancient Confucian philosopher. And so it is with the renewal of this blog, and also with the life journey I hope to share here. One step ~ one post that will be followed by many more, describing the progression of a journey. Well, at least part of a journey. I could begin the telling of this story at several relevant points – my physical birth, my spiritual birth, or at any one of the many high or low points along the way. Since the main goal of this blog now is to share my “Hebraic” adventures, the story begins when I saw an open door and stepped through it. Also, importantly, the journey is not over. I am still walking.*
Nearly ten years ago I entered into what has come to be known as the “Hebrew Roots Movement” (before I knew it was called that, actually). In retrospect, I can see various signs arising in my life leading up to that time, which were preparing me for this venture. Signs reaching back more than forty years. Signs such as exposure to and appreciation for “Jews for Jesus”; participating in a few Passover Seders here and there; attending events hosted by Christians United for Israel; and more. Nevertheless, I point to March 2007 as the definite point at which I decisively stepped onto this path by means of a miraculous encounter, which I will recount below.
Besides being a significant educational and spiritual endeavor, this has turned out to be a major construction project in my life. And the construction is ongoing; i.e., I have not reached anything close to completion or perfection. Seriously. Some detractors have accused me of thinking that I have arrived at some pinnacle of elite status. No. I am still under construction. If anything, the lessons I am learning are humbling, and they often cause me to be repentant. In truth, I have erected some walls that were not part of the plan, and they have had to be taken down. Hopefully, I am learning more and more to consult the Architect before I add anything to or take anything away from the structure he is building. (Psalm 127:1)
This is a point I cannot stress enough. I do not claim to be any kind of scholar or expert, especially as it concerns interpretation of Scripture. [By “Scripture” I mean that ancient anthology that is known to the world as “The Holy Bible.”] Certainly, I have come to see many things differently than I previously did, and I plan to address as many of them as I can here on this blog, over time. A lot of the things I have learned, re-learned, discovered, or re-considered are still coalescing in my heart and mind.
By the way, just as a matter of “housekeeping,” I should let you all know that this blog was begun in 2006 as a vehicle for a particular endeavor in which my wife and I were engaged at that time. We were visiting churches throughout our area, then reporting our experiences. We were simultaneously conducting strategic prayer assignments for the community, the churches, the pastors, and the people. We visited about thirty (30) churches, but I only got twelve or thirteen of our visits posted on this blog.
I am using this existing blog precisely because it is “existing.” Rather than launch an all-new blog, I believe there is value in retaining the original posts here. Some of those earlier posts will be of interest to new readers. Chronologically speaking, that series of church visits from August 2006 through February 2007 would seem to have culminated directly in our attachment to congregation Har Adonai.** Honestly, though, we were thoroughly surprised by our discovery of Har Adonai, which led us to explore Hebrew Roots.
The story of how we became acquainted with Har Adonai is nothing less than miraculous. To tell the truth, I was hesitant to share this story because I know some will scoff at it. Nevertheless, I am telling the truth. This is the way it happened. As I was walking home from work one evening, I received persistent prompting from the Holy Spirit to “call Bob Schultz.” It took a while for the Spirit to convince me, because I did not know Bob Schultz or his phone number, and my cell phone had died (run out of battery power) several hours earlier. Finally, I surrendered, I turned on my phone – surprised to see it show plenty of bars - and I punched in a number that appeared in my mind. I did not know Bob’s number. I only knew Bob’s name because at our first “church visit” a colleague from my workplace (who was surprised to see me at her church) told me I should call him. That was six months previous. So, anyway, it did indeed turn out to be Bob Schultz on the other end, and he and I talked for about a half hour, then we had lunch the next day.
Turns out, Bob and his wife, Ann, had been in ministry for decades, but they had recently begun a fresh endeavor called “Har Adonai.” We joined the Schultzes and a few others at their home the following Saturday evening. The very next week the group began meeting in an old theater in downtown Monterey. We met there for about nine months, then we had to re-locate because the owner sold the building. We have been meeting in our current location since January 2008.
As I proceed with this blog, I plan to address the various “discoveries” we have made over the ensuing years. Things such as Sabbath, the Feasts, the calendar, tzitzits, names, translations, interpretations, and many, many other topics, all of which have become central to our faith and our daily lives.
Please join me!
· * NOTE: I will generally use the first person singular in these blog posts, but let it be known: my wife and I are on this journey together, and all of the first person singulars could be plurals.
· ** “Har Adonai” means “Mountain of the LORD.” Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2