The Branch is now meeting at the Haven Place in Cleveland, TN each 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Sabbaths. We gather at 10 AM and begin worship at 10:30 AM. We have a relaxed atmosphere where we do an array of things from learning and reciting some traditional Jewish prayers, praise and worship time, traditional Jewish dances, and hear from the Word as taught by my dear hubby, Chris. We are so excited to be a part of this endeavor!
If you are in the Cleveland area, please consider joining us one Saturday for worship or possibly for our Purim Celebration. This will be a fun family time of food, music, storytelling, and activities as we remember the book of Esther and how she was used by the LORD for such a time as this.
The Purim Celebration will be an optional masquerade party. This is a tradition since Esther “hid” her true identity from the king as well as the LORD is “hidden” in the book of Esther. His hand is indeed seen yet His name is never mentioned.
As promised, I am finally going to tell you about the steps we are taking to deal with some long, reoccurring gut issues within our family. We began this journey to deal with both Jonathan and Gideon’s issues, but as I researched, I came across info that suggested that some of the small, nagging issues all of us have could be helped with an entire family regimen of the GAPS diet. It isn’t really a diet, but a food plan. Some of you might remember when Gideon was just an infant our family discovered that the well water we had at our house was contaminated with an extreme case of E Coli. We had dealt with this for almost a year before we discovered the culprit. In fact, I was pregnant with Gideon during part of that time. Ever since then we have had some minor (and some major) issues with our guts that I believe can be traced back to the damage incurred from E Coli. Anyway, fast forward about 12 years and here we are today. We have been on the plan since the first of January. The beginning was extremely tough since you are limited to mostly broth/soup. I was constantly cooking in order to keep the boys’ hunger at bay. We progressed through the introduction stages rather quickly (perhaps too quickly on a few of them) but our food budget could not keep up with the high costs of buying the amounts of fresh veggies and meat that was needed to fill our family of six. You are restricted from anything that is hard to digest in order to give your gut time to heal. This means no potatoes, rice, corn, beans, breads/flours, sugars, or dairy (outside of yogurt that you make yourself.) If you’ll notice those are all the “filling” type foods growing boys keep their bellies full with. I cooked carrots until I was ready to gag just from looking at them! However, we have noticed some improvements in everyone. Of course, the improvements were much more pronounced when we were on the early stages before I had to start rushing us through parts in order to not go into foreclosure due to our grocery bills J So, there you have it. Don’t be offended if we turn down your invitation to some sort of function that involves food as we will try to follow this as closely as financially possible over the next several months. Our family’s health requires it and we don’t want to have to repeat it again!
Now I know that we aren’t your typical movie reviewers, however we are invested in the future of “faith based films”. We really don’t like that title. There are so many “faiths” out there. Not all of them are Biblical either. We have watched lots of feel good, moral, faith-filled movies that distort the truths of the LORD. Not cool. So, when something like Son of God offered us the opportunity to view it in theaters for free, we took it.
Let me start by saying that this is going to be a quick review so I won’t spend much time on any one item. And it will not be an exhausted look—just enough to hopefully make you think. First off, let’s look at the Passover/Lord’s Supper scene. It was not portrayed as a Passover meal but a regular meal (which contained leavened bread). Also, it was as if the Jesus character, upon realizing that this was his last meal with his disciples (which isn’t Biblical either; He knew going into that Passion week, but I digress) it was as if he decided to “create” the Lord’s Supper and introduce the bread as his body and wine as his blood. Passover is an ancient observance. It was established in Exodus to foreshadow Yeshua, our deliverance. It was not something new he did just before he was crucified. I believe he would have known the significance of the elements of the meal. Another biggie was the veil in the temple was shown as not ripping from top to bottom (meaning the LORD had to have done it) but rather flapping open and falling down.
But here’s the BIG biggie. It was Christopher that observed and pointed this one out. According to the film, why was Jesus killed? It was pretty obvious that He was killed because of blasphemy. It was really never mentioned that he died as a sacrifice to save us from our sins. Yes, he quotes (part of) John 3:16 at one point. Yes, they do show a lamb being slaughtered at the temple in conjunction to the timing of his death (which we appreciated). Yes, he did quote to Pilate that he was sent into the world to testify to the truth (John 18:37) However, the message was not as open and obvious as we feel the message of our Savior should be. It seemed to be something that had to be deciphered (or previously known) not openly told.
There were things that we could point out that were “good”. We enjoyed the portrayal of Peter and John especially but were so disturbed by the things we saw as big and disturbing. This movie was filled with lots of partial truths. For some other movie this might be overlooked more easily. But this is the Son of God. Jesus. Yeshua. God With Us, Immanuel. Thus we really can’t recommend the movie to anyone without first reminding you to read your Scriptures, seek the Lord, test the spirits, and think only on the things of the LORD.
*Please continue to pray for the gut health of our entire family.
*January through March are usually tough months as Life Care slows down considerably. Please pray Chris will be blessed with the side jobs we will need in order to make our bills during this time. We covet your prayers as we continue to follow the path He has laid out for us and for the finances to be available for us to fulfill this calling.
*Since my Daddy’s death, we have known 6 other people to die. Please remember the families of all these people as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.
*Pray for The Branch as we transition to our new location. Pray we will reach others with the roots of our faith message and encourage people to seek the LORD in worship.
*Christopher’s cardiologist appt went well. He does not have what drew him to the doctor, however he does have a prolapse valve that we will recheck in one year.
*All 4 of the children have had their birthdays and we are now a family of FOUR TEENAGERS! (maybe this is a request and not praise...or maybe both!)