Seth Godin wrote a book called "Tribes" that was incredibly influential in my life. It's why I look at all of us Holy Language people all around the world as a tribe.
Seth recently wrote a short article that I thought was worth the read. I'll share it in its entirety here and then tell you how I see it applying to us.
"I can't think of a single time that an individual or an organization has created a brand-new worldview, spread it and then led that tribe.
There were Harley-type renegades before there was Harley Davidson. There were digital nomads before there was Apple. There were pop music fans before there were the Beatles and Rastafarians before Marley.
Without a doubt, a new technology creates new experiences. But the early adopters who gravitate to it were early adopters before we got there.
Our job is to find the disconnected and connect them, to find people eager to pursue a goal and give them the structure to go achieve that goal. But just about always, we start with an already existing worldview, a point of view, a hunger that's waiting to be satisfied."
That last paragraph is the kicker. That's what Holy Language Institute is all about. That's my life's calling. Maybe it's yours too? I'm here to find those people all around the world who are following Yeshua in a Hebrew way, and help guide them on that journey. Because it's a journey I'm on too - and I am passionate about it! I'm looking for the people who are hungry to know Yeshua in a deeper way, to see him in his original Hebrew context. Because I've been hungry too - I still am! - and the experiences and vision that Yeshua has freely given me of himself, I want to give to you. That's what the Holy Language website and social media presence is, a structure through which to share that guidance and experience with you. And then give you the chance to find each other, and talk, and become a tribe that is so much bigger and more exciting than what you and I would be on our own.
Christy is following Yeshua in a Hebrew way! Here's her story.
My name is Christy Anderson. I’m a woman of many “hats” you might say. Wife of 22 years to my wonderful husband and high school sweetheart, Chris. Homeschool, soccer, taekwondo mom of 2 beautiful girls - Mikayla, who's 12, and Aliyah, who's 10. Business owner at silkfeet.com. Marine Corps officer in my 20’s - but once a Marine, always a Marine, as they say. Hockey player, now just in the old timer leagues. Author, speaker, and teacher within Hebraic/Christian circles. Recently hired Instructor at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. But the most important “hat” of all is one of a zealous, passionate, undeserving servant of Yeshua the Messiah.
My journey of faith began at age 7. I was one of those kids that listened and took copious notes every week in church. I was an idealist at heart, but always struggled and was frustrated with the empty “Christian-speak” and “abstract” nature of the Christian life and faith that always made God’s will seem so mysterious and out of reach. However, I LOVED to study God’s Word and was a diligent student of the Scriptures. Like many young Christians, I experienced some rough patches in my early twenties that ultimately led to a ‘crisis of faith’ period in which I left the traditional church life and was drawn down a more ancient path.
It started with an unquenchable desire to learn Hebrew and a curiosity about and drawing toward the Biblical Appointed Times that I just couldn’t kick. Things really began to change shortly after 9/11. Through Divine circumstances, the Lord began to open our eyes to the call for teshuvah and return to His Word (Torah) in its fullness. I remember one day in particular. We had just had our second child, and I was dancing around the house to my favorite contemporary Christian music with my then 2 year old just singing freely and worshiping the Lord. All of a sudden I felt the Lord speak to my heart saying, “Write this down.” I went to the kitchen and grabbed a pen and paper and wrote the words, “A Bride Like Ruth.” I was never one to say, “God told me” this or that, but on this particular occasion I knew God was speaking these words to my heart and I understood that He wanted me to “write” for Him. At first I thought the words “A Bride Like Ruth” was to be the title of a book, but I’ve come to realize that this phrase went beyond just the title of a book. It was the basis of an age old concept I needed to re-examine, understand, and embrace from Scripture itself. The Lord has made me, and those from the nations who come to know Him through His Son Yeshua, all “brides like Ruth.” She always maintained the title Ruth the Moabites, but she was also one of the mothers in the line of Messiah, a grafted in member of Israel through faith. These four little words, “A Bride Like Ruth” also formed the fundamental premise behind a ministry that would later develop once I understood their significance in much greater detail.
At that time I was freelance writing for several real estate trade publications to make extra money while staying home with my girls. Little did I know, but this training was honing my writing skills that would one day be used for the Kingdom. However, I still had a significant learning curve to go through before I would be ready to put pen to paper and write my first book. Thus began a 10 year “journey into the desert,” relearning and re-examining many theological presuppositions and how to best articulate them to diverse audiences.
By 2004, we found ourselves in a Messianic Congregation in Phoenix, AZ. And by the end of 2006, the Lord took us back to our hometown in Albuquerque, NM. The girls were still very young, and it was great for us to have support and for them to have time with grandparents as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Needless to say, our family was happy to have us home, but they also thought the “changes” we had made, i.e. keeping the 7th Day Sabbath, observing the Biblical Appointed Times, eating only clean things, etc. were the result of our having entered some type of “cult” group.
It was at this point that my husband suggested I get a theology type degree to gain more credibility with family and avoid the “Bible hack” syndrome or stigma. He also thought it would be a good idea to test what we had learned over the past couple years within the rigors of academia. If what we had learned was true, then it should hold true through rigorous testing. Initially, I thought I wouldn’t make it through my first class, and feared they might kick me out. I was not going to compromise the truth, but I recognized that my perspective would certainly be “unconventional.”
Ultimately, there is a funny thing about the truth, while many will be unwilling to walk in it, true believers still recognize and respect it. By the grace of God I graduated summa cum laude from Liberty University with a Master of Divinity in 2010. I wanted to continue my education and get a PhD, but Liberty University didn’t offer an online Doctorate program, and there is only one Seminary in Albuquerque, and it’s non-accredited. So this desire went on hold for a while, and I began to write my first book Study Foundations. For It Is Written Ministries (http://foritiswritten.com) was born out of this effort. I was on a mission to empower Believers to study the Scriptures for themselves using sound, biblical, and consistent hermeneutics and exegesis.
In the meantime, I was beginning to home school my girls, and I started a Torah-based home school co-op. The ladies and kids all wanted to learn Hebrew, so that became the focus of our coop meetings. By year 4 we were really growing and both the moms and the children were advancing in their Hebrew knowledge. I’m proud to say that some of my students are likely going to surpass me in their Hebrew knowledge as we unexpectedly had to move back to Phoenix in August of 2013 and many of my first students are now teaching others and going on to more advanced study. I can think of no greater gift to give someone, particularly our children, (outside of sharing the Good News of salvation in Messiah Yeshua), than to give them the ability to study their Scriptures in the original languages.
Although I study the Bible more than the average person, I wish I could study all day, every day, and interact with other like-minded people doing the same thing. I love a good, vigorous debate. Some people avoid conflict, but I tend to really enjoy a good wrestling with the text or issues of faith, practice, and philosophy…provided people are fair, respectful, and can make a logical argument. My love of good hearted debate may be a result of my unique background growing up which included (1) hanging out with mostly boys (my husband and all his friends) in high school and college, (2) a number of years listening to men at their worst in the Marine Corps, and (3) hearing plenty of locker room talk playing college hockey on a men’s hockey team. These experiences helped toughen me up and you could say I can now definitely talk trash with the best of them, if necessary (all in good fun of course). I’m not endorsing “trash talking” as godly behavior but merely mentioning it by way of background so you will understand my “rough edges” in order to extend me grace when necessary :) ). This flaw is something God has used my girls to help me overcome as I seem to have raised them right such that they will totally call me out if I slip into “Marine mouth.” :)
In any case, I’m currently working on my Doctorate through a distance learning program with Knox Theological Seminary in Florida. I hope to finish this year. I have two blogs going right now. One is related to my Doctoral research and is mainly book reviews of things I’m reading; it’s like getting a cliff notes version of each book from a Hebraic perspective (www.greatcommissionathome.com) and my second blog is a discipleship type blog with random, interesting and sometimes controversial topics that my friends usually ask me to address or that I find interesting and want to share (www.fulfillthegreatcommission.com).
I’m also excited to start working at GCU (Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ) soon. I will be teaching an online Worldview course which sounds fun, but my hope is to eventually teach the face-to-face courses on campus. In the meantime, I’m still doing personal ministry, writing, and trying to squeeze in Hebrew and Greek study with my girls during our home school study time.
If you are an Izzy/Holy Language Institute fan and you happen to see me at a Conference, like the upcoming Women’s Conference coming up in Oklahoma City Feb 20-22, 2015 (Women of Valor), come say hi. I’ll be speaking on Saturday at one of the breakout sessions and leading a beginning dance class Friday as well. We definitely love Izzy’s resources for helping us with our Hebrew study. He and his family are awesome people and they are a blessing to so many. I pray the Lord continues to bless their lives and ministry.
Shalom & L’hitrayot,
Are you following Yeshua in a Hebrew way? If so, the Holy Language tribe would love to hear your story, and we would love to help you tell it! Here's how.
Hebrew Chapters Genesis 14. Watch the trailer here and the whole study here!
Hebrew Chapters Matthew #. Watch the trailer here and the whole study here!
Modern Hebrew with Elihana Elia this Monday evening, watch here!
Biblical Hebrew with Rabbi Derek Leman this Thursday evening, watch here!
Live Shabbat services this Friday evening and Saturday morning, join us here!