Izzy here. NO I didn't grow my beard out, if you're looking at that pic ^ and scratching your head lol. That's Jonathan, and he has an exciting project he's working on that you could be a part of! I'll let him tell you about it.
Shalom Mishpacha! Jonathan here. I'm the volunteer that does those Hebrew Adventures videos on our YouTube channel. If you haven't seen them yet you can watch the playlist here.)
We're following Yeshua in a Hebrew way, together! And we want to share that love! That's why we're creating a video montage. I need you to video yourself either by phone or camera saying, "We're following Yeshua in a Hebrew way, together" and send that to me through email. I'll then put all our smiling faces together in a video montage so we can share our love around.
Here are the details: 1) When videoing, make sure your phone is in landscape mode. That means holding your phone longways left to right, or horizontal. This is important so that your head is not cut off in the video.
2) It's a good practice to start the recording, then wait a few seconds before speaking; then after you say, "We're following Yeshua in a Hebrew way, together" smile and wait a few seconds before stopping the video. Send the full video - I can edit them down, but I want to make sure that I'm able to tie all the clips together, that's why we need the air time before and after we speak.
3) Have fun! Show your smiles!
4) email me your video at email@example.com or, if you would like to use Google Drive, Dropbox, or even upload your video to YouTube, just email me the link.
5) We want to send this out soon, so send those videos ASAP
I'm excited to be able to share this together! Much love! ♥
Chris is following Yeshua in a Hebrew way! Here's his story.
My Yeshua journey began in the late 60s in Southern California. No, I wasn't a hippie surfer turned Jesus-Person (but praise Adonai for them!). I mean that's when I was born. I was actually never introduced to someone called Jesus until I was 18. I label the start of my journey much earlier, because as I get older and grow in Yeshua, I see that otherwise random events from long ago have great significance. In my case those events include two parents who liked but did not love each other (so their union was not destined for long term success) and a father who had substance addictions and may have had a mental disease; both of which in all likelihood made me prone to depression and a suicide attempt. Through it all, Adonai was moving and working in those often painful events. That's when a friend essentially said, "things don't seem to be working for you; let me introduce you to someone."
Fortunately in those early years of my journey in Orange County I had the benefit of “pro-Israel” teaching, so struggling with Replacement issues was never a problem. I also knew early on that I just HAD to get to Israel but that would have to wait about 15 years.
In the meantime the journey included finishing work on a master's degree in Health Administration, marrying a wonderful lady, Sarah, who puts up with me (it will 20 years later this year), having two boys who are now 12 and 14, and changing cities three times (from the SoCal beaches to the California Redwoods in 1999, to St. Louis in 2000, to Dallas in 2007 where we've been ever since).
We live in McKinney which is about 35 miles northeast of Dallas; fortunately I can work from my home most the time. We have two boys Brendan 12 and Aidan 14. The younger one has Tourette's syndrome (but is doing great without medication). He brings me joy by his ability to be caring and compassionate despite the fact that his brain works differently. The older one is fiercely independent and probably is an INTJ like I am. He brings me joy when he plays his fiddle and when shows glimpses of become a man after Adonai’s heart. We have our struggles as a family but that too is part of the journey.
My dream to get to Israel finally came true in 2010 and that's where the Yeshua journey starts to get exciting (for me anyway!). As another ministry likes to say, I believe that’s truly when “I met Messiah”. I'm one of those who would describe my faith and reading the Bible before going to Israel as if it were occurring on a 10 inch black-and-white TV. After Israel, it's like everything comes alive and you're living in a 60 inch high definition screen (I suppose nowadays it would be "4K"!). You don't just read words on a page that happened a long time ago in a land, far, far away. A trip completely engages your Biblical senses; you are IN the stories, not just reading about them. If you've never been, what's keeping you from going? You might see if Adonai wants you to be there; He may have a surprise or two waiting for you! Anyhow, this is when I first had an interest to learn Hebrew.
Since then I've been wholly interested in our most Jewish Messiah: His Land, His Torah, His 2nd Temple era life, His Judaism (and by extension the Judaism of today) and most definitely, His Language. I was looking into different things when I found one of Izzy’s teaser videos on YouTube. I was pretty much hooked on the Holy Language approach from the start. I want to study all of these things with the hopes of introducing others to Yeshua, getting them excited about His Hebrew world and someday maybe organizing an Israel trip. I'm trying to do my homework so that when His time is right I will be found a ready and faithful servant. I praise Adonai for the leadership and all the volunteers at Holy Language who make it happen!
Our first Israel trip in 2010 was a large bus tour of about 150 people and come to find, someone I knew from high school in Redondo Beach, CA was our tour guide (and she is also one of the most sought-after Israeli guides for US VIPs but that's her story not mine!). After this, my wife and I were blessed enough to be invited in 2013 to a work/study tour of 15. In addition to seeing the sights and going a bit deeper then we could on a large tour, we have the privilege of doing a number of projects that hopefully blessed Israel and her people: serving dinner to holocaust survivors, giving a preschool for disadvantaged kids in Or Akiva an "extreme makeover", refurbishing bomb shelters in Kiryat Shemona in the north, and partnering with a messianic organization in Sderot, (the closest Israeli city to Gaza's terror rockets). We’re still pretty insulated from such problems here in the west. It’s amazing to me how Israelis live with this daily and yet as a nation they are still so incredibly innovative (a snore cancelling microphone? That’s just awesomeness!)
Anyway, back in the States, prior to moving to Dallas we generally attended Calvary Chapel type non-denominational fellowships. In McKinney we attend a small Baptist church - which is hard to find in Dallas (the "small" part, not the "Baptist" part – everything’s bigger in Texas). I play guitar and mandolin, occasionally lead worship, and am also the church's finance minister. In my spare-time I like to watch the reruns of the Periscope sessions (since I rarely seem to be available for the original). I love all the Periscopes, but in particular, if you haven’t seen and heard Elihana lead worship, you’re truly missing out!
A verse that has always spoken to me is 1 Corinthians 4:2 – “it is required of stewards that they be found faithful”. I try to live my live faithfully and strive to be a worthy servant of Yeshua. For me this includes remaining (at least for this present season) in a traditional Sunday worship/denominational church setting. I did seriously contemplate moving my family to a Messianic Congregation, but the more I learn about Yeshua and the Hebrew Roots of our faith, the more I’m convinced the “Sunday church” population is actually a mission field of sorts; that's where He wants me serving. I love seeing folks connecting the dots who had never before given a second thought to the Jewishness of Yeshua. I’m convinced our Adonai is doing a mighty work in our day and is using Holy Language to further that work. I praise Him for all of you who are a part of it!
This is a highlight of my Yeshua journey so far. More to come!
Did you appreciate this story? If so, please say thank you by sharing yours. Here's how.
Hats off to Michael Arami for this meme! Make your own Hebrew meme here or here and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll share yours too.
Shavua tov - have a good week!
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