Hi! It's the Little Jewish Girl From Brooklyn here...

Hi! It's the Little Jewish Girl From Brooklyn here...
Shalom & Wuuuuuuuz Uuuuuuup!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Most radical thing I ever wrote...Is the body of Messiah relevant today?

This is the most radical article I have ever written. If you are a pastor reading this or a Rabbi reading this, this article may not be for you. You might be filled with love and care already & have no issues here. So then please disregard this and help me pray for others.

Numbness of heart, burn out, apathy, Acadia, compassion fatigue...these are words which come to mind when one thinks of some present day leaders who have been out there a long time giving their everything to heal the souls of man through the power of God and much dedication. Sadly, The great Worship Leader, the phenomenal Pastor, the great Missionary or Musician-ary can often relate to the above feelings and it has caused a dilemma in the body of Messiah or the church today.

I am writing because I feel it is a problem worth solving that few have the freedom to show they care these days, even the best of us leaders. Lord knows I have felt this way at points of my ministry and bringing it to God in truth, He has healed me, filled me and given me His heart again which cries out for his people like a mother to the motherless.

But the lack of freedom to care makes it impossible for The church to  become more relevant to the spiritually starving world. I think I have seen the solution for some time taught to me by my favorite pastor, Pastor Alex in NY. Though not perfect, his life goal as a leader is to show he cares. The motto of the church is "the church that cares." Many have walked in off the streets and have found the love they were looking for. This love has lead them to the Lord and to salvation. What these folks felt was real and lasting. They weren't just numbers, they were people who were cared about.

 Having NOT been raised in a church or congregation, I have a keen sense of awareness for what the world is looking for and why they are NOT finding church relevant in their lives. I want to write this to cry out to my friends in ministry. We might feel we are doing just fine keeping hurting people at a safe distance, but often times, we are all guilty! We MUST ask God to fill us like never before with much much more compassion, HIS Compassion, HIS HEART for the lost and hurting.

We must find listening ears to hear people's problems and take time to pray with them even if that time is limited, we must make room in our schedules for those in need.Too many people feel (and I have too often felt) they are just numbers- "FRIENDS" on facebook or "LIKED" in business, loved only until recruited. We all know all that love is not deep and it doesn't heal wounded hearts and equip people for great works. Let's ask God to make us more available and to make us to care even more than we did before!

If we don't truly love like Jesus or Yeshua loves, everything to God is a clanging gong or symbol...noise to His ears. And I don't wanna be noise. I want to be a sweet sound.

This dilemma of lack of time or ability to show we care hits the best of us. Some Pastors and leaders, when they first started out, treasured every moment with a person in need, counseling them and praying with them.  All the sudden, Their needed and hired workers to delegate small tasks to are not present. Leaders become overworked and too busy. No one volunteers so the leaders are spending time "waiting tables" like the dilemma story in the Bible where the disciples were not able to do their best serving God and His people because of mundane tasks which overwhelmed them.

Solution #1:
We need volunteers and workers to back all these great pastors and Rabbis!  Who will go? Who will "wait tables" so pastors can spend time on the phone with the hurting in these last days when people are selling their blood to pay for food and dad's cant afford health insurance for their families?

Solution #2:
It is my strong conviction that congregations and churches need to catch the vision again of small groups implemented the right way. I have seen small groups work wonders and change lives. The Pastor cant do everything! Just like in the book of Exodus when Moses' Dad was told to divide the people into small groups and appoint leaders over them all, we are in dire need of this model today.

If we get into small groups of 10 or 15 with loving trained leaders who can call us when things go wrong and pray with us and encourage us, people will be honestly cared about. When the sheep are fed and blessed, they will bring in more sheep and the congregations will grow.

Yes, it's a risk to bring in other leaders. But done right with good training, it could be the best thing that ever happened to your ministry. It's the model God himself provided so how can you go wrong? As with any relationships, there is risk but when true loves comes in, revival begins.

Isn't church or congregation good just the way it is? doesn't church and congregation still provide a place for us to be encouraged? Absolutely! It's like a giant pep rally! The Bible commands we do not forsake the gathering together. At times, I have been in the worst of moods and walked out of services feeling like with God's power, I can conquer all.

But bottom line, I cannot walk in the full power of God if I am not fully supported during my daily week. I need a small group with a leader who can talk for 5 minutes and or pray if I have a need. Most people would attend church or congregation if they could find a person or leader who truly cares like that. And many do find it bless the Lord.  But A pastor or leader of a 100 person congregation or more probably will not have time for me.

Solution #3: I also propose one more thing. Having been through years of therapy- for those who know my story- I have found amazing help in the 12 step program and because of what I learned, I know how to listen to a person's issues without judging and provide possible options for them based on my own experience (not as much experience as you probably have since I am only 36 years old but I try)

You'd be surpised how many times I called a leader for counsel and they just told me to get over it or they forgot to pray with me. No options offered there or discussions of what my values or needs were. Other leaders have been AWESOME, guiding me into my true destiny with love by sharing their experience and offering options.

Why shouldn't leaders be trained in how to share their experience, strength and hope and give options to  folks who need counsel? Or if not, why shouldn't every church have a counseling staff if not the Pastor?  Al anon 12 step program can train a person for free on how to counsel though they never claim to do so. or somebody could create a training program for leaders to equip them on how to counsel. This would make the church /the body of Messiah SO MUCH More relevant today.

Not to say people cannot give and bless others when they are hurting. I have seen many give and share and bless even while in pain. I am just proposing- wouldn't the church and body of Messiah be 100 percent more effective and powerful if we could minister to each individual like so? Just imagine what we could do together in His name? Imagine how much more the Ruach Ha Kodesh (spirit of God) could move if we settled some of our issues and problems and became more available to serve others...

What do you think? Love to hear your opinion

Monday, April 9, 2012

Goodbye Death, Hello life! La Chaim!

"A certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, weighed down with deep sleep. As Paul spoke still longer, being weighed down by his sleep, he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead. 10 Paul went down, and fell upon him, and embracing him said, “Don’t be troubled, for his life is in him.” (The World English Bible Messianic Version)

Lately, I have felt doomy and gloomy allowing negative thoughts to convince me of their worth. The thoughts say, "This cold you have will just never go away," "you will never get ahead financially," you are stuck at your current weight and you might as well just continue not thinking about it, "you try to get close to God but He is going to feel far away for the rest of your life."

If you are reading this and you have these thoughts too, let's stand against the itty bitty hogwash committees in our heads and call the evil one a liar! Yes, the evil entity (whom I believe is called ha satan in Hebrew) who seeks to destroy our very lives. This evil being seeks to strip us of hope for our future and of our faith.

The most memorable scripture I have heard which also comes alive to me now is about FAITH. Faith is being SURE of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Knowing this, our feelings and thoughts have NO POWER over you and over me today. It's healthy to acknowledge them and maybe pat yourself on the back like a child and validate yourself (eg- "I know you feel that way and I understand why you feel so down)

BUT BUT BUT, God reminds us in this story from scripture above, that there is no need to be troubled because "LIFE IS IN HIM!" I lay my hands upon my head and my heart one at a time and I now prolaim life. WIll you join me? I say, "I refuse to be troubled, LIFE IS IN ME!" The God who has the power to GIVE LIFE loves me and you. The Messiah who rose from the grave and defeated death LIVES in us when we believe. His LIFE is in us. He breathes in us. HIs confidence, hope, determination and strength to go forward in faith LIVES in us.

So today, as in my Jewish traditions of old, I thank the almighty One for life- not just physical life but life in my heart and in my mind, I proclaim it and relinquish all thoughts and feelings which bring me to the grave of despair. TO LIFE! I say, "La Chaim!"

I pray you are encouraged today with me by this scripture and inspiration.
Are you celebrating life today? If not, invite Yeshua into your heart and He will fill you with rivers of living water and give you life. He said Come onto me all you who are weary...

Love you!
michelle gold