Do a New Thing!

Daddy does a new thing for us by daily opening new doors of opportunity and promise. Yes, Papa’s got a brand new bag.  Such open doors require ‘walking through!’   Phil Barnhart said, "She who doesn't answer when opportunity knocks spends the rest of her life knocking opportunity."  Why live in the ‘what might have been’ when there is so much yet to be?

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Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

from the famed discovery

 

The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP, SCANNED-IN FACSIMILE. This is a first edition of the text published in easy-to-read Georgia font with plenty of room between verses for your notes.2 points between verses, hard or soft cover.

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The Nazarene Acts
of the Apostles

Also known as
The Recognitions of Clement

Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?

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Isaiah 43:19-21, 2 Corinthians 5:17

   The Vietnamese father made a daylong visit outside his village, returning the next day to find his village burned to the ground. He found no remains of his family save a few small bones, which he assumed were those of his young son. He despaired that he would never again see the son he adored.

20 years later a knock came upon his door in Los Angeles. The man was still extremely bitter about his wartime experience. He was made even more so when the person who was so persistently knocking cried out, "Open up, Father -- it is your son."  "I have no son," he screamed, yet the knocking persisted. After five more minutes of knocking, the man, with finality in his voice, cried out, "My son is dead. Now go away." The knocking ceased.  Indeed, the man’s son was dead but only to him. 

A New Thing

   New Year is a time for new beginnings and resolutions. Our text exemplifies the kind of newness that we must trust our Father for in the coming year.  Although the context is for the children of Israel, we may appropriate it for our lives today. We are the children of Israel!  We must walk in the same promise of newness - being reborn over and over again into the image of Messiah
, the image of perfection and doxology.

2 Cor 5:17 So if anyone is in Messiah, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

We must consciously recall our newness daily:

Eph 4:24 Clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of Elohim in true righteousness and holiness.

Yahweh is doing an ever-new thing in our lives; but just as the gift is not received until taken, the "new thing" will pass us by if we do not perceive its advent.  HOW DO WE PERCEIVE?  By believing that Yahweh cares for us.  That he care for you.  As if you were his own Son.

   Did you know that Yahshua did not call God “God”?  The name "God"  in Hebrew is the name of a false god.  We find that fact in Isaiah 65:11.  Formally, Yahshua called God "Elohim" (Mark 15:34) or Yahweh ("Ia" or "Jah") in most bibles, Revelation 19).  But more personally, Yahshua  called him Father, and in intimacy called him "Abba" or “Dad” (Mark 4:36).  I know a pastor who began every prayer with a whimsical "Dear Daddy."  It seemed very strange, almost wrong at first, but when Yahshua  cried out "Abba," there was nothing whimsical about it. He knew exactly who his daddy was. 

   We may also acknowledge our Elohim as “Abba” according to St. Paul, who wrote these incredible words:

Rom 8:14. All who are guided by the Spirit of Yah are sons of Yah; 15. for what you received was not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the Spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out, "Abba, Father!" 16. The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of Yah.

We are perfectly privileged to call Elohim “Father,” even “Daddy,” for we are the loving children of his "unmerited goodwill."   Abba cares and loves us "Just as we are without a plea." We find the proof of this in the acts of his Son, whom he sent to us for the sake of a deeper love than human nature can conceive.

1 Cor 11:24 "This is my body, broken for you. This is my body that is given for you. Take.  Eat.  Do this in remembrance of me."

   Just as Yahshua triumphed over death, we triumph over bad experiences by trusting in Daddy’s willingness to provide.  Trust is the highest form of faith: it is the day-by-day belief that every need and every situation is under His divine control, whether it appears so, in our finite ability to perceive, or not.  Looking back into the past also helps us to trust.  Reliving painful memories or difficult situations increases our faith when we realize that we triumphed when Dad intervened. Let us then proclaim for the future, "If Yah be for me, who can be against me!"  Having relived our triumphs over hardship in the past, let us look now straight into the light of the future as he "makes a way in the wilderness" right before our eyes.  Yes, he has gone before you to clear the path.  Can you perceive it?   

Deer Hunting

   Harvey is a very simple man with a simple faith.  We love him.  Harvey and sons Ronnie and Donnie were tracking a deer that one of them had wounded. Ronnie stayed behind at one checkpoint while the others went on into a deep, sticker-filled, woods. Soon they were lost and it was so dark that even the stars weren't shining.  Not a creature was heard, not even a mouse. After trying to find their way out for an hour, they became completely disoriented, then hopeless. 

   Expecting that they would be staying the night in the woods. Harvey fell to his knees in the nettles and prayed, "Father, make us a way out of this here woods." A few minutes later, they heard a semi truck on route 27 going to the next town, they supposed (Lagrange). They tried to follow the sound, but the woods were so thick that they hadn't gone far before they lost it. Two other trucks came and went without much progress.

   Then they were encouraged when they saw a flashlight way off in the distance beckoning them to come.  They thought that it was Ronnie, the one who had stayed behind. They followed the light and, after a tedious walk, found their way out of the woods and onto a path that they knew.  And just as they approached it, the light went out.  They didn’t find Ronnie waiting there, either.

   When Harvey and Donnie got home, they found Ronnie in the garage working on his car. He had left the scene long before and had not flashed the light that the hunters saw.  Harvey began to glorify his heavenly Father for leading him out of the wilderness of stickers, brambles and nettles.  The Harvey went inside to attend to his wounds. 

Here’s Johnny

   Some people attending to wounds in this parish and we all know it.  We pray for these people because we love them and want the highest and best for them.  We want Daddy to be quick in his rescue efforts.  Johnny Carson, who is not known for his faith in divine providence, did give us a clue to learning hope on his last television show, when he commented on the death of his son. "Life does what it’s supposed to do, then you move on."  This is why Abba placed eyes on the front of the head:  to make it natural to move on.  And we as believers see a resurrection kingdom out there, in which there will no longer be tears or injustice or death. For Abba promised through the prophet Isaiah,

Isa 65:17 "I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind."

St. John saw the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy and reported it in his vision:

1.  I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.    3.  and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of Yah
 is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and Yah
 himself will be with them. … 5.  And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new."
 

Opportunity and Promise

   Daddy does a new thing for us by daily opening new doors of opportunity and promise. Yes, Papa’s got a brand new bag.  Such open doors require ‘walking through!’   Phil Barnhart said, "She who doesn't answer when opportunity knocks spends the rest of her life knocking opportunity."  Why live in the ‘what might have been’ when there is so much yet to be?

   May I relate a story that led to Fran Tarkenton’s success as a professional football quarterback -- a story that relates an opportunity that, if he had not taken it then, he would probably not be known now?  Fran was a third string quarterback with University of Georgia in a game against the University of

Texas. Georgia couldn't move the ball. It was third quarter and Georgia had achieved no first downs. Georgia had the ball deep in her own territory.  It was third down when Tarkenton went into the game.  The coach didn’t send him in; nobody told him to go. Nobody tried to stop him, either. The first string quarterback saw him coming and assumed the coach was replacing him with a man who needed a little experience. Tarkenton took charge and, to everyone’s surprise, led Georgia down the field for a touchdown.  The rest is history.  When Fran stepped out, he became what he stepped out to be! 

   Resolve yourself to perceive Daddy’s perfect will for you and yours each day of this New Year!  Then when you perceive what he wants you to do, resolve to take that forward step, no matter who is around to say “no.”  The goal line is just a few short yards downfield, you have the ball and it’s first down.   Your Father reminds you, “Behold, I do a new thing!  Can you perceive it?”  To which you may now boldly respond,

"Great is thy faithfulness, O Yah. my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with thee;

Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not;
As thou hast been, thou forever shall be;

Great is thy faithfulness; Great is thy faithfulness;
Morning by morning new mercies I see.

All I have needed thy hand hath provided;
Great is thy faithfulness, Abba, to me."

  Jackson Snyder, January 3, 1993

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