Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Simple Faith - Who is Yeshua?

Do you ever think about Jesus' Jewish roots?

Sometimes I wonder how we, meaning American Christians, seem to know so little about Hebrew things. Somehow throughout the years we've distanced ourselves from all things Jewish. There's this gap, this disconnect between the Israelites in the Bible and Jewish people of today. It's as if we've mystified the Israelites in the Bible and forget that they too were people just like us.

Sure, we know that Jesus is "the Way, the Truth and the Life" but how many of us know that Jesus' birth name is Yeshua?

When you really care about someone you take the time to get to know them. You're intentional about being familiarized with the big and little things about them. You get up close and personal. Not only do you know what they stand for, you know where they came from. You ask questions about the neighborhood they grew up in, the kind food their mother cooked, how they celebrated their holidays when they were young and the list goes on.

In our contemporary worship services we lift our voices and sing lyrics like "I want to know You. I want to hear Your voice. I want to know You more. I want to touch You. I want to see Your face. I want to know You more." But when was the last time you were emboldened to do something as simple as researching the Hebrew culture during that era so you could get a better cultural context and get a deeper meaning of the Bible? Or what about taking the initiative to find a Messianic Jew and ask them to explain some things about Jewish culture?

Doesn't learning details about a person's background help us know more about them???

Sometimes it seems easier to declare we want more of God, but forget about doing practical things like reading our Bible and doing some good ol' fashion Bible study. Especially us Christian Americans, we have so much knowledge at our disposal, every type of Bible translation is but one trip to the local bookstore. Wouldn't it be worth it for someone we claim to love?

I'm no expert in Jewish ways and I'm far from a Bible scholar but I can challenge myself to make an intentional effort to learn more about Jesus in this regard.

And isn't that what Jesus asks us to do anyways. To love him with all of our mind, our soul, our very being. To seek Him above all. To knock at the door of Judaism and learn more about our spiritual roots.

I encourage you to read "What is Messianic Judaism?" by Rabbi Loren and Rabbi Glenn in your journey to better know your MOST significant other.

Jesus is true Judaism and true Christianity. It's that simple.

Yeshua's heritage is a part of our history as Christians, let's not forget that.

[This post was inspired by Helen at Muisto]

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stanford University Offers Free Tuition...

Yep. You read that right.

The New York Times reports:

"Stanford University on Wednesday became the latest prominent university to expand financial aid well into the middle class. It announced that students from families earning less than $100,000 a year would not be charged tuition. Under the new system, which takes effect in the fall, families earning less than $60,000 would not pay for room and board."
Isn't that awesome??? Admist the failings of our current public education system it's encouraging to see positive waves of change like this in the higher educational realm. Hopefully other colleges and universities will take note and create similar programs that will give lower-income families a better chance at a good education. Spread the word.

For more info visit Stanford's official website.

[Hat tip to Heidi @ Light-skinned-ed Girl]
[Photo by Douglas Stebila]

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Real Church Presents...Night Light

Last Saturday there were search lights in Hamtramck, Mich. and they didn't come from one of the many bars. Those raging beams of light were pointing people toward Real Church.

Hamtramck is one of the most ethnically diverse cities I've been to. It originally started off as a Polish immigrant town but now as you ride down the street you'll see blacks, whites, Indian-Americans, Arab-Americans and a nice blend of people from various Eastern European countries (i.e. Bosnia & Armenia). And Real Church reaches out to all those people. Our church represents the community it surrounds. It's so cool to look around the sanctuary and see people of all types of skin colors praising Jesus. It's a nice reminder of how Heaven will be.

Night Light is our new coffee-house like service that meets on Saturday nights at 8 p.m. The atmosphere is pretty laid-back, there's original artwork on the walls and there's plenty of candles to give it a thought-provoking vibe.

Opening night went great! I had a table set-up for my Faith & Social Justice Meet-Up, which is basically me bringing Think Virtue! to life in an off-line kind of way. So if you live in Michigan and want to be part of the meet-up send me an email: solshine7[at]hotmail[dot]com - I'll keep you posted on our future meetings and events. I'd like to do a Faith & Social Justice Short Film Fest, a charity concert with various social conscious bands and a karaoke contest along with partnering with local churches in their ministries to the needy. And whatever else you can think of!

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
-Jesus (Matthew 5:14-16)

Monday, February 11, 2008

1st Annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival 2008

Finally there's a film festival for mixed people!

When I was younger there weren't any forums for children of interracial couples to talk about our issues and share our experiences with one another. But I'm so glad that things have changed for the better. Halle Berry won an Oscar, Tiger Woods rules the fairway and there's a biracial canidate running for president. It's good to be mixed!

The ladies over at MixedChicksChat.com are putting together the 1st Annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival to be held in Los Angeles on June 12th - 15th at the Japanese American National Museum. They have an open call for submissions (films, artwork, poetry, etc.) and it's free to submit. They're also taking requests for workshops, so if public speaking is your thing then maybe you can craft a workshop for the festival. For more info you can visit their website or email mixedchicks[at]yahoo[dot]com - But don't wait too long to submit, the deadline is March 4th.

[Hat tip to J. Holmes for the photo]

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Slideluck Potshow

In the heart of Mexicantown, Michigan I enjoyed one of the most interesting art shows ever: The Slideluck Potshow.

The idea behind the Slideluck Potshow combines an old-school slideshow gathering with a potluck dinner, but it's totally revamped for a twenty-something crowd. You get that nostalgic feeling of sharing your photos with friends mixed with cutting-edge artistic endeavors. The slideshow consists of several artists, where each power-point slideshow presentation is about five minutes long. One of the best things about the show is how each artist uses music to amplify their images and create a mood for their work.

The Slideluck Potshow is touring all over the U.S. so check out their website and submit your photos. And who knows, maybe someone could blog about how much fun they had viewing your stuff.

[Hat tip to Stephen McGee for helping to bring the show to Detroit and for the invite.]