During a Lamb concert with Joel Chernoff and Rick “Levi” Coghill in 1991 at Roeh Israel in Denver, Colorado, we were challenged with the question by a Messianic Jew: “What is it like to be grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel?” Our journey began; and for more than 30 years, we have been walking in the Biblical-Hebrew Jewish roots of the Christian faith.
The LORD told Jeremiah: “See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:9). We took a good look into the Bible and found that many of the traditions and beliefs we did were not true to the Word of God.
We had to uproot and tear down beliefs and doctrines that church fathers along with the catholic church had brought into our faith walk. We had to destroy and overthrow many manmade traditions that we thought were of God, but nullified the very commands of God. Very little we had been doing and believing had foundation in the Scriptures. We realized that we had been drinking from cisterns that could not hold water and we were very thirsty. We were exactly like the people who came from the nations saying, “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, futility and things of no profit”(Jeremiah 16:19).
God also told Jeremiah to build and plant. This became the exciting part of our Journey with Jeremiah. Once we grafted into the Olive Tree (Romans 11), we became attached to the root of our faith. Living water began to fill us and bring us new understanding to Scriptures we had never even seen before. Our leaves stopped withering and we prospered spiritually. We began to understand the what it meant to have citizenship in Israel and started re-building on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. We learned that our responsibility as Messianic believers from the ‘nations’ was to take the message of salvation to the Jewish people. Fulfilling that calling would bring life from the dead –– spiritually, and one day literally.
As members of God’s household, we are given ways of serving and worshiping God that were extraordinary – His very own Feast days. With every Feast of the LORD (Leviticus 23), our eyes were opened to the reality of Yeshua in a prophetic way. Each celebration had unique foods and activities that made Yeshua more personal to us. We could touch him, see him, hear him, taste him, and smell him. Our children flourished like palm trees in this environment. We did too.
The dividing wall of partition was removed. The words written in both Testaments were important for the full gospel message. Without the Old Testament (Torah, Prophets and Writings), the Christian loses their roots and foundation. Without the New Testament, the Jew may never know Yeshua. The dividing wall became literally a page that had the words ‘New Testament.’ We tore that page out of our Bibles and never looked back.
We home educated all four of our children using the Shema found in Deuteronomy 6:4-10 as our teaching focus and the name of our school. Whether we were walking, sitting or resting, we found that training our children in the ways of Adonai were foundational to their spiritual training and growth. Training in righteousness has produced spiritual fruit in ways we could never have imagined. As each of our children has grown into adulthood, they face the realities and challenges of the world, but with a foundation that strengthens and encourages them. Along with the persecutions and battles that come with following Yeshua, they are questioned about the expression of their faith. Some find their faith refreshing, their wisdom inspiring; while others continue to mock and judge. As promised in Proverbs 22:6, they have not departed from the ways of God; they each walk out their faith in their own unique ‘bent’ of gifts and talents ministering to those in the world around them.
We have designed this website to encourage those who want to walk in the footsteps of Yeshua of Nazareth. It’s difficult to tear down and uproot things that we hold dear in our hearts, but it is our desire to encourage you to plant and build and drink living water that brings nourishment to the wild olive branch.
We hope you find the teachings encouraging and enlightening. We hope you look at the photos of our family’s celebrations of the Feasts of the LORD and become inspired to create your own traditions that bring light to Yeshua, the ‘reality’ in the festivals. We hope you learn to dance –– to praise and worship the God of our salvation with your feet! But, most of all, we hope that you grow more and more in your love for Yeshua so that you can be confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until you are completely transformed into his image.