A Little Change’ll Do You Good

I am rejoicing this week; not in the sense of laughter and revelry, but just some quiet gratitude.

I’ve expressed in various settings that the most powerful miracle of all is when a human soul TRULY repents.

Not just being sorry for trite, ‘surface’ sins that everyone understands, but someone actually ‘seeing’ “I was wrong.”

Admitting our own shortcomings can be very, very difficult; especially in regard to understanding God.  Admitting that we might have preconceptions about Him, whether they are placed there by parents, teachers, society, or self, is very, very difficult to bring about.  Admitting that we might have misjudged another human because of ‘first impressions,’ ‘gut feelings’, etc, is most difficult, because of pride.  We cannot be wrong. 

We all ‘wrestle’ with God in that way; and He gently but firmly ‘hangs on’, until, possibly, we BREAK.  Rare is it that anyone completely humbles himself when he first learns of God; not saying it doesn’t happen, because it does.  But, it is not always the case.  And, it usually is always the case that after we do meet God, we begin to rebuild our pride around the ‘version’ of religion we inherit.  We take pride in ‘who’ brought us to Messiah, what person, preacher, and/or stream of thought, and we think that there is NO WAY we are in error now.  And we rarely, truly examine ourselves, as we are instructed to do, to ‘see’ if we really are of “Emunah”, firm trust in TRUTH.

I have had the deep satisfaction just this week of hearing of two different ones who truly are humbling THEMSELVES, and allowing God to ‘change’ them on the INSIDE.  They are listening.  They are ‘hearing AND doing’, which is the Great command according to Yeshua, “Shema!”  “Hear and affect an action”. 

One of them was at one time a ‘belligerent,’ one who was hostile to keeping Torah.  Not just on a passive level, but active.  The other was too, but never toward me.  But, it’s NOT the wearing of the tzit-tzit, or the speaking of Hebrew scriptures and prayers, or the Shabbat attendance, or the rejoicing in the feasts that gives me satisfaction.  Anyone can do those; many do who are actually NOT of the faith!  Doing Torah does NOT save us!  It does affirm our trust in Elohim.  But we are saved only by our trust in Messiah.  It is the ‘transformation’ of their HEARTS that causes me to be overwhelmed to Abba in gratitude;  to one of these I said, “that’s what I live for”.  I truly do pray and cry out for CHANGED HEARTS…  like what is going on in these two people during this season of Teshuvah.  These two are making active steps toward reconciling with people, even those who they themselves did not offend… they are praying about different misbehaviors in others, and ‘seeing’ their own misbehaviors in situations.  These are grownups!  They are and have been being saved for a long time; they have known Messiah.  But, they are finally ‘looking inward,’ to become more like Messiah.  Sha’ul knew this sensation, saying to the congregations in Galatya, “My little children, for whom I am in travail again until Mashi’akh is formed within you…” Sha’ul said this to BELIEVERS!  They HAD the Ru’akh HaKodesh!  [or at least did at one time]  They had been taught by Sha’ul himself!  But, after he left, UBELIEVERS who were PRETENDING to be believers came and taught a false doctrine!  And Sha’ul said he was troubled like a woman giving birth! [travail is particular to labor pains in Hebrew]. 

Yes, I do believe this process my two ‘blessings’ are going through was brought about by their first submitting to the EASY things of the Torah: Shabbat, kosher eating, keeping the seven Mo’edim, wearing tzit-tziyot, saying the prayers.  All of these are the ‘small,’ ‘easy’ things of the Torah.  It is the interpersonal relationships where we ALL fail so much; when we allow our PRIDE to BLIND us to our own error, our own sins against others, the inadequacies of our judgements on others, our failing to love God by TRULY loving our brothers.  Until we recognize our sins against God [the first five of the 10 commands], we will not tend to our sins against our neighbors [the last five of the ten]; and if we never actually fix our behavior in the last five, then any effort to do the first five is an exercise in futility.  Doing that only proves that we want to be religious, and give God ‘eye-service.’  I think MOST people in the realm of faith do this!  They pretend to love God, give platitudes to people, but never REALLY learn to LOVE people, to do the hard work of CHANGING their own hearts.

So, kudos to the two who have proven to be answered prayer for me!  It makes the striving that I do to change self so much more worth it, when others are going through the tough stuff willingly as well.  Anyone can ‘go to church’ and constantly have the ears tickled with ‘holy spirit goosebumps’; anyone can go to synagogue and worship God, to be seen of men; to make themselves ‘feel’ like they’re doing the right thing.  But only a FEW can and will ACTUALLY CHANGE!


Do you like music?



Do you LOVE the Messiah of Israel?

Click on the link at the very bottom!

Do you LOVE to WORSHIP the ONE who rescues us?

COME and SHOUT about it!

Rosh HaShannah is named in the scriptures “Yom Teru’ah”, and is a ‘mystery’, the “sod” that Paul plainly explained…

Yom Teru’ah is the ‘Day of the blast’ of the shofar… [shout/blast, same word]

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST SHOFAR; for the shofar shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”

In ancient ‘Judaism’ this day was known as “The Last Shofar”. Sha’ul [Paul] did not make this idea up; he was ‘showing’ the congregation a ‘sod’, a biblical mystery that is actually on the surface of the text.

Sha’ul also wrote:

“For Adoneinu Himself shall descend from heaven with a SHOUT and the voice of the Chief Malakh and with the Shofar of Elohim [also the last Shofar]; and those who died in Mashi’akh will rise first.”

Whatever your idea is about the timing, forget it. These feasts were given to us as a model of what is to come [Col 2:14]

Come enjoy it!

The psalmist writes

Tehillah 89:

אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם, יֹדְעֵי תְרוּעָה; יהוה בְּאוֹר פָּנֶיךָ יְהַלֵּכוּן.

HAPPY is the people that KNOWS the “Teru’ah”!!! O יהוה , in the light of your countenance they will walk!


Tehillah 98:

בַּחֲצֹצְרוֹת וְקוֹל שׁוֹפָר– הָרִיעוּ, לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ יהוה

With silver trumpets and the shofar, ‘Hariu’ [the imperative plural verb form of teruah] SHOUT before THE KING!

One of the ancient prayers on this day is Tehillah 24…

I wrote a melody for the first six verses, to go with a song made with the rest of the psalm.

I’ve been listening to it all week, as this is the best recording we have of it so far.

It’s got me fired up!

This day is the MARRIAGE of the KING, and all week I’ve been in ‘wonder’ about how my wife and I met.

The day we met, we were ‘arranged’ to meet. In a church on the river. She got there first. EVERYONE knew I was coming, and kept assuring her I’d be there soon; she was ‘anticipating’ it, with a bit of fear, for many reasons.

When we got settled in, the one who introduced us got up from between us and went to play the drums. Then, she called Melly up to sing first. She sang “The Lighthouse.” Then, she called me up to play piano and sing, and I sang an oldie, “My God is Real”. She went first then, and now sings lead in our congregation, and I back her up [unless we need a male voice as lead, or someone to sing complex Hebrew phrases]. We LOVE singing His praises, the Praises of Yisra’el, with our TEAM, our TRIBE… Tzilah and Dani’el, Tamarah, Levi, Omanit, Eli-Yahu, Sha’ul, Aryeh, Shirah, David, Dani’el, Yishai… fantastic vocalists, musicians, and composers….

Music has been a big part of our lives ever since. Music is the FIRST weapon of war in His Kingdom.

The BLAST is also used to go out to war!

You wanna win? And be part of that TERU’AH…..

Come and REHEARSE with us! The Mo’edim [feasts] are also called in scripture ‘rehearsals’…


Join us at Congregation Bat Tzion!!



Bat Tzion Music!

** this has been turned into a page, see the link at the top of the home page that says “Bat Tzion Music”

I’ll add the most recent recordings to the top as I get them.

Enjoy!  As I stated, we are gearing up to make a studio-quality recording asap… til then, “Shema!”

Our songs this week: “Aromim’kha” by Tamarah… an ‘authentic’ Hebrew flavor and song of exultation!  I LOVE singing lead on it.  My rendition of Avinu Sh’bashamayim, with Tim’s ‘sleepy’ introduction!  We also did “Kineti”, “I am Jealous over Zion”, which ALWAYS fires up the congregation; I get to sing lead because of the tricky Hebrew.  But, nowadays, EVERY time I sing that song, I think of “Yosi,” our guide in Yisra’el.  We were in Yerushalayim one evening when the call for muslim prayer went out.  Not to hear it, I began singing the Shema.  We got on the bus singing, and then Shelly requested we sing Kineti as we got on our way.  It starts in English, and then goes to the brief chorus in Hebrew….and then, I do a ‘solo’ in Hebrew from Zekhar-Yah 8, and Yosi turns and stares at me with a look of ‘awe’, ‘confusion,’ ‘wonder’ on his face; I realize that he is a JEW, an Israeli, and the FIRST person I’ve ever sung this before who actually understands the words!  It was after this that he really ‘took’ to us… it took a few days for him to adjust to the fact that we were not traditional christians he was used to serving, but something ‘other’ than that; and this song helped him to ‘see’ that.  Here are the source of the lyrics we sing:

1And the D’var  יהוה  Tzeva’ot came, saying, 2“Thus says  יהוה  Tzeva’ot, ‘I am jealous for Tzion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great fury’. 3Thus says  יהוה , ‘I return unto Tzion, and will dwell in the midst of Yerushalayim; and we shall call Yerushalayim ‘Ir HaEmet’; and ‘Har  יהוה  Tzeva’ot’, ‘Har HaKodesh’.  4Thus says  יהוה  Tzeva’ot, ‘There shall yet old men and old women sit in the broad places of Yerushalayim, every man with his staff in his hand for very age. 5And the broad places of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the broad places thereof’.  6Thus says  יהוה  Tzeva’ot, ‘If it is marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be marvellous in My eyes, says  יהוה  Tzeva’ot.'”

Three original songs in yesterday’s music [09/21].  Tamarah’s “To Be Like You”, which always brings my heart to tears when the children sing the last chorus for us.  “Lamah”, which is a ‘war hymn’ that I wrote, and seems to invigorate people to go about declaring truth.  And “Shiru La יהוה “, Ps 96, for which I also wrote a melody, but this one is probably a little more contemplative.   Enjoy!

This week we sang two of Tamarah’s compositions:  Ma Yakar [first one]  Barkhi Nafshi [09:50]

I LOVE singing Barkhi Nafshi!  BLESS יהוה O MY SOUL!!!  I love singing it for many reasons: the WORDS, the ‘crying out’ and compelling ‘self’ to BLESS HIM…

But also, the melody: it’s got a Celtic feel… but the harmonies!  I did not ‘learn’ to harmonize, I couldn’t ‘hear’ it, until Melly and I met, and we sang together publicly for the first time at her niece’s wedding: then, it just clicked. For the first time, I was happy that my voice was a tenor….  This song epitomizes that for me. And gives me a chance to pour out gratitude to Abba vocally…

I LOVE it, Tamarah Yard


If you can access this and play it, I just wanted folks to hear our musicians on two of the songs I wrote.  They are at min 00:03:43 and 00:20:50 ….  At 3:43 is “Tehillah 24”; I wrote the melody for the first six verses; the seventh verse starts ‘Se’u She’arim’, which I did not write [if you know who did, tell me; I can’t find the original]. But, I wrote mine to go with it, for Yom Teru’ah/Rosh HaShannah.  It is about the KING coming into the city.  Ps 24…

Here is another Shabbat:

at 4:20, “Make Haste”, I originally wrote some 25 years ago in the key of C.  Lisa suggested I rewrite it and add the Hebrew, so I moved it to Am and added the Hebrew.  I quite like it, Lisa!

at 23:25 in the bottom music player is “The 13 Attributes” by Tamarah Yard, from Shemot [Exodus] 34:6-7. This passage is critical in understanding God. He has ALWAYS been FULL of MERCY and GRACE, COMPASSION, and TRUTH. It was NOT new when Messiah showed up, which is what Sheker HaMashiakh teaches [the falsely anointed]. Yeshua is a MANIFESTATION of these attributes, and His life demonstrates it. The song stops at the end of the attributes, but JUST LIKE Yesha-Yahu 61:1-2, which Yeshua read in His hometown Synagogue, the compassion of Elohim is extended to EVERYONE, but ONLY the REPENTANT actually take it to themselves. He will PUNISH the wicked, those who reject His Compassion. The 13 attributes stop just before He says that He “will by no means pardon the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and unto the fourth generation”; and Yeshua’s verse stopped just before He could have read, ‘and the day of the Vengeance of our God!’ Both of these are a dual picture of the two ministries of Messiah. Tamarah put the 13 attributes to a beautiful melody, and it is a very worshipful tribute to our God and His Messiah!

Hopefully we’ll be recording soon!

Copy Cat’s Rock

“You, then, should imitate me, even as I also imitate Messiah…. And keep the customs as I delivered them to you.”

This is Paul writing a letter to a GENTILE body of believers….

We, those who are believers in the Messiah of Israel, are SUPPOSED to follow Yeshua.

Yeshua IS a Jew.  The Hitgalut [Revelation] calls him  the “Lion of the tribe of Yehudah, the Shoresh David”.. This appellation is AFTER He is risen from the dead, and He is called a Jew [Yehudah], and the ROOT or ‘offspring’ of David, King of the Jews.

Paul is telling us to IMITATE MESSIAH, saying that this is what HE did.

Paul was in the synagogue for worship on every Shabbat, according to the book of Acts.  NOWHERE do we find him in a church on Sunday.  Nowhere does he even THINK about worshipping in assembly on the first day of the week, as most mainstream teachers teach.  NOT ONE PLACE in scripture supports that.  At all.

Paul was a Torah keeper for the REST of His life!  He confessed this before KINGS and JUDGES, LONG after he began to follow and imitate Messiah.  Either he perjured himself and lied, or he told the truth in courts of law, as we should expect of him.

Paul RUSHED to get to Jerusalem for the Passover feast!  LONG after his meeting Messiah in Damascus and being commissioned to declare the good news.

But, even if we are confused about him, are we not listening to what HE said he did?  “I ALSO IMITATE MESSIAH.

Yeshua’s CUSTOM, what Paul said he ‘delivered’ to the gentile congregation at Corinth, was to BE IN THE SYNAGOGUE on SHABBAT [Luke 4:16].  “And He came to Natzrat, where he had been brought up; and He entered the Beit K’nesset on Yom HaShabbat, as was His custom…”

Yeshua kept the Passover Seder:  “I have greatly desired to eat this Pesakh with you before I suffer…”

Careful study of the gospels shows that He kept all seven of the feasts of G-d His Father, and even Khanukah [Jo 10].

Yeshua HAD to keep the Torah, which included the Mo’edim [feasts], the appointed times of G-d, or He could NOT be our unblemished sacrifice.  Sha’ul imitated HIM.

Yeshua did live a Jewish lifestyle, keeping the customs of Moshe that helped the community live out the Torah.  And Paul imitated him.  Even to the point of suffering for living the Torah HIS way, and not the way of the Rabbis.

Paul taught BIBLICAL JEWISH CUSTOMS everywhere he went.  [1 Cor 11:2, 2 Th 2:15, 3:6]

He was consistent, teaching the same thing from city to city.

To gentiles at Efesus, he writes:

“At that time you were without Mashi’akh, being aliens to the customs of Yisra’el, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without Elohim in the world. But now, through Yeshua HaMashi’akh, you who at one time were far off are brought near [TO THE CUSTOMS AND THE COVENANTS] by the blood of Mashi’akh.” [Eph 2:12-13]

Follow MESSIAH…. Like Paul did.  DO NOT FOLLOW MANKIND, just because everyone else is!

“Do not follow a multitude into evil.”  Ex 23:2