Crucial Relationship of Life

Crucial Relationship of Life

Crucial Relationship of Life

Guest Writer Alan Tai

Your most important relationships in life should be to whom you were from and to whom you will be with.

When you extend your life’s time span to your beginning on earth, and assume the biological consideration of the relationships to whom you were from, they were your parents!

Life is more than just biological aspect, there are also psychological and spiritual aspects.

Based on the revelation of the Scripture, I use a “Roadmap of Life’s Relationships” to share the four crucial relationships that not only can affect your life on earth but also the future life after your human life end on earth.

On the other dimension, beside the physical dimensions, there are spiritual considerations of the relationships with God, from whom your origin came.

Using a computer as an analogy to the biological and physical body of a human being, the body appears to be the hardware part only.

The body needs the software or the soul to function and behave as a human being.

The soul needs a lot of nourishment, education, learning, experiencing, and interacting with others to build even more relationships.

However, the source of the origin of your relationship is more than only the biological consideration.

Your spiritual relationship began with God, from whom you were created in the image of God (Genesis 1: 27 -28).

As described in the Scripture, God breath the breath (Spirit) of Life into Human (Genesis 2: 7), the best in His creation!

Roadmap of Life’s Relationships

Any serious relations can experience up and down. The most crucial relationship are with the Creator! We will have peace and joy when Christ became the center of our life relationships.

1) Creation: Beginning Relation

Relationship with God: Human Life was created in the image of God. God breath the breath (Spirit) of Life into Human, resulted in the best of His creation!

2) Fall: Judgement Relation

Broken Relationship: Law center Life under Judgement of God for sin in disobeying God’s Word.

Sin is like a spiritual virus that deceives and corrupt human life.

3) Redemption: Love Relation

Recovery Relationship: God’s Love in Christ to Sacrifice His Life in the Cross so that Christ gives His resurrected new Life to whoever receives Him.

Christ is like the spiritual vaccine/antibody that gives immunity to the power of sin.

4) New Creation: Forever Relation

Glorify Relationship: Kingdom of God with Christ center Life.

Christ’s Spirit and Word guild us to the Way, Truth and Life according to God’s purpose of creating Human in His image!

 1  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name (Jesus Christ), he gave the right to become children of God—  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1: 12 – 14)


 

** Video Interview With John Tarr and Alan Tai “About Crucial Relationship of Life” **

Crucial Relationship of Life

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A Life Story Greg Reinert

A Life Story Greg Reinert

A Life Story Greg Reinert 

I just got off the phone with my cousin and I am a bit dazed, to be honest.

Greg is dying and in hospice in Minnesota.

I talked with his mom, my Aunt Joan the day before, and she said Greg would like to hear from me so I called him right away that night.

I had not talked with Greg in a long time so I was a bit hesitant at first.

What do you talk about with someone that has only a short time to live?

Since I am a decent writer and write articles for a Christian Apologetic website and do interviews for a podcasting organization, I decided I would do a written interview with him, if he felt up to it, on his life story.

I set up a time with him for me to call him the next day when he had more energy.

He became very animated and thought it would be a great idea.

Who doesn’t like to talk about themselves, their history, and their family?

This journey would be interesting to unpack for him and me both because our lives intersected so many times in our younger years.

I am a Born Again Christian now but I was a very nasty atheist until I was 30 years old.

I understand what it is like to have a burning hatred toward God and want nothing to do with Him.

I did not believe in an Intelligent Designer behind the creation of the universe but at 30 years old I could not argue with science.

The Big Bang says the universe was created 13.8 billion years old, so if that is true, who pulled the trigger?

Who set time and space into motion at one point in time in the cosmos?

The universe could not just pop into being from nothing.

I started our interview by asking Greg when he was born?

July 22, 1958, was his answer, Evanston Hospital was the location, in the town of Evanston, Illinois. 

I asked him, what was your earliest recollection as a child?

He said he remembers riding his bike and falling off and hurting himself on a Cul-de-sac where they lived on Huron Ct. in Arlington Heights in Illinois.

He also remembers putting on ice skates after an ice storm and skating up and down his street.

Grandma Detzner holding Greg as a baby.

Greg 3 years old

Greg at grandma Detzner’ house – 1 1/2 years old

Grandma and Grandpa Reinert, Uncle Jack (Tony’s brother) and Mom and Greg 4 1/2.

Mom and Greg. Greg’s about 4.

Greg, Grandma Reinert holding Nancy. My and mom. Grandpa Reinert. 1970?

Mom, Nancy, Greg, Linda and dad. 1970?

Greg 2nd grade

Greg 4 and Mom 

Greg, 4th grade 

His father, Tony, was a dentist and he remembers going to his dad’s office and his dad showing him what he did for people when it came to having their teeth fixed.

Tony did all own lab work as well as working on dentures.

Greg said he was fascinated by that and thought that at the time he would like to do that work also and maybe he and his dad could work together someday.

He remembers his dad taking him to lunch from time to time.

When Greg told me this story, I remember going to see my uncle, Tony, when I needed work done on my teeth as a teenager and young adult.

In my junior and senior year of high school, I worked for a photography studio and the studio needed help photographing a wedding, so I remember asking my uncle Tony, who I knew was interested in photography, if he would like to photograph a wedding.

Tony took Greg with him on a couple of these weddings and Greg told me he remembers doing that very clearly and that he liked it so much he started a photography club in Junior High and High School.

I had no idea!

Greg 13 years old

Mom, Dad, Greg, Linda and Nancy. Greg 14 years old

Greg said he went to school his freshman year at Hershey high school in Arlington Heights and then his last three years at Buffalo Grove.

He said he remembers graduating from High School and how proud he was and how proud his parents were of him.

He said he entered a junior college soon after graduation but did not graduate from that school.

Greg said he was a bit aimless at that point and a friend invited him to meet with an Army recruiter, which he did.

He members thinking, “What do I have to lose”.

He liked the visit and learned much about the military.

The recruiter asked him what he like to do and he told them, working with computers, was a fairly young field at the time.

The Amy recruiter had him take a few tests to find out his strengths and interests.

They said the Army would be a good fit for him and would train him in computers as well as electronics.

He decided to join and went through basic training.

Greg said that basic training was quite an experience all by itself.

He said he was not too surprised at how hard the drill sergeant was on all the recruits because he had watched some movies before he went in.

The Army taught him mainframe, and computer repair and made him responsible for maintaining two generators to power the computers, in a semi-van.

He remembers going back to see his mom when on leave and she would take him to church in his uniform.

She was so proud of him he said.

US Army Bases in Germany

He was stationed at different locations in the world but his favorite was in Germany where he was for 3+ years.

He said he lived on base with other German Nationals.

Greg said he made some close friends.

“I miss many of my German friends to this day” 

He remembers getting a Euro Travel Pack for the train and he would travel all over Germany for next to nothing.

He enjoyed the people and the lifestyle in German very much.

“It was more laid back than the US and more friendly” he said.

When he would sometime travel near the DMZ, the border between Germany and Russia, and the tension was always very high.

When ever there was an alert between Germany and Russia, all the US personnel were required to drop what they were doing and pare up with the German military and be ready for action.

One regret was he never got to meet any Russians.

One day, his Master Sergeant asked him if he would like to take over procuring Christmas trees for the different American bases all over Germany.

To see if he liked it, he went with his Sargent to see what it was all about.

It was so much fun that he took on that responsibility right away.

Greg said Germany goes all out celebrating Christmas.

This job took him all over Germany for a couple of years.

He met many great people in the process.

Boy Scouts in Germany would come in and decorate the trees on the bases.

Greg said he really loved this job.

Greg got the chance to drive a A1 Abrams tank

Greg got the chance to train with all kinds of automatic weapons including Grenade Launchers

Greg said he learned German right way and the language was not foreign to him because he remembers hearing his grandmother and mother speak it all the time while he was growing up.

This was something I remember also as a child and teenager. Whenever our families got together the older generation would speak German with each other.

While in the Army in Germany, the military on both sides would make sure you were proficient on many different weapons so they would pare him with different German Nationals for training and then receive a certificate.

He would learn both American and German weapons such as different automatic guns and grenade launchers.

Some machine guns would only fire off a three-round burst every time you pulled the trigger.

He said that was a hoot learning those weapons.

Greg also told me about the time they taught him how to drive an A1 Abrams tank.

He said “Not many people got a chance to do that”

He also said, the funny thing was that they would teach one side of the tread and someone else would run the other side unless they put it in automatic mode.

“The power and complexity behind that machine was amazing” he said.

He was separated from his daughter, Amanda, at this time in Germany and he tried to talk her into coming to live with him, but she did not want to go live there.

She ended up living in a foster home for a while so Greg asked for a transfer back to the United States so he could be closer to her.

Greg said “I was very sad to leave the many friends I had made and leaving Germany”

The military stationed him at Fort Campbell at the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

He retired from the Army at this location after spending 8 years in the military.

While he was stationed at Fort Campbell, Greg said he and his wife Anne bought a house and lived there for a while together with his daughter Amanda.

Greg said the US Army was very good to him.

Before he left the military, he applied for jobs in the private sector and landed a very good one doing computer repair, replacing motherboards, circuit boards, and keypunching as well as computer diagnostics. 

Greg and Matthew 2007 

Greg and Linda’s oldest son Steve. Last time we saw him in 2011. 

He said his relationship was not good with his daughter, Amanda, for many years but it improved before got sick.

I was able to gather this information on my first two interviews with Greg up to this point.

We had a third one scheduled but Greg went downhill at the hospice care very quickly.

The last conversation I had with him, he was in a lot of pain but he said he still wanted to talk because he still had information to give me.

I did not want to push it because of his frail condition.

I wish I had pushed it for his sake.

I did share my belief in Jesus Christ and what it meant to be born again from Jesus’s perspective and enter the kingdom of God.

I told him of my journey of finding God one spring and summer of 1982 and traveling up the coast of California and Oregon to a small community and church in the Little Applegate outside of Medford, Oregon.

This was a story of how I went from a nasty atheist to a believer in an Intelligent Designer and Jesus.

Greg liked my story and wanted to know more.

God had other plans for the end of this story.

I sure hope my cousin and I can finish it up together at some point.

Maybe, having lunch together on one of the moons of Jupiter.

I would like to invite my grandparents and parents to that meeting.

As I end this writing, I feel honored and blessed that my cousin Greg and I were able to connect and that he was in a place to share his life story, and that he could look back with fondness over his past.

What a journey each and every one of us are on!!

 

A Life Story Greg Reinert

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What Are the Messianics?


What Are the Messianics?


What Are the Messianics?

Guest Blog by Lynwood Johnson

The Messianic movement or Messianism is as old as the days in which Jesus lived in Israel and identified Himself as Israel’s promised Messiah. It is also a contemporary and growing presence throughout Israel, the United States, and other nations.

Many Christians are surprised to learn that all the New Testament writers were Messianic Jews, with the possible exception of Luke.  None of them ceased being Jews active in their synagogue communities, but rather they continued living as practicing Jews who understood Jesus’ words and attesting miracles supporting His claim of being Israel’s Messiah anticipated by numerous prophets.  We read in Acts 6:7, “And the word of God kept on spreading; and the number of disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.”  Guess what?  These priests and the other ‘disciples’ were Messianic Jews.  Remember too, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were followers, and members of Judea’s highest religious authority, the Sanhedrin.

To summarize a lot of Messianic history, across the centuries there was a ‘faithful remnant’ of Jewish men (yes, men; for historic cultural reasons) who read the Hebrew Torah (the first five O.T. books) and the Tanakh (the balance of the OT) and quietly concluded that Yeshua (“Jesus”) was Israel’s promised Messiah.  To hold these views publicly meant heavy persecution and ostracism from their community. That outcome often meant loss of livelihood.

The modern Messianic movement began to take shape in the 1960s and 1970s, almost parallel with the “Jesus Movement” here in the US. A number of organizations and leaders emerged who sought to build a bridge between Judaism and Christianity with messaging appropriate to each.  To the Jewish, the message is that the concept of the Messiah was a hope and future that was alluded to in numerous places in the Jewish scriptures, and in the person of Yeshua HaNazret (Jesus of Nazareth) is the complete fulfillment of messianic prophecy.  Jewish people have only to read their scriptures for themselves to notice the connections.  Once they do, they start asking questions their rabbis would rather not answer.

To the Christian community the message is that the cradle of Christianity is Judaism. Where do we get the notion that God is One, there is no other; He has given His word and His word is authoritative?  Where do we learn our God has given His people numerous promises and He has not failed in the fulfillment of any?  The Jewish scriptures, of course.

I like to picture the Jewish/Christian differences in theology to an epic movie with an intermission.  The first part of the movie is a digest of Jewish history which tells a huge story of God calling out a man, a family, a nation a race – to be His chosen people. These chosen people reject Him repeatedly; and He in His grace rushes to forgive them, repeatedly.  We learn tons about God and His love in this first part of the movie. And we learn that the Jews are not the only ones who reject God, over and over.  We do it, too.  The Jewish story is ours, as well. 

However, come the movie’s intermission, the Jewish folks walk out.  They want nothing to do with this ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Most Jews reject the blossom, the flower (‘Lily of the Valley’) the culmination of the Father of Israel’s intention: “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29), our great Cohen HaGadol (Great High Priest) who entered the heavenly most holy place only once to remove the sins of all mankind. (Hebrews 9: 22-28)

But that’s not all.  While the Jewish people are leaving the theater at intermission, they’re passing another group coming in – the Christians!  For them, three fourths of their Bibles are somewhat interesting material, but the real juice begins at Matthew, Chapter One.

To put it succinctly, Jewish people and Christians could both strongly benefit from deeper study of both.  The ‘New Testament’ is an elaboration and fulfillment of the Old.  When one reads the Old Testament though a lens of pattern recognition it is amazing what God has implicitly put into His great story. 

A quick example:  Passover and the death angel passing over.  Fathers of Hebrew households were given specific instructions through Moses on what to do. (Genesis 12) The instructions included slaughtering the lamb, draining its blood into a basin, and daubing the lamb’s blood with hyssop on the doorposts and lentil of their doors (lentil is the horizontal part of the door frame.

Of course, some blood would drop to the ground beneath the two doorposts, as well as from the lentil.  3 puddles of blood.  Think: a crown of thorns and spiked ankles. Spiked wrists. Hyssop. Sour wine.

The death angel “passes over” every one who has put their faith, trust, life – in this Man.

For Messianics, Passover is our “Easter.”  The killing of the lambs foreshadows Calvary.  The “Lamb of God” took our place there, for us. Once. For all. By our faith in Him and trust in what He has done in our behalf, we find the complete freedom He promises.

As said, the above is just one of many examples.

So, what are Messianic Congregations like? Well, like 90% of Christian churches, they’re small – 30 – 150 people or so; with a few rather large assemblies.  There are an estimated 300 Messianic congregations or synagogues in the U.S.  Thirty years ago there where hardly any Messianic gatherings in Israel.  Now, there are about 200.  It is amazing what God is doing in these last of the latter days!

Messianic congregations are unified in the mission of seeing Jewish people come to embrace Yeshua as their Savior, Lord, and God.  God’s chosen people are our favorite people! 

The worship service itself is very similar to synagogue order of service. 

This is very comfortable for Jewish people checking us out. Christian visitors remark regarding the strongly Biblical message they are familiar with, and almost stunned by the added depth of the “Old Testament” foundations and parallels.  A remark often heard: “How come I never heard such depth of teaching in our church?”

 

Who would a Messianic congregation be a great fit for? 

For couples in which one is Jewish and the other is Christian. Both are comfortable in this space.  Also for Jewish people who have an awakened ‘itch’ that there is something more to their faith than what they’ve been hearing from their rabbis.

 And, similarly for Christian believers who have a restlessness wherein they sense the Spirit has something more. 

And, truly He does. 


Lynwood Johnson holds the Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has pastored churches in Illinois, Michigan, and Phoenix.  He is a Messianic Teacher at Tree of Life Congregation, Scottsdale, Arizona.  In his spare time he cleans his garage.


**You Can Watch The Podcast Here.**

What Are the Messianics?

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Double Portion for the Firstborn

Double Portion for the Firstborn

Double Portion for the Firstborn

The concept of permanence is difficult for creatures as locked into temporal nature as human beings to comprehend.

The entirety of Ecclesiastes comments on the vaporous vain vexations of life under the sun, and it is not without its points.

However, even the wise old king Solomon had to admit that there was one unique exception to what is otherwise the agonizing reality of the entropy of all things and that is that is this:

“I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.” (Eccl. 3:14).  

David’s son goes on to conclude,  

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Eccl 12:13). 

The Fear of God is an important thing, and at the center of these coming holidays.

Passover and the feast of unleavened bread are commemorative event instituted by God to remember Israel’s salvation from Egypt, but we must remember that these things are prototypes of the future anti-type of Christ.

Paul says it another way:  

“These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” (Colossians 2:17) 

The original Passover is the climax of the event of salvation in the redemptive story of God over Egypt’s gods.

The background of this entire ordeal is the Spirit of God moving through Moses to bring curses and plagues.

This was a gross display of power to destroy any opposition to the rebellious angelic and demonic forces that were at work in that area— Pharaoh’s magicians were able to replicate multiple of the plagues at first!

This was hostile enemy territory controlled by powerful and malevolent powers, both earthly and within the realm of spirits.

And Passover was the ultimate blow: God takes the firstborn of Egypt (livestock included!). 
 
Let’s first remember the religious context: Pharaoh was a man treated and believed to be a god. One way to understand it was that Pharaoh was an incarnation of the God Horus, or at least his legal representative. Never forget that Satan loves to mock the Lord. 

So, in this marriage of religion and government, Egypt losing her firstborn son completely desolated her.

And because it is so easy for us vaporous creatures to forget, God has instituted a  permanent celebration of this holiday; a permanence on par with the tree of life’s fruit, the rainbow, God’s promises to Abraham, or the Sabbath.

It was this Holiday that the Lord Jesus Christ was celebrating and was crucified directly prior to. There are countless similarities, the counting of which extends much farther than the scope of this blog.

However, I believe the most important is the cost of the life of the firstborn. This is why God declares ownership of all firstborn when He declares that the tribe of Levi fulfill this roll, which was why John the Baptist had to baptize Jesus.

Moreover, He requires the people to redeem their firstborn sons.

However, Israel’s ultimate firstborn was not be spared. 

Jesus is firstborn in the traditional sense, but He is also the first man to be born of the Spirit, exemplified by His miraculous birth by a virgin. Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, was celebrating this holiday. 
 
This firstborn of Israel was not spared, but there was even more spiritual warfare going on in the midst of this Passover.

The first good Friday (or Wednesday if you are like me and consider a Wednesday crucifixion more likely) marks the beginning of the 3 days and nights act as the turning point of all creation, the moment that God made checkmate against the old spiritual forces He defeated back in Moses’s day.

Easter Sunday was Jesus’s birthday as not just Israel’s firstborn, but the firstborn of the new Creation that he might be pre emanate in all things.  

The ultimate firstborn was not spared, but can never die.

 

Double Portion for the Firstborn

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What Made Me Become Pro-life?

What Made Me Become Pro-life?

What Made Me Become Pro-life?

I was an atheist until I was 30 years old.

Being an atheist, I also had the liberal mindset on many issues including evolution and abortion.

My BIG catalyst was my belief in evolution. Either you believed in an intelligent designer (God) or you did not.

To me, evolution gave me and others like me, the platform to believe that all life came from non-life.

Life sprang up from the primordial ooze on its own without guidance from something or someone else.

No God needed.

Evolution does not have morals.

Survival of the fittest is its main tenant.

Nothing is good or bad, it just is…

Murder is not bad…

Stealing is not bad…

Lying is not bad…

Nothing is good or bad it just IS…

Whatever it takes for an animal or species to survive including humans is OK or even needed.

Morals are things that exist because they are a human construct or a made up, imaginary fairy tale by religious people or a law to keep people in line.

Abortion is OK because that is also survival of the fittest.

As a human, that life that is growing in your body really does not constitute a real living, breathing organism capable of complex thought that will turn into something much like you are in the future.

Remember, survival of the fittest.

Your life, your survival.

Only you are important.

Selfishness is a big deal when it comes to evolution.

That is what I believed when I was an atheist.

It helped me to live with myself and put together my limited knowledge of the puzzle of life before me.

When I became a Christian, all that changed.

I then believed that there was a guiding force behind the universe or intelligent designer behind it all.

He gave us morals and things as humans that we should or should not do to keep us alive and functioning without so much chaos and pain.

He also gave us freewill.

Freewill to make certain choices in our lives.

Many of these choices that impact others.

I then understood there was something much bigger than me in control.

When it comes to abortion, we are telling this intelligent designer or God, that He has made a mistake.

Think of it, God has made a mistake!

We are the final decider in our lives and have the right to terminate this life inside our bodies.

We are god and not Him because we know best.

History has proven that humans know best throughout human civilization.

We have the modern, complex notions of what works and does not work because we can see into the future.

Remember in Job 38:34 when God asked Job “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you know so much.”

This is Rhett. He came into this world on 4/26/22. He is the grandson of my friend Joe.

Our culture and modern times truly believes we need no god the tell us what to think or believe.

Our opinions is our god.

But of course, our arrogance knows no bounds.

When I was an atheist, I believed abortion was OK and even needed.

I paid for 3 of them and drove one individual to have the procedure.

I have been on both sides of this debate.

I now feel very foolish and have asked God to forgive me.

My arrogance knew no bounds.

I really believed God had made many mistakes when it came to human life and other issues.

Over 66 million mistakes when it has come to abortion since Roe v. Wade took effect since 1973.

Think of it, 66 million…

I guess Supreme Court knew better than God that year.

Many of our current politicians believe they know better than God as this issue comes before the Supreme Court once again.

The wounds of abortion have not healed after all, since 1973.

Maybe God is asking us “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you know so much.”

 

Go here if you would like to read how I became a Christian “What Makes an Atheist”

 

What Made Me Become Pro-life?

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