Do you count?

Funny question, but without context, one doesn’t know how to answer. This season of Omer counting, I am personally learning more about the answer within. I can count to 50 since grade school. But I don’t think Adonai is impressed. He counts the stars in the sky and knows them by name. But I have a feeling His counting is not as ours. 

“4 He determines the number of the stars. He gives them all their names. 

5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power— His understanding is infinite! 

6 Adonai upholds the humble. He brings the wicked to the ground. 

7 Sing to Adonai with thanksgiving. Sing praises to our God on the harp.” Psalm 147:4-7 

 We read in Leviticus 23:11 that we are to take an offering of dry measure-an omer and the high priest was to wave it before Adonai, to be accepted for each household. What are we to measure, and how does it count? Like the High Priest who offered up the offering for the people, Yeshua has done the same for us. Yet, we are still to measure and count. There are hidden things that arise when we don’t measure our hearts and place the offering to be given back to Elohim. Barley is considered the poor mans grain, not to mention animal fodder. Many passages come to mind when I hear poor man. We will always have the poor, but there are times in Scripture poor meant humbled, repentant- weak in mind or needing to be saved by Adonai. The word humble in psalm 147 quoted above has a similar meaning to the verse’s below. 

“But I—I am poor and needy—yet my Lord is mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer—O my God, do not delay!” Psalms 40:18 TLV 

“For you know the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah—that even though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that through His poverty you might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 

“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters. Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom that He promised to those who love Him?” James 2:5 

 What does this perspective paint for us? Animal fodder and poor man’s grain. I see a hidden message here, do you? Humility in keeping our beastly nature at bay. Yeshua paved the path for us, but can we see it? I’ve been challenged this Omer season to place on the altar repentant and humbled offerings.   

“1For the music director: a psalm of David. Adonai, You searched me and know me. 

2 Whenever I sit down or stand up, You know it. You discern my thinking from afar. 

3 You observe my journeying and my resting and You are familiar with all my ways. 

4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, Adonai, You know all about it. 

5 You hemmed me in behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. 

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 

7 Where can I go from Your Ruach? Where can I flee from Your presence? 

8 If I go up to heaven, You are there, and if I make my bed in Sheol, 

look, You are there too. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn 

and settle on the other side of the sea, 10 even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. 11 If I say: “Surely darkness covers me, night keeps light at a distance from me,” 

12 even darkness is not dark for You, and night is as bright as day—darkness and light are alike. 

13 For You have created my conscience. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. 

14 I praise You, for I am awesomely, wonderfully made! Wonderful are Your works— 

and my soul knows that very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 

16 Your eyes saw me when I was unformed, and in Your book were written the days that were formed—when not one of them had come to be. 17 How precious are Your thoughts, O God! How great is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand! When I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:1-18 

Each day I am trying to measure myself to see what is growing in my heart, humbled barley or animal feed? Elohim counts the hairs on our heads, and David understood all the ways Adonai counted us. The sparrows counted to Elohim, and we are much more than they. Oh, all the ways to measure, but do you count? Can He who created the heavens count on us to do His work? Are we counted among His bride? Are we ready and willing to re-build what has toppled over and equipped with His sword of His word to bring truth and the spirit?  

29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them shall fall to the ground apart from your Father’s consent. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are worth more than many sparrows. Mattew 10:29-30 

Who would think that such a humbled grain could cause one to count upon Elohim to shine His light in the dark soils of our hearts? Did you know Elohim collects our tears? I wonder if He counts them as well? Our worth and beauty are tied to His counting. Not ours. How? What we once were, we no longer identify with because He makes all things new beloved! There is a catch to this newness; we must purify our hearts to be made new.  

“22With respect to your former lifestyle, you are to lay aside the old self corrupted by its deceitful desires, 23be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self—created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 

Because He is I Am, I can be too. I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am His humble servant. I am free! Moses felt this heart surgery when he encountered the burning bush. A new man, equipped to do Yah’s bidding. Isn’t it interesting that the days we count up to are 50. Biblically speaking, 50 symbolizes the giving of the Ruach as well as freedom from a burden-think Jubilee! Can we have personal jubilees? I pray so; how beautiful a thought. There is much more meaning behind 50. There is so much depth and meaning behind it all. We all were gifted with the covenant of Torah and the blood of our Redemer during Passover/Unleavened bread. Now we patiently wait to receive the outpouring of His Ruach and freedom. There is freedom when we are walking with Yeshua. Not ahead of him or way behind, but side by side as one. We start to see others as He see’s them. There’s no fear in this freedom but perfect love. We have the freedom to be counted among His wedding ceremony and counted upon to wash His children’s feet. Relied upon to pluck out the leaven and let sweet-smelling aromas arise from the alms of our lips.  

43 “For there is no good tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again does a rotten tree produce good fruit. 44 Each tree comes to be known by its own fruit. For figs are not gleaned out of briars; neither are bunches of grapes gathered from thorn bushes. 

45 “Out of the good treasure of his heart the good man brings forth good, and out of evil the evil man brings forth evil. For from the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45 

Our thoughts begin stirring in our hearts, our Nefesh is powerful, and what we sow and water is what will grow. Our thoughts and views on others can deeply wound, or they can be like fresh water on the gaping wounds. In this month of counting, our focus needs to be on ourselves first and foremost. Yes, this is difficult, but Yeshua never said it would be easy-the narrow path. I love to study Hebrew because most words are contranyms, meaning they have two sides two stories to tell us. Machashabah (Strongs #4284) means to think or device. Now, let’s look at a few Scriptures to see the different yet same meanings.  

“For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, 

and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 

“Who frustrates the plans of the crafty, so that their hands attain no success.” Job 5:12 

The verses above don’t appear to be connected, but a little digging shows us they are. “My thoughts” and “plans” are the Hebrew machashabah- to think or device. Let’s look at another Hebrew term cheshbon (Strongs #2808)- a reckoning, an account. 

“So I turned my heart to understand, to search and seek out wisdom and an explanation of things and to know the stupidity of wickedness and madness of folly” Ecclesiastes 5:25 

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your all strength, for there is no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 

Now the words “an explanation” and “planning” are the Hebrew term cheshbon. A reckoning or an account. Can you see how these terms are tied together with machashabah to think or device. Let’s go a little further and find the root word for each of their terms. Chasab( Strongs # 2803) means to think, or account.  

“Then he believed in Adonai and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:6 

“When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face.” Genesis 38:15 

“Yes, you yourselves planned evil against me. God planned it for good, in order to bring about what it is this day—to preserve the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20 

The words “reckoned” “thought” and “planned” are the Hebrew chasab. Can you see how all three Hebrew terms are divinely woven together? I wonder what the message is? I find it even more interesting that each term is likened to our thoughts and how we take account of them. An accountant deals with numbers and calculations. In a sense, we are all accountants calculating our thoughts and perceptions of others. But we have to remember our thoughts are not YHWH’s; we don’t know the inner workings of our fellow man. We may think we do, but we truly never know. Each of these terms deals with the mind and also calculations. The entire month of April/Iyar, we count the omer. Counting is a calculation, and an omer was a measurement. During Elul, we also count, Cheshbon HaNefesh which means making an account of the soul. I’m starting to see the importance of measuring the omer. I’m wondering how the counting of the Omer and Elul mesh together? Our spring rehearsals show us deeper meanings for our fall gatherings. We are given Torah; we then receive Torah after taking account of our beastly nature. As the fall feasts arrive, we again go through a similar accounting of our Nefesh. Before the 8th great day, Simcha Torah can take place; we need to rectify our souls and align ourselves for deeper spiritual matters. Eight represents spiritually satiated. Just like the seven weeks of Omer counting, Sukkot is seven days of counting, completion, and expectancy before entering the spiritually satiated, we have to count. First, the natural than the spiritual. Paul was on to something when he spoke this verse into existence. 

“If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven.” 1st Corinthians 15:44-47 

We have an option here. We can be a living soul, or we can become a life-giving spirit—two paths to choose. As I ponder all this, I ask myself do I count? I’m learning more and more that the counting of my days is not as important as making the days count. 

Shalom. 

Works cited: 

Cheshbon HaNefesh: 

https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Fall_Holidays/Elul/Cheshbon/cheshbon.html

Number meanings: 

That which is not there.

“17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”). He is our father in the sight of God in whom he trusted, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence that which does not exist.” Romans 4:17

Thrift store water jug makeover: Before

Do you shop thrift stores or second-hand? I love the thrill of finding a hidden gem, finding something once discarded, and breathing new life into it. Just refreshing. I wonder if, on a much grander scale if that’s how Yeshua feels when one of His lost, discarded little ones find life in Him? Before I arrive at the thrift store, I know I have to change my perspective on how I shop. Many thrift stores don’t carry the cleanest items. Nor are they always in the best shape. My ideas on what these items should look like should match the realistic expectations of what is there. However, I also have to look for beauty in things that may not be so apparent. I believe Yeshua does the same. All Yeshua had to do was look upon Peter and breathe new life into his name. If you study this out, you’ll see a play on words with Simon( he who hears) Peter ( stone in the Greek) becoming Cephas/Kefa, which is Peter but in the Aramaic meaning is (rock).

“42 Andrew brought Simon to Yeshua. Yeshua looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You shall be called Kefa “John 1:42


The same name, yet they are not. A classic speaking that which is not there! Peter goes from a feeble stone easily tossed about; into a rock from which Yeshua’s community would be built. Meaning, Peter’s faith would be tested, and he would come out like gold. But not before enduring crushing trials and purification. Yeshua asks Peter to feed His sheep, and let’s not forget how Peter inherited the keys to making important decisions for Yeshua’s community.

“17 Yeshua said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven! 18 And I also tell you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My community; and the gates of Sheol will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will have been forbidden in heaven and what you permit on earth will have been permitted in heaven.” Matthew 16:17-19

After I was baptized and started to take my faith serious, I received a new name too. Like Peter’s, there was a play on words in my name as well. My Dad named me Crystal, which means light. I have to laugh because my Abba Elohim renamed me, Crystal. Let me explain. Before meeting Yeshua, I took my faith lightly, and it wasn’t until I endured much cleansing of my heart that I was able to become a light! I’m still enduring that cleansing, by the way.

Was Yeshua mimicking His Father and speaking that which is not there? I believe throughout His earthly ministry Yeshua was doing just so. Yeshua was finding discarded things and breathing new life into them. Yeshua knew that every one of us would not all fit the mold that only He could fit. He knew that he would have to find beauty in uncommon places.

Thrift store water jug makeover: After

The opening verse for this blog is about Abraham and his faith. Elohim looked upon Abraham and changed Abraham’s entire life and future legacy. I searched my dark places and asked myself if I were to look upon someone, could I speak beauty and life over them, regardless of what my physical eyes see? Would my words bring to life a lifeless womb? Could I speak love over a broken heart, knowing YHWH Rapha would come along and mend together those cut pieces? My Elohim is love! In all facets of what love can be, He is I AM, and because He is I AM, I can be too. I AM loving. I AM a safe place for Abbas’s children. I AM built to serve in His kingdom. I AM beautifully and wonderfully made. I AM a spark of light. I believe this for myself, do you?

Works cited:

Peter’s Name meaning: https://www.abarim-publications.com/

Spiritual Shekels and Weightier Matters

This is an older blog from 3/20 an oldie but a goodie. Enjoy!

A shekel is a form of currency and means “to weigh.” In biblical days they would pull out their scales and weigh out gold and silver. In modern times we use money and coins to purchase many things. We don’t use scales and weights. What about spiritual shekels and scales? I do think we can still give the shekel asked for as an offering to the Lord. Our actions and character weigh these shekels—the building up of one another. In times of panic or distress, healing hands are what we need. The soothing words and, yes, even the words of correction. To honor one another and think about our elders’ well-being, the little ones, and the ill. We all need to be measured by honest scales. I’ve been reminded of this verse from Revelation often this week. 

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Rev 3:18

No one escapes the burn. However, it is our Elohim that is the consuming fire! Although painful, it is necessary; the cost increases with maturity, but so does our value. Does our faith match up to honest scales? Sometimes I fall short. But there is grace for those that get back up after a fall. Faith increases when we are humbled, along with compassion and understanding, empathy, and everyone’s favorite- long-suffering. Abba does not like corrupt measures, and there’s no room for fool’s gold. 

Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, but an accurate weight is His delight. When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:1-2

Accurate weights require humility. Wisdom follows after. I pray we melt down the golden calves of our generations. Fool’s gold. It’s about the weightier matters of the heart. May we start to seek our God in humility with wholehearted devotion. As we prepare to help turn the fathers’ hearts to the children and the children to their fathers, I pray that we can come together in unity and make such a profound impact on the struggling, weary, and lost that there is no way to deny that our Elohim lives! 

He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” Malachi 4:6

Who do you say He is?

As I was researching the different names of YHWH I was surprised to know that He has many. More than just a few. I began to ponder the different titles given to Adonai and what their meanings where. I found comfort in knowing I too have many titles. I am Wife, Mom, Friend, blogger just to name a few. These titles all define me in a unique way. Like our Abba we have many facets to ourselves. YHWH Nissi is a personal favorite.  Yah my banner. When we dive into His word, we find out banners had much significance to Ancient Israel.

In the book of Numbers, I discovered there are more than two words for a banner. I have a blog I’m working on that goes into more details. I am a little biased here because I am a banner maker, but there is such beauty behind the idea. YHWH Tzevaot, Yah of Hosts. A host of what, I naturally began to ponder. Of much indeed! The word origin for host has some interesting definitions. A host is usually thought of as one who provides for a stranger, visitor, sojourner, etc. But did you know it could also mean a multitude as in an army? Wow, guys! Now, this definition knocked my socks off. The Latin word for host is hostia, and it means consecrated bread and sacrifice. I could not help but stop what I was doing and thank Him for all that He is. The more I studied, the more intrigued I became with our Hashem. My creative gears started churning, and I wanted all to know these glorious names! 

  • Adonai- Lord, Master
  • El Olam- The Everlasting Yah
  • Elohim-God
  • El Gibhor- Yah The Mighty
  • El Chuwl- Yah Who Gives Life
  • Hashem- The Name
  • El Shaddai- Yah Almighty
  • El Gibhor- Mighty Yah
  • El Roi- Yah That See’s
  • Yahweh
  • I Am That I Am
  • El Elyon- The Most High Yah
  • YHWH Nissi- Yah My Banner
  • El Chuwl- Yah That Gave Birth
  • YHWH Yireh- Yah Will Provide
  • YHWH Mekoddishkim- Yah Who Sanctifies You
  • YHWH Rapha- Yah that Heals
  • YHWH Raah- Yah My Shepherd
  • YHWH Shammah- Yah Is Present
  • YHWH Tsidkenu- Yah Our Righteousness
  • YHWH Tzevaot- Yah Of Hosts
  • YHWH Shalom- Yah is Peace

15 Through Yeshua then, let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15)

Let’s ponder something. If We were to take any word and place it after Yah, couldn’t that be one of the names of YHWH? Yah is compassionate. Yah is chesed. Yah is I AM THAT I AM! Such an awe-inspiring topic, don’t you agree? He is all and everything. This gives me great comfort that we serve such a loving Yah. He is love! (1st John 4:4-21) I pray this list has blessed you. A dear friend of mine has shared a wonderful idea with me. She said, “Crystal why don’t you make this an in-depth blog series on His names?” Indeed, I will beloved friend of mine! Be on the lookout for the teaching series in the future- Names of YHWH.If you are interested in purchasing some cool stickers, hit the link below. 

My wish for us all is to continuously sing His praises and give thanks to His many characteristics. Until next time peeps, keep living the tov life! If you haven’t already go ahead and subscribe to stay up to date with Its All Tov and receive a free Shema Watercolor print via email, as a thank you for supporting this small blog.

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References:

Latin hostia: https://www.google.com/search?q=hostia+latin+meaning&rlz=1C1VDKB_enUS942US942&oq=hostia+lat&aqs=chrome.2.0j69i57j0l2j0i22i30l6.9140j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Host definitions: https://www.etymonline.com/word/host