Today, June 15th, marks the 20th anniversary of getting baptized and committing my life to Jesus. The following story is how I went from bass guitar to shofar.
I grew up with a love for music. I would spend hours at my local record store. Before graduating high school, I was playing bass guitar for a rock band in the night clubs of downtown Atlanta. We recorded albums and our music was played on college radio stations. As well as playing music, I started making and selling musical instruments like Didgeridoos. Music was my life, and I didn’t have any room for God.
While working for an audio & video company that provided space for a cable access show, I met my wife who came in as an intern for the show. We hit it off very quickly and through a series of events she helped me become a believer in Jesus.
A few days after making my profession of faith and getting baptized on Father’s Day 2003, I opened the Bible and started reading the book of Ephesians. For the first time in my life the words of the Bible were alive and active, speaking to my spirit and soul like nothing I had ever experienced. I realized that something had changed within me and now I know it’s what Jesus spoke of in John chapter 3 when He said, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”. He has filled me with the Holy Spirit and has given me a burning passion for Him. I have received forgiveness for my sins and have been brought into a relationship with the creator of heaven and earth. The words and instructions of the Bible are alive to me. No longer are they black and white words on a page but words of living color as they now speak to my spirit and soul. Transforming my thoughts and actions in a way that can only be supernatural. Showing me how-to walk-in holiness and show love to others. No longer bound by unforgiveness, bitterness, addictions, or ungodly attitudes. Not only I, but untold millions of others have experienced personal revelation from God’s word after believing that Jesus died on a cross to pay the price for their sins and rose from the dead on the third day so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life and escape the judgment of hell.
After surrendering my life to Jesus, God gave me a passion to share His message with others. The Shofar has become a great witnessing tool for me. After hearing stories of American missionaries sharing the Gospel in other countries by using musical instruments to gather crowds in public settings, I felt that God was telling me to use the Shofar for evangelism. This ancient Jewish instrument is a perfect conversation starter. I sound the Shofar, and as people take interest, I share its history and how it relates to Jesus. By using this tool, I have been able to share the Gospel with a multitude of people with diverse backgrounds. Almost everyone loves to hear the trumpet blast of the Shofar.
Now that I have been walking with Jesus for 20 years, I can say with extreme confidence, there is nothing in this world that compares to knowing God and following Him. I’ve experienced supernatural events that can only be the hand of God. I’ve seen His supernatural provision and healing. I’ve heard the testimonies of countless others that verify what the Holy Scriptures say and what I have experienced.
It is my desire for you and everyone who reads this post to experience the transforming power and love that comes from a life devoted to Jesus.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2Corinthians 5:17
In various parts of the United States, you will find African Americans who claim to be the original Israelites of the Bible. They believe after their dispersion from the land of Israel, they came to America via the trans-Atlantic slave trade of the 1600's. There are historical documents showing that some African American slaves have Jewish heritage, but to make the claim that only the descendants of North American slaves are the real Jews is not factual. Deuteronomy 28:68 is one of their main proof texts for their assertions.
“And the LORD will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.” Deuteronomy 28:68
Please notice that the slaves in this passage were sent to Egypt, not North America. As the slaves arrived no one bought them. However, the slaves of the trans-Atlantic trade were bought and sold. Also notice that in the same 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, it states that they will eat one another while being besieged at their gates and never find rest. North American slaves never had to eat one another and have found rest.
Many Black Hebrew Israelites will metaphorize Deuteronomy 28:68 and say that Egypt means ‘House of Bondage’ and that not being bought means ‘No Redemption’. If their interpretation is true, the curse is still in effect and the descendants of the disobedient Israelites are being cut off and dying without redemption or salvation (House of bondage with no redemption). This Chapter mentions being ‘Destroyed’ six times; Verse 20,24,45,48,51 & 61. This would answer the question ‘Why did the North America Israelites lose their Identity?’
The Black Hebrew Israelites believe Caucasians are the descendants of Esau and refer to them as Edomites. They justify their dislike for Edomites based on scriptures referring to God’s love for Jacob and His hatred for Esau. (Ref. Romans 9:13 & Malachi 1:2-3) However, in the Holy Scriptures, which Black Hebrew Israelites claim to believe, God specifically refers to the Edomites as the brothers of the Israelites.
“You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother…” Deuteronomy 23:7
’Now Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. “Thus says your brother Israel: ‘You know all the hardship that has befallen us’ Numbers 20:14
(Also see Obadiah 1:8-12)
Anyone who hates the Edomites (Israel’s Brother) will not inherit salvation.
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1John 3:15
God can hate whoever He wants but He has commanded us to love and forgive our enemies.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, Matthew 5:44
Revelation chapter 5 reveals to us that God will make kings and priests from people of every tribe, tongue and nation. (Ref. Revelation 5:9-10) However, Black Hebrew Israelites believe that Caucasians will be slaves in the kingdom of God. There are no slaves in Christ Jesus according to Galatians 3:28,
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
The extreme views of the Black Hebrew Israelites that God will grant salvation or favor to someone based on their genetic or racial background is in direct contradiction to God’s proclamation in the scriptures that He is no respecter of men but accepts anyone who fears Him.
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. “But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. Acts 10:34-35
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, Acts 17:26
where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Colossians 3:11
The Apostle Paul warns against making genealogies an issue.
But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Titus 3:9
Black Hebrew Israelite teachings have led people to believe that Caucasian Jews of European descent are fake Jews. Israel has always been a multicultural mix race. Joseph married an Egyptian, Moses married an Ethiopian, a mixed multitude came out of Egypt (Exodus 12:38), Rahab the Harlot, Ruth the Moabite, many converts to Judaism from India to Ethiopia during the time of Esther (Esther 1:1 & 8:17), 32,000 Midianite virgins grafted into Israel (Numbers 31:35). God has always accepted converts from any nation including the nations of Europe.
If the Israelites have always been a mixture, why is it hard to believe that there could be white Israelites today?
Doctrines of hate against any group of people are not from God. He has called us to love our enemies.
Jesus died on the cross for all people, rose from the dead on the third day, so that whoever believes in Him and commits their life to Him will have eternal life with the Most High.
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29
We are saved by grace not by race!
Welcome to Volume 3 of Seven Miles From Jerusalem. As we continue this journey through the Old Testament Scriptures looking for Jesus, we must recognize the theme of self- sacrifice. This theme is central to the Gospel where we see Jesus lay down His life for ours. Let’s begin with Ester. A young Jewish woman is forced to take part in what is essentially a beauty pageant to find the king of Persia a new queen. Ester wins the heart of the king and becomes the queen while keeping her Jewish identity hidden. A plot to annihilate all the Jews from all the king’s providences is unleashed by one of the king’s servants. Ester must now make a choice between remaining silent and bringing death to her people or going before the king unannounced and facing the death penalty for breaking the king’s strict protocol. After a 3 day fast, not knowing her fate, she selflessly goes before the king. Finding favor with the king, she avoids the death penalty and saves her people from the evil plot.
The Book of Judges gives us a unique story about a man named Jephthah. Being an exiled outcast, Jephthah surprisingly gets recruited to lead the armies of Israel. He makes a vow to God, saying that whatever comes out of the doors of his house to meet him upon his return from the battle he will offer as a sacrifice if he is given the victory. To his dismay, his only child, a virgin daughter is the one who comes out of the house to celebrate his victory. After a time of mourning, she willingly agrees to the sacrifice to honor her father’s vow to God.
When looking for Jesus in the Old Testament Scriptures, there are times when Jesus points us directly to them. Jesus said in Matthew 12:40 “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” While Jonah is on a ship running from God, it’s determined that he is the reason that a tempest storm is about to destroy the ship and all it’s passengers and crew. Jonah selflessly gives himself up to be thrown into the sea. His sacrifice saves all onboard the ship.
Notice how all three of these historical events point to the redeeming work of Jesus. Not only is the theme of self-sacrifice key to what God has done for us but it’s also key to our relationship with God. Jesus said “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? Luke 9: 23-25
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13
As another year comes to an end, I find myself, as many others, reflecting on life and what’s most important. This morning I was reminded of a long-time friend who passed away in 2019. My last visit with Hamilton is one that I will never forget. He was a co-worker and friend for many years. A unique and eccentric individual with a great sense of humor. In the audio and video industry that we worked in; his technical skills were amazing. I can truly say I never knew anyone quite like Hamilton. Unfortunately, he spent the last days of his life battling Parkinson’s disease. On my last visit with him we had a special morning enjoying coffee, bagels, and wonderful conversation. After about an hour and a half, the Parkinson tremors had become so bad that he could barely sit up in his chair. He asked if we could end our meeting so he could get some rest. The impact of what happened next is hard to explain. As I was about to leave, we prayed in the foyer with his wife. After the prayer, Hamilton looks up at me with intense emotion on his face and asked me “What can I do for God? How can I be used by Him? Surely I can be a testimony for someone!” Then being too weak to stand from the tremors, he proceeds to craw on his hands and knees up the staircase to his bedroom. As I left his house, I was overwhelmed, and tears flooded my eyes. I had just witnessed someone who’s body was being ravaged by a debilitating disease ask the question “What can I do for God.”
Hamilton passed not long after this, but hopefully his final convictions about what’s truly important will be an inspiration to you. Let us continue to look for ways to be used by God. Let us seek the will of God while we can.
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Blessing to you all in 2022,
I hope this post will bring encouragement to all who read it as I share some ministry highlights from 2021. God opened the door for some amazing encounters this year. I was given the opportunity to witness to approximately 27 Mormons at various places from January to July. With Mormons, I normally start the conversation by sharing my salvation testimony. I highlight the fact that after surrendering my life to Jesus, God filled me with the Holy Spirit, opened my eyes to understand the Scriptures and set me on fire for Him. Then I will explain to them that all this occurred without ever reading the Book of Mormon. This approach always leads to very fruitful conversations.
So, the Mormons are still very active in my community. However, the Jehovah Witnesses have disappeared, except for a personal letter campaign. At the first of the year, I received 2 separate outreach letters from the Jehovah Witness. I responded to both with my testimony and an invitation to study the Scriptures with me. This led to a four-month weekly zoom meeting with multiple Jehovah Witness. I learned more about their beliefs and planted many seeds of truth to them.
Unfortunately, I had to attend 2 funerals and 1 memorial service this year. As sad as it is to say goodbye to loved ones, these events are great witnessing opportunities. I find people to be extremely open to the Gospel and spiritual conversations at these services.
I started working a new job this year, for a company with a very multi-cultural workforce. Thankfully, God has allowed me to share the Gospel there on breaks and after hours with many co-workers including 4 Muslims, a Black Hebrew Israelite and even a Christian that doesn’t believe in the trinity.
I have also discovered a new question that opens the door for spiritual conversations during the Christmas season. Just ask someone “Are you ready for Christmas?” I had a lady respond with “No, I’m a Jehovah Witness”.
Blessings to you all in 2022 and remember that we plant and water, but God brings the increase.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 1Corinthians 3:6-8
There are two major events in the history of Atlanta that I was unaware of until recently. I believe there are some relevant insights we can learn from both.
On June 3rd 1962, Air France flight 007 crashes on take off killing over 100 passengers. Most of these passengers were from the Atlanta arts community on a tour of European art museums. At the time of the crash, it was the worst commercial air disaster in aviation history. As the city of Atlanta mourns the tragedy, Malcolm X makes the following statement… “The white race is collectively guilty… and therefore they would suffer collective disaster...When that plane crashed…it was a blessing from God, and I pray for similar blessings from Him to repeat themselves as often as He can spare them.”
Are not these words from Malcolm X the same battle cry heard today from the BLM organization, Black Hebrew Israelites and many other groups? Is this how God sees it? Are people with the same skin color collectively guilty for the sins of other people with the same skin color? Are people that are in right standing with God punished for the sins of their ancestors? If punishment for ancestral sin exists, then how far back does it go? 400 years? 1,000 years? 2,000 years? If you go back far enough, we are all related through Adam. Acts 17:26 states ‘And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings’, according to God, we are all related.
As for collective guilt, the scriptures of the new covenant make it clear that we are judged by God for our individual deeds.
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. Ezekiel 18:20
But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. Jeremiah 31:30
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1
On June 30th 1974, Marcus Wayne Chenault, a student of Black Hebrew Israelite theology, opens fire during the morning service at Ebenezer’s Baptist Church killing Martin Luther King Jr’s mother. Alberta King was assassinated while playing the church organ. Chenault was quoted saying “all Christians are my enemies.”
How about these words and actions from Marcus Wayne Chenault, who was inspired by Black Hebrew Israelite teachings? Does God want us to murder our enemies?
-And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. Luke 9:54-55
-But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, Matthew 5:44
-Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. ”Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21
Not only is murder forbidden but hatred is as well. God sees hatred the same as murder.
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1John 3:15
So, what is the connection of Malcolm X, Marcus Wayne Chenault and the affairs of today? Your worldview and actions must be derived and directed from the Scriptures. When people use the political climate of a country, that is just a speck on the map of eternity, to influence their interpretation of the Scriptures, the consequences can be devastating as seen with Malcolm X and Marcus Wayne Chenault. The Bible is for all nations and must be understood in that context. When America is put in the center of scriptural interpretation it can be extremely dangerous, as seen with many cults. God’s word is for all and thankfully, Jesus came for the people of all nations. He died and rose from the dead on the third day to pay the price for the sins of mankind, giving everlasting life to whoever believes in Him.
During these times of uncertainty there are many places in the Scriptures that we can find encouragement. I hope you find the following examples of God’s protection useful for such a time as this.
The Bronze Serpent: Numbers - Chapter 21
As the children of Israel journeyed through the wilderness they became discouraged and spoke against God and Moses. They complained about their condition since leaving Egypt. The Lord sent poisonous snakes among them and many people died. After they repented for their attitudes, the Lord told Moses to make a bronze serpent on a pole. If anyone looked upon the bronze serpent, as Moses held it up, they would not be harmed. In His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus refers to this event and applies it to Himself . . . ‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.’ - John 3:14-15
Imagery of the bronze serpent on a pole is very prevalent in our society today. Most hospitals, firetrucks and ambulances have it displayed. In the same way that the Israelites were instructed to keep their eyes on the bronze serpent, we are to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and what He did on the cross. He died for us, rose from the dead and grants everlasting life to all who believe - opening the door to Heaven and providing a way to escape the torment of a place prepared for those who have rejected Him.
Passover: Exodus - Chapter 12
The children of Israel were being held captive by the Egyptians. In their suffering and cries for help, God sent Moses. After multiple plagues were brought against the Egyptians, Pharaoh remained determined to hold the Hebrews captive, which set the stage for Passover. The Lord gave instructions for every man to take for his household a lamb without blemish. At a set time, they were to kill their lamb and sprinkle blood on the two doorpost and the lintel of their houses. That night, the Lord passed through the land of Egypt and struck down all the firstborn of the Egyptians. Houses marked with blood from the lamb were passed over by the Lord, with no harm coming to those who remained inside.
The apostle Paul, in 1Corintians 5:7, identifies Christ as our Passover who was sacrificed for us. Just as the children of Israel were held in bondage and needed to be set free, all of mankind is bound by the chains of sin and is in need of deliverance. Jesus came as the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Being perfect and without blemish He shed His blood for us. Rising from the dead, on the third day, so that whoever believes in Him will be seen and accepted as righteous by God.
From the Passover we also get a very interesting visual. Notice how the blood is applied to the top of the door frame and then to the far right and the far left as well. This is a picture of the coming Messiah, Jesus, who bled from His head and His outstretched hands, one to the left and the other to the right. The blood of the lamb was applied to the doorpost as a sign marking those to be protected. The blood of Jesus brings freedom and protection for those who remain in Him.
Psalm 91 is a great prayer to pray over your family. Here’s a version that’s been personalized.
Psalm 91 (Personalized)
We shall dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty. We will say of the Lord, “He is our refuge and our fortress; Our God, in Him we will trust.” Surely He shall deliver us from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover us with His feathers, and under His wings we shall take refuge;
His truth shall be our shield and buckler. We shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at our side, And ten thousand at our right hand; But it shall not come near us. Only with our eyes shall we look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because we have made the Lord, who is our refuge, Even the Most High, our dwelling place, No evil shall befall us, Nor shall any plague come near our dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over us, To keep us in all our ways. In their hands they shall bear us up, Lest we dash our foot against a stone. We shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent we shall trample underfoot. “Because we have set our love upon Him, therefore He will deliver us; He will set us on high, because we have known His name. We shall call upon Him, and He will answer us; He will be with us in trouble; He will deliver us and honor us. With long life He will satisfy us, And show us His salvation.”
Let us call on the Lord for He is our Help!
I hope everyone had a blessed 2019. As I was reflecting on my evangelism encounters from this past year, my first thought was that I had not done as much as in previous years. However, after looking through my journal where I note witnessing encounters, I was greatly encouraged to see the diverse experiences the Lord allowed me to be a part of.
Welcome to Adventures in Witnessing. If you love talking to people about God
then chances are you will come across an anti-Semite, someone who is against the Jewish people.
There are 2 lies that you will commonly hear about the Jewish people.
1. Jews control the world and are the instigators of most of the world’s problems.
2. Most of the Jews today are not real Jews but imposters and these imposters are
responsible for most of the world’s problems.
Before I address these, let’s look at what God’s Word says about Israel and the Jewish people.
In Genesis 12:1-3 God says to Abram “I will make you a great nation… I will bless those who bless you,
and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
For You have made Israel Your very own people forever. (Ref. 2 Samuel 7:24)
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,… I will give the land of Canaan… (Ref. Psalm 105:10-11)
The Lord will scatter Israel. (Ref. Jeremiah 31:10)
The Lord will bring them back to their land which He gave to their fathers. (Ref. Jeremiah 16:15)
Jerusalem will be a city of controversy. (Ref. Zechariah 12:2)
The Jewish messiah who is the savior of the world will return and stand on the Mount of Olives which
faces Jerusalem. (Ref. Zechariah 14: 3-4)
So, God has chosen a unique people to be His very own people forever. He gave them their own land to
be theirs forever and He decided to reveal Himself to the world as a Jew, Jesus the Messiah.
But now that Jesus has come, is God finished with the Jewish people?
Again, let’s look at what the Scriptures say…
Has God cast away His people? Certainly not! (Ref. Romans 11:1)
To the Israelites pertain the service of God and the promises. (Ref. Romans 9:4)
Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for
the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. (Ref. Romans 11:28-29)
Do not be ignorant of this mystery… that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved… (Ref. Romans 11:25-26)
When the Messiah returns they will look on Him whom they pierced and mourn for Him and all Israel
will believe in Jesus. (Ref. Zechariah 12:10-11)
So, clearly God is not finished with His people. He has chosen them, made promises to them and has a
special purpose for them.
Now what about the lies?
Let’s start with the one that says, ‘most of the Jews today are not real Jews but imposters and especially
those with European descent.’ They claim that these Jews are false converts whose blood does not go back
to Abraham. Here’s my issue with this claim; Abraham’s blood line has changed many times. Joseph married
an Egyptian, Moses married an Ethiopian, Israel took in 32,000 Midianite virgins, and don’t forget about
Rahab the harlot and Ruth the Moabite who are in the genealogy of Jesus. God has never had a problem
with gentiles becoming Israelites, which means the blood line has changed many times.
Another question that must be asked… Would God allow imposters to fulfill Biblical prophecy?
As in the case with the 1948 rebirth of the nation of Israel.
Now, do the Jews control the world? Are they responsible for most of the world's problems? Let’s look at
the facts; Jewish people have suffered more persecution throughout the ages than any other people
group. Look at the way the UN treats Israel to this day. Even though being small in numbers, Jews have consistently risen to the top of society in awards, accolades, and achievements. God’s favor on the Jewish
people has preserved them and His Biblical principles have helped them succeed in almost ever country
where they have lived. This is one of the reasons why people lie about the Jews and the other reason
belongs to the devil. Satan tries to influence people against God’s chosen people.
Now please heed this warning from the Scriptures,
’Do not boast against the branches (The Jewish people)… for you do not support the root, but the root
supports you…Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity,
but toward you goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
(Ref. Romans 11:18-22)
And to Abram He said, “I will make you a great nation… I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse
him who curses you.” (Ref. Genesis 12:1-3)
Now for the bottom line! God chose a people to be His very own people forever and we are not to
boast against them, but we are to love and support them.
So, will you help me stand with Israel?
Let me tell you a story about two very unique individuals, Keith Green and Randy Rhoads. Now there is a good chance that you have probably heard of at least one of these men but I’m guessing a smaller chance that you have heard of both. Even though these two musicians had some incredible connections to each other their lives took them into completely different social circles that were miles apart.
With only a three-year difference, both Keith and Randy were born in the 1950’s and as children became skilled musicians. By the age of 12, Keith was such an advanced singer, songwriter, and piano player that he signed a recording contract with ‘DECA Records.’ Randy was so talented on the guitar that by the age of 16 he was playing in rock bands and was a guitar teacher for a music school.
By the mid 1970’s, Keith Green and Randy Rhoads were both residing and playing music venues in the Los Angeles area and on their way to becoming celebrities.
Now if you were a fan of heavy metal music, you probably know about Randy Rhoads journey to fame. In 1979 the famous singer Ozzy Osbourne was looking to start a new band. At that time Randy had been with Quiet Riot, a band that was successful in L.A. but had not been able to get national attention. Randy auditioned for Ozzy and was hired on the spot. They went on to record ‘Crazy Trian’ and ‘Flying High Again’ as well as many other hit songs.
Now unless you grew up in certain Christian circles, you probably don’t know that much about Keith Green’s story. As a young man playing in the night clubs of L.A., Keith was on a spiritual quest. Both Keith and his wife were Jewish and after a short time of searching they both accepted Jesus as their Messiah. Keith’s life was radically changed as he now wrote songs for Jesus and devoted his life to following the teachings of the bible. In 1976 Keith signed a record contract with ‘Sparrow Records’ and quickly became a popular Christian artist.
Which brings us to 1982, by 1982 Keith and Randy are both well known artists in their respective fields. As I mentioned, Keith and Randy had some incredible connections to each other but this final connection is almost beyond words. On March 19th, 1982 Randy Rhoads went up in a small airplane for a joy ride and lost his life. The airplane’s wing clipped Ozzy’s tour bus and crashed into a nearby house. Four months later, on July 28th,1982 Keith Green also loses his life from a joy ride in a small airplane that crashes just after takeoff.
To this very day, both Keith and Randy influence and inspire people from around the world. So, what can we learn from these two unique men? Whether we are famous or not, we are all influencing others. Whether we are known by many or not, only God knows how much time we have on this earth.
Psalm 90:12 says ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.'
So, what is the message we are leaving?
Leonard Ravenhill said “Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?”
The inscription on the top of Keith Green’s tombstone reads “Gone to be with Jesus.” The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus has made a way for all who believe in Him to have a life full of purpose with the promise of everlasting life. A life devoted to Jesus will have an influence on others that echoes into eternity.
Now is the time to get right with God. We have all broken His commandments but thankfully, God in His mercy provided a way for us to be forgiven. Admit you have sinned against Him and turn away from sin. Believe that God sent His Son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for your sin and raised Him from the dead. Commit your life to following Jesus and have eternal life with God.
Follower of Jesus