Tag Archives: Faith

Before The Wound – The Cure

Brighton

Before the infliction of the wound, the Holy One, Blessed is He provides the remedy” Megillah 13b

“The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world” Revelation 13:8

Today is a big day. It’s April 1st – The Fool’s Day. Today my wife and I celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. This day fit our personalities (maybe mine a bit more she’ll say) as the perfect date for us to marry on. As the old song goes I guess we “fooled around and fell in love”. For her and to God I’m thankful and happy. We have a wonderful family, great friends, a beautiful home and good jobs. We have been living a blessed life and on most days we actually stop down for a few minutes to acknowledge our blessings as a family. For us this usually happens once the day is starting to wind down around 9pm or so and we gather in our living room or one of the kids rooms and we thank God for All Things, the good, the bad, the crazy, the funny, but mostly just for letting us fulfill another one of our days that are numbered without us knowing according to His grace. Today is a big day.

Now I will fill you in on the details of why this is such an important day beyond the fact of my Wedding Anniversary or the epic jokes and tricks that I look so-forward to playing on people every April 1st. I will begin this story on New Year’s Eve 2014 which also happens to be my daughter Braylee’s birthday. As such, we were busy prepping to have a slumber party for her and some adult friends over for games that night. At some point during the day, I took a few minutes to reflect on 2014 and the milestones that had happened. We had finished building our first home by the end of Spring, found out that we were pregnant with our 4th child by the end of Summer and Elizabeth starting home-schooling our kids at the beginning of Fall. A thought and a silent prayer came to me during this moment and I said to myself “Lord, please use me for your will and purposes in 2015 and may I be obedient to that calling. Amen.”. Within 5 minutes I was caught back up in the busyness that is our days and this life.

A few days later, it was January 5th. We had rung in the New Year, like all others with a renewed hope and great expectations for what could be in store for us in 2015. We had been referred to a fetal cardiologist at Baylor in Dallas and were told not to worry and that this would probably just be a routine extra check-up as we were in a very low risk pregnancy category. Within the first few minutes of the visit, we were stunned with the news we received. Our baby boy (we didn’t have a name picked out yet) had only developed half a heart. Our worst fears were confirmed when we were told that his condition which is Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome or HLHS for short was one of, if not the very worst Congenial Heart conditions that a baby could have. We were told frankly that his life expectancy would not be long and quality of what time he did have could be in question in comparison to our other “normal” children. There is no medical “fix” for HLHS and ultimately he will need to have a heart transplant at some future date in life, sooner or later. In the mean time, the only medical option we have is a series of 3 open-heart surgeries that re-wire the heart in a way that these kids can function up to a certain level for an uncertain time. Only God knows! This was a punch to the gut. It hurt and everything became a little blurry while sitting in the doctor’s office. My brain was flooded with so many thoughts at once that for a brief moment I couldn’t think about anything at all. Thankfully in short order the first Scripture verse that came to my mind was Romans 8:28 Now we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”. I was still in shock and didn’t understand how or why this could happen, but I was confident in this fact; somehow, someway, God has meant this for good and we will find out someday in this world or the world to come.

“Good theology helps God’s people grieve the unthinkable with grace and confidence. #perplexednotcrushed” Matt Chandler

We finally fell asleep once we got home that night and on the next day we determined that it was time this baby had a name. We knew that we wanted a strong “B” name and had been consulting many options and meanings and we ended up settling on Brighton. Brighton in Hebrew means “the one who is loved”. Beyond Appropriate! We had been suggested Abraham as a middle name and liked it since Abraham is known as the “father of faith” and was heavily tested by God through his son Isaac. In my family, we have 2 middle names so we went with a family name that also has a special meaning; Immanuel “God is with us”. So the day after we received the news and had confirmed a name, we felt there was a reason that we couldn’t decide on one before we got his diagnosis. It was just meant to be. Brighton Abraham Immanuel Bond. His name will forever be a testimony.

Do you believe in Miracles? We do! Whether large or small is a matter of subjection, but we objectively have faith in the miracles of the Bible and those that have occurred personally in our lives. Both Christianity and Judaism are faith traditions built upon the very foundations of historical miracles. We immediately begin petitioning God and asking that it be His will to provide a miraculous healing for Brighton’s heart. But, most importantly we asked God to grant us strength to be obedient to his will for us and Brighton. For the past 2 months we have been on countless appointments and visited multiple hospitals seeking knowledge and answers about Brighton’s condition. We have met some amazing people through this journey, people who undoubtedly we were supposed to meet and form relationships. We have had the privilege of hearing amazing stories and testimonies that have greatly strengthened us and provided comfort to our situation. A light in the darkness. God is faithful and true to provide a miracle, it just might look different from what we have in mind.

“Miracles are not in contradiction to nature. They are only in contradiction with what we know of nature.” St. Augustine

Brighton decided to break forth into this world on Friday, March 27th at 3:20 in the morning taking deep breaths and crying out with strong lungs. He weighed 7.8 lbs and was 21.3 inches long. It was a very fast and relatively easy delivery (easy that is for me to say). Brighton was born with HLHS. Since he came into this world, he has been doing great and has been in very stable condition at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas awaiting his first surgery. Today is a big today. Brighton has his first major open-heart surgery today called the Norwood procedure. Update as of 7:30 pm: Brighton’s surgery was successful and he is now in recovery! Praise God!!! This is nowhere near the end though. There are many other things that have happened over the past 3 months that I would like to share, but my time is short for today. Our lives will forever be changed and this is only the beginning of a very long journey. We are both grateful and thankful that God is faithful to walk with us on this journey. This or something like it is the very reason for our faith and how it is made true. As the quotes at the beginning of this post speak to, before the fall when the whole universe was fractured and sick due to sin, God had already provided the cure through Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. Before Brighton or any other child in this hospital got sick, God provided the cure. He is the answer! He is risen! Our hope is in Him through His Resurrection! Come Quickly!!!

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

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Passover on the Plains of Jericho

“Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time.” Numbers 9:2 ESV

Our family Passover preparations are now in full swing as we prepare to host a Seder at our home with family and friends in just a couple of days. Passover begins this year on Friday evening, April 6th. Today we are busy finalizing our guest list, grocery shopping, studying, rehearsing, writing this blog and doing plenty of Spring cleaning (which also means we have to drink up all the beer in the fridge really soon – it’s not that much I promise:-)!

Last week I wrote about The “Egyptian Passover” and gave a brief history of that very first Passover event and what made it unique in comparison to all others after it. For this post, I originally wanted to take a quick look at the post-Exodic (not “exotic”, but “exodic” as in after the Exodus) Passover up until the time of the Men of the Great Assembly. But as I begin to research the Passover from the Biblical and extra-biblical sources starting with the Book of Joshua to King Josiah on to the Book of Jubilees and The Wisdom of Solomon, I quickly realized that this would not be a quick survey after all. Instead of writing a 4,000 word blog of which I have scarcely the time, I decided to split this chronological theme up into much smaller sections over a longer period of time (I have Passover ideas to blog about for many years to come now:-). Makes sense right?

Passover on the Plains of Jericho

“While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho.” (Joshua 5:10 ESV)

This phrase “on the plains of Jericho” sounds very idyllic to me, like some sweeping grandiose setting from a bygone era that gets romanticized in a Hollywood movie. I can picture the scenes in my mind well and imagine some of the interactions of the people. The sweeping Jericho plains at sunset with Palm trees shadowed in the background and the Jordan river flowing in the distance. The tent sites are abuzz with campfires crackling and the excited chatter of the relatively youthful Israelites, almost all who are under the age of sixty with the majority not even forty years old yet. These young generations of Israelites who had weathered the sins of their parents and the harshness of desert life, have just crossed over the Jordan river into this Land they have heard only stories about since they were born. Now it is coming to pass before their very eyes, all of their hopes and dreams will soon be realized in this Land that had been promised to the generations of old, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Joshua, who is one of only two who are left from their parents generation, is their courageous and very capable leader. Joshua was Moses’ right hand man while Moses was alive and Joshua was ordained by God to take Moses’ place after his death. Joshua gives a speech to this young nation that is both inspiring and sobering at the same time. He recounts the faithfulness of the Lord in leading them to this Promised Land and details the blessings spoken of to Moses about how God will shower them with so much provision and abundance that it will be like the Land breaking forth into song and dance all around them. Yet, Joshua also reminds them of the dangers of disobedience and rebellion, of a lack of trust in the Lord and the byproduct of that behavior that they know all too well. The youthful crowd responds to Joshua, “We will take care to do all that the Lord has commanded us to do”!

Many of the young men of the camp were anxious to go forth and “conquer” the Land. They were confident and not a few a bit cocky after they had seen what had happened to the Kings of the Amorites and Canaanites (Joshua 5:1). They knew well the report of the their brethren who had went to spy on the city of Jericho and had brought back this report to Joshua, “Truly the LORD has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.” (Joshua 2:24 ESV). But before the next battle was to begin, the Lord commanded patience, an obedient patience in the form of circumcision.

 Circumcision?! This second generation of Israelites had not been circumcised in the wilderness due to the sins of their fathers, which had delayed the Israelites from entering into the Promised Land in the first place for 40 years. That ancient rite of passage “hadn’t been practiced in many years” some of them said and others cringed at the thought of the pain it entailed. Nevertheless, the whole nation was obedient to the Lord’s command through Joshua and they remained in their camp at a place called Gilgal until they were healed.  After Joshua had all the males circumcised, God told Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” (Joshua 5:9 ESV). This circumcision was important for multiple reasons;

  1. According to the Covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 17:10-11, all of Abraham’s descendents should be circumcised as an act of obedience.
  2. Circumcision is a sign of the Israelites being in covenant with God and the Land of Canaan is a Promise of that Covenant (Genesis 17:8).
  3. According to Exodus 12:48, no one uncircumcised may partake of the Passover sacrifice.

During the time of healing and waiting, their was another rite, albeit a much more “modern” one that perhaps some had never took part in and others had but it had been since their teenage years or earlier – The Passover. Passover was the memorial and commemoration of God’s deliverance of His people Israel, that culminated in the Exodus out of Egypt and set in motion the journey that led them here, to the plains of Jericho – the gateway to the Promised Land.

Sure, they all knew what the Passover was and what it meant to them historically, but most had never actually experienced this sacred event. So here they were on the plains of Jericho, on this side of the Jordan river, with their tribes and divisions of families and they were about to fulfill God’s command to Moses to “Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night.” (Deuteronomy 16:1). On this night so long ago in the shadow of the infamous walls that would soon come tumbling down, I can imagine all the families remembering the past 40 years gone by since the Lord’s redemption from Pharaoh and his army and a young son of Israel probably no more than 4 or 5 years old asking his father “what does this night mean?” and his father replying with the words of Exodus 13:8 ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ I could also imagine the words and thoughts of the evening not just dwelling on the past but looking forward to the future redemption as well, when God will deliver yet again the people who He saved for all eternity in peace and glory. At least that’s how I suppose it could have all happened out on the plains of Jericho over 3,000 years ago. This was the first Passover celebrated in the Promised Land!

May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the name of Yeshua the Messiah, our Passover!

Chag Sameach Pesach 5772!!! Happy Passover 2012!!!

The Bond Family

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Confident in Hope and Convinced of the Invisible

The message given by elder and guest speaker Barry Bruff at Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue www.baruchhashem.com this past Shabbat got me thinking deeper about the explanations of faith found in Hebrews C11 and James C2. It’s been a while since I really just sat back and soaked in the messages from those two amazing chapters of Scripture. One could make a case for Hebrews 11 and James 2 as being two of the greatest expositions and summaries of Biblical faith in the Scriptures.

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Last week’s Torah portion was Lekh L’kha (Go forth) from Genesis 12:1-17:27. This portion of Scripture  told of Abram’s (later Abraham) being called out by God and Abraham trusting in God’s revelation of the Gospel (Gen 12:3,Gal 3:8), promised child (Gen 15:4-5), promised land (Gen 15:18-20) and eternal covenant sign of circumcision (Gen 17:9-13). It is in this portion of Scripture that we are told that Abraham believed in God and God credited Abraham’s belief as righteousness (Gen 15:6). 

Why was Abraham’s faith counted as righteousness? Hebrews 11 states that Abraham regarded the One who made the promises as trustworthy…….looking forward…….and welcoming them from a distance. Abraham had hope and confidence that the promises of God would be realized in due time.

It is also in this portion that Paul forms the basis of his theology in respect to being saved by Grace through Faith in Messiah Yeshua’s atoning work on the cross that has secured our salvation and position in God’s family. Abraham is Paul’s prime example of  how God declares people righteous which is on the basis of real faith. Abraham had real faith which then led to faith’s natural by-product which is real action.

James 2:20-23   Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.

Hebrews 11 states that by trust both Abraham (11:8) and Moses (11:28) obeyed God. For by faith, comes true obedience.

These two things cannot be confused or separated out from each other or we get an incomplete picture of faith. Abraham trusted in God’s word and believed in His promises which led to him acting on those beliefs as evidenced in the text. Abraham’s example shows that true faith is not just something you say or consent to but it’s also something you do according to God’s will being led by the Holy Spirit.

As disciples of Yeshua, our actions are a reflection of the faith we have in our Master. I pray for a greater hope and conviction in His promises for my life and the greater body of Messiah.

May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the matchless name of Yeshua the Messiah!