A blog from a sweet sister, Tamara, who asked if we would share it with our followers. We are grateful to have been asked, and we pray you enjoy.
"Our family decided to watch Wonder Woman 84 the other day because we like Scifi and action films. We also think it’s pretty cool to watch a movie with an Israeli actress who had been in the IDF. As in all secular movies there were a couple of things I really didn’t care for but as with all things in life, chew the meat and spit out the bones.
Two major principles in this movie struck me as being so biblical.
First, Diana as a child is participating in these Olympic games and at one point she takes her eyes off the path in front of her to see where the other girls in the competition were and falls off her horse, who keeps trotting along without her and she also loses her bow. That right there speaks volumes. If you take your eye off the path in front of you to see where others are in comparison with you, you will lose your way. We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to others but instead continue walking the path Yah has set out for us.
So when she falls off the horse she then has to try to figure out if she gives up or finds a way to continue somehow. She looks around her and lo and behold finds a shortcut. So without a second thought she takes the shortcut and is able to catch up to her horse and get back on and continue the race. But aha! She has lost her bow and is not able to mark her advancements on the marker up at the arena and the judges are taking note of this.
This girl is no doubt super strong, talented, and very intelligent and has a strong will to be a winner. I have to confess with some shame that I became fatigued just watching these ladies do these strenuous exercises. So, thanks to her strength and determination, not only does she make it back to the arena, but she comes in first. Just as she is about to go collect her prize one of the judges pulls her off her track and holds her back telling her that she took a short cut and cheated and therefore is not worthy of getting the prize!! Many tears and anger follow for the little girl who was so sure of her victory only to have it taken from her at the very last moment.
What a lesson. This reminds me of the verses:
“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
I much fear many believers are taking short-cuts to do those things they think our Father wants; in other words, not obeying all of His word, all of His commandments but maybe they are out there helping the community, feeding the needy, even preaching salvation to the lost but taking no heed to try to figure out what Yah really wants from them, not trying to be completely obedient to His desires and then when they stand in front of the Great White Throne they will claim “But we were out there feeding the homeless, and preaching your Word” but He will say: “Yes, all those things are great but you never bothered to learn what I wanted of you, you took short-cuts and now you are not deserving of the prize. You did not stay on the competition path the whole way but instead did things your way and now you think that because you were creative and found another way to the finish line that you are worthy of praise!”
It is good to help the community, it is good to feed the homeless, to preach salvation, etc, etc but if we are not taking the time to figure out what His Word says as to how we are to live all areas of our lives then we will not make it to that first-place podium!!!
Another thing that powerfully called my attention was the whole concept of the wishes and how this stone would grant these wishes but with the condition that it would take your greatest treasure from you. In Diana’s case it was her strength and power. In the case of Barbara, it was her kindness, gentleness and sweetness and she became selfish and evil. Boy, again what a lesson. In this movie everyone was making these horribly selfish wishes, even one man desiring death to his wife at which point she has a massive heart attack and falls on the floor. But all these selfish desires were creating a horrible chaos in the world to the point where the whole world was about to be destroyed in a thermo-nuclear war.
Do you see it? Do you see how the majority of the world has put aside those things which are good, moral and ethical to follow their own selfish desires and how it has created much chaos in the world? It’s only when Wonder Woman pleads with the world through a television broadcast for them to put aside their selfish desires and to love that the world starts to go back to what it had been before. Yah is pleading with us every day to follow His Word that He designed to keep the chaos away from our lives, our family and household, and by extension the community and the world around us but the world has largely ignored His pleas and is now plagued with chaos.
If we had only followed His instructions written through the entire Bible (rules), we wouldn't be in this place. We wouldn’t be in a society that glorifies personal convenience even to the detriment of the lives of our unborn children, a society that is individualistic instead of focusing on the needs of the family structure as it is in so many other cultures world-wide, a society where children have been abandoned so women can be empowered and who end up in the legal system for the sake of women being in key positions in Fortune 500 companies.
Now please understand, there is a time and place for everything. There are seasons in our lives where we need to be home with our littles and there are seasons where our littles are not so little anymore and then we have more time for ministry. There are seasons where women are abandoned, and they have to work to provide for their family. We live in a fallen world, but I just wish the sexual revolution hadn’t happened and we lived in a more traditional society where women could be keepers of their homes and children, instead of being forced to work. I wish all women had a stronger support system around them made up of wise grandmas, aunts and sisters. But that’s not the world we live in and I fully understand that.
One concept that kept popping up in the movie was the concept of truth vs. lies. And that brings me back to what the Bible says about truth, that it will set us free. We find ourselves in a position of spiritual slavery because we did not recognize the truth, because we’ve bought into the lies that we have carried down from generation to generation and we refuse, as believers, to examine those lies, those traditions to see if they are truly the will of our Father because again, we are selfish. And in being selfish we are part of the chaos instead of being that light to the nations that we were called to be and we will be held accountable for it. You will especially be accountable for those truths that were told to you and you ignored because you had to have (insert those things you are not willing to give up not even for your Messiah), because you were more in love with those things that you were with your Messiah, with your God. It saddens me how I’ve tried to talk to several people about certain Torah principles and they’ve just said: I love God but don’t ask me to give up my (favorite things). And I just want to sit them down with one of those movies like the Passion of Christ, let them watch the scene of the crucifixion and then ask them: So you’re telling me Jesus went through this horrible, painful, gruesome, humiliating public execution so your sins could be forgiven and you could have access to eternal life, yet you can’t give up your favorite things? Why? Because it tastes good in your mouth? Because that activity is so much FUN, brings you temporary pleasure? Because it’s a tradition your family has observed for generations? Because you simply are a selfish human being who cares nothing, in the end, for what your Creator is asking of you and all you can focus on is the temporary pleasures of this life to the detriment of your eternal salvation????
I think we all need to watch this movie with an open mind and see the cautionary tale it portrays and apply it to the Biblical principles we are supposed to be living. I really think the writer and/or director of this movie was somewhat inspired by God to make a secular story but that is so full of biblical principles. Occasionally a story or movie comes along that even though it’s not “Christian” per se has some really exceptional values in it that we can all learn from and apply in our lives as well as the lives of our loved ones.
So what can we learn from WW84?
Tamara Blessing, guest blogger
NOTE: A special thank you to Tamara for asking to post this message on our ministry page. I was very moved by the way she and her husband, Jeff, used the secular movie to teach their family great lessons that can be carried for a lifetime. We pray that you will also be able to glean from this message as we have.
Blessings and shalom,
* This is to inform readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions
expressed belong solely to the author, and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions and beliefs of the website, our ministry, or its
affiliates, organizations, committees or other groups or individuals.
I recently made a post following the Christmas holiday, and just a day or two before “New Years Eve.”
My OP was simply, “Looks like our New Years Eve will be rainy and all the way into the New Years Day. We don't have big plans, just the two of us, maybe movies and some special treats after a nice take-home dinner we are going to grab from the same restaurant we bought gyros from (earlier in the week). Was a bit bothered by rainy days, but then I thought, Actually, that rain can just WASH AWAY 2020!!!! And start the new Gregorian year off clean and shiny, new!!!!”
This simple thought brought a number of questions through messenger about how our ministry feels about celebrating New Years on December 31st to January 1. This blog post is a summary of the thoughts I emailed out to answer basic questions. In this post, we are not going to get into the typical discussion about pagan elements, nor are we going to rant, “NO!!! Don’t celebrate!!! IT’S PAGAN!!” By now I would hope that you recognize the fact that we are not that kind of ministry.
Although there are days on the calendar which we do NOT celebrate because they DO have a strong pagan influence, such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter, the end of December New Years is not one we put in that same category.
First, we need to realize how the people of the world recognize A NUMBER of “New Years” throughout the year – many people don’t realize that. From a Biblical perspective, there is the new year that happens when Yom Teruah occurs in the fall. This is when the Hebrew Calendar changes the numerical designation for the year. It marks time. Then, there is the end of one and beginning of another agricultural year. There is the new year that is celebrated in the spring as well – which is described in Exodus 12. Another example would be how Americans (and much of the business world) respect the “new year” that happens at the end of the fiscal year. Which brings us, of course, to the typical New Years celebration everyone is most accustomed to: the end of one and the start of the next Gregorian calendar year. These are just a few of the examples that can be described.
Each of these “new years” serves a purpose.
As a gardener, I respect the agricultural year as it rolls through. The minute the harvest season is over, the soil needs to start being prepared for the next planting season. It is just something you do when you want to produce the best results.
As believers we honor the Biblical time markers with the spring and fall feasts. Both of which contain a “new year” memorial time.
And then, because we have owned our own businesses in the past as well as currently serving in our ministry, we MUST respect both the Gregorian AND fiscal calendars. In our ministry, this is what we would call teaching balance. Let me explain some critical details which a lot of people try to ignore when they go “all-in” trying to purge their lives of “pagan calendaring.”
#1) People operate on the Gregorian calendar – world-wide. It is a fact we HAVE to accept. We can’t just toss it aside. Businesses, banking, doctor appointments, paydays, work schedules, school schedules, sports, Shabbat meetings, pretty much everything in life uses this as the timekeeper. It is a convenience we are all accustomed to.
I have met people over the years who refuse to use the Gregorian calendar claiming it is pagan, therefore Yahweh would consider it sin to use it. Yet we literally cannot escape it. Imagine trying to call a doctor’s office and scheduling an appointment for the 18th day of the Hebrew month. Or worse, if you are a person who believes that the new year starts ONLY in spring and you try to schedule an appointment on the 18th day of the “fifth month.” Would you be scheduling your appointments on the SAME FIFTH MONTH? Not likely. It would be impossible to accomplish all the scheduling according to your personal calendar preference – you would eventually HAVE to point out what Gregorian date you need that appointment on.
Another reason we HAVE to live by the calendar the world is on – when we write out checks, make payments for bills, and when we sign legal documents, the list is endless. Using the Gregorian calendar makes it very easy to reconcile things, to be honest. This might be one of the correct ways in which we submit to governing authorities, as is described in Romans 13 and the principle of submitting to the governing authorities.
A moment here, too to point out how many don’t realize that the Hebrew calendar has paganism in it as well. Take for example the month of Tammuz. It is Babylonian and the name of a Pagan god. At some point, we have to reach a sensible position of BALANCE.
#2) When it comes to celebrating Biblical Feast Days, we personally follow the Hebrew calendar (Hillel II) for our Feast Days – except, as I have mentioned before, some Feasts are marked for two or three days (as per rabbinic tradition). We do not follow rabbinics when it comes to our beliefs. Many of their teachings are blatantly unbiblical. I discuss this in several different blog posts. We use the Biblical description for the proper dates to celebrate and mark our calendars accordingly. So, on those Feasts where the Hillel 2 may mark 2 days, we celebrate ONE day. We follow the BIBLE description on those days.
#3) When it comes to the Gregorian New Year celebrations, yes, some do have pagan traditions attached to them or are derived from pagan origins. Father Time and Baby New Year are a couple examples, while noise makers, are another. These are sometimes used by some cultures to chase away demons as we enter into a new and prayerfully prosperous year. We don’t do or participate in these celebrations in any way. We simply mark the change of one numeric year to another.
I can share with you what we have done in the past and do now to celebrate the change.
Examples: when we lived closer to family in NJ, we would gather together on NY Eve, have special foods that we each enjoy, usually a pot-luck sort of spread. Some years we had nothing but lots of snacks, others we had a dinner. And then play games together until midnight. Then we would wish everyone a blessed next year, and everyone would go home. Nothing big – those who were accustomed to saying “Happy New Year” would, we generally just wished blessings upon everyone for the upcoming 12 months. Our family is one of many mixed faiths, and this is what was best for us.
Now, living in the Appalachians, it is just the two of us. We use it as an evening to go out early, buy some nice take out that we don’t normally splurge on, something special to drink along with it (we don’t do sodas, so often flavored sparkling waters), and maybe a nice dessert if we are in the mood. We then enjoy dinner and a movie at home (Although sometimes we binge watch a show we want to catch up on). We do that until midnight, and then we tend to end up, for about an hour, fielding phone calls or texts from those same family members I mentioned above.
On a few rare years in the past, we enjoyed an evening just as I described, but with friends who live close. We don’t like to be on the mountain roads on certain nights. Hard enough driving in winter, let alone with drunks on the roads. So, we stay in our development. It doesn’t work out every year that we can spend it with friends, though.
This year, more than many in the past, has been a difficult one for the world, and in some ways for us personally. Yet right near the end of this year, we were blessed greatly with a change we didn’t see coming. Plus, in a short time we will be welcoming our newest grandbaby – sometime in January! We are celebrating MIRACLES and blessings right now!!! Our grandson is a miracle after 10 years of infertility for our daughter and Son-in-law. We have a lot to celebrate, many do, and even those who don’t feel it is the start of a new time period in which we can pray to Yahweh for opening of doors, for provision, protection, and even more.
We are not a ministry built on legalistic obedience which can get overwhelming. Yeshua told His followers that his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Our salvation is only through him, it is not gained by meticulously examining every micro detail of our lives by a “pagan” measuring stick. When we do this, we often lose the love and fruit of the Spirit He wants us to exhibit toward each other, and toward others.
Blessings and Shalom
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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