16 Jan From Florida to Texas and Why
Something heavenly happens when one hears the music of Yeshua (Jesus), as He must have heard it when He was a boy—in the Hebrew language of His people. The liturgy of the Jewish people has a life unto itself, a life that the holy breath of God has given it. As it is with the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit), if we are open to these special musical moments, we can add a dimension to our walk, to our “dance” with the Lord—a dimension that can turn a melody into the music of the Holy Spirit.
We know that music in any language can have a healing touch and may be an emotionally satisfying experience. Spiritual music can often bring us to tears and cause us to “feel the presence of the Lord” and even bring strengthening to a wounded spirit. However, when a believer hears Hebrew music, something profound happens. Throughout history, music has played a vital role in worship, and the Jewish people have a rich history of musical expression. The Scriptures were memorized and meditated upon through chanting and singing—in Hebrew.
The Hebrew component adds a dimension that no other idiom can. In Acts 26:13-14, Paul describes his walk to Damascus. The tale climaxes with his saying, “… a voice came out of heaven in the Hebrew dialect.” This heavenly language, when injected into the musical experience, opens to us a new anointing that gives us the inner healing of David’s harp.
At first glance, what is known as Messianic music may reflect the same aroma as all other music. After all, the anointing of the Lord is the same whether it’s in Hebrew, English, Spanish, Japanese, or any other language, right? A song by any other name is still a song, why then bother with the Hebrew aspect? Music—especially Messianic music—becomes a key which opens itself to the soul and to the spirit. The Lord has given us the gift of music to worship Him. Sadly, this divine gift has diminished over the years as it has been relegated to a place where its primary purpose is to appease ones’ soul…. yet I would challenge that music has been created for the spirit, and not just for the soul! When music contains an amoral message, uses animal rhythms and violent connotations, then our ears, our bodies, and our spirits will be plummeted with a beating which may contaminate us for a long time. We should take care that when the window to our spirit and soul is opened any type of wind may blow in—and not all wind is fresh and sweet.
On the other hand, if the wind that comes through our open window is the Holy Wind of God, something miraculous happens. When the music of the Ruach Ha Kodesh touches us, we are brought to a place of reverence of the Lord and filled with the very essence of who our Jewish Jesus is and who He wants us to be. We are returned to the “God of our salvation,” as though ascending to sit at His feet. This miraculous wind brings with it a sense of well-being and the holiness of the Lord, who transcends any corruption in us.
The music of Jerusalem is much like the rocks of Jerusalem— steeped in history and tradition—saturated with the groanings of the Jewish people and touched by the tears Yeshua shed. The music also reflects the sorrows inflicted on the Jewish people through the mishandling of both the gospels and the very words of our Messiah. The truth is, the essence of our faith is Hebrew—and that rich history of joy, sorrow, and salvation is like Hebrew blood flowing through our veins. Is it any wonder that people are often moved into a place of sublime elation when they hear ancient music of the Messiah and become enveloped in a spiritual tapestry of praise and worship lead by the Ruach Ha Kodesh and breathed by the Lord?
Yes, a Jewish expression of worship is like any other expression … only more so, because it contains the heartbeat of God and our Messiah—Yeshua.
As the newest members of the dynamic team of individuals who make up the ministry outreach of The Bethany Center, Sharon and I are delighted to have been called to this place where the Holy Spirt—the Ruach Ha Kodesh is clearly present. We have known Paul and Victoria Sarvadi for many years, and have had the privilege not only to participate in many of their ministry outreach events, but to also watch them grow into increasingly passionate leaders who love the Lord, study His Word and apply what they learn to their lives on a daily basis.
We see the unity and passion for Messiah that connects everyone in this ministry—leaders and followers alike, and flows gloriously into everything being accomplished here. It is for these reasons and more that at a stage in life when many are considering retirement, we pulled up stakes to come be a part of this powerful and prophetic ministry. To have been given the opportunity to relocate from Florida to Texas and be here leading worship with the Holy Spirit for this godly group of people is truly a blessing. Music is my passion and praise is my purpose, and I am humbled to be here.
As Jewish believers in Yeshua, we are often referred to as “Messianic Jews,” yet I like to think of us as lovers of the Lord and miracles of the Messiah—just like the Sarvadi’s and just like all those who have been called to explore the Hebraic roots of our faith and learn more about Yeshua in His true context. Sharon and I are both excited to be on the Leadership Team for First Century Genesis (FCG), the newest in the growing family of ministry outreaches made possible by The Nathaniel Foundation.
Another exciting project for us is a new praise and worship album currently in production with the University of North Texas Jazz Ensemble. Desperate for You will include readings from the Psalms, vocals, and music that will bring us into the presence of the Lord. The music of Desperate for You will take us to God’s heart and enable us to feel the inner warmth of His perfect smile. And through the gifted teachings of Drs. Victoria Sarvadi, Bron Barkley, John Garr, Brad Young and Richard Booker, we will be ushered into the Wisdom of the Lord by these anointed Hebraic scholars. Desperate for You will be a warm and comfortable blend of worship, praise, song, and spiritual discovery. You can read more about this exciting new project, including updates on the album release and even listen to sneak-peak soundtracks in coming newsletters and on Victoria’s website.
It is often said that a tree with shallow roots will not stand long in the wind or weather a storm, but the tree with deep roots—it will stand straight and strong—immovable in the face of whatever may come its way. The growing outreach that God has made possible through blessing the work of Paul and Victoria Sarvadi and their Nathaniel Foundation is a miraculous testimony to what can happen when your roots of faith are planted deep. With this Kaleidoscope bi-monthly newsletter, the weekly Faith Infusion updates, and her books, Precious Gems teaching materials, audio and video programs, Israel Study Tours, and special events, it is clear that Victoria Sarvadi has taken her prophetic mandate to teach the Word of God very seriously. Just as Paul has used his life-changing transformation to give glory, honor and praise to the One who has so greatly blessed their lives. If you haven’t read Victoria’s memoir, Just a Little Girl, visit her website now to get your copy and discover how a clinical death brought a teenage girl face-to-face with an angel and head-to-head with her faith—and changed the life of her young husband as well. Just a Little Girl is an inspiring look at how the Sarvadi’s insatiable quest for spiritual enlightenment began, and how the Lord helped them peel away layers of dogmatic black and white thinking to reveal a rich and colorful tapestry of faith, favor, and freedom.
Victoria and I chose the Colors of Sound as the title for my new column because it resonates with both of us. For Victoria, the colors of precious gems play a key role in her near death experience, and form the basis of why her teaching materials carry the Precious Gems brand. For me, the Colors of Sound resonates with how I feel about and interpret music. My hope is that through this Colors of Sound column I can share a Messianic perspective that will be a fire for your curiosity—that will enable you to experience music through the kaleidoscopic lens of color and the soothing aroma of sound. My prayer is that I can introduce you to the kind of music Yeshua loved, and help you sink your roots into a deeper understanding of Yeshau Ha Messhiach—Jesus the Messiah.
The time to live the unity of the Scriptures has arrived. I believe both Gentiles and Jews can touch the Heart of God and feel the arms of Messiah Yeshua surround them. This act alone brings us together and the special love of Messiah is the glue that will hold us together.
In closing, I thank you for taking the time to visit with me, in this, my first Colors of Sound offering. I look forward to meeting many of you, and for those who live far from us, we invite you to connect via email or our Facebook page. And for those unable to worship with us in person, you can join us online every Friday evening for the Eve of Shabbat (Erev Shabbat) as we stream LIVE via Facebook from The Bethany Center in McKinney, Texas. Be sure to visit Victoria’s Facebook Fan Page to access the live stream and experience all the treasures the Jewish King of all Kings has just for you.
Under His wings and singing His praise,
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