Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I'm still alive.

Times are busy, busy, busy.
Stay tuned - I am writing something new.

How 'bout that president, ay?

Be back soon - I promise.

(you thought that was going to be a haiku, didn't you?)

Sunday, October 11, 2009


This is from News Busters.

NB: There's a new American flag available on the Internet that has a picture of President Obama in the corner where the stars representing our fifty states normally reside.

Given how our media have assisted in selling Obama paraphernalia since Inauguration Day, one has to wonder what their position will be on the attractive keepsake pictured right.

As NewsBusters has chronicled, news outlets up until now haven't been shy about pushing product associated with the new president... (click here to read the whole post at Newsbusters.com)


Read the rest at Newsbusters.com. They have a good point. After all of the pandering, and lack of media criticism, why wouldn't they help BO sell out the American flag? He already made his own version of the Presidential Seal. Maybe that is what it will take to get him to show the Stars and Stripes any due respect. May it never be. As a vet, I must say that if this starts to get under way, we will not let it happen.


By the way, News Busters has become my favorite source of news lately. They show you the Left-wing bias in the media like I've never seen it before. They do an excellent job of pointing this stuff out, and deserve more than what ever they are getting.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Just what has he accomplished?

I can't take any credit for compiling the list, and I'm not familiar with Dark Matters Radio (which is where I found it). Having said that, this is awesome. If only the rest of America would wake up and smell the truth...

How does Obama define "hope" and "change?" Since he has been in office, he has already:

1. Offended the Queen of England.
2. Bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia.
3. Praised the Marxist Daniel Ortega.
4. Kissed Socialist Hugo Chavez on the cheek.
5. Endorsed the Socialist Evo Morales of Bolivia.
6. Sided with Hugo Chavez and Communist Fidel Castro against
7. Announced we would meet with Iranians with no
pre-conditions while they’re building their nuclear weapons.
8. Gave away billions to AIG also without pre-conditions.
9. Expanded the bailouts.
10. Insulted everyone who has ever loved a Special Olympian.
11. Doubled our national debt.
12. Announced the termination of our new missile defense system
the day after North Korea launched an ICBM.
13. Released information on U.S. intelligence gathering despite
urgings of his own CIA director and the prior four CIA directors.
14. Accepted without comment that five of his cabinet members
cheated on their taxes and two other nominees withdrew after they
couldn’t take the heat.
15. Appointed a Homeland Security Chief who identified military
veterans and abortion opponents as “dangers to the nation.”
16. Ordered that the word “terrorism” no longer be used and
instead refers to such acts as “man made disasters.”
17. Circled the globe to publicly apologize for America’s world
18. Told the Mexican president that the violence in their
country was because of us.
19. Politicized the census by moving it into the White House
from the Department of Commerce.
20. Appointed as Attorney General the man who orchestrated the
forced removal and expulsion to Cuba of a 9-year-old whose mother died
trying to bring him to freedom in the United States.
21. Salutes as heroes three Navy SEALS who took down three
terrorists who threatened one American life and the next day announces
members of the Bush administration may stand trial for “torturing” three
9/11 terrorists by pouring water up their noses.
22. Low altitude photo shoot of Air Force One over New York
City that frightened thousands of New Yorkers.
23. Sent his National Defense Adviser to Europe to assure them
that the US will no longer treat Israel in a special manner and they
might be on their own with the Muslims.
24. Praised Jimmy Carter’s trip to Gaza where he sided with
terrorist Hamas against Israel.
25. Nationalized General Motors and Chrysler while turning
shareholder control over to the unions and freezing out retired
investors who owned their bonds. Committed unlimited taxpayer billions
in the process.
26. Passed a huge energy tax in the House that will make
American industry even less competitive while costing homeowners
thousands per year.
27. Announced nationalized health care “reform” that will strip
seniors of their Medicare, cut pay of physicians, increase taxes yet
another $1 trillion, and put everyone on rationed care with government
bureaucrats deciding who gets care and who doesn’t.

Bloomberg: Daschle says, “Health care reform will not be pain
free. Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with
age instead of treating them,” while former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm
says seniors have “a duty to die.”

Friday, October 02, 2009

Sukkot is Finally Here! ... And The Neighbors Think We Are Nuts.

Sukkot is here, and I am pretty excited about it. I can't remember if this is our 4th or 5th year celebrating it, but each year I learn more about the significance of this prophetic moedim (click the link for a great essay on God's moedim by Tim Hegg).
I can't blog about the journey of a "Christian-gone-Messianic / Hebrew Roots" without mentioning the feeling you get when you build your first real sukkah.
It is an incredible experience knowing that God's people all over the world are building similar temporary dwellings. It is also a little awkward when you live in a small town, like we do.
There are no Jewish people living living here - at least I haven't seen any other Sukkah's in the neighborhood. I have to tell the neighbors that it's "only temporary."

I know that this is short, and not very informative, but I have to get ready for Sabbath dinner (which we will be eating outside), and there is a lot of work to do before the sun goes down.
Sukkkoth lasts for a whole week, so I will go into details of what it is and how we have grown in our observance of it. Keep checking back for more in depth coverage of "Sukkot 2009!" In the meantime, I will leave you with some pictures of our Sukkah...

Sabbath dinner will be eaten out here tonight
looking up through the branches

Our "front door" for the week!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rhett and Link to the Rescue!

These guys continue to make me laugh until I cry.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When the foundations are gone.

Can't say it any better than this; but I can add to it.

This whole "race" thing bothers me.
It seems to me that when a person is attacked for his / her political views or intentions, it is just that - because of their political views or intentions. I have no tolerance for Oprah, but I am neither a racist or chauvinist . I don't care for Billy Crystal - does that make me antisemitic?
Of course not. I'm a white guy who observes Sabbath for crying out loud!

Just today, the House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) set some new rules for speech in the House. Read this and tell me if we are not watching our foundations crumble, and slipping into a Totalitarian state:

From now on, members of the house can not

• call the President a “liar.”
• call the President a “hypocrite.”
• describe the President’s veto of a bill as “cowardly.”
• charge that the President has been “intellectually dishonest.”
• refer to the President as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
• refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the President’s part.”

Here's my question; what if the president is a lying hypocrite who is intellectually dishonest, actively giving aid to the enemy (all of them), and shown through his
actions that he is nothing more than a coward?
Only a coward and his henchmen would go through the trouble of making it illegal to speak the truth. And the truth is that he is a liar. The bill shows where he is a liar - I am not saying it because I am a racist, but because it is fact.

What do we do now? David asked in Psalm 11:3, "When the foundations are gone, what shall the righteous do?"
This scripture has intrigued me for a long time, and it has never seemed more timely. It used to bother me that David never answers the question. I mean, what do we do? We see it happening all around us, the "foundations" are being destroyed right before our eyes.
I see now that David did answer the question. He answered it in the very next verse:

The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven;

It all depends on where your foundation is. Like the old hymn says, "...my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness..."
We are not of this world. Our foundation is not of this world. Though we may be citizens of the United States of America, we hold a greater citizenship, to a Greater Kingdom. His Kingdom can not be thwarted by idiotic lies and rules that are intended to silence the Truth.
His Kingdom is untouched by all of this.

So, "when the foundations are gone, what shall the righteous do?"
We will continue to stand on a firm foundation.
When the foundations are gone, we will thank our Master for welcoming us into His Kingdom.
When the foundations are gone, we will act like we belong to His Kingdom.
When the foundations are gone, we will show the world around us that we are not standing on the same foundation that they are.
When the foundations are gone, we will reach out to save those who are losing their grip on the only foundation they know, which is being destroyed.
When the foundations are gone, we will rejoice in the LORD for allowing us to live in such a time as this.
When the foundations are gone, we will look to His word with hope and read,
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
When the foundations are gone, we will be prepared, because it means that He will be returning soon.
My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' Name.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Snails Blood and Tassles? Clams and Heaven's Gates?

In a previous post titled "Go Tallit on the Mountain," I mentioned that I was going to get some tallit katan (shown right) and they finally showed up! I ordered them from Jerusalem, and the tzitzits are hand tied, solid white. The type that I ordered are certified kosher (yes, kosher covers more than just food), and I will be ordering the blue thread soon.
I have mentioned the "particular color of blue" before, and mentioned that I would write more on that later, so here you go...

The scriptures tell us to include a "blue" thread in the fringes that are to be tied on to the four corners of our garments. I say "blue" because the word for "blue" in Hebrew is Tekhelet. This sounds simple enough, but it turns out that for many centuries, the Jewish people have been unable to find the exact type of blue. Instead of just taking any old blue (which is what I have been doing for the past four years), many Jews prefer not to use any blue thread at all, for fear of having the wrong one.

In the Talmud (sort of like a huge commentary on the Old Testament, written by Jewish sages from long ago), the instructions are given for making this special blue, and as it turns out, it is more difficult than those of us in the West would think.

It all starts with a tiny snail that lives in the Mediterranean Sea called a "chilazon." This tiny shellfish's blood is used for the die. Now, before I go any further, this will sound strange to those of you who know Torah; all shellfish are unclean - an abomination to God's people. Isn't that a little peculuare? To me, it is as odd as the "Pearly Gates." After all, the pearl is an irritation to the abomination we call a clam, right? Strange.
At any rate, the Talmud didn't have photos, and the identity of the "chilazon" was lost. Evidently, they have found it and are making it again, which is good for us, but leaves one to question the Kabulistic writings that tell us "the chilazon will not reemerge until the coming of the Messiah."
...but I have no problems questioning Kabulistic writings. For the time being, the blue blood of the chilazon is good enough for me.

See what I mean? That's a lot of information to sort through! It is awesome to know that our God is who He is. I know that His grace is sufficiant for me - and because of that, I want to obey Him with all of my heart.

I'lll try the new blue, when I get the extra money - in the mean time, I forgot to tell you how much I prefer the tallit katan over the "belt-loop-tzis." I know that that is the right way for me to fulfill this Commandment.

Now, should I start wearing a head covering all the time? I have some study material that claims just that, and it is getting harder and harder to deny it's validity - I may be donning a kippa in the future; but for now, I'm going to keep searching it out in God's Word.

(I used chabad.org for this article)

Hitler Smells Like Teen Spirit... Or Something.

I finally get a comment from the latest post (thank goodness I don't wait for all of them to have comments before posting the next), and it is in Russian!
Now, before you get as excited as I did, relax - I think it is spam. At least I hope it is spam because if it isn't, "Google Translate" needs some tweakin'.
Here is what it says in [broken] English:

From the pleasures of the most pleasant ones that are most rare. Most, the best perfume in small vials. Throw yourself your case with all my heart and soul, but look especially good if this case. Reasonable chasing so it is good, but for the fact that eliminates otnepriyatnostey. All Russia is drinking Hamlet.

If that made sense to you CC, let me know - I can't figure out the connection to Hitler's speech and perfume.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

History is repeating itself.

"This year will go down in history. For the first time,
a civilized nation has full gun registration!
Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient,
and the world will follow our lead into the future!"

so, who said it?

Nancy Pelosi?

Jimmy Carter?

Hillary Clinton?

Barack Obama?

Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again. Though this seems like the ramblings of today's Liberal "luminaries," they can't take the credit for such a statement - though they would like more than anything to be the ones who make it happen.

It was Adolf Hitler, 1935.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Public Service Message from a confirmed Right-Wing Terrorist

This bit of Orwellian rhetoric was on the Mybarackobama.com Community Organizer website... until they realized that those of us on the Right have computers too. Just think - if they have their way, Barack will someday be in total control of the internet, and they won't have to hide who they really are.

(Excerpt from NewsBusters.com)

Our US Senators return to DC the Tues after Labor Day. That next FRIDAY, Sep 11, is Patriot Day, designated in memory of the nearly three thousand who died in the 9/11 attacks.

All 50 States are coordinating in this – as we fight back against our own Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists who are subverting the American Democratic Process, whipped to a frenzy by their Fox Propaganda Network ceaselessly re-seizing power for their treacherous leaders.


As they said on NB, so much for "bringing the country together" and being a "centrist." In the end, those of us who value Constitutional rights that many of our Forefathers died for are the enemy.



Marxist Revolution!

One more thing.

Before any of you liberal, Left-Wing, communist loving, nut-jobs add me to another list, take a few minutes contemplate the fact that your leader has already put me on one for being a Veteran, a Conservative blogger, a Christian, and a believer in the founding principles laid out in the Constitution.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Podcast from the James Study!

I just uploaded the latest podcast from the James study, titled "Count it all Joy?" James 1:1-16.
This is my first time teaching a book for the church - unless you count Teen Bible studies.
This is turning into a great experience, if I can safely say that after only two weeks. I haven't been nervous, and I have learned a lot.
Lord willing, the rest of the study will continue to get better - I have had a time trying to get my thoughts to flow from the inside of my head to the out... but that is not anything new to teaching.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

James Ate Kosher.

...just wanted to make a quick update to remind Mo that I am teaching the book of James each Saturday at the Carpenter's Shop, and you can listen online, or download them here.

I had no idea that James was such a controversial guy. Evidently, few commentators of the Reformation believed that it was Jesus' brother who wrote the book, and just as many didn't want to include it into the canon of scripture. For the record, James ate food that was kosher. He was a Jew, raised in a Jewish home, in a Jewish community... and his older half brother was, well, God incarnate, so it is a safe assumption.

I still need to finish my thoughts on eating kosher, don't I?

Where does my family stand on this today? Thought you would never ask.
We buy foods that have a hechscher. It has to have the symbol - even if it is canned fruit, it has to be hechschered. We don't eat out often because of the expense of it, but when we do, we know which fast food places have kosher food, and which don't - we have to do a little research to find out, but it is worth it.
In the end, there is no guarantee that the food we get has no unclean things in it... unless it has the symbol - and even that sometimes is a little sketchy. Certain organizations are more strict than others. We typically stick with the most recognizable; there are literally hundreds of symbols, the "Circle U" being the most prominent around here (on right).
But what about meat? Meat is somewhat of an anomaly when eating kosher, as it has its own set of rules, and there are specific methods that make it kosher. As for now we still eat meat bought from the store, but that is subject to change. We are starting to lean more toward eating fish as our only meat - less to worry about.
I should note that none of this is hard. In fact, once you start looking at what is in the food we all eat, it is a little shocking at first and you will feel compelled to keep looking. This leads me to my next surprise in the drive to eat kosher:
...just what are "natural flavors?" Good question.
Here's the definition of “natural flavor” under the Code of Federal Regulations: “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional” (21CFR101.22)

Most disturbing find yet:
Did you know that L-cysteine, a common dough conditioner, flavor enhancer in human and pet foods, and precursor in some dietary supplements, is most often derived from human hair or duck feathers, and to a lesser extent from pigs' bristles and hooves? (from www.vrg.org)

Yes, human hair.

I'lll leave you with that for now. I still need to revisit the meat issue in greater detail, but I want to move on to the kippa (head covering) next, as it has been on my mind a lot lately...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Um... You Gonna Eat That?

Speaking of "fishy" information on Obama's Marxist revolution health care debacle, it is time for me to lead you through my ever-changing thoughts on eating kosher.

"What is kosher," you ask?
Good question! Grab ten random people and ask them what kosher is... you're likely to end up with fifteen answers. Heck, I might give you two or three answers myself.

Lets go back to the beginning. We'll start at "The Beginning" and then move on to my own personal Torah observance beginnings.

Genesis 2:15 states that ...the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

I am starting with this passage because I believe it is important to notice that God has been interested in and giving instructions to mankind about the food we eat since... well, since the beginning. It must be important to Him. When He instructs us not to eat something, then the instruction is, well, the Law. That's what kosher is - it is conforming to God's dietary laws, or instructions. Biblicalholidays.com puts it like this:

Biblical kosher refers to the dietary laws as outlined in the Scriptures, forbidding the eating of (1) animals that God calls unclean (Lev. 11:47), (2) animal fat (Lev. 3:17), or (3) animals that still have the blood in them (Lev. 17:12-14) as food. Lev. 11 talks about clean and unclean foods.

When my family began to observe the food laws in Leviticus 11, we began by simply refraining from pork and shellfish. It seemed like a huge step too - all the sudden we were aware of how much of our food fell into the 'abomination' category. What we didn't know at the time was that the battle to eat food that was 'kosher' according to God's word was bigger than we could ever have imagined.

At first, we would occasionally hear about a favorite food that had pork in it, or a candy that contained gelatin. As we continued to be more sensitive to what was in the food, we became more and more aware of teh fact that pork is in ... well, almost everything that we were eating at the time.

Our conversations went like this; We had the best time with the kids last night. We ate Smores around the camp fire -"
"You know marshmallows aren't kosher, right? - they have gelatin in them."
"What!? Marshmallows have pork in them?" As I am reeling from the disturbing news of pig fat hiding in my desert, I pop an Altoid mint...
"So do those."
To which I reply, "ha ha, that's funny - as if you didn't already ruin camping for the rest of my life, now my mints actually have pork in them too? What ever..."

And so the story goes. We had heard about the "kosher" labels (on left) but had not given them any real thought - after all, I had no reason to eat food that had been blessed by a rabbi, right?
What we soon learned though, was that the blessing was not what the kosher label was all about. The label was a sense of security for the buyer, telling him/her that the food they were purchasing has been watched over by a person with strict standards according to Leviticus 11.
Somebody who cares about God's Law was in charge of giving the food a seal of approval, called a hechscher.

...more later - I have to get something to eat.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Go 'Tallit' on the Mountain!

I mentioned earlier that I am sort of struggling with the tzitzit issue. For those of you who are not familiar with tzitzits, here is what I have been able to pick up along the way...

"What are tzizits?"

Tzitzits are tassels that are worn on the four "corners" of a believer's garments, as referred to in Deuteronomy 22:12 “You shall make tassels on the four corners of the clothing with which you cover yourself."

(Disclaimer: I have gone into great detail in the past regarding why I believe that we, as God's people, and believers in Yeshua (Jesus) are obligated today to observe the Torah commands, so I will not go over that again. From here on, I will address these issues from that standpoint.)

Back to the tassels.
When we first started to observe Torah, I wasn't sure if we were to be wearing tzitzit at all. I hadn't ever seen anybody wear them, including other Messianic believers. At any rate, after a while, I began to feel conviction for not wearing these things. A friend of mine had started wearing a set that he had made himself, attached to his belt loops, which seemed like a good place to start (I guess I hadn't given as much thought to how they should be worn).
The tassels that my friend had made were blue and white. Evidently, there was a reference to a blue string going through the tassel (Numbers 15:37-40), so he had put a blue thread through his - I did the same. The ones that I was wearing looked similar to these:

I wore these for about two years. Somewhere along the line, I asked a friend who had been observing Torah for quite a long time why he didn't wear Tzitzit, and his answer threw a wrench into my way of thinking. He explained to me that he did wear tassels, only they were tucked into his pants under his shirt. He told me that he wears a garment called a tallit katan. He went on to say that a tallit katan means "small" tallit; it looks like this:Notice the tzitzits - they are literally attached to four "corners" sewn into the garment, taking a very literal interpretation of the passage listed above in Numbers. I am writing these things in an attempt to journal the conflicts, struggles and joys of transitioning into Torah observance, and this "four corner" issue is somewhat of a struggle for me. The term shows up a few times in scripture (Isaiah 11:12, Revelation 7:1), and for the life of me I have a hard time seeing it anything less than metiphorical. With a little study, I found that the Hebrew word that translates into 'four corners' is kanaph which typically means "extremities."
...I continued to wear my belt loop tassels.

If tallit katan meant small tallit, then surely there was a big tallit right?
It turns out that a tallit is the traditional white shawl, usually having blue stripes. I had seen many Jewish people in photographs wearing it, I always knew it to be a "prayer shawl."
It looks like this: (No, that is not me in the photo.)
Again, notice the blue cord. The one above has the blue in them. These don't:
There is much debate concerning the blue cord, which only compiles my struggles with this issue. (There is a specific blue that is required according to some - more on that at a later time)
The tallit has its own set of conflicting opinions that go with it as well. Typically, it is worn during morning prayers, thus fulfilling the command to wear the tassels. A tallit katan is worn through out the day, and it is a matter of opinion as to weather the tassels should be tucked in or not.
As for belt loop tassels... they aren't really acceptable in most Messianic or Orthodox circles; just my luck.
I find myself thinking, should it be this hard? Blue or no blue, this blue or that blue, big tallit or small tallit, tucked in or on the belt loops? I have to tell you, I still don't know.
I will tell you what I do know. I do know that the God of Israel; the Everlasting Father; the Prince of Peace; Omnipotent One; Aleph and Tav... He knows exactly what I know, and He knows exactly what I am trying to do. He knows my heart! He knows that I was born and raised in small town Indiana, light years from the nearest Orthodox Jew - in fact, He knows that I am not Jewish by blood at all - He is aware of my being grafted into Israel and what that means; and I have a feeling that He knows that it will take time for me to learn how to walk out the instruction given in His Torah. It reminds me of Paul's letter to the Phillipians (ch 1:6), where he says, "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Talk about scripture having a whole new meaning...

So, where do I stand on the tzitzit issue today? Good question. If you can figure it out, drop me an email, and we'll both be on the same page! My feelings on tassels are in the process of being overhauled. I still wear the belt loop version, but I don't put them on until I have gotten out of the shower after work. This is partly due to the fact that I don't own any tallit katan, or a prayer shawl (tallit) at the moment.
I think that I will get both. I also think that when I get the tallit katan, I will use tassels with the blue cord (even if it isn't that specific blue... for now) and will probably wear them on the outside of my clothing. Yep, that's it. I will wear the tallit katan under my shirt with the blue corded tassels hanging out. When I get them that is.
In the meantime, I will rest in the fact that this walk is a transitional thing, and my salvation does not rest on my meathod; it rests in the finished work of Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiac.

Though this topic is by no means finished, I have brought you up to speed with where I am. I'll keep you posted as I grow in this issue.
Stay with me as we explore the ever confusing relm of eating kosher next!

Messianididdles? Mishnadiddles? Beit Mang?

I have been away from Mangdiddles for a while, but suddenly, I am finding myself with a little [unwanted] extra time to blog, so I want to make it worth while... now, what do I blog about?
The news is, well, old news. Obama is destroying our country at an alarming rate, and frankly I can't keep up with it. Society as a whole seems to have lost control. I actually read a story in the news the other day about a pregnant woman who was killed, and her baby was stolen from the womb.
...fortunately, the baby lived - unlike a story earlier in the week where a pregnant woman was murdered and her killer ate her brains. Now, granted, the brains were eaten after the lady was deceased, but still... I digress.
How can one small time blogger keep up with news like that? Why would I want to?

I have made attempts in the past to stick with bible study, and things of a more Spiritual nature, but I always end up being drawn into the current events arena. For this I apologize. I also will submit an excuse of sorts.

In the realm of Messianic Torah study, I have in the past been a little intimidated by the enormity of it all. It always feels like the other people writing about Messianic things has a much better grasp on Torah observance, study and history. There is so much information and so many conflicting opinions on matters of the Torah, that it makes for a very daunting task sometimes even to do personal studies.

And that leads me to the new direction that I will be taking Mangdiddles.com. See, even though I have been observing Torah as a believer in Yeshua (Jesus) for over five years, I still feel like a "new guy." How can this be, you may ask? Because of the reasons I just listed above - it is an enormous wealth of history, resources and opinions - heavy on the opinions. I intend to write about my findings, as a "new guy" in the Messianic world. The subject matter will never run out, I am confident of that.

I have no intentions of renaming the blog to Messianadiddles, or completely leaving current events by the wayside - on the contrary, I intend to incorporate them into the conversation... now all I have to do is stay focused.
I am calling on all three of you - my most faithful readers, to keep me accountable to this. From here on out, I will change the tone of Mangdiddles to that of a respectable, Messiah focused forum. God willing.

Topics anyone?

I believe that the majority of the people who stop by here are usually either angry for what I have to say about the Left, or curious about things like biblical dietary laws and Sabbath observance.
With the former, there are a lot of inner struggles that take place along the way - what do we do? What do we not do? Can I eat that? Do I want to eat that? What does that have to do with Jesus?
...did you say no more bacon!?
And the list goes on.

My current struggles (and I say that in the most positive way, like "should I have apple pie or caramel cheese cake?") include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Should I be wearing a yarmulke? (that tiny circular cap that you see Jewish people wearing)
2. Tzitzit - I was once OK with the belt-loop version, but have veered away from it... only I don't have a tallit katan. Do I want to do the tallit katan, or get a regular tallit? ...I will explain what these things are when I present the question - it is confusing.
3. Set Time Prayers - We are doing them as a family, but I keep missing the second one. On top of that, I am told that there are actually three set times. More on that later.
4. Hebrew - To learn, or not to learn. That is the question!
5. Tradition! - How much is too much... how much is enough?

And this is just a start.
I will get started as soon as this storm stops knocking the power out. It is getting nasty outside.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Joke Is On U.S.

...Descension really is the New Patriotism, isn't it?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Original Homeland Security

I received this in my email today, and providing it is not a hoax, USA Today has a poll that asks,
"Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms?"
(PLEASE, click above top take part in the survey - your freedoms depend on it!!)

Before I give the results so far for the poll, lets look at what the Second Amendment actually says.
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Seems to me that the framers of the Constitution were saying that we have the right to:
  1. Have a "well regulated militia" that is necessary to the security of a free state
  2. Keep and bear arms
Notice that it is the right of the people to keep and bear arms, not just the militia as the Left portrays it. The intent of the amendment is stated clearly - it is necessary to keep the security of a free state.
Why would any government want to suppress that right to have a well regulated militia and the right to bear arms? The answer is simple: to take away our freedoms. Hence the language in the amendment.
We are so messed up in America today that we are willing to give up the very rights that allow us to be free!

Oh yeah, I still need to post the results as of today.

It is too bad that the Democratic Party Left has no regard for the Constitution or those of us who do, because it looks like the American people understand very clearly what the Second Amendment means.

Communists for Clunkers... or something

Jaw dropper of the year.

“A warning box comes up, and it says, ‘This application provides to the DoT CARS system. When logged on to the CARS system, your computer is considered a federal computer system and it is property of the United States government,’” Beck continues, “‘Any and all uses of this system and all files on this system may be intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorized CARS, DoT and law enforcement personnel, as well as authorized officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign.’

Sort of reminds me of the old adage that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Yet the nation remains silent, and Beck is still the bad guy. No outrage, no rallies, no protests. Bush was raked over the coals for wanting to listen in to terrorist's phone conversations... just keep that in mind.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Time is getting short.



...uh... (tap tap tap)

Is this thing on?

I am going to wipe away some cobwebs around here, and try to get this thing started back up.
Time is the enemy.
The world has gone crazy.
Iran is in revolt... and we're not helping them.
North Korea is threatening to nuke Hawaii... and we stand by blowing them kisses.
Russia is waking up from a false slumber, poised and ready to fight... and we are sending them love letters and kissing their hands.
The Democrats are in total control... and the Republicans are too whipped by the retirement benefits of "Public Servants" to stand up for anything.
America is now a socialist nation... and Michael Jackson is the top story - for 12 days and counting.

...but God is still on the throne, and His Son is closer than ever to coming back.
I better start blogging again.

Talk amongst yourselves...
Here's a topic:

Why did God Give the Torah in the first place?

I'll be back shortly.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Arm is Asleep.

I have found myself in a number of conversations lately dealing with the "coming together" of the body of Christ.
What's that? You were unaware of it's being dismembered? Well, then you are in for a good read. Try to allow me some grace, and take what I write with a grain of salt... kosher salt (tongue in cheek), and everything will be fine.

I know of more than a few leaders in the church that are feeling an impression by the Holy Spirit to reach out to their Christian counterparts. I have felt the same pull, and have admittedly fought it a little because, well, I am a tad cynical. I don't embrace cynicism, by any means, but rather find myself with a grim outlook without even trying. I have my reasons; most of which can not be justified, so I will not even try. Lets just say that my cynicism has become the newest obstacle that our Lord is making me aware of, and it is difficult at times.
At any rate, back to the topic at hand.
There is a definite awakening of sorts happening within the church. The call is to become one with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Brothers and sisters in Christ who do not believe the same way you, or I do. It is all-encompassing. Baptists are being called to befriend those who believe their salvation is hanging by a thread. Methodists are being called to walk beside Charismatics who despise the thought of a method, let alone a written down method. Presbyterians are being prompted to hold spiritual hands with the Four Square folks, and Messianics... well, Messianics are being called to get along with all of the above.
As it stands, the Body of our Messiah has one hand that depends on a creed being chanted at every service, another hand that refuses to eat pork, and an ear lobe that refuses be touched by either until they put nicer clothes on.
We are hundreds of detached body parts, claiming the same head.
The Head is calling His members to begin to realize that that the same blood runs through all of the parts.
That is the key issue in the struggle - the blood.
It is the blood of our Messiah that must bind us together. Like it or not, it already does; now it is up to us to merely recognize it, and act on it. We have no choice if we are to serve our Master as one. After all, it is His blood, so it is His call. His body, and He is calling us to act like a body that is not torn apart. Paul said this in Ephesians 4:46: One body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; One God and Father of all.
Our problem is becoming very clear as I look at it through my ever-cynical eyes. I believe the problem lies mostly in maturity. How mature are we? Look at the statistics of divorce, bribery, pornography, adultery, the list goes on and on - look at how we deal with those issues, and it is easy to see that Christ's body smacks of immaturity.
Your marriage getting tough? Bail out - just like any teenager would. Need that money so bad that you are wiling to cheat on your taxes? No problem - cheat; every immature player on the field is willing to do so.
Have you heard about the church down the road? They are actually meeting on Saturday! Hmmmm, what is the most immature thing a person could do to rebut such a thing? Spread gossip and rumors, like any adolescent would, of course.
We have been fed a way of life through the media that allows for grown men to act like they are seventeen years old for their entire lives. We are taught to steer clear of any form of commitment unless it is to your cell phone provider - and even that contract is never read.
We are, most of us, grown men and women, yet we behave like children. Spoiled, undisciplined children, but children none the less. Unfortunately, our own children are growing up in this environment thinking it is normal… and the cycle continues when they grow up.

If my suspicions are correct, I think that our Head is beginning to wake His body up. We are all sort of like body parts that have fallen asleep, all numb, cold and motionless. To carry the analogy further, I think that the urge to become one, at the moment, is sort of like the arm that is asleep, and when it begins to have the blood flowing through it again it feels crazy tingly sensations – at first. When it really starts to get the blood flowing, there is a certain prickly, pins and needles sort of pain that arrives (I don’t think we are there yet), then, depending on how long the appendage has been asleep, there is an aching that sets in before the warm relief of full awakening.

We are starting to wake up. Our Master’s blood is beginning to arouse our senses. We have a couple of options at this stage. First, we could refuse to allow that blood to revive us. To see a good example of how this turns out, just wrap a tight rubber band around your cat’s tail and leave it. Give it about three weeks, and when you are using tongs to pick up a dead cat tail off of your kitchen floor, go back and read this again.

The second option is to help it out. Oneness can be encouraged just like the blood flowing into an arm that has fallen asleep. All you have to do is shake it up a little – move it around! Exercise those joints, and welcome the blood back in.

Do not read too deeply into this analogy – I am not implying that we are lacking the blood of Christ, or His presence in our lives. I am only saying that we have allowed just enough of it to sustain life; cold, sleepy, isolated life. Having said that, I am also not saying that we should walk hand in hand with sin. Sin is sin, and it has no place in this equation. We must not become one with that which is in blatant opposition to the Head of this body. If you are relying on “lost books of the bible” or special glasses of any sort for your salvation, then you have bigger problems than these (more on that at a later time).

The mature thing to do of course is to deal with the discomfort that is so amplified at the start, and keep pressing through. We really are one, like it or not. A child that is afraid of needles would just as soon die of Small Pox then to get the necessary shot to protect him from the disease. An adult knows that he must suffer a short-lived pain in order to be healthy. Our short lived pain is nothing more than treating each other like members of the same body, just like Paul told us to. And if you think about it, the pain is nothing more than our own immaturity having His light shone one it. It will only hurt for a moment, I’m sure. But like I was saying, sometimes that is what it takes in order to be healed…

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Flame of Freedom

As I write this, our newly elected president is on vacation after proclaiming that there would be "catastrophic consequences" for not signing the hastily formed "stimulus bill." Not only is he on vacation, but he is putting off the signing of the bill that was so important three days ago. How can that be? What are we to make of the things he told us leading up to the passing of such an anti-American, Socialistic stack of pig dung? What has become of it's importance? Why does he sit back in Chicago with his wife, on vacation, while the country is on the brink of implosion; knowingly leaving the bill unsigned?

The answer is simple; he knows, just as every thinking American knows, that there is no urgency in signing the bill. The bill has nothing to do with "stimulating" our economy. The bill is merely another desecration of the rights and tenants laid out in the Constitution of the United States, authored by nothing more than self seeking, base men with their own political gain in mind.

We, as a people have become so detached from what we once were, that the average American no longer feels the need to ask questions or demand answers from our appointed leaders. Those who were once representatives of the people have become the very form of government that drove us to separation from Brittan in the first place.

Once a people who would give our lives to secure freedom and liberty for generations yet to come, we have become a people willing to give up what we hold dear for that which looks and feels good now, never taking into consideration the consequences or repercussions imposed on even our own children.

We are living in a time where not only is good called evil and evil called good, but good is sought to be extinguished. The very rights that were paid for by the blood of our country's forefathers are being used to destroy the foundations on which they were built. The average American man has opted out of his responsibilities to his country, and his fellow man - each man his own country, all united under tyrants. Our leaders have taken on a superiority that was loathed by those who wrote the very Constitution they are sworn to uphold. Our Independence has been stolen and in a slow, and deliberate trade of hands, squashed - with our approval. We are at a time in our nations history where Independence must be reclaimed; this time from our own elected leaders. This time, from an evil and self seeking generation of anti-American sentiment. A disease that is perpetrated under the guise of a freedom that is given only by the United States . Free speech that is exclusive to America, yet is being used to corrode her foundations from within.

And we remain silent.

The government of yesterday warned us of the growing government of today. We were warned to keep it in check - to be watchful, lest the present condition become a reality. And still we remain silent, as it overshadows the decisions and rights of free men.

Be it pseudo-freedom or Socialism, communism or slavery, the want and need for freedom in a human being's life will remain subdued until he begins to lack it. And that lack of what we all know to be endowed by our Creator will then and only then ignite a spark of revolution. How much has to be taken away before man senses the strangling hold of complacency? How much do we have to forfeit before we realize that without liberty and justice there is no such thing as the happiness that we pursue? What do we need in today's American Man to rekindle the spark of freedom's flame? And what cost are we willing to pay for appeasement? Is life worth living when the very liberty we enjoy is ripped from the hands of our children, simply because we were not honorable enough to stand for what is right?

The next revolution in this God-blessed country that we so enjoy will either be the honor of the righteous who are willing to sacrifice what ever is necessary to see it's birth, or the snarling delight of our enemy who has overtaken us without a fight.

Our forefathers saw the times in which we find ourselves the most frightening and horrific possibility; we mock their advice and wisdom, and happily slide the rope over our own heads -gladly handing what is rightfully ours over on a silver platter; a platter that we purchased, to leaders whom we elected.

...to be continued.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Grace, Legalism, Dog's Tails and Sin in the Church

We have noticed a strange anomaly on The Word is Grace's podcast. Every title that contains the word “grace” or “Luke Skywalker” just seems to explode with downloads. The Luke Skywalker thing I can understand... but grace? What is the big deal about grace?
I have an idea. I think that something has gone seriously wrong with the idea of "grace" in the "church" today. We all know we need it, and we all know that God gives it… but do we really know what it is? Are we possibly seeking answers about grace because we have misused it, and the results of that misuse are overwhelmingly apparent and inescapable? Have the very things that we sought grace for come back to make our lives miserable? I would like to say that if you are misusing it… they will.

God will not be mocked, the scriptures say.

Grace is a strange concept to us; people throw everything from lies to adultery under its covering, and yet most have no concept of what it is. I am afraid that most people think that it is as if God were brushing the bad deed under the rug – no questions asked, no consequences paid. After all, He paid for all of that on the cross, didn’t He?

A friend of mine wrote a song that gives an excellent definition of grace: “It means unmerited favor… It’s getting what I don’t deserve because the father gave the Son.”

Unfortunately, the word grace has taken a dive, and now seems to mean, “what ever I do that is wrong is forgotten about… because Jesus died for it. It’s all under the blood, so don’t beat yourself up about it! Be who you are - He made you that way.” This is sort of true; He did die for our sins. He paid the ultimate price, so we would not have to. But is that what He intended for us to use His Grace for? So we could continue in sin because that is "who we are?" Here's a news flash: we are all "born that way." Every one of us is born into a life of sin. We are born that way - sinners. Isn't that why He gave us the gift of grace in the first place, for a way out?

Read this carefully: He intends for us to STOP doing the things that require grace because He died for those sins. Grace was never intended to be an excuse to do the very things that Jesus died for. We have cheapened grace in the church today – watered it down so much that now it is the word used to justify sinful behavior. Ouch! What was that awful sting!? How can a person in 2009 write the words “sinful behavior” with any seriousness? Do I really mean that? Who am I to say that any person has sinful behavior?

That is exactly my point.

That notion of “who does he think he is, or nobody can judge me” Has been fed to us on a silver platter for that last few decades, and we have become so “liberated” that any mention of sin or sinful behavior causes uproar. We have allowed so many horrific things to happen in the church that there is today no identifiable difference between the world and the body of Christ. No outrage, and certainly no relevant opposition. The very grace that was meant to save us has been twisted and contorted to such a degree that it is killing us.

I am not referring to God’s Grace, but rather the meaning we have attached to the word “grace.”

We have got it in our heads that God’s grace is so all-encompassing that it will cover every vice, addiction, perversion and malice that we can come up with. I would like to quote an old pastor friend of mine who once told me that there is a Greek word for that: Hogwash.

Not that His Grace won't cover those things, but that by His Grace, we can overcome those things - not waller in them.

Gods grace is as deep as it is wide; as never-ending as His love, and yet it is as shallow as our own intentions. Are you a Christian who is a thief? Paul said “stop steeling.”

Are you a believer who is a liar? Stop lying. Do you have an anger problem? Get help. Stop it.

God’s grace is big enough for all of our sins, BUT at some point, we as believers must stand up and realize that we are “no longer slaves to sin.” We must not lie down, and be the indigent, pathetic humans that we are, simply because we were born that way. That is unacceptable. We are called to be over comers. Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world!

...And this can only be realized by His Grace.

The problem today is that we have chosen to be just like the world, rather than obey the One who is greater than the world. We have chosen to lie down and succumb to every craving because we think that God sweeps it under the rug, because that is who we are. We have turned His grace into a prescription for sin. Got a craving for porn? Call it art and indulge yourself – it is covered by the blood. Got a hankering for pot? Hey, God made it, so it must be OK – it’s covered. Marriage not working? That’s alright, God understands – you have needs, and she ain’t meeting them. Leaving your wife for the dude down the street? Surely God knows that we are living in different times, right? Those laws are for biblical times!

I have news for you: we are living in biblical times.

The great falling away is happening all around us, and it is a direct result of men and women stepping on the grace of God; trampling the very gift He gave us to fulfill their own lusts.

“Grace” that allows sin to dwell openly in the body of Christ is nothing short of an abomination. It is wrong.

God’s Grace of course is a good thing - real grace, that is.

His grace allows us to stand back up and shake off the guilt of a mistake. His Grace allows us to keep coming back to the Throne and ask for forgiveness – even though we don’t deserve it – and walk away knowing that His Grace is greater than the sin that drove us there in the first place.

God’s grace is so beyond measure that even though a brother sins against you 7 x 70 times, you can still draw upon it for the strength to forgive. His grace is so amazing that it is the gift that He gives to the humble, and the gift that enabled the humility of the humble in the first place. His Grace is sufficient for each of us, and it is free. Such a valuable thing, His Grace is… yet it is free! –...To us, that is.

To God however, it cost the life of His only Son.

That makes it the most valuable treasure on earth. How could we ever use it for anything but the catalyst for a closer walk with Him? How could we take that grace, and say that it is alright to kill babies, and have gay preachers? Did Christ die for nothing? Did He become sin so we could sin more?

Abraham Lincoln had a favorite saying, “If we call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does it have?” The answer came as a shock to most who heard it; “It matters not what we call the tail – it is still a tail.”

The same goes for sin today. It doesn’t matter what we call pornography, be it art or self expressionit is still pornography. Homosexuality is wrong, whether it is called genetic, or “just how I am.”

Theft is theft even when it is referred to as “massaging the numbers.”

Sinful behavior is still sinful behavior… even if it is accepted by the majority.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I feel a trend movin' in.

Ban Ann Coulter? Why would any network ban Ann? I'll tell you why: Ann called NBC out on their one sided biasness, their gross negligence in reporting, and their blatant swooning for the Liberal Left.
Now, before you say, "I thought he was done with political blurbs..." let me just say that I have to ween myself off of these things. Especially when the world has gone amuck; to the point of letting the cheating, lying, vulgar, hate-mongering atheistic human called Al Franken win a race that he so clearly cheated his way into. I could win any race as long as I was allowed to find the difference I need in votes in people's car trunks and basements...*spit! spit!*
I am telling you, this is just a taste of things to come - the Left is in power, and before we know it, they will be subsidizing pant suits and copies of the Communist Manifesto. God help us all.
We are going to be bailing out newspapers that nobody reads, and taxing bullets so much that those with guns won't be able to shoot.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I don't do that... it was given to the Jews.

So, I posed a question on The Carpenter's Shop's group on Facebook the other day, and even though we have 27 members online, there have been no responses; I have yet to find out if it is the question its self, or just that nobody has seen it...

At any rate, here is the question, and I will add my commentary as I go:

Nearly every Christian I know agrees that we, as believers, are part of the "New Covenant" written of in Jeremiah 31:31. The scripture goes like this;

31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,[a] says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

The question is this - which tribe are we from, Israel or Judah? The last I checked, neither one of my parents were Jewish, nor were my wife's... so is my family left out of the equation?
I ask this with a hint of tongue in cheek, because I know that I am grafted in. However, it is worth asking just exactly what it is that I am grafted in to. Paul says that we have been grafted into Israel in Ephesians 2 and Romans 11. What does that mean, and why am I bringing it up? Because about three times a week, I am asked questions on why I do certain things, like observing a Saturday Sabbath, or Passover, or eating kosher, and when I tell them that I believe that the 'Old Testament' Law is still valid for believers today, the response is usually, "I thought those things were for the Jews" or "wasn't that given to the Jews?" And occasionally, "you aren't a Jew - why bother?"
There is a hundred pound gorilla sitting in the middle of this question that desperately needs to be addressed!
If we are not to do certain things in scripture because they were 'given to the Jews,' then where and how do we draw the line; because when that logic is followed through, we can not partake of the Covenants, promises, or the blessings that were given to Israel. As a matter of fact, when that logic is carried through, it annuls thae book of James and Hebrews as well. James was written to "the twelve tribes scattered abroad" and Hebrews was written to, well... the Hebrews. Both books were given to the Jews. See my point? To take it further, the entire concept of a Messiah was given to the Jews in a set of Jewish books - a Jewish Messiah who will some day rule and reign from a Jewish king's (David) throne, in the Jewish capitol of Jerusalem! I say all of that to say this; I think that we have grossley missunderstood just exactly what is for the Jews or for the Gentiles. In the Western world, we believe that the Ten Commandments are valid in our lives... except for the one about Sabbath. We believe that all children should honor their parrents, yet we have the nerve to split up one of God's sentences that says
'Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, and you shall keep My sabbaths; I am the LORD your God - Lev 19:3

Bear with me here, because this is vital to my point. Notice the words and and My. "And" means just that - and; plus, in addition to, also.
Again, most Christians agree that kids should honor their mother and father; but I ask you this: who has the right to seperate that sentence? What man has the authority to say that one is for Gentiles, and the other for Jews? Are they both not His commandments? This leads me to the word "My."
We have been taught that the Saturday Sabbath commandment was given to the Jews, but look at the scripture, and tell me who's Sabbath it is. Evidently it is His Sabbath. Of course, Yeshua said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, but who's is it? I believe that it is His Sabbath to give to whomever He seems fit - in this case, it is "man." Notice again, that Jesus never said that the Sabbath was made for the Jew, not the Jew for the Sabbath; He didn't even say that it was made for Israel, but man.

What about the verse that says that there is no longer Jew or Gentile in Christ?
To that, I would like to say, amen! There is no longer Jew or Gentile in Christ! That brings me back into the equatinon that I mentioned earlier - that is comforting, because it allows me back in!
What about that though? Let me make a suggestion...
As I said earlier, we are serving a Jewish Messiah, who will sit on a Jewish throne, in Jerusalem, the Jewish capitol of Israel. We have obtained all of this information from ancient, Jewish books, written in Hebrew. The rest was written in Greek, by Hebrews (there is question as to wether or not Luke was a Gentile; I believe he was a Jew - more on that later).
Again, we in the West have made this scripture to mean not that there is no longer Jew or Gentile, but that there is no longer Jew.
Think about it; we thiink that there are certain things that were given only to them, and becasue there is no longer Jew or Gentile, they should no longer have to do the Jewish things. I ask you this - how many times do you see God telling the Hebrews not to do the things in the Torah... and how many times do you see Him telling them not to do the things of the Gentiles? The answer: He never tells them to stop observing Torah. He repeatedly tells them not to behave lilkke the Gentiles. Why, when all of us are lumped together, would God change His mind, and request that all of His people act like the Gentiles whom He has so consistantly warned Israel about? He wouldn't. He is never changing.

I hope that you are getting what I am trying to say. We are able to partake in that Covenant that was given to the two houses of Israel because we have been grafted in. Grafted in to Israel! We are now partakers in those things because we have "been made near" to the promises and Covenants that we were once so far removed. We are grafted in as His "Chosen People." Remember, Jesus said that "you did not choose me, but I have chosen you." This makes us His "chosen people" as well!
I think that we need to rethink the "it was given to the Jews" mindset. After all, if we follow through on the logic behind it... what other choice do we have?