Last night I had a dream that I was at a large building, a media company housed in a tall office building positioned on a massive piece of property, with trees surrounding it and a huge, well-manicured lawn. There was a sign on the front of the building, displaying the company’s logo: Hebraic Faith Network.
In my dream, the logo had three letters, HFN, but the letters kept changing order. It was as if I were a logo designer now, and I was trying to make a monogram of the company name. The question was, which letter should be the prominent one in the middle?
At first, I felt like the H should be in the middle and most prominent. After all, the people working at this company were walking in their Hebrew Roots, in obedience to the Torah! What an amazing thing that was!
But it was as if the Father said, “No, it must always be by Faith!” and then moved the letter F to the most prominent spot.
My husband has been teaching on Faith recently, as he has been going through a series on the book of Romans on Sabbath, and as a family, we’ve been reading through the book of Ephesians this week. It’s a challenge to figure out how we walk out Torah, while always remembering that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
What is faith? Clearly it is faithfulness, hearing the voice of God and immediately walking in obedience. If I were teaching a parenting class, I would even phrase it this way: “Faith is first-time obedience.” If I were thinking of a Hebrew word, I would say shema, or hear, O Israel, the voice of YHVH and immediately respond with obedience. If I were thinking of examples of this, I would go to Abraham, or even to all the men of faith listed in Hebrews 11.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony… By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:1-2, 8).
God said it, I believe it, that settles it.
Back in 2006, I would have agreed with all of this, but I would have also felt that not everything God had said in the Bible was specifically said to me. The Law of Moses was for Israel. The Law of Christ was for the Church.
But when a friend showed me that the Old Testament prophets foretold of a people in a time to come who would realize that they were grafted into the Vine of Israel, that the Torah was for their good, and that they would come repenting, back to the ancient ways, I was undone.
He knew me before the foundations of the earth? He had called my name? He had a plan that included me? I was “His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”?
The Spirit of God, by grace alone, filled my heart with faith.
I wanted this to be my faith walk!
He called my husband’s name, too, and each of our children’s names. We left our old lives and occupation, and we literally moved to a new home, not knowing where we were going. He began to show us a new plan for our lives, to write curriculum for Torah families. Homeschooling Torah was born.
At first, we wrote the curriculum lessons week by week, barely ahead of the needs of our new customers. It was an insane writing schedule! It was exhausting and exhilarating — and it could only have been of YHVH. By the end of that one year, we had written an entire year of curriculum for grades K to 12. There is no humanly possible way that could have happened except by His grace, His provision, His wisdom, His strength.
He has continued to give us more ideas for curriculum, but it has never again been at that speed or intensity. These days, it seems like He will show us a vision of what He wants something to look like, and then He raises the bar for excellence. We attempt to accomplish it (sometimes in our own strength), and He slows us down, requiring us to listen carefully and make sure we are doing it exactly like He said.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
As Hebrew-roots, whole-Bible, Torah-observant believers in Yeshua, we are to be characterized by walking in faith. This walk is to be “circumspect,” which is cautious… prudent… being watchful on all sides… examining carefully that we are listening to His voice and being truly obedient… not rushing ahead as proud fools who deny their Creator….
That can be hard to do because we think, “Father, the days are evil! We have to hurry! It needs to be done RIGHT NOW.”
And He says, “Why are you in such a rush? I’ve been planning for this time since the creation of the world. Don’t you think I know exactly when it should be accomplished?”
On October 16, 2016, a vision and dream for a language-arts series called Word Power was born. We carefully took notes of what the Father wanted in this series.
- Families studying together, parents diligently teaching and discussing with their children when they sat in their houses, walked by the way, lay down at night, and rose each morning (Deuteronomy 6:7).
- Workbooks laid out according to the pattern He showed us, so that each child had his own book and the mother (or father) could get school accomplished in an easy way each day, without undue exhaustion.
- Even with individual workbooks, our vision of “together school” would not be forgotten, so the Teacher’s Guide would contain all the topics from each level, so that the mother (or father) could keep the discussions going.
- Hebrew vocabulary and etymology would be incorporated throughout, so that children would learn the true history of language as it dispersed throughout the world, just as YHVH planned, to bring the gospel to all mankind — but also to aid in the restoration of a pure language, just as the prophets foretell (Zephaniah 3:9).
- The Bible would remain the primary textbook, so that all our children would be taught by YHVH, and great would be the peace of our children (Isaiah 54:13).
- As our world moved through times of judgment (such as Covid and a world-wide recession), keeping the curriculum affordable for families, so we couldn’t make the workbooks too large. We needed efficiency!
- Provide quality literature in our readers, so children could read stories of people who loved Scripture and walked by faith.
- To give instruction in language so that our children gained excellent reading abilities, so children are not afraid or unable to read any text put in front of them, so that we can raise up a generation of extremely well-educated children, capable of research, archeology, wise teaching and writing, to make His people the head and never the tail.
- To help children have strong abilities to handle the mechanics of language so that they can learn other languages easily and become excellent communicators in English, able to give the whole gospel to the world and to meet the needs of those around them, “complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17).
It sounded so easy. We did our normal process of gathering resources and setting up a scope and sequence. I took a piece of paper and made 180 blocks of lessons for each grade from kindergarten to 8th grade, filling in the blocks with all the spelling and grammar and writing and Hebrew plans.
I thought it would come about quickly! I thought we could write it fast, like we did the first time, back when Homeschooling Torah was born.
However, it has been anything but fast. From serious software problems and hackers on our websites to health issues and even a brain injury after a concussion — it has not been the walk I imagined it would be.
And those blocks I filled out? It has been an incredibly difficult task to make sure we hit all the goals the Father gave us! Blocks turned into 2-inch binders for each grade, with an entire bookcase in my house filled with books on spelling, writing, vocabulary, Hebrew, grammar, literature, and so much more.
Instead of a fast curriculum typed into a basic word processor, we took classes on page layout and design, and we purchased industry-standard software and began to learn how to use it.
Recently, we also hired more staff, because there just haven’t been enough hours in a day to get it done. I have never stared at such a massive task — but nor have I ever been more sure that this is STILL what the Father wants us to do. We have been working hard on the project, even though it must look like a stand-still from the outside.
He does not want us to stop! He wants us to persevere, to keep going, to fulfill the purpose and vision He gave us.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
But it’s not going as quickly as we wanted it to.
At this point, we have a curriculum on our site for all our current customers. It’s not what Word Power will look like in the end, but it will give you lessons for the moment. We will keep you updated on our progress, but it’s becoming clear that Word Power won’t be very usable this school year. Nevertheless, we invite you to continue with us on this Word Power Faith Walk! If you’d like to continue to access Word Power as we complete the lessons, even at a slower pace, please register here:
As I said before, there have been a lot of obstacles to our Word Power Faith Walk, including my concussion in 2020.
Last week, we faced yet another obstacle.
We have been trying to produce Hebrew lessons to accompany the Word Power lessons, to help both students and parents learn to read and write Hebrew.
Our plan was to make YouTube lessons to go with the written lessons. We started in August, after our annual conference, but then we came down with Covid. After Covid, we had multiple software issues affecting the ability to type out Hebrew lessons, and after that we all came down with a terrible case of flu and bronchitis, and after that we went away to Sukkot (still feeling sick!).
And after that, we received an email from YouTube: “We wanted to let you know our team reviewed your content, and we think it violates our harassment, threats and cyberbullying policy.”
Why did we get it? Well, back in 2020 I wrote a blog post that said “we strongly felt that the Father wanted us to get our company away from businesses (like Amazon Web Services and PayPal) who were supporting Antifa, Black Lives Matters, human slavery, abortion, and anti-biblical practices such as homosexuality.”
In October of this year, as I said, we hired extra staff to help us out, so that we could work faster on Word Power and other projects the Father has given us. I made a training video for our new staff members, and in it, I referenced the blog post from 2020 about PayPal. That same week, there was a huge controversy in the news about PayPal, and all we can figure is that the algorithms of the Powers That Be in This World heard my comments and deemed them unpolitically correct. They removed my training video from YouTube and sent me my first warning email.
Last Friday, I received a second email, just like the first. This time they removed an old video of mine from our YouTube channel. This one was all about the vision, mission, and purpose of Homeschooling Torah. There were no words against any other companies! Rather, it was filled with Scripture about the job the Father gave us to do. However, they again warned us that we had violated their “harassment, threats and cyberbullying policy.”
That’s two warnings, and you know what happens when we reach three.
Our staff and I spent a bit of time this week downloading backups of all our videos from YouTube, as well as titles, descriptions, thumbnail images, and transcripts. We aren’t planning to voluntarily take down our YouTube channel, but we do want to be prepared.
We then started uploading the videos to The Torah Network‘s new platform called Torah Tube. It has been a slow job because, did I mention that our Internet provider went down several times this week and our upload speeds were 0.3 MB per second?
Can we even make this stuff up?
A friend sent me a blog post about Jeremiah 31 that really encouraged me, because no matter what obstacles come into our paths, we can KNOW what YHVH’s plan is and CONTINUE to walk by faith.
We will not stop.
We will continue to clear the obstacles out of the path.
We will continue to work on the vision and mission and purpose He has given us.
We will continue to train up children and families for His kingdom!
I encourage you to read all of Jeremiah 31 and shout with joy over His plan, but for now, let me close this long blog post with a few verses that stood out to me, for THIS time in history, for the magnificent PLAN He is working out on our behalf.
“At the same time,” says YHVH, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.”
Thus says YHVH:
“The people who survived the sword
Found grace in the wilderness—
Israel, when I went to give him rest.”
YHVH has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
You shall again be adorned with your tambourines,
And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.
You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria;
The planters shall plant and eat them as ordinary food.
For there shall be a day
When the watchmen will cry on Mount Ephraim,
‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
To YHVH our God.’ ”
And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says YHVH. (Jeremiah 31:1-6, 28)
I believe those words are true. I will walk by faith. I will be unstoppable. We will continue with the job He gave us.
Please join us!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.