Let me introduce myself as a theological thinker.
Basically my spiritual thoughts are similar to those who followed the teachings Yeshua (whom Christians would later call “Jesus”) during the time when he lived on Earth. (It was not until later generations that these followers began to separate themselves from their Jewish brethren). During these generations, the followers were primarily persons born into Jewish families, but Yeshua’s followers included a few who were not born into Jewish families. I was not personally born into a Jewish family. Scoured my Family History and had DNA test but no evidence of Jewish background.
However, after beginning a detailed Torah study (first 5 books of scripture) I began to emulate Yeshua and his followers in that I also celebrate Shabbat every Friday night, lasting until sundown Saturday, and follow basic customs laid down in Torah for those who want to especially please the Creator. Like those (including the earliest New Testament writers such as my favorite, “James the Righteous” or sometimes known as “James the Just”) I usually avoid using “the name”, for concern something is trite or may be mis-construed and end up as “vain” or nothingness. That is the original meaning of “taking the Lord’s name in vain”.
I avoid “unclean” foods, etc …
If you counted, categorized and averaged the hours since my birth, you would probably find an average of one to two hours per day spent on theological issues throughout my life (altho those hours did not begin until later in my 58 years of life): relationship (prayer), categorizing/analysis (doctrines), study of scriptural Greek/Hebrew Languages, and study of cultural/historical environment while scripture was being written. Since dementia symptoms intensified, those hours have involved more prayer and relationship time than doctrinal or language studies (because altho the words themselves are still familiar I can no longer remember meanings for those words).
Mother tells me that after seeing great-grandma Leota Spencer with her head bowed in prayer, by 3yrs old I bowed my head at each meal and my parents decided it would be a good thing to find a local church. When 5 years old I decided that I wanted a close relationship with Creator, and followed that decision with plenty of private study every day, but did not begin more in-depth study of scriptural languages until 1975, the year I graduated from High School, along with scriptural categories and cultural/historical context, with general focus more toward New Testament. By 25yrs later in 2000, my focus had turned more toward Old Testament and I began the additional practice of one chapter per day in book of Proverbs with Hebrew word study of at least one verse per day. That was what eventually triggered my name change.
On 03 Jan 2006, I chose Proverb 3:3 for a word study. As I researched the words “chesed v’emet” I realized that these words clarify my life goal of reflecting the Creator’s kind of love.
Life goal is to reflect Creator’s “truthful loving-kindness”; changing legal name reminds myself & others of that importance. (Link for further discussion of name-change decision with “Links” at bottom of page)
As I wrote in “My Spiritual Journey in Context of Dementia Symptoms” (link at bottom of page) my theological thoughts became progressively more complicated after I decided to begin formal Systematic Theology studies in 2008 and then began more in-depth analysis of source material (how and why specific books of scripture were written). As I explain further in links at bottom of page, my conclusions were extremely uncomfortable and led to crying myself to sleep every night for two years. Those were two terribly horrid, gut-wrenching years of my life, worse even than when family members died or the break-up of my marriage in 1989. Lost my confidence in scripture as currently translated … but retained my relationship with Creator.
I still very much appreciate individual word study, especially the very very ancient beginnings of Hebrew words with studies of the picture-letters themselves. I find continual discovery at meanings in combinations of those pictures into words, and their influence on my thoughts as to the ORIGINAL meaning of that Hebrew word. Also find continual surprise at how usage of words has changed (and dissatisfaction with most any “translation”). Just wish I could retain what I learn every day. Now I remember so little as to make it ALMOST a waste of time.
But what is growing richer and stronger each day is the relationship connection in non-word communication (some call “prayer” and some are offended at thought of non-word “prayer”). It is an unbelievably rich, exciting thing to experience that connection and my dementia symptoms do not interfere in the least !
My current thoughts on scripture and spirituality don’t really fit in any of the traditional worship styles, but would come closest to somewhere between the far end of “Christian” Hebrew Roots and a more Judaistic “Noahide” viewpoint — with a few too many Karaite & Kabbalah leanings for some, but retain a teeny bit too much Christian orientation for others. When I worship with others (rarely) it is still in our tiny local Jewish “Shul” which is Reformed Judaism. Basically I am too eclectic to fit in ANYWHERE as far as standard theological orientation, but still somewhere between “Christianity” and “Judaism” … which makes sense, because Christianity’s origins are unquestionably Judaistic.
My Spiritual Journey in Context of Dementia Symptoms (with lots of study resource links) at https://truthfulkindness.com/2015/12/15/spiritual-journey-dementia-symptoms/
My Name-Change decision at https://truthfulkindness.com/bnp/part-3/2007-name-change/
Blogging http://www.truthfulkindness.com, with major focus on dementia issues. Began this particular blog http://www.tlk4spiritual.wordpress.com to focus on spiritual journey and recently started https://tlkfamhist4freykilroy.wordpress.com/ for the Frey and Kilroy branches of Family History. Hope to start several others because I am much more than my dementia perspectives.
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