I Got That Wildflower Love!

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I had hung out at Electric Lady Studios for the past day and a half. I was in Greenwich Village and watching people go in and out of Jimi Hendrix’ special space. We were hangin out in the largest, most spacious, studio, Studio A. It was mesmerizing! I just so happened to meet a relative of Jimi Hendrix at an open mic in Philadelphia. A few months later, he came to another open mic that I was playing at. As I played a song, my hands shook out of lack of experience and nervousness. I tried my best to make my self-written song, Wildflower Love, sound as beautiful as it was when it came to me in a dream. I fumbled along in front of the crowd and got to the point where I just stopped playing my guitar because I kept messing up. So, I got the crowd to clap and they just began to sing along. It was beautiful! My friend must have dug my “so so” performance and he invited me to come to the studio the following weekend.

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Somehow, I collected enough confidence to walk into the studio and sit down with my newly gifted white Ibanez electric guitar. I had a pick in my right hand, ready to strum down on those beautiful strings. I felt like I was in a dream, in a huge garden of wildflowers and I could run for days and not find my way out. I had started playing the guitar, only two and a half years before this experience and I didn’t feel like I was too good. Especially after watching these amazing musicians go in and out of Studio A and hammer out song after song! I felt like I would melt down right there, into the earth beneath the cracked New York City cement. I took a breath and began.

I knew that time was valuable in the studio and that I only had this moment to get it right. I felt like all of my practice as an athlete kicked in and I busted it out in one take! It felt so good! I remembered why I did what I did. My friend that invited me to the studio had given me one of the greatest gifts of my life: He had confidence in me before I had confidence in myself. I appreciate the people in my life that have given me that gift. It has been a handful of people and on that day, he became one of them. I will never forget that moment. I don’t think it will be the last time I will be there or in a studio of that magnitude to record my music but it was rather a first of many.

I really desire to elaborate on the power of believing in others. When I began to play the guitar, I had the same experience with it as I did when I first picked up a basketball or when I started boxing. I believed that it was something that I was meant to do and I believed and knew I could be great at it. I had “the vision”. I always say that if I can see myself doing something then it’s like it is already done. I was trained to visualize in athletics and so I use that to do pretty much everything and most definitely things that are challenging! Yes, I have that gift to visualize things but it also has been super helpful to have people come into my life and help me along and encourage me in the “gettin’ tough times”.

 The night I performed Wildflower Love for the first time at an Open Mic in Philly. October 16, 2016

The night I performed Wildflower Love for the first time at an Open Mic in Philly. October 16, 2016

My friend that invited me to Electric Lady Studios has been that person for me. I’ve had days as an artist and musician in which I’ve thought “what am I doing!?” I picked up the guitar at 27 years of age and I began writing poetry and songwriting (lyrics) just a few years before that. For a musician and artist, that’s late in life! So, I thought, “Why did you decide to do this now?” and “By the time you get this down you’re gonna be an old lady that no one is going to want to come see!” but I realized that those things just weren’t true! For one, I didn’t decide to do this. It was almost like it came to me and I welcomed it with open arms. Then, for two, in reality, I am still young and people sure don’t ever think I am my age! It may take me a bit more time to get to where I dream of but even if I’m 60, God said “My time is not your time and my ways are not your ways.” So, I ain’t got nothin’ to worry about!

The Most High's love is that beautiful Wildflower type of love! It’s kinda rough yet always beautiful. For now, I’ll stay in my beautiful endless field of wildflowers, wrapped in the warmth of the sun and full of the sound of my guitar. I really do got that Wildflower Love!

Please check out my song, Wildflower Love, Recorded at Electric Lady Studios on October 22, 2016. Also, the art you see here is a reflection of the lady's bathroom in Electric Lady Studio's and my song, Wildflower Love. As a mosaic artist it is a beautiful thing to mirror my other artistic forms in a piece of visual art! Thank you for the support! Shalom! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why We Keep The Sabbath.

Why We Keep The Sabbath.

Why we keep the Sabbath?

 

Leviticus 23:3-4 "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of YHWH in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of YHWH, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."

For some time now, I have desired to write a blog specifically explaining to people of why I kept the Sabbath, on the sabbath, and how Yah (God) commanded us to keep it but I also wanted to explain to you all, the significance of my family collectively keeping the Sabbath. So, I entitled this, “Why we keep the Sabbath (aka Shabbat)”. It is about my family, and when I say family, I am more specifically am speaking of myself, my father, and my mother.

Five years ago I moved back home. I had just “retired” from a very successful boxing career and decided it would best to move back. Amidst many other transitions that I was experiencing in my life, I was finally turning back to Yah and taking some first steps in the right direction. I had spent the majority of my adult life in and out of tumultuous relationships, sketchy lifestyles, debauchery, lasciviousness, and frivolous behaviors and I knew it was time for me to turn back to my upbringing. (Check out this poem of my testimony and what The Most High brought me through!) I was 25 and frustrated. A prodigal daughter with no other direction to go but back to my mother and my father. They welcomed me with open arms with a similar love freely given to me from the Father Himself.

I have been dedicated to Yah and working to fulfill the call that He has on my life but I would be remiss to write a blog about my journey without including my parents and the way they have been used to be a light upon my path.

Since we have been awakened to who we are, as the chosen people of Yah, and began to follow Yah’s laws, statutes, and commandments (please see my blog, “Excuse me, Are you Ethiopian?”), we have also began to observe the Shabbat, which simply means rest or to cease from work in Hebrew. It has been an incredible process.

But why? Why do we keep the Sabbath?

1. Why do we typically keep all of the commandments but one?

Unfortunately, many of us don’t even know all of the 10 commandments. People are being taught that they don’t have to keep them so some don’t even worry about them and then some of us follow SOME of the commandments but decide that keeping the Sabbath is a subjective choice and not a command. So, why do we not keep the Sabbath? Many people have recently asked me if I was a Seventh Day Adventist and my immediate answer is a concrete, No. I am simply a Torah keeping believer that Loves Yah and Yahusha with a love that has drawn me to obedience.

Just recently, my mother ran into someone that she has known for over 20 years, through the church community and this woman asked her about our family gathering. My mother explained to her that it is not on Sunday but father on the Sabbath, Saturday and this woman asked her what the Sabbath was...

This is alarming and so let me just share this verse from Exodus and then I'll move on..

Exodus 20:8-11 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."

2. As bloodline Israelites, we know that Yah’s laws are perfect and still enacted and we should be following Torah.

Deuteronomy 5:29-33 “Oh, that they had such a heart in them, to fear Me and to guard all My commands always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever! Go, say to them, “Return to your tents.” But you, stand here by Me, and let Me speak to you all the commands, and the laws, and the right-rulings which you are to teach them. And they shall do them in the land which I am giving them to possess.’ And you shall guard to do as YHWH your Elohim has commanded you – do not turn aside, to the right or to the left. Walk in all the ways which YHWH your Elohim has commanded you, so that you live and it be well with you. And you shall prolong your days in the land which you possess.”

“Also the foreigners who join themselves to YHWH to serve him, and to love the YHWH'S name, to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and holds fast my covenant, will bring these to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.” Isaiah 56:1-2

3. Even the gentile or the grafted in people should still follow the ways of Yah.

Yahusha Himself spoke saying “If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19

“Also the foreigners who join themselves to YHWH to serve him, and to love the YHWH's name, to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and holds fast my covenant, will bring these to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.” Isaiah 56:6-7

4. Some laws are very clearly FOREVER LAWS.

Unfortunately, in the typical Christian congregations, Yah’s laws are believed to be done away with which contradicts the words of Yahshua AND the fact that YAH commanded us to follow these laws FOREVER. Forever means “for all future times; for always.”

Cleflo Dollar himself has a teaching on not having to keep, even "the Big Ten" as he calls them. I propose that this is blasphemous and that his is directly contradicting what the Messiah himself taught and that anyone following a man like this needs to get far away from him before destruction comes. The writing is on the wall. He is a liar and the truth is not in him.

5. It IS that big a’ deal!

So often, we think that things are not that big of a deal but we are judging those things according to what makes sense to us and not to what we should do because we love Yah and desire to keep His commandments. Many times in the Word, we see Yah telling the people of Israel to AT MINIMUM keep the sabbath. We have been a stiff necked and hard headed people and we wonder why Yah is not moving for our people, the so called black people of the Americas. It is time to turn back to Yah. It is that big a' deal.

“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, Yah: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:16-17

6. Sunday Worship and the Catholic Church (The Nitty Gritty of it all)

In his book, From Babylon to Timbuktu, Rudolph R. Windsor speaks of the forced conversion, persecution, and enslavement of the Hebrew people during the time of early Christianity and Catholicism. “In 616 A.D. the big shock came; the king ordered the baptism of all the Jews in his domain, under the penalty of expulsion and the loss of all their property. According to Catholic authorities, ninety thousand embraced Christianity at this time. This was a forced baptism. In the seventh century the Jews were threatened with the penalty of slavery if they were found practicing Judaism.” (Windsor, pg. 87) Even as late as the mid 1500’s Black Jews were being persecuted by the papal office who authorized the establishment of the Inquisition in Portugal. Rudolph R. Windsor shares this case: “a Jewish woman by the name of Elvira del Campo was indicted and tortured for two years in order to elicit a confession from her. The charges against her were not eating pork and putting on clean linen on Saturdays. According to this woman, these charges were not heretical practices, she wanted to be clean and pork made her sick.”

And then there is Constantine “the Great”.

Constantine had this idea of “Christianizing” these "pagan" empires and he did it by infusing the two together. One of those things was the Sabbath. When sun worship, creeped into the church, Constantine made use of it and Commanded Sunday worship over the 7th day worship commanded by Yah. Daniel 7 speaks of a religious power that will come, that will think to change times and laws, “He will speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:25

Within the ten commandments, there is only one law that is also a time, the Sabbath.

Many do not realize it or do not care that their sunday worship and decision to disregard Yah’s 4th commandment is inherently a decision to follow Constantine’s law and continue the pagan rituals of sun worship. My convictions are too high in this area to continue the mockery of my Elohim and so I and my family have decided to follow the laws of Yah and not the laws of man.

The very existence of Sunday worship is not of Yah. It is a tradition of man. It is anti-Christ. It is a smack in The Most High's face. It is a lie.  Sunday was never, is not, and will never be, the Sabbath. "There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the Catholic Church alone. The Catholic Church says, by my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week." {Click on the last few sentences to read more about this.} 

Mark 7:6-9 " He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of YHWH, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of YHWH, that ye may keep your own tradition."

7. Shabbat Shalom! Shabbat is an incredible gift!

Somethings don’t make sense in Yah’s law until you do them. When my family began to observe the sabbath we didn’t really know what we were doing, what we should do, or what we even could do. I personally remembered a movie (that I can’t remember the name of) and this Ashkenazi Jewish man was a jeweler and the main actor needed to get an engagement ring from from the Jew but time was running out and the jeweler had to close up at sundown. I knew little things about “Jewish” traditions, growing up in a highly Jewish population in South Jersey. My parents knew more than me probably but we also knew that the “Jewish” traditions were so infused with Tradition and pagan customs, just like Christianity and so we went back to the Script, the word of Yah.

Some of our first weeks observing the Shabbat, we went and got coffee or snacks a few times, we also got rest but we learned quickly what Yah has really called us to do on the Sabbath. We began a study at our house and invited friends and family to come over and praise Yah with us and to reason over His word. We began to have morning discussions about the word and get TRUE REST and when we began to observe the Sabbath the way we were called to, we realized that it was an absolute gift from The Most High. We had no idea what we were missing out on and we had no idea of what we did not know. As I began to have conversations with friends and families members about us observing the Sabbath, I realized that many people did not even know what the true sabbath was and what it consisted of.

Yah commanded us to observe the Sabbath on the seventh day. It is a day of rest and ceasing from work. It is a time to celebrate and worship Yah. The day before is a time of preparation which is symbolic of our lives being lived out as a preparation for the second coming of our Messiah. The day before we “get our house in order”, we clean and prepare food for the next day, and we remember the grace and love of our Father Yah. Everyone’s Sabbath will look slightly different but it’s more than an “fun practice”, a ritual, a good idea, or a lifestyle. It is a commandment from the Most High Yah, for all generations, from the Israelite to the Gentile, FOREVER.

We as a family observe Shabbat with immense anticipation and joy. I have been blessed to come into this walk with parents that love Yah, believe in Yahusha, love their neighbors and family as well as each other, understand that we as the so called blacks in America are one of the 12 tribes of the Israelites, and keep the Sabbath. To all who may be interested in fellowshipping with us for a sabbath gathering, you are more than welcome to come and worship Yah with us. Contact me at laurennefesha@gmail.com or thearknj@gmail.com

Let’s work to love Yahshua by keeping His commandments and watch your life transform! Oh and my mom cooks an amazing meal on Friday for Shabbat (Saturday) and if you know my mama, she can throwdown!

Meet my parents in this short clip as they testify of our Hebrew Faith!

Check out my father’s channel for more on our Shabbat Gathering!

 

 

Excuse Me, Are You Ethiopian?

Excuse Me, Are You Ethiopian?

Excuse me, Are you Ethiopian?

I smile and give a slight giggle before I respond because I get asked this question daily and my response has gone from, “I don’t know. A lot of people ask me that and Ethiopians even tell me that I am so, maybe in my lineage I have Ethiopian blood.” to “I am Hebrew. I probably have some Ethiopian blood but I know for sure that I am Hebrew. My ancestors are also from the Ashanti tribe and there is much evidence that they are of Hebraic lineage and that the so called “Black” people in the America’s are actually Hebrew.”

This response typically confuses the crap out of people or confirms their beliefs. I have had conversations go both ways. I also make note to the questioner that I recognize many Ethiopian people as Hebrews as well. In this country in particular, when we think of the people of the bible or the Jews or Hebrews or Israelites, our minds go to a few concrete places. For one, when we hear Jewish we think of the Ashkenazi Jews that we typically see in the Temples and Synagogues around our cities and neighborhoods. When we think of Israelis we also think of the people currently inhabiting the land of Israel. When we think of Hebrews, Israelites, or Hebrew Israelites, our minds immediately go to the “Black” men on the streets of our cities hollering at people in a very aggressive manner, claiming to be the chosen people of the bible and ready to go to war with anyone that even looks their way.

Can I just leave that hanging in the air for a moment and come back to it after I explain something about myself?

OK, so, I grew up in America as a young “African-American” or “Black” woman, and like most “Black” people in America, I didn’t know too much about my lineage, beyond slavery. I knew that I came from the direct lineage of Harriet Tubman and that the majority of my ancestors where spiritual advisors, pastors, bishops, and leaders within the church. My family on my fathers side were founders of The Church of God and we have always been very proud of that. I have always had a love for the church and for Christianity even when I got to the age of adulthood and decided to do “what was right in my own eyes”. I loved my gospel music and my Sunday services. I never thought much about the traditions of the church and I never questioned if they were truly biblical or just strictly cultural.

So, how do the two go together, me being asked if I am Ethiopian and my response being that I am Hebrew and my history with the church and Christianity?

So, here it is, this is my journey. As with many around the globe, my eyes have been awakened to not only who I am but also, to what I should be doing as a true follower of Yahshua, the Messiah (ha’Maschiach). I remember sitting with my parents and listening to a sermon in our living room. The speaker was teaching on the history of “Black” folk in America and went through Deuteronomy 28 in particular. He read the beginning. I had heard these words so many times in church! (Especially the “Black” church) How many of you have heard, “Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the field”, “Blessed shall you be when you come and blessed shall you be when you go”, “When the enemy comes against you one way, he shall flee before you seven ways”, “You will be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath”?

I’m sure this is a regular in many churches, to pull out these beautiful blessings and share them with congregations of people and the people shout and jump in praise to a God that they don’t even know the name of. But the pastor stops there. Typically, pastors don’t explain that this verse was given to the Israelites, just before they were to cross the Jordan river and enter the promised land and that these blessings came with very concrete actions. If and only if you kept Yah’s commandments and followed Torah would you be given these blessings.

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of YHWH your Elohim, being careful to do all His commandments that I command you today, YHWH your Elohim will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of YHWH your Elohim.” Deuteronomy 28:1-2

Then, the pastor read on, ALL THE WAY through Deuteronomy chapter 28. I personally have read the entire bible before but like most Christians, as I read through Torah, I had a mental block and sort of checked out because I thought, “these laws, statutes, and commandments don’t apply to me so I am just going to read them to say that I read them and wake up when I get to some of the interesting stories in like the book of Judges that are more applicable to my life.” Now, I know that I am not alone with this because I have recently told some people that I am rereading the entire bible and they have said, “how is it getting through Leviticus and Numbers and all those laws?” and my answer has been “It’s been extremely enlightening!” They typically give me a very perplexed look at that point and switch up the conversation a bit.

So, my parents and I were watching this pastor, really just going through the entire chapter 28 of Deuteronomy; my parents eyes had already been opened at this point to who we as the so called “Blacks” in America were but I hadn’t done much research on it and they didn’t want to sway my opinion on things and so they just showed me this without much commentary. So, I’m listening and then it gets to the curses of not following the commandments of YHWH. Well, I can’t go through it all but let me just pick some of these out and let the truth settle in your individual spirits:

 “And YHWH will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. And among these nations you shall find no respite, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot, but YHWH will give you these a trembling heart and failing eyes and a languishing soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you. Night and day you shall be in dread and have no assurance of your life.” vs. 64-66

“And YHWH will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. And among these nations you shall find no respite, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot, but YHWH will give you these a trembling heart and failing eyes and a languishing soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you. Night and day you shall be in dread and have no assurance of your life.” vs. 64-66

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 “And YHWH will bring you back in ships to Egypt, a journey that I promised that you should never make again…”vs. 68

“And YHWH will bring you back in ships to Egypt, a journey that I promised that you should never make again…”vs. 68

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 “You shall father sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours, for they shall go into captivity.” vs. 41

“You shall father sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours, for they shall go into captivity.” vs. 41

 “And you shall become a horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where Yah will lead you away.” vs 37

“And you shall become a horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where Yah will lead you away.” vs 37

 “and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you. You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall ravish her. You shall build a house but you shall not dwell in it. You shall plant a vineyard, but you shall not enjoy its fruit.” vs 29-30

“and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you. You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall ravish her. You shall build a house but you shall not dwell in it. You shall plant a vineyard, but you shall not enjoy its fruit.” vs 29-30

 “there for you shall serve your enemies whom YHWH will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything, and he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. YHWH will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, swooping down like the eagle a nation whose language you do not understand.” vs. 48-50

“there for you shall serve your enemies whom YHWH will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything, and he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. YHWH will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, swooping down like the eagle a nation whose language you do not understand.” vs. 48-50

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Tears began to well up in my eyes as they began to open to the truth. I wasn’t fully convinced but that is where it all began. Now, if you know me or follow me online, I am an avid reader and I typically read one or two books a week. I was in the middle of reading and rereading some great books, mostly “African-American” fiction books but I switched up all my reading to books on the African diaspora and the connection of “Blacks” in America being Hebrew. I have just touched the surface of what there is to learn and I don’t write this with the intention of convincing someone of my beliefs but rather to explain to many people where I stand.

So, here I am, recognizing that I am Hebrew and then wondering, so what does this mean? What do I do with this information? How do I describe this without everyone thinking that I have lost my mind? and what does this mean for my people!?

With excitement I remembered the verse, “If my people who are called by name, humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15

Now, if you are a “Black” person in America and haven’t wondered what the solution to the “Black” plight was, you must have been asleep your whole life. I have wondered this in serious depth over the years and it was like, YHWH just gave me the answer. We need to turn back to his laws, statutes, and commandments.

Then, I began reading and learning about the history of the church. I began questioning why we felt the need to keep all of the ten commandments except the fourth. Why we celebrate all of the pagan holidays yet none of the feast days of the bible. Why we don’t keep the dietary laws given to us in the word. Why Yahshua said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20

I learned that when the Roman Catholic church came about they began to make it illegal to even keep the Sabbath and decided it was best to infuse the beliefs of Christianity with the pagan rituals of the time. We see that they have continued into the modern day church. I began to notice that TRADITION TRUMPED YAH’S WORD, and that we needed to let tradition go. My family began a Shabbat gathering at the house and began keeping the sabbath as was instructed in the law. We began following Torah and our lives began to change in such beautiful ways! We had always been a relatively peaceful family but the true shalom of our Elohim fell upon us in an incredible way! I came to the recognition that Grace has been embedded in the Law since before the law was even written on those tablets handed down by Moses. That even in the garden the law was in action.

For the first time in my walk with YHWH, I didn’t need all of the answers and I didn't need to know the why for all that he asked me to do but I joyfully wanted to please my Elohim because He knows best and I know He knows best. I trust Him with all of me. So, here I am and I have so much more to say. For now, I will stop here and allow all of this to soak in. I will finish with saying that, “Maybe I am Ethiopian, but I know for sure that I am a Messianic Hebrew Israelite. It’s not my religion, it is my nationality. I am not a color called black and I am not an “African” and a my nationality is not “American” I am a Messianic Hebrew Israelite and I am proud of my lineage. My Messiah is not the Jesus that many say they serve, with the face of Cesare Borgia. He is Yahshua, which means “YAH is salvation”. He has skin like bronze and hair like wool. He is The Almighty. The Word in Flesh. My “God’s” name is not God. It is Elohim. It is YHWH. It is YAH. I don’t call myself a Christian anymore. I am a Messianic Hebrew Israelite and that doesn’t mean that I hate everyone else from another nationality. The Hebrews left Egypt a mixed multitude and we will leave all of the four corners of the earth and head back to our Promised Land, a beautiful mixed multitude of Torah keeping, Yahshua believing, YHWH honoring people.

Isaiah 11:11 “In that day YHWH will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of His people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.”

 

Black/Brown, Colorism, & Amara La Negra

Black/Brown, Colorism, & Amara La Negra

As if it is a recurring theme playing on repeat in my life right now, it seems like everywhere I turn and everything I listen to or watch has provoked the questions of colorism and the complex effects of colonialism on the human psyche. The repetitive conversations around colorism are found in every community of color and the similarities are incredibly familiar. We have been so conditioned to over simplify race, to see ourselves and others how our colonizer have taught us to, to cling to their ideals and customs out of a hunger to have an identity and to truly "be somebody". This has caused some deep divisions that even when we see the facts we struggle to break down these mental barriers built up within our minds.
As people fight against the physical wall that this mad man president is trying to put up, we also need to begin breaking down these walls that our colonizers have put up in our minds!
When I look at my own culture, the so called Black American or African American, I see colorism so prevelant. When I was younger I really noticed it on tv and in magazine. The lighter the better. I would see Black men seeking out lighter complexioned women or even white women and the bottom of the todem pole was the dark skinned black woman. This bothered me and to be honest, it still does. I get frustrated with these mind sets and I want to scream, "can't you see how they have manipulated your mind by telling you what beauty is! And you fall for it over and over again!"
We've all fallen for it at some point, if not explicitly then in subtle ways that we don't even notice. It's everywhere and in everything.
Last year I did a collection of art highlighting the Afro Cuban, Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz.

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What constitutes Black? What Constitutes Brown?

I made this collection, not just because I love her music, which I do, but because I really began to break down the various cultures within the Latino community. For five years I did community work in a primarily Latino community. I saw a lot of subtle colorism amongst community members and especially with the kids that I worked with. This frustrated me because I saw the parallels with my own community. Then I began to question, what is to be Black or Brown or other? What do these labels mean? Recently, I wrote a poem about this exact thing and I posted it on my Facebook. It was one of my favorite poems I may have ever written and so I want to share it here also.

"Questions of black and brown, colorism, and this ridiculous paradigm we all live in called life, post colonialism"

Are not the terms "black" and "brown" untrue? Developed to define people groups on elementary levels, leaving complex effects, and I wonder...what constitutes black? And what constitutes brown? Is it an accent or a slang or a vernacular or a verbal radar that redefines the individual? Is it the location of your "origin" cause it damn sure can't be about complexions... if it was complexions then why am I brown but they call me black and why is my brother darker than me but they call him brown? I'm so confused.
Why did one of my students once say he wasn't black to one of the black students but he was blacker than him and what the heck is black amidst all of this confusion? 
And if more slaves were brought to Latin America than the continent I reside on are many of them not me, not my people, and why is there this separation? 
Is one better because they are not the "other"? Is she "browner" because her hair is straighter but she's still darker than that light skinned "black sistah"...
In an all "brown" society are there "black" people? 
Are people from the motherland a different kinda black? 
Is black defined as black American? 
Is black a dance? Is black an action? Is brown a song? Is brown a food? Is black a career? Is brown a sound? 
Why did we accept them defining us and think that was ok? Why do we just take what we can get? 
Why did my Indian professor in college keep telling me that I looked identical to his daughter and then one day I met her and she looked like a five year old reflection of myself, except she was "brown"?
Why did an Ethiopian woman ask me if I was Habesha, then told me I look more Ethiopian than her and that most people mistake her for Indian? Is she a different kind of black or is she brown? 
And what the heck is brown and how do we know who identifies as brown when so many of us are brown but they call us black? 
How do we get away from these labels? 
Is that even possible?
I still say that I am black and is that because that was what I was I told I am? 
What constitutes black? What constitutes brown? and who created this crap?

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"Too Latina to be Black, Too Black to be Latina..."

Amara La Negra

The other day I had a conversation with friends about blackness within various cultures and the musician Amara La Negra came up. Then, just yesterday I turned on one of my favorite podcast, Code Switch, and they recently did an interview with her.

I was excited to listen to it. She brought up some amazing points and so I am sharing it here for you all to listen to. Check out my poem, and the podcast...I don't have all the answers but as you see with my poem, I have a heck of a lot of questions. It fascinates me of the narrow mindedness on all sides. I will leave it with this thought, we need to be real with ourselves about who we are, decolonize our minds, get free from these chains, and begin to understand that we have so much more in common than we have different. 

Oh and one more thing, here's a dope song that is very fitting for this conversation...

One Love fam!

Philly Art Blog!

Just about a year ago I was displaying some of my artwork at Taller Puertorriqueño in Philadelphia. My guitars were mostly on display. 3 of them I believe. I went to the exhibit, which was really for another artist but the curator really loved my art and asked if I could display a few pieces in the foyer part of the building. As people went into the exhibit, my guitars greeted them with love and admonition.

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Mosaics are a symbol to me...

of taking the broken and making something beautiful!

I had been making these intricate mosaic guitars with no intention other than the fact that I absolutely loved the work. That same day, a woman was there leading an art workshop. Her name, Roberta Fallon. She really dug my art and after participating in her workshop, I found out that she had an art blog. After that first interaction we kept in touch and now, about a year later, I was given the honor to be a guest on her blog, Philly ArtBlog. Goes to show, you never know how one thing will lead to another and to another and to another. Just last Friday I sat with The ArtBlog’s Managing Editor, Imani Roach. We had a great conversation about so many things but at the core of it all was the art! Please check out the podcast and always remember how powerful and necessary art is to the human experience and continue to support the work! Thank you!

Girl, You Too!

Girl, You Too! Mosaic, March 2018

With this, “Girl, You Too!”, mosaic piece, my desire was to add to the conversation currently happening around the Me Too movement and to support all women from all walks of life that have experienced sexual assault, exploitation, disrespect, and/or abuse. You see, when some think of the Me Too movement, they may automatically think of the wealthy women that have come out to say “me too” and the powerful men that have repeatedly abused their positions of power, but with this piece I aspire to bring to the viewers attention, the marginalized and the often overlooked women that for decades have not had a platform to share their voice by saying “Me Too”.

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Be Free! 

This is for the women that have been forced to keep their heads down and their mouths shut because of the dangers of the societies around them. You see sexual abuse should not be a way of life but rather a shunned behavior that the world says "enough is enough!" too. There was never a time that this should have been okay or overlooked, but the reality is that there was that time and in many places of the world, that time still exist but we need to collectively continue to shout that time is up!

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Be Love.

 

As the creator of the Me Too movement, Tarana Burke, once stated, “My hope is that in fifty years we’ll have a generation that has grown their whole lives hearing about consent and boundaries.” This should be a regular part of the upbringing and education of all boys and girls as we pour into generation upon generation.

Lines must be clearly drawn and grey areas dispelled. Beyond the popularity of the Me Too movement, I was provoked to develop this art piece as I heard story after story of women and girls across the world that were taken advantage of. Stories like “Rape on the Night Shift”. Women that worked in the janitorial industry being molested while trying to provide for their families. Stories of Muslim women being sexually harassed during Hajj in Mecca.

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Be Hope. 

Stories like an 8 month old girl being molested and on life support in India. Then I think back to my own culture. Black women in America, raped and tortured consistently for hundreds of years by slave masters that saw us as subhuman animals. These are just a few stories that continue to shake me to the core. This is just my small voice, sharing a piece of art that I pray provokes the audience to...DO SOMETHING!

 

Truth?

In the beginning…

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I began this art piece with one thing in mind. Create art that better depicts the first man and the first woman. Type in on google images, Adam and Eve...Go ahead...take a moment and see how many European naked couples you find. Tons and tons will pop up. I felt the need to create something that I believe better depicts their image.

This piece started off with that phrase/thought/idea…”In the beginning…” and I sat on that for a while. This piece truly depicts where I am personally at in my journey and my continuous questioning for “Truth?”. What is “true” truth? How did we get here? Where are we going? How do we get there? How does this mess get fixed?

As a believer in the Most High Yah, I put my trust in Him and what His word says.The world is getting crazier and crazier, and I know some may disagree but from my view that is the way it seems. I don’t think I have all of the answers but I do have many questions and the one that has been swirling around is, “What is “true” truth?

As a child I would look at history according to my elementary history books and things didn’t add up. Then my parents taught me true history at home. I learned the depth of the plight of my people here in this country and then I grew up and I studied more and I learned more. The last thing that they wanted us to do during slavery was read. Then last year, I had this strong feeling that truth was in the books and so I read book after book after book. All black authors and primarily people that experienced social injustices and were political prisoners. Some of those books were, Angela Davis’ autobiography, Assata Shakur's autobiography, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s, Life from Death Row, Winnie Mandela’s, Part of my Soul Went with Him, lots of Bell Hooks, Rudolph Windsor’s, From Babylon to Timbuktu, Jade Lee’s book The Ferguson Dilemma, I went back and looked at The Souls of Black Folk by DuBois, and studied Michelle Alexander's, The New Jim Crow. I dived into The Soledad Brothers by George Jackson, and got lost in poetry by some of my favorites, Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni...I wanted answers.

I still find myself searching but I found some “true” truth that shook up my world along the way. I did what they don’t want us to do. I went back and I studied! I learned and grew. Maybe this piece of art is a reaction to that journey.

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What is "true" truth?

One of my favorite parts of this piece is found in the top left corner. It is a sketch of a young boy with tape over his mouth that says, ‘I CAN’T BREATHE”. I was hesitant to put that on there because it was a different color than the rest of the mosaic and I feared it would stick out too much but I’m so glad I did put it on there! You see I recently went to a high school to speak to classrooms of students and I did a song about the police brutality against the black people of this nation.

When I was finished in one of the classrooms, this young freshman girl with beautiful caramel skin, a nike baseball cap, and the confidence of a grown woman, came to me and handed me this piece of paper. She said she had sketched it while I performed for the class. She was inspired! On it, she wrote, “Who you gonna call for help when the police the main one killing us?” I wanted to incorporate her art in my piece and allow it to be seen, to live, to speak, to breathe.

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Who you gonna call...?

All around her sketch you see the past, and her sketch represents the present and the future.As we go on this journey, we must never forget the past, we must never give up on the future, and we MUST continue to seek truth...by any means necessary.

Shalom Family!

One Love,

Lauren NeFesha

For all inquiries, please contact me directly at laurennefesha@gmail.com

This piece is for sale for $475. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

The Four Virtuous Women

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אשת חיל

 

"Eshet Chayl"

Who can find a Virtuous Woman?

In 1966 Nina Simone released her album, Wild is the Wind and second on that album was the song, Four Women. It was a song that challenged the listener and consisted of thought provoking story telling of the lives of four black women. Their names: Aunt Sarah, Saffronia, Sweet Thing, and Peaches. Deep rooted in the realities of the effects of slavery on the black woman and created during one of the most tumultuous times in American history, some found it so powerful that they banned it from their radio stations.

Here we are, 52 years later, and the song penetrates the soul with the same magnitude that it did in the 60’s. The parallels are so real and ripe that we can smell the divide between race and class, the same funky smell that keeps permeating the air in this country like rotting still waters.

Lately, this song has been on the metaphoric soundtrack of my life. It’s rhythm flows through the speakers of my headphones at least a few times a day. Nina Simone once stated that an artist duty is to reflect the times. As both a visual and performing artist, I strive to tell the untold, muffled, and muted stories of my people and to leave the world with a reflection of the times that I just so happen to be gifted to live in. Because I saw such parallels in the times of the 60’s and the modern day state of the world, I decided to create this piece of art, based on an image of Nina Simone, and her timeless song, Four Women.

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"An artist duty is to reflect the times."

~Nina Simone

Now, when I think of “virtuous women”, I may not always think of the four women that Simone tells the stories of. Not because of their blackness but more because of their faultiness. Their imperfections. Each, individually unique. Each, individually creative. Each, individually imperfect. Each, individually, black. Each, individually, virtuous. The Hebrew found on this piece of art says, אשת חיל, which is transliterated to “ishet chayl”, meaning “virtuous woman”.

I truly pray that this piece of art work inspires all of you beautiful, virtuous women to be strong in all things and to trust that The Most High has an incredible plan and purpose for your life. Be you. Be Virtuous. 

Shalom Shalom! 

Lauren NeFesha

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Be חיל. 

If you're interested in this mosaic or any custom work, please email me at laurennefesha@gmail.com. Let's Chat! 

 

 

Ready or Not, Here Yah Comes...

Shalom Mishpaca (Family)! I began writing this song during last weeks Shabbat gathering (shout out to our Jersey Family!!!). My father brought us a lesson on judgement and it has been on my heart for some time now. This old Fugees song, sung by the great Ms. Lauryn Hill, was on my mind and I wanted to expound upon it and make it relevant to my fellow Hebrews out there. When I look around today and see the many alarming situations arising daily, I am even more aware of the fact that time is running out. Many may see us as John in the Wilderness, screaming to repent for the Kingdom of YAH is at hand but the reality is, is that, The Kingdom of Yah is at hand and the Day of Judgment is near. Are you ready or not?...THE KING IS COMING. All Praises to the Most High YAH!

Jack of All Trades and a Master of Some.

“Jack of all trades, master of none.” I hear this saying and I cringe. It’s always bothered me. It’s sort of like when people say, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” I’ve always struggled with that one too because the reality is, is that words do hurt. But that’s all besides the point. Sometimes these age old adage’s are not so true and not so proverbial.

To me, “Jack of all trades, master of none” causes people to hesitate to try new things out of fear that they will not master anything and float through life hopping from one thing to the next and never accomplishing anything substantial. When I speak of myself I typically reword it and say, “Jack of all trades, master of some.” You see, my whole life has been about trying new things, not being limited to just one job, trade, or area of study, and metaphorically, jumping off of cliffs to unknown bodies of water.

I’ve found myself in some beautiful translucent bluish green bodies of water and I’ve also climbed my way out of bluesy muddy waters that tried to sink me in real deep. I know that when I take steps that are seemingly risky and unwise, I am walking on the line of landing in the beautiful blue or the bluesy mud. I’ve always been willing to take those risk and I reckon that I always will. Fearless has been an attribute that I have worn like a badge of honor but it has lead me to many losses as well.  Recently I have been thinking about these seemingly blind steps of faith that I so often take out of passionate desires to accomplish dreams that are frequently dreamt in solitude and seclusion. To my fault and to my advantage, I have this unwavering optimism.

I actually believe that I can be, and that I have been,  a “Jack of all Trades and a Master of Some”. I guess I’ve always thought this way. As a child I would try everything and when I got into adulthood, I stepped out and tried new things like skateboarding, writing and performing spoken word poetry, modeling, making mosaics and then at 27 I picked up the guitar and began song writing. I’ve failed at things over and over in the midst of chasing my dreams. I’ve found myself depressed at times, questioning what I was doing and why I couldn’t just go get a normal job and follow the script like everyone else. I did just that for a while but it never felt quite right and I never truly felt complete. I was never truly “successful” at it and it felt monotonous in many ways. I had a love hate relationship with it. I worked in the non-profit sector and I ran a community arts house. I don’t want it to sound like it was a bad experience because it truly was beautiful and the community was incredible but I knew that I had this burning desire to go and do what I loved yet, financially I needed the job, so what was I to do?

And then life hit like a hammer. I thought I was going to move across the country and get married to a man that truly was incredible but things didn’t work out. I had already turned in my resignation letter at my job and was left wondering what was left. Over the past year I have been hit with tremendous ups and downs, these make or break moments. To top off being jobless, broke, post-breakup, disappointed, and lonely, I had to give up my dog. I hate to admit the pain that this all left but I found myself in my bathroom, naked, eyes closed, fighting back tears and wanting to scream but not having the strength. I had felt like the biggest failure and I was starting all over with everything. Life was kicking my butt and I couldn’t get up to stand strong at that moment. I wanted to crumble. At that moment I began to speak a poem:

 

There is this hurt that is stuck in my throat the size of golf balls

There are puddles in my eyes the size of the great lakes

It is negative 20 degrees in my heart

My blackness won’t allow me to scream

 

These puddles are now frozen

These words slide overtop of still slick stuck tears

Developed surfaces

I want to go deeper than the surface

 

But I fear I may drown below the ice

There is a hurt stuck in my throat, dry as moth balls

My thoughts are found between winter clothes

I find them as I prepare for new seasons

 

My heart has committed treason

My feet walk bear, out of season

Expecting sand in between the crevasses

To the blue bright warm ocean

Only to slide on the surface of frozen tears

 

Days go by, months, weeks, years

Finally I melt

Finally I cry

You see for me, it is these moments of brokenness that I truly see who I am, what I am, and where I am going. I had a day that I stayed silent, locked myself in my room, read books, and listened to my favorite music. I knew that if I spoke I would curse out the world and all the air that exist in it. I wanted solitude and I wanted to mourn everything that I had recently lost. I wanted to mourn all of my failures. My sad realities and my lack of possessions that would symbolize “success”. I wanted to mourn all those things that I depended on and hoped for. I wanted to hold onto those things and I wanted to let them go. I picked up my pen and wrote, I danced, I cried, I played music, I closed my eyes and allowed the water to well up and then opened my eyes to allow the floods to rush out. I stood in front of a mirror naked and asked myself what and who I was and who I wanted to be.

This experience was very recent. It is a scar that is fresh and the blood is still seeping through the bandaid. The hurt is real and the pain still pangs but I am beginning to heal. This experience made me question myself and ask myself, at 31 years of age, “What do you want to master next and why?” You see, I have accomplished many cool things in life. I remember every time I stepped foot into the boxing ring to fight and I remember winning both my National Championship fights. I remember fighting for Team USA at the World Championships. I remember traveling as a young, spry 20 year old to Italy to study fashion and partying in Milan and Southern France. I remember when I was in high school and accomplishing 1000 points. I remember playing in the Division 2 Elite 8 in college as the starting point guard. I remember getting inducted into my high school hall of fame for athletics. I remember obtaining my Masters and fulfilling another dream of mine. I remember all the work that it took to accomplish each of these things but I also remember the transitions in between each. They were miserable and disturbing. I remember feeling like I was losing my mind in college and having an emotional and mental breakdown and anxiety attack. I remember when I stopped boxing and I was lost with nothing to hold onto or work toward. I had nothing to be passionate about and life felt meaningless.

I have been so conditioned to work on the next thing but I often just wish there was no “next thing”. I have looked at people like doctors and lawyers with staunch envy. I have said in my heart that that was what I wanted. Consistency, regular pay, a direct path, and a clear concrete job. As an artist and musician, I live in the abstract. Everything functions off of ideas and dreams and if I don’t live in those dreams then I can’t accomplish my goals as an artist. I have to embrace those dreams but when I see reality it can sometimes be defeating. Reality was me naked in front of the mirror with tears flowing from my eyes, asking myself, “What’s next?”

I believe that I can and many others can be a, Jack of all trades and a master of some. So, when I went to answer that question to myself, I already knew the answer. Make music, make art. Master your crafts. It took me a long way to get to where I am now. A lot of things that don’t make sense from the outside looking in but I recognize the complexities of who I am. I don’t fit the boxes that the world has placed on people and I refuse to stuff myself in one. My refusal has left me frustrated at times as an outsider to the confines of this society and so often it has caused me to question my decisions but when I look back I know that I did what I loved and when I look at myself now I know that I am doing what I love. I don’t have much and everywhere I turn I see things getting stripped from me but I know that where I am going and what I am working towards is right for me at this moment. So I sit and I work on my art and my music and my writing the same way that I worked hours on end learning how to box or play basketball or write my thesis in graduate school.

Like the old adage from the classic movie Rocky, “It ain’t about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about how many times you get up.” And when I think of that gritty determination that drives me I know for sure that I will and have been a, “Jack of all Trades and a Master of Some”.

Shalom Shalom family. Let this encourage you to accomplish all that you could ever dream, imagine, or desire.

Lauren NeFesha

 

 

Why We Keep The Sabbath.

Why We Keep The Sabbath.

Why we keep the Sabbath?

 

Leviticus 23:3-4 "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of YHWH in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of YHWH, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."

For some time now, I have desired to write a blog specifically explaining to people of why I kept the Sabbath, on the sabbath, and how Yah (God) commanded us to keep it but I also wanted to explain to you all, the significance of my family collectively keeping the Sabbath. So, I entitled this, “Why we keep the Sabbath (aka Shabbat)”. It is about my family, and when I say family, I am more specifically am speaking of myself, my father, and my mother.

Five years ago I moved back home. I had just “retired” from a very successful boxing career and decided it would best to move back. Amidst many other transitions that I was experiencing in my life, I was finally turning back to Yah and taking some first steps in the right direction. I had spent the majority of my adult life in and out of tumultuous relationships, sketchy lifestyles, debauchery, lasciviousness, and frivolous behaviors and I knew it was time for me to turn back to my upbringing. (Check out this poem of my testimony and what The Most High brought me through!) I was 25 and frustrated. A prodigal daughter with no other direction to go but back to my mother and my father. They welcomed me with open arms with a similar love freely given to me from the Father Himself.

I have been dedicated to Yah and working to fulfill the call that He has on my life but I would be remiss to write a blog about my journey without including my parents and the way they have been used to be a light upon my path.

Since we have been awakened to who we are, as the chosen people of Yah, and began to follow Yah’s laws, statutes, and commandments (please see my blog, “Excuse me, Are you Ethiopian?”), we have also began to observe the Shabbat, which simply means rest or to cease from work in Hebrew. It has been an incredible process.

But why? Why do we keep the Sabbath?

1. Why do we typically keep all of the commandments but one?

Unfortunately, many of us don’t even know all of the 10 commandments. People are being taught that they don’t have to keep them so some don’t even worry about them and then some of us follow SOME of the commandments but decide that keeping the Sabbath is a subjective choice and not a command. So, why do we not keep the Sabbath? Many people have recently asked me if I was a Seventh Day Adventist and my immediate answer is a concrete, No. I am simply a Torah keeping believer that Loves Yah and Yahusha with a love that has drawn me to obedience.

Just recently, my mother ran into someone that she has known for over 20 years, through the church community and this woman asked her about our family gathering. My mother explained to her that it is not on Sunday but father on the Sabbath, Saturday and this woman asked her what the Sabbath was...

This is alarming and so let me just share this verse from Exodus and then I'll move on..

Exodus 20:8-11 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."

2. As bloodline Israelites, we know that Yah’s laws are perfect and still enacted and we should be following Torah.

Deuteronomy 5:29-33 “Oh, that they had such a heart in them, to fear Me and to guard all My commands always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever! Go, say to them, “Return to your tents.” But you, stand here by Me, and let Me speak to you all the commands, and the laws, and the right-rulings which you are to teach them. And they shall do them in the land which I am giving them to possess.’ And you shall guard to do as YHWH your Elohim has commanded you – do not turn aside, to the right or to the left. Walk in all the ways which YHWH your Elohim has commanded you, so that you live and it be well with you. And you shall prolong your days in the land which you possess.”

“Also the foreigners who join themselves to YHWH to serve him, and to love the YHWH'S name, to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and holds fast my covenant, will bring these to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.” Isaiah 56:1-2

3. Even the gentile or the grafted in people should still follow the ways of Yah.

Yahusha Himself spoke saying “If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19

“Also the foreigners who join themselves to YHWH to serve him, and to love the YHWH's name, to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and holds fast my covenant, will bring these to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.” Isaiah 56:6-7

4. Some laws are very clearly FOREVER LAWS.

Unfortunately, in the typical Christian congregations, Yah’s laws are believed to be done away with which contradicts the words of Yahshua AND the fact that YAH commanded us to follow these laws FOREVER. Forever means “for all future times; for always.”

Cleflo Dollar himself has a teaching on not having to keep, even "the Big Ten" as he calls them. I propose that this is blasphemous and that his is directly contradicting what the Messiah himself taught and that anyone following a man like this needs to get far away from him before destruction comes. The writing is on the wall. He is a liar and the truth is not in him.

5. It IS that big a’ deal!

So often, we think that things are not that big of a deal but we are judging those things according to what makes sense to us and not to what we should do because we love Yah and desire to keep His commandments. Many times in the Word, we see Yah telling the people of Israel to AT MINIMUM keep the sabbath. We have been a stiff necked and hard headed people and we wonder why Yah is not moving for our people, the so called black people of the Americas. It is time to turn back to Yah. It is that big a' deal.

“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, Yah: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:16-17

6. Sunday Worship and the Catholic Church (The Nitty Gritty of it all)

In his book, From Babylon to Timbuktu, Rudolph R. Windsor speaks of the forced conversion, persecution, and enslavement of the Hebrew people during the time of early Christianity and Catholicism. “In 616 A.D. the big shock came; the king ordered the baptism of all the Jews in his domain, under the penalty of expulsion and the loss of all their property. According to Catholic authorities, ninety thousand embraced Christianity at this time. This was a forced baptism. In the seventh century the Jews were threatened with the penalty of slavery if they were found practicing Judaism.” (Windsor, pg. 87) Even as late as the mid 1500’s Black Jews were being persecuted by the papal office who authorized the establishment of the Inquisition in Portugal. Rudolph R. Windsor shares this case: “a Jewish woman by the name of Elvira del Campo was indicted and tortured for two years in order to elicit a confession from her. The charges against her were not eating pork and putting on clean linen on Saturdays. According to this woman, these charges were not heretical practices, she wanted to be clean and pork made her sick.”

And then there is Constantine “the Great”.

Constantine had this idea of “Christianizing” these "pagan" empires and he did it by infusing the two together. One of those things was the Sabbath. When sun worship, creeped into the church, Constantine made use of it and Commanded Sunday worship over the 7th day worship commanded by Yah. Daniel 7 speaks of a religious power that will come, that will think to change times and laws, “He will speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:25

Within the ten commandments, there is only one law that is also a time, the Sabbath.

Many do not realize it or do not care that their sunday worship and decision to disregard Yah’s 4th commandment is inherently a decision to follow Constantine’s law and continue the pagan rituals of sun worship. My convictions are too high in this area to continue the mockery of my Elohim and so I and my family have decided to follow the laws of Yah and not the laws of man.

The very existence of Sunday worship is not of Yah. It is a tradition of man. It is anti-Christ. It is a smack in The Most High's face. It is a lie.  Sunday was never, is not, and will never be, the Sabbath. "There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the Catholic Church alone. The Catholic Church says, by my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week." {Click on the last few sentences to read more about this.} 

Mark 7:6-9 " He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of YHWH, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of YHWH, that ye may keep your own tradition."

7. Shabbat Shalom! Shabbat is an incredible gift!

Somethings don’t make sense in Yah’s law until you do them. When my family began to observe the sabbath we didn’t really know what we were doing, what we should do, or what we even could do. I personally remembered a movie (that I can’t remember the name of) and this Ashkenazi Jewish man was a jeweler and the main actor needed to get an engagement ring from from the Jew but time was running out and the jeweler had to close up at sundown. I knew little things about “Jewish” traditions, growing up in a highly Jewish population in South Jersey. My parents knew more than me probably but we also knew that the “Jewish” traditions were so infused with Tradition and pagan customs, just like Christianity and so we went back to the Script, the word of Yah.

Some of our first weeks observing the Shabbat, we went and got coffee or snacks a few times, we also got rest but we learned quickly what Yah has really called us to do on the Sabbath. We began a study at our house and invited friends and family to come over and praise Yah with us and to reason over His word. We began to have morning discussions about the word and get TRUE REST and when we began to observe the Sabbath the way we were called to, we realized that it was an absolute gift from The Most High. We had no idea what we were missing out on and we had no idea of what we did not know. As I began to have conversations with friends and families members about us observing the Sabbath, I realized that many people did not even know what the true sabbath was and what it consisted of.

Yah commanded us to observe the Sabbath on the seventh day. It is a day of rest and ceasing from work. It is a time to celebrate and worship Yah. The day before is a time of preparation which is symbolic of our lives being lived out as a preparation for the second coming of our Messiah. The day before we “get our house in order”, we clean and prepare food for the next day, and we remember the grace and love of our Father Yah. Everyone’s Sabbath will look slightly different but it’s more than an “fun practice”, a ritual, a good idea, or a lifestyle. It is a commandment from the Most High Yah, for all generations, from the Israelite to the Gentile, FOREVER.

We as a family observe Shabbat with immense anticipation and joy. I have been blessed to come into this walk with parents that love Yah, believe in Yahusha, love their neighbors and family as well as each other, understand that we as the so called blacks in America are one of the 12 tribes of the Israelites, and keep the Sabbath. To all who may be interested in fellowshipping with us for a sabbath gathering, you are more than welcome to come and worship Yah with us. Let’s work to love Yahshua by keeping His commandments and watch your life transform! Oh and my mom cooks an amazing meal on Friday for Shabbat (Saturday) and if you know my mama, she can throwdown!

Meet my parents in this short clip as they testify of our Hebrew Faith!

Check out my father’s channel for more on our Shabbat Gathering!