26 September 2012

Getting it right, again

This message was written and preached in 2007 but the message seems to still fill the bill. Even today.

Yom Kippur 5768
21 September 2007
Given at Jews for Jesus
Bondi Junction NSW AUSTRALIA

For those who are with us for the first time tonight, a hearty Shana Tova and a welcome to our public gathering. May your fast be easy tonight and tomorrow. We don’t have many of these gatherings a year, so each one is very special to our staff and to many of our constituency. Each time we gather we take a section or sections of the Bible and see if this Book has anything to say to us, as 21st century people.
Last week we began to consider again this New Year, 5768 and the desire of God to be in relationship with us. That in itself is an awesome point to consider.

Now tonight, we will look at the idea of getting it right…again. Some may grow weary of New Year talks. I never do. For many reasons the Holidays were always a time of good feelings for me. Maybe it was because I enjoyed getting new clothing and attending the synagogue with my parents. I enjoyed starting school again at this time of year, after a long season as we have in the US, of 3 months off from official learning. The weather often began to change at this time, with the leaves turning colours and a crispness in the air in the early morning or evening. The world was going to be different for me, so maybe it would be different for everyone. And I wanted to get it right.

If there was ever a theme in my upbringing it was ‘get it right.’ The words may not have been put in that phrase. The idea of the Jewish understanding of ‘tikkun olam’ was the backdrop, but I never heard that phrase. God wanted his people the Jewish people, to make the world better. He wanted us to ‘repair the world’ as the phrase translates. And although it wasn’t until I was a teenager when I officially learned and appropriated that phrase, the more secular ‘getting it right’ seemed to be a watchword for me and for my family and perhaps for a whole generation.

Let me read to you from the Bible for a moment, and then I’ll come back to this theme.

"Now when John in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples, and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. “And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.” (Matthew 11.2-6)

Once again we start over, as 5768 is in full swing. Last week Jewish people listened to the sounds of the shofar, blown 100 times each day, to remind us of the sovereignty of the Kingship of the Lord God. The shofar reminds us to repent, to get it right with God, and with one another.

But maybe you are weary of the same old same old. Maybe this idea of annual holidays is wearying. Maybe it’s the idea of fasting, which can be wearying. True story: The other night, I caught a bit of the TV show Entourage, and the setting of this particular episode was Yom Kippur. The Jewish star of the show, Jeremy Pivin and his wife were having quite a row over the holiness of the day, and she was upset that he was conducting his Hollywood business on that sacred day. One of his business associates was equally troubled by his family similarly upset. As if it were really such a hardship, the associate cried out “I’ve been fasting for 10 hours already, what do you want from me?”

Weariness can set in and some stop fasting and others give the public gatherings a miss. You, however, are not among those.

But even though you are present with us tonight, perhaps you are weary.

DOUBT PREVENTS OUR GETTING IT RIGHT…OR DOES IT?

The number one wearying factor is doubt.

Isaac Bashevis Singer said, “Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters.”
-New York Times, December 3, 1978

Alfred Korzybski, the great semanticist and scientist, wrote,
“There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.”

One of my favourite thinkers is Blaise Pascal who said, “We must learn our limits. We are all something, but none of us are everything.”

So in the Bible section we read, we see a famous Bible character coming to grips with his doubts. That in itself might encourage some of you. Did you know Bible heroes doubted at times?

So when I say, we’re going to get it right, tonight on Yom Kippur, what is your response?
Doubt…getting it right, can I really do this again? What if this isn’t right? What if I’m totally wrong on this faith stuff?
John the Doubter


Perhaps the story I read of the famous John the Baptist might help you.
John was in prison after working for years in preaching repentance to our Jewish people. He was the last great prophet, and introduced Y’shua, Jesus to the world a few chapters, and maybe a couple years earlier.

Now he’s in prison for his faith, as so many great heroes of the Bible and beyond have been. Men like Joseph and Daniel, people like Corrie Ten Boom and her sister and Richard Wurmbrand and Brother Wu, all imprisoned for their faith.

While in prison John begins to rethink his commitments. He wonders aloud if he’s made the right choice. Sure, it was exciting in the beginning. Yes, God was real and then John actually saw a dove land on the head of his first cousin.

But now there has been testing. Now there has been persecution. Now the king threatened him. And John is rethinking his commitments.

And so would you.

Or at least I would.

But look at what John did with his doubts. Maybe it’s better to say, let’s see what he did NOT do with his doubts. John did not send a message to Richard Dawkins, to be reminded of his laughable faith. John did not send an email to John Shelby Spong, that he would be ridiculed for such silly simplicity.
No, in fact, John sent a message to Y’shua.

John went to a man of faith in times of crisis and in times of doubt.

And what was the reply? What would Y’shua say to someone who had doubts? Like so many encouragers in these days, perhaps he would say, “Hang in there, John, it’s been tough before, but you’ll make it.” Or maybe he would say in the way of identification, “Yes, John, I’ve been where you are many times, and God helped me, so I’m sure he’ll help you.”

Or maybe Y’shua would upbraid John by saying, “John, you announced me to the world, and now you doubt? Ha. What kind of disciple are you anyway?” Or finally Jesus might have simply said, “Trust me John” and sounded like a used car salesman. [With apologies to those of you who do sell used cars for a living.]

These are all valid possibilities, and certainly validated more by the haunting sounds of my own echoes of wrong responses over the years.

No, Y’shua said, “Go and report to John what you hear and see.” Y’shua is telling the friends of John to take back a bundle of CSI evidence. He’s saying that the proof is in the pudding and the pudding is real. Don’t believe because it’s simpler that way. Don’t believe because you were raised that way. Don’t believe as some say, without evidence. Jesus is saying the evidence is in and it’s weighty.

In fact, the quote is from Isaiah, the Older Testament prophet. In chapter 35 we read “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah.” (Isa 35.5-6)

Jesus is saying, John, believe the signs. The evidence is in, and I’m the Messiah, for when Messiah comes, healings will take place and blind will see, and deaf will hear and lame will walk. And John, you’ve seen and heard that. So trust me because I’m to be trusted!

John did the right thing with his doubt. He went to the man and the source of all faith.

When you have doubt, you should do no less.


MESSIAH OUR ATONEMENT

On Yom Kippur, this Day of Atonement, we see a portrait of the perfect atonement that we have in the death and resurrection of the Messiah Jesus. For just as the ancient high priest had to re-emerge alive from the Holy of Holies on this day, as a signal that his sacrifice on our behalf had been sufficient and acceptable to God, so Jesus, our eternal High Priest and perfect Lamb of God, had to re-emerge alive from the grave as proof that what He’d said was true: “It is finished.”
Doubts are quelled and faith is the strengthener.

It’s not some blind faith; it’s resultant faith. It’s caused faith. Faith that came from taking God at his word. What he said he would perform, he did perform. What he accomplished, we can see and hear. And as a result, we can believe him about some propositional truths and about our very life!

The rabbis to this day believe that if all Israel were to celebrate Shabbat at least once, Messiah would come. Combine that with the holiness of this special day, Yom Kippur, also titled “Sabbath of Sabbaths” and you have a double gamble. It’s as if we are doubling down and calling God’s bet. If we can get everyone to observe the day, Messiah will come.

But the rabbis don’t even agree with one another about what is ‘observing the Sabbath.’ How can we all possibly do what they want, when they don’t know what they want? If our Messiah’s coming was contingent on our good works, well we and he would certainly fail.

Friends here in Bondi Junction tonight, I believe Messiah has come. I believe the holiness of this night is unmatched anywhere. He alone is our redeemer. He alone is our Saviour. Jesus alone is our Messiah. And he came to ransom the world from sin and from self-consumption and from selfishness. He’s our only hope, amen?

ATONEMENTS IN OUR LIVES

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. Actually in the biblical book of Leviticus, the day is named "the day of 'atonements.'" Plural. We say the same in the Kol Nidre. From this Yom Kippur to the next. Interesting. Why plural? Perhaps because it means that many parts of our lives need fixing, not just our life, but our lives. In light of that, what areas might need atoning? What parts of our lives do we need to get right…again?

Let's consider our economic life. God wants to be Lord of our money, our wallet, our giving, and our charity en toto. He cares if we care for others. He gave so we can give to make the world a better place. And when you think about your life of money, you may need to repent of using your money wrongly. Let's get it right. That’s why we said what we did in the Al Khet.

How about our social life? God wants to be Lord of our relationships, of our families, of our daily linkages with others. Do you have someone you need to get right with? Do you relate to others in the way you want them to relate to you? You get the idea.

The same can be accomplished in your dietary life or in your political life or in your devotional life. Get it? Get it right… today for the rest of your life. The way to get it right is to admit you got it wrong, ask God in Y’shua’s name to forgive you, and live in the rightness he brings.

This day, Yom Kippur, is the day of making things right. How about it...for you... will you do that this Friday night/ Saturday? Will you get it right with God and with each other? Will your lives be atoned? Will you be able to smile on Saturday night having completed your repair work?

The Bible says, “So Messiah Jesus was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”-- Heb 9.28

And again we read this in the history of the early Jewish believers, in Acts 3.19
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”
Getting it right is about acknowledging how badly we got it wrong. And then not being content about wrong. Not settling for 2nd best. Let’s get with the program. Let’s get it right, now, tonight and from now on.

The way to get it right is simple, but hard. Simple because it’s not about you. Hard because it’s not about you. It’s about Y’shua and his dying for our sins and receiving in himself all of God’s justice. He died suffering our shame and rose from the dead to give us eternal life.

And what is my role? To believe in him and trust him with your life. Not only one segment of it, but the lot. That’s simple and that’s hard. I understand.
Lisa had to do that in the DVD we watched.

Most of us in the sanctuary had to do that one day in our past.
Tonight is your night if you’ve never said ‘Yes” to Y’shua before. Do it tonight. Get it right and then next week, get it right…again.

Invitation

So… let me ask you. Have you met the Lord of the Yom Kippur? Have you ever been born again? Do you have rest for your soul? If not, pray this prayer and receive His love and grace. Father, forgive me in the name of Y’shua for all my sins. He was the Saviour and the fulfilment of all prophecies about Messiah. He is the one and the only one who can save me from my selfishness, from my sin. I acknowledge Y’shua as that one who wants to free me, and who alone can free me. I repent of my sin and accept Y’shua as my deliverer. By faith I am now born again by the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

If you prayed that prayer, please talk to me after the service is over, so we can talk about growing in this knowledge and this relationship with God. For those online please email me

17 September 2012

Israel, homosexuality and freedom of speech

This is from some messianic believers in Israel today.  I'm sure they would welcome some comment and some public outcry. What do you think?

"Dear friends in the Lord,  
This is the third time I write a letter to all of you regarding the lesbian law suit against Yad Hashmona, and this time with a heavy heart over our loss in this case.
The judge ruled against us, claiming that our refusal to allow gay marriage in the Yad Hashmona guest-house is against the law. We were fined 80,000 shekels and together with our expenses in this case, its very heavy on us.

This is a quote from the ruling: "“Every person who opens a public business in Israel should know that they must serve the whole public equally, without discrimination... which covers sexual orientation as well. As soon as the defendants opened their doors to all, they cannot close them for those who they believe do not meet the requirements found in the Bible or New Testament."

Needless to say, we do not close our doors to anyone who comes to Yad Hashmona, on the contrary, we are a living testimony of good news of the Messiah to many Israelis that pass through us. This is what I am here for.- to be a testimony but to hold a marriage ceremony of a lesbian couple in Yad Hashmona is to violate God's requirement over this place that we claim to be a Messianic village, and we could not do that.

The Lesbian couple's lawyer, claims that the verdict is a precedent in the sense that "the court decided that the principal of equality trumps the argument for freedom of religion and beliefs”.

So when it came to our right for freedom of faith, and their right to wed at our village, they won.

What happened yesterday was a shock to me. I know how biased the media is, but the extent of the blindness and aggressive responses, took me by surprise. Immediately upon advertising the verdict as a lesbian victory in the main page of YNET, the Israeli on-line news page, and Ha'aretz, tens of responses appeared praising the couple and calling us many names. No one even considers the small community in this village and its rights, the right to hold on to scriptural principles, the right to be respected and not violated in your own home.

No one approached us for responses or wanted to hear our side, because the media is not interested in our "primitive stand". When I tried to write a comment to the article, like hundreds of others, it was not posted! They rejected again and again my comment and other friends comments who tried to stand with us. Talk about freedom of speech. [Israelprayer: This was also the case at the Israeli newspapers in the Beer Sheva congregation lawsuit]

Letters of mockery were sent to our reception and this morning we received phone calls by angry Israelis attacking our place, saying they did not know we "believe this foolishness" or are "so old-fashioned". Two people called to say they are thinking to cancel their events here.

In Haaretz, it was quoted that the couple "... expressed hope that the owners of the hall wouldn’t refuse to hold gay or lesbian events. Everyone needs to choose where they celebrate. I would be interested to know if they (Yad Hashmona) accept or reject same-sex couples in the future..."

So this morning more phone calls were made by guys asking about wedding details, and the receptionist was afraid it is a trap done on purpose, and asked for guidance what to say to avoid another law suit.

But also good came of it: I received phone calls by religious people, praising our courage to stand on God's word, some even said they wished they had a stage to respond to this gay issue abuse of society. I had a chance to share with some that I believe God sees and hears and He will bring blessing from this.

I always felt that God's verse for our place is from Mathew 5: "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." Being a group of believers on this hill, a known Messianic village, we cannot hide, even if we wanted to. We cannot hide who we are and that is why we are attacked, it is not us but God on the stand.

I may be offended (which I am today, believe me), but God isn't. He was not surprised when His son was crucified and He is not surprised when people are mocking His principles. He will have the final word and we should not lose heart.

Very soon major decisions will have to be made now in regard to our small little hotel's future. We need to redefine what it is that we serve and what is the name of our business. And if this case means to close the hotel and make it something else..a Bible campus, or a Messianic retreat place... I don't know what, but we will have to do it.

We are carried in Yad Hashmona on wings of grace, I know that. I pray for guidance, clarity of direction and much peace in the process for the people who live here.

Continue to pray for our nation who is so much in the dark, continue to pray for the light to shine in Israel, continue to pray for the "messenger of good news" to do their work.

I usually don't say this, but please DO pass this e-mail around, to other believers, other churches or friends of Israel, we need all the prayer we can have to lift this case up before our father for great testimony!

Thank you for standing with me in prayer,
I appreciate it with all my heart, Ayelet"
If you want to see more, or comment to Yad Hashmonah, use their website link here:  http://www.yad8.com

16 September 2012

Protest and violence

Eight people were held in police custody after violent clashes between hundreds of police and protesters erupted in Sydney's CBD at Town Hall yesterday afternoon. Six police were injured and 17 others were treated for the effects of capsicum spray when a demonstration against an anti-Islamic video turned violent. Police charges include a range of offenses, including affray, assaulting police, resisting arrest and throwing a missile.
 Police said the group began walking along George Street towards Martin Place, where they attempted to enter the US consulate, located in the MLC Centre.

"They were aggressive and violent at times and came into contact with police."
Waving banners with slogans such as "Behead all those who insult the Prophet", protesters listened as one protester told the crowd: "We will never accept the assault on our prophet."
The rally was the latest in a spate of demonstrations at US embassies and consulates in the Middle East, Africa, even Britain and Germany against the film, 'Innocence of Muslims.'
Protester Abdullah Sary, who said he wanted a peaceful protest, told AAP that although he had not seen the film, he was offended because it ridiculed the Prophet Mohammed. "The prophet is more beloved then my family, my wife, my mother and myself. So if someone says this, you can see how upsetting it is."

After the men - with more than 100 police standing in a ring around them - formed lines, fell to their knees and began to pray, what followed was yelling, with the male-dominated group punching their fists in the air and chanting "Down, down USA."

Sticks and bottles were hurled, before police surged up the stairs, restraining some protesters and chasing others.

All levels and sides of politics were quick to condemn the protest with Prime Minister Julia Gillard issuing a statement saying: "Violent protest is never acceptable - not today, not ever."
"The right to protest comes with an equal responsibility to do so peacefully," NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said.
"That responsibility has been comprehensively ignored today."
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told the Seven Network it was "completely, utterly and absolutely unacceptable", adding those responsible for the violence should be prosecuted.

When I am angry and want to protest I apparently have that right.
So do the anti-USA people.
I do not have the right to be violent to fellow Australians and certainly not against police.
Neither do the Muslims and others who oppose our connections to the USA or Israel.

The police seem to have done right in this situation, acting quickly and effectively.  Good-on-'em.

What's surprising is that an unseen movie, from the internet, produced by private persons, is a cause to defame a country. And these protesters aver that a country which freely allows its citizens such production and distribution is worthy of defamation and violence, in the name of protection of a dead prophet from 1400 years ago.

Prophets don't need protecting.
Prophets need to be listened to.

Violence to defend a prophet, in this case, allegedly a prophet of peace, is inherently counterproductive and insulting to the prophet.

Beheading all those who insult the prophet would leave a lot of headless Muslims in the trail.

I remember the words of Gandhi (even if no one can find the exact quote) in his comments (although a misunderstanding of the words of Y'shua, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth") An eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth would lead to a world of the blind and toothless.

Here's the downside of freedom of speech. Some people may say things you don't like. They may say things that you oppose. They may say things which hurt your feelings. That's freedom. They MAY DO SO.
And protest is legal and in a free country like Australia, even spoken protest is legal. But violence is not.

Filling out the issue of prophet-defending and judging a film without seeing it are matters for another blog.

For now, my freedom of speech allows me this blog. And allows me to wish all my Jewish mates and colleagues and contacts a very happy 5773. L'shana tovah!

12 September 2012

Jhan the creative (3rd in a series)

hicksvillesunrise by bobmendo
hicksvillesunrise, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr.
It's been a week since my dear friend Jhan Moskowitz went suddenly into eternity. And the last week I've been pondering so many aspects of his life, and photos of our being together and songs he enjoyed and comments he made... you get it, I've been thinking and grieving. Shiva is a worthwhile and meaningful time for such.

If anyone knew Jhan, they would have known him to be a creative man. He and I used to give ourselves to writing projects. We would choose a topic and try our hand at writing some flyer or pamphlet which would take topics secular and move them to topics sacred. We rarely succeeded in our collaboration, but we gave it a go regularly. And the creative juices flowed.

One day Jhan and our friend Baruch Goldstein and I were doing this creative writing project and Goldstein said, "If this missionary thing doesn't work out, we can always move to Madison Avenue." Advertising was what we were doing, but I'm glad we stayed advertising in the missionary world.

Jhan was part of the New Jerusalem Players back in the early days of the 1970s. That drama team traveled the US (see this shot from Kansas where I was living in 1975: NJP 1975 and made scenes that depicted biblical truths. His most famous was the "Moses" skit where the exaggeration of the lisp of Moses continues to make me smile to this day. His creativity showed then, and to the end.

This photo of the railroad station in Hicksville, Long Island, New York, reminded me of Jhan. Some of you will see the movie project (about 30 minutes long, from about 1984 entitled "Still not ashamed") where Jhan opens the project with himself overlooking Chicago, Illinois, and proclaiming that "to you the city might look like a lot of glass and concrete, but it's really people, millions of people..." (To see this part, visit the YouTube here: Memorial video

This photo which I shot in 2006 says the same thing. And it says even more. And that's why I'm (also) thinking of Jhan in it. The photo says train traffic and millions of commuters in and around New York City. The photos says that man is creative in building projects and maneuvering his way in and around the abundance of traffic problems that characterize NYC, even if he has to build a pathway above ground to do so.

But the photo was shot early in the morning that summer day, July 2006. I saw behind the human building project another building project. I saw the Creator painting an awesome sunrise for me and for the millions who awoke that early. And God's creativity is behind a lot of human scenes. Maybe that's what I appreciate about so many who are creative themselves.

I see design in art and in drama, in dance and in poetry. I see God's hand leading my son in his hiphop dance moves and in my daughter's choice of ingredients when she makes a wonderfully impressive dinner.

Behind the scenes of human history is the God whose story we continue to tell. Sometimes we use drama as in 'Moses'; sometimes we use poetry and song, but all the while our being creative is a reflection of something and Someone far greater. We were, after all, created in His image.

If God is Creator and if He is by nature creative, then it makes sense to me that we should be creative as well.

Jhan knew His Creator.
Jhan reflected His Creator.

And now together they are making advertisements and dramatic pieces that will be even better because Jhan went home last week.

Shalom, my friend.

Via Flickr:
Hicksville Long Island and the Long Island Rail Road are not what you would ordinarily think of in a 'nature' section. But the Creator makes His paintings seen... no matter what else is in the photo.

06 September 2012

Jhan the thinker

LCJE Question Queue by bobmendo
LCJE Question Queue, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr.
Auguste Rodin has an entire museum in Paris dedicated to the many replicas of Le Penseur, The Thinker. If Jews for Jesus creates such a museum in San Francisco or wherever we end up moving our headquarters, I'll hope there is a thoughtful mannequin (a la Madame Tussaud's) that somehow shows Jhan Moskowitz, who died on Tuesday at 63 years of age, as a thinker of modern times.

We don't know how well read he really was, but what we do know is that whatever he read, he was able to consolidate and appreciate. He was able to think and process his thinking in a way so few of us even imagine doing.

Maybe some will remember his malapropisms. He was often known for saying thoughtful comments but then dropping in a wrong word. Dictionary.com says this is "an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, especially by the confusion of words that are similar in sound." That said, what I appreciated was that although Jhan often made mincemeat out of the English language, he had a depth of understanding that was well worth hearing.

I'll miss both his misuse and his thoughtfulness.

You might remember Einstein's famous, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."

Jhan was ever concerned to get people to synthesize, to take information that people gave, be they reports, or stories, and make the transfer into their own lives. He and Lon Solomon, pastor of McLean Bible Church (McLean, Virginia) argue about which of them started the use of the phrase "So what?" after delivering a Bible class or sermon. Maybe it was Mortimer Adler. He said, "Is it too much to expect from the schools that they train their students not only to interpret but to criticize; that is, to discriminate what is sound from error and falsehood, to suspend judgment if they are not convinced, or to judge with reason if they agree or disagree?”
― How to Read a Book

The most important book to process was the Bible, and in it Jhan found depth and meaning, he found forgiveness and salvation. As did Mortimer Adler, another Jew who found peace in Jesus.

This is blog #2 in the series on the things about Jhan, the things I'll miss about Jhan, the prayers I'm offering for Melissa (whom I will continue to call "Maloo") and their daughters Kayla and Jessie.

Appealing (In memory of Jhan Moskowitz)

Frivolity by bobmendo
Frivolity, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr.
This morning I'm gutted. My friend and colleague Jhan Moskowitz died yesterday and the news is riveting me to the realities of life and death. Jhan was born Alan Moskowitz and during his teenage years changed his first name to something quirky and it stuck. And quirky he ever was. And changing he ever was. He loved change and sought to keep things fresh and alive and renewed as often as he could. No doubt he had some things in mind about changing his situation when the doctors were working on him to the last.

The random fall in the New York City subway yesterday that caused his head to hit the stairs and his death seems so misfortunate. Yet, it's so terminal and so informing.

Death does inform us. Dying makes us ponder what is beyond the grave. Jhan's death will teach many how to live their lives in these days.

This photo was taken a little over two years ago at a memorial service for Moishe Rosen, Jhan's mentor and friend for nearly 40 years. After the painful and joyful memories were shared, after the meal was eaten, after the conversations died down, there was Jhan, along with Stephen Katz and Josh Sofaer sharing some good times, and finding frivolity consistent with the occasion and the one who was being honored.

Moishe would have been happy to know that others were enjoying each other.

Even in this photo Jhan is appealing (hands open and palms upward) to Josh. I liked that about Jhan. Ever negotiating, ever considering, ever pondering. He never lost sight of the greater goal, but he always wanted to ponder and wonder.

Emotions are not my usual state of choice. I prefer the ease of emotionlessness. But today I have no choice. I'm riding the roller coaster of personal thoughts and better wishes for Jhan's wife of 35 years Melissa, and his adult daughters Kayla and Jessie. I'm considering all the moments of history we shared and rejoicing, saddened, even wanting to change things with the Almighty if I could.

I'll share more memories over the next little while about the man Jhan Moskowitz. God has welcomed him into his loving arms and appealing hands.

PS. (More photos on my Flickr site:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobmendo/sets/72157631427179570/)