Congregation Elim Online Shabbat Fellowship Invite

Nathan Lawrence, along with co-leader Donna Nash (from North Carolina), is hosting a regular online Shabbat gathering via Zoom. If you are interested in joining the group, please send me a request at nathan@goodnewstree.com.

This online gathering is only open to those who are serious about living in accordance with YHVH’s written Torah, and who are believers in and lovers of Yeshua the Messiah, the Living Torah.

If you make a request to join the group, please share with Nathan your personal testimony of your salvation (how you came to faith in Yeshua the Messiah) and a statement about your basic biblically-based beliefs. Nathan may then ask you a few questions follow-up questions via email or by phone if clarifications are necessary.

To date, we have a wonderfully geographically eclectic group of polite and respectful folks from all over the U.S. and some foreign countries as well. Nathan (and sometimes Donna) gives a Bible teaching, and there is plenty of questions and answers as well as discussions where folks share their edifying insights on various biblical topics as led by the Spirit of Elohim. We also pray for one another and sometimes even have a little praise and worship.

Shalom.

 

D’varim—Moses & John Reveal the Heartbeat of Torah

For years, Deuteronomy (D’varim) has been one of my favorite books of the Bible for several reasons. Mostly because in it Moses reveals the heart of our loving Father in heaven for his people, and why it’s important for them to follow his ways, which are a river of life and a source of great blessings. Additionally, Deuteronomy is the aged Moses’s last will and testament for the people of Elohim, and it contains life saving information for the next generation. It also reveals the quintessential truths of YHVH’s Torah, while pointing people toward Yeshua the Messiah, who is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim. Interestingly, and I have sensed this for many years, John’s first epistle, written when he too was a very old man, is like the Deuteronomy of the New Testament containing much of the same information, warnings, pleas, instructions and exhortations as Moses’ last book. For the first time, in this video, I do a comparative analysis of the main messages of each of these books such that your perspective on each one may be expanded and a new appreciation for each as well as Messiah and his Torah gained. May you be blessed! — Nathan

 

Alaska—From the Arctic Circle Southward

Several days ago, Sandi and I returned from our most recent trip to Alaska—our first non-road trip since COVID hit. Our goal: the Arctic Circle. From there we worked our way south and ended up in Sitka—the extreme SE corner of that vast land. We traveled by air, water, rail, car and bus and snapped a few photos along this varied and barely populated region of America’s last frontier.

Each time we visit Alaska, we can’t wait to return. Maybe I share some bizarre genetic kinship with the Alaskan salmon who, no matter where he wanders, he is always instinctively drawn back via some mystical attraction to that spot. But unlike the salmon that returns to the same stream where it was birthed, we are drawn to new discoveries. This time, it was the Arctic Circle. However, this was merely the first leg of our journey.

Please enjoy a few of my favorite pics of places we visited to recharge our physical and spiritual batteries away from the craziness of Babylon.

Behold the Arctic Circle!

This is the Dalton Highway—the only road that goes north from Fairbanks to the Arctic Ocean. It stretches for hundreds of miles of gravel, washboard roads and boreal and taiga forests like this then into tundra until it reaches the oil fields of the North Slope and Prudhoe Bay.
The further north in the Arctic Circle you travel, the fewer and smaller the trees. In some places, the permafrost where the ground is frozen solid perpetually is only a few inches below the tundra. Technically, tundra is technically treeless or it may contain very miniature trees that are more like small shrubs. Beyond that, it is composed of tufts of grasses, mosses and lichens, sedges and small plants including many types of berries (e.g., lingonberry, crow berry, blue berry).
The Dalton Highway was constructed a few decades ago for the famous Alaska pipeline and to service the oil industry of the North Slope at Prudhoe Bay.
This is a typical sight in the southern portions of the Arctic Circle. Mountains, clouds and miniature taiga forests growing here as far as the eye can see.
Lingonberries growing in the tundra in the Arctic Circle. The soil was totally frozen about 14 inches below this plant.
Even though the petit and diminutive blue forget-me-not is Alaska’s state flower, it was the fireweed that was ubiquitous from the Arctic Circle down all the way down to the extreme SE. It’s literally everywhere and covers whole mountainsides. Next to to the ever-present fireweed, you will often find a constant companion—the frilly white yarrow flower.
This is one of the few rock outcroppings (near Finger Rock) that we saw in this area of the Arctic Circle. Notice the ever-present fireweed.
When you think of the Arctic Circle, what comes to mind? Eskimos? Igloos? Whale blubber, polar bears, walruses and ice bergs? Well, those sights are further north about another 300 miles! In this part of the Arctic Circle, there are still forests just like this with one type of conifer (black spruce) and four type of deciduous trees (aspen, cottonwood, birch, willow). I didn’t what to expect when I came here, but my idealistic images of it sure changed!
Here is a close-up of the low-growing vegetation that grows over the top of the shallow permafrost just south of the tundra regions.
When driving in the Arctic Circle (and we were only in the extreme southern regions of it), one falls in love with the cloud formations, since that is often what you see the most of!
Here’s a final pic of a miniature forest just inside the Arctic Circle only 200 plus miles north of Fairbanks. I’m a tree guy, so this is what I geeked out on the most while up north.

Stay tuned for more pictures of our trip to America’s 49th state as I take you southward.