Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Hanukah

Hey friends. This blog is going to be brief. Jenny and I are on our way out of town to play at a couple of Messianic congregations; we will be celebrating the beginning of Chanukah with them. (If you'd like to know more, please check out our website:

Yes, it's the "Feast of Dedication"; eight days commemorating the victory of the Maccabbees, a Jewish family that rallied Israel to overcome the oppression of their Syrian-Greek enemies and recover their land and their temple. The rededication of that temple is the focal point of the Chanukah celebration.

Legend has it that there was only enough sacred oil left in the devastated and defiled house of worship to keep the "menorah", the lampstand, lit for only one night; it had to burn continually in keeping with the law of G-d. However---"a great miracle happened there!"---and the lamp burned for eight days, filling the temple with light and allowing enough time to replenish the supply of consecrated oil.

Thus, we remember this glorious event with the lighting of the "hannukiyah"- an eight branched menorah - illuminated night by night by night, all the candles being lit by the ninth candle called the "servant candle".

Though we are in the midst of the Christmas season, many don't know that the one whose birthday is celebrated this month celebrated Chanukah!

"Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus (Yeshua) walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch." (John 10: 22-23)

And so, we begin the feast, also called the "Festival of Light". We will light the first candle on the menorah, spin the dreydl - a top - and eat "latkes"- potato pancakes, a traditional Hanukah food. We will sing songs, recalling what the God of Israel did - and continues to do - for his people.

Most of all, we will "re-dedicate" our temples - our bodies, our minds, our lives - to the service of our Lord. We will pray to truly be "the light of the world" that our savior, Yeshua, called us to be.

After all, He is "the light of the world"; and He shines - not just for eight days - but FOREVER!

Happy Hanukah and Merry Christmas!

Oh, and, by the way, if you'd like a CD featuring songs for these beloved holidays, we have one! It's called "Festivals of Light"; it was produced beautifully by Tom Howard - and I think you'd enjoy it. It might also make a good gift for a friend or loved one. Once again, you can see it at "". Okay, enough commercials!

My family and I hope you have a wonderful, fruitful, delightful, and enjoyable holiday season!!

Shalom, Peace, in the Prince of Peace, Yeshua - Jesus!!!

G-d bless us everyone.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Give Thanks!

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever!" (Psalm 136: 1-3)

These days, I don't hear much on the "alphabet networks" (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN) with which I agree or viewpoints with which I concur. However, on Thanksgiving morning, I tuned in to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS, (as I am wont to do every year on this holiday.) I don't pay that close attention to what is said by the network hosts of the event. I enjoy having it on for the familiar sights and sounds and the general festive atmosphere it brings to the house. Nostalgic memories of days gone by mingle with preparations for present day celebrations. Along with the tastes and smells of the day, these thoughts and feelings are a recipe for deep reflection and heartfelt emotion.

Consequently, the personal thoughts of one of the commentators, Maggie Rodriguez, caught my attention. She expressed her appreciation for the fact that Thanksgiving is mainly about one thing---family! No shopping for gifts is required, no sending of cards, no decorating of the home, putting up of trees or lights or anything else; all that is required is a grateful heart, an awareness of blessings received and some loved ones with which to express these things.

I heartily agree with the aforementioned broadcaster! (And so does my wife!)

Therefore, Jennifer and I truly have enjoyed this particular week. On Tuesday, November 24th, she and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. The next day, our daughter, Danyel Misha, came home from college. We gathered that evening with some of her best girl friends from high school and had a pre-Thanksgiving feast, masterfully cooked by Jenny! The next day, (Thanksgiving Day), we ate leftovers---which always taste even better to me---and watched movies and just generally "hung out" with each other.

My extended family is not very big; the "tribes" of Goetz and Yaffee (my wife's maiden name) have shrunk considerably in this current era. Our household is small as well; it's just Jenny and Misha and I---and our old dog, Maggie!

In light of this fact, we are exceedingly thankful to God for the bounty of having one another to love and cherish and celebrate! We are reminded every day of the preciousness of life and the eternal value of the time we share together. I'm certain the same could be said for you and the ones you hold dear, no matter what that looks like.

Irrespective of our lot in life, this is a time to thank God for each and every blessing.

I wanted to take a moment to thank God for you and to send you holiday greetings from my family and me.

May this season bring with it joy, peace, health, prosperity and every good thing.

And if it is attended by "various trials," may God give the grace to "count it all joy, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience...that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)

In consideration of all these matters, may I add to Ms. Rodriguez' much appreciated thoughts these closing words?

All who are believers in the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob---and followers of His Son, Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Messiah Jesus---ARE the family of God! That is to say, if you belong to Him, you BELONG! No one is truly alone who is a member of this divine household.

As it has been said, (and sung): "And we, being many, are one body in Messiah...and everyone members of one another...loving each other, with God as our father, who loves us as a mother loves her newborn child." (Romans 12:5)

Years ago, my family sang the above words on a video recording called "Psalm Enchanted Evening."

Misha was little then; she is no longer. I send this message to you with a current picture of her, along with her canine companion, Maggie.

We all wish you and yours a wonderful holiday which we all GIVE THANKS!!

Gratefuly yours,
Shalom, Peace,
Marty and his mishpochah (family)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Come Back!

Pictured here is LP Field, the home of the Tennessee Titans; and the view has me thinking about comebacks.

We live in Nashville and the Titans are our team. Last year they started the season with 10 straight wins. It was very exciting and we thought we were Super Bowl bound. It didn't work out; we lost in the first round of the playoffs. So we all thought, 'maybe next year!'

This year we began the season with 6 straight losses! Obviously this year would not be the "next year" we were dreaming of. However, following a "bye" week, when the team didn't play, they have returned with a vengeance; they have won 3 in a row and quite handily. As I said, I'm thinkin' comeback!

Life is filled with comeback stories. Remember when Bill Clinton hailed himself "the comeback kid?" How about Richard Nixon in 1968 when he rose from the political grave to capture the presidency? It appears the conservative movement is making a comeback; and maybe also the Republican party... which looked as if it would be in the electoral wilderness for a long time!

Sarah Palin is making a comeback; although her father says she didn't retreat...she just reloaded!

The words 'come back' evoke another image. Did you perhaps see the film, "Titanic?" Do you recall the character, Rose, clinging to a door from the sunken ship, weakly calling for a lifeboat to 'come back?' It took a whistle to alert the sailor searching for survivors; but the faint sound of her voice crying to survive..."come back, come back, come back" one of the most vivid movie memories ever!

Our nation needs a comeback, doesn't it? The economy, the national mood, the 'salt of the earth' American people, desperately need to come back from some serious doldrums. I've been around many years; things are as bad as I've seen them in a long time.

I'm thinkin' comeback! When and how...I'm not sure.

There is a 'come back' of which we all can be certain; the coming back to earth of Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel and Lord of all!

He won't return to the sound of a whistle. No, He will "descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God." (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

The low murmur of a lone survivor won't bring him back. Rather it will be the cry of His kinsmen, Israel: "Baruch Haba B'Shem Adonai---Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!" He promised...and it will be. Look it up...and look up! (Matthew 23:39)

So many of us feel like that character Rose; holding on for dear life to a scrap of what, moments ago, seemed so secure and indestructible. We find ourselves in strange and turbulent waters, surrounded by others victimized by unimaginable and unforeseen disaster. We wonder how long we will have to wait for our lifeboat; we wonder if we will be a victim or a survivor.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick," writes the author of Proverbs, "But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12)

The "Desire of All Nations" will come! It is written...and it shall be. (Haggai 2:7)

"This hope"--no longer deferred-- "we have as an anchor of the soul..." and the anchor WILL hold in these stormy seas. (Hebrews 6:19) He, the Lord Jesus, is the door to which we cling; and the lifeboat of His presence is coming back to save the uttermost! (Hebrews 7:25)

Hang on! Cry out!! Sound the whistle of praise, prayer and intercession!!!

Go Titans! God bless America!! Come Lord Yeshua---Maranatha---Come, Lord Jesus, Come...Back!!! (Revelation 22:20)


P.S. It's Thursday...Hi, Misha!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Double Blessing in the Twin Cities

Our friend, Thom Berkowitz, turns 60 on the 24th of November. On that same day, Jennifer and I celebrate our 25th anniversary. And then...Thanksgiving!

And we have much for which to be thankful. In that spirit, Thom's wife, Marcia, along with their three lovely daughters, arranged for me to give a concert in Minneapolis. (I write this at their house, having just concluded the evening.)

We first met the Berkowitz' over two decades ago when I played and sang for a ministry called "Good News for Israel." Thom was one of their board members and he and Marcia drove us to the airport the next day.

I remember commenting to Jenny that I could see being friends with them. The next time we came to Minnesota, we stayed in their home...and stayed....and stayed!

We became close friends; watching their girls grow up, visiting numerous times, sharing life's joys and sorrows.

Seven years ago today, my father, Albert Goetz passed away. The sad loss of my dear Dad caused me to consider the preciousness and brevity of life and the treasure of friendship. An event like the one we just had here in Minneapolis is a reaffirmation of these enduring values.

"Good News for Israel" also participated in the concert. They continue to spread the good news of salvation through Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile. (Romans 1: 16, 17)

A good time was had by all...and it wasn't even cold! Perfect picture weather!! Shalom!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Very Present Help in Trouble: (Blog from a Balcony)

Thousands of people travel to Washington D.C. to protest against government health care. Thirteen service personnel are killed and many are others are wounded in a senseless shooting at a military facility in Texas; all this on the day after the New York Yankees win the World Series.

In an age of instant, twenty-four hour news, we are cheering one minute, crying another, and shaking our head in disbelief much of the rest of the time.

I've been on this earth a long while; I don't recall days quite like these. Yes, the sixties were turbulent and frightening. We aging baby boomers have lived through a lot: the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam war, the murders of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, just to name a few.

We recall the gas lines in the 70's, the Iranian hostage crisis of the 80's, the Gulf War in the 90's and, of course, September 11th, 2001. Our brief sojourn on earth has been marked by
these and many other startling incidents which have shaken us to our core and left us wondering where our world is headed.

Still, I have a strange and uneasy sense that we are entering times and seasons, the likes of which we have not seen before. It seems the very foundations of all that we have known and held dear are being challenged---even attacked. Morally, socially, economically, spiritually; we are experiencing radical change, happening at mind-numbing speed.

In the midst of all this chaos and confusion, if one has ears to hear, the scripture whispers:

"God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains
shake with its swelling.

The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the
nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (Psalm 46: 1, 2, 3, 7-10)

I remember vividly another extraordinary event; the miraculous victory of Israel in the Six-Day War and the recapturing of the city of Jerusalem in 1967. Since that day, my faith tells me that we are on a prophetic, historic timeline, moving rapidly toward the "end of the age." What lies ahead, none of us knows for sure.

But we do know this: "The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge!"

Yes, my friends; Be still---Know God!!

Yours in the battle and on the pilgrimage,
Shalom and thanks for your love, encouragement and support,
Marty Goetz

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I love calendars. Except for the fact that they continually remind me of my approaching expiration date, -(gulp!)-, I like to mark the time. I particularly enjoy "quote" calendars; the type that decorate the day with sayings of famous people or timeless words of wisdom. My favorite ones have a daily scripture verse.

Jenny and I just recently returned from some extensive traveling. Usually, following such trips, I crash immediately after getting home. (My wife, on the other hand, goes straight to the office to catch up on work!) The first morning back, I'm always curiously excited to see what my desk calendar has to say about the day about to commence.

This last trip was quite unique. We worked in Los Angeles and stayed in a hotel hosting an Atheist's convention! The hall in which they met was adorned with huge portraits of Charles Darwin and photographs of Dr. Richard Dawkins, the most noted of modern day proponents of evolution.

One day, while Jennifer visited a friend, I wandered through the convention hall and sat in on the tail end of a lecture. It amazed me to think how similar their meeting was to any Christian or Messianic conference! The speaker addressed a rapt crowd, skillfully using power-point to drive home his message. In the hallways were numerous tables carrying books, recordings, personal testimonies and atheistic "chotchkies," that is, "stuff," like jewelry, bookmarks and bumper stickers.

I struck up some conversations with various vendors and, in the course of our discourses, told them of my beliefs as they shared theirs with me. The talks were pleasant enough but, after a while, my brain got tired and my body began to react almost physically to the strange heaviness that accompanied that gathering.

And therein lies the difference between a conference in which God is honored and one in which God is denied. At first glance, you wouldn't notice it. All the folks are decently dressed, polite enough and dutifully sport name tags so the participants can get to know each other more easily. But look a little closer; read some of the words on the t-shirts, catch tidbits of conversations, feel the general atmosphere of the place, and the similarities between the relative events fades away.

I was grateful for the opportunity to see such a gathering close up. I was even more grateful that, many years ago, my eyes were opened to the existence of my Creator and my heart was alerted to the need for me-the created-to worship Him! I am certainly no better than those folks at the Atheist's convention---but I am---quite undeservedly---more blessed!!

And so I found it fascinating that the first quote that greeted me as I turned the page on my day-to-day desk calendar was the following:

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

As I read that, I couldn't help think, with some degree of sadness, of those obviously sincere souls in L.A. who had dedicated themselves so passionately to denying that there is a creator behind creation; a "first cause" behind all that has "been caused." Their lives are haunted by one brooding, eternal question: Does God exist?

My simple little desk calendar reminded me that, as to that question---heaven knows---and answers!

May GOD Bless You,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

GPS (G-d"s Positioning System)

"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11)

Jenny and I recently purchased a Garmin. We bought it in Los Angeles during the week of orientation for my daughter's freshman year at college. We thought a "global positioning system" would come in handy on our trips to California for both ministry opportunities and visits with Misha. Now we can navigate our way through any city or state... (while also making it possible for any overarching authority in the country to keep track of us; but I digress!)

The system is helpful, especially when it is not safe to attempt reading a map while driving. A calm and confident female voice tells you where to go and, if you miss a turn, simply says, 'recalculating.' She never yells at you or calls you an idiot or scolds you for not listening to directions. She is the perfect driving companion.

She does have one shortcoming, however. She doesn't think; she only tells you what she's been told.

During our most recent trip to the east coast we told our GPS the address of an old friend in Annapolis, Maryland. We had an engagement in Delaware and thought it would be nice to visit her on our way back to New Jersey where we were staying, as we often do, at Jenny's mother's house. We typed in the right house address but the wrong town and, upon realizing our error, corrected it. No big deal. Our GPS girl (whom an acquaintance dubbed "Garmina") got us there, and we enjoyed our time with our friend, spending the night in her lovely home.

The next morning, I stumbled out of bed and my own internal GPS said, "GO FOR COFFEE!" I headed into town, certain I would find a Starbucks or something similar somewhere along the way. I drove a while and, before arriving in the heart of Annapolis, I hit heavy traffic. Frustrated, (and still coffeeless) I headed back the way I came. In the early morning pre-caffeine mental muddle, I overshot the street I thought led back to the house. Further frustrated, I stopped to turn the car around and...voila...directly in front of me was the green, white and black of a Starbucks sign! I sighed with excitement and whispered a little thank you heavenward for divine non-Garmin guidance.

With joy in my heart and a latte in my hand, I decided to let the GPS lead me, since I was unsure as to how to find my way back. I tapped and tapped until I found the proper address and started to drive, so proud of myself that I had figured out how to operate my new device and could count myself a citizen of the 21st century!

Garmina dutifully told me to turn right on a street, the name of which I recognized. So far so good. Then she directed me to a road I didn't recognize, but I figured she knew better and was taking me an alternate route. From there she led me to a freeway and, I have to admit, I started to wonder what she was thinking. One highway led to another...and another...and another...and before I knew it, what should have been a five minute drive had become a half hour journey with no end in sight. Needless to say I was not happy with my girl's decisions and I told her so! (She didn't respond.)

FINALLY...she told me I was arriving at my destination...and I did. Amazingly, it was the correct house number and street name...but the WRONG TOWN! Then I remembered. She was reading the pre-corrected information we had given her. She was only doing what she was told. I apologized to her for questioning her decisions, admitted my mistake, sheepishly punched in the post-corrected info, and away we went.

I was embarrassed and flustered and concerned that Jennifer was anxious as to my whereabouts (since I had not taken my cell phone.) To calm myself down I started to flip through radio stations, hoping to find something interesting. I went from one to another and as I did, I heard some music that sounded vaguely familiar. As I listened, a pleasant enough voice began singing: "You have shown me Your paths, Oh Lord. In Your presence is fullness of joy! In Your right hand are pleasures, in Your right hand are pleasures, in Your right hand are pleasures forevermore, pleasures forevermore!"

I was shocked! I exclaimed (to no one in particular), "That's my song! Who is singing my song? I never heard this before! Someone owes me money!! (Sorry about that last one...but I thought it.) Then I realized...IT WAS I WHO WAS SINGING! The song was "Pleasures Forevermore" from my first album, "I Call You Friend." I didn't recognize myself because, even though I've been writing, singing and recording for decades, I had NEVER heard myself on the radio! This was the first time...EVER!!

I continued to listen to the station, (which turned out to be "Family Radio"), and hurried back, hoping Jenny wasn't upset with me and reflecting on what had just occurred.

Had I not gotten lost, I would not have heard myself sing on the radio. I hope it doesn't sound self-indulgent but...I was kind of excited to hear it! In spite of a frustrating and confusing morning, I wondered if that incident had been the finger of the Lord, tapping me on my shoulder. I don't want to read too much into it but, sometimes I think He does that; just to let us know He's there...just to let us know we're not least not really!

Garmina succeeded in returning me to our friend's house. Jenny was, thankfully, still asleep. And, as I enjoyed my early morning latte, I quietly marveled at the thought that G-d could care enough about someone like me, that He would send me a delightful surprise out of the middle of nowhere! When I thought I was hopelessly lost...He let me know I was mercifully found! Amazing grace, how sweet the sound...(even when it comes through the radio.)

Or perhaps it was just a crazy, random coincidence. Who knows? Whatever the case, I know this: He DOES show me the path of life and in His presence is fullness of joy! My ride back to my friend's home was a joyful one and, when I related my tale to her, we had a good laugh.

As a matter of fact, I think we need to laugh more in general. We are not lost. He knows the way we take, even when we make mistakes and find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. It's good to have a GPS girl to help us when she can...but it is our G-d who will lead us home!!

Yours on the journey,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Many years ago, when I was living in New York City, my friend Ann Ault had me play a song on the piano. It was called "Charity" and was based on something called "The First Letter to the Corinthians." I had no idea as to what "Corinthians" were, (though the actor Ricardo Montalban had done a commercial for a car that featured "fine Corinthian leather." Letter or leather, this young Jewish man from Cleveland was clueless!

Little did I know that the words of "1 Corinthians 13" were written by another Jewish man named Saul, a rabbi from a placed called Tarsus; a man who became known to the world as Saint Paul. His ancient writing had been put to music by a modern fellow named Kenn Gulliksen. I had no idea who he was either, but I recall liking the piece.

Fast forward a year or two, and Ann has led me in a prayer of commitment to Yeshua (Jesus), I am part of a congregation called "The Vineyard," Kenn Gulliksen is the pastor, and I am singing songs based on passages from the pen of men like Saint Paul!

Fast forward even further and I am in California with Jennifer Yaffee, a girl whom I first saw at the Vineyard and married a little while a later. Twenty-five years have passed since we wed in Los Angeles, had a daughter, Danyel Misha, and moved to Nashville, Tennessee to raise her. There, in what is sometimes called the "buckle of the Bible belt," she grew into a lovely and loving young lady who has, in spite of her earthly father's many faults, a heart that seeks after the heart of her heavenly Father. For eighteen years I have been nothing but pleased with Misha; now I stand amazed as I watch her do her best to please Him!

And now, Jenny and I are the proud (and nervous) parents of a college freshman. As part of her application to the university she attends, she auditioned for their women's chorus and was accepted. On her first day there, she joined the other young ladies in performing a song for ALL the proud and nervous parents who would, that evening, leave campus--- without their child. (In our case, we left our one and only!)

So, the time has come to let go---and to hold on tighter than ever---in prayer---and in love. That is the one thought, the one emotion, the one truth that seasons everything we are experiencing in this new---and unfamiliar season. In a world of uncertainties and unknowns, this we know and of this we are certain: we love our daughter, she loves us--- and G-d is the author and perfecter of that love.

The rabbi/apostle said it well:

"Love...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13: 7+8)

As valedictorian of her high school class, Misha chose as her theme the words spoken by Yeshua in response to a question as to what was the greatest commandment:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your might, shall love your neighbor as yourself."
(Matthew 22:37+39)

We could not have been more blessed than we were on our daughter's commencement day when she delivered that moving speech. That same blessing attended us as we listened to her sing on the day she commenced her college career.

Along with the precious daughters of the other assembled parents, Misha sang words which have now become very familiar to her sad/glad dad; the words from "The First Letter to the Corinthians." The composer and the melody were different than the ones to which I had been been introduced so many years before. I had liked "Charity," the first rendition I had heard of 1 Corinthians 13. This new version was life to my soul!

A well known phrase from a song by the group "First Call" goes something like this: I don't know what the future holds but I know who holds the future. Amen.

What more can we ask, Jenny and I, than that our treasured daughter begin this new phase of her life---and ours---with a declaration of the transcendent and permanent power of love! When all has been said and all has been done, love is what remains---love is what abides.

As I write this, we are still in California. Soon we will return to Tennessee and the house which was Misha's home for all but one year of her of her young life. We will miss seeing her off to school in the morning and kissing her good night. We will miss her going out with us, hanging out with her friends and launching out into every new activity we had the privilege of sharing with her these many years---which passed much too quickly!

Should it be on your heart to pray for our family, we would so appreciate it.

In that spirit, we thought you might appreciate hearing the song that brought comfort to our trembling hearts that day we began our farewell to Misha---at least for a while.

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
(1 Corinthians 13: 13)

Thank you, again, for listening.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Grand Canyon Sweet

"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Yeshua HaMashiach (Messiah Jesus), from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named"..that you "may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and depth and height---to know the love of Messiah which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of G-d." (Eph. 3: 14-15, 18-19)

We rode in a small plane over the rim of one of the world's wonders, the Grand Canyon, and listened, as we flew, to what was a musical "suite," inspiring and beautiful, and pondered the days ahead---and behind---and what life has in store for our little family.

We marveled together at the grandeur of what was before our eyes and considered both the brevity and significance of our lives. The hand of G-d as a master artist is evident in all He has made. It is amazing to think, dwarfed as we are in the presence of such an awesome and breathtaking sight, that we, frail and faulty human beings, are the crown of our Father's creation.

Anyone who knows Jenny and me knows that we consider the crown of our relationship to be our daughter, Danyel Misha...and in a few days she will be living no longer under our roof but on her university campus. We took this road trip in order to create a pre-college memory for her...and to delay the inevitable for us!

We are glad for the days we have had her, in the comfort and security of our home, and sad that we have to let her go so soon. The years just fly by and, in the blink of an eye, she's a young adult, ready to make her way in this world.

I didn't ask---but I wonder what she's thinking as she surveys the vastness and enormity of what is before her; the colors and contours of the canyon and the twists and turns of her future.

We can trust in the One who fashioned such a natural masterpiece; we believe that He will do the same in the life of our "little girl". He promises, after all, that "we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which G-d has prepared beforehand that we might walk in them." (Eph. 2: 1o)

I must leave off now and press on to the last leg of our journey. We are all having a wonderful time...but are a bit stressed. The emotions are---new and unfamiliar---for we've never been here before. Our plan is to--- argue as much as possible and to thoroughly annoy each other in these last hours! It will make it so much easier to say goodbye!!

Would you consider praying for Misha---and for us! May G-d keep her safe, lead her to future lifelong friends, inspire her and instruct her in the way she should go--and the ways she can grow. May He help us to help her on her way---and to discover the way He has for us.

May He bless you all as you kindly remember us.

How deep, how high, how wide---how great is the love that our Father has for all of His children.

It's time for Misha to discover that truth fully for herself. She belongs to Him, not to us. He is her G-d, and shall be--- forever!

Bittersweetly yours,


(Thanks for listening.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

O, What a Beautful Morning

"All the sounds of the earth are like music, all the sounds of the earth are like music.
The breeze is so busy it don't miss a tree,
And an ol' weepin' willow is laughin' at me!"

The aforementioned quote is, of course, from the musical "Oklahoma" by Rodgers and Hammerstein. I have sometimes listened to the song, "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" as I drive past farm meadows and marvel at the "bright golden haze" that hovers on the horizon, illuminated by the rays of the rising sun. (Sometimes I also sing!)

In our back yard is "an ol' weepin' willow." My wife, Jenny, planted it when we moved into our home seventeen years ago. It was just little then and we didn't even know if it would survive. It did---and now it is a magnificent tree, standing sentinel behind our house, bearing silent witness to the wonderful years we've spent here.

As it's branches sway gracefully in the Tennessee breeze, it reminds us that the winds of time continue to blow, almost imperceptibly. You hardly notice the the passing days and months and years, until events startle you into reality. Jennifer and I are experiencing such an event.

As I write this, she and I are preparing to escort our daughter, Danyel Misha, to college. it seems only moments ago that we moved her, as a one year old, from Tarzana, California, to Brentwood, Tennessee. We have loved our sojourn here and she has grown up to be a marvelous young woman, of whom we are very proud. She has spent much of her summer bidding farewell to family friends, schoolmates, and all the folks who have contributed so much to helping her become the person she is today.

But now, her tomorrows have beckoned---and she is off, leaving the comfortable shelter of our home for the exciting, yet unknown promise of her own unique life experience. She is ready---and, I suppose we are too. (We'll find out soon enough!)

Prayers for her---and for us---would be appreciated.

Jenny and I are a bit undone---but our "ol' weepin' willow" seems unfazed. It continues it's quiet laughter as we contemplate a potential season of weeping in the midst of our pleasure in seeing Misha embrace her new adventure with her usual steadiness, maturity and tenacity.

When we return from our trip, Jenny and I will be in this house together---alone---for the first time ever. Perhaps, more often than not, we'll "sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky."

Well, thanks for listening. I guess I'll just close with another chorus:

"Oh, what a beautiful mornin', Oh, what a beautiful day,
I got a weepy-eyed feelin',
Our daughter's goin' away...Hey!...
(That's why we ask you to pray!!)
---with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein---

Shalom y'all,
Marty (We're doin' fine, Oklahoma) Goetz

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sabbath Prayer


Did you know that we are celebrating a holiday? It's a new moon, don't ya know? On the Jewish calendar, that's a time for celebration! "Rosh Chodesh,"or "Head of the Month," is the Hebrew rendering for such an occasion.

This one is special, for it is a month not to feast but to reflect and prepare for the days ahead. What days? The "Days of Awe," or, "Yamim Nora'im." These are the days which begin at "Rosh HaShanah," the traditional Jewish New Year, and continue through "Yom Kippur," the "Day of Atonement."

These are days marked by self-reflection, repentance and amending of one's ways. Elul, which comes from a word meaning "seek," is the month to commence that process.

So, let's commence! (Now don't let this be an occasion for obsessive introspection which could lead to depression, G-d forbid!) No, let's read Psalm 27, the traditional daily reading for this season, sound the "Shofar," (a ram's horn which is a symbol of G-d's call to awaken to repentance) and look to the L-rd Yeshua who said, "Seek first the kingdom of G-d and His righteousness...". (Mt. 6:33)

"Seek those things which are above, where Messiah is..." said a famous Rabbi named Shaul. I am going to try that this Elul.

Perhaps you will, too, always remembering that "the Joy of the L-rd IS OUR STRENGTH!!" That, of course, is from the book of Nehemiah, in which this month is mentioned, by the way. (Nehemiah 6: 15)

So, my friends, Happy New Moon, Joyous Pre-New Year and...HALL---ELUL---JAH!!!

Shalom y'all, Marty

P.S. I celebrated by going out to lunch with my precious daughter, Misha! Great fun!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Tennessee Thursday

Hey friends,

It rained not long but hard here in Nashville today. A slow day it was but not a lazy one. My daughter, Misha, has her mom and me on a crash course, teaching us as much as she can about the technological tools we'll need in the season ahead of us. We face an "empty nest" as our one and only child goes off to college. (Waah!)

One of the things she is teaching me is how to blog! So, here I am---blogging!! I don't have much to say right now, because we're goin' out tonight with some good friends in order to allow them to give Misha an official "goodbye and G-d bless!"

We'll be "kibbutzing," that is chatting, in days ahead.

The crickets are makin' their music now and a warm, balmy Tennessee evening approaches. So, until the next time, I'll just say,

Shalom y'all,