Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The "we" message of the "i" people

My Dear Friends,

My most sincere apologies to you for my not having written anything on this site for a long time. You who know us---and keep in touch with what we are doing--- have been so faithful and supportive, expressing interest in our lives and our work through all these years. Before I share some of my thoughts, I wanted to share my feelings; feelings of gratitude to "all y'all," (as we say here in Nashville) and heartfelt wishes for the fullness of all the blessing our God has for you.

In regard to the long duration between "blogs", I must tell you that recent circumstances have affected me more than I could have imagined they would.

Sending our one and only daughter off to college, having to put our dog Maggie to sleep, mourning the untimely death of our good friend and long-time producer, Tom Howard---not to mention the problems I've had with my eyesight---have all conspired to put me a bit "on hold" this last little season. Once again. I'm sorry---and I so appreciate your patience, prayers and understanding.

Anyway, here we go.

After that build-up, I hope you won't mind the brevity---and randomness---of these musings of mine.

So, Jennifer and I were chatting after our morning prayer time. We were wondering aloud about "this new generation"---(how's that for old fogey speak?)---and talking about how many young folks have embraced "social justice" thinking and a "one world-progressive" mentality. (And this was all on our first cup of coffee!)

As we spoke, I resisted the temptation to cluck my tongue and grouse about how the world was going to hell in a hand basket and how much better things were when we were young and how our generation...blah, blah, blah...

It then occurred to me how our generation---(aging baby-boomers to be specific)---spawned so much of what we observe---and often bemoan---in these perplexing days.

It seems just a moment ago that we were ushering in "the age of aquarius"---peace, love and all that jazz! That era morphed into a time characterized by the "me" generation, which indulged all the "freedoms" unleashed years before in the tumultuous 60's. Fast forward through disco, punk, grunge-- eight tracks, cassette tapes and cd's---(to keep things in a music vein)---and we find ourself in a--virtually-- new world.

Like an agrarian society yielding to the industrial revolution, our civilization has been technologically transformed. It happened gradually--almost imperceptibly--but it's advent has seemed sudden and overwhelming to those of us who were unaware and unprepared.

I find myself--- (though I hate to admit it)---feeling often like a stranger in a strange land, scrambling to learn new languages and unfamiliar ways, trying desperately just to keep up! I'm making very SLOW progress!!

Back to our morning conversation. As my daughter Misha sat on the couch, recuperating from "wisdom tooth" surgery and my wife began planning her day, I reflected on the fact that we would all, later that day, be using sleek, efficient machines, adorned with an interesting logo; an apple with a bite taken out of it. (Where else have we heard of a piece of fruit having been bitten into?) Hmmm?!

Jenny expressed the opinion that this current generation appears to be quite self-centered. I opined that we were, as well; but we didn't think so because we were concerned about "the war" and other social concerns.

In addition, we have passed through many different permutations of the faith we embraced in the 70's---a belief in Jesus---Yeshua---as Messiah and Lord.

Some of those forms were less---or more---than the gospel of the kingdom. Many of them encouraged a self-oriented, "I can have everything I want 'cause I'm a king's kid" kind of thinking.

I do believe Jesus' words; that "it's (the) Father's good pleasure to give (us) the kingdom". (Luke12;32) However, much of our preaching and teaching seemed to emphasize personal aggrandizement while neglecting "weightier matters" such as loving your neighbor, caring for the poor, rejoicing in suffering and expecting trouble in this life "as sparks fly upward". (Job 5:7)

The deficiencies in our worldview are not lost on today's young people, it seems.

At the risk of generalizing or dealing with issues with which I am not fully conversant, permit me to say that I find myself often shaking my head in amazement as to where our world is heading; and that includes the faith community in which we find ourselves.

A current commercial on TV is an iconic representation of where things are these days. Down a busy city street walk two separate individuals, gazing down at their "hand-held devices", completely engrossed in their screen-sized world, ignoring everything around them, never looking up, even for a second. (One only has to walk through any modern airport to see how true to form this image is!)

Everyone---or so it seems---is on their i-pod, i-phone or i-pad. The observation is not original with me, I'm sure: we are in the midst of the "i" generation. It's all about "I", isn't it? OY!!

Yet, the message of the young is a "we" one; the current mindset being one of equality for all, social justice, concern for the poor---all noble aspirations, to be sure. Because of the "collective" and "community" oriented nature of this ethic, it seems to be envisioning a "better" society: wealth redistributed, boundaries broken down, history redefined, everyone equal, everything environmentally friendly; a truly "smart" and "green" world.

Consequently, the aforementioned "I" obsession is obscured---but it's there---big time! and it's not new!! It's as old as the proverbial bite out of the fruit. As a matter of fact, that's where it all started, isn't it?

I can relate. Through my most recent trials, I have become aware that I don't simply have an eye problem; I have an "I" problem! Yes, indeed!! I can sit in judgment of no one, no how!!!

Still---I know there are things happening today that demand our attention and require our response. During our morning time, Misha had us read a prophetic word delivered by a powerful woman of God; a word that exhorted everyone to---WAKE UP! She exhorted us to see current crises as wake-up calls, urging all with "ears to hear" to fast, pray, vote wisely in upcoming elections and---most essentially---to not turn away from Israel!! Amen and amen!!!

I write this on the heels of a return from New York City. I love it there; walking the streets and looking up, seeing sights unseen in any other place. I've included a photo from a recent stroll there.

In the midst of all these things about which I've mused, it serves as a reminder to me---and to anyone who might be simpatico with anything I've shared---to think about what was said many years ago by someone we love, whose words are supremely relevant to us today:

"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up,
and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh."
(Yeshua in Luke 21:28)

Another TV commercial---(please forgive all the media references)--says, "Take the scary out of life." A good way to do that? Remember the axiom: "things are looking up!"

That's what I'll be doing.

Even so, come Lord Yeshua.

Thanks for looking us up!

Love and shalom,
Marty and his family


  1. Marty, Thank you for this. You once again have the innate ability to speak for all of us. We have had these very same discussions over our morning coffee and in fact have posted several things about these concerns to our friends on facebook and our blog. Conversely, we stand amazed at the generation waking up to the ways of our precious Savior, Yeshua. It's almost as if we are witnessing an "awakening" - they are one by one waking up, looking around and wondering where in the world they are. They are searching for God. They are hungry and thirsty for more than just social justice and the same old gospel their parents and grandparents had. They want what's real and not what's religious. They want relationship with the One True God and His Glorious Son. Our family has been praying for you all - especially for your sight, and I keep hearing the Father say "what satan means for harm I mean for good". God is not through with you yet! Though you have been bombarded from every side = yet you stand.... in His presence. There is still much for you to give His children - and yourself. I hear new music rising from these storms.... I can't wait to hear it.
    Blessings to you and your precious family.
    Bill and Bonnie Sasher

  2. Thank you for your post, Marty...and welcome back to the blogging world. You've been missed! :) I always love your insights, and will pray for you.

    In His Peace~

  3. Your music has been a blessing to me and now I found your blog how great is that. I continue to pray for you, your family and your ministry, Blessings to you, Blessings to Israel
    Maybe some day you will come to Harrisburg Pa.

    Peace be with you

  4. Marty,
    Welcome back to writing. Your knowledge of English and our L-rd make for some inspiring reading. It took me a year to heal from the loss of my collie, and even longer the empty nest. To lose a friend and collegue in addition is almost incomprehensible. It is logical to allow yourself time to bereave these passings. I was looking for a cassette of yours and stumbled upon a Praise Six & Praise Seven by Maranatha Music dated 1982 & 1984. I'm assuming it's the same Tom Howard who wrote "All Through The Day" & "How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place" (Psalm 84). His contributions will always be with us. :-) I was listening to "Hope of Glory" yesturday. It was worth the wait. Thank you. Yes, I agree, we need to do our part as believers and citizens: namely pray, fast & vote, especially praying that our leaders will align themselves with G-d's purposes for Jerusalem & Israel (Joel 3:1-2)reminding them of Genesis 12:3. Will do my part.
    Wanting Jehovah Shammah (His Abiding Presence) resting on this land,

  5. I am so heartened to see your posting! We all become overwhelmed at times and find consolation in family/close friends. You have been in my daily prayers for weeks, especially in regards to your vision problems. I, too, have experienced eye troubles this year. Part of my recovery from this has been to rededicate time to daily Bible study, and both times I have come home from the doctor's, I have played your CDs. Such a balm to my spirit. So many of your songs have helped me, but the first cd I ever bought was "Songs Of Israel", and "Ma Navu" remains one that I rely on to refresh my heart. God bless you and your family. I have great love for Israel and am doing what I can. I will stand by her no matter what the rest of the world does.

  6. Marty,
    I became aware of your music by way of "bumper music" I heard on one of the David Hocking online radio programs. Thank you for making the Psalms come alive through the music you produce.

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  8. The "I" must die for We to be!

    In as much as i can 'see',
    That which is of the 'I' in me,

    So it is i yearn, and to Our Father cry,
    For deliverance from all that is of the 'I'.

    The 'I', born of "imag"ination and selfish desire,
    As lust, greed, and pride, stoked a consuming fire ;-(

    A fire burning out of control, as 'I' leads the way,
    It's smoke concealing the fleshly mind that leads one astray ;-(

    Yet even in the smoke, searing heat, and blindness of 'sight',
    Truth can pierce the blackness of darkness, revealing "The Light"!

    And nothing can hide from "The Light", so "Light" reveals the "I",
    Allowing one to "see" clearly, and clearly the "I" must die!

    But to live, yet die, seems an impossible task,
    And so we need of "Our Father", the impossible to ask.

    Help me to "deny myself(die to self)(die to 'I')" Father!

    And as HE Helps, HE reveals more and more of "The Selfless One", The One Who leads His Brethren on "The Way to The Truth of The Life". He Who was, and is The Messiah, The Son of The Only True G-D, Father(Creator) of ALL!

    And as The Messiah desired above all else, so also will His Brethren desire above all else, "Father, not my will, But THY Will Be Done".......

    The poem above was begun in Creel, Chih, Mexico in '92, a time when i sought to live and experience a simple and spiritual life and it was there that i received and embraced Simplicity. Left Mexico in '93, yet returned in '04. Then on 1/26/05 the poem was completed, and 'completion' is near for each and every one of us. And for "the poor and needy", thankfully so.......

    Translated, "corruptible to incorruptible" indeed and Truth.......

    Home at last.......

    Forever free from The "I".......

    All Thanks, Praise and Glory Be Unto "Our Father".......

    And while there is breath(spirit) there is hope many will "see",
    "see" The "I" for what it is, and then desire to be set free!

    And that Spirit that was in The Messiah shall "set you free, free indeed"!

    So, There Is Hope!

    For Miracles do happen.......

    Hope is there would be those who experience The Miracle that is receiving "a love of The Truth" for they will "see" The Light that is The Messiah, they will "see" that The Life is of The Spirit(not seen with the natural eye), and most certainly not of the flesh or fleshly mind("I").......

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(darkness) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one"(1Jn5:19) indeed and Truth.......

    Truth IS, a lie is not.......

    (Returned to this place called the u.s. of a. in June of '05, yet a return to the simplicity that is rural Mexico would be welcomed, however, i realize that in all things it must be "Father(Creator) not my will, But THY Will Be Done.......)

  9. Good thoughts Marty & family,
    Yes, what Misha read was fitting. We must continue to be salt & light to this
    ever darkening world that seems to care less & less for the things of God. Am praying for the body of Yeshua (II Chron. 7:14). Let us run our race with endurance, keeping our eyes on the prize. He will finish what He has begun in us.
    Yours in the faith, (I Pet.1:7)
    P.S. I wll pray Misha stays close to "home" after graduation to comfort her parents! :-) ha ha (Is that okay Misha?)

  10. Bless you always, Marty... You have & are a blessing to many, with your song and music, about the love of God and His son,Yeshua Jesus Christ....

    Our thoughts and prayers are for your entire family and its needs... <3 <3

    Carol Ann Markley Rockwell

  11. Thanks, Marty! It's great to read other peoples' thoughts, especially as one gets older . . .my two daughters, ages 27 and 15, are constantly amazed that jeans were alive and well and living in 1970! I told them that "there is nothing new under the sun" (wasn't that Solomon?)and now since losing weight, am back to wearing jeans again. Second adolescence??

    You music has meant so much to me throughout the years, and I pray that the LORD restores your eyesight to its former glory, and you continue to bless us with your beautiful songs.

  12. We hear ya Marty! I just talked to my husband on the cell as he is still driving a truck at 70. He said "You know what I've been humming all day? These are perilous times we live in..Marty's song"
    The Singletons's

  13. I found your post quite surprisingly when stalking the THS 1971 class photos on Facebook. Alas, another Messianic Jew from Tenafly doing woinderful things in this crazy world.

    Keep up your amazing work .. as we all fight the good fight to get more into the kingdom!