My husband, son, and I are whole Bible believers. We no longer attend Sunday church. We observe the Sabbath rest on Saturday as described in the Bible and outlined in the first 5 books of the Bible. These books are also known as the Torah.
We’ve been on our journey for 4 years this coming November. We started reading the Bible and it came alive to us. We observe the feasts of Yahweh. We no longer take part in secular holidays such as Easter and Christmas. Those are not biblical days and to celebrate them as His days would be a trespass against his Laws. But that is a topic for another time.
Today’s topic is how our family has chosen to be a light in our community. When we moved to the area, we live in 5 years ago our son joined a local youth organization called 4-H. Now, most people think that 4-H is just about raising animals to sell them for a high price. But that is one leg of 4-H and not everyone participates in raising an animal just to sell it. Some do, and that is the only thing they are focused on. But the Youth program is so very much more than that.
The reason our family has chosen to be part of 4-H and remain part of 4-H even after starting to observe the Sabbath is that we see the good the program can do. 4-H teaches each kid how to be accountable for their project and to do the work needed for it. Parents are hands-off for the most part. If a kid decides they want to raise an animal, they can choose to sell it or not. Selling is not a requirement to be in 4-H. Being a steward of a living being and raising it, nurturing it, and giving it its best life is.
Our son started out taking small engines for his project. He was able to learn how to take apart and fix a 2-cycle and 4-cycle engine. These are needed skills on a farm and homestead. When we moved to the farm, he decided he wanted to raise a market lamb. He learned how to care for an animal and make sure it was healthy. We didn’t help him with anything for the lamb unless he had a problem and needed help. Yes, the result was he sold the lamb at the auction but the tears that kid shed said it all.
Last year he didn’t have an animal to sell. He had raised one, but it was disqualified. So, he attended achievement with his ewe lamb project. This project is a project that he will keep raising throughout the rest of his 4-H years if he so chooses. She won’t be sold unless he decides it. And it won’t be at the 4-H auction. He has grown so much just being part of the club.
2 years ago I became a leader in 4-H, and I took over the sheep project last year. I teach the kids about the care of the animals and what to look for if their lamb could be sick. Sometimes kids who are in 4-H don’t live on a farm or have experience with animals. So, they need to be taught proper care and handling. My husband is a volunteer as well and he helps with the small engine project.
4-H gets a bad rap for only being about raising animals for slaughter. It is so much more than that, the kids develop friendships with other members. They learn leadership skills and problem-solving skills. They learn how to help their community by doing service work. They learn how to be reliable, honest, and trustworthy members of society.
Now, this brings me to the touchy subject of us being Sabbath observant. Most events for 4-H happen on a Saturday which is the day we set aside for our time with Yahweh. We have chosen to not participate in most of the events. Achievement day is normally a Saturday as well. But our son will not participate in the selling of the animals.
We still set apart this day for Yahweh. We set apart each day for Yahweh actually. Every day we start it out by spending time with Him. We ask Yahweh to guide our hands and feet and show us how we are to honour him in what we do and say. We aren’t out for an ego boost. We simply believe that we are to be His hands and feet and for us that looks like being part of 4-H.
Yeshua (Jesus) came as a man to save the lost. He obeyed every word his Father commanded him. He tells us as believers in him to walk as he walked, obey the commandments of His father, and go out into the nations and make disciples. We are told to be the light for those in the darkness. We a told to be set apart and not be of the world. We still need to live IN the world, but we can choose not to be OF it.
People can get so caught up in the legality of the laws that they forget to see the humanity in them. There are so many Torah observant box checkers that those of us who are following how Yeshua led get told we’re doing it wrong. Yeshua helped people on Sabbath, He was under persecution from the Pharisees and Sadducees because he did things differently than they were convinced had to be done. He didn’t fit the box of a Torah follower. He spent time with sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes which is something the Pharisees would never do. Yeshua touched the lives of those who NEEDED him. He came for the broken, outcast, fatherless, and poor. Shouldn’t we be doing the same?