I’ve noticed since I’ve been in Israel that Jews avoid saying or writing the name of God. They call him HaShem (the name) or Elohim. When writing in Hebrew, they use השם, אלהים. In English, G-d. I understand that they do this out of respect. However, I have a different way of showing respect. First of all, I don’t shy away from using God’s many names in praise and worship. Second of all, I capitalize pronouns related to God. For example, He, Him, You, Who. I do this as a way of setting Him apart and showing respect. You may think that both the Jewish and Christian way of saying and writing God’s name are correct. However, I find the Jewish way offensive. Consider how curse words are censored. Symbols are used in place of letters in an attempt to make the word more appropriate. Why would anyone censor God’s name the way cuss words are censored? Since when is censoring showing respect for the word? Additionally, people use words in place of cuss words so they don’t seem as bad. Some people argue that using these words is as bad as cursing because they use them to have the same meaning as the curse words. Thus, how is saying HaShem different from saying God, when you are referring to God? Conversely, capitalization is a sign of respect. Important words are often capitalized for emphasis and out of reverence. Capital pronouns were even used for royalty. Also, saying God’s name is a form of praise and worship, not blasphemy and disrespect. One way I show respect for God is by using His many names when I sing to Him. In doing so, I am recognizing His sovereignty and His character. In conclusion, why would anyone treat God’s good name like a bad word? Like good words, God’s name should be used and glorified.
The time has come to tell you about my extraordinary plans for this fall. I will be studying abroad on mission in Jerusalem, Israel for four months. This is an exciting opportunity for me and I wanted to share some details with you. My study abroad program is through my university. However, I am partnering with Cru Study Abroad so I can live missionally while I’m in Israel.
The main reason I chose to study abroad in Israel is that I am minoring in Hebrew. Of course there are so many benefits to studying in Israel. It is the Holy Land, and I look forward to experiencing the land where Jesus walked and taught.
I recently received my Missions Toolbox from Cru Study Abroad, and I was thrilled by what was inside. I’m going to give you a peek inside to help you understand what I’ll be doing in Israel. If you are familiar with Cru, you know that they have a lot of resources for starting spiritual conversations and sharing the gospel. Among these are Soularium, Perspective Cards, Knowing God Personally, and Satisfied. (To learn more about these, visit crupress.com) I have had at least a little practice with all these tools, and I look forward to putting them to use in Israel.
Another tool in my Missions Toolbox is my Study Abroad Playbook. With help from my coach, I will be able to take advantage of all the information in it. My coach is going to lead me through the book and help me learn how to live on mission while abroad. They will be my sounding board, my encouragement, and my kick in the pants. As much as I want to share the gospel while I’m in Israel, I know it won’t be easy. I will need some accountability.
God has blessed me with the financial means necessary to live comfortably in Israel for 4 months. I would love it if you would consider supporting me prayerfully. Opportunites like these come with inherent risks and obstacles, so I can use all the prayer I can get.
I will try my best to keep up with this blog while I’m in Israel. I know I am going to have so many adventures and stories to tell, so stay tuned. I leave for Israel in about a month and a half, and there is still so much to do. I ask that you please start praying for me now. I trust that God will provide for me once I am in Israel, and that he will get me there safe and sound.
If you would like to talk with me about my trip, you can email me at email@example.com.
Yours in Christ,
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”