Welcome to Darash Chai

In the beginning there were two trees in the Garden of Eden.  One, a tree that brought life.  The other, a tree that brought death.  The serpent showed up and placed the focus of mankind on the tree that brought death.  Is it possible that we as a race have been focusing on the wrong tree.  We talk about good and evil, right and wrong.  We discuss what is moral and what is immoral.  All of these questions, however, were on the tree that brought death.

Perhaps it is time to shift our focus.  To stop looking to the tree of death by asking the question of good and evil.  Rather, let's start asking the question of life and death.  If we can shift our assumptions on this most basic of questions, we can change our entire paradigm.  If we change our paradigm, we can change the world.  

What will be the result?  I do not know.  Welcome to The Darash Chai Experiment.  

Episode 33: The Gospel of Genesis - Genesis 35-36

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Genesis is a book of origins. The origin of the world. The origin of the covenant. The origin of the family of Abraham. The origin of the...gospel? How do a trip, the death of two women, a blessing, a coup, and a genealogy reflect the gospel?

Episode 32: A Matter of Honor - Genesis 33:18-34:31

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For the past few chapter we have witnessed the fact that Jacob is a changed man. He is at peace with all of his neighbors. It doesn't last long. Something happens in Shekhem that will shape much of what is to come. But do we truly understand this episode? How can an honor and shame perspective change our understanding of the tragedy of the destruction of Shekhem?

Special 02: Yom Teruah 2019

This episode is our second podcast exclusive holiday special.  This is a rerecording of a teaching that I gave at a local Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) gathering in Easley, SC. Yom Teruah is a celebration of the Kingship of God. Once we acknowledge His kingship, it follows that we are servants to the king. What does it mean to be a servant?

Yom Teruah 2019 Holiday Special

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Episode 31: Becoming Israel - Genesis 32:1-33:17

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Jacob has successfully withdrawn from the house of Laban. Now comes the confrontation with Esau. But Jacob is not the same man who left Canaan. His time in Haran has changed him, and before he meets Esau, comes a challenge. A man. In the dark. A contest of strength and will. And before he confronts Esau, Jacob becomes Israel. What did it take? Was this a process that occurred overnight, or has this been something that has been building us for the past 20 years?

Episode 30: Deception with Integrity - Genesis 31:3-55

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The time has finally come for Jacob to leave Laban's house, but knowing Laban, it is not going to be easy. Jacob is no longer defined by the deception that was once his nature, and yet, it is still a tool in his arsenal. In order to overcome Laban, Jacob will need Integrity, but before that, in order to leave, Jacob needs to deceive Laban one last time. How can this be? Can deception be a tool used by the righteous?

Episode 29: Desirably Imperfect - Genesis 30:22-31:2

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Upon the birth of Joseph, Jacob desires to leave Laban's house. He asks to leave, but is convinced to stay. It is at this point that Jacob gets to choose his wages, and he chooses the imperfect of the flocks of Laban as his wages. Then comes one of the most confounding stories in scripture. What are we to make of this? Why is this story even part of scripture? Let's dig in and see what we can find.

Episode 28: The Days of Our Wives - Genesis 29:31-30:21

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Jacob has more issues that hold him back than his deception. He learned a lot from his parents, and the next thing that he is faced with is favortism. And with two wives, and sisters at that, favortism is bound to get him into a whole lot of trouble.

Episode 27: The Wages of Justice - Genesis 28:10-29:30

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Jacob is now the defacto leader of the family of Abraham when his father Isaac dies, but he his also on the run for his life. This week we examine this story of Jacob on the run form his brother and into the arms of his uncle. If we were to examine this story in a vacuum, it would seem as if Jacob is beginning his life of blessing as the leader of the family of Abraham, but all is not as it seems. Before Jacob can receive his blessing, he must first learn of his failures. This concept begins a cascade in the life of Jacob, and if we allow it, this concept will begin a process within our own lives to begin to learn of our failures and how to overcome them.

Episode 26: Rights and Responsibilities - Genesis 27:30-28:9

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The birthright has been purchased, but the blessing has been stolen. Esau is angry. And why shouldn't he be? The blessing, the leadership position over the family was his by right. Rules of inheritance dictated that Esau would lead the family in the future, but now, not the weasel, serpent, trickster, deceiver has stolen it all away. What is his response? Better yet, what would your response be in a similar circumstance?

Episode 25: The Sense of Obedience - Genesis 27:1-29

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This week we begin a long exploration of the last of the three patriarchs of Israel. Jacob, also known later as Israel. The time has come for Isaac to give his blessing to one of these boys. He wants to bless one, but due to his loss of sight and an act of cunning and deception, Jacob supersedes his brother Esau! Theft, lying, deception, these things are immoral, and yet God uses them to bless the world. How does that even work?

Episode 24: The Trajectory of Separation - Genesis 26:12-35

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Isaac the patriarch is the one that we know the very least about. Abraham was around for 13 chapters. Jacob will be around for the rest of Genesis. Isaac gets this one chapter to shine, and this chapter is vitally essential to the overall message of Genesis. Why THIS, confusing and unrelatable chapter? What do wells and covenants have to do with me, and with the church today?

Episode 23: Death and Blessing - Genesis 25:1-26:11

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When we began this experiment, we developed a few tools that we could use to discern the topics of Scripture as we approach them. When we come to a passage that features not just one, but two lists of names, and then a few seemingly disconnected stories, what do we do with them? Should we simply skip past it as if there is no meaning? or do we slow down, take our time, and tease the text? If we take our time, we can discover that the Bible is full of profound and meaningful discussions, even in the most boring of places.

Episode 22: The Message Delivered - Genesis 24:34-67

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A candidate has been found. A proposal has been made. Now comes the responsibility of sharing the message. But wait, the message that the servant gives is not 100% accurate to what we read before. Is the servant being faithless, or is there something else going on?

Episode 21: The Servant's Quest - Genesis 24:1-33

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Sarah has died, Isaac is unmarried, and Abraham is getting old...er. The time has come for Abraham to send his servant out into the world to find a person to join the covenant that God has made with his family. But who? How to choose? What is it that the servant should look for? Who is this servant anyway, and what can we learn from him?

Special 01: Pentecost / Shavu'ot

This episode is our first podcast exclusive holiday special.  This is a rerecording of a teaching that I gave at a local Shavu'ot / Pentecost gathering in Greenville, SC. What is this holiday all about and how can we practice the principles of Shavu'ot in our lives?

Shavuot 2019 Holiday Special

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Testimonies: Preview 1 - Adam "Death"

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There is not story more foundational to everything that occurs in the rest of the Bible than the story of Adam. The first man. He started in perfection, and caused the death of all mankind. What if you could sit and listed to him tell his story?

Testimonies: Preview 2 - Noah "Obedience"

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What is it like to be the only sane man in a world gone insane. To have everyone look down on you because you live your life differently. And then to be proven right in the most terrible way. Could you start over? Even if those closest to you were working against you?

Testimonies: Preview 3 - Sarah "Hope"

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For a woman in the Ancient Near East, there is no purpose or calling in life greater than to be a mother. What happens when you know that you must provide in a way that you simply cannot? Where do you find your meaning, and can you retain your hold on to hope?

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