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Reply To: After taking this course, in your own words, please define Hebraic leadership and what it means to you.

Kara Brackney

Define Hebraic leadership in my own words and what it means to me.
I can only define what this means to me by first stating that I have been drawn to this part of the world since I was young. Before I came to know Christ as my Savior, I was a practicing Buddist for a bunch of years and from that mindset and understanding I would have said “it must be a past life that I lived in the middle east to try to understand why I am drawn to this land and region”. However, I am not a Buddhist and do not subscribe to the concept of a past life (any longer). So, for me to define what being a Hebraic Leader means to me, I have to start here, in the middle east region (also called the Near East). 

Geography and Human Geography are topics that are deeply interesting to me and that I spend a great deal of my free time on. I’m either traveling the globe (been to 33 countries and counting) or I am reading, watching, listening to, or talking with people about other parts of the world. I have an adventurous spirit, I’m biblically curious and I travel to places of the lesser known, intentionally. I’ve lived in Asia Minor modern-day Turkey, Jerusalem, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, and visited Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Tbilisi in this region. For 7 years I have lived abroad and worked online. 

Growing up in the US, I was exposed to the church’s “American style”. I didn’t like being forced to attend church, but that was my personal experience in my family. I know, my parents were doing the best they could to “raise their children in the church”. What I saw when I attended seemed shallow in nature. Much more about (what people were wearing at church/gossiping after church over coffee and cookies and which area people lived in). That was my whole take on church. I tuned it out as a kid and just sat in my seat on a pew and doodled on the donation envelopes. I did enjoy the singing, that part was nice. I also remember seeing a “New Testament” bible meaning it only had the NT but not the OT in it. Looking back now, I can’t even understand why a copy was printed. Why would someone intentionally split up the OT and the NT?

That is where I am with the church in the US, it seems to be about (only the NT, big buildings or campuses, rock songs with Christian lyrics, skinny jeans, coffee in church, come as you are even if you’re wearing a T-shirt). I will admit, I’m torn between wanting to live in Jerusalem, covering my head with a scarf, wearing long modest dresses, observing Shabbat weekly with my husband, and inviting the neighbors over (Believers and non Believers). But, I also love to listen to and sing my Hillsong and Chris Tomlin worship music. Can I have both?
That’s a rhetorical question. 

As a person who loves to travel and has chosen to live in the middle east, I am also a Christian who wants to live in the same ancient lands where my Savior Yeshua lived. The more I study the OT and spend time here, the more I feel completion in my faith and understanding of the early Christians. The Way “Hodos” is how I “try” to live my life. I don’t watch TV, I stopped consuming anything from Hollywood more than 6 years ago. I am very mindful of what I “consume” of this world including friends (in real-life) and online, social media, YT, music, and all of pop culture. Because I was so consumed by all of that when I was younger and a non-believer, I am hyper-vigilant about my consumption.

In conclusion, what it means to be a Hebraic Leader in our modern-tech world in 2022 is to quite literally walk the talk. Pray, fast, be humble, love my neighbor, forgive anyone who hurt me, give to the needy, and live each day as holy as I can. Know that I am a sinner and will fail but I will strive towards being holy and always, always keep my eyes on Jesus first. People ask me what drew my husband (who was born in Asia Minor) and me together and I say “it’s the way he loves Jesus first. His eyes are always on Jesus and I’ve never met a man who prays to God the way he does”. He is a sinner who was forgiven by grace and paid in full by Jesus’ blood. We are both living our days here on earth waiting to return to heaven- to enter the Kingdom. Our daily life is filled with prayer, our responsibilities, family, and friends. We wait patiently for the Lord to let us go home- to the Kingdom of God keeping our eyes on Jesus Christ Yeshua Hamasiach.