About the Author

My Background

Hi, my name is Donald N. Norris and I am a grateful believer in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah).  I thought it would be helpful to share a little bit about myself on this first ‘official’ blog post.

Although I was born in San Diego,  I grew up in southern Michigan and was raised by my grandmother while my mom worked hard as a nurse anesthetist.  As far back as I can remember, my mom always took me to church.  We were Episcopalians and I developed a deep sense of respect for the church.  I loved the liturgy and always asked to stay in the big people’s service rather than going to Sunday School.  My mom did send me to a vacation bible school at the local Baptist church one summer where I memorized John 3:16.

My mom and I moved to Petoskey, Michigan where I entered high school as a freshman.  Once again, we attended the local Episcopal Church and I became an acolyte.  I loved helping the parish priest and even thought of entering the priesthood myself.  Well, the best-laid plans don’t always work out.

My wife and I were married right out of high school and I began my college education at Michigan Technological University as an electrical engineering major.  Again, we attended the local Episcopal Church.  After I completed my prerequisites and took my first course in my declared major, I realized that I did not want to spend the rest of my life as an electrical engineer.

After a short stay in Maryland – near my half-brother – we moved to Southern California and again became active in our attendance in the local Episcopal Church.  The war in Vietnam was escalating and through the influence of fellow students at the University of California, Riverside we had become peaceniks.  The vestry of the Church would not support a resolution opposing the war, so we stopped going.  We abstained from attending services for about three years before we decided that we really missed it and we knew our three children needed that exposure.

Long story short, through several renewal ministries (Faith Alive & Cursillo) we experienced the indwelling of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and became active in the Episcopal Renewal Movement.  Due to a job change, we moved to the Sierra Nevada foothills of California.  Within a few years of our move, we became increasing uncomfortable remaining in the Episcopal Church due to its increasingly liberal theology.  We began attending a non-denominational charismatic church and continued to mature in the faith.

Again, due to another job change, we relocated to the Central Valley of California and for the first time in our lives had to do some church hoping to find a new home.  After visiting several local churches, we settled on Calvary Temple Worship Center (recently renamed “The House”) in Modesto, CA.

In October of 2000, we traveled to Israel with a group from church.  The moment we arrived in Tel Aviv, we knew without a doubt that we were HOME!  The trip was life changing for us.  When we had to return to the States, unlike Tony Bennett, we left our hearts in the land of the Chosen People ~ Israel.

Upon our return, we learned of the Messianic Jewish Movement and began attending a congregation in Livermore, CA.  Again, we were back to our roots.  We experienced a liturgical service with an emphasis on scripture readings and sound biblical expository preaching.  We went to our Senior Pastor at Calvary with the suggestion that we form a Messianic Jewish Congregation as a missionary outreach of the church to reach the local Jewish community.  Pastor readily agreed and when we asked for permission to search for a leader, he said: “No, it’s your vision, it’s your calling, you do it.”  The first service of Congregation Lev L’Yisrael (Heart for Israel) was held in October 2001.  I then completed the course work required to be licensed.

In June 2004, we felt called to leave Congregation and move to Florida to be closer to our youngest daughter and her two sons.  In January 2011, we moved back to Modesto for health reasons.  We discovered that Heart for Israel was still active (albeit now a house group that met every other week) and we began attending once again.  I was asked to resume my teaching role and in August of 2012 our leaders decided to retire and asked me to resume leadership.  We agreed to do that on the proviso that it would only be temporary until we could find someone else to take the Congregation to the next level.  Unfortunately, no one came forward and with increasing poor health and declining attendance our small group disbanded in July 2014.

This blog will allow me to continue the teaching ministry without all the other responsibilities of being a Congregational leader.  It is my intent to post a new teaching at least once a week.

 

 

22 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Kindred indeed! I seek out authors like you with a firm grasp of what Yeshua HaMashiach is all about. Your wisdom understanding of Israel the nation and true church is refreshing in such a religious world.

    ba·rukh hu ha-e·lo·him a·vi a·do·ne·nu Ye·shu·a ha-ma·shi·ach a·sher be·rakh o·ta·nu mish·mei me·o·no be·khol-bir·kat ha-ne·fesh ba-ma·shi·ach

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who has blessed us in the Messiah with every spiritual blessing in heaven.
    (Ephesians 1:3)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Otis,
      Thanx for the feedback. I look forward to sharing with you to fulfill our mandate of iron sharpening iron. On that note, I noticed that there was an error in my link to my former teachings while a Congregational Leader and I have fixed that. Eventually, I will have to transfer all those posts to a separate page on my blog. A task that I must admit that I’m not looking forward to at all. 🙂

      Don

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  2. Please help my memory. I’m thinking that I once read your testimony on Blogger. It was compelling. I thought I had bookmarked the page, but I guess not. Somehow, you found my blog so now I can catch up with your posts. Thank you.

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  3. Pingback: Humility ~ Part 1 | My heart is for Israel

  4. I was blessed to read this page and look forward to following and reading up on some of your other studies. I like what you stated about learning about our roots as we (Gentile Christians) have been adopted into the family of our Lord! I pray continually for Israel and for those seeking the Messiah even though they are looking for their Lion! That day will come and it sure seems like it is a short time away!
    I placed your site link on my Blogs Followed page and I hope it will help draw more people to your site! I am also part of the Church Set Free group just recently so you have many brothers and sisters in the Lord that are and will pray for you and your ministry/service!!
    I look forward to coming back and reading more and if you check out the page with your link, you will see I actually follow a lot of blog sites, but I read and comment as the Lord leads, but I WILL be back AND I pray for ALL the ministries that I follow. I use the blog list as a guide for intercessory prayer!! God bless you very richly and greatly as you continue to serve the Lord and to all of us whom the Holy Spirit leads your way!!!

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  5. Wonderful Testimony Brother in Christ Jesus-Yeshua Don!!

    I STAND with the HOLY LAND of Israel-Yisrael and our Judeo-Christian Nation United States of America!!

    Am Yisrael Chai, HaShem-Yahweh-YHWH-EMMANUEL-JEHOVAH, YESHUA-JESUS CHRIST ADONAI!!

    Love Always and Shalom, YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

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  6. I truly appreciate your call, and can empathize with most of it personally. I was part of a Messianic ministry based out of Canada, but serving mostly in Eastern Europe. I thank you for continuing your call regardless of a local community. Believe me, I know what that feels like! May G-d richly bless the Church and Israel through you! May He tear down our guardian lies, and replace them with truth and revelation! May He lift our fears up, out, and onto the cross of Yeshua so that we may love! Amen!

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  7. Thank you Don for following Freedomborn it is appreciated and I will look forward to our sharing on both our Blogs too.

    It’s wonderful our Unity in Christ Jesus regardless of where we live or what Church we go to, we are no longer divided but joined together in God’s Love and He has no favorites, as we see confirmed in the Scriptures, we are all Spiritual Israel.

    Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the Promise.

    Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew which is one inwardly and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter whose praise is not of men but of God.

    Romans 2:10-12 But glory, honor, and Peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.

    Christian Love Always in Christ Jesus – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Eternal Security ~ Part 1 – My Heart is for Israel

  9. Just wanted to let you know that WordPress had treated your comments as “possible spam” but I found them and approved them. I didn’t want you to think that I was ignoring you or unappreciative of how you took time to comment! Hopefully now that those have been approved it won’t happen again!

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  10. Pingback: Humility ~ Part 1 | The Recovering Legalist

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