Someone once asked me why I have such a great interest in Hebrew and the Jewish Holidays and I answered much of what the early Jews believed lines up with ancient Neshnabek beliefs. My mother and dad and other elders who have gone home now, also noticed the same similarities of belief I did. These elders were not just run of the mill Neshnabek, but what I call gete Neshnabek; i.e., real Natives.

I also noticed something else among both Jews and Neshnabek. They both have a tendency to take great pride in their traditional beliefs, but show such poor practice of them. In other words, many of them don’t walk the walk, they don’t walk like they talk.

Jews do it and so do Neshnabek! I have seen countless times when I was in the Lodges, many Neshnabek didn’t even attend the Lodge ceremonies, and many of those that did, took the teachings for granted, often going in and out of the Lodge for various reasons, not even focusing on why they were there. Many Christians and Jews do the same thing, the traditions cited and taught are often not observed by these groups. I have walked in both worlds and now am back in the world of Christ, and have made it a point to worship with all my heart and soul, and not just sit there warming a pew/bench.

I have been to Israel where many Jews take their beliefs very seriously, but there are just as many that do not. It is always happening among the Christian churches of America, with many evangelists, pastors and the like, preaching their hearts out, trying to wake up a sleeping congregation into a more heartfelt worship. I have seen the same thing among Neshnabek when I practiced my traditional teachings and ways.

Since coming back to the Lord and embracing him in my heart, I do not want to be found guilty of lukewarm worship and taking things for granted, as it were. When I was a practicing traditional believer of the Neshnabek Ways, I was not a lukewarm believer, as I saw so many do. I don’t want to be that type of believer in my practicing the Ways of Christ either. Things are supposed to be presented as fresh and invigorating to the soul and spirit of man, as presented by the teachers of said beliefs, whether they be Christian, Jewish or Neshnabek. If they come fresh to me, I want to eat of His Word as presented by him and his teachers, and put them to work in my soul and spirit. I do not want to be just a Hearer of the Word, but a Doer! I don’t want to simply warm a bench/pew, but enter into his gates with thanksgiving, be it a humble Native Lodge or a grand church, or my prayer closet. I want my Savior to know I love him and don’t take anything for granted that he presents to me through his many servants.

Iw enajmoyan

Nin se Neaseno

Published by neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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