Archive for the ‘Word From The Street’ Category

Historically, women assume their new husband’s family name (or surname) after marriage and usually the children of these marriages are given their father’s surname.

Years ago I legally changed my name to “Jonah ben Reuben”. Many of my friends considered that I was going through some kind of identity crisis or that I had decided to deny Christ and convert to Judaism. (Some of my well- meaning Christian friends made it their mission to “re-convert” me) Some of my relatives even heard rumors that I changed my name as a sign that I had disowned my family. I assure you that none of those things were true. So why would I legally change my name and go through all of that grief?

For many years I had studied Scripture, attended Bible studies, went to church and did all the things that good Christians are supposed to do. I had no doubt that I was saved and was destined to go to heaven when I died. But I always felt that there was still something missing.

It wasn’t until my son was killed in an auto accident that I realized that my entire spiritual life revolved more around me than on God. After the accident I spent the next year dissecting Scripture looking for answers. Many nights I spent literally on my face before God, crying out in repentance. Finally, I was at a point where God could share His heart with me and begin the healing process. And suddenly I was truly a new creature!

Not that I was more saved now than I was before, but God had given me a brand new perspective on what becoming a new creature really meant. Soon after, I felt that God wanted me to choose a Hebrew name to signify the change that He had wrought in me.

The sages say that one of the virtues of the Jews in their exile in Egypt was that they did not alter their names because that would have signaled an altered worldview, the adoption of a different lifestyle and a scrapping of their past. A change of name for the convert then, signals the embracing of a new philosophy, a new identification, a purposeful, mindful statement of intent for the future.

Changing your name is a choice, not a requirement

Although changing our name after conversion is not required in Scripture, even Christianity teaches that there must be a formal designation of our conversion that is plainly evident. Are we not told that as Christians, we now wear the name of Jesus and that His name should be worn as a badge of spiritual courage and accomplished idealism?

Jewish tradition teaches that a convert is treated as a newborn child. (k’tinok she’nolad) And reference to the parent must be of spiritual parentage adopted by entering into the Covenant of Abraham. A new person needs a new name. That is why the rabbis instituted that converts should choose Hebrew names for their new Jewish lives.

I had chosen the name “Jonah ben Reuben” because ‘Jonah’ means, dove; which is a symbol of the Holy Spirit; ‘ben’ is Hebrew for son; and Reuben means, “behold a son!”

Unlike English, Hebrew is read from right to left so my name literally means “Behold, a son of the Holy Spirit!”

Traditionally when the naming ceremony is held for a Jewish convert a prayer is recited as follows:

“Our God and God of our Fathers: Sustain this man in the Almighty’s Torah and in Your commandments and may his name in Israel be _____________, the son of Abraham, our Father. May he rejoice in the Torah, and exult in the commandments. Give thanks to God, for He is good and His kindness is to all eternity. May ____________, the son of Abraham, our Father, grow to become great. So may he enter the Almighty’s Torah, with His commandments and good deeds.”

I did not have a formal naming ceremony, but I was changed all the same. What was most surprising to me was how it also changed others around me.

There are still some who believe that because I strive to follow TORAH that I no longer live under grace but seek to be accepted by following The Law.

When my son was young he obeyed my rules. Not because he thought that I would love him more if he obeyed, or out of fear that I would love him less if he didn’t. He obeyed BECAUSE he loved me.

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” John 14:23-24


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

It’s hard to believe that another year has come to an end!

I would like to thank everyone who has supported the ministry of Word From The Street.  Thanks to you, this blog got about 4,500 views in 2012.

I pray that God will bless you with a safe and prosperous new year.

Jonah Reuben

Below is a summery of my blog stats.

Click here to see the complete report.

My Store

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Word From The Street

Click HERE to download songs or whole albums. New songs coming soon!

Jonah Reuben
Singer / Songwriter, Preacher, Blogger

For more than 30 years Jonah Reuben has been playing his unique style of Christian music through different venues and organizations. Jonah’s raspy vocals are hard to ignore as he brings his message of uncompromising devotion to God to his audience. He believes that Christian music should be more about ministry than entertaining.

Besides recording and producing music Jonah is also an accomplished writer and has posted several articles online dealing with various subjects such as Christian Living, Church Revival, and being an advocate for the homeless community.

Jonah’s greatest desire is to have the opportunity to bring his message of spiritual renewal and revival to the Church. He believes that God wants a strong, rock-like Church so powerful that the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.

Jonah is a unique minister of the Gospel who uses contemporary style music, scripture, and life experiences to exhort and build up the Body of Christ. He is available to minister at your church, youth group or special event.



I have been advised by a media friend of mine that I need to streamline my blog to better reflect who I am. So in the coming weeks I’ll be making changes to Word From The Street, including the name, that better describes the ministry of Jonah Reuben.

I will still continue to advocate for the homeless through my blog but I will be adding other categories as well. These will include updates on my band, Accidental Proffit, Bible Studies, and current news reports.

By consolidating my blogs into one site I hope to provide more readers with a greater understanding of the ministry that God has placed on my heart and hopefully, make a difference in someone’s life.

2010 in review

Posted: January 2, 2011 in homelessness, Word From The Street

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 22 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 24 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was December 1st with 35 views. The most popular post that day was The Word From the Street Newspaper.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for homeless people, people hugging, homeless person, wordfromthestreet, and pictures of people hugging.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


The Word From the Street Newspaper February 2010


HPRP Is It Working? Part III July 2010


H.P.R.P. Is it working? Part II July 2010


Siena/Francis House Lenten savings March 2010


H.P.R.P Is it working? Part I July 2010

Thanks to all who visit our site and for your comments. We wish you all an awesome new year. Hopefully we can all work together to end homelessness.

We are now in the infant stages of starting a street newspaper called The Word From The Street. Not yet able to afford to put it in print we must be content to build it online here.

Word From The Street was birthed from the idea that homeless people above all else, need to be treated with respect and dignity. Homelessness is not a crime, (although in some cities it is treated as such) and the majority of the homeless population are not drug addicts and alcoholics. Nor are they lazy or have mental problems.

The majority of the homeless community are, in fact, families with children. They are people just like you and me. And in this economy any one of us could be facing homelessness ourselves.  ( But for the grace of God go I )

The Word From The Street will be a collection of articles, poems, and drawings depicting life on the street. Most of these writings will be contributed by the homeless and formally homeless in our community. Once we’re able to get Word From The Street into print we will contract with those in the homeless community to act as vendors to distribute the paper around the city.

In this way, the vendors will be able to supplement their income while helping to bring more public awareness about the homelessness problem in our city. Most importantly, our vendors will be able to regain some of their dignity and self worth as they work on the streets.

Some have asked why we would take on such a task; To put so much effort into a project that is sure to be  mentally and physically challenging, with no prospect of return on our investment. The answer is simple. Living in this world one can easily get caught up in its philosophy of  “me, mine, and I” and “looking out for number one.” But when when circumstances that are beyond your control force you to become one of the victims of homelessness yourself,  it forces you to re-evaluate what is really important. And when you realize that it was only by God’s grace that you were pulled from a life of despair you want to give something back in return.

It is our hope and prayer that by publishing Word From The Street we will be able to help someone else who struggles to find peace in this life. Someone who only wants what we all want; a place they can call  home; to have enough to care for their families; and to walk the streets with dignity.

I know that a simple street newspaper will not change the world or solve the homeless problem. But if we can help one blind person in this world find their way to a better place, then our job is done.

So for now… I will stand by the door.

I Stand By the Door Written by Sam Shoemaker

I stand by the door.

I neither go to far in, nor stay to far out.

The door is the most important door in the world

It is the door through which men walk when they find God.

There is no use my going way inside and staying there,

When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,

Crave to know where the door is.

And all that so many ever find

Is only the wall where the door ought to be.

They creep along the wall like blind men,

With outstretched, groping hands,

Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,

Yet they never find it.

So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world

Is for men to find that door – the door to God.

The most important thing that any man can do

Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands

And put it on the latch – the latch that only clicks

And opens to the man’s own touch.

Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die

On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.

Die for want of what is within their grasp.

They live on the other side of it – live because they have not found it.

Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,

And open it, and walk in, and find Him.

So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints; go all the way in –

Go way down into the cavernous cellars,

And way up into the spacious attics.

It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.

Go into the deepest of hidden casements,

Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.

Some must inhabit those inner rooms

And know the depths and heights of God,

And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.

Sometimes I take a deeper look in.

Sometimes venture in a little farther,

But my place seems closer to the opening.

So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there.

Some people get part way in and become afraid

Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;

For God is so very great and asks all of us.

And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia

And want to get out. ‘Let me out!’ they cry.

And the people way inside only terrify them more.

Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled.

For the old life, they have seen too much:

One taste of God and nothing but God will do any more.

Somebody must be watching for the frightened

Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,

To tell them how much better it is inside.

The people too far in do not see how near these are

To leaving – preoccupied with the wonder of it all.

Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door

But would like to run away. So for them too,

I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in.

But I wish they would not forget how it was

Before they got in. Then they would be able to help

The people who have not yet even found the door.

Or the people who want to run away again from God.

You can go in too deeply and stay in too long

And forget the people outside the door.

As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,

Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there,

But not so far from men as not to hear them,

And remember they are there too.

Where? Outside the door –

Thousands of them. Millions of them.

But – more important for me –

One of them, two of them, ten of them.

Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.

So I shall stand by the door and wait

For those who seek it.

‘I had rather be a door-keeper…

So I stand by the door.