TABERNACLING 2021: Smack Dab

Smack Dab in the middle of the Bible is Isaiah. Guess how many chapters are in this book called Isaiah (and no fair looking it up)? Side note hint – how many books are there in the Bible?

Okay, got it??

As most of you know, Smack Dab in the middle of the Bible there is a division.  One section of it is called the Old Testament.  The other section is the New Testament.  And wouldn’t you know it?? Smack Dab in the middle of Isaiah, the prophet stops talking about the Jewish people and prophecies dealing with them and switches his focus to …… (you got it?)….. the coming Mashiach (Messiah).

And – miracles of miracles – each of the two sections of the Bible and Isaiah – are the same number of years that our Messiah (Yeshua) walked this physical world we call earth.

Now – here it is – the big summation of the night – do you know the answers to all these questions?

“I saw an angel in the marble, and I carved until I set Him free.”

Michelangelo

Not sure why this phrase popped into my mind tonight.  I was looking at my devotional journal, listening to one of my favorite Christian musicians, and suddenly there it was – – SMACK DAB – – in front of me. I think I have written before that my Heavenly Father is not always subtle when He Gibbs’ slaps me up side of the head with something I should have seen in everything He had placed before me during the day. Sometimes I just don’t see so well.

Looking back at my journal just now, I laughed out loud because the first thing I wrote today was “October 22, 2021, Day 33 with Jesus”.  Get it??  33 chapters in Isaiah.  33 books in the OT and 33 in the NT.  33 years Yeshua walked His path on Terra. 66 books in the Bible.  66 chapters in the Book of Isaiah.

Smack Dab – it was right there from the very first moment I entered my tabernacle today.

Smack Dab is one of those words from my early childhood that I pondered.  I remember my Grandma Mac and my Mama Mick saying it at different points.  For many years, I guessed at the meaning of those two words – –  after all – – “smack” was one of those words that no youngster likes to hear.  And Dab???  I had no idea what that meant until I watched a TV commercial that talked about, “a little dab will do ya”

So, for a long time – my definition for this familial phrase was: “a hit by something little.”

While now, I can look it up and see that the official definition is: “exactly, precisely”; I still think my 7-year-old definition nails it.  Sometimes it is those little things that “hit” us – teach us – move us – bless us – – – bless us in those soul deep ways than we never thought possible.  Ways that cause us to fall before His throne in praise and adoration as He fills our heart with His forgiveness and grace.

“Come near, O nations, to listen;

pay attention, O peoples.

Let the earth hear, and all that fills it,

the world and all that springs from it.”

Isaiah 34:1-2

Smack Dab – in the middle of the Bible – in the 34th chapter, Isaiah announces that changes are in store for the world.  There’s something coming.  Something so big that all the nations – all the peoples – all the earth – all the creatures, plants, formations, foundations and skies above – something bigger than imaginable.  So big that the world needs to wait for it – – look forward to it – – pray for it with eyes wide open.

Tonight, the moon is still that bright Hunter’s moon.  It’s fullness still mostly visible through the trees. The granddaughter’s ferret has finally stopped playing with her balls and is sleeping quietly (until the middle of the night). Lab girl has curled up in her chair and SSS kitty is curled up in her chair as well.  And I am curled up – smack dab – in the middle of my own little tabernacle, marveling at Our Father’s goodness.

Tomorrow will bring a new light in the East. I will throw open the flaps of my tabernacle to welcome it, and the wisdom and people He brings to my sphere. YAH is good.  He gives us the printed WORD, His Holy Spirit, and the sacrifice of His Son, the WORD incarnate, to walk beside us in this journey – – however challenging or wonderful it may be. 

Thus – Smack Dab when we least expect it – probably sooner than we expect it – He is coming again to gather His church. Until then, “I will sing, sing, sing to the LORD because He has dealt kindly with me…”

#Rapture  #Hedrawethnigh #Keeplookingup

Greg Olsen artwork

TABERNACLING 2021: Two Rocks

Rocks are hard. 

Rocks are bigger than stones and gravel and dirt and sand.

Rocks are – sometimes – big enough to stub a toe or stand on.

Rocks are promises of something that doesn’t break.

ROCKs are YAH’s promises that I stand on in life.

I waited patiently for the LORD;

And He inclined to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me up from the pit of despair,

out of the miry clay;

He set my feet upon a rock,

And established my steps.

He put a new song in my mouth,

Praise to our God.

Many will see it and fear

and will trust in the LORD

Psalm 40:1-3

I remember memorizing verses in Sunday School way back when, and at some point, Psalm 40:1-3 was one that took a lot of work.  At the time, it was just one of those things we did as kids.  One of those things the teacher said to do, so we did. Then every night before prayers were said, my parents would help me memorize it.

Psalm 40 became one of those main ROCKs in my life on which I stand.

As I read devotions today, this was one of the promises mentioned.  I closed my eyes, smiled, and let my praise rise to the surface of my lips.  It hangs in my closet.  I see it, whisper it, and lay my hand, and sometimes – my head,  on it almost every day as the tears or new song sing in my heart.  It has been one of THE ROCKs under my unsteady feet of the past two years.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
 

Isaiah 43:1a-3

This ROCK appeared sometime during my second year of college when my earthly father died of his third heart attack.  Even though I had dealt with the mental knowledge that he would die early in my life, I was not a happy camper.  I cried pretty much daily for the first year.  I still cry easily when those bittersweet memories rise to the top of all the datum hidden in my brain.

I remember these words being pasted on the makeshift bookshelf next to my bed, and resting my hand on it as I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep.  My grades took a nose dive that first quarter after the funeral. But as I repeated this verse over and over, by the next quarter, they were – pretty much back to their “average” normal (daydreamers tend not to be the best students). However, I changed my major out of music because without daddy, I couldn’t imagine performing the way we had talked about during our many car rides when he would drive for an hour to pick me up at college or take me back there.

ROCKS are the WORD’s covenant with His people.

Obviously, there are lots of ROCKS in the WORD.  At different times, I have stood on so many of them and been so thankful to have those ROCKs under my feet when everything else was shifting sand. The miraculous appearance of those ROCKS in whatever “miry bog” I had gotten myself into is what still humbles me.  The Shepherd truly kept track of this rebellious ewe even when I had wandered way off that narrow path and gotten my feet stuck so thoroughly that I had no way to get out on my own.

Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll… 

Psalm 40:7

As I reread this Messianic Psalm today, the praises to YAH rose in my heart all over again, because here I am again.  Sand is shifting in my personal and societal world in even wilder storms than I ever imagined.  While the physical lens in my eyes may have cataracts, my spiritual eyes were opened once again. 

He knows his sheep are floundering in another deep pit.

He knows his sheep are calling out.

He is patiently waiting for YAH’s timing just as He waited 2000+ years ago.

He is coming.

Yeshua Ha’ Mashiach is coming.

And as for us, David finished this Psalm 40 perfectly for times such as these:

But I am poor and needy;

may the Lord think of me.

You are my helper and deliverer;

O my God, do not delay.

Psalm 40:17

#Rapture  #Hedrawethnigh #Keeplookingup

1969

TABERNACLING 2021: Life Music

Sundays are great days for watching old Danny Kaye musicals/comedies when you just want to collapse after moving about 10 good size logs with the trusty ol’ wheelbarrow – not to mention helping the daughter move some things over the weekend to her new home. 

Hans Christian Anderson, is one of my favorite childhood movies.  Now, since it was released in 1952 (and I was only a year old, I doubt I would remember if they took me to the theatre to see it), and having no such thing as on-demand back in the day, I assume that I must have only seen the movie a couple of times, but I still remembered all the songs. Curiosity rose up once again, so a-googling I did go. 

Sure enough, an album was released around the same time.  My best guess is that my parents thought their baby girl would love listening to it.  I think they must have been right since tonight I could still sing all the songs right along with Danny Kaye…and even remembered some of the crazy sounds that he did in them.

Though you’re no bigger than my thumb,

Than my thumb…than my thumb

Sweet Thumbelina don’t be glum,

Now, now, now…ah, ah, ah…come, come, come…

Hans Christian Anderson, Tumbelina

Sometimes, it is the Life Music that parents give their kidlets that are remembered the most.  At this ripe old age of navigating my 71st year, I don’t remember what presents I got for my birthdays or Christmas or graduations or any other special occasion .  Mom did write a lot of them down in different places of her journals if I wanted to look, however, when I’m sitting on my patio swing, or throwing ball for the lab girl, or trying to keep the grand daughter’s ferret from escaping my hands, or finding the strength to do one more wheelbarrow load of whatever – it is not those presents I think about or that get me through a tough time. 

It is the music of my life that circles in and out of the memory banks and tickles the tongue to form the words and sound.

I had to laugh the other day as I was hauling mulch, sweating, tired and ready to quit when Paul Robeson’s voice started to erupt in my head and then travel into a full voice sing-a-long (I’m sure if anyone had been outside, they would have had to laugh because I wasn’t holding back). Gotta admit – it got me through three more trips with mulch from the front yard to the back yard.

You and me, we sweat and strain
Body all achin’ and racked with pain
Tote that barge and lift that bail
You get a little drunk and you lands in jail

I gets weary, and sick of trying
I’m tired of livin’, but I’m scared of dyin’
But ol’ man river, he just keeps rolin’ along

Life Music.

I feel blessed to have grown up when I did.  YAW, as always, knows exactly why He places each of us in the exact place – at one specific time in history, even if we don’t understand at all. While Danny Kaye and Paul Robeson were popular singers at the time I was growing up, they were not the “popular singers” of today’s generation. The lyrics of their songs were often stories of inspiration, wisdom and morality.  It wasn’t always pretty, such as the lyrics to Ol’ Man River portray, but there was always that little bit of light of the American Spirit at the heart of the song – even in a song about a man pushed and degraded by the circumstances that surrounded him.

Same with Hans Christian Andersen – another man who faced challenges of being poor, trying to make his way in life without the woman he loved. While I’m sure it wasn’t a stick-to-the-facts biography of the fairy tale author, it was enough to get this child reading every fairy tale that he wrote, and when I ran out of his stories, I found others – – others of many different nationalities. They were not only my Life Music, but the stories that painted the pictures in my head of good versus evil – of harmony verses dissonance – – of  laws verses lawlessness.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Ephesians 6:12

I enjoyed a weekend away from the news, of my daily routine (except for devotions), and a time to sing some of my life music.

I like the old movies, and lately, have pretty much disconnected from popular TV shows and movies.  I know tomorrow, I will have to tune back in and catch up a little on what happened over the weekend.  But for tonight, my heart is still singing an old song and smiling.  After all, that is what Life Music is about for me.

Thumbelina, Thumbelina tiny little thing
Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing
Thumbelina what’s the difference if you’re very small?
When your heart is full of love, you’re nine feet tall!

Ibid

#Rapture  #Hedrawethnigh #Keeplookingup

https://www.tcm.com/video/576341/hans-christian-andersen-1952-thumbelina/

Danny Kaye singing Thumbelina

TABERNACLING 2021: Before Dark

“I fear the Dark Spectre may come too soon – or do I mean, too late…

LORD, let me get home before dark.

A few days ago, one of my favorite on-line pastors put out a picture of what he was reading to prepare for his up-coming sermon on Hebrews. Part of that page was filled with a verse of a poem. Natch – my mind latched on to that part of a poem and started pondering.

“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”

-Edmund Burke  

Not one willing to miss out on all that nutrition, I try not to just read words on a page. When I actually digest those words, I ponder and wonder and draw pictures in my mind. I never know where those ponderings will lead when they are part of my tabernacling with the Father – but I did love where this path led.

The beautiful thing about technology is the research that I can accomplish within a few keystrokes.  This one took me a little longer just because I got sidetracked once again, by reading about the poet and some of the other things he wrote during his lifetime as an educator, poet and president of Columbia University.

O LORD, Let the fruit grow lush and sweet,

A joy to all who taste;

Spirit-sign of GOD at work,

Stronger, fuller, brighter at the end.

LORD, let me get home before dark

In my earliest memories, poetry always aligned with the music that filled my formative years. Nursery rhymes.  Mother Goose. Aesop’s Fables. I have found a whole notebook full of poems and songs copied or written by my mom during her senior year in high school.  I have a couple poems that my father wrote to my mom – one in high school and the other in a WWII letter while he was stationed in China. Add to that all the songs they sang to me from mom lifting me out of the bed with When the red, red Robin comes bob, bob, bobbin’ along – to – O You Beautiful Doll, my great big beautiful doll –  as my father carried me back to bed.

There is a whole bunch of darkness around the world right now.  Darkness in nations. Darkness in states.  Darkness in communities.  Darkness in the church.  Darkness in people.  Darkness in the hearts and spirits of those around us.

“The outer me decays –

I do not fret or ask reprieve.

The ebbing strength but weans me from mother earth

And grows me up for heaven…

If the scales have fallen from the eyes and the ears unstopped, it is hard to watch what is happening all around the world.  Frustration builds as the daily maze grows darker – more confusing – full of false openings where a light beckons and then dims because it is not His Light that is lighting the way.

Yet, because He is right beside those of us who have asked Him into our tabernacles, He encourages us to continue walking through times such as these – He grows in us the urge to seek His path as well as shine that dim reflection of His light within us – as He nudges us forward with confidence and peace to bring us home before dark.

“I do not cling to shadows cast by immortality.

I do not patch the scaffold lent to build the real, eternal me.

I do not clutch about me my cocoon,

Vainly struggling to hold hostage

A free spirit pressing to be born…

Of Your grace, Father, I humbly ask…

Let me get home before dark.”

– Robertson McQuilkin

It is dark outside.  I have a ferret sleeping over for a few days as my daughter moves to her family to their new house, and the granddaughter worries about her remaining ferret since its partner died earlier this week.

I am just as worried about this little ferret.  Having raised a couple of them in college (along with guinea pigs/hamsters/dog/bird and a huge cockroach that lived in a cardboard box for a month), I know how fussy ferrets can be when they are stressed. 

But with all of this and the darkness that covers me as I walk the lab girl for her last time, I know that I was created for such a time as this.  A time to watch over a grieving ferret. A time to help daughter move forward in her life.  A time to tabernacle with the Triune Father and pray – just as Robertson McQuilkin did in 1981 when he wrote this poem – “O LORD, Let Me Get Home before Dark”.

“LOOK! I AM coming soon.”

Revelations 22:13

#Rapture  #Hedrawethnigh #Keeplookingup

Jane Wooster Scott artwork

TABERNACLING 2021: YoNaH

“I need to discern purpose from activity.”

Me, 2010, 22nd  Day in Jesus by Beth Moore

Long, long ago, before I retired, I decided to take on a daily devotional time. I had not done this since Junior High. Over all the years between 1964 and 2010, devotional time was pretty much a hit-or-miss affair except for Sundays (and even that was a miss when I had teenagers and a parent who needed more time than I knew how to handle. Spell me as a MESS in those days).  Now however, I was an empty nester, so I should have lots of time, right?

All I had to do was find a book and get busy. I had been just starting to follow Beth Moore, so I picked her 2007 book, 90 Days with Jesus. Then I factored in the fact that I hate getting up in the morning (really never have been able to force my eyes to stay open when it is still dark outside), so I formulated that doing it at night would be my best bet.

No one ever said I am smart or even in my right mind at times.

The worldly mind said that being an English teacher means grading papers, tests, and making sure lesson plans were ready for the next day should come first – devotions second.  Halfway through the first week, I realized I was falling asleep in my chair as I tried to read the Bible verses for the fourth or fifth time since the brain was not functioning very clearly at 11 or 12 o’clock at night.

Two weeks later, I figured out that doing it before I got busy with school work, meant I was distracted or hurrying to just fit it in.  Not exactly what I had in mind when I decided it was essential to spend more time with the Father. Needless to say, I made myself get up at 6:00 instead of 6:30 as I started building my first tabernacle since 1964.  My covenanted world had been collapsing for a while, and I still wasn’t sure I knew how to re-do it, but like the Good Father He is, He met me there and patched the holes when I faltered.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

Henry Ford

11 years later, He is still the Good, Good Father.  He has shown me how to patch my own holes and make the tabernacle stronger for those swirly winds that do tend to happen at times in this world.  I have found that those are the times – that just like when Noah built the ark – it is necessary for He to close the door and batten down the hatches when the cold rain falls on me.

Jewish wisdom has also added a lot to this journey.  The various meaning of Jewish letters, words and phrases adds so much depth to the OT Bible stories that Christians grew up reading in Sunday School.  That wisdom doubled – sometimes a lot more than that – when added to the NT Bible stories. 

Example:  The dove that Noah sent forth from the ark, came back to its home twice. Funny thing, “dove” is spelled in Hebrew the same way as the name of the prophet – Jonah: YoNaH.  Hmmm…Jonah was in the water when a big fish (kinda like an ark, right?) brought him back to where he belonged to complete his mission for YAH.  As if that’s not enough, Jesus (his Hebrew name, Yeshua, means He-who-saves – again – kinda like an ark but in a different form, right?) went to the water to get baptized when something “like a dove” appeared so that He could start His own mission for YAH.   And we all know He is coming back – just like the dove….. See what pondering His WORD can do?

“Who are these who fly like a cloud,
And like doves to their roosts?

Isaiah 60:8

My physical tabernacle is getting ready for the cooler weather that is coming this weekend.  Cleaning up the gardens, re-potting plants for their days to be spent inside, moving plants that did not like their home because the trees went crazy this year and spread their limbs over places I hadn’t anticipated, and finally, hauling mulch and stones to help keep those roots a little warmer.  I’m still trying to figure out how I can keep hauling mulch in the winter. My body just likes that exercise for some reason or another.  (Back arthritis doesn’t hurt so bad after I haul mulch or stones – explain that one, although I do have a special wheelbarrow.)

Yet each time I’m outside, I look up.  The morning doves are still appearing every now and then, and I wonder, is Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (Jesus Christ – He Who Saves) getting ready to put His boat in the everlasting waters to bring His Church home? Personally, I think His boat is stocked to the hilt and ready to sail. While I’m not quite jumping up and down, I can’t wait to be one of the doves that fly home when He calls.  I know the Shepherd’s voice and He knows my name.   

#Rapture  #Hedrawethnigh #Keeplookingup

artwork by Jeff Haynie

TABERNACLING 2021: Holy Contrasts

The check list exists in my mind.  From the moment I get up until bed time, there is an internal checklist outlining the things I want to accomplish.  I know a lot of it comes from parents who were very focused on accomplishing many things in their lives. Some of it is from being put on a stage from the time I was little until I moved to NC.  Another part of it has to come from being a teacher where preparation was the key to modeling and supporting those who were placed in my sphere for a year or more. A huge part of it comes from being a wife and mama. But there were days, weeks, months – years? – where my checklist didn’t include a whole lot of GOD’s Checklist”.

I don’t even want to think about the Holy Contrast between my checklist and His.

I was thinking about Holy Contrasts because of my devotions today.  They brought up the time of Yeshua’s wilderness testing in contrast to the Garden of Eden. It was a rather short devotion so there wasn’t a lot of depth in the devotion itself, but it was enough.  Enough to set my mind spinning and wondering why I had never seen that correlation.

The WORD is endless in the lessons it has to teach.

As I ran around, checking off things I had to accomplish today, I found myself pondering the Holy Contrasts between the first place Adam and Eve walked and the first place Yeshua walked as He began to display the mantle that had just been laid upon His shoulders

“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.”

Luke 4:1-3

Adam and Eve, human son and daughter of Elohim, had a mantle laid on their shoulders – to be fruitful, multiply and walk with GOD in a beautiful garden.  A garden where they could eat of every tree except one.  They enjoyed their garden days.  Days where they got to know GOD and all the creature and plants that were put there for them to name and and care for in the days as they walked with their LORD.

Until a rebellious, former archangel showed up for a visit.

Contrast that to Yeshua, Son of GOD.  A young man raised in a small town – always about His Father’s business and growing in wisdom and stature until the day He knew it was time to really get His Father’s business out into the world again.  He walked to a river.  Got baptized by His beloved cousin, and opened Himself to the Holy Spirit to allow the mantle to be draped over His shoulders.  He was led to a wilderness.  A place with no fruit or cuddly creatures. No place to lay His head.  Only desolate and wild creatures with poison running through their bodies.

And again…a rebellious, former archangel showed up for a visit.

At this point my thoughts deviated from the picture in my head.  Did Adam and Eve spend 40 days in the garden before the evil one showed up there?  We don’t know, but if I have learned anything in the past few years, I’ve figured out that Our Father does tend to repeat patterns.  He also never allows things to happen without a lesson being buried at its heart – a lesson that is imperative for us to absorb.  And why a wilderness this time for His only begotten Son instead of a beautiful garden?

Yeshua knew what was ahead because He knew the prophets.

Anyway, that once bright and morning star showed up in the wilderness after 40 days to greet this “Son of GOD and Son of Man”. Did he crawl on his belly? We know that Yeshua recognized him and waited for the challenges. Perhaps, the prince of this world thought to himself that food worked once – maybe – it would work again.  He offered bread instead of an apple.

But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ 

Luke 4:3

The Holy Contrasts checklists continue to swirl.

Eve got one.  Yeshua three. 

Not sure where this contrasting lesson is leading me tonight as I tabernacle with My Father.  I only know that I, too, had my Garden of Eden. I fell into the world’s easiness for a while. Then I found a side gate back to a smaller version of that beautiful garden that My Father had designed for me in this world. Eventually, as I grew in wisdom and stature, I felt Him leading me  to a wilderness journey. Immediately confronted with my own offer from the prince of this world, I was able to grab and turn to the WORD this time. I grew a little wiser. The distraction was tempting, but the WORD was stronger as I wrapped the mantle tightly around me.

Holy Contrasts enable me to look at my spiritual life in many different ways.  Like I said, I’m still not sure where this all is leading, but tonight, as I get ready to close my eyes and say my prayers, I feel His mantle a little heavier on my shoulders and know there is more to uncover in this lesson. Thus, I will pray His WORD back to Him.  I will ponder a little more as I breathe in YAH and breathe out WEH.  I will look up at the cloudy sky and wait a little longer.  My Father’s time is not my time, but He always makes His way plain when we place our feet upon His Rocks of Promise.

#Rapture  #Hedrawethnigh #Keeplookingup

Ivan Kramskoy artwork

TABERNACLING 2021: Down Time

Had to laugh today.  FB has some “down time”, and I got more phone calls from friends and family than I have in years.  My throat hasn’t been this tired since I quit teaching full time a few years back.  BUT – I’m not complaining.  I am just smiling. 

There is something deeper – stronger – more emotional (maybe even physical) connection when hearing a familiar voice in your ear than when reading a text message or seeing picture on your phone.  We talk about we are all connected via social media, but I am pondering tonight if we really are that connected or is it just a surface connection that can be broken as easy as pulling a plug?  Will any of us look back on these posts or “conversations” as “treasured memories”?  Is there anything on social media that is worthy of noting in our journals or autobiographies or obituaries when the day comes to write them?

I kinda hope that social media gets “hacked or up-dated” (depending on the news source) more often.  But most of all – I’m just glad that Our Father has it all in His hands and I don’t have to worry about it. 

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

-Revelation 4:11

Treasure chest memories crop up in our lives almost every day.  Sometimes they are good ones and sometimes – not so good.  But all-in-all, they are treasured because they changed our lives in some way that can never be – nor want to be – forgotten. For me, growing in knowledge and faith is part of this crazy journey that we, as humans, call life. The times in-between those life altering experiences are the “Down Time”.

Down Time gives us that reflection period that is always needed after that we pick up that new gem of “whatever” to add to our treasure chest. A beautiful gem reflects that light.  We turn it in our minds to look at it from all directions – over and over and over.  We smile as we watch it reflect new facets of color into our spirit.  We hold it close and wonder if we will ever find another one that makes us feel the same way.

Yet – sometimes those gemstones break. I have a hard time letting go of gemstones, so when one breaks, I still try to put it back together.  I am a fixer.  It is my nature to always want to make things better, but it is that sharp shard of gemstone that cuts my hand as I pick it up. The blood drips from my finger and stains my mind’s eye as I look at it. It has become precious in its own way. It brought me new wisdom. I will wear gloves the next time I reach for a shard of gemstone.

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”

Colossians 1:16

I have enjoyed this cloudy somewhat rainy day.  Got a few things done between raindrops, walked the dog while I talked with friends (bad news – she lost the ball because I wasn’t paying attention), but I had some Down Time.  I was hoping to ponder more things – write some more things – treasure more things in my heart, but the day got away from me.

So as I close my Down Time tonight, I tore out my September prayer list and posted it in my journal.  I started my new prayer list for October. Then I remembered my devotions this morning.  It is Day 15 in Jesus: The One and Only by Beth Moore.  She was talking about when the Heavens opened up and something like a dove descended upon Yeshua as He was baptized by His cousin.  She also mentioned Stephen as he was being stoned and saw Yeshua sitting at the right hand of the Father. 

The Heavens opened up.

The Bible records several times when the Heavens open up…Paul, Malachi, John, Moses, Eziekiel, Isaiah…  It is good to know that while there may be Down Times while we are down here on Terra, there will be a time – coming soon – when those Heavens are going to open up – as it has in the past.  And so – I just keep looking up while I hold my treasure chest memories close and smile at what is to come. 

Gotta admit – I’m getting excited to see the house He built just for me and to see Him face-to-face once again. It will be a gem of a memory when a Down Time becomes an Up Time. 

”For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him.”

John 1:51

#Rapture  #Hedrawethnigh #Keeplookingup

House of Maria

TABERNACLING 2021: Blessed Hope

Let us be alert to the season in which we are living. It is the season of the Blessed Hope.”

A. W. Tozer

October 1, 2021 – Wowzer!! Day 12 in the Jesus study by Beth Moore.

I love when this month appears on the calendar.  As a kid, it meant our street fair was just a couple of days away.  Best yet, it meant a couple days off school. It meant that special smell that only a fair can bring to an area. It meant walking home and kicking leaves through the empty pig pens (and sometimes, kicking leaves through a dusting of snow as well).  It meant setting displays up or helping Grandma Mac take food entries to judging and trying not to stick my finger in whatever smelled so good in that picnic basket. It meant walking with my daddy to get a fish sandwich and French fries to eat on the way home. Later it meant leading the marching band; singing with the choir, clown band/twirling baton shenanigans and meeting up with friends, holding hands with the boyfriend(s) and wearing their varsity jacket (and avoiding rides with those same boyfriend(s) that scared me spitless), bringing college friends home for the fun, watching my kidlets learn to love it as they waited for their Uncle B.b. to bring lots of quarters just for them, listening to my mother be the fair emcee or singing God Bless America, then much – much later…..rolling my mother’s wheel chair through the crowd so she could talk to friends, hold their hands, and get a fish sandwich and French fries to eat on the way home…one last time.

October carries a lot of bittersweet memories when I am looking backwards.  I miss my hometown fair, the smells that seemed to envelop the whole area, my parents, my family, and the treasured memories that I carry in my heart and shed a few tears over especially during the first part of this month.

But that Blessed Hope rises to dry those tears, and He pulls my eyes upward.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ…”

Titus 2:11-13

On a spiritual level, there are wonderful things ahead. On terra firma, I can work outside on the beautiful days. Open the windows wide and breathe fresh air instead of air conditioning (although – I do cool off the house with AC before I go to bed; miss my all-house fan on hot nights). Pray my way through these hard birth pang days for those I love and those that He that has placed in my sphere. Try to prepare for those things that He described coming in this “season” of time.

Seasons are changing quickly.  I changed the twinkle lights in my bedroom to orange. The pumpkin and gourds are in Grandma Mac’s old tin. The tomatoes are on their last few ripenings, and I’ve started moving things for the fall transplantings. It feels as if I’m nesting once again.  Preparing the house, preparing things for the day that is just around the corner, when it all changes in the twinkling of an eye.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,
   His word my [blessed] hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
   As long as life endures. 

John Newton, 1773

As war and rumors of war swirl around us…  As lawlessness and hatred continue to raise their ugly heads…  As natural disasters shake our foundations…  As insidious illnesses threaten to overtake us… As times change before our eyes the very things we thought were secure…

The Blessed Hope remains a rock within all His promises for times such as these.  All you have to remember is to answer the WORD‘s knock at your heart’s door, fill your lamp with the oil of the Holy Spirit, and look up.  He’s coming very soon. Breathe in YAH – exhale WEH – and the I AM will breathe on you a new Breath of Life giving you a new heart as His Son speaks your new name back to you. 

Be blessed it is a day the LORD hath made just for you.

#Hedrawethnigh #Keeplookingup  #Rapture

TABERNACLING 2021: Standing in the Gap

Shortly after finishing my last 40 day prayer challenge, I began cleaning out some of my old books.  It is probably one of the hardest things ever for me.  A book lover spends their life collecting favorite tomes of wisdom – tomes that weight a whole bunch and take up many boxes when they have to be moved. But book lovers are crazy. They do it over and over. Some of my books I have had since the 1960’s. But I promise you – I took a box load to the free shelf.  I gave some away to friends.  I even mailed some away.  They were all some of my favorites that have been on my shelves for a while.

My bookshelves are still full.  I swear they are like Tribbles (old Star Trek reference for those of you who don’t know), and they continuously multiply every few hours.

In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.”

Dr Benjamin Franklin, 1787 Philadelphia convention

In the process, I came across a book that had been pushed behind a few other heavy books. It was a 90 Day Devotional on Jesus by Beth Moore. Back when this was a relatively new book, I was still teaching full time in OH, but life had been changing for me (once again) in 2010.  Needless to say, the Holy Spirit nudged and I laughed.

Jumping from a 40-day prayer challenge to a 90-day prayer challenge isn’t what I usually do. I tend to like to think a little more, write a little more, and try to assess all those new things I learned about myself before I go into a new challenge.  But times are changing again, and perhaps, at a faster pace than ever before as the world spins into these latter days at break neck speed.

That being said, I may have laughed first – but the Holy Spirit laughed last. He knew that this challenge was focused on Jesus and would lead right up to Christmas. Perfect timing, right? I gave in and opened the book. It was the best choice ever. It gives me a routine to follow in my devotions which I have to admit, is good for this Gemini minded soul that tends to drift and wonder off into something more active if it is not regimented. I also found that I liked being able to look back in time, read my thoughts and prayers from 10 years ago, and chart the progress or back-trodden failures of the past decade.

“And have we no forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, n the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.”

Ibid.

I have yet to figure out why these two devotions today blended together so completely in my mind while I sat outside.  I think it is because I was praying at the same time as I was reading and pondering.  Praying for those on my prayer list. Praying for our country.  Praying for Israel as Iran moves a huge amount of military closer to the border. Praying for those who stand in the gap for the rest of us – overseas – in the cities – in the hospitals – – – and then I realized – – –

Those who were meeting in 1787 in Philadelphia were standing in the gap for their people.

Suddenly, it began to click why these two devotions were tied together in my Spirit.The evil one is always ready and willing to start division, after all, that is what he did in Heaven that changed eternity.  He did it in 1787.  He is doing it now.  What Dr. Franklin did back then was take a stand among those who were already taking a stand. He stood in the small gap of a bigger gap and addressed what everyone else seemed to be missing…..  Humble Prayer.

He pointed out (this is documented in his own handwriting, btw), that GOD is always listening. At times He speaks in a whisper. as in the parables of the New Testament. Those parables may pose questions to challenge us, push us, humble us.  But when He does all of this AND if we persevere, He forms a bridge over that gap in which we stand in to show a path that leads to an answer delivering us to His truth.

Prayers based on His WORD is the way to continually invite Him into our state of affairs and focus our minds on the path He lays before us.

And now – I have a tiny clue – that there is – as always – a reason that a certain old book fell out at my feet when I pulled a bunch of books off my bookshelf. I don’t always like to walk my arthritic feet uphill, but when I get to the top, I’m always glad I did.

Tabernacling with the Father in 2021 is always interesting.

But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

Psalm 86:15

#Hedrawethnigh #Keeplookingup  #Rapture

The Trouble With Tribbles - Episode 44 - Fascinating?

TABERNACLING 2021: Simchat Torah

“For the WORD of GOD is living and powerful…”

Hebrews 4:12

TABERNACLING this week has been catch-as-catch-can – but then last week seemed that way as well. One thing piling up on top of another – from daylight peeking over the neighbor’s house to dusk setting behind the trees – but ya’ know?  I kinda like being this busy.

However, it does make me wonder how I (or anyone, for that matter) squeezes being a wife, mama, work, devotions, writing, singing, reading, feeding/playing with pets, caring for farm critters (adapt this list to personal preferences) and keeps it together. Not to mention – all the unexpected things: illnesses, aging parents, accidents, loss of jobs, divorce … I know there is only one way that got me through – Faith in His WORD.

Tonight begins the last day of the Jewish Fall Feasts.  Simchat Torah, The Joy of the Torah, is the conclusion and the beginning of the Torah readings. Tonight and tomorrow, the Jewish people begin their new journey through the Torah readings.  However, during this major holyday, they pull the scrolls out of the ark and often dance with the scrolls as they praise I AM for another year of TABERNACLING with His WORD.

I’ve seen this done a few times in a synagogue. At the time, I really didn’t understand why they were dancing with the scrolls.  Now I wish I had been a little wiser…a little more of a Jewish scholar.

Dancing with the WORD. 

For the Christian believer that would mean dancing with the WORD Himself.  Now seriously, how fun would that be? Don’t you just want to go outside and dance with Him tonight?  I know I do…and I just may do that when I take my choc lab girl outside tonight.

The WORD of GOD is…sharper than any 2-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12

I sat on the patio this afternoon, resting after spreading 3 bags of sand all through the cracks of the paver stones.  Last week, when I got the house washed clean, they also washed the patio.  It was a good thing since it was getting pretty slippery every time it rained. But washing things clean often means that there are major changes in the physicality of that cleansed item.

Old dirt blasted away, destructive forces revealed, deep empty spaces needing to be filled. 

The ants and other little critters were panicking as they tried to figure out how to reach their homes buried deep beneath the pavers. Luckily, I know they are way clever (or I might have felt bad) and could see them heading straight towards the deeper dirt to the side of the patio and disappearing into the dirt. Eventually, they will dig new holes up through the clean sand and seeds will start to grow once again.  

Anyway as I rested, I began thinking about a quote that I read earlier during devotional time. It seemed pretty appropriate for Simchat Torah.

“The Bible was the only book Jesus ever quoted.”

Leon Morris, Australian New Testament author/scholar

The WORD quoting the WORD.

So tonight, after talking to my Littlest kidlet earlier today, and texting to my youngest grandson, I am yawning and ready to TABERNACLE with My Father one last time, as I put this lazy mind of mine to rest. YAH has been good as only He is good  – to me – to all of us.  We only have to open our eyes and ears to see and hear all that goodness swirling around us.  The world is the world.  Full of those slippery pavers, destructive forces pushing their way through the tiniest crevice, and those huge, empty spaces that beg us to fill them with – – – something. 

If we don’t fill it with His eternal goodness, we may only be left with sand that will slowly be worn away by the corrosiveness of this physical world.

#Hedrawethnigh #Keeplookingup  #Rapture

Painting by Alex Levin Simchat Torah