Monthly Archives: October 2016
Good days. Bad days. Spectacular days. Suffering days. Not always fun. Not always miserable. Successive strings of days where Terra turned beneath the feet. Days and Nights. A world full of lives lived.
I make it a point never to read ahead in this little Rations booklet. Everyday, I want to be blessed by the treasure that is recorded on each page. Yesterday, the Ration talked about Truth, and it’s importance in our lives, our countries and our world. It is of little wonder that today’s Ration speaks of Love. Love and truth always seem to go hand-in-hand. They give us a vision of where we should strive to be in this chaotic life.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish . . .”~Prov 29:18 (KJV)
I love picking up the Grands from their schools.I rarely ask them how their day went – instead – I might ask, “What was a question you asked today?” One time, my Grandson answered, “I asked to go to the bathroom and it was a good question because I really had to go.” My Granddaughter on the other hand, asked me why she should ask questions. teachers ask questions. I laughed. Yet – those answers led us to discussions that gave me a deeper insight into their thoughts and lives at school.
I love asking questions in my life, so I guess the Grands pegged me on that one. However, curiosity doesn’t always kill that cat. Sometimes it leads to long discussions. Other times it leads to deeper thoughts on both sides. And sometimes, it leads to dreams and visions of what potential life holds in store for us in our pursuit of truth and love. Our good days. Our bad days. Our questioning days. Our days of wondering. Our days when we ‘love one another…’
1942 Daily Rations: Read: 1 John 4:7-21
” ‘Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. . .God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him. . .There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.’
” ‘Perfect love casteth out fear!’ Would we not have said, ‘Courage casts out fear’?
“Neither the Old nor the New Testament treats courage as a self-supporting virtue; they both treat it as a quality derived from something deeper. To try to generate courage just within oneself by goading oneself to meet danger is not the method offered in the Bible. The Old Testament shows how fear is overcome by reaching outward to God in trust. The New Testament carries us still farther, and couples with this trust a fear dispelling love that draws us out toward both God and man.
“We can feel sure, for example, that no fear was left in the spirit of that American, suffering with the Chinese in Peiping, who led himself to this: ‘I will not allow myself to hate. I will not allow myself to become callous. I will not blame God for what is happening. I will not abandon my vision of the Kingdom of God.’
“Prayer:O love that casts out fear,
O love that casts out sin,
tarry no more without,
but come and dwell within.”~Horatius Bonar c. 1800’s
“It is strange how you can know something – know the pointy, sharp truth – but still want to bend and blunt the edges so it fits better in your mind.”~Veronica Rossi, YA adult author.
I like reading YA books. It is as if these authors tap into a deeper vein of precious ores that are just waiting to be discovered. Little nuggets of truth buried in the depths of a story written for children. Aesop’s Fables. Faerie Tales. Wrinkle in Time. The Dark Is Rising. Giver. Under the Never Sky.
There is another book written for children – His children. He buried so many little nuggets that it is impossible to find them all until they are needed. Then – if you are a persistent and patient miner – they appear beneath you eyes, and you shake your head in wonder because you know you have read them time and time again. You just didn’t “see”.
“…speak ye truth each one with his neighbor…”
How is it, that as we approach the final days of this election cycle these 1942 Rations become more and more pointed as they wrap around the current topic of each day. I’m am so thankful for this little booklet that has spoken so much truth on this journey of 100 days. I continue to pray that Martin Luther King, Jr was right “…that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
Until then – I will keep mining books, looking for His buried truths and bringing them to the surface to reflect the Light of He who guides my days in truth. Blessings!Be!
1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.’ For the sensitive Christian who remembers Jesus’ emphasis upon the motive which under lies the deed this Ninth Commandment means more than just a prohibition of slander and malicious gossip, though it certainly does mean that. And how much more! There should be no perversion of truth in all the ranges of human intercourse!
“False propaganda is the most conscious offense against the Ninth Commandment in our day. When newspapers governments, partisan groups or advertisers pollute the wells of truth and betray the public mind by subtle half-truths and misleading statements, they are really bearing ‘false witness.’ Our whole social fabric breaks down if we cannot trust responsible men to honor and to tell the truth. We need to be as true in these days as Washington and Lincoln were in their day.
” ‘Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbor; for we are members on of another.’~Ep 4:25
“Read: Exodus 20:16; Psalm 13
“Prayer: Almighty God, unto whom all heart are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love Thee, and worthily magnify Thy Holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” [google images]
Toe update – it doesn’t shout any more and only mildly complains when shoes are present. Best of all, most of my foot has returned to normal size – except the toe. It still can’t bend, BUT – it isn’t shouting anymore.
Still – in our world today, the shout of my toe would barely make a dent in the noise that surrounds us everyday. If it is not our political candidates’ war of words – it is the clash of cultures – it is the noisy newscasters – it is…us being us.
Not easy to “…act justly…” when the world appears to be anything but just. “..show mercy…”? How do we show mercy when there is so little mercy shown. Which brings us to, “…walk humbly…” The definitions of humble – whether it be a noun or a verb – do not make anyone want to jump up and adapt “humble” as a life motto. It is a fine line between humble and haughty.
Perhaps this 1942 Ration was written for these last 10 days of the election cycle as much as it was written for a suffering world at war. “Teach us thy laws…make the path of duty clear…give us the heart to pursue it…” “…act justly…show mercy…walk humbly…”
Positive words to guide the world – the country – the people – the person whose knees bend in prayer.
1942 Daily Ration: “What doth the Lord require of thee, but…”~Micah 6:8
“Read: Micah 6:6-8
“Every person must complete this sentence fr himself. The index of one’s moral nature is the way in which he does so. This is life’s final examination in spiritual insight. With the decay of outward authority many have jumped to the conclusion that there is no authority. Right and wrong is a matter of ‘as you like it.’ There is nothing required. But those who have adopted this view do not seem to be a very happy lot. Moral requirements are the laws by which one lays his course,. It is not always easy to answer Micah’s question, but no one can come to terms with life unless he asks it and keeps on asking it.
“Prayer: Teach us thy laws, O Lord. Inform us of thy ways. Make the path of duty clear to us and give us the heart to pursue it. Out of the difficulties of the day, may we feel the joy of having done that which thou hast required of us. In the strength of Christ our Lord we ask it. Amen.”
It’s 11 days to the election. Early voting has started in most states that allow it. Words are ugly and getting uglier: nasty, criminal, deplorable, irredeemable
“Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.” — Ecclesiastes 11:10 (ESV)
My prayers for this country and its leaders continues every night at 6 P.M. during the 1942 American Prayer minute, and if I don’t quite make it at 6, I know that there is a place where time doesn’t matter. It is the same place where every person that is covered in any kind of sin IS redeemable.
It is time to start using wise words that express the beauty, the wonder, the awe of each individual instead of the ugly, dark words. According to ancient rabbinic tradition, Solomon knew this when he wrote, “Remove vexation from your heart…” Vexation in the original Hebrew should actually be translated “anger”.
Remove the anger. Clean the dark glass. Find the blessings in each of the next 11 days.
Grace and Salvation are always found in the Light and may we come together again as a nation.
1942 Daily Rations: “Jehovah is my light and my salvation: Whom shall I fear?~Ps 27:1
“Dense forests creep up to the very edge of the deep-blue waters of Lake Tahoe in the high Sierras. All about the sore are hundreds of campers, but during the day a person may paddle for hours in his canoe with a feeling that he is alone. Only when night does does the glow of many campfires make him aware of comradeship- – -the presence of life.
“So often in the bright daylight of our lives various interests and activities claim our attention so fully that the presence of the living Christ becomes obscured. Then comes darkness. A loved one is taken away. Storms of conflicting emotions arise. But in the darkness we see a strange light, the brightness of God’s glory- – -Jesus Christ the Light of the world- – -and our hearts burn within us. Darkness comes that we may see the light.
“The two men on the way to Emmaus had reached the darkest depths of despair when Jesus appeared and there was light. Paul on the way to Damascus had reached the deepest abyss of his life when suddenly the light of Jesus appeared.
“Read: Luke 4:18,19; John 8:12; 1 John 1:5-7
Planted one shrub today. It wasn’t pretty or easy. Red clay and driveway stone are not easy mediums to dig through – especially when one foot keeps shouting at you “Ow, ow, ow, ow…”
Never fear – I persevered. Hubby back filled the patio wall, the plant is now firmly ensconced in Mother earth, and the toe is – once again – happily elevated. There comes a point when a person just has to tell the toe to shut up and “…be happy in their toil- – -“
“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.” — Ecclesiastes 5:19
The fire pit is blazing again tonight and the Indians game is being ignored. Sometimes sports take a backseat in the Stumpman world, and I have a feeling that fire will blaze quite often on our new little patio. As nice as the deck on the front of our house is, the patio is somehow better. Finishing and softening it with plants, water and those little gifts of thanks to the One who created us, will make it even better.
When El planted us in the Garden, He planted within us the desire to plant back. The original Hebrew Gen 2:3 reads differently than our Bible. ““Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work which God had created for it to continue to make.” Jewish sages believe that it means that He created us to continue to create what He started.
So we continue to toil, laugh and nurse our sore bodies and at the end of the day and say to ourselves, “It is good.”
1942 Daily Rations: “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”~1 Sam 16:7
“Read: 1 John 3:1-6
“By looking on the heart God sees what men do not see. Every man, likewise, sees within himself what no other man can see. For he sees his unpublished self that eludes the public eye. Down under our commonplace, conventional selves, are selves that are not commonplace. There are hidden glories in a man that he has not yet revealed. He walks among men a prince in disguise. He is better than any man knows. This knowledge of what he is and strives to be gives him courage and self-respect and satisfaction. The final basis for self-acceptance is unshaken confidence in one’s own integrity and endeavors.
“Prayer: O Lord, we thank thee for the ideals and purposes that thou has implanted in our hearts and that make us better than we appear to be. Make us loyal to the inner voices, give us the joy of a good conscience and the comfort which belongs to those who have striven to be true. Amen.” [google image]
It is hard for the first fire on the new patio to compete with the excitement of the Indians in the World Series and the Cavaliers playing the NY Knicks in Stumpman world.
The fire lost.
Worked out well for me. One of my Grands was working on her essay for college, and I was having too much fun figuring out Google docs editing tools and reading the essay to care much either in Teacher world.
The fire lost again.
“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12, RSV
However, when I look at the pictures that I took tonight. I have to smile. Hubby worked hard to get the patio to this point and although there is still much we want to do, there is a light in the darkness at Eli Covenant. Even the swollen toe doesn’t mind going out at night when there is a light to keep me from stumbling into anything that will make it yell “Oweeee” up at my brain.
Rabbi Yeshua was good at being a light to those around Him. His light became even stronger when He walked through the darkness of our sins to return to his disciples. I can only imagine how bright His light will be when He returns again. After all, He has spent all this time with His father waiting for us to open the door – open the door just a crack – so that He can come again.
Lighting the fire. Stewarding His earth. Opening the door. Can barely wait and wishing the door wasn’t quite so heavy and hard to open.
1942 Daily Rations: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”~1 John 5:4
Read: Hebrews 11:1-6
“In front of thee chapel of the Charlotte Air Base is a large floral ‘V’ made of red, white, and blue flowers. It stands for VICTORY. It is the first thing you see. The ‘V’ of victory might easily be considered a symbol of our day to stand for the victorious Christian life.
“The Church has always stood for the victorious life. Christ gave his disciples the power to overcome evil. Today we need to exercise that power to live the victorious life. This is the victory when we overcome the tyranny of the present for that which is eternal- – -the tyranny of fear for the divine protection- – -the tyranny of this sensual for the larger life- – -the tyranny of the visible for the invisible.
“The victorious life is made possible through faith- – -a faith in God that can endure hardship and comfort, a faith that practices good in the presence of evil.
There is a whisper through the ages of Jewish life, that God not only knows the number of the hairs on our head or the stars in the sky, but he also has assigned an angel to each piece of grass so that it might grow to its fullest potential and bless the earth with its grace and beauty.
It got me to wondering – again – like always. What can I say? Learn one thing and and have new questions. If blades of grass have angels, do you think – maybe – that was the origin of faeries? That faerie ring are really angel rings?
Listened to ‘Hallelujah’ this morning. When it popped up again on my feed tonight, I got the hint. I’ve listened to this song many times – by many different artists. The first time I really remember hearing it was early in the morning when the radio would come on to wake me up for school. If the radio came on playing that song, the kidlets got to sleep a little longer, so I could dry my tears. It was 1990. A world at war again. Desert storm.
“And even though it all went wrong,
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
with nothing on my lips [tongue] but Hallelujah!’ “
This is the verse that always caught me – catches me still. It is the verse that has disappeared in many of the new renditions – they tend to stop at the broken part of the song. It is the 4th verse where Leonard Cohen brought redemption to the listener. It is this verse that brings grace, and it reminds me that like the hairs on my head, the stars in the sky, the blades of grass in the field, He knows all my sins and still loves me. He has prepared a room for me.
Grace. Forgiven. Blessed.
1942 Daily Ration: Read: Psalm 85
” ‘I will hear what God the Lord will speak.’~Ps 85:8
“God speaks in whispers.
“There was a man in the Old Testament who found it, so. It was not in the storm, not in the earthquake that he heard the thing that brought him to his feet. There was a ‘still small voice’.
“There was another man who said, ‘I will turn aside to see’. The voice of the revelation of God is not likely to come to the hurrying passer-by. It comes to those who expose themselves, like a photo-graphic plate, to the impressions which make religious living real and satisfactory. The great things are the quiet things. ‘I heard the booming sunset gun, but did not hear the sun go down.’
“There is method here, a deliberate act, as the good man says, ‘I will hear what God the Lord will speak’. He is stepping out of traffic, for a moment, maybe many moments to listen for a voice which can be heard no other way, the voice of God is duty, in worship, in sympathy, in kindliness to others, in faithfulness to our calling as the followers of Christ. God is whispering to us also in the lives of all the fine people whom we know and love.
” ‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!’~Matt 11:15
“Prayer: Our heavenly Father, teach us the divinity of the still small voice within that is ever urging us in the way of righteousness; so shall our hearts be renewed in faith, so shall we ever live in God. Amen.
What a weird week. Hurt the toe (which is healing nicely – if too slowly for me), and this morning when I woke up, I could see everything perfectly. I was flabbergasted. I can’t even remember the last time I could open my eyes in the morning and see everything clearly.
I blinked a couple of times and was about ready to praise My Father for a miracle when I felt the contact slide into place. Apparently, last night I slept in my contacts. I have been wearing contacts for almost 50 years and have never forgotten to take them out – not once – not ever. A nap here or there – sure. But never overnight and never for 24 hours. Even when I pulled all-nighters in college or with my kidlets, the contacts came out.
As I have aged, I usually take them out earlier in the evening and wear glasses. But last night, not only did I go to bed with my contacts in, but they never irritated my eyes enough to wake me up – at all. However, when I took out the contacts, my vision was not what I am used to, so I put them away and wore the glasses. I will certainly be one happy person to put my mono vision contacts back on tomorrow and be able to see things clearly.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”~1 Cor 13:12
Needless to say, as I struggled doing the ordinary things I like to do – reading, writing, seeing things in the distance, I had this promise drift through my brain a couple of times, 1 Cor 13:12. The reminder that there will be a day when I get to wake up in a world and see perfectly.was definitely a blessing to my day — a blessing to my week – a blessing to my life.. .
1942 Daily Ration: Read: Psalms 10
” ‘What is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.’~Prov 20:1
“Out of the dim past comes the story of a young cupbearer, Cyrus by name. He had been appointed to serve his grandfather Astyages, the king. In serving the first time, he presented the cup to the king with a dexterity and grace that charmed Astyages and his mother, who was also present. The king embraced him with great fondness and said, ‘I am well pleased, my son, No one can serve with better grace. But you have forgotten one essential ceremony – – – that of tasting.’
” ‘No’ replied Cyrus, ‘it was not through forgetfulness that I omitted this ceremony. I relaized that there was poison in the cup.’
” ‘Poison, child! How could you think so?’
” ‘Yes, poison, sir, for not long ago at an entertainment you gave for the lords of the court,, after the guests had drunk a little of that wine I noticed that all their heads were turned; they sang, made noise and talked they did not know what. You yourself seemed to have forgotten that you were a king.’
” ‘Why,’ said Astyages, have you never seen the same thing happen to your father?’
” ‘No, never,’ said Cyrus. ‘When my father drinks, he drinks water.’
“Prayer: Grant unto us, Our Father, the wisdom and strength to overcome the temptations to our path, and to abstain from those things which hinder our physical, moral, and spiritual development. Amen.
I’ve been fussing around and procrastinating about writing tonight. Been on and off the computer. Cleaned up the house after the Grands left. Limped through a few errands. Blew leaves off the deck- – -very carefully so that I wouldn’t step on a rock with my tender toesies. Wrote a little. Sat in the hot tub. Wrote a little. Played a few games of solitaire. Watched a couple plays of the OSU/Penn St game. Wrote a little. Deleted A LOT.
I’m not sure what is blocking my own Ration tonight. Maybe I’m just tired. There is something with children sleeping under my roof again that wakes me every couple hours to check on them. I used to do it all the time when my kidlets were under roof. Probably even more when they were teenagers. Walk into their rooms. Tuck the covers around them. Count their toes. Whisper a prayer of thankfulness and blessings. Not to mention – those crazy kids were always early risers. So too, the Grands. Did you know it is still dark at 6:15 A.M. ?
Yet – I keep coming back to the article I read a few days back in the New York Magazine. It was about a 600 year old white oak tree in NJ. Considered to be the oldest in the country, it is the tree President George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette supposedly picnicked under, and it has been officially declared rotted beyond the point of salvage.
The author of this article hoped this tree wasn’t a metaphor for our country, but didn’t really elaborate on this. It was an article mostly about a tree killed by climate change. It was hot this summer. Therefore, the tree had brown leaves and is declared dying.
I’m not sure why this article keeps circling in my brain or why I have cut out this tree’s picture to put in my journal. It will be made clear eventually, but for now, I keep looking at the picture and wondering at the massiveness of such a tree and the creativity of Nature’s God. It is one of those times when I wish I could sit under its branches, record its stories and lay my head against it’s trunk.
There is a blessing in trees. We just have to figure it out.
1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘Put on the whole armour of God.
“Read: Ephesians 6:10-20
“In Paul’s letter to Timothy he write: ‘I have fought a good fight’ In this time of the world’s greatest war, every soldier of the cross should put on the whole spiritual armor and fight the good fight of sacrificial love and service for Christ and His cause. The only way to meet a ‘total war’ is by ‘total preparation’. The Christian soldier must have on his whole armor- – -a total preparation within his soul, with his fellow men, and with his God. ‘Christ liveth in me’ is adequate inner preparation. To ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’ and keep the Golden Rule is adequate outer preparation. To keep the Great Commandment- – –‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind’– – -is total Godward preparation. We must put on the ‘breastplate of righteousness,’ have ‘the shield of faith,’ bind our heart with the girdle of truth, and make this ‘total spiritual preparation’ and join him in his ‘total war’ against sin in the world.
Grands found their neighborhood friend (under 2 sec after they got here), rode bikes, ate mac n’ cheese, squeezed Halloween Twinkies in their mouths, rode bikes, played ‘king of the mountain’ on Papa’s dirt piles, rode bikes, ate a Halloween Cadbury egg, and are now munchin’ popcorn sprawled all over their bed, cuddled up with pillows, watching a movie.
Phew. I’m tired just watching them. (And yes, Mama BK, they will definitely brush their teeth tonight).
Cold is moving into NC. Windows are open – at least for the first part of the night, letting the feel and smell of fall in as it makes its way into our neighborhood. What a great night to just sit in the chair and absorb the blessings of the evening. Besides – gives me another reason to be kind to my ever-complaining-toe-that-did-not-like-a-stone-I-stepped-on-today-owee-swelled-again.
Once again, the second paragraph of today’s Ration spoke right at me. ‘Sometimes He is helping a poor lame man to climb a steep grade’. God winked. I smiled. He is always there. Stepping on a tiny stone with a broken toe, interviewing for a job, celebrating a 10th anniversary, attending a wild dancing concert in a big city, getting surgery, arriving at a chemo center ,casting a vote in a small booth, sitting on a bed laughing with children.
He’s in all these places and more. We just have to open our heart and see Him in it all.
1942 Daily Rations: ” ‘Was not our house burning within us, while he spake to us in the way?’~Luke 24:32
“Many strange and interesting characters are met on my road of life, but above all other figures, overshadowing them as the mountain overshadows the hill, is the figure of Jesus. This humble Carpenter of Nazareth is on my road each day. No matter how rough or steep the way or how hard the going, looking up I always see him there.
“Sometimes he is helping a poor lame man to climb a steep grade. Again he s whispering words of encouragement to a weak and weary traveler who has collapsed beside the path. I have seen unscrupulous fellows who like vultures were seeking to rob and exploit the unprotected traveler. And as I see him, my soul burns within me, and like the disciples of old, I am renewed in heart and mind. Today I must see him again!
” ‘Seeing it is God, that said, Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’~II Cor 4:6
“Read: Luke 24:28-35
“Prayer: Almighty God, we would commit all our way into thy keeping. Help us to see Jesus as he is and, seeing him, to yield our lives unreservedly to his care. As we journey with him today may evil and unworthy thoughts be kept from us. In Christ’ name. Amen.”