Monthly Archives: July 2017

THE BLESSING CUP

“I will give you the treasures of darkness…”

The first time I read this verse was in college. Like God’s first people, I was roaming a desert. A hot, dirty, messy and full of dangerous serpents desert. Hissing. Snapping at my heels. Catching my eye with all their flashiness serpents. Drawing me deeper and deeper into the wilderness.

“…riches stored in secret places,…”

Perhaps it was the prayers of my parents – perhaps it was because a job as a church soloist kept my eyes and ears opened – – perhaps I was just lucky I wasn’t completely pig-headed – – – or –
– – perhaps it happens to all desert wanders – – – – that there are always moments when water bubbles up, manna drops from the sky into a blessing cup and a voice calls out. “Here I AM! Here I Am!”~Is 65:1

“…so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”~Is 45:3

I found a blessing cup today when I went to Goodwill. I immediately reached out to touch it. It was a 1976 copy of “The Living Bible”. The soft green, leather was the same as the one that traveled with me when I wandered my own personal desert in the early 70’s. It had been a gift from a friend who had been lost in that desert with me. Over the years, it somehow disappeared from my bed-stand.

The blessing cup of my past had re-appeared. God never forgets His promise no matter how minimal or how large. Smiling, I needed this reminder today. I also wasn’t surprised when it kept popping up in my devotions and daily wanderings for the rest of my day.

His WORD is full of stories that remind us of this. One of my favorite “His-stories” is that of Zacharias and Elizabeth. You probably know the story – faithful, loving, Godly couple who never lost faith even though they had never had their dearest prayer answered – – to have a child.

Here’s the Jewish wisdom behind story. Zacharias is actually Zicharvah in Hebrew. His name means, “God Remembers”. Likewise, Elizabeth is Elishevah. Her name means “Oath of God”. When they married and became united as one, their names gave a message, “God remembers oaths of God”. Better yet, when Elizabeth gave birth, they named him, John or Yochanan, which means, “Grace of God”.

The blessing cup is full tonight. The daily water turned to rich, sweet wine. Drinking it in, I close my eyes and seek His presence. God remembers His promises and brings grace to the world.

It is good to find treasures in darkness – riches stored in secret places – because it is then we find the blessing cup. Blessing cups that are always waiting to be found even in a desert filled with serpents. [google images]Patricia Polacco Blessing Cup

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MOUNTAIN OF ATTITUDE

Like usual, many thoughts have flitted through my head over the last few hours. The living stream of water has a tendency to do that to me. Posts on FB tend to do that as well. Conversations with friends and family rank right up there.  I think I see a patern emerging. Flittering thoughts are like butterflies – roaming from one flower – to a tree branch – to the dirt in front of me where I touch its black and blue wing with wonder.

One of those thoughts stuck with me all day. It was an image more than a thought of words. The image of the three crosses on a hill. The crowd thinning out as the sky darkened. Weeping, huddling stragglers all that remain. A thief on one side. A murder on the other. A man with a crown of thorns in the middle.

I’m not sure why this image has been in my head all day. The clarity of it – the starkness – the hauntingly, lonely sound of weeping. I wonder again. Would I have wandered away with the masses? Disappointed that the One in the middle did not provide more of a show like He had just a few days ago when He came to Jerusalem? Would I have laughed and derided Him like my contemporaries? Would I have laughed and cast lots for his meager, bloodied mantle? Would I have fallen to my knees like His mother in pain and sorrow?

At different points in my life, I could have answered any of those questions with a resounding, affirmative answer. Denied. Ridiculed. Hated. Loved. Wept.

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the cause of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you whenever they revile you and persecute you and they say every evil word against you for My sake, in falsehood. Then rejoice and triumph, because your reward is great in Heaven, for just so they persecuted The Prophets who were before you.”~Matt 5:10-12 [ABPE]

He knew. Even as He spoke the words to the crowd, He knew. He outlined the whole thing in His Beatitudes. Faith is a mountain of attitude. Blessed are those who figure it out for they become HUMBLE at the bottom of the mountain of faith. Surrender. Face the ugliness of personal sins. Crawl on hands and knees to the base of the mountain ahead humble. It is then I see Him. The Man in the middle walks down the mountain and reaches out His callused hand that has a name carved in its palm.

Mine. My name. My sins.

MOURN-ing, crying, remembering, He comforts and leads my faltering steps up the mountain. MEEK-ly, I follow. Stumbling here or there, but the earth feels more sturdy under my feet. Wishing I knew the way. Wishing I had a map. Instead, I trust this Shepherd who walks where mountain goats fear to tread.His RIGHTEOUSNESS becomes my constant companion, and contentment fills my soul.

Looking down the other side of the mountain, I still wish I had a map. The first few steps are more confident. MERCY seems an easier step. Contented, full, I view the step where He stands.  It looks easy, but praying for enemies and old hurts are never easy in reality. The deceptive step shows me how hard MERCY remains for me.  His hand reaches again, and I feel the MERCY in His touch – see it in His eyes.  Forgiven, I step down.

Aching. Weary. But strangely – eager.  Eager to see God.  Eager to be His child once more. I can see the places where the stone has been cut just large enough to hold my feet. PURE IN HEART and PEACEMAKER footholds waiting. Yet, the Shepherd has given me some practice at both of them, so I have a little more confidence. I’m just a little leary of that last attitude, and yet – even so – I know the Shepherd will guide me forward and through it as well – – – in His timing with His grace.

Climbing a mountain is formidable without a guide. Scraped knees. Calloused hands. Sliding back down when a foot slips or a hand-hold breaks way. My Shepherd guides me through the hardest places as I climb down the other side. The difference is the faith that cushions every step I take. The peace that passeth all understanding. The freedom to choose purity of heart. The absolute freedom of freedom of Love and Faith. The freedom to climb a mountain of attitude and smile even in my frailty. [google images]

BEATITUDE ATTITUDE

For most of my life, I have struggled with learning the Beatitudes. Seriously! As a 10 year old, I remember lying under the canopy of my dream bed, memorizing them for the first time. For some reason beyond my memory file folders, I had decided to add them to my nightly bedtime litany of prayers while Mom braided my hair.

Lord’s Prayer. 23 Third Psalm. Prayers for family. Now-I-lay-me down-to-sleep-amen-prayers.

I have memorized poems, multiple lines in multiple plays, songs, other Bible verses and quotes by the hundreds. But for whatever reason – the Beatitudes seem to have an attitude about sticking around and hanging out with me. They stick in my head for a mirco-second, only to evaporate as quickly as a shallow puddle on a hot, sunny sidewalk.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit…”

Believe me, I have felt “poor in spirit” when it comes to these 8 verses. What was it? Was it me? Was there a message buried in this? When I first retired to NC, I thought, “Okay, I’ve got time to do this now.” I wrote them – memorized them – pooofffff!!! It was so frustrating. I needed to figure this out, and I needed help.

“…for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”~Matt 5:3

Often answer-to-prayer-blessings have a way or manner of showing up when you least expect them. Earlier this summer, when a local minister began a series on the Beatitudes in his weekly newspaper column, I thought, “Cool. 8 Beatitudes – 8 weeks study. This time, I can get a handle on them.”

“Blessed are the humble, the broken. the servant, the lost…”Rev. Stephen Crotts.

Green pen.

Note cards.

And – after prayers have been said, I repeat them all and hop into bed.

Once again, I think I have them in my head. It is too soon to tell if they will stick around for the long run or pull another attitude and head for the hills. However, I think Our Father is not leaving anything to chance this time. After all when He answers faith prayers, He usually blesses them beyond compare. With that in mind, guess what my church minister is doing his new series on? You got it – “The Attitude of Blessing”.

Okay then – – –

Cool.

8 Beatitudes – 8 weeks.

Green pen in hand.

Note cards.

And – after prayers have been said, I repeat them all and hop into bed.

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.  [google image]

beatitudes

42 SEGMENTS

Most mornings find me walking with the dogs and Hubby busy doing something important – like earning money for us to spend on the fixer-upper or bartering for mushrooms from a local grower in our neighborhood. Each of us on our own separate journey and yet – a joint journey as well.

“I remember how eager you were to please Me
as a young bride long ago,
how you loved Me and followed Me
even through the barren wilderness.
In those days Israel was holy to the LORD,
the first of His children.”~Jer 2:2-3

Jewish traditions have the people studying the Torah and holy books every week of the year. They do it in order; each week dedicated to teaching and reminding them of the depths of the journeys – massei – that they have taken together as a people both in the past to the present day. The studies are taught the same week year after year.

The interesting thing for me is that rabbinical wisdom says these 40 years are the blueprint of each individual’s spiritual journey as well. Our own personal journey in the desert – the dry place far from the Source of Life. The blistering of feet on hot sand of choices. The parched throat from lack of not drinking from the streams of living water. A place where the physical challenges the spiritual – pushing the individual/tribe forward to fall – to find its knees of – teshuva/repentance – to stand once more in the shadow of the cross.

Jewish wisdom says that there are 42 segments of the tribal desert journey – good and bad – as there are 42 segments in our personal desert journey – good and bad – but all leading to a reunification between the Father and His prodigal children.

“But he who looks into the perfect Torah of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” ~Jm1:25

I really need to study this desert journey of the Jewish people instead of just giving it that cursory nod that I have in the past. Looking at the different segments of their journey and comparing it to my own faltering – stopping dead in the desert – throwing down the tablets of law – finding the stream of living water – energized enough to start the journey once more.

Most of the time when I am walking the dogs, I keep my eyes focused on the next hill, cars that are coming a little too fast down the our road, or how close I am to that promise land in the middle where I can sit on the swing on our neighbors’ porch and see the neighborhood world from a different vantage point.

Jewish wisdom also says that as the journey progresses, the less we see overt miracles. Hence the name – a journey by faith not by sight. As long as I don’t lose faith in that Land of Milk and Home/the Promised Land or the One who is preparing my room, I know that no matter how challenging or scary the journey is – how much my knees or feet hurt – how thick the dust storm is that clouds my sight, I will make it. The Living Waters supply the Word that keeps me from thirsting for I know ‘…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Rm 8:28

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me”~Jn 14:1

[google images]

KHANAN-YAH

I am – officially – my mom.
 
When I was little, all the drapes in the house would be pulled closed on freezing, snow-capped or sizzling, burn-the-feet-on-the-stone-tarred-road kind of days. I swore that would never happen at my house. In fact – who wants drapes at all? Who wants a darkened house when trees, the richness of the sky and flowers and critters are so much better?
 
[sigh. double sigh]
 
I do.
 
I’ve found that not only does it save me money on that dreadfully high end-of-the-month-bill, but it sucks me right back to being 7 or 9 or 15 or 18 or 66 – curled up in a scratchy, over-stuffed chair, reading a library book, Chico in my lap, and the soft hum of the fan lulling me deeper into whatever imaginary world caught my attention that day.
 
“The Grace of God touches our lives, that removes our blindness, and allows us to see.”~Rabbi Cahn, p195, Mysteries
 
Rabbi Cahn re-tells the story of Saul of Tarsus being blinded as he traveled to Damascus to continue his persecution of those who continued to follow Yeshua. I love reading Cahn’s stories of the New Testament because he always brings forward the Jewish wisdom that most of us have never heard – – – like a scraper that has come through, widened, smoothed and cleared the path I have been traveling for years.  My inner child takes over and makes me just want to skip down the path because I know home is just around the corner.
 
“Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “~Acts 9:10
 
Actually – Ananias is the accepted English translation of the Hebrew name Khanan-Yah. How many times have I read this story? Acted it out in Bible school? Sang it in song? Yet – I didn’t know the story behind the story. After all – how important is the name of the man that Saul saw after being blinded by the Glory of God? I didn’t know that Khanan-Yah in Hebrew means “Grace of God. Thus, the man who touched Saul 3 days later became the first person Saul saw was – – – wait for it – – – was named “Grace of God”.
 
Thus – Saul became new by the “Grace of God” in more ways than one.
 
Now really – how essential is that to the story? How powerful is this loving Father who never misses the smallest detail as He continually reaches out to us in every story recorded in His book? Again, I ponder those small details that rush at me and in wonder my breath catches deep in my soul.
 
Home – where there are no drapes on the windows.
 
“Then Khanan-Yah went to the house to him and laid a hand upon him and said to him, “Shaul, my brother, our Lord Yeshua who appeared to you on the road, when you came, has sent me so that your eyes would be opened and you would be filled with The Spirit of Holiness.”~Acts 9:17-18 Aramaic Bible in Plain English.
 
As we age, we realize that parents are much smarter than we originally gave them credit for. Tonight, the house is quiet. Hubby is riding the 4 wheeler. The TV satellite is quiet due to a nearby storm. The fan is humming, and I’m curled up in my recliner, kitty stretched out by my side, writing words on a computer, and drapes on the windows.
 
[sigh. double sigh]
 
I still prefer not to have drapes anywhere in my house, and as soon as this hot weather passes, they will probably come down and be stuffed in the linen closet until they are needed again. This summer has been full of surprises that reminded me of my parents. The century plant my mom gave me in college bloomed for the first time – ever. We hung a swing just like the one we used to have in our yard when I was a kid. We hung drapes to cover our windows.
 

Homes are a reflection of us. Our pasts. Our needs. Our hopes. Our dreams.  Our future. And – I guess – until Yeshua Christus comes again, I will need drapes occasionally, need to enjoy the darkened quiet while a fan softly hums, need to skip down a path – a path towards home that has been prepared just for me. But sometimes – I sure wish I could skip a little faster.

 

HIS TRUTH IS MARCHING ON…

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…”
 
I often wake up with songs in singing in my head – sometimes two at the same time – and don’t even ask me how that is possible because I have no idea. I just hear them weaving together as if they were always meant to do that. Then I spend the day with two songs singing on and off in my head.
 
Glory, glory, Hallelujah…”
 
When I was little, “Battle Hymn” was a big part of my life. We sang it in school, church and most every year my dad directed the local legion show. Patriotic songs were always that grand finale that brought down the house. Between “God Bless America” and “Battle Hymn” that post WWII crowd was on its feet at the end of every show and this Daddy’s Girl logged it all in her heart.
 
Julia Ward Howe was always a familiar name, but like most things you learn in the early years of life, it faded. So tonight I got busy and looker her up. Apparently,- like me – she heard things such as lyrics and poems in her head at night as well. One night in 1861, she woke up and wrote the lyrics that became “Battle Hymn”.
 
“Glory, glory, Hallelujah…”
 
Like many of us, she had problems to overcome – a motherless childhood, dreams not fulfilled the way she thought they should be, decisions she regretted, living in a country steeply divided, a war-torn nation. By 1862, “Battle Hymn” was published in the Atlantic Monthly and the country had found a rallying point.
 
Anyway – this morning as I was beginning that slow process of trying to convince my eyes to open, the last verse of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was singing loudly in my head. I don’t know if the whole song was sung before I woke up or whether it was just the last verse that serenaded me awake. But there you go.
 
“His Truth is marching on…”
 
There is something powerful in those words that she wrote in the middle of the night. Something that transcends our finite time lines. Something that circles and calls to me every time I sing it or hear it. Something that speaks just as the Father speaks. Something that speaks to a “Daddy’s Girl”.
 
He speaks creatively.
He speaks with love.
He speaks through a man who broke His gift of tablets on this date thousands of years before (17th of Tamuz).
He speaks even though the temple destructions.
He speaks through His Son who was born across the sea…
 
“In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
as He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
while God is marching on.”
 
“His Truth is marching on….”
 

“HERE I AM!”

“I live. I write. I watch old movies. I read. I watch the sunset. I watch the moon rise.”
― W.P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe
 
In the heat of a lazy, humid summer day, the above quote strikes a note. Hubby was up early working on the pergola. I got up (somewhat later) walked the dogs, did my God challenge thingy,. and, amid household chores, devotions, writing and doing a zillion and one laundry loads (working in heat and humidity is not conducive to wearing the same clothes for a whole day), we watched a couple of our favorite movies – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Field of Dreams (which is based on the book Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella ).
 
We’ve seen each several times. We know the plots. We know the dialogue (mostly). We know where to wait for the laugh to bubble up inside of us. We still get the goosebumps when Ray turns to see his dad for the first time on the baseball field. We feel tears swimming up to back of our eyes when Oscar turns the swing over and discovers the note his dad left for him to find before he died during 9-11.
 
No surprises – just an enjoyable way to pass some time.
 
The same can’t be said for reading the WORD. I have read chapters and stories and verses many times over, but when the Holy Spirit is at work, verses jump off the page and knock my logical brain for a loop. Verses that I have read more times than I can count, brushed over with a yawn, skipped with a glance – “suddenly” rock my world sideways with wisdom that I had no idea was waiting for me to find.
 
“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.
I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’
to a nation that did not call on my name.”~Is 65:1
 
How can I not respond to a Father’s heartbroken cry, “Here I AM! Here I AM!”?
 
As if I could hear His voice ringing as I read this verse over and over. I read it in several versions. I copied it for my war room door. The wondering continues even now as my eyes grow heavy and yawns more frequent. Could Our Father be any clearer of how hard He has tried to catch our attention?
 
This is not an easy chapter to read in its entirety. The middle has the reader squirming in their seat because dealing with a righteous Father as disobedient children who continually rebel and reject.is not really one of those things any one looks forward to encountering. Yet – just as the Father in the story of the Prodigal, this chapter ends it with His eternal promise that is repeated over and over in both the Old and New Testament.
 
“Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth,
and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!
And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.
Her people will be a source of joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and delight in my people.
And the sound of weeping and crying
will be heard in it no more.”~Is 65:17-19
 
You may have noticed that the past few days, I have been ending every post on FB with the hastag: “Praying for Charlie Gard”. Charlie is an infant in England who has a serious disease. His parents have raised money to bring him here where several hospitals and doctors have offered to help treat him. Treatments that have helped other children with the same disease. Instead, England is refusing to allow him to leave the hospital and want to let him “die with dignity”. Please pray for Charlie and his parents. Please pray for the wisdom of righteousness to prevail. Please pray. to hear His voice crying out always, “Here I AM!” Here I AM!”
 
 

SCRAMBLED EGGS

I am SOOOOO TIRED, and I really need a revival of energy tonight so I can unscramble all these different messy eggs of thought into something edible.

“My child, listen to me and do as I say,
and you will have a long, good life.
I will teach you wisdom’s ways
and lead you in straight paths.
When you walk, you won’t be held back;
when you run, you won’t stumble.”~Prov 4:10-12

Egg #1: When you are feeling better after feeling crummy – if you are like me – you tend to overdue it. Walk the dogs. Mow the lawn on of the hottest days of the year. Take a long nap. Alright – so that last one didn’t really take a lot of energy, but it did remind me that I need to remember “wisdom’s ways” so I don’t stumble and fall when I overdo it.

Right now, our Koay is curled under my feet, our Ryndi is in front of the fan (which is where she lays pretty much all day long on hot days) and tiny Shadow is curled between me and the side of the chair. Eyes are heavy, thoughts are like scrambled eggs, but it is a good tired since I got devotions done and spent time in my private place of prayer.

Egg #2: I’ve been reading Rabbi Cahn’s devotional book that confounds me almost everyday with Jewish wisdom and how the prophecies of the Messiah and all the stories of the Old Testament confirm and enhance Christus Yeshua in the New Testament. I’m still turning today’s thoughts round and round – examining them from all angles and wondering some more on how perfectly they point to the perfect path of the Messiah’s journey. and His journey to return.

Journeys never go smoothly in my life. That is probably true for most of us. However as long as they essentially get me where I want to go, I’m okay with a few crazy detours that God or my stupidity might throw into the path along the way. I have a feeling the Founders of our country might have agreed.

Egg #3: On this day in HIStory, a year prior to the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress issued another declaration to King George on why they would be carrying arms in the future. Like many other baby steps the Founders took, they mentioned the foundation upon which they rested their arguments from the beginning sentence where they called Him the “divine Author” to its final conclusion..

“With a humble confidence in the mercies of the Supreme and impartial God and ruler of the universe, we most devoutly implore His divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, and to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.”~Jefferson/Dickinson

I guess since I’m yawning and kitten is stretching her claws into my thigh, I need to whisk these somewhat scrambled eggs of thought into a nifty conclusion.

I wish I had one.

Instead, I think I will finish with this – while governments and laws are necessary in this crazy world that has been colored by our sins, it is good to remember that Grace and Truth take those colors and wash them clean – which of course – makes journeys so much smoother and scrambled eggs much easier to swallow..

“For The Law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Yeshua The Messiah”~Jn 1:17 [google images]

 

NUDGES

Journeys are definitely interesting – especially when they are layer upon layer of the same theme. Since retirement, I’ve been on a crazy journey of revival. Revival of obedience. Revival of faith. Revival of love. Revival of body.. Come to think of it – it actually started before I retired and suddenly – today when I was writing a FB response to a couple of people about “revival”- it finally fell out of limbo and aligned itself with one of those moments that almost seem like it was highlighted in a blinding white..

God has been answering my prayer – – – and in His usual form – – – not at all in the way I imagined.

“For high have the heavens been above the earth, So high have been My ways above your ways, And My thoughts above your thoughts.”~Is 55:9

Before I retired, I kept getting these nudges to pray for revival in our country – in our world – in ourselves. When God nudges sometimes, they ain’t so gentle. His nudges can appear as a soft blink in the cosmos of the brain where everything snaps into place and . other times – – – more like sliding full speed into a snowman that has become a solid block of ice.

The great news is – He is always there to pick me up when I bounce off that sled, face first into the snow.. I may have a few dents in my head, a broken nose, and a lapse in linear time, BUT He’s there. Dusting me off. Wiping off the blood. Carrying me until I can stand. Answering prayers.

God nudges are just powerful things that are meant to move us forward in our faith journeys. Revivals are the same thing. A powerful force meant to move us forward in our faith journey.

“He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem.”~Ez 9:9

On July 2, 1776, the thirteen colonies voted to declare independence. The debates were over. The wrangling of aligning all pro’s and con’s to sway the pendulum was pushed to the back of the tables. Voices fell silent. A silence weighing the change of balance in the world as they knew it. A revival of of a dream that started in a Garden.

Document signed. Copies to be made and posted. John Hancock broke the silence by reminding them all the price on their heads had doubled.

Samuel Adams reminded them about the foundation upon which they cast their vote: “We have this day restored the Sovereign, to Whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and …from the rising to the setting sun, may His Kingdom come!”

Restored sounds an awful lot like revival.

Journeys tend begin with an idea, a thought, a nudge. It all depends on whether we follow the nudge or ignore it. I’m thankful that our Founding Fathers didn’t ignore the nudges despite of what their logic told them would happen. Since I don’t think I am anywhere close to being as brave as our Founding Fathers were, I’m thankful that I had no idea of how God would answer my prayers for “Revival” because my logic never saw all these answers to prayer. But now that I’m here – emerging out of the density of my own logic – I am continuing to pray in the name of Yeshua Christus for revival – for our country – for our world – for ourselves.

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”~Jn 14:11-14 [google images]

JULY 4, 2017

“Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…”

“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence…”

Strong, powerful words. Words debated – crafted into sentences – layered into a one page document. A document that changed the world. A document that spoke to what was and what was to come. A document that speaks. If – – – we remember to listen.

I tend to think of my big choc labs as my protectors – and, in truth, I think they would be if push came to shove in a tough situation. However, when the 4th of July boomers started in our quirky little neighborhood a couple of nights back, they practically flew into my lap that was not nearly big enough – believe it or not – for the both of them.

After several calming words and hugs, they shook themselves a little and sat down. Ears back – eyes trained on the windows – but they remembered the words. The tone of the words. And – it allowed me a chance to sneak a peek out the windows.

While the boomers are always a nice treat, they aren’t my favorite part of the 4th of July. Even the family gatherings, picnics and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with canons doesn’t make the cut. My favorite part of the 4th of July is thinking about the Words that started it all.The WORD that inspired those men and women in 1776. The WORD that vibrates under our feet. The WORD that is the rocky foundation supporting our steps.

50 years back, America was struggling in a different way. I was a high school sophomore. My parents were worried. People debated. The world was starting to slide into the divide again. A couple years later when I was in college and riots closed campuses, the world was divided a little more. A popular music group put these words to music, and I hung them in my basement room.

Words that brought a bridge of peace over troubled waters.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”

Today, Littlest found an article that revealed some background about the first printed copies of the Declaration of Independence. I had always wondered about the name printed at the bottom of the printed document (not the hand-written copies), but had never really searched it out. (Shame on me not being a thorough teacher) It was owned and operated by a woman. Mary Katherine Goodard. She lived powerful words. She wrote powerful words.

Words are the foundation of today”s celebration. Words crafted into sentences. Words layered into a document. Words that still can change the world. Words laid upon the foundation of the WORD in which they put their trust.

The WORD remains the foundation of this country – of this world – of all creation. We just have to remember: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”