Tag Archives: 1 Samuel

2020 VISION: Short, Sweet #8

I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer today.  After all, that is what these next few days leading up to Yom Kippur are all about. Introspection, seeking, and repentance. 

“I have poured out my soul before the LORD…all this time I have been praying out of the depth of my anguish and grief.” 1 Sam 1:15b-16

Hannah’s first prayer seems to be my prayer so often lately. I wonder what My Father thinks of me sometimes, when my tears drown out my voice, and anger blots out coherent thought. And yet…and yet –  –  – I know He hears and His compassion never fails.

S    F   T

I saw this in a movie a few years ago, and it pretty much describes my prayer journey of the past couple years.  

S – eek Him

F – eel His presence

T – rust Him

  High Holy Days 2020 is touching me in different ways this year.  Prayer is primary, but more encompassing than ever before. Prayers not just for me and mine, but circling for our country as well.  Prayers circling for all the birth pangs that we have seen this year – pestilence, droughts, wildfires, anger, earthquakes, hurricanes/fire tornadoes, infestations, lawlessness, rebellion (personal and societal)….. 

The list seems endless, but as always, I continue to…S F L. And like Hannah, I know He hears and covers me as He does the world and this country with His compassion, love and grace.

“My heart rejoices in the LORD in whom my strength is exalted. My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, for I rejoice in Your salvation.” 1 Sam 2:2

The Prayer marches in Washington DC are only 7 days away. The Vine and the Branch together in prayer. A national day, during the Jewish High Holy Days, to find our knees, repent as a people and S F L as a people.  If you can’t be there, there are multiple ways to join together digitally. If you don’t want to watch, pray. After all, we already have his promise…  

“If I close the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send a plague among My people, and if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chron 7:13-14

RIGHTEOUS ANGER

Wrestling with GOD is not easy – – – especially when you don’t know you are wrestling with Him. I had no clue – no comparison on which to logically understand any of what was going on inside of me. The restlessness. The questioning. The internal tsunami that seemed to continually wash over me without end. I only knew that today as I broke the communion wafer and drank the “wine” – wisdom managed to bridge all the barriers I had erected and showed me the face of it all.
 
I was angry. Not angry at life or the people or the circumstances which presently surround me. But angry all the same. Angry with my Father. Angry with my GOD. Angry about the fiery lesson that seemed to be burning all around me.  I don’t like fiery furnaces at all.
Why me?
Why now?
What are YOU thinking?
What possible glimmer of goodness can come out of this bog?
You know I HATE this, right?!?!
 
“There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”~1 Sam 2:2
 
It is a hard thing when you realize you have been wrestling the One who loves you best. The One whom you love best. The One who is beyond knowing and yet known. The One who is I AM. The One who is Abba Father.
 
Hannah wrestled with this same anger in the Bible. She wanted a child in the worst way. She prayed and prayed. Her husband tried to give her material things to make up for it. The priest accused her of being drunk with her sorrow. When in reality, Hannah was praying out her anger and sharing it with the only One who knew the depths of that anger and pain of the situation. The only One who could understand the depths of all her emotions. The One who would be the Rock beneath her feet until the wisdom of the time could bridge the anger barriers and restore her peace.
 
That was her wrestling.
 
That was when I AM met her. Lifted her out of the miry bog and put her feet upon Himself.
 
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.~Matt 7:13-14
 
Our Father is so good. Wisdom manages to break down the barriers eventually when Truth is spoken. A fire quenched. A deep breath drawn. A trail of tears dried.
 
The mind was – and is still – boggled with the illuminating presence of peace. And yet – as if to confirm that it is of Him – He sends at least two or three confirmations in quick succession to reassure my stumbling mind. A video devotional. A big brother’s phone call. Anger is okay. God understands it. Our Father reaches out to reassure in response. The Son smiles and holds the trembling hands. The Spirit nudges.
 
Righteous anger is something a Christ follower has trouble with in this life – – especially when one has spent a lifetime avoiding “anger” and “out-of-control” situations. However, righteous anger is the exact opposite – it is total control. It is that realistic,
“no-blinders-on” look at a situation and responding in the most simple, basic, organic way possible with the only One who knows every side, every word, every action, every thought, every motivation that led to this point in time. A totally honest – if angry – conversation with the Father who loves us best.
 
And that is what happened today.
 
I’m not sure if any of this makes sense. I’m not sure why I am sharing these thoughts – except – that inner nudge that says – “Share”. So here it is. The rather focused thoughts on the wisdom of my day. Just let it be known that wrestling with GOD is not my favorite thing in the world. The last couple of days have not been fun. Yet as I cuddle this new Wisdom Baby close tonight, and as my eyes grow heavier, I can feel two hands pulling a soft, pink blanket up around us both. (Why it is pink I have no idea – but pink it is.)
 
We are warm.
We are safe.
We are at peace.
And tonight, I realize in that hidden fount  of life deep within me
that I need –
I must rejoice in ALL things –
ALWAYS!
 
“Even before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Is 65:24 and “This third I will bring through the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.'”~Zech 13:9
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GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #10

Pictures of Marines are all over the place on social media. Just as they should be since it is the birthday of the Marines Corps. Tomorrow is Veterans Day, and I know, there will be tons more posts of service men – as it should be.

I am thankful that my dad was both. He wrote a postcard home as he traveled to Parris Island. He was 26 years old, and he sounds every inch of it in this one sentence: “I’m sitting in Union Station waiting on the train, I’m headed for Parris Island Marine Corps. I’m an honest to goodness Marine.”

“…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do

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not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”~Josh 1:9

He left behind a wife, a son, a dog, and a twinkle that would be born six years later. No easy communication devices. No cameras snapping a multitude of pictures. So there were letters……lots of letters. Mom and dad had a suitcase full. A suitcase that a youngster once opened and started reading.

I don’t think I sat down for a week.

Years later, Mom had me read a few of those letters to her when her body had started to break, and she developed Macular Degeneration. A few years after that, my brother and I decided that those treasured memories were theirs and not the world’s. I did keep a few of them though – especially the ones that had poetry my father wrote just for mom. Mom was a singer, so she would write song lyrics to him. She would tell him that all he had to do was listen, and he would hear her singing to him.

Pretty romantic stuff. No wonder the twinkle became a dream come true for them, and a pain-in-the-butt for her big brother.

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, Thou dost save me from violence. “I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; And I am saved from my enemies.”~2 Sam 22:2-4

A while back I spent 100 Days writing about the little devotion booklet called “100 Rations”. Dad carried it with him to China and back home. His pocket-sized New Testament still sits on the book shelf behind my desk. He taught me to sing the Marine hymn almost as soon as I could talk. And while I haven’t been able to do it for years beyond memory, once upon a time, I could stand from a cross legged sitting position without even having to think about it.

Veterans are a blessing in this country. Men and women who are willing to sacrifice their time and comforts to protect and serve the rest of us – even unto death. It reminds me that Yeshua did the same thing – only He did it for the whole world.

Gratitude is an attitude. Everyday I need to be thankful for what Veterans have done for me. Thankful for what Christ did for me. I can almost hear my father’s voice reading the last sentence on the postcard: “So here we go. I miss you very much with lots of love and kisses. Boyd”

Love and kisses to all the Veterans and Marines out there tonight. Sweet dreams and thank you for blessing this country – each and every one of you who are reading this and those who are reading over my shoulder from a heavenly perch.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”~Jn 15:13

25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – ROCK

I stubbed my toe today on a rock, but I smiled through my tears. You see, there is an upside to this tiny tidbit of information that nobody really needs to know or care anything about – it is December 10th, and – cuz I’m outside in my barefeet, I get to stub a toe. How cool is that?

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This has been a week for being outside and dreaming. Hubby and I are driving our eldest daughter crazy (once again) because we’ve just turned a 180 in our fast pace forward into our journey for a new home – well – maybe – kinda – please G-d hopefully – as we continue to seek that piece of rock we need to settle our butts for the next few years.

“There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any Rock like our G-d.”~1 Sam 2:2

5387712175_be36b0393fI’m calling it our 40 day journey into a rock based covenant so that I don’t have to do this again. I am not a mover. I love curling my toes into the dirt that holds my gardens. Nourishing my gardens with daily doses of love and song. Surrounding myself with touchstones of memories and dreaming of new memories waiting to be revealed.

“For I proclaim the name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God! “The ROCK! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A G-d of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.~Deut 32:3-4

So with a “smarting” toe and a few stumbling steps, we are walking forward or maybe slightly sideways; laughing at ourselves for once again complicating our lives, but knowing that is precisely why we joined our lives together in the first place. Idiots who like the “less traveled by road” deserve each other.

“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”~Rm 9:33

Fortunately, for humans such as we, Our Father always has a plan. 2000 years ago, He began planting a stone that would never roll away. A Rock planted so firmly that any who stand upon it “WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

In a tiny, dirty stable, after a long journey that ended on a dark and chilly night, the Rock of Righteousness planted a piece of Himself into a world that needed a more tangible Rock to stand upon. A Rock that continues to call to all who have ears to listen, saying, “Come, stand upon me and find peace to all of goodwill.”

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