Tag Archives: 1 Thessalonians

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #17

It is the strange thoughts that amble through my day that often give me pause and bring a whole new perspective to be thankful.

A random pop-up of a FB live caught my eye. I tuned in expecting to just stay a couple minutes and ended up enjoying a Friday night hour long “tea” of song and Gratitude Attitude wisdom that is still settling in my soul.

Being thankful in all things. All things. At all times. Even when everything has gone wrong from the get-go.

“The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.”~Micah 2:13

Out and about today. Running errands. Talking to people. Letting the One who breaks open the way before me actually break open the way. Opening spiritual eyes.

Centering on the One who breaks open the way – His way. The LORD. Yeshua.  The WORD – who took on a human name for us. A name in Hebrew that means: “GOD is Salvation”.

A sunny day to sit on the patio. Watch the dogs roll in the dirt and a kitten pounce on a leaf. Listen to an old carol surface on the breeze as I finished hanging lights outside. Words that had puzzled me as a child but now strikes me with so much love.

“Myrrh is mine: it’s bitter perfume
Breaths a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.”

“Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Sounds through the earth and skies.”

Gratitude. Attitude.

Still more to do tomorrow. More time to fall and figure out how to stand back up. Being thankful in all things at all times in all ways. Even when the brokenness is more than I think I can bear. That’s where this month has led me. A Gratitude Attitude that I don’t want to lose in the busyness of life.

“Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Yeshua The Messiah among you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not reject prophecy. Examine everything and hold what is excellent. Flee from every evil matter. But The God of peace shall make all of you perfectly holy and shall keep your whole spirit, soul and body without fault for the arrival of Our Lord Yeshua The Messiah. Faithful is he who has called you; it is he who shall perform it.”~1 Thes 5:17-2420160904_205845

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GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #11

I am a former reading teacher, and STILL a lot of time I don’t read the small print placed before me. Ever anxious to get on to the “main” content, I miss some of the truly important stuff.

Having read all 150 Psalms over and over – in liturgy – in song – in devotion, I had no idea that Psalms 120-134 were songs that were used as Jews traveled to the temple festivals in Jerusalem. Of course, I had to go to the Bible and look. Sure enough, under the title Psalm 120 was some tiny print, “Song of Ascent”. Of course, even if I read it at one point or another, I wouldn’t have had a clue of what it meant.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”~Ps 121:1-2

My search continued. I pulled out the well-used, marked-up study Bible that has been in my life for about 8 years now. It has notes on the side of the pages which have added much to my seeking over the years. The notes were well documented about the main ideas and intent of each verse, but I couldn’t find anything that talked about them being used by the Jewish people as they traveled or even – what ascent meant. So next step – what else? On-line Bible, of course.

I use various sites, but I tend to like Bible Hub. They have the Aramaic in Plain English of the New Testament which I love. I understand why the New Testament was written in Greek, but since most of the disciples spoke Aramaic and this version comes from an early source, I like comparing the two. That being said, Bible Hub’s “New Living Translation” had the words I was seeking in small print right under the title, ‘A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.’

“The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.”~Ps 121:5-6

Okay – so far so good, but that didn’t really give me a lot of answers. As always I wanted more. I wanted the Jewish perspective. If there is one thing that I have learned over the past few years, it is that our Christian traditions have robbed us of our roots in the first covenant. The very covenanted roots that Yeshua treasured in His life here on earth.

So the thing is – the Jewish tradition says that there are many interpretations about these “Psalms of Ascents”. One belief is that it was used by pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem or out of Babylon or even one that had to do with the rising of water under King David’s temple.

I guess all in all, one of my devotions today was successful. It got me digging deeper into the WORD itself. And Our Father was faithful as always. When you hunger and thirst after righteousness, you do get filled or as it was said in the Greek, Plero’o – the cup is filled (which by the way – is a word I stumbled over in another devotion). Gotta love how God works all things to His purposes, don’t you?

“But The God of peace shall make all of you perfectly holy and shall keep your whole spirit, soul and body without fault for the arrival of Our Lord Yeshua The Messiah. Faithful is he who has called you; it is he who shall perform it.”~1 Thes 5:23-24Forgiven

(Greg Olsen artwork/google image]

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #3

This day just did not go anything like I wanted it to go. Went here – went there – turned around and went in circles round and round and round. I’ve already decided that tomorrow I am just staying home. Napping is on the agenda. Watching Hallmark movies until my eyes cross. Holding Koay so she won’t run. Curling into myself and just holding on to this little bit of heaven on earth and above all – being thankful for swings.

“Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Yeshua The Messiah among you.”~1 Thes 5:18

Growing older has its advantages. Gathered wisdom starts to assert itself, and you realize that ranting and raving over anything really isn’t beneficial to anyone – especially yourself. So late this afternoon when I got home from this absurdly frustrating day, I let our gimpy Koay, her bouncing sister Ryndi, and playful urchin kitty, Shadow accompany me outside while I sat on our swing.

Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.

Something about a swing rocks my world. Seriously – no pun intended. Maybe it is the return to the rhythm of my mother holding me long ago – or the way I rocked my own children. Swaying with them in my arms while I talked with friends. The swings on a playground or in a park. The WWII Marine hammock under my Thinking Tree. The rope swing my daddy hung in the walnut tree in our front yard. Whatever the physical reference, it is the spiritual “rock” to which I cling.

“And the peace of The Messiah will govern your hearts, to which you are called in one body; and give thanks to The Messiah.”~Col 3:15

Close my eyes. Breathe in the quiet of the neighborhood. Until the music returns within me, and I began to sing. The old hymns surface “Come Ye Thankful People, Come” “Holy, Holy, Holy”, “Jesus Loves the Little Children”.

Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.

Thankful today for all the swings in my life – my little bit of heaven on earth.

Because of Christmas #12: Stuff

I keep promising myself that I will get rid of more stuff. Then I pick it up to put it in the give away/sell it pile, and I think of all the times I have worn it – or the sentiments attached to it – or uses for it – or future uses for it. And just like that – I cave. Who does that? Who knew you could have way too much stuff after you have downsized 3 times – – – but there you go. ME!

Maybe it IS me. Maybe it’s not so much the “stuff” – but me. There’s a part of me that loves stuff and loves to buy stuff – especially Christmas stuff. As I walk around our quirky home tonight, I look at our little trees spread around the house. There are 3, and I love the simplicity of how they look at this minute. Copper wire tiny lights. A lit snowman that was my nightlight when I was a child. An angel or two. Three totally different creches.

But wait – there’s more. The Christmas houses have found their home in the kitchen. There is a couple pine garlands that still are waiting in the boxes that I want to hang. But after that??? I may just call it good and stuff the “stuff”.

“God became one of us so we could become one with Him.”~Max Lucado (p135)

God didn’t do “stuff” when He sent his son to earth. I think He probably went a step below being a minimalist when it came to His son’s birth. A stable? If I was quoting my Grands, I would add the word, “Seriously?” (Lately, they attach that word to many sentences.)

God choose not to do the “stuff”. He wanted it to be about His son becoming one with us. Maybe that is where I am at this year. I, too, want it to be about His son. Yet a part of me knows that as we begin to celebrate this first Advent of Christ, it is exciting to know we are living in the times of the Second Advent of Christ. And I just have this feeling that this time, God is going to do “STUFF”!`

Hmmm….there you go…a reason to keep doing “stuff”. Join with me and sing, “Deck the halls with boughs of holly…”

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.”~1 Thes 4:16 [google images]

Bedtime

11540891_1085903514756585_6115615307021403675_nIt has – finally – been a rainy day in NC. House opened for most of the day allowed the fresh smells of life to cleanse our house once more. I love when the windows are open. Dogs spy deer in the neighbor’s yard. A squirrel hunts for some lost treasure in the yard. The neighbor’s motor cycle revs up for a quick trip to someplace. And finally, when the heat of the day stalls the breezes and combines with the dampness of the rain to create humidity, I reluctantly close the windows and settle in for the night.

me in prayerWhen I was a child, this generally meant a book or two being read to me by mom or dad. A quick kiss from dad and a trip upstairs with mom eventually coming up to braid my hair and listen to prayers. A special time. A time that made me cry silently in my pillow when I realized that those times were coming to a close as I drifted into the busy, late evenings of high school. Yet – even so – sometimes – I was able to curl into the one side of the scratchy pink couch after a busy day of being an oh-so-grown-up teen, and dad would rub my feet while he read or watched TV as mom sang, finishing up whatever chore needed done on her agenda. Evenually, my eyes would close until Dad’s kiss would wake me to send me off to bed.

My prayers never changed. In 6th grade, I made an cardboard trifold in vacation Bible school. A picture of Jesus in the garden and a couple of Bible verses on either side of it sat by the side of my bed with my Bible…an altar of sorts. It was there until I got married. I thought I knew a lot of the Bible back then. I thought I was pretty spiritually smart. Always said the LORD’s prayer, my “God-blesses”, the 23rd Psalm, added the beatitudes towards the end of high school and prayed for my daddy to live forever (he’d had two heart attacks by the time I was 16).

It was a good way to grow up. It is a habit that I have never really stopped – even when I strayed about as far from Our Father and His will for my life as I could possibly get. These days, a prayer before bed-time has now expanded to multiple prayers throughout the day, and I wonder….how I ever thought one prayer a day was enough. Praising God pops up when the Grands curl into my lap to read Highlights for Children – or when when I am walking through our small neighborhood – or when I walk outside and feel the rain splatter on my up-turned face – or when a friend calls to say they are hurting because cancer has struck and there is no one to hold their hand as they wait for the doctor – or….

You get the idea. This verse has been nipping at my heels all day today. It reminds me why I was born in times such as these. Pray, Thanks. Praise. It is the Will of God made known among men for times such as these….for all times….for eternity.

“Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Yeshua The Messiah among you.” 1 Thes 5:17-18

[art by Akiane and Art-Soul Works]