Tag Archives: Acts

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.

 

PACZKIS

Ok – here it is – another “Fat Tuesday” – another Mardi Gras – another Shrove Tuesday – and I have yet to find Paczkis in NC. Oh – I could travel 50 miles and find some, but that isn’t really my idea of fun. Surely somewhere within a smaller circle of miles there must be a Polish baker who understands my pain. My former principal certainly doesn’t. She sent me a taunting text last night, and I cried myself to sleep…dreaming of those gut-busting, delicious doughnuts.

So instead – I went and picked up the Grandson, spread my metaphorical mantle over the both of us and rejoiced in his hugs and curious nature. (I’m not quite sure what I will do when he decides to be too big to hug on Grandma all the time. His sister is almost there and it is not easy on the Grandma – sigh)

I tend to think this was a much better way to spend “Fat Tuesday” since ingesting multiple varieties of ol’ Paczkis (can’t say that word anyway) would lead to me having to find a much larger mantle to cover the expanding gut. Soooo – as he curled into my lap (while eating mac ‘n cheese), we read a Pete the Cat book AND solved the major problem of all board games. We figured out that if one dice does not give you the number you want in a board game, there is another cube hidden deep in a drawer that may just be the lucky one you need.

“Elijah went up to him and threw his mantle around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah.”~1 Kg 19:19-20

Today, I was reading about the passing of mantles in the Bible world. A mantle was more than just a physical covering that enfolded the prophet or rabbi’s shoulders. It was the spiritual calling, the anointing of God’s blessing and covering presence upon that individual for the Ivrim (Hebrews) and later for the world.

Moshe, as he ascended the mountain for the last time, laid his hands and his mantle upon Joshua. When Elijah dropped his mantle to the ground as the chariot of fire came and whisked him away to heaven, his disciple, Elisha, reached down and picked it up, The spirit of Elijah – the spirit of Elohim came upon him. Each leader – each prophet – each rabbi – passed on his mantle.

[Elisha] took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.”~2 Kg 2:14

When Yeshua entered into the Jordan to be baptized, John passed the mantle just as his ancestors had done. And just as before, the Spirit of the Father descended and covered the man who had chosen to pick it up and carry it forward. But this is where it changes. The mantle Rabbi Yeshua carried could never be carried by just one man ever again. Instead, when He laid down His mantle, the Holy Spirit of God enveloped all who choose to pick up the mantle. We celebrate this day by calling it Pentecost, but in truth, whenever one God’s children chooses to pick up the mantle, to be born-again, the Spirit of God is present as well.

“And during the arriving of the day of Pentecost, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound like a violent rushing wind came out of heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them dividing tongues as of fire and sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit was giving to them to utter forth.”~Acts 2:1-4

“Shrove Tuesday” – “Fat Tuesday” – Mardi Gras – however you want to refer to it – was all about spreading my own cozy mantle. Spreading the mantle instead of the girth of my belly. I guess, I’m not ready to lay down my mantle yet. He keeps tell me there are some more rabbi days left in me and most of the time – I tend to believe Him. I just wish he would be a clearer on the specifics of it all. Looking at the backside of a tapestry is a puzzle my brain doesn’t always decipher well.

In any case, day-by-day, I’m definitely spreading my own mantle out over the shoulders of those around me – physically and metaphorically. FB, blogs and Goggle docs keep me writing, editing and teaching in more ways than the traditional classroom allows, and I am enjoying it. I’m also enjoying cuddling under my mantle with the Grands – even techno cuddling via FB with my MI Grands. The blessings of His Mantle never fails.

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #57

Today is Tovah 5777. Rosh Hashanah. The Jewish new year. In the Bible it is basically a day “to sound the trumpets.” It is a day that Rabbi Yeshua observed and celebrated every year He remained on earth.
 
The Jewish trumpets aren’t the trumpets of marching band or orchestra fame. They aren’t the trumpets of some medieval kingship. It is a Ram’s horn called the shofar. On Rosh Hashanah it is blown three different ways to remind the Jewish people of three very important concepts to take forward into the new year.
 
I’m not going to bother to give you the names of each blast, but the Jewish people know from their traditions their names and why they are important. The first long blast on the shofar is to remind everyone that God is present in our lives and He is the King of our lives.
 
The second trumpet sound is to resemble a weeping sound. It reminds everyone that even at the point where their brokenness is the most raw and brutal, He is there as well – loving, comforting, and answering prayers.
 
The final sound is 9 short blasts. It is meant to awaken those who have been slumbering – ignoring – their purpose in this life — His purpose for us in this life. A reminder to wake up and walk forward with their Father.
 
Hence, for the Jewish people the new year has begun. With courage and humbleness, they have acknowledged that there is a King in their lives; that they have a brokenness that He is reaching out to help them heal; that they are awakened and ready to walk forward onto a new path – His path.
 
It is good to understand our roots. It is good to worship Our Father as His Son worshiped Him while He journeyed upon this earth. It is good to have a Father who loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to show us the way home.
 
1942 Daily Rations: “Suffer me to speak.”~Acts 21:39
 
“Read: Acts 21:27-39
 
“Fear is crossing bridges before we come to them. Courage does not consist in feeling no fear, but in conquering fear. Paul, facing an angry mob, may have had some inward doubts, but he was sustained by an unfaltering trust. Christianity has advanced through the courageous stand of her leaders. The Saviour crucified upon the cross was courageous as only the Son of God could be courageous. Others have followed his example. Stephen prayed for his tormentors as he was stoned to death. In our own world, religion has found strength in the courage of her martyrs. Latimer [**Hugh, c. 1487-1555], the aged Reformation preacher, even while burning at the stake, cried out, ‘We shall this day light such a candle…as…shall never be put out.’ We need men of courage and valor who are not intimidated by mob psychology and who dare speak courageously for Jesus’ sake.
 
“Prayer: Our Father grant unto us the selfless courage that comes to humble souls whose every purpose is dedicated wholly unto thee. Place within our finite minds the one truth of thine own infinite being. Teach us to be strong and courageous, through our dependence on thy strength. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.”
[google images] **my addendum to 1942 Ration for those who don’t recognize the name Latimer

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #39 & #40

“I know it is right to do right.’ Goethe remarked on reading some memoirs, ‘We learn from this what a splendid thing truth is when anyone has the courage to speak it.”~Goethe

We will be caught up after today’s Ration. I thought a lot about how to do these Rations this week. They are such a look into an American culture that has been slowly sinking beyond the horizon like a beautiful sunset. Today’s generation can’t imagine – it is hard for me to remember. And yet – — –

Maybe that is the way the world flows. My parents had come through a very turbulent youth and early adult decades but were able to end their years in a quasi-peaceful manner – after all small town life then was a lot different than small town life now. Technology has shared the shaking world’s presence into even its smallest corners, and people shake with it.

It is my hope that a few shaking people have time to read these Daily Rations. Maybe not at one time because there is a lot to read here. However, there is a place where things don’t shake and rattle beneath the feet. It is merely a matter to remember the path back to that place.

1942 Daily Ration: “I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day.’ ~Acts 23:1

Read: Psalm 15

“A good conscience is a great joy. One may suffer materially for the course that he has conscientiously taken; public opinion may not approve and friends may criticize; but the heart is filled with an incomparable peace. There is no greater source of inner satisfaction than to be able to say, ‘I have done what I think is right.’ Truth and right reward their faithful followers by the sense of inward peace. Out of experience came the familiar simple creed of a distinguished man, ‘I know it is right to do right.’ Goethe remarked on reading some memoirs, ‘We learn from this what a splendid thing truth is when anyone has the courage to speak it.’

“Prayer: ‘Our God of Truth, may we be loyal to the truth we know ad faithfully follow the way which commends itself i our conscience, so that we may find our wills in harmony wit thine ad know the peace that passeth understanding. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

1942 Daily Ration: “My soul thirsteth for God…Deep calleth unto deep.’~Ps 42:2,7

“Prayer is not the act of a weak man, but of a strong man at his best. The deep places of the human spirit and the deeps of the Spirit of God have something in common, and man is at his best when he feels the tug of the Infinite within him.

“One of the race’s giants was found on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge praying to the Almighty Father for strength to shoulder his responsibilities. We honor George Washington for the wisdom and courage and perseverance with which he led our nation in its infancy. We honor him, too, for knowing where to turn for direction and sustaining power.

“Read: Daniel 6:4-11.

“Prayer: God, I need thee- –
When morning crowds the night away
And tasks of waking seize my mind;
I need thy poise.
God, I need thee – –
When clashes come with those
Who walk the way with me,
I need thy smile.
God, I need thee – –
When the path to take before me lies
I see it…courage flies…
I need thy faith.
God, I need thee – –
When the days’ work is done,
Tired, discouraged, wasted;
I need thy rest. Amen.”~Howard Thurman

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #35

“Having served…”

It is the 15th anniversary of 9 11. Mixed in with the sorrowful echoes of that day are the proud memories of those who served. The tree of knowledge of good and evil still exists, and people still make choices.

David chose to serve. 1st responders choose to serve. Military personnel choose to serve. Most pastors choose to serve. Jesus serves. People who put their lives on the line choose to serve others. (I can’t put politicians in this group even though they love to claim the servant title – sorry)

The author of this Ration acknowledges that David did have his faults – major ones. In my early years, I had a hard time understanding why God included a man like David in the Bible. It was only later, when I had fallen in my own abysses – several times – just like David – that I finally understood. He was there to remind us that God will forgive us anything – if we repent and choose to serve others in the ‘counsel of God’.

The Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life still stand behind the locked gates of Eden. Michael and a host of angels still guard the entrance, but the choice remains ours.

Baruch Hashem, Adonai. Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is one,and the second is liken unto it, LOVE our neighbor as ourselves.

Blessings!Be!

1942 Daily Rations:

“David after he had in his own generation served the counsel (the will) of God, fell asleep.”~Acts 13:36

Read: Matthew 20:20-28

“There is no doubt that notwithstanding David’s man faults, he was an outstanding figure in Hebrew history. What made David great was his attitude as he faced the necessities of the hour in which he lived.

‘Having served…’The writer does not say having governed or dominated, or imposed his will upon thousands of subjects, but he says ‘having served’. Jesus’ mission also was to serve. He said, ‘The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister’ This totally changed the concept of the greatness of life.

‘He served his own generation…’ his contemporaries, those that lived in his day. That is to say we must do all we can for the good and improvement of the world now; we must not wait for better times but to do it today. This historical hour is a challenge to Christians and they must accept it.

‘He served the counsel of God…’ He did not obey something imposed by human authority but the will of God. He sought to know His will and do it.

“Prayer: Our Lord and Father, help us to serve Christ by serving our generation in such a way that our life may help the world to better its social, moral, and spiritual conditions. In his name we pray. Amen.

[Google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #28

Today – well – I didn’t do much at all. It was nice. It was relaxing. And – well – – – I have totally no idea what I did that the day is over, and it is dark outside.

Didn’t listen to a sermon.

Didn’t do my devotions.

Didn’t do any crocheting.

Didn’t even really read much of anything.

And just like that – the day is done – gone the sun – from the hills – – –

Well you know – – – just one of those days.

But you know what? It is the beginning of a new season. I had a great – praise-filled – joyful day. It seemed like God was in every corner of this house and in every corner of me because what I did do was – – – pray.

I prayed for my friends who are fighting unspokens.

I prayed traveling mercies around those who were on the road.

I prayed for those fighting impossible, scary diseases.

I prayed songs of silence – quiet joy – within me.

I offered thanks for the gifts family brings to my life.

I offered thanks for His mercy – His love – His Grace.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …” Ecc 3:1-8

It is a new season in our life journey, and it is definitely ‘more blessed to give than to receive.’

1942 Ration: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”~Acts 20:35

“To the immature this is nonsense They have not yet discovered the mechanics of joy. We make much use of the phrase ‘getting a kick’ out of life. Those who use a gun know that a ‘kick’ is the rebound that comes from the release of pent-up energy. ‘A kick out of life’ comes as a part of a similar process. The child jumps up and down and laughs. The student bends to a problem and finds joy in it. Te loving heart pours itself out joyfully. No man is happy for long in merely receiving things. It’s nature’s protest that he is not the center. Happy people are those who put the center of life outside themselves. In sending, not in getting, in realizing their noblest hidden energies, they find life’s greatest and most enduring happiness.

“Prayer: O God, we pray thee that we may exercise this day the noblest capacities that thou hast implanted within us. Give us wisdom and courage to put into daily practice our best thoughts and dispositions, and the things we most sincerely believe. Amen.”

RATIONS 100 DAYS #23

Littlest leaves – car packed to the gills with hubby and 10 year old Domino securely ensconced; Buddy arrives with his senior dog Kylie in time to break bread (plus snap a few photos) with them before they take off; and – if that isn’t enough – tonight another family meal with BK, hubby and Grands to treasure before Buddy heads back to OH as well.”

Whew – what a busy week we have had. Hellos. Goodbyes. Hugs. Laughter. Love.

Still – I cried buckets of tears as Littlest pulled out of the driveway and will cry again tomorrow when Buddy takes to the road. It is what mothers do – – – or at least – – – this mother. One thousand hugs before they close the car door, a bucket of tears and a crazy bunch of wild prayers circling from my heart for traveling mercies and unspoken pleas.

“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of young own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”~Act 17:27-28

As Littlest drove around the corner, I had to shout out one last goodbye, wave a little longer, and then it struck me. Is this how Our Father feels as He watches us put our foot onto a new path? Unlike us mortal parents, He knows what lies ahead for us. He knows the valleys, the mountains and deep abysses where we can get lost – and yet – He lets us make that choice. Step forward.  His hand still outreached just incase we fall or need a little — something.

Tonight when the house is quiet again with the stars winking above me, I will look out over our small homestead and through my teary eyes I think I can almost see My Father waving at me across the way. Across the vast space I can almost hear his voice as He shouts out one more time, Love you, child. Come back soon.”

1942 Daily Rations:

“The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God’.”~Ps 14:1

‘Strange too, for a man who is deaf does not say there is no music because he does not hear it.

“It is foolish to despise things you know nothing at all about. It is foolish to condemn the Church, if you take no part in it. It is foolish to complain about the Government, if you do not take the trouble to vote. It is foolish to say that Christianity has failed, if you never did anything to help it to succeed.

“Those who have had dealings with God know right well that there is a God. The sense of forgiven sin, the lift there is in worship, the joys of sacrifice and service, the presence of God in prayer – – – people who have tasted of these delights are pretty sure of God. Why, he is the Heart that is at the heart of things! The one thing that keeps our feet out of the miry clay and sets the on a rock is the fact of God.

“A man once said, ‘I used to think when I was young, that there was no God. But now’ (he said it with a wave of the hand that took in the universe), ‘it seems to me there is nothing but God!’

Prayer: Spirit of God, let thy persuasions be strong upon me, to think worthily of thee, as I ought to think, that so thy image may be renewed in me after the likeness of thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

ABSOLUTELY

945925_589268661094942_510126471_nI absolutely – positively love going to our church. I totally – completely love singing old hymns or praise songs in a come-unity that is so large that no one can hear me sing – just me giving back (one of the gifts He gave me) to My Father. I happily – amazingly love jumping from book to book – verse to verse- in Our Father’s guide book – trying to keep up with a pastor who seems to store the whole book in his bald head and talks faster than any ol’ country boy I’ve ever heard.

“And he did not doubt The Promise of God as if his faith were lacking, but he was strengthened in faith and he gave praise to God.” Rm 4:20

Blue. Red. Black. Purple. Green. My relatively new Bible has gotten pretty marked up in the past few years. After the house fire took away my old Bibles and my mom’s Bible, I had to get a few new ones. (Luckily, my father’s Masonic Bible was spared) But – there is always that one special translation that becomes a favorite. One that sleeps close to me when the hubby is gone (mostly because I love reading in bed until my eyes can no longer stay open, and I wake up hours later to turn out the light). One that seems to speak in God’s voice more than the others do. Its tissuepaper pages are torn – creased – marked. Dates crowd the margins around verses that speak loudly to me while underlined phrases – boxed in words – and silly doodles weave in and out of the small spaces that remain. More notes on notebook paper are pasted into my journal —- just incase I need to look something up later.

“Therefore, take heart, men, for I believe God, that it is so according to what was spoken to me.” Acts 27:25

Every story – every parable – points us to having faith. A faith so strong that we begin to understand that no matter what happens, God keeps His promises. A faith that allows us to see beyond all logic and reason to see the hope of His promises. It may happen immediately – it may happen decades later, but God keeps His promises, or if you think in Hebrew or Jewish tradition – he keeps His b’rits. The fantastically – wonderfully cool thing is – – – – God works to build faith in our lives through every situation that we experience. Every terrific- awful – funny – sad – hateful – beloved situation that develops in our lives.

“For it is by faith that we walk and not by sight.” 2 Cor 5:7

At the end of this night, my heart absolutely identifies with Mary, Martha’s sister. I can easily visualize myself sitting at Jesus’s feet, listening to Him teach, yearning to absorb every syllable of His stories into my finite mind until finally – safely, I fall asleep, wrapped in the comforter of His voice. That is the peace of faith – a faith in God the Father – God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – a faith beyond all understanding. A peace byond all logical thought. A peace that is just  absolutely “knowing”.(Lk 10:38-42)

[images:The Lamb’s Chapel]

 

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Attitude of Gratitude #24

grandma's apronGratitude #24: Grandma Mac’s Apron. It has been one of those days where I had lots to do and little time to accomplish it. Holiday weeks always seem to be like that. Pick up the Grands from school. Come home to eat a little something before rushing back out the door for my tutoring job. Needless to say, didn’t want to drip left-over chicken gravy on my work clothes, so I reached for the best cover-up I know – Grandma Mac’s apron. As I slip it over my head, I smile because I know exactly what I am thankful for today – an old apron.

me grandma 1954That apron has covered me many times and in many ways over the years. When I was little, I buried my face in it while she held me in her lap – usually with some kind of cookie or treat clutched tightly in my fist. She used it to dry my tears when there was a ruckus between me and my cousins. I even remember Grandma’s apron wiping my face after a family meal. Most of all, I remember this apron in her garden, as she taught me to know the difference between a weed and a veggie, birds and bees, spiders and insects, good dirt and bad dirt.

Grandma’s apron is like me. It is no longer the pristine creation it started out being. Stains and a few burned areas have added texture to the red and pink floral img827pattern. The edges are frayed and faded, and there is a hole or two where the almost translucent fabric has finally worn through. Following Grandma’s footsteps, I have worn it while cooking, carrying bounty in from the garden, rocking my babies to sleep, or wiping up messes on tiny faces (can you see it in this old picture?).  It is a touchstone to my past and a legacy that I hope to pass on when the time is right.

“God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and APRONS that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” Acts 19:12 NIV (emphasis is mine)

When I touch Grandma Mac’s apron, a miracle does happens. I hear her laugh  me in the middle and Grandma Macagain. I see her smile. This Thursday, I will wear it as I cook our Thanksgiving turkey, and I will remember – once again –  being enfolded in her arms. Today, as I thought back to the Grands crowding onto my lap as we read their “sticker” books or dancing in front of the Christmas tree as I played Christmas hymns on the piano, I smile again. I realized Many things can be a legacy…a prayer shawl, a handkerchief, an apron… Grandma Mac’s apron and a few of her kitchen tools are her tangible legacy to me, but it is the miracle of her life and love that covers me when I wear that old apron that is her real legacy to me. And – oh my –  I am – oh – so very thankful.

Grandma Mac