Tag Archives: Bible

SCROLL OF LIFE

Been a busy couple of weeks. Visiting days at the Grands’ schools. Planting new starts for the terrace gardens. Reading umpteen things that I find totally absorbing. Not to mention, Easter and the end of Lent. And – – – loving every minute of it.

Didn’t write much this year about where I was heading with my spiritual journey. I’ve said this before, bu I think it has just been my time to absorb and reflect on the blessings of this past year. I am somewhat healthier. Our new NC home feels so much more like home. Plants are flourishing – just like Hubby and I am. It has been that way since my 100 Day Ration and Advent writings – 140 days of writing and then a restful time by the sea. A time of enjoying the present moment and absorbing all I can as my scroll unfolds before me.

You see, the Jewish word that is usually translated as book in English is “sefer”. Sefer means scroll. Thus – “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your BOOK before one of them came to be.” [Ps 139:16] Would actually be – “…were written in Your SCROLL…”

Books are ‘a whole ‘nother thing’ as Mama Mick used to say. We can easily flip pages in a book. We can look back. We can skip forward. We can even take a peek at the very end so we don’t have to wait for it to unfold. And – while you can do the same thing in a scroll you can only see pieces of the one scroll that you hold in your hands.

“…and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ “~Lk 4:17-21

God wink moments happened to Yeshua, the man, and to all those people attending service that morning. He had to unroll the scroll the attendant handed to him – not the scroll He had choosen – and find the place that fulfilled the promise of that moment. Not the moments that lay in the past. Not the moments that would come in the future. But that moment. That moment when a promise was fulfilled. A wrinkle in time being lived to its fullest.

I like to think that this is what I have been doing in the past few weeks. Living my wrinkle in time. Talking with shut-ins. Running errands for those who are struggling to stand without falling. Playing with Grands that won’t be tiny munchkins much longer. Reading and printing things to absorb. Praying for family, friends, and country in my war room.

Speaking of which – this week – I cleaned off the door to my war room. All my prayer lists and Bible verses are filed away in one of my notebooks, so I can look back at them occasionally and see where I’ve been. Good use for a book. I seem to need that reassurance every now and then. A acknowledgment to myself, that my path – while somewhat crooked – is becoming straighter and easier to walk.

Today, I hung 3 new verses on that door. Verses that will reassure me on the dark days and challenge me to keep my path straight through the rainstorms of life. And, as the scroll unfolds a little more, I will write up a new prayer list which will be full of colorful names and requests. I like using different colors because that is the way Abba created everything – – – full of rich hues, vibrancy, diversity. Full of a little heaven on earth.

It’s funny. As I read back through today’s musings, this definitely wasn’t what I had in mind when I started to write. God winks are like that. The scroll unrolls – words leap off the page and into my head – and I just marvel at the path of thoughts that He plants with His WORD and Spirit. As always, I can’t wait to unroll the scroll a little more and see what He has planned for me this day.

Whatever it is – it will be for my good. [google images]

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KNOW

Did you know that out of all the books in the Bible, there is one book that does not mention God at all?

Reading the Old Testament has never been easy for me until I started learning about Jewish history, wisdom and traditions. Like the proverbial light bulb, I am starting to not only understand but want to read more. It puts so many questions from the New Testament to rest but then raises twice as many to the forefront of my mind.

Isn’t that always the way?

Anyway, today the Jewish people finish celebrating the festival called Purim. They read all 10 chapters of the book of Esther today in this last month of the Jewish calendar, Adar. All these centuries later, they continue to celebrate Esther saving the Jewish people from Haman’s plan of destruction. These were dark times for the Jewish people.

Dark times. Esther’s times. A time when they did not “FEEL” the presence of God. They did not overtly hear His voice speaking to them or through their leadership. They did not see His Hand steering their purpose. They did not feel His love sheltering them from their enemies. The Bible denotes these dark times by not mentioning His name or even referencing Him at all – not even once.

If you’re like me, you have to scratch your head and wonder why? Rabbinic wisdom says it is because the Bible is a book of life. There are dark times in life. Thus, these dark days have to be represented in the Torah. There are just times when we don’t “FEEL” God in anyway, shape or form. Not in our selves – in our leadership – in our culture. In fact it seems like the darker the times the less we “FEEL” God at all. The importance of Purim in the last month of the year is to point us towards the fact that at the end of all mortal things, we don’t have to “FEEL” anything – we just have to “KNOW”.

“KNOW” that Our Father is still there, just like we “KNOW” that He was there at the beginning. His Hand is still moving over us, sheltering us. His voice is still speaking to us and for us, even when we don’t hear it. His Love continues to weave a comforter around us when we are shivering and with bellies empty. His Light is still pointing out the rocks and the abysses under our feet even if we don’t recognize it.

That’s the whole point of Esther’s story…Purim. The last month of God’s year. A joyous celebration of “KNOWING” overcomes any dark time that we are experiencing. An earthly ending that is just a spiritual beginning.

The past few days as I have been rolling all these crazy thoughts over in my mind, I like to think that this is probably the time of year when Yeshua was laid in a manger. The Roman occupation of the Jewish land certainly qualifies as dark times.  Avar is the last month.  The end of a physical year. Looks like a great time for a spiritual beginning to me.  God likes His festivals. He likes to remind us of all the things He has been trying to teach us since our creation.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that Christ was sacrificed as the perfect lamb the weekend of Passover. After all – it just takes one look at the intricacies of creation to figure out that Father God is a very detailed oriented entity. Lining up things is probably one of the easier things He accomplishes. Although – the way we like to screw things up – maybe we don’t make it all that easy.

Anyway – there you go. When dark times come on the mortal side of things, the beginning on the spiritual side is just not far off. Part of me is rejoicing in this because we are definitely showing signs of dark times in this ol’ world. The other part sends me to the knees in prayer for this ol’ world.

I may not always “FEEL” God in my life – but the the Book of Esther in the Bible and Christ remind me to “KNOW” God IS with me – all the time, in every situation, for ever and ever, AMEN and AMEN. I think I know what song will sing me to sleep tonight – “Jesus love me this I “KNOW”, for the Bible tells me so…”  [google images]

Advent Joy #1: Rejoice

Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart. — Psalm 97:11

Christmas cards – check. Christmas decorations – check. Watching endless Christmas movies – check. Christmas shortbread cookies and listening to Christmas carols – check and check. 1st Christmas stocking almost complete – check. Fighting off a cold – ugh!!

I know, right? Talk about a downer to the start off my day. i was not a happy camper this morning. Pull out the oils, tissue box, favorite blanket and read the WORD. Somehow – even colds aren’t so bad when I force myself to stick to my devotional time.

And tonight I am rejoicing for I have banished said cold to the nether reaches of the universe. The nose has dimmed to a pale, sucked-on, candy cane pink. The scratchy throat a mere irritant in the memory banks. Cough non-existent and so I say: REJOICE, REJOICE…!

“And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit REJOICES in God my savior.”~Lk 1:46-47

I love reading translations of Bible verse that lean heavily on Rabbinic interpretations. Today, I was reading about Psalm 97:11. The original Hebrew is translated: “Light is planted FOR the righteous…”

I love those little prepositions. When used in conjunction with the right verb the whole power of the verse shifts in a slightly, yet substantial, direction. Suddenly, I can envision a seed of light being planted every time I manage to make time to talk with a neighbor…When a child learns something new because I took time to show them why or how…when the WORD become buried in a picture of words for others to find…when the Hubby smiles before he closes his eyes to sleep…when my pups look at me with all this love and trust in their eyes…when Christmas becomes more than a season…I REJOICE and REJOICE and REJOICE

“There remains one way – – The Way – – untried, untested, unexplored fully……the way of Him Who was born a Babe in Bethlehem.” ~Peter Marshall, (p15)

Long ago a seed of Light was planted for us. A seed of Light that started a whole new garden. Just think, if we keep adding to that garden, imagine what that garden could look like when Christ returns for His bride. It would really be time to REJOICE then. Perhaps today – perhaps tomorrow…[google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #83

“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]

Happy Birthmonth, America

  • In Philadelphia on the 2nd of July 1776, a vote was taken that changed the way the world thought.
  • On the 3rd of July 1776, a small sentence on the second page reported the results of that vote.
  • On the 4th of July 1776, the final draft was submitted to be published and eventually – signed in August of 1776.
  • Thus, the date everyone in this brand new country saw as they read this small document was July 4, 1776.
  • Independence Day.

It was [is] not a perfect country, and it was [is] filled with controversies.

  • Natives vs Europeans vs Africans vs …
  • English vs French vs Spanish vs Dutch vs …
  • Catholic vs protestant vs Jews vs atheists …
  • Tory vs Yankee vs Rebel vs Republican vs Democrat vs …
  • Slave vs Free vs indentured vs …
  • Rich vs middle vs poor vs homeless vs …

The divisions continue to swirl in growing concentric circles over and over and over.

We are human and we tend to make mistakes – sometimes – very big ones. Unfortunately, we also tend to dwell – focus – ruminate on those mistakes over and over. Giving it new names – justice…punishment…pay back…unfair… bias…bigotry…  But what if instead of concentrating on the mistakes, we concentrated on the knowledge and the wisdom gained from those horrible mistakes?

Walking dogs are always a great way to meet people. A couple of years back, one of those people encounters introduced me to some new concepts that I’ve just started re-reading this past week. Typically (for me), I get side-tracked by daily craziness, or whining about this or that, and do not pursue things with great intensity. (After all, I am reitred and “deserve” to be a little lazy, right?) I guess that laziness was a mistake because…(ready for it?)…guess what popped up in a devotional today? You got it!  Not one but both ideas in one short devotional. One God giving a one big hint. Gotta love those God hints.

The first idea is called Appreciative Inquiry by David Coopperrider and Diana Whitney. Essentially – it is looking for the best in any situation.

http://http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/intro/whatisai.cfm

The other is a 2004 documentary called “What the (Bleep) Do We Know?” The content of this movie explores a spiritual connection between quantum physics and consciousness.

http://http://www.whatthebleep.com/

Now the first idea relates a little more to my world. After teaching for so many years, I’ve trained my self to look for the best in most everything (although like everyone, I can get caught up in negative situations). Quantum physics and consciousness is a little out of my realm – well – more than a little. Although, I have picked up a lot of scientific facts from reading National Geographic, Discovery, ect, I really struggle with the in-depth study of it. Thank God for my children who seem to have taken after hubby and are much more adept at understanding such things so they can help explain it to me.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” ~ Phil 4:8

Fairly obvious advice from the WORD. Think on the admirable, the excellent or the praiseworthy. What if we tried to do that more in our world today? What if we did that with our friends? Our enemies? Our state? Our nation? A couple political conventions? A lot of people would complain that we are only hiding our heads in the sand or taking a “Pollyanna” approach. Yet, if we acknowledge the injustice, the damage, the pain and accept that we can find knowledge, wisdom and discernment in our mistakes, is it ignoring the problem or moving forward with new insights? I need to keep reading, but now I have a spiritual underpinning for this thought.

“Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.” ~ Num 23:13

The second one takes us a little deeper and back into the OT with Jewish wisdom. I have always skipped over stories that I don’t understand or can’t figure out why it is in the Bible. Drives me crazy. Like a jigsaw puzzle that takes forever to put together. I will read and re-read a story trying to figure out why it is important for me to know and after a while – I will just push it out of my mind and go on to the next puzzle. Obviously, I don’t know this Bible story well, so again, I will have to go back and re-read it a few more times. Essentially, Balak, King of the Moabites, hired Balaam to curse Israel. The hitch was that they had to see the people to make the curse work. You might be wondering what this has to do with Quantum Physics? Lucky for both of us, the rabbi who wrote this devotional had the answer.

“The gift of sight allows us to take in so much information about the world around us. Not only do we receive facts and knowledge by looking at something, we also may receive inspiration or good feelings from what we observe. However, what we often don’t realize is that when we look at something, we aren’t just on the receiving end. We are also contributing and affecting the world around us, even if we don’t know it. Quantum physics confirmed this concept through an experiment that was set up in order to ascertain whether matter was a particle or a wave. I’m not here to give a physics lesson, but the end result was startling. When not observed, matter behaved like a wave. However, when the matter was observed, it changed into a particle. In other words, scientific evidence proved that an observer does influence what is being observed. That means we all affect what we look at, and how we see things affects them profoundly.” ~ Rabbi Eckstein.

America has completed her 240th year.  For those who are moving and shaking and those who are just observing. it looks like the 241st year will be another decisive and derisive year in many ways.   I wonder how and what I am learning today relates to those facts, yet – I know it does. I need to do some more reading on both of these ideas. I need to read more American history. I NEED to read more of the WORD. Knowledge always comes first, and if I’m observant, wisdom and discernment will follow —- eventually. Right now, I do know that America and Israel are tired together in more ways than the one that is written on paper and stored in Washington D.C. I know God is moving more than just me. I’m just not sure why I’m on the journey that I am walking. It makes me smile, because there is always something unexpected and uncontrollable that Our Father will bring my way – if I have the courage to stay the course unto its completion.  One step at a time…

In the meantime – Happy Birthmonth, America. It is promising to be an interesting – if somewhat scary – yearus-1443698_960_720

WHY DO I?

image11Yesterday, I couldn’t read my on-line devotions because the internet was out at home. However, I did manage to read one on my phone when I was out and about. Every now and then, I guess I am glad I have a smart phone. Yesterday, I was especially thankful.

The devotion started out with one question: “Why do you love Jesus?”

It was a short question. One that should have an easy answer after all these years. And yet – it caught me. It was one of those simple things that shouldn’t have been any more than an introductory start to an ordinary read, and yet, it was.

“Why do you love Jesus?”

I’ve been thinking about these five words now for over 24 hours. Our tongue stumbles over the name of Jesus these days. We show His picture. We especially love the ones with a smile on His face or a child cradled in His arms. We quote His words when they are a warm and fuzzy confirmation to what we want to do.  We conveniently forget the rest. After all, He lived a long time ago. He didn’t have the education – the pundits – the technology – the wisdom that we have.

“Why do you love Jesus?”

The past few days have just been a crazy whirlwind of unexpected surprises in the routine – some bad – some good. A weeping pussy willow tree begins to show new life. A truck breaks down. A new garden takes shape. Driving glasses lost. Butterflies landing on the new plants surrounding the house. 20 kids pulling me 30 different ways all at one time. A note of appreciation from a former student that brought smiles and tears.

“Why do you love Jesus?”child

It is all those things. The good and the bad. The hard work and the lazy moments when I can pick up the Bible, a pen or even a phone. Prayer lists that stretch the length of several pages. A young boy handing me a drawing of two hearts and telling me he is not my “turtle boy” any more. (long story but a good one for another day). A country torn apart by divisive anger. A Grand getting her first hit (left-handed just like her grandma) in her first game. Another Grand building an elaborate series of castles and a volcano out of sand, gravel and sticks. Life in it’s entirety.

“Why do you love Jesus?”

The more these words bounced around me, through me and settled into the deepest recesses of what I call self, the more I realized that I love Jesus not for just those physical things that happen – the gifts – the sadness – the disasters – the ordinary – – – I love Him for the awe, the peace, the fear, the promises, the humbleness – the grace that He has brought to all aspects of my life.

“Why do you love Jesus?”

I think I need to ask myself this question every day. When I read the Bible, when I do devotions, when I sit down beside that whining student, when I watch the dogs chase a squirrel, when I find my driving glasses tucked way up under the rubber car mat, when a sore knee digs one more hole in stone-filled, red clay.

“Why do I love Jesus?” Because I remember that old children’s song that sings me to sleep on those nights when sleep seems to be a lamb’s chase away….

“Jesus loves me this I know…….”

 

know…….”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBALcN701NU

SIMPLY THAT

462c5a9440ae12beb5875986b41683b50c857935“As I’ve gotten older, I realize I’m certain of only two things.
Days that begin with rowing on a lake are better than days that do not.
Second a man ‘s character is his fate.
And, as a student of history, I find this hard to refute.
For most of us, our stories can be written long before we die.
There are exceptions among the great men of history,…
but they are rare, and I am not one of them.
I am a teacher… simply that.” Wm. Hundert, The Emperor’s Club

Simply that.

I haven’t written for awhile. Craziness of moving. Unpacking boxes. Finding new homes for old familiar treasures. Walking the land. Planning unseen gardens. Waiting.

It is often harder to wait than it is to do.

After watching an OSU victory in March madness, hubby fell asleep, and I decided to watch a 2002 movie: “The Emperor’s Club”. I’m glad I did – it got me out of my tired funk of moving this, picturing that, wondering if I will ever see the top of my desk – seriously – ever again. Instead, it got me thinking about the Teacher who guides my life.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” — Proverbs 19:21

Students swarmed around me as the spring sunshine warmed the top of our heads and the breeze blew dust in our eyes.Their stories bouncing off my ears as I tried to keep track of 60 moving bodies and monitoring the drama of the day so it didn’t escalate into warring factions of tears and anger.

Simply that…

From the beginning monologue to the ending one, Wm. Hundert (Kevin Kline) got me thinking. It will probably keep me thinking. I took a break this past month from teaching. I haven’t written birthday blessings. I haven’t gone out of my way to listen to those around me. I haven’t invested myself in what I am supposed to do – teach.

El has a way of bringing wisdom to the forefront of my mind when I am in open rebellion and taking backward steps. It is Lent, yet here I was,doing what comes easily – straying into old habits of procrastination and excuses that I was so good at in my youth. I guess old ways never truly leave, they just wait to re-emerge in our weakness.

Simply that….

In this fourth week of Lent, the bowl I had wanted to fill with all my talents sits on my baker’s shelf – almost empty. My Bible has gathered dust of a different kind this past month and my heart is so heavy that I just sit on the path with my head in my hands.

Which brings me to the final monologue of the movie I watched tonight. “The worth of a life is not determined by a single failure or a solitary success…” Teachers are not perfect – save One. Yet – even He allowed us to see His weakness. His sadness. His tiredness. His sweating of blood. His prayers. His total surrender to the holy will of the One who loves us best. [Matt 26:36-56]

A Teacher – in all ways – simply that…

Sometimes we fail. We fail ourselves. We fail our students. But part of a true teacher’s journey is to share our failures as well as the successes. We tend to think we will look weak if we share those things that are not perfect. However, we learn from empty bowls as well as from full bowls. And if we are lucky, we gather the wisdom stones that we tripped over, push ourselves into a standing position or at least to our knees, and begin our forward journey once again.

“However much we stumble,it is a teacher’s burden – always to hope that with learning, a boy’s character might be changed.And, so, the destiny of a man.” Wm Hundert, The Emperor’s Club

[google images]

GethsemaneFinal2

HUMPING DOWN THE PATH

100_0956This is definitely “hump day”. Hump over the mounds of stuff still waiting to be moved. Hump over the amount of days left to “git ‘er done”. Hump over the many trips back and forth (PTL it is only 4 miles away). Hump over getting all the workers to the house at one time. Hump as the dwelling changes from a home to a house. We are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

hump/həmp/noun
1.a rounded protuberance found on the back of a camel or other animal or as an abnormality on a person’s back.
synonyms: protuberance, prominence, lump, bump, knob, protrusion, projection, bulge, swelling, hunch; More
2.a rounded raised mass of earth or land.
verb
1.informal to lift or carry (a heavy object) with difficulty.
“he continued to hump cases up and down the hotel corridor”
2.make hump-shaped.
“the cat humped himself into a different shape and purred”
3. (I deleted it, but you already know this one)

100_0954Hubby is already asleep on the couch. Dogs are restless. They bark at the least little thing and really don’t let us out of their sight unless they are forced to. Today, the car was “humped” with stuff, and they still found a way to squeeze their rather large bodies into about 10″ of space…together…both of them…not a pretty sight. They were not pleased to hear the stern voice of their mother ordering them “out”. I think they realized I was not in a mood to bicker with them because they got out really quickly – for them.

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”~Jer 31:25

The house is shuddering a little tonight. Then again, perhaps I am just projecting the tremors I feel inside of me. The hump seems too large to swing anymore things over it. Yet, I know that as full as the new garage is, we are definitely at the crest of the hump and looking over the other side. Hubby still has a lot of larger stuff to move, but for the most part, closets are empty and only the master and kitchen remain to tackle.

I am humped out. I am tired. Where is my book?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”~Matt 11:28-29

100_0951This is the point I usually want to pick up my Anchor, bury my head in His lap, and ask to sleep for a month. Sleep comes easy to me when I put everything in His plan. Yesterday, I walked around the property; praying with each step that we will trust His perfect planning even when it is not in sync with ours. When there are a million and one things needing to be done, it is hard to rest and trust that things are being accomplished in His perfect time – not ours. One ceiling is painted. Water gets completely turned on tomorrow. Walls are in the first stages of being patched. Carpet is out and flooring gets started on Monday. The really interesting thing – we will be sleeping there by Sunday. “Trust and obey, there is no other way….”

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”~Ps 4:8

100_0953I have no idea how this works. Hubby wants to get things in motion and run away to FL for a month. I want to stay and keep my eye on things (I think it is my teacher nature). However it works, I know that it is my Anchor that will get me over the hump of taking a damaged house and making it into a home where He will live with us

Humps are those places where I really am challenged to learn to trust in Our Father’s perfect will and not mine. I would love to be able to move into a finished house, but that just ain’t happenin’, so I need to get over this hump and trust.

Today is definitely hump day and I’ve got this! Seriously – I’ve got this! I think – mostly – well – maybe……………….204637-Guess-What-Day-It-Is-Woo-Woo (1)

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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“MY WINDOWS ACHE”

istock000000032072smallSeems like there are a lot of hurting people tonight. Post after post seems to pop up and weep into my thoughts. When this type of weeping tarts within my own life, I often turn to poetry, spirituals, or the Bible. Each of them bring a different picutre – a solidarity of thought – that I am not alone in my pain or sadness. There are others who have felt this same thing, tripped over the same rock, bled from similar ouchies. These testing periods are never fun.

Maybe it is just me, but some of the strongest poems are those that are written from that pain-filled experience. The images take on a poignancy that reaches beyond the physical and into the various depths that we share with no one except Those who keep watch over us. I love the image of this stanza: “…my windows ache.”

.”…so I wait for you like a lonely house29865221
till you will see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache.”~Pablo Neruda (Sonnet LXV)

Spirituals sing me to sleep even now. My mother started me on this path long ago. She worked during the day, so she would do housework at night. As I did my homework or curled in bed reading a book after she heard my prayers, I would often hear her singing spirituals. In 2005 when she “tripped the light fantastic” and went to dance with my father, I spent the summer months sitting outside, listening to Moses Hogan’s choir singing spiritual after spiritual. It was balm to my deepest pain. I had become an orphan.

images (2)“Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
A long way is from home
A long way is from home
Do believe us, A long ways from home
A long ways from home”

The Bible is the place I go not only during rough times but also during happy times. My father battled heart disease from the time I was 10 to the ripe ol’ age of 19 when he finally hugged me for the last time. During those years, I often fell asleep with the Bible in my arms as I cried and feared that my daddy might die all too soon. I still read the letter he wrote me while I was in college. In it, he quoted the Gen 1:3

“God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light”

He then went on to write…”and believe it or not, most of that light came from a child…” That quote made a huge impression on me. I wanted to know the Light he talked about in that letter. I still want to know that Light, so I keep clinging to the Bible.

So if you are on a bumpy road right now, maybe some of these things might help you find the Light for your own path. Blessings!Be!

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