Tag Archives: Birth pangs

2020 VISION: Locusts’ Year.


“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.” Joel 2:25


I tend to read many Bible verses during the day. Most of them I know well. My eyes start them, the mind finishes them – or the mind goes off on a tangent that is completely off topic (which happens way more than I like, lately). The evil one is good at that – then again – so is old age. ha


This morning, this one caught me. Held me. I circled it in my book and then, I circled it again. I didn’t remember ever reading it before.


I know I have read the lesser prophets a few times. I have read their commentaries before, but still – my mind drew a blank on Joel and this verse in particular. So – praising the LORD for technology – I went to the Torah commentaries this time and read and read and read – – – especially after I heard this verse again tonight.


When Abba is trying to get my attention, He always does something twice. If He does it three times – well – let’s just say…I try to avoid that situation and get my head in the game.


“Blow the ram’s horn in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy mountain! Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the Day of the LORD is coming; indeed, it is near— “ v.1


Being retired and working in a Christian school is my retirement blessing, but it is also an monastery of sorts. I don’t generally have to interact with people who think differently than I do for long periods of time. Talking about prayer, the idols of this world, and the Grace of the Father wraps its own little blanket of His warmth and peace around me as I watch the locusts that swirl daily on social media and TV. I forget how others form their own world views in entirely different patterns and shifting sands of human wisdom.


Tears come too easily these days when I see how lost we are as a culture – as combined global cultures.


“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to Me with all your heart,with fasting, weeping, and mourning.” v.12


The locusts have come, literally and figuratively, this year in abundance all around the world. The birth pangs – the harbingers – whatever you want to call it – coming at more regular intervals since 9/11. The prophets are out there. Messianic and Jewish combined together now. Crying out to the vine – calling out to the branches – while those who should be guarding the flocks they have been given – have stuffed their ears with their fingers and closed their eyes to the verses jumping off the pages at them – just as the Pharisees and Sadducees of long ago did before them.


The Holy Spirit is still speaking, but only in the grace of love and not with the disgust of hate.


“Behold, I will send you grain, new wine, and oil, and by them you will be satisfied.” v.19

Since the locusts in their various shapes have come in 2020, I continue to fill and check my lamp throughout the day and night, for I have known since I laid under a giant oak tree, long ago in a small little town, that I have been born for such a time as this. I truly have been waiting all my life for such a time as this – fallen, broken, repentant – for such a time as this.


“Then you will know that I am present in Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and there is no other.” v.27

2020 VISION: Birth Pang Prayers

The heart is heavy tonight. As a former teacher, Almost every day, I have a messages waiting for me when I log on to social media. I have read the fears and questions of those who lost their jobs in the past few months; fears and questions of parents struggling to teach their children and work from home, fears and questions of lonely seniors who miss their families and struggle with health issues; fears and questions of youngsters (stretched over a few decades) trying to juggle jobs, relationships divorce, confusion; fears and questions of first responders/ military who are struggling with what may lie ahead for them; fears and questions of teachers wondering what the classroom will even look like in August. The messages are from black, white, and all shades in between of friends who are rocking back on their heels – trying to find their balance as birth pangs ripple across the mid-back of their country.

The spine, despite its outer bony strength, weakens and shudders under the constant strain of inner shock waves electrifying every neuron throughout the rest of land. And yet – the Spirit nudges and fills me with a peaceful joy as tears drip down my nose. The promises echo and reset the heart as I write back to those who write me.

“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
Though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.” (v.1-3)

I’ve been getting up 3 days a week at 5:30 a.m. since the salt water pool opened at our gym. I’m generally there by 7. Bouncing, stretching and talking to new friends for an hour and a half before I head home. The Choc Lab girls aren’t so impressed, but I give them a couple extra treats so they still love me. This week, I upped it to 5 days a week. Songs echoing through my head as I bounce or soothing me as I relax in the hot tub.

I have found – exercise is one of His blessings when the heart is aching.

It has been rainy for the past couple of weeks. Sometimes cold. Sometimes humid. Overall, not great days to be outside for me or the Lab girls. None of us like it, but we find ways to cope. I spend a lot long time with the Father. I play the piano more than once a day as I work on a new song. I wrote a couple of new things. I read a few chapters in my books. I spent time at my home’s altar.

Around the High Holy Days of 2019, I was moving things around in the kitchen and when I was done, I found I had made a small area with all the things that were part of my Christ journey – a home altar. I have had many altars in many homes. A place where my Bible rested. A place where I sat small tokens of the faith journey. Generally, they have been by my side of the bed. I still have one by my bed. A small light. A clay sculpture I made in 7th grade. Treasure from my Grands.

But in this past year of change, I needed one that I would see often throughout the day. The plastic cross and calico lamb that I got for my first Easter. A barn siding shelf that hung in my MIL’s kitchen made by her son. Pictures that hung in my parent’s and grandparents’ homes. Lights. Prayer concerns, requests and thankfulness. His promises. Treasures my kidlets had given me long ago.

An altar where the Living Water and Manna of my life centers my focus and helps me breathe through the worst of the birth pangs.

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (v.4-7)

I am exactly where I am supposed to be even though -sometimes – I often wish I wasn’t. I am constantly checking and double checking myself with the fruits of His Spirit as I write and before I speak. I am trying to open my ears and eyes as I listen or watch others. I am waiting more than I move. I am trying to pray unceasingly to the I AM that lives within me – within all of us.

As my home altar – borne of birth pangs, has become a focal point of change within me and within my prayers for the people Our Father has placed in my life and for this country where I was born, I continue to find the stillness and peace of my Fortress even midst of birth pangs. And I find – that the “desolations” sprouting up around me, and around those I care for, are shaping me – and all of us – to be ready for His Revival. A Revival where He will be exalted among the nations and all the earth.

I just have to wait a little longer, pray a little harder, and share his fruits with all who are in my sphere.

“Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Ps 46:8-11family altar 2020 [personal image]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #91

All day I stayed away from the news. I cleaned my in-box of all news related posts. I listened to Christmas music and sang – loudly – as I worked on things around the house. I was in a great mood. Then I got on FB.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”~ 1 Cor 13:13
I have friends from every spectrum of God’s rainbow, and I love hearing and reading their views most of the time. I usually learn a lot. But the last few weeks of the election cycle have been more than enough to convince me that there is a lot of ugliness out there that I really don’t need to continuously read. It is hard to ‘…keep faith, hope and love…’ in the forefront of who I want to be during times like these. My first instinct is to run and ignore.
And then – today’s Ration starts to appear under my fingers. God shouts His reminder. He hollers loud and clear in my soul: “I HAVE GOT THIS.” He patiently reminds me through this 70+ year old Ration, that birth pangs are not easy to live through, but live through them we must to share His Light during a tough time. Errrr…I should know this.
When you push and push and push yourself forward in faith, hope and love, the pain fades and the dream of what is to come takes on reality, dimensional shifts occur and spiritual shifts are completed. It is just a matter of remembering that birth pangs DO pass and bring something beyond beautiful to the world.
We may not see it on this side of the veil, but God does. This Ration refers us to Revelation, but God had Isaiah speak it even earlier:
‘On this mountain He will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
He will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
He will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.’
“…He will remove the shroud…” I love that image. His hand pulling the shroud off of us – rebellion – sin- pain – death.  These birth pangs will pass. They will remove that veil of grief. A beautiful world awaits. It is a matter of faith, hope but most of all – love.
1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘Now abideth. . .hope.’~1 Cor 13:13
“Read: Revelation 21:1-2
“”St. Paul lists hope as one of the three permanent Christian qualities. It is no easy thing always to be hopeful. The tragedies of a world at war cannot be laughed off. But Christian hope does not mean an ignoring of things as they are, but rather an anticipation of things as they ought to be. Jesus foretold that wars would come, but said they would mark ot the end but ‘the beginning of birth pangs’. Through the ages the world has been indebted to those who could see in present suffering the birth of a new life and in the darkness of night the coming of dawn.
“One night I was awakened by pain, and while lying in darkness, i heard the birds announce the coming of dawn. Possibly the pain or drowsiness kept me from seeing the coming of the new day, but those little birds saw it. Likewise in a world of suffering and spiritual lethargy, there is a great need for Christians who with characteristic hopefulness can see the dawn from afar, and who may be co-workers with God for the building of a new world.

“Prayer: O Lord, as in the beginning ‘the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy,” so now we still affirm our faith in thy eternal goodness and dedicate ourselves again to thy Kingdom of light. In Christ’s name. Amen.” [google images]