Tag Archives: Christ

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #36

The house was full of living then

And there was need to view

The quiet contours of the hills,

Heaven’s vast expanse of blue.

“Then and Now”

I am glad that in times such as this, I am sitting on the sidelines.  It is fun to watch all the pictures of my former students change from being babies to having babies.  It is not so fun to watch them struggle with the complexities that our culture has brought to their doorsteps. 

Last night was one of those nights, that My Father kept waking me up with the names of people He has placed in my sphere, and scriptural prayer echoing in my ear. Nights like that seem long, and usually the next day, I am wiped out. 

Today was different. For a second day – part II, He set free my spirit and an energy to get things done.

“So Christ has truly set us free.”

Galatians 5:1a

I didn’t get everything done, but got a lot.  More importantly, I spent extra time in prayer as I did those things.  Perhaps – like Mordecai told Esther – I was born for such a time as this….well….knowing Scripture like I have been blessed to learn in these latter years, I would say that Our Father definitely does place us exactly where He needs us.  He picks His people to be in a certain place when times are crucial to accomplish those things according to prophecy and His WORD that He might fulfill His covenants with us.

Believe it or not – facing all the chaotic things that are going on in this world – He knew exactly what He was doing when He chose to put you here and nowhere else. After all, He could have created you to exist anywhere in eternity – – and instead – – He set your spirit free in 2021.

The old house is empty now;

With mostly only me.

The trees are crowding up the hill

As if for company.

“Then and Now”

Tonight I am hoping to sleep the night away.  For whatever reason, prayers were on the agenda last night, and while I am not the most attentive person as the Holy Spirit nudges me awake, I do try, because I know I can always nap the next day if I need to do so.  Luckily, that was not the case today even though, I don’t remember sleeping much at all last night. In fact – I even rode 4 miles today when I was at the gym. 

Hmmm…maybe I should go to the gym in the morning more often???

One of the things I do remember from the night of prayer was covering President Biden, Afghanistan, world leaders and the people of our country with prayer.  For me, crying is part of Holy Spirit praying, so as I sniffled my way through my prayers, I thought about that Tuesday morning 20 years ago. A day when I stood in front of my Jr Hi classes and prayed my way through the “2nd Day that will live in infamy” of US history.

Last night, my spirit was set free to pray. Today, my body was set free to accomplish His will in my life.  Tonight, as I say my prayers, I will focus on those things He whispered in my ears last night, and tomorrow, hopefully, I will be set free again to focus on His will.

Pup will chase her ball.  Kitty will go out for about an hour. I will move a few loads of mulch as I prepare the gardens for winter and maybe – build a new garden (some of my rose bushes are not so happy now that many of the trees have grown taller, and the patio is covered with wisteria).  However, I will just have to wait and see where He leads me in my path to bear His fruit.  One thing for sure – I will keep writing. I will keep praying as I work. I will keep looking up and listening because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is drawing nigh.

I would not have them back for good—

My birds have learned to fly—

But I find lovely comfort when

A wild bird nests close by. 

Ruth Belle Graham’s “Then and Now”

“For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.”

Romans 6:7-11

#Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup  #rapture

TABERNACLING 2021: St. Patrick’s Day

“My name is Patrick.  I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers…”

Autobiographical St. Patrick’s Confession

It started this morning when I woke up with my mom’s voice singing her lullaby to me.  It continued when I went to school and figured out, I had – entirely – the wrong lesson plan for March 17th.  And to top it off, when I got to the gym and pool, a couple of acquaintances that I see there often, were trying to remember the words to old songs.  Talk about one wink after another. 

Our Father is not subtle when he is sending important messages for me to figure out.

  • Moonlight Bay.
  • Nature Boy.
  • Tennessee Waltz.
  • To0-ra-loo-Ra-Loo-Ra (That’s an Irish Lullaby).
  • It’s Only a Shanty. 
  • I’m Looking Over a 4-Leaf Clover.
  • Be Thou My Vision.

Now really?  Have you ever tried to do water exercises, sing, and laugh?  You ought to do so at least once in your life. Most of us couldn’t remember all the words, but working together, we managed to get through them.  When it comes right down to it, a gym pool area has pretty good acoustics…when you don’t get water in your lungs.

Be Thou my wisdom, be Thou my true word.

I ever with Thee, and Thou with me Lord.

Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Irish Hymn Be Thou My Vision

Did you notice how the list of songs above drifted into Irish ones?  Every one was already thinking about St. Patrick’s Day. Best yet – as they walked out the door – hair wet, towels dragging, face smiling,  – they continued to sing those old songs.

The Father’s blessings are everywhere.

As a society we’ve tended to forget the Saint behind the day of parties, parades, and green beer or rivers.  We’ve forgotten he was a child of British priests – kidnapped child – sold as a slave – escaped by a GOD-given vision – became a priest – returned to bring GOD’s grace to the land that had stripped him of his childhood and made him a slave.

Not exactly the way a person generally responds to an act that destroyed so many lives. Now go back to the beginning of this blog and read the first thing St. Patrick wrote in his “Confession”.

Confession.

There are a ton of blogs and sources of writing that we have access to via technology. However, very few cover sin, confession, or repentance. We like to talk about GOD’s Love, His Grace, His Patience, His Kindness, His Bounty, His Blessings.  Got to admit, I’d much rather write about those attributes, but He keeps impressing on me that we are living in the Days of Noah.

https://thoughtsong7.wordpress.com/2021/03/16/tabernacling-2021-days-of-noah/

We forget to teach that while St. Patrick did chase snakes out of Ireland, they weren’t the physical snakes that are drawn on coloring sheets.  They were the sin-snakes of the Bible. Ireland didn’t have many native snakes in the fifth century.  They didn’t know God. They didn’t know Christ.  No one had told them. Until – Our Father took something horrible that happened to one little boy – and – just like He did for so many in the Bible – made it into something that let His Light and Grace shine over a whole nation.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Gen 50:20

Tabernacling with the Father never gets easier.  It does have its moments of blessings (like singing in the pool with people who ask you to keep singing), but He keeps nudging me to look deeper, climb on the Rock Higher Than, seek what is hidden. As a lifelong learner, I’m glad He does.  I am exactly where I am supposed to be (even when I don’t like it), witnessing as best I can to those He puts (or keeps) in my sphere, falling on my knees in confession when I stray off the path or out-right rebel.  It is a constant choice to chase the snakes out of my world during these Days of Noah.

Like St. Patrick, “I bind myself today to the strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity, I believe the Trinity in the Unity, The Creator of the Universe.”

10th DAY OF CHRISTMAS: New Year’s Day 2021

  • A complete and perfect number.
  • 10 commandments.
  • A 10th is the recommended tithe.
  • 10 generations of humans until the flood.
  • 10 plagues in Egypt.
  • Daniel describes 10 toes the latter days.
  • Passover lambs selected on the 10 day of the month.
  • Day of Atonement is the 10th day of the month.
  • Revelations describes 10 horns in the latter days.

Tomorrow, my youngest grandson turns 10.  We celebrated his birthday and his mama’s birthday today. When I turned 10, I got to have a birthday party with friends.  Every 5 years, I was allowed to have a birthday party with friends.  Consequently, I had a sweet 15 party instead of a party when I turned 16.  How life changes through generations.

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven…” Ecc 3:1

Sorta like church.  When I was growing up, churches were totally based on traditions.  The traditions were different depending on the church and section of the country.  However, there was a communality in them.  An altar. A cross.  Hymns. Preacher. Bible readings.  Common prayers. A choir.  Even the times of services were pretty much the same. There were rambunctious services.  There were different styles of singing and preaching.

However, if you went backwards 100 years – 500 years – 1000 years, those traditions were not the same. The powerful thing – the underlying message has never changed.  There was a man who was also GOD.  A man chosen on the 10th day of the month as the final Passover Lamb.  A man who, in His final prayer on earth, taught us how to pray in John 17.

“Righteous Father, although the world has not known You, I know You, and they know that You sent Me. And I have made Your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love You have for Me may be in them, and I in them.” Jn 17:25-26

On the 10th Day of Christmas 2020, the vision remains fixed on the one thing that has never changed: The Triune GOD

Humans change.  Science changes.  Vision changes.  Traditions – cultures – languages – skin colors – philosophies – governments – kingdoms – idols…..the world changes.

But, sadly, the world still doesn’t know Him.  Only one Son knew Him – was Him, and on His last night on this earth, He prayed for us.  The world killed Him and still – – – He prayed for us.  He stood on His Father’s promises. He knelt on Gethsemane’s rock that He and His Father created. He tabernacled with His Father that night – for us.

That is 10 – the perfect completion of the Grace He brought to us from Our Father.

“No Greater Love” by Greg Olsen

2020 VISION: Sixth Day of Christmas

Interesting.  I started writing this.  Got the first paragraph completed, and suddenly it disappeared.  When that happens, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Holy Spirit is speaking very loudly. 

So now what?

I do what I always do – go back to where my feet stand secure. 

It is the sixth day of Christmas.  When Our Triune Father began this whole journey of life – it took Him six days.  Six days of creativity.  Six days of turning His dreams into a reality.  Six days of using his fingers and hands to shape and mold the pictures inside of His head. Six days of drawing in a breath here, another breath there, and finally a breath that included His entire heart and love.  Six days to – eventually – create those with whom He could have a lasting relationship – ones in His own image – sons, daughters, family – to walk with – to talk with – to tabernacle with – to love.

Six days – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and me………  just six days.

He modeled for me exactly what I could accomplish in 6 days. He sent His Son that I might see it even more clearly.

In the last six days, have I followed this example?  Have I let my creativity flow into the world around me? Have I taken the dreams inside my head – the dreams He has given me the capacity to see – and have I taken any steps into turning them into reality?  Have I used my hands, feet, – any part of my body – into molding and shaping those dreams? Have I breathed in deeply, put my entire heart and love into that dream? 

He modeled life.  Life in a work week.

Should I not honor all the blessings of those original six days by doing the same?

In the last six days, have I bowed my knees to tabernacled with Him and whispered in the depths of my heart: “Glory be. Show me Your dream that I can carry Your light into the dark. I’m listening. Thank you for dreaming me into existence, Father” ……… or have I just gone through the motions?

In these days of fear and uncertainty, when down is up and right is wrong, trust shakes the ground beneath my feet, and I tremble. My toes dig in the dirt – the clay – the shifting sand until I find that Rock.  That Rock He made just for me.  That Rock that is higher than.  That Rock where He always sets my feet when the earth shakes, and my heart skips a beat. I breathe deeply His promise into my lungs and look up.

“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God…”

1 Thes 5:12-16

Six days of Christmas.

Six days of any week of the year.

Just imagine what I could do – what the world could do – if we all spent six days tabernacling with the Father – Abba – Poppa GOD.

“Woman in Prayer” C. Michael Dudash artwork

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]

PANDEMIC 2020 VISION: A Mighty Fortress

“Where the eye is focused, there the imagination finds its raw material. The right focus must be won at immense cost and discipline. Train the eye to see the good, and the imagination will follow suit.”~Ravi Zacharias, 1946-2020

A minute. An hour. A day. 7 days. A week. A month. A year. A lifetime. Spans of time that pass with our laughter, our joy, our wrath, our frustrations, our tears, our sadness…our prayers. A twinkling of an eye to the One who listens.

A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he, amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
does seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

Not sure when I fell in love with this hymn. Perhaps it was as I watched my daddy recover from a heart attack when I was a few years younger. Perhaps it was one of the songs we sang in our small church’s children’s choir. What I do know – – I sang it often with my Mom, Dad and Big Brother standing beside me. I also memorized all the verses to sing during my 6th grade year for a musical audition, “Cowboy on the Moon”. Now why I thought that was the best song to sing for an elementary school production – again – have no idea, but I remember my teacher laughing as she pulled out the hymnal that sat on her book shelf and began to play.

It has come to my lips many times since then – when Mommy gripped my hand on the way to Daddy’s funeral – in the back of that small church where I got married – as tears splashed in my journal when the covenant was broken – this past week as I realized I would not hear my Big Brother’s voice again on this side of the veil.

Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God’s own choosing.
You ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth his name,
from age to age the same;
and he must win the battle.

In the past few days, many things have happened that have affected me deeply. Deaths of people I love. Deaths of people I don’t know. Friends that I have known forever arguing back and forth on social media with a tinge of nastiness underlining their free speech. Violence erupting around the country I love. Division. Destruction. Fires. Brownness. Whiteness. Purpleness. Fear. Anger. Brokenness. Sadness.

The world has seen this many times – in many forms – a replay of an old script – written by the same author, and I struggle to
focus the eyes before biting the apple once again.

And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God has willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo! his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

I know I wrote about this recently, but it bears repeating after this past week. I remember distinctly praying in 1970, that peoples’ eyes would be re-focused on the goodness of Our Father’s grace and mercy – on what we could be – needed to be – instead of the world’s eyes being clouded with the cataracts of all things evil.

Even though I was biting the apple from a different side at that time of my life (and still), I knew from what I had read in history books, I knew what I saw in the streets during those times was some thing that could destroy the world I knew. Would break my parents’ hearts. Would break me.

A birth pang. A Braxton Hicks of things to come.

That Word above all earthly powers
no thanks to them abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours
through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever!

A Mighty Fortress IS Our GOD…

Powerful words in answer to those with unfocused eyes. Powerful words that are the corrective lens to give us 2020 vision in a darkened world. Powerful words that remind us that birth pangs last for just a little while. Powerful words that usher in a peace that passeth all understanding as He makes all things new. Powerful words that lift us out of the gravity of the world. Powerful words that let us become new astronauts soaring towards home with 2020 vision once again.

“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”~Jn 14:19

“But tis enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with Him.” Richard Baxter, “Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care”

“Surrender to Him
Love Him.
Follow Him
Serve Him.
Live for Him.
And take His message wherever you go.” ~Ravi Zacharias a-mighty-fortress-t-c-hoffman [google image]

ONE SONG AFTER ANOTHER

Moved 8 loads of mulch.
Cleaned and moved many things in garage.
Stung by 2 wasps.
Bitten by 1 spider.
Given up counting mosquito bites.
Matted eyes due to allergies.
Sang along with songs playing in my head.
BUT…
Tools moved to shed. Freezer is moved into the house. Kitchen is re-arranged and fairly clean. Whew!! I’m so ready for the Sabbath.
 
“Standing, standing…”
 
At the beginning of summer, I could not have rearranged the garage or moved that freezer by myself. The only thing I couldn’t do was get the stupid door off its hinges, so I called on one of my wonderful neighbors to help. Walla – door off. Cleaned areas I hadn’t seen for three years and decided to change everything else. Room-by-room the house is becoming a new creation.
 
“Standing, standing…”
 
The house is not the only thing being made new. Ryndiyah (10 year old lab girl) is running and keeping up with Koayah (7 year old lab girl). It has been a long time since I’ve seen both of them running and playing like puppies, and yet – everyday they are tearing through the woods in pursuit of an orange ball, jumping on the bed to wake me up in the morning, or throwing themselves on the grass just to squiggle on their backs. Unless I leave, they still are not more than a few feet from me at any time of the day, and are waiting at the door, balls in their mouths when I get home.
 
“Standing on the promises of Christ my King
Through eternal ages let his praises ring…”
 
This summer has had 30+ days of 90 degrees and high humidity. So I’m definitely ready for a “new” weather pattern to bless us with cooler weather. Then I see all the pollinators buzzing around the flowers. Humming birds emptying out the feeders in record time. A rare moment to sit on the patio swing and soak in the quiet blessings of the heat at the end of the day. While close by, Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle traps another bug or frog or lizard as she says, “Meow, meow” and I answer, “Meow, m’ow”. Somehow, the hot summer isn’t so bad, and I relax even more, closing my eyes, swinging back and forth, back and forth.
 
“Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing
Standing on the promises of God.”
 
School kicks into high gear next week. Meetings. Rooms to get ready. Visions to turn into lesson plans. Books to catalogue. Decorations to enhance bare walls. Prayers to circle around the room and the students that will come the next week. August is here. Can Fall be far behind?
 
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.”~2 Cor 1:20
 
It is amazing what can be accomplished when “Standing on the promises of Christ the King.” All of a sudden, I find myself: “Praising my Savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long…”
 
Just one song after another.

MAY STORMS’ PASSING

While there are “blue skies up above”, and I’m thinkin’ that not quite “everyone’s in love” with the heat in NC, it has definitely been a lazy river type of day – especially as the sinus infection seems to slowly begin its meandering journey away from me. Storms never come in singularity for me. Some I talk about and some – I just don’t. Depends on what I hear the Captain speak to my fingers.

Spent most of the day just fidgeting. Making physical copies of Pop Kaufman and Daddy Mike for the Memorial Day display in our home – – Reading some more of Kline’s “Piece of the World” – – Brushing the lab girls as I try to keep some of their hair outside instead of inside clumps floating here – – War room time as I pray, copy Bible verses, and wonder for the umpteenth million time WHY? WHAT possible lesson am I missing in this trifecta of storms? You’d think at 68 it would be a little easier navigating this dinghy – –

When I came inside from trying to move a few plants and failing miserably (since it is too hot and I still just want to curl into a ball and sleep), a few of Mom and Dad’s favorite songs “just happened” to be playing on my list – “Up a Lazy River”, “It Had To Be You”, “Summertime”, “My Foolish Heart”, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”, “Dancing Cheek-to-Cheek” and suddenly, I’m 4 or 5 again, watching from the sofa as they dance around the living room or listening at the top of a dark stairway for the signals that their stormy argument is almost over – – and somehow – – those signals always came as both of them would wander up the steep stair to tuck me back into bed and sing “Oh, You Beautiful Doll” until I fall asleep.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”~Matt 6:33

So today, I guess I’m still looking for signals of the storm’s passing, waiting for the melodies that always soar around me when I reach deep for that “peace that passeth all understanding” which always follow the storms’ path. I just have to keep taking baby steps forward. Listen for His voice. Stand on His WORD. And – positively KNOW that while He is just being quiet in my noisy boat, He has already charted the course and controls the winds and seas with His WORDS.

It’s funny.  I really love physical storms.  I love watching the dark clouds approach.  The way the thunder rumbles not only around the house but deep into my belly.  Oooooo – the smell of rain as it begins to hit the leaves far away, drawing closer and closer until it hits my nose. Not to mention – the wind that blows out all the staleness and dirt that clutters the air.  Lightening that crackles my soul with becomes a small light in the darkness.

All of it.  Powerful. Magical. Miraculous.

Daddy used to say it was just one of GOD’s ways of reminding all us who really is in charge of creation.  I still remember coming down a different set of stairs when a storm had awakened me, on July 4th 50 years ago.  Mom was still asleep in their bed , but Dad was standing by the window watching the storm of a lifetime hit our small town. He heard me and beckoned me forward to him.  We stood together, watching the lightening, listening to the thunder and rain while my earthly father shared his heart of wisdom with me.  Once again, He prayed with me and for me.  I miss that.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”~Ps 90:12

So I am numbering my days. Seeking those signals that the storms of a lifetime are once again leaving my area. Excited to hear the new melodies that will enfold me in their warmth and dry my tears. For Our Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit are good…very good…at steering floundering dinghys – even ones with lots of holes in them.  Grace patches are amazing.  

All the time –

They are good.   

LENTEN INSIGHT 2019 #1:

Now tell me again why “Thoughts and Prayers” don’t matter??

THOUGHTS

How many times did Christ mention thoughts? Thoughts that cause us to sin. Thoughts that show our love for others. Thoughts that direct our paths. Thoughts in our Be-Attitudes. Thoughts that He shared with all He encountered. Thoughts that shape the mind – the body – the faith.

PRAYERS

Time and time again, the Gospels mention Rabbi Yeshua praying. Praying with those around Him. Praying with a crowd. Praying over meals. Praying in the temple. Praying all alone – in the dark of night – in the early hours of the morning – for others – for Himself – in praise and thankfulness to His Abba.

 

“Thoughts and Prayers” matter. 

They mattered to the early Christians as they faced the lions – faced stoning – faced crucifixion.

They matter on the battlefield of war – of illness – of addiction.

They matter to me. 

They matter to Christ.

They matter to Our Father-GOD.

“Now it came to pass in those days that [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”~Lk 6:12               alpha-and-omega-greg-olsen   [Greg Olsen artwork]

EPIPHANIES

It was a crazy busy day, and “I am whooped”, as my mother used to say. Inside decorations put away by noon. Outside decorations put away and stuffing my face with food by 3. It is the day of Epiphany, and my house looks like it is in mourning.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” ~ Jim Rohn

My nephew posted this quote today. Actually, it was a memory post, but today it struck me as an epiphany. There was another quote that also struck me as an epiphany. “Instead of saying, “LORD, I don’t know how I’m going to do this,” say, “LORD, I don’t know how YOU are going to do this.”

The last one should NOT have been an epiphany since I love the verse in 2 Chronicles 20:12 which basically tells me the same thing. ” For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on YOU.”

My eyes, my heart, my total being needs to be focused only on how My Father intends to work through me or others in my sphere to handle something. I have to admit, I often get overwhelmed. I get angry, frustrated and definitely, impatient. I also have a soft heart. It breaks often. It rejoices often. A students tells me his only prayer at Christmas was for his mom and dad to get back together. Another friend celebrated their mom’s 90th birthday. A friend’s husband walked out on them just after Christmas. Another friend was reunited with GOD and their family. A former student lost his battle with the C-word while another just got a clean bill of health and a final surgery from that same dreaded C-word. A kitty who always has matty eyes and scabby skin cuddles in my lap and yet – has survived a whole year and half when we thought she wouldn’t make it a week.

Hmmm – when I started writing this post, I didn’t see it going in this direction and yet, that is the way the Spirit seems to be moving me tonight. Epiphanies are like that. Those break-through moments that you open your eyes and see something that you didn’t expect to see. A sun dog in the sky. A dark cloud in an otherwise sunny day. A phone call from an old friend that was full of laughter, thoughts and love that couldn’t be shared with anyone else than her. A phone call to look forward to from a son just home from his vacay.

GOD is good. So good that He sent a Son and His Holy Spirit to comfort us, to sustain us, to challenge us, to push us, to encourage us, to help us laugh, to dry our tears, to offer Grace Gifts that will carry us through until we see Him again. Now that is an epiphany worth hanging onto in the dark times and in the joyful times.

The next couple of weeks are hard ones for me. Bittersweet dates in time when I will miss my earthly parents and parent-in-law a little more than usual. Reflection times of pulling out their memory books has already started.Touching captured moments in time with my fingers. Reading words that they wrote so many years ago and lingering a little longer with those internal memories that words cannot express.

Today’s epiphanies that Our Father has whispered inside my heart have been His Grace Gift to me. A while back, I thought I had found the perfect way to combat the sadness of these weeks, but that was only on the worldly level. This epiphany level is ever so much stronger and better. The Be-attitudes strike me again with the strength of a sledge hammer. I only wish I had realized it so much earlier on this path I walked. Then again – I think I probably recognized it at just the right time in eternal space because it is His space in time, and that is always perfect.

I will cry – I am crying – I will cry, but tears are good. They wash out the dirt and grime that as accumulated in the corners of my eyes and allow my vision to clear. The Grace Gifts of yesterday are also swirling around, and I am itching to start my new Bible studies and delve even deeper into Jewish wisdom.

GOD is good all the time. All the time, GOD is good.

“Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”~Matt 5:4  comfort-bible-verse-1-lg   [google image]