Tag Archives: desert

3 of 7: LOVE

Manna3 of 7: LOVE. Once upon a time in a land far away, there was a group of people who decided that there was a Creator. A Creator that built them a garden, gave them animals to LOVE, plants to tend, and visited with them everyday. But they were a cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy type of people (think anything has changed?). They did good deeds, prospered, begat children, cared for plants and animals, but they also did bad things. =( The Creator still loved them despite these faults, but because He was so righteous, He knew that their sinful eyes could not bare to look at Him. Since they could no longer see him, the Creator gave them ways to “see” Him. The Cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people called it “faith”. The Creator called it LOVE.

During one of the many seasons of life, the cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people got themselves in a pickle in another land. The Creator heard their cries in the darkness and sent them a man who led them out of the pickle and into the desert. Food was kinda scarce there, but the Creator (who LOVED His children) took care of that right quick. He gave them meat in the evening and bread in the morning.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” Ex 16 4-5

Slowly, the cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people began to realize that when they relied on the Creator’s bread and LOVE, their day went much better (funny how that works, huh?). Like most things, the lesson stuck for awhile, but as the generations aged away from the days of gathering the bread, their faith grew weaker and sin returned…afterall, they were a cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people.

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Jn:35

However, the great thing about the Creator is that He never, ever stopped LOVING the cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people. He wanted to remind them about the bread and how it saved them when they were in that very dry, dusty, dead place, so He sent His son – His first born Son that He LOVED. His son, who was very good at metaphors, tried to remind the cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people with His words. He said over and over to these cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people, ‘if you will just gather Me every morning, I will nourish your life just like I did in all the dry, dusty, dead places in your lives’. Some listened. Some didn’t. (Natch)

It is a choice to LOVE. The Creator chose to put us first in His existence and surround us with LOVE. We get to choose whether we will LOVE Him back or even – whether we will put Him first in our lives. We are still cantakerous, headstrong and ouchy. The miracle is that we don’t have to go outside to gather manna in the morning any more. The manna is there for us whenever we want to gather it – whether it is in the dry, dusty, dead places of our lives or in the comfy armchair of our livingroom (although, in my personal opinion, the world certainly is much brighter when I gather the bread first thing in the morning). If we seek the things we LOVE first then we understand why the Creator seeks us every minute we are lost in our own deserts. It is simply because…………we are His first LOVE…..even if we are a cantakerous, headstrong, ouchy people. Amazing, isn’t it?

(Google images)bible-studies-feat-main

Habitat Building

A couple of thoughts have roamed through my mind today (within the chaos that usually scuttles about in there). Most of it centering around children. I often think that watching children is a reflection of watching Our Father in action. They love so easily. They forgive even faster. They create. They teach.

The granddaughter was playing with her habitats today. You see – she builds habitats for the creatures she wants to have (someday)…a small horse, a baby goat, a turtle (today’s focus) and a bat (not sure how she will do that one). Her mommy and daddy are pretty wonderful about helping her research whatever animal has caught her attention. Last weekend, it was a sea mollusk (and a lot of tears when we had to release him back into the ocean); this week a turtle. Then she starts to build them a habitat. She knows that her animals must have a place of their own to live, food to eat, and someone who will love them. Sound familiar?

Abba knew, that before He created humans, they would need a place of their own, Ever notice that the creation story doesn’t start with man? However, I don’t think that man was an afterthought…I may be a little biased here. I think God just is a much better planer then most of us…He was building a habitat for His sons and daughters. A vast array of universes. An orbiting world with its own sun and moon. A world subdividing into large areas of land.and crystal waters. A Garden full of plants and trees yielding fruit of every kind. Tiny creatures, big creatures, river creatures, flying creatures. Infinite in design, color, voice, skeletons…on and on and on. Until finally, it was time for something that He created in His own image…man…woman.garden

A child building a habitat.

Secondly, an older former student worried on-line today about losing contact with Our Father. Amid the business of day-to-day life, the angst of teenage years, the push to always succeed, the pressure to deny or – at least – ignore, media constantly humming in the ears. Is it any wonder he worries? I do – every minute of every day. I read a devotional today about how the Jewish people came to be the people of God. First, there Tornado of fire - Edm Airport Trng 08was Abraham. His faith led him through fire unharmed. Second, the people he taught stepped out in their faith to walk through water. Third, they traveled through a desert for 40 years learning to depend upon their Father God for food, shelter, and protection. A single person who made a choice; became the father of a nation as he taught others about God; leading generations to a belief so strong that they stepped into a river where Wall-of-Watertheir faith became a wind strong enough to dry the ground in front of them; and finally,…a looooonnnnnnggggg stroll through a desert that must have seemed unending and yet – so freeing – no limitations – no expectations – just trusting their Father to lead them, support them and love them.

Sound familiar? Don’t we all go through fiery times? Times when we see water totally over our heads? Dry, unending landscapes of nothingness, lack of visible supports, an empty feeling?

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Ps 23:423-wilderness_of_ziphjpg

David wrote this Psalm during one of His runs from Saul in the forest of Hereth (Sam 22:5) Jewish tradition teach that Hereth was not really a “forest” but a desert. Hereth means barrenness, harsh place. In Hebrew, it has the same letters as Heruth. Heruth means freedom. Strange combination of meanings – or is it? Jewish sages teach that when words share the same letters, it is because God wants us to notice the tie between the two words. Whether it is a whole nation or just one person, when we walk through that barren spot – that dark forest – we are freed of our day-to-day limitations, worries, etc. We are free to experience fully relying on the love of Our Father instead.

I try to rely on Our Father every day. I don’t always have the faith I should. I don’t always trust Him totally like I should. Yet – when I watch the Grands at play or listen to a former students trying to walk a life of faith, it reminds me that we are building our own habitat. We have (or are) walking through fire. Testing our faith by stepping into the water. And hopefully, walking through Hereth where we are free to experience the true love and sustenance of a Father who loves us enough to build a habitat just for us.

I’m just glad He lets us have a little time in the garden between all that fire, water and desert. I need my rest time, Father, and You always seem to know just when I need a little garden time. =P

Lenten Journal #18

WEEPING PUSSY WILLOWSpring has hit NC. The pussy willow is fuzzy and soft. Many of the trees are breaking out in flower or leaf. Purples, yellows and pinks are pushing up through the brown earth. There is something so special about watching nature wake up, stretch and open its eyes for the next few months. It is my favorite time of year and it seems like I’m always jumping from one foot to another waiting for it to get here. I may be impatient, but Our Father always knows the perfect time.

“…when the fullness of time came…” Gal 4:4

For centuries the vineyard had been growing. Some years were good years, and the fruit of the vineyard produced a marvelous crop of fruit. Other years the people who tended the vineyard lost their focus, and the vineyard withered of drought and disease. Over and over, caretakers rejected those who came and offered water and healing from the Source of Life. Until finally – in the fullness of time – the Source sent a part of Himself to the vineyard – bearing more water and healing blessings for the dying vineyard. Even so, many of the caretakers howled and drove the Blessed Bearer into the ground.

“From the LORD comes deliverance…” Ps 3:8

But this time, Blessed Bearer rose from the ground, sharing His water with all that would drink and gave healing blessings to all who would seek. Once again, new vineyards began to blossom in the deserts of the world. Some caretakers pulled the wax from their ears, removed their blinders, filled their buckets with water and called out:

“Deliver me, my God!” Ps 3:7

Lucky for all the vineyards of the world, “in the fullness of time”, the Blessed Bearer will return. Spring will erupt in all of its glory, water will flow through the deserts and …

“…everything is possible for one who believes.” Mk 9:23images