Tag Archives: esther

VISION 2020: Fisted vs Open

If you haven’t figured out by now to hit your knees and begin to pray for our country, you need to open your spiritual eyes and ears.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

This is not a just a physical war.
It is not about flags, statues or new names or even the destruction of landmarks. Those are only the outward manifestations of the heart.
It is about spiritual warfare. The inward manifestations that destroy the soul.
It is evilness versus righteousness.
It is birth pangs.
It is decision time that gives birth to choice.

Raise the fisted hand in rebellion on an earthly tower – – – or raise an open hand in His garden?

It started with my generation. Sorry. I screwed up. We screwed up. My father and mother both tried to tell me. Others also warned and were killed for their efforts. While the best of our generation were over seas fighting an enemy and getting spat upon when they came home, some of us sat in brick and mortar buildings and knew. Deep in our souls, we were sick to our stomachs and knew we were seeing the hazy face of evil.

Evil that was no longer hiding behind the curtain but only a thin veil.

We watched strong, wise, non-violent leaders murdered. We watched protests, and while we did not join them, we did not stand against them either.
It was the Age of Aquarius.
It was the Summer of Love.
It was the “Don’t trust anyone over 30!” generation.
Drop some acid. Head bangers’ psychedelic haze swirling round and round and round.
The Harrad Experiment.
The challenge to the rock of righteousness that had – even though flawed as all human endeavors are – protected our feet from the serpent’s bite.

Many Pied Pipers continually asking a simple question. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Gen 3:1b

And the beat went on.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10:4-5

We listened to the protest leaders in the 70’s at the end of that time of violence as they basically said they wouldn’t go away. They would go into our strongholds. They would demolish our rock of ages’s morality. They would whisper their question over and over and over until they wore us down. For they were sure we would reach for the apple they offered just as so many others before us.

They were right.

It was an age old story. Repeating because we do not learn from history very well – even though He gave a Book of Life to guide us. We still reach for that apple. What can I say? It is easier. Who wants to chose warring existence when we can chose a peaceful one instead?

But – – –

There are time when we are required to find our knees.
Repent that we ate the apple.
Pray to Our Father that loves us with such Grace and Mercy that He helps us stand.
Stand on our sacred honor.
Stand as we put on His armor.
Stand in prayer as He taught us to pray when He stood among us.
Stand in prayer with open hands raised to the Father.
Stand in prayer with open hands raised to the Pied Pipers who offered all those apples – just in case they need a hand to stand with us.
Stand with His cloud before us, among us, behind us as we learn from our mistakes and walk forward on the dry rock bed that He has provided for our feet.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ep 6:10-11

Humans are flawed beings. If we’re lucky we do some things that are great. Things that will be remembered by those who love us and by Our Father who is righteous in Light, Love, Mercy and Grace.

December 23, 1776
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Thomas Paine

We can not be summer soldiers or sunshine patriots anymore. It is time to stand as Thomas Paine and all the other Founding Fathers did.
Stand on our sacred honor.
Stand in righteousness.
Stand as we open our rebellious hands.

For who knows? Perhaps we were created for such a time as this. (Esther)ap 8 2020 e [personal image]

#theReturn #HeisWorthy

Lenten Journey #8

Today was cold in NC. The high was 32 degrees and the rain changed to sleet, to hail, to a few, tiny, snow flakes, so…of course…school was canceled by 1:30, and I got to stay home once again. sigh. I still miss teaching. However, I did get to play with the grands for a short time! It was “Make-a-book” day with Grandma. I don’t know who loved it more – stickers…crayons…counting…spelling…pre-made books. How fun is that? I sure hope that they learn to love reading as much as I do. Right now, I’m reading more non-fiction than fiction. But that’s okay, too, since it always cycles.

Studying Jewish history, language and wisdom is the perfect journey for Lent. It gets me thinking about so many things that I never considered before now, and it lends itself to helping me to identify even more with the man that walked this earth so long ago, Rabbi Jesus (funny – I am constantly thinking of Him in those terms during this time). Last week I was reading about Esther and the Jewish festival of Purim.

purim101The Jewish festival of Purim was this past weekend. It is a joyous celebration since Esther saved the Jewish people from another antisemitic leader named Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus of Persia. If you don’t remember Esther’s story in the Bible, she was chosen by the king and had to leave her people when she married him. Of course, he had many wives and she was not always allowed in his presence (not a great marriage to my way of thinking). Not your typical love story. However, her cousin, Mordecai, supported her and continued to encourage her not to lose her faith. He basically told her she was there for a reason, and he would stand beside her. It was in this way that she was able to save her people and find the courage to approach her husband even when he did not call for her.17 Esther

Purim actually means “lots” (as in lottery) in the Jewish language. The king listening to his adviser, Haman, was going to use a lottery system to destroy the Jews. Might seem strange to name their festival after the system meant to destroy them, but as usual, the Jewish sages have an answer for this. You see, it took a “lot” of courage for Esther to throw her “lot” in with Mordecai and talk to the king. Her choice made all the difference for the people. But the lottery didn’t end then. Esther continued to stay with the king, even after she had accomplished the salvation of her people, and bore a son named Darius, who just happened to play a major role in the re-building of the temple.esther 2

The book of Esther in the OT reminds us that we may not always (in my case it seems like NEVER) understand why we are in the situation we are currently facing – especially when it is painful. Yet, we “throw in our lots” every time we make a choice – take a step – chose a direction…even if we stand still, we are making a choice. Esther left her people and stayed where she felt God had placed her. Rabbi Jesus knew this story. He understood, better than we do, why things happen the way they do. Best of all, He “threw in His lot” with us. He chose to walk towards death that we might live.