Tag Archives: Exodus

2020 VISION – PART III

I love those mornings I can just amble through. Nothing pressing. No schedule to hurry me out the door. Just time to breathe deep while I scratch the lab girls’ ears, and they stretch. Rub Shadow/Spooky/Sparkle kitten’s head until she jumps off whatever strange place she decided to claim as hers for the night. Best of all – if I’m out of my prayer closet on time – I stand on the porch and watch the first rays turn the top of the trees bronze as the dark clouds of night sink further into the west.

Today was one such day. After reading the paper, my morning devotions, doing a couple word puzzles and a reading a chapter in a book my daughter gave me for Christmas, I read a few poems from my other new book.

“Imagine a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – – – like writing a poem or saying a prayer.” Ann Morrow LIndbergh

A North Carolinian friend of mind gave me a basket of small things that have to do with gardening. A poetry book. A pair of gloves. A plaster wall hanging. A small tote to carry hand tools. She already knows me well. She and her husband befriended me 3 years ago when I first moved to this neighborhood. Both educators in their 80’s, they have taught me a lot about the history of the neighborhood, the Southern viewpoint of the 60’s desegregation in education, and gardening. Many starts of wild plants from their property have started anew just up the road with me.

God sends people into our lives for a season, and sometimes – you just wish that season would have started a lot earlier or would last forever.

This is a hard week of bittersweet season endings for me. On the 9th – 49 years ago – my father went to the room prepared just for him by Yeshua Mashiach. I know he was ready even if I was not. He told me so just a few days before Christmas. 9 years of heart issues had definitely taken their toll on him and all of us. 10 years later, my fiance and I decided to get married on the 9th to give all of us a happy memory. But when the winds begin to blow and seasons end, sometimes you have two bittersweet memories instead of one.

However, the ultimate, most wonderful thing that happens at the end of one season is that another one begins. And – while it may not be our favorite season, it is a season that He has given, and we find that we are exactly where we are supposed to be to bless others with what we have learned. All I have to do is wait for the light, rain, warmth, rooting or seedling, and a new garden will begin to flourish all around me. When my friend gave me the blessing of a garden on that cold December day, the Father’s wings enfolded me as He showed me a new garden gate opening just for me.

“Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the awe of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”~Ex 20:20

Did you notice the notation of the verse in Exodus?

20:20.

2020

His promises never fail. Gardens are His thing. And I? I am His child. That 2020 Vision just continues to improve, and if I’m lucky, I will have more mornings of standing on the porch watching the first rays of His light cross the horizon and beginning my day with His Light, Grace and Love.

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WARM, BUTTERY BREAD

When the Holy Spirit is nudging, and I am plugging my ears, Our Father and His Son, Yeshua, will often step in and slap me upside the head with blessing after blessing just to get my attention.

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”~Ex 14:14

Last night a neighbor drove his mower over and not only did the road frontage, but also did the whole back yard. All day I had been internally wondering how I was going to fit everything in that I needed to get done this week. I wasn’t anxious about it, just pondering what kind of schedule I needed to implement so I could get to school and get some more books on the shelves and do all the things that seem to make up my day.

Later, I cried because that is just the way He works in my life these days. He knows that I hate traveling in canyons with their high steep walls. In canyons, the sky seems so far away, and daylight is overcast with shadow after shadow. This summer has been one long, huge canyon for me, and He knows it. But as always, He has provided a river of blessings that flows at the very bottom of that dark canyon to up-lift my dingy self.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”~Is 41:10

As I struggled over devotions, I read and re-read the WORD given. It just seemed to not fit my day, and I wondered what I was missing this time. So I gave up and put myself in His hands as I closed my eyes for this somewhat long and uneasy day. “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way” was one of the last things I thought before I drifted off to sleep with kitty curled into my side and dogs snoring at my feet.

That is when I had a dream with its roots in a memory and the devotional that I had struggled with earlier.

When I was 7, we moved to a new house. A house where my father could walk to work and where we could all listen to the trains rumble by our house every few hours. The best thing – it was a neighborhood filled with kids my age. Mostly boys, which I didn’t appreciate until much later, but there were a few girls. One was a girl named Annie. Her family brought us freshly baked bread that first day when we were hot and tired and excited. I don’t think I had ever had warm bread like that – ever. Other neighbors and relatives joined us with other treats. Impromptu parties were not unusual to my parents. But it was always Annie and that out-of-the-oven, buttery bread that I remembered.

Last night, I dreamed of that warm bread again. Sweeter, better than I ever remembered. The Bread and Annie were both there. She asked me, “Is it really that hard to understand?” I laughed because suddenly the devotional made perfect sense, and I woke up still smiling. In fact, I can still taste that bread tonight and see Annie’s laughing face.

The Bread of Life. The Living Water. Sometimes, we just need to close our eyes. Be still. Rest in His hand. Let Him carry the battle in the canyon journey that we really don’t like. And – eat some warm buttery bread.

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.’ “~ Jn 6:48-51 

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ONE PERFECT SABBATH

Today was one of those days made perfect by the tiny small acts that happened throughout it. Acts that have warmed my soul and reminded of the holiness of the day.

A day that really didn’t start out so well. Our youngest lab girl woke me up at 3:30 with that dreaded sound that all pet owners or kidlet parent recognizes – regurgitation breaths. Getting untangled from the the bedding in the middle of the night is not one of the fastest things I do anymore – but I managed, and Koay managed to hold it in until I got her out the door. The old dog didn’t even get up. She just rolled on her back, thinking she might get a belly rub when I returned.

Needless to say, I was not in the mood to rub anyone’s belly, and Ryndi just sighed as she rolled back over. Luckily, Koay did what needed to be done fairly quickly and was back in the door within a few minutes wanting her belly rubbed. Again, I was not amused. I crawled into bed and hoped I could fall back to sleep.

I did – – – eventually.

The last time I glanced up at the time reflected on the ceiling, an hour had already crawled towards dawn, and I was yawning my way through one more Bible verse (which is what I do when I can’t sleep). Obviously, my plans on rising early to do some mulch moving during the coolest time of our 90-degree-really-really-humid-days got lost in catching up on some much needed 💤 .

Early morning chores followed. Walk the dogs, sweat. Pull some weeds, sweat a little more. Throw the ball and listen to panting dogs hunting for it – sweat. Sit on the patio swing while glancing through the paper and – you guessed it – sweat. By that time, it was time to get cleaned up and go over to the daughter’s for breakfast and help the oldest Grand paint her room – or should I say – help her parents paint the room as she added a couple of brush strokes here and there.

In any case, it was there – standing in her room – in between playing with clay, talking about “Hatchables” and the habitats we had made from clay for them, tossing a “Wubble” up and down the stairs, and those few swipes of a brush in her bedroom, we found ourselves pretty much alone for a few minutes.

We were talking about the color of her room – a very striking turquoise – when she curled under my arm and wrapped her arms around me. We kept talking and laughing for one of those moments which you know is searing itself as a treasure chest memory into your heart. The almost 11-year-old, leaning into me just like she used to do when she was tiny – just like her mama used to do when she was tiny.

My heart was blessed beyond measure with such a gift.

The ultimate gifts of any day are not usually fancy. Usually they come so quickly that we don’t even notice. They don’t usually cost money. They can be as simple as having a butterfly land on your finger at the end of the day as it flutters its wings and probes your skin for its salty moisture. The gift of a Lab girl that wiggles under the inversion board as you stretch your back, so she can rub her head against your head just to show how special she thinks you are in her life. A Father who sends His blessings in so many ways if we only take time to notice.

It was a good day – a perfect day – a day to praise God and remember why we should keep the Sabbath and make it holy.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

~Ex 20:8-11

 

BREADCRUMBS I

“Jesus wept.”~Jn 10:35

It is the shortest verse in the Bible and yet…it catches my breath every time I read it.

God wept.

I’ve been thinking of the story of Lazarus all week. It seems Our Father does this to me often. He plops breadcrumbs down in front of my feet – like I’m supposed to know what to do with them.

Eat them? Follow them?

Obviously, I don’t handle His hints very well. Sometimes, I crush them – mostly by accident…..I think – with the heel of my boots. Sometimes, I stoop down to study them where they are lying, wondering if I really want to deal with the mess of breadcrumbs in my pocket – you know – they crumble, right? Sometimes, I pick them up – popping them in my mouth – – duh, I’m hungry and the five second rule works for me. And sometimes – I pick them up and turn them carefully in my hands and wonder why they sparkle in the sun? Then I wonder just what in the world am I supposed to do with a sparkly breadcrumb?

It has been one of those weeks. The breadcrumbs have been plentiful – way more than I can handle – and I’ve been befuddled on what to do with all of them. My path littered with crumbs I’ve inadvertently crushed. My belly full of broken challa that feeds my soul. My pockets, a crumbly mess of wisdom that I wish I understood just a little more. My hands full of somewhat intact crumbs that sparkle and then I look up. The darkness thins, and He shows me why they sparkle. They are covered with tears.

As I’ve been reading Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg which led me at some point to the story of Lazarus. As if to drive the point home, I stumbled over to a podcast by a Messianic Rabbi on John Chapter 11. Till finally last night, there was a transforming catalyst of the breadcrumbs and that sent me to the back door slider in our home. A sunset. A ray of light reflecting off my tears. He always prepares me, I just am not so smart at realizing it until I look closely at those breadcrumbs that I hold tenderly in my hand.

Rabbi Yeshua was close to His followers and even closer to His disciples. He was their teacher for as long as He was given. His Father gave him a list, and He gathered them by calling their name or telling a story or by just a look over a crowd. He broke bread with them. He taught them with love. He patiently explained this new knowledge in different ways, over and over and over. He struggled when they struggled with their faith. He wept when they wept for great was His compassion – – – great was His love.

In our society, students don’t stay as long with their teachers as they did in Jesus’ time. However, like the rabbis of old, teachers today still share tiny bits of their lives, knowledge – and hopefully – wisdom with those given to their charge by the Father through a list typed out by the school secretary in some office. Before they know it though, the students are walking out the door and onto their own paths; their teachers sniffle a little as they wave good-bye.

As teachers, we don’t talk about it much. We act like it is just a job. Actually, I don’t think we understand the process as much as we think we do. We just know – that somehow – we grew attached. We gathered them at the beginning of the year. We broke bread with them. We laughed with them. Struggled with them in their struggles. We sweated in the heat of the summer that didn’t know when to quit. We froze in the depth of winters when old boilers couldn’t keep up with the below-freezing cold. We wept when the ugliness of life jumped out of the bushes and unto the path that we are walking together.

Overdoses.

Vehicle crashes.

Storms that break tree limbs.

Illnesses.

A national tragedy – a local tragedy – a familial tragedy.

The connection between teachers and students has been there since the beginning of time and will continue in the everlasting gospel (Rev 14:6). It has been modeled for us throughout the entire WORD. When Our Father gathered His people to Him. When He sat on Mount Sinai with Moses and the Elders to break bread (Ex 24:9-10). When He carved His law upon the tablets and told Moses what to write in the Torah (Ex 19-24). He struggles with His people when they struggle. He weeps with holy tears as His people weep (Jer 14:7).

Teachers – Students – breadcrumbs that sparkle with tears in every season of life. God is good and greatly to be praised. Amen and amen.

 

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10th DAY OF NISAN

I. Did. Absolutely. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.
And.
I.
Loved.
It.

Well – – – that is probably a tiny exaggeration. I did the usual devotional time. Wrote my daily letter for Lent. Cleaned the kitchen. Threw sticks for dogs. Mowed the tiny bit of grass that we call a yard. Visited with my egg lady and her daughter with the broken ankle when they delivered my huge duck eggs – even got some extra eggs for the Grands to color next weekend. (Can’t wait to see their faces as they color these huge eggs) Cooked super. Yawned and climbed in the hot tub.

Seriously though – didn’t read books – didn’t plant one thing – didn’t pitch any mulch – didn’t research any of those things that randomly popped up during the day – didn’t walk the dogs on their usual hike – didn’t run to the store – just didn’t do a lot of things that I usually do. Just a lazy, stretch out kind of day.

Not only a lazy day – but a day completely misnamed in my head. I kept thinking that today was Sunday. Ever do that? A computer glitch in the brain labels the day and there you go. It is SUNDAY – even if you aren’t doing all the things you normally do on Sunday. Not once did I think it was Saturday until I got out of the hot tub tonight and turned on the TV. Then it dawned on me that not only was today NOT Sunday, but tomorrow was not just any Sunday.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday.

“This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb.”~Ex 12:2-3

The Western Easter calendar and the Jewish calendar do not always mesh. Sometimes the dates are just off. This is one of those years. Passover starts Monday at sunset on the 10th of Nisan – April 10th for us. The 10th of Nisan is important to Passover. It is the day families would walk to all the pens of sheep around the Temple Mount. Pens full of Lambs that the priests had declared pure and without blemish. Lambs that waited for be chosen as a Passover Lamb. Families would choose the lamb that would atone for their sins on the 10th day in the month of Nisan.

Guess what date it was when Jesus rode into Jerusalem?

“They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.”~Matt 21:7-9a

Yupper – the 10th of NIsan. Rabbi Yeshua – declared pure and without blemish by John, a priest of Aaron’s line – climbed upon a donkey – just as Issac climbed on a donkey – just as prophesied by Zechariah – and was brought into the home of all Jewish people with great celebration and acclaim. Jerusalem. The holy mount where a stumbling man named Abram looked up and finally gave his heart in faith completely to El Shaddai.

The 10th day of Nisan.

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”c
“Hosannad in the highest heaven!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
The crowds answered, “This is Yeshua, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”~Matt 21:9b-11

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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]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #55

This has been one BEEEEE-UUUUU-TI-FULL day. Full of absolutely nothing. Well – we did hang some drapes, cook some food, play with the puppies, and open all the windows for the wonderful fall weather to drift through. Oh yeah – I did pick up stuff for my little robot maid to run around on our floor. But other than that – totally lazy, stay inside, veg-type of day.

It’s funny that even on lazy days the mind continues to turn things over…especially in a terrible election year. It is like a constant informal prayer day when I’m lazy. I have these running conversations in my head with Abba that is – more than likely – totally inappropriate – – – especially when there is news about the election.

Comments like – ‘Seriously?’ ‘Can’t you do a miracle or two?’ ‘Why?’

And then -that little nugget verse He placed in front of me yesterday pops back up, and I stand convicted. I remember the phrase I wrote about yesterday, “Yahweh said, I am the God of your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”~Ex 3:6

Faith, sacrifice, struggle.

Zechariah was a Hebrew prophet. His name in Hebrew is “The LORD Remembers”. Today’s Ration reminds us the leader that the LORD has envisioned is so much different than the vision we have for ourselves – even those back in 1942. The author of today’s Ration seems to be thinking pretty much the way we are thinking in 2016. Read his first paragraph under the Bible verse, but as we head into the last month of this election year, remember God’s vision for our leader:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
And the bow of war will be cut off.
And He will speak peace to the nations;
And His dominion will be from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.”~Zech 9:9-10

1942 Daily Ration:‘He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass…and he shall speak peace unto the heathen; and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.’~Zech 9:9,10

“Read: Zechariah 9:9-10

“Powers that be in politics make it difficult for rulers to govern righteously. Individuals and groups clamor loudly for favors and selfish advantage. Even the best nations are concerned more for their own than for another’s good.

“Zechariah envisioned the coming of a different sort of king than men had yet known. He would be just, not given to the practice of favoritism: he would have salvation for the people, not defeat and slavery; he would be lowly, within reach of the humblest; he would bring peace to the nations, not discord and strife; and his reign would be universal, not for one nation or race or class.

“Is this the King we delight to serve? Are we willing to be no more highly favored than others, including people of so-called inferior races and of totalitarian state? We want salvation, of course, so lowly that he took the form of a servant?…If he must depend for the extension of his Kingdom on such subjects as we are, will he ever have dominion from sea to sea?…

Prayer: Eternal God, teach us the truth that righteousness is better than wickedness, and that love is stronger than hate. Deliver us from the temptation to discriminate unfairly between people because of class or color or race or privilege. Endue us with wisdom and goodness that we may serve the cause of justice and peace. We pray in the name of Christ. Amen.”

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #54

Hmmmm…interesting turn of events today. Over the craziness of my days, I tend to think about what I will write when I finally settle in my chair and take to the computer. Usually, there is a seed that God had already planted. I never know how it will eventually bloom, but I can feel it emerging as the day hurries me along and by evening the first sentence just plops itself our in front of me.

Today, there have been a series of things. It started with early morning vivid dreams that are just too-weird-to-describe. Dreams that I am still thinking about. Then I caught the tail end of talk about this verse: `I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, `and the God of Jacob’Exodus 3. 6.

I’ve heard this phrase often throughout my life. It is not only in Exodus but also mentioned in the NT – in its entirety and in various shortened versions. Jewish tradition says that when things are repeated in the Torah, there is much to be discovered.

So I sat and thought.,,,
And thought…
And thought some more…

I’m sure there is much more than I know yet, but I’m working on it. So here is a quick summation of today’s random thoughts.

  1. 1. Each of these men represent some portion of Our Father’s characteristics in His relationship to us (that was a pretty easy leap).
    2. Abraham was totally faithful in his relationship with Elohim (again, more thoughts keep bumping around as I type this, but I really am trying to keep it short).
    3. Issac was a prince born of wealthy parents and yet – at the age of 38 (according to Jewish tradition) agreed to be a sacrifice – if that is what his father wanted (I do believe I have tons more to flesh out on this one).
    4. Jacob spent his life not sure of his place in this world – or ‘wrestling with God’ (tons more thought doesn’t even begin to cover this one).

But all-in-all, I think that God used this one phrase to tell us that He loves the faithful, those who are willing to sacrifice themselves and those who struggle with Him every day of their life. As an addendum to Jacob, when his struggles are over – he is reborn with a new name.

Thoughts in progress as I read these words in today’s Rations: “Yeshua answered and said to him, “It is written: ‘you shall worship THE LORD JEHOVAH your God, and him only you shall serve.’ “~Lk 4:8

1942 Daily Rations: ‘Angels came and ministered unto him’~Matt 4:11

Read:  Psalm 119: 161-168

“Jesus had come victoriously through his temptation. His last word to Satan were the closing words in the incident for today: ‘Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’ One must go the way that God and his universe are going or else be at sixes and sevens with the world and Himself. When Shelley was a child he once set fire to a fagot pile. When questioned as to why he had done so he replied that he had wanted ‘to make a little hell’ of his own. This is not hard to do. The easiest way to do it is to throw off all sense of standards to which we must be loyal. The happy man is the one who keeps faith with his ideals. Angels come and minister unto him. This is the peace of fidelity.

“Prayer: O Thou who are the strength of all souls, abide in us this day and make us strong. May we have courage to follow the right with such fidelity that there may abide in our hearts the peace of God that passeth understanding. Amen.”

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THE VOICE BEHIND ME

vintage-sheet-music-the-exodus-song-pat-boone-ernest-gold-paul-newman-60c-89bac1663aac6d751984b7935a006499“This land is mine,
God gave this land to me
This brave and ancient land to me
And when the morning sun
Reveals her hills and plains
Then I see a land
where children can run free.”

Long ago, I would sit at the piano,  mom standing behind me as she said, “Brynie, play this for me”. Generally, I would play the song, she would sing it a few times and off we would go in our different directions. But somewhere, buried deep in the creases of my brain, that familiar voice is still behind me just as loud and clear as ever.

“Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’~Ez 11:17

Mom didn’t play piano well. It was something she tried to teach herself, but her digits never found the right path easily, and as her fingers became more arthritic mom 1990sand deformed, it became even harder. She didn’t take well to things that she couldn’t do well, so she would ask me to play for her. Sometimes it was for some performance she was working on – a Republican gathering, a minstrel, a choir performance somewhere. Sometimes it was just a song she found and wanted to try out. Most of the time, especially in my teen years, it was a space where our souls met. A place where we stopped arguing or butting heads over principles and found the love and peace that brought us together as mother and daughter.

“So take my hand
And walk this land with me
And walk this lovely land with me
Tho’ I am just a man
When you are by my side
With the help of God
I know I can be strong.”

If I learned anything from my mother, it was watching her adhere to her principles. It didn’t matter if it put her family on the opposite side of her stance. It didn’t matter if it put her on the opposite side of those whom she admired because they went to college and she hadn’t. It didn’t matter if they made more money or had more “stuff”. She stuck to what she believed. That can be pretty daunting to the rebellious teen who got a lot of her own stubbornness from the one she was watching.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these .”~ Phil 4:8

img700 - CopyI have been thinking about principles and our country all day. After all – it is Super Tuesday. It is – perhaps – the reason I heard her voice behind me singing this particular song. I can still see the picture on the front of the sheet music as I would open it up on our old, dark upright piano and begin to play. Later, I sang this song as well with my singing buddy/sister. The intricate harmonies circling a prayer around us just like it circled around my mother and I when we would made music together.

“…To make this land our home
If I must fight
I’ll fight to make this land our own.
Until I die this land is mine!” ~ Pat Boone, “Exodus”

Known as the “second national anthem of Israel”, the words and melody of this song still circle easily in my head. A blessing from God on this night of clashes between principles and politics. I’m wondering if I still have the sheet music tucked somewhere in the crates of music sitting by my Clavinova. Hmmmmm….if not, I guess I will be getting on Amazon and seeking out a new copy. My fingers, although slower and not so “piano-fluent” as they once were, still manage to make music. And for a moment – a tiny moment in time, I am back on Riverside Drive on a warm spring night. My mommy pulling me away from the telephone or the latest book find, and hearing her say, “Brynie, I need you to play this for me…”

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, That we would be called the children of God; and such we are.”~1 Jn 3:1

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NUDGES

Marty Kaufman

If you had told me 35 years ago that I would be moving into a home that needed almost as much work as the first home we lived in after our wedding, I would have told you that you were out of your mind. If you had told me a year ago that I would be moving – period – I would have told you that not only were you out of your mind, but the world must be coming to an end.

Yet – here I am. Getting ready to move, and the world is not ending – yet..

We decided, after a very big and obvious nudge from the Man Upstairs, that the house we were scheduled to build was not our path. All the research, the financing, the permits and land clearing was not our path. It was a little frustrating. And yet – what can you say when nudge after nudge keeps pushing you down a different road? Especially when every home you have ever had has the name “Covenant” as it’s leading word?

“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,”~Ex 19:5

Stan poisoning thorns

Hubby poisoning thorns

Right before we got married, we were clearing land of thorns trees and brambles. It was ugly work, but Pop Kaufman’s farm had tough tractors and brush hogs for us to borrow. Needless to say, we had our share of bonfires and aching backs. We set a worn out, delapidated trailer that had no running water, heat or

First garden on our land

First garden on Covenant BS Acres

bathroom. Tiny porta potties to empty daily. (Remember – January wedding) Water to carry twice a day from a stream down a hill (Did I mention it was an early January wedding?) Green wood to try to burn. (Seriously, did I tell you it was JANUARY?) Not to mention, our daily jobs. Hubby milking and farming. Me – grading papers and classroom planning (I know – not proper English).

“Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”~Josh 4:4-7

And yet – it was probably the most wonderful time of my life. It is when we found

Michael and Mysti

Michael and Mysti

a big rock that could not be moved that we decided upon the original property name that made us laugh even as we paid tribute to Our Father – – – Covenant BS Acres or Covenant Land of Milk and Honey. We were a little full of ourselves – if you get the drift of the BS double meaning in this carnal world. We adopted Joshua 4:4-7 as our Bible verse for our new covenant of marriage and land. Even though we were there for just a little over a year, it was long enough to marry, conceive a little sister for our son, Michael, and build a house out of two barns.

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”~Lk 11:28

Back of houseSo here we are – starting our 36th year of our life journey together – moving into a house that needs more work than I really want to do – moving more things than I want to move – and naming our new piece of land that Our Father has entrusted to us: Covenant Eli @ the Haw or Eli Covenant @ the Haw. We are still thinking about it? Got any preference?

jan 8 2016hEvery room needs new flooring and painting.

Non-functioning kitchen and heating system (and I do mean, NON-FUNCTIONING).

Holes in walls, doors to be replaced, disjointed areas that seemingly have no purpose whatsoever and on and on and on.

jan 8 2016bAnd yet – the nudges led us to this particular place. There is beauty there. There are miracles to be found. Gardens to be built. Music to be made. Laughter of the Grands and family to echo through it.

One miracle popped up today. The new home has a fireplace. We were trying to decide how to use it so that we will have heat next week prior to replacing the heating system (a really ugly monster that scares me – a lot). Looked at so many options – wood stove, gas stoves, gas logs – all of them way more than we wanted jan 8 2016ito pay and further than we wanted to travel to get them at a good price. Then another nudge this morning -,gas logs with a remote – cheaper than we had even dared hope, AND – brought right to the general store in Saxapahaw by the owner. We didn’t even have to travel to buy them. Our Father knew we needed this day to work and reassurance that His hands were still nudging us forward.

So here is to a crazy week of following nudges – of tired bodies and minds – of packing boxes – of working harder than we want to work – and – – – praising Our Father for the nudges that put us right at this spot at this particular space in time. Here we come Covenant Eli or Eli Covenant – – – hmmmm…still can’t decide. Time to walk the land and pray that we continue to feel His nudges and make sure the name fits.front housea