Tag Archives: Exodus

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 Convenant Land of Milk and Honey. We were a little full of ourselves – if you get the drift of the BS double meaning.tongue emoticon 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

25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – LIGHT OF TRUTH

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“Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight” ~Ex 29:39

When dawn breaks over the horizon, I am generally still fast asleep.  Hubby, on the other hand, is usually up before the stars have lost a hint of their twinkle and the moon it’s shimmer.  Like day and night, we often are the opposite of each other.  Both composed of Light and dark.  Both created by the same loving hand of our Father.

I read this verse today in the Jewish part of my devotions, and the polarity of it has stuck with me.  Opposite parts of the day – beginning – ending. In Exodus, God is talking about sacrificing  year old lambs twice a day.  Jewish wisdom says that the main purpose behind assigning this ritual to the Jewish people had more to do with time than the act itself.  God wanted to establish a period of time when His people would seek Him out and spend time with Him.  He really wanted them a “sacrifice” of their time.

img_mouseover3God was providing Light to the people that had lost sight Him during their years of captivity.

“For That One was The Light of Truth, which enlightens every person that comes into the world.” Jn 1:

God is like that.  He loves His creations so much that He continually wants to provide more Light for our paths, so that we can make the journey back to Him easily.  Jewish wisdom takes it one step further by stating that when we offer a “sacrifice of time” consistently – not just once in a while or whenever we think of it -but daily, consistently, stopping all else to draw close to Him, He will honor our behavior and call it righteous.

“I AM THE LIVING GOD, The Light of the world. Whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall find the light of life.” ~Jn 8:12

I am thankful that the Light of Truth continues to shine in these dark times. Lately, there have been newspapers articles, cartoons and memes mocking the people who say that they are “praying” for those who are suffering.  They say that “praying” is not doing anything to solve the problem.  Yet, that is exactly what the Light of Truth came to this world to do.  Jesus showed us how to “sacrifice” our time and seek to “speak through prayer” and “sacrifice our time” to spend with the One who can truly “solve the problem”.

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Memorial Day 2015

memorial day aToday, I finally finished my own memorial to my parents and hubby’s parents. Plants.  Plaques given at their funerals by loved ones.  Bricks.  I can now sit in my garden, study the WORD, listen to the windchimes or God’s creations, and remember those who gave me the best of themselves.

Graveyards are fine. They serve the community as a rallying point to honor those who have sacrificed for our country. It is a place to erect monuments to those who have gone before. A place for speeches, parades and memories. Humans tend to need those things. Communities tend to need those things. I just seem to need something a little closer to home. A place surrounded – not by other monuments – but by God, and the garden where He placed me.

“Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.” — Exodus 23:16

memorial day fThe more I learn about Jewish holidays and traditions, the more I fall in love with the beginnings of my faith. This is not only Memorial Day, it is also the end of Shavuot and also Pentecost. The more I read Jewish traditions and history, the more I believe that nothing is coincidence in God’s timing. Invisible lines intersect over and over in an unending circle of love. Giving us endless clues to His fascinating character.

Shavuot had its beginning as a “first fruits” harvest – the offering of the first perfect,memorial day h unblemished fruits of the harvest being given back to the Father. Later it became the date that Moshe recieved the Torah – the first, perfect unblemished written fruit – from the Father to His children. (Interesting thought always arises in the back of my mind that perhaps this was Rabbi Yeshua’s true birthdate. God seems to like patterns, and I just have to wonder.) Pentecost – the perfect, unblemished gift of the Holy Spirit – from the Father to His children. Memorial Day (although not celebrated anymore on its original date) – a day to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice – past and present – to return home to Our Father.

May 24 aYesterday, the Grands and family came over for brunch. We laid on the chaise lounge that my father made long ago and identified the shapes of clouds as they drifted overhead – a pig, a dragon, an eagle… Their barefeet walked the path of the cross made of old, imperfect bricks from a long ago Loudonville street. They carefully moved the little elves from place to place in front of the stain glass window that my big brother gave to me also long ago.

Holy-days are special. It is one reason, hubby and I decided long ago to always have our pigroasts on the Sunday before Memorial Day. A day for family. A day to remember. A day to honor sacrifices made long before we were born and those still being made today by those far away. Hope you have a blessed holy-day and remember to honor the first fruits just as He remembers to honor you.grain_offering

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?

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The Ark

Sundays are filled with blessings.  Time in Church…the WORD…prayer…reflection…Love…Grace…Peace…family…  Is it any wonder that the 4th commandment reminds us to observe sacred times?  The Sabbath…the Shemitah were established to reminds us of what “…Thy Kingdom” would look like – if we could just quit getting out of the ark to walk a path where temptations slither and threaten to latch on to us with poisonous fangs.

ark
noun/Latin/OE
  1. 1.
    (in the Bible) the ship built by Noah to save his family and two of every kind of animal from the Flood; Noah’s ark.
    • a vessel or sanctuary that serves as protection against extinction.
      “a starship ark built by their android protectors”
    • archaic
      a chest or box.
      “the ark was of Italian walnut”
    • a large, flat-bottomed boat.
      noun: ark; plural noun: arks
  2. 2.
    short for Ark of the Covenant
    • a chest or cupboard housing the Torah scrolls in a synagogue. (Google definition)

Yesterday was no exception.  We carved some early pumpkin faces.  Played with the Grands.  Hugged on the daughter and her husband.  Watched some football. Took some memory pictures.  Fun times.  Yet – in the back of my mind –  words our pastor shared, continued to vibrate.  Harmonic flashbacks that accessed a melody taught long ago in my small, rural, traditional church.  My pastor then was probably one of the holiest men I knew…next to my father.  WWII prisoner of war and unable to have children with his wife, he was no stranger to pain and suffering. Yet, when my father had his heart attacks, it was my pastor’s smile, words and hugs that brought peace into our home.  He understood Christ Jesus in a way that few people ever do.  He was the first one that ever connected all the “arks” in the Bible for me. A long ago lesson that, somehow, I had forgotten.

“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.”  Gen 6:14 KJV

Big_Ark_in_Dordrecht_3The first time an ark is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis.  Most people know this story.  God asks a special man to build an ark of cypress wood.  The ark holds God’s treasures for a period of 40 days and nights that brings them through a terrible time.  In Jewish tradition the word for ark is teyvat which in Hebrew has no relation to the word that is used in Ark of the Covenant which is aron kodesh. They do not consider them related at all.  And yet – in English – the words are one and the same.

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matt 5:18

It makes you wonder.  Why is this one little word out of the thousands that have been translated from Hebrew to English in the Bible was treated so differently? I have a feeling that it wasn’t a mistake.

“Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.” Ex 25:10 KJV

In Exodus 25, God tells Moshe to build another ark.  This ark was smaller.  It was947563-ark3 more ornate.  It was would also carry something special.  It would be carried on poles.  It would hold the treasures of God’s laws and keep them safe in times of trouble.  An ark that would travel with the Jewish people.  An ark that would sit in their tabernacle where Yahweh  would join with them.

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.” Heb 8:8-10

On Sunday, my preacher said (and this is a paraphrase) that we needed to get on the ark again.  The ark of the New Covenant.  The Book of Hebrews uses the language of the Old Testament to strengthen the validity of this “new” covenant and encourage the new believers, despite the persecution and dangers swirling around them, to stay strong in their belief in Jesus Christ.  In other words, stay in the “ark” of this new covenant.  Again – another “ark” that would safely carry God’s treasures: His precious Son and those who choose to get in the “ark” with Him.

“This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Heb 8:11-12 KJVyeshua high priest

Rabbi Yeshua became the High Priest of this ark.  He fulfilled all the requirements that made this new “ark” possible. He lived through all the temptations – and in most cases – more than what we will ever experience.  He lived his life by the 613 commandments given by Our Father under the old covenant.  He lived life as a true Son of God, modeling for us a way to live. He fulfilled the old covenant and replaced it with the new one.  Hand-designed by His holy, omniscient Father. Sacrificing His life for our sins. Crushing His heel into the serpent’s head.  Steering the ark. Protecting His ark that carries us into His Father’s kingdom.

Three times “arks” are created in the Bible.  Three times God has filled these “arks”  with His precious creations.  I find it intriguing that there are always messages in the Our Father’s WORD just waiting for us to notice and wonder about as we go throughout our crazy lives.  I can buy all the things that will physically offer security during these troubling times.  I can fill the pantry.  I can provide alternative energy sources.  I can gather my loved ones close.  But unless I am willing to get into the “ark” of the New Covenant, I will sink pretty quickly in these stormy waters.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t tread water very long.

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