Tag Archives: Ezekiel

SUNDIAL SHADOWS

“Son of man, stand up on your feet, and I will speak.”~Ez 2:1
 
There are times that stand outside of time. Times when the sundial stands still. It doesn’t go backwards. It doesn’t go forward. It just waits. Holding its collective breath of past, present and future until it seals itself into the fiber of every living thing. Times when one knows, even as one is marching down the hallway with the groanings of the Holy Spirit pouring from the depths of whatever it is that aches deep inside of all of us, that life is about to change.
 
Praying.
Questioning.
Doubting.
Pouting.
Bowing.
Kneeling.
Writing.
 
Those verbs are often the way I feel my way to Our Father’s path and will. Today was one of those days. As I stomped down the hallway, I spoke aloud, “There is no way there is an answer in Your book for this one. None. Zilch. No way, Jose. But I’m going to look, just because You won’t quit nudging me until I do so.”
 
Yet, deep within me – in that place that aches beyond description and the font of tears that seem to be unending through this whole process, I know differently. He has always answered my prayers immediately and blessed my steps beyond measure since He set my feet on this path. So while I may have been arguing in my physical world, I followed His nudge and did what I have done since I was tiny, I began my march down the hall to find His WORD. Questions bubbling. Doubts swirling. Muttering rather loudly. Lab girls following – after all – they generally know when I need them next to me. I knelt by my bed and randomly opened His Sefer.
 
“Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you…”
 
Needless to say, the words had a voice. A voice not my own. A voice, that even now, continues to ring in my head. Continues to ring long after the sundial once again started it’s shadowy path, and an almost full moon has taken its place. Thus, not being totally stupid, I decided that I am soooooo not arguing with this voice as I stood and continued to read.
 
Tonight, as I re-read these words written long ago by a Jewish priest, I am humbled. Why do I continue to question and doubt? You’d think after 68 full journeys around the sun, I would have a little more sense of these things. Sin nature is strong – and after all – we believers are often a strong and stubborn lot. Just ask Jonah.
 
“Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me…obstinate and stubborn…”~Ez 2:3-4
 
Teaching has always been my balance in this chaotic world. A chance to pay it forward. A chance to be blessed by so many hugs and  smiles. A chance to watch the lightbulb light up many eyes. It is when I am teaching that I feel closest to Rabbi Yeshua. I know deep within me that He also watched for those lights to shine in all the eyes in front of Him as He taught them. He watched for mine today as it lit up my heart.
 
It was not the answer I wanted – nor the answer I sought – and yet – it was the very answer for exactly the right moment in this place in time. A place where time stood still and the out of body experience still echoes throughout the house. A place and a time for which I was created, and my tears were dried as I ate the scroll of “lament and mourning and woe.”v.10 
 I am learning, I think. Ever so slowly, but the Light did come on for one brief moment. Maybe – I’m learning – just a little.
 
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of GOD.”        ~Matt 5:9 
friends-zoom[Greg Olsen, artwork]

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: The Miracle

Santa is all put away for another year. But the light and nativities of the season are still out until Epiphany. The nice thing about not having a big tree is that I can still sit in the warmth of the lights that are spread around our small rooms. The outside lights stay on as well until the Wise Men catch up with Baby YESHUA. So the Christmas spirit remains a little longer.

I also finished up watching some of my favorite Christmas movies. “So This Is Christmas”, “Signed, Sealed and Delivered: Christmas Episodes” and “Touched By An Angel: Christmas Episodes” (which, btw, still make me tear up). All of them touching upon that essence of that first Miracle.

“You are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your GOD, declares the Lord God.”~Ez 34:31

We all see miracles every day. We just don’t always recognize them. I can keep in touch – sometimes daily – with family and friends who are far away. I can watch favorite movies as I work around the house. I can be fed the “manna” of life even if I don’t make it to a physical building called “church”. I can read the WORD in book form, watch it in visual arrays, listen to it via dramatic readings on CD.  Life is way good.

Even with all of that, I’m pretty positive that I miss a million more miracles that are right in front of my eyes. Just like there were lots of people who didn’t recognize the miracle the prophets’ words when they were spoken – – – or the miracle of the star in front of them – – – or the miracle of angels singing – – – or a baby born and laid in a manger.

Our Father knows how stubborn sheep can be. How dismissive sheep can be when people espouse ideas that are contrary to what we want to think about. How blind sheep can be even when the Light is right in front of us. How deaf sheep can be even when the words are singing loudly above us. How any kind of Saviour could be ‘worth a hill of beans’ if He was born in a stable.

“This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”~Lk 2:34-35

I love the miracle of Simeon and Anna. Two witnesses at His birth. Two prophets who brought more promises of Our Father to the parents and to those who would listen. The miracle of the HOLY SPIRIT was upon them both. They had grown old – fasting, praying, waiting – – – waiting for the fulfillment of a promise – the miracle of seeing the Saviour before they died. 
Moved by the SPIRIT.
Eyes and ears opened by the heart.
Faith blessed by the Miracle.

“She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising GOD. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for GOD to rescue Jerusalem.”~Lk 2:38

Can we do any less? Pray. Fast. Wait. Tell everyone we meet about this sign from GOD – this Miracle – This Saviour – born to shepherd His sheep – to bring joy to the world to people of good will – a sign of a promise fulfilled.

“On the fifth day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me…”: A Miracle. 

501fbedf8e0d2acef55931eb25797f6a--greg-olsen-baby-jesus                   [Greg Olsen artwork]

GOLDEN SAPPHIRE

Darkling day.
Cloudy day.
Windy day.
Chilly day.

And yet –

For a brief moment – while the rest of the world sat in the twilight of today’s last’s visages – the fiery sun burnt a hole in the thick clouds until the horizon blazed fiery orange through the dark blueish gray around it; giving light to impending darkness.

Tops of trees brushed in burnished brass – 
Tips singed first – 
Until bright flames shot –
Further –
Deeper –
Down the trunks –
Flames coloring the world in its image –
While the Breath of Life swirled new sparks 
Golden sparkles – 
That spun and reflected the Light back into the darkness –
Flowing over the branches – 
Tree after tree bowing in rhythm – 
Waiting to be touched –
By the Firestarter’s unfailing hand –

And my breath caught.

Time stopped.

Ayn Sof spoke.

“Be still, and know that I am God;”~Ps 46:10

Golden sapphires.
Unbroken covenants.
Reminders – that even in the darkest of times – 
The saddest of times – 
The chaotic mess of times –
The soft twilight times –
His Fire continues to burn bushes – 
Tall trees –
Souls 
Fired with His wisdom –
And immeasurable fiery Light into the world –
Once more – 
Over –
And over –
And over again –
Until the whole world knows.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”~Ez 36:26

So tonight this is my prayer:
That God be glorified –
In whatever afflicted, messy poverty that towers above my world – over my head – beneath my feet – within my heart
That I remember the Helper – the Deliverer –
The Holy Ground around the bush –
“To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever, Amen.” ~1 Peter 4:11da         TheBurningBush [google images]

BITTERSWEET

“Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature. “
 
A little shrimp.
A little cheese and chips.
A little crown and pepsi.
A little grilled mushrooms with cheese to share with a neighbor and his daughter who stopped by to wish us a “Happy, happy” and hugs.
A little sparkling wine – at almost the same time we said our vows – to toast the start to the 37th year of life in our journey together.
 
“To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom;…”
 
This is one of my bittersweet days. Initially, I thought I went out of my way to plan it that way – yet – the more I learn about Our Father – the more I realized that it wasn’t me at all – I’ve never been that wise. It was just one of those times, I actually had my spiritual ears set to high volume because in those days I was just learning to listen and was more often than not – deaf to His ways. Thus, one of the saddest days in my earth journey became one of the happiest days as well.
 
Bittersweet.
 
“…rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation.”
 
35 years doesn’t seem to cover much time when you are on this side of the 36. Back then – when the longest relationship I had ever had was 4 years with breaks here and there – I wasn’t sure I could make a commitment like my parents had.
 
You see. . .10 years prior to January 9, 1981, my parents celebrated their 35th anniversary on January 8, 1971. It was a Friday night, and I had just called home for my weekly check-in. It wasn’t their real anniversary which was in June, but a God-wink blessing brought the celebration to them anyway.
A little champagne.
A little shrimp.
A little crown and coke.
A little toast with family and friends.
Dad died Saturday morning while I watched a Barbra Streisand movie in the dollar theatre at OSU.
 
“It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.”~Madeleine L’Engle, “The Irrational Season”
 
A sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
A common phone in a rooming house.
A tear-filled voice of my mother – then my aunt.
A friend who lifted me through each step of the journey home and hugs through the days that followed.
 
“Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life.”~Prov 4:23
 
Bittersweet.
 
As it turns out, God had a plan – and go to find out – it was designed just for me. Crazy, huh? Parental Grandparents who got married on January 8, 1905 was a blip in that plan. The death of a daddy’s girl’s father, a much larger blip in the scheme of things. A whisper of vows at a friend’s Christmas re-marriage – another small blip.
 
All-in-all – Bittersweet.
 
It has been a good day. A day to renew my heart at the break of dawn and the sparkle of star light on a frosty night.
A day to look back.
A day to look forward.
A day to celebrate.
A day of love.
A day to whisper a prayer of thanksgiving.
 
A Bittersweet day of a tender heart.
 
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”~Ez 36:26

RATIONS 100 DAY! #46

Been writing more or less every night for 46 days, but today Writer’s Block stood leering between me and the computer. It had been a busy day – errands to run, dogs to walk, devotions to read. So many things on my heart.
A family who watched their earthly father cross the eternal bridge as he did everything in life – with love, dignity and confidence.
A young girl fighting her body to get to work everyday before another seizure hits.
Cancer crusades on several friend fronts attacking not only the body but the family and pocketbooks.
Violence between brothers, against children, amid families.
Politics raging across the screens of my mind.
The birth of a new child into this world.
Amazing what a difference one rose can make in your day. As I read today’s Ration, I thought about the lump of clay in one hand and the roses in another. Both important. There are many of Our Father’s lessons wrapped within clay’s physical textures – after all it is the essence of our world. But then there are roses – a gift of beauty planted within the heart – a reminder of the sweet aroma and joy of what awaits us beyond the clay that we call Terra.
Again- Hashem, Hashem – I bow my head and thank You for teaching and reminding me that there is wisdom in all things – clay – and roses – – and even roses made of clay – – – and, of courses,1942 Rations. Get behind me, Writer’s Block! God’s got this!!!!!!!
1942 Daily Ration: “I want only a lump of clay until someone planted roses in me.”~Persian Proverb
“It is no accident that the age of the dictators was immediately preceded by the age of the debunkers. Before men are willing to hand their destinies over to others, they must first lose faith in themselves. Writers who had for a decade been trying to persuade common men and women that they were nothing but dolts contributed much to the mood that caused humanity to lose faith in its ability to maintain its free institutions. Freedom is born of such thoughts as spring from the soul of John: Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God…Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be.’
“If men are to realize their highest possibilities, someone must plant roses in them. Much of Jesus’ power grows out of the fact that he enables us to have some hope for ourselves and to undertake such adventures as men dare not attempt without the aid of the Divine.
” ‘And He said unto me, Son of man, stand upon they feet, and I will speak with thee.’~Ezekiel 2:1
Read: Genesis 1:22-28; 1 John 3:1-12
Prayer: Forbid, O God, that we deny thee by failing to serve and believe in our fellow men. May we find some way today to bring new faith and hope into every life we touch. We ask through Christ. 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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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – GOOD SHEPHERD

How sweet is the shepherd’s sweet lot!
From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day,
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.

For he hears the lambs’ innocent call,images (1)
And he hears the ewes’ tender reply;
He is watchful while they are in peace,
For they know when their shepherd is nigh.
~William Blake…1789

“For they know the shepherd is nigh.”

I like that line – a lot.

Been fighting an ear cold all week, so I made clam chowder. Love comfort food when fighting those low grade fevers and pains. Decorations are still scattered around the floor and tables. Lights are still in tangled heaps. The bright spot, however, is the front porch is decorated for Christmas. Is that enough? Can I quit now?

The Christ-mass spirit has been slow to fill our house this year. I know part of it is that I really don’t want to un-pack boxes when I have a thousand and one boxes that will need to be packed and ready to go by January 18th. Oh – I am soooooo basically lazy at heart.

On top of all that, I have been homesick. There is something about Christmas that makes you long for age old traditions of shopping in local places that you have loved since childhood – traditions of food…hmmm….Troyers Trail bologna and Correll’s chips- traditions of family and friends…caroling with the church – hanging of the greens – Secret Santas…..

The great news in this day and age, Troyer’s bologna was delivered earlier this week. My family is coming in for Christmas (as long as there is no major snowstorm between here and AZ and MI). And eventually – I will get the greens hung inside the house…maybe…kind of… Then – like an answer to an unspoken prayer, I got a letter from a friend that has kept me smiling all day.

“As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,” declares the Lord GOD.” ~Ez 34:31

The Shepherd always seems to be on guard – noticing when I need a little blessing – noticing when it is time to change pastures (don’t like this one very much) – noticing the wolves are near – noticing things when I don’t. After all, that is what shepherds do.

As Christmas draws closer, I am thankful that the Good Shepherd still searches for me when I am lost (which is quite often) and tenderly pushes me forward when I really want to just laze around and be a lazy, fat little sheep.

“I am the good shepherd.”~ Jn 10:11a


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