Tag Archives: Father God

2020 VISION: Short, Sweet #13

“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel:
therefore hear the word at my mouth,
and give them warning from me.” Ez 3:17-19
     I got it wrong last night. Thought I was writing just a short, out-of-the-box, rapid-fire, flash-in-the-pan, temporary-thought-to-paper type of writing.
     What I didn’t realize it was to be a series of short, sweet thoughts leading up to the Prayer Marches that will be occurring in Washington DC on September 26. He corrected me this morning as I started my devotions.
So then the debate of what topics He wanted covered.
     I could list all the things in our world that we need to pray about? He whispered, “They know.”
     The symbolism of 19? The Vine and the Branch? “You already wrote about those,” He yawned. (I can’t believe He yawned.)
     But I didn’t mention that the Church is mentioned 19 times in Revelations and then it disappears for the rest of the Revelations, I retorted. “That’s okay, I think you just did. Think deeper, watchful.” He nudged my thoughts forward and I sunk a little deeper in my chair, flipping through my Bible and sighing.
     I think He sighed then and blew the picture of the watchman standing on the wall, blowing the shofar: “Feast of Trumpets” – “Rosh Hashanah” – “1st of Tishrei” “10 days of Mourning”. Father does that to me often. He blows pictures in my mind, and I turn them into words…as short and sweet as I can.
     So today, there is the 2020 prayer topic for the day.
To be watchful.
To stand as the watchman in the tower.
     There were always two towers in the wall at a gate. A tall place where one could look out over the countryside. To observe all that were coming and all that had entered. If 2020 has taught us anything – it is – that things are changing and we need to be watchful.
     Pray that eyes are open, and that you see the visible…and more importantly…the invisible.
“Watch ye therefore, and pray always,
that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things
that shall come to pass,
and to stand before the Son of man.”Lk 21:36
[artwork:Yoram Rannan/Constance Woods]

PRAYING FOR PASTORS #12

Today my prayer for pastors is simple.  It came as a blessing from my son because he knows his mother’s heart.  A song that was an answer to a prayer torn from the depths of my valley.   A song that I have listened to multiple times today.  Praising Father God once again for His Grace that brings me to my knees – His love that stretches beyond finite understanding – His Son that loved enough to die in out place.
A song of where we have all been at one time or another.
A song of promises renewed over and over.
A song for the hills.
A song for the valleys.
“On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there (to the one who set me there)
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain aft, didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!”~Tuaren WellsP
So my prayer tonight for all pastors is this song.  A simple blessing: you are not alone.
Ever.
Not in the valley.  Not in the dessert.  Not on the hills.  Not when you are tired or sick or harried or just plain wanting some down time.  He’s got your back.  He’s just waiting for you.    
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
And I will choose to say “Blessed be Your name, yeah, yeah”
And I am not alone”~Tuaren Wells

KNOW

Did you know that out of all the books in the Bible, there is one book that does not mention God at all?

Reading the Old Testament has never been easy for me until I started learning about Jewish history, wisdom and traditions. Like the proverbial light bulb, I am starting to not only understand but want to read more. It puts so many questions from the New Testament to rest but then raises twice as many to the forefront of my mind.

Isn’t that always the way?

Anyway, today the Jewish people finish celebrating the festival called Purim. They read all 10 chapters of the book of Esther today in this last month of the Jewish calendar, Adar. All these centuries later, they continue to celebrate Esther saving the Jewish people from Haman’s plan of destruction. These were dark times for the Jewish people.

Dark times. Esther’s times. A time when they did not “FEEL” the presence of God. They did not overtly hear His voice speaking to them or through their leadership. They did not see His Hand steering their purpose. They did not feel His love sheltering them from their enemies. The Bible denotes these dark times by not mentioning His name or even referencing Him at all – not even once.

If you’re like me, you have to scratch your head and wonder why? Rabbinic wisdom says it is because the Bible is a book of life. There are dark times in life. Thus, these dark days have to be represented in the Torah. There are just times when we don’t “FEEL” God in anyway, shape or form. Not in our selves – in our leadership – in our culture. In fact it seems like the darker the times the less we “FEEL” God at all. The importance of Purim in the last month of the year is to point us towards the fact that at the end of all mortal things, we don’t have to “FEEL” anything – we just have to “KNOW”.

“KNOW” that Our Father is still there, just like we “KNOW” that He was there at the beginning. His Hand is still moving over us, sheltering us. His voice is still speaking to us and for us, even when we don’t hear it. His Love continues to weave a comforter around us when we are shivering and with bellies empty. His Light is still pointing out the rocks and the abysses under our feet even if we don’t recognize it.

That’s the whole point of Esther’s story…Purim. The last month of God’s year. A joyous celebration of “KNOWING” overcomes any dark time that we are experiencing. An earthly ending that is just a spiritual beginning.

The past few days as I have been rolling all these crazy thoughts over in my mind, I like to think that this is probably the time of year when Yeshua was laid in a manger. The Roman occupation of the Jewish land certainly qualifies as dark times.  Avar is the last month.  The end of a physical year. Looks like a great time for a spiritual beginning to me.  God likes His festivals. He likes to remind us of all the things He has been trying to teach us since our creation.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that Christ was sacrificed as the perfect lamb the weekend of Passover. After all – it just takes one look at the intricacies of creation to figure out that Father God is a very detailed oriented entity. Lining up things is probably one of the easier things He accomplishes. Although – the way we like to screw things up – maybe we don’t make it all that easy.

Anyway – there you go. When dark times come on the mortal side of things, the beginning on the spiritual side is just not far off. Part of me is rejoicing in this because we are definitely showing signs of dark times in this ol’ world. The other part sends me to the knees in prayer for this ol’ world.

I may not always “FEEL” God in my life – but the the Book of Esther in the Bible and Christ remind me to “KNOW” God IS with me – all the time, in every situation, for ever and ever, AMEN and AMEN. I think I know what song will sing me to sleep tonight – “Jesus love me this I “KNOW”, for the Bible tells me so…”  [google images]

Commandment Series: Prohibition of Theft.

ten-commandments-400.hebrew abbrevIt has been a challenging week.  Things have not gone at all the way I expected or wanted.  However, deep inside of me, I know that God knows that is how I learn best.  So…as much as I hate assessments…I keep trying to look for the wisdom in all that is going on around me and remember that Jehovah-Rapha stands beside me just as Jehovah-Nissi is ready to help fight my battles.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more severely than others.” Jm 3:1

Today, I was ready to ignore writing again.  When I am wrestling with a “God Assessment”, I tend to do more reflection than teaching.  Teaching means being sure of  my subject matter and relying on my faith to guide my words and concepts.  Reading, devotions, playing with the dogs, seem to give me a better perspective as I work through whatever the current faith-walk plagues my life at the moment.  It’s strange – music has always been a big part of my faith life, yet now, when I am troubled, I don’t go into the music room. Instead, I turn to the WORD and reading things from other sages – especially those of Jewish tradition.  It was during this time that I found a small little piece of information buried in a rabbi’s writing.

tov

This is the Jewish letter Tov.  Its initial letter Tet also represents the letter nine as it is the ninth letter of the Jewish alphabet. Tet also represents the word “good”; as in “… God saw that it was good. Gen 1:12b   Amazingly it is also the only letter of the Hebrew alphabet that was left out of the first time Moshe brought the tablets down off the mountain. (Ex 20) Yet – in the second set of laws that Moshe brought off the mountain, it was included. (Deut 5:15 in the word “outstretched”  NeTuYah) Hmmmmm….

Jewish tradition holds that it is because anything “Good” lasts forever. Our omniscient Jehovah-Tsid-Kenu foresaw these events in our linear life line.  Had He included Tov in the first tablets, they could not have been destroyed.  Only Our Father God knows why things had to play out the way they did.  What important God Assessments did these scarred and damaged people have to “grow” through to achieve the unity of being His united and chosen people?  Maybe it was just that – they would no longer see themselves as a people enslaved to other societies – other gods – other lands.  That they would see themselves as His people – united by His love, His grace, and His law.

“You shall not steal.” Ex 20:15

On the physical level it is a very straight forward law, and it makes sense to most of us.  After all, who wants to go through getting arrested, going to court, being convicted?  When Moshe presents it a second time in Deut 5, it is still a very straight forward law.  Again, why would we do anything but that?  But what if – what if there was more to it?  Don’t steal away.  Don’t steal a glance.  Don’t steal someone’s heart. Don’t steal the spotlight.  Don’t steal anything…….period.  The 10 Commandments are still relevant.  They still make us think.  They are still a strong guideline for our lives as we journey this faith-walk.  Our Father knew that as He carved them.  They were meant to last until Christ returns and is able to establish “…Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…”   Kinda important, don’t ya think?  That being said…should I stop singing this hymn??????  Somehow – I think not.  ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????