Tag Archives: friend

RUSHING IN

kingdom aMy heart has been heavy today. My mind reflective. My eyes watery. My prayers continuous despite the business of trying to line everything up for the move to our new home. You see, a friend decided to take a trip out of the fiery turmoil of painful days, through the rising waters that engulfed the night in a starless darkness to a place where she could walk with her shepherd in a beautiful field of wild flowers.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”~Is 43:2

Our English vocabulary is often inadequate. “Love” – “Friends” are words used often in our culture. Words thrown around helter-skelter until the wisdom of the word becomes a blurred image of what it should represent.

We have “friends” on Facebook. We have “friends” in the workplace. We have “friends” that we hang with every now and then. We “love” ice cream. We “love” the latest celebrity that has incited us to drool.

Perhaps that is why I am fascinated with Hebrew. Each letter, each jot and tittle, sways the meaning within the context of the other words around it. While a word may technically represent a definition, the subtleties of the marks and surrounding words change the connotation and interpretation.Wisdom hidden in the word – waiting to be found.

“You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”~Ps 18:28

Today, I am remembering my friend. Her laughing voice that carried a smile through every word. A smile that always traveled in her eyes. The way she introduced herself when she was the “new” kid in our small rural junior high school How she was always rushing in where I feared to tread and daring me to follow.

Like most friends, we laughed. We spent hours on the phone (you know – those contraptions with long cords and parents hanging on every word). We cheryl 1970 awhispered…over boys. We cried…over boys. We fought..over boys. I wrote poetry…over boys…when she was heart-broken, and she took me for long drives when I was in the same weepy state…over boys. We double dated. We married – I was her maid of honor and 10 years later, her second marriage to the same man – inspired hubby and me to pull off our wedding in just a few weeks. We raised our children along side each other.We went years without talking and then talked for hours as if we had just talked the day before. Our cell phones on speaker as we moved around – laughing about life – planning future visits – and crying when the pain was at its worse.

I can count on one hand the friends that truly “know” me. They have seen past the surface and know my ugliness – my pain – my sorrow – my love – just as I know theirs. They have walked some pretty dark paths with me and provided Light when I was sure I would never see the Light again because my chosen path was so bloody, filthy and littered. And even though I wasn’t always the “best-of-friends”, Cheryl was one of those friends who provided a Light unto my path when I needed it.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”~Jn 14:1-4

Our last conversations these past few months always circled back to Our Father pig roast 1993and His Son. She knew the Shepherd was waiting in the field just beyond the mist, and she had found the path home. I admire her courage, her fortitude as she walked this last path, and I can’t believe that she won’t be on the other end of my phone any more. Yet here I am – smiling as I write this because she has done it again. She has rushed ahead of me and I can see her daring me to follow. She is my friend, and she knows that eventually, I will get there. I’ll tell you this, when I do arrive, she better be ready to talk for a few hours. Hopefully – we won’t have to use a phone, her voice will be laughing, and I will be able to see that sparkling smile in her eyes again. Love you, Cheryl, and Blessings!Be! to your family.

Commandment Series: Prohibition of Harming a Person through Speech

ten-commandments-400.hebrew abbrevI lost a friend Sunday night.  Three days after receiving his second kidney transplant and telling his wife: “I love you”, he was called Home.  I know there was plenty of rejoicing in Heaven yesterday…just as I know there will be lots of sadness expressed in my hometown over the next few days.  Losing a teacher/preacher man is like that.  It is just plain hard to say good-bye to one of the “good” guys – even when we know from Jewish tradition that good never ends – and all of Heaven is rejoicing and throwing a fantastic “Welcome Home” party in his honor.

I’ve  led a blessed life that has allowed me to encounter a few teacher/preacher men and women. People who managed to stand on their faith everyday, no matter the circumstances swirling around them – no matter the confrontations that they had to endure because of their testimony.  Reaching out and  being able to teach others about the Love that surrounds us all – even when facing everyday challenges – is what sets a teacher/preacher apart from many others.  They daily walk in the Light as He is in the Light, and they reflect His Love to all that are blessed enough to join them on that walk.

‘On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.’” — Leviticus 23:40

sukkotTomorrow at sundown, the Jewish festival of Sukkot begins.  It will also be the second blood  moon that has fallen on a Jewish holiday this year.  It is a time of great joy.  A time to live in a temporary shelter so that they remember what it was like on the journey to the Promise Land and seek to create the  trust that should live within them for Jehovah-Jireh. The New Year has just begun (Yom Kippur/Rosh Hashanah), and now it is time for each person to dedicate themselves and their lives to the One True God.  They gather four species of plants that Sages say represent the body, wave them in all four directions of the world, and stand on their faith, letting David’s ancient words sing for all the world to hear.  For a short moment in time, they become teacher/preachers and people are blessed by their words and actions.

“With every bone in my body, I will praise Him,”  Ps 36:1

Words can be curses or blessings.  The 9th commandment points this out ratherlie succinctly.  Most of us learned it: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Ex 20:13.  Needless to say, most of us think of that this means just don’t lie about something someone else has done or not done.  However, Jewish tradition applies this commandment to all sins that are done in the form of speech.  Making fun of someone?  Gossiping?  Swearing falsely about anything?  Leading someone away from the Light with your words?  It is a basic reminder that we are to use our words as a blessing instead of a curse. A reminder to be a teacher/preacher with everything we say.  heaven-of-angels

My friend was one of those people.  His words were a blessing and a gift to our world.  We will miss you, my friend, but I also know that your journey with the angels has just begun.

 

 

 

 

Prayer on a Perfect Day

There is nothing better than sitting outside on a summer day. Bible reading completed. Hummingbirds so close that their wings buzz like giant bees flitting between the feeders. A wonderful hour of talking to my oldest “sister” friend. Temperatures hovering in the high 70’s, A soft breeze stirring the wind chimes. Veggies hanging off the vines, just waiting to ripen a little bit more. Baby birds chirping from a near by tree, and two brown dogs waiting to chase an orange ball.

birds c birds d birds b

” How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty!” Ps 84:1

It’s a world away from code red sirens warning of missile attacks; videos that show actual events…even death…in real time; ground wars hunting hidden tunnels; continual updates provided on every news networks every minute of every hour; passenger planes shot down by other missiles…video updates of bodies, luggage,remnants of people’s lives scattered over the countryside; borders and cities overrun by refugees; innocents sacrificed on all sides.

“O God, do not remain silent;
do not turn a deaf ear,
do not stand aloof, O God…
“Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.” Ps 83:1-2,4

I do not watch those news videos. I am a visual learner, so visual images stay with me in a very elemental way….imprinting themselves up on my brain for all time. Reading about events is hard enough as my mind creates the movie for me. Often, it is enough to bring me to my knees. Wars have a tendency to do that. My mom and dad often talked about WWII, and how war changed them and their friends during that time. My father often repeated the old saying that there are no atheists or agnostics in a fox hole.

“Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere..
Lord Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.” Ps 84:10-12

My life is blessed. A week ago, my husband and I purchased three acres of dreams. My children are grown and doing well in their life journey. I have gotten to play with the Grands every day this week. I have a “sister” friend that I haven’t seen in almost 10 years – and yet- we can still spend an hour on the phone and never run out of things to say. I can read David’s words in the Bible and see his world and our world merging – one on top of the other. So I pray as David did. I pray as Jesus did. Praise of thanks, prayers of awe, prayers for those that mourn; prayers that beseech, prayers for four baby birds in a small tree; seeking prayers, prayers of trust, prayers unending, prayers as He taught us to pray: “Our Father, who art in heaven…” Matt 6:9

birds a

“May He also rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” Ps 72:8

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