Tag Archives: heaven

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2018: Starlight

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I was little, I would sit on our porch steps and wait to see the first star of the evening. As I aged, I talked the parents into letting me move into a bigger bedroom. I painted it blue – with a dark blue ceiling where my dad wrote my initials with glow-in-the-dark stars for a second time.  But really, the reason I wanted that room was because it had a roof-top porch. On many nights, I would step from the starlight of my finite room into the eternal room that held the “remembrance of the city of God”.   There, I could sing, whisper, and contemplate whatever wishes or problems or dreams or prayers that were the driving force of my life at that point.

“Starlight, Starbright, first star I see tonight; wish I may, wish I might have this wish I wish tonight.”

Words whispered from my heart into the ear of a Father that is always listening. The great thing, I don’t need my porch anymore. I carry that starlight within me wherever I am. Grocery line. Traffic jam. Angry people. Movie time. Family time. It doesn’t matter. The beauty that lights the universe with an admonishing smile is always there – lighting the way forward with Grace and Love.

It was there over Bethlehem.
It was there when the Wisemen began their journey.
It was there when the angels sang.
It was there as the shepherds made their way toward the inn.
It was there when the Light of the World opened His eyes for the first time as a human.

“Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.”~Is 40:26

Emerson had it mostly right. Those stars do remind us of the City of God –  of Home. They also remind us of all the wonders that have come to us from that city – from Home. The stars that shone over a baby’s birth in a stable, shone just as brightly over a sepulchre 33 years later and continue to shine over our world in Truth and Grace that His Kingdom come  – soon.

Stars that are named. 
Stars that are not missing – not even one. 
A remembrance to all things eternal in a finite world.

“On the Second Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me…Starlight, Starbright”

“Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.”~Ps 148:3-6

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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.

 

 

 

 

A Delicate Stillness

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;

Love this hymn. At church this morning, the praise choir led an arrangement that ended in this hymn, and the church came alive singing a long with them. It was a great way to lead into the preacher’s message.

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

I needed to hear this today. I am rarely still. Well – these days I am physically stiller than I have ever been. Even with going to the lake everyday with the dogs, I just don’t move as much as I did when I was teaching. So I sit more – especially when I am staring at the computer working on a jigsaw puzzle. But, spiritually and mentally, I am rarely still. My mind doesn’t ever hush. Even when I try to force it – it begins a rambling journey of topics of the day, worries, wishes, dreams – – – the list goes forever. Anything that keeps me from being still.

“Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!”

Thank goodness, God is merciful. He doesn’t give up when we don’t listen for His voice. He doesn’t give up when we run the other way. He doesn’t give up when we fail to seek Him as much as He seeks us. He waits patiently for us to “still” our mind. For it is in those “still, delicate moments” (1 Kg 19:12) when God speaks to us. When we throw all caution…all logic aside and trust Him to speak to us. In today’s world, that’s not a really easy thing to do. Society – careers – family – health – so many things distracting us from seeking the “stillness” where we can truly listen to the One who matters most.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” Jn 10:27

Today, I made a point to not read a book when I wanted to do so. I made choice not to throw the ball constantly for the dogs while I was outside, even though they asked constantly.  I tried to empty out my own selfish thoughts, envy, anger, worries and seek “heavenly” wisdom instead. (James 3:14-17). Stillness exists for a reason. I just have to remember that reason and seek it as often as He seeks to speak to me.

“Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!”

Birthday Step 2014

I have learned a very valuable lesson today. Never mess with Mama Mick’s 3 layer chocolate cake…especially on her 78th wedding anniversary.

Since getting a new car took up most of yesterday, the Grands decided Grandma Bryn just needed to have a cake and some fun time today. So after church, the house was full of dogs, kids and laughter once again. Song/book/ writing turned into bubble play turned into Barbie play turned into cake making…

Let’s just say there is a certain magic to making a Grandma Mickey cake. There is a specific way of mixing the ingredients and timing is essential. You can ask anyone who has tried to make one just from just reading the recipe – it don’t work like any other cake. Adding ingredients in a specific order, in a certain way, at the precise time makes all the difference in the world. And today – for some reason – that just didn’t happen. I know Mama Mick and Daddy Mike were up in heaven  laughing their heads off at the mess in the kitchen. The cake overflowed the pans, smoke filled the house, batter caught fire in the oven (husband poured water on it) and even though the cake was in the oven over the alotted time it takes to bake – it never really became cake. Those orney faeries were definitely up to some magic tricks that just weren’t beneficial to a three layer cake. sigh.

Two hours later, “cake” scraped into a bowl, oven cleaned (enough to run the self-cleaning oven later tonight), oven racks cleaned (10 SOS pads later), “cake” was ready to serve. We decided to call it the “Fudge Cake Sundae Cake”. We made the Fudge filling that usually goes in the middle of the layers and drizzled it on top of the fudgy cake pieces, topped it with ice cream and whipped cream, then topped it all with a cherry. Two huge plates – five spoons (husband doesn’t like chocolate cake) – a birthday song – and cake was served.

Funny – there were so many blessings in this mess that I’m still smiling. My oven needed a good cleaning. Grandma Mickey cakes are good in any shape, form or pieces (although I did miss the 7 minute frosting- but whip cream is a good substitute =P ). The Grands’ chocolate covered mouths and tongues licking their bowls was worth everything that went wrong.

Our preacher taught us this morning that we need to keep our mind focused on Christ every moment of every day – every decision – every happening. If we let the negative rise up in our minds, we are forgetting to be the “Believers” that Christ knew lived within us. We need the “helmet of salvation” Ep 6:17 surrounding our head 24-7. This day could have been a disaster, but instead, it was amazing. A game of Falcon Corn Hole followed, A few more hugs and the dogs lay down to take a nap.

Second step into my 64th year has been taken. A few more pictures ready to be logged into the memory booklet. “This is the day that the LORD hath made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps 118:24…. or as the preacher said: “No stinkin’ thinkin’ will lead [me] to drinkin”…  well…for today anyway.

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Lenten Journey #15

Beautiful day today – just a little chilly – but the sky was that bright, beautiful, Tar Heel, NC blue…and I was picking up – are you ready for this??? – poop. Yup. It was the day to clean up the back yard where the chocolate sisters leave little piles of chocolate droppings.

Every now and then on our journeys in this life, we have to deal with the well…the piles of…lumpy…dried…runny…excrement. And – you know – once that chore is done, the yard is a beautiful place to walk barefoot…hmmm….wellllll…once it gets a little warmer.

Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach (Jewish word for ‘Jesus’ in the OJB translation) had a lot of “poop” to deal with on His journey towards Jerusalem. Multitudes begging…disciples quibbling…the Pharisees/Sanhedrin/etc trying to tangle His words…Satan’s temptations…demons tormenting. Today, maybe, I might have understood a little better how He felt when He went off by Himself and looked at what He had accomplished. The world was a little cleaner – a little fresher – a place where children could run barefoot and remember what life was like in Malchut HaShomayim (Jewish word for ‘heaven’).barefoot

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven’.” Matt 18:1-4jesus-with-children-1005