Tag Archives: Hebrews

WHOA!

Jan 28 2016aWHOA!!

HALT!!

STOP ALREADY!!

I am tired and weepy. Hubby is tired and grumpy which makes me more tired and weepy. We are – in no particular order – tired of lugging, juggling, adjusting – tired of being too hot, too cold or too out of sorts to care – tired of stepping over, around, under all things in our way – tired of not eating well and having to eat “out” – tired of delays because the first snow storm of the season just blew through and blew our time-tables to smithereens – tired of clinging furbabies who are way too uncomfortable to have any sense of home in this melee – – – just plain, no-other-way-to-say-it – – – – – – TIRED.

Praise the LORD, we still have a comfortable bed so we can start the new day – – – – – semi-tired.

Seriously, how did the pioneers ever find the gumption to keep on movin’ on? I truly think I would have looked at my hubby, rolled my eyes,and hiked my proverbial skirts up, gathered my dog, horse, goats or whatever and immediately started back to civilization. And how in the world Moshe ever kept the Israelites traveling in a desert for 40 years is beyond me. I probably would have been like most of the Jews of that day (in case you don’t know, according to Jewish tradition only one third of the Jewish nation left Egypt) and remained in slavery.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.”~Ps 127:1-2

Which just goes to show you – we miss the best part of our life journeys when we stay in our comfort zone. My hubby and I have become creatures of habit. Like our furbabies, we like the routines we have established for ourselves in these “golden” years. It has been easy. It has been too easy in too many ways. Just like the Jewish fore-bearers of our faith, we have chosen to became slaves to “things” and a way of life. Who says history doesn’t repeat itself or that the WORD is full of boring myths of little consequence?

“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.”~1 Kg 8:56

That is probably what I love most about Our Father. He never wants us to stagnate. I have this crazy notion that “heaven” is not going to be just lying around and playing our perfectly tuned little harps ad nauseam. Just like I know He is still creating and teaching and parenting and loving and nudging us every day in this world.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not tired. I am. Then I come home and talk to the guys who are working on our house. Several of them are dealing with sick family members, broken vehicles, bills piling up, trying to find time to do their taxes so they can get a refund, working a hard job or two (ones I obviously don’t want or can do as well as they can) with their own versions of achy muscles and joints They are tired, too. They’re just on a different journey than me.

Almost a year ago, I began starting my day with a Jewish prayer in the morning. I’ve added Rabbi Yeshua’s 1st and 2nd commandments to that. Lately, He has been pointing out that I am not any where near perfect at observing those commandments in my life – especially loving my “neighbor”. This month in particular, He is working on me about this, so I’m trying harder. Asking for forgiveness more, Praying more when I’m out of my “comfort zone”. Trying to gather more wisdom for the journey that lies ahead. Somehow, G-d never wastes a chance to grant us more wisdom.

We have come a long way since we found this house in December. We are still tired and often grumpy and occasionally weepy. (Sometimes it is harder “to love jan 28 2016dyour neighbor” when they sleep in the same bed – sigh) But then there is a little night light that helps you navigate, with gritty, puffy eyes, to that space where there is something special (a stove and refrigerator sitting in your kitchen)- something created (a painted wall or tiled floor)- with a lot of planning (a bathroom sink and light) – with a little help from some friends – a clear space in the mess – and you smile. G-d has kept His promise once again.

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”~Heb 12:12-13

So as I rub my eyes and yawn my way through the same prayer with which I began my day, I know that those prayers will probably be interrupted by a snore before my head really sinks deeply into my pillow. I hope that your night will bring you a gentle rest as well. For the one who watches over all of us remains awake, watchful, loving and waiting.

Yeshua said to him, “Foxes have lairs and birds of the sky have shelters, but The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”~Matt 8:20

[google images]

Whoa

God’s Message

text-message_2459303b“Now faith is the conviction concerning those things that are in hope, as if it were these things in action, and the revelation of those things that are unseen;”
Hebrews 11:1 APE

Today my youngest son was used to deliver a message. He didn’t realize it, but sometimes, that is just the way God works. Last night, I started writing about how hard it seems to be for me to memorize Bible verses. But I was tired. Words weren’t coming easy. And, in my considerable wisdom, I wondered who in the world needed to read about that anyway. Apparently somebody.does because my son tagged me in a post about memorizing Bible verses and BANG! I felt God’s gentle laughter in my head. So guess what I am writing about today?

“For by faith we understand that the worlds were fashioned by the word of God, and these things that are seen came into being out of those things which are unseen.” Heb 1:3 APE

When I was little, we didn’t really memorize many Bible verses. I do remember memorizing a few for a Bibles school program, and I wrote lots of them. When Mom would tuck me in at night, we would always say The LORD’s Prayer and the God blesses. Eventually, I added more. After Daddy had his first heart attack, I memorized the 23rd Psalm. That whole valley-in-the-shadow-of-death had taken on a whole new meaning at that point. Later, in membership class, I learned the Niocene creed which I added as well. Sometimes, Mom would finish braiding my hair and fall asleep before I was done with prayers. (Driving a drycleaning truck was hard work in those days.) And then – for some strange reason – that particular talent quit functioning in my brain.

I can still memorize just about anything. Poetry, Song lyrics. Monologues. Dialoges. Dance steps. But Bible verses? Not so much. And I have absolutely no idea why. I will spend hours working on A (meaning one) verse (On line, I’ve been using Scripture Typer). I will remember it for a week or two and then it’ll be gone. It literally drives me nuts. I tend to remember fragments of the verse – enough to find it, but not the whole thing. I worked on the Beatitudes a few times, and still I can only bumble my way through them. Yet – I can still recite the Declaration of Natural Rights – verbatim, I might add – that I learned 40+ years ago. UGH!

“Therefore, we also, who have all of these witnesses who surround us like clouds, let us throw off from us all the weights of the sin which is always ready for us, and let us run with patience this race that is set for us.” Heb 2:1 APE

So tonight, I am looking at this new site that my son sent me and wondering if I should put it on my phone. I rarely use my phone for anthying other than a lower-your-cell-phone-billcommunication device. Talking. Texting. Got that. The whole “life-is-my-phone” thing still elludes me – although – I do like having a book or two and a few tunes when I am stuck someplace waiting for the hubby or babysitting the Grands after they are in bed.

Memorizing the WORD is important to me. Mom developed macular degeneration by the time she was in her late 70’s. I think about that more than I care to admit and get tested for it every year. Sometimes, she would ask me to read to her. I would bring new books, but often we would read the Bible. She would get this smile on her face when we came to a verse she knew by heart. Everytime, it brought comfort and a lot of that “Mickey” confidence back into her eyes.

Reading the WORD is good. Gaining wisdom from the WORD is a blessing. Knowing the WORD  in your heart is powerful because it becomes a part of you. That being said…I am not giving up!!! As soon as I post this, I’m hitting the BOOK again. “…faith is the conviction concerning those things that are in hope…”

“And let us gaze at Yeshua, him who is The Author and The Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was his, endured the cross and ignored the shame, and he sits upon the right side of the throne of God.” Heb 2:2 APE

Verses

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.

 Google images

 

 

 

A Good Book

I hate leaving the world of a great book. Today’s world du jour was Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons. Re-entry into my world always takes burnt mountainplace normally, but the flashbacks continue for a few hours as I detach my self from that community and group of people that I have grown attached to during our short time together. Then I begin to wonder if there is possibly one more book of Siddons that I haven’t read and can’t wait to get to a computer to do a search.

A good book is a treasure which reminds me that I haven’t done my daily devotions in The Good Book yet. Surprisingly, I’ve gotten in the habit of enjoying my hour alone with WORD far more than I enjoy any other book (which I find totally amazing). It used to be that I had to force myself to Jesus_Christ_Superstarpull out the Book – read my token couple of randomly chosen chapters – say a quick prayer – all the while tossing a glance upwards as if I was Simon Zeolotes in Superstar: “Christ You know I love You, Did you see I waved? I believe in You and God, so tell me that I’m saved.”

“I will put my trust in Him.” Hebrews 2:13a

Nice thing about being retired is that I do have more time. In reality though, I try to do devotions at night right after supper, so I could have been doing this all my life.. Anne Voskamp mentioned this tradition in one of her books, and it intrigued me. Then I read it was also a Jewish tradition in some sects to study the Torah after a meal. It began to make sense. A full belly is useless if you have a soul that is starving.

“…All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the WORD of the LORD endures forever…” 1 Peter 1:24-25

For me, it’s the best time of day. I’ve gotten my chores done, and I’m ready to just enjoy the quiet whispers of sound that surround our new biblehome. The heat of the day has passed, a slight breeze is gently pushing the wind chimes and the harmonics are better music than anything on the CD. Dogs are content to watch the birds or get in trouble for chasing the wild cats who often make the mistake of crossing the road in front of our house. And, I can work on that “stillness” that our preacher was talking about this week (I still “talk” way too much so I hope God is being patient).

Most of you who are my friends, understand that “need” to read a great book, especially after we’ve passed the exposition, and we’ve become attached to the story line/characters/hypothesis formulating in our heads of “what happens next” . If we leave that book behind (or haven’t downloaded a digital copy in reserve on our phone) and don’t have it to read when we have a minute or two, we are beyond frustrated. That same feeling has now transferred to my devotions. I try to do more than “wave” at God these days and miss it more than I can say when I don’t make the time to spend with my Father. That being said, I guess it is time to get off of here and read a few more words in a book that never ends, and for that, I’m truly thankful to Our Father.

love books

Baby Sparrows Addendum

Shhhh….it’s a secret and you can’t tell the Grands…yet.

I’ve been watching this secret all week. I wish now that I had taken pictures, but true to form, I never think of pictures until it is much later. Until today, that is. Today I managed to think ahead (a little) and snap a picture memory.

june 29 2014 001

After the week we had with baby birds at the daughter’s house, I was not surprised to see what was happening at my house. God is like that. When He is teaching me a lesson, it usually doesn’t come via one experience. He knows me all too well. Knowledge is one thing – wisdom is a whole ‘nother thing…..and sometmes with me….God knows He has to put it in my face in more than one way. I doubt. I question. I backtrack. I wimp out.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.” Heb 11:1

A few weeks back one of my sons posted about a music study completed by the Berlin Academy of Music that determined it takes tens of thousands of hours to become a world class soloist in any field. Now this doesn’t take into account savants or prodigies, but it does reflect most of us. So today, I wasn’t surprised when my preacher started talking about the same things that Our Father has been impressing in my hard head all week, and it all started with baby birds.

If you read that earlier post, you know it didn’t end well for the baby birds. The Grands were sad, but fascinated as well…(especially with the bright blue eyeball that popped out of one of them after the dog discovered it….sigh). Yet, at the same time that was happening – just a few miles away at my house – another set of bird parents were building a nest. Their vision of the perfect nest is different. They put it in a low tree that is no higher than my chin. Tonight, I took a picture of the four eggs that are resting in it.

june 29 2014 004

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Prov 29:18

Now I can see all sorts of potential problems with this nest placement. There are roaming cats in the neighborhood (and this would be a very easy climb); the dogs and I are always around that tree when we are playing ball and could knock the tree; and scarier for everyone – the Grands will be putting their face in it – every minute – of every day – when they find out. However, the mommy and daddy birds have a vision – a goal – a plan…and what they have accomplished in a week is truly a miracle in progress. The parents built their nest in faith and nothing pleases God more than that…especially when humans – the ones He “made in Our own image” – seek their dreams – set their goals – step out in faith.

“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Heb 12:1b

It’s not always easy. The first set of birds lost two of their three young ones. Who knows what life will bring to this new set of birds. What I do know is that they act on their faith. They act with perseverance. If something happens to this nest, they will build again. They will put in hours and hours of achieving and mastering their dream.

Today, my preacher said, “The God of the Bible is a dreamer.” Those words have been following me all day. Daily we make choices that either follow the dreams that we are seeking or ignore them. Different times in our lives, we re-evaluate, modify our dreams or re-set them altogether. Think of those times that shook your life – junior high, high school, college, marriage, retirement, a death in the family – these are the times when dreams are shaken, modified or changed.

For me this past year has been one of those time. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no “retirement” in the Bible or in God’s design. Whether we are birds of the air or humans “made in Our own image”, we need to PERSIST in dreaming and seeking the vision of our lives. So here I go. Circling the dream and persisting in that “even though” faith. It is easy to coast through the day, going from one “busyness” to another “busyness”. It is entirely something else to be like Martha who watched her brother die and then waited four days for Jesus to arrive.

“Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. EVEN NOW, I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” John 11:21

It’s time to have that “EVEN NOW” faith and get on with the dreaming. BTW – don’t tell the Grands yet. I’m still enjoying this secret between me and Our Father.