Tag Archives: Israel

LIGHTS OUT #3

Advent lights are all put away for now. Spring is supposed to be in the air, but right now – not so much.  The gas log are on, the small heater is pumping out heat and my hands are curled into the sleeves of my sweatshirt…when I’m not typing. Feels like I should be putting candles in the window instead of taking them out of the window. Errrr….

Cold weather makes me very lazy. All I want to do is curl up with a blankie, a book, and my babies…well…not all the babies. Big Lab girls cut off the circulation in my legs if they sit on my lap for more than a minute or two. Luckily, Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle cat wanted to cuddle tonight, and I could tuck my hands under her for extra warmth. Awwe….

I really shouldn’t be whining. After all, when there are earthquakes in Colorado, snowstorms north and east of us, tornadoes to the south of us, I should be able to handle a couple of nights in the mid-30’s. Errrr…

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”~Matt 26:41

Sometimes I just have to remind myself to get up and move in the Awesome Spirit of GOD instead of being content to sit in the Whining Spirit of the World. So tonight I took myself back to the piano. Played some of my favorite songs and hymns, letting the melodies and the memories swirl around me like a warm blanket. Awwe…

“[The Lord] loves, and cares, and sympathizes, and understands, and seeks, and saves, and forgives, and helps, and encourages, and walks by our side… taking care of us in life when we can’t take care of ourselves.”~W. A. Criswell

The Advent lights may all be packed away. There may be a deep chill in the air. There may even be storms wreaking havoc on all my horizons. But – and this may be the “Awwe” part of this “Fat Tuesday” insight so read this slowly:

GOD’S      GOT      THIS!!

Enough said…

Ponderings His WORD…

Feet walking His path…

Following His Light…

Singing His Praise.

AWE.

“…And I’m going there to see my Saviour,
to sing His praise forevermore. 
I’m only going over Jordan,
I’m going home; I’m going home.”~“Wayfaring Stranger” 1935 1-the-river-jordan-holy-land-jordan-everett [google images]

Happy Birthmonth, America

  • In Philadelphia on the 2nd of July 1776, a vote was taken that changed the way the world thought.
  • On the 3rd of July 1776, a small sentence on the second page reported the results of that vote.
  • On the 4th of July 1776, the final draft was submitted to be published and eventually – signed in August of 1776.
  • Thus, the date everyone in this brand new country saw as they read this small document was July 4, 1776.
  • Independence Day.

It was [is] not a perfect country, and it was [is] filled with controversies.

  • Natives vs Europeans vs Africans vs …
  • English vs French vs Spanish vs Dutch vs …
  • Catholic vs protestant vs Jews vs atheists …
  • Tory vs Yankee vs Rebel vs Republican vs Democrat vs …
  • Slave vs Free vs indentured vs …
  • Rich vs middle vs poor vs homeless vs …

The divisions continue to swirl in growing concentric circles over and over and over.

We are human and we tend to make mistakes – sometimes – very big ones. Unfortunately, we also tend to dwell – focus – ruminate on those mistakes over and over. Giving it new names – justice…punishment…pay back…unfair… bias…bigotry…  But what if instead of concentrating on the mistakes, we concentrated on the knowledge and the wisdom gained from those horrible mistakes?

Walking dogs are always a great way to meet people. A couple of years back, one of those people encounters introduced me to some new concepts that I’ve just started re-reading this past week. Typically (for me), I get side-tracked by daily craziness, or whining about this or that, and do not pursue things with great intensity. (After all, I am reitred and “deserve” to be a little lazy, right?) I guess that laziness was a mistake because…(ready for it?)…guess what popped up in a devotional today? You got it!  Not one but both ideas in one short devotional. One God giving a one big hint. Gotta love those God hints.

The first idea is called Appreciative Inquiry by David Coopperrider and Diana Whitney. Essentially – it is looking for the best in any situation.

http://http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/intro/whatisai.cfm

The other is a 2004 documentary called “What the (Bleep) Do We Know?” The content of this movie explores a spiritual connection between quantum physics and consciousness.

http://http://www.whatthebleep.com/

Now the first idea relates a little more to my world. After teaching for so many years, I’ve trained my self to look for the best in most everything (although like everyone, I can get caught up in negative situations). Quantum physics and consciousness is a little out of my realm – well – more than a little. Although, I have picked up a lot of scientific facts from reading National Geographic, Discovery, ect, I really struggle with the in-depth study of it. Thank God for my children who seem to have taken after hubby and are much more adept at understanding such things so they can help explain it to me.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” ~ Phil 4:8

Fairly obvious advice from the WORD. Think on the admirable, the excellent or the praiseworthy. What if we tried to do that more in our world today? What if we did that with our friends? Our enemies? Our state? Our nation? A couple political conventions? A lot of people would complain that we are only hiding our heads in the sand or taking a “Pollyanna” approach. Yet, if we acknowledge the injustice, the damage, the pain and accept that we can find knowledge, wisdom and discernment in our mistakes, is it ignoring the problem or moving forward with new insights? I need to keep reading, but now I have a spiritual underpinning for this thought.

“Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.” ~ Num 23:13

The second one takes us a little deeper and back into the OT with Jewish wisdom. I have always skipped over stories that I don’t understand or can’t figure out why it is in the Bible. Drives me crazy. Like a jigsaw puzzle that takes forever to put together. I will read and re-read a story trying to figure out why it is important for me to know and after a while – I will just push it out of my mind and go on to the next puzzle. Obviously, I don’t know this Bible story well, so again, I will have to go back and re-read it a few more times. Essentially, Balak, King of the Moabites, hired Balaam to curse Israel. The hitch was that they had to see the people to make the curse work. You might be wondering what this has to do with Quantum Physics? Lucky for both of us, the rabbi who wrote this devotional had the answer.

“The gift of sight allows us to take in so much information about the world around us. Not only do we receive facts and knowledge by looking at something, we also may receive inspiration or good feelings from what we observe. However, what we often don’t realize is that when we look at something, we aren’t just on the receiving end. We are also contributing and affecting the world around us, even if we don’t know it. Quantum physics confirmed this concept through an experiment that was set up in order to ascertain whether matter was a particle or a wave. I’m not here to give a physics lesson, but the end result was startling. When not observed, matter behaved like a wave. However, when the matter was observed, it changed into a particle. In other words, scientific evidence proved that an observer does influence what is being observed. That means we all affect what we look at, and how we see things affects them profoundly.” ~ Rabbi Eckstein.

America has completed her 240th year.  For those who are moving and shaking and those who are just observing. it looks like the 241st year will be another decisive and derisive year in many ways.   I wonder how and what I am learning today relates to those facts, yet – I know it does. I need to do some more reading on both of these ideas. I need to read more American history. I NEED to read more of the WORD. Knowledge always comes first, and if I’m observant, wisdom and discernment will follow —- eventually. Right now, I do know that America and Israel are tired together in more ways than the one that is written on paper and stored in Washington D.C. I know God is moving more than just me. I’m just not sure why I’m on the journey that I am walking. It makes me smile, because there is always something unexpected and uncontrollable that Our Father will bring my way – if I have the courage to stay the course unto its completion.  One step at a time…

In the meantime – Happy Birthmonth, America. It is promising to be an interesting – if somewhat scary – yearus-1443698_960_720

RELEASED

The Passover moon was hidden deep in the clouds. Those that He loved were scattered, scared, weeping. Primal screams lodged in their throats, trapped tightly since that last night with Him. Had it truly been just 48 hours past since their peaceful sleep under the soft whispers of the olive trees’ leaves? Two nights since – just like their ancient ancestors – a release from the known for the unknown. Alone, they sat with their backs against their own known walls and wept – afraid of what scary things might lie beyond in the unknown..

“I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”~Matt 26:20/Zech 13:7

Yet –

Deep in the recesses of this darkness, a torch burned. Words that circled with a brightness of promise – renting the veil as surely as the curtains ripped in the temple just one day past. A promise that grew brighter as they wiped the tears with the back of their hands and managed to push their knees under their quaking bodies. Facing forward, they craned their head to catch a glimpse of that which was beyond the known wall.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”~Jn 16:20

A familiar voice. His voice. A voice that was different, yet the same. “…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Morning. A promise to capture. A promise that burned now within each of them – alone – yet together in His light.

Clouds scattered intermittently – at first – slowly – hesitantly – just as their doubts assailed them over the passing hours of the night. The Sons and Daughters of Israel warred with themselves with what they had known over the last three years and what unknowns lie ahead. Would He? When? How could He? When? How would they know? When? Over and over and over.until the black turned to purple then to a pale blue.

Just as the clouds gave way to the brightness of His word torch, so too did their doubts scatter Standing, the threshold of faith waiting to be crossed, each, in their own way, just as their forefathers had crossed out of Egypt, took the first step into the unknown – releasing their fears and then – their joy adding wings to their feet – running after the pillar of God that swirled before them into the unknown.

f2e3fa750a9bcee4da7b87f173beda55 (1)” Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.”~ Lk 24:5-7

It is Easter Morn. The darkness has been released once again and joy comes with the morning. Blessings!Be! on this Easter Morn. May your darkness be released. As Esther freed her people from the threat of Haman – as Moshe released his people from their captivity in Egypt – so too,did the Son of God release all people who choose to follow Him from their dark night to eternal joy in the morning.

[google images and youtube]

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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

[google images]

BLESSING TRIAD #13-15

12227650_10153846624651320_8539315362822057837_nThe Thirteenth Blessing

The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” Gen 4:10

Today, November 13, 2015, and I – I am thankful. Thankful that I have read the last page of the WORD. Thankful that Our Father sees and weeps over Paris tonight. Thankful that Chirst walked this same terror-filled path to bruise the head of the evil one.
While the cloak of darkness swirls around this foreign city whose streets I walked long ago. Parisians huddle in their homes. Borders closed. Travel curtailed. Lights darkened. A state of emergency declared

Submerged shadows silhouetted within sadness, suspicion, sorrow, stigma’s scars.

The good news?

Submerged shadows always surrender to sacred sword of salvation held within Son’s light.

12193871_1654218544836987_7021168084671431001_nAll they need to do is remember. Remember to seek the Son’s Light. Remember to throw open the church doors and get down on their knees. Afterall, this is the home to many people who have read the end of Our Father’s book as well. They know that the outcome of a battle is not the outcome of the war.This is the home of the French Resistance where cells of strong liberty loving men and women changed the course of WWII with their resilience and strength of conviction. They stood on the Rock, and hopefully, will do so again.

Tonight I have added the people of Paris and France to my ever growing list as I watch the Son’s Light grow.The Light Who doesn’t wait for morning to come. The Light that shows the ugliness of evil and lights the way back to the Garden. I am praying they remember to seek the Son’s Light as they go forward in the next few days.
Blessings!Be!

The Fourteenth Blessing1476480_10201044455582450_1754701491_n

No matter how black, dirty, shameful, or terrible our sin, God will forgive. We may be at the very gate of Hell itself, but He will be reaching out in everlasting love.” Rev. Billy Graham p 95 “Where I Am”

Today has been a thoughtful day – a prayful day. As shocking as it is to see the statistics or images of Paris flashing across our screens, my mind kept returning to the attacks that have been going on in Israel, the downing of a Russian plane, or the bombings in Lebanon – not to mention all the murders that have been happening daily in our own country. Ever look at the stats of murdered people in the USA on a daily basis?

I changed my cover and profile pictures away from France because this is not about one country. It is about our world. A world lost and spinning erratically – morally – truthfully – spiritually.

Last night, before I heard the news of Paris, I pulled out my battery operated window candles. I love them because they automatically come on at dusk and turn off at dawn. I put these up about this time every Christmas. Their flickering lights welcome me home on those rare nights I am coming home after dark. Usually their small light is enough to keep me happy until I finally get to decorate for Christmas (yea).

This morning, however, it was not enough. Putting on my coat and shoes, I dug through the piles of boxes in our now over-stuffed-getting-ready-to-move shed until I found the box I needed. Gently, I pulled the Millennial Creche out of its hiding place. It is the last nativity set my mother bought for me right before Y2K. We had this thing of giving each other nativity sets. I gave her a small white plastic set my first year of teaching. She brought me a set of olive wood ones from Israel. One year, the kids and I gave her one that we had hand-painted from plaster casts. When she gave me the Y2K creche by the Roman company, it became the special one because it was her last gift to me.

Today, I needed to see the visual of that promise – a promise made so long ago – a promise of mercy and salvation.

Flag_of_Israel.svgOur world needs that promise more than ever. We have watched our world become smaller and smaller. Talk of global businesses, currency, governments float through our consciousness without much thought. Last night the talk was of global murder. Flag_of_Lebanon.svgDepending on the media presentation – some terror attacks we hear little-to-nothing about – others attacks are all over mainstay media and social media. How many FB profiles do you see that are the blue/white Star of David or the red/white Fir tree flags (I could have mentioned Russia’s flag but it is the same as France but with horizontal strips instead)?

Today, November 14, 2015, I am thankful for the creche that sits in my cabinet. Itmillenial creche 2015 reminds me of Our Father’s promise, and our world needs to remember the promise born in a tiny manger long ago. Our world needs to remember that no matter how ugly we act or how warped our thinking may be, Our Father has already shown us a path that will lead us back to the Garden. He gave us His own Son’s Light to guide us on our journey. He waits for us to remember our promises.

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”~Is 55:7

The Fifteenth Blessing

November 15, 2015, I am THANKFUL. Thankfut for God’s blessings too numerable to mention. Thankful for Our Father’s unending promises. Thankful that prayer gives me a chance to talk with Him. Thankful for His holy day of rest. Thankful for His Son’s sacrifice and resurrection. Thankful for the Holy Spirit’s discerning voice in my life.

And ——–

thankful that that I found this video –

OKAY –

Are you ready?

NEWSIES fans – here we go. I’m still smilin’ and am ready to listen to it again. Hmmmm…I really, really miss singing acapella – although I still like mixed voices best. After the past couple of days, we do need to “Seize the Day”.

[Google images]

3 of 7: JOY

christmas-rejoice3 of 7: JOY. All day a derivative (yeah, yeah – another English teacher word – what can I say? 40 years of words doesn’t go away easily)..hmmm..better start over. All day a deriviative of the word JOY has been scuttling around in my mind. Squeezing through little cracks of my busyness. Squeaking in my physical world as well as in my internal sphere. Saturating my life with its presence. Like the good teacher He is, God knows repetition is a pretty good teacing tool. Soooooo..after plaguing me all day, I can finally say “Alright all ready – got it – I’ll pass it on.” Ready? REJOICE!

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel” Is 7:14b

REJOICE! An old-fashioned word, and one of those words we don’t use often The-Weary-World-Rejoices-Free-Christmas-Printableanymore except in church around Christmas and Easter. Yet – what other word conveys the extreme excitement – that JOY upon JOY upon JOY upon JOY upon JOY – that REJOICE portrays when you say it. It is not the sit-in-your-seats JOY. It is the jump up and down, smile all the way down to your toes, happy tears flooding your face JOY that can not be contained with just one JOYOUS explosion. Get it? RE – JOICE!

“O come, O come, Emmanuel!
Redeem thy captive Israel
That into exile drear is gone,
Far from the face of God’s dear Son.
REJOICE! REJOICE! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.”.

Tomorrow is the hump day of the work week. JOY. Last of the Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, Christmas cards (done) weekend. JOY. Next week it will be Christmas Eve. JOY. Beholding a babe in the manger ———- REJOICE! See the difference?

“.Veni, veni Emmanuel!” I can’T say it often enough. It is my constant prayer. REJOICE! REJOICE!

(google images)

rejoice

2 of 7: LOVE

2 of 7: LOVE. “It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” ~Charles Dickens.

After teaching A Christmas Carol for so many years, there are lots of Dickens quotes that I LOVE. He was able to put into words what the rest of us just saw as anmom's stocking accepted reality without questioning ‘why’ it was an accepted reality. Children understand the beauty of the Christmas story even better than we do. Children LOVE easier than we do.  We have way too many everyday doubts and issues circling around us to see the unparalleled gift that was given on that night so long ago…LOVE that was given so long ago. But I also believe that our elders fall into this category. Some of the most special memories I have of my mom were during those last few years she spent upon this earth. She was so full of stories and LOVE that I couldn’t wait to go pick her up and bring her to the house (except when there was a bunch of snow and ice on the road…then – not so much). Usually we would sing Christmas carols all the way to the house or talk about her memories of past Christmases. She would tell me the story of her Christmas stocking every year, and it still hangs right beside mine. Just LOVE that stocking and the memories of the Christmases that it has seen since 1919.

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismissd your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32

God honors children, elders or any of us who makes time to look for Him – in a stable – in a stranger’s face – in our enemy. God honored Simeon’s request to see the Savior before he died. The thing I really LOVE about this story is that God did His usual – He went above and beyond giving Simeon the dream he requested. He LOVED Simeon and blessed him greatly. Simeon actually held the Savior in his arms – kissed His downy head – and I imagine – dropped a few tears upon His tiny form as well. A baptism of salty water that would begin a sacred journey upon this world that was so unworthy of Christ’s presence. LOVE begats LOVE.

Cookies, Carols, Children, Characters, Christmas. Five C’s that take on a whole new connotation during our holyday season. Colored lights erupt in sporadic bursts. Magic circles swirl through the air. Elves hide behind every tree. Secrets float just beyond earshot. Presents pile up under the tree, while dormant dreams suddenly seem to slip from their slumbering state into a possible reality…for Simeon…for children…for you. It’s all about LOVE at Christmas —– or at least —– it should be.simeon

art by Ron DiCianni

 

Remain Calm

Yesterday, when I was putting thoughts to paper, I used a quote from one of my favorite movies.  In fact, I used this movie in the classroom every year.  The boys would groan (at first); the girls would fall in love with Jack; and Disney would profit because most of them ran out to buy the movie so they could watch it again.  Tonight was a Newsies type of night.

Davie:  “Alright — everyone remain calm.”  

I watch the news, and I can hear Davie’s words in my head.  I wish I could follow his advice, but my heart hurts.  My friend sends me an e-mail that he got from one of his friends in Iraq asking for prayer.  The UN has fled the area.  ISIS is just outside the gates, but the Christian Relief group is staying – trying to comfort the fearful and encourage their faith in this desperate time.   Jews in France being attacked, threatened and a few…killed.  People of all faiths in Ukraine are fleeing.  Jews in Israel being told the missiles are pointing toward Tel Aviv once again.  I guess that means the cease fire will be over tomorrow.  Evil is a foot – big time.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deut 31:6

We tend to shy away from that ancient term:  evil.  Even the church doesn’t mention it much anymore.  You can feel the uneasiness swirl around you if you happen to say it aloud.   evil.  The Bible mentions it often, but these days…it offends us.  It isn’t logical the knowledgeable argue.  Bad things happen, but that is because of up-bringing, societal pressures, environment, abuse……  You’ve heard them all, I’m sure.  An educated laugh and the joke is on us.   Like the sheep we are, we have fallen into line silently behind them.  Avoiding the messiness of debate that might hurt someone’s feelings; enjoying the quiet of our neighborhood where sirens don’t pierce our evening meal; the easy routines not being interrupted by a terrible sword slicing them to shreds; reading, T.V. shows, a night at the bar, playing our games on the computer, tomorrow’s lesson plans, cuddling our children, facebooking, twittering…

“For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”  Jude 1:4 

Did you ever notice and wonder about the little things?  ISIS is spelled the same name as the Egyptian goddess from Roman times.  Russia is no longer a sleeping bear.  China is being awfully quiet.  The second blood moon is coming soon (Oct 8th) on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (the harvest festival…hmmmm…). Prayer is making a resurgence into our vocabulary.  Miracle stories are being recounted over and over by the people under attack.

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Lk 18:7-8 

Tonight as I kneel by my bed, I think my prayers will be tossing and turning like the waves of that Galilean sea that our LORD walked across so long ago.  I will pray for my husband, my children and grandchildren; my extended family of relatives and students; those grieving; a baby being born; a brave soul enduring yet another surgery in the battle with a super bug infection; my troubled nation, my brothers and sisters in Christ/the Jewish nation at large, and finally, I will ruminate on that last sentence in Luke:  “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”  Then I will lie down and sleep because: “I know that my redeemer liveth.”  Job 19:25

Hopefully, when Christ does return, He will find faith upon the earth.  It is my prayer that He will find it in me and others who are stumbling along this same path.  My life has been blessed with music from the day I was conceived and could listen to my mom and dad sing to me (mom used to say they sang to me even before I was born).  It is where I turn when my mind is troubled, and I need comfort.  Newsies or The Messiah or lullabies sung by the angels around me; I am singing my prayers tonight for His mercy and grace, and hope that your songs will add harmony to mine.

Old Deuteronomy

Several years ago, when I was performing in CATS with a local theatre BookOfPracticalCatsgroup, Old Deuteronomy was the cat full of wisdom and grace.  Most musicals have a wise person passing out wonderfully timed wisdom to those seeking help.  Wisely, Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber had the sense not to change much of T.S. Eliot’s original poem, “Old Deuteronomy:

“Old Deuteronomy lived a long time;He’s a Cat who has lived many lives in succession, He was famous in Proverb and famous in rhyme, A long time before Queen Victoria’s accession…” 

Deuteronomy has never been one of those books that I spent much time studying in the past.  In fact, I spent very little time in the OT.  I just didn’t think it was necessary.  After all, I was a child of the New Covenant.   Jesus was where it was at…the narrow gate…the Way…       The sad part of this history lesson is that I don’t believe that my thinking is unusual.  Most of the churches I attended in my formative years (and I attended a bunch of different ones since I was usually getting paid to sing in their choirs) gave only a passing nod to the OT.  Besides, they only had so many Sundays to get across all those wonderful stories that happened between Matthew and Revelations. 

“Be silent, O Israel, and listen!  You have now become the people of the LORD your God…”  Deut 27:9b

Maybe it is because I always have so many questions.  Or maybe it is because I tend to rebel much more than most people would ever guess.  But the last couple of years, God has set my feet on this path of understanding the Jewish portion of Jesus, and why the Old Covenant is an integral portion of our redemption.  It has not been an easy journey (after all I do tend to be a little  – ok – more than a little – stubborn).  Reading the OT can be tedious at times and boring at best.  Timelines are confusing.  Names just don’t tumble off your lips.  And really?  All the violence and patriarchal society thing drives me nuts most of the time.  Just how does God’s people do all this nastiness, and He still loves them?  And then I look at me…and sigh.  If my life was miraculously dropped into the Bible, I would definitely fit right in with all of God’s nasty acting people.

“Old Deuteronomy sits in the street,  He sits in the High Street on Market Day.  The bullocks may bellow, the sheep they may bleat, But the dogs and the herdsmen will turn them away…”

Unlike the dogs and the herdsmen, Our Father doesn’t EVER turn us away when we seek Him out.  Our nastiness continues.  Violence — Wars — Terror —   yet — when God’s people continue to trust and put their faith in I AM, the miracles follow.  GRACE.  My Bible’s study guide says that the theme of Deuteronomy is “Devote yourself wholeheartedly to God”.  I keep trying to remember that as I am reading it.  It is a book full of Moses’ final words to God’s people. It was the end of the 40 year journey.  It was the start of a new life in a new country.  Finally, it is the land of “Milk and Honey”, and it was in front of them.

“Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants…’” Deut 34:4b

It is just something to think about as we watch the world unravel.

A Miracle Kind of Day

It’s a miracle!!! It’s thundering outside! (“God is laughing,” as my dad used to say.) Seriously – rain has been so rare – it feels like a miracle, and the thunderstorm makes it just so special. Now, I’m just hoping that the thunder brings the rain as well – a really – super-duper rainstorm. I would love to see a storm tonight, but I think my garden would love it even more than me. =)

Lately, we have been stopping to buy fresh corn and other veggies on the way home from church. It is just a small roadside building that sells local produce and a few home-made/local items, but it is like a treasure hunt for the husband and myself. We started out just buying the corn, but now our refrigerator is stuffed to the max with all the wonderful “gold” we uncover on a Sunday.

Shucking corn in the front garden, listening to the baby birds hollering for food, watching the dogs dust themselves where grass should be – makes for a lovely Sunday. When the husband goes in to start fixing a “brunch” omelette that is loaded with “gold”, it gives me time to think as I work.

“Remember your people whom you acquired in ancient times,
whom you rescued so they could be your very own nation,
as well as Mount Zion, where you dwell!” Ps 74:2

King-David-Tragedy-and-Triumph

David had a way with words. Whether he was on the run or hiding in caves, waging war against giants or armies, failing to follow the path his Father had created just for him or planning the temple where “His” people would find comfort and peace from the One who comforted him. David wrote words. A kernel of truth the size of a mustard seed in every verse – powerful – meaningful – heartfelt – then…and even now in today’s world when war is surrounding His people.

“Remember Your people…”

We slay giants. We amass armies (remember – this IS a metaphor – just think of the kind of armies – good and bad – that line up behind you). We hide in caves – those dark, scary, damp, cold places that no one wants to be in…even with the brightest flashlight. But hopefully – we stumble upon a path…a Lighted path…and we take one step. Open our eyes and take another step. Blessings! Be! It is easier for us than David. We don’t have to build a temple to find comfort or worship Our God. Our LORD died on the cross and rose again so that the temple and the Helper is inside of us. David knew the ultimate goal was the dwelling place of God. It is our our ultimate destination as well.

King_David_Praising_the_Lord_with_His_Harp_001

“O LORD God, do not reject your chosen ones! Remember the faithful promises you made to your servant David!” 1 Chron 6:42
“Remember Your promises…”

Today as we sang this praise song, those two lines stuck in my mind…are still stuck in my mind: “Remember Your people…Remember Your promises…” Today as I sat in my garden, I prayed. I wept. I rejoiced. I smiled…because He does remember — His people — His promises. I carried the corn in the house, ate a “golden” breakfast fixed by a great cook, and enjoyed the miracles of the day. Just been one of those kind of days…a pocket full of miracle days.