Tag Archives: Jehovah-Jireh

BIG TREES

So – the day went like this. I ran away to avoid having to see the trees that are right next to the house be cut down because – THEY ARE RIGHT NEXT TO THE HOUSE!!! And guess which ones they DID NOT cut down today??

Ya got it! The trees right next to the house are still right next to the house.

I guess I will have to run away tomorrow as well. But Good Golly Ms Molly – what the tree guys got done in one afternoon is beyond reality – not to mention the pole building crafters. A building that the workers started at 4 and continued working long after I was in jammies and wrapped in my comfy blankie stands partially completed.

What a week. A week full of blessed discoveries, familiar voices and golden memories of yesteryear mixed with new ones in the birthing stage. That deep joy of “knowing” when something is right is always beyond words and fills me with gratitude that wants to sing its way to the Triune Father who tilled the soil in a time beyond time, raised the trees and brought us to such a space in time.

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”~John 15:1-4

Our neighbor and his daughter came over for a short visit tonight. So while the “men folk” took a walk to take one more look at all the “newness”, the “women folk” enjoyed a cush ball came of questions, answers, and lots of laughter.

Fruit grows in the most unexpected places. Tilling the soil. Scraping a new path in our part of the world. Wondering who else might have stood in this exact same spot long, long ago. Pushing and stretching the confines of our woodsy womb. Feeling Jehovah-Jireh’s smile as the sun sets once again.

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”~Gen 1:31

But I am still running away tomorrow. After all – if a tree falls on our house, I still don’t want to be here. I mean – really – those are some big trees.

 
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Because of Christmas #9: Perhaps Today

Usually – by this time of the day, an idea has been circling around in my brain for hours. A hint. Additional input filtered through the synapses. A few tweaks here and there and the outline has taken shape enough that I feel like I know what I’m supposed to write about for the day.

Not so today.

There’s simply been too many ideas circulating in my brain. Everytime I think I’ve found a focus, something else spears its way into my sphere, and I’m off track again.

Thanksgiving Day………Family Foibles………Christmas………Simeon….

So many choices and no inner nudges that are highlighting one thing and yet – this huge knocking in my head that I am missing something. Something huge. Something obvious. Something that is right in front of my face, and I’m missing it.

Hmmm…..a few days ago, I wrote “Signs Instruct Direction”, so I think I need to go look at things that I wrote down because they caught my attention throughout the day.

“Wise is the saint like Simeon.”~Max Lucado (p102)

If I had the faith of Simeon, I wouldn’t be biting my nails and wondering what the next paragraph is going to look like. Simeon knew. He was waiting. He had complete confidence in one fact – he would see the Messiah in his lifetime. God had promised. God fulfills all His promises.

What is it like to have such a faith? To wake up everyday and think to himrself: אולי היום ……. perhaps today …. Did he have the words posted in his notes on scripture? Did he talk about it with other rabbis as they debated the scriptures and Jewish wisdom? Or – did his gut just ache, so deep inside him that he knew beyond human knowledge that “perhaps today”…. “perhaps today”…he would see the One he longed to see the most?

The advent of the Messiah into the world. God’s plan of salvation.

I remember lying under a huge maple tree in my front yard long, long ago. The light filtered through the leaves, and there was a promise whispered in the wind. A promise I didn’t understand but absorbed like breath itself. Unlike Simeon, however, my faith faltered and tumbled into dark recesses of my crazy choices for long periods of time. But occasionally – when my spiritual ears would be tickled to listen – I would remember, breathe deeply and think: perhaps today. Then I would stand outside, hold my breath until I felt His breath, and breathe deeply in that God promise to me and remember – God keeps all promises.

My faith is stronger in these latter days. However, because the faith is stronger, the waiting is harder – I am impatient. Have always been impatient. In fact, it is one of those things, God has challenged me to work on – PATIENCE. Errrrrrr……I have to admit, the more challenges He gives me, the more I’m looking forward to a point when time is not linear.

So today (in linear time lingo), I took a lesson from Max Lucado. i wrote the words: “Perhaps Today” in large letters. I added some artistic flairs here and there so it will daily draw my eye in my war room. Everyday I want to be reminded of Simeon’s faith in his Abba’s promise. He knew that Jehovah-Jireh would provide the fulfillment of the promise at the perfect time. And that day as he held the Messiah in his arms, he spoke to the blessing:

“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people.
He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”~Lk 2:29-32

As this day of giving thanks pushes to its own fulfillment, I think I will take one more last trip outside with the dogs. I will hold my breath, open my ears and breathe deeply. When I feel His holy breath deep within me and I am waiting with expectation, I will say…perhaps today……….perhaps today………….perhaps today……….   [google images]

MADE WHOLE

10710988_850041038382025_4419352023986082599_nCracked.
Fragmented.
Torn.
Shards.
Tarnished.

Pieces with jagged edges that no longer fit together .

Unbelievably, we sometimes forget how broken we are. We are that good at wearing masks – donning the armor. We argue that life happens. That we can just “suck” it up. Stike the brave warrior pose – march forward into battle once again. Worse things happen every day to other people.

Crucifixions.
Beheadings.
Torture.

Ugliness exists on our small mudball called Terra. There are many victims. Humans. Animals. Our World.

“Restore us, LORD God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.” Ps 80:19

The good news is that there is Someone who will hug us so tightly that all the broken pieces are miraculously re-created as one.

Not glued.
Not pieced together in slapstack fashion

But made whole. Perfect. Without seams.

No scars.
No blemishes.
No missing pieces.

When Moshe climbed Mt. Sinai and returned to his people, he found them worshipping a golden calf. His humaness rose angrily, and he threw the tablets so that they broke upon the sin in front of him. Later, he returned to the mountain and brought down new tablets. However…the wisdom of Jehovah-Jireh prevailed. He had always had a plan. He knew exactly what was needed to return His children to their envisioned wholness.

Before the tablet shattered.
Before righteous confronted evil.
Before a third of the angels fell.
Before the Garden was locked.

When this stronghold of evil was demolished…after the anger subsided…after the tears of remorse, Moshe laid the broken pieces together with the new tablets. Brokenness and wholeness coesxisting – side-by-side – in the heart of the most holy spot on earth – The Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Promise.

“And I will give you shepherds according to my heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jer 3:15

We weren’t created to be broken – in body – in spirit – in mind. We were created whole. Slowly, over the years a guide book was assembled to remind the people.

Not linear.
Not historical.
Not temporal.

Eternal.
Reminder.
Guide.

Godly leaders arose to remind the people how far they had come. A shepherdess carrying water to thirsty sheep. A young shepherd protecting his sheep with a three small stones. A 30 year old shepherd that sought His lost sheep, cradled them in his arms and healed their brokeness.

“Amen, I say to you, no one who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will enter it.” And he took them up in his arms and he laid his hand upon them and he blessed them.” Mark 10:15-16

[google images]

yeshua high priest

Attitude of Gratitude #30

16-shoot-of-jesse2Attitude of Gratitude #30. Advent. One of my friends reminded me today that thankfulness is a choice just like writing this series of gratitudes has been a choice. It is so easy to go through a day,snuggle into dreamland and never remember to be thankful. I know. I’ve done it. But as December 1 approaches, I find myself more and more thankful that it is here. The world is full of ugliness. The world seems topsy-turvy. So when Advent gets here, I am sooooo thankful. I take a deep breath and wait.

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” – Is 11:1

Come Christmas “read-the-story” time, we recognize the name “Jesse”, but the picture of Jesse, the man, is a blur. Okay,he was some kind of kin to David. Even reading the Bible cover-to-cover every year, one would really have to be looking for the story of Jesse. Like the man, his story is a blur that flickers in and out of other stories. Grandson of Ruth and Boaz (you know – the “thy people will by my people” story). It seems that his real claim to fame is his youngest son who became King David (you know – the youngster who slew Goliath with a flat stone).

“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.” Lk 2:4

Sometimes, I think God is like that. He likes to tuck little stories inside the big ones. Bibles scholars have figure out that Jesse was a fairly well-to-do farmer type guy in Bethleham. Yet, out of all the people alive at that time, why does God sends Samuel to Jesse? You have to wonder. What did Jehovah-Jireh know about Jesse and his family that made them “king” material?

“Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” 1 Sam 16:1b

This is merely supposition on my part, but I tend to think that these little stories tucked within the larger plot lines of our Biblical heroes are often the ordinary people. People who tried to live their lives to the best of their ability for HaShem. Righteous People They are often just men and women like you and me who worked hard, followed the rules (mostly), fell down and got back up, and raised their families to revere God above all things. Yet, even though they didn’t rank their own big portion of the Bible story, their faith life was so important that God made sure their name would be remembered forever. “…a shoot…from the stump of Jesse…”

There is something special about waiting and watching for that first ray of light to push through the outer rim of our darkness until it finally blazes into the Christ star on Christmas Eve. It is called hope. Advent is here. . Light the Hope candle in the wreath. 25 days and the Christ Star will blaze once more. I am thankful, waiting and hopeful once more.christmas star

BUT…

I know that a lot of conservative Christians feel that Halloween is not a holiday that needs to be celebrated.  It is pagan in it’s origins.  A time when spirits roam the earth and witches rule the skies.  It celebrates the “darkness” of human life with scary images and horrific  experiences that most of us abhor.  Gravestones.  Boiling pots of magical brew.  Strobe lights that crash the mind.  Eerie music emanating from the night. Webs of deceit that tangle around our body as much as inside our head.  Satanic influences that glorify the ugly sins that happen all too often.

Good reasons one and all.

BUT…

and this is prayerfully submitted…

BUT…

It can also be warm family memories.  Laughter embed with love.  Sweet treats that remind us of special occasions.  Choices exist within choices upon this crazy habitat that Our Father designed just for us.  I’m sure He hoped, like all of us hope for our children, that we would never experience the pain of sin and sorrow.  But…free will allows us to dance around the fires of choice, and all too often we end up getting burnt.  BUT…choice also allows us to decide not to stick our extremities in the fire or dance so close that we burn the things we love.

But…

img822Perhaps because I grew up in the fabled era of the 50’s/60’s…perhaps because I grew up in a small town surrounded by neighbors who acted like extended family…perhaps because horror and fear were an abstract instead of a daily reality…Halloween was more filled with Christ than with the evil one. My Halloweens were filled with a mother who created costumes out of scraps img820(gotta love her choice of costume for me when I was five)…dark runs through many neighborhoods filled with faces that I knew as well as I knew my family’s…contests with my best friends for apples, candy and costumes…family businesses that handed out miniatures bags of whatever they made…pictures boxes of memories filled with family love.

“For I am the LORD your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.” 
Isaiah 41:13

There is a story in Jewish tradition that tells about a rabbi who went to eat with a poor man and his wife.  They had nothing to serve the rabbi except some flour.  So the wife went into the woods to find some herbs to enhance the flour that she would serve to the rabbi.  As she picked the herbs and spices that Jehovah-Jireh had designed so long ago, she prayed that they would not only nourish their their rabbi but bless him with all the beauty that was once in the Garden of Eden.  Later in the week, the rabbi’s wife approached the poor woman and begged her for the recipe of the rabbi’s wonderful meal.  The poor woman was stunned.  She explained that she had served him only flour, water and some spices.  The rabbi’s wife was also stunned.  She told the woman that her husband had said it tasted so good that it must of come straight from the Garden of Eden.  At that, the poor woman started to cry.  She remembered her prayer over the herbs that she had gathered that day.  God had heard her prayers and blessed her as much as He had blessed her rabbi.

“Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
— Isaiah 41:14

Halloween can still be the pagan holiday of the past.  Halloween can still offer monsters and scary demons a chance to dance around in all the gory ugliness that this world has to offer. Halloween can still be the pagan holiday that people create over and over again by their everyday choices.  Halloween can still be a time when the evil one rejoices.

img819

BUT…

Like the poor wife, when we pray…….Halloween can also be something made new because Jesus Christ has brought light into the darkness.  It can be another kind of day…another chance for families to gather together and bless the night with LIGHT.  A time when LOVE…that brings the moon out from beyond the clouds…reaches beyond hope…passes beyond understanding…and takes over the darkness that the evil one has spread and warms the chilly air that he has brought with its pagan beginnings.

I, for one, am thankful for Halloween and the wonderful memories I have buried in my heart, and all the new memories I am helping to create in the Grands.  BUT…most of all…I am thankful for Jesus Christ that lightens the darkness of this world with His love and reminds me to keep looking up and praying over everything I do.HALLOWEEN LOVE

 

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.