Tag Archives: Jehovah

A WEEK

I wish I was feeling brilliant and had lots of wisdom to share. It seems as if I have not written for a year. Yet, it has only been a week.

  • A week of changes.
  • A week of camping in a broken house.
  • A week of living out of boxes and repairing what has been damaged.
  • A week.
  • 7 days.
  • One day at a time.

I often wonder what Our Father was thinking as He created the world. Did each little creation change what He did next? Or did He have a plan from the beginning that was immutable from the first word He spoke?

Daily I walk around the house changing one thing and then changing my mind about something else. It changes daily. I change daily. The house changes daily. I wish I had an immutable plan that didn’t change daily.

G-d always has a plan and for the last few years I have been looking at the blue print He left for us in the WORD. It is not easy to understand. I give up quickly and get lost in all the translations of all the languages of all the words. Yet – with the help of Jewish wisdom and traditions – little bits are starting to sink into my dense brain.

Understanding is far from being clear yet – after all – I’m not brilliant. I am continually challenging Him, doubting Him and averting my eyes. I am not Miriam, an elder sister, a prophetess who never hid her eyes but trusted Him enough to watch for the miracle unfold that He had promised through her baby brother. I am not a brave disciple who chucks it all to follow Him – giving up home and family to walk with the Bridegroom wherever He leads.. I am more like the child who dares to creep closer – hoping – praying – wishing – with all my heart to just sit near Him.

As I looked out the window today at the snowy landscape and watched the children and their crazy parents run their sleds and 4-wheelers up and down the hilly road to the side of out new home, I realized that Our Father has a plan. He has invited me to sit beside Him as He shares a story to make me laugh. I don’t hear well, and sometimes, I get distracted. More often than not – I wiggle around waiting to get on with implementing my own plan and not paying any attention to His. But slowly – – very slowly – – I am trying to still myself and listen – really listen –  to the stories He is whispering in my tiny ears. His plan for me waits. All I have to do is open my eyes and push through the reeds to see His promised miracle.

  • One day at a time.
  • Seven days in a row.
  • A week of living in a broken home that He loves to repair.

A week of cuddling into His side, trying to be still enough to hear His whisper, and believe in the miracle. It is a start. It is an adventure that compares to none other.

“Lord Jehovah sent salvation to his people and he remembers his covenant to eternity; he is holy and his Name is awesome! The beginning of wisdom is the awesomeness of Lord Jehovah, and his Servants have good understanding; his glory stands to eternity.” Ps 111:9-10 [ABPE]
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OXYGEN MASK

oooo“Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.”
A pretty common clause these days. You hear it recited by airline personnel. You read it as a plane prepares for take-off. Recently, it has become a pop-up in various articles that want to stress taking care of self so that you can take care of others from a much better place. Thus today, when it popped up on my son’s FB feed, I wasn’t too surprised. He’s been reading and self-educating himself a lot over the past few years. You have to love it when your children love education as much as you do.
I made a swift comment about taking it more than at face value and moved on to the next thing on my agenda – the Grandson. Loving on the Grands is always a special blessing, especially when the Grandson comes running and jumps in my arms as I’m leaving and says, “I’m glad Redding took Mama’s shoe outside because I get to kiss you bye.” Now if that doesn’t melt your heart – you definitely are having a bad day.
But today, that simple sentence about a silly oxygen mask kept popping back up to the forefront of my mind and right behind it was another more complicated sentence. “And Jehovah God formeth the man — dust from the ground, and breatheth into his nostrils breath of life, and the man becometh a living creature.” Genesis 2:7

$wm1_0x700_$_M051301409_musAnytime these words ricochet around my head, there are always notes attached to them. In 1947, Aaron Copeland wrote a 16 minute long choral piece called, “In the Beginning”. It starts with an alto solo weaving in and out of the choral group, building intensity until the climactic ending:. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul, and man became a living soul – a living soul.”It is not a very popular choral piece to perform. It is complicated and full of dissonance for the performers. But – for many reasons – this choral piece has become the voice in my head many times throughout my life. It is one of the treasures that sits in my music crates. All my penciled notations and circled notes intact. I look at it and still can see the place my instructor looked right at me as he nailed me for a missed note or shocked me by telling me to understudy the soloist part.

Perhaps it became the wind that gave my voice life because he believed in my voice when I didn’t, and he taught me more about life than just music. Maybe it was because my mom was an alto and my role model. Maybe it was because I learned it shortly after my father died. Maybe it was because of all the stories in the Old Testament, this one has always struck a chord with me.
Whatever It was – it is my oxygen mask. It is the breath that sustains me2UWF000A through all things. It is the life that Jehovah God provided to this particular pile of dust by breathing into my nostrils on day 65 years ago. It is the mask that I must continually put on before I can even contemplate helping others. So many times I think that is where we get into trouble. We think we have the oxygen mask in place. We think we don’t have to check it and make sure the oxygen is flowing. We think we’ve got it handled. But a mask without the oxygen attached isn’t much good to anyone. Not to me – and certainly – not to others I come in contact with during my daily journeys.
When I take time to read the WORD every day, I am putting my oxygen mask in place. I am breathing in the pure breath of the One who first breathed life into a pile of dust. That is the oxygen mask that I’ve been thinking about all day. That is the oxygen mask that popped into my mind as I wrote my son this morning. That is the oxygen mask that the world needs. And if you have 16 minutes I hope you will enjoy some of the oxygen below.
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So – “Put on your oxygen mask before helping others.” and breathe deep.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQcNMFLY0Og

MONDAY

content“1A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Shout to Jehovah, all the earth.”

It’s Monday.

A back-to-work day.
A drag-myself-out-of-bed day.
A first-day-without-Aleve-in-over-a-year day.
A day to humble myself and give thanks.

“2Serve Jehovah with joy, come before him with singing.”

Today, NC is having a break in the heat – in fact – this whole week is supposed to be beautiful. Rain is nearby but not close enough, so – per my usual whiny self – I am praying for more. Yet, even in this seemingly small thing, I know that God has got this. Hummingbirds dart in and around our windows. They sit on the fennel stalks and peek in the window. They don’t worry about how much rain has fallen. They are thankful for what is. I know what I “think” is best. But God – – – – God “KNOWS” what is best. So I sit here tonight in my comfy chair, with an eye half on the tv and half on the computer screen, dogs sleeping at my feet, hubby sleeping on the courch, and I am thinking about just how much I have to learn.

“3Know that Jehovah He [is] God, He made us, and we are His, His people — and the flock of His pasture.”

Today, the Grands came over, and per usual, we read the comics. The past few months, they have been trying to figure out the humor in newspaper comics. These days, I often join them in that pursuit. Comics are not the same “haha” funny that they were when I was growing up. At least – that is the way I remember it. Today, however, we discovered “air quotes” and that was funny to all of us…especially since their mama was here to laugh with us.

“4Enter ye His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise, Give ye thanks to Him, bless ye His Name.”

Today is a day of Thanks-Giving for me. It is a day, to put aside my petty self and enter the “war room” of prayer.

A peace-beyond-understanding day. (phil 4:7)
A “faith-living-by-grace” day. (ep 2:8)
A “on-my-knees-groaning-in-the-spirit” day (rm 8:26)

5For good [is] Jehovah, to the age His kindness, And to generation and generation His faithfulness! ~ Ps 100

Today, I didn’t have to take Aleve. Today, I didn’t have to use “air quotes” to talk with those I love. Today, I didn’t have to dry any tears over Common Core practices. Today, I am entering my war room and giving thanks to My Father and His Son who is the ultimate prayer warrior. Blessings!Be!

[images: BabyBlues comicstrip]

Commandment Series: Love God

“To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17 NASB 

10-commandments

Today was a good day.  Church and then lunch with Daughter’s family. Exercised.  Enjoyed conversations with those around me. Wasted time playing jigsaw puzzles on the computer.  Read a couple chapters of new book.  Took a small nap.  Watered a newly planted magnolia tree.  Played “ball” with the puppies – a million and one times.  Thanked God for the blessings of feeling sick over the past couple of weeks.

Did your eyebrows go up to your forehead?

Yup – I thanked God for having to deal with an aging body and a minor illness.  Illnesses slow me down. They come a little more often as I get older (cranky joints, nose that are sensitive to a million things that it never, ever noticed before, germs taking up residence in places I never knew existed – whoa – TMI).  Infections center me on the important things; they remind me upon Whom I really depend, because – believe it or  not – I do get all wrapped up in me.   Can you tell that humbleness has never been one of my strong points?  Well – it’s true.  I have a healthy ego.

I sin a lot.  Not the kind of sin that people gasp over (those I hope are in the past)– but sin, nevertheless.  God is not a respecter of any kind of sin.  He gasps at any sin. The old adage: sin is sin is sin, reminds us that to Jevhovah-Tsid Kenu, one sin is as grievous as another.  It is still wrong.  In a world striving to say that there are no absolutes, even saying the word “SIN” can bring a smirk, eye roll or sharp derision from family…acquaintances…best friends.

“And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Gen 2:16-17

Once upon a time, there were absolutes.  It started in a garden when men and women decided to reached for a piece of fruits.  First absolute rolled upon the grass of history, and the Evil One chuckled.  Lucky for us, God has a soft spot for silly, rebellious people and not so much for angels in open rebellion.  (I think that they too had healthy egos.)  After watching His bumbling, stumbling people for the next few centuries, God reached out to a man named Moshe (who also had His share of mistakes, but, lucky for the rest of us, not much of an ego).  Moshe listened to God and walked up a mountain where he stood, kneeled and fell flat on his face on Holy Ground.  A new covenant was drawn up; rules were established once again.

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.” Ex: 20:2-3  

When I was a child, I always thought that “gods” meant those little things you saw in the movies or books…carved figures that had human characteristics but looked a little exaggerated in many of their features.  As I got older, I finally figured out that those figures really had little to do with what Jehovah-Tsid Kenu was talking about in this verse.  Yes, there were societies that had “gods” that they thought would answer all their needs: rain for crops, victory in war, peace in their cities, a good marriage, children for barren wombs, and the lists could go on and on.  After all, isn’t that what “gods” are supposed to do?  The Evil One would not be much of a contender if he didn’t create a few false gods to muddy up a world that was already trying to hide much bigger things than a bite that they took from a piece of fruit .

More money is the answer to prayers?  A perfect marriage will solve all our unhappiness?  The “young, perfect” guy is a whole lot better than the “old, imperfect” husband?  That new car? New house?  New phone?  Notice that “gods” come in many shapes and sizes in our world these days, and sometimes we don’t recognize them until they have taken up residence in the home that we have built far away from Jehovah-Jireh’s kingdom.

Lucky for us, Our Father still has that soft spot for us.  Jehovah-Saboth still wants to help, so He sent His son.  Rabbi Yeshua stood on  holy ground where ever He walked, so instead of people having to walk up the mountain, suffer the elements, do without the comforts of “home”, Rabbi Yeshua walked among them.  He spoke to them in their language.  Yet, He knew exactly what choosing that “cup” held in store for Him at the end of His journey on this pitiful world. He spoke this old commandment to those around Him.

A new covenant to Love.  Love more than you think possible. Love that endures beyond hurt.  Love that forgives over and over again. Love that originated with the One who loved us first.  The One who taught us to Love.

I like to sometimes play with words.  In my head, I substitute “humankind” for “Lord your God”  and KNOW that is the commandment that Jehovah-Raah follows in His beautiful, peaceful, eternal kingdom. So…is it really so hard to follow His first commandment in our war-torn, stressful, finite kingdom?

“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

MaKOM

When I was a child, kids could walk or ride their bikes just about anywhere, and you didn’t have to be 14 to do so -not to mention – helmets.  So from kindergarten on, I was always walking to school or riding my bike.  However, there was one bridge that was hard to avoid.  It scared me as I made the journey home – especially if I was walking.  The bridge seemed ancient from my 6 year old perspective – although in hindsight – it probably wasn’t at all.  Its wooden, narrow walkways were on either side of the car path that separated them; loose boards wobbled under the feet as you walked up and then down; not to mention the occasional missing board that reminded you just high over the railroad track this bridge was.  In the mid-50’s, trains passed under this terrifying bridge several times a day.  The bravest of us would often stand at the wooden railing and jump up and down as the trains approached.  Me?? I ran as fast as I could – until solid ground eased the heart palpitations, and I could turn back to watch the train and wait for my companions of the day.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Is 41:10 

loudonville RR

Not sure where this fear came from.  Others weren’t afraid, but heights have never been my friend even at the tender age of 6 or 7.  Luckily, we moved in my 8th year of life to the (proverbial) other side of the tracks, and I didn’t have to walk home over that bridge anymore.  My first real PTL moment. Instead, my new path primarily led me through Central Park and past our family church.  I don’t remember when or why I started stopping at the church…maybe I was just curious…maybe it was when my first kitty (Tommycat) died…maybe it was after dad had his first heart attack when I was 10…  What I do know is that I lost count – long ago – of how many times I open those huge, heavy, wooden doors to sit in the quiet of the of the holiest spot I knew.  Gazing at the stain glass windows, the altar, the cross, became an important part of my life.  One time our preacher found me stretched out on a pew and woke me. As we talked, he shared some of the things he found peaceful when he was in a church after he came home from a WWII prison camp. I like remembering the days when churches were never locked…in fact…I was shocked and sad when I first encountered such a church door after I moved to the city to attend college.

“And Abraham went [to pray] early in the morning to the place [MaKOM] where he stood [in prayer] before the Lord.” Gen 19:27

methodist church

Jewish wisdom and traditions have been part of my faith journey for the past couple of years as I have tried to understand more about Christ.  When tired, tested, or just needing the closeness of His Father, Rabbi Yeshua often retreated to the wilderness.  Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets – all had their special places where they would go to feel that closer connection to God.  It was their MaKOM.  In Hebrew, letters have a numerical value as well as a language value.  Without going into all the details (which I tend to find fascinating even though I hate math), Jewish wisdom says that if you square the letters of the word Jehovah, it equals the same numerical value of the word MaKOM.  Get it?

We find God in His “area”.  In other words, God honors us when we make the effort to come to a special place (area) to seek – to pray – to serve – to worship – Him.  That is why the Jews make an effort to go to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  Is 55:9 

God doesn’t make it easy on us. He didn’t make it easy on His Son, did he? He doesn’t want robots or blind, obedient children.  He wants His children to choose to love Him.  Despite the pain…the obstacles…the complacency…the fear…the doubts…or even the world, He wants us to choose Him…f.r.e.e.l.y.  A new covenant that is enhanced by the older covenant – all comes down to our choice to commit.  Do you have a special place where you go to feel closer to Our Father?

These days, church doors may have locks that keep us out, but there are always “areas” that beckon us to draw closer to God.  It is up to us to seek them out.  The Jews have an outer wall that surrounded their destroyed temple (Kotel ha-Ma’aravi).  Christ had the wilderness.  I have my shady garden and my writing desk.  God is where you stand on hallowed ground and seek Him.  Find your MaKOM and be amazed.

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”  Matt 7:7

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