Tag Archives: Jeremiah

2020 VISION – New Path

The quince bushes have bloomed. The forsythia in some of the neighbors’ yards have also bloomed. Tonight – it is already in the low 20’s. Such are the season of life. Separate – blended – messy – beautiful.

Sunday it was still “spring” warm and sunny. While the lab girls chewed sticks, dug for squirmy things in the dirt to eat (yuk) and chased ball, kitty chased birds, stretched in the sun and slept on a lawn chair. Thus we spent the Sabbath. I stayed home from church to soak in some sun and do a little work outside before the predicted return of “winter” cold.

“There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees”

2020 vision oft brings work. The “keeper” had seen a new path in the woods. It just needed a little smoothing out – well – a lot smoothing out. In fact, there are still a couple places that could use a little more help, but that will come. The “keeper” can’t do it all in one day anymore.

“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.”~Jer 16:6

Rest for the soul. Working outside always clears my vision and helps me focus on whatever is rolling around in my mind. “Power in the Holy Spirit” has been one of the focus areas for my vision quest 2020(Acts 1:8) – figuring out my new path in this life has also been a wrestling point. Seems only appropriate that Our Father would point out physical path through the woods as I work on the metaphysical one that begs attention with each passing day.

“EVERY RAVINE WILL BE FILLED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL WILL BE BROUGHT LOW; THE CROOKED WILL BECOME STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH ROADS SMOOTH”~Lk 3:5

As I filled in holes from rotting roots, moved rocks hither and yon, loped off surface roots, limbs and baby trees, I felt the power of work swirl into the deeper part of my quest and my vision cleared a little more. At one point – just as it happens on our life paths – I got off course, but a slight nudge from the Master Gardner got me back on course and a few wheelbarrow loads later, the path was – fairly – established.

The lab girls love it – especially the older one. She no longer has to go the long way around to get to the upper shed when we take our walks. I think I like it for the same reason. We don’t even have to walk along the road at all now – unless we want to do so.

Vision, a little power, and a whole lot of prayer is all it takes.

“The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.”~Rudyard Kipling, “The Way through the Woods”

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GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2019 #4

When the kitty is sick with a cold and just wants to curl in a ball on my lap, I can’t do much else than hold her and pray. After all, it is what I have done with her since she came to live with me a year and a half ago. Way too young to be abandoned on the side of a street, she shouldn’t have survived this long. Her siblings didn’t, and I really didn’t expect her to be the one to live.

I am thankful that she did.

She is still tiny. Tiny enough to lay on my lap as I type on my laptop and be comfortably stretched out. Tiny enough to curl on the back of my chair while she sneezes and snuffles, rubbing her head into the blanket that comforts us both. My heart aches for her, so I move her food and water a little closer hoping to tempt her to eat something.

Yet – through it all – I’m still thankful. Thankful when she turns to me for comfort. Thankful, when she eats a little. Thankful that today, she seems a little better than yesterday. Thankful that the Father trusted me to be her guardian.

“From them will come songs of thanksgiving
and the sound of rejoicing.”~Jer 30:19

How often does Our Father feel this? How often does He hold us on His lap? Rub our back? Whisper a prayer of encouragement? Move the manna and spring of living waters just a little closer for us?

Somehow, I feel as if He does it a lot more than we realize – – –
and I am thankful.

As I finished devotions today, preparing for getting on with my everyday life, I ran across this verse that I had used a few years ago in a blog post:
“The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”~Is 58:11

I’ve been doing lots of reading in the WORD. More than I have ever done in my life. Intermittent fasting as well. Praying a whole lot more than I ever thought possible. His refiner’s fire is like that as He molds and challenges the new shape that is emerging. I see links between everything that happens during the day. A path outline that He has designed just for me to notice. And – while I do not live by sight, hearing or feelings, I definitely feel His wisdom seeping in through those crevices as the day progresses.

“It [is] the best of times, it [is] the worst of times, it [is] the age of wisdom…” to paraphrase Dickens.

And through it all – I am praising My Father for holding me in His lap, encouraging me with His Grace-filled songs of love. He rubs my back and moves the water and bread just a little closer to my reaching hands. He dries my tears as I reap His songs of joy.

For this – – – I am truly thankful to Elohim Chasdi.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ~Is 58:9-14  just be held [google images/House of Maria art]

ROOTS BY THE STREAM

Zilch.

Nada.

Nothing.

Absolutely – completely – totally – accomplished 
– – – not 
– – – one 
– – – thing.

And you know what?

After four weeks of pushing, driving, writing, devouring books, moving mulch, painting walls, hanging pictures, changing life around in every way possible – – – I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m more than okay with that. I sat on the patio swing and read the Sunday paper. I fell asleep on that said swing until the sun’s heat woke me up. I vegged out doing some word puzzles. I sat on the couch with the lab girls and rubbed their bellies after one of our many excursions of ball searching in the woods.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in Him.”

There has been peace beyond any of my understanding in today. Mostly, because in the past few years (hmmm – decades??), I haven’t had a day like this. A day when my mind has been still. A day when books, crafts, goals are ignored. A day when my thoughts just enjoyed the things in front of me and not even looked over the hill to see beyond that.

What is that?

I don’t do this.

I’m am used to being busy and keeping things running.

But not today.

Today I just let it be. Wet grass before the sun was up. Hummingbirds hovering around all the flowering plants and feeders. Moths landing on my finger and then on the mulch. Cardinals. Sparrows. The elusive blue bird. Squirrels and bunnies dodging away from the lab girls. The last day lily of the season. Tomatoes ripening. Magnolia blooms opening. Squeak of the swing as the sun sets. Hiss of a cat when she loses her butterfly before coming in for a cuddle.

“They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.”

In fact, I don’t think I have done this since – once upon a time – long time ago when I laid under a maple tree in a small yard at 421 Riverside Dr. For whatever reason, today has been re-visitation of that day. That original day came the same summer my father had his first heart attack. It had been a long month for this “Daddy’s Girl”. Days of only being able to see him through a hospital window. Days listening to my mother cry at night. Days when I first grappled with things beyond my ken. Days when I needed to hear my father’s voice in my ear and to feel his arms lifting me into the air again.

“It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.”

GOD is good like that. He knows what we need before we do. On that day long ago, He let me hear His voice as he lifted me high beyond those maple leaves, so that I could see the clouds and feel the same peace I’ve felt today. It was the first time on this earth that I recognized GOD as My Father.

“It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”~ Jer 17:7–8

This morning when I woke up, I was just lying in bed. Stretching. Saying good morning to the lab girls. Saying good morning to GOD. Head full of all plans and things I was going to get done. Finish the last few chapters of the book I am reading. Read another devotional chapter. Play the piano. Move a few wheelbarrows full of mulch. Paint a wall or two. Go to church. But even before I got out of bed to feed the hungry lab girls, He was smiling and showing me that day under a maple tree.

And sometimes –

It is just good to be still; to listen to His voice; to let Him lift you beyond the leaves to see the clouds and to let His peace cover you. I really need to do this more often, Father, I really do. Thank you for always knowing exactly what I need and when I need it the most. “You are good, good, oh-so-good…You are good, good, oh-so-good…” 🎵

“I, even I, am He who comforts you.”~ Is 51:12a   

30

3 is one of those prime numbers that people love to use as an example for life’s ups and downs.

“Whoops – two things have happened. Wonder when the third will occur?”

“Didn’t exchange 3 words with that dude.”

“It’s a 3 alarm fire.”

3 cheers – 3 R’s – 3 musketeers – 3 sheets to the wind…

Need I say more?

In Jewish tradition 3 – in essence – it the number that builds a bridge between two opposing values. 3 days between death and resurrection is probably a strong way to look at this in concrete terms. Hence, since 3 X 10 = 30, it is suggested that 30 is a strong number as well. 30 days in a month – 30 pieces of silver – “oh-dark-thirty” which is military speak for any hour before the dawn – “Don’t trust anyone over 30” which a lot of us baby boomers recognize as a memorable quote shouted from the rooftops of our wisdom – – – not to mention an the opposite – – – – Rabbi Yeshua began his ministry at age 30.

To many, 30 speaks of transition or reconciliation in time – in life – in growth. To many, it is the age when a person comes into their full strength – in physical, emotional, or spiritual maturity. “This power to begin transforming the world in earnest begins when we turn thirty. Up until that point we are in training.” ~Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

30 years. 30 months. 30 days. 30 hours. 30 seconds. 30 in ad finitum.

I’ve been walking a journey for 30 days now. It still feels like a transition. It doesn’t feel like strength or even reconciliation – – yet. But it has – at times – been a journey of 30 “long day’s journey into night” – – – and at other times – 30 “long day’s journey into LIGHT.”

When GOD gave me my Bible verse this year of Rev 21:5 “I am making everything new!” I laughed. It was the new year. I’m entering into the last year of my 6th decade – I had recently started a new portion of my career journey – I was enjoying meeting the new people in my life through that job – so the verse made a lot of sense. Over the next couple months, new ideas for a book that I’d put on the back burner many years ago started coming to me. I was enjoying singing and playing the piano again. There were a couple of visions of things during my quiet time – you know the time – when you are half asleep and yet awake enough to start praying – that time before you throw your feet to the floor or snuggle your head back into the pillow – visions that literally – make me want to sing for joy at the top of my lungs even now – many, many 30 days later.

And then there was 30 days ago. A long day’s journey into the darkest of nights – – – – – –  but – hard as it is for even me to believe – it has become a long day’s journey into LIGHT. One in the same. A transition. A reconciliation. A strengthening period of choices between two opposing worlds. Never an easy journey. But – then again – His journeys never are. BUT – and I sometimes choke on this as I am stepping out of the mud – His journeys are always, ALWAYS, worth it!

One GIANT step forward – two baby steps back.

There’s that three again.

3 steps.

3 choices.

Some go backwards, but when that one step goes forward it bridges the mud – the mess, the sloppy waste – and finds footing on a Rock that is higher. A Rock that is the cornerstone for where I want to be. A Rock that was made just for my foot, and a Hand that has carved my name into His nail, scarred palm.

30 is a good number, and as I stand on the bridge tonight looking back and looking forward, I begin to yawn – and smile as I contemplate a new step. (There’s those two opposing values again waiting for my step.) There are still many 30‘s ahead of me just as there are many, many 30‘s behind me. There are still many muddy traps waiting for my footfall, many bridges being built so that I can cross safely, and oh, so many dreams to achieve. For when Our Father gave me that verse this year, He planted so many new visions in my heart that I can’t wait to see what lies beyond this next step even if I cry as I take that step forward.

Transition.
Reconciliation.
Strength.

Seems right tonight. “For behold, I make all things new!”~Rev 21:5

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”~Jer 29:11 

– 30 – 
(as we used to end our newspaper stories)

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A WHOOEE – A WHOOEE

Mama Mick used to say, “When the sh** hits the fan, get off your lazy butt and move.”

I used to just think this was one of her hilarious ways to get people to laugh. She loved to make people laugh – – especially the boys I brought home on a date. Truth be told, they all kept in touch with her long after we broke up. Mostly, because she could tell a joke and make them feel like they were part of her inner circle as they laughed and laughed at her jokes. While I blushed and blushed and cringed at the jokes she would tell (riske doesn’t begin to describe her jokes).

But – the twist on the adage in the first paragraph was a little different. As I have gotten older, I’ve seen the wisdom behind the picture she painted with her words.

“My mama done tol’ me, when I was in pigtails,
My mama done tol’ me,”🎵

So in June, I got off my lazy butt (moved the fan because who wants a stinky fan anyway?) and did a bunch of things that I’ve just thought about over the past few years including losing weight… oh – boy I get to buy clothes before school starts… because all my shorts and tops are hangin’ where they ain’t supposed to hang.

“A Whooee, A Whooee…”🎵

✔️– Been indulging my artistic side. Writing on some old things that have been sitting on the shelf for more years than I want to think. Written some new poetry. Did some doodling. Created clay sculptures with the Grands. Plucked garden flowers and arranged them where I could look at them often. Pulled out the markers and decorated my new journal.

“Now the rain’s a-fallin’,
hear the train’s a-callin,
“Whooee!”🎵

✔️– Been working the body. Hulled almost another dump truck load of mulch. (The only reason it isn’t done is……“It’s too darn hot, it’s too darn hot…🎵) Planted a new tree in our rocky, hard, clay dirt (Can you tell I’m whinin’ while I am praying over and watching carefully this new tree since it is late, late, late in Southern season to be plantin’ a tree). Walked the dogs 4-5 times a day and spent lots of time chasing ball (me included when I throw it in the woods) – losing ball (especially in the woods) – arguing over who gets the ball – and panting like crazy with big goofy smiles on all our faces when we come inside. In this heat, none of us stay outside long – not even the cat who generally hates coming in before it is time to eat.

“Whooee!”
(My mama done tol’ me)
A-whooee-ah-whooee ol’ clickety-clack’s a-echoin’ back th’ blues in the night.”🎵

✔️– Painted my bedroom with the help of daughter and family. Then – best of all, created a window seat in this “new” bedroom, hung lace curtains, added a small bookshelf full of my favorite authors/poets, and turned to my dogs and solitary cat said – “It is good”.

The window seat is so small and cozy that I started to wonder if I would really use it or just look at it. Then I looked outside. One of those mysterious summer showers that often seem to come out of nowhere was just starting. I found myself sitting. Sitting in the window seat. Curled up with my teddy bear – my Sefer (Book of Life) by my side, watching the rain and wondering at the “great and mighty things” that He shows me day after day after day.

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”~Jer 33:3🙏

I may sing the “blues in the night” at times. Tissue boxes empty as the cat pats my face with her paw. The girls curl at my feet or behind my chair, so I can reach down and pet them when they cry with me. But in the morning — aaaahhh yes — in the morning, the dawn rises – Our Father wakes me up and I hear Him whisper: 
“Choose JOY! 
For this is the day that I have made just for you.
REJOICE!
BE GLAD!
And surely – goodness and mercy shall follow you all day long – every step – and with every breath – – – -with you – – – –
I AM!
You are my child – created in my image – beloved of the King.”

Can’t get much better than that. After all my Mama Mick done tol’ me long ago:
“A Whooee da whooee, A Whooee da whooee”

 

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THOUGHTSONG SINGS

I haven’t written much lately. Well – that’s not exactly true. I have been writing – – – a lot actually. I just haven’t posted anything to my blog or on FB. The Thoughtsong that flows into the blog or FB has been quiet. So quiet that I wondered if she would sing again. So in corresponding fashion – after all – I have learned over these many years to be silent when the Thoughtsong is not singing in my heart. But tonight, the song began again.

“Declare among the nations: “The LORD reigns!”
The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved…”~Ps 96:10a

The promises of Our Father, written way before I entered the chaos of Terra, are amazing. When His promises live in people of prayer, they are even more amazing. I think that is why Thoughtsong began singing once again. Reciting promise after promise and having prayer warriors reciting promise after promise continue to be all the manna one needs to survive. Thoughtsong is singing once again, and I am beyond thankful to hear her song welling up inside of me.

In the past month, I’ve moved over 100+ wheelbarrow loads of mulch and stone. Watched my plants grow – despite weather that has been all over the charts – and produce fruit (can’t wait for the any-day-now-first tomato). Walked the dogs and thrown a stick more times than I can count – but my elbow knows – in both arms. Groaned in the Holy Spirit until there were no more tears and slept in exhaustion. Waited – not so patiently – as the new song began to form.

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”~Rm 15:4

Prayer as been the wind under my wings. 
Holding. 
Lifting. 
Carrying. 
Loving.
Directing.

A couple days back another prayer warrior dropped off a book for me, It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way  by Lysa Terkeurst. I read the first chapter and cried. I wrote and I wrote about things that God knew already, but these words were for me. I was the one that needed to see – to hear – needed to sing for myself. God hears and listens when we stand on His promises – just not always in the way we expect.

“Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.”~Ps 96:1

As I continue to step forward on this new God path, I continue to find the path in the darkness with each of His promises lighting my stumbling, tiny baby steps (I am not courageous enough to take giant steps nor secure enough to be confident). New paths are challenging – hard to navigate. But every day, I become stronger. My clothes hang a little more loosely. My muscles a little sturdier. And thankfully at the end of long days, my kitty curls in my lap while one dog snores behind my chair and the other cuts farts under my feet.

Life – while not how I thought it should be – is how HE thinks it should be, and I gulp another big breath as I prepare to step forward tomorrow. Maybe…even…double gulp …a giant step tomorrow.

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and ||mighty things, which thou knowest not..”~Jer 33:3 

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BREADCRUMBS I

“Jesus wept.”~Jn 10:35

It is the shortest verse in the Bible and yet…it catches my breath every time I read it.

God wept.

I’ve been thinking of the story of Lazarus all week. It seems Our Father does this to me often. He plops breadcrumbs down in front of my feet – like I’m supposed to know what to do with them.

Eat them? Follow them?

Obviously, I don’t handle His hints very well. Sometimes, I crush them – mostly by accident…..I think – with the heel of my boots. Sometimes, I stoop down to study them where they are lying, wondering if I really want to deal with the mess of breadcrumbs in my pocket – you know – they crumble, right? Sometimes, I pick them up – popping them in my mouth – – duh, I’m hungry and the five second rule works for me. And sometimes – I pick them up and turn them carefully in my hands and wonder why they sparkle in the sun? Then I wonder just what in the world am I supposed to do with a sparkly breadcrumb?

It has been one of those weeks. The breadcrumbs have been plentiful – way more than I can handle – and I’ve been befuddled on what to do with all of them. My path littered with crumbs I’ve inadvertently crushed. My belly full of broken challa that feeds my soul. My pockets, a crumbly mess of wisdom that I wish I understood just a little more. My hands full of somewhat intact crumbs that sparkle and then I look up. The darkness thins, and He shows me why they sparkle. They are covered with tears.

As I’ve been reading Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg which led me at some point to the story of Lazarus. As if to drive the point home, I stumbled over to a podcast by a Messianic Rabbi on John Chapter 11. Till finally last night, there was a transforming catalyst of the breadcrumbs and that sent me to the back door slider in our home. A sunset. A ray of light reflecting off my tears. He always prepares me, I just am not so smart at realizing it until I look closely at those breadcrumbs that I hold tenderly in my hand.

Rabbi Yeshua was close to His followers and even closer to His disciples. He was their teacher for as long as He was given. His Father gave him a list, and He gathered them by calling their name or telling a story or by just a look over a crowd. He broke bread with them. He taught them with love. He patiently explained this new knowledge in different ways, over and over and over. He struggled when they struggled with their faith. He wept when they wept for great was His compassion – – – great was His love.

In our society, students don’t stay as long with their teachers as they did in Jesus’ time. However, like the rabbis of old, teachers today still share tiny bits of their lives, knowledge – and hopefully – wisdom with those given to their charge by the Father through a list typed out by the school secretary in some office. Before they know it though, the students are walking out the door and onto their own paths; their teachers sniffle a little as they wave good-bye.

As teachers, we don’t talk about it much. We act like it is just a job. Actually, I don’t think we understand the process as much as we think we do. We just know – that somehow – we grew attached. We gathered them at the beginning of the year. We broke bread with them. We laughed with them. Struggled with them in their struggles. We sweated in the heat of the summer that didn’t know when to quit. We froze in the depth of winters when old boilers couldn’t keep up with the below-freezing cold. We wept when the ugliness of life jumped out of the bushes and unto the path that we are walking together.

Overdoses.

Vehicle crashes.

Storms that break tree limbs.

Illnesses.

A national tragedy – a local tragedy – a familial tragedy.

The connection between teachers and students has been there since the beginning of time and will continue in the everlasting gospel (Rev 14:6). It has been modeled for us throughout the entire WORD. When Our Father gathered His people to Him. When He sat on Mount Sinai with Moses and the Elders to break bread (Ex 24:9-10). When He carved His law upon the tablets and told Moses what to write in the Torah (Ex 19-24). He struggles with His people when they struggle. He weeps with holy tears as His people weep (Jer 14:7).

Teachers – Students – breadcrumbs that sparkle with tears in every season of life. God is good and greatly to be praised. Amen and amen.

 

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42 SEGMENTS

Most mornings find me walking with the dogs and Hubby busy doing something important – like earning money for us to spend on the fixer-upper or bartering for mushrooms from a local grower in our neighborhood. Each of us on our own separate journey and yet – a joint journey as well.

“I remember how eager you were to please Me
as a young bride long ago,
how you loved Me and followed Me
even through the barren wilderness.
In those days Israel was holy to the LORD,
the first of His children.”~Jer 2:2-3

Jewish traditions have the people studying the Torah and holy books every week of the year. They do it in order; each week dedicated to teaching and reminding them of the depths of the journeys – massei – that they have taken together as a people both in the past to the present day. The studies are taught the same week year after year.

The interesting thing for me is that rabbinical wisdom says these 40 years are the blueprint of each individual’s spiritual journey as well. Our own personal journey in the desert – the dry place far from the Source of Life. The blistering of feet on hot sand of choices. The parched throat from lack of not drinking from the streams of living water. A place where the physical challenges the spiritual – pushing the individual/tribe forward to fall – to find its knees of – teshuva/repentance – to stand once more in the shadow of the cross.

Jewish wisdom says that there are 42 segments of the tribal desert journey – good and bad – as there are 42 segments in our personal desert journey – good and bad – but all leading to a reunification between the Father and His prodigal children.

“But he who looks into the perfect Torah of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” ~Jm1:25

I really need to study this desert journey of the Jewish people instead of just giving it that cursory nod that I have in the past. Looking at the different segments of their journey and comparing it to my own faltering – stopping dead in the desert – throwing down the tablets of law – finding the stream of living water – energized enough to start the journey once more.

Most of the time when I am walking the dogs, I keep my eyes focused on the next hill, cars that are coming a little too fast down the our road, or how close I am to that promise land in the middle where I can sit on the swing on our neighbors’ porch and see the neighborhood world from a different vantage point.

Jewish wisdom also says that as the journey progresses, the less we see overt miracles. Hence the name – a journey by faith not by sight. As long as I don’t lose faith in that Land of Milk and Home/the Promised Land or the One who is preparing my room, I know that no matter how challenging or scary the journey is – how much my knees or feet hurt – how thick the dust storm is that clouds my sight, I will make it. The Living Waters supply the Word that keeps me from thirsting for I know ‘…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Rm 8:28

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me”~Jn 14:1

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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #44

I was rummaging around in my office today. Trying to dig through the huge box of pictures and “stuff” my mom had accumulated in the later years of her life and handed over to me, has not been easy. There were fragments of her life story written on legal size yellow notebook paper. Aged, multi-colored-stained note cards covered with hand-written recipes (this from a woman who hated cooking). Pins, postcards and pictures from various conferences across the country. Dad’s stuff – her stuff – my stuff all mixed together. Memories that will take a long time to categorize since there is almost a half a century of “stuff’ with no year designation in sight.
I love it.
I set a goal. Grab one handful and that is all I do for the day. It may take forever, but saves on the frustration level. Best yet – that ‘push to finish’ isn’t around, and I can actually feel their presence as I work. Their voices talk as I read their words, this fear-filled world falls away, and it is as if I find them and our home all over again.
God is like that.
‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’~Jer 29:13
During the day, I try to remember to reach in my life “box” and grab a hand-full of things that God left in there for me to find. As I read His words, His voice takes over and I bask in His presence. The neat thing is that presence tends to stay with me during the rest of the day. Cooking in the kitchen, listening to the news full of angst and fear, walking the dogs, reading to the Grands, crying over the picture of my mom when she wore a queen’s crown.
God’s presence is with us always – just up to us to seek it and turn away from the fear that the world wants us to feel. No surprise – today’s Ration, written in 1942, was written just for me.
1942 Daily Ration:           Read: II Timothy 1:1-12
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee…For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’~II Timothy 1:6,7
“Almost everyone we meet is fear-ridden in some way. Fear of germs, fear of hunger, fear of assaults, fear of losing a job, fear of harm to loved ones- – -the list is endless. Make a list of your individual fears, and the group fears you have taken over. Look at them squarely. For most of us, the list will be long. How do we ever manage to enter any new day with such a burden on our spirits?
“The New Testament ‘good news’ is that we do not have to hear such a burden. To be free from it is the gift of God- – -not only to be free from fear, but to save in its place power, and love, and a sound mind.
“We want this gift above all else, and God is offering it to us- – -yet we do not reach out and take it. We will not let God give us his gift.
“Prayer: O most loving Father, who willest us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of thee, and to cast all our care on thee, who cares for us, preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no cloud of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which thou hast manifested unto us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

[Akiane/google images]

RATION 100 DAYS! #25

Dreams are interesting. They jump in all sorts of weird ways, and as hard as I try, I can never truly remember all the details even when I try to write it down immediately after waking. Whiffs of smells, colors and pictures swirl into a stew of emotions and conjecture.

Actually – there were two dreams last night. The first dream was full of dark clouds forming shape after shape. (This popped back into my mind when I saw a dark horse galloping in the storm clouds today). The second dream was much more fun. I was running and running and running. Gotta admit – it was probably the most exercise I’ve had in years, and since I can’t run anymore due to a cranky knee, I loved it.

“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?”~Jer 12:5

As I was praying (for our country, leaders, military and first responders) during the America’s Prayer Minute at six o’clock, I noticed that we only have 67 more days till the election. We are running out of time to figure this mess out without all the hate and bickering interfering with our run.

Needless to say, I was not surprised to see the today’s Ration’s Bible verses were so strongly in-line with my dreams and thoughts today. I wish they had written it all out in the old KJV, but if you look it up for yourself, you can see Our Father is reminding us to serve the Spirit and not our “sinful nature”.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” ~Gal 5:22-24

1942 Daily Ration: “Out of the welter of war and revolution a world is being rebuilt. How can it be reconstructed to make it foolproof, gangster-proof war-proof, depression-proof? We want a world in which revenge and hate and greed have no place in international or in personal relationships. The human race must be one family and intolerance impossible. he strong must bear the burdens of the weak, the wise must be the servants of the not so wise must be the servants of the not so wise and every man and every nation must live as a trustee of God. Is that kind of world impractical? Compared with the wast and folly of our war-ridden civilization, to pray for and work for. Do Christians will to have such a world?

READ: Galatians 5:16-26

PRAYER: O God of all life, open my eyes to discover thee in the common, ordinary ways of life. Rule and overrule in the ways of men, and remove from us all the sins which breed the curse of war. Help hose who bear the name of Christian all over the world to pray and work for a new way of life for human society, and out of the fiery agony of war and revolution mold and make a newer, a better, Christian society. In Christ’s name. Amen.”

[google images]