Tag Archives: Jeremiah

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.”

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HUMPING DOWN THE PATH

100_0956This is definitely “hump day”. Hump over the mounds of stuff still waiting to be moved. Hump over the amount of days left to “git ‘er done”. Hump over the many trips back and forth (PTL it is only 4 miles away). Hump over getting all the workers to the house at one time. Hump as the dwelling changes from a home to a house. We are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

hump/həmp/noun
1.a rounded protuberance found on the back of a camel or other animal or as an abnormality on a person’s back.
synonyms: protuberance, prominence, lump, bump, knob, protrusion, projection, bulge, swelling, hunch; More
2.a rounded raised mass of earth or land.
verb
1.informal to lift or carry (a heavy object) with difficulty.
“he continued to hump cases up and down the hotel corridor”
2.make hump-shaped.
“the cat humped himself into a different shape and purred”
3. (I deleted it, but you already know this one)

100_0954Hubby is already asleep on the couch. Dogs are restless. They bark at the least little thing and really don’t let us out of their sight unless they are forced to. Today, the car was “humped” with stuff, and they still found a way to squeeze their rather large bodies into about 10″ of space…together…both of them…not a pretty sight. They were not pleased to hear the stern voice of their mother ordering them “out”. I think they realized I was not in a mood to bicker with them because they got out really quickly – for them.

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”~Jer 31:25

The house is shuddering a little tonight. Then again, perhaps I am just projecting the tremors I feel inside of me. The hump seems too large to swing anymore things over it. Yet, I know that as full as the new garage is, we are definitely at the crest of the hump and looking over the other side. Hubby still has a lot of larger stuff to move, but for the most part, closets are empty and only the master and kitchen remain to tackle.

I am humped out. I am tired. Where is my book?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”~Matt 11:28-29

100_0951This is the point I usually want to pick up my Anchor, bury my head in His lap, and ask to sleep for a month. Sleep comes easy to me when I put everything in His plan. Yesterday, I walked around the property; praying with each step that we will trust His perfect planning even when it is not in sync with ours. When there are a million and one things needing to be done, it is hard to rest and trust that things are being accomplished in His perfect time – not ours. One ceiling is painted. Water gets completely turned on tomorrow. Walls are in the first stages of being patched. Carpet is out and flooring gets started on Monday. The really interesting thing – we will be sleeping there by Sunday. “Trust and obey, there is no other way….”

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”~Ps 4:8

100_0953I have no idea how this works. Hubby wants to get things in motion and run away to FL for a month. I want to stay and keep my eye on things (I think it is my teacher nature). However it works, I know that it is my Anchor that will get me over the hump of taking a damaged house and making it into a home where He will live with us

Humps are those places where I really am challenged to learn to trust in Our Father’s perfect will and not mine. I would love to be able to move into a finished house, but that just ain’t happenin’, so I need to get over this hump and trust.

Today is definitely hump day and I’ve got this! Seriously – I’ve got this! I think – mostly – well – maybe……………….204637-Guess-What-Day-It-Is-Woo-Woo (1)

25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – WORD

word-of-god-updated

Today is the second day of Chanukah.  Yesterday, when I wrote about Jesus being the Light of the World, the Light of Truth.  I didn’t even think about it being the beginning of the festival of Lights, Chanukah – – – – – BUT – – – – – the holy, fantasic, far out thing is – – – – –  G-d did.  That is what I totally, absolutely love about Our Father, and the way He continually works in our physical sphere. All things work together because that is the way He designed it to work.

“But we know that He helps those who love God in everything for good, those whom He preordained to be called.” Rm 8:28

John1_1-14Every weekend I go to my exercise class which has become somewhat essential on keeping my knees mobile and functioning. It works for me, and I love the people that I am beginning to know on a little deeper level.  After class, we sometimes have a meditation time using a quartz F# tuning bowl.  I usually pray and try to listen a little more to God’s voice as the vibrations flow throughout the room and through me.  It definitely cleans out my sinus among other things.

Afterwards, we spend spend some time talking.  Most of them are not believers in the WORD.  They do believe in sychronicity. They believe in some kind of “force” that exists somewhere out there – perhaps it could be God – perhaps Yoda – perhaps science.  It is interesting to listen to them because they are intelligent, kind and thoughtful people.  The know more about muscles, computers, vibrations, compassion than most people I know.  At one point I mentioned that the tuning bowl gave new meaning to the vibrations that must have rippled through out space when G-d SPOKE .  They all looked at me for an overly long second until our instructor jumped in and said something to the effect, “I know, science discoveries are amazing and how it all works together.” I felt sad.

“In the origin The Word had been existing and That Word had been existing with God and That Word was himself God.” Jn 1:1

annunciationLong ago at the beginning of my spiritual journey I percieved of all things that I read literally.  Studying Jewish wisdom has opened new vistas of thought for me.  Light has illuminated a path that has been spoken by the WORD since Our Father first breathed it into existence.  It has existed.  It exists.  It will exist. Time is not linear in the WORD. Jeremiah spoke prophecy long ago.  It would serve us well to listen once again as we enter the gates to worship.

“‘Hear the WORD of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD.” Jer 7:2

[google images]

 

 

Attitude of Gratitude #15-21

Precious-Moments-ThanksgivingGratitude #15: Quiet evening. A cold blustery night in NC…33 degrees already…burrrrr…a little “shit-on-the-shingle” (as dad used to call it) over toasted muffin. Christmas music. A new (old) book of poetry published in 1933. Quiet evenings remind us of to stop and think. Meditate on the things that are important – truth – honesty – justice – purity – loveliness – good reports – virtue – praiseworthy… Quiet evenings remind me to be truly thankful. A special poem from that new (old) book of poetry called Thanksgiving, from the 1800’s:

For the days when nothing happens,
For the cares that leave no trace,
For the love of little children,
For each sunny dwelling-place,
For the altars of our fathers,
And the closets where we pray,
Take, O gracious God and Father,
Praises this Thanksgiving Day.

For our harvests safe ingathered,
For our golden store of wheat,
For the bowers and the vinelands,
For the flowers up-springing sweet,
For our coasts from want protected,
For each inlet, river, bay,
By the bounty full and flowing,
Take our praise this joyful day.

For the hours when Heaven is nearest
And the earth-mood does not cling,
For the very gloom oft broken
By our looking for the King,
By our thought that He is coming,
For our courage on the way,
Take, O Friend, unseen eternal,
Praises this Thanksgiving Day.
-Margaret E. Sangstermargaret sangster

And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, offer it of your own free will. -Leviticus 22:29.  (Google images)

Gratitude #16: Trees. My meditation time is always when I go outside and sit in the warm bubbling water of our Elemental spa tub. I try to quiet my mind – not christmas treean easy task in to say the least – and just focus on prayer and listening. I’m getting better at both – I think…but tonight, I kept getting sidetracked by the falling leaves and puppies running through them. The cold weather has turned our grassy backyard into a crunchy field of browns and golds. While most of the hardwood trees have lost their leaves, the oak holds on to her russet leaves longer. and I watched them dance in early evening breeze a little longer. While I love watching the season bring a visual change in our small forest, I’m thankful for the pine trees and holly bushes that continue to guard my backyard from the neighbors’ vistas and create a private prayer garden even during the deep of mid-winter hibernation. As I came in the kitchen door, I glanced up to see the white ceramic tree that my aunt made for mom and dad so long ago. Mom always kept it out, so I do, too. It’s lights reflect onto the ceiling of the great room in snowlike patters that constantly reminds me of all my family that has gone before me. For me, this is a season of the trees. They know when to be quiet, to sleep, to praise, to grow, to blossom, to rest. I think they listen to Our Father much better than I do, and I’m thankful for their example as I try to learn from them. No wonder the Christmas Tree is such an elemental part of our Savior’s birth celebration. (Google images)

Gratitude #17: Promises. Since I almost fell asleep just a second ago, I figured I better write this quickly. Fatigue is writing a lot of “Zzzzzzz’s” across the front of my brain right now, and I’m sure the antibiotics aren’t helping. I keep thinking of standing-on-the-promises_t_nvMark 9 and the father who had watched his son suffer (whether you believe it was sickness or demons) for years. The disciples couldn’t cure him, so he brought him to Rabbi Yeshua to be healed. The first time the father asked the rabbi he said, “But IF YOU CAN DO ANTHING, take pity on us and help us.” (Google images)

I like the NIV version because Rabbi Yeshua replies, ““ ‘IF you can’?” I can almost hear the rabbi’s incredulous voice repeating these words back to the father. It is the only version that translates it this way, and it made me smile. I often think that Rabbi Yeshua to wanted to bang his head against the wall when He dealt with us…hmmmmmm…He probably still does.

But what I love is how he finishes this verse. I can just see Him smiling and shaking His head, love wrapping itself around each word, ““Everything is possible for one who believes.” Smart dad – humbled and broken – rephrased his approach,“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

By that time, I can see Rabbi Yeshua listening but purely focused on the son He crosswas to save. It is those two verses verses – Mk 9:23-24, encircled by all my prayer warriors – both here and in heaven – upon which I’m standing on tonight. “EVERYTHING is possible for one who believes.” “HELP my unbelief.” Even though our faith be small as a mustard seed, His enduring love carries His promise through the years to all of us today. I am thankful for His promises that never fail when we are humble and believe His WORD. (photo by Roma Downey)

Gratitude #18: Roots. I have always been fascinated with trees. There is something about their heighth, breadth and longevity takes my breath away. When I was little, I would dream under their leaves during the summer heat, twist my rope swing into dizzy,erratic rides, and cradle myself in the seat of their roots when reading my favorite book or writing my latest poem or crying over my latest Oak_Tr_328_oakdrama. But…it is the roots that hold the tree to the ground. The roots that carries sustanence. The roots are the strength of the tree. No wonder the tree plays a privotal role in the Bible from Genesis to Revelations. If we become rooted to His WORD and rooted to our FAITH, nothing is impossible. Our Father has promised, and I am thankful my roots have grown stronger seeking Him, deeper through the GRACE of His Son and sustained by the soft voice of the SPIRIT.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” Jer 17:7–8. (Google images)

Gratitude #19: Family. Long ago when I was sick, my mom would tuck me into her big bed, bring me my favorite comic books or library books, and make me potatoe soup with lots of butter floating on the top. Saltine crackers and ginger ale would accompany this meal, but to this day, I can’t look at a bowl of potatoe soup and be excited about it. Sometimes, a chocolate malt from Zimm’s appeared as a special treat. If I wasn’t too sick, I got to ride in the back of the dry cleaning truck on a bed of blankets while Mom made deliveries around town. That was the best since I usually got a Zimmburger and malt on the way home “for being such a trooper”. Not to be out done, I could always count on Dad for a back rub, a guitar song or a bedtime story. Best of all, my big brother had to be nice to me.

These days when I am sick, my husband cooks food when nothing sounds good…and makes me eat healthy when I probably would eat junk. My kids call to check on me. Best of all, my brother is still nice to me, but this time no one makes him, and I love it. God created families. A safety net that He designed just for us, but more than that, a model that draws us closer to Him. Jesus refers to Him as the Father. He refers to Jesus as His son. Somehow, I think there is a Mother in there as well…we just don’t see it yet. I’m thankful for families when we’re sick, when we’re healthy, when things are crazy. It is a little piece of Heaven right here on earth.

feeling blessed.

Gratitude #20: My name. I know – strange topic to be thankful for…maybe kind of self-centered. And yet – one that kept re-surfacing all day today. I’ve always loved my name. In the 50’s, no one else had it. I stood alone in a sea of other baby boomers growing up in a post-war world. I even liked it when Coach Donelson mis-pronounced it during the Jr. Hi Honor Society Assembly in front of the whole world (or it seemed – since all the high school kids and parents were there). When I was little, I asked mom more than once about my name. She said she made up the name, but since she was such a reader, that never made much sense. I figured she heard it, read it, and it stuck in the back of her mind.

Prior to the world of computers, I worked as a page at the Loudonville Library. I found Bryn Marw College listed in a book and then I found a book with names. I still can see that book on the table (Young Adult section, Mrs. Wright sitting at the check-out desk, downtown location) as I found my name in a book. It was Welsh. It meant “hill”. Usually a man’s name. If it had two “n’s”, it was feminine. The sentence they used to clarify the definition was a Biblical one refering to Calgary. Felt like me through and through, so I’ve carried that memory with me ever since.

Jewish tradition says the naming of things is one of the most holy things a parent does. It is one of the first things that God told “man and woman” to do together – name the creatures of the earth. (Gen 2:19) They would then “know” the names of all the other inhabitants of the world. Even from the very beginning, God was modeling exactly what he was doing in Heaven. He told Isaiah: “Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” (Is 49:16 KJV) I like this translation the best. In other translations, it says “your name”, but I like thinking my whole self is in Our Father’s palm – in Jesus’s scars…then again – prehaps that is why “naming” is so important. Our name reflects the person we are. However, it is…I am thankful. Thankful He knows my name – thankful to be Brynie -Bryn Colette – Ferris Wheel (thanks – Loudonville Class of ’69)- Faerie dust/Ferret (college chums) – Nyrb – MIss Ferris – Mrs. K. – Mrs. Grammie – Mom – Grandma …

Gratitude #21: Magic. This week,Granddaughter asked her mama if magic was real. Brilliant doctoral student mama, stalled. I remember that feeling. How do you answer such a question? Santa? Tooth Fairy? Batman? Elves? Like normal, something like this intriques me, and sends my mind whirling off onto various tangents of thoughts that leads to other thoughts and others… sigh.

Logic tells us that magicdoesn’t really exist. That the only “real” things are what we percieve with our corporeal eyes. It must be written somewhere that “magic” is just a famciful escape from a fatiguing reality. Then we look at our child’s face, and we remember what it felt like to be a child. The “magic” world we saw in our mind was just as real as the world we lived in with adults. Horses could turn into magical people. Fairaes lived in the dark holes at the base of a playground tree. Santa came through non-existent chimneys while his reindeer waited and pawed on the roof. I often think children are smarter than adults are. They see beyond the world that is and into the world that could be —- if they just dreamed and looked for it hard enough. Children – for awhile at least – retain something that adults lose all too quickly. I tend to refer to it in my head as “heavenly magic”. .

Jesus had that heavenly magic even as an adult.. He retained the ability to look beyond this world and into all the worlds that His Father had created. After all, is it so hard to believe that a Creator who coneived of all the wonders that this world holds would not also conceive of worlds upon worlds when reindeer fly – elves make toys – right always wins – and a Son lays down His life for His friend?

Magic is a term we tend to funnel into one narrow tunnel. Maybe – my granddaughter, a budding philosopher, has the answer. As her mama fumbled to form some words into a reply, her daughter answered her own question. “… since God made the trees He must be magic, so magic must be real.” Our world is magical…from towering trees to universes too tiny to be seen with our mortal eyes – and everything in-between. Jesus said: “…Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:3 (KIV) I am so thankful that I can still perceive some “magic” in my life everyday. (Artwork by Arkiane)

Faithfulness_by_Akiane

Sunday’s Reflection

Esse quam videri – to be rather than to seem [to be] – NC state motto adoptede in 1893…the last of the original colonies to come up with a state motto, btw.

NC motto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the things that I have loved about moving has been learning new things about this new state. A lot of time when I am tutoring at the after school program where I work, I “sneak” reading time in my students’ history books. Actually, it serves a couple of purposes as my students observe me learning with them (Vygotski in action),, they get to mentor me, and they accepted my “Yankee” tutelage with bigger smiles on their faces. Can’t tell you how many times they didn’t have history homework but brought their history books just for me to read…not that I got to read it very often. Most times, we were just too busy doing homework. =)

reading“The end of all learning is to know God,
and out of that knowledge to love and imitate Him.”
~ John Milton

One of the things I don’t like about moving is leaving my friends and former students behind in OH. This weekend was an answer to a prayer that I didn’t even know I had since I got to touch base with a special friend and her daughter who just graduated high school. Days like these become rare jewels that decorate our lives with their radiance and sparkling facets when we bring them out to shine in the sunshine of our memory. Sharing time with prayer warriors who have been on their knees with me is beyond compare, and I’m so glad they squeezed me into their wonderful vacation plans.

“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.” Jeremiah 29:11

New things – old things – they blend together in our lives – weaving in and out to form such a artful tapestry that it is very hard to imagine how the completed work could be any more beautiful. Even the broken threads woven back into the picture add depth and highlights that seemed to have been a part of the design since the beginning. Is that possible or is Our Father so merciful that the broken edges are fused so completely where the new thread no long “seems” whole but “is” whole once more? Esse quam videri.

Bible verses – even mottos – are good things in our lives. They can give us direction just as they can give our state and country a direction The important thing is identifying the motto/the verse and keeping it as a light in front of us. As the tapestry leaves the loom, it is the creation that takes on a life of its own, reflecting its Creator’s creativity, design, love — and that is essentially what Sundays are all about. Relating – resting – relaxing – reflecting –

Tonight, as I walked into my writing room (which I totally am in love with), I found a poem that mom had in her Bible. Like most things, she wrote on the back of it where it came from and the year….1985 – Lakeside. Lakeside Summers – another one of those rare jewels that I bring out to polish with love every now and then, and it seemed to be the perfect ending for this blessed day.

lakeside 2

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His Mercy
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

His Love has no limit, His grace has no measure;
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus                                                                       He giveth and giveth and giveth again.  – Annie Johnson flint

 

Lenten Journey/Journey of the Cross #32

It has been a long week for some reason. Haven’t really done that much, but every day was different. As if the wash cycle had switched to the spin cycle and then back to wash. In essence the water kept building up all week, soaking deeper and deeper until eventually, the machine just chugged to a stop. Eyes barely open; zoning out watching a favorite musical (Meet Me in St. Louis) and yawning every two seconds. Don’t know why I can’t write these journals at 5 o’clock instead of 10. And yet – here I sit – thinking about this journey. Introspection continues when I really wish I could just go to sleep. Is that how the disciples felt? What is it about this journey that pulls me in year after year after year?

And yet – it does -and has since I was a toddler and rejected a cuddly bunny for a crucifix that still hangs in my room.

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matt 12:40

Early in His ministry, Rabbe Yeshua began dropping hints of what was to come. Metaphor upon metaphor. One repentance story linked to another repentance story. Steeped in Jewish wisdom and Jewish tradition, Rabbe Yeshua taught for three years in the physical heart of the earth…Israel. But this time, He would expand the heart to include Gentiles and eventually enlarge the heart to cover the world. Salvation in practice. Instead of unblemished animal sacrifices and intercessory priests, Rabbe Yeshua would drink …”…a cup is in the hand of the LORD…” Ps 75:6

He reached out, “Then I took the cup from the LORD’s hand…” Jer 25:15

Even in His first night’s journey in “the heart of the earth”, He reached into Himself – the WORD – and brought forth the words that would link the past to the future. An unbroken chain that ties us all to Our Father. From the first garden, designed to be heaven on earth, to the garden where He wept and let the cup begin to spill upon Him instead of letting it spill upon us. He took Our Father’s wrath and spun it into unending LOVE. Love for you. Love for me. This Rabbi Yeshua Barabbas did this for all of us.

“Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the LORD’s hand the cup of His anger…This is what your Sovereign Lord says,
your God, who defends his people: “See, I have taken out of your hand
the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath,
you will never drink again.” Is 51:17,22

The day of pain, suffering and agony is over.

lucasgrail

Lenten Journey #24

Today, the disciplinarian teacher in me came out in full force, and there were a few third grade boys who were not thrilled. (Hmmm…haven’t forgotten that teacher tone of voice at all) As for myself, it was good to touch base with that part of me again.

That being said, I should have known. The first devotion I read this morning (Thank you very much, Miss Tiki) was about jobs. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching with this retirement thingy. As ready as I was to get away from the idiocy of Common Core Standards and the daily nonsense of things that have nothing to do with educating our youth, I was not ready to quit teaching. (For a person who never considered that I would EVER walk into a school after high school graduation, I had to laugh at that last sentence.)

Our life journeys sometimes surprise even us. Teaching was one of my surprises. Yeah – sure – I did get “volunteered” to help teach the little kids in Sunday School. I did start a group to teach “Little Majes” how to twirl a baton. I babysat. I tutored and read to little kids while working at our local library. I joined Future Teachers of America, but only because my mom wanted me to join a club (and it got me out of class sometimes). I even fought my parents about going to college. School was boring. School, for me, was mostly about daydreaming, doodling or writing poetry…stories…songs… Certainly, nothing productive ever came out of sitting in a classroom and taking notes and tests.

And yet — 40+ years later — I don’t think I’m done. Unlike Rabbe Jesus, I’m not sure of what lies ahead. However, I am getting the idea that He is about to let me know. “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD…” Jer 29:11

I have no idea how this will work, but I think today was all about reminding me who is in control. Luckily, while my teaching day started out with the disciplinarian me, it ended with the “Miss Grammie” me. Three 1st graders sitting on my lap – waiting to read their minute stories, running accounts of mistakes, re-read the stories, 2nd graders hanging over my shoulder waiting for me to get to them and their vocabulary questions, integers being added and subtracted (I called for help – literally – I used my phone’s calculator to double check what I told them =) ) , algebraic word problems which needed to be re-stated in numeric form (do you know how hard that is for someone who intensely dislikes math – let alone the 6th graders who were struggling?). No one ever said that the plans He has made for us will be without a few bumps. sigh.

BTW – one of the 4th graders spent his time-out writing “I am stupid” until he filled the page. When I came back to where he was sitting alone, he dug it out of his book bag and handed it to me. Now either he is the smartest one in the group of boys, or he was sincerely sorry. In any case, we had a talk. Told him if I ever heard him writing such a thing again, we would have another talk. Second, he got out of time-out while the others had to stay in. “Miss Grammie” got a hug, and I wondered why he chose to write the words he did. I’m still wondering…and praying. I like to think that is exactly what Rabbe Jesus did on His lenten journey. When he found one of His lost sheep, I’m pretty sure He wondered how it got so lost…and then He prayed. The neat thing??? He hasn’t stopped interceding for us with the Father. When we pray??? We eventually stop – get sidetracked – forget, but not Christ. He continues walking with us and interceding every step of the way.

“The name of the LORD is a fortified tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.” Prov 18:10 jesus-christ-sermon-mount