Tag Archives: Jewish wisdom

THE BLESSING CUP

“I will give you the treasures of darkness…”

The first time I read this verse was in college. Like God’s first people, I was roaming a desert. A hot, dirty, messy and full of dangerous serpents desert. Hissing. Snapping at my heels. Catching my eye with all their flashiness serpents. Drawing me deeper and deeper into the wilderness.

“…riches stored in secret places,…”

Perhaps it was the prayers of my parents – perhaps it was because a job as a church soloist kept my eyes and ears opened – – perhaps I was just lucky I wasn’t completely pig-headed – – – or –
– – perhaps it happens to all desert wanders – – – – that there are always moments when water bubbles up, manna drops from the sky into a blessing cup and a voice calls out. “Here I AM! Here I Am!”~Is 65:1

“…so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”~Is 45:3

I found a blessing cup today when I went to Goodwill. I immediately reached out to touch it. It was a 1976 copy of “The Living Bible”. The soft green, leather was the same as the one that traveled with me when I wandered my own personal desert in the early 70’s. It had been a gift from a friend who had been lost in that desert with me. Over the years, it somehow disappeared from my bed-stand.

The blessing cup of my past had re-appeared. God never forgets His promise no matter how minimal or how large. Smiling, I needed this reminder today. I also wasn’t surprised when it kept popping up in my devotions and daily wanderings for the rest of my day.

His WORD is full of stories that remind us of this. One of my favorite “His-stories” is that of Zacharias and Elizabeth. You probably know the story – faithful, loving, Godly couple who never lost faith even though they had never had their dearest prayer answered – – to have a child.

Here’s the Jewish wisdom behind story. Zacharias is actually Zicharvah in Hebrew. His name means, “God Remembers”. Likewise, Elizabeth is Elishevah. Her name means “Oath of God”. When they married and became united as one, their names gave a message, “God remembers oaths of God”. Better yet, when Elizabeth gave birth, they named him, John or Yochanan, which means, “Grace of God”.

The blessing cup is full tonight. The daily water turned to rich, sweet wine. Drinking it in, I close my eyes and seek His presence. God remembers His promises and brings grace to the world.

It is good to find treasures in darkness – riches stored in secret places – because it is then we find the blessing cup. Blessing cups that are always waiting to be found even in a desert filled with serpents. [google images]Patricia Polacco Blessing Cup

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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KHANAN-YAH

I am – officially – my mom.
 
When I was little, all the drapes in the house would be pulled closed on freezing, snow-capped or sizzling, burn-the-feet-on-the-stone-tarred-road kind of days. I swore that would never happen at my house. In fact – who wants drapes at all? Who wants a darkened house when trees, the richness of the sky and flowers and critters are so much better?
 
[sigh. double sigh]
 
I do.
 
I’ve found that not only does it save me money on that dreadfully high end-of-the-month-bill, but it sucks me right back to being 7 or 9 or 15 or 18 or 66 – curled up in a scratchy, over-stuffed chair, reading a library book, Chico in my lap, and the soft hum of the fan lulling me deeper into whatever imaginary world caught my attention that day.
 
“The Grace of God touches our lives, that removes our blindness, and allows us to see.”~Rabbi Cahn, p195, Mysteries
 
Rabbi Cahn re-tells the story of Saul of Tarsus being blinded as he traveled to Damascus to continue his persecution of those who continued to follow Yeshua. I love reading Cahn’s stories of the New Testament because he always brings forward the Jewish wisdom that most of us have never heard – – – like a scraper that has come through, widened, smoothed and cleared the path I have been traveling for years.  My inner child takes over and makes me just want to skip down the path because I know home is just around the corner.
 
“Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “~Acts 9:10
 
Actually – Ananias is the accepted English translation of the Hebrew name Khanan-Yah. How many times have I read this story? Acted it out in Bible school? Sang it in song? Yet – I didn’t know the story behind the story. After all – how important is the name of the man that Saul saw after being blinded by the Glory of God? I didn’t know that Khanan-Yah in Hebrew means “Grace of God. Thus, the man who touched Saul 3 days later became the first person Saul saw was – – – wait for it – – – was named “Grace of God”.
 
Thus – Saul became new by the “Grace of God” in more ways than one.
 
Now really – how essential is that to the story? How powerful is this loving Father who never misses the smallest detail as He continually reaches out to us in every story recorded in His book? Again, I ponder those small details that rush at me and in wonder my breath catches deep in my soul.
 
Home – where there are no drapes on the windows.
 
“Then Khanan-Yah went to the house to him and laid a hand upon him and said to him, “Shaul, my brother, our Lord Yeshua who appeared to you on the road, when you came, has sent me so that your eyes would be opened and you would be filled with The Spirit of Holiness.”~Acts 9:17-18 Aramaic Bible in Plain English.
 
As we age, we realize that parents are much smarter than we originally gave them credit for. Tonight, the house is quiet. Hubby is riding the 4 wheeler. The TV satellite is quiet due to a nearby storm. The fan is humming, and I’m curled up in my recliner, kitty stretched out by my side, writing words on a computer, and drapes on the windows.
 
[sigh. double sigh]
 
I still prefer not to have drapes anywhere in my house, and as soon as this hot weather passes, they will probably come down and be stuffed in the linen closet until they are needed again. This summer has been full of surprises that reminded me of my parents. The century plant my mom gave me in college bloomed for the first time – ever. We hung a swing just like the one we used to have in our yard when I was a kid. We hung drapes to cover our windows.
 

Homes are a reflection of us. Our pasts. Our needs. Our hopes. Our dreams.  Our future. And – I guess – until Yeshua Christus comes again, I will need drapes occasionally, need to enjoy the darkened quiet while a fan softly hums, need to skip down a path – a path towards home that has been prepared just for me. But sometimes – I sure wish I could skip a little faster.

 

10th DAY OF NISAN

I. Did. Absolutely. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.
And.
I.
Loved.
It.

Well – – – that is probably a tiny exaggeration. I did the usual devotional time. Wrote my daily letter for Lent. Cleaned the kitchen. Threw sticks for dogs. Mowed the tiny bit of grass that we call a yard. Visited with my egg lady and her daughter with the broken ankle when they delivered my huge duck eggs – even got some extra eggs for the Grands to color next weekend. (Can’t wait to see their faces as they color these huge eggs) Cooked super. Yawned and climbed in the hot tub.

Seriously though – didn’t read books – didn’t plant one thing – didn’t pitch any mulch – didn’t research any of those things that randomly popped up during the day – didn’t walk the dogs on their usual hike – didn’t run to the store – just didn’t do a lot of things that I usually do. Just a lazy, stretch out kind of day.

Not only a lazy day – but a day completely misnamed in my head. I kept thinking that today was Sunday. Ever do that? A computer glitch in the brain labels the day and there you go. It is SUNDAY – even if you aren’t doing all the things you normally do on Sunday. Not once did I think it was Saturday until I got out of the hot tub tonight and turned on the TV. Then it dawned on me that not only was today NOT Sunday, but tomorrow was not just any Sunday.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday.

“This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb.”~Ex 12:2-3

The Western Easter calendar and the Jewish calendar do not always mesh. Sometimes the dates are just off. This is one of those years. Passover starts Monday at sunset on the 10th of Nisan – April 10th for us. The 10th of Nisan is important to Passover. It is the day families would walk to all the pens of sheep around the Temple Mount. Pens full of Lambs that the priests had declared pure and without blemish. Lambs that waited for be chosen as a Passover Lamb. Families would choose the lamb that would atone for their sins on the 10th day in the month of Nisan.

Guess what date it was when Jesus rode into Jerusalem?

“They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.”~Matt 21:7-9a

Yupper – the 10th of NIsan. Rabbi Yeshua – declared pure and without blemish by John, a priest of Aaron’s line – climbed upon a donkey – just as Issac climbed on a donkey – just as prophesied by Zechariah – and was brought into the home of all Jewish people with great celebration and acclaim. Jerusalem. The holy mount where a stumbling man named Abram looked up and finally gave his heart in faith completely to El Shaddai.

The 10th day of Nisan.

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”c
“Hosannad in the highest heaven!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
The crowds answered, “This is Yeshua, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”~Matt 21:9b-11

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MARCH MADNESS

Strange to think that when we wake up tomorrow it will – officially – be Spring. We can walk out the door, and it will be sunny, warm and perfect. Right?

March Madness is never like that.

“March is the month God created to show people who don’t drink what a hangover is like.”~Garrison Keillor.

I laughed today when I read this. “In like a lion – out like a lamb” popped in my mind right afterwards. I laughed again. Spring and March Madness seems to go hand-in-hand with twisty, twirly weather, and this March seems to be no different. February spoiled us this year with its extended warmth and lack of snow. March is just doing what it always does.

Rock n’ Roll. True Madness.

Yesterday, we had a warm beautiful day when out of nowhere, a wind whistled, rain belted the quirky house while the sun continued to shine. Dogs and I stood at the back door, sun in our eyes, wind blowing small limbs from the trees across our back deck, and then we looked at each other. That swirly wind had just blown the kitchen window screen out of its resting place, across the sink and onto the floor. 10 minutes later there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The dogs barked, and I laughed again.

Jewish wisdom says that manifestations within our world represent much more than just the things we can feel, smell, see, and touch. They are the physical representation of the essence of our linear time references…past, present and future.

Solid – fixed in place – not changing. In rabbinical thought, it is like our past. The past is fixed in place. It doesn’t change no matter how much we would like it to do so. Best yet, it is understandable when we look at it because all our questions are answered.

Liguid – malleable – displaceable – just like the present time frame. One decision can change the shape, color, direction, flow. All we have to do is put our finger in – take a step – make a choice. The questions pull at us – is it changing for the worst – changing for the best – why is it changing – how is it changing – – – will I like it?

Gas – nebulous – foggy – just as the future sits in our thoughts. It’s kinda there. We can almost see its shape but not quite. Our questions are now legion. Uncertainties shift each time we look at it. Just trying to grasp it can be frustrating and illusive.

“For it is by faith that we walk and not by sight.”~2 Cor 5:7

I am not a good student of languages, but I do enjoy trying to figure out Hebrew just for this reason: it seems to link all the important things of our lives through each separate letter of the language – grouping them into words and hidden hints of more beyond what is seen. The word snow in Hebrew, שֶׁלֶג, shows that just as snow goes through all the stages – gaseous vapor to solid to liquid – so too do humans go through all the stages of – past to present to future. Those who have come before affect us just as we affect those around us and eventually affect those who come after us.

My fallible mind looks at that one word and wonder how could an ordinary man somewhere – way, way, way back when – come up with that grouping of letters that understood the scientific process that snow goes through and link it into one entity?

March Madness is more than basketball. It is the madness of trying to decide if we should dress in layers, carry an umbrella or pull out the heavy coat again. Can I leave my windows open all day or should I turn on the gas logs? The Hubby wonders if he should ride the motorcycle or lock the four wheel tires in on the truck. That is why I just havta love Spring. It is His physical reminder that we need to not only walk by faith but live by faith.

Trust the plan.

Trust the Creator of the plan.

Trust that March leads to April when the broken seed burst forth with new life.

Trust the Son that was broken and burst forth with new life.

Trust that there is a reason to love the craziness of March Madness. [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #61

This is the start of the last 40 days of Rations. Most people know that 40 is a number that is mentioned often in the Bible. One site that I visited said that 40 was mentioned 146 times. I recognized many of them – although I had somehow missed the one of Ezekiel laying on his side for 40 days to point out Judah’s sins (Ezekiel 4:6).

God doesn’t tell us we need to pay attention to specific numbers. In fact, He really doesn’t tell us that we have to do anything. He suggests. He hints. He supplies teachers, prophets and stories. According to tradition, He even had 40 different people write the 66 book of the Bible.

In Jewish wisdom, the number 40 holds great significance. It represents transition, a period of change, a renewal of faith; a new beginning. Rabbi Yeshua apparently held to this rabbinical thought as well since He spent 40 days in the wilderness before walking into the ministry that would change the world.

So as I write these last 40 daily rations of 2016, I am spending some extra time in the WORD, changing up my prayer times and treating it – in a sense – like the period of Advent or Lent. 40 days of change. 40 days of renewal. 40 days of new life on His path instead of my own.

1942 Daily Rations:Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you…as though a strange thing happened unto you.’~1 Peter 4:12

“Handling difficulty is half the art of living. One must be a spiritual engineer. The first step in dealing with trouble is to expect it and accept it as a normal element of existence. It seems to require hardship to make the sort of human spirit that we like best and value most. If so, God could not make it otherwise. The book of life is a dramatic volume, a mingling of joy and sorrow, defeat and triumph. This is what life is like and no one is exempt. Some people seem to think that the normal life is one of unbroken ease, and that difficulty is abnormal and must be accounted for. There is no evidence for that premise. To expect trouble is not to borrow trouble. Borrowing trouble is apprehension; expecting trouble is comprehension. One who expect difficulty a an integral part of his lot will not be swept off his feet with surprise and dismay when it comes.

“Prayer: Give us grace, O LORD, to keep our hearts at peace among the varying tides of life. Joy and sorrow, health and suffering, need and plenty, are all parts of the common lot of men. May we shrink from no fortune, but learn to meet each one as it comes. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #58

Today, I wished my hubby a good new year of life today. In Jewish tradition there is a big difference between ‘Happy New Year’ and a ‘Good New Year’. It is a key to Jewish wisdom.

You see, in the beginning of creation, God didn’t talk about feeling happy at the end of each endeavor. Instead, He looked around at all He had done and saw that …it was good.’ [Gen 1:3,9,12,18,21,25,31] Thus ‘happy’ means getting things to arouse that feeling inside of us. Whereas, ‘good’ is creating something wonderful for others.

Jesus took it a step further. He said, “I go to prepare a place for you.”~Jn 14:2. He understood the concept of creating ‘good’ for others. He did not talk about creating happiness for himself. He endured the cross to prepare a place for you, me, and everyone who will follow Him.

Blessings!Be! and Shanah Tovah! [Good Year]

1942 Daily Ration: “I…have the keys…of death.’~Rev 1:18

“Read: Rev 1:9-18

“Keys are the symbol of authority and power an understanding. To find the key to a problem is to unlock its mysteries. What then is the interpretation of death, for our Scripture says that Christ has the keys of that age-long mystery?

“Death in the New Testament and for the Christian is a comparatively unimportant event. It is regarded as a transition from this life to the life beyond. In that confidence Stonewall Jackson died saying, ‘Let us cross the river and rest under the shade of the trees.’

“But is there anything beyond the sunset of life? The philosopher replies, ‘Man hopes so’; and adds; ‘The God who placed the instinct in birds to fly South in winter created a South to which they may fly. Will not that God who placed the instinct for immortality in man’s breast satisfy that longing?’ The historian says men expect to live beyond this life and points to the pyramids of Egypt as symbols of that faith. Ethics says, ‘Men ought to live again in order that wrongs may be righted.’

“But Christ said: ‘Because I live, ye shall live also.’ ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’ ‘I go to prepare a place for you.’ ‘If it were not so, I would have told you.’

“A father once spent a night in a house reputed to be haunted to prove to his children that there was nothing to fear. So Jesus entered the domains of death, and returned and showed that there is nothing there to fear, for he has the keys of death.

“Prayer: Roll away the heavy stones of sin and fear, Our Father. May the radiance of the living Christ brighten our pathway each day. Help us to realize that he has the keys of death. Amen.”

RATIONS 100 DAYS #13

Did you know that the first recorded prayer in the Bible was prayed on the behalf of others?

Not for self.

Not for a loved one.

Not for friends (although some of the city’s inhabitants were definitely related).

Not for fellow believers of Abraham’s God (although assuredly there were a few there) .

It was prayed over the people of Sodom. People who were into doing harm to others. People who didn’t seem to respect anything except self-gratification.

That was just the kind of man of God Abraham was.

“Then Abraham approached him and said: ‘Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?”~Gen 18:23

Abraham, the father of this new belief, set a great role model for those to follow. The first prayer out of his mouth was for others. When we pray for others we truly become a “person” of God.

Jewish wisdom points to the fact that it “seems” as if this first prayer went unanswered at best – denied probably. Jewish sages believe this was to remind Abraham that prayer is more than just a communication with a “magic being” who will grant our every wish.

Since I was late getting to the computer today and was praying The America’s Prayer Minute at six o’clock, I was thinking about how important Prayer is to our lives and to the lives of those around us. Praying for the salvation of others is a touchstone of our faith. Today’s RATION just backs that up.

“To want to be right with God, is, according to Jesus, one of the eight requirements for inner peace and blessedness. Anyone who drives an automobile knows how distressing it is to have anything about the engine out of adjustment. Any rattle, knock, squeak or pounding in the motor calls for immediate attention. On the other hand, a smooth-running-engine brings to a competent driver’s mind a very real sense of joy and security. Now, righteousness is ur adjustment ot God. Sin, selfishness, any failure to co-operate with the will of God, any defiance of the moral law will cause rattles, squeaks, and poundings in our spiritual engines. We are out of adjustment. Inner peace coes only through harmony with God.’

“Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.~Matt 5:6

“Read: Ps. 139:23-24

“Prayer: O God, we would be a part of the great harmony of creation. We would choose to do that which is right and true, just and generous and brave, that our lives may beat in tune with the Infinite and our goals and purposes be acceptable to thee. Help us all our lives to fulfill thy holly will in the spirit of Jesus Christ, our LORD. Amen”

DAYS OF AWE

Yom kippurThe Days of Awe are almost over.
10 holy days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Days spent in self-examination of the past year’s thoughts, actions, emotions.
Days of repentence.
I love Jewish traditions and wisdom. Many of you know that. I write about it often. This year’s Days of Awe have pulled at me. Maybe it is because I am beginning to understand Jewish tradition a little more. Maybe because I finally am feeling more like “me”. Maybe because I am listening a little harder for my Father’s voice.
“I must proclaim the Kingdom of God to other cities also; it is for this I am sent.” Lk 4:43b
Tomorrow at sunset Yom Kippur begins for the Jewish nation. Accoring to Jewish tradition, it is the day when Our Father God seals into His books that which He has written for the course of the year to come. It is also believed that the sincerity of one’s introspection and repentence can change what God seals in His books on Yom Kippur. No wonder it is called Days of Awe.
“Therefore faith is from the hearing ear, and the hearing ear is from the word of God.” Rm 10:17
 
I watched several videos and read some articles this week about the Days of Awe and Yom Kippur. The stories that had confused and baffled me with their wandering timelines and curious discourses shook with a slight breeze of clarity that sharpened and then quickly clouded over again. I sat in wonder, and wondered if I would be able to see through the clouds again. I beheld a nebulous concept for a half a second, and the Days of Awe straightened the rock upon which I stand..
“For by faith we understand that the worlds were fashioned by the word of God, and these things that are seen came into being out of those things which are unseen.” Heb 11:3
 
I really liked reading one article that talked about angels. On Yom Kippur, Jewish tradition calls for all people to become like angels whose main purpose is to serve God in all that they do.. Primarily, rabbis teach that to be like an angel, one should, above all else, stand upon their faith in all that they do. Angels are characteristically pictured wearing white, so they encourage their congregants to also wear white. Finally, since angels don’t need to eat or drink, they should fast. Actually, there is a whole list of things to do to become more angelic, but I think you get the point.
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:” Deut 28:1-2
Tomorrow the sun will come up, and the world will twirl just a little bit more in its orbit. People will get up, stretch and never think about God. I will go to Bible study, pick up my miniature Captain America at pre-school, and then head off for a couple hours of tutoring where I am commonly referred to as, “Miss Grammie”. Yet – somewhere deep inside me – the Jewish day of fasting and repentance will begin to radiate, and I will see a seal being placed upon my book of life.
It is Yom Kippur.
Pope Francis arrives tomorrow.
yeshua high priestDecisions will be made tomorrow.
And if you believe, as Rabbi Yeshua believed, God will seal a new book of life.
A traditional Jewish greeting for this day is, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” Seems like tomorrow holds a promise. A promise written in a book. A promise given by the ultimate Promise Keeper who set his covenant in the sky for all to see. Baruch Hashem Adonai.SOT-timeline22

SHROVE TUESDAY

pancake_1400cYesterday was a change-over day. As I gathered the Christmas candles from the windows, those final vestiges of Christmas, the darkness appeared a little darker,,,a little scarier. The bright reds of Valentine love were replaced with the gentler shades of shamrocks, little faeries peeked out of their hiding places and whispered, “Spring” to my home, and a transition began within me as well.

Today is “Fat Tuesday”.  It is the literal translation of Mardi Gras. Raised by an ex-king cakecommunicated Canadian Catholic (because he married a protestant), my mom always called it “Shrove Tuesday” which means to strive – to confess. Celebrations from Epiphany to now are culminating as the King cakes and paczki are replaced by fasting, sacrifice and confession. The Lenten season has almost arrived on my doorstep.

I looked out the window for a while tonight. Watched as the snow/sleet mixture covered our front yard as the dogs romped and slid around, enjoying the rare chance to roll in such cold whiteness. My approach to the Lenten season has been different this year. The usual enjoyment has been missing. I’ve been —- I don’t know what I’ve been. Contemplative, perhaps is the closest word I can find. I’ve been reading a lot, praying more and digging into my faith with a big ol’ shovel.

I turn from the window and listen to the dogs and the hubby snore. I smile as their noisy breaths become synchronized. Mumbles emerge out of each of them as the snow/sleet mixture piles a little higher outside. The night has become quieter, and I am listening. For what I do not know. But I am listening.

According to Jewish tradition and law, we are in the middle of a Jewish Shemitah year (Sept. 24, 2014–Sept. 13, 2015). A time to honor God by resting the land and forgiving debt. The 7th year of a 7year period. 2015 is also a Jubilee year (the 7th year of 7 consecutive Shemitahs or in other words – the 49th year in a 50 year period).The 50th year then becomes a year of freedom for the Jewish people. It makes you wonder how closely the Jewish nation is tied to our nation, when you consider the recent history of Shemitah years in 2001 and 2008.

So as Lent approaches once again, I find myself waiting by the window. Listening. Watching. Praying. It is the nature of Lent. It is what Rabbi Yeshua did as He turned His feet towards the cross. I can do no less.

“Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.” Lk 29-31

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faeries a