Tag Archives: John

PRAYING FOR PASTORS #9

“Every one who is called by My name, even for My honour I have created him, I have formed him, yea, I have made him.”~Is 43:7

There is something about a fall bouquet of flowers that makes me linger just a little longer as I add water – fuss a little more – breathe a little deeper the freshness that will soon be tucked back into the ground until spring’s warm breath softens the ground and a tiny shoot appears. It makes me wish I had just a little longer to sit on the swing and watch butterflies flit over the lantana as a silly kitten tries to catch them.

In Jewish tradition the High Holy Days are ending.  The new year has begun and even though the people are ready to get back to “life”, they linger – they sigh – they drag their feet.  After all, who ever wants to leave their Father’s presence and return to “normal”?  YHWH heard that silent whisper in their hearts and granted them one more holy day – a day to linger – a day to honor – a day to breathe their Father deeply into themselves – deeply enough to break through the crustiness of the days ahead that they might bloom in the fullness of His will.

And that is what I am praying over all pastors tonight.

I am praying in Yeshua’s name that as each day begins, pastors, their spouses, their families, their congregations (and me) all find time to remember that very first time when they chose to honor YHWH – to linger a little longer in His presence before beginning the day – to breathe even deeper the essence of the “Live-giver” as they head into daily life – to re-establish the very purpose which brought them to this path in the beginning – to pray continuously throughout the day – to laugh with loved ones and with the Father of us all as the sun begins to set – and to wish for just one more minute in prayer before the eyes drift into sleep once more.  

It is our purpose – our deepest desire – just one more minute – just one more chapter in the Book – just a little longer by the life-giving waters – just one more song sung in His presence – just a little more time to see clearly the path His Son showed us to walk – just a little more time for the sake of a few.  That is my prayer tonight for all of you – for our country – for our world – for me – so that someday we might all be able to repeat this verse as best we can – 

“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”~Jn 17:4

Advertisements

FOLDED HANDS

Hurricanes are like people. They have a mind of their own and respond to pressures that surround it. sigh. People pressure – air pressures often change the course of humans and the things that operate in this temporary world as a part of our habitat.

Needless to say, this is one of those weeks when the Weather channel has been set semi-permanently on the remote. While most Carolinians are breathing somewhat easier, my friends and family in FL are taking deeper breaths as they try to decide what to do.

Leave? Ride it out? Go to work? Stay home? Kids safe? Elderly parents safe? Buy the right stuff to make it through a week – 2 weeks – 1 month of no electric???

One thing nice about this extended hurricane warning, people have had time to contemplate every day as it draws closer and closer. I often wonder how the people prior to technology dealt with the surprise of waking up to a 15 foot wave surge coming ashore? Of course, there were probably fewer people who were silly enough to live so close to the ocean back then. Personally, I like to think they were just that much smarter than us.

That being said, I gotta admit – there is nothing I like more than falling asleep to the sound of the ocean – or reading a book while listening to the sea birds AND the ocean. It is like classical music to me. Perhaps it is because I am made up of three-fourths water and the sea calls to me as the Sirens called to the sailors in the Greek mythology. Or perhaps, it is just the ocean carrying the imprint of My Father’s voice when He spoke it into being that I long to hear over and over.

Natural disasters change the thought processes of us mortals. We seek reasons. We seek answers. We seek hope in times of testing. And – like the disciples – we sometimes seek a hiding place.

Testing times in rain – or in fire – or in shaking are never fun times. They are time to change the thought process. Perhaps – that is what the month of Ehul has always been about. The word repentance in Hebrew means more than just saying, “Sorry”. Rather it means to “Change your path – change the course you choose for your feet walk”. “…and Yeshua said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on, sin no more.”~Jn 8:11

So tonight, before I close my eyes – I will think about all of those who are watching fire and water approach their homes, those who have lost their homes to fire and water, those who have been shaken to their core by all that they see around them. I will pray that they seek Your face, that they find Your peace, and I will center my prayer around this part of the Daniel prayer:

“Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant, and his pleas for mercy…O LORD hear; O LORD, forgive, O LORD, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”~Dan 9:17-19  

[google images]Prayer-Fasting2

WADE IN THE WATER

“Children wade in the water,
God’s gonna trouble the water…”

When you have water behind the ear, ya just feel like you are wading in water that has definitely been troubled. The boat tips and rocks while the thunder booms – it just happens all inside your head instead of on the outside. Bright side – I can stay dry when this happens. No jumping in the water for me.

I keep trying to look past these troubling waters waiting to see the bridge that I know is out there. You know the one – the “bridge over troubled waters”. The bridge that is sturdy. The bridge that will lift me out of the waters. I know it is out there, just waiting round that next bend in the waterway. All I need to do is get a hand hold on it and pull myself up.

Seems like there are lots of “troubled waters” in this world. The days of just enjoying the Land of Milk and Honey seem far away. The days when I could just focus on me. Then I remember that is probably what got the world into all these crazy waters in the first place. Me vs. we.

I remember back in my college years feeling much the same way. I just wanted to focus on me – what I wanted – where I wanted to be – the happy ending at the end of the fairae tale. Sitting on The Oval, singing with friends from choir, picnicking with a special fellow on a hillside or losing the watch my father gave me in Mirror Lake during the traditional dunking – contrasted sharply to those of dodging protesters, plugging my ears to the sirens, hiding behind cars, cancelled classes, May 4, 1970.

“Look over yonder, what did I see?
God’s gonna trouble the water
The Holy Ghost a-coming for me
God’s gonna trouble the water.”

Troubled waters exist in every generation. During the Civil War, this song was often associated with Harriet Tubman [Moses] and the escape route to the north. It was not a Land of Milk and Honey then, it is not a Land of Milk and Honey now. Land masses are made up of humans who tend to choose sin-of-me first and grace-of-we later.

I like to think that God troubles the water to remind me that He is still there. When I have calm waters, I tend to just cruise on the surface of that easy current. Gently rocking to and fro. Drifting wherever it seems to carry me. Not looking beyond the next bend. Relying on my physical sight instead of my spiritual sight. Until – the storm arises – the cascades appear – the water dries up – or – scary thought – the boat develops a hole.

“Jewish mystical tradition teaches that divinity flows into the world through desire, ours as well as God’s.”~Rabbi Marcia Prager

in times of troubled waters, I pull out the WORD and look at passages that remind me that when God troubles the water good things happen. I especially like the story in John 5 where God sends an angel to “trouble” – stir up – the waters in the baptismal pool. It reminds me to be aware – strong enough in my faith to recognize the differences that exist in troubled waters. Some are meant to be jumped into – and others you look for the bridge or rely on the Captain of the boat.

“For an Angel descended from time to time to the baptismal and moved the water for them; whoever first descended after the moving of the water was cured of all sickness whatever he had.”~Jn 5:4

The good news – troubled waters don’t last long. Just long enough to get one thinking and searching out those bridges or jumping in to grab the miracle. However – there are days when my head feels like it is taking a pounding on every side of the boat – slipping and sliding with the rollicking motion that makes my stomach roll even more – when all I really want is to curl up and read Zechariah 14 over and over. Where everything and everyone will be inscribed with the words: HOLY TO THE LORD.

“On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite [deciever] in the house of the Lord Almighty.”~Zech 14:20-21

In the mean time. troubled waters exist. The boat rocks and I bury my head in the WORD – not the sand – the WORD. Don’t want to miss my chance at grabbing that miracle or the bridge that will give me a handhold out of these troublesome waters. The good news – Christ is actually captaining my little boat with me and even if I miss the bridge – miss the miracle, He holds it all in the palm of His scarred hand. He calms the water, turns the wheel in the right direction, and points the way home. Ani Lo.

“If you don’t believe I’ve been redeemed
God’s gonna trouble the water
Just follow me down to the Jordan’s stream
God’s gonna trouble the water.”

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

[google images]

SCRAMBLED EGGS

I am SOOOOO TIRED, and I really need a revival of energy tonight so I can unscramble all these different messy eggs of thought into something edible.

“My child, listen to me and do as I say,
and you will have a long, good life.
I will teach you wisdom’s ways
and lead you in straight paths.
When you walk, you won’t be held back;
when you run, you won’t stumble.”~Prov 4:10-12

Egg #1: When you are feeling better after feeling crummy – if you are like me – you tend to overdue it. Walk the dogs. Mow the lawn on of the hottest days of the year. Take a long nap. Alright – so that last one didn’t really take a lot of energy, but it did remind me that I need to remember “wisdom’s ways” so I don’t stumble and fall when I overdo it.

Right now, our Koay is curled under my feet, our Ryndi is in front of the fan (which is where she lays pretty much all day long on hot days) and tiny Shadow is curled between me and the side of the chair. Eyes are heavy, thoughts are like scrambled eggs, but it is a good tired since I got devotions done and spent time in my private place of prayer.

Egg #2: I’ve been reading Rabbi Cahn’s devotional book that confounds me almost everyday with Jewish wisdom and how the prophecies of the Messiah and all the stories of the Old Testament confirm and enhance Christus Yeshua in the New Testament. I’m still turning today’s thoughts round and round – examining them from all angles and wondering some more on how perfectly they point to the perfect path of the Messiah’s journey. and His journey to return.

Journeys never go smoothly in my life. That is probably true for most of us. However as long as they essentially get me where I want to go, I’m okay with a few crazy detours that God or my stupidity might throw into the path along the way. I have a feeling the Founders of our country might have agreed.

Egg #3: On this day in HIStory, a year prior to the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress issued another declaration to King George on why they would be carrying arms in the future. Like many other baby steps the Founders took, they mentioned the foundation upon which they rested their arguments from the beginning sentence where they called Him the “divine Author” to its final conclusion..

“With a humble confidence in the mercies of the Supreme and impartial God and ruler of the universe, we most devoutly implore His divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, and to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.”~Jefferson/Dickinson

I guess since I’m yawning and kitten is stretching her claws into my thigh, I need to whisk these somewhat scrambled eggs of thought into a nifty conclusion.

I wish I had one.

Instead, I think I will finish with this – while governments and laws are necessary in this crazy world that has been colored by our sins, it is good to remember that Grace and Truth take those colors and wash them clean – which of course – makes journeys so much smoother and scrambled eggs much easier to swallow..

“For The Law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Yeshua The Messiah”~Jn 1:17 [google images]

 

NUDGES

Journeys are definitely interesting – especially when they are layer upon layer of the same theme. Since retirement, I’ve been on a crazy journey of revival. Revival of obedience. Revival of faith. Revival of love. Revival of body.. Come to think of it – it actually started before I retired and suddenly – today when I was writing a FB response to a couple of people about “revival”- it finally fell out of limbo and aligned itself with one of those moments that almost seem like it was highlighted in a blinding white..

God has been answering my prayer – – – and in His usual form – – – not at all in the way I imagined.

“For high have the heavens been above the earth, So high have been My ways above your ways, And My thoughts above your thoughts.”~Is 55:9

Before I retired, I kept getting these nudges to pray for revival in our country – in our world – in ourselves. When God nudges sometimes, they ain’t so gentle. His nudges can appear as a soft blink in the cosmos of the brain where everything snaps into place and . other times – – – more like sliding full speed into a snowman that has become a solid block of ice.

The great news is – He is always there to pick me up when I bounce off that sled, face first into the snow.. I may have a few dents in my head, a broken nose, and a lapse in linear time, BUT He’s there. Dusting me off. Wiping off the blood. Carrying me until I can stand. Answering prayers.

God nudges are just powerful things that are meant to move us forward in our faith journeys. Revivals are the same thing. A powerful force meant to move us forward in our faith journey.

“He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem.”~Ez 9:9

On July 2, 1776, the thirteen colonies voted to declare independence. The debates were over. The wrangling of aligning all pro’s and con’s to sway the pendulum was pushed to the back of the tables. Voices fell silent. A silence weighing the change of balance in the world as they knew it. A revival of of a dream that started in a Garden.

Document signed. Copies to be made and posted. John Hancock broke the silence by reminding them all the price on their heads had doubled.

Samuel Adams reminded them about the foundation upon which they cast their vote: “We have this day restored the Sovereign, to Whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and …from the rising to the setting sun, may His Kingdom come!”

Restored sounds an awful lot like revival.

Journeys tend begin with an idea, a thought, a nudge. It all depends on whether we follow the nudge or ignore it. I’m thankful that our Founding Fathers didn’t ignore the nudges despite of what their logic told them would happen. Since I don’t think I am anywhere close to being as brave as our Founding Fathers were, I’m thankful that I had no idea of how God would answer my prayers for “Revival” because my logic never saw all these answers to prayer. But now that I’m here – emerging out of the density of my own logic – I am continuing to pray in the name of Yeshua Christus for revival – for our country – for our world – for ourselves.

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”~Jn 14:11-14 [google images]

UNCLE MIKE

Bittersweet days are feathers. Feathers of thought. They drift and float on lazy currents of emotions and leave our “life boat” rocking too and fro – – – torn between tears and smiles. A love – hate relationship between two opposing factions that take us “Somewhere” different.

“There’s a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
Somewhere.”

The sweetness started the day. Swirling dreams that left me laughing so hard, I woke up shaking. (Of course, that could have been the result of two dogs who were tickling my nose with their tongues). Chores and devotions accomplished easily except that the Hubby used part of the meal I was delivering to a neighbor for our breakfast. But that aside – the sweet currents of morning were large blessings that kept my mind and hands occupied.

“There’s a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!”

The bitter currents were still there. Still swirling silently around the sweetness of my day until – eventually, I let the boat drift on into those salty waters and remember the things I had been avoiding. Remembering the small town where I grew up . Remembering my family and extended family. Remembering – – – my Uncle Mike.

When Our Father calls someone home, I think He blesses us with bubbling memories that break the surface of our mental waters, coaxing us forward into the deeper waters of life with their gentle effervescence. Opening my eyes wide as I can, I look at the bubbles, smile through my tears and re-watch those bubbles glide across my mind.

“Somewhere.
We’ll find a new way of living,
We’ll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

Remembering the uncle who made me laugh every time he walked in the house. Shouting, “Hey, Brynie” as he caught me in his arms and spun me around and round and round. Remembering the uncle who took me for car rides just for fun or took me to the lake where he bought me orange sodas and Correll’s potato chips. Remembering the uncle who took my cousin and I on our first grown-up date.

Yupper –  he was THAT uncle. He decided to take a couple of his little girl cousins on a date. He and his girlfriend (who eventually became my aunt) managed to talk my mom (his big sister by almost 20 years) and one of his other sisters into letting him abscond with their daughters – a 10 and 11 year old – in tow – on – a- date. We sang songs all the way to the theatre in Ashland (at least I think it was Ashland). And when the movie started, Bunny Lee and I were mesmerized. West Side Story changed our lives – which is a whole ‘nother story.

“There’s a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we’re halfway there.
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there
Somehow,
Some day,
Somewhere! “~Bernstein/Sondheim

So tonight – since I couldn’t be in OH with my family – I went to the movies. I sang with Anita. I fell in love with Tony (all over again). And – as I knew I would – I cried with Maria as her world fell apart. Later tonight – I will pull my prayer shawl over my head just as Maria covered hers at the end of the movie. It is not easy to adjust to the fact that my cousins and I are now the elders of our extended family, but I am full of thankfulness for Uncle Mike and all my aunts and uncles who filled my life with His golden bubbles. Bubbles that will buffer my “life boat” from the ugly currents and light the way towards smooth waters.

“There are many lodgings in my Father’s house, and if not, I would have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.”~ Jn 14:2

Blessings!Be! Michael McCaskey, Kerry Wood, Kelly Patton, Shayne McCaskey, you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

ASCENSION DAY

I got to mow the grass today.

I know. That doesn’t sound like much of an adventure, but it was. As the little Grands would say – “Seriously, Grandma, it was”. I’ve been waiting and watching, watching and waiting to mow this grass. Green. Lush. New. Barefoot ready grass.

Somewhere around Easter, Hubby smoothed the ground around his second retaining wall. NC red clay is really not conducive for growing much – even when it has been recently ground and aerated. When happy, hubby-grinder-man does his thing on leftover tree stumps, red clay doesn’t stand a chance. Add some rich, dark topsoil – – tiny seeds – – a cover of hay – – a friendly neighbor’s prodding to add some good fertilizer – – water – – another covering of prayer – – and wallah – – grass that begs for bare feet.

Seeds broken. Fruit emerging. New life.

When I finally sat down to rest and looked at the small patch of green and a 3/4 deck covered in stain, I remembered. Today is the 40th day since Easter. Today is Ascension Day.

For weeks, the risen Christ walked 40 more days upon this earth. Where He was and what He did during these 40 days has always intrigued me. I like to think He visited His mother – a lot visited- since I figured her pain was almost as great as His as she watched Him suffer such a death. Or maybe – He spent time talking with all those who rose from their graves on the day the veil was split in the temple. (Matt 27:52-53) Or maybe – He traveled the world to bring the Good News to all gentiles who lived far outside of Israel.

We do know that St. John wrote, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.” Jn 20:30 We do know that He visited with his closest friends and family 10-12 times (depending on how you count some of them) . We do know that when He ascended to the Father on the 40th day, He went to prepare a place for us.

A New Jerusalem.

A New Home.

In ancient Jewish wedding ceremonies, the bridegroom and the bride would meet and be joined together – married. Then the bride and her groom would return to their respective homes. The bride would use this time to prepare herself for being with the love of her life. She would gather the things needed to bring joy to herself and her husband in their new family. While the groom would also use this time to prepare himself for being with the love of his life. A time to build a home and filled with the things needed to welcome his love into her new family with him.

Ascension Day is so much more than just our Risen LORD returning to His father. It is the day when the bridegroom returned home to prepare a place. It was the signal for the bride to begin her preparations. It was the day when the grass began to grow barefoot green all around the world. Almost like a new garden emerging.

That lush, green grass is still growing – – spreading and multiplying around the world. And as I walked around the sprinkler tonight, I felt its joy through my toes and looked up at the sky. Perhaps tonight – – perhaps tomorrow – – perhaps a decade from now. Whatever. The Bridegroom is there – – looking – – and waiting – – just like I have done all my life. And when the Father’s time is accomplished – – when the time of waiting is over – – when the rooms are finished – – it will be a time of such joy never known since the gates were slammed shut in that perfect Garden.

In the meantime, the grass continues to grow. I talked to Littlest and laughed. I cried a little over the oldest Grands getting ready to graduate from high school (how is that possible?). I replayed a video of my younger son walking down a street in Spain. Hugged on my daughter and the little Grands as they spread freckles on our deck and themselves. Sat in my war room for a short moment of prayer. And sighed over the growing laundry pile that will have to wait for a dryer part to arrive (thank you, G-d, for our quirky neighborhood that has a wonderful fix-it man right next door).

This bride is waiting tonight – counting the stars – and enjoying the wait…kinda…I still get rather impatient. Yet when all is said and done, I really do want my lodgings to be face-to-face perfect and full of unspeakable joy. Seriously, Father, seriously.

“There are many lodgings in my Father’s house, and if not, I would have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.”~Jn 14:2  

TWO PASSOVERS

 

The moon is up in our neck of the woods and it is full and beautiful tonight. The hubby and I were sitting outside for awhile (until the CAVS game on) as it was rising. The dogs and I took one last walk around the gardens in the twilight before we came in. Now I can see all my friends’ pictures of the full moon from different states as I sit in my easy chair.

In the Jewish calendar this full moon sheds its light on the beginning of Passover. It is a festival that celebrated the days that changed the world of the Jewish people. Changed it from a world full of chains, brutality and oppression and spun it around into a world of choices, courage and freedom.

Sometimes, I wish I was a mouse on the floor of history and could listen and watch the dynamics of historical events. Can you imagine the ancient conversations that were taking place during this week? The rumors – the rumblings – the hushed meetings as they gathered to listen – to learn – to seek wisdom in what was happening.

We tend to take for granted – as we do all historical things – the facts – without remembering the emotional undercurrents. Just like today, there must have been dissension – fear – broken families – friendships burning out as people made their choices. Follow Moses? Trust Pharaoh? G-d really in this? The evil one?

They probably all painted their doorways with the blood of a lamb. That was an easy choice and why not? Better safe than sorry. Maybe it would make the family feel better. The familiar was still there. A swatch on the left. A swatch on the header. A swatch on the right. A triangle pointing towards heaven. A whispered prayer beseeching the protection of G-d. A hope to see the dawn of a new day. A wish for easy answers. A path cut through the stormy waters to a Promised Land.

We tend to think that all the Jewish people painted their doors and gleefully followed Moses out of Egypt. After all, who doesn’t want to be free? The truth falls a little short of that Charleston Heston movie with the multitude moving towards the sea. According to Jewish Sages – the number was more like a fifth of the Ivrim, the Jewish people.

Walking away from the security of all they had known was too scary for some – just like it would be for some of us. After all, there is security in the chains of the familiar. Chains that often keeps us in a job we hate…an abusive relationship…a habit that feeds some sense of being that we think we need more than we need change.

But this is also the first day of Holy Week for Christians. It is the celebration of another Passover that set the Ivrim world on its ear. (Again, being a mouse is appealing to my curious nature.) However, I know deep within me that it was also a Passover full of dissension, fear, broken families, burned friendships. Follow Jesus? Trust Caiaphas? Is G-d really in this? The evil one?

It was not easy. Even the disciples fell away – except for one, his mother and a few others who stood at the foot of the cross. Freedom is never easy. Again, the number of Ivrim that chose to follow was just a small percentage of the nation. Who knew that these few people would change the world forever. A Passover that would change the essence of the festival to its core.

A human lamb who shed His blood in the shape of another triangle painted on wood – an inverted triangle. A left hand. A right hand. His feet. A triangle pointing down from heaven. G-d once more sending an answer to His children – an answer of a Father’s Love – a Father’s Love strong enough to break the chains forever and cut a path through the stormy waters of sin to a Promise Land beyond compare.

It is interesting to note, that when you put these triangles together -one on top of another – they form the Star of David. The symbol that flies in Jerusalem on this first night of Passover and this first night of Holy Week. Two Passovers that changed the Ivrim world and the world around it. Freedom from chain of all kinds. Freedom to remember. Freedom to chose His path or stay in our comfy chains. Freedom to humble ourselves, fall on our knees, and give thanks to the One who gave His all for us – the gift of grace and love.

“For God loved the world in this way: so much that he would give up his Son, The Only One, so that everyone who trusts in him shall not be lost, but he shall have eternal life.”~Jn 3:16   [google images]

BIG TREES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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