Tag Archives: judges

ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD

Love – LoVe – LOVE Sundays. Not only do I get to have breakfast with daughter and family, but I generally get a call from the other daughter or a friend or edit some writing – or just able to spend extra time leaning on and learning from the WORD.

This morning there were buttermilk waffles. Seafood dip from Left Bank Butchery. Really good bread (even if it wasn’t gluten free). A Grand curled around her daddy just like I used to curl around mine. Another Grand and his mother putting together a birthday present that continues to challenge everyone who looks at the instructions. A long wonderful conversation with my NYC daughter – catching up on her life – wishing we were just a little closer so I could hear her violin sing in my ears again. A call from an old friend and laughing till my throat hurt. Then time in His WORD. Who could ask for more?

GOD is good all the time – even though we live in a world that continues to turn more inside out everyday. All the time, GOD is good.

“Fear not – The LORD is committed to removing anything from your life that might promote the very thing that will hinder your progress.”~Priscilla Shirer, wk 3:D3 Gideon Bible Study

Been thinking about this quote all week. Tossing it this way. Then throwing it up in the air. Bouncing it up and down to see where it lands or if it bounces away. Turning myself in circles to see why these particular words seemed to be highlighted in the text before I pulled out my pen.

GOD is good all the time.

I started this Bible study on a whim – a nudge – a wink of an unseen eye when I saw a friend post about it right after Christmas. It has been a challenging blessing. Finding the extra time every day. Delving deep into a Bible story that I knew very little about to begin with except – There was this man named Gideon. Gideon was visited by an angel. Gideon fought a battle with only 300 and won over thousands. Three chapters.

Who knew I could learn so much from three tiny chapters of the Old Testament?

All the time, GOD is good.

Today is also Holocaust Memorial Day, Yom Hoshoah. As I wrote those familiar words of the last few paragraphs, Elie Wiesel’s words taunted them in my mind. “The yellow star? So what? It’s not lethal …” (Poor Father! Of what then did you die?)”~Elie Wiesel, Night How can both both be true? GOD is good all the time – All the time, GOD is good. People dedicated to opening their tents of faith for the world to see, marked by a yellow star, banished to prison camps (along with many other ethnic groups – or twins – or homosexuals – regime protesters, etc). It is hard for the logical mind to accept. Wiesel struggled with it throughout his life as did many of the Holocaust survivors. Books and books have been written about it. Debated – Defended – Dismissed.

And yet – even so – the wisdom of our humanity doesn’t comprehend the total love and promises of an omniscient Father. The more I read and study and pray – the more the truth of those words ring true in my heart.

GOD is good all the time – All the time, GOD is good.

Wish I had an answer. Wish I could fit all the parts together. Wish I knew if I would be as faithful as so many were when they walked through the temporary gates of the ghettos or the more permanent doors of the gas ovens. Wish I knew if I could be as brave as Gideon when GOD told him to dismiss all his other soldiers and go into battle with only 300. Wish I understood why our world seems to be turning inside out.

“If wishes were horses, beggars will ride.”

Long ago, these words hung in a small town library. I had to climb up a lot of steps with my small legs to get to the door of this library. Usually, I had a pile of books in my arms, so I couldn’t hold on to the banister. I remember dropping those books more than once and having to retrace those steps a few times over. I also remember puzzling over those words hanging on the wall over the horse section of the shelves. “If wishes were horses…” The decades have added a little more wisdom in understanding them.

So I end with what I know to be true in the deepest part of my being – – whether on Sundays when we remember horrible atrocities that happened and continue to happen in this upside down world – – or on Sundays when life is wonderful, restful and blessed. Our finite minds may not understand. Our hearts may not break with the pain… Faith says open our tents…trust… rejoice…fear not…for…….

GOD is good all the time.

All the time, GOD is good.   

PACKIN’ MY BAG

“Oh – I’m packin’ my bags,                                                                                                                          And I’m leavin’ today,                                                                                                                                    I’m takin’ a trip,                                                                                                                                      OHIO way…”

Long ago and far away, my next-door-neighbor, best friend, ‘sister’ and I found out that we could sing together.  She was 9 and I was 7 when we discovered this. We sang A cappella long before Glee and Pentonix.

1st singing performance together

1st singing performance together

We sang with our 33 recordings of broadway on a screened-in front porch – My Fair Lady – South Pacific – Porgy an Bess – West Side Story. We sang on the way to girl scout camps.  We sang on the Band and Choir Bus. We sang in local shows. We sang in church.

We sang in the backseat of my parents’ car on the way to the drive-in. The same refrain torturing their ears over and over – “my baby don’t care, my baby don’t care.” – until they threatened to turn around and dump us with her parents. We laughed and started all over again.

We sang as we walked the streets on a spring warm-up day, a hot summer evening, a crisp fall night or caroling with our church groups.  Neighbors often requested us to linger and sing a favorite song or a song from their past.  We sang as we drove her to city for her first week of college.

“Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I, even I, will sing to the LORD; I will praise the LORD, the God of Israel, in song.” Judges 5:3

It is what we did.  Tomorrow, I am packing my bags and making a trip back OH way.  This mother-daughter trip will be the first one in 3 years.  I will drive past familiar places.  I will drive our old neighborhood, wonder about the changes and look to see if the hole in the fence is still there.

It will be good to meet up with old friends.  Meet up with teachers and other best friends that I have worked with over the years. Visit my OH son, my big brother, and his family.  Walk familiar streets, spend a minute at my parents’ graves and look at things that have made up the landscape of my life.

“Sing to the LORD a new song;
            Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

      2Sing to the LORD, bless His name;
            Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

      3Tell of His glory among the nations,
            His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.” Ps 96:1-3

Singing, home, family, friends, God seems to be the multicolored strands that are woven into the tapestry of my brain.  I am excited to go home.  I am excited to sing praise in the place where I first knew LOVE.

It is good to take trips even when my ‘sister’ won’t be there.  She lives far away in another state, but we still find ways to sing to each other over the distance.  Technology makes things like this so much easier these days.  However, we are making plans to see each other in September in NC.  Hmmmm – come to think of it – that’s another song we used to sing.  How fun is that?

“See you in September
See you when the summer’s through…”bryn and jo

Writer’s Block

writingWriter’s blocks are debilitating, demoralizing and just down-right depressing. Words get written, erased, re-written and erased again.  Sometimes the words don’t come at all, and the computer screen or paper remains blindingly white.  So after a week of Bronchitis – another week of “catch-up” (on all those things I ignored while I was curled in a ball coughing) and finally, a week of trying to get back on a  “normal” schedule, I decided the best thing to write about was the hidden gifts in all of this.

“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.”  Prov 3:13 

Writing has been my outlet since I was little.  When I was little and upset with my mom and dad, I would write letters and stick them where I knew they would find them (a bathroom magazine/book rack was a favorite spot).  Being the intelligent, loving parents they were, they never openly acknowledged the venting of their youngest child in a head-on confrontation, but they always found indirect ways to let me know that they had, indeed, found these rambling, often emotional, poorly written outbursts.  All the same, they gave credence to these fledgling expressions.  Sometimes it was in the topics that we discussed around the supper table.  Sometimes it was in the songs that writing nikethey sang to me as we said our prayers at night.  And sometimes, it was just that extra special hug or time spent doing things together that let me know they heard.  Needless to say, writing became one of the primary ways for me to communicate with them when topics were too scary to approach in conversation.  That’s why the past couple of weeks have been hard.  Not writing is almost as bad as a tummy ache…maybe worse.  But not being able to write however reminds me that these dry spells can be a gift in disguise.  While gifts may be wrapped in our physical DNA and propensity of traits (mom and dad were both writers of poetry, song lyrics, speeches and long, long letters), it is Our Father’s blessing that enhances those gifts and weaves them into a tight package that blesses those around us.

“All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the LORD’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.”  1 Chron 28:19

This time the gift was one of receiving.  I listened to lots of people talking via blogs, sermons, TED talks, books- even TV shows as I coughed my way back to health (thanks to the blessings science and the discovery of antibiotics). But mostly –  I spent a lot of time in quiet reflection.  It came at the perfect time (which is exactly the way God works in this crazy world), and while I didn’t realize it at the time (since I was coughing way too much for any kind of logical thought), I needed to be slowed down and reminded about the Author of our gifts.  Eventually, it also surfaced to the forefront of my spinning brain that Jewish month of Elul would start soon and in fact – starts yesterday (the 27th of August).  In Jewish tradition, this is the month of reflection – a looking back – a taking stock of the good and bad things/choices that have transpired over the past year.  The shofar echoes across the land as a physical reminder leading His people into the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.

“Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly.”  Deut 16:18  

mouth gateIn Hebrew this last verse is written in the singular tense.  Rabbis believe this is because it is not just written for the nation, but in fact, is written for the individual as well.  It is a reminder that as we reflect upon this past year, we should “appoint a judge” to evaluate our performance and also set “officials” over the gates that need protecting.  Common gates such as our thought processes, mouths, eyes, ears, etc. must be protected so that the next year will be much better than the previous year.  In other words, Our Father is encouraging us to “judge” ourselves and guard the gates to His temple that resides within each and everyone of us.

“I will not enter my house or go to my bed, I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.” Ps 132:3-5  

As usual, David – the shepherd, the warrior, the king, the husband, the father, the sinner, the passionate, creative poet – says it best, and I wonder if he wrote it during the month of Elul because it is so reflective.  What better goal could I set for the coming holy days than this?  I [will] find a place for the LORD,  a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob…  

Writing-writing-31277215-579-612Nothing is more important than this – NOTHING.