Tag Archives: light

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE #9

Spent some time laughing, sharing space and time with friends that I don’t get to see often enough. Scrubbed and polished my slate end tables. Kicked some leaves with my lab girls while they chased the beloved ball. “Technology Talked” with a couple of cousins and friends. Got a little chilly while I was swinging on my patio swing. And – put most of my fall decorations away.

Yupper. This year, I am one of those that have started the transition to Christmas before Thanksgiving. I usually do try to change everything over the week before Thanksgiving anyway – so this really isn’t much of a stretch. But when push comes to shove, in my mind, there is something about thanking God, eating turkey and enjoying the decorations at the end of that wonderful day. And  this year – I just need to surround myself with His Light a little more than usual since Thanksgiving is a little different for me this year.

“…the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” ~Matt 4:16

There are so many things to be thankful for during this month of transition. One of them is technology. Right now, I am watching the 1955 version of Peter Pan with Mary Martin. How fun is that for this baby boomer? “I Gotta Crow” that it is even more fun than I expected it to be!! How can I still remember most of the words to this play and its songs from so long ago? And yet – here I am – singing along and loving it.

Of course, besides remembering all of the songs, I also remember that I got to stay up late  just to watch it. My daddy brushed my hair while we watched – eating popcorn from a big orange bowl and drinking a soda pop – special treats for a special night. “It is a place where dreams were born…”

A daddy who brushed my hair. A mommy who sang along with the songs and braided my hair when Daddy finished up. An older, big (at least to me – he was huge) brother who tried to ignore us all as he worked on boy scout badges or homework, but casually kept his eyes on the screen. It was definitely a time when I “thought wonderful, happy thoughts” and found that “I’m flying” faster than I thought possible.

Simpler, joyous times. “2nd star to the right and straight on to morning…”

It is good to pull out the treasure chest of memories occasionally. The gold and the silvers ones shine brightly – – especially those shined with Our Father cloth of love. I had a pretty nifty childhood. Church and Sunday School every Sabbath. Sunday drives to visit aunts, uncles, and especially – cousins. Family meals together. Chores done. Bedtimes full of books and prayers. Pretty good model for what a marriage and family should be.

November is that month of transition. The skies darken earlier. The cold wind slows my gait a little more as arthritis clamps down on the joints a little more tightly than I like. And yet, if I go past that silly 2nd star and soar way beyond all stars, the winter morning gets here earlier and sooner than I expected, freeing its sparkling Light to make all things new, and it easily outshines Neverland in the process.

“I, The Light, have come to the world, that no one who believes in me shall abide in darkness.”~Jn 12:46

GOD is good all the time – even on the darkest of nights. All the time GOD is good.

[goggle images]

LIGHTS OUT #1

“HE can turn the tides and calm the angry sea.
HE alone decides who writes a symphony.
HE lights every star that makes the darkness bright’
HE keeps watch all through each long and lonely night.”

The wonderful thing about having the house and time to myself is digging into some of my stacks of sheet music and sitting down at the piano. The fingers are not so limber these days. The mono-vision contacts sometimes cause a blurry second or two as I turn a page. The voice is not consistent – some days good – some days cracky – some days not there at all. And yet – once the fingers begin the familiar chords, the body relaxes and joy radiates from the inside out.

“HE still finds the time to hear a child’s first prayer;
Saint or sinner calls and always finds Him there
Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live,
HE’ll always say “I forgive”.

The other night, I stumbled across one of mom’s old songs. It was in Reader’s Digest Faith Songs, but it wasn’t the same as I remembered. The harmonizing power and sequences were missing from that digested form. So I got up and started digging into a stack of sheet music that I hadn’t pulled out in years. Songs my mother sang. Songs I played for her when she sang at different venues. Songs I played so often that I could see the cover page in my mind almost 60 years later.

“HE can touch a tree and turn the leaves to gold.
HE knows every lie that you and I have told.
Though it makes him sad to see the way we live,
HE’ll always say, “I forgive.”

This is also the time of year when I begin pulling the candles out of the windows and putting them away until next Halloween. The batteries have been slowly dying as if they have known all along that Lent is almost here. One candle a day until the windows are bare. A rainy week makes it even bleaker as night closes in, and the windows no longer flicker their meager light into a world that grows darker and darker – in more ways than one.

Darkness.
Bleakness.
Emptiness.

“HE can grant a wish,
Or make a dream come true.
HE can paint the clouds,
And turn the gray to blue.”

Rabbi Yeshua knew Darkness well. HE knew his children stumbled in darkness. HE knew they also trembled in darkness. But fear not – HE also remembered the beautiful world that HE had created. The world that was meant to be full of Light for the children His Father loved beyond compare. So HE prepared the world for this darkness. HE presented His lit candles to shine in eye-windows of His People’s world, and then offered them to all the people who wanted to light a candle in His name.

Light in the face of Darkness. 
Light that reflects on all it touches.
Light that shines even brighter with His Word.

“HE alone knows where
To find the rainbow’s end.
HE alone can see
What lies beyond the bend.”

Before HE touched the tree, He knew the end. HE had already looked around the bend as HE shined His Light even brighter.

I tried to remember that tonight as I removed the first candle from my windows and later as I sang this old song. It is still raining and not a star in sight. Darkness has gathered and hovers close as I walk the dogs one last time. My feet stumble a little.  My trembles curl my toes in my shoes. I feel His sadness within my own tonight. And yet – I fear not – even though HE knows every lie, every dark spot in my life, HE has already seen around the bend. His Grace lights my steps and I do no fear.

HE has already prepared us. 
HE has presented the Light.
He has put down the Darkness.
He has pour out His Light upon us.

HE can touch a tree
And turn the leaves to gold.
HE knows every lie
That you and I have told. 
Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live,
HE’ll always says, “I’ll forgive.”~Songwriters: Jack Richards / Richard Mullan

https://www.last.fm/music/The+Righteous+Brothers/_/He

 

 

ADVENT 2017 – PEACE #3

When the calendar ends…

Dreams end and a day begins. I wish I could tell you what I was dreaming about when I walked out of my dream and opened my blurry eyes to a new day.

Dreams are like that though. So real one second, and swirling wisps of nothingness the next. Bits and snatches that rise up, appearing at the edge of the mind only to evaporate as if they never existed in the first place.

When the calendar ends…

Today, the Jewish calendar marks the 24th of Kislev – the beginning of Chankuh/Hanukkah. The miracle of the oil. The miracle of light. The miracle of a small remnant of righteous Jews who refused to bow to the apostasy that was overtaking their culture – country – faith. A small group that drew a line in the sand – a line of truth – based on their belief in G-d.

They stood apart. A lone. Armed in the faith of their convictions. The sword of G-d in their hand.

For them, the calendar didn’t end that day. The remnant succeed beyond all expectations. They defeated the reigning super power, regained the temple, and lit the temple menorah with pure, blessed oil One day’s worth that lasted for 8. A new festival instituted. Light of the first covenant re-lit. A light at the end of the tunnel that burned brighter as if the tunnel was falling away.

It was the 25th of Kislev 165 BC.

“And Yeshua spoke again with them and he said: “I AM THE LIVING GOD, The Light of the world. Whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall find the light of life.”~Jn 8:12

Today at sundown, the 25th of Kislev 5778 began. Rabbi Yeshua celebrated this festival of Light even though He knew He was the Light that would change the world. For those who followed Him, one calendar ended and a new one began.

When the calendar ends…

There will come a time when the calendar ends again. An eternal calendar will begin where darkness has no power, and the Light never ends. A tunnel that is no longer dark but full of Light. Now that will definitely be a miracle of Light  – Light of a new kind, and one to celebrate in peace. [google images]

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #28

I love, love, love Christmas decorations. When I am home, it takes all my strength of will not to run around the house turning on every decorated window and story land corners. There’s something about tiny lights twinkling amid pine boughs that still – even after 66 and a half years – tickles me.

Gratitude Attitude kicks in and I smile. Smile at the memories cruising around in my head. Playing under the tree with my brother’s train and my plastic horses. Melting endless candles and crayons on an old pottery jug. Making decorations with mom and dad. Daddy reading Luke 2 on Christmas Eve by the tree. Caroling outside seniors’ and shut-ins’ homes on cold, snowy nights with my choir and friends.

Did I happen to mention, I LOVE Christmas decorations?

I even love driving by homes with those twinkling lights shining through the windows. But mostly – I love mine. Sitting in a darkened room after Hubby is snoring in his chair. Dogs under my feet. Cat on the back of my chair. It is still special. ‘Course, now days, most of those lights are blinks in wires and not real bulbs and fragrant pine boughs have been replaced by plastic.

“I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”~Jn 8:12

These days it is hard to tell the “fake” from the “real”….the “lies” from the “truth”… the “faithful” from the “charlatans”. Since I believe the Bible is the WORD of God, I know the world has been here before. Many times. It has puffed up on its own knowledge – – – fallen on its own sword – – – and brought back from the eve of destruction by a few strong Jewish prophets and the faithful remnant who listened.

Tonight, I walked the dogs outside and looked at our house from the outside. Last year at an end of season sale, we got one of those outside laser lights. We don’t shine it on our house though. Instead, we shine it into the trees on the side of our house. The dots chase each other – collide – bounce and explode into even more dots on the trees, the ground, the outbuildings and even up in the darkness of the sky where they catch a reflecting particle of something.

“But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”~Jn 9:5

And I guess that is the real Gratitude Attitude tonight. Every tiny red and green dot that caught my fascinated eye – bouncing off the physicalities of this world in crazy randomness – is really there to remind me of the LIGHT of TRUTH that it represents.

Dots of Light. 
No as big as the original. 
Not as steady as the original. 
Not as shiny or bright as the original.
But –
all the same –
Light.

Dots of Light bouncing in joy and trying their hardest to reflect the LIGHT that was manifested to us so many years ago. LIGHT that chose to come to a dirty, muddy ball of darkness that there might be bouncing dots and – maybe someday soon – if we reflect a little harder and a just a little more and more and more – the full LIGHT will come once again and bring the sunrise with it.

Gratitude Attitude #28 is just a bouncing dot – but it means the world to me. Wanna bounce? [personal images]

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #8

About 7 days prior to Halloween, I start putting the candles back in the windows so that all the windows are filled by Halloween. It is my own little tradition. I don’t think Hubby or anyone else in my world notices, but I do.

The sun sets earlier. Daylight savings time kicks back to regular time. And since Halloween has become a much “darker” celebration than I remember it being as a child, I feel like I need to put a little light into the night.

It makes me very thankful to have a Light in the darkness.

“For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”~Ps 18:28

Candles in the windows are so easy these days. A couple batteries. A solar sensor that recognizes the darkening skies or lightening skies. Poof! A Light, barely distinguishable during the day, becomes a welcoming beacon in the night. A light that speaks of home, of warmth, of love, of dreams yet to come. A place where everything is RIGHT with the world.

I bumbled around tonight trying to find a wrap up for this Gratitude Attitude, I was clicking my way through a lot of different Roku options, and I found an old film called “Beyond Christmas”. In 1940, it was originally labeled, “Beyond Tomorrow”. Surprise – surprise – as I sniffled my way through the ending, the main character drove home the theme of the whole movie with this quote:

“Sometimes we have to go to the darkness alone before we can see the Light.”

On this 312th day of my 67th year, I am still amazed at how Our Father uses all things to work for His purposes. Here I am struggling, wondering how I am going to tie all of this together, and He just hands it to me, “Sometimes we have to go to the darkness alone…”

It has been a year fraught with many tragedies. It has also been a year abounding with bounteous blessings. We tend to ignore the Lights around us when everything is light, but when the darkness descends, those Lights are an essential guide to bring us home. I am thankful for the LIGHTS in the night that have guided me and perhaps – perhaps – my Lights in the darkness will guide someone else as well.

“Then the righteous will shine as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has an ear that will hear, let him hear.”~Matt 13:43  [google images]

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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #79

It is hard for the first fire on the new patio to compete with the excitement of the Indians in the World Series and the Cavaliers playing the NY Knicks in Stumpman world.
The fire lost.
Worked out well for me. One of my Grands was working on her essay for college, and I was having too much fun figuring out Google docs editing tools and reading the essay to care much either in Teacher world.
The fire lost again.
“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12, RSV
However, when I look at the pictures that I took tonight. I have to smile. Hubby worked hard to get the patio to this point and although there is still much we want to do, there is a light in the darkness at Eli Covenant. Even the swollen toe doesn’t mind going out at night when there is a light to keep me from stumbling into anything that will make it yell “Oweeee” up at my brain.
Rabbi Yeshua was good at being a light to those around Him. His light became even stronger when He walked through the darkness of our sins to return to his disciples. I can only imagine how bright His light will be when He returns again. After all, He has spent all this time with His father waiting for us to open the door – open the door just a crack – so that He can come again.
Lighting the fire. Stewarding His earth. Opening the door. Can barely wait and wishing the door wasn’t quite so heavy and hard to open.
1942 Daily Rations: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”~1 John 5:4
Read: Hebrews 11:1-6
“In front of thee chapel of the Charlotte Air Base is a large floral ‘V’ made of red, white, and blue flowers. It stands for VICTORY. It is the first thing you see. The ‘V’ of victory might easily be considered a symbol of our day to stand for the victorious Christian life.
“The Church has always stood for the victorious life. Christ gave his disciples the power to overcome evil. Today we need to exercise that power to live the victorious life. This is the victory when we overcome the tyranny of the present for that which is eternal- – -the tyranny of fear for the divine protection- – -the tyranny of this sensual for the larger life- – -the tyranny of the visible for the invisible.
“The victorious life is made possible through faith- – -a faith in God that can endure hardship and comfort, a faith that practices good in the presence of evil.

“Prayer: Father, as thy child, help me to live a godly life, a life that turns stumbling blocks into steppingstones, that sees past the cross and knows there will be a resurrection, a life that has the courage to live its convictions. In Christ’s name we ask this. Amen.” [google image]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #60

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know you…”

Rabbi Yeshua knew us so well. ‘…the world does not know You…’. When we look at what is happening in our world today, we recognize the truth of these words. A Russian leader says we are already in WWIII. Anger oozes out of the four corners and into the mainstream of societies everywhere. Cries of the innocent – the righteous – are heard across the lands and their sorrows pierce His hands once again.

‘..the world does not know You…’

But it is the end of this one particular verse that holds me tight each night as I enter my prayer room. The ‘Good Shepherd’ – Rabbi Yeshua knew 2000+ years ago that His words were a precious promise – a bond that would bring comfort to the sheep who know His voice – His words. He was not only a preacher, He was a teacher. A righteous teacher. A righteous Son of a Righteous Father.

“…they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:25–26, NIV

As the ancient snake rises and roils around our beloved garden, it is good to remember there is always the Light that shines forth in the darkness. It is the Light that will guide us out of this mess – if we let it.

1942 Daily Rations: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”~Matt 5:16

“We acquire our outlook on life not so much by hearing what people say as by watching how people behave. Nothing helps to build a heroic tradition so much as the sight of a brave soul living courageously. Nothing is so fatal to faith as the sight of men and women living faithlessly.

“Plainly, as we add to the beauty and power of the teaching of Jesus the convincing sight of his followers actually living it, his word becomes the most compelling thing in all the world.

“‘Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John…they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.’~Acts 4:13

“Read: Luke 6:27-36

“Prayer: Give us eyes to see the power which we exert by the way we live. Help us, O Lord, to sense what our manner of living does to other people. Save us, we pray, from the sin of contradicting high professions by low actions. Save us from insincerity. Grant that we may be willing to practice the brotherhood for which we so often pray. As we plead for peace, may it be in our hearts to live peaceably. As we pry for faith, may we be kept from breaking faith with our fellows. Wash us thoroughly and make us clean. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

[google images]

BUT…

I know that a lot of conservative Christians feel that Halloween is not a holiday that needs to be celebrated.  It is pagan in it’s origins.  A time when spirits roam the earth and witches rule the skies.  It celebrates the “darkness” of human life with scary images and horrific  experiences that most of us abhor.  Gravestones.  Boiling pots of magical brew.  Strobe lights that crash the mind.  Eerie music emanating from the night. Webs of deceit that tangle around our body as much as inside our head.  Satanic influences that glorify the ugly sins that happen all too often.

Good reasons one and all.

BUT…

and this is prayerfully submitted…

BUT…

It can also be warm family memories.  Laughter embed with love.  Sweet treats that remind us of special occasions.  Choices exist within choices upon this crazy habitat that Our Father designed just for us.  I’m sure He hoped, like all of us hope for our children, that we would never experience the pain of sin and sorrow.  But…free will allows us to dance around the fires of choice, and all too often we end up getting burnt.  BUT…choice also allows us to decide not to stick our extremities in the fire or dance so close that we burn the things we love.

But…

img822Perhaps because I grew up in the fabled era of the 50’s/60’s…perhaps because I grew up in a small town surrounded by neighbors who acted like extended family…perhaps because horror and fear were an abstract instead of a daily reality…Halloween was more filled with Christ than with the evil one. My Halloweens were filled with a mother who created costumes out of scraps img820(gotta love her choice of costume for me when I was five)…dark runs through many neighborhoods filled with faces that I knew as well as I knew my family’s…contests with my best friends for apples, candy and costumes…family businesses that handed out miniatures bags of whatever they made…pictures boxes of memories filled with family love.

“For I am the LORD your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.” 
Isaiah 41:13

There is a story in Jewish tradition that tells about a rabbi who went to eat with a poor man and his wife.  They had nothing to serve the rabbi except some flour.  So the wife went into the woods to find some herbs to enhance the flour that she would serve to the rabbi.  As she picked the herbs and spices that Jehovah-Jireh had designed so long ago, she prayed that they would not only nourish their their rabbi but bless him with all the beauty that was once in the Garden of Eden.  Later in the week, the rabbi’s wife approached the poor woman and begged her for the recipe of the rabbi’s wonderful meal.  The poor woman was stunned.  She explained that she had served him only flour, water and some spices.  The rabbi’s wife was also stunned.  She told the woman that her husband had said it tasted so good that it must of come straight from the Garden of Eden.  At that, the poor woman started to cry.  She remembered her prayer over the herbs that she had gathered that day.  God had heard her prayers and blessed her as much as He had blessed her rabbi.

“Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
— Isaiah 41:14

Halloween can still be the pagan holiday of the past.  Halloween can still offer monsters and scary demons a chance to dance around in all the gory ugliness that this world has to offer. Halloween can still be the pagan holiday that people create over and over again by their everyday choices.  Halloween can still be a time when the evil one rejoices.

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BUT…

Like the poor wife, when we pray…….Halloween can also be something made new because Jesus Christ has brought light into the darkness.  It can be another kind of day…another chance for families to gather together and bless the night with LIGHT.  A time when LOVE…that brings the moon out from beyond the clouds…reaches beyond hope…passes beyond understanding…and takes over the darkness that the evil one has spread and warms the chilly air that he has brought with its pagan beginnings.

I, for one, am thankful for Halloween and the wonderful memories I have buried in my heart, and all the new memories I am helping to create in the Grands.  BUT…most of all…I am thankful for Jesus Christ that lightens the darkness of this world with His love and reminds me to keep looking up and praying over everything I do.HALLOWEEN LOVE

 

Emotions of God: Anger

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand…” Joel 2:1(NKJ)Anger

Lets admit it; we all get angry.  I get angry.  Angry at the government.  Angry at the politicians.   Angry at the driver who cuts us off.  Angry at the line we have to wait in when we have a million and one other errands to run.  Angry at the life’s craziness that steals our joy.  Angry at the dog who tore up one of our favorite shoes.  Angry at the one who rejects what we hold precious – especially our children and spouses.  Angry at the experiences when our love, that let us share our most vulnerable self, is spurned and trampled into the mire of  bad choices and selfish garbage that degrades the golden treasure offered.

“And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” Joel 2:13 (KJV)

We get our anger naturally.  God created us “in His own image…” (Gen 1:27) If we accept the premise that the WORD of God is perfect, then we accept that scary parts of that WORD as well.  These days we like to see God with only one emotion: LOVE.  It is comfortable.  It is non-controversial.  Everyone likes hearing about LOVE.  We like that one because we know everyone likes that one…easy-peasy. In our mind’s eye, it is our cute, little puppy…our strong father…our nurturing mother…our best friend…our perfect soul mate.  It is that wonderful feeling that we want to surround ourselves with constantly.bible

But God is not easy.  Jesus Christ is not easy.  According to the accounts recorded in the WORD, both Rabbi Yeshua and His Father get angry.  The war in heaven and the casting down of the evil one.  The flood.  Sodom and Gomorrah. Turning children away.  Money changers in the temple.  The lack of faith by disciples. A tree with no fruit.  Look it up for yourselves.  There are many more examples of righteous anger in both the Old and New Testament.

“Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.” Rom 12:19 (NLT)

The important thing is to notice how Rabbi Yeshua handled His anger while He journeyed here on earth.  Over and over, He says how the Father shared with Him the things He was to share with us.  Often when the accounts in the New Testament describe the rabbi getting angry, they also included the word sorrow (which will have to be a lesson for another time).  Every time Rabbi Yeshua became angry, He modeled for us how to use that anger as a blessing rather than a curse.  He did not retaliate.  He did not belittle.  He did not destroy.  Instead, He reached out once again.  He modeled…once again…how to turn the other cheek.  He taught…over and over…to look for the lesson in the pain of the moment.

“The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.” Mk 11:12(NIV)

For the longest time, I mused and contemplated why Jesus cursed a tree that did fig treenot have fruit.  It bothered me.  Even the reading the lesson that is generally presented with this story didn’t set easy.  Then again, painful lessons are never easy.  As I pondered my own anger this weekend, I looked back at this lesson.  Righteous anger is different from destructive anger.  If we water our soil with the WORD, fertilize and loosen the soil around our roots with actions that bare witness to those words, and bask in the rays of LIGHT that emanate from His kingdom, then we have a good chance of our anger bearing fruit because it is righteous anger.  Anger that is close to sorrow.  Anger that bears fruit.  Anger that does not destroy but teaches.

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mk 11:25

So scary – so not easy-peasy – so right.

*Google images

Commandment Series: Prohibition of Harming a Person through Speech

ten-commandments-400.hebrew abbrevI lost a friend Sunday night.  Three days after receiving his second kidney transplant and telling his wife: “I love you”, he was called Home.  I know there was plenty of rejoicing in Heaven yesterday…just as I know there will be lots of sadness expressed in my hometown over the next few days.  Losing a teacher/preacher man is like that.  It is just plain hard to say good-bye to one of the “good” guys – even when we know from Jewish tradition that good never ends – and all of Heaven is rejoicing and throwing a fantastic “Welcome Home” party in his honor.

I’ve  led a blessed life that has allowed me to encounter a few teacher/preacher men and women. People who managed to stand on their faith everyday, no matter the circumstances swirling around them – no matter the confrontations that they had to endure because of their testimony.  Reaching out and  being able to teach others about the Love that surrounds us all – even when facing everyday challenges – is what sets a teacher/preacher apart from many others.  They daily walk in the Light as He is in the Light, and they reflect His Love to all that are blessed enough to join them on that walk.

‘On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.’” — Leviticus 23:40

sukkotTomorrow at sundown, the Jewish festival of Sukkot begins.  It will also be the second blood  moon that has fallen on a Jewish holiday this year.  It is a time of great joy.  A time to live in a temporary shelter so that they remember what it was like on the journey to the Promise Land and seek to create the  trust that should live within them for Jehovah-Jireh. The New Year has just begun (Yom Kippur/Rosh Hashanah), and now it is time for each person to dedicate themselves and their lives to the One True God.  They gather four species of plants that Sages say represent the body, wave them in all four directions of the world, and stand on their faith, letting David’s ancient words sing for all the world to hear.  For a short moment in time, they become teacher/preachers and people are blessed by their words and actions.

“With every bone in my body, I will praise Him,”  Ps 36:1

Words can be curses or blessings.  The 9th commandment points this out ratherlie succinctly.  Most of us learned it: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Ex 20:13.  Needless to say, most of us think of that this means just don’t lie about something someone else has done or not done.  However, Jewish tradition applies this commandment to all sins that are done in the form of speech.  Making fun of someone?  Gossiping?  Swearing falsely about anything?  Leading someone away from the Light with your words?  It is a basic reminder that we are to use our words as a blessing instead of a curse. A reminder to be a teacher/preacher with everything we say.  heaven-of-angels

My friend was one of those people.  His words were a blessing and a gift to our world.  We will miss you, my friend, but I also know that your journey with the angels has just begun.