Tag Archives: Lord

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #18

“Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now.  The conditions are always impossible.”

Doris Lessing, 1919-2013, Nobel Prize winning author

Beautiful LORD’s day.

Several walks with lab girl and even Spooky, Sparkle, Shadow kitty stuck her nose out the door for a short time (she’s just not big on staying out all day – unless it is just the right temperature…in her opinion).

Multitudes of butterflies.


Inch and a half of rain.

Double rainbow.

One baby fledging on the ground saved (hopefully) from black snake just inches away.

GOD’s presence is with us in it all:  EMMANUEL.

“Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Emmanuel is mentioned 3 times in the Bible and alluded to a few times more.  When I was a little tyke, I thought it was just a Christmas name for Jesus.  Many years later, I finally read Matthew as a seeker; he was quoting Isaiah.  He just added the tag line: “…which is translated ‘God with us’.

Today – GOD went overboard on Matthew’s tag line today.

Butterflies seemed to be everywhere.  The rain was a mixture of rolling thunder, downpour of life-giving rain, sun peeking through the clouds as it continued raining – – – and then an amazing double rainbow that lasted and lasted and lasted.  I don’t think I have ever been able to enjoy a rainbow for that long – especially a double one. All I could do was smile and thank GOD for His presence… Immanuel/Emmanuel.

As the rainbows began to fade, I came in and downloaded the pictures I had taken and for once – a miracle happened – the rainbows, the butterflies, and the snake looked pretty decent in pictures that I had taken. I have never been the picture taker that my mom was. She had the artistic eye.

Miracles seem to happen when Emmanuel is around. His disciples learned it early in their travels with Him.

A wedding feast. 

A mother who nudged her son to start doing what He was meant to do.

He looked at her, and mentioned a few minor complications. It wasn’t any of their concern…..His time hadn’t come yet……  

I’m sure she looked at Him like all mamas can at times such as this.  I’m sure most of us have seen that look at one time or another. Yet, she was a little more than just a mom. She had also known the Holy Spirit as well.  She had been born for such times as these, and in the right spot in YAH’s perfect timing, she was a mother given the authority to push her fledgling Son out of their comfortable nest, so that He might start using His fully feathered wings.  Mamas are just like that.

Do you think He rolled His eyes? 

Sometimes, I imagine the disciples scratching their heads and trying to hide their grins behind their hands as they watch their Rabbi being bossed around by this little woman.  Then I laugh because I can promise you I think I hear Him sigh before he tells the servants, “Fill the jars with water.”

But the more I pondered this today, I wondered if there wasn’t a deeper meaning for the first miracle to be at a wedding feast.  After all – there is a wedding coming soon between a Bridegroom and His Church. In the traditional Jewish way, He has gone ahead to prepare a place for His Bride to live, but He is coming back…….soon.

Just like me, all the disciples expected Him to come back soon, but they weren’t thinking with all the prophecies in mind. Generation after generation of the church has thought that same way – never putting together all the prophecies.  Pulling out pieces of prophecy, they would shout about His coming.  But this is the first time when ALL the prophecies are lining up and right now – as I read Ezekiel, see Israel back in it’s land with Jerusalem as its capital, I wonder if that little Jewish woman is getting impatient to be a mother-in-law. I wonder if she isn’t nudging her Son once again to call out to His Bride to bring her home.


I know as I looked up tonight, I felt His presence and was so thankful.

Then the angel told me to write, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Revelations 19:9

#Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup  #rapture

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #11

2+ inches of rain. 

A thunderstorm that rocks on and on.

Porch sitting.

Eyes heavy.

Nap beckons…..but I am enjoying it too much and too stubborn to give into sleepy eyes.  As the rain slows, the plants proclaim their happiness with that heavy, dark, green, sweet smell that always follows a big storm. A walk through the woods and around the property assures me that little clean up is called for, and choc lab girl pouts as she rolls on her back in the wet grass proclaiming that she is still missing her ball.

“In that day you will say: “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted.”

Isaiah 12:4

When I was little, dancing in the puddles after a thunderstorm was one of my favorite things to do.  Now sitting on the porch watching is the best thing in this old world (as I’m certainly not about to disclose to y’all whether this 70-year-old still dances in puddles or not). Of course, it would be much better if it wasn’t a sauna in the summery south of NC after a thunderstorm.

Proclaiming is one of those celebratory things we humans like to do at times. We proclaim our sports victory with horns honking and bells ringing.  We proclaim the end of the year with partying, confetti, music and hopefully – a kiss or two.  We proclaim liberty every 4th of July with a parade (and back in the day – an ice cream social before the community baseball game). We announce all sorts of things – almost every day – on any occasion possible.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…”

Isaiah 61:1

Yeshua proclaimed this verse fulfilled as He read it aloud in his hometown. The Jewish leaders, kings, prophets, angels, and the apostles proclaimed things throughout the Bible. From the beginning to end, the people proclaim the WORD of the LORD. Proclaim those things yet to come. Proclaim the good news of the gospel.

Today, the heavens proclaimed there was a storm on its way, and it came. However, that doesn’t always happen in this world. At times, the heavens proclaim a storm is coming, and nothing happens at all.  The skies darken. The thunder rolls.  The lightening zaps the atmosphere.  But – the life-giving rain never shows up. Rivers shrink.  Plants whither. As all life weakens and searches the skies for a drop of wetness.

The great news – the One who made the Heavens and the Earth is ALWAYS faithful in His WORD when He proclaims something.  What the Bible proclaims is ALWAYS truth. The Bridegroom’s shout will come.  The Bema seat is waiting.  And then – the rest of the Bible’s proclamations will happen as has been foretold. 

As the song said in the movie, Fighting Temptations: It’s time to come home.

#Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup  #rapture

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #9

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

George Eliot

The woods is a few degrees cooler, so that is where I usually end up taking the choc lab girl for most of our walks during the day.   Well – maybe I should clarify this by saying, the woods is where she sits her cute little butt and watches me walk the path – alone. Sometimes, she rolls on her back in the leaves, plays in the water or digs in the dirt for grubs as she patiently waits for me to come back around, so that I will pick up her ball and throw it for her to lackadaisically chase down.  She has been battling an infection the past couple weeks and is in her 9th year of life, so antibiotics have reset her system enough to slow her down……a little. 

The world seems to be in a reset right now.

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.”

Isaiah 40:3

Isaiah was crying out a world reset prophecy that would be the greatest of them all in the middle of the His WORD. But think about it, the world had been reset so many times since mankind received its first breath from ADONAI.  It was reset after Adam and Eve hid themselves from His face.  It was reset after mankind tried to build a tower into the heavens all by themselves.  It was reset after Noah walked his family off the ark.

Of course, smaller areas and families are constantly being reset: Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses, Ruth, David, Solomon, Esther, Rehab, Zacharias and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph……….you……………..me.  We all go through the wilderness at some point, and our lives reset into something entirely new.

Even Jesus had a few resets.

His cousin John came ahead of him into this wilderness.  But I often wonder, what Our LORD thought/felt/experienced as He drew his first breath in this wilderness as a manchild? To go from the One who created all – to a helpless baby – dependent on all. 

GOD reset Himself as a human.

Jesus/Yeshua grew in strength and wisdom until we met him again in the temple.  His parents couldn’t find him.  The looked and looked.  Three days later – they found him in the temple.  GOD-man in the His physical home on earth.  Talking – debating with the elders, and they were astonished.

GOD-man resetting his sphere in this world for what would eventually come…especially the world of his parents.

I often ponder how this GOD-man knew the exact date he needed to start the more important part of this reset process?  Then I kick myself and know that He had grown in wisdom. He knew the prophecies of Daniel and understood them as most could not because He knew the Father and the Father knew Him.

Jesus/Yeshua reset Himself in the river with His cousin.  He reset himself in the wilderness with the evil one who twisted His WORDS, but there Yeshua straightened them out and threw them back upon the twisted head under His feet.  He reset his community when He declared the prophecy fulfilled.  He reset the Jewish community when He rode into the Holy City on the exact day that Daniel had predicted.  He reset the world when He died on the cross as predicted by Isaiah.  He reset all of creation when He rose from the tomb and ascended to His Father – – – just as He said.

Personally, I am ready for a reset.  I am sad to see so many things happening to my country/society/families that I love. I am sad at the divisiveness, the hatred, the violence, the bowing down to idols, the rejection of the Triune GOD. On a deeper personal level, I am sad that my body doesn’t dance anymore, and that PT stretches take up a daily portion of my life.  I am sad that I am not with kidlets as they go back to school, or with the people I love to talk/debate with on a regular basis in the hallways and classrooms. 

But – and this is one of those big BUT’s – I totally am over-the-moon excited about the reset that is ahead of us.  I’m excited about this time to dig into the WORD a little deeper.  I’m excited as I read the WORD and sing praise and hymn songs first thing in my day.  I’m excited as I watch the oil in my lamp continue to burn steadily and not go out.  I excited as I check and re-check my extra vessels for oil.  Most of all, I’m excited as I look up and ask about the best reset yet to come when the remnant is called home and rapture takes place.

“Today, Father, today????”

And then I usually laugh because I know He is shaking His head and laughing with me as He often does, and then I say as I bow my head in awe, “Okay, not today, but soon, okay?  And, as always, according to Your Will in the name of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, Amen.”

#Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup  #rapture

“Leading Love” House of Maria

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #6

“GOD save the liberties of America”

– Virginia Council when they heard the news from Lexington on April 19, 1775.

From the very first letter in the “Devine WORD(as Samuel Adams called it) YAH had a plan for all the things that He lovingly created.  He knew the creatures to whom He had been given free will would rebel.  The angels that sang beside Him would rebel. The stiff-necked people that He called His own would rebel – over and over and over. 

Rebellion that led to Redemption.

When the leaders rebelled or the prophets rebelled or the people rebelled, He was grieved, but already had the miraculous in hand – whether it was a woman listening to a serpent, a tower reaching for the heavens, a people who didn’t know how to live with liberty, a huge fish who swallowed a prophet, a wall that needed to fall, a king that lost his vision in selfish desire, an empty tomb and the women who saw the angels: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)

Redemption that led to a rescue.

A rescue that embodied unlimited Grace.

“From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.”

John 1:16-18

It was always there buried in the first word of His book.  The tiniest jot and tittle declare His miraculous ways. Every story a lesson waiting to be uncovered in each of our stories.  It is the Living WORD, written by a loving LORD, illustrated and brought to life by His SON, and breathed over all children who take the time to follow the Holy Spirit to His narrow gate.   

This week has been a hot and dry one in NC.  Nowhere as hot as it is in so many places around the world.  Definitely not as dry as it is in many more places around the world where rivers are drying up and wildfires are creating enough smoke to cover the world with its haze.

Like the farmer who knows the signs of the seasons, the remnant watches and waits for the WORD‘s prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. The earthly, natural occurring happenings are merely that – – – signs.  A hint that change is in the air.  Just like spring flowers are a hint that winter has passed and summer is not far away. 

So, the remnant digs into the prophecies a little deeper.  They read each jot and tittle in many languages, gleaning every tiny hint that might be there.  The watch tower is full of debate, discourses, prayer and loving laughter as each try to convince the others that they have found the ultimate hint.  But in the end, it is the peace that passeth all understanding that pulls their hearts together in waiting thankfulness that He who is the WORD is coming soon – not in the ordinary – but in the miraculous way that YAH has always come with Redemption for His people.

He is coming. 

The signs of the season are here.

The remnant expectantly waits. 

The door remains unlocked for all who open to His knock.

It is the time to chose.

#Hedrawethnigh  #keeplookingup  #rapture

TABERNACLING 2021: Eternal Families

“If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity,” he added. “Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”

Judge Antonin Scalia

Busy, fun week – except for the eye visit which turned out to be exactly the way I thought it would.  Cataract has been growing, and the time for surgery may be here – IF – the insurance company will okay it.  For one who writes often, reads even more and walks on woody paths full of roots and rocks, clarity of sight is somewhat important.  Blessed am I that it is just one eye and not two.  If sight like this is border line, I can’t even imagine what some people go through before they get the surgery to correct it.

I remember driving my mom to get her cataracts fixed.  She had double cataracts, and they were interfering with her plans.  At that time, she had been driving all over the country.  It was her retirement job.  There would be people she knew who didn’t want to drive two cars to FL or wanted to fly, so mom would drive their car to a faraway state and meet them there.  She would have her AAA trip-tick and be on her way.  Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass blaring from her 8-track. Her radio handle ready to go, so she could talk to any passing truckers. Thus, the ‘Mighty Mick’ would drive down the road for a few weeks, and then come back to baby-sit the Grands she adored.

She made many trips to East, South, and West and loved it.  A chance to travel, see different parts of the country, see friends that had moved far from her, and best of all, earn some money.  She didn’t have much retirement money, but being a public employee for 20 years, she had more than many and felt blessed.

As I pull out this treasure chest memory. I find myself laughing at our similarities and differences. We both love to sing, read, write, be on stage, draw (she was much better than I), be in control of environment, collect quotes, spend time in the WORD as we talked, debated, pondered anything to do with YAH – – – just to name a few.  Then there are the differences that brought us to ugly confrontations more often than I ever want to remember – especially when I was in those transformative late teens and twenties, and politics were dividing the country (again) in a precursor of our current political divisiveness. 

Praise the LORD, He gave us many more years to find that bond we had when I was small – – those times when I would cry when she was out of my sight and find her by that loud laugh or her whistling tunes.  I sometimes think that is the way I will find her in Heaven after Rapture.  She will be laughing or whistling, as she stands beside Daddy with all the aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins…and…I will be running and jumping for joy at seeing my first Eternal Family once again.

But Jesus replied, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?”  Pointing to His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers.  For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 12:48-50

And then – – – – there is that second Eternal Family.  Friends that become as close or closer than the biological family that we were given first. A family of individuals not related by blood, but specifically chosen by Him to be born in the heart/spirit. It never fails to amaze me that fabulous, omniscient Father knew that His children would need more dances-in-the-rain joy, roly-poly-belly-laughter, deep-into-the-soul-hugs, and rock-strong-wisdom from more than just one kind of family.  He knew – it was not good for families to be alone.

Being able to talk with this extended family via phone or social media.  A time of doing things that we love to do together (in-person craziness as I like to call it).  Whining together amid the tears over the current trauma of life. Laughing over treasure chest memories that we have in common and think about together or alone.  Sharing those profound spiritual truths that confound and inspire us to contemplate the Holy Trinity on an ever-deepening level. Knowing each other almost as well as we know ourselves.

Be it known – faith journeys are never easy, but they are made so much easier by our Eternal Families. They make it easier to stand on the WORD, to share with the lost, to have courage and wisdom when called foolish from those who only see through the lens of the world.

This week brought more struggles to the world.  Floods, wildfires, earthquakes, plague hotspots, freedoms broadsided with the torpedoes of censorship and restrictions, countries falling losing their leaders or caving to terrorists’ demands……….

But just as He has placed special people in our Eternal Families for times such as these, He also stands in the middle of the muddle-puddles with each of us. A loving Father willing to carry, talk and listen to us when we feel we have no one close enough to lean into with our pain. It’s just a matter of realizing we are blessed from the very moment He created this life for us with our Eternal Families.

Bio family – all in Heaven except tiny baby girl me

#Hedrawethnigh   #Keeplookingup #Rapture

Tabernacling 2021: A Lenten Story Battle

Wish I could say the story continues – but again – tis not so. 

Procrastination lives on for another day.  What can I say?  There was no rain.  It got a little warmer.  The dog needed walked a few times.  The daffodils are poking their dark green tips out of the ground.  The quince bush buds look like they could burst open tomorrow. The swing needed me to sit on it.

I could go on with all these excuses – but mostly – the picture in my head for the story is not complete. It is a battle I have fought often over the years. Getting that picture out of my head and into concrete words. I’ve got the beginning.  I know where the characters are standing on the hill, looking into a valley.  I know their battle ahead. BUT – the words aren’t complete yet.

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.” Thomas Paine

Battles.  Valleys.  Mountains.  Rocky strewn paths. Miry bogs. Dangerous pits. Division in our spheres. Plagues. COVID. Snowstorms, famines, wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, locusts…….a cross.

 There’s a lot happening all around us these days.  During times such as these, my monthly prayer list easily covers a page. By the end of  the month, the paper is stained and marked, circled, up-dated and…..answered. 

I don’t always know how they are answered, but I do know that they are.

“There are two cases in Scripture when the Lord made it easy for His people when they faced conflict. In both of these He told the people to just stand and watch His salvation. For our salvation, our redemption, He has done it all, and there is nothing we can add to it. However, it has been estimated that there are nearly two hundred times when the Lord made His people fight, though He promised to be with them in the battle.” Rick Joyner 

So – when I woke up this morning hearing my mom’s voice singing her “wake-up” songs (ones that she always sang to me in the morning), I knew it was a day to listen.  A day to listen to many things.  The birds’ songs. The whine of my choc lab girl when she wants me beside her or just needin’ some lovin’. Devotionals. Preachers. Religious and non-religious pundits.  Not a busy day.  A day of reflection. Not necessarily a day of profound reflection.  But a day that the LORD hath made just for me – to walk the garden – to separate the wheat from the weeds – to count my blessings  – to see new buds of life – to wait for the harvest.

And – as I listened, reflecting on battles all around me – in all my spheres – circling prayers for those I know and don’t know. Tabernacling during this new Lenten story. 

“… we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” –Thomas Paine

Singing His songs. 

Opening the tent walls.

Watching those things He shows me.

Waiting in His presence.

Tabernacling His Lenten Story Battle.


Maria Magdalena Oosthuizen Tutt’Art@

2020 VISION: The Watchman

He sits on the very top of the wall’s tower,





It is what he was created to do since the beginning.

Tumultuous thoughts swirl over and in him until he leans his head as far back as he can, trying to find surcease from the tightness in his shoulders, extended wings as far as they can stretch. Without conscious thought, the prayer flies from his heart, finding life in the breeze that whispers, “YAH”. Peace overflows. Light dips down and wraps around him. Deeply, he lets the whisper fill him with the everlasting water. Bowing his head, the Watcher smiles as he fills his lungs with “WEH”, and lets his voice trumpet the note that was set to play from the first WORD: Bereshit.

“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The Watchman stays awake in vain.” Ps 127:1

A plow made it easier to till the earth, care for the critters, provide sustenance for themselves. Human power – until the rains came. Bricks made it easier to build towers to provide safety and security for themselves, and the critters, from the elements. Higher and higher. Touch the sky higher. Human power until the earth moved, and tongues waggled in different ways. Families. Friends. Clans. Countries. Metals. Coal. Steel. Oil. Commerce. Nations upon nations dotting the world. Human power – until dissonance, anger, war and innocent apple-red blood flows without restraint.

“…unless                   the                  LORD              builds             it…”

Humans have built many houses – many towers – many walls on Terra outside of the Garden He built for us.  Some have withstood the years fairly well – others not so much. Human hands – human minds – human wisdom can only accomplish so much until the blood-red apple dangles a bit too close, and mouths water in anticipation.

“…unless              the                  LORD              guards            the                  city…”

The hedges of blessings fallen. The harbingers appear.  The warnings proclaim. The silence – – – deafening. The remnant falters, but a few manage to stand again on His Rock higher than – stand again on His given, eternal WORD – stand again behind His purifying-fire column – while the wide-awake Watchman on the very top of the walls’ tower…




artwork by Janet Searfoss “Juriel”

2020 VISION: Short, Sweet #3

Tonight, I had nothing. Went early this morning to wish a happy 12th birthday to youngest granddaughter and un-birthday to her brother. Nothing better than starting the day with multiple hugs and excitement.

After teaching a couple classes today and cataloging a few books, I made my way home. I cruised through all my devotionals. Watched one of my favorite Israeli Messianic pastors. Noticed when my choc lab girls meander back to their beds. But that was ok because kitty still rested on my lap till she spooked herself and ran from one side of the house to the other… a couple of times.

“Though an army encamps around me, my heart will not fear; though a war breaks out against me, I will keep my trust.” Ps 27:3

I finally decided that this is the kind of evening when faith needs to kick in. After all – He had told me to write every night for 14 days, so I needed to trust Him that He would supply what needed to be said. I opened the lap top and began to let my fingers do some internal listening. Not easy for an A type personality teacher who is used to controlling and directing things around her down to the minute. But tonight, as I look back at the day, I finally figured out that has been the point since I rolled out of bed – literally.

Keeping that trust – keeping it in Him. That, for me, is easier said than done on some days.

As usual – I rebelled during part of the day when I saw it dwindling to next to nothing of my plan. Familiar anger rose up. Tears not far behind. And then – I remembered…these are the 10 days of the year that Our Father declared to be given to repentance and introspection by His WORD in Leviticus.

“One thing I have asked of the LORD; this is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and seek Him in His temple.” Ps 27:4

I opened the fingers of my fist, and let my heart praise the One who knows me best. He was laughing – kinda like He is doing right now. He knows when I let go of me, I start to figure out what wisdom He has been trying to point me to – all day long.

Sometimes, I just don’t listen too well.

So there you go. As a teacher, I should know that He is trying to teach/reach me everyday with something new and wonderful as I grow in His Grace. It is never ending and miraculous WHEN I realize the lesson of the day because most days – I tend to be a little clueless and wrapped up in my own thoughts instead of HIS thoughts.

“Still I am certain to seethe goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD; be strong and courageous. Wait patiently for the LORD!” Ps 27:13-14

Blessed is the day when I trust and wait patiently for Him who created me.

“The Way Maker” by Maria Magdalena Oosthuizen


2020 VISION: Locusts’ Year.

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.” Joel 2:25

I tend to read many Bible verses during the day. Most of them I know well. My eyes start them, the mind finishes them – or the mind goes off on a tangent that is completely off topic (which happens way more than I like, lately). The evil one is good at that – then again – so is old age. ha

This morning, this one caught me. Held me. I circled it in my book and then, I circled it again. I didn’t remember ever reading it before.

I know I have read the lesser prophets a few times. I have read their commentaries before, but still – my mind drew a blank on Joel and this verse in particular. So – praising the LORD for technology – I went to the Torah commentaries this time and read and read and read – – – especially after I heard this verse again tonight.

When Abba is trying to get my attention, He always does something twice. If He does it three times – well – let’s just say…I try to avoid that situation and get my head in the game.

“Blow the ram’s horn in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy mountain! Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the Day of the LORD is coming; indeed, it is near— “ v.1

Being retired and working in a Christian school is my retirement blessing, but it is also an monastery of sorts. I don’t generally have to interact with people who think differently than I do for long periods of time. Talking about prayer, the idols of this world, and the Grace of the Father wraps its own little blanket of His warmth and peace around me as I watch the locusts that swirl daily on social media and TV. I forget how others form their own world views in entirely different patterns and shifting sands of human wisdom.

Tears come too easily these days when I see how lost we are as a culture – as combined global cultures.

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to Me with all your heart,with fasting, weeping, and mourning.” v.12

The locusts have come, literally and figuratively, this year in abundance all around the world. The birth pangs – the harbingers – whatever you want to call it – coming at more regular intervals since 9/11. The prophets are out there. Messianic and Jewish combined together now. Crying out to the vine – calling out to the branches – while those who should be guarding the flocks they have been given – have stuffed their ears with their fingers and closed their eyes to the verses jumping off the pages at them – just as the Pharisees and Sadducees of long ago did before them.

The Holy Spirit is still speaking, but only in the grace of love and not with the disgust of hate.

“Behold, I will send you grain, new wine, and oil, and by them you will be satisfied.” v.19

Since the locusts in their various shapes have come in 2020, I continue to fill and check my lamp throughout the day and night, for I have known since I laid under a giant oak tree, long ago in a small little town, that I have been born for such a time as this. I truly have been waiting all my life for such a time as this – fallen, broken, repentant – for such a time as this.

“Then you will know that I am present in Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and there is no other.” v.27

PANDEMIC 2020 VISION: A Mighty Fortress

“Where the eye is focused, there the imagination finds its raw material. The right focus must be won at immense cost and discipline. Train the eye to see the good, and the imagination will follow suit.”~Ravi Zacharias, 1946-2020

A minute. An hour. A day. 7 days. A week. A month. A year. A lifetime. Spans of time that pass with our laughter, our joy, our wrath, our frustrations, our tears, our sadness…our prayers. A twinkling of an eye to the One who listens.

A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he, amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
does seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

Not sure when I fell in love with this hymn. Perhaps it was as I watched my daddy recover from a heart attack when I was a few years younger. Perhaps it was one of the songs we sang in our small church’s children’s choir. What I do know – – I sang it often with my Mom, Dad and Big Brother standing beside me. I also memorized all the verses to sing during my 6th grade year for a musical audition, “Cowboy on the Moon”. Now why I thought that was the best song to sing for an elementary school production – again – have no idea, but I remember my teacher laughing as she pulled out the hymnal that sat on her book shelf and began to play.

It has come to my lips many times since then – when Mommy gripped my hand on the way to Daddy’s funeral – in the back of that small church where I got married – as tears splashed in my journal when the covenant was broken – this past week as I realized I would not hear my Big Brother’s voice again on this side of the veil.

Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God’s own choosing.
You ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth his name,
from age to age the same;
and he must win the battle.

In the past few days, many things have happened that have affected me deeply. Deaths of people I love. Deaths of people I don’t know. Friends that I have known forever arguing back and forth on social media with a tinge of nastiness underlining their free speech. Violence erupting around the country I love. Division. Destruction. Fires. Brownness. Whiteness. Purpleness. Fear. Anger. Brokenness. Sadness.

The world has seen this many times – in many forms – a replay of an old script – written by the same author, and I struggle to
focus the eyes before biting the apple once again.

And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God has willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo! his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

I know I wrote about this recently, but it bears repeating after this past week. I remember distinctly praying in 1970, that peoples’ eyes would be re-focused on the goodness of Our Father’s grace and mercy – on what we could be – needed to be – instead of the world’s eyes being clouded with the cataracts of all things evil.

Even though I was biting the apple from a different side at that time of my life (and still), I knew from what I had read in history books, I knew what I saw in the streets during those times was some thing that could destroy the world I knew. Would break my parents’ hearts. Would break me.

A birth pang. A Braxton Hicks of things to come.

That Word above all earthly powers
no thanks to them abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours
through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever!

A Mighty Fortress IS Our GOD…

Powerful words in answer to those with unfocused eyes. Powerful words that are the corrective lens to give us 2020 vision in a darkened world. Powerful words that remind us that birth pangs last for just a little while. Powerful words that usher in a peace that passeth all understanding as He makes all things new. Powerful words that lift us out of the gravity of the world. Powerful words that let us become new astronauts soaring towards home with 2020 vision once again.

“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”~Jn 14:19

“But tis enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with Him.” Richard Baxter, “Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care”

“Surrender to Him
Love Him.
Follow Him
Serve Him.
Live for Him.
And take His message wherever you go.” ~Ravi Zacharias a-mighty-fortress-t-c-hoffman [google image]