Tag Archives: Lord

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]

PANDEMIC VISION 2020: Perfect

All social-distancing right now is actually social-togetherness: keeping our distance from each other is the gift we give each other to get through this together. And staying home and staying flat on our faces in prayer is what can flatten this curve.” Ann Voskamp

Blessed beyond measure is the only way I can describe it.

Spring flowers bring…allergies for me. Especially – as one grows older. Never had allergies growing up. Never worried about what food I ate or what weeds were in bloom – until a tiny bug bit me and turned my immune system upside down. Suddenly, spring and fall were not my “perfect” seasons, and I discovered that I was more like my mother than I thought.

Allergies blossomed in my life and show up regularly.

Now taking after my mother is not a bad thing. Everyone loved her including me. She could sing, tell jokes and whistle tunes loud enough for me to find her wherever she might be working. But – she also had allergies. I can remember her sitting at her vanity sniffing penicillin on a pretty regular basis. (I think I’m glad I never had to do that.)

When the world shuts down – – – is exactly when our thanksgiving needs to rise up.” ibid A.V.

For the past few years when ever fall or spring start blowing through the neighborhood, my sinuses start wanting to blow back. Worse – it usually turns into a bronchitis presentation of coughing and wheezing and sniffling and tossing and turning and whining and fevers and doctor visits.

Ugh!

This spring – praise the LORD – I have only had a stopped up left ear. No fever. No coughing. No wheezing. Perhaps a little whining and tossing and turning – after all – going from stereo to monophonic is a wee bit disturbing. Put off calling the doctor until it was really stupid on my part. (“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” as my mom used to say to herself or the TV.)

Good news?

Didn’t have to go to the doctor or anywhere near the hospital in these chaotic times. Got my meds at my drive thru pharmacy. Took a couple naps. Still blowing my nose. Still waiting with lots of thanksgiving for my ear to pop open. But mostly – – –

“Praising my Savior all the day long….”

“Pursue the things which make the peace and the building up of one another.” Rm 14:19

As I was thinking about all of this today, this thought kept repeating itself. Even in the tiniest of potential problems, Our Father knows and provides for His people way beyond what we can conceive. It may not always (or in my case – hardly ever) be the way we think it will be, but it is always perfect – at the perfect time – in the most perfect of ways.

Today was perfect.

I may not hear in stereo yet. I may not feel like mowing the yard yet. I may not even feel like going outside to walk the dogs yet. But it was perfect and full of His perfect words comforting me and nudging me forward. I am in awe of the way He loves me. Can I do anything less than to pay it forward and love those He has placed in my circle?

This is the perfect time to unite. The perfect time to bless each other with our words – even from a good distance away. The perfect time to not jab at others who don’t agree with me, but to find the things we hold in common. The perfect time to pray for my President, my congressmen, my civic leaders who are struggling, making mistakes, but trying their best. The perfect time to find solitude in isolation. The perfect time to bless others with His peace and love in anyway we can. The perfect time to stay home “… flat on our faces in prayer…[and] flatten this curve.”

Perfect – just as Yeshua Mashiach, the Holy Spirit and Our Father are.

“Be therefore perfect, just as your Father who is in Heaven is perfect.” Matt 5:48 


Blessings!Be!

VISION 2020: Hewn

“Listen to Me…”

In the clamor of chaos it is hard to listen. Shards of noise litter the air and impune the truth that tries to exist amidst its sharp edges. Covered ears and eyes do not hear and see so well –and yet — without any protection, the maliciousness of noise hurts that which is buried deep inside.

“…you who pursue righteousness…”

Upside down. Inside out. Circles of choices that leave the head wondering – is this right? Is that? The ears hurt. The eyes hurt. How to pursue – how to chase – when the ambiguities muddy the vision and sounds of what once was so clear – so just – so pure – so right….

“…you who seek the LORD…”

Schedules way too crowded. Dusty Bibles stashed in corners. Here.
There.
Piles upon piles of things covering them – things much more crucial in today’s civilized air.
Seek what is lost?
Find a clean cloth of wisdom?
Pull the hands away from the ears.
Wipe the eyes.
Blink.. Is it there? Is it visible at all?

“Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were HEWN.” Is 51:1

Solid.
Rough but sturdy.
It is there.
Deeply buried.
Covered in grimy grit.
Hands dig until nails are broken and skin torn.
Eyes see.
It is there.
Still there.

The rock shaped and carved — HEWN — long ago out of the deep rock bed of the ancient quarry by a much stronger, talented, and deeply scarred fingers of the only One who knew the rock before it was HEWN.

The Master Mason knew the quarry. He knew where to find the rock of you. He knew the stones from which you came. Stones that carried the same traits with the dearly sought after veins of strength that the rock would need to shine forth its own light and survive the chaotic life outside the quarry.

Eyes open.
Ears uncovered.
Amid the clamor of chaos that still cuts – still shouts its lies – trying to confuse and distract as the Master Mason bends over and rubs the hem of His own pure, white garment over the rock of you that has remained hidden for way too long.

Facets polished.
Shimmers of bright colored gems shine forth.
Once more —HEWN by the Master Mason as He turns His countenance upon the rock and bestows the silence of His peace as He brings it forth into the Light of the Father.

“As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.” 1 Pt 2:4-6 Forgiven  [Greg Olsen art]

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2019 #4

When the kitty is sick with a cold and just wants to curl in a ball on my lap, I can’t do much else than hold her and pray. After all, it is what I have done with her since she came to live with me a year and a half ago. Way too young to be abandoned on the side of a street, she shouldn’t have survived this long. Her siblings didn’t, and I really didn’t expect her to be the one to live.

I am thankful that she did.

She is still tiny. Tiny enough to lay on my lap as I type on my laptop and be comfortably stretched out. Tiny enough to curl on the back of my chair while she sneezes and snuffles, rubbing her head into the blanket that comforts us both. My heart aches for her, so I move her food and water a little closer hoping to tempt her to eat something.

Yet – through it all – I’m still thankful. Thankful when she turns to me for comfort. Thankful, when she eats a little. Thankful that today, she seems a little better than yesterday. Thankful that the Father trusted me to be her guardian.

“From them will come songs of thanksgiving
and the sound of rejoicing.”~Jer 30:19

How often does Our Father feel this? How often does He hold us on His lap? Rub our back? Whisper a prayer of encouragement? Move the manna and spring of living waters just a little closer for us?

Somehow, I feel as if He does it a lot more than we realize – – –
and I am thankful.

As I finished devotions today, preparing for getting on with my everyday life, I ran across this verse that I had used a few years ago in a blog post:
“The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”~Is 58:11

I’ve been doing lots of reading in the WORD. More than I have ever done in my life. Intermittent fasting as well. Praying a whole lot more than I ever thought possible. His refiner’s fire is like that as He molds and challenges the new shape that is emerging. I see links between everything that happens during the day. A path outline that He has designed just for me to notice. And – while I do not live by sight, hearing or feelings, I definitely feel His wisdom seeping in through those crevices as the day progresses.

“It [is] the best of times, it [is] the worst of times, it [is] the age of wisdom…” to paraphrase Dickens.

And through it all – I am praising My Father for holding me in His lap, encouraging me with His Grace-filled songs of love. He rubs my back and moves the water and bread just a little closer to my reaching hands. He dries my tears as I reap His songs of joy.

For this – – – I am truly thankful to Elohim Chasdi.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ~Is 58:9-14  just be held [google images/House of Maria art]

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE #3

Not a big fan of daylight saving time. Not a big fan of switching the clocks. Not a big fan of helping my critters adjust to new feeding schedules. Just not a big fan.

I do like when we get back to “normal” time though. It seems right to have the skies darkening by 5 P.M and lighter at 7 A.M. Then again, I enjoyed in summers past those same hours way before “daylight saving time” became standard changes every year. In fact – I remember when we had to drive to nearby city in a different county that was on “daylight saving time” when our county was not. Needless to say, made getting to doctor appointments interesting.

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.”~1 Chron 16:8-11

Fall days find me wandering outside to do a few things. Returning inside to do a few more things. It is the “perfect” seasons for wandering – even if the leaves have not been spectacular this year. I enjoyed today’s sermon by a veteran. I swept the porch and patio, painted the rest of the living room/hallway walls (at least the parts I could reach). Went back outside and painted another plant stand. Did a few loads of laundry. Read a few devotions. Walked my chocolate labs a few times. Kicked a few leaves and then sat on my swing.

“Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.”~1 Chron 16:33

For whatever reason, I am thankful and fully aware of My Father’s presence when I sit on that patio swing. Rocking back and forth. Back and forth, as I let the movement and the squeak of the swing settle into the deepest part of me. Those rhythms and sounds jostle awake other rhythms. Soon I am singing with the trees – singing for joy before the LORD – and thankful.

November is that month. That necessary month of transition in our mortal minds. After all, the worldly celebration of Halloween’s frivolity and pretend has passed. Christmas is a month in the future. We need these thirty days to realign our centers so that our focus can be on what is important – the greatest gift ever given to anyone – anywhere.

So this week, I am enjoying the wonder in my freedom that others sacrificed much to ensure that I could sit on a swing singing on a fall day. I am enjoying the transition from worldly concerns to that of thankfulness and praise for a Father who has held me securely within the shelter of His promises and wings over the past months of 2019. I am breathing in His name with every breath as I swing – breathing in: Yah – breathing out: weh – YHWY – Yahweh – Yahweh

A month of transition. A month of to enjoy transition. A month to humble myself. A month to prepare as I swing back and forth – back and forth – Yah – weh — Yah – weh — Yah – weh.. 

[google images/House of Maria]

PHEW AND PRAISE THE LORD

Four hours of walking the push mower. 2 – changes of sweaty clothes. 2 – breaks to gulp water. 2 -15 minute naps. 1 – shower and another set of clothes. One lost ball in a hole under a tree. A dog trying to dig to China through said hole. Praise the LORD – the yard is mowed for another couple weeks and the heat and humidity is on its way out of NC.

Phew!

“The very thing we thought would burn so brightly with joy has turned out to burn us.” Lysa Terkeurst, p93.

Needless to say, the rest of the day has been one of recovery and discovery. The lab girls are still pouting about the ball, but I have been reading and watching the rain clouds accumulate over our house. Painted a wall. Hung a few pictures. Opened my ears. After a busy morning, spending time doing the things I love most is always a good thing.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.”~Ps 40:1

We got an inch of rain on Saturday, so the grass and gardens have been growing steadily despite the 12 days of 90 degrees and humidity that has plumbed the sinuses beyond their tiny cavities. Two zucchinis and several tomatoes later, I am reading my book on the porch and enjoying the breeze that always proceeds the storm. Our Father is good that way. He breathes and those that listen hear the storms’ approach and hunker down for the duration.

“He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”~Psalm 40:2

Nice thing about storms. They eventually pass. The thunder and lightning that scared me have disappeared over the horizon. My feet are in a firm place. I can wrap my arms around the porch post, feel the rain wash my face of its salty residue and smile. The hopeful prayer I had whispered in my heart at the beginning of June has come true. Grass so thick and soft has grown beyond what I thought possible, and I can walk barefoot in it every morning without a rock bruising my toes (it also stopped the mower a few times). The volunteer tomatoes are so bushy that they cover a good portion of the garden, full of fruit, and beginning to climb the blooming magnolia tree. And the tiny wisteria spouts that I planted a year ago? Well, they are stretching halfway across the portico that covers the patio.

“My hope is tied to the unchanging promise of GOD.”~Lysa Terkeurst, p94

Sometimes, life is just not easy. There are just a lot of storms that pass by in life. The physicality storm that followed mowing this morning did take its toll on this ol’ gal. The back ached even with my new back brace for the hard part of the yard. The knee hurt – even after using the inversion board – but after icing – much improved. The sinuses were swollen but less so after the essential oils. So with a little help the physical storm passed, and I’m ready to let my body yawn, listen to a little Lauren Daigle or Danny Gokey and bury my nose in a book full of hopeful covenants that are never broken.

Phew and Praise the LORD!

Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70’s, my heart is full of joy, and hope is all around me. After all, this little guy came for a visit – until the hummingbirds kept dive bombing him. Talk about unexpected joy.

Phew and Praise the LORD!

  [personal images]

ONE PERFECT SABBATH

Today was one of those days made perfect by the tiny small acts that happened throughout it. Acts that have warmed my soul and reminded of the holiness of the day.

A day that really didn’t start out so well. Our youngest lab girl woke me up at 3:30 with that dreaded sound that all pet owners or kidlet parent recognizes – regurgitation breaths. Getting untangled from the the bedding in the middle of the night is not one of the fastest things I do anymore – but I managed, and Koay managed to hold it in until I got her out the door. The old dog didn’t even get up. She just rolled on her back, thinking she might get a belly rub when I returned.

Needless to say, I was not in the mood to rub anyone’s belly, and Ryndi just sighed as she rolled back over. Luckily, Koay did what needed to be done fairly quickly and was back in the door within a few minutes wanting her belly rubbed. Again, I was not amused. I crawled into bed and hoped I could fall back to sleep.

I did – – – eventually.

The last time I glanced up at the time reflected on the ceiling, an hour had already crawled towards dawn, and I was yawning my way through one more Bible verse (which is what I do when I can’t sleep). Obviously, my plans on rising early to do some mulch moving during the coolest time of our 90-degree-really-really-humid-days got lost in catching up on some much needed 💤 .

Early morning chores followed. Walk the dogs, sweat. Pull some weeds, sweat a little more. Throw the ball and listen to panting dogs hunting for it – sweat. Sit on the patio swing while glancing through the paper and – you guessed it – sweat. By that time, it was time to get cleaned up and go over to the daughter’s for breakfast and help the oldest Grand paint her room – or should I say – help her parents paint the room as she added a couple of brush strokes here and there.

In any case, it was there – standing in her room – in between playing with clay, talking about “Hatchables” and the habitats we had made from clay for them, tossing a “Wubble” up and down the stairs, and those few swipes of a brush in her bedroom, we found ourselves pretty much alone for a few minutes.

We were talking about the color of her room – a very striking turquoise – when she curled under my arm and wrapped her arms around me. We kept talking and laughing for one of those moments which you know is searing itself as a treasure chest memory into your heart. The almost 11-year-old, leaning into me just like she used to do when she was tiny – just like her mama used to do when she was tiny.

My heart was blessed beyond measure with such a gift.

The ultimate gifts of any day are not usually fancy. Usually they come so quickly that we don’t even notice. They don’t usually cost money. They can be as simple as having a butterfly land on your finger at the end of the day as it flutters its wings and probes your skin for its salty moisture. The gift of a Lab girl that wiggles under the inversion board as you stretch your back, so she can rub her head against your head just to show how special she thinks you are in her life. A Father who sends His blessings in so many ways if we only take time to notice.

It was a good day – a perfect day – a day to praise God and remember why we should keep the Sabbath and make it holy.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

~Ex 20:8-11

 

EPIPHANIES

It was a crazy busy day, and “I am whooped”, as my mother used to say. Inside decorations put away by noon. Outside decorations put away and stuffing my face with food by 3. It is the day of Epiphany, and my house looks like it is in mourning.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” ~ Jim Rohn

My nephew posted this quote today. Actually, it was a memory post, but today it struck me as an epiphany. There was another quote that also struck me as an epiphany. “Instead of saying, “LORD, I don’t know how I’m going to do this,” say, “LORD, I don’t know how YOU are going to do this.”

The last one should NOT have been an epiphany since I love the verse in 2 Chronicles 20:12 which basically tells me the same thing. ” For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on YOU.”

My eyes, my heart, my total being needs to be focused only on how My Father intends to work through me or others in my sphere to handle something. I have to admit, I often get overwhelmed. I get angry, frustrated and definitely, impatient. I also have a soft heart. It breaks often. It rejoices often. A students tells me his only prayer at Christmas was for his mom and dad to get back together. Another friend celebrated their mom’s 90th birthday. A friend’s husband walked out on them just after Christmas. Another friend was reunited with GOD and their family. A former student lost his battle with the C-word while another just got a clean bill of health and a final surgery from that same dreaded C-word. A kitty who always has matty eyes and scabby skin cuddles in my lap and yet – has survived a whole year and half when we thought she wouldn’t make it a week.

Hmmm – when I started writing this post, I didn’t see it going in this direction and yet, that is the way the Spirit seems to be moving me tonight. Epiphanies are like that. Those break-through moments that you open your eyes and see something that you didn’t expect to see. A sun dog in the sky. A dark cloud in an otherwise sunny day. A phone call from an old friend that was full of laughter, thoughts and love that couldn’t be shared with anyone else than her. A phone call to look forward to from a son just home from his vacay.

GOD is good. So good that He sent a Son and His Holy Spirit to comfort us, to sustain us, to challenge us, to push us, to encourage us, to help us laugh, to dry our tears, to offer Grace Gifts that will carry us through until we see Him again. Now that is an epiphany worth hanging onto in the dark times and in the joyful times.

The next couple of weeks are hard ones for me. Bittersweet dates in time when I will miss my earthly parents and parent-in-law a little more than usual. Reflection times of pulling out their memory books has already started.Touching captured moments in time with my fingers. Reading words that they wrote so many years ago and lingering a little longer with those internal memories that words cannot express.

Today’s epiphanies that Our Father has whispered inside my heart have been His Grace Gift to me. A while back, I thought I had found the perfect way to combat the sadness of these weeks, but that was only on the worldly level. This epiphany level is ever so much stronger and better. The Be-attitudes strike me again with the strength of a sledge hammer. I only wish I had realized it so much earlier on this path I walked. Then again – I think I probably recognized it at just the right time in eternal space because it is His space in time, and that is always perfect.

I will cry – I am crying – I will cry, but tears are good. They wash out the dirt and grime that as accumulated in the corners of my eyes and allow my vision to clear. The Grace Gifts of yesterday are also swirling around, and I am itching to start my new Bible studies and delve even deeper into Jewish wisdom.

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

“Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”~Matt 5:4  comfort-bible-verse-1-lg   [google image]

FANTASTIC GIFTS OF FALL

“Pastor Phil had a farm…”

Yesterday was just what I needed. A day on the farm. The smell of freshly baled hay. Two hayrides out into open fields with parents, teachers, and students. A petting barn full of animals. Dogs, goats, horse, however the cows, chickens and quinea hens were a little stand offish – especially with all the excited kidlets running around, so I couldn’t quite pet them all. (Goats are still my favorite – even if there weren’t any Nubians.)

It was a true “harvest” festival. Pumpkins got decorated. Stories were mixed with songs. Long tables set with picnic lunches. Laughter and smiles on every face – except maybe for Pastor Phil when his tractor got a flat during the hayride. All in all – a day to give “Thank you, GOD, for everything praise in our loudest voices.”

“Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.”~Heb 6:7

It reminded me how much I miss being on a farm. Born and bred as a “townie“, I was surprised at how well I took to farm life. My in-laws were the perfect mentors for me. Mom K. took me under her wing and taught me to feed chickens, gather eggs, cook, can and freeze. Pop K took me to the barn and taught me to feed the cows, throw hale bales (if they weren’t the huge ones) and stack them in the back of the wagon. I even learned to milk the cows – although, I was never good at it. My one claim to fame was milking out a cow with mastitis when everyone was sick. Pop would laugh every time he told that story, but his voice told me how proud he was that I did it well.

OK – I think I got a little side-tracked into my treasure chest of memories in that last paragraph. What I really wanted to talk about was that being on the farm reminded me of how close it always makes me feel to Our Father. It is one of my “happy” places – a gem in a treasure chest. A place where I sang Pop’s favorite hymns and songs as I cleaned the milk tank. A place where I walked in the cow pasture or the hay field to sit under a tree just to watch the cows, write or pray. There is just something about a farm that opens up my eyes to how blessed it is to be truly known and truly loved by Our Father.

Yesterday, was our own version of Sukkot and full of “Fantastic Gifts of Fall”. it was a blessing to all who were able to be there to enjoy the hayrides, stories, songs, food, fellowship that filled our harvest cornucopia. Throw in the sounds of a few animals, the laughter of children and adults, and it is as close to perfect as you can make it on this earth. 

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 
‘Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. 
In quietness and confidence is your strength.’ “~ Is 30:14-15

#fivedaystoelection #Godisgood#prayforournation