Tag Archives: Luke

2020 VISION: Short, Sweet #13

“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel:
therefore hear the word at my mouth,
and give them warning from me.” Ez 3:17-19
     I got it wrong last night. Thought I was writing just a short, out-of-the-box, rapid-fire, flash-in-the-pan, temporary-thought-to-paper type of writing.
     What I didn’t realize it was to be a series of short, sweet thoughts leading up to the Prayer Marches that will be occurring in Washington DC on September 26. He corrected me this morning as I started my devotions.
So then the debate of what topics He wanted covered.
     I could list all the things in our world that we need to pray about? He whispered, “They know.”
     The symbolism of 19? The Vine and the Branch? “You already wrote about those,” He yawned. (I can’t believe He yawned.)
     But I didn’t mention that the Church is mentioned 19 times in Revelations and then it disappears for the rest of the Revelations, I retorted. “That’s okay, I think you just did. Think deeper, watchful.” He nudged my thoughts forward and I sunk a little deeper in my chair, flipping through my Bible and sighing.
     I think He sighed then and blew the picture of the watchman standing on the wall, blowing the shofar: “Feast of Trumpets” – “Rosh Hashanah” – “1st of Tishrei” “10 days of Mourning”. Father does that to me often. He blows pictures in my mind, and I turn them into words…as short and sweet as I can.
     So today, there is the 2020 prayer topic for the day.
To be watchful.
To stand as the watchman in the tower.
     There were always two towers in the wall at a gate. A tall place where one could look out over the countryside. To observe all that were coming and all that had entered. If 2020 has taught us anything – it is – that things are changing and we need to be watchful.
     Pray that eyes are open, and that you see the visible…and more importantly…the invisible.
“Watch ye therefore, and pray always,
that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things
that shall come to pass,
and to stand before the Son of man.”Lk 21:36
[artwork:Yoram Rannan/Constance Woods]

VISION 2020: Nineteen

I wasn’t going to write tonight.
lord of lordSo many pictures to look at.
So many writing from their heart today.
So many friends on the West coast under fire fears.
So many prayers whispered.
19 years passed.
Shabbat Shalom.
Perhaps it is just me, but it seems as if this year 9/11 took on more introspection and preponderance than the 18 years between 2001 and 2020. I have my own memories of the day. My prayer covering for my children and husband who were all far away from me –extended family — what could I offer to the students walking into my classroom with tears and fears.
We all know the world changed on 9/11. Our blessing hedge was broken. For the first time in a long time, a successful attack by those outside of our country was carried out. While I didn’t have words for what I knew deep inside of me, I knew it was more than just what we were seeing on the TV screens and hearing our leaders explain.
It always is.
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”-Lk 21:28
I remember looking up.
Wondering.
Listening.
Waiting.
It is perhaps the first time in a long time, I remembered what I had learned lying under a tree in my yard as a child. “I was born for such a time as this,” whispered in my ears again. As I turned to face my class, I had the words. I had the plan. I knew what I knew what I knew. Sometimes…there is no concrete reason or human wisdom for the things we have to do in this world. There is just that whisper that comes on the soft wind of His breath.
“Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”Prov 16:18
While I had no relatives or no one that I knew personally impacted by this warning, my spirit recognized it for what it was. I was awake and watching. I watched our leaders stand – quote the Bible – say the important things, but I was watching for something else – – -hoping for something else.
The churches were full – for awhile.
The flags flew proudly – for awhile.
People gathered monies and things to send to those impacted – for awhile.
Church services attended by world leaders and pastors happened – for awhile.
Gatherings of people united happened – for awhile.
“With pride and arrogance of heart they will say: The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with finished stone; the sycamores have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.” Is 9:10
I remember specifically driving home when the leaves were full of color and the sun shining in one of those unbelievably blue OH skies about a month or so later. I had been railing – a little – at My Father because I didn’t know what I was looking for through all of this, and it was frustrating. As a teacher, I have this thing of being in control, and even though I knew that I would know when I saw it, I wondered if I really knew what I knew that I knew.
My 8th grade students had turned out a fantastic newspaper and had decided to donate the money raised to NYC schools affected by 9/11. It was the first time we had printed a full paper in color. Planes that had been silenced for a short time were back in the skies. People began moving more freely and making plans again. Routine was re-asserting itself. Leaders speeches were changing.
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray 2 Chronicles 7-14rand seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”          2 Chron 7:14
When I got home, a wall plaque had fallen from the wall. Its words whispered His answer to my car-ride prayer. I had been looking for the humbling of our land — our leaders — our people. It hadn’t come, but I have continued to watch.
19 years.
19 terrorists on a planes.
COVID 19
Our Father is waiting and watching. He has me watching and waiting. My research has given me some words in the last 19 years. These are the harbinger years. Years of warning. Years of reminders.
Warning were given to Israel in much the same way when the people forgot where their blessings came from in this world. Their hedge of blessings was broken just as ours has been. 19 years came and the harbingers came with more intensity.
I am still praying. Our Father and His Son and His Spirit are praying as well. There is a always a chance. A day of national prayer, fasting and gathering in Washington D.C. has been called for by a Jewish Messianic Rabbi and a Christian Leader for September 26, 2020, Haazinu Shabbat Shuva, a high holy day during Rosh Hashanah.
Our Father winks only so many times. As I was reminded earlier this evening, 19 in the Bible is the number of divine order and God’s judgement. He reminds and calls in the midst of the storms because He loves beyond our sins. Yeshua/Jesus foretold that the birth pangs would worsen. It is the time. It is estimated that there are 200+ fires across our country right now. I’m praying that a holy fire replaces the physical and a revival reclaims our land.
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PANDEMIC 2020 VISION: Resurrection Sunday

“And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.” Ex 12:22-23

I have not been writing in this time of solitude. Instead, I have been learning. Learning like all my students have been told to learn at home. After all, what is good for the student is good for the teacher as well. Sitting on my small front porch/deck, I see the signs everywhere. Spring is here.

Resurrection Sunday just around the corner.

The flowers are blooming with abundance in my small piece on Terra. The trees which were in bud last week are providing shade when I walk through the woods with my happy choc lab girls. Baby spinach is peeking up through the large lettuce plants, and tiny peas have started to sprout the roots that will lead to more food. Mulch is being hauled here and there, and my wheelbarrow doesn’t seem to mind as much as my back does.

With all of that said, the mind keeps turning. I find it interesting that in Israel, most of the United States and a good portion of the world, people are re-living Passover much in the way the first Israelites experienced it over 3000 years.

The eight plagues had come and gone. The ninth was outside the door – – the door that Jewish people had been commanded to shut and not leave until morning. They were sheltered at home. Shelter in their homes – alone – unsure of what might come – waiting for the first rays of the morning, and trusting the words of Moshe who spoke the words given by the GOD of Abraham, Jacob and Issac.

I wonder at the “Godwink” of timing as I sit outside and look up. Passover – Easter.
Jewish – Christian.
Holy celebrations to the same GOD or “Abba” as Yeshua referred to Him. The two religions linked together by the One who was both. And – in this year of Pandemic 2020 Vision – both religions sheltered at home during this same space in linear time.
A plague outside their doors.
Alone.
Unsure of the future.
Waiting for the first rays of the morning.
Trusting the words of Moshe and Yeshua Mashiach.

“Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” Lk 21:29-33

Teachers often re-teach concepts. Parents may be seeing that they need to go over a concept more than once as they work with their kidlets in home schooling. History repeats for a reason.

In case you haven’t noticed – humans don’t always listen so well. Sometimes we may get that concept for awhile, but then we get lazy and let it drift away into that nether world of the “past”. The concept that was so clear yesterday becomes a little fuzzier over time. Hence – the all “nighters” pulled by many a collegiate crammer.

Is it any wonder that a Father – Who loves His children beyond anything we can imagine – would want to remind us to trust Him once again?

Personally, I am looking forward to being sheltered at home during this Pandemic 2020 Vision: Resurrection Sunday. No egg hunts. No bunny hiding baskets. No large family get-together. Instead, I plan on getting up and sitting on my porch where I will watch the first rays of the morning cross the horizon.

Resurrection ‘Sunday may be rainy and cold here in NC, and seeing the sun’s light is improbable. But, it is not the physical light I will be waiting for on this Resurrection Sunday because I have the Son’s Light in my heart and His holy manna and praise cup within me after tonight’s Seder. He is worthy.  And so – I wait with expectation and His songs circling in my head.

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and blessing!”
And I heard every creature in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To Him who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb,
be praise and honor and glory and power
forever and ever!” …
“Amen,” Rev 5:12-14

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VISION 2020: Leap Day Faith

After leaping into physical therapy before Christmas, I leaped into a gym routine. It has been one month of going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. In that time, I’ve figure out 4 times is probably a bit much for this 68 year old – at least for now. I’ve also figured out that when there is a salt water pool and hot tub, spending two hours at the gym is not such a bad thing.

Ride 3 miles on the bike –
Contort the body on a huge rubber ball –
Increase reps to 15 on three different machines –
All the while –
Remembering to breathe and use those dreaded core muscles.

“I do not like them. Sam I am. I do not like green eggs and ham”…or working out.

Did I say I was tired yet? Well – I usually am, but I make another leap and switch to pool.
Pool stretches, bouncing, walking, swimming, leaping…
And then –
The thing that one thing that always keeps me leaping…

The hot tub for 15 minutes. Soothing, bubbling warmth with plenty of PTL’s for getting through another session.

“My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.” Ps 28:7

My choc lab girls don’t exactly leap for joy with me spending more time away from them, but they sure leap for joy when we get the ball and take our walks. No matter how tired I may be after I get home, we all enjoy a walk in the woods and a few balls dropped in deep, dark holes. It is then I usually take a leap of faith and hope that the snakes aren’t awake yet and hiding in that hole.

As the girls leap into the leaves and roll around, I find myself talking to My Father, reciting Bible verses that pop in my mind, or singing some favorite hymns. His presences seems to make the skies a little brighter, the birds’ song a little sweeter and the squirrels a little funnier as they leap over my head and keep us company. My earthly father used to say he felt closer to GOD fishing than in church. I can understand that a little more these days.

The “Leap of Faith” phrase isn’t found in the Bible. However, the stories that the WORD contains is full of illustrations of the people who did.
Abraham walking his son up a hill.
Noah building a boat in a desert.
Esther asking for an audience with her husband king.
Ruth leaving her home for the love of her mother.
David facing a giant with 5 small stones.
A young woman and man believing an angel’s messages that they would be parents of the Mashiach.

I have found that Leaps of Faith happen when we least expect it – or often – want it. Sometimes you just need to go to the gym of faith.
Build up the muscles.
Increase the stamina.
Work on breathing through those last couple of stretches/miles.
Focus on the WORD.
Seek His presence.
It is then that you will Leap for Joy in that Leap of Faith, just as all the our ancestors have down down through time. Read the Book. It is full of their stories and their Leaps of Faith.

“Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven, for their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.” Lk 6:23 narnia (2) [google image]

VISION 2020: The Chisel

Wasn’t it just Christmas?

Didn’t we just leap into a new decade?

I look at the calendar. The blank pages of the calendar have been chiseled with notations.
Gym.
Friends.
Doctors.
Grands.
Library times.
Snow days.
Goals completed/not completed.

It is all there and yet –
– it has flown by on such swift, silent winds that I –
failed to take note of how many of those carvings etched out this or that in the past few weeks.

“…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matt 10:19-10

With words tumbling around in my mind, I check in with My Father tonight in prayer. It is the birthday of two special Grands who made me a grandma for the first time 20 years ago. It is a day of working with students and reading books. It is a day of walking dogs. It is a day of wonder at the complete joy that seems to surround me amid all the chiseling that has been shaping me and leaving pieces on the ground around me. It is not joy as the world knows nor probably can comprehend, but it is His joy. Joy of being exactly where I am supposed to be at this time in space and eternity.

Years ago when I was teaching in OH, we had to use door stops to keep our doors open. Mine kept disappearing, so when I got a new one, one of my ornerier 8th grader (with a few of his cohorts adding to it) decorated it. I think he was tired of hearing me complain about never having a door stop when I needed it – either that or the door slamming shut in his ears. I know it was on of my ornerier students because on one side, it says “Kaufman’s Quick Lube”, on the other side – in big clear letters – “The Chisel”. When I asked him why those two things, he laughed mumbled something about the one side, but then turned serious as he pointed to the other side, “Because that’s what you do with all of us.” He nodded his head as he went back to his seat. The room was quiet as I turned away and dabbed at my eyes.

I have never forgotten that moment. Little did I realize, at that moment, the chiseling that was going on in my own life. Needless to say, I took the door stop with me when I retired.

Today I pulled out that chisel to hold my door open. The warmth flooded inside. Dogs and cat wandered in and out at will. Curtains swayed. Birds sang. Squirrels chattered (and ate bird food)…bugs slept on (thankfully). However, the end of the week is coming and will bring another northerly wind, so the door stop will return to my bookshelf.

“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Lk 9:51

It seems like I was just reading the Gospel of Luke for the 24 days before Christmas. Now I am opening that epistle and looking at it with the eyes of the Passion. Time passes and Ash Wednesday is – so it seems – suddenly upon us. As ways, Rabbi Yeshua blended the linear and eternal lines into one – especially in Luke’s account,
The teachings became more intense.
The miracles full of the visible and invisible battles of the world. The Transfiguration testimony and blessing.

Prophecies pointed and passionate.

Yeshua Mashiach is my chisel. Although He has been my chisel all my life, His tools have been carving more deeply these days – in ways I couldn’t have imagined a few months back. His words, love and grace purposely defining a new shape. Cutting away the marred pieces to reveal the faith that He saw hidden away.

As Lent begins, it is time to honor in prayer and sacrifice, the time of Rabbi Yeshua’s earthly chisel coming to an end. He purposely and lovingly turned His feet towards Jerusalem, all-the-while knowing what was ahead. The good new is He also knew His eternal chiseling would continue to carve and illuminate whenever anyone asked Him to walk through their door.

“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Lk 9:57

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2020 VISION – New Path

The quince bushes have bloomed. The forsythia in some of the neighbors’ yards have also bloomed. Tonight – it is already in the low 20’s. Such are the season of life. Separate – blended – messy – beautiful.

Sunday it was still “spring” warm and sunny. While the lab girls chewed sticks, dug for squirmy things in the dirt to eat (yuk) and chased ball, kitty chased birds, stretched in the sun and slept on a lawn chair. Thus we spent the Sabbath. I stayed home from church to soak in some sun and do a little work outside before the predicted return of “winter” cold.

“There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees”

2020 vision oft brings work. The “keeper” had seen a new path in the woods. It just needed a little smoothing out – well – a lot smoothing out. In fact, there are still a couple places that could use a little more help, but that will come. The “keeper” can’t do it all in one day anymore.

“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.”~Jer 16:6

Rest for the soul. Working outside always clears my vision and helps me focus on whatever is rolling around in my mind. “Power in the Holy Spirit” has been one of the focus areas for my vision quest 2020(Acts 1:8) – figuring out my new path in this life has also been a wrestling point. Seems only appropriate that Our Father would point out physical path through the woods as I work on the metaphysical one that begs attention with each passing day.

“EVERY RAVINE WILL BE FILLED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL WILL BE BROUGHT LOW; THE CROOKED WILL BECOME STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH ROADS SMOOTH”~Lk 3:5

As I filled in holes from rotting roots, moved rocks hither and yon, loped off surface roots, limbs and baby trees, I felt the power of work swirl into the deeper part of my quest and my vision cleared a little more. At one point – just as it happens on our life paths – I got off course, but a slight nudge from the Master Gardner got me back on course and a few wheelbarrow loads later, the path was – fairly – established.

The lab girls love it – especially the older one. She no longer has to go the long way around to get to the upper shed when we take our walks. I think I like it for the same reason. We don’t even have to walk along the road at all now – unless we want to do so.

Vision, a little power, and a whole lot of prayer is all it takes.

“The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.”~Rudyard Kipling, “The Way through the Woods”

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LENTEN INSIGHT 2019 #3

It has been a month since I have written. The words have been there. The thoughts. The dreams. The joyous bursts of creativity. But the fingers were stayed. For whatever reason – I found myself waiting. So – I waited. I waited some more. Waited for the special silence that always precedes the release of words. And still I waited.

Holy week. 
Palm Sunday
Maundy Thursday.
Good Friday.

A month ago, in one of my many thrift store meanderings, I found a Robert Shaw recording in conjunction with Ohio State University choirs. It was not one from when I was there, but the choral works on it spoke to me once again. The next day, I found myself sitting on the floor of my small utility closet as I pulled out all my classical CD’s. My school room filled with them as I worked. I began singing – not well – but nevertheless – with all my heart in the car on the way home. Finally, letting them filter through my prayers as I lay my head down.

“Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”~Lk 9:58

Two weeks later, I found myself walking through the door of a stately, city Methodist church. The steeple bell rang as I walked the sidewalk towards the church – just as they used to when I walked with my parents. Tears gathered in the corners of my eyes. I was not surprised. I needed the rituals. I needed the music. I needed to hear the oral readings of Psalms and “Our Father”. I needed to remember the community of my history. The birthplace of my faith – my youth – my maturity.

A touchstone of truth.

“Pilate said to him, “You are a King then?” Yeshua said to him,“You have said that I am a King. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world: to testify of the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is the truth?” ~Jn 18:37-38

It is Holy Week.
It is Good Friday.

On Maundy Thursday, I was going to go back to the Methodist church, but instead, I watched the Mass of the Basilica in DC and sang with choir during Holy Communion. Tonight, as I watched some of the Stations of the Cross in Rome, my thoughts focused and the fingers found their freedom. Then I turned on the “The Passion of the Christ”. It is always the last thing I want to do – ever. It is a hard movie to watch. I cry – often. And yet, it is the one thing thing I must do. I must remember the gift. I must honor the sacrifice that an earthly mother made in conjunction with the plan that a loving, heavenly Father made for all His children so long ago.

“There is no greater love than this: that a person would lay down his life for the sake of his friends.”~Jn 15:13

Today was a stormy day in NC. “The swirly winds came and the rain fell on us” as a poem from my high school days stated. I checked my plants. Pulled the flag in under the porch roof. Rubbed the dogs’ heads over and over as they stayed close by my side. Even the cat who has been standoffish all week has spent most of the night on my lap. The winds have quieted and while all three animals and hubby are sleeping in our small TV room, I am at peace.

The stone has covered the tomb, but Grace is about to blow away the cords that hold it closed.

Resurrection Day is coming.

“You are my friends if you will do all that I command you. No longer do I call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master does, but I have called you my friends, because all that I have heard from my Father, I have taught you.”~Jn 15:14-15

It has been an interesting month of being a learner again. Listening to the Teacher of Truth is never easy of me. I am – at this point in life – used to being the teacher in the room. I tend to want to control everything around me. Although – some of my oldest friends say that I have always had that “teacher attitude” – whatever that is. I’m still not sure where it is leading or what is on that path that seems to have very few mile markers. What I do know?

“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you so that you also will go bring forth fruit and your fruit will remain, so that all you will ask my Father in my name, he will give to you.These things I command you that you will love one another.”~Jn 15:16-17

 

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LENTEN INSIGHT 2019 #1:

Now tell me again why “Thoughts and Prayers” don’t matter??

THOUGHTS

How many times did Christ mention thoughts? Thoughts that cause us to sin. Thoughts that show our love for others. Thoughts that direct our paths. Thoughts in our Be-Attitudes. Thoughts that He shared with all He encountered. Thoughts that shape the mind – the body – the faith.

PRAYERS

Time and time again, the Gospels mention Rabbi Yeshua praying. Praying with those around Him. Praying with a crowd. Praying over meals. Praying in the temple. Praying all alone – in the dark of night – in the early hours of the morning – for others – for Himself – in praise and thankfulness to His Abba.

 

“Thoughts and Prayers” matter. 

They mattered to the early Christians as they faced the lions – faced stoning – faced crucifixion.

They matter on the battlefield of war – of illness – of addiction.

They matter to me. 

They matter to Christ.

They matter to Our Father-GOD.

“Now it came to pass in those days that [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”~Lk 6:12               alpha-and-omega-greg-olsen   [Greg Olsen artwork]

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: The Trinity

Tired. Enjoying. Expectant.

Words of the day. Flipped mattresses. Washed all the bedding from guest room and ours. Put a few more decorations away. Opened all the windows to air out the house…again (love 60’s on the first day of a new year). Sat outside and talked with an old friend while I enjoyed our patio swing. Roughed out a rough lesson plan for Friday’s library lesson. And – – – tried to absorb a bunch of wisdom from looking back over the “past”year, set some goals for the “future” year and really – really – just enjoyed this “present” of this holiday.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”~Matt 6:33

This is the verse of my new year. Writing it huge and posting it in my closet and on my bathroom mirror. Taping it to the dashboard in my car and on my desk at school Maybe – I’ll even make it my screen saver on my phone and computer. My overall intention is to read it aloud at least 3 three times a day and write it in my heart at least three times a day.

A verse created in the past. Chosen in the present. Blessing my future.

A Trinity.

In folk wisdom, three is that magic number: 

“Third time’s the charm…”
“Rule of three…” 
“Three sheets to the wind…”
“As phoney as a three dollar bill…”
“Three stooges…” 
(Well – maybe that last one is a stretch.)

In the spatial world, we see in height, depth, width. In the material world, we see gas, liquid, solid. In the temporal world, we have three frames of time: past, present, future. In the educational world, we learn the 3 R’s. In Jewish tradition many important events occur on the third day. In Christianity, the third day was the day of GRACE. In the Spiritual world, “GOD in three persons, Blessed Trinity” (love that hymn).

The Father.
The Son.
The Holy Ghost.

The Trinity is sometimes debated since it is never referred to by that name in the Bible. But there are several verses that speak it to my heart. Verses where all three are working together to achieve His Salvation Plan for all of us. I particularly feel it when I read this: Lk 1:35: “The angel answered, The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

In any case – that is where I am tonight: tired, enjoying, expectant.

“On the 7th day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me…” A Trinity – – – the Way, the Truth and the Life.  (Hmmmm….funny…Jesus gave us another list of those pesky three’s.)

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: The Miracle

Santa is all put away for another year. But the light and nativities of the season are still out until Epiphany. The nice thing about not having a big tree is that I can still sit in the warmth of the lights that are spread around our small rooms. The outside lights stay on as well until the Wise Men catch up with Baby YESHUA. So the Christmas spirit remains a little longer.

I also finished up watching some of my favorite Christmas movies. “So This Is Christmas”, “Signed, Sealed and Delivered: Christmas Episodes” and “Touched By An Angel: Christmas Episodes” (which, btw, still make me tear up). All of them touching upon that essence of that first Miracle.

“You are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your GOD, declares the Lord God.”~Ez 34:31

We all see miracles every day. We just don’t always recognize them. I can keep in touch – sometimes daily – with family and friends who are far away. I can watch favorite movies as I work around the house. I can be fed the “manna” of life even if I don’t make it to a physical building called “church”. I can read the WORD in book form, watch it in visual arrays, listen to it via dramatic readings on CD.  Life is way good.

Even with all of that, I’m pretty positive that I miss a million more miracles that are right in front of my eyes. Just like there were lots of people who didn’t recognize the miracle the prophets’ words when they were spoken – – – or the miracle of the star in front of them – – – or the miracle of angels singing – – – or a baby born and laid in a manger.

Our Father knows how stubborn sheep can be. How dismissive sheep can be when people espouse ideas that are contrary to what we want to think about. How blind sheep can be even when the Light is right in front of us. How deaf sheep can be even when the words are singing loudly above us. How any kind of Saviour could be ‘worth a hill of beans’ if He was born in a stable.

“This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”~Lk 2:34-35

I love the miracle of Simeon and Anna. Two witnesses at His birth. Two prophets who brought more promises of Our Father to the parents and to those who would listen. The miracle of the HOLY SPIRIT was upon them both. They had grown old – fasting, praying, waiting – – – waiting for the fulfillment of a promise – the miracle of seeing the Saviour before they died. 
Moved by the SPIRIT.
Eyes and ears opened by the heart.
Faith blessed by the Miracle.

“She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising GOD. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for GOD to rescue Jerusalem.”~Lk 2:38

Can we do any less? Pray. Fast. Wait. Tell everyone we meet about this sign from GOD – this Miracle – This Saviour – born to shepherd His sheep – to bring joy to the world to people of good will – a sign of a promise fulfilled.

“On the fifth day of Christmas, My True Love gave to me…”: A Miracle. 

501fbedf8e0d2acef55931eb25797f6a--greg-olsen-baby-jesus                   [Greg Olsen artwork]