Tag Archives: Mark

RATIONS 100 DAYS!#27

Long ago when my husband and I first got married, we decided we would always celebrate the wonder of the day with a pig roast on Memorial Day weekend. Our daughter carries on her own version of this by having a Labor Day cook out in NC.

Traditions have a way of tying generations together. As old traditions morph into variations of the old, the essence of the family love remains at its heart and grows larger and more encompassing as it mixes new knowledge and excitement with the wisdom and joy of the old world.

As I finished making potluck cookies for my daughter’s get-together, I read today’s Ration. Amazing, how the wisdom of the ages never truly ‘ages’. It continues to speak as loudly to me as it did to my dad in 1945. I copied this statement to hang in my war room. It is the wisdom of the ages that still speaks to me today: “The world can be transformed only by those who have the courage of their conviction, who try always and everywhere to do the Christian thing irrespective of what others are doing and regardless of cost.”

1942 Daily Ration:

“And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.”~Mk 15:15

It is very disquieting to realize that the paramount factor determining Pilate’s decision to release Barabbas and condemn Christ was that commonplace motive which operates in our experience constantly: ‘the desire to content the people’. Pilate’s conduct was prompted, not by the dictates of his conscience but by the demands of the crowd.

“The disposition to please and conform to crowd constitutes the most subtle and powerful temptation confronting many Christians today. The slogan’Everybody’s doing it,’ exercises a strong psychological appeal Most of us have a natural reluctance to be different for fear we will be considered queer. The phrase, ‘crowd morality,’ suggests those conventional standards which are generally acceptable but which are far below the exalted ideals of Christ…

“It is extremely sobering to reflect hat the disposition to put popularity above principle did to Christ. It should help us, when we are tempted, to visualize the Master on his cross and to refuse to yield. The world can be transformed only by those who have the courage of their conviction, who try always and everywhere to do the Christian thing irrespective of what others are doing and regardless of cost.

“Prayer: Eternal God, implant inn us the fortitude to do right no matter what others may thing say or do. We ask it in Christ’s name. Amen.”

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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – TEACHER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajoTFpwHJoAjesusourjewishsaviour

The past couple of days have been filled with some teary nights. In fact the past week has been filled with some sporatic outbursts – here and there. This normally would not be a good thing, but this week has been different. It has been as if My Father has been lighting candles on the menorah within me for each day of Chanukah. And – – – as my dad said so many years ago, “…most of that light comes through the children.”

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”~Titus 2:78

This past week several of my former students have shared their memories with me about our times together. The candle they lit in this fogginess of our housing dilemma has been a blessing. A gentle light just bright enough to see the next step, trusting in a path I can not see clearly enough for myself without their gift.
“You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?”~Rm 2:22a
The last candle of Chanukah was lit today. Since it is also the last week before Christmas break, not many students had homework, so only my 8th graders needed some time. Got to admit, it is still my favorite age group to teach. Grown-up enough for serious conversations and yet, even the most “hardened” ones still have dreams in their eyes.
Work was finished quickly, and we spent most of the time talking. Talking about books (they had just finished the Giver). Singing a Chanukah song from a child of a mixed linage (she learned it so that she could get her Chanukah gifts) while we shared a cookie she brought as a gift. Listening about the drama of the latest cheer competition. Laughing about music notes that the trumpet player could play but not name.
Wow – I have missed these types of encounters with my students, so my candle burned just a little brighter with joy.
Being a teacher is never easy. Low pay, Lengthy in-services. Long hours. Life hazards. (Believe me – between projectile vomiting, jumping bugs, germs, angry encounters (luckily for me – only a few – yes indeed – teaching can be hazardous). Most of us chose this job for one reason or another – not knowing what all it entailed. Yet – there is One who knew all of the bad stuff that went with the job description and still volunteered.Yeshua teaching
 
“You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am”~Jn 13:13
I have thought about these teaching verses in the WORD often during my career. Each one providing a little more light on the kind of teacher I wanted to be. While I did have some wonderful teachers that served as role models for me, it was a small town Rabbi that truly held me captive in the way He taught.
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”~Jn 3:2b
Those verses and a few others have kept me striving to try harder, to search longer, to pray constantly. As I listened this week to Syrian Christians express their willingness to die for this teacher,I pondered these verses again.
  • Can I not try a little harder?
  • Give a little more?
  • Pray a little more often?
I am broken once again in the simpleness of the story.  A man born long ago. Humble beginnings in a cold stable and surrounded by animals and excrement. Swaddling clothes instead of a ton of onesies and a multiple outfits.
A single candle lighting the darkness. A rabbi who walked with his students A teacher willing to sacrifice all for those who followed in His steps. A professor who waits to see if we have the courage to seek His wisdom and follow His steps into the unknown.
“Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God”~Mk 12:14
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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – MESSIAH

Rifts often start out small. Sometimes it is just a simple thing that starts the small fissure. Other times it is a sldegehammer that cracks wide the divide between two parts of a whole.

Long ago – two children lifted a sledgehammer, and it slammed down upon the whole earthly garden. The resulting chasm cracked the universe and locked closed the gates on what could have been..

The Creator beheld His creations – separated from Him – shivering on the other side of the rift, and – like the Father He was – He wept for their journeys that would now take place. Jounreys that would lead them through tough and frightful places. There was no bridge. There was no succor. They were on their own.

“In the origin The Word had been existing and That Word had been existing with God and That Word was himself God.” ~Jn 1:1

But from the beginning, Our Father knew – just as all Fathers know – that the sledgehammer could be lifted up at any time, or multiple times, when children have free will. A special WORD that He alone would speak into being. A breath of life was given once again.

A Miraculous Mysterium person. A person that was both Eternal and capable of TheNativitylifting a new sledgehammer. A person who was a Son of God A person who was also a Son of Man. A person Immaculate in his birth to an immaculate mother through an act by an Immaculate Father. Two children united in a Miraculous Mysterium to lift a new sledghammer – one that would be the Alpha strike of Healing the rift and follow it through to to the Omega strike of completion. A Healer who would eventually wipe away the rift completly, for such is the love of a Father for His children.

MESSIAH.

“And Yeshua said to them, “But what is it you are saying about me as to who I am?” Shimeon answered and he said to him, “You are The Messiah, The Son of THE LIVING GOD.” ~Mk 8:29

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BLESSING TRIAD #16-18

pic_coastguardThe Sixteenth Blessing

November 16, 2015, and my knee hurts like it did a year ago. It was pushed, prodded, stretched and twisted. But sometimes, you just have to navigate the choppy seas to find the safety of the shore. It is your journey. So, you climb in the boat and set sail.

My daughter sent me an email for a UNC study on arthritis. I’ve been accepted in one of the groups and will be having physical therapy for the next year. Talk about a gift from G-d. In this day and age, affording PT is far out of my retirement budget – especially since hubby decided we should build a house.

So today, I am thankful for a daughter who is always watching out for me. Thankful for meeting a physical therapist who spent an hour and a half talking, watching me walk, and bending my knees and hips in ways that I didn’t think they would go any longer. Thankful that I could climb in the boat and set sail. I am also thankful for Metaform Movement that gives me a paddle to navigate those choppy waters.

514d25c02fe3766ae2c8ea1d842dff15Oh – and one more thing – I am thankful for getting to teach music theory to one of my 6th grade students who was struggling as she was writing a song to play on her trumpet. Teaching her to count the beats, the different note values, and the scale was so much fun. Teaching my Grands to play the piano and now this – is G-d good or what?

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”~Col 3:15-17

The Seventeenth Blessing

commandment

“And you shall Love….”

Totally, completely, unfailing, without question an action verb – – – LOVE !!!

“…THE LORD JEHOVAH your God…”

Father God, I AM, Creator, El, a proper noun above all nouns – – – YHVH !!!

“…with your whole heart…”

Not partially, not fractionally, not occasionally, not indiscernablly but – – – WHOLLY !!!

“…and with your entire soul…”

Unmitigated, undivided, unbroken, undiminished righteous – – – ENTIRELY !!!

“…and with your entire mind…”

Intellect, reason, cognizant, judgement, complete consciousness – – – MIND !!!

“…and with all your power.” `Mk12:30

Capability, potential, skill, aptitude, fully functioning – – – POWER !!!

Today, November 17, 2015, I am thankful for the first commandment. It is the first thing I try (I am in no way perfect…sometimes, I just plain forget or slip back into my lazy ways of thinking I can do it all by myself) to say every morning and the last thing I whisper every night.phpThumb_generated_thumbnail

“And the second is liken unto it: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.There is no other commandment greater than these.” MK 12:31

The Eighteenth Blessing

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“The lie has a shelf life. The truth abides forever. God can even conquer through our perversion.” ~Ravi Zarcharias, RZIM, 11/18/15

While I was reading Ps 66, I ran across a verse today. A verse that has been turning around in my brain ever since. I love it when the WORD nags at me. It shakes my world and what little control I think I have over it.

“He rules forever by His power…”

logo2Such power could demand obedience – could demand faithfulness – could demand love. And yet – – -even when this whole journey began, He grew a tree. A liberty tree. It was never about power…it was about freedom. Is it any wonder that the liberty tree plays such an important part of our American history?

“His eyes watch the nations—“

I wonder what He thinks today as He watches the nations of this world. The world of nations that He formed with his creative fingers and sent spinning out into the universe. “Wars and rumors of wars – ” Hate raging from one race to another – one religion to another – one person to another…

“let not the rebellious rise up against Him.”~Ps 66:7

A cautionary sentence. The WORD is often like that. Stories, parables, history, peacegrace, mercy, salvation – – – caution. I often think of the dual nature of Christ that we see in the WORD. The Lamb who showed love, mercy and grace as He walk among us,and continues to set the standard in this period of Grace. But then there is the Lion who roars throughout OT prophecy and Revelations.

A meeting – a place – where the Lion lies down with the Lamb. Will I see it? Is it coming soon? A lion and a lamb together in one place.

I’m still tossing around Ravi Zacharias’s words that started this journey today. Lies can’t last – – – however – – – – righteousness – righteous truth cannot be destroyed – – – everlasting to everlasting. Even at our worst, He watches us. He waits for us. He listens for our words.

The tree of liberty still stands. It waits to shelter us under its sturdy limbs. All we have to do is come, sit or lay or stand, and chose to Love those around us as He showed us how to Love through His son.

Today, November 18, 2015, I am thankful for a Tree of Liberty, and for a God who loves me so much that He gave me – all of us – freedom of choice – even when it breaks His heart .il_340x270.585302193_mf18[google images]

MADE WHOLE

10710988_850041038382025_4419352023986082599_nCracked.
Fragmented.
Torn.
Shards.
Tarnished.

Pieces with jagged edges that no longer fit together .

Unbelievably, we sometimes forget how broken we are. We are that good at wearing masks – donning the armor. We argue that life happens. That we can just “suck” it up. Stike the brave warrior pose – march forward into battle once again. Worse things happen every day to other people.

Crucifixions.
Beheadings.
Torture.

Ugliness exists on our small mudball called Terra. There are many victims. Humans. Animals. Our World.

“Restore us, LORD God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.” Ps 80:19

The good news is that there is Someone who will hug us so tightly that all the broken pieces are miraculously re-created as one.

Not glued.
Not pieced together in slapstack fashion

But made whole. Perfect. Without seams.

No scars.
No blemishes.
No missing pieces.

When Moshe climbed Mt. Sinai and returned to his people, he found them worshipping a golden calf. His humaness rose angrily, and he threw the tablets so that they broke upon the sin in front of him. Later, he returned to the mountain and brought down new tablets. However…the wisdom of Jehovah-Jireh prevailed. He had always had a plan. He knew exactly what was needed to return His children to their envisioned wholness.

Before the tablet shattered.
Before righteous confronted evil.
Before a third of the angels fell.
Before the Garden was locked.

When this stronghold of evil was demolished…after the anger subsided…after the tears of remorse, Moshe laid the broken pieces together with the new tablets. Brokenness and wholeness coesxisting – side-by-side – in the heart of the most holy spot on earth – The Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Promise.

“And I will give you shepherds according to my heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jer 3:15

We weren’t created to be broken – in body – in spirit – in mind. We were created whole. Slowly, over the years a guide book was assembled to remind the people.

Not linear.
Not historical.
Not temporal.

Eternal.
Reminder.
Guide.

Godly leaders arose to remind the people how far they had come. A shepherdess carrying water to thirsty sheep. A young shepherd protecting his sheep with a three small stones. A 30 year old shepherd that sought His lost sheep, cradled them in his arms and healed their brokeness.

“Amen, I say to you, no one who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will enter it.” And he took them up in his arms and he laid his hand upon them and he blessed them.” Mark 10:15-16

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yeshua high priest

YOURS IS THE KINGDOM

kingdom cMore eyes than mine seem to be focused on the moon tonight. I’ve seen several pictures posted on line, and I have been outside to look at it more than once. The moon’s fullness will help my youngest son celebrate his birthday. It will be the third blood moon of the tetrad. Passover begins on Friday at sundown…Easter comes on Sunday…the blood moon at 3:16 AM on the 4th.

“And when some of the Pharisees asked Yeshua, “When is the Kingdom of God coming”, he answered and he said to them, “The Kingdom of God does not come with what is observed.” “Neither do they say, ‘Behold, here it is!’ and ‘Behold, there it is!’, for behold, the Kingdom of God is within some of you.”.”…~Lk 17:20-21

The moon light drifts over my shoulder as I write tonight. Like an added blessing to a blessed day of friendship, Grands, a talky hubby and happy puppies. It is good to walk fairly easily again and have energy to boot. My new doctor seems to have targeted whatever remenants of this insideous infection that has plagued me since last spring. Who knew that bacteria could change the inward workings of the body character in such a massive way. And yet…………………………………….

“For if a kingdom will be divided against itself, that kingdom will not be able to stand.” ~Mk 3:24

And yet………………..isn’t that what happens when we accept Christ into our hearts? We can no longer serve the evil one and Christ. Everything – from our outward actions to the tiniest molecular interaction begins to change within us. For some, the change is easy and almost instantaneous. For me, the change has been a constant interaction of learning, testing, stretching, more testing. Mostly – because I am too stubborn, too full of doubts and too full of myself to just relax into His arms. Basically, it has taken a tiny parasite to show me what I should have seen way before this. Christ needs every part of us when we surrender so that He can set up His Kingdom within us.

“Our Father who are in Heaven, hallowed be your name,
kingdom aLet Your Kingdom come, let Your will be done also in the earth, just as it is in Heaven.Give us our necessary bread today.And forgive us our debts, just as we also forgive our debtors.And lead us not to temptation but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, for the eternity of eternities.” ~Matt 6:9-13

“…Yours is the Kingdom…” I like reading the Aramaic Bible in Plain English translation when I am reading scripture. It’s wording somehow finds that chasm within me and builds a bridge. A chasm that’s deep darkness cloaks my doubts…. fears…dizzingly heights that hinder me from proceeding on His journey. “For behold, the Kingdom of God is within some of you.”

The moon’s brightness lights our living room, and I know that when I go to bed tonight, I will open the blinds and let the light cascade over our bed as I say my final prayers for the night. I have foundational stones slowly being put in place. Christ and Our Father’s Love – daily. Freedom from my sins – daily. A new kingdom being established within me- daily. It is what Passover and Easter bring into my life – daily.

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http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/04/01/blood-moon-with-total-lunar-eclipse-biblical-message-rising-over-u-s-during-easter-weekend/

Attitude of Gratitude #15-21

Precious-Moments-ThanksgivingGratitude #15: Quiet evening. A cold blustery night in NC…33 degrees already…burrrrr…a little “shit-on-the-shingle” (as dad used to call it) over toasted muffin. Christmas music. A new (old) book of poetry published in 1933. Quiet evenings remind us of to stop and think. Meditate on the things that are important – truth – honesty – justice – purity – loveliness – good reports – virtue – praiseworthy… Quiet evenings remind me to be truly thankful. A special poem from that new (old) book of poetry called Thanksgiving, from the 1800’s:

For the days when nothing happens,
For the cares that leave no trace,
For the love of little children,
For each sunny dwelling-place,
For the altars of our fathers,
And the closets where we pray,
Take, O gracious God and Father,
Praises this Thanksgiving Day.

For our harvests safe ingathered,
For our golden store of wheat,
For the bowers and the vinelands,
For the flowers up-springing sweet,
For our coasts from want protected,
For each inlet, river, bay,
By the bounty full and flowing,
Take our praise this joyful day.

For the hours when Heaven is nearest
And the earth-mood does not cling,
For the very gloom oft broken
By our looking for the King,
By our thought that He is coming,
For our courage on the way,
Take, O Friend, unseen eternal,
Praises this Thanksgiving Day.
-Margaret E. Sangstermargaret sangster

And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, offer it of your own free will. -Leviticus 22:29.  (Google images)

Gratitude #16: Trees. My meditation time is always when I go outside and sit in the warm bubbling water of our Elemental spa tub. I try to quiet my mind – not christmas treean easy task in to say the least – and just focus on prayer and listening. I’m getting better at both – I think…but tonight, I kept getting sidetracked by the falling leaves and puppies running through them. The cold weather has turned our grassy backyard into a crunchy field of browns and golds. While most of the hardwood trees have lost their leaves, the oak holds on to her russet leaves longer. and I watched them dance in early evening breeze a little longer. While I love watching the season bring a visual change in our small forest, I’m thankful for the pine trees and holly bushes that continue to guard my backyard from the neighbors’ vistas and create a private prayer garden even during the deep of mid-winter hibernation. As I came in the kitchen door, I glanced up to see the white ceramic tree that my aunt made for mom and dad so long ago. Mom always kept it out, so I do, too. It’s lights reflect onto the ceiling of the great room in snowlike patters that constantly reminds me of all my family that has gone before me. For me, this is a season of the trees. They know when to be quiet, to sleep, to praise, to grow, to blossom, to rest. I think they listen to Our Father much better than I do, and I’m thankful for their example as I try to learn from them. No wonder the Christmas Tree is such an elemental part of our Savior’s birth celebration. (Google images)

Gratitude #17: Promises. Since I almost fell asleep just a second ago, I figured I better write this quickly. Fatigue is writing a lot of “Zzzzzzz’s” across the front of my brain right now, and I’m sure the antibiotics aren’t helping. I keep thinking of standing-on-the-promises_t_nvMark 9 and the father who had watched his son suffer (whether you believe it was sickness or demons) for years. The disciples couldn’t cure him, so he brought him to Rabbi Yeshua to be healed. The first time the father asked the rabbi he said, “But IF YOU CAN DO ANTHING, take pity on us and help us.” (Google images)

I like the NIV version because Rabbi Yeshua replies, ““ ‘IF you can’?” I can almost hear the rabbi’s incredulous voice repeating these words back to the father. It is the only version that translates it this way, and it made me smile. I often think that Rabbi Yeshua to wanted to bang his head against the wall when He dealt with us…hmmmmmm…He probably still does.

But what I love is how he finishes this verse. I can just see Him smiling and shaking His head, love wrapping itself around each word, ““Everything is possible for one who believes.” Smart dad – humbled and broken – rephrased his approach,“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

By that time, I can see Rabbi Yeshua listening but purely focused on the son He crosswas to save. It is those two verses verses – Mk 9:23-24, encircled by all my prayer warriors – both here and in heaven – upon which I’m standing on tonight. “EVERYTHING is possible for one who believes.” “HELP my unbelief.” Even though our faith be small as a mustard seed, His enduring love carries His promise through the years to all of us today. I am thankful for His promises that never fail when we are humble and believe His WORD. (photo by Roma Downey)

Gratitude #18: Roots. I have always been fascinated with trees. There is something about their heighth, breadth and longevity takes my breath away. When I was little, I would dream under their leaves during the summer heat, twist my rope swing into dizzy,erratic rides, and cradle myself in the seat of their roots when reading my favorite book or writing my latest poem or crying over my latest Oak_Tr_328_oakdrama. But…it is the roots that hold the tree to the ground. The roots that carries sustanence. The roots are the strength of the tree. No wonder the tree plays a privotal role in the Bible from Genesis to Revelations. If we become rooted to His WORD and rooted to our FAITH, nothing is impossible. Our Father has promised, and I am thankful my roots have grown stronger seeking Him, deeper through the GRACE of His Son and sustained by the soft voice of the SPIRIT.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” Jer 17:7–8. (Google images)

Gratitude #19: Family. Long ago when I was sick, my mom would tuck me into her big bed, bring me my favorite comic books or library books, and make me potatoe soup with lots of butter floating on the top. Saltine crackers and ginger ale would accompany this meal, but to this day, I can’t look at a bowl of potatoe soup and be excited about it. Sometimes, a chocolate malt from Zimm’s appeared as a special treat. If I wasn’t too sick, I got to ride in the back of the dry cleaning truck on a bed of blankets while Mom made deliveries around town. That was the best since I usually got a Zimmburger and malt on the way home “for being such a trooper”. Not to be out done, I could always count on Dad for a back rub, a guitar song or a bedtime story. Best of all, my big brother had to be nice to me.

These days when I am sick, my husband cooks food when nothing sounds good…and makes me eat healthy when I probably would eat junk. My kids call to check on me. Best of all, my brother is still nice to me, but this time no one makes him, and I love it. God created families. A safety net that He designed just for us, but more than that, a model that draws us closer to Him. Jesus refers to Him as the Father. He refers to Jesus as His son. Somehow, I think there is a Mother in there as well…we just don’t see it yet. I’m thankful for families when we’re sick, when we’re healthy, when things are crazy. It is a little piece of Heaven right here on earth.

feeling blessed.

Gratitude #20: My name. I know – strange topic to be thankful for…maybe kind of self-centered. And yet – one that kept re-surfacing all day today. I’ve always loved my name. In the 50’s, no one else had it. I stood alone in a sea of other baby boomers growing up in a post-war world. I even liked it when Coach Donelson mis-pronounced it during the Jr. Hi Honor Society Assembly in front of the whole world (or it seemed – since all the high school kids and parents were there). When I was little, I asked mom more than once about my name. She said she made up the name, but since she was such a reader, that never made much sense. I figured she heard it, read it, and it stuck in the back of her mind.

Prior to the world of computers, I worked as a page at the Loudonville Library. I found Bryn Marw College listed in a book and then I found a book with names. I still can see that book on the table (Young Adult section, Mrs. Wright sitting at the check-out desk, downtown location) as I found my name in a book. It was Welsh. It meant “hill”. Usually a man’s name. If it had two “n’s”, it was feminine. The sentence they used to clarify the definition was a Biblical one refering to Calgary. Felt like me through and through, so I’ve carried that memory with me ever since.

Jewish tradition says the naming of things is one of the most holy things a parent does. It is one of the first things that God told “man and woman” to do together – name the creatures of the earth. (Gen 2:19) They would then “know” the names of all the other inhabitants of the world. Even from the very beginning, God was modeling exactly what he was doing in Heaven. He told Isaiah: “Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” (Is 49:16 KJV) I like this translation the best. In other translations, it says “your name”, but I like thinking my whole self is in Our Father’s palm – in Jesus’s scars…then again – prehaps that is why “naming” is so important. Our name reflects the person we are. However, it is…I am thankful. Thankful He knows my name – thankful to be Brynie -Bryn Colette – Ferris Wheel (thanks – Loudonville Class of ’69)- Faerie dust/Ferret (college chums) – Nyrb – MIss Ferris – Mrs. K. – Mrs. Grammie – Mom – Grandma …

Gratitude #21: Magic. This week,Granddaughter asked her mama if magic was real. Brilliant doctoral student mama, stalled. I remember that feeling. How do you answer such a question? Santa? Tooth Fairy? Batman? Elves? Like normal, something like this intriques me, and sends my mind whirling off onto various tangents of thoughts that leads to other thoughts and others… sigh.

Logic tells us that magicdoesn’t really exist. That the only “real” things are what we percieve with our corporeal eyes. It must be written somewhere that “magic” is just a famciful escape from a fatiguing reality. Then we look at our child’s face, and we remember what it felt like to be a child. The “magic” world we saw in our mind was just as real as the world we lived in with adults. Horses could turn into magical people. Fairaes lived in the dark holes at the base of a playground tree. Santa came through non-existent chimneys while his reindeer waited and pawed on the roof. I often think children are smarter than adults are. They see beyond the world that is and into the world that could be —- if they just dreamed and looked for it hard enough. Children – for awhile at least – retain something that adults lose all too quickly. I tend to refer to it in my head as “heavenly magic”. .

Jesus had that heavenly magic even as an adult.. He retained the ability to look beyond this world and into all the worlds that His Father had created. After all, is it so hard to believe that a Creator who coneived of all the wonders that this world holds would not also conceive of worlds upon worlds when reindeer fly – elves make toys – right always wins – and a Son lays down His life for His friend?

Magic is a term we tend to funnel into one narrow tunnel. Maybe – my granddaughter, a budding philosopher, has the answer. As her mama fumbled to form some words into a reply, her daughter answered her own question. “… since God made the trees He must be magic, so magic must be real.” Our world is magical…from towering trees to universes too tiny to be seen with our mortal eyes – and everything in-between. Jesus said: “…Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:3 (KIV) I am so thankful that I can still perceive some “magic” in my life everyday. (Artwork by Arkiane)

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Emotions of God: Anger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Google images

Baby Sparrows Addendum

Shhhh….it’s a secret and you can’t tell the Grands…yet.

I’ve been watching this secret all week. I wish now that I had taken pictures, but true to form, I never think of pictures until it is much later. Until today, that is. Today I managed to think ahead (a little) and snap a picture memory.

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After the week we had with baby birds at the daughter’s house, I was not surprised to see what was happening at my house. God is like that. When He is teaching me a lesson, it usually doesn’t come via one experience. He knows me all too well. Knowledge is one thing – wisdom is a whole ‘nother thing…..and sometmes with me….God knows He has to put it in my face in more than one way. I doubt. I question. I backtrack. I wimp out.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.” Heb 11:1

A few weeks back one of my sons posted about a music study completed by the Berlin Academy of Music that determined it takes tens of thousands of hours to become a world class soloist in any field. Now this doesn’t take into account savants or prodigies, but it does reflect most of us. So today, I wasn’t surprised when my preacher started talking about the same things that Our Father has been impressing in my hard head all week, and it all started with baby birds.

If you read that earlier post, you know it didn’t end well for the baby birds. The Grands were sad, but fascinated as well…(especially with the bright blue eyeball that popped out of one of them after the dog discovered it….sigh). Yet, at the same time that was happening – just a few miles away at my house – another set of bird parents were building a nest. Their vision of the perfect nest is different. They put it in a low tree that is no higher than my chin. Tonight, I took a picture of the four eggs that are resting in it.

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“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Prov 29:18

Now I can see all sorts of potential problems with this nest placement. There are roaming cats in the neighborhood (and this would be a very easy climb); the dogs and I are always around that tree when we are playing ball and could knock the tree; and scarier for everyone – the Grands will be putting their face in it – every minute – of every day – when they find out. However, the mommy and daddy birds have a vision – a goal – a plan…and what they have accomplished in a week is truly a miracle in progress. The parents built their nest in faith and nothing pleases God more than that…especially when humans – the ones He “made in Our own image” – seek their dreams – set their goals – step out in faith.

“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Heb 12:1b

It’s not always easy. The first set of birds lost two of their three young ones. Who knows what life will bring to this new set of birds. What I do know is that they act on their faith. They act with perseverance. If something happens to this nest, they will build again. They will put in hours and hours of achieving and mastering their dream.

Today, my preacher said, “The God of the Bible is a dreamer.” Those words have been following me all day. Daily we make choices that either follow the dreams that we are seeking or ignore them. Different times in our lives, we re-evaluate, modify our dreams or re-set them altogether. Think of those times that shook your life – junior high, high school, college, marriage, retirement, a death in the family – these are the times when dreams are shaken, modified or changed.

For me this past year has been one of those time. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no “retirement” in the Bible or in God’s design. Whether we are birds of the air or humans “made in Our own image”, we need to PERSIST in dreaming and seeking the vision of our lives. So here I go. Circling the dream and persisting in that “even though” faith. It is easy to coast through the day, going from one “busyness” to another “busyness”. It is entirely something else to be like Martha who watched her brother die and then waited four days for Jesus to arrive.

“Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. EVEN NOW, I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” John 11:21

It’s time to have that “EVEN NOW” faith and get on with the dreaming. BTW – don’t tell the Grands yet. I’m still enjoying this secret between me and Our Father.

Lenten Journey #28

palm sundayIt was a good day in NC. Sunny – warm – breezy. A day for working in the gardens with the husband, reading, sitting in the hot tub, playing with the dogs, talking to my big brother and my kids…just a day to shout “Hosanna”. And so it is as this lenten journey is coming to a close, and Rabbe Jesus was a Sabbath’s day journey from Jerusalem:

“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly…’” Mk 11: 1-3

He knew the scriptures that He was born to fulfill. He knew the ones that would be written after He returned to the Father. He was the WORD. (Zechariah 9:9 would be fulfilled today) Every step in His whole life had been leading to this week. He knew the these very questions would be the cement that held this story together.

“They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go…” Mk 11:4-7

His friends still did not understand. They smiled. They joked. They laughed. They spread their coats upon the ass for the King to take His triumphal ride. Did Rabbe Jesus relax and enjoy this day? We always see pictures of Him smiling riding through the streets of His beloved city. Or did He merely camouflage the fear and sadness that rattled about His fully human brain and heart?

“When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted…” Mk 11:8

People came from their homes and the fields (that were a Sabbath’s journey) from Jerusalem. They laid their cloaks upon the road so that their King would be shielded from dirt of the road. They brought palm branches from fields and nearby trees symbolizing Our Father’s bounty, love and unity. They shouted out their love

“Hosanna! ”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Mk 11:9-10

Late in the day, He arrived at the temple. Did His head hurt? I know mine does after a full day spent among crowds – jostling – touching – beseeching… Were the Scriptures tumbling through His head as He looked at His Father’s temple? Was Caiaphas there to greet Him? And the disciples? What were they doing when they got there? Was His family there? His mother? Out of all those that lived upon earth, did she understand all the parables that He had been telling them?? Somehow – I think she did.

“Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.” Mk 11:11

If time is not a linear line at all, like some people suggest, then someday I would like to observe this day in what we consider the past. By all accounts,it was a beautiful day just like it was a beautiful day here. Soon, the Rabbe would become Yeshua barabbas —– Barabbas —- Barabbas —- hmmm – which could bring up a whole ‘nother discussion.