Tag Archives: Matthew
“As thou knowest not what is the way of the wind,
Nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child;
Even so thou knowest not the work of God
Who doeth all things.”~Ecc 11:5
Two weeks of letting sinus pressure build up ✔️
Two more weeks of fun antibiotics ✔️
And now – – – more meds.
This is getting old – especially since all I want to do is work outside, play with the Grands, and do the usual crazy things that I love to do each and every day instead of feeling like my head is stuffed to the gills with yuk.
Grass needs mowing (it’s half done because I couldn’t stand it any longer and cut part of it).
Gardens need mulch and more mulch and more mulch.
Plants need to be stuffed into holes before the dry summer days get here. Begging for water plants is not pretty.
And worse – there is a wonderful swing on our patio calling my name. “Come, come sit on me, curl up in my pillows and write and read.”
AND – I’m tired of taking morning and noon naps. Is that an oxymoron?
Is that enough whining?
Errrr…… I hate when I whine.
There is no explaining why things happen the way they do. All I know is that The Bible never promised an easy time of it. Abraham, Moses, Deborah, Joseph, Jacob, Esther, David, Ruth, – to name a few – and the disciples certainly didn’t have an easy time when they ventured out into the world on their own, even after HEARing His voice issue all of His promises in front of them.
“…behold, I am with you every day, even unto the end of time. Amen”~Matt 28:20
Luckily, the Holy Spirit continues to speak those words over and over in our souls when our brains are mute and our tongues too thick to work – as we pray for young families who have to introduce topics to their children because of the ugliness of life – prayers for those who stand every day in the gap for the rest of us – prayers for tragedies and illnesses that seem to increase beyond measure – prayers for the souls who don’t know His voice.
In Jewish culture Lag B’Omar is coming to a close and as the light of the bonfires have dwindled to a smolder of ash, we remember that in the deep dark of the world, we can grow light.
We can still light fires of curiosity with a match of a question.
We can still add pallets of wisdom to nourish growth.
We can stand back and watch the fire soar high above our own meager expectations.
And best of all, we can continue to peacefully rest in the Light that has brought true holy fire to our needy world.
“In the morning sow thy seed,
And in the evening withhold not thy hand;
For thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that,
Or whether they both shall be alike good.”~Ecc 11:6
Now if my ears will just stop popping and the eyes stay open, but so thankful for the promise of My Father and His Son. Praising The LORD in all things on this National Day of Prayer.
[google images/art work by Yoram Raanan]
My itchy ankle wouldn’t let me sleep last night. I think it is poison ivy that one of my lovely critters decided to share with me when she cuddled between my feet and rubbed her head against them. I figured going to church was not happening since anything touching it would result in lots of fidgeting and squirming.
I could handle this. A day of rest. A day of rest at home.
Earlier today, I was half listening to a newscast, half listening to a loud snuffling puppy (who is the above said cuddler), half listening to mumbling sounds coming out of the kitchen, and half reading an on-line devotional. Obviously – that meant I was only retaining about one fourth of any of it- – -if I was lucky. Quite a large amount of something was getting lost in the boggle of my synapses.
The mumbler was cooking breakfast and pointed out that the porch needed to be cleaned off so we could paint before the rain arrived. Upon looking out the window and seeing very dark clouds above our neighbors’ roof lines, I decided I should get that done. Turned off TV. Comforted snuffling puppy. Moved one half of million things off the part of the porch to be stain/painted and find new homes for the other half million things.
So much for a day of rest – – – scratching my ankle every step of the way – – – I found lessons waiting instead.
“Blessed is he that mourn for he shall be comforted.”~Matt 5:4
A couple hours later, that Beatitude is about as much as I remembered from today’s early morning devotional, but it set the stage. GOD is good that way. Breakfast completed. Kitchen cleaned. Hubby busy stain/painting porch floor; I squirreled back in my chair and turned on the TV to listen to our church service. Today’s service was a celebration service, but as always, God was winking as He stringing the pearls of lessons in front of me today.
Lesson One: It is easy to mourn in this world. A lot of sad things happen to us that makes us sad, and this beatitude reminds us that it is such a blessing to know that we will be comforted in our sadness. At least – that is the way I mostly looked at it. But if this is an attitude we should have in Christ, why are we supposed to mourn? The devotional looked at it in a broader sense. What if we mourn in the way Jesus mourned for the world around him? Mourned the way He knows the Father mourns for all of us – all of His creation? If we mourn for someone, then we have the ability to offer comfort to them…to pray for them…to put our arms around them in prayer – if not in actual physicality.
Mourn for others.
“Behold, I stand at the door and I shall knock. If a man listens to my voice and will open the door, I also shall come in and I shall have supper with him, and he with me.”~Rev 3:20
Lesson Two: Baby steps are so important. Today’s church was dedicated to the church’s missions work in prison ministries and addiction ministries. So many testimonies. So many who were “mourned over” and comforted. A men’s choir that was more off key than on, and yet, was more beautiful than any choir I have ever heard. Men who had chosen to open the door when they heard a knock. One man described His voice asking one question? “Have you fallen enough yet?” He replied, “You mean I can fall further?” He said it didn’t take him very long to open the door wide and ask Him inside.
Invite Jesus in. He’s still knocking.
“For David served the will of God in his generation and he fell asleep and was added to his fathers ..”~Act 13:36a.
Lesson Three: As I was reading Rick Warren’s tribute to Rev. Billy Graham, I started to see a message repeated. It ended up coming at me from three different directions (our church offered the visual version and Dr. David Jeremiah cited the same verse today as well), and whenever that happens – I know God is winking as broadly as He can for me to notice.
These three pastors were preaching virtually the same sermon. I think Pastor Warren simplified it the best by defining it as his own life verse which, of course, got me thinking some more. The more I thought, the more I could see the value of looking at my life through this verse as well: “…serving God’s purpose (that what is timeless) in your generation,(in a timely way)”.
Inviting Jesus into my life. Mourning for those around me. Living a life through Jesus’s eyes with God’s reflection [purpose] in mine.
Lessons are a goal. I will probably fail the test more than I pass it before I get to look into My Father’s face through the Grace of Christ. Even so, I know He loves my heart – just like He loved David’s heart. One lesson at a time.
Thanks be to Father God that hears our prayers, mourns with us, comforts us, and dreams our dreams with us to His glory. Baruch Hashem Adonai. Hear O Israel the LORD our GOD is one. You shall love the L-rd your G‑d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. The second is liken unto it: Love your neighbor as yourself. In the name of His precious son, Yeshua, we pray.
“On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”
A King’s Day.
Waking up early to bake Mama Mick’s 3-layer choc cake is always a celebratory way to start the day. I pull out my notebook that holds the recipe. 3 note cards filled with Mom’s beautiful cursive from different stages in her life. One cake recipe that is supposed to be the same, but somehow – appears different on every card. I always end up using bits and pieces from each card to make one cake.
Devil’s food chocolate cake.
Choc fudge frosting for the layers.
7 minute frosting on top (that the Grands call marshmallow frosting)
It takes about 3 hours from start to finish. Best yet, when I get to the last part of making the 7-minute frosting, I get to pull out Grandma Mac’s double boiler. It is getting old, and I dread the day when the rust spots in that blue-spotted, enamel pot completely finish the work they started.
Touchstones on a King’s Day.
“On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 12 drummers drumming.”
Drummers drumming are often loud, bombastic, full of sound and rhythm. Seems like the composer of the 12 Days of Christmas had an epiphany for Epiphany. The day celebrated in honor of the Magi who made their way to the infant newborn King in Bethlehem. The first hint that Gentiles would be welcomed and loved as a part of Our Father’s family.
“…the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” ~Matt 2:9-11
Traditionally, the 12 drummers represent the 12 points of the Apostles Creed. 12 points of faith in the fulfilled destiny of the infant king that the Magi found in a house under a star. 12 points of faith that remind us what that baby modeled for us everyday of his journey on this planet. 12 points of faith that we should let resound with rhythm and sound deep into our hearts.
A King’s Day.
A day when I woke up to make a cake. Felt my parents and grandparents’ love around me as I mixed the ingredients. Rejoiced over the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that I have been given throughout Christmas 2017 – even the cold weather and “cold” cough. Brought my gifts to a young lad who is in the early stages of his journey and hugged my “1st baby girl” who also celebrated a birthday this week. Laughed with the Grands as I tried to play Bop-it with a tiny figure named Groot. Drank the remainder of a NYC son-in-law’s perfect bloody mary mix. Re-affirmed the 12 points of faith tonight as I yawned one more time.
It has been a King’s Day to ponder in my heart and file in my treasure chest of memories. A King’s Day.
“I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.”
*the true Christian church of all times and all places
Blessings!Be! on this King’s Day.
“One the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”
There should be a warning posted everywhere in our home when visitors come “calling” from out of state that reads: BEWARE – THESE PEOPLE (whether you love them or not) MAY CARRY HAZARDOUS GERMS THAT YOU ARE NOT USED TO ENCOUNTERING ON AN EVERYDAY BASIS!!!!
The first outcropping of said germ was the #1 daughter. She lost her voice after the first night of fun and games. The second was the hubby who started sniffling on day two and was out for the count on day four. By the evening of day four, my nose was constantly running, but otherwise felt fine. So after dropping off #2 daughter and her hubby at the railroad depot in Raleigh this morning (day 5), Hubby and I crashed off to sleep the afternoon away. (I truly know Hubby is sick when he climbs back into bed after the day has started). However, thanks to essential oils, plenty of zinc and sleep, I think our home front is on the rebound.
“On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: four calling birds…”
Calling birds or Colly birds – if you are singing the old English version of the song – are wonderful gifts. However, which ever birds come “calling” – I just need to remember to wash my hands a lot more often. Strange birds bring strange visiting companions without even knowing it. After all, being with beloved strange birds is definitely worth a little effort behind the scenes and even a little sickness.
“Everything whatsoever you desire that people should do for you, do likewise for them, for this is the Law and The Prophets.”~Matt 7:12
One of the many interpretations of the 12 Days of Christmas song is that the four “calling birds” refers to the 4 disciples of the gospels. Disciples that continually “call out” the love of Yeshua Christus into a needy world. I have to admit, I am partial to that one.
Birds bring beauty into our world with their plumage, their songs, and their playful antics that keep us entertained during the day (if you are lucky enough to be retired or a child and have time to watch them). It is of little wonder that for the first 4 days of Christmas, “True Love” gifted birds to the one He loves the most.
Birds continually call out God’s song of Grace and Love – continually show His beauty in this world and in each other. And while birds of this world sometimes carry unwanted visitors, the birds of our “True Love” never do. They carry only the good things He knows we need the most.
So on this fourth Day of Christmas, I will continue to welcome His “calling birds” into my home. I will continue to welcome those strange “calling” visitors of our world into our home as well – how could I not? It is the commandment above all others. Most of all, I will carry His greatest “calling bird” in my heart and home “…all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the House of the LORD forever.”
“Lord Jehovah will shepherd me and I shall lack nothing.
He will make me lie upon lush pastures and he will lead me by restful waters.
He brings back my soul, and leads me in the paths of truth because of your Name.
Even if I shall walk in the valleys of the shadows of death, I will not be afraid of evil, because you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me,
You have prepared tables in front of me opposite my enemies; you have anointed my head with oil and my cup overflows as if it were alive*.
Your kindness and your mercies pursue me all the days of my life, that I may dwell in the house of Lord Jehovah to the length of days.”~Ps 23
About 7 days prior to Halloween, I start putting the candles back in the windows so that all the windows are filled by Halloween. It is my own little tradition. I don’t think Hubby or anyone else in my world notices, but I do.
The sun sets earlier. Daylight savings time kicks back to regular time. And since Halloween has become a much “darker” celebration than I remember it being as a child, I feel like I need to put a little light into the night.
It makes me very thankful to have a Light in the darkness.
“For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”~Ps 18:28
Candles in the windows are so easy these days. A couple batteries. A solar sensor that recognizes the darkening skies or lightening skies. Poof! A Light, barely distinguishable during the day, becomes a welcoming beacon in the night. A light that speaks of home, of warmth, of love, of dreams yet to come. A place where everything is RIGHT with the world.
I bumbled around tonight trying to find a wrap up for this Gratitude Attitude, I was clicking my way through a lot of different Roku options, and I found an old film called “Beyond Christmas”. In 1940, it was originally labeled, “Beyond Tomorrow”. Surprise – surprise – as I sniffled my way through the ending, the main character drove home the theme of the whole movie with this quote:
“Sometimes we have to go to the darkness alone before we can see the Light.”
On this 312th day of my 67th year, I am still amazed at how Our Father uses all things to work for His purposes. Here I am struggling, wondering how I am going to tie all of this together, and He just hands it to me, “Sometimes we have to go to the darkness alone…”
It has been a year fraught with many tragedies. It has also been a year abounding with bounteous blessings. We tend to ignore the Lights around us when everything is light, but when the darkness descends, those Lights are an essential guide to bring us home. I am thankful for the LIGHTS in the night that have guided me and perhaps – perhaps – my Lights in the darkness will guide someone else as well.
“Then the righteous will shine as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has an ear that will hear, let him hear.”~Matt 13:43 [google images]
This time of year is hard for me. In part, I know it is because I dislike – intensely – the heat of deep summer and the sinus swelling humidity that tends to go with it. I surely hope that when Yeshua comes again, or I when get to Heaven (whichever comes first), that there are no such things as humidity and 90+ degree heat. Hmmmm…then again…maybe the new body we get won’t have sinuses and are impervious to heat. Oooo…super powers…. Seems there are always more and more things I wonder about in the quiet of the day when I just let my brain roam.
However, the real reason this time of year is tough is because I miss the excitement. The excitement that always pulls at me hard all year round – but really hits exceptionally hard in late August. Getting a classroom ready – outlining a direction I want to go with a new group of students – incorporating things I learned over the last few years – discarding things that didn’t work – getting a class list and praying over each student and their family – greeting co-workers in quiet hallways and praying for them, our school district and challenges ahead. Now that is excitement.
This year all my Grands are in school. One taking his first steps into more formal education. The oldest two starting their first steps away from the parental nest and entering college. Excitement everywhere. In NC, double excitement layers over the initial days as schools prepare to show students in real time the first “path-of-totality” solar eclipse in anyone’s lifetime. While there have been many total and partial eclipses over the years, it is rare that one eclipse will be able to be seen in every state of the United States as either a total or partial eclipse. The last time it happened was 1776.
It is interesting to note that in Jewish tradition, the day of August 21st ends as the solar eclipse ends. Thus, begins Rosh Chodesh and the new month of Elul. This intrigues me in several of ways. First, this festival honors the faith of Jewish women who stood their ground when everyone was pressuring them to give up their gold to make the “golden calf”. Secondly, Catholic tradition also has a holy day on the 22nd of August called the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Third, the month of Elul triggers a month of repentance that leads into the Jewish High Holy Days.
Women who stand in their faith – Jewish and Gentile. A month of repentance. A sign in the sky. Is it any wonder, I am intrigued? Is there a hint in all of this that God wants us to see or is it just a rare natural occurrence that stirs us with its beauty?
My teacher self always whispers there is something to learn in everything we see, everything we do, every encounter, every circumstance – even in the very day-to-day activity of life. So why not a solar eclipse? Remember the old story? That long ago in separate countries far, far away from here, wisemen set out to follow a star. They didn’t know exactly what they would find. They just had faith enough to follow the sign. A sign that was foretold long before them. A sign in the heavens.
When I look at those three things, the one that pulls at me the most is the month of repentance. Our country is hurting. It has strayed from the days of standing on foundational rock and instead, slides to and fro on the shifting sands of society’s tidal waves. Perhaps the solar eclipse is meant to be a reminder – a call. Just as teaching calls to me every August to remember, perhaps Our Father is calling out His own reminder. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”~Matt 3:2
Tomorrow is the 21st of August. Tomorrow is the 29th of Av. Tomorrow is Monday. Tomorrow is, for some, the start of school. Tomorrow is the “path-of-totality” solar eclipse. Tomorrow is exciting. Tomorrow is hard. Tomorrow is full of possibilities and choices. Tomorrow is a new day.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if women of faith chose to stand united on the firm foundation of His WORD?
Wouldn’t it be interesting if all the children of Our Father chose to experience a month of repentence on that same firm foundation?
Wouldn’t it be interesting to seek a sign just as the wisemen did so long ago on the Path-of-Totality?
“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light on the earth’ and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light on the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”~Gen 1:14-19
In 1966, The Singing Nun won the Oscar for Best Musical. Greer Garson, Chad Everett, Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban – and one of my favorite movies. Tonight seemed to be a good night to watch an old movie. A movie filled with music, stars I loved to watch as a child, and tied to many memories in my treasure chest.
“Dominique, nique, nique, over the land he plods
And sings a little song
Never asking for reward
He just talks about the Lord
He just talks about the Lord”
The album played over and over on the little gray stereo that sat on our porch until eventually the scratches outnumbered the the playable rings of melodies. Loosely based on the true story of a nun from Belgium who achieved the number one Billboard ranking for her song “Dominique” in 1963, the movie hints at the serpent that waits in every hedge. Waits for an opening into his world.
“…and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.”~Ecc 10:8
In real life, the Sister who became famous in 1963 broke the hedge and the serpent bit. Pulled between the two yards, the “Singing Nun” became more and more discontented. In the movie, the Sister reached her hand out to break the hedge, but turned away at the last minute to return to what had led her to build her tent in the first yard.
I have to admit, I loved the Debbie Reynolds’ version better than the real life story. The Singing Nun never had another song reach the pinnacle of “Dominique” and eventually, she drifted from the minds of all the people who lived in those two yards. The venom of the serpent blinded and deafened her to the peace of the covenant that was still there surrounding her. She just forgot the ancient prophet and the words of a resurrected rabbi that still cried to her to bend down and wash her eyes in the pool to find His peace.
“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”~Is 54:10
Life is like that. We build those hedges around what we love – – hoping to keep the serpent out of our yards and far away from our tent. Yet sometimes, we forget and break that hedge by our own choice. It is then we need to pull up the mustard plant, harvest the seed into our hand, close our eyes and walk back through the hedge to the pool by our first tent.
God has promised He is always there. Yeshua Christus repeated the promise – “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” – the humble – the broken – the poisoned – the outcasts from their own yard – the ones who tore down the tent and broke the hedge but somehow – by faith – remember the faint rambling of an ancient promise – “…for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matt 5:4
The songs from the movie are still singing in my head. My eyes are heavy while the growing kitten is already out for the night (still mad that I gave her a bath today to kill some fleas). Our Chocolaty dogs are complaining because I haven’t taken them back to the coolness of the bedroom (but they are happy to be clean once again – for a little while), and I open my memory chest. A memory chest that holds the mustard seed necklace my parents gave me when I was a child. It is time to yawn, stretch and spend some time with He who always fulfills His promises. [Google images]
“Grant us now, oh Dominique
The grace of love and simple mirth
That we all may help to quicken
Godly life and truth on earth.”~
SOEUR SOURIRE, NOEL REGNEY (Jeanne Paule Deckers)