Tag Archives: Messiah

SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY

Back in the ol’ days when families were large and relatives rarely moved further than 30 miles away, cousins were part of the fabric of our lives.  They were at our home or we were at theirs. We played.  We went to church together. We played again. Their parents babysat us for various reasons. We played and played and played. We went to family reunions.  Where – you guessed it, we played some more. We were family. 

Now Mom was not the best cook in the world, but her sisters definitely made up for it. Aunt Polly could make real spaghetti that didn’t come out of a box.  Aunt Nancy made fried chicken to die for while Mom only made the cereal-coated, baked kind.  And – dessert at either house was mouthwatering.  However – to be fair – Mom could make some really good desserts – – -when she didn’t get busy doing something else and burn whatever was in the oven. (Unlike most of my cousins and friends, I had no idea that chocolate chip cookies weren’t mean to be hard and burned on the bottom until I went to college.)

Gonna take a sentimental journey.
Gonna set my heart at ease.
Gonna make a sentimental journey,
To renew old memories.

This has been a week full of sentimental journeys.  Sentimental journeys that included my cousins. I LOVED going to my cousins’ homes – whether for a week of “camp” (while Mom and Dad had their own “vacation”) or just for a day of family “get-together”.  Didn’t matter if we only went across town or drove for an hour.  It was a “cousin” adventure.

This week has been one of those weeks when the bittersweet memories have drifted across my brain on a fairly regular basis since I’ve been recovering from an inner ear infection.  Most times, I don’t have a great re-call of my childhood.  Not sure why, but when something triggers a memory, I am blessed with some tears and a smile.  This week one of my cousins decided to join the rest of the McCaskey clan in heaven so the trigger was pulled back.

Got my bag, got my reservation.
Spent each dime I could afford.
Like a child in wild anticipation,
Long to hear that “All aboard”

Mike was one of those baby cousins that I tended to ignore on most of our visits. One – he was a boy. Two – when he was born, I was entering my teen years.  Except for getting paid for babysitting, I didn’t care much for babies. They are cute, but they don’t do much.  I remember Aunt Nancy’s house because there were lots of cousins, there were babies, and there were bunk beds. Bunk beds, to my way of thinking, were the absolute wonder of the world. There was lots of space to run outside. There were new games of pretend to enact.   And – they got 2 more TV stations then we did – or maybe they just got a different station then we did.  After all – homes that got 3 stations all the time were hard to find.

Pretend games of being a flying horse who could change into a human was my favorite.  But one time, when the McCaskey sisters had a mini reunion at Aunt Nancy’s house and all the cousins were there, the 3 girl cousins decided to take on the way too many boy cousins.  I remember we blockaded the bedroom door and were jumping from bunk bed to bunk bed. I was a midnight black panther who, of course, could change into a person.  Eventually, I was set loose from the confines of the bedroom and led the chase of all who dared torment us.

How it ended – I have no idea.  I just remember the chase, the laughter, the meals, and the love of family surrounding all of us as we fought, played, fell on each other and prayed together at night where I got to sleep in one of those dreamy bunk beds.  Sentimental journeys always bring a treasure forward in this crazy brain of mine. Bittersweet or not – I love walking backwards for a short time and just letting the memories push me towards home. 

Never thought my heart could be so ‘yearny’.
Why did I decide to roam?
Gotta take that sentimental journey,
Sentimental journey home.

Blessed is God The Father of Our Lord Yeshua The Messiah, The Father of mercy and The God of all comfort, He who comforts us in all our afflictions that we also can comfort those who are in all our afflictions, with that comfort by which we are comforted from God.”~2 Cor 1:3-4 

Advertisements

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

What can I say – it’s a High School Musical type of night.

Some nights are just designed to kick back, forget the aches and pains, the troubles of the world, and just sing – (come on – I know you know the tune) –

“We’re all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true.”

Were you clapping your hands? Moving to the music? Couldn’t you just see – somewhere – in a magical moment out of time – the world rolls out the marching band – joins the curtain call – harmonizes chordal nuances until the the body just can’t sit still – fingers tapping, toes dancing – souls reaching hand to hand – making “all of our dreams come true.”

Can’t help but smile, can you?

And yet – – – some of you are sighing.

The world’s people could choose to dance instead. We could choose to find the hidden talents in each other. We could choose to not bully others to think the way we do. We could choose to throw away the team playbook or the dramatic clipboard. We could choose to reach out our hand to those standing beside us.

We could choose to sing in harmony and create our own movie musical – – a World Musical – – a Garden Musical.

“For we also from the first were without intelligence and without conviction. We were deceived and Servants to changing lusts and were employed in wickedness and in envy. We were despicable and hating one another.” ~Tiitus 3:3

It is easy to get caught up in the sniping these days – the undermining – the possessing of things – the bullying in relationships – the anger boiling in our bellies. Much harder to to be still and listen. Listen to the words. Listen to the pain. Listen to the dissonance. Listen to the soft voice inside of each of us that is still singing… “We’re all in this together…”

“But when the sweetness and the loving kindness of God, Our Lifegiver, was revealed, Not by works of righteousness that we had done, but by his own love [when] he gave us life, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of The Spirit of Holiness, Whom he poured upon us richly by Yeshua The Messiah,Our Lifegiver, That we would be made right by his grace and we would be heirs by the hope in eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

Tonight, kitten is burrowed deep in the corner of the chair beside me – purring and occasionally stretching her claws to knead my leg. Dogs are snoring and Hubby has already retired into the coolness of our bedroom. Since i’m yawning, I know I’m not far behind all the other creatures of our quirky home. But tonight, after prayers have been said and I crash on the bed, I think I will go back to that magical moment out of time once again. When I will close my eyes, listen to the harmonies and remember…

“When we reach
We can fly
Know inside
We can make it – – –
We’re all in this together…”~Nevil/Gerrad

PROMISES REMEMBERED

“The seed breaks to give us the wheat. The soil breaks to give us the crop. The sky breaks to give us the rain. The wheat breaks to give us the bread. And the bread breaks to give us the feast. There was once even an alabaster jar that broke to give Him all the glory…Never be afraid of being a broken thing.”~The Farmer, Ann Voskamp’s husband in The Broken Way, p25

Our families are broken.

Our country is broken.

Our world is broken.

I am broken.

This world and all its people have been broken since two humans stood beneath two trees in a Garden.

One thing I love about being retired is I can be a total learner again. Journals, paper and four books litter the table and floors around my chair in the living room. Two books sit on my desk with stashes of writing in various stages for decoration. Note cards have suddenly returned to my life, Not as something to be graded as when I taught research skills to grumpy junior high students, but note cards full of things that are still roughened gems waiting to be polished by my grasping mind that runs a little slower these days.

“B’RESHEET BARA ELOHIM…”~Gen 1:1

The Jewish words circled back around for the second day in a row in my devotions today. “In the beginning, God created…”

Three simple words. A plural noun. A singular verb. A mystery.calling out. Three words that began the story of a beloved group people – one broken man – one broken family – one broken people traveling in a broken world.

Broken people who walked away from that perfect Garden with a promise – found a path – strayed off the path – over and over – time after time – and yet – – – YHVH, LORD, loves them – calls to them – became them. He was. He is. He will be. Promises of infinite Love and Grace made in the past, remembered in the present, fulfilled in the future.

YHVH. Broken. Mashiach.

As I walked around the house, running the roomba, dusting the bookshelves, the Hebrew words continued to turn in my mind. And and when, after several days of clouds, the sun broke through, I was not surprised. God has been winking at us from the beginning. Trying to catch our attention. Trying to remind us of the very first promise He made. Sending the Annointed One when we needed Him most and is sending Him again when we need Him even more.

Promises made. Promises remembered. Promises fulfilled.

I AM.

More than we can imagine. More dreams. More hope. More treasure. More Love. More blessings. More Grace. More possibilities than could ever be learn in a lifetime. We may be broken now, but not forever.

“For a seed to come fully into its own, it must become wholly undone. The shell must break open, its insides must come out, and everything must change. If you didn’t understand what life looks like, you might mistake it for complete destruction.”~Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way, p.26. [google images]

 

Advent Love #1: The Journey

“God always takes the initiative- – -He blessed first, served first, comforted first, and most of all, LOVED first. An then it’s up to us.”~Max Lucado, p175, Because of Bethlehem
 
This is the week, I really tend to start centering in on the humanity of the Holy family and the journey they actually took I mean – really? Walking and/or riding a donkey for 60 – 100 miles (depending on the probable routes of the times) in the last week of pregnancy has to be the ultimate ‘I-don’t-wanna-do-this-ever’ for new parents. And yet – somewhere deep within me – I know they didn’t even question it.
 
You have to figure that Mary and Joseph came from families that were immersed in scripture study. Visited by an angel – covered by the Holy Spirit – visited by another angel – Mary and Joseph knew scripture. They knew the prophecies – they knew that their son, Yeshua, would be born in Bethlehem – even before a Roman emperor told them that they would have to journey there to be counted.
 
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”~Micah 5:2
 
They may not have liked it, but they knew Abba was faithful in His promises. They knew they were on a journey like no other, and they walked that long distance in faith. Just as they had traveled the last 9 months – of fear – of derision – of lectures – of shunning…. The long distance into the wilderness – the heat of day and the cold of night – the Braxton-Hicks Contractions…the pain…discomfort – snakes and robbers perhaps hidden ahead – or – on good days – staying with relatives, friends or even – perhaps – an inn – resting on the Sabbath – money to travel – maybe? – but – in reality? – no place to call their own…no place to lay their heads… no place to lay their child…the Messiah…
 
Sometimes over the years, I’ve wondered if they thought that God would open a miraculous door, and they would find a place “fit for a king” waiting for them when they got to Bethlehem. I’m pretty sure that Abba didn’t fill in a lot of details for them any more than He does us when He pushes us out the door on our own journeys. As I study the scriptures, El is great at pointing the way, but expects us to travel on faith most of the time. I guess you can tell, that is not always my favorite way of embarking on a journey. I’m still working on that particular aspect of my character.
 
However, as I read over the last couple of paragraphs again, the proverbial light bulb went on in my sometimes functioning mind. Bam!! It made sense. His parents had to travel their own mirror journey of what Christ’s path would reflect. How could they “train up a child the way he should go…” if they didn’t understand what hardships might lie ahead in His earthly, humanoid journey.
 
“Therefore we shall love God because he first LOVED us.”~1 John 4:19
 
Today, hubby put on his shorts and took his own journeys. He ran the four-wheeler, the scooter, the motorcycle and walked the dogs. I worked on Christmas stocking #3, cleaned the garage, delivered a pine decoration to a neighbor and lit the final Advent candle.
 
We are blessed. Prayers circle. LOVE arrives as a baby. Merry Christ-mass. Seek the infant.
[google images]

Advent Peace #6:Expectation

“…when God performs a miracle you don’t ask “how”, you just give thanks.” ~The Miracle of the Cards movie (2001)

Every year – besides driving the Hubby crazy with non-stop Christmas movies and music – I bury myself in reading old Christmas books. I don’t mean modern old – I mean – childhood old.
Kitty’s Christmas.
The Little Lost Angel.
The Littlest Angel.
Capote’s Christmas Memory.
Dickens’ Christmas Carol and various other stories.
Raphael, the Herald Angel.
If I’m lucky I will eventually make it to the more modern Christmas books like The Immortal Nicholas, The “Best” Christmas Pageant Ever, and eventually end with – of course – the Night Before Christmas and Amahl and the Night Visitors singing me to sleep.

There is something so special about the old literature that seems to be missing from the more modern Christmas books. It puts me in mind of the Old Testament where there is a hint or a mention of the Messiah in every book. An expectation. A hopeful excitement that says “perhaps today” as you read each page.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”~Is 7:14

In our modern and oh-so-wise era, we tend to explain away such verses or use “reason” to explain such illogical words. But way – way back – when times were simpler and answers were much harder than a push of a few keys, they didn’t ask “how” or “why”. Instead, they accepted the WORD on faith taught by their parents and their parents’ parents – an expectation given with excitement and thankfulness.

“The Story of Christmas is the story of God’s relentless love for us.”~Max Lucado, Because of Christmas

This week, as I finish up Christmas cards and get a little more serious about the stockings and gifts that need to be finished way too so soon, I go back to the WORD and read through those expectant verses of the first Advent in Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and on and on and on till I get to Revelations. Then I read the expectant verses for His return visit. That is when I truly feel the Christmas spirits – the expectant spirit – the “perhaps today” spirit. For it is there where I find Abba’s true gift of “relentless love”.

” ‘Lemuel,’ he shouted, and tears of joy streamed down his face, ‘they are singing the song of the heavenly Chorus. It wasn’t lost – our songs were never lost! Our message was heard! They heard us, Lemuel! We did not fail!’…And Raphael, the Herald Angel, led the mighty chorus.”~Raphael,The Herald Angel by David Apell and Merle Hudson (p55).

Because of Christmas #9: Perhaps Today

Usually – by this time of the day, an idea has been circling around in my brain for hours. A hint. Additional input filtered through the synapses. A few tweaks here and there and the outline has taken shape enough that I feel like I know what I’m supposed to write about for the day.

Not so today.

There’s simply been too many ideas circulating in my brain. Everytime I think I’ve found a focus, something else spears its way into my sphere, and I’m off track again.

Thanksgiving Day………Family Foibles………Christmas………Simeon….

So many choices and no inner nudges that are highlighting one thing and yet – this huge knocking in my head that I am missing something. Something huge. Something obvious. Something that is right in front of my face, and I’m missing it.

Hmmm…..a few days ago, I wrote “Signs Instruct Direction”, so I think I need to go look at things that I wrote down because they caught my attention throughout the day.

“Wise is the saint like Simeon.”~Max Lucado (p102)

If I had the faith of Simeon, I wouldn’t be biting my nails and wondering what the next paragraph is going to look like. Simeon knew. He was waiting. He had complete confidence in one fact – he would see the Messiah in his lifetime. God had promised. God fulfills all His promises.

What is it like to have such a faith? To wake up everyday and think to himrself: אולי היום ……. perhaps today …. Did he have the words posted in his notes on scripture? Did he talk about it with other rabbis as they debated the scriptures and Jewish wisdom? Or – did his gut just ache, so deep inside him that he knew beyond human knowledge that “perhaps today”…. “perhaps today”…he would see the One he longed to see the most?

The advent of the Messiah into the world. God’s plan of salvation.

I remember lying under a huge maple tree in my front yard long, long ago. The light filtered through the leaves, and there was a promise whispered in the wind. A promise I didn’t understand but absorbed like breath itself. Unlike Simeon, however, my faith faltered and tumbled into dark recesses of my crazy choices for long periods of time. But occasionally – when my spiritual ears would be tickled to listen – I would remember, breathe deeply and think: perhaps today. Then I would stand outside, hold my breath until I felt His breath, and breathe deeply in that God promise to me and remember – God keeps all promises.

My faith is stronger in these latter days. However, because the faith is stronger, the waiting is harder – I am impatient. Have always been impatient. In fact, it is one of those things, God has challenged me to work on – PATIENCE. Errrrrrr……I have to admit, the more challenges He gives me, the more I’m looking forward to a point when time is not linear.

So today (in linear time lingo), I took a lesson from Max Lucado. i wrote the words: “Perhaps Today” in large letters. I added some artistic flairs here and there so it will daily draw my eye in my war room. Everyday I want to be reminded of Simeon’s faith in his Abba’s promise. He knew that Jehovah-Jireh would provide the fulfillment of the promise at the perfect time. And that day as he held the Messiah in his arms, he spoke to the blessing:

“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
I have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared for all people.
He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”~Lk 2:29-32

As this day of giving thanks pushes to its own fulfillment, I think I will take one more last trip outside with the dogs. I will hold my breath, open my ears and breathe deeply. When I feel His holy breath deep within me and I am waiting with expectation, I will say…perhaps today……….perhaps today………….perhaps today……….   [google images]

Because of Christmas #8: Humble Pie

It as not been a good year for Humbles. There’s been a drought of kindness in the meager water supply. Not to mention, the much needed love fertilizer was held up in production due to an ineffective leadership that had not taken good care of the factory or its workers. If only a Thanksgiving a miracle would occur. But alas, the last sarcastic hail and hate tornadoes decimated the field to only a remnant. There might be no Humble pie tomorrow at the table.

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”~Prov 11:2

In its glory, an abundant crop of Humbles is hard to describe. Their fruits are an array of iridescent colors, and when conditions are right, the tree of the Humble seems to dance in the light of the grace-full Son. Harvested, the fruits’ smell seeps free of its flesh and permeates the very air around it with such sweetness that it blesses every Thanksgiving homestead for an entire year.

“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”~1 Peter 5:5

Herod didn’t like Humble Pie. Didn’t eat it. Didn’t grow the fruit. In fact, he burned the fields where the trees grew. He even closed his curtains against the light of the Son. He knew he was right. He pursed is lips and refused to listen to anyone’s opinion except his own. He ignored the signs. He avoided the manna that he could have gathered. Worse – he wouldn’t drink from the well that would never run dry. His perversions were well documented, and he missed the grace of Humbles blooming in his fields forever.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”~Phil 2:3

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Not just a day to watch football. Not just a day to eat food. Not just a day to spend with family. Not just a day to debate issues. Not just a day to shop for material things. Not just day off work. Not just a day.

“And everything that you perform in word and in works, do in the name of our Lord Yeshua The Messiah and give thanks by him to God The Father.”~Col 3:17

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A day to find one of the remnant Humbles. There are a few trees left. Seek it out. Harvest it within your field. Make a pie and offer it as a blessing to those who share your table, that your loving Father might bless your year in the name of the Son who eternally brings grace to a never empty table.

 

“To the humble, God gifts great treasures.”~Max Lucado (p88)

Blessings!Be! and a Blessed Thanksgiving for all. [google images]

LEFT HAND TWIST

lefthandedaFirst – you have to love a place where you can browse 30-50 free books whenever you want.

Second – you have to love a book that is titled “The Left-handed Book”.

Third – you gotta LOVE a professor named Dr. BRYNg BRYNgelson of the university of Minnesota who says, “Left-handed people tend to be more creative, more imaginative than right-handed people.”

Well – you do have to admit that if you were a left-handed, retired English teacher/reader named Bryn you would definitely have to consider “loving” these three things.

Somedays, you just go where ever the road takes you and just chill. Today I didn’t unpack one box – – – or move things around – – – or decide where to “permanently” place things for the remainder of our duration in this home. Didn’t clean anything. Didn’t blow leaves out of the garage. Didn’t do much at all.

Instead, I picked up a Grand, spent some time with squirmy-glad-its-Friday kids, started a new book that I picked up in our free space in Saxapahaw, and laughed my way through another little tome from the same place – a 1966 classic on being left-handed. It even comes with a Lefthanded Manifesto: “Be it resolved that all LEFT-THINKING citizens, mindful that their BIRTHLEFT has been denied them, shall henceforth stand up for their LEFTS! We call upon each one of them to support this BILL OF LEFTS, and specifically to….”

I’m not sure where this day was supposed to lead. I’m not sure I accomplished anything that I was supposed to accomplish (except I did get the Grand to his mother safely). What I do know is that it was a good day. It was a day to enjoy the sunshine, dream/plan/wonder about the gardens that I need to get under way and just enjoy a silly little book

Being left-handed was never a problem for me – except for one teacher in elementary school – who made sure I knew that she thought all left-handers should have been changed back in kindergarten – never did get above a “C” in handwriting in her class. I did have to work hard at learning how to use scissors, sit in right handed desks, write in straight lines on a chalkboard and twirl a baton good enough to match the other girls. And when frustrations turned to tears,I had a mother who slapped me upside the head and said, “God made you exactly the way you are supposed to be in this life, and if you quit you aren’t trusting Him enough”. Can’t argue with that kind of logic. Can’t give up with that kind of mother either.

Some day, I will pass this funny little book on to my left-handed granddaughter. Together, we can laugh as I explain how it was in the “old” days. Always such a fun thing when we can pass on our history or share how to do things with a leftie twist. It is another link in Our Father’s family chain of life that just keeps growing longer and longer and longer.

New things to learn.lefthandedb

Old things to discard.

Memories to treasure.

Rainbows to follow.

“For we are his creatures who are created in Yeshua The Messiah for good works, those things which God had from the first prepared that we should walk in them.”~Ep 2:10

PS – I wasn’t making up that professor’s name either.https://www.mnsu.edu/…/ku…/pioneers/bryngelson/bryngbio.html

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

{google images]

 

DON’T LET GO!

song-of-solomon-3-4-e1423400373699Jewish sages teach that before the Messiah comes, God will shake the world like a rug. Things will not make sense. Turmoil will beat our terra casting the dirt into eternity of choices. The tiny mud ball in universe of large, beautiful creations will rock back and forth and the people will stumble. Faith will falter. People will question, “How can a loving God allow this to happen to His creation – His people?”

It is then that our guidebook counsels that we must hold to Him with the same kind of love that He used when He wrote us in the palm of His hand. “I seized him, and let him not go…” His hand grips ours, but we must grip back so we do not fall away.

Are my fingers weakening?

Is the sweat of doubt making them slippery?

Can I hold fast or am I falling?

Sadly, my hands often tremble. My grip loosens, and I whimper in my fear. Evil cuts the fingers deeply. But when I force myself to open the WORD, to seek His guidance, that my fingers stop bleeding and begin to strengthen. I hold on for just a little longer and read some more. It is then His love encompasses me and stills the beating of my heart. It is then the rocking of terra beneath my feet lessens, and my feet do not stumble. It is then my love and faith unites with His own. It is then, I choose to seize and not let go.

“But a little I passed on from them, Till I found him whom my soul hath loved! I seized him, and let him not go, Till I brought him in unto the house of my mother — And the chamber of her that conceived me.” Song of Solomon 3:4