Tag Archives: new testament

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2017 #5

“On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

5 golden promises.

“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”~Num 22:27

“Do not be afraid…since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard…”~Dan 10:12

“In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.”~Ps 4:8

“Your faith has given you life, go in peace.”~Lk 7:50

“The grace of Our Lord Yeshua The Messiah be with all of his Holy Ones. Amen.”~Rev 22:21

“On the 5th Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, 5 gold rings.”

Gold rings often symbolize a covenant. A vow to be kept between two parties. A promise. Many believe the five golden rings in this song are the 4 written gospels and the existence of the Jewish people. Old Testament covenant blended with the New Testament covenant.

Just a song. A children’s song. A song sung in the backseats of cars. A song knocked off so many times in so many ways. And yet – perhaps – it is so much more.

12 Days to ponder the true Gift of Christmas. 12 Days to honor the True Love who sent the Gift. 12 Days to remember to whom all honor should be given.

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”

[google images]

KNOW

Did you know that out of all the books in the Bible, there is one book that does not mention God at all?

Reading the Old Testament has never been easy for me until I started learning about Jewish history, wisdom and traditions. Like the proverbial light bulb, I am starting to not only understand but want to read more. It puts so many questions from the New Testament to rest but then raises twice as many to the forefront of my mind.

Isn’t that always the way?

Anyway, today the Jewish people finish celebrating the festival called Purim. They read all 10 chapters of the book of Esther today in this last month of the Jewish calendar, Adar. All these centuries later, they continue to celebrate Esther saving the Jewish people from Haman’s plan of destruction. These were dark times for the Jewish people.

Dark times. Esther’s times. A time when they did not “FEEL” the presence of God. They did not overtly hear His voice speaking to them or through their leadership. They did not see His Hand steering their purpose. They did not feel His love sheltering them from their enemies. The Bible denotes these dark times by not mentioning His name or even referencing Him at all – not even once.

If you’re like me, you have to scratch your head and wonder why? Rabbinic wisdom says it is because the Bible is a book of life. There are dark times in life. Thus, these dark days have to be represented in the Torah. There are just times when we don’t “FEEL” God in anyway, shape or form. Not in our selves – in our leadership – in our culture. In fact it seems like the darker the times the less we “FEEL” God at all. The importance of Purim in the last month of the year is to point us towards the fact that at the end of all mortal things, we don’t have to “FEEL” anything – we just have to “KNOW”.

“KNOW” that Our Father is still there, just like we “KNOW” that He was there at the beginning. His Hand is still moving over us, sheltering us. His voice is still speaking to us and for us, even when we don’t hear it. His Love continues to weave a comforter around us when we are shivering and with bellies empty. His Light is still pointing out the rocks and the abysses under our feet even if we don’t recognize it.

That’s the whole point of Esther’s story…Purim. The last month of God’s year. A joyous celebration of “KNOWING” overcomes any dark time that we are experiencing. An earthly ending that is just a spiritual beginning.

The past few days as I have been rolling all these crazy thoughts over in my mind, I like to think that this is probably the time of year when Yeshua was laid in a manger. The Roman occupation of the Jewish land certainly qualifies as dark times.  Avar is the last month.  The end of a physical year. Looks like a great time for a spiritual beginning to me.  God likes His festivals. He likes to remind us of all the things He has been trying to teach us since our creation.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that Christ was sacrificed as the perfect lamb the weekend of Passover. After all – it just takes one look at the intricacies of creation to figure out that Father God is a very detailed oriented entity. Lining up things is probably one of the easier things He accomplishes. Although – the way we like to screw things up – maybe we don’t make it all that easy.

Anyway – there you go. When dark times come on the mortal side of things, the beginning on the spiritual side is just not far off. Part of me is rejoicing in this because we are definitely showing signs of dark times in this ol’ world. The other part sends me to the knees in prayer for this ol’ world.

I may not always “FEEL” God in my life – but the the Book of Esther in the Bible and Christ remind me to “KNOW” God IS with me – all the time, in every situation, for ever and ever, AMEN and AMEN. I think I know what song will sing me to sleep tonight – “Jesus love me this I “KNOW”, for the Bible tells me so…”  [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #44

I was rummaging around in my office today. Trying to dig through the huge box of pictures and “stuff” my mom had accumulated in the later years of her life and handed over to me, has not been easy. There were fragments of her life story written on legal size yellow notebook paper. Aged, multi-colored-stained note cards covered with hand-written recipes (this from a woman who hated cooking). Pins, postcards and pictures from various conferences across the country. Dad’s stuff – her stuff – my stuff all mixed together. Memories that will take a long time to categorize since there is almost a half a century of “stuff’ with no year designation in sight.
I love it.
I set a goal. Grab one handful and that is all I do for the day. It may take forever, but saves on the frustration level. Best yet – that ‘push to finish’ isn’t around, and I can actually feel their presence as I work. Their voices talk as I read their words, this fear-filled world falls away, and it is as if I find them and our home all over again.
God is like that.
‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’~Jer 29:13
During the day, I try to remember to reach in my life “box” and grab a hand-full of things that God left in there for me to find. As I read His words, His voice takes over and I bask in His presence. The neat thing is that presence tends to stay with me during the rest of the day. Cooking in the kitchen, listening to the news full of angst and fear, walking the dogs, reading to the Grands, crying over the picture of my mom when she wore a queen’s crown.
God’s presence is with us always – just up to us to seek it and turn away from the fear that the world wants us to feel. No surprise – today’s Ration, written in 1942, was written just for me.
1942 Daily Ration:           Read: II Timothy 1:1-12
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee…For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’~II Timothy 1:6,7
“Almost everyone we meet is fear-ridden in some way. Fear of germs, fear of hunger, fear of assaults, fear of losing a job, fear of harm to loved ones- – -the list is endless. Make a list of your individual fears, and the group fears you have taken over. Look at them squarely. For most of us, the list will be long. How do we ever manage to enter any new day with such a burden on our spirits?
“The New Testament ‘good news’ is that we do not have to hear such a burden. To be free from it is the gift of God- – -not only to be free from fear, but to save in its place power, and love, and a sound mind.
“We want this gift above all else, and God is offering it to us- – -yet we do not reach out and take it. We will not let God give us his gift.
“Prayer: O most loving Father, who willest us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of thee, and to cast all our care on thee, who cares for us, preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no cloud of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which thou hast manifested unto us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

[Akiane/google images]

10 Book Challenge

Labor Day.  Big party was yesterday at the daughter’s.  Took lots of pictures.  Got my needed hugs and kisses from the Grands.  Today’s plan…dogs to lake…read book…write a little…pray a little more… and just laze around.

Got the first two things started and then made the mistake of checking FB because I had some pictures to share with the daughter.  One of my friends sent a challenge:  “In your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great books of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends including me, so I can see your list.”

hopalongI was not tagged – shame on this friend who knew I would love this challenge, but I tagged myself because I loved this idea.   Seeing as how I really didn’t have anything major planned.  Seeing as how the husband was off “laboring” on Labor Day.  Seeing as how books have entirely ruled my life from the time I discovered words on my childhood area rug that said:  Hop-a-Long Cassidy in big white letters (if memory serves, mine was a brown rug – but then again – that is memory for you).  I thought, “This would be a quick and fun thing to do”.   HA!

Hmmmmm….not so quick but definitely a great pursuit for the introspective Jewish month of Elul.  Because – just how do you limit it to 10 books?   I have since thought of at least 5 more books, I should have liked to squeezed into the original “ten”.  Must be Common Core is sinking into my logic – 10 doesn’t necessarily mean 10 – right?  

1. bibleBible (where would my soul be without it?  I read it everyday.  2 chapters of the OT, 5 psalms, 1 chapter of Proverbs, 2 chapters of NT and assorted side tracks into Daniel, Isaiah, etc.)


2. ifjesuscameIf Jesus Came to My House by Joan G. Thomas (1st book I remember reading over and over)

 


3. black like meBlack Like Me by John Howard Griffin (read it in Jr. Hi. and sent me on a quest; took the 1st ever Black Studies classes offered on OSU-Cols campus, read tons more favorites (Malcom X, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son, Fredrick Douglas, Langston Hughes…oooh where do I stop???)


4. Edgar Cayce the Sleeping Prophet (found on the self of the Loudonvillecayce Library when I was working there as a page and started me on my own spiritual quest outside of my parents’ faith…and all books by Cayce, Ruth Montgomery, Authur Ford, Jane Roberts, etc)

 

whitman
5. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (Thank you, Mrs. Robinson, for this one, the research paper I wrote on his life and all the poetry books that I devoured after that.)


6. atlasAtlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and all her books (changed my politics a little more and challenged my faith since she was writing from an atheistic bias)

 


7. Dialogue with the Devil by Taylor Caldwell handed to me by a stranger downloadin the Whitehall Library in Columbus who said I needed to read it (then I preceded to read every book she wrote, including her autobiography Growing Up Tough which I read portions of for our 8th grade autobio unit)

 

akiane8. Akiane Kramarik: Her Life, Her Art, Her Poetry (Added depth of thought on SOOOOOO many levels)

 


9.blessingsThe Path of Blessing by Rabbi Marcia Prager (continues to add so much depth of thought behind Rabbi Yeshua actions and words, even though she is not Christian, she is His child.  Thanks to my good friend who didn’t tag me for recommending this book)
10. And all classics – Children – Young Adult – Adult (doesn’t matter) – any genre (doesn’t matter) – after all – that is why they are called classics.

It got me thinking about how much reading has meant to me and continues to mean to me.  When my mom developed Macular Degeneration, we got her books on tape via the library.  She had a hard time operating the tape recorder, but she loved listening to me when I would read to her.  I read her newspapers, books, magazines and letters that my kids sent via e-mail.  It would make her laugh or cry or start a discussion that would last in my heart for many years.

Reading is like that.  It builds and elicits memories on so many levels.  Movies that exist in our heads.  New lands to visit.  New time periods to learn details that we never knew from the history books.  Emotions that we had forgotten.  Dreams to seek – as a child – an adult – a senior citizen.  Reading is all that and probably much more than I have remembered.

I love this Jewish month.  It is appropriate that school starts in this month as students start the long road of reading for knowledge, wisdom and discernment.  I love challenges.  I love a book challenge.

Wisdom is supreme:  therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  ”  Prov 4:7

Lenten Journey #12

My 14 year old grandson made a wonderful discovery today and he wasn’t afraid to talk about it in a FB status. “Pretty gutsy,” as Grandma Mickey would say. Then I read all the Bible verses that he referenced. I found myself laughing when I got to one section of it because Moses’s words could so easily have been mine.

“He [Moses] asked the LORD, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now–if I have found favor in your eyes–and do not let me face my own ruin.” Num 11:11-15

There are so many times when I find myself ranting and raving and being very dramatic before my LORD…just like Moses. Especially, when I didn’t want to be on the journey. Looks like I’m in good company. This is also one time I wish I knew what Jewish wisdom says about this portion of the Torah. My guess – it’s just lucky that Moses paved the road for the rest of us. Our Father kinda knows what to expect of us and sent Jesus to make it a little easier. However, when I looked back at the first section of the Bible readings, Rabbi Jesus put up with the same type of whining from the Jewish people during his time on earth…including the disciples who argued over who would “sit on His left and right side” or how to “feed a multitude” or “save us from the storm”….

Faith is not easy when you are on a journey through a desert or through a flood, snowstorm, up a mountain…however you want to envision it, and I think that is why God gave us so many examples in His WORD. I used to wonder why in the world any of the “heroes” in the OT and even Paul in the NT were there? Most of them had some serious character flaws (not to mention the disciples who ran away when things got tough). And then I became a wiser adult and noticed all my own character flaws and how hard it was to stay on Our Father’s path. If everyone in the Bible was perfect, we would all give up. Even the disciples queried, “Who then can be saved?” (Matt 19:25) Jesus knows. Our Father knows. And that is exactly the purpose of the Lenten Journey.   http://www.biblestudytools.com/passage.aspx?q=Matthew+19%3A16-30%3B+Numbers+11-12%3B+Ecclesiastes+8