Tag Archives: New Year

2020 VISION: Short, Sweet #9

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.

In Your name they rejoice all day long,
And in Your righteousness they are exalted.
For You are the glory of their strength,
And in Your favor our horn is exalted.

For our shield belongs to the Lord,
And our king to the Holy One of Israel” (Ps. 89:15-18).

The sun has set in NC, so the Feast of Trumpets and High Holy Days have begun. When Jesus was a boy, He would walk for 6 days to get to Jerusalem – that is how important it was for family and friends to make the journey.  10 days of worshiping the Father and listening for His voice. 

“But the LORD God called out to the man,“Where are you?” Gen 3:9

Jewish sages say that in the days leading up to the High Holy Days, Abba comes down to earth and wanders among His people as He did during the days of the Garden for this is the day of Creation.  5781 years ago – the Day He drew a deep breath and spoke, “Light Be!”  So He comes.  Calling to His children to return to Him.  Wanting them to seek His face.  Missing His friends and wishing they could walk together as they once did long ago.

“Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the Law.” Prov 29:18

Yeshua Ha-Mashiach brought us a vision 2000 years ago. He walked among us with power, signs and wonders or we would call them – miracles. A reminder that Abba’s desire is always to walk with us.  A reminder that as we look within, seek deep introspection, and find our knees in repentance that Jesus stands beside us, His hand resting on our head, and the Father doesn’t have to ask any longer, “Where are you?”

Blow the shofar. 

Light the candles. 

Eat the Bread. 

Drink the wine. 

Sing praises of Awe to Him who continues to seek us even in the dark of the night because He misses us and loves us beyond comprehension. 

Shofar

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2020 VISION – EPIPHANY

Epiphany – 12th Day of Christmas – The arrival of the wisemen – put away decorations – an idea that takes hold in the mind.

Everyone seems to have their own ideas on what Epiphany is – that is – IF they even remember that there is such a thing.

“On the twelfth day my true love gave to me
Twelve drummers drumming…”

The 12 disciples – the Apostles Creed – the 12 tribes of Judah – the prayer of Yeshua…

GOD IS!

The wisemen raised in a tradition started by Daniel during Babylon sojourn (or so I’ve read). They read their histories. They read the stars. They trusted something beyond belief and rode into the unknown following only a star to a baby and his family.

GOD ACTS!

Long before any could put all the pieces together, God was already doing so. Aligning stars. Using Daniel’s captivity to unfurl another mystery. Protecting His newly given Son. Drumming history into the words of a song that people would sing far in the future.

GOD CHANGES!

People reason. Ideas take shape and wallah – there is a plan to act on – an answer to the problem. “We are so smart,” we think. We march forward only to find a river in front of us. A storm on the horizon. A mountain that won’t move. A fig tree without a bloom. An empty garden. Silence around us. What now?

“I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.”v.16

I am eclectic. No other way to put it. I bounce between genres of music, literature and religion. Any day you could find me bouncing between Lauren Diagle – Beverly Sills – Streisand – Julie Andrews – Ella Fitzgerald and singing – singing – singing. Did I mention? There has been a miracle over Christmas – my voice is back. Still pretty weak, but back. The squeaks are rare. The doctors wrong. So like any physical therapy – I keep exercising it – pushing it – testing it’s limits.

Praising GOD.

While I am still mostly reading non-fiction – Bible, poetry, history, and devotionals. I’ve started adding some fiction. That also started over Christmas. I read several Christmas novels – Charles Dickens, Lloyd C. Douglas, Truman Capote, T. Davis Bunn – not to mention – the wonderful Christmas stories I read as a child that still sit on my shelf. I cried. I giggled. I gleaned some wisdom. I promised myself to read and re-read some of my favorite fiction authors in 2020.

“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,”v.17

Sundays find me going to my traditional early service at a local Methodist church. Especially this year of trying to step onto the dry riverbed with towering walls of water all around me. I am savoring the comfort of rituals learned at my parents’ knees – the old hymns – the majestic chords of classical choral music – the organ that thrums deep within me. Then I come home to feed on the non-traditional services – Ravi Zacharias, Brian Biggers, Rabbi Johnathan Cahn, Priscilla Shirer, Max Lucado. I mark up my Bibles. I look up verses and re-read them again. Note cards get filled. Walk the lab girls. Hug my teddy bear. Sing. Play the piano. Talk to My Father.

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to tread on the heights.” Hab 3:18-19

GOD IS!
GOD ACTS!
GOD CHANGES!

Not sure I like changes. I have a friend whose focus word is “trust” for 2020. Last year, that was my word. It changed my life because that is what Our Father does. He changes us – from the inside to the outside. My 2020 vision seems to be clearing a little. His “power” (which is my focus word this year) – his powerful presence continues to overwhelm me – clearing my path when I see no path – opening my throat when the notes are lost in tears – reminding me of a tiny book written by a prophet 3000 years before I was born.

Just a matter of trusting the power of the Spirit in 2020 and remembering always: GOD IS – GOD ACTS – GOD CHANGES!!
What an Epiphany! 

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2020 VISION

It is the 5th day of Christmas. It is the last day of Hanukkah. It is two days until New Years Eve. My windows and doors are still open. There will probably be a fan in my window tonight – – – and at 10 o’clock at night – – it is still in the sixties!

“Hey buds below … up is where to grow
Up with which below can’t compare with.
Hurry – it’s lovely up here …”

I have been outside everyday since Christmas singing this song. Can’t help it when daffodils are popping up in a couple gardens, and green shoots are everywhere. Took all I had in me, not to clear away the leaf barriers that will protect the roots/shoots when winter remembers her blustery self and breathes on us some of that stuff that makes us remember why we like spring.

“Life down a hole takes an awful toll,
What with not a soul there to share with,
Hurry – it’s lovely up here!”

Cleaned a new path in the woods. Dug a couple trenches for drainage and to hold wooden borders. (Our one lab girl would dig to China the gardens didn’t have something to keep her out of them). Cleaned dead things out of the gardens.Hauled 4 wheelbarrows of mulch to remove more of the temptation for said lab girl. Straightened patio steps – a little. (I’m not too good at that, but helped it a little). Created new artwork and watched “Eloise” with the Grands as we munched on popcorn, washed down with root beer floats.

“And what a gift package of showers, sun and love
You’ll be met above everywhere with…Hurry – it’s lovely up here!”

To say I am tired and the arthritis aggravated is probably an understatement, but that is why I have my prayer closets, comfy bed, physical therapy exercises and an inversion board, right?

“Thou dost keep them in perfect peace, whose minds are stayed on Thee, because they trusts in Thee. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting Rock.”~Is 26:3-4

I have to admit, the last two weeks leading into Christmas were filled with little anxiety. The last six months – from the 24th to the 24th – have been the hardest challenge in my faith walk. Evenso – blessing after blessing cushioned each step. New promises appeared daily to dry each tear. Friends – far and near rallied round with prayers and thoughtful words. And each night, His wings covered me with His peace. I shouldn’t have been surprised that Christmas was no different – in fact – it was one of the ones I will stash away with other special holy times in my life.

Times spent in His presence: As a 7 year old on a sunny day, lying under an oak tree as the Son appeared between the leaves. A teenage Christmas Eve communion service in an upper room. January 4,1971, when my father held me extra long before I returned to college, and the following Saturday when I got the phone call that he had gone to the room prepared just for him. A few years later, lying on my bed in a small apartment watching the sun set as tears of repentance brought me to my knees once again. A Christmas Eve surprise trip home that brought me a son and a new life journey. Standing at the back of the church on another early January night by myself before I got married. The birth of three blessings in fairly rapid succession but always perfectly timed by Him. My mother’s smile at the corner of the room as she squeezed my hand one last time before she went to dance with daddy.

It IS lovely here.

Hopefully, like me, not all my flowers and bushes will be too stressed out when the cold weather does return. Cold weather and darkness hits each of us at one time or another. Bittersweet days threaten to smother us with the bitter memories, but – that is when His promises – if we remember – pull His wings tightly about us and the aroma of sweetness lifts us into His perfect peace.

Early January memories are coming, but His peace is constant when we are tethered to His Word. His rock solid promises continue to line our paths and support our feet on this new path in the woods. Personally, I can’t wait to open my eyes in 2020 to see what is behind that door.

Best of all – my 2020 vision – get it? – 2020 vision??? Anyway, my 2020 vision is about to see all the possibilities that He has promised. GOD is good – all the time. All the time – GOD IS GOOD. 

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QUIET NEW DAY

mountain1How can I not write a few words on this first day of the new year? It was a quiet day. Put all the Christmas stuff away which is unusual since I usually wait until Epiphany to pack away this special time of year. However, 17 days of packing lie ahead, and I need to motivate myself to keep organized. (Let us not forget that I am a day-dreaming, artsy Gemini, so this is not an easy task in the least.)

For those of you who do not know, we bought a house. At least, all parties have agreed in theory, and real estate agents assure us that it is in the process over this holy-day season. It is a repo on a road not far from the daughter and not far from our Covenant Pines. Convenient in so many ways, but a multitude of blessings in so many more. Hard work to come. Dreams to fulfill. Gardens to plant. A gift from Our Father when we didn’t know which way to turn.

I love when Our Father speaks in quiet ways. A nudge here. A breeze that tickles the back of the neck. A whisper that filters through the noise and buries itself in the heart. That is the gift of His holy presence in our lives, and I treasure it whenever I am wise enough to have a clue.

There is much more to this story and more to come in the next few days. For now, I am just rejoicing in the quiet of the day. A bounteous pork supper with the screaming, running Grands, 2 huge labs in hot pursuit, squeak toys leaping from hand to hand as every one jumps on Papa and/or the couch, yawning parents preparing for the next big event – a birthday trip to Disney, and happy, content elders loving family gathered round. Gifts to treasure. Memories to ponder. Love wrapping itself around this new day of the new year and tickling the back of my neck once more.

Blessings!Be! 2016. May the world hear Your whisper and bury Your wisdom at its heart.

17_elija___the_cave“After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.”~1Kg 19:12-13a