Tag Archives: Numbers

ANI LO

Weather perfect. Patio swing while reading a book even more perfect. Watching the humming birds and the butterflies dart around the garden beyond perfect. Days to whisper, “Ani Lo. Ani Lo.” These are the kind of days that make one forget that the gates of the original perfect garden are locked and guarded by the flaming sword of an archangel.
 
The curse began on that day. Hiding in the bushes. Furtive glances. Rebellious excuses. Until that one special day when the curse was broken. But once again – the Bride rejected the gift. Locked, hidden gates until the Bride gathers her wits (which – even now – seem to be severely hampered by the Bride’s own selfish desires), makes the journey through the desert to the Promised Land with shouts that reverberate against the land, “Ani Lo. Ani Lo.”
 
“The entire people raised their voices and cried out,
and the people wept on that night.”~Num 14:1
 
By Jewish calendar, tonight’s sundown is the beginning of the 9th of Av. A cursed day. A day when the Jewish people rejected their Father’s gift and mourned their fate instead of rejoicing at the wedding feast of their people to a new land.
 
Actions have consequences.
 
Jewish tradition teaches that a day which should have been spent rejoicing and dancing became a day for mourning and rending of clothes for real. A day that continually brings sadness to the Jewish people. A day to fast and remember that actions have consequences.
 
There are many incidents recorded in Jewish His-story on this day.The first temple (423 BCE) – the second temple (69 CE) – both destroyed on the 9th of Av. Continuing through the centuries like a slithering serpent always striking the Jewish people on the same day. A few of many:
133 CE – final Roman conquest.
1290 CE – Jews expelled from England.
1492 CE – final date the Jewish people were allowed to live in Spain.
1914 the War to end all wars that continued into WWII and the Holocaust began on this date.
 
“…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”~Rm 5:3-5
 
Rabbi Yeshua was raised with Jewish traditions and His-story. He understood that actions have consequences. His actions broke the curse but not the people. He couldn’t demand they accept His wedding gift. After all, free will was a gift from the beginning. All He could do was offer the gift and wait to hear her response…
 
“Ani Lo. Ani Lo.” [google images]

Happy Birthmonth, America

  • In Philadelphia on the 2nd of July 1776, a vote was taken that changed the way the world thought.
  • On the 3rd of July 1776, a small sentence on the second page reported the results of that vote.
  • On the 4th of July 1776, the final draft was submitted to be published and eventually – signed in August of 1776.
  • Thus, the date everyone in this brand new country saw as they read this small document was July 4, 1776.
  • Independence Day.

It was [is] not a perfect country, and it was [is] filled with controversies.

  • Natives vs Europeans vs Africans vs …
  • English vs French vs Spanish vs Dutch vs …
  • Catholic vs protestant vs Jews vs atheists …
  • Tory vs Yankee vs Rebel vs Republican vs Democrat vs …
  • Slave vs Free vs indentured vs …
  • Rich vs middle vs poor vs homeless vs …

The divisions continue to swirl in growing concentric circles over and over and over.

We are human and we tend to make mistakes – sometimes – very big ones. Unfortunately, we also tend to dwell – focus – ruminate on those mistakes over and over. Giving it new names – justice…punishment…pay back…unfair… bias…bigotry…  But what if instead of concentrating on the mistakes, we concentrated on the knowledge and the wisdom gained from those horrible mistakes?

Walking dogs are always a great way to meet people. A couple of years back, one of those people encounters introduced me to some new concepts that I’ve just started re-reading this past week. Typically (for me), I get side-tracked by daily craziness, or whining about this or that, and do not pursue things with great intensity. (After all, I am reitred and “deserve” to be a little lazy, right?) I guess that laziness was a mistake because…(ready for it?)…guess what popped up in a devotional today? You got it!  Not one but both ideas in one short devotional. One God giving a one big hint. Gotta love those God hints.

The first idea is called Appreciative Inquiry by David Coopperrider and Diana Whitney. Essentially – it is looking for the best in any situation.

http://http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/intro/whatisai.cfm

The other is a 2004 documentary called “What the (Bleep) Do We Know?” The content of this movie explores a spiritual connection between quantum physics and consciousness.

http://http://www.whatthebleep.com/

Now the first idea relates a little more to my world. After teaching for so many years, I’ve trained my self to look for the best in most everything (although like everyone, I can get caught up in negative situations). Quantum physics and consciousness is a little out of my realm – well – more than a little. Although, I have picked up a lot of scientific facts from reading National Geographic, Discovery, ect, I really struggle with the in-depth study of it. Thank God for my children who seem to have taken after hubby and are much more adept at understanding such things so they can help explain it to me.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” ~ Phil 4:8

Fairly obvious advice from the WORD. Think on the admirable, the excellent or the praiseworthy. What if we tried to do that more in our world today? What if we did that with our friends? Our enemies? Our state? Our nation? A couple political conventions? A lot of people would complain that we are only hiding our heads in the sand or taking a “Pollyanna” approach. Yet, if we acknowledge the injustice, the damage, the pain and accept that we can find knowledge, wisdom and discernment in our mistakes, is it ignoring the problem or moving forward with new insights? I need to keep reading, but now I have a spiritual underpinning for this thought.

“Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.” ~ Num 23:13

The second one takes us a little deeper and back into the OT with Jewish wisdom. I have always skipped over stories that I don’t understand or can’t figure out why it is in the Bible. Drives me crazy. Like a jigsaw puzzle that takes forever to put together. I will read and re-read a story trying to figure out why it is important for me to know and after a while – I will just push it out of my mind and go on to the next puzzle. Obviously, I don’t know this Bible story well, so again, I will have to go back and re-read it a few more times. Essentially, Balak, King of the Moabites, hired Balaam to curse Israel. The hitch was that they had to see the people to make the curse work. You might be wondering what this has to do with Quantum Physics? Lucky for both of us, the rabbi who wrote this devotional had the answer.

“The gift of sight allows us to take in so much information about the world around us. Not only do we receive facts and knowledge by looking at something, we also may receive inspiration or good feelings from what we observe. However, what we often don’t realize is that when we look at something, we aren’t just on the receiving end. We are also contributing and affecting the world around us, even if we don’t know it. Quantum physics confirmed this concept through an experiment that was set up in order to ascertain whether matter was a particle or a wave. I’m not here to give a physics lesson, but the end result was startling. When not observed, matter behaved like a wave. However, when the matter was observed, it changed into a particle. In other words, scientific evidence proved that an observer does influence what is being observed. That means we all affect what we look at, and how we see things affects them profoundly.” ~ Rabbi Eckstein.

America has completed her 240th year.  For those who are moving and shaking and those who are just observing. it looks like the 241st year will be another decisive and derisive year in many ways.   I wonder how and what I am learning today relates to those facts, yet – I know it does. I need to do some more reading on both of these ideas. I need to read more American history. I NEED to read more of the WORD. Knowledge always comes first, and if I’m observant, wisdom and discernment will follow —- eventually. Right now, I do know that America and Israel are tired together in more ways than the one that is written on paper and stored in Washington D.C. I know God is moving more than just me. I’m just not sure why I’m on the journey that I am walking. It makes me smile, because there is always something unexpected and uncontrollable that Our Father will bring my way – if I have the courage to stay the course unto its completion.  One step at a time…

In the meantime – Happy Birthmonth, America. It is promising to be an interesting – if somewhat scary – yearus-1443698_960_720

Denim Blue

Haeckel-on-denim-1There is something about denim that pulls me.  One of my special friends says she always knows what to get me as long as it has some kind of “denim” color scheme to it.  I laughed at the time, but the next time I looked in my closet – sure enough – there was a rainbow of color, but the dominate color was …   you guessed it …  denim blue. Lapis stones in my jewelry box, denim sweaters in my drawer,  denim jacket, denim poncho, denim bedspread, denim rugs…ugh – she nailed me.

Growing up in the 50’s, denim – and especially – denim jeans were not the main fashion accessory for a little girl.  I still remember being totally dumbfounded the first time I walked into a high school and saw girls wearing pants…and they weren’t even denim.  That particular freedom would come to the schools a decade later.

Today was my “free” day.  It was a denim blue day.  No responsibilities.  No scheduled activities.  No one depending on me to come up with food ideas – no “be here” – or “go there” (unless we count the dogs who are very negotiable in most things except letting them on the couch and chasing ball and a million hugs) and most of all – no pressure to accomplish one tiny, itsy, bitsy thing.  Definitely, a denim blues kind of day.

Back in college when I had nothing to do, I would put on my embroidered (didn’til_fullxfull.278982611 everyone embroider their own jeans back in the 7o’s?”) rag-tailed, patched bell-bottomed jeans, throw on a tie-dyed shirt, sit under the nearest tree while listening  to the transistor radio and read  or write to my heart’s content.  Even though I read and wrote a lot for my classes, reading and writing was as much a part of denim days as the denim.  Pen touching paper.  Shades of blue denim.

I read recently that eternity is a ball of yarn that God holds in the palm of His hand.  He can see it from all sides – past, present, future.  God is God; He can behold it all without a problem. Humans are a little weaker in the “beholding” part, so God unravels it in a straight line so that we don’t go crazy while walking upon this tiny world that He created just for us.

I like that metaphor because it opened up so many paths of new thought that I wanted to unravel.  Denim blue days are meant for introspection.  So grabbing my favorite pair of denims (no longer embroidered by me or machine) but still rag-tailed (because they are my favorite) but not bad enough to earn a patch yet, threw on my softest denim shirt (the first one I bought after our house fire 5+ years ago, so it is also getting rag-tailed and frayed around the cuffs and collar) and head out to the nearest group of trees.  Dogs with their ball; me with my thoughts; music on my phone; a yarn ball in my back pocket.

“…Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.”  Num 15:38-41 KJV

God gives us denim blue days as a gift of remembrance.  Denim, initially, is a tough material. From the beginning, it was designed for those who had a hard job and needed the protection.  As it is worn, the material softens, stretches and shreds.  I think that is why I love denim.  It reflects me as I have worked on my real mission in life – that mission that we all are born with:  to know Our Father.  The tough outer shell that He gave to protect me in this fallen realm has softened.  As I’ve toiled to see through His eyes, I have stretched in unbelievable ways, and I have a feeling that He ain’t done stretching me yet.  I have become rag-tailed as well. As my faith has been pulled, twisted, lashed and nailed by the society in which we all must function, parts of me have been torn away, parts have become dirty, and parts have only threads struggling to remain attached.

Denim blues are my colors.  (Thanks, Wolf, for your insight.)  Denim blue days are a gift to me from My Father…a gift of remembrance…a gift to know Him a little more.  yeshua high priest

(Google Images)

 

The Main Thing

Peter Lord said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

I like this quote. Did you have to read it more than once? I did. Repetition of words make a sentence unusual and those are the things that often catch my attention. I’ve run into this quote before in some of my friends’ statuses and/or devotional blogs that I read. However today when this quote popped up, I decided to do a little research – who was Peter Lord? I guess I wasn’t surprised to learn that he was a minister, and that he will be in NC in November as a speaker for a conference. Then Steven Covey’s name started cropping up with this quote. So I’m not sure who originated the quote. Maybe they both heard or read it and were just quoting it in their writings as well.

“THE MAIN THING…” Time goes pretty fast these days. Hump day is already here and I haven’t accomplished half of the things I planned on finishing. Social media play time probably doesn’t help when I end up putting jigsaw puzzles together instead of actually doing something that sends me in the direction of my goals. “…IS TO KEEP THE MAIN THING…” Our society has gotten into the habit of throwing quotes into our discussion like chocolate chips in a cookie. As if that somehow legitimizes an opinion or validates a point..even when we have no idea where that quote originated or who that person really is that said it. It is on a cute picture that we like. It says what we are thinking. It expresses an emotion. But – is that enough? “…THE MAIN THING.”

“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25

I throw Bible verses into my statuses all the time because I believe that it does validate a thought, feeling or emotion that I may be trying to convey. To those people who do not believe in the WORD, it doesn’t mean much. To me, it holds value beyond words even when little discrepancies crop up. Translating anything from one language to another causes problems. Which is an excuse that many people use to discard the words and intent of the Bible. What they don’t understand is that – even little discrepancies can help us grow in our faith because God uses those same discrepancies to His glory.

“Then Eleazar the priest said to the soldiers who HAD GONE into battle, “This is what is required by the law that the LORD gave Moses: Gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, lead and anything else that can withstand fire must be put through the fire, and then it will be clean. But it must also be purified with the water of cleansing. And whatever cannot withstand fire must be put through that water.” — Num 31:21–23

The original word in Hebrew actually says:: “…the soldiers who WERE GOING into battle.” When you read the verse it seems like the Hebrew must have been wrong. Check point for the nay-sayers. However, Jewish Sages say that the Hebrew word was totally correct because God had already told about the soldiers returning from battle in an earlier verse. This verse was instead talking about the spiritual battle they were entering. God was talking about every day life. Every day. all our choices – our actions – our words – must go through the the test – the “fire” of life according to His standards and then be purified by water. Sounds almost Messianic, doesn’t it? Daily, when we choose a course or say a word, we should always be thinking if it falls within His standards and then re-thinking it so that it is purified by the WORD (water).

“.In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jn 1:1

The more I read Jewish wisdom and traditions, the more I am convinced that every word and story of the OT which points to the NT which points to the “main thing”…SALVATION.. Salvation of our Father’s creation is the “main thing”. He repeats it over and over and over again. Now – if only we can “…keep the main thing the main thing.”

main-thing