Tag Archives: Our Father

OLD BAG OF WIND

When that old bag of wind Florence decides to come for a visit – uninvited, I might add, one puts their “normal” Monday activities on hold and begins the process of battening down the hatches on the home front.

Plants moved indoors. Yard decorations cleaned and stored in garage. Fire pit burned and emptied. Wind chimes silenced. Trash hauled. Lawn chairs and tables debated over and finally just up-ended. The rest – oh well – I’ll just have to wait and see how Florence wants to redecorate.

Tonight, after I picked up the Grands from school, and listened to them laugh and plan for maybe getting a day off at the end of the week just because Florence might be coming for a visit, I laughed as well. I walked around the yard and just smiled as I enjoyed Our Father’s presence.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”~Deut 31:8

Florence may be coming. She may huff and puff and blow our house and trees and little wires that most of us don’t know how to live without. She may dump a bunch of water that she doesn’t need anymore – and yet – – 
and yet – – 
all in all – – 
it is just stuff that she is blowing and dumping all over. Except for my critters and family, it is just stuff.

We fill our lives with lots of stuff, little treasures “stuffed” here and there (ever wonder where that verb came from?), bigger things that fill buildings with their importance, pictures of memories that are already stored in our heads, and things that we don’t even remember having in the first place.

Tonight’s sunset brought the darkness of the second day in the Jewish High Holy Days. A new day to think about where I’ve been and where I want to go. A day to wonder what I’ve done to enhance His kingdom on earth, and what I’ve done that might have caused a stumbling block to others.

A moment – this moment – to ponder.

So tonight, as I look out into the darkness, I sniff the wet humid air, listen to the thunder that generally foretells the coming of storms in our lives, and seek my knees. 
Knees that groan in protest. 
Knees that resent this position. 
Knees that remind me: life is not easy.

I find I am praying for Florence, Olivia, Issac – that their visits are quick and painless as they blow through farms, hamlets and cities. Praying for the emergency workers who always respond during these times and stand in the gap for the rest of us. Praying for the wildfires that still rage and the fire workers who stand in the gap there. Pray for the people, the animals and crops, the nations, the world. Praying for things that I know not.

And as I pray, I remember the words that Billy Graham’s mother once wrote to her struggling son:

“Son, there are many times when God withdraws to test your faith. He wants you to trust Him in the darkness. Now, Son, reach up by faith in the fog, and you will find that His hand will be there.”~Morrow Graham, Billy Graham’s mother.

I think before I go to bed tonight and before that old bag of wind gets here, I will venture out on our small porch and reach out my hand into the darkness.    

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CLAPPING TREES

“If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? But who can keep from speaking? Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hands. Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees. But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed. Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope?”~ Job 4:2-6
 
There has been only quiet and emptiness. The sky thunderously dark and empty of light mocked the brightness of previous days, and the night withheld its dim beauty. Job knew this period of life well. Many of us know this period of life.
 
“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”~1 Chron 4:10
 
When I get full of myself, I have this crazy tendency to pray this simple prayer by a man only mentioned one time in the Bible. A man that had his prayer answered. I always think, “Ok, I’ve grown a lot in the past few years, right, Father? Expanding my territory will mean that it will be much easier than the last time I prayed this prayer, right?”
 
“Right?”
 
It never is. In fact, it is always a little more challenging. It is why I have only prayed this prayer 3 times. Right now – I don’t know if I will ever be brave enough to pray it again – but then again – I have said this before.
 
It is a prayer that – for me – tears off the veils that I have used to cover all those weak areas in my life that are buried so deeply that most of the time I can pretend they don’t exist.
Physical.
Emotional.
Spiritual.
And even – those states that exist so far beyond my logical understanding that I have no words for them. The good news?God knows them – knows of their existence – even if I don’t, and He strips the veils away to expand my territory in Him.
 
In January I prayed. God answered…as He always does. Territory expanded and…as always…a blessed period of rest begins. A tiny flower of clarity. A deep breath that I had been holding for almost six months. And a whole bunch of Grace shining so brightly that I almost feel ready to stand up and begin my journey again.
 
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”~Is 55:12
 
Four weeks ago, just before my scheduled trip to NYC with the daughters, I was still struggling. This test had been longer and more intense than the other two times, and I was tired – – – very tired. It was then He woke me up in the middle of the night and gave this verse in Isaiah. The darkness was pushed back to reveal the stars that had been there all along.
 
It was time to step out in joy and let Him lead me forth in peace. The mountains continue to sing as the trees clap their hands and I am looking forward to starting a new adventure. I get to be a librarian again. It looks like I will end my working career the way I started it long ago when I was a page in the Loudonville library. I also get to work in a new Christian school that is just starting in NC.
K-3.
A small room.
A few shelves of books.
A chance to help build a room in Our Father’s house – – – “…on earth as it is in heaven.”~Matt 6:10b
 
There are mountainous songs circling and trees clapping.
Can you hear them?
 

Grace Christian Academy – can’t wait to see what Our Father is about to do. 

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BREADCRUMBS: Little Things

For the past few months, we have not been able to figure out why the dogs go crazy when we let them out at night. They run into the side yard and start barking. The youngster, torn ACL completely forgotten, runs into the woods and comes back with the biggest smile on her face.

One of my friends came over last night and as we sat outside, kitties started appearing at our feet. One, two, three – We petted them and enjoyed their company as we talked. Later, I remained outside for a little bit and started counting again. There was a herd of kitties.

Our yard was a kitty amusement park.

You see – I haven’t taken down my last Christmas light that shines into our woods. It is one of those star projectors with dancing red and green lights. They roam all over the trees, bushes, shed and grass right off our porch. Hubby and I enjoy watching those silly lights bounce around. Apparently, the kitties do, too.

So last night, I spent some time watching kitties run hither and yon while pouncing on every light they could see. Laughter gurgled. I closed my eyes and let the little kitties tamp down the sadness of our broken world and resurrect that peace that the Shepherd always brings.

It is in the little things, right?

“He made everything beautiful in its time.”~Ecc 3:11

Prayer doesn’t come easy for me. Since I was little, I haven’t felt like I am good at it. My mind skips around to everything under the sun except being still. It even as the audacity to yak at me when I already told it a thousand time to shut up because I need to listen. Even after reading tons of – alright – maybe not tons – – but quite a few – devotionals on how to pray, I still end up with a stumbling tongue and a frustrated head.

It is then – in that choice moment – that I start giving thanks.

Thanks for a stumbling tongue that makes me work a little harder. 
Thanks for role models in my life who can string pearls as they pray. 
Thanks for the WORD who lifts me up from my bruised knees by His grace. 
Thanks to the Holy Spirit who groans – probably with a chuckle at how often she has to jump in for me – speaking the words I cannot find. 
Thanks for a millisecond of quiet from my brain every now and then when I can hear My Shepherd call my name. 
Thanks for a Savior who carved my true name in the palm of His hand and cradles me when there is sadness beyond explanation.

Thanks for the little things.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”~Phil 4:6-9 

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2017 #10

“On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…”

JOY!

Not sure why staying home, doing mundane, everyday things bring me want to leap for joy. I just know it does.

Cardinals fussing around the bird feeders. A chicken hawk trying to grab a grey squirrel off a tree (he missed by the way – and boy – did that squirrel scurry down the tree). Dogs sliding in the snow just so they could roll in it one more time. Kitten playing in the box I’m trying to fill with Christmas past. Folding laundry. Cooking hot dogs with onions wrapped in a toasted tortilla. Learning something new during devotions.

It all just makes me – – – full of leaping joy.

“On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me: 10 lords a-leaping.”

Traditionally, the 10 lords refer to the 10 commandments. 10 road markers to guide a weary traveler. 10 rock-solid principles in a wacky world of slithering truths. 10 laws that guided a way-ward, stubborn people out of slavery and idolatry into the promise land of new milk and honey sweet manna. 10 laws that Rabbi Yeshua followed faithfully as He walked in this physical world.

“But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your name may be filled with joy. For You bless the godly, O LORD; You surround them with Your shield of Love.”~Ps 5:11-12

JOY!

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. One of the words the angels used on the night Our Father sent His Son to live with us. One of the words that Rabbi Yeshua used often. Is it any surprise that I’m leaping for joy tonight? It may be cold outside. I may still have a coughing, sniffling cold. I may not leave the house for another three days because I just don’t want to do so.

JOY!

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”~Jn 15:11 

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GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #26

Gratitude is precious. I know because my heart is bubbling over with Gratitude Attitude.
 
Our 3 year old choc lab was sick on Thanksgiving. Not bad sick, just off her feed. By Saturday, I was cuddled on the floor beside her non-moving body and destroying the full box of tissue beside me. Needless to say, trying to sleep on a cold wooden floor – not to mention trying to get up and down from said flooring – or being awakened by a barfing dog tends to disrupt the sleep patterns of any senior citizen. 
 
By last night – not only was my sleep disrupted – I was off my feed and praying – – or maybe I should say crying and groaning – – a lot.
 
“In this way also The Spirit helps our weakness. We do not know what we should pray for, whenever it is necessary, but that Spirit prays in our place with groaning which is unspoken.”~Rm. 8:26
 
The power of prayer is far beyond my understanding. When I was young, I saw my parents in deep prayer a few times. Twice with my dad. Three times with my mom. Prayer changes people who pray. It changes those around them. It changed me.
 
While being mentioned over 260+ times in the New Testament, the name of the Holy Spirit is only mentioned 3 times in the Old Testament; instead it is commonly referred to as the Spirit of God over 88 times. However, it is interesting to note that King David, after being chastised by the Prophet Nathan and becoming “poor in spirit”, says, “Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me.” Ps 51:11
 
When we are shattered into shards of our former self, when we look around us and see the ugliness we have created, when our heart aches so deeply that the world spins into darkness, when no words seem adequate – let alone coherent or effective, that is when the Holy Spirit speaks for us – – to us – – replacing the ravages of the storm with the Peace of the Father.
 
I’m not sure how this whole pet thing works in the scheme of the spiritual realm. Who has eternal souls and who doesn’t. What I do know is that we are all created to glorify Our Father. From the tiniest particle of matter to the complex forms of humans, we are handcrafted in love and heard – – – even if the answer isn’t what we wanted to hear when we started the conversation.
 
Last night, after I had moved Koay’s body close to the couch so I could still pet her and lay on the couch, I had peace (and not just because I was more comfortable on the couch). Somewhere in the midst of sniffling and ranting and groaning, His Peace encircled me and my eyes were able to drift shut.
 
Our Father doesn’t send bad things to us. He is all goodness and love. It is our world that is “crap full” (as mom used to say) of bad apple choices and the resulting mutations of creation. What He does promise is to weave bad things, good things, even the mediocre, minor-things-we-don’t-even-notice together for the good of those who love Him.
 
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”~Rm 8:28
 
We were blessed today and our Gratitude Attitude grew 10 times larger. At 3 AM, Koay lifted her head for the first time in a very long afternoon-evening of darkness. She drank some water that I held for her, then her head fell back on the blanket with a plop. When next she woke me at 6 AM, it was because she had squirmed her body even closer to my hand and curled her head my palm. I got up and offered her some food that I had been trying to feed her for 24 hours. 
 
She ate.
She has been eating, drinking all day.
Better yet – no barfing.
But best of all? She wagged her tail. She had not wagged it for 3 days.
 
We are still keeping her close. Feeding her small portions throughout the day. Making sure she has plenty of water. And – we find that in all things, we see a blessing. The illness had kept her off her torn ACL leg, and now she is putting a little more weight on it.
 
So before I go to bed and try to catch up on all the sleep I have missed over the past two nights, I will take her outside and sing my own song of praise and Gratitude that we get to walk together one more day, find more new life that continues to blossom in the NC sunshine, and hopefully – walk a little further every day after that.
 
God is good and worthy to be praised. [personal photos]

 

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #8

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]

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GRATITUDE OF ATTITUDE 2017 #5

I didn’t think I would write today. Sunday is the day of renewal for me in more ways than one. Another great sermon by our preacher often stirs my meandering thoughts to take longer to process than a few hours. Then I saw the news. A new week begins with a new tragedy. The renovation of my mind came to a standstill.

Until I remembered. Gratitude is an attitude.

““Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace.”~Neh 1:3

The news I heard when I got home from church sounded familiar. I went and got my Bible.  We had just read similar words in church. Things were not going well in Nehemiah’s homeland. Things are not going well here. The people were in great trouble and disgrace. The people here are in great trouble and disgrace.

Disgrace. Trouble.

How do I write with such sadness on my heart? I didn’t even feel like watching Hallmark movies or fussing with the few Christmas houses I’ve pulled out. Lucky for me, eldest daughter, busy-mama-soccer-playing daughter called about Koay and to set our weekly schedule. Then my Littlest, far-away-on-her-own-life adventure, called. My far way bestie/sister-of-a-different-mother/harmonizer-to-my-melody, called. My mind, filled with the wonderful things we discussed on the phone, interspersed mong the church words and news words running through my head.

I remembered.

In times of disgrace and trouble, Our Father ALWAYS calls one person to step into the gap. One person “…born for times like these.” A Nehemiah. An ordinary cupbearer far away from home. who heard the words: his people – God’s people – were in “great trouble and disgrace.” It is his reaction that makes me thankful today.

“When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.”~Neh 1:4-5

Unlike Nehemiah, I did not sit down and weep when I heard the news today. I have not mourned or fasted. I did pray – a passing prayer – a whispered heart prayer to Our Father as I listened to reports. It is not enough. Our Father’s people are in great trouble and disgrace and need a Nehemiah. An ordinary cupbearer who will stand in the gap and encourage others to join him in God’s vision for his people.

Nehemiah’s prayer, recorded in the first chapter of a book by his name, provides an outline. The Holy Spirit will supply the groanings for which we know not how to express. Our Father promises that He will hear us from Heaven by the Grace of His Son, Yeshua Christus., for He does have a vision even for a people in great trouble and disgrace. And for all of that – I am thankful.

“O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.

“Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’
“The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me.b Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”~Neh 1:5-11  [google images]

AS WE PRAY

I was on a journey tonight. I looked at the wild fire maps since we really don’t hear much about them on the news. There are a lot. They seem to be covering many states in many different parts of our country. I looked at the pictures of tired fire-fighters, wild animals wading in streams, smoke plumes blotting out the sun.
 
I felt sad.
 
I looked at the hurricane damage from Harvey in TX – Irma/Jose in FL and the various islands – Maria’s damage to those same islands and Puerto Rico. So much damage. So many people without power. So many people trying to figure out how to find a way to get food, shelter, clothing.
 
I felt sadder.
 
I looked at the pictures from Mexico. People digging with bare hands at a crumpled school. Parents crying over bodies. Buildings cracked. Roads separated. People sitting in the street with their head in their hands.
 
Sad doesn’t begin to describe how I feel.
 
Money doesn’t seem to be enough when the earth is quaking under the feet – the seas roiling past sandy borders – fires blackening everything in its path.
 
Tears gather. The throat tightens. I look away from the images and look out the windows of my well-lit, air-conditioned, over-stuffed refrigerator home and into the darkness of the night. So many people. Strangers far away. Not to mention – friends and family who message me – asking me to join them in prayer – the clerk at the grocery who can barely move her fingers due to scleroderma – the megastore worker who has to use a cart to get around – the military families separated to different parts of the world.
 
Shadow Kitten, who has taken to sitting on the back of my chair most nights starts to pat my hair with her paw. I reach up and she pats my hand. The dogs shift from their sleeping positions to look up at me. Hubby’s snores gently rattle the quiet and a light catches the corner of my eye. A verse circles round.
 
“Therefore, I beg of you that before all things, you will offer supplications to God, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving, for the sake of all people”~1 Tim 2:1
 
Feelings don’t really matter in the scheme of things, but there is one thing that does. Prayer.  
Time to talk with Our Father.  
Time to talk with His Son.  
Time in Pray.  
Time to pray as one voice.  
Prayer.
It is perhaps more important today than it has ever been in my lifetime. Yeshua modeled prayer many times as He walked this earth. The first century church flourished in prayer more than it did from preaching or creative song. We may not have enough money to help everyone. Many of us can not make our way or have the resources to get to all these places, but we all can pray. Pray as Yeshua taught us to pray. Pray for the people suffering – the people helping – the countries dealing – and the peace of the new day coming.
 
The first day of the month of Tishrei in the Jewish calendar is over. The shofar has sounded its warning to awake. The month of reflection and repentance end and the High Holy Days of 5778 now begin. It is – perhaps – a new day for all of us. All we have to do is trust Our Father. Trust His Word. Trust that we remember how to be His people. Trust His Son to help us as we pray….
 
“… ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’ ” ~Matt 6:10-13 [google image]110

FOLDED HANDS

Hurricanes are like people. They have a mind of their own and respond to pressures that surround it. sigh. People pressure – air pressures often change the course of humans and the things that operate in this temporary world as a part of our habitat.

Needless to say, this is one of those weeks when the Weather channel has been set semi-permanently on the remote. While most Carolinians are breathing somewhat easier, my friends and family in FL are taking deeper breaths as they try to decide what to do.

Leave? Ride it out? Go to work? Stay home? Kids safe? Elderly parents safe? Buy the right stuff to make it through a week – 2 weeks – 1 month of no electric???

One thing nice about this extended hurricane warning, people have had time to contemplate every day as it draws closer and closer. I often wonder how the people prior to technology dealt with the surprise of waking up to a 15 foot wave surge coming ashore? Of course, there were probably fewer people who were silly enough to live so close to the ocean back then. Personally, I like to think they were just that much smarter than us.

That being said, I gotta admit – there is nothing I like more than falling asleep to the sound of the ocean – or reading a book while listening to the sea birds AND the ocean. It is like classical music to me. Perhaps it is because I am made up of three-fourths water and the sea calls to me as the Sirens called to the sailors in the Greek mythology. Or perhaps, it is just the ocean carrying the imprint of My Father’s voice when He spoke it into being that I long to hear over and over.

Natural disasters change the thought processes of us mortals. We seek reasons. We seek answers. We seek hope in times of testing. And – like the disciples – we sometimes seek a hiding place.

Testing times in rain – or in fire – or in shaking are never fun times. They are time to change the thought process. Perhaps – that is what the month of Ehul has always been about. The word repentance in Hebrew means more than just saying, “Sorry”. Rather it means to “Change your path – change the course you choose for your feet walk”. “…and Yeshua said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on, sin no more.”~Jn 8:11

So tonight, before I close my eyes – I will think about all of those who are watching fire and water approach their homes, those who have lost their homes to fire and water, those who have been shaken to their core by all that they see around them. I will pray that they seek Your face, that they find Your peace, and I will center my prayer around this part of the Daniel prayer:

“Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant, and his pleas for mercy…O LORD hear; O LORD, forgive, O LORD, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”~Dan 9:17-19  

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NEIGHBORHOOD

The Grands have found the joy of childhood. They have friends that live only a few yards away. A barefoot run full of laughter. A stream full of adventures yet to discover. Tree houses with screaming imaginary battles to be fought.. Broken toys refurbished into new toys and bicycles decorating yards – just waiting for the next journey.

It feels as if I am seeing my own childhood through my parents’ eyes as I listen to them play. There is a certain joy that seems to fill me as I watch mothers sitting on the ground in front of their houses as the toddlers explore the smaller confines of their yard. It all sets my mind tumbling backwards. A small yard. A bunny hutch. A dog on a lead wire. Bushes taller than the parents where a kitty grabs some tiny toes and sends me scurrying back to a warm lap and laughter.

“Praise the LORD!
I will thank the LORD with all my heart
as I meet with his godly people.
How amazing are the deeds of the LORD!
All who delight in him should ponder them.”

It is good to see the resurgence of this type of neighborhood. It is good to hear the older children fighting imaginary dragons. It is good to see a neighborhood model that I thought had been lost to the ravages of a technological age. And I am – oh – so praying that it is not an isolated one. I’m praying that across this nation, parents are walking out their doors, sitting in the yards with their kids, talking to their neighbors and allowing their children to fall, pick themselves up and explore the small part of the world around them.

Our world is a scary one on so many levels. I do worry about those Grands when I can’t see them as I’m sure my parents and Grandmother worried about me. Yet, I remember walking to my Grandma’s when I was pretty young. I remember sitting in her garden while she showed me which plant was a weed and which plant was food. I remember running to my friends’ homes when I was the age of the Grands until I heard the three beeps of a car horn which sent me running for home.

“Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
His righteousness never fails.
He causes us to remember his wonderful works.
How gracious and merciful is our LORD!”

I think from a very young age, Our Father let me see what the Garden could have been for all His children. I think He is letting me see it again through the joy of the Grands during this Lenten season for a reason. I’m not quite sure what that reason is yet – but you can betcha – I’m looking for more wisdom everyday. Nothing is a coincidence in this life. Nothing.

As we travel through these last few days of the 2017 Lenten walk, I can’t help but wonder if Rabbi Yeshua was thinking and feeling much the same way as I am tonight. He could see the ugliness around Him. He could see the hazy shape of the cross in the skies just over the hills. Listening to the children laugh. Watching them explore the wonders of their world. Praying for them and their parents with each step that he took towards Jerusalem.

“All he does is just and good,
and all his commandments are trustworthy.
They are forever true,
to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.”

I’m sure the Jewish world was every bit as scary – probably more – as our world is today. Much more than I can imagine. An occupied country with all the pain and atrocities that come with it. A religion that was constantly under attack – and this is where Our Father sent His Son. To a land that needed Him the most. To a people that were stuck between that proverbial “rock and a hard place”. To a few that were still seeking and willing to explore the world with child-like eyes of faith.

“He has paid a full ransom for his people.
He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever.
What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!
Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.
Praise him forever!”~Ps 111

A son who would pay the ransom for His people. A son who guaranteed His Father’s covenant with them forever and added a new covenant for those who had been separated from the flock.

A Son who – like Issac did for Abraham – heeded His Father’s voice when He called.
A Son who – like Issac did for Abraham – rode a donkey to a hazy mount in the distance as His Father walked beside him.
A Son who – like Issac did for Abraham – carried the wood to the top of the top of the mount for His Father
A Son who – like Issac did for Abraham – would voluntarily lay himself down to be bound to that wood.
A Son who – unlike Issac who heard Abraham’s voice at the top of that mount – – – a Son who endured the absolute silence of His Father’s voice.
A Son who, indeed, sacrificed His life for the redemption of all – a redemption that would last for all people everywhere – for all time and beyond – so that His Father’s voice would never be silenced again and His children that had walked in darkness would see a great Light.

One day, the Garden gates will be thrown open and there will be many neighborhoods where parents and grandparents can sit upon their lawns, sharing with one another the beauty of the day. Children will explore wildly as their laughter, joy and song float all around the neighborhood. I feel so blessed tonight. Blessed to have caught a glimpse of His gifts once again. Blessed to hear His words echoing in my heart. Blessed to close my eyes and look forward to the Light that is just beyond that far hill. Blessed to begin the walk forward towards it.  [google images]