Tag Archives: Our Father
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
“On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…”
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
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.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”~Jn 15:11
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]
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
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]
Perfect. Today’s ration is totally perfect for today
AND – – –
it should have been yesterday’s Ration. Once again, God winked, I blinked, and Rations were suddenly all out of sync.
The Bible verse is shouting at me through that tiny page. In fact, it has been shouting at me all day, I just didn’t realize it was a Bible verse that was tidal waving me. I should have. After all, when I finished writing yesterday’s Ration, I prayed last night that God would manah (appoint – prepare) my day today.
I grew restless listening to election news/ads/post. So I turned them off and turned on music while I cleaned the house. Grew restless again and decided to make a grocery run. Radio had on more of that bitterness, evil speaking,wrath, malice, anger clamour that was driving me crazy earlier, so I hit the button to change stations and hit the CD button by mistake. I cried on the way to the store.
God prepared my day. He reminded me to pray for the grocery clerk whose body is broken in so many ways. He opened my door to pray for my neighborhood a little more in-depth. He laughed softly when I saw that I had flipped the Rations. He played a song that made me look up and remember His promises as I went about the rest of my day.
An appointed day by Our Father is so much better than a day of my own devising. Kindness, tenderhearted, forgiving is a much better day. Oh – and the song that surprised me and completed today’s journey – maybe – it will start your own when you let Our Father manah your day..
1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’~Ep 4:31,32
“We do not have many red-letter days in our lives. Most of life is made up of humdrum duties. Our Lord was aware of this. His life tells us that God is interested in life’s little commonplaces. We need to watch the daily details. Trifling irritations if unresolved pave the way to divorce courts. Minor incidents precipitate great wars. Fidelity in small matters is the guarantee of reliability in larger undertakings. ‘Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.’ (Matt 25:23)
“Neglect of church attendance makes it easy to forget God. We cannot be good Christians in critical moments if we have been poor Christians in ordinary times. People crack under pressure because they did not build up resistance before they need it.
“In this epistle on the glory of the Church, St Paul reminds us to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving. But abstract kindness will not do. I must be kind to somebody. Forgiveness is too general. I must forgive somebody. I cannot begin too soon- – -for Christ’s sake.
“God trusts me beyond what I now am: I trust him beyond what I now see.”