Tag Archives: Rabbi Yeshua

TABERNACLING 2021: Feast of Tabernacles

When your spiritual word for the year is TABERNACLE, I have a feeling it would be totally “bad form” (as Captain Hook would say) to not write something at the beginning of the Feast of TABERNACLES also known as Sukkot or Feast of Booths.

If you don’t know – this Jewish celebration comes at the last of the three fall feasts that are celebrated every year.  Established in Exodus as a time of remembrance by the GOD who led them out of slavery.  A time to re-create the shelter living that the Jewish people had to live in during their 40 years in the desert.  A time to remember when GOD never deserted them and led them by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  A 40-year period of time when the His people were TABERNACLING with YAHWEH.

“Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.”

Leviticus 23:40

This is one of the feasts that required traveling to Jerusalem.  That means that Jesus as a child would travel with his family to the holy city.  It was also the feast where Rabbi Yeshua would declare out loud to all who would listen who He was.  GOD was TABERNACLING with them again, but there were many – among the religious leaders and His people – whose ears were stuffed and eyes were scaled over. After all, what good could come out of Nazareth?  Galilee?

Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.  The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.  You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.”  When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.”

John 7: 6-9

Sometime over the next 7 days, read John 7 or read it once a day.  The whole chapter is devoted to Rabbi Yeshua crying out like a mother hen trying to gather her chicks that He had come to TABERNACLE with them once again.

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

John 7:37-39

This is year 5782 in the Jewish calendar.  It is the seventh month.  It is the 15th day of Tishrei at sundown when the Feast of Tabernacles begins. It is a time to remember that Jesus came to teach us how to TABERNACLE with His Father and eventually how we would be able to TABERNACLE with Him and the Holy Spirit when He returned to the Father. 

I love how Our Father has tied everything together in the Old Testament with all the things that happened in the New Testament.  Best yet, through prophecy in both Old and New Testaments, He shows us exactly what is happening and coming our way soon. 

He never changes. 

He is always faithful. 

GOD is good all the time. 

All the time, GOD is good.

#He draweth nigh #birthpangs #rapture

Yoram Raanan artwork: “Sukkot”

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #38

“The way that I know someone is a true teacher sent by God is not by how articulate they are, or even how deep their messages are, but it is when I hear my Teacher speaking through them.”

Rick Joyner, author, theologian

Little Red Riding Hood was one of the first stories that I remember learning.  Not sure it was from a storybook, a cartoon, or the parents, but it is one of the first stories that I remember “pondering” (although I didn’t have a clue that was what I was doing – it was just a story that I kept thinking about). I kept wondering how Little Miss Red couldn’t see the wolf under that pajama cap.  I was pretty sure I would would be able to tell the difference between my grandma and that ol’ wolf. 

In fact, I was pretty sure that there is no way a wolf would be able to get past my Grandma Mac.  After all, she had pretty much raised 8 children all on her own, tended a garden, killed chickens, cooked the best homemade noodles this side of heaven, found time to work at the Flxi bus company, and everyday had cookies waiting for the grandchildren who found their way to her house 1st before they went home after school.

There were no wolves in the Edge of Paradise.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:15-16 

Wolves seem to be everywhere these days; unlike the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood”, they don’t even try to disguise themselves much.  Their teeth are sharp.  Their growls are low and gravelly. Their eyes have a sharp glint that I don’t like. Their fruit is the remnants of bones and skin that litter their caves.

In our culture…in the global world-view we each have of this world…I think most of us can name many different wolves that stalk us. Rabbi Yeshua saw the wolves as well.  The ones that seemed to concern Him the most, were the ones that were the leaders of the Fig Tree people, His Father’s chosen people. It is perhaps why He described them as “…prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing…”

Our Father uses even the ugliest things to weave the wonders of His tapestry. In the ugliness of a plague, censorship, and one-sided debates, His strong sheep have found ways to use technology to spread His WORD around the world.  Today, I was able to watch and attend various gatherings via zoom at a conference in California. I don’t like zoom much, but in these latter days, it is a blessing.  I am still listening, learning, worshiping and growing in my faith despite the wolf who tries to stalk around my area. Tonight, I have been able to watch via apps several 20 year memorials dedicated to 9/11.

“Behold then the kindness and severity of God.”

Romans 11:22

The wolves broke through the hedges of our country 20 years ago.  Perhaps, the hardest thing for us to realize is that we allowed the holes to develop in those hedges.  The prayer clippers maintained by the caretakers that had always trimmed the hedge and cut away the dead rot in the individual limbs had lost their sharpness.  The iron that sharpened iron had not been applied in many years.  The clippers…idle, rusty and unsharpened…were useless in the hands of those caretakers of the hedge who had neglected their duties.

Unfortunately, in the past 20 years since 2001, more caretakers of the hedge have walked away from the hedge or misplaced the clippers they were handed in 1630 when John Winthrop wrote about his prophecy for this new land which he called “A city upon the hill”. Worse – some of the caretakers have tried to redesign the clippers with man’s wisdom and technology.

The blessing is that Our Father always seems to raise up a remnant of hedge caretakers – ones who recognize the wolves...ones who see the necessity of a strong, well-cared for clippers to trim His hedge of prayer that surrounds His branch of the Fig Tree.  These new caretakers are gathering what clippers they can find.  They are using iron to sharpen iron.  They are using salt to clean away the rust. And they are trusting the covenants that Our Father has always honored because of His everlasting love and grace. He has shown them and the remnant how to recognize the “wolves in sheep clothing” and giving them new starts to add to the hedge where parts were destroyed. 

In prayer and so thankful for the caretakers who keep the wolves from our hedge…who rushed into danger on September 11, 2001…who rush into danger in foreign lands for the rest of us…who rush into burning buildings or in the middle of dangerous confrontations…for those who fall on their knees in repentance, fasting and prayer to help weave Our Father’s hedge and tapestry into the perfect design that only He can see.  

#Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup  #rapture

google image

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #34

Jesus loves the little children,

All the children of the world.

Red, brown, yellow, black and white,

They are precious in His sight.

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

~Krieger/Root

One thing about teaching – when you work with children for 40+ years, life is a little strange when you don’t see children every day. Even though I worked with those “bridge” kids (you know – the kids with one foot in childhood and the other foot stretching as much as it can be stretched towards adulthood), there is something about how children look at the world that is different from adults. It is often exciting, full of curiosity, trust and love.

The old childhood hymn declared: “They are precious in His sight”.

Precious is one of those words that has been so overused that our culture has lost sight – or perhaps I should say – lost respect for the rarity of its existence in this world. 

  • Precious metal
  • Precious stones
  • Isn’t that precious?
  • There’s precious few left.
  • What a precious little angel.
  • A cartoon character

But Yeshua knew children were precious. Precious enough to earn their own punishment if they cause a child to stumble in their life……in their faith.

…Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” 

Matthew 18:3-6

Often children still have their spiritual lens tightly intact.  They see things that adults often miss.  Their lenses are generally wide open with trust, excitement, curiosity, and love. So, when they followed their parents or relatives to listen to this new rabbi, they saw quickly how precious Rabbi Yeshua was in “times such as these.” Of course, their parents might have wanted this Rabbi to touch them with His blessing as well.

In any case, if you’ve ever been in the midst of a group of children who really want to see something that they or their parents have deemed special, they tend to crowd closer and closer – bringing their laughter, joy and squabbles with them. Trying to see, question, touch, absorb as much as they can as quick as they can.

Such a distraction and definitely not precious

Well at least, that is what I imagine the disciples might have been thinking when they saw them through their adult, worldly-wise lens. Perhaps they tried to push them back, or maybe they asked the parents to take them to the back of the crowd – although – I’m sure that wasn’t the case if there was a child in need of healing. They wanted to see the miracles as much as anyone.

Yet – Rabbi Yeshua saw in the excitement and noise and active bumping and pushing and crowding – the preciousness of His Father’s love expanding into the world.

Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.”

Mark 10:14-16

Our culture – our world – has been attacking children since the beginning of time. Pushing them to the back – ignoring them when a phone is in the hand – a hinderance at the end of a busy day – a burden to a life planned before they were knitted together……

And yet….

Yeshua Ha’Mashiach sees them as precious and longs to see, to question, to touch, to absorb in excitement, trust and love everything about them.

How precious is that?

#Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup  #rapture

Greg Olsen artwork

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #26

My voyage in this life started at a dock called the Edge of Paradise, which was on an invisible sign called motto for that hometown. Presently, my dinghy self is in holding steady in a small inlet that reminds me very much of my childhood dock. This dock sits back from the busier channels where boat traffic is more chaotic, and crazy-rocking waves of passing storms that tend to be more destructive. Have to say, I am content to sit with my toes dangling over the edge of my boat as I watch the storms roll close by with increasing frequency.  But – that is where the work begins. It is all too easy to turn a blind eye to the storms swirling around me when the dingy is just bobbing on smaller waves and not suffering much damage.

“To voyage with Jesus is to voyage in peace, even in a storm.  In the presence of Jesus, we can have peace in the wildest storms.”

William Barclay, Scottish scholar, author

BLIND EYE

No one really knows how this idiom originated.  The first mention in writing was in the 1600’s, but it was in combination with: “deaf ear”. There are multiple references to people actually claiming a “deaf ear” or “blind eye” to excuse their own actions or to not see something that they don’t want to recognize existing in their sphere.

Think of all the things we “turn a blind eye” to in this stormy world……all those things that we really don’t want to see or want to recognize – after all – if we “see” it, we might need to do something about it.  I can easily name 10 things that I am guilty of turning a bind eye to its existence right now.  In other words, I know deep within me its inherent evil and do nothing to stop it.

The scales on the eyes are very thick at times……especially when it requires the sacrifice to get out of our dinghy and get into the storm waters.

“Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.”

Acts 9:17-18

Paul was blinded for a short time, so that he might see the world differently, and when those scales fell off his eyes, his world was completely made new. (Ain’t Jesus great?  He does what He says He will do – always!!) The persistent, inciter of violence, persecutor of Rabbi Yeshua’s followers became the strongest defender of the WORD and the Believers wherever he voyaged.  He no longer turned a blind eye to the Truth that Yeshua spoke to him on the Road to Damascus, and thus became one of the most persecuted Believers of the 1st century.

How many storms of sin continue to rock our boats, and we just turn our heads or look with our blind eye so we don’t have to do anything about it. Even some of our churches turn a blind eye to situations in their congregations and towns – not to mention their state and nation and world.

“Therefore, justice is far from us,
Nor does righteousness overtake us;
We look for light, but there is darkness!
For brightness, but we walk in blackness!
We grope for the wall like the blind,
And we grope as if we had no eyes…”
 

Isaiah 59:9-10a

Literally, I still have scales on my eyes.  In October, I will at least start to lose the physical reality of this “old age” scale called a cataract, but I am still working on the spiritual scales that remain in my eyes.

For whatever reason, I remember that 2000 was the initial period of beginning to scrape those spiritual scales off my eyes. Maybe it was because I was in my 50th year, or maybe it was because my mom was dealing with macular degeneration, or maybe it was the start of a new Millennial era.  Whatever it was, I was beginning to realize how I had turned a blind eye to way too many things.

I began to open the tabernacle doors of my tent, and as I spent more time in My Father’s presence, I saw how blind I have been.  So, as I pray that my spiritual scales continue to fall away, I also pray for the scales that are on the eyes of those I love and treasure. I pray for those I don’t know but the Holy Spirit does. I try to do something every day that forces my blind eyes to open a little wider by doing what the Holy Spirit has nudged me to accomplish before He returns.

Open your eyes.  See through the lens of His Truth.  Take a voyage in this stormy world and do not turn a blind eye to those that need your help. 

Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup  #rapture

Naval History Blog » Blog Archive » Salty Talk:  " Turning a Blind Eye&amp ...
Using the Blind Eye

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #21

The right words at the right time can change the game. They can even change a life!”

Mark Batterson, teacher/preacher/author, The Circle Maker

The tomato caterpillars have started to make their appearance on my plants.  I know Our Father has created everything with a useful task to accomplish in this life.   But they are definitely not useful to me right now.  I like eating my tomatoes. Couldn’t believe that I didn’t see a one yesterday, but by this morning, half of the leaves on one plant were already decimated. 

I ended up picking off the ones I could find and pulling out the diatomaceous earth to ward off those I didn’t see. It is still a catch-22 though, since I always feel guilty at taking them away from their meal.  Same with those pesky tiny ants that always manage to find their way on to my window sills, counters, cabinets and – ME – in these late summer days.  I know there is a useful purpose for them, GOD doesn’t create anything without a perfect plan for them in our creation, but I just don’t like finding them floating in my water glass – especially in the middle of the night when I might not be looking for them.

“I concluded that wisdom is more useful than foolishness, just as light is more useful than darkness.”

Ecclesiastics 2:13

As I was listening to a podcast today, it said that only 23% of the 65% of American Christians believe that the WORD [Bible] is the inerrant [without error] truth of GOD. Then I went looking for the statistics just to satisfy my own curiosity, and also, to make sure I had written down the right number (it’s one of those teacher things that sometimes drives me nuts trying to satisfy).

However, those stats are not very useful to me right now even though I did find the study that the podcast had referred to in its content. Every site that I looked at – secular, religious, or evangelical – all seem to have different percentages. That being said, it seemed like the lowest percentage in all of them were those people who believed that the Bible was the inerrant WORD of GOD.

And that made me beyond sad in my spirit.

In a time when chaos is circling the world, if most Christians do not believe in the entire Bible and believe all the promises in it, then they are only picking and choosing that which they find useful with the “wisdom” of their world. 

Being retired has its advantages.  With birth pangs rising with frequency and intensity, I have more time to be useful. I have time to read the inerrant WORD and pray with the promises that He gives us there. The plagues, wars, earthquakes, wildfires, droughts, famines, genocides, slave trade, idol worship – all continue to increase, and when I wake up in the middle of the night, I find myself praying again until my eyes finally close in His peace.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…”

2 Tim 3:16

GOD gave the Bible to us for times such as these.  It is full of historical stories of how the people dealt with those problems, and the wisdom that they found by turning to YAH and trusting His promises. Our world just seems to be dealing with many of those problems all at the same time.

We can struggle to make our world better on our own.  We can join groups, donate money, and hope to achieve some advances. Or we can do something really useful and trust the promises of a Father who loves us enough to send His Son to die for us.

The disciples of Rabbi Yeshua looked at the man speaking to them and knew the truth He spoke. He spoke the promises from the Torah and added unto them.  His parables were useful to their understanding, so that they could pass it on when He ascended to the Father in Paradise.

As I pray tonight for those battling all the things shaking our world, and for the people who are struggling to stand in those challenging storms, I am glad that I know – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that the Bible is useful because it is the inerrant WORD of GOD.

Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup #rapture

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #18

“Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now.  The conditions are always impossible.”

Doris Lessing, 1919-2013, Nobel Prize winning author

Beautiful LORD’s day.

Several walks with lab girl and even Spooky, Sparkle, Shadow kitty stuck her nose out the door for a short time (she’s just not big on staying out all day – unless it is just the right temperature…in her opinion).

Multitudes of butterflies.

Thunderstorm.

Inch and a half of rain.

Double rainbow.

One baby fledging on the ground saved (hopefully) from black snake just inches away.

GOD’s presence is with us in it all:  EMMANUEL.

“Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Emmanuel is mentioned 3 times in the Bible and alluded to a few times more.  When I was a little tyke, I thought it was just a Christmas name for Jesus.  Many years later, I finally read Matthew as a seeker; he was quoting Isaiah.  He just added the tag line: “…which is translated ‘God with us’.

Today – GOD went overboard on Matthew’s tag line today.

Butterflies seemed to be everywhere.  The rain was a mixture of rolling thunder, downpour of life-giving rain, sun peeking through the clouds as it continued raining – – – and then an amazing double rainbow that lasted and lasted and lasted.  I don’t think I have ever been able to enjoy a rainbow for that long – especially a double one. All I could do was smile and thank GOD for His presence… Immanuel/Emmanuel.

As the rainbows began to fade, I came in and downloaded the pictures I had taken and for once – a miracle happened – the rainbows, the butterflies, and the snake looked pretty decent in pictures that I had taken. I have never been the picture taker that my mom was. She had the artistic eye.

Miracles seem to happen when Emmanuel is around. His disciples learned it early in their travels with Him.

A wedding feast. 

A mother who nudged her son to start doing what He was meant to do.

He looked at her, and mentioned a few minor complications. It wasn’t any of their concern…..His time hadn’t come yet……  

I’m sure she looked at Him like all mamas can at times such as this.  I’m sure most of us have seen that look at one time or another. Yet, she was a little more than just a mom. She had also known the Holy Spirit as well.  She had been born for such times as these, and in the right spot in YAH’s perfect timing, she was a mother given the authority to push her fledgling Son out of their comfortable nest, so that He might start using His fully feathered wings.  Mamas are just like that.

Do you think He rolled His eyes? 

Sometimes, I imagine the disciples scratching their heads and trying to hide their grins behind their hands as they watch their Rabbi being bossed around by this little woman.  Then I laugh because I can promise you I think I hear Him sigh before he tells the servants, “Fill the jars with water.”

But the more I pondered this today, I wondered if there wasn’t a deeper meaning for the first miracle to be at a wedding feast.  After all – there is a wedding coming soon between a Bridegroom and His Church. In the traditional Jewish way, He has gone ahead to prepare a place for His Bride to live, but He is coming back…….soon.

Just like me, all the disciples expected Him to come back soon, but they weren’t thinking with all the prophecies in mind. Generation after generation of the church has thought that same way – never putting together all the prophecies.  Pulling out pieces of prophecy, they would shout about His coming.  But this is the first time when ALL the prophecies are lining up and right now – as I read Ezekiel, see Israel back in it’s land with Jerusalem as its capital, I wonder if that little Jewish woman is getting impatient to be a mother-in-law. I wonder if she isn’t nudging her Son once again to call out to His Bride to bring her home.

Emmanuel.  

I know as I looked up tonight, I felt His presence and was so thankful.

Then the angel told me to write, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Revelations 19:9

#Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup  #rapture

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #17

I totally love when the yard is mowed, gardens are weeded, porch is cleaned, and I can just sit on the patio swing and read a book.  Hmmm…..somehow that rarely happens. So don’t come and see my yard this week.

Today, I looked at the overgrown gardens and wanted to rip everything out and start all over.  I did get the yard mowed (even if it did take 2 days). The wisteria leaves are still scattered all over the patio and after the storm last night there are a few more sticks that need to be picked up.

So – like any old gal, instead of doing any of that – I went to the gym, rode the bike for 3 miles, played in the water while I talked with friends, stretched those sore muscles in the hot tub, and then picked up a book to read in the comfort of my recliner.

Lab girl and I took a couple walks, played ball and watched the squirrel completely empty the humming bird feeder  – – – again.  I wish I was so smart as that squirrel.  They come and see, formulate a plan, and feast on food set out for other critters.  I do wonder what Father had in mind when He designed those squirrels.

“The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.  Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”

They said to Him, “Rabbi”(which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”

He said to them, “Come and see.” 

John 1:37-39

Three words was all it took for some of the disciples.  For Philip, it took only a few words, but when Philip found Nathanael, “come and see” was not enough to follow someone from Nazareth. Nathanael needed a little more – and h got more than he could comprehend in one face-to-face meeting. So – Nathanael joined Philip to follow this Rabbi Yeshua.

Come and See.

Three simple words.  Spoken a few times in the Bible in various formats.  From Genesis to Revelations, He calls out over and over to “Come and see”.

C – Christ

O – opened

M – my

E  – eyes

&

S – sacred

E – eternity

E – entered

Sometimes it is just that easy…most times…there are a lot of the apostles within us – doubting, denying, scared, falling into the waves over and over. I sometimes wonder if that was part of the criteria that Yeshua used in choosing His disciples. He wanted them to be people that we could identify with in our own life journeys.

Eventually, the disciples did figur it out, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, got beyond their own feelings and internal idols. They came and went all over their known world to encouraged others to “come and see” as they dedicated their lives for Jesus Christ.

John the Apostle wrote in his Revelations of Jesus Christ that Jesus continues to use this phrase when He returns.  With each seal, a voice will cry out these three words:

“Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” 

Revelations 6:1

#Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup  #rapture

google image

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #16

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Mark 1:15

Is it really the 20th of August?  For whatever reason, this month has been crazy busy and long.  I continue to think this is the last week of August instead of still having 11 days to walk through. I really don’t know how I would have fit in working this year.  Who but YAH would have made provisions for this year way back in June?

Today, I got to watch, via internet, my eldest granddaughter receive her short white coat in her journey to achieve her PA degree. Then I got to look at the pictures of my son and the rest of his family as they stood beside her.  Where did the years go?  They seem to have flown by way too quickly.

Time is a funny perception. The seasons come and go.  Thunderstorms and wind whip around us.  Sunny days and the heat make us sweat and uncomfortable. We keep track and lose years all at the same time. But Our Heavenly Father sees time in a completely different way than we do.

Christians have been looking up since the time Christ ascended into the Heavens to join His Father.  Always wondering – ‘Is this the day’? ‘Is He near?’ 2,000+ years is a blink to GOD who sees the beginning and the end at the same time……Who breathed life into those who would fall and built a path of salvation at the same time.

REPENTANCE

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9

Rabbi Yeshua walked among all people.  He did not discriminate with whom He shared His good news.  Even the ones He called to walk with Him on a daily basis were not the role models of the community.  After all, who among us are without sin – of rebellion – of throwing our free will in His face over and over again? 

Yet – there were a couple necessary steps that He also told them, if they wanted to follow Him through the narrow gate. A lesson that seems to be lost in many of today’s teachings.

First – believe in Him. Seems easy enough on the surface.

Nicodemus did. The rich young ruler did. Many who heard him believed in His message. They heard.  They believed.  They went home and went on with life. Sometimes, we forget that sins are not always despicable actions or thoughts.  Oft times, perhaps for many of us, sin is coveting the idols in our worldly lives. Wisdom, lots of likes on social media, friends to party with on the weekend, a good paying job, fitting in……….

It is this second part that often causes me/us to stumble. I/We have a choice.  It is our free will.  I/We believe in Jesus, but it is much harder to walk away from the idols that cause me/us to stumble. Can we repent of our sins as He asked the woman accused of adultery to do when she was thrown in front of Him?

Nicodemus could not renounce his own pride in being part of the Sanhedrin.  The rich young ruler could not renounce his things that made his life comfortable. They had free will to believe, but could not repent of the world’s gifts that they enjoyed. It has always made me sad to read these stories in His WORD because I see so much of myself in them.

As I continue to notice the times we live in, I try my hardest to not let the idols consume my thoughts and time.  I fall as often as I stand, Yet – I know He knows my struggles and continues to encourage me to strive harder – to repent and try again.  He reaches out.  He lifts me up and heals my bruised knees, so that I can walk forward once again. That is His grace in action. 

Repentance is not easy, but it is necessary if we are  “…to go and sin no more.”  And if we do – we will find His grace as that woman did so long ago. If we do – like Nicodemus our tears will mix with His and wash us clean of those idols, and the Holy Spirit will strengthen us.

I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”

Luke 15:7
Greg Olsen artwork

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #13

“Tell us,” they said, “by what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?”

Luke 20:2

I read this Bible verse and in my head, I could hear so many people asking this question. They may not say these exact words, but it is the main question.  It doesn’t matter which side of the political aisle they are on – it is the question. It doesn’t matter if it is about the diabolical bug, Afghanistan (or any other country), bit coin, global re-set, WOKE’ism, anxiety, masks, CRT, vaccines, religion – – – that one question comes from all sides – in all areas – and so often with anger underlying it and the divide between them growing only larger.

What are your sources? By whose authority?

The answers vary.  Each trying to convince the other that their sources are better, stronger, wiser than any others brought to the conversation flowing between them.  And yet – the hole between them – within them – has only grown.

2000+ years ago, the Jewish Priests asked Rabbi Yeshua the same question. (Doesn’t that make you wonder about the times we are living in?) They were the authorities.  They were the sources that others quoted. They were the references everyone was supposed to honor.  And yet – here was this young rabbi from a rinky-dink part of the country trying to “teach them”?

Did any of them remember this man as the child who had sat with them on a Passover feast so many years before?  Did they remember how they had been astounded by his answers and talked about him after his parents had come to take him home?  I often wonder if Nicodemus had been one of those in attendance when that youngster at questioned the temple priests?  Is that why he sought him out in the darkness of the night and questioned him alone – away from the eyes of the others?

Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory means nothing. The One who glorifies Me is My Father, of whom you say ‘He is our God.’ You do not know Him, but I know Him. If I said I did not know Him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know Him, and I keep His word.”

John 8:54-55

Authority is one of those words that can be applied to many institutions, people and ideas, but continually in flux in our world. However, Jesus only cited one authority. Against all the wisdom of the known world, He stood alone on the Rock of the Father’s promises and WORD.

We tend to think this was easy for Him.  We forget that He was human just like us at this point.  He felt the rejection.  He felt the rebukes, the rants, the anger, the divide that was growing between him and those in authority of this world. And yet – I wonder once again – how many times he felt frustration and even some anger at these people who said they loved His Father…and in extension…even if they didn’t know it then…loved Him, the person standing before them.

So tonight, as I begin my nightly devotions and prayers, I hope I am brave enough to continue to stand upon My Father’s Rock as my authority. I pray for those who continue to fight wildfires.  I pray for our military and those who rush to stand in the gap for the rest of us.  I pray for the missionaries that are trapped behind a wall of disbelief and violence. I pray for all the Afghanis who are now living in a country they haven’t seen for 20+ years.  I pray especially for the females. I pray for those affected by earthquakes and other natural disasters.  I pray for those battling this infernal bug that continues to divide and separate as it makes so many ill unto death. I pray for those given earthly authority over me and those I love, that they might remember Matthew 11:25:

At that time Jesus declared, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”

Matthew 11:25

Blessed are the Humble for theirs is the kingdom of GOD…”

#Hedrawethnigh #keeplookingup  #rapture

TABERNACLING 2021: 40 Days TheChosen #5

“We musts obey GOD rather than men.” Samuel Adams

 Since I retired, I’ve been doing lots of cryptograms and reading many non-fiction and fiction books.  In almost all of them, there is that renegade. A person, thing, or thought that breaks away from the traditional, accepted thought to something entirely new.  Sometimes it turns out really good.  Sometimes – – – not so good.

Even in non-fiction there are the renegades. King George and his court though of Samuel Adams as a renegade.  In fact, they referred to him and the fight for liberty in the colonies as the “Samuel Adams Conspiracy”. Now that made me laugh.  Even back then, people on one side of an argument argued that it was a foolish conspiracy theory. 

Then I began to wonder and ponder a little more. Has this not been true since the beginning of all things? If it cannot be proved false or true, isn’t it much easier to call it a conspiracy than do the deep research required, then debate, so that each person forms their own opinion?

I always tended to think that word, renegade, had a negative connotation (my bad).  Many fiction novels tend to allow that definition to flourish.  There is a good guy/bad guy. The renegade is the law breaker, the rebel, the treasonous villain.  Then there are the novels that add a twist.  The hero-cast renegade may be all the above, but they have something deeper than what appears on the surface.  They are responding to a “higher” law or thought.  One that leads to a positive change throughout the land for all the people. 

Dystopian novels are great at this heroic renegade.

It comes down to this: renegades are just plain complicated – just like the people they represent. 

“So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him [Yeshua] out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.”

Luke 4:28-30

Rabbi Yeshua was considered by many a renegade…by others – a Messiah.  I’m sure the word conspiracy was thrown around often back then.  Today was one of those days when I wondered: on what side would I have landed if I had lived back then? Which word would I have applied to this man if I had been an elder Jewish or gentile woman? 

Samuel Adams was born from a long line of Puritan ancestors (he was often referred to as the Last Puritan), and during his own time of stressful conflicts, he had His foundational rocks on which he based his “truth”. He called it the “Devine WORD”.

I guess this all brings us into the circle of what I wrote earlier this week.  We all have a lens through which we view things that happen to us.  It is that critical thinking…that debate within ourselves…that discussion we allow within ourselves when we check and re-check our foundational truths…that lens that helps us decide what type of renegade or conspiracy we are viewing. 

As I step further into these birth pang years, I try to keep my eyes and ears open.  I continue to read and listen to others that understand my foundational truths better than I do. I continue to read over and over the texts from the same texts Samuel Adams used.  I continue to debate within myself and challenge myself – but when it comes down to the final analysis, it is that lens in my eyes, the breath in my spirit, the voice in my head that guides my decisions. 

I know His voice just as He knows my name, so I rest in a peace that passeth all understanding.  Perhaps a renegade in my own way…or…perhaps not.  Only time will tell as I wait and continue to pray for the world, the people who have scales on their eyes, my own sinful scales, and the blessed hope to be manifested throughout creation.

#Hedrawethnigh  #keeplookingup  #rapture

Greg Olsen artwork