Tag Archives: salvation

21 DAYS

It is 21 days till Easter. 21 days of a journey left. 21 days to follow a path. 21 days till the stone exploded, breaking the binds that tethered it to an earthly kingdom and releasing the radiant light of Grace from the spiritual kingdom.

For the past few weeks, I have not written much. Instead, everyday I have been reading, walking, observing, writing, praying, and drawing a small inked cross on the inside of my wrist. I didn’t think of this idea myself. One of my favorite authors has been doing this on a regular basis for a while now, Ann Voskamp. She talks about it in her book, The Broken Way.

At first, I wondered why she would do this. What possible difference in a spiritual walk could a tiny, inked cross on a wrist do for anyone? Yet, during this Lenten walk, I have noticed a difference. A difference that – perhaps – is more on the inside of me than the physical ink on the inside of a wrist. However, true to my silly Gemini self, that ink is often different colors. One color layered on top of another on some days. Other days, completely washed away by the blessed business of the day.

There is a path just down from our house that our neighbors have given me permission to walk. The dogs and I love it. There are no cars or even so much of the sound of cars, lots of smells, lots of deer prints, and I’m sure a few snakes in the grass that I hope I never see. (Lucky for me, the dogs always run ahead of me.)

As the temperatures warmed, the grass began to appear until it has become a green carpet that pulls us forward every time we walk. Trees and tall grasses from a not too distant past line its edges. Occasionally, a fallen branch from a recent storm also lie beneath our feet waiting to trip us up. Further up the way, there are other vestiges of an older life as well. Man-made reminders of that which was: large trees around a yard of a small deserted cabin, a log shed, horse-pulled tools now covered by weeds, a small, empty water trough.

As always, I wonder about the people who walked these lands before me. Indians, slave, indentured servants, landowner. I wonder and in some weird strange way, find myself praying for them as they walked these lands.

The cross on my wrist catches my eyes as I switch the button on the camera in my phone. For a minute my breath catches, “Baruch Hashem Adonai,” I whisper, “Blessed Be the Name of the LORD.” Koey sniffs the scent of something and is off running. Ryndi rolls in the leaves and tall grass for the umpteenth time. All, just reminders that this world is temporary, and all our education, ownership, accomplishments are -eventually – just “dust in the wind”.

Baruch is the Hebrew word that means “to bless”. It also means “to kneel”. When God sent His Son to walk a footpath on this earth, He knelt in front of all humanity. He squeezed the limitless into a limited body. He folded His greatest sacrifice into His greatest blessing and laid it on the path for all to find.

Easter. Grace. Salvation.

“Therefore strengthen your hands and set your shaky knees firmly. Make straight paths for your feet, that the lame member may not fail, but that it may be healed.”~Heb 12:12-13

My knees don’t bend so well anymore, but there are times when I force them because I can’t imagine not kneeling when His presence is so close. Tonight, it is warm in our house. The cross on the inside of my wrist is faded and fuzzy. My eyes are hurting as I try to hold them open for a few more minutes. It was a warm day in NC and when you have a bit of a fever, the house feels even warmer. But – it has been a blessed day. A day to sacrifice a little. A day to sleep a lot more than usual. A day to whisper a few more times, in thankfulness for these 21 days, “Baruch Hashem Adonai.”

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

Lenten Journey/Journey of the Cross #32

It has been a long week for some reason. Haven’t really done that much, but every day was different. As if the wash cycle had switched to the spin cycle and then back to wash. In essence the water kept building up all week, soaking deeper and deeper until eventually, the machine just chugged to a stop. Eyes barely open; zoning out watching a favorite musical (Meet Me in St. Louis) and yawning every two seconds. Don’t know why I can’t write these journals at 5 o’clock instead of 10. And yet – here I sit – thinking about this journey. Introspection continues when I really wish I could just go to sleep. Is that how the disciples felt? What is it about this journey that pulls me in year after year after year?

And yet – it does -and has since I was a toddler and rejected a cuddly bunny for a crucifix that still hangs in my room.

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matt 12:40

Early in His ministry, Rabbe Yeshua began dropping hints of what was to come. Metaphor upon metaphor. One repentance story linked to another repentance story. Steeped in Jewish wisdom and Jewish tradition, Rabbe Yeshua taught for three years in the physical heart of the earth…Israel. But this time, He would expand the heart to include Gentiles and eventually enlarge the heart to cover the world. Salvation in practice. Instead of unblemished animal sacrifices and intercessory priests, Rabbe Yeshua would drink …”…a cup is in the hand of the LORD…” Ps 75:6

He reached out, “Then I took the cup from the LORD’s hand…” Jer 25:15

Even in His first night’s journey in “the heart of the earth”, He reached into Himself – the WORD – and brought forth the words that would link the past to the future. An unbroken chain that ties us all to Our Father. From the first garden, designed to be heaven on earth, to the garden where He wept and let the cup begin to spill upon Him instead of letting it spill upon us. He took Our Father’s wrath and spun it into unending LOVE. Love for you. Love for me. This Rabbi Yeshua Barabbas did this for all of us.

“Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the LORD’s hand the cup of His anger…This is what your Sovereign Lord says,
your God, who defends his people: “See, I have taken out of your hand
the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath,
you will never drink again.” Is 51:17,22

The day of pain, suffering and agony is over.

lucasgrail