Tag Archives: Samuel

The Dwelling 2016

A year ago, Hubby moved us into a house we didn’t technically own yet – had carpet that was beyond description – holes in the wall, missing fixtures, no working appliances, black water that trickled out of one facet, and – virtually – no heat.

“By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.”~Prov 24:3-4

I’m not sure this move had much wisdom or precious and pleasant riches in it when I first saw it, but God’s blessing colored those first impressions, and I smiled. Found it in late December, changed our plans to build and got a contract to buy before New Year’s Eve. Luckily, the day we moved, the first new toilet was put in place, carpet removed. the water lines flushed and one bed erected. Everything else remained in boxes in the garage or stored in trailers on some land we owned about 3 miles away. 2016 was shaping up to be an interesting year.

“The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you.”~2 Sam 7:11

This I know for sure – the LORD has always made a house for me even before I recognized it. There is a history to our spur-of-the-moment decisions that come at the end of certain sporadic years in our journey together. As high school sweethearts, we broke up for 10 years and got back together in December. Three years later — in late December – we changed our wedding date from May to January 9. Six years later – we found the perfect place to build a home – on New Year’s Eve. 25 years later – in January – we moved from OH to NC. And there we were again – 3 years later – in another December/January quandary of moving craziness.

(Personally – I am adding this prayer to my war room door – “Can our next major move in life, to a home you have waiting for us – PLEASE – be in spring or maybe fall?”)

So tonight, as I sit in a completely re-done house, I look around and am content. The somewhat, squeaky wood floors and gas logs wraps around me just as my childhood home on Riverside Dr, used to do. A new kitchen, two new bathrooms, a brand new heating/AC system, and two silly labs asleep at my feet remind me of how much Our Father can accomplish in our lives when we are listening and willing to step out in faith.

A house that the Grands called “the spooky, stinky, ugly house” is the place they love to visit and spend the night. Clean, patched walls are covered with treasured memorabilia from our 36 years of traveling together and revered, separate pasts. A true war room closet door filled with the WORD, praises and prayers that Abba has lovingly blessed over the past few months. And 2 sleepy chocolate dogs that curl into me at the end of day have made that house a home.

This is as close to heaven as it gets. A neighborhood full of people we know by name and visit with often in the course of a week. Laughter from children who still play outside – not to mention the “boys” who love riding their noisy “toys” along with the kids. I guess this is just my way of saying, “Thanks, Father”. 2016 was one crazy year, and I’m just waiting with anticipation to see what 2017 will bring our way.

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”~Jn 14:2

Advertisements

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #80

Planted one shrub today. It wasn’t pretty or easy. Red clay and driveway stone are not easy mediums to dig through – especially when one foot keeps shouting at you “Ow, ow, ow, ow…”

Never fear – I persevered. Hubby back filled the patio wall, the plant is now firmly ensconced in Mother earth, and the toe is – once again – happily elevated. There comes a point when a person just has to tell the toe to shut up and “…be happy in their toil- – -“

“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.” — Ecclesiastes 5:19

The fire pit is blazing again tonight and the Indians game is being ignored. Sometimes sports take a backseat in the Stumpman world, and I have a feeling that fire will blaze quite often on our new little patio. As nice as the deck on the front of our house is, the patio is somehow better. Finishing and softening it with plants, water and those little gifts of thanks to the One who created us, will make it even better.

When El planted us in the Garden, He planted within us the desire to plant back. The original Hebrew Gen 2:3 reads differently than our Bible. ““Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work which God had created for it to continue to make.” Jewish sages believe that it means that He created us to continue to create what He started.

So we continue to toil, laugh and nurse our sore bodies and at the end of the day and say to ourselves, “It is good.”

1942 Daily Rations: “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”~1 Sam 16:7

“Read: 1 John 3:1-6

“By looking on the heart God sees what men do not see. Every man, likewise, sees within himself what no other man can see. For he sees his unpublished self that eludes the public eye. Down under our commonplace, conventional selves, are selves that are not commonplace. There are hidden glories in a man that he has not yet revealed. He walks among men a prince in disguise. He is better than any man knows. This knowledge of what he is and strives to be gives him courage and self-respect and satisfaction. The final basis for self-acceptance is unshaken confidence in one’s own integrity and endeavors.

“Prayer: O Lord, we thank thee for the ideals and purposes that thou has implanted in our hearts and that make us better than we appear to be. Make us loyal to the inner voices, give us the joy of a good conscience and the comfort which belongs to those who have striven to be true. Amen.” [google image]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #73

Never fails. When we start a new project, something breaks – beside my toe (actually I think it is just stoved – or at least that is what I am telling myself). Money in – money out.The good news is our handy-dandy fix-it guy showed up in time to help a very tired Hubby unload some more block. Another prayer answered.

 
Maybe that is why the world is having a problem. Maybe God has started a new project, so things are breaking all over the place, and the handy-dandy fix-it man is on his way. Gotta admit, I hope so. I keep watching the skies and moving my lips in prayer.
 
My war room door is becoming filled with prayer lists and affirmations of promises given by our Father. Prayer is so important. I was reading about Hannah today. Like many of our memorable matriarchs she had trouble conceiving. Jewish tradition speaks that God did not want them to believe in Him just because their husbands did. The matriarchs were just as important as the patriarchs in Hashem’s eyes. He wanted them to seek Him with their hearts. Hannah’s prayer did this on all levels, and her prayer became a model on how we should pray.
 
Silently, moving her lips but without voice, tears wetting her cheeks, she spoke directly to Him: ‘Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
If you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain,
If you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me…’ ~1 Sam 1:11a
Direct, simple, full of everything she dreamed and desired.
 
Our Father loves it when we come to Him – when we seek Him. Everyday – around 6 PM – I pray for our country and the leaders that will take over in 19 days. I pray for the leaders today who are making decisions this week for us and for Israel in the UN.
 
Prayer is important.
 
1942 Daily Rations: ‘Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?’~Isaiah 55:2
 
“Ours is a vitamin-conscious age. Every schoolboy knows why he must drink milk and eat vegetables. For lack of vitamins, children with full stomachs may suffer from malnutrition. Health depends upon what one eats more than it depends upon how much one eats.
 
“Ours is a day in which the printed page has come into its own. Never before was printers’ ink used in such abundance. People spend millions of dollars every year for printed matter—-newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, books. But what does this money buy? Much of the so-called reading matter of our day is not bread, but so much sawdust. Some of it is poison. One reads this sort of magazine or book only to come away feeling still hungry,- – – and sometimes sick!
 
“But why should we pay our money for that which is not bread? Why should we spend our labor, and precious hours of time, with lifeless husks when God has given us, in the Bible and in other great literature, a whole storehouse of ‘vitamins’ which our souls crave and which we need if we are to have robust spiritual health?
 
“Read: John 6:22-35
 
“Prayer: Break thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me; As thou didsn’t break the loaves beside the sea; Beyond the sacred page I seek thee, Lord; My spirit pants for thee, O living Word. Amen. “~Mary Ann Lathbury

7 of 7: LOVE

7 of 7: LOVE. Today was just a plain ol’ wonderful, busy, LOVE-filled day. Flipped the matteress, MELT classes, vibratory experience with legs in a crystal bowl (Shades of the 70’s return, but a very interesting re-visit…If Santa is reading this,I10614331_10152515894453461_1766569928552304517_n want one of those for Christmas), ran a couple things to the daughter for her Christmas party, laundry, cleaned house (kinda), made another batch of lemon crinkle cookies (everyone fights over them), and 3 batches of homade Bailey’s Irish Creme (everyone fights for this as well), went to her party, and home to watch Santa Claus(e). I think I’m officially into the Christmas festivities mood.

LOVE seems to be in the air. New movies come to the theaters, musical productions to attend – art/craft shows to peruse and shop – gifts to buy – classic Christmas movies on TV. People are laughing — humming along with the songs in the store — smiling more at the people they pass. Get that busy, holyday feeling yet? I wonder. Is this the way He wants to see us celebrate His LOVE? Things are not always the way they look on the outside, and I begin to wonder yet again.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7b

In all my busyness today, I missed my time in the WORD. I missed “my time” of “LOVING” today, “my time” of “wonder” in the miracle that was proclaimed so many years ago, “my time” spent in LOVE with Our Father who LOVES us more than we can ever begin to imagine. Then I remembered – it was my choice of what I did with “my time”. Obviously – I chose poorly……..again.

It is easy to “see” the Christmas the way society wants us to “see” it. Tinsel glistening in the colored lights of reality. The harder thing is seeing beyond the colors and seeing Christmas through His LOVED-filled eyes. He doesn’t look at the shiny packages, or the colored lights, or the glossy packaging of the latest entertainment idol. He looks through LOVE’s eyes instead – modeling for us a new way to “see” the miracle He created just for us – a way to “see” ourselves through His eyes. Eyes full of the multitudinous galaxies He is creating, created, will create. Eyes wide open to beauty of a baby born in a stable. Leaving us with a choice once again…a simple choice…just to open our eyes and see the way He sees.1173620_296568820485088_1407615929_n

Attitude of Gratitude #30

16-shoot-of-jesse2Attitude of Gratitude #30. Advent. One of my friends reminded me today that thankfulness is a choice just like writing this series of gratitudes has been a choice. It is so easy to go through a day,snuggle into dreamland and never remember to be thankful. I know. I’ve done it. But as December 1 approaches, I find myself more and more thankful that it is here. The world is full of ugliness. The world seems topsy-turvy. So when Advent gets here, I am sooooo thankful. I take a deep breath and wait.

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” – Is 11:1

Come Christmas “read-the-story” time, we recognize the name “Jesse”, but the picture of Jesse, the man, is a blur. Okay,he was some kind of kin to David. Even reading the Bible cover-to-cover every year, one would really have to be looking for the story of Jesse. Like the man, his story is a blur that flickers in and out of other stories. Grandson of Ruth and Boaz (you know – the “thy people will by my people” story). It seems that his real claim to fame is his youngest son who became King David (you know – the youngster who slew Goliath with a flat stone).

“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.” Lk 2:4

Sometimes, I think God is like that. He likes to tuck little stories inside the big ones. Bibles scholars have figure out that Jesse was a fairly well-to-do farmer type guy in Bethleham. Yet, out of all the people alive at that time, why does God sends Samuel to Jesse? You have to wonder. What did Jehovah-Jireh know about Jesse and his family that made them “king” material?

“Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” 1 Sam 16:1b

This is merely supposition on my part, but I tend to think that these little stories tucked within the larger plot lines of our Biblical heroes are often the ordinary people. People who tried to live their lives to the best of their ability for HaShem. Righteous People They are often just men and women like you and me who worked hard, followed the rules (mostly), fell down and got back up, and raised their families to revere God above all things. Yet, even though they didn’t rank their own big portion of the Bible story, their faith life was so important that God made sure their name would be remembered forever. “…a shoot…from the stump of Jesse…”

There is something special about waiting and watching for that first ray of light to push through the outer rim of our darkness until it finally blazes into the Christ star on Christmas Eve. It is called hope. Advent is here. . Light the Hope candle in the wreath. 25 days and the Christ Star will blaze once more. I am thankful, waiting and hopeful once more.christmas star

Begin a New Work

cliff sittingThere are times when the air conditioning blows hot air into an already sweltering house; the dishwasher screams in protest as it grinds to a stop mid-cycle;  and the monthly paycheck seems insignificant to the mountain of bills looming overhead. Bills that I thought I’d have under control this month, just doubled in size.  The nightly news carries unspeakable human atrocities done to other human beings.  Visual images (even though I refuse to watch actual videos) that I never, ever dreamed would happen in today’s enlightened world.  Prodigal children.  Marital/Racial/Gender/Sexual Abuse. Child sex trade.  Anti-semitism. Mass murders. Beheading.  And the last one catches in my throat and stops my forward motion…Crucifictions. I drag my feet forward as my tongue traces a newly sensitive tooth.  Where are You?  I know You can make this STOP!  Why don’t You intervene? PLEASE!

Breathe deep.

Eyes close.

Cries choke.

‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’ Isaiah 47:10

I almost hate free will.  It would be so much easier to live in a world without choice, wouldn’t it?  The body hurts because of this or that, and I think that whoever called these years, “the golden years”, was really good at misnomers.  Doctor bills jut out of the mountain waiting to catch the toe as I stumble up the trail with checkbook in hand.  Worries that have been tucked into the corner of a smile, hidden from most of the world, threaten to pull the lips into a tight line revealing the fears held in check.  Are You listening?  Can I scream any louder? Strong winds of human frailty that seemed inconsequential when standing on terra firma below; now whip at my body threatening to send me plummeting into the dark abyss below.

Faith falters.

Darkness descends.

Harmony halts. 

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matt 26:41 

The mountain’s height still seems insurmountable while the weight of the backpack stuffed full of prayers pulls my shoulders backward; it is way too heavy to carry any further. I think about slipping it off and just letting it fall away from me, beyond the narrow ledge a foot length away. Another choice.  Another curve.  The knees crumble and rocks slice the tender joints.  Precariously balanced, I wedge my body tightly between the ledge and the sheer surface.  Tears course through the soul, leaving salty tracks upon physical cheeks as I manage to look up.  The rocky path still threatens to cut and scratch and trip any foot or knee that struggles to maintain their tenuous grip.  Yet there is something.  Something in this foreign land that beckons me to stand and try again.

Word whispered.

Lantern lit.

Eyes searching. 

“You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light.”  Samuel 22:29 

A Hand outstretched steadies my shaking, physical body.  It knocks away loose rocks and straggly brush to reveal words etched upon the face of the mountain; rough foreign letters that mold my fingers tracing their path. The thought that others have climbed these mountains make them not quite so scary.  Too often, I think, I rely on this world instead of placing my hand firmly on the rope-line of His Hand. Promises long forgotten begin to light the path with their wisdom. My eyes open wide.  Handholds and foot holds noticed. Forgotten is the weight of the backpack as each step forward brings new light to each promise. Questions formulate about those who have gone before.  How did they endure?  Where they saints or mere mortals – like me?  I am so like Peter. My faith is strong until I start to think.  Then the consequences overwhelm me, and I begin to sink until Christ’s Hand reaches down to pull me out.

Hope rises.

Faith emerges.

Peace envelopes.

“ ‘Father,

hallowed be your name…’”  Luke 11:3a  

A journey of choices is still in front of me.  Tight curves, protruding rocks, unpredictable weather, knee-shaking fear, and my own steps forward threaten my path.  Yet, the back-pack is no longer heavy.  It has sprouted wings and helps me to avoid many of the obstacles.  It is just one of the blessings – miracles that is now so readily apparent.  It is the manifestation of my faith in My Father’s love.  The world with all its intellect, studies, and well-educated people call it an addicting drug…a myth…a crutch…a historical fallacy.  Yet, all MY intellect, studies, education knows it is not.  I wish I was better with words.  I wish that I could give the world what is inside my heart.  I still, sometimes, wish that there was no such thing as choice and free will.  But what I know for sure is that My Father sees what even His Son and Holy Spirit cannot see, and He wants us to choose to love Him.

“…your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

And lead us not into temptation.’ ” Luke 11: 3b-4 isaiah

(pictures via FB images)