Tag Archives: Son


Whoop!Whoop! Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle caught a full-sized mouse last night. She left it smack-dab in the middle of the hallway and was curled into a ball at the foot of our bed just waiting to be proud when we woke up. 

Annnnnnddddddd…we were. Nature when left alone works very well, and SSS got tuna for breakfast. Who knew we needed a cat? I think you know how I would answer that one.

Today was a totally God blessed day from start to finish. I spent a lot of time being “churched” today. This is a saying I picked up when I was in our small gospel choir in Saxapahaw. The ladies and the choir leaders would use it when they were feeling the Spirit moving among us as we prayed at the start of choir – sang in the Spirit – and at the end of choir when we prayed in the Spirit again.

“O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.”~Dan 9:4

While it was still sort of windy outside, the Spirit inside was so much stronger. He reminded me to circle Daniel 9 in prayer again- – – ALAT – As Long Asit Takes (which is an acronym that Mark Batterson used in “The Circle Maker”). With my Gemini nature, I have to work really hard not to flit hither and yon. So I wrote it down in my prayer journal and circled it. Hopefully, I will stick at it ALAT in the days to come.

“But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. We have not obeyed the LORD our God, for we have not followed the instructions he gave us through his servants the prophets.”~Dan 9:9-10

Other than that, didn’t really do much. Read devotions. Spent time catching up with some of my favorite TV ministers. Worked on our front deck for a few hours – stain/painting. (Do you realize arthritis really doesn’t like that chore – especially those individual picket thingies that seemed to have multiplied today?). Played with the dogs and kitty as we walked around the yard. Read some more. Cooked a chicken, potatoes and gravy. (yum) Carried on some conversations with friends that make me smile. And just finished up watching: “Let There Be Light”.

“Yet we have refused to seek mercy from the LORD our God by turning from our sins and recognizing his truth.”~Dan 9:13b

Great movie. Reminded me how much I loved Dionne Warwick back in the day, so I ordered some CD’s. Perfect ending to a perfect day. Kitty curled in my side. Puppies looking at me ready to walk outside one last time and then get a toothbrush treat which they love. Hubby snoring. Me? Yawning big time and ready for saying goodnight to God before I close my eyes for the night.

Breadcrumbs have been dropping hinting at new things, but for today, I was given peace, blessings, and many, many God-winks. And for that, I am oh-so thankful. I needed a day like today. Who knew? I guess you know the answer to that one again.

God is in the world. The Spirit is blowing – sometimes pretty hard. The Son stands beside us with grace in His hand. Who could ask for more? So my wish for all of you is to “have a blessed day” for yourselves some time this week.

“O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for your people and your city bear your name.”~Dan 9:19

 [google images]


BREADCRUMBS: Thoughts and Prayers.

As a student, educator, mom, grandmother, and citizen – the past few days brings the violence a little closer to my heart. The world of education has been my world for most of my 67 years of life. It is the world I know. It is the world I love.

Those are my thoughts. I have many thoughts.

I was the 7th grader sitting in a classroom where a classmate stored their hunting rifle in the teacher’s closet. Later, I went on dates with a rifle in a gun rack right behind me. 
I was the young educator threatened with a knife and later a gun during my early years of teaching. 
I am mom who sent her children to schools where I taught and sent them off to colleges and work places in big cities – far, far away. 
I am a Grandmother who weekly picks up her Grands from their school.
I am a senior citizen who cries for her country.

Actually, I cried for my country many years ago while I was still in college. I watched my university close down for a period of time due to violence. As one of two white faces, I sat in a one of the first Black Studies courses taught on campus. I was ridiculed, in-your-face harassed several times by other students in that class, as well as threatened bodily harm in very descriptive terms.
I cried for an ugly war. I cried for people I knew who were fighting there. I cried for the soldiers were spit upon and heckled as they wore their uniforms. I cried over choosing abortion over life because I was a fool.

I have thought about these things over the past few days. I have thought about the posts on both sides that seems to further the division between all sides of the issue. The palpable anger that seems to resonate between the lines on a screen or the voices on TV/radio. I thought about FL.

I have thoughts…….and……I have prayers.

Sometime in my late 20’s I figured out that thoughts are not enough. Life is complicated and way beyond my meager understanding. Humbled prodigals can find their way home. However, there was something that was much wiser than my own thoughts. Something that had guided my path until I got lost. 
An action. 
A choice. 

“This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.”~Mk 15:42-47

As I read this passage today, I thought about the young ladies being buried in FL. I thought about a Father who also watched His Son being buried. I thought about the night before when Rabbi Yeshua prayed. That mysterious connection that opened between Heaven and Terra – between Father and Son. 
That choice. That action. 
That prayer. That blessing.

When people say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” I wonder if those are the words the Father replied to his Son? And if they were, I wonder how closely the Son held them in his heart when he heard the temple guards approach? What I do know – there was no anger in his actions. There was peace and healing.
So I pray and think some more.

Whether a person means those words is not for me to judge – only Our Father can determine that. But if those were the words – or something similar – that Christ held in his heart throughout everything he endured on that last day, that phrase is not a throw-away to be denigrated. 
It is a choice.
It is an action.
It is a blessing.

Thoughts and prayers.

A blessing to those who are suffering – to those in pain – to those who are sorrowful – to those who are needy.

A blessing.             

1d22c-you-are-in-my-thoughts-and-prayers-candle-and-hands[google image]


BREADCRUMBS: Led by the Spirit

Most of the time I love a lively, joyous, dancing in the aisle style of worship. A happy time to express all the love that seems to overflow out of my heart for my Father, His son and the Holy Spirit. 
King David’s dance before the LORD sets a fire in my spirit. Praise songs puts taps on my shoes.
A cracking voice that can’t help straining to hit the notes in the head as I clean the house, and I can’t think of a better way to start my week.

But there are other times. 
Times when my heart is heavy with the brokenness of the world.
Times when I realize I – we – have fallen far beyond the Tower of Babel.
Times when I want reach deeply into myself and re-connect with the AWE. 
Times when I seek the solemness – the depth of holiness – in worship.

These are the times when I seek Moses’s attitude of stooping over to remove His shoes. Times when I seek the obedience of the Son who knelt against a cold, stony surface – alone – in the dark. Times when I need to feel the soaring spirit of the classical music and holiness of a Catholic Mass to remind me of the Light He brought to us.

These are the times when I immerse myself in the formality of the Mass or the timelessness of a Requiem. Verdi. Mozart. Faure. Bach. Bernstein. They remind me that there is more than just one side of Our Father, and it brings me to my knees in trembling Awe and Reference.

“Rend not your garments, rend your hearts. 
Turn back your lives to me.” 
Thus says our kind and gracious God, 
whose reign is liberty.”~Hurd/Vaughan-Williams  

I was not raised Catholic, but choral music was my teething rattle. Music that sang me to sleep as my mother’s voice blended and soared over me from the stage. I knew her voice and could always pick it out even when I was too little to understand anything else. I spent my formative years emulating her in my own numerous choral adventures. 
And it was there, there where the music flowed from my heart into my spirit. 
There where I found the beauty and strength of My Father’s grace as the world falls apart.

Tonight there are so many prayers circling – for so many people – for a broken world filled with violence, sickness and heartache. Ash covered prayers for “…for dust you are and to dust you will return.”~Gen 3:19 
Repristination seems a long way away tonight. 
And I breath in deeply the sounds of Kyrie, Dona Nobis Pacem and Sanctus.

Whoever drinks the drink 
I give shall never thirst again.” 
Thus says the Lord who died for us, 
our Savior, kin and friend.”~Hurd/Vaughan-Williams

While the tears are just under the surface now, the awe-filled holiness of YHWH, His Son and the Holy Spirit have brought me peace tonight. I will never understand the evilness that continues to tear us apart. I can’t even understand my own stupidity most of the time.

What I do understand is that if I really listen, I can hear His voice. I can pick it out in-spite of the noisiness of the world that tries to distract. 
While there is ugliness, there is also beauty. 
While there is violence, there is also peace. 
While there is sin, there is also grace. 
We merely have to pick out His voice, and let the Spirit lead us.

“Led by the Spirit, 
now sing praise to God the Trinity: 
The Source of Life, 
the living Word made flesh to set us free, 
The Spirit blowing where it will 
to make us friends of God: 
This mystery far beyond our reach, 
yet near in healing love.” Led by the Spirit, Hurd/Vaughan-Williams


Strange to think that when we wake up tomorrow it will – officially – be Spring. We can walk out the door, and it will be sunny, warm and perfect. Right?

March Madness is never like that.

“March is the month God created to show people who don’t drink what a hangover is like.”~Garrison Keillor.

I laughed today when I read this. “In like a lion – out like a lamb” popped in my mind right afterwards. I laughed again. Spring and March Madness seems to go hand-in-hand with twisty, twirly weather, and this March seems to be no different. February spoiled us this year with its extended warmth and lack of snow. March is just doing what it always does.

Rock n’ Roll. True Madness.

Yesterday, we had a warm beautiful day when out of nowhere, a wind whistled, rain belted the quirky house while the sun continued to shine. Dogs and I stood at the back door, sun in our eyes, wind blowing small limbs from the trees across our back deck, and then we looked at each other. That swirly wind had just blown the kitchen window screen out of its resting place, across the sink and onto the floor. 10 minutes later there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The dogs barked, and I laughed again.

Jewish wisdom says that manifestations within our world represent much more than just the things we can feel, smell, see, and touch. They are the physical representation of the essence of our linear time references…past, present and future.

Solid – fixed in place – not changing. In rabbinical thought, it is like our past. The past is fixed in place. It doesn’t change no matter how much we would like it to do so. Best yet, it is understandable when we look at it because all our questions are answered.

Liguid – malleable – displaceable – just like the present time frame. One decision can change the shape, color, direction, flow. All we have to do is put our finger in – take a step – make a choice. The questions pull at us – is it changing for the worst – changing for the best – why is it changing – how is it changing – – – will I like it?

Gas – nebulous – foggy – just as the future sits in our thoughts. It’s kinda there. We can almost see its shape but not quite. Our questions are now legion. Uncertainties shift each time we look at it. Just trying to grasp it can be frustrating and illusive.

“For it is by faith that we walk and not by sight.”~2 Cor 5:7

I am not a good student of languages, but I do enjoy trying to figure out Hebrew just for this reason: it seems to link all the important things of our lives through each separate letter of the language – grouping them into words and hidden hints of more beyond what is seen. The word snow in Hebrew, שֶׁלֶג, shows that just as snow goes through all the stages – gaseous vapor to solid to liquid – so too do humans go through all the stages of – past to present to future. Those who have come before affect us just as we affect those around us and eventually affect those who come after us.

My fallible mind looks at that one word and wonder how could an ordinary man somewhere – way, way, way back when – come up with that grouping of letters that understood the scientific process that snow goes through and link it into one entity?

March Madness is more than basketball. It is the madness of trying to decide if we should dress in layers, carry an umbrella or pull out the heavy coat again. Can I leave my windows open all day or should I turn on the gas logs? The Hubby wonders if he should ride the motorcycle or lock the four wheel tires in on the truck. That is why I just havta love Spring. It is His physical reminder that we need to not only walk by faith but live by faith.

Trust the plan.

Trust the Creator of the plan.

Trust that March leads to April when the broken seed burst forth with new life.

Trust the Son that was broken and burst forth with new life.

Trust that there is a reason to love the craziness of March Madness. [google images]

Because of Christmas #8: Humble Pie

It as not been a good year for Humbles. There’s been a drought of kindness in the meager water supply. Not to mention, the much needed love fertilizer was held up in production due to an ineffective leadership that had not taken good care of the factory or its workers. If only a Thanksgiving a miracle would occur. But alas, the last sarcastic hail and hate tornadoes decimated the field to only a remnant. There might be no Humble pie tomorrow at the table.

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”~Prov 11:2

In its glory, an abundant crop of Humbles is hard to describe. Their fruits are an array of iridescent colors, and when conditions are right, the tree of the Humble seems to dance in the light of the grace-full Son. Harvested, the fruits’ smell seeps free of its flesh and permeates the very air around it with such sweetness that it blesses every Thanksgiving homestead for an entire year.

“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”~1 Peter 5:5

Herod didn’t like Humble Pie. Didn’t eat it. Didn’t grow the fruit. In fact, he burned the fields where the trees grew. He even closed his curtains against the light of the Son. He knew he was right. He pursed is lips and refused to listen to anyone’s opinion except his own. He ignored the signs. He avoided the manna that he could have gathered. Worse – he wouldn’t drink from the well that would never run dry. His perversions were well documented, and he missed the grace of Humbles blooming in his fields forever.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”~Phil 2:3

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Not just a day to watch football. Not just a day to eat food. Not just a day to spend with family. Not just a day to debate issues. Not just a day to shop for material things. Not just day off work. Not just a day.

“And everything that you perform in word and in works, do in the name of our Lord Yeshua The Messiah and give thanks by him to God The Father.”~Col 3:17

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A day to find one of the remnant Humbles. There are a few trees left. Seek it out. Harvest it within your field. Make a pie and offer it as a blessing to those who share your table, that your loving Father might bless your year in the name of the Son who eternally brings grace to a never empty table.


“To the humble, God gifts great treasures.”~Max Lucado (p88)

Blessings!Be! and a Blessed Thanksgiving for all. [google images]


mary cThere are times when I know what I should write and just don’t do it. This one has been in my head and in various shapes and forms on my computer – in my notebooks – in my journals for years. I walk away.  I don’t write.  Don’t even pick up a piece of paper.  Complete shut down.  But I have never been able shut down the Spirit that whispers one word:  write.

I hate that.

Not really.  I hate that at this point in my life, I am still rebellious and do not trust Him totally.  In my life, I have often run the opposite way when I see the path I’m supposed to walk.  The Light always shows me the path, but it looks bumpy.  It’s not paved.  It isn’t appealing. As far as I can see, there are all sorts of brambles and rocks to navigate – not to mention, the swirling storm that is creating a muddy mess. If it is a crummy path to begin with why would I choose to travel that way?  Much easier to walk the path that is already paved and well traveled. Right?

I do not always have enough faith…even now.

11061228_1625769924369737_7866203052822980504_nToday I saw another of the Planned Parent videos was released.  My finger hovered, and then I scrolled  on through the feed.  I can not force myself to watch them. Babies feel pain during abortions.  They hear things.  They feel things.

Shortly after, I saw one of those memes that continuously circulate on FB.  It caught me, held me, taunted me, and  until I went back and found it again.  I don’t know who this lady is, but underneath it in the comments section, there were all sorts of derrogatory names and hate-filled rants.  Tears swirled, and I walked away again. In my heart, I begin that ancient process of mourning all over again.  I pull my hair. I cry.  I fall on my broken knees. The words attached to the photo etch across my mind,  Two words carve themselves deeply – “baby-killer”.

It is my face I see now.

My coming of age years flash like a match within my mind.  A bright illumination img044that – for a second – lights every emotion – every scent – every song sung in my memory banks.  However, the match itself has no substance within itself to continue to flame unless something else is added as kindling.  It is an illusion, and yet, for that nano-second, it’s brightness eclipses the present in which I live.

Vietnam. Baby-killers.  Abortion.

Three words twined together. Vietnam. A war that distracted us from another war that was beginning to erupt. Wars kill all within its path…men, women, babies, races, cultures,religion…souls. Doesn’t matter.  It is violent, ugly, raw. A degradation of all that is un-holy in this world.  The weapons of war are legions and leave visible and invisible wounds.  Tough veterans – veterans who sacrificed everything to serve their country – often return to the  taunts of being “baby-killers”. Inadvertently or not, war does kill those who hold the most potential –  babies. Yet – there are wars – spiritual wars – that wage beneath the conscience level of our existence.  Wars that leave a different type of veteran. In the hallways of schools and universities, comfy homes and churches, congress and courtrooms, a more damaging spiritual war waged during the early 70’s.  A war that ensured a similar outcome.  However, this class of people are rarely labeled with any term even though they fully embody one term in particular…”baby-killer”.

I know.  I am one of them.

I am in the company of 55 million others in this country who have chosen to sacrifice the blessing of tiny lives upon the altar of our own desires.  It makes me cringe as I write that number and see corresponding dates in my head. I chose this road more than once   It was a time of deception.  A time when the prodigal lived in me.  A time when – like King David – my will was supreme.  A time when I did not recognize spiritual warfare for what it was. Over and over, by doctors, college professors, newspapers, professionals – the world said it was simply a fetus – not a baby, a mass of cells – not a baby, a hindrance – not a baby, an encumbrance – not a baby.  Abortion was simply a procedure that eliminated so many problems.  It was a paved road – wide and well-traveled.  A much easier road to travel than the rough, ugly, little path that curved to the side.



Like Eve who came before me, I have listened to those voices. – especially when they supported what I wanted.  It was safe.  It was legal. It was logical.  It was okay according to the knowledgeable leaders of the world. If I have learned anything in this life, it is that I can justify ANYTHING. I can find a reason, a logic, a science, a reputable source that says it is okay to do what I want instead of doing what My LORD thinks I should. How often have I chosen the wrong path because I did not put my faith in Him and His path?  How often have I missed the wisdom and discernment that I could have learned if I had only trusted to walk the path He saw for me?

Writing about this has been a stumbling block for about nine months.  Interesting coincidence, don’t you think?  Then again ~ I don’t believe in “coincidences”. Instead, I believe – that once again – My Father is driving one more point home into my soul. Then I notice one more holy “coincidence”.  I realize that it was almost exactly 45 years ago that I was standing at a juncture. A college campus phone booth. Beginning of a fall session art class. My fingers slipping on the wet coins as rain soaked me and my books. Back then, I did not choose the path “less traveled by”.  The war had already legally begun in New York City.  Just an overnight trip. 12 hours up.  12 hours back. No one would know. The doctor set it up.  The boyfriend, a best friend couple, money scavenged from all our pockets and jobs stuffed in an envelope and a week later drove into the darkness.

They sang and listened to music. Sitting in the corner, I cried and prayed within myself.  Prayed for my parents never to know.  Prayed that I wouldn’t die.  Shook when I realized the irony of that prayer for my baby.  I sunk further into the corner until I walked up the stairs to admitting – alone.

Soon, that war came to the whole country. Such a wide privileged road to walk into war.bible verse

I accepted that infamous 70’s label that fall day.  I became a baby killer. I justified myself as I walked that path several more times. I blocked my ears from the small still voice that whispered, over and over – “Trust Me”.  Each time, I cried, but walked the privileged path. It was so easy.  No driving necessary.  Take the bus.  Catch a ride. Walk the road and life goes on as I wanted.

I repented.  I fell to my knees. I mourned. For myself – for my babies.  Even though, I destroyed what He had created.  Even though, I despised myself.  Even though, I railed at Him for  making me choose. Like King David, I did not trust Him enough in my period of testing.  I can find logical excuses for why this continued to happen even with birth control, but in reality – I put myself on this road of testing.  There are two trees in the Garden for a reason.

The pacifists who screamed at the 70’s rallies about the killing taking place overseas, supported my decision to kill. The politicians, the clerical hierarchy, the educated professors who also decried war, supported this selective killing.  The logic of it still escapes me.

“Thou shalt not kill.”

Four simple words. Even as I was “waging war” on that which was weaker than me.  Even as I killed a living being, created and sanctified in His image.  Even as I became a “baby-killer” in every sense of the word, David’s words reappeared in my live.

“I — to God I call, and Jehovah saveth me.” Ps 55:16

Wars happen – physically and spiritually.  We mourn.  We are comforted. And slowly in our time – instantly in His  – we start to redeem what war has destroyed. Rabbi Jonathan Cahn recently said, “Repentance leads to revival.”  True repentance also leads eventually to wisdom and discernment.  Too often, in our worldly wisdom. we choose a very ugly path to walk.  Some of us go to jail.  Some of us carry the burden of painful wisdom. But as His grace, His mercy, and His love sinks into our molecular bodies, we slowly realize that we have been washed clean while He holds our babies cradled in His arms. He has named them for us and teaches them the things He wanted us to teach them. I weep because I missed that blessing.  I weep because I threw away so many gifts before I fell on my knees one night while watching a beautiful sunset from my bedroom window.

And even though my sins have been wiped away through Christ’s sacrifice, I weep again. But this time, I weep for the world still at war. I weep for generations of brilliant babies bearing tremendous gifts that have been lost to this world. For the mothers who, right now hear the echoes of the world instead of the clear voice of His love.

“May those who mourn be comforted.  May those who mourn…be comforted.”

The time of grace is almost complete.



3″Blessed by The Spirit* are the poor, because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

4Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5Blessed are they who are meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

7Blessed are they who show mercy, for mercies will be upon them.

8Blessed are those who are pure in their hearts, for they shall see God.

9Blessed are they who make peace, for they will be called the children of God.” ~ Matt 5:1-9

[Google images/FB meme]


cleft aIt is about this time when the quietness of night begins to enter the weariness of my body, and I rejoice in its peace. The neighborhood has long since closed their windows and tucked the little ones into bed. While chimatic tones caught by the breeze dance through the windows and pull my eyes toward the windows. The moon is larger tonight. Passover and Easter so close.

“My dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places on the mountainside,”

This is when Our Father speaks most clearly to me. He seeks me out. His dove. His child. He pushes away the sin of this day – just as He has pushed away the legions of sins in my past – and finds my hiding place – a small cleft in the mountain of shame.

“Show me your face…”

We humans tend to weigh our sins. Lies less than murder. Fresh fantasy less than actual adultry. Lofty logic less than inventive idolatry. Once up a time, I did not understan Grace…did not truely understand the gift given by a Father and His Son. Knees bruised. Tears racking the body. I walked away from His blessings and hid in the cleft of the mountain. I still have a tendancy to do that.

He sought me out in that mountain cleft then just as He seeks me tonight, “Show me your face…”

The words echo in the stillness as Light of His righteousness pierce the cracks in my fingers. Blood hues fill the cup of my hands. My eyes dare to open. I’m such a sad witness of His grace. How can I face Him again? How can I fall – time after time? Impatience…anger…pride…judgmental thoughts…lust for past idols haunt me, and I close my eyes tight against the Light once again.

“…let me hear your voice for your voice is sweet…”

I wander to my piano and let my fingers find familiar notes. Cracking at first, my voice echoes my weakness. Light fills the room and harmonies weaves peaceful waves in my ears. Blessings of grace fill the room leaving no room for the faulty choices that led me up the mountain in the first place. Mountain forgotten. Light touching every part of my being; I curl into the cleft of His hand rather than the hard cleft of rocky shame.

“…your face is lovely.” ~Song of Songs 2:14

I have been freed from my sins once again. Love. Freedom. Two major foundational stones of my faith and of this night. The geese have awakened for one reason or another. Their cries echoing up the from the lake and in through our window as I prepare to rest. It has been a long day of flitting here and there…human busyness that interupted and tried to divert. But He sought me out and Grace reigns.

Holy Week. A time to remember our frailties. A time to contemplate the Light of a Son’s gift to us. A time to remember that we are forgiven of our sins – totally… completely…eternally.

[google images]

cleft b


mark twain“It is not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that give me trouble. It is the part that I do understand that gives me fits.”~Mark Twain [aka Samuel Clemens]

These days it seems as if, people choose to believe in God, they want God to be their version of God. The Bible to say what they want it to say.  If a minister, or a believer, stands on the WORD, the whole WORD and nothing but the WORD, chance are someone is going to be offended.

“Here’s the church. Here’s the steeple. Open the door and see all the people.”here-is-the-church-color-4

I learned this little hand rhyme probably before I could read. I remember struggling to fold my hands just right. Bending the fingers in towards the palm, lifting the pointers to form a steeple, thumbs aligned closely together, then opening them to reveal my tiny wiggling fingers.

In those days, the rhyme fit the world. I was a baby boomer baby.  A miracle to my mom and dad (since they never thought they would have another child) and – a pain in the butt to my brother who thought he would always be an “onliest” as he had been for 9 years.  It was not unusual after WWII for church doors to open wide and to reveal a sanctuary full of music, prayers, literugy, sermons, and grateful families of a grateful nation. The covenant between God and His people had been shakened, but it still stood.  Christian faith in America was still considered a foundational rock.

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace.All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. “~Malachi 4:1

Today I was driving by a church that is close to us. Like most traditional churches turkeyvulture3it has a steeple with a cross on the top. I heard the rhyme in my mind as I looked at the church. The dreary overcast skies pulled my eyes up to the steeple and then the cross. Two vultures sat on the cross. It is probably nothing unusual in this as vultures like to roost high up in trees or electric poles, but I had just never seen two vultures actually perching on such a small post before. They were probably just resting and cleaning themselves before the next circle around the area, but it looked as if they were picking at the cross itself. I struggled with that metaphor as it immediately coursed through my mind. (English teachers are like that. We often see the metaphors behind an image or story.)

Vultures are not pretty; certainly not my favorite critter. They do their job well. They do the job that Nature’s God adapted for them to do in a world carved by man’s choices. They tear apart dead things, fight with their peers for each morsel, and eventually allow the tinier animals to begin the next step of the clean- up process. By the time nothing remains except the basic structure of what once existed, the vultures are on to their next project.

“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. 3Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.” ~Malachi 4:2

We argue over what is righteous in God’s sight. We argue over the relevance of the Old Covenant vs the New Covenant. We argue over traditional music vs modern music. We argue if the sermon is too long or too short.  We argue among ourselves when someone disagrees with our perception of what church doctrine should be. We argue as if we can comprehend what righteousness is on this side of heaven.

There are vultures everywhere these days which is not really a happy thought for this Easter season. But it is the reason to remember why Rabbi Yeshua referred to himself as the narrow gate.  It is the reason to remember the sacrifice made by Our Father and His Son.  It is the reason, we must remember to read the WORD – all the WORD, nothing but the WORD.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”  Matt 7:13

Vultures wait on that wide road; waiting to tear apart the church, it’s people and all things associated with it.  Rabbi Yeshua understood the role of vultures in nature and society. He understood man’s vision of the “church”, so He became the narrow gate between the Old and New Testament because He and the Father knew the children all too well. Legalistic. Judgmental. Arrogant. Impatient. Foolish. Idol worshipers.  Human vultures sitting on a cross.  Waiting.

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” ~Malachi 4:5-6

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mar 17 c

You can never tell what kind of discussion will pop up in an a room full of kids, but I should have known what today’s topic would be – after all – it is St. Patrick’s Day.

“Ouch,” one of my co-workers said.
“You’re not wearing green,” laughed a 5th grader.
“I am, too,” he replied. “Isn’t this green?” he asked me.

It was mint green. In fact, my shirt was also mint green, but no one messes with Miss Grandma. 20 minutes later – two smart phones “google”ing images of mint green, and the argument was still on-going.

Gotta love St. Patrick’s Day. Gotta love the Irish blood that flows through my veins. Gotta love spring.

When I got home, the forsythia was in full bloom. The yellow blossoms wide open forsythia mar 17 2015and beckoned me closer. It is the smallest forsythia bush I have ever had the privilege of growing. I planted it in 2013, but it wasn’t happy in the first spot. Didn’t grow. Didn’t blossom. Didn’t thrive. So last year, I dug it out of the red clay. I loosened the dirt around its roots, and chose a new spot. I added new soil and mixed it with the denser dirt of our small plot of land. Today it smiled at me, and I smiled back. It was resurrected.

“Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.” Jn 11:1

Rabbi Yeshua had a good friend. His name was Lazarus. Most of you probably know this story. I know it was one of the first stories I ever heard. A man died. Buried for 4 days. Wrapped up like a mummy with tons of material binding him tightly. A big rock covering the entrance to the tomb. Sisters confused and in mourning. Jesus wept and then commanded. Stone rolled away. Lazarus walked out.

“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” Jn 11:4b

Many lessons are buried (so to speak) in this one story..patience …conquering fear…walking in faith…conquering death. Buried even deeper in this story is the foreshadowing of another path – one that the rabbi himself would soon walk – one that would bring forth an even greater miracle – one that still is overwhelming in its conceptualization – FORGIVENESS GRACE – a path created by the sacrifice of a Son that would lead us back to the Father despite our sins.

I thought of that story today as I looked at the small forsythia bush. I thought about it again as I watched the sun set from our patio and watched the small bud coverings drop close by my feet. Spring brings the bright colors of the early flowers: tulips, daffodils, crocuses, forsythia. It brings the fuzzy buds of unfolding leaves, and the winter white softness of pussy willows. It brings the music of birds as they begin their mating journeys and nest building. It brings silly debates over the color of green. It brings resurrection. It brings GRACE. It makes Miss Grandma smile and send a prayer of thanks – over and over again.peace

Atitude of Gratitude #27

a womanAttitude of Gratitude #27: God. It is one day out of 365. It is one day set aside to be full of thankfulness and remembrance. It is one day of blessed legacies and love expressed. It is one day that – if you choose – you will remember to crawl as far forward as you can – hands and knees scraped by the stones and broken glass that impede your progress………reach through the ugly, crowded busyness of daily life – head battered by words and actions of those towering above and around…………stretch dirty, grimy fingers as far as posiible just to touch the hem – a hem of His garment trailing behind Him as He passes………………and say………….Thank you.

It is not enough. It can never be enough. Yearning, as a bride for her groom. Not wanting anything more than to express a heart full of thankfulness. 27 days of thankfulness reminds us that there is nothing more important than this – to be thankful for this moment. Incomparable “I AM” moment. Eyes full of thankfulness. Tears full of thankfulness. Spirit full of thankfulness.

Words are inadequate in this moment of true Thanksgiving. Reaching past the physical realm and seeing…”His kingdom come”. Prayer. Repentance. Unity. Communion. Repristination. This is Thanksgiving. This is His day – if we remember – if we choose to remember – the Gift we have been given, and the treasure waiting to be found.

To HaShem…My Father who carved me into the palm of His hand…whose Son stands before me…whose Spirit guides me…I am thankful for my life and this moment of choice.cross