The new house truly became a home this week. It expanded, took a deep breath, and with a few drops of love scattered around each inch of it like flowers in a garden, our home smiled for the first time.
Funny, how old habits, knowledge, and wisdom resurface when needed (such as cutting enough potatoes to feed all those extra mouths yakkinng and laughing in your ear while indulging in a hug or two and singing a song with a Grand). Things that you thought you had thrown to the back of the closet because they wasn’t needed anymore. Day-to-day activities that need to ebb and flow when there are more than two of you in the same home for a period of time.
“Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.”~ Prov 4:4
I know I’ve written about this before, but I guess talking about forgotten knowledge brought it back to my mind. The Talmud teaches that when we are starting our journey on this plane, Our Father sends an angel to teach us everything that we need to know, and when they are done, they push their finger to our lips and blow it to the back of our “closet”. That little indentation over your top lip – the philtrum – is the physical imprint of your angel’s finger.
The question – why teach us only to make us forget it?
Jewish sages believe that while it is hidden from our physical mind it is still at the back of our closet. Seeking wisdom when we need it reconnects us with the Father who didn’t want to send us without Truth to guide us through this journey. It helps us – begin new journeys again – to smile again – to become ‘made new’.
1942 Ration: “Wherefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold they became new..”~2 Cor 5:17
After yielding to sin, after once being bogged down in the mire of life, is it possible to get out and be clean once more? Can we, once having conformed to the ways of this sorry world, break loose and be remolded to fit the higher plan that we know God has for us? Can we really forget ourselves and our short comings and live nobly in our own and God’s sight?
“Paul says, “yes, Do not let yourselves be fitted into the scheme of this age, but be cast in a higher form. This you can do by having a ‘new mind’. That is the secret of new life. When we are transformed through belief in Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour, we are on the way to the ‘Land of Beginning Again’.
“And be not fashioned according to this world, but be ye transformed by the reviewing of your mind.”~Rm 12:2
“READ: Romans 12:1-3
“PRAYER: O thou Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, wash me and me me clean. [Here let us humbly confess those things that keep us from being our best selves.] Establish within me a new sense of thy boundless love and give me more power for living. In thy name I pray. Amen.”
As I was reading some of my friends post today, some had silly pictures about Monday coming too soon. Some were celebrating sleeping in and not having to get up at 5 or 6. Others were relating the peace that they found in church as we draw closer to Easter.While those with young children posted lots of fun pictures of time spent with family. All of them make make me smile…even those that are asking for prayer because I know He will wipe their tears.
It is what I love the weekends. Before I retired, I always tried to keep Saturday low key, Course – as all of you parents out there know – that didn’t always work out as planned, especially as the kids got older. Sunday was more scheduled – get family to church, cook “Sunday” meal, watch hubby dash out the door for a Sunday basketball game, visit elders, often back to church, work on organizing everything for the next week in job and family activities. Weekends gave me a time to rest and claim those few, precious, fleeting minutes for myself before the next week began.
Retirement has given me a new perspective. I don’t have to get up at any set time (although – I still tend to wake up at 5:30 almost every morning – look at the clock and smile as I go back to sleep). Except for picking up the Grands a couple times a week and going to work for a couple hours in the afternoon, time is pretty much mine to enjoy I certainly love all my reading time. But my weekends have changed. They have become more………….
As I have delved into reading more and more about Jewish traditions and wisdom, I have felt the pull of recoginizing in my heart Shabbat at sundown on Friday night. For the Jews it is a time to remember the gift of creation and freedom from slavery in Egypt. A time of prayer and rest from creative work. It is celebrated from sundown to sundown as a special gift from G-d. Saturday is a day of prayer and rest. I love thinking how Rabbi Yeshua must have observed Shabbat with first his family and later with his disciples. Saturday has taken on a whole new dimension.
Of course, Sunday remains the holiest day of the weekend for me. A time to remember Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the gift of creation and a time to rest from the idols that steal most of my time during the week. I find it amazing how much time I manage to waste during the week. I can make excuses, but in reality, I don’t ever give God as much time as I want or should. I try to spend more time in prayer on Sunday…more time in the WORD…more time reading inspirational works that center on Christ or on Jewish wisdom. More time watching sermons and soaking in the wisdom of those who have come before me as teachers. Listening for the Holy Spirit’s wind to blow in my ear.
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Jn 3:8
While March Madness definitely ruled our home’s T.V. this weekend and I didn’t completely refrain from any creative work (I did some painting in my bedroom), it was a wonderful holy weekend. A time to praise my Father and His Son…a time to remember that on the 7th day He rested from His creative work…a time to pray, a time to watch the cardinals He created as they flit across the yard…time to listen to the sea gulls call their own praises from the river… time to play with the puppies as they joyously chase a little ball and smile at me…a time to read a friends’s FB post. When all is said and down, I love holy weekends and am thankful for them.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Bible, Christ, God, March Madness, Newsboys, Rabbi Yeshua, Talmud, Torah, We Believe, weekends, WORD
Words have power.
Mean words. Happy words. Sarcastic words. Lack of words.
Mother Teresa once, “Words that do not give the Light of Christ increase the darkness.”
Thumper said, “If you can’t say nothin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”
Even the Book of Leviticus had something to say about it. There was a disease that affected the Jewish people when they gossiped. It was a lot like leprosy, leaving white patches all over their face and body. According to Jewish wisdom and Leviticus, the cure was a spiritual one as well as a physical one. Two birds were to be offered by the priest in the offender’s name. One bird was sacrificed, representing the “bad words” being killed off. The other was released, reminding the offender that words used for good will fly high and bring the blessings of song and beauty to the world.
Rabbe Jesus was also big on words, but in our society, we tend to see Him through a very narrow view-finder. Loving. Kind. Forgiving. Messiah. But this Rabbe was fully God and fully Man. He didn’t sugar coat His message to sell His ideas. While His deeds were often kind, forgiving and loving, His stories could be, just as often, dark and scary. The temple will be destroyed. The rejected cornerstone. Throw the wedding guest into the darkness. A dead fig tree…
Following the Book of Matthew these past few weeks, has reminded me just how powerful the words of Rabbe Jesus truly were. When I was little, many of these Bible stories never made their way to my Sunday School classes, and even if they did, I wouldn’t fully understand the symbolism of them because I had no Jewish wisdom to help interpret them. (I thought I was a great Bible student back in high school and college; after all, I went to church and youth group every week, prayed every night…well…mostly… read lots of books about religion and reincarnation – but in reality – I had no clue because I didn’t really digest the WORD.) Rabbe Jesus was the WORD, so He knew their power, and at the end of His journey, it was His final gift to us. He was the sacrificed bird. The WORD took within Himself the bad words and deeds of ourselves. Now it is up to us to release the Good News [Word] in to the world, releasing its beauty and music so that the world might be blessed until He returns. And He will return…whether we are ready or not.
My 14 year old grandson made a wonderful discovery today and he wasn’t afraid to talk about it in a FB status. “Pretty gutsy,” as Grandma Mickey would say. Then I read all the Bible verses that he referenced. I found myself laughing when I got to one section of it because Moses’s words could so easily have been mine.
“He [Moses] asked the LORD, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now–if I have found favor in your eyes–and do not let me face my own ruin.” Num 11:11-15
There are so many times when I find myself ranting and raving and being very dramatic before my LORD…just like Moses. Especially, when I didn’t want to be on the journey. Looks like I’m in good company. This is also one time I wish I knew what Jewish wisdom says about this portion of the Torah. My guess – it’s just lucky that Moses paved the road for the rest of us. Our Father kinda knows what to expect of us and sent Jesus to make it a little easier. However, when I looked back at the first section of the Bible readings, Rabbi Jesus put up with the same type of whining from the Jewish people during his time on earth…including the disciples who argued over who would “sit on His left and right side” or how to “feed a multitude” or “save us from the storm”….
Faith is not easy when you are on a journey through a desert or through a flood, snowstorm, up a mountain…however you want to envision it, and I think that is why God gave us so many examples in His WORD. I used to wonder why in the world any of the “heroes” in the OT and even Paul in the NT were there? Most of them had some serious character flaws (not to mention the disciples who ran away when things got tough). And then I became a wiser adult and noticed all my own character flaws and how hard it was to stay on Our Father’s path. If everyone in the Bible was perfect, we would all give up. Even the disciples queried, “Who then can be saved?” (Matt 19:25) Jesus knows. Our Father knows. And that is exactly the purpose of the Lenten Journey. http://www.biblestudytools.com/passage.aspx?q=Matthew+19%3A16-30%3B+Numbers+11-12%3B+Ecclesiastes+8
I think God has been planting seeds along my road today. Read a lot, listened to some Jewish wisdom on the OT (almost grasped the point of the lesson – still pondering), had some fantastic FB discussions, planted seeds with the grands, got lots of hugs from my “after school” students who missed me last week (due to daughter’s visit and ice storm), watched a very scary documentary on the Ukraine and Russian history (did you know Russia tortured and killed more than 7 million Ukrainians prior to WWII?), and listened to some great music via FROZEN and some classical vocal works. It makes me wonder why God was planting seeds today,how these seeds are going to grow and what they will look like when they mature?
Socrates was a philosopher/teacher. The fact that we know about him at all is due mostly to his students who carried what they learned with them into their adult lives. He would use questions to help his students gain confidence in their knowledge and gain a basic insight into the subject itself. Have to admit, I used it quite often in my classroom. Rabbi Jesus used it as well. Read through the stories and just see some of the questions He asked. The one that sticks in my mind is when He answered a question with a question: “”Why are you thinking (reasoning/questioning) these things in your hearts?” Lk 5:22. It was a Socratic question. It was a question that those of us who live by faith must answer everyday when we make a choice to take a step, stand still or reach out because for every choice (step) there will be consequences.
Today’s Jewish devotion was on Aaron’s sons. It is one of those OT stories that Christians don’t really ever understand. Why were Aaron’s sons killed because they brought gifts before God in the new tabernacle? The God who sent a new covenant to his people in the form of Jesus would never do such a thing. We don’t understand it because we don’t have the Talmud (Jewish oral traditions/wisdom) that helps explain it. There is a complicated wisdom to all of this, but to simplify it (correct me if I’m wrong, James Switzer), God created a garden where He and Adam and Eve could meet and spend time. Great place till Adam and Eve decided to try to improve everything by eating an apple and going against God’s directions. Dire consequences…Garden locked away and Adam and Eve kicked out Next time God let man build a special place (tabernacle) so that they could meet and again – with special directions for the meeting. Aaron’s sons tried to improve the prescribed way of meeting by doing it their way. Dire consequences again – dead sons, carried out of the tabernacle. But lets take it one step further – God built the first meeting place; man built the second meeting place, the first temple and the second temple (3 tries – tabernacle hidden away/temples destroyed/many killed) -all ending in dire consequences. What if God sent the final meeting place in the form of His son, and His son paid the dire consequences for all of us? A meeting of the hearts – so to speak???
Another seed is planted, give it a little fertilizer-good weather and lots of prayer and watch it grow. Mom used to sing this song, and she loved Barbara Mandrell’s version, but I think mom sang it much better. =)