Tag Archives: Torah

KNOW

Did you know that out of all the books in the Bible, there is one book that does not mention God at all?

Reading the Old Testament has never been easy for me until I started learning about Jewish history, wisdom and traditions. Like the proverbial light bulb, I am starting to not only understand but want to read more. It puts so many questions from the New Testament to rest but then raises twice as many to the forefront of my mind.

Isn’t that always the way?

Anyway, today the Jewish people finish celebrating the festival called Purim. They read all 10 chapters of the book of Esther today in this last month of the Jewish calendar, Adar. All these centuries later, they continue to celebrate Esther saving the Jewish people from Haman’s plan of destruction. These were dark times for the Jewish people.

Dark times. Esther’s times. A time when they did not “FEEL” the presence of God. They did not overtly hear His voice speaking to them or through their leadership. They did not see His Hand steering their purpose. They did not feel His love sheltering them from their enemies. The Bible denotes these dark times by not mentioning His name or even referencing Him at all – not even once.

If you’re like me, you have to scratch your head and wonder why? Rabbinic wisdom says it is because the Bible is a book of life. There are dark times in life. Thus, these dark days have to be represented in the Torah. There are just times when we don’t “FEEL” God in anyway, shape or form. Not in our selves – in our leadership – in our culture. In fact it seems like the darker the times the less we “FEEL” God at all. The importance of Purim in the last month of the year is to point us towards the fact that at the end of all mortal things, we don’t have to “FEEL” anything – we just have to “KNOW”.

“KNOW” that Our Father is still there, just like we “KNOW” that He was there at the beginning. His Hand is still moving over us, sheltering us. His voice is still speaking to us and for us, even when we don’t hear it. His Love continues to weave a comforter around us when we are shivering and with bellies empty. His Light is still pointing out the rocks and the abysses under our feet even if we don’t recognize it.

That’s the whole point of Esther’s story…Purim. The last month of God’s year. A joyous celebration of “KNOWING” overcomes any dark time that we are experiencing. An earthly ending that is just a spiritual beginning.

The past few days as I have been rolling all these crazy thoughts over in my mind, I like to think that this is probably the time of year when Yeshua was laid in a manger. The Roman occupation of the Jewish land certainly qualifies as dark times.  Avar is the last month.  The end of a physical year. Looks like a great time for a spiritual beginning to me.  God likes His festivals. He likes to remind us of all the things He has been trying to teach us since our creation.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that Christ was sacrificed as the perfect lamb the weekend of Passover. After all – it just takes one look at the intricacies of creation to figure out that Father God is a very detailed oriented entity. Lining up things is probably one of the easier things He accomplishes. Although – the way we like to screw things up – maybe we don’t make it all that easy.

Anyway – there you go. When dark times come on the mortal side of things, the beginning on the spiritual side is just not far off. Part of me is rejoicing in this because we are definitely showing signs of dark times in this ol’ world. The other part sends me to the knees in prayer for this ol’ world.

I may not always “FEEL” God in my life – but the the Book of Esther in the Bible and Christ remind me to “KNOW” God IS with me – all the time, in every situation, for ever and ever, AMEN and AMEN. I think I know what song will sing me to sleep tonight – “Jesus love me this I “KNOW”, for the Bible tells me so…”  [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #86

6 days left in this election cycle. A week from tonight, the newscasters will all be focused on declaring the projected winner before some voting sites even shut their doors. Candidates will be at party central. The populace will watching the game of the evening or the newest TV hit. And – whomever wins? Life will continue throughout the land.
November 1st is always the day that I try to pull out the the first of the Advent candles. One candle to light the darkness that Halloween always seems to bring into the world. A start to welcome righteousness back to a world that continues to fall further and further away from the path laid out in a perfect Garden.
“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time,”~Gen 6:9
“…blameless among the people of his time.” Perfect. Righteous. According to Jewish sages, these are important words that most people just read over without thinking too much about them. I’ve done it many times. However, to the sages, every word is meant to be an important key to some wisdom that El wants us to understand.
The sages believe that one thing these words are to remind us that the times of Noah were completely empty of righteousness – – of any kind. But there stood Noah and his family. Not perfect by any means, but He did remember. He honored the traditions of his fathers and opened his tent to the four corners as he shared is belief in one God.
There are always a few – a remnant who remember. Always a God who continues to point the way and love us regardless. A Son who was completely righteous – in his time – and in ours and loved us beyond comprehension – with grace and mercy. That is what we have to remember – the righteousness that lives within us. The righteousness that has a plan – for us – – for our country – – for our world. We may not like it, but we have faith to lean on in the tough times.
Righteousness that awaits beyond next Tuesday. It will be there to guide and bless our journey forward. It will be there forever. All we have to do is open our tent to the four corners and share our belief in a Father who loved us enough to share His only begotten Son.
One candle in the darkness tonight.
1942 Daily Rations: ” ‘Thou said, ‘Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.’
“Read: Luke 23:1-9
“Pilate’s verdict concerning Christ, ‘I find no fault in this man,’ has been the testimony of mankind throughout the centuries. Consider the moral perfection of the Master. There was no flaw in his character. Although tempted in all points like as we are he was absolutely without sin.
“Consider is emotional perfection. There was no flaw in his attitude toward humanity. he cherished good will toward those who mistreated him. He forgave and prayed for those who crucified him. He hated sin, but he loved sinners and made the supreme sacrifice to redeem them.
“Consider his spiritual perfection. He lived in unbroken communion with God. From the time when as a lad in the Temple he said, ‘Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ until he declared from the cross, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,’ he wrought in perfect unity and harmony with God.
“Sidney Lanier has given classic expression to this universal sentiment concerning Christ’s perfection:
‘What if or yet what mote what flaw what lapse,- – –
What least defect, or shadow of defect,
What rumor, tattled by an enemy,
Of inference loose, what lack of grace
Even in torture’s grasp,, or sleep’s, or death’s,- – –
Oh, what amiss may I forgive in Thee,
Jesus, good Paragon, thou Crystal Christ?’

“Prayer: Our Father, prompt us to aspire after the highest holiest, and best as exemplified in Christ. We pray in is name. Amen.”  [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #29

I never really liked Labor Day. I think it started as a child. The first Monday of September (Labor Day) meant that school would start on Tuesday. What kid in their right mind would like that holiday? Certainly not me. In the late 1950’s I had better things to do.

  • Read.
    Ride my bike.
    Sing songs walking down the street with the bestest singing sister ever.
    Catch fireflies for the canning jar.
    Dance in the moonlight for a little while longer.

Obviously, Labor Day was just never my favorite “free” day. So today I didn’t have a free day – I worked. I finished washing the bedding and towels from our many visitors. Cleaned the porch of all the fallen leaves – again. Pulled some dead-vine debris from the garden and played with the spoiled lab girls.

All in all – a good day especially since I made time to study my devotions and listen to some Jewish wisdom as well. Somehow the day always seems so much better after time with my Father.

As I read today’s Ration, I realized that Jesus spent lots of time reading His Father’s words that He had written for His people. He melded two Torah verses to answer one question. They weren’t side-by-side verses, but He knew they were perfect together and just as relevant in His time as they were when they were first written.

Jewish sages believe that all the words of YHWH are relevant – no matter what the calendar date may say. 1400 BC or 2016 – doesn’t matter – time doesn’t matter. Jehovah is still speaking through His words no matter how long ago they were written- and for the second time this week – linear time circles and bobs in my own waters.

There is something more here that I am supposed to be recognizing. I need to really think and pray about this one since I really have a hard time figuring out how all those detailed rules and rituals and wars have anything to do with today. I foresee more research in my future…or maybe my past…or present??? One thing I know for sure – these Rations are timeless.

1942 Daily Rations: Read: Mt 22:34-40

“Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment Ad the second is liken unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”~Mt 22:37-39

“If there ha been radio programs in Jesus’ day how He would have starred in the question or ‘quiz’ type! The air is full of questions and thousands of dollars are given away to children and adults for apt answers.

“In the Saviour’s day questions were addressed to him from many sources. They came from honest inquirers and from evil-minded people who sought to entangle him in his talk. The answers he gave brought rich rewards in knowledge and truth….The disciples of the Pharisees and the Herodians were quickly answered about the legality of tribute to Caesar. ‘Render…unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.’ Perfect answers to tempting and test questions were given in the following: ‘They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick,’ ‘Neither do men put new wine into old bottles’…’The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.’

“Today’s text is a brilliant answer. Jesus took two widely separated texts from the Old Testament, Deuteronomy, ch 6, and Leviticus, ch 19, and with lightning-like speed gave the summary of the whole law in the great commandment of love.

“Prayer: Love Divine, all loves excelling’ let me love thee with the might of my mind, the fullness of my heart, the depth of m soul, and my neighbor with the best of myself.”

Memorial Day 2015

memorial day aToday, I finally finished my own memorial to my parents and hubby’s parents. Plants.  Plaques given at their funerals by loved ones.  Bricks.  I can now sit in my garden, study the WORD, listen to the windchimes or God’s creations, and remember those who gave me the best of themselves.

Graveyards are fine. They serve the community as a rallying point to honor those who have sacrificed for our country. It is a place to erect monuments to those who have gone before. A place for speeches, parades and memories. Humans tend to need those things. Communities tend to need those things. I just seem to need something a little closer to home. A place surrounded – not by other monuments – but by God, and the garden where He placed me.

“Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.” — Exodus 23:16

memorial day fThe more I learn about Jewish holidays and traditions, the more I fall in love with the beginnings of my faith. This is not only Memorial Day, it is also the end of Shavuot and also Pentecost. The more I read Jewish traditions and history, the more I believe that nothing is coincidence in God’s timing. Invisible lines intersect over and over in an unending circle of love. Giving us endless clues to His fascinating character.

Shavuot had its beginning as a “first fruits” harvest – the offering of the first perfect,memorial day h unblemished fruits of the harvest being given back to the Father. Later it became the date that Moshe recieved the Torah – the first, perfect unblemished written fruit – from the Father to His children. (Interesting thought always arises in the back of my mind that perhaps this was Rabbi Yeshua’s true birthdate. God seems to like patterns, and I just have to wonder.) Pentecost – the perfect, unblemished gift of the Holy Spirit – from the Father to His children. Memorial Day (although not celebrated anymore on its original date) – a day to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice – past and present – to return home to Our Father.

May 24 aYesterday, the Grands and family came over for brunch. We laid on the chaise lounge that my father made long ago and identified the shapes of clouds as they drifted overhead – a pig, a dragon, an eagle… Their barefeet walked the path of the cross made of old, imperfect bricks from a long ago Loudonville street. They carefully moved the little elves from place to place in front of the stain glass window that my big brother gave to me also long ago.

Holy-days are special. It is one reason, hubby and I decided long ago to always have our pigroasts on the Sunday before Memorial Day. A day for family. A day to remember. A day to honor sacrifices made long before we were born and those still being made today by those far away. Hope you have a blessed holy-day and remember to honor the first fruits just as He remembers to honor you.grain_offering

HOLY WEEKENDS

Calvin-and-Hobbes-happy-mondayAs 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………….

HOLY.

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.

[google images]

Old Deuteronomy

Several years ago, when I was performing in CATS with a local theatre BookOfPracticalCatsgroup, Old Deuteronomy was the cat full of wisdom and grace.  Most musicals have a wise person passing out wonderfully timed wisdom to those seeking help.  Wisely, Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber had the sense not to change much of T.S. Eliot’s original poem, “Old Deuteronomy:

“Old Deuteronomy lived a long time;He’s a Cat who has lived many lives in succession, He was famous in Proverb and famous in rhyme, A long time before Queen Victoria’s accession…” 

Deuteronomy has never been one of those books that I spent much time studying in the past.  In fact, I spent very little time in the OT.  I just didn’t think it was necessary.  After all, I was a child of the New Covenant.   Jesus was where it was at…the narrow gate…the Way…       The sad part of this history lesson is that I don’t believe that my thinking is unusual.  Most of the churches I attended in my formative years (and I attended a bunch of different ones since I was usually getting paid to sing in their choirs) gave only a passing nod to the OT.  Besides, they only had so many Sundays to get across all those wonderful stories that happened between Matthew and Revelations. 

“Be silent, O Israel, and listen!  You have now become the people of the LORD your God…”  Deut 27:9b

Maybe it is because I always have so many questions.  Or maybe it is because I tend to rebel much more than most people would ever guess.  But the last couple of years, God has set my feet on this path of understanding the Jewish portion of Jesus, and why the Old Covenant is an integral portion of our redemption.  It has not been an easy journey (after all I do tend to be a little  – ok – more than a little – stubborn).  Reading the OT can be tedious at times and boring at best.  Timelines are confusing.  Names just don’t tumble off your lips.  And really?  All the violence and patriarchal society thing drives me nuts most of the time.  Just how does God’s people do all this nastiness, and He still loves them?  And then I look at me…and sigh.  If my life was miraculously dropped into the Bible, I would definitely fit right in with all of God’s nasty acting people.

“Old Deuteronomy sits in the street,  He sits in the High Street on Market Day.  The bullocks may bellow, the sheep they may bleat, But the dogs and the herdsmen will turn them away…”

Unlike the dogs and the herdsmen, Our Father doesn’t EVER turn us away when we seek Him out.  Our nastiness continues.  Violence — Wars — Terror —   yet — when God’s people continue to trust and put their faith in I AM, the miracles follow.  GRACE.  My Bible’s study guide says that the theme of Deuteronomy is “Devote yourself wholeheartedly to God”.  I keep trying to remember that as I am reading it.  It is a book full of Moses’ final words to God’s people. It was the end of the 40 year journey.  It was the start of a new life in a new country.  Finally, it is the land of “Milk and Honey”, and it was in front of them.

“Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants…’” Deut 34:4b

It is just something to think about as we watch the world unravel.

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

A Good Book

I hate leaving the world of a great book. Today’s world du jour was Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons. Re-entry into my world always takes burnt mountainplace normally, but the flashbacks continue for a few hours as I detach my self from that community and group of people that I have grown attached to during our short time together. Then I begin to wonder if there is possibly one more book of Siddons that I haven’t read and can’t wait to get to a computer to do a search.

A good book is a treasure which reminds me that I haven’t done my daily devotions in The Good Book yet. Surprisingly, I’ve gotten in the habit of enjoying my hour alone with WORD far more than I enjoy any other book (which I find totally amazing). It used to be that I had to force myself to Jesus_Christ_Superstarpull out the Book – read my token couple of randomly chosen chapters – say a quick prayer – all the while tossing a glance upwards as if I was Simon Zeolotes in Superstar: “Christ You know I love You, Did you see I waved? I believe in You and God, so tell me that I’m saved.”

“I will put my trust in Him.” Hebrews 2:13a

Nice thing about being retired is that I do have more time. In reality though, I try to do devotions at night right after supper, so I could have been doing this all my life.. Anne Voskamp mentioned this tradition in one of her books, and it intrigued me. Then I read it was also a Jewish tradition in some sects to study the Torah after a meal. It began to make sense. A full belly is useless if you have a soul that is starving.

“…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

For me, it’s the best time of day. I’ve gotten my chores done, and I’m ready to just enjoy the quiet whispers of sound that surround our new biblehome. The heat of the day has passed, a slight breeze is gently pushing the wind chimes and the harmonics are better music than anything on the CD. Dogs are content to watch the birds or get in trouble for chasing the wild cats who often make the mistake of crossing the road in front of our house. And, I can work on that “stillness” that our preacher was talking about this week (I still “talk” way too much so I hope God is being patient).

Most of you who are my friends, understand that “need” to read a great book, especially after we’ve passed the exposition, and we’ve become attached to the story line/characters/hypothesis formulating in our heads of “what happens next” . If we leave that book behind (or haven’t downloaded a digital copy in reserve on our phone) and don’t have it to read when we have a minute or two, we are beyond frustrated. That same feeling has now transferred to my devotions. I try to do more than “wave” at God these days and miss it more than I can say when I don’t make the time to spend with my Father. That being said, I guess it is time to get off of here and read a few more words in a book that never ends, and for that, I’m truly thankful to Our Father.

love books

Lenten Journey #12

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

Lenten Journey #11

faeries aToday is the first day of spring. It was sunny, in the high 60’s and a great day to build a fire in our fire pit (and ignore the fact that OSU men’s basketball dropped the ball…so to speak). The dogs loved romping around the yard, husband loved putzing around with his vehicles, while I – – – I enjoyed the hot tub on the patio. Today was not as spiritually challenging as yesterday. But then – journeys are like that — especially God journeys. The seeds planted yesterday are still there. The dirt around them is nurturing and warm from the Son, but you never know when the seeds will start their own journeys into this world or even how their own journeys will turn out. That’s the hard thing about planting seeds…the outcome is never guaranteed…and the seed you planted might grow into something far beyond your understanding. It’s scary and fascinating and upsetting and rewarding and…and…and…necessary.

Jewish wisdom says that in the exact center of the five Books of Moses or Torah (Lev 10:16), there is one word that is repeated in the original Hebrew on either side of the middle: “inquire”…not once…but repeated again…”INQUIRE”. Jewish tradition says you pay attention to such things because God placed them there for a reason. His message this time: INQUIRE and KEEP INQUIRING.

Yesterday, I mentioned Socrates several times in different FB conversations and once when I was teaching at the after school program as well. Strange. Hadn’t thought of Socratic discussion techniques for a while, but then it came up again today in my Jewish devotional. think I’m getting the message? Walk into Jewish classroom and you don’t see the traditional lecturer and note takers. Instead, there are questions, debates, discussions and more INQUIRIES. Jewish perspective teaches that the more questions you ask, the more space you open in yourself for wisdom. It is the way Our Father plants seeds in us; all we have to do is…INQUIRE.

Got your hand up? Are you ready? Is it any wonder that Jesus used INQUIRY as well? The seeds are planted. He plants them every time you INQUIRE. “Ask and it shall be given you…” (Matt 7:7)faeries b