Tag Archives: Tree of Life

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #35

“Having served…”

It is the 15th anniversary of 9 11. Mixed in with the sorrowful echoes of that day are the proud memories of those who served. The tree of knowledge of good and evil still exists, and people still make choices.

David chose to serve. 1st responders choose to serve. Military personnel choose to serve. Most pastors choose to serve. Jesus serves. People who put their lives on the line choose to serve others. (I can’t put politicians in this group even though they love to claim the servant title – sorry)

The author of this Ration acknowledges that David did have his faults – major ones. In my early years, I had a hard time understanding why God included a man like David in the Bible. It was only later, when I had fallen in my own abysses – several times – just like David – that I finally understood. He was there to remind us that God will forgive us anything – if we repent and choose to serve others in the ‘counsel of God’.

The Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life still stand behind the locked gates of Eden. Michael and a host of angels still guard the entrance, but the choice remains ours.

Baruch Hashem, Adonai. Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is one,and the second is liken unto it, LOVE our neighbor as ourselves.

Blessings!Be!

1942 Daily Rations:

“David after he had in his own generation served the counsel (the will) of God, fell asleep.”~Acts 13:36

Read: Matthew 20:20-28

“There is no doubt that notwithstanding David’s man faults, he was an outstanding figure in Hebrew history. What made David great was his attitude as he faced the necessities of the hour in which he lived.

‘Having served…’The writer does not say having governed or dominated, or imposed his will upon thousands of subjects, but he says ‘having served’. Jesus’ mission also was to serve. He said, ‘The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister’ This totally changed the concept of the greatness of life.

‘He served his own generation…’ his contemporaries, those that lived in his day. That is to say we must do all we can for the good and improvement of the world now; we must not wait for better times but to do it today. This historical hour is a challenge to Christians and they must accept it.

‘He served the counsel of God…’ He did not obey something imposed by human authority but the will of God. He sought to know His will and do it.

“Prayer: Our Lord and Father, help us to serve Christ by serving our generation in such a way that our life may help the world to better its social, moral, and spiritual conditions. In his name we pray. Amen.

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BLESSING TRIAD #16-18

pic_coastguardThe Sixteenth Blessing

November 16, 2015, and my knee hurts like it did a year ago. It was pushed, prodded, stretched and twisted. But sometimes, you just have to navigate the choppy seas to find the safety of the shore. It is your journey. So, you climb in the boat and set sail.

My daughter sent me an email for a UNC study on arthritis. I’ve been accepted in one of the groups and will be having physical therapy for the next year. Talk about a gift from G-d. In this day and age, affording PT is far out of my retirement budget – especially since hubby decided we should build a house.

So today, I am thankful for a daughter who is always watching out for me. Thankful for meeting a physical therapist who spent an hour and a half talking, watching me walk, and bending my knees and hips in ways that I didn’t think they would go any longer. Thankful that I could climb in the boat and set sail. I am also thankful for Metaform Movement that gives me a paddle to navigate those choppy waters.

514d25c02fe3766ae2c8ea1d842dff15Oh – and one more thing – I am thankful for getting to teach music theory to one of my 6th grade students who was struggling as she was writing a song to play on her trumpet. Teaching her to count the beats, the different note values, and the scale was so much fun. Teaching my Grands to play the piano and now this – is G-d good or what?

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”~Col 3:15-17

The Seventeenth Blessing

commandment

“And you shall Love….”

Totally, completely, unfailing, without question an action verb – – – LOVE !!!

“…THE LORD JEHOVAH your God…”

Father God, I AM, Creator, El, a proper noun above all nouns – – – YHVH !!!

“…with your whole heart…”

Not partially, not fractionally, not occasionally, not indiscernablly but – – – WHOLLY !!!

“…and with your entire soul…”

Unmitigated, undivided, unbroken, undiminished righteous – – – ENTIRELY !!!

“…and with your entire mind…”

Intellect, reason, cognizant, judgement, complete consciousness – – – MIND !!!

“…and with all your power.” `Mk12:30

Capability, potential, skill, aptitude, fully functioning – – – POWER !!!

Today, November 17, 2015, I am thankful for the first commandment. It is the first thing I try (I am in no way perfect…sometimes, I just plain forget or slip back into my lazy ways of thinking I can do it all by myself) to say every morning and the last thing I whisper every night.phpThumb_generated_thumbnail

“And the second is liken unto it: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.There is no other commandment greater than these.” MK 12:31

The Eighteenth Blessing

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“The lie has a shelf life. The truth abides forever. God can even conquer through our perversion.” ~Ravi Zarcharias, RZIM, 11/18/15

While I was reading Ps 66, I ran across a verse today. A verse that has been turning around in my brain ever since. I love it when the WORD nags at me. It shakes my world and what little control I think I have over it.

“He rules forever by His power…”

logo2Such power could demand obedience – could demand faithfulness – could demand love. And yet – – -even when this whole journey began, He grew a tree. A liberty tree. It was never about power…it was about freedom. Is it any wonder that the liberty tree plays such an important part of our American history?

“His eyes watch the nations—“

I wonder what He thinks today as He watches the nations of this world. The world of nations that He formed with his creative fingers and sent spinning out into the universe. “Wars and rumors of wars – ” Hate raging from one race to another – one religion to another – one person to another…

“let not the rebellious rise up against Him.”~Ps 66:7

A cautionary sentence. The WORD is often like that. Stories, parables, history, peacegrace, mercy, salvation – – – caution. I often think of the dual nature of Christ that we see in the WORD. The Lamb who showed love, mercy and grace as He walk among us,and continues to set the standard in this period of Grace. But then there is the Lion who roars throughout OT prophecy and Revelations.

A meeting – a place – where the Lion lies down with the Lamb. Will I see it? Is it coming soon? A lion and a lamb together in one place.

I’m still tossing around Ravi Zacharias’s words that started this journey today. Lies can’t last – – – however – – – – righteousness – righteous truth cannot be destroyed – – – everlasting to everlasting. Even at our worst, He watches us. He waits for us. He listens for our words.

The tree of liberty still stands. It waits to shelter us under its sturdy limbs. All we have to do is come, sit or lay or stand, and chose to Love those around us as He showed us how to Love through His son.

Today, November 18, 2015, I am thankful for a Tree of Liberty, and for a God who loves me so much that He gave me – all of us – freedom of choice – even when it breaks His heart .il_340x270.585302193_mf18[google images]

The Thinking Tree

There are times when you want to strangle, twist and literally shake your child -even when they are almost 29 years old. Children, no matter their age or distance, can do that to you…they pry open dusty vistas that had been hidden amid a forest of brambles, viney undergrowth,  and fallen trees.  Memories encapsulated into synaptic discharges – just waiting for the right switch to bring them forward where in that micro second spring loaded reaction, surprises can happen.  Today – – surprise, surprise – – out of the woods steps my 10 year old self.  Bringing with her all the smells,  emotions – even the color of the room tinged by an on-coming storm.  Fifty years gone in the blink of an eye.

Sobs, scared, sick-to-the-stomach, shaking self, that lost her way in the woods, stands before me, and once again, I am she as she is me.  That night and  today’s spaces of time swirl together.  An eddy of pain sucking me back to her time – her space.   A daddy having a major heart attack — a son’s facebook posting stating a check-in to a cardiac unit switches the neurons to the vision of my first fallen tree.  There was no one else round when I was ten — there were too many around today.

Sobbing, scared, sick-to-my stomach, shaking self that was surprised how swiftly and how strongly the child pushed through the forest of years  to stand beside me.   My long, white hair twisted within a large barrette and contact-filled eyes contrasted sharply with her long dark hair, pulled back in a bang-less ponytail and dark eyes behind thick glasses.  Both of us  focused on the words on the screen in front of us.  I felt her hand cover mine as we clicked the mouse for  more information, but FB posts in an e-mail notice offer little succor.  Even now her tears drip down my cheeks, and I am – somehow –  comforted that she stands with me.

When you are 10, summer days stretch ad infinitum.  Wake up early, practice piano, run next door to play with my best friend “sister”…Barbies to dress, magical horses to fly, home-made paper dolls to create, bicycle rides to circle the town, front porch board games to compete over, reading to pass long, hot hours, afternoon trips to the local dam for swimming…a typical 1960 summer day in a small town.

In reality, I don’t remember exactly what I did do that day, and apparently, my 10 year old self doesn’t want to tell me; I just know how I spent most days.  What I do remember is Aunt Vi moving to Ashland.  Daddy  and Mommy busy all day helping her; maybe I did, too.  I certainly remember sitting in a room full of boxes and watching The Lone Ranger, which we never got at home.  But most of that particular day…I don’t remember.  It is what happened that evening that molded my life as roots released their hold on the wet clay under my feet and the  tallest tree in my primeval forest fell silently at my feet.  As darkness descended,  I could sense The Tree of Life – usually, far off in the distance – move closer… reality – concrete – visceral.   I stood…under its wide branches and reached out my hand to catch the golden apple as it fell.

Daddy began feeling ill by late afternoon…tired…sick to his stomach.  Between them, it was decided I would stay with Daddy while Mommy would make one more trip to Ashland with Aunt Vi.  The heat of the day was bringing a summer storm, and my “Thinking Tree” called me outside.  A tall (at least to me) weeping willow tree, just across the small driveway that led to our garage, was my new favorite place in the world.  Daddy had built a bench that completely circled the trunk and gave me access to climb into the crook of three limbs easily.  I could curl my feet up and lean back against one limb to read a book, or watch time breezily skip down our alley, or listen to the music of nature’s world clashing with the human world around me, or just think whatever thoughts passed through my 10 year old mind- hence the naming of it…”Thinking Tree”.

How was I to know that as the thunder began to rumble distantly and lightning penetrated the cool, willowy, green canopy, an even bigger storm was brewing inside my house.

“Brynie,” his voice hollered, “time to come in before the storm hits.”

I know I lingered.  Who wouldn’t? It was hot in the house – no air conditioning in houses – cars  – schools – at least in our small little town.    But eventually, the wind became too strong – the storm too close – for remaining comfortably in my hard seat, and I dragged myself out of the tree to run in the house just as the first drops began to fall.

“Daddy, Daddy, the storm is here.  Where’s Chico?  Is he still outside with Silver?”  I ran up the three steps into the kitchen hallway.  Chico, our little Mexican chihuahua, greeted me and whined to be picked up.  Of course,  I obliged.  He was the newest addition to our home and his warm, squiggling body was never far from me if I was in the house.

“Daddy?”

The house was silent.  I ran back down the three steps and into the basement.  Maybe he was working on one of his antiques in his workshop.  Still – it was strange.  The house was never silent.  Mom whistled – Dad sang – radio played – stereo whirled…but not tonight.  The sky grew eerily quiet and that pinkish gray cast of a serious storm seeped through the hallway screen door and filled the house with the pungent smell of its presence.

“Daddy?”

I walked a little slower as I climbed back up the stairs.  A storm had begun to swirl inside of me as well.  Hail suddenly pelting the door’s metal awning as I passed made me jump, and I turned, pressing my face against the screen to see the little white balls.  Chico wiggled, so I put him down.  “No, you can’t go out.  The wind would blow you away.”  My pets were my friends.  Talking to them was normal since  my only sibling was nine years older than me and my parents were – well…parents.  “Where’ s Daddy?”

I walked the rest of the way up the three stairs and went the opposite way this time.  Pushing straggling ends of hair back from my sweaty face, I finally spotted Daddy.  His face pale as he sat in the white plastic recliner.  Moaning sounds came from his mouth, and his eyes were so tightly closed that his cheeks seemed to reach his forehead.

“Daddy?”

My steps were very slow now.  My daddy had never looked like this before, and the storm that had been rumbling in my stomach erupted into my conscious world.

“Daddy?” my hand touched his arm, shaking it gently first and then harder as he did not answer.  The cry went out then.  Was it verbal or silent?  I’m not sure.  Since I was little, turning to My Father has always been my instinct.  What were the exact words?  I don’t remember.  I do remember crying out to My Father. Closing my eyes, holding tight to a promise that I have never doubted, I heard the music.  Music that was music and not music; words and not words.  Yet, I knew what to do, and Daddy’s eyes opened.

“Daddy, you need to go to the couch,” tears clogged my voice and garbled my words, so I repeated them.  Even though his eyes looked at me, I could tell he   did not hear or could not hear.  The music was fast and urgent in my head, and I started pulling on his left arm.  He cried out, but his eyes focused and the recliner tilled forward as his bare feet made a soft thud on the area rug.

“Come on Daddy.  I’ll help you, but you have to stand.”  Somehow we moved to the couch.  My laughing daddy, strong-as-an-ox daddy who told me bedtime stories and taught me to dance – my little feet standing on his solid ones, leaned heavily on my shoulders.   How we managed to move at all still makes me wonder who really held him up to move across the room.  Past the big round coffee table, he sank into the old, middle cushion and leaned back.  The music words began again…strident – dissonant – insistent.   “Daddy, you’ve got to lie down, now!”  My voice matched the sound in my head.

“Can’t, Brynie.  I’ll be okay.  Just let me sit here.”  Short sentences.  Ragged. Jagged spaces of time with no comfort.

“No, Daddy, now!  Lie down,” and he did.  Head flat, abutting the couch’s arm, as I pulled the pillow out from where his head would land.  The notes were still directing and wordlessly, I followed.  Slowly, I lifted his legs…one at a time, to rest on the other arm of the couch while I put the pillows beneath them.  The music had quieted…sotto voce…adagio…still.   I stood watching him…willing him with all I had to stand and laugh and sing and be my daddy again.  With tears finally easing from the corners of my eyes, I sank down on the floor beside him.  Crushed between the coffee table and the couch, I held his left arm,  the tree’s golden fruit, carefully and I rubbed – as directed – in beat to the music I heard.  Up…down…up…down… 

My 10-year-old self rubbed my left arm today…up…down…up…and I breathed deeply.  Help had arrived again in answer to a prayer.  A 10-year-old’s mother returning home to call the doctor who would later call the ambulance.  A cell phone text message.  I step over the newly fallen tree and thank God for the invention of cell phones and a son who knows when his mom is desperate.  “I’m ok!  I just talked to dad.  Just wearing a monitor to find the issue.”  I guess I won’t strangle, twist or shake my child today…but, as I throw the golden fruit back up into the branches of the most beautiful tree in my forest, I think that – maybe – the next time…I just might.