Tag Archives: Yahweh

2020 VISION: The Watchman

He sits on the very top of the wall’s tower,

waiting…

wondering…

watching…

writing.

It is what he was created to do since the beginning.

Tumultuous thoughts swirl over and in him until he leans his head as far back as he can, trying to find surcease from the tightness in his shoulders, extended wings as far as they can stretch. Without conscious thought, the prayer flies from his heart, finding life in the breeze that whispers, “YAH”. Peace overflows. Light dips down and wraps around him. Deeply, he lets the whisper fill him with the everlasting water. Bowing his head, the Watcher smiles as he fills his lungs with “WEH”, and lets his voice trumpet the note that was set to play from the first WORD: Bereshit.

“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The Watchman stays awake in vain.” Ps 127:1

A plow made it easier to till the earth, care for the critters, provide sustenance for themselves. Human power – until the rains came. Bricks made it easier to build towers to provide safety and security for themselves, and the critters, from the elements. Higher and higher. Touch the sky higher. Human power until the earth moved, and tongues waggled in different ways. Families. Friends. Clans. Countries. Metals. Coal. Steel. Oil. Commerce. Nations upon nations dotting the world. Human power – until dissonance, anger, war and innocent apple-red blood flows without restraint.

“…unless                   the                  LORD              builds             it…”

Humans have built many houses – many towers – many walls on Terra outside of the Garden He built for us.  Some have withstood the years fairly well – others not so much. Human hands – human minds – human wisdom can only accomplish so much until the blood-red apple dangles a bit too close, and mouths water in anticipation.

“…unless              the                  LORD              guards            the                  city…”

The hedges of blessings fallen. The harbingers appear.  The warnings proclaim. The silence – – – deafening. The remnant falters, but a few manage to stand again on His Rock higher than – stand again on His given, eternal WORD – stand again behind His purifying-fire column – while the wide-awake Watchman on the very top of the walls’ tower…

waits…

waits…

waits…

artwork by Janet Searfoss “Juriel”

PANDEMIC VISION 2020: What Is Truth?

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate.” Jn 18:38

I haven’t written for a while. Well – that’s not entirely true. I’ve been writing. Just not writing for FB and blogging friends. This time of isolation really has been a time of introspection and thoughtful contemplation – both personally and collectively. It is as if Yahweh has “showed up and showed off”, as Mama or Dada used to say.

I’ve re-visited some of my favorite authors (the ones that I couldn’t bare to part with when I pared my OH library down to six crammed-to-the-brim shelves) and poets. I’ve written some new stuff, but mostly, re-visited some old writings that needed some serious tooling and up-dating.

Mostly though, I’ve spent a lot of hours in the WORD – in prayer – in breathing in: YAH and breathing out: WEH. Sitting in the sun while throwing the ball for the lab girls to fight over. Walking in the woods and watching the way the early morning light filters through the trees. Moving a load of mulch to help some plants that just weren’t happy where they were as I watch small critters crawl out of my way. Wondering, What is truth?”

In the age of deep fakes, scientists stating and re-stating facts and others stating and re-stating similar facts as they see it. It is hard to know whom to believe – or what to believe. For me, it always comes back to one thing – – – the Breath of Yahweh.

The other day, someone wondered why I used the word Yeshua instead of Jesus. I have been pondering that ever since. I wanted to say because it is natural and right somewhere inside of me when I do so. That lead me down another rabbit hole. Why do I refer to God as anything other than Yahweh?

Yes, GOD is our Abba Father, He is God, but He said His name was YHWH – Yahweh. “I AM that I AM”. I like to be called by my name – even though I have been called Teacher, Wife, Mother, Sister, Brynie. I am all those things, but mostly, I am as my parents named me – Bryn. And, while I value all those other names, I love hearing my name whispered in the mouths and prayers of others.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”Prov 9:10

Facts are dubious in today’s world. Scientist vs scientist. Historian vs historian. Politician vs politician. I have even heard mathematicians finding issue with each other. The chaos of their words slam my ears, and my brain is inundated with their discordant noise. Facts and knowledge are always in flux. Easily twisted towards a bias or by new revelations of observable nature.

As I have listened, read and prayed in this time of isolation, I continue to come back to the One source that has never broken a covenant with me – even though I have broken ones with Him.
The One who never ignored my copious tears. The One who held me when my parents died. The One who cried with me in the middle of my sinful choices. The One who continues to set my feet upon the rock higher than. The One who lights my darkness and gives me grace.

YAHWEH: I AM that causes.
YESHUA: I AM that saves.
YHWH RUACH: I AM that breathes.

“What is Truth?”

Pilot’s words have echoed in my head over and over the past few weeks. Pilot turned away after he asked this question. He washed his hands of it – just like many of us do in similar situations. He, too, lived in a world full of contradictions and/or opinions. Facts twisted one way and then twisted another. Each faction strongly holding their own counsel when the answer stood in front of all of them and they saw it – or heard it – not.

“For this reason I was born and have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.”– Jn 18:37

I have no answer to which side holds the wisdom of all the controversies are swirling around us right now. But – I do know for certain WHO holds that wisdom and will give it freely to all who want it. Just like Solomon, all we have to do is ask. I also know that when I choose a course of action and feel the “Peace that passeth all understanding” as I walk forward – – – I know that the the Trinity of Truth is lighting up whatever darkness I may encounter in front of me. There is only one Truth, and it set me free to listen for His voice – His breath – His cause.

As all these cliff edges threaten to give way under our collective feet, I can’t think of a better time for a National Day of Prayer to happen. Tomorrow will be a time of fasting and prayer for me as I strain to listen to His whisper and seek His face in this stormy time of life. Our country has found its knees in time of crisis before; I think we need to find them again.

“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. If I close the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send a plague among My people, and if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chron 7:12b-14 

 [google images/KevinCardin art images]

VISION 2020: Faith Filled Feet

This morning I woke up with chorus of The Battle Hymn of the Republic marching through my mind. Nothing to get your faith feet under you for a new day with a robust, wonderful chorus of: “Glory, glory, hallelujah…”

But tonight is a little harder. The old choc lab girl is in pain. Her head is down, and she has been whimpering since she she came in after our last walk. She has many tumors, and the vet warned me last fall that it might not be long before the pain would worsen. I upped her CBD chews and laid on the floor with her until she fell asleep. I cried, but I’m still praying that tomorrow she will wake me up by being her old bouncy self. (Her nickname has always been “Bouncer” since she shows her excitement by bouncing.) I really don’t want to think about losing another part of my life right now.

“I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
His day is marching on.” v.2

Long ago, most of my early March days and nights were filled by participating in or watching our hometowns’ local talent show. Sponsored by the American Legion, it was filled with all the family and community elders that guided my life as a child; patriotic and sing-a-long songs that everyone in the audience knew; and friends and cousins every where – running up and down the darkened school’s hallways as we passed the time waiting for our parents to finish up.

“I have read His fiery gospel writ in rows of burnished steel!
“As ye deal with my condemners, so with you My grace shall deal!
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, “
Since God is marching on.” v3

No matter where we were in the building, we could always hear the finale begin. We would stop whatever game we had going and head for the auditorium – after all – parents weren’t so understanding in those days if we weren’t ready when they were. Some gathered their stuff and headed out to the cars. Others made their way to the back to finish up a conversation or two. I usually sat down to watch and listen.

Usually, my mother or Godmother would start it by singing a favorite patriotic song. Mom’s was always “God Bless America”. Then dad (who was the director for many years) would get the rest of the singers going with “It’s a Grand Ol’ Flag”, “America the Beautiful”, and finally – “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. It always changed from year-to-year, but that was the basic formula.

As opening night approached, Dad would sit down beside me, and we watched together. I loved those times. He would ask me what I thought and would tilt his head towards me as he listened.
His arm draped around the back of my shoulders, and one eye the stage or clock, so that he could talk to everyone before they left for the night.

One of the last performances he directed, he decided to drop the American flag behind the Chorus as they sang the last two verses of that last song without the usual chorus in between them. He had the small combo band that volunteered to play every year, drop out with only the drum playing a cadence.

And just like that – the atmosphere of that high school auditorium changed. The low hum of noise stopped. Kids rummaging around in the back grew silent. Dad sat a little straighter, focused entirely on seeing what was transpiring on stage.

Somehow – it almost felt as if I could hear the faithful feet of those who had marched so full of faith – for God – for country – as they sang this song long ago.

The gospel in the midst of the dark valley of war.

“He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free!
While God is marching on.” v.4-5

It was one of those rare times that I remember feeling Our Father’s presence outside of church. As the band rejoined the singers for the final chorus, I heard the kids in the back begin to sing along. Dad stood up, and I stood with him. I don’t remember noticing anyone else, but tears were definitely in my eyes and in those of my father. When the song ended, everyone was quiet as if holding their breath.

Jewish wisdom says that when we breathe in, we say the word “Yah” and when we breathe out, we say the word “Weh”. When feet march to His beat, we breathe a little deeper. We notice more than usual. We fill ourselves with that faith-filled, life-giving sustenance that only He can give.

I think tonight, I just might let my faith-filled feet march me back to sleep beside my puppy for awhile and sing myself to sleep with a little “Glory, glory, hallelujah…”

“for I AM GOD, and there is none lie me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose.’ Is 46:9b-10 

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GRATITUDE ATTITUDE #3

Not a big fan of daylight saving time. Not a big fan of switching the clocks. Not a big fan of helping my critters adjust to new feeding schedules. Just not a big fan.

I do like when we get back to “normal” time though. It seems right to have the skies darkening by 5 P.M and lighter at 7 A.M. Then again, I enjoyed in summers past those same hours way before “daylight saving time” became standard changes every year. In fact – I remember when we had to drive to nearby city in a different county that was on “daylight saving time” when our county was not. Needless to say, made getting to doctor appointments interesting.

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.”~1 Chron 16:8-11

Fall days find me wandering outside to do a few things. Returning inside to do a few more things. It is the “perfect” seasons for wandering – even if the leaves have not been spectacular this year. I enjoyed today’s sermon by a veteran. I swept the porch and patio, painted the rest of the living room/hallway walls (at least the parts I could reach). Went back outside and painted another plant stand. Did a few loads of laundry. Read a few devotions. Walked my chocolate labs a few times. Kicked a few leaves and then sat on my swing.

“Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.”~1 Chron 16:33

For whatever reason, I am thankful and fully aware of My Father’s presence when I sit on that patio swing. Rocking back and forth. Back and forth, as I let the movement and the squeak of the swing settle into the deepest part of me. Those rhythms and sounds jostle awake other rhythms. Soon I am singing with the trees – singing for joy before the LORD – and thankful.

November is that month. That necessary month of transition in our mortal minds. After all, the worldly celebration of Halloween’s frivolity and pretend has passed. Christmas is a month in the future. We need these thirty days to realign our centers so that our focus can be on what is important – the greatest gift ever given to anyone – anywhere.

So this week, I am enjoying the wonder in my freedom that others sacrificed much to ensure that I could sit on a swing singing on a fall day. I am enjoying the transition from worldly concerns to that of thankfulness and praise for a Father who has held me securely within the shelter of His promises and wings over the past months of 2019. I am breathing in His name with every breath as I swing – breathing in: Yah – breathing out: weh – YHWY – Yahweh – Yahweh

A month of transition. A month of to enjoy transition. A month to humble myself. A month to prepare as I swing back and forth – back and forth – Yah – weh — Yah – weh — Yah – weh.. 

[google images/House of Maria]

ADVENT 2017 HOPE #1

“This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.”

“I don’t like to say, God, Grandma.” (I think my jaw had started to drop to the steering wheel before she added) “I like to say, G – O – D.”

I wish I could have seen her face when the Granddaughter said those two sentences – I wish I could have seen mine. Then Grandson asked, “Why?”

“I just thinks it sounds better. More like G – O – D.” Grandson then spelled out the name G – O – D.

I think I kinda chuckled and responded, “You know, G – O – D agrees with you. Although He used the letters, Y – H – W – H.”

“Well, how do you say that?” Grandson asked.

“In English, Yahweh or Jehovah.”

Kidlets then said each of those names until Granddaughter finally added that she still liked G – O – D best. Grandson and I agreed, and the conversation moved on to the Snow White play that Granddaughter had been a part of in her class that day.

Simple conversations in a car on an ordinary day. Ordinary days have strange turns when we open the door and allow His Hand to work in our lives. “…thy kingdom come…”~Lk 11:2 takes on a whole new understanding. HOPE appears.

“I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”

Christmas decorations are up. Furbabies are all healthy. The first Sunday of Advent 2017 has arrived with a Super Moon. The Holy Spirit was moving in church today. Cold weather is on its way from the North. I guess Christmas season is officially here.

What I really treasure about how God works is that He always sends signs and prophets and messengers before He moves His hand in our world – in our ordinary days – in our “hopeless” days. Sometimes we just don’t see so well, just don’t listen so well and just try to cower under our beds when it is bigger than we want to think about right now. Well – – at least – – that is how I re-act. I’m very good at cowering, but I am trying to be much braver.

HOPE.

This is the month, that we tend to remember those things that send us cowering under the bed – burying our heads in our hands – wishing it was tomorrow already – sticking our fingers in our ears and singing our favorite song. If we have faith, that is when HOPE lights a tiny dot in our brain, and we manage to inch our way closer to the edge of the bed, take our fingers out of our ears, open our eyes to peek out into that darkened room.

HOPE.

Maybe we can handle it. The dot grows larger. Maybe the messenger wasn’t so scary in all its brightness. The darkened room is bathed in twilight. Maybe the prophets were right with all their yakety-yak. Did you know that the elbows work really well to pull the body further out into the room? Maybe the stars, the sun, the moon were all sending out a message that we needed to hear after all.

HOPE.

HOPE changes the world. HOPE changes the paths we walk. HOPE leads to conversations. HOPE brings even more light. HOPE is the beginning of re-birth.

HOPE.

“No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”~Heb 8:10-12 [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #71

Stacked some wood. Moved some more leaves. Made the bed. Broke a toe. Errrr…..

Our kid – the youngest dog – decided the ball was more important than her surrogate mama, and as I was stepping one way, she was running the other. Collision of toe to leg doesn’t always work out well. Cracking sounds to not bode well. Hence one toe is now turning that wonderful purply-pink, double-sized, achy toe. Maybe I’ll be lucky, and it will just be stoved. sigh. At least I know that tonight, I will be tucked into a fresh sheets and a newly made bed. Somehow the world is better when you sleep in a clean bed.

I’m one of those weird people who makes their bed everyday – well – most everyday. It is the first thing I do and answers my first prayer of the day, “Yahweh, …please give me success this day…” Gen 24:12  It also makes me smile.

Daddy is the one who taught me to make a bed – after all – I was sleeping in a USMC bed that he brought home from somewhere. Consequently, the bed had to look like it should. Squared corners. Tucked in cover sheet. One pillow. These days – all that has gone away except for the square corners. How can you make a bed without square corners. I don’t bounce a quarter any more, but I remember when dad used to – just to check it out. That is when he put stars on my ceiling and wrote my initials with the stars.

At night after a book or two, Mom would braid my hair and then Dad would tuck the sheets tightly around my body as he kissed me goodnight. I think I can completely identify how a swaddled new born feels so safe when that blanket is wrapped around them. Life was perfect, so why change perfect? When I crawl into bed, I lift myself enough to trap the covers beneath my body on one side and let Hubby trap me in on the other. Life is still perfect and – except for an achy toe – a successful day comes to a close.

Still praying the American Minute at 6 P.M. Only 21 days until the election. Praying for Israel and the UN decision due this week. “Prayer is the vehicle through which we draw down God’s blessings into the world.”~Rabbi Eckstein

1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘I came that they may have life, and that they may have it abundantly.’ ~John 10:10

Read: Mark 1:16-20

“The Christian religion has in it a means of enrichment of personality that no other religion possesses. For it has Jesus and no one among the multitudes who have lived has done so much to develop the possibilities of men. He put his finger on the best that was in people and brought it to life. In him men have seen what they might become. He has inspired the greatest moral and spiritual efforts that men have ever put forth. The beauty of his life has awakened the loftiest ambitions. He has implanted in man that spirit of sacrifice which enlarges life to its farthest bounds. Those who would bring in the Kingdom of God and be made able to battle for it need a standard. ‘That standard,’ says Mr. Graham Wallas, ‘is the cross of Christ: its legend, ‘Follow me.’

“Prayer: Baptize thy Church afresh in the life-giving spirit of Christ. Put upon her lips the ancient gospel of the Lord. Fill her with Christ’s tenderness for the heavy-laden and Christ’s saving mercy to the poor and needy. Amen.

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #55

This has been one BEEEEE-UUUUU-TI-FULL day. Full of absolutely nothing. Well – we did hang some drapes, cook some food, play with the puppies, and open all the windows for the wonderful fall weather to drift through. Oh yeah – I did pick up stuff for my little robot maid to run around on our floor. But other than that – totally lazy, stay inside, veg-type of day.

It’s funny that even on lazy days the mind continues to turn things over…especially in a terrible election year. It is like a constant informal prayer day when I’m lazy. I have these running conversations in my head with Abba that is – more than likely – totally inappropriate – – – especially when there is news about the election.

Comments like – ‘Seriously?’ ‘Can’t you do a miracle or two?’ ‘Why?’

And then -that little nugget verse He placed in front of me yesterday pops back up, and I stand convicted. I remember the phrase I wrote about yesterday, “Yahweh said, I am the God of your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”~Ex 3:6

Faith, sacrifice, struggle.

Zechariah was a Hebrew prophet. His name in Hebrew is “The LORD Remembers”. Today’s Ration reminds us the leader that the LORD has envisioned is so much different than the vision we have for ourselves – even those back in 1942. The author of today’s Ration seems to be thinking pretty much the way we are thinking in 2016. Read his first paragraph under the Bible verse, but as we head into the last month of this election year, remember God’s vision for our leader:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
And the bow of war will be cut off.
And He will speak peace to the nations;
And His dominion will be from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.”~Zech 9:9-10

1942 Daily Ration:‘He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass…and he shall speak peace unto the heathen; and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.’~Zech 9:9,10

“Read: Zechariah 9:9-10

“Powers that be in politics make it difficult for rulers to govern righteously. Individuals and groups clamor loudly for favors and selfish advantage. Even the best nations are concerned more for their own than for another’s good.

“Zechariah envisioned the coming of a different sort of king than men had yet known. He would be just, not given to the practice of favoritism: he would have salvation for the people, not defeat and slavery; he would be lowly, within reach of the humblest; he would bring peace to the nations, not discord and strife; and his reign would be universal, not for one nation or race or class.

“Is this the King we delight to serve? Are we willing to be no more highly favored than others, including people of so-called inferior races and of totalitarian state? We want salvation, of course, so lowly that he took the form of a servant?…If he must depend for the extension of his Kingdom on such subjects as we are, will he ever have dominion from sea to sea?…

Prayer: Eternal God, teach us the truth that righteousness is better than wickedness, and that love is stronger than hate. Deliver us from the temptation to discriminate unfairly between people because of class or color or race or privilege. Endue us with wisdom and goodness that we may serve the cause of justice and peace. We pray in the name of Christ. Amen.”

BLESSINGS TRIAD #4-6

Holy-Spirit-10

A FOURTH BLESSING OF THANKSGIVING

On November 4, 2015, I am thankful that the Holy Spirit is present in my life and in the world. Until Christ comes again, what more could I ask except that I have the wisdom and discernment to pay attention whenever and however He speaks. Blessings!Be!

“I have spoken these things with you while I am with you. But he, The Redeemer of the accursed, The Spirit of Holiness, whom my Father sends in my name, he will teach you all things and he will remind you of everything whatsoever I have told you.” Jn 25-26

A FIFTH BLESSING OF THANKSGIVINGscaffolding

Today, my students hugged me, made a game of touching my peek-a-boo strands of blue or purple hair, and untied or tied the long necklace of cooper beads that hung around my neck as we worked our 3rd grade division problems. I hear God laughing everytime I work with them doing math because He knows it is not the thing I love best in the world. I laugh because, even now, He is still trying to teach me.

So tonight, I as I finish up devotions and scan back through my ever circling prayers of petitions, praise and thankfulness, I remember He is a God who “delights in mercy” (Micah 7:18). He is the God who taught His people in the early days through Abraham, Sarah, Moses and on and on and on. He sent His Son to teach and model for us what could be done when we stand firmly upon the rock of faith. He sent the Holy Spirit to continue to teach us when things threaten to break us and remind us of His promises.

me 1978Lev Vygotsky may have written it down for our modern culture, but Rabbi Yeshua lived it as He taught. Scaffolding works in so many areas, but especially, teaching. So today, I am thankful on November 5, 2015, to have been wise enough to choose the path that my Father set before me so long ago.

“Stand up and bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting! Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise!” Neh 9:5b

A SIXTH BLESSING OF THANKSGIVING

On this 6th day of November, I am thankful that I am not going through a testing period right now. Several people I know are going through challenging times right now. Some through illnesses. Some through financial crisises. Some through relationships. And some – through choices of their own desires.

I told my son earlier this evening that life is like a classroom – one pop quiz or test after another. Some tests seem to go on forever. Some are only one question long. Some are full of long disjointed essays, and our head hurts after awhile – not to mention our hand cramps.

The Bible is filled with such stories – from Adam and Eve to John on the Isle of Patmos, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. The good news? Tests never last. The classroom soon fills with yakking teachers. Students questioning. Laughter. Games. Celebrations. Naptimes. “To everything there is a season…” -.even testing.

Tonight is a good night to be smiling and thankful. Still struggling with a cold that just won’t walk out the door and leave me along. But over all – instruction time is still taking place in my classroom. Sometimes, I’m doodling and looking out the window (much like I did through most of my classes – ever). Rare times – I am focused and paying strict attention (but I am getting better – I think). Most times, I am just content. Loving my family, friends and always – my students. Basking in His mercy. Sleeping in His palm. Praying always that I am learning enough. All-in-all – thankful.

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