Tag Archives: Yeshua

A STIFF-NECKED, STUBBORN SOUL

For a couple of years when I was in college, I sang in a choir for the High Holy Days at a nearby Jewish synagogue. It was there that I made the connection that Jesus – Yeshua – was a Jewish rabbi. It’s not that I hadn’t been told that – after all it is in the gospels. He was called, “Rabbi”, and I’m sure that at some point, one of my pastors or teachers must have mentioned it. But it took a Rosh Hashanah and the 10 days to Yom Kippur to make it sink in through my stiff-neck, stubborn self. 
Day after day as I walked into the synagogue and listened to the rituals that had been passed down through the ages, my  eyes opened a little wider and I began to wonder about things that had never entered my thick skull before.
“Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.” Ps 98:1-4
 
It was the first time I heard a shofar. The first time I heard the Jewish language. The first time I saw Jewish words in print. The first time I tried to look through the eyes of the Jewish worldview at the Savior that I had fallen in love with long ago..
 
Jewish oral tradition believes that Tishri 1 – this head of the year – was the day people were created. It continues that this was also the day that Abraham’s Sarah became pregnant, and a few years later – the day when Issac was bound to be offered as a sacrifice. It was only after God provided a sacrifice to replace Issac that He created the first two shofroth from the horns of that sheep. It would serve as a loud testimony down through the ages of His love and faithfulness to all His people.  
 
The LORD remembered His love for His people. The LORD made His salvation known to all the ends of the earth with the sound of the horns. Just as the Father breathed life into His child, man breaths life into the sofar as The Feast of the Trumpets rings throughout the land. 
 
“with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.” Ps 98:6
 
Many continue to use the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as a period of fasting and reflection. A time to look back, and a time to look forward A time to throw out failures and a time to draw a new vision. A time to mourn over foolishness, and a time to sing over successes. A time to look within, and a time to look up to the One who breathed life into clay and continues to love unconditionally.
 
A couple years back, for each of the 10 days of High Holy Days, a question was posed on an electronic billboard in Times Square in NYC. Questions meant to encourage contemplation for the new year to anyone who read them . I don’t know what those questions were, but I do wonder as I start to formulate my own journey for these next 10 days. After all, Jesus honored, as was His habit, His Father’s commands in Leviticus 23 as He walked this earth. It just might do some good for this stubborn, stiff-necked soul as well.
 
“Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
Let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.” Ps 98:7-9 

 

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BREADCRUMBS: Lessons

My itchy ankle wouldn’t let me sleep last night. I think it is poison ivy that one of my lovely critters decided to share with me when she cuddled between my feet and rubbed her head against them. I figured going to church was not happening since anything touching it would result in lots of fidgeting and squirming.

I could handle this. A day of rest. A day of rest at home.

Earlier today, I was half listening to a newscast, half listening to a loud snuffling puppy (who is the above said cuddler), half listening to mumbling sounds coming out of the kitchen, and half reading an on-line devotional. Obviously – that meant I was only retaining about one fourth of any of it- – -if I was lucky. Quite a large amount of something was getting lost in the boggle of my synapses.

The mumbler was cooking breakfast and pointed out that the porch needed to be cleaned off so we could paint before the rain arrived. Upon looking out the window and seeing very dark clouds above our neighbors’ roof lines, I decided I should get that done. Turned off TV. Comforted snuffling puppy. Moved one half of million things off the part of the porch to be stain/painted and find new homes for the other half million things.

So much for a day of rest – – – scratching my ankle every step of the way – – – I found lessons waiting instead.

“Blessed is he that mourn for he shall be comforted.”~Matt 5:4

A couple hours later, that Beatitude is about as much as I remembered from today’s early morning devotional, but it set the stage. GOD is good that way. Breakfast completed. Kitchen cleaned. Hubby busy stain/painting porch floor; I squirreled back in my chair and turned on the TV to listen to our church service. Today’s service was a celebration service, but as always, God was winking as He stringing the pearls of lessons in front of me today.

Lesson One: It is easy to mourn in this world. A lot of sad things happen to us that makes us sad, and this beatitude reminds us that it is such a blessing to know that we will be comforted in our sadness. At least – that is the way I mostly looked at it. But if this is an attitude we should have in Christ, why are we supposed to mourn? The devotional looked at it in a broader sense. What if we mourn in the way Jesus mourned for the world around him? Mourned the way He knows the Father mourns for all of us – all of His creation? If we mourn for someone, then we have the ability to offer comfort to them…to pray for them…to put our arms around them in prayer – if not in actual physicality.

Mourn for others.

“Behold, I stand at the door and I shall knock. If a man listens to my voice and will open the door, I also shall come in and I shall have supper with him, and he with me.”~Rev 3:20

Lesson Two: Baby steps are so important. Today’s church was dedicated to the church’s missions work in prison ministries and addiction ministries. So many testimonies. So many who were “mourned over” and comforted. A men’s choir that was more off key than on, and yet, was more beautiful than any choir I have ever heard. Men who had chosen to open the door when they heard a knock. One man described His voice asking one question? “Have you fallen enough yet?” He replied, “You mean I can fall further?” He said it didn’t take him very long to open the door wide and ask Him inside.

Invite Jesus in. He’s still knocking.

“For David served the will of God in his generation and he fell asleep and was added to his fathers ..”~Act 13:36a.

Lesson Three: As I was reading Rick Warren’s tribute to Rev. Billy Graham, I started to see a message repeated. It ended up coming at me from three different directions (our church offered the visual version and Dr. David Jeremiah cited the same verse today as well), and whenever that happens – I know God is winking as broadly as He can for me to notice.

These three pastors were preaching virtually the same sermon. I think Pastor Warren simplified it the best by defining it as his own life verse which, of course, got me thinking some more. The more I thought, the more I could see the value of looking at my life through this verse as well: “…serving God’s purpose (that what is timeless) in your generation,(in a timely way)”.

Inviting Jesus into my life. Mourning for those around me. Living a life through Jesus’s eyes with God’s reflection [purpose] in mine.

Lessons are a goal. I will probably fail the test more than I pass it before I get to look into My Father’s face through the Grace of Christ. Even so, I know He loves my heart – just like He loved David’s heart. One lesson at a time.

Thanks be to Father God that hears our prayers, mourns with us, comforts us, and dreams our dreams with us to His glory. Baruch Hashem Adonai. Hear O Israel the LORD our GOD is one. You shall love the L-rd your G‑d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. The second is liken unto it: Love your neighbor as yourself. In the name of His precious son, Yeshua, we pray. 

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BREADCRUMBS: Led by the Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BREADCRUMBS III: The Sigh.

Tiny black notebooks don’t stay tiny for long. Just like all other baby critters, a notebook can grow with a life all unto itself. Stuffed into whatever corner of light found in my varied classrooms, that tiny notebook flourished.  Over the years it became stuffed with teaching ideas, notes from students, a few stories/poems that students gave me to keep, very few pictures, and even fewer pieces of my own writing (believe it or not, this writing teacher needs to write with her students), that notebook grew into one larger version after another.

In other words: one glorious treasure chest of memories.

Not sure what started me on this journey today. Had no plans to dig into this particular treasure chest. After all, my room is still cluttered with enough stuff that I need to organize from my mom’s last box of memories. But there I was my hand resting on a black notebook that had been stuck totally in a back corner of my photo closet with no other explanation except that a breadcrumb had landed on it and caught my eye.

I sighed and pulled it out. Papers stuck in between pages fluttered to the floor, and I laughed. What else can you do when there is some paczki sitting in my fridge on King’s Day or Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras or Carnival or whatever you want to call the day before Lent? You stuff your face with one kind of sweetness and fill your eyes with another kind – sweet memories.

One of the things that fell to the floor was a Peanuts cartoon. Linus holding his blanket. Bossy Lucy sitting in front of the TV. A sigh hanging between them. I remembered this cartoon and a note from a student back in 2000 saying they thought of me when they read it. I smiled and I sighed.

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.”

It is the beginning of Lent. The symbolic remembrance of a singular journey. A day when a young Rabbi arose before daybreak to walk into the darkness. A custom that started his day and ended his day. A whispered prayer that started and ended each day for him and all the generations of Jews before and after him.

“She-ma yisrael, adonai eloheinu, adonai echad…” 
Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One…

Alone time with his Father before he woke the others. A time of reflection. A time to look deep within himself and out over the countryside that waited for his first step. And somewhere deep inside me, I think, he smiled, took a deep breath and sighed.

The Father knew what was in the heart of his son on that first day. That day when Yeshua turned his feet towards Jerusalem. He knew the humanness that pulled at his first born. He knew the atrocities that lived in the heart of His other children. He knew of the love and repentance of others. And – perhaps – like His son – He, too, breathed deeply and sighed.

Two sighs united in eternity. Two hearts beating in two different realms. A Father – – A Son singing notes that could not be expressed in words until the Holy Spirit harmonized with them. A single note with all the harmonics of the universe blended into one focused purpose. A trinity united for one purpose – Grace began its journey toward Jerusalem in that breath – that sigh.

Valentines Day seems to be the perfect day to start Lent. Whether we give something up or give something away or give of ourselves to others, Lent is an active choice of Love enacted in life. A time to set our sights on Jerusalem, take a step into the darkness and pray for strength to walk forward in a timeless sigh towards Grace.

“And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”~Rm 8:26-30 Peanuts 2000 051[google image]

SNOW DAYS 2018

SNOW DAY – PART I: A good way to start a snowy day is with a giggle.  It started to snow around 5 AM. The weather man said 2-3 inches over by 3 PM. An easy fun day of snow for NC since most everyone will stay home and play.jan 17 b
Teacher: How old is your father?
Student: 6
Teacher: What? How is that possible?
Student: Duh! He only became a father when I was born.

Hmmm…four inches later, we realize it might have been wise to keep up with the snow.  After all, snow bears (common alias used is choc labs) – one with a torn ACL – must have a way in and out of the home without slip-slidin’ away down the ramp. Brooms don’t work on such deep snow, and when you don’t have a snow shovel…rakes work quite well. Hubby and snow bears out in the snow often.

And I? By 5 PM, with 10 inches and counting, I loved watching the birds today. Filled the feeders twice, walked the paper to a neighbor and enjoyed our snow bears rolling and rolling and rolling in the snow.  Today’s wisdom:

  • “The Godly walk with integrity blessed are their children who follow them”~Prov 20:7
  • Queue is just Q with four silent letters.
  • “I’ve written all these stories without any pornography, without any obscenities.  I grew up among sailors and miners and lumberjacks and the roughest kind of men in the world, but I never found it necessary to use all that in the stories. I can make them real without that. I think that kind of writing is a cover up for lack of real skill.”~Louis L’Amour
  • Never trust a weatherperson who says says: “It’ll be a small snow fall”.

jan 18 g

SNOW DAY – PART II: Early morning view of Carolina blue sky – 10″ of snow – bright sunshine – highs rising to the upper 30’s. Can’t get much better than that on “snow” day part II” in North Carolina”.

Snow days Carolina style – snow bears (disguised as choc labs most of the year) love running and playing in snow, but they also love snuggling next to the fire. Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle rarely leaves the fireplace unless it is to lie on the back of the couch. While Hubby loves to explore the snow-covered roads, but sometimes the car has a mind of its own and locks him out. And I? I love reading my new devotional book, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg as I look out the windows wondering what it would have been like to be Dorcus – or Mary – or Martha sitting at Yeshua’s feet – a talmidah – a female disciple sitting at His feet.jan 18 c

Wisdom gained:

  • “For the eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers.”~1 Pt 3:12 
  • “You cannot separate life from work. The way you do the most insignificant activity in your daily life will reflect in your work.”~Masaaki Shibata
  • “I’m going there to meet my Saviour 
    To sing his praise forever more 
    I’m just a-going over Jordan 
    I’m just a-going over home”~Wayfarin’ Stranger original last chorus.
  • The weatherperson says that it’ll reach the high 40’s tomorrow, will it? I can only hope.  10 inches of snow will take a long time to go away if it doesn’t get warm.

jan 17 d

SNOW DAY – PART III. Hubby has been for his walk with the snow bears, and snowjan 19 a bears are now restless. There is sun but no place to lay in the sun without being cold and wet. Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle watches birds from the window with deep longing, but escape in snow is futile to tender kitten paws. Temperatures are almost into the 50’s. Roads have a hint of pavement peeking through. And I? I am contemplating my prayer list, my poor- in-spirit/failings list, my thankfulness for my haverim/haverat (peers that inspire and challenge me) and the gift of quiet days that interrupt my usual schedule of busyness that I might find His joy and laughter on His path that I so often screw up. #blessingsbe #righttolife #inprayer

  • “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in Heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there I AM with them.”~Matt 18:19-20
  • Teacher: What is the chemical formula for water?
    Student: H I J K L M N O 
    Teacher: What are you talking about?
    Student: Yesterday you said it was H to O.
  • The weatherperson said: “High 40’s today”.  It is 49 and counting.
  • Walk in obedience, remember the past, respect all life, be in prayer always.

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GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #22

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”~President John F. Kennedy

54 years ago today my future was being shaped. I was sitting in a 7th grade study hall. At that time our new high school was almost finished – but not quite. So a mixture of 7th through 12th graders were spread throughout an auditorium.

A rustling of papers. 
A note being slid onto a desk as someone went to the restroom.
A brave soul walking up on stage to ask the study hall teacher a question.

“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.”~ JFK, 1957, Profiles in Courage

The ticking of the wall clock. The big hand loudly clicking into place. Marking time in our lives until we could talk in the hallways on our way to the next class. I know it was loud because I had spent lots of time in that auditorium – boy scout meetings with the active dad and brother, minstrel practices every winter I can remember in this life, a joint Easter sunrise services, dance recitals, choir concerts, band concerts, fair activities…… That auditorium was one of the hubs of our community.

But on this particular day, the clock stopped. The everyday noise that a group of people make while going about their business, stopped as well. Where I sat, the color of the wall, the dark curtains that hung on the windows, the utter silence of the room frozen in place. 
An announcement. 
A voice that cracked as it spoke.

“In whatever area in life one may meet the challenges of courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces, if he follows his conscience – the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow men – each man must decide for himself the course he will follow. The stories of past courage can define that ingredient – they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.” ~JFK, Profiles in Courage

l don’t remember the words our principal used that day. I remember the import. And somehow – in that 7th grade developing brain – I realized life would be changed forever. When you grow up in Camelot and see a hole shot through the garden wall, the ground shakes beneath the feet – the sun dims – the birds stop their song – the world holds its breath.

It is a strange thing to write a Gratitude Attitude about a tragedy on the Thanksgiving Eve, and yet – every year as this date rolls around, I remember that 7th grade study hall. I remember reading the president’s books after this day. Listening to his speeches. Starting a new questing path.

Seventeen days before he died, President Kennedy issued his Thanksgiving proclamation. He wrote, “Today we give our thanks [to Providence], most of all, for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers–for the decency of purpose, steadfastness of resolve and strength of will, for the courage and the humility, which they possessed and which we must seek every day to emulate.”

Gratitude Attitude is not always for the easy things, the common things. Sometimes it is being thankful for the hard things – the scary things – the things that make us sit in front of a small TV black-an-white screen to watch a riderless horse with the stirrups turned backwards – a small girl kneeling in front of a casket – a smaller boy saluting a casket – the pictorial book as the torch was passed.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them. Let us therefore proclaim our gratitude to Providence for manifold blessings–let us be humbly thankful for inherited ideals–and let us resolve to share those blessings and those ideals with our fellow human beings throughout the world.”~Nov 5, 1963, JFK,Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Tomorrow is a day for family, parades, football and card games, but most of all, it is time to give thanks to God – to Providence – to the God of Nature – to the Great Spirit for all these blessings. Remembering the past, enjoying the present and walking forward into the future.

“I thank Him who has given me strength, Christus Yeshua. our LORD…”~1 Tim 1:12 [google/personal images]

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GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #17

It is the strange thoughts that amble through my day that often give me pause and bring a whole new perspective to be thankful.

A random pop-up of a FB live caught my eye. I tuned in expecting to just stay a couple minutes and ended up enjoying a Friday night hour long “tea” of song and Gratitude Attitude wisdom that is still settling in my soul.

Being thankful in all things. All things. At all times. Even when everything has gone wrong from the get-go.

“The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.”~Micah 2:13

Out and about today. Running errands. Talking to people. Letting the One who breaks open the way before me actually break open the way. Opening spiritual eyes.

Centering on the One who breaks open the way – His way. The LORD. Yeshua.  The WORD – who took on a human name for us. A name in Hebrew that means: “GOD is Salvation”.

A sunny day to sit on the patio. Watch the dogs roll in the dirt and a kitten pounce on a leaf. Listen to an old carol surface on the breeze as I finished hanging lights outside. Words that had puzzled me as a child but now strikes me with so much love.

“Myrrh is mine: it’s bitter perfume
Breaths a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.”

“Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Sounds through the earth and skies.”

Gratitude. Attitude.

Still more to do tomorrow. More time to fall and figure out how to stand back up. Being thankful in all things at all times in all ways. Even when the brokenness is more than I think I can bear. That’s where this month has led me. A Gratitude Attitude that I don’t want to lose in the busyness of life.

“Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Yeshua The Messiah among you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not reject prophecy. Examine everything and hold what is excellent. Flee from every evil matter. But The God of peace shall make all of you perfectly holy and shall keep your whole spirit, soul and body without fault for the arrival of Our Lord Yeshua The Messiah. Faithful is he who has called you; it is he who shall perform it.”~1 Thes 5:17-2420160904_205845

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #15

1992 is in the books. Literally. I finally finished putting all the photos from my mom’s box and our albums combined into one album. That means that I have completed all the Kaufman photo books from 1981 to 1992. Phew!!! Who knew it would take four years to get only this far in putting our history in order?

Then I looked at all the photos on the computer that have not ever seen the light of day and began to estimate how long it might take for me to print and put them into an album. Hubby thinks it might be – never.

He might be right.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”~Col 4:12

Thus – the Gratitude Attitude #15 is being thankful for the simple things. Achieving goals that I have set for myself and enjoying the blessings that continue to enrich our lives on the home front.

THANKFUL FOR: A remote control that turns on the gas logs that keep our home toasty – not to mention the propane in the tank.

THANKFUL FOR: The walk-in tub that has bubbled and swirled the soreness out of my touchy, feeble knee much faster than the usual routine of stretches, braces and over-the-counter oils and meds.

THANKFUL FOR: Puppies and kitten who come back to the bedroom just to sleep outside the bathroom door while I am enjoying the exciting world of a book as the bubbles do their job. Our pets really are fur-babies. Even now – one is curled into my side, one at my feet, and the injured one just a few feet away on the soft couch in front of the fireplace.

“THANKFUL: “For the word of God is living and all-efficient, and much sharper than a double edged sword, and it pierces to the separation of soul and spirit and of joints, marrow and of bones, and judges the reasoning and conscience of the heart.”~Heb 4:12

THANKFUL FOR: Putting up our outside Christmas lights and deciding what patio lights we should add to the mix. Even though we won’t light the outside lights until next Wednesday night, at least they are (pretty much) up, and now I can concentrate on the inside – “hanging of the greens”. Isn’t Christmas the best time of the year?

THANKFUL FOR: A voice that seems to be returning after being – largely, missing for the past 3 years. Still creaky in places. Still rough in others. However, God hears the song in my heart, and that is all that matters.

THANKFUL FOR: Former students. Their comments. Their posts. Their notes of thanks. Their joy of who they are becoming.

THANKFUL FOR: “And the peace of The Messiah will govern your hearts, to which you are called in one body; and give thanks to The Messiah.”~Col 3:15

Indeed – with all these physical blessings that I have written about tonight, it is Abba, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit that truly bless and enrich this tiny particle of creation and to Whom all thankfulness and praise of this one life belong.

Thanksgiving is almost here. Time to have a deep Gratitude Attitude to the One who made it all possible. [google image/personal]

 

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #11

I am a former reading teacher, and STILL a lot of time I don’t read the small print placed before me. Ever anxious to get on to the “main” content, I miss some of the truly important stuff.

Having read all 150 Psalms over and over – in liturgy – in song – in devotion, I had no idea that Psalms 120-134 were songs that were used as Jews traveled to the temple festivals in Jerusalem. Of course, I had to go to the Bible and look. Sure enough, under the title Psalm 120 was some tiny print, “Song of Ascent”. Of course, even if I read it at one point or another, I wouldn’t have had a clue of what it meant.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”~Ps 121:1-2

My search continued. I pulled out the well-used, marked-up study Bible that has been in my life for about 8 years now. It has notes on the side of the pages which have added much to my seeking over the years. The notes were well documented about the main ideas and intent of each verse, but I couldn’t find anything that talked about them being used by the Jewish people as they traveled or even – what ascent meant. So next step – what else? On-line Bible, of course.

I use various sites, but I tend to like Bible Hub. They have the Aramaic in Plain English of the New Testament which I love. I understand why the New Testament was written in Greek, but since most of the disciples spoke Aramaic and this version comes from an early source, I like comparing the two. That being said, Bible Hub’s “New Living Translation” had the words I was seeking in small print right under the title, ‘A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.’

“The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.”~Ps 121:5-6

Okay – so far so good, but that didn’t really give me a lot of answers. As always I wanted more. I wanted the Jewish perspective. If there is one thing that I have learned over the past few years, it is that our Christian traditions have robbed us of our roots in the first covenant. The very covenanted roots that Yeshua treasured in His life here on earth.

So the thing is – the Jewish tradition says that there are many interpretations about these “Psalms of Ascents”. One belief is that it was used by pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem or out of Babylon or even one that had to do with the rising of water under King David’s temple.

I guess all in all, one of my devotions today was successful. It got me digging deeper into the WORD itself. And Our Father was faithful as always. When you hunger and thirst after righteousness, you do get filled or as it was said in the Greek, Plero’o – the cup is filled (which by the way – is a word I stumbled over in another devotion). Gotta love how God works all things to His purposes, don’t you?

“But The God of peace shall make all of you perfectly holy and shall keep your whole spirit, soul and body without fault for the arrival of Our Lord Yeshua The Messiah. Faithful is he who has called you; it is he who shall perform it.”~1 Thes 5:23-24Forgiven

(Greg Olsen artwork/google image]

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #10

Pictures of Marines are all over the place on social media. Just as they should be since it is the birthday of the Marines Corps. Tomorrow is Veterans Day, and I know, there will be tons more posts of service men – as it should be.

I am thankful that my dad was both. He wrote a postcard home as he traveled to Parris Island. He was 26 years old, and he sounds every inch of it in this one sentence: “I’m sitting in Union Station waiting on the train, I’m headed for Parris Island Marine Corps. I’m an honest to goodness Marine.”

“…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do

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not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”~Josh 1:9

He left behind a wife, a son, a dog, and a twinkle that would be born six years later. No easy communication devices. No cameras snapping a multitude of pictures. So there were letters……lots of letters. Mom and dad had a suitcase full. A suitcase that a youngster once opened and started reading.

I don’t think I sat down for a week.

Years later, Mom had me read a few of those letters to her when her body had started to break, and she developed Macular Degeneration. A few years after that, my brother and I decided that those treasured memories were theirs and not the world’s. I did keep a few of them though – especially the ones that had poetry my father wrote just for mom. Mom was a singer, so she would write song lyrics to him. She would tell him that all he had to do was listen, and he would hear her singing to him.

Pretty romantic stuff. No wonder the twinkle became a dream come true for them, and a pain-in-the-butt for her big brother.

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, Thou dost save me from violence. “I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; And I am saved from my enemies.”~2 Sam 22:2-4

A while back I spent 100 Days writing about the little devotion booklet called “100 Rations”. Dad carried it with him to China and back home. His pocket-sized New Testament still sits on the book shelf behind my desk. He taught me to sing the Marine hymn almost as soon as I could talk. And while I haven’t been able to do it for years beyond memory, once upon a time, I could stand from a cross legged sitting position without even having to think about it.

Veterans are a blessing in this country. Men and women who are willing to sacrifice their time and comforts to protect and serve the rest of us – even unto death. It reminds me that Yeshua did the same thing – only He did it for the whole world.

Gratitude is an attitude. Everyday I need to be thankful for what Veterans have done for me. Thankful for what Christ did for me. I can almost hear my father’s voice reading the last sentence on the postcard: “So here we go. I miss you very much with lots of love and kisses. Boyd”

Love and kisses to all the Veterans and Marines out there tonight. Sweet dreams and thank you for blessing this country – each and every one of you who are reading this and those who are reading over my shoulder from a heavenly perch.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”~Jn 15:13