Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The TV is my shepherd

The TV is my shepherd,
I shall want more.
It makes me lie down on the sofa.
It leads me away from the faith;
It destroys my soul.
It leads me in the path of sex and violence
for the sponsor's sake.
Yeah, though I walk in the shadow of Christian responsibility,
there will be no interruption, for the TV is with me.
It's cables and remote control, they comfort me.
It prepares a commercial for me in the presence of my worldliness;
It anoints my head with humanism and consumerism;
My coveting runneth over.
Surely, laziness and ignorance shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house watching TV for ever.

Stolen from the "Pure Church" Blog


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pelosi Health Care; Now What?

I had such a sinking feeling. Long before the vote, everyone knew this monster was going to pass. One of the few things that strikes me as unexpected is that the stack of paper that is now half-way to becoming the law of the land is not referred to as Obama Care. Why is that? The more I watch our beautiful young president, the more questions I have about democrats. I wonder if perhaps the powers that call themselves Democrats choose an attractive, idealistic young man with a tendency to idolize ideas and those who spoke them, and began to groom their puppet.

During the campaign I was astonished that the American press was anxious about the Republican vice Presidential candidate's "inexperience." What? Did we really fall for that one? On the one hand, the man running for President was a Junior Senator, who was hardly two years into his position, never so much as president of the PTA or any of the community organizations he belonged to. On the other hand, the woman running for VICE president had mayor and governor on her resume. Why did America keep turning her collective eyes back to Sarah Palin's work history instead of Obama's? He didn't even believe that he was qualified. He told us that he surrounded himself with men who understood things and he would depend on them for advice. Ol' Harry Truman reminded us that, "The Buck Stops Here". What should the plaque on President Obama's desk say? "Paying to Play?" "The Coin Flips Here?" "I'll Get Back To You?"

I wonder because the man is famous for not naming his dog for 6 months. But when an advisor has progressive advice, he jumps on it. Apparently finishing a war we started is not progressive, but that is another thread.

Pelosi Health Care. How did her name end up on this? Blogs are piling up with commentary on what will happen now. Dooms-day predictions. Utopian society. Who knows? It probably isn't as bad as many say and for certain it is not as good as others say. There is only one thing I know for sure. Though I am a citizen, this land is not my home. I love my rights as a citizen of the United States but my hope is Heaven and the benefits I depend on come from the throne of Grace, the place where the King of Glory reigns. I am an ambassador to the land. I know what true hope is. Hope in a soon coming King. Hope in the Creator of all, who gives the seat of power to whom he will, to turn our hearts to himself and the things that are eternal, peaceful, abundant with joy. Who truly heals all our ailments because he IS our savior. We are not without hope unless we refuse the one who so loved us that he gave His only son ….to carry what ails us, be is sickness or sin.

To those who despair I encourage you to "fear not" Y'shua/Jesus will not abandon us and walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death.

Friday, November 6, 2009

How good is your Pastor?

Mine is actually Great. I'm guessing that if I was a bit more aggressive about prayer for him and his message, he would be greater still. That is on me, not him, but I intend to carry that burden this week.

…"When, then, will the believers en masse understand that they are primarily responsible for the preaching which they hear, yes, more than their preachers? If every pastor knew and felt that the congregation was praying and that each member had prayed, that the congregation was supporting him, interceding for him... what preacher would not feel himself a new man and whose preaching would not be transformed? Once again, preaching the word is a function and activity of the Church, not the function and specialty of a man…"


Quote from: Pierre C. Marcel in The Relevance of Preaching (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1963)…stolen from Pure Church blog.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 RSV

I have noticed that often the first thing attacked is peace. (I suppose in earthly war, the sentinel is likely to be the first to be put out of action if possible, and Peace is our sentinel.) When our peace is shattered, vital prayer ceases, and the love which was to burn and not be put out—the love that finds sheer joy in sacrifice—fails utterly. So let us guard our peace. In disturbed times we can learn that circumstances have no power whatever over peace: "When He giveth quietness, who then [what then] can make trouble?" Job 34:29 The only thing that has power to do that is sin. "Vouch safe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin."

Amy Carmichael, "Edges of His Ways"

October 26

To stress in times of strife and conflict is to sin because it denies the sovereignty of God in circumstances and relationships.

Carol Wojehoits of Poland (aka Pope John Paul II)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Swine Flu or Regular ol’ Sick?

From American Red Cross: The Difference between Cold and Swine Flu Symptoms

Cold: Fever is rare with a cold.
Swine Flu: Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

Cold: A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.
Swine Flu: A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

Cold: Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
Swine Flu: Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose
Cold: Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
Swine Flu: Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

Cold: Chills are uncommon with a cold.
Swine Flu: 60% of people who have the flu experience chills.

Cold: Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
Swine Flu: Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.

Cold: Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
Swine Flu: Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms
Cold: Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
Swine Flu: The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

Cold: A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
Swine Flu: A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat
Cold: Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
Swine Flu: Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort
Cold: Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
Swine Flu: Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

(Lifted from the San Juan Update)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


From Amy Carmichael's "Edges of His Ways"

for October 20.

This morning I read the Smyrna Letter and found that the word "tribulation" in Revelation 2:9 means the pressure of the stones that grind the wheat, or that force the juice out of the grape.

The making of Bread and Wine, nothing less, is the purpose of that pressure; and He Who weighs the winds measures the force of the pressure. Of this we can be sure. What about our prayers for those who are under pressure? Are they of the earth, earthy, or are they Heavenly in Quality?

How often have I found myself asking for relief for those I love, just simple blessed relief from the grinding pressure of the stones; but would not another, a braver, deeper kind of prayer help them far more?

Bread and Wine—the very words are hallowed. Let us pray alongside our Lord as He makes of mortal souls, through pressure, something that will be used for the life of the world, Bread and Wine.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Prevent H1N1 (Swine Flu)

The only portals of entry into the body are the nostrils and mouth/throat. The H1N1 virus which has now spread world wide...it is reaching global epidemic proportions. It is almost impossible to not come into contact with H1N1 in spite of all your precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not as much of a problem as proliferation … in order to prevent proliferation while you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, [namely, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections.]. there are  some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, that are quite effective and can be practiced in a simple manner

1. Frequent hand-washing (has been well highlighted in all official communications).

2. Observe the ---Keep your "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap someone).

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. So whip it while you are still healthy. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population…. There are saline nasal washes for over the counter purchase  

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.



– stay well

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I half expected to hear thunder, the rain was so heavy. The music of rain is a favorite sound, rich with memories. It brings a sense of safety and love. Whispering on my parka when trekking a muddy trail, kissing my face even while communicating an urgent need to press on. It coaxes out the scent of the forest as it falls on the boughs of ancient trees. Pattering on an umbrella at the farmers market as I snuggle close to the man I love. The aroma of dark coffee wafting up in our small shelter while a piper plays the music of southern jungles amidst the venders of flowers and apples. There is less of a crowd and those of us who still come to the market in the rain feel a kindred spirit that is missing on brighter days. Maybe the best rain sound of all is this one that wakes me now. Hard and fast on the window, a sweet scent of its own fills the room where I am nestled in a quilt in the dark. It must be a love song.

Long ago, when there was no beauty to speak of, when the world was fresh and new, without form, without fill, only The Breath of Elohim in the dark, embracing the newly born creation, water was the blanket that surrounded all that would be. I wonder sometimes if I have a memory of sorts, of safety in the shelter of rain. God is here in the dark; his breath surrounds me, the scent of rain washed air, a sweet embrace. Snuggle in deeper, rest for a moment in this love. Time to refresh rather than sleep, to wake up excited because life is about to happen, but for now, there is only the song of rain on my window.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Journey

Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Psalm 119:33 RSV
I love Psalm 119. I remember feeling dread when it came up in the monthly rotation of Psalms because it takes so long to read. To much information to take in when I wanted to get through my five Psalms in a day. Now I love to linger here. I have hardly graduated from Hebrew preschool but I know enough to understand that each Hebrew letter has a testimony to tell. This verse, Psalm 119:33, is part of the story of the fifth Hebrew letter, Hey.

ה Hey is the letter of the divine breath of God, the Holy Spirit. It represents revelation and light from the LORD-YHVH. Hey is shaped somewhat like a hut with a window. The often used word, "behold" is from the idea of Hey. When I see the word "behold" when Y'shua-Jesus is speaking, I know that I am about to get a glimpse beyond the physical realm into the heavenly. Pay attention to what comes next. Hey tells of the creative power of the Almighty, the Creator.

Teach me, often translated, cause me, is translated from the Hebrew 'howreeniy' The Hebrew root is yaw-raw' (Strong's #3384) meaning to flow like water or to rain. It also is used of shooting an arrow or to point with the finger the way, which gives the word the meaning, "to teach". In this verse yaw-raw' has the letter Hey as a prefix. As a prefix Hey is translated as the definite article, "the". The teaching of the Almighty becomes "the cause" of what comes next.

The way of thy statutes; Life is a journey. Believers in Messiah have repented from going our own way and have turned (repented) to go The Way of Messiah. "The Way" is the journey and "thy statutes" are like the key on the map or The prescribed Way of YHVH. Therefore the Divine Breath, which we call the Holy Spirit of God, is the understanding, the insight to God's heart and Word, that directs me on the path of life.

Imagine that you are lost in the thick forest. Never having been here before you have no point of reference to find your way home. The guidance of the Spirit is like a gentle breeze. It does not force you to go anywhere like a hurricane would. The Spirit needs to be paid close attention to. At times we need to stop for a moment and meditate on the direction of the breeze, to hear the testimony of the Spirit's whisper in the ear of our heart. Walk before our God in righteousness. He is directing you home with an intimate gentleness that requires use to pay close attention to the end.

Mrs. Hagerty, reposted February 19, 2017

Monday, September 28, 2009


The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Proverbs 18:10 RSV

Hebrew is a story language. Every letter has a message even before they come together to make words. The word for "tower" is migdal; (mem) waters, peoples, (gamel) bringing gifts -picture of the Spirit, (dalet) the door, (lamech) the shepherd. The strong tower pictures the place the Spirit brings the needy (the door pictures the needy who beg, Mt. 5:3) to the Shepherd of our souls. The name of YHVH is our strong tower, our refuge. Running to Him is where we find safety in the battle.

If your received a prayer poke from me today, September 28, then I am praying that you to know the safety of turning your face to Y'shua/Jesus. Run to him in the righteousness you have because of His blood and His word. When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. Ps 56:3 He has brought you to the very place you find yourself today. It is no accident of circumstance that you face the issues of today. Run to him with them, in trust that He who loveed you enough to bleed out for your salvation. He has the answer and He is the answer. He does not get you through the battle "somehow" but rather, you come through with victory in Him. I am praying for you today that you know Him as your stronghold, that you remember his mercy, His grace. I pray that you do not fear that your righteousness is insufficient because Y'shua/Jesus Himself IS your righteousness. You can press forward today because He has prepared you for such a time as you face today. You might not feel it, but you can trust Him to know. Run to Him and be safe beloved!

For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1

…"The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation." Ex 34:5-8

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Air I Breath

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:12-14 RSV

Receive- freely and deliberately accepted, bought by another.
Spiritual- pertaining to the nature of spirit (wind, breath)

We who believe have received the Breath of Elohiym, the Spirit of God. Messiah paid for the gift with his blood. With this gift we can begin to understand the gifts given to us by Elohiym/God. We can know how to live in the Grace of Faith.

The Wisdom of man is nothing more than his interpretation of his experience or his teachers. The world is filled with opinions. The world presents the same information to us. How we interpret the information is wildly different because of multiple factors. Each one does his best to understand how to respond to the circumstance and choices that come to us. Each person in the world wants to know how to live based on what they see, know, and experience. A toss of the dice, a guessing game at best, and at worst there is hate for those who choose a different way.

The grace of Elohiym/God has provided the way of truth. Truth is spiritually understood. The Word of God is truth. Before we choose to receive the Breath/Spirit of God, we might have looked at the Bible and tried to understand it as if it was philosophy rather than truth that is understood by the Spirit of God. God alone is able to open our understanding of His Word and how we should live with that Word as our foundation and light in this World. Even thought it has been translated into a language that we understand, we will not be able to make sense of Scripture unless we first receive the Gift of the Spirit which is from God.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, Ephesians 1:15-21 RSV

Friday, September 25, 2009

If you got a prayer poke from me; Friday the 25th

I prayed for you today from Deuteronomy 1:30-31
The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.' NKJ

I ask that the eyes of your heart be open and that you know what God is letting you see. Where ever you go, our LORD is one step ahead of you, you are never alone. In those moments today that your soul feels weary, ready to fall to the temptations that seems easier to play with then to resist, know that YHVH our God is fighting the unseen battle for your soul. He has fought for your heart when you were a slave of sin, he fights for you now in the wilderness. He delights in righteousness and knows how difficult that walk is. But in Y'shua who came to live a life that physical eyes could see, in the love and sympathetic heart of the Son of God, you will find the strength you desire to stand firm, living just this moment pleasing to Him, ready to take another step.

The LORD is taking you somewhere special, life is not pointless even in the dreary moments. He is leading you to a place of Joy, of rest. Press forward. And know that when the day is overwhelming, He carries you.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Smells like love

Freshly bathed babies, my husband right out of the shower, Crest toothpaste, Mennen aftershave and a wool suit, waffles. Each of these smells like love to me. Each is attached to a strong memory. The babies and the husband probably do not need explanation. The smell of waffles came from my mom's kitchen when I was a nasty, cranky teen who absolutely did not want anyone coming to my door singing "it's time to get up". The suit, toothpaste and aftershave were my dad coming to kiss me good-by in the early morning before he went to work (when I was still little enough to kiss).

For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;2 Corinthians 2:15 NASU

Those who have come to repentance and salvation by faith through the grace of the Messiah smell like love to YHVH. A mother can breathe in the scent of her baby and feel warmth in her heart. I suspect YVHA reacts to us and our scent of Messiah in some similar way. When Paul wrote this word, he spoke of a scent that is an offering to the Emperor. We are privileged to bring an offering to our Lord, we are the offering. Washed in the blood of his only begotten son. But to the world, even to the religious of the world we smell like death. They are repulsed by the faith we stand on. We cannot live in shock because of the world's rejection. We live in the joy of God and trust the world to our all loving and conquering Abba.

If you received a Prayer Poke from me today (September 22, 2009) then today I prayed for you to walk in confidence before our LORD knowing that it is not your strength or endurance that pleases God but the scent of the Wind, the Spirit of God, given to you because of the blood of His Son, grace through faith it is not of yourself. Live in the strength of that today. Stop striving to live a moral ethical life, the kind of life directed by the world, but instead, I pray that you live in the grace of Messiah, with your words of praise, your scent of life carried on the wind of the Spirit to the throne of glory, walking in the footsteps of Y'shua.

While reading the Word this morning, looking for a passage that was teasing me, I looked up "pleased" in the concordance. I was somewhat shocked to see the difference between what pleases the Father and what pleases men. Just from the New Testament, YHVH is pleased by what he loves. He loves his Son and before the Son does anything, The Father announces that he is pleased with him (Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22)

Before Y'shua went to the cross, YHVH again told those who were with him that He was well pleased with the Son (Matthew 17:5)

Men are pleased with what they see, with getting what they think they want. Herod was pleased to the point of foolishness with his niece's dance (Matthew 14:16, Mark 6:22). Herod was again pleased when he finally got to meet Y'shua because he hoped to be entertained by Him (Luke 23:8)

It seems that God is pleased by faith. Faith is standing firm on the word of God, a trust that the Word is our only sure footing. Men are pleased with what others do for them, give to them. I think that is why we often think that we must "do" for God. But that is not how we please God. Living by faith is what pleases Him. Live today.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Cross and I

By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you… 2 Corinthians 10:1a NIV

Samuel proclaimed that we speak to hearts, "not by might, nor by power, but by (the) Spirit" John said the same thing in his gospel (1:13) It seems that nothing good or lasting is accomplished by the harshness of "my way" I heard from one of my student's moms that her daughter was in tears over a report she worked hard on and I was harsh, thinking it was not all her own work. I pound out dozens of notes a day to students and I pounded this one out to this sweet girl with only what I want and what I thought I was seeing. I saw wrong. She has been on my mind all weekend, but only this morning did she move to my heart, as an offering to my LORD.

Long ago, as a babe in Messiah, I learned that when I am confronting (or confronted) someone, that I should take a moment to draw a capital "I" with my toe in the sand (the idea came from an African missionary, I am not often barefoot or in the sand, but you get my point). Then, before I speak, "cross" out the "I", make sure that the Spirit of God is able to speak through me. Amy Carmichael said much the same thing, "…let the gentleness and self forgetfulness of the Lord speak through me…" when tempted to be harsh, a follower of rules, when insisting on something that is hard, or that calls for creativity that a student just isn't feeling (wanting more to get out of that chair and into the sunshine with friends… they are children after all). When I am misunderstood, when there is unfairness, stubbornness, misunderstanding of any kind, I want to remember to "cross out the I" and let Y'shua speak (often it is actually me who needs ears to hear, not the soul standing before me).

Draw me near dear Lord, Let me remember to take up my cross and to let you live through me, even as I follow you.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

If you were poked on facebook today (9-20)

Y'shua you are the firm place for my feet. Your way, your path is not the way I might choose (it is so steep, so narrow and hard when I look at it instead of you), but yours is the way of life, the way of love that pours out instead of just sucking in. YHVH I pray for my beloved friends that today they would be able to gush with love because they have been filled to the point where they must nearly burst with your love. Father life can scheme to pull us down, to cloud your glory with dark pain in our soul, wounds and words can turn my eyes to my little scars instead of to the wounded feet that walk the path before me; to excuse my shrinking back on the path with pity for my pain, exposing me to the scheme of the roaring lion. Let us encourage each other today, to point to the pierced hand that reaches to us, knowing we have the eyes of love and His helping, wounded hand reaching out to us. You are not so far away after all. May my dear friends press on today, in the strength of joy, and hope, and yes, in confident faith. Standing alone in the company of those who believe and gaze back with confidence at Him Who is soon returning. Hebrews 10:35-39

Friday, August 21, 2009

Behold; the window to heaven

And behold...

As a Bible student I have some verbal markers or clues that cause me to pause and pay extra attention to what is being communicated. One of those markers is the word "behold". In Greek the word is idou but in Hebrew, my current passion, the word comes from the pictograph hei.

Hei is the letter of revelation. It is an open window into heaven. Most of the time the word behold reminds me to pause and consider what is happening in a passage. It tells me that following whatever circumstances I have just read, YHVH is about to do something that breaths life into the understanding of men.

The modern Hebrew letter hei looks rather like a shack with a window, a window to heaven. It is formed of a dalat which pictures brokenness and need, and the letter yod, a hand from YHVH, so it is taught that hei is, for the believer, an opening of the heart for the Spirit of YHVH to indwell us. It shows the need of the heart to return to God by the power of the Spirit.

We are then left with a choice to repent and choose God or to continue on the path we were on.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Daily Light July 15

Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Bless the LORD, you his angels, might in strength, who preform His Word, obeying the voice of His Word! Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you who serve Him, doing His will.

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. -I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart. -He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Thy will be done."

Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. -For not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. -If you know these things, you are blessed if your do them. -Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Matt 6:10, Ps 103:20-21, John 6:38, Ps 40:8, Matt 26:42, 7:21, Rom 2:13, John 13:17, James 4:17 NAS

Sunday, July 12, 2009

On Being Prolife

While in Sunday school this morning, the subject of abortion and a Pro-life stand came up as a side issue. All the usual words about the right of the child. All words that I deeply and whole heartedly agree with. But sitting there in my Sunday school class, surrounded by like minded friends, it occurred to me that the church is allowing the world to lead the discussion, even in our private, one-sided talks.

Does a prolife stand start with a crisis pregnancy?
It is my view that by the time a woman has a crisis pregnancy, many life affirming principals have already been violated. The question of choose life or choose death is almost an afterthought to the sin that has lead to this crisis. I know this might be a little bit uncomfortable, but for me, being prolife is not about the fetus or an unwed mother. And it isn’t about the ability to finance a child.

I have never tried to nail down just how I explain what I believe. Before I start, I want to say that Jesus accepts us right where we are. The debt of our sin has been paid. The pain of the sin that was committed against us will be exchanged for the comfort of His own Holy Spirit if only we are willing to accept that by acknowledging His Lordship of our life by faith. (Send me a note if you want to know more)

My world view says that being prolife means one man who keeps his vow of marriage to one woman for as long as they both shall live. Being prolife also means that you walk away from violence. It means that mothers and fathers put their spouse above the children that they have. I do not know just how a man’s heart works, but I know that there is something about becoming a mother that changed my whole life. Not only would I have been willing to give a kidney for my child, I would give my heart, step in front of a charging bear, or just put their needs before my own. I knew love before I became a mother, but I did not know the love that would give up everything for someone else.

Being prolife means that I love my husband with a greater love then the love that I have for my child. Why? Because my children need me to love my husband to grow up with a healthy understanding of true love. They should not feel the emptiness that drives so many to “hook up” and give away what is meant to be kept until marriage vows are said.

Being prolife means that we are careful with our daughters not assuming that others can be trusted with our little girls. There are predators in the neighborhood and they target our little girls.

Being prolife means that we protect the eyes of our sons. I know that I failed my sons in this area. It isn’t just from movies and porn. All it took was a pretty girl holding a Thrush Muffler in a car magazine to make my sons sit up and pay attention. Three times in the Song of Solomon it says to not arouse or awaken love before the proper time. (SOS 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4). Because it is addressed to “the daughters…” it may be easy to believe that this is for girls. But I say that this is also for our sons. Protecting their eyes is not just about dictating what a woman can wear. It is about NOT encouraging our daughters with positive feed back for looking sexy (they look desirable even in school uniforms) but about teaching our sons to protect their eyes, to see a woman instead of a possible hook-up. How can we do that unless their dads honor their vows to their wives, putting each other before all else.

Unexpected pregnancies happen. Mother and child need loving support (mom will have enough fear and condemnation for herself without our help). I would hang from the chandelier to support mom in a choice for life. But lets not let the world lead the discussion, I want to talk of prolife in how I live and teach my children BEFORE there is a crisis.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The 11th Hebrew letter, Koph

The palm of the hand. The palm is the "wing" of the hand. The child of God lives in the refuge of the shadow of the wings, the hands of God... in His hands where our name is written (Is. 49:15).

Many who are dear to me believe that we can walk away from God, loose our salvation. They have good doctrine for making their point. But I have security in knowing that no matter what, my name is written on His palm, and as surly as there is a nail scare, there is my name, never to be forgotten.

In Hebrew, the hand is where the power is actualized. That is the reason we are to put our palms together when we pray. Palms together suggests calling on the power of the Spirit to be made manifest in our lives. It is the reason we are to lift our hands to the Lord, ready to receive his power when we praise his Name, a confession that our power is actually His.

We are his hands (and feet) in this world. We can do nothing on our own, but because of the sacrifice of the Son of God, by His nail pierced hands, we stand clean, ready to do His work in this world by his power.

Here I am, ready to start my day, with all my ideas, plans, hopes... but until I put my hands together in prayer, to seek his will rather then my own, to live by faith rather then sight, I have no power to accomplish the will of my Lord. No doubt he keeps me, no doubt I cannot be snatched from his hand, and often that is enough. Yet, on days like today when I long to do His will, to know that when I see Him face to face I can know the joy of "well done thou good and faithful servant", I take a moment, put my hands together and seek his face in the shadow of his hands.

July 11, 2009
Mrs. Hagerty

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chris and I took the dogs to Mukilteo Beach for an evening walk. Beautiful night after a blah day. I did not think that I would like this park once the city took it over from the state, but they have done a lovely job with it. The tide was in so we could not go far. Still, we had to go somewhere. Bible Study is canceled until August because of vacations.

I love Wednesday night Bible Study. Maybe even more then I like Sunday morning church. The time spent in a home with dear friends, studying the Word, praying, even just laughing. It gives me a charge that I need to keep my heart from turning inside of itself.

We are in the book of Luke, and probably will be for a long time at the rate we go. But I like the pace. Slow enough to keep up with serious study in the midst of our busy week. At least one question came up last week, maybe two. I'm not sure if one of them was my own, unspoken question or if it came up in the group.

Our passage was Luke 4:31-44. The first question has to do with understanding the word, "rebuked" as in;

And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet and come out of him!"... Luke 4:35a

Zodhiates tells me that Messiah censored (to suppress objectionable content) the demon.

I understand that He did this to the demon, but why? Where is the harm in the proclamation that Jesus is, "the Holy One of God!"? Shouldn't that be a help to him?

I have noticed that the congregation was amazed by his authority. Authority looks like a theme in Luke chapter 4. The chapter begins with the devil's temptations. The second temptation has to do with authority. The devil has authority over all of the world. He gained it from Adam, the rightful steward of the world. But Adam lost it when he sinned. Now, in Luke 4, the devil says that he will give the authority of the world to Jesus if only Jesus will bow down and worship the devil. Instead, Jesus resists the devil and the authority that he already has begins to shine. People see it and are amazed. So, what (you may wonder) does this have to do with the rebuke of the demon who says that he knows who Jesus is.

I was born-again in a little Pentecostal church in Lake Stevens, Washington. The congregation had a practice of rebuking demons in Jesus name. But they insisted that they did not have authority over the demon unless they new who it was by name or title. I did not much buy into the practice. But I wonder now if that is not exactly what the demon is doing. When he tells Jesus to mind his own business (what do we have to do with you?) he adds that he knows who he is, in the same way the Pentecostals did back in Lake Stevens while engaging in spiritual warfare. Was this his way of trying to assert authority over Jesus?

Jesus shut him up. The one who shut the mouth of lions for Daniel, shut the mouth of the wicked. This same Jesus has promised to never leave me, to never forsake me. The truth of his voice sets me free from the roaring lion of Peter. Truly, what can anyone say to discourage me.

Let me hear your voice my dear Jesus!

Picnic at Ben's house

It was a rare, brilliant day in the PNW for Independence day 2009. Ray and I took the dogs out in the morning for a run to Spencer Island to place Ray's Geo-Cache. Then we went to Robe Valley to pick up Jason and have a picnic at our nephew, Ben's home.

Jason and Dennis had hiked up to Pinnacle Lake that morning. You can see Jason's new do for the day. His poor head was all sun burnt where there used to be hair.

Dennis with Rebecca's son Derick at the kid's table.

Don and Doreen were their with Don's dog, Toby. Chris came later in the day.

Rebecka's Red, White and Blue Shortcakes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Sometimes work has an immediate reward!
I'm out hacking away at the mess that has grown outside of the fence when the glisten of rubies catches my eyes. Now I wonder if these will be pie or just sprinkled on ice cream? Either way, yum. These little black berries that we prize in the Pacific Northwest are all up and down the bluff outside the fence.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Happy Birthday Darrin!
It is also Johnny Appleseed Day... I think I'll make an apple-spice cake to celebrate

Monday, March 9, 2009

From the Bearing Sea

I really should get out and fill the bird feeders. The wind came swooping down from the North West and we have snowige.

My mom and I were going to get out and walk one of the parks this morning, but we changed our minds. Instead I think I'll make cookies. She sent me my grandma's Overnight Cookie recipe. That should make the house smell good. Bread in the machine, soup on the stove. How many more days do I really have before that pleasure is gone? A live Jars of Clay is providing the background and I have plenty of school work to do. My kind of day.

Fear Not. The phrase for the month. On that theme, here is the word from Amy Carmichael for today, March 9.

Psalm 147:6 The Lord lifteth up the meek

"Temptations are oft-times right profitable to man, though they be heavy and grievous, for in them a man is meeked, purged and sharply taught... Learn to obey, thou dust! Learn to meek thyself, thou earth and clay." (to "meek" is an old verb meaning to "humble".)

Our natural thought does not connect meekness with strength. Our natural thought is all wrong there. the truly strong are the gentle, the Strongest of all was the gentlest: "I am gentle and lowly in heart".

As I pondered this word from the Psalm and thought of our Lord's life, always triumphant, never cast down by disappointment, by weariness, by apparent
failure, or even by the certainty of suffering swiftly drawing nearer, I wondered if the cause of our cast-down hours is not the hardness of the way (as we are tempted to think it is), but some flaw in the inner spirit which makes it impossible for our God to lift us up. If so, praise Him, it need not remain so: There is a lifting up.

Aaron and Lindsey came to church yesterday. They are home from their mission in Senegal for a year. They told of warfare in the spirit realm and in the community. Bless them Ha Shem as they blessed me. Most of the time that Lindsy was in Africa she was sick; but when she came home the sickness was gone, she felt healthy again.

There is a man who has been working with Aaron, helping him with language when he works on Bible lessons, giving him aid in developing illustrations and follow-up lessons. His name is Juno. He is also under pressure from the elders of the village to deny the Messiah after verbalizing his delight with the Word of God.

Lindsey told of three different women who were coming daily to learn the Scripture. One of them began to ask thoughtful questions about her sin. Under pressure of the elders, she suddenly quit coming to learn. God bless this dear woman and give her a deep longing with understanding from what she has already learned.

Fear not Lindsey and Aaron

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Hebrews 6:10 NKJ

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Beach at Howarth Park

Balmy. If I had to describe the weather in one word then balmy is the word I would choose. Brilliant blue sky, sweater weather, throw open the windows fresh air. Living in Western Washington I know that if the rain stops then I must get out. Too quickly the wet comes back.

I look for evidence of green on bare branches almost daily. It is starting to feel like watching a pot come to a boil. A few bushes, Forsythias I think, along our morning walks are showing the little green mouse ears of spring, but the trees are holding off. Creation knows when the time is right.

I have not wanted to be sitting in front of a computer monitor and my spirit feels empathy for all of my students who are forced to do just that when the breeze calls the heart to come and explore the gentle land outside the window.

This Sabbath morning I can hear the song of rain on the roof and am suddenly wishing I had taken just a few notes to refresh my mind on the details of the past few days. They have been such good days. The dogs and I have explored the neighborhood while Ray has been away at work. In the evening, Connie and I chat away as we walk, finding new places close to home and catch up on each others day.

The first day that Connie and I walked from her house to Howarth Park Beach I took Rudy along. Val had been sick and needed rest desperately, so I did my work from her computer at school. She has a great group of students this year, it was fun to meet new faces and get reacquainted with the students I have known from their elementary days. But poor Rudy had to stay home for the day. I couldn't just leave him again. Usually he doesn't come with us because Connie is so allergic to pets. As long as he was outside, she was fine.

It is just a bit over a mile to the trail head that leads to the beach. Rudy was fine. The tower from the trail to the beach was no problem for him or for us. Where we went, he went without complaint, over the driftwood and the boulders of the retaining wall to the sand and pebbles of low tide at Howerth. When the sun started to get low on the horizon we thought it might be wise to head back. Climbing the tower was not a problem for Rudy, but I was wishing that I had brought a water bottle for him. We got back to the road and were headed up the hill when Connie mentioned that her sciatic (sp?) nerve was starting to bother her. She is a lifetime bus driver and that is a job that is hard on a girls body. I offered to call Chris to come get us, but she was sure she could make it. Connie has never been one to give up when she is determined to accomplish something.

More then once, we had noticed a woman at the beach with a camera on a tri-pod. She stopped her car next to us on the road just as we were praying for the umph to get back up that hill, "Would you Ladies like a ride?"

In theory, we absolutely did not want to give up our walk and ride. But the reality was the pain was coming on and could easily overwhelm. We settled into her comfortable back seat. After the introductions she told us, I just couldn't see you forcing that poor little puppy to walk all the way up the hill."

Sometimes kindness comes from places in the heart that take me by surprise.

Deborah... still laughing

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mark 2:6-12

Talk can be cheap.
Mark 2: 6-12

In response to faith, Y'shua/Jesus forgave sin. The scribes (teachers) thought about this and rightly concluded that only God can forgive sin. Had they missed something?

But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Arise, and take up your pallet and walk'? "But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-- He said to the paralytic--"I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this.
"Mark 2:6-12 NAS

Y'shua was well known for his healing power. The first chapter of Mark has already given plenty of examples as evidence of his authentic power to heal. The result hindered his ministry of proclaiming the Word of the Gospel as crowds of people who longed for a healing touch pressed in on Him. Throughout the Torah, the Prophets and Psalms, there are examples and promises that Messiah will have the power to heal. It was to be a sign, an indicator of the authentic Messiah of God and the scribes were not wrong to examine Y'shua in light of Scripture. But had they missed something?

And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.
Exodus 34:6-7 (from the cleft of the rock)

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases
Psalm 103:2-3

For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
Isaiah 48:11

Healing was taking place, healings that had NEVER happened before. Everyone was excited, some were commended for their faith. Why? Because faith believes. But seeing does not always result in believing.

Our God will not share his glory with another. (Isaiah 48:11). The Son of God drove demons out of the Assembly and healed affliction. Now He is also proclaiming forgiveness of sin. But the shock that He forgave sin wouldn't (or shouldn't) have been so shocking if those teachers had understood the Word. Only God forgives sin and heals the body. The two are tied together. The conclusion that the teachers came to should not have been that He was blaspheming, but that He is Immanuel, God with us.

Why would it be easier to say, "Your sins are forgiven," instead of saying, "Get up and walk,"? The most obvious answer is that the evidence that sin is forgiven is not easy to observe. It is not the same with a proclamation of physical healing, it either happens or it doesn't.

For the faith of the friends of the paralytic, sin was forgiven, an eternal gift. But for the teachers to understand the authority of Immanuel, the Son of Man, Y'shua healed the paralytic's body and commanded him to gather his stuff and walk out on his own power, a temporal gift. And they understood, and gave the Glory to God.

He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Why have you come to God? Is there something you need or do you just need Him? He rewards those who look for him. When you find Him, then you will know He is all you need, but He gives so much more!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Beach at Mukilteo

The Beach at Mukilteo
No scarf, hat or gloves needed, just sun glasses.
Not many birds, at least not once you got away from the Boat Launch. There was a garbage can by the boat launch where the seagulls and pigeons like to hang out. There were these barnacles on the rock wall below the train track. There were as big as Rudy's head, which, according to your perspective, isn't much or is really big for a barnacle.

Down the beach, beyond that place where Pigeon Creek dumps into the bay, I saw a lone Western Grebe and a few more Gulls but that was about all. There could have been more, but Bomber doesn't get "walking" on the beach. I forgot until today that Chris got him from a family on Whidbey Island. He wanted to swim, and he was certain that given the chance he could catch a bird. It was a lot of work not giving him a chance.
Rudy livened up too, but he was excited because Bomber was excited. Bomber wanted to see everything, he wanted to be a dog on the beach, but leash laws and not being absolutely sure we would ever see him again prevented us from granting his hearts desire!

I wanted to bring Ray's GPS to track distance, couldn't find it before we left, I'll try again later.


In my neglected front garden, I noticed a little bit of crisp white. There are actual blossoms in my garden! Whoo-hoo! Never mind how nasty looking the lawn is, (really, it has come a long way from when we first moved here) I should check with my mom before I attempt to put a name on this plant, but I think it is a____________ . Humm, gotta find my book or my mom.

Does the bankrupt United States have an extra 900 million dollars? Apparently we do or Sectary of State Clinton would not have pledged $900,000,000.00 to the Palestinian Authority. The things we choose to do with our money when we do not have any! The money we do have is borrowed from China (so I am told). China now owns us until our children and their children, and who knows how many generations of their children after them, are able to pay China back. You do know that we have not finished paying for "The New Deal" and it was a whole lot less money. Will we even last long enough for pay back or will the new national language be Chinese? What have we done? What foolishness are we still doing?

March is roaring instead of barking today. Wild wind gusts, pounding rain, teasing sun breaks. I was going to go to Tulalip Bay Marina for my March in March today, but Ray would rather I did not go there alone, so as soon as I am done with my school work, Rudy and I will head back to Mukilteo. Looks like hat, scarf and gloves weather. The wind might be blowing too hard for an umbrella.

The phrase from Amy Carmichael for March is "fear not". She added to that this morning with Psalm 60:12

Through God we shall do valiantly,
And it is He who will tread down our adversaries.


Amy added, "...Each of us has something to do which is not easy... If things were easy, where would be the fight? How should we be trained for Heavenly service? But there is no need ever to be overcome. God makes provision for victory, never for defeat. "

Fear not

Sunday, March 1, 2009

February Bird Count

The Great February Back Yard Bird Count of 2009

25. Golden Crowned Kinglets (2/23)
24. Anna's Hummingbird (2/23)
23. Un-ID Hawk or Falcon (fly-over) (2/20)
22. Pileated Woodpecker (2/20)
21. Mallards (2/10)
20. Downy Woodpecker (Pacific, 2/6)
19. Bushtit (2/6)
18. European Starling (2/6)
17. Pine Siskin (2/6)
16. Chipping Sparrow (2/6)
15. Blackcapped Chickadee (2/6)
14. Spotted Towhee (2/5)
13. Chestnut-backed Chickadee (2/5)
12. House Finch (2/5)
11. (possible) Hutton's Vireo (2/5)
10. Northern Flicker (2/5)
9. Stellar Jay (my ol' buddy! on 2/4)
8. Cow Birds (3 on 2/4)
7. Song Sparrows (4 on 2/4)
6. Red Wing Blackbird (5 on 2/3)
5. California Gulls
4. Canada Goose
3. Crows
2. Junco
1. Robin

For March... Places to walk, urban and wild. Marching in March from a pin I used to always where on Saint Patrick's Day that said, "March the 17th, sleep the 18th. (my birthday is the 18th)

Fear Not

March comes in like... well, like a wet dog. It is raining on this first day of March 2009.

Did you know; that on this first day of March in 1781, The Continental Congress of the young United States adopted The Articles of Confederation? Remember from your Jr. High days, when you had to learn about things like the Continental Congress? Maybe of greater interest on March 1st, Yellowstone National Park was established as the world's first (not just the nation's) National Park in 1872.

We also have some black eye's on the 1st of March. 1971, The Weather Underground takes credit for an explosion from a bomb hidden in the Men's room of the Capital. Just to balance the evil scales between the Left and the Right, in 1974 indictments for the Watergate Scandal were delivered.

On to current events. Way back in early February I discovered chives already coming up in the herb garden and I got a little excited. Here they are on the 1st of March. I am not convinced that they have made any real progress. But they are still there. One thing new since I last looked at the Chives is that the dogs have discovered the soft soil of the garden is fun to dig in.

Sadly, I did not get any peas planted in February. It isn't too late yet, Saint Patrick's Day is my personal traditional day for Pea Planting. Lettuce should go in today (spinach and radishes too).

Apparently March is not traditionally a month of Good Luck. Not being one for tradition (never mind the Pea post) or luck, good or bad, I truly appreciated Amy Carmichael's passage for March 1 in Edges of His Ways.

Fear not

I am more and more impressed as I read the Bible, by the reiterated "Fear not". There are so many promises, that it would not be strange if there were no "Fear not"; the promises are enough to rest upon. We should not need to be told not to be afraid, and yet there it is over and over again, in one form or another. This strong, loving encouraging "Fear not" of our God. Fear not, nor be afraid" (Deut 31:6-8 LXX) neither be cowardly (it is good sometimes to face the truth that yielding to fear is cowardice); "it is the Lord your God that advances with you in the midst of thee... And the Lord that goes with thee shall not forsake thee nor abandon thee."

It seems to be God's plan to allow all sorts of things to happen that would naturally cause fear, but to forestall them by the assurance of His presence. The Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, so Fear not, neither be dismayed.

I do not know what tomorrow brings, but I know who goes before me, Fear not!

Happy Birthday Yellowstone National Park! Ray took this picture of me in front of the Paint Pots during our vacation to Wyoming in 2005.

By the way, congratulations to the winner of The Great February Bird Count, Pittswood Birds with a total of 46 birds seen from his yard in February. Mighty impressive!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

February 27th

Twice this month! I go to make coffee and remember, I should have gone to the coffee shop yesterday. I might have made a bit more noise then usual, Ray "just happened" to wake up earlier then he normally would on a day off. My evil plan is working. Lets go out for coffee this morning, and oh, by the way, grab the cameras and binoculars. Hee hee...

Some things should never be wasted. When the stars all align (stars?) and the day is beautiful, the weather is balmy (at least for February) and you have some coin in your pocket, something must be done. Last time we were at Mukilteo public beach it had just been transferred from the state to the city. It was in the middle of construction and we thought the simple beauty of the park would be lost. Happily, we were very wrong. The city of Mukilteo has done a nice job of updating the park while keeping the feel of the beach that I spent many happy days at as a child having lunch with my mom, her sister and aunts, cousins and my gram'ma. I took my own sons there for picnics and play days. Today it was just Ray, Rudy and me, walking on the beach, looking for birds. Strangely, there were not many.

A short list

  • California Seagulls
  • Cormorants
  • Pigeons
  • 1 Common Loon
  • 4 Western Grebes
  • Flocks of Barrows Goldeneyes
With the exception of waking up to snow on the 26th, the weather has been spring-like. But not many birds are flirting, not many are out and about in the morning. While buds on trees are just beginning to swell, there is still no sign of green on the trees. I am sure creation know better then I when the time is right to wake up to spring but from my perspective, it seems as if someone keeps slapping at the snooze button.

To everything there is a season. It is still the season of rest, but I want summer to hurry.

We did not walk far. It is, after all, still a late winter morning. Ray and I brought everything but coats. Walking was not enough to keep us warm. Back to the truck we went to finish our coffee and to plan our day. Groceries, pick up Jason, plan a weekend dinner, pray for friends, for family, for the spring yet to come.

God is Good. And at least for today, life is sweet. And there is coffee in the jar.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What is it about Snow?

I love watching snow come down. Having the privilege of working from home adds to my joy. Having lived in a mountain valley for more then twenty years, I don't get freaked about driving in snow. Other drivers sometimes give me pause, but not the driving. Still, I have to admit, being able to stay home when my work day starts is quite relaxing.

Remember back on Ground Hogs Day, what a beautiful day it was? I tell myself that I am not one to believe that sun on a particular day foretells a longer winter, but it seems as good a reason as any other for a winter storm at this final week of February.

Yesterday I actually had to put on a uniform and go into school. Barb, the Primary Teacher, had an appointment and needed me to come in for the morning. I am always dragging my heels about going into school, but once I get there I feel energized by teachers who love the Lord and children who are just plain generous with love.

This is my dear friend Susan, the Kindergarten teacher, in the lunch room with the younger students. If there is a soul on earth who loves more and accepts people where they are at more then Susan does, then I would sure like to meet that person. When I worked full time at the school (now I work from home with the distance-learners/home school) we used to spend time together on the playground, shoulder to shoulder in prayer and wild laughter. Wait... there were also tears, both of joy and of pain. Tears tend to not be bitter when shed with a kindred spirit. I miss that. We were sharing a ride to Bible Study on Wednesday nights, but dang, she had her car back yesterday. Maybe it is time for my car to take a break?

This is the trail where I walk the dogs in the park you can see from my back yard. I love being planted in a place were the view does not get boring.

You know how you can read the same passage again and again, find it relevant, but not really be excited about it? That is how I felt about the passage we studied at Pastor Wold's last night. The passage was Luke 2:36-38 and the subject was the prophetess Anna. Following the excitement of Simeon it is easy for me to over look Anna, an old woman who, oddly enough, is a widow living at the temple, apparently making a fuss over a baby. Ya, right. Look closer. In three short verses there is much said about this woman of God.

Luke 2:36-38

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
(from New International Version)

She was a Prophetess. From what Luke has already said about prophets, I believe that she was a rare spirit filled woman in an era when religion for the sake of heritage rather then love and relationship with God ruled the day.

A widow, advanced in years. She had seen much, living in dependence on God as a husband to widows rather then dependent on a man. She had lived to see the Roman takeover of her country. She had watched as her religion and people conformed to foreign occupation in compliance and bloody revolt. She had lived to see the renewal movements of the Pharisees, the Essene's, the Sadducee's. She had watched as Zealots and their bloody way became popular with the hot-blooded young men of the day. In all her days as a widow, she did not go home to the north country of Asher, she remained at the temple in the busy city of Jerusalem, serving and worshipping her God.

So many people, so many different ways of attempting to live as the people of God's Covenant, yet there were apparently only a "remnant" who looked forward to the redemption of Jerusalem, the Messiah, instead of backwards toward the heritage of the people, which happened to include God.

At the very moment that Simeon was speaking to Mary and her husband, the pious Anna came near and (addressing God rather then the parents) began to give thanksgiving and went to others who were like minded in looking for the redemption of Jerusalem to speak of Him.

Her life made me wonder, what am I looking for? How am I serving while I wait? The next big event is the return of Messiah. Am I looking for it? How am I serving God while I wait? When I read the Word, am I encouraged to see the old prophecies coming to pass? Does it ignite me or am I unchanged as I observe history in the making? Anna gave her life to service of God and fellowship with like minded believers without loosing hope because of world events of the day. What will be said of me?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras
I am neither Southern nor Catholic. Living in the PNW the only thing I know about Mardi Gras is that loosely translated, it means "Fat Tuesday" and in Seattle, it is a party. But, then again, any reason to party is reason to get a little crazy in Seattle. Those who are not hung-over or in jail on Ash Wednesday will find another reason to let loose.

The wind is kicking up, the rain comes and goes. Typical stuff this time of year. Wet paws when we walk, pink cheeks when we get home. Not much going on with most of the regular birds this morning. I did see a mess of Northern Flickers. They seem to enjoy the huff and puff of a late February day. Even the Junco's are laying low. So, instead of bird watching, I did what I usually preach against; I picked some of the pussy willows to have in place of the glass beads of Mardi Gras. My dad's voice haunts me, If everyone picked a bouquet there wouldn't be any flowers (or pussy willows) left for anyone. But there it is.

I did notice one new creature on my morning walk. Earth worms out of the earth, struggling across the sidewalks. Lucky for them the Robins were early.

Mark 2:1-12

When Jesus Sees Faith
Apparently it had been some time since Y'shua/Jesus had been to a synagogue to preach the Word to the people of Galilee after the former leper had disobeyed His word to "go tell the priests" what had been done for him, as a testimony. Instead the man told anyone else who would listen to him. The people came for what they could get for themselves.

And when He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. And being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Arise, and take up your pallet and walk'? "But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-- He said to the paralytic-- "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this." Mark 2:1-12 NAS

In Mark chapter 2, Y'shua has returned to Capernaum. Apparently the crowd came to Him in such large numbers that they filled the house with an overflow crowd gathering at the door as He proclaims the Word of God to them.

To this setting, a group of men come to Y'shua. Four of them caring a paralytic to Him. But the size of the crowd prevented their access to Y'shua. The solution? Dig through the roof and lower their friend to Him.

Jesus saw their faith What did Y'shua/Jesus see when He saw their faith? The Author of Hebrews said,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarded of those who seek Him.
Hebrews 11:1, 6 NAS

What were these men assured of? John the Baptizer had come to prepare the way of the Lord as spoken in Isaiah 40:3. After the witness of John at the baptism of Jesus, John was arrested. That very day, Jesus picked up the message of John, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

In Mark 1:22, the people who went to synagogue with Him were amazed because He spoke with an authority that they had never heard from their teachers, the Scribes, before. "Faith is the assurance of what we hope for..." The men came with their paralyzed companion believing that Y'shua was (and is) the Glory of the Lord, the promised Messiah. And faith is standing firm on the Word of God, so what did these men stand on?

John the Baptizer fulfilled Isaiah 40:3-4. The verses that follow the "forerunner" prophecy tell of "The Glory of the Lord." In Isaiah 35:5-6 there is a short list of what the people will "see" when Messiah, the Glory of the Lord, comes. (look at this passage in the light of the context starting at 35:2b)

  • Salvation
  • The blind will see
  • The deaf will hear
  • The lame will leap like a deer
  • The mute will shout for joy

From what they had observed these men believed that this Y'shua was (and is) the Glory of the Lord, The Messiah. They came to Him believing that "He is" and they came assured that he rewards those who seek Him. When Y'shua saw their faith He expressed the ultimate demonstration of His authority, doing what the scribes rightly reasoned, that only God can forgive sin. The scribes came to a wrong conclusion, that this man blasphemed. The four friends of the paralitic acted on the only correct conclusion, they believed, and came to God who rewarded those who seek Him. Y'shua saw their faith and expressed the ultimate demonstration of His authority, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

What is it that you believe? How far will you go to test the assurance of your conviction of what you cannot see? Fear not, He rewards those who come believing that He is.