Deb's favorites at Music of the Rain
|December 9, 2011 Walking the Snohomish River Dike Jason and Ray|
|Wet Web overlooking the ponds|
|More wet webs on weeds|
|Yet more wet webs. Beyond the winter grass is the river|
|Ray and Jason|
|The Path on the River Dike|
|Chilly mist muffles sound|
|River grasses mark the waterway in the fog|
|Golden Kinglet ???|
|Find what you are looking for?|
|Glacier National Park 2007, the beginning of a steep and narrow path|
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. John 1: 10-11 RSVIn a dramatic moment, Y'shua pronounce misery upon the religious men with whom he had been extremely patient. The worst of the misery would be that they would face the full force of the seven woes without the national comfort or aid of their Elohim and Messiah ......until they acknowledged him with the words, "BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF YHVH" (Psalm 118:26.)
"And Y'shua/Jesus came out from the Temple and was going away.... Matthew 24:1aWhat just happened? In my mind I imagine the disciples running through the scripture files in their heads, the many readings and lessons they had sat through over the years, trying to mentally catch up, to even know what question to ask. Their comments about the central building in all of Israel did not bring a reaction that most Pilgrims in Israel would have expected. As a point of fact, Y'shua foretold doom for even the building. The boys finally started putting the facts together and began asking their questions directly to the man they just followed out of the Temple of Israel.
As he (Y'shua) sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?" Matthew 24:3It looks like they asked three questions, when will this be (the destruction of their temple), what sign, and when is the close of the age. Greek does not work like English. The last two questions are really just one question that does not translate well. ....what is the sign of your coming (the Parousia) which closes this (that) era?
And Jesus answered them, "Take heed that no one leads you astray. Matthew 24:4The question is not "when" or "how long," as a matter of fact, a question of time is not appropriate. We who believe in Y'shua, have an answer for all our questions. Faith. You must prepare yourself to "see" with eyes of faith (word study link: blepo- on Be Careful What You See). Our Elohim has assured us that he will not leave us (though he just left the religious at the doomed Temple) nor will he ever forsake us
".... I am with you always, to the close of the age." Matthew 28:20b RSVLook with eyes of faith. The Word (Y'shua IS the Word made flesh) is the substance of our faith, Hebrews 11:1. This is the only way to not fall to the primary problem of false Messiahs and their seductive lies while we wait for Y'shua to return.
For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. Matthew 24:5The Greek transliteration of "I am the Christ" is egoo eimi ho christos. The Hellenist way of communicating the name of Elohim's anointed Messiah. Instead of YHVH, the Hellenist Greek would say, "egoo eimi" (I AM). The apostle John uses this very phrase as a name of Y'shua to the Hellenistic believers he wrote to. "ho Christos" is just the Greek translation of "ha Machiach" or The Messiah. A much stronger deception than how it reads in English.
What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies; who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,Isn't that what faith is about? It is not about freedom from persecution. Y'shua actually promises we will be persecuted. It surly is not about wealth. We are to live as beggars in the Spiritual realm, meaning that prayer is to define us. This life we have chosen, this difficult path, so steep and narrow, The Way that few will find, is about becoming like our Y'shua/Jesus, about knowing the One who so loved us that he paid the blood penalty that we were unable to pay. He asks nothing in return except that you give up your perception of yourself and live the life he gave up, let Him live through you. Galatians 2:20.
"For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs. Matthew 24:6-8How than shall we live? Can we be sure of anything? When I ask that question, I realize something about myself. There is more I need to learn and practice about faith. Death cannot separate me from the love of YHVH. The thing is, Y'shua/Jesus did not come so that I would worry about death. He came to give me LIFE, abundant, glorious LIFE. Is it easy? Some days it is fantastic, but that is not always my experience, This life is compared to a steep narrow path. Is it carefree? I am sure it is not, I am to be a spiritual beggar, to show mercy, to cry with those who cry. But with Paul I again say, In all these things, we are more than conquers through Y'shua who loves us!
|While the walking is still easy, learn to walk by faith. Deb at Glacier National Park 2007|
At the basic level, blepo (Strong's #991) means more than just look at something. It communicates the idea of understanding what it is that I see. Matthew 24:4, "understand what you see" so that no one can trick you or lead you astray.
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, "You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down."
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?" And Jesus answered them, "Take heed that no one leads you astray.
Matthew 24:1-5 RSV
But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.YHVH knows how his beloved creation looks at things. The natural man is strongly affected by the image of a person instead of the heart of a person. I personally believe that this is a reason we must "see with eyes of faith". YHVH's servant Samuel had to be reminded of looking at a person the way YHVH/LORD look at them.
Matthew 5:28 RSV
"Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:2-4, 6, 17-18 RSV
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."The only thing the natural man can see is the outward appearance. YHVH alone can see the heart. Without faith it is impossible to see as YHVH sees.
1 Samuel 16:7 RSV
Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?" And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me."It takes faith in the Word of YHVH (and Y'shua is the Word of YHVH) to understand what we see in this world.
Matthew 11:2-6 RSV
Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
Matthew 13:10-14 RSV
And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.If you are a believer in Y'shua the Messiah (Jesus who is the Christ), ask YHVH to open your eyes to see as you read through Matthew 24 that you may "stand firm" (to take your stand on Torah) in the days to come. If you are religious, and feel somewhat afraid as you read through the things to come, perhaps you will accept the prompt of YHVH/God to believe in Y'shua, to die to yourself and let him live through you to eternal glory. In the days to come everyone will go through the events foretold in Matthew 24. Only we who believe will press forward to eternal life. Won't you take the hand of love offered to you and follow on the hard narrow path?
Hebrews 11:6 RSV
Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"Drama. The Mercy Seat was a place to experience the lovingkindness of YHVH when a soul is deserving judgement. Jerusalem is guilty of sin, guilt worthy of death. But Jerusalem is Beloved of YHVH who longs to shower them in lovingkindness. Within the walls of the Temple, the children of Israel were close to their Elohim-God. Being close is not enough. They needed to go all the way into the heart of the Sanctuary. To confess their arrogant sin and come humbly before their Elohim for Mercy. But they refused.
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, "You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down."
Matthew 23:38--24:2 RSV
"Behold, you (Jerusalem) trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Ba'al, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, 'We are delivered!' - only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, says the LORD. Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, says the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house which is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. Jeremiah 7:8-15 RSV
"I have forsaken my house, I have abandoned my heritage;YHVH (the LORD) has warned His beloved again and again. He sent men who hear Him. Men who speak warning from YHVH, begging the people to repent, but it fell upon stone hearts. The children of Israel continued in the way of hypocrisy. Even when Y'shua, the Son of YHVH came they would not "shemah" (listen with an intention to obey) The story of misery and arrogance, of people who honer themselves above all else is well documented in the gospels. BEHOLD, your house (not My house) is being left to you..........DESOLATE!
I have given the beloved of my soul into the hands of her enemies.
My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest,
she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her.
Jeremiah 12: 7-8 RSV
Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their servants, and their people. But if you will not heed these words, I swear by myself, says the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. Jeremiah 22:3-5 RSV
For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Matthew 23:39Israel has a choice to make. One sentence, spoken in sincerity will bring YHVH, the Elohim-God of love, back to the object of His delight. "Blessed is he who comes in the name (HaShem) of YHVH. Have the ears of YHVH heard the longed for sentence? From the beloved nation, no. From individual Hebrews, yes.
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" Matthew 21:9 RSVBut from the people as a whole, especially those who "sat in Moses seat" (Matthew 23: 2-3) there was a stubborn heart, false dignity born of arrogance and self-love." With open ears and heavy heart, Y'shua walks away from The House of YHVH. He knew all that was about to come (Matthew 24 and 25 for instance). He knew that if they did not gather "under His wings" they did not stand a chance of surviving the coming tempest. The Glory had departed. Not even the splendid building would stand without its primary occupant, YAVH of Y'srial. It will not stand as a museam to the formar glory of Israel. It will be flattened. Even today, only a wall that once encircled the Temple of YHVH stands in memorial. But the foundation of the house itself supports a building whose people are opposed to those who call upon the name of YHVH.
Just like the Children of Israel, Believers in Y'shua will face the tempest. But it will not crush the soul that trusts in Y'shua. There is a way to live, not to ourselves as the Scribes and Pharisees did. Not seeking honor for ourselves. but for our God and His Son. We can live Torah observant as unto YHVH. Stand by your faith (life on the foundation of Torah, the Word of God). Do not be conceited, but fear...For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corthians 4:4-11 RSV
But if some of the branches (Children of Israel) were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the richness of the olive tree, do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you. You will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off. And even the others, if they do not persist in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree."Stand fast through faith" and you need not fear desolation. Y'shua has promised we who believe that when we choose Him, He will stand with us.
Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written...
Romans 11:17-26 RSV
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." Matthew 28: 16-20 RSV*(1)Wings of cherubim overshadow The Mercy Seat. Exodus 25:20 (for instance)
|The Beach at Oak Harbor on a beautiful Black Friday|
|Deb and Rudy Valentine at Fort Casey|
|Bomber and Rudy|
|The Olympics from Fort Casey|
|Ray tucks Rudy into his jacket to give him relief from the cold wind|
|One of the tiny little Whidbey Island Black Tails|
|Rudy and Bomber after a long day.|
Weather: Could you tell / forecast the weather without the weatherman?Glancing at this list I can see that I have spent most of my preparedness time on my garden and hen house. Even so I am still not saving a lot of my own seed. Most of my vegetable seed is grown somewhere else. My 2nd food issue is that I have not put up any food this year because of the glass top stove we bought. This is a huge issue that we did not really think about when we were seduced by the pretty new stove. I am also uncertain how I would keep my chickens well fed so that they could feed us.
Medicine: Can you take care of your family without pharmaceutical drugs?
Water: Can you store water or do you know of a water source nearby? Could you filter the natural water source for safety, to make it palatable?
Security: Interesting subject, of course, and makes for very heated discussions.
Fuel/Energy: Could you function without it? Cook, clean, wash without modern appliances?
Food: Having a stockpile is good but think about long term - after the food runs out, could you grow or be able to get local foods?
Currency: Focus on alternative currency options... think beyond gold, can you barter goods or services?
Communications: You are cut off. No cell phones, no computers, now what?
Sanitation: What to do with trash and human waste?
....You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit; so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedo'nia and in Acha'ia. 1 Thess 1:5-7 RSV
|Photo by Ray, Pure delight came from God|
For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you; for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 RSVYHVH has chosen you. Have you ever thought of that before? Do you believe it? He chose Paul who was busy killing and persecuting men and women of faith. If ever you have any doubt that you were good enough for God, then read Paul's testimony in the book of Acts, No one is good enough for God. It is the reason you needed Y'shua/Jesus (but that is the subject of another post). How do you know if you were chosen? First He will make sure that the gospel comes to you. But it will not come just with sound or words on a page. It will come with the full power of the breath of YHWH, the Holy Spirit. There is conviction of sin and finally, there is someone to disciple you.
but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:2-4 rsvChosen: Y'shua said to an assembly of Pharisees, "many are called but few are chosen" Matthew 22:14. At that time he was speaking to the un-chosen, those who insisted that their religious choice and education were more to them than the Messiah in front of them. They saw the splendor of tradition and self-righteousness as far more precious than faith even though, as scholars of the Tanack (old testament) they must have known that righteous deeds, done in our own power, are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6, see end note). Here in 1 Thessalonians, Paul, Silvanus and Timothy are speaking to the chosen who have already shown that they are people of faith, love and hope (verse 3). Of the many who are called in Thessolin'ca, these were the chosen.
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; Mark 1:9-10 RSVWhen the breath of God, the Holy Spirit, lives in a believer than the Word of God becomes far more than a book. The Word becomes alive and speaks to us. Maybe it is better to say that we become alive in the Spirit and can now hear and understand the Word.
Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."And in heaven, where I wonder if I will cry for what was and those who refused to believe:
Revelation 21:3-4 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away."
remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you; 1 Thessalonians 1:3-4 RSV
Now when they had passed through Amphip'olis and Apollo'nia, they came to Thessaloni'ca, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and for three weeks he argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ." And some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas; as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. Acts 17:1-4 RSVWith a "great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women," SOME of the Jews in the assembly believed that Y'shua/Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for. Why do I say that they have been waiting for the Messiah? Because God had entrusted them with the oracles of YHVH/God. (Romans 3:2). When YHVH spoke, it was the Hebrews he spoke to. They were the people whom YHVH instructed with his word, they were responsible to memorialize and obey it. I do not want to be too harsh on the Hebrews, I know the church of today has been instructed to watch for his soon return and to walk before him in faith, Too often we concern our selves with issues that are so petty that we forget to watch in faith. It happens. Those who believe receive the Word with joy. They accept not only the call to salvation, but the ministry, the work of faith, work that will define their earthly life.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!" Revelation 14:13 RSVSteadfastness of hope: hupomone (#5281 hoop-om-on-ay') this is not talking about people, it is about our endurance in the work we have been given to do. What keeps us going when someone else seems to have more interesting work or when we just want a break, a vacation to refresh our self? Steadfastness, remembering the faith and love that did not run from the cross. Y'shua knew times when the crowd made him weary. He knew times of temptation to be discouraged because they did not understand him. He must have felt tempted to slide out from under the yoke given to him by his Father. But he chose to endure, to be steadfast.
...let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1b-2 RSVJesus is my example. He remained "steadfast" for the joy, the "hope" that was before him. He asked God to show him if there was any other way to accomplish this work. There was no other way or the Father who loves him, who loves us, would have opened the way to an easier path. "...for the joy that was set before him endured ....despising the shame..."
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1 RSV
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 RSV
Paul, Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.Who are Paul, Silvanus and Timothy?
But Paul said to them (the Phillipan jailer), "They (the big wigs of Philippi) have beaten us in public without trial, Men who are Romans, and have thrown us (Paul and Silvanus) into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out." And the policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. And they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, Acts 16:37-38Both of these men have a Roman name as well as a Jewish name. Saul/Paul and Silas/Silvanus.