Archive | April 2010

Better than a Halleujah.. the melodies of life part 1

The last two weeks have been a collage of memories that have collided with things past.. things now and things future. As I sit here trying to put these events into words.. the full moon is beaming in my window and the pure night air drifts in and it is a comforting feeling. The comfort needed due to the utter weakness felt in my spirit and soothed by the ritual of the night sounds and His creation sounding a much-needed lullaby for my soul.

Maybe it’s the overwhelming realities of life confronting me and my family at this time.  It’s been a time of conflicting emotions running around in my head bumping into the feelings long buried in my heart, awakened now for so many reasons.

Last week  found me being in the rolling farm land of Southern Indiana where the weather is the most important topic of conversation because it links to crops going in ( and coming out ) to not only be the provision for the farm families involved in planting them but for the livestock to be feed, and the literal breadbasket that we enjoy abundantly in this country.
Mornings where 5:30 AM is the expected rising time and the sound of cows lowing and roosters crowing blends with birds melodies coming in an open window or banging screen door.

Mornings begin where my once agile parents “shuffle ” into the kitchen. The sync of coffee, and breakfast over the “farm report” turned up so loud that my husband got a pair of earplugs to endure the blaring noise of it. Tough way to ease in the day but since they are becoming hard of hearing, it sounds just right to them.  So we patiently explain that if you hit the “mute ” button on the remote.. they would not have to keep trying to get the volume to come down but one “hit” and it would be back where they like it.  A compromise we sort of negotiated while there. Days when my childhood memories came tumbling back as we drove around the large land townships which make up the county where I grew up.  A drive on my father’s 1000 plus acres where instead of the beautiful Holstein dairy cows, calves, heifers and steers there now are natural gas wells and mini gas plants pumping and they are everywhere. They are in-between the hollows , lakes and ponds mixed strangely beside fields where rich dirt is being cultivated and planted. Gone the solitude of these areas now with strangers in trucks who come with this new industry. A new melody in the best of my childhood. North of town the coal mines have taken out the 4th generation family farmhouses built by the German immigrants who came to build the most beautiful of barns, homes and gardens here in the heartland of America.  The house of my mothers childhood mowed over by the vast underground mine development and left are the ghosts of hedgerows and a rare grove of trees, or fence running along the lanes.  The loss of what used to be there was strong and on a day when my fragile mother wanted to be taken on this ride, she mentions the places and whose family farmhouses and farms are no longer recognizable to the extreme.  The melody of the land different now and patched here and there are the places that remain.  Back to our small town, where the local restaurant is full of the old and new generations that come for real fellowship.  The regulars there swapping stories, political commentary, jokes and the comfort of folks who come in their “work clothes” shoes covered with dirt, the uniform of  overalls,  and hats advertising the local agricultural vendors covered with dust from plowing. Where when one man or woman gets up, another comes in sits down to join the group eating like family members.

I was there with my husband and parents on “catfish” Friday, when it was all of it you can eat and pies dotting the counter.  A true deal of food including the drink and pies with your meal for $6.50.  Older ladies who squinted to see me and came over extending hands and hugs of welcome.  To them I am the hometown girl come back and embraced with my childhood nickname spoken which made my husband laugh out loud. A community who tipped hats and greeted my mother who made this public visit back into the circle with my husband and I steadying her from the car her cane in toll and seeing her sway as she reached the curb. They had taken up a collection to send flowers during her stay in the hospital. She had a remarkable 25 arrangements sent to her while in the hospital .. this melody of life played out before my eyes through the sound of clinking glasses of tea, forks on pie plates and voices of people I had not thought of for so long…

We travel my husband and I in the car across Amish country which is a county over and the place I remember well. There too are the gas wells but the generations of farms, barns and houses are intact. They comfort me as we pass them, neat as can be.  We go to the Amish restaurant where again, I am welcomed for family maiden name, older folks who remember me and one relative who finds out I am speaking at Bethel Church on Sunday and they come to Sunday School just to  hear me share. Do I feel like crying about it all , yes I do. Because not only of failing parents who cannot do all they have done but because of the era of America vanishing from the landscape but not the spirit of the people who for the most part don’t lock their houses when gone all day because they know each other near and far…

Then to the cemetery at our family church ” Bethel ” where the carillon bells play at sundown on Saturday night.

A tribute in gift from my parents a melody of life where this rings across the land for a 26-year-old son who died in an accident in 1981 on a picture perfect June day. My brother Doug who is still so beloved.. suddenly  is bigger than

life in my memories of him as we see his grave stone among those of family all the way back to 1847 when early family settlers lost loved ones to yellow fever, and hard times.

Roses grace the cemetery, wild roses and the sound of birds chattering in the maple trees that tower in this place.

My Dad is out and about in his pick up truck driving to see what crops are coming up and what fields my older brother had not yet planted. Going without a cell phone nor often telling my mother who is still quite sick where he is going but driven all the same. A sadness in him that was not there before because of the age changes in his body that have changed too his light- hearted personality.  He hears a different melody of life now and is interested most fervently to hear the sound of the trumpet — of our Lord. He measures each day with one closer to the rapture.  His hope to see Doug again in heaven ever-present daily.

So I rise in the quiet of the house while there .. which has floors that creak and is filled with dust of a much needed cleaning, washing of almost everything in it because my parents cannot do these things anymore.  I sit in the moonlight with my laptop and my air card to pull my devotionals and the online Bible.  The stillness of the night comes like a friend where my ritual of rising in the 4th watch has me talking to God about the melodies of this life and feeling so out of sorts. I sit and pray for my mother, Dad, folks back home, online friends, staff and children at the ministry in NC that I lead and our own children and grandchildren. Thanking God for the legacy of life and the childhood filled with fields where among the wildflowers and cows.. I knew Jesus as my friend and later as Savior and the Son of our Almighty God.  Praying too for my husband’s mother whom was struggling with a body that was becoming weaker and in this night watch knowing He knows my every thought and need. I worship Him there in the moonlight which cuts a shadow across the grain bins standing tall with a harvest to come. The hallelujah of it all resounding the  wonder of His ways…

Psalm 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,

And I will look up.

01 Better Than a Hallelujah

To be continued….

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God, ever loving in the details of our lives

I am writing this in the morning quiet of my childhood home in Southern Indiana.  Here in the morning mist of a farming community I am out of the periphery of my normal everyday life.  My mother who is an independent, very tough woman humbled herself and begged me to come home to care for her for during her immediate release from the hospital. She had fallen several times and the last time fell out of bed unconscious in the middle of the night. She and my father are very co-dependent on one another. He is much more like me in personality, my Mom and I are exact opposites. That in itself makes our relationship a challenge. So she calls and asks and I know we need to go. My Dad is more befuddled during her hospital stay .. upon her discharge they are both floundering.

My husband and I both had things to organize at our places of work and then we made plans to fly up to take care of them both.

We had to catch a fairly early flight at the airport which was not crowded nor busy at the US Air counter.  As always we had prayed and sought the Lord for safety and His protective covering.

We got to the US Air counter ONE … minute past their half-hour cut off time for checking folks in. Truly, just one minute. The fiery darts for the trip were beginning with this one female representative at the counter. She insisted we were past the cut – off and she was already booking us on another flight. She also mistakenly was insisting we had to pay for our carry on pieces that my husband had meticulously measured as per the US Air webpage.  They qualified. A vigorous debate ensued and she was set on making things difficult. Thankfully, a manager intervened.

Off we go– now really rushing because of the hullabaloo. We get to security and a very kind security officer told me to “declare” if we had any liquids.. so the water bottles were given over. My favorite Crabtree & Evelyn fragrance.. Wisteria was then subject to loss.  I had put more in my purse such as my jewelry, make-up etc because of what one can take on the plane. I pulled out the perfume which had been carefully wrapped in my jewelry wrap and next to it in a little bag were my diamond earrings.  The security guard looking at my beloved Wisteria bottle .. waved it on and said the ounces were just under. But alas in the rush, my little pouch with my diamond earrings fell out on the floor. I swooped down picked up the pouch and put it back in my purse. There was not any opportunity to dump out the contents of my bag anywhere till we arrived at our destination.  At long last I did and there were no diamond earrings to be found.

Now, I know this is just “stuff” but these are dear to me because they came from my husband on our 20th wedding anniversary. I was so upset and did not want to share this news with my dear spouse. But finally, the courage to do this rose up in me.  He was not a happy camper and proceeded to lecture me and my father who was present listened to this martial discourse. I said little in defense of myself … because I didn’t want to cry. I told them both, that I was going to call airport security to see if they had been found.

Both of these men, my Dad, my dear husband scoffed at the foolishness of my doing so and said I could kiss those goodbye.  But I prayed and prayed.I did make the call however, and was told by a sympathetic airport security officer that no diamond earrings had been found. He said anything like that would be unusual but to go ahead and describe them… so I did with my heart in my throat.

A few hours later, my cell phone rang and I missed the call. It was 1o PM long from 6:45 AM back in North Carolina at a busy airport. I called back to find the airport security officer on the phone. Could I give more detail on the earrings? The description rushed out in a flood and YES they had them. The both of these small earrings laying on a floor in a airport all day.
My heart rejoiced and I could hardly contain the joy of this miracle …. full of praise ( BTW — the security officer also agreed it was a miracle as I witnessed that to him in my babbling praise the Lord over and over )

My Dad and my husband were both incredulous! Agreed it was a miracle.My ( our ) Heavenly Father had protected those earrings for me.. a detail of His loving touch, favor, grace and mercy.. it was a strong message. So I feel this bears the need for testimony too.

My son  in law retrieved these for me for keeping till back home. He reported they were neatly placed in a box with my initials on them. WOW

This all seemed a bit prophetic to me as well.  I have been pondering this ever since and wanted to write these thoughts today. Our Father is merciful, gracious and His loving-kindness lasts forever….

Several scriptures:

Matthew 10:29
What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin ? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.

Oh such is our Heavenly Father in control of the finite details of our lives as His word states above.

Then…

and the second row an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond;
Exodus 28:17-19

17 And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones: The first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; this shall be the first row; 18 the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19 the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;

This is talking about the breastplate of judgment. It is interesting that in this scripture in the second row are the stones that are my favorite here on earth. I had not noticed this when reading this scripture before… another personal detail for uniquely me in this situation as I study it.

The other interesting thing to note is that my loss was at the gate ,where security was waiting. There at the place of security the smallest details of my journey were protected…it was a little thing but then again it was not.  A stone of remembrance in my life.

The older I become.. the more it is noted by me in daily events that the Lord speaks to us in the physical often with a parallel in the spiritual.

So I come away with this .. He is at the gatekeeper of my security, the Great I AM … the gatekeeper of protection and yes judgment. The choices are mine. the symbols in stones in the second row of the ephod reflect the stones of my remembrance and He is our High Priest. When I look to Him for protection, guidance and He is always faithful. The are 12 stones in the ephod– and it was 12 hours before I reported my missing “jewels’ to security.Oh how He is a God of the details. Still seeking Him on more on this…

I did not put some of this together till seeking the scriptures referenced here and so will continue to pray into what He wants me to learn. Rejoicing that He cared enough to hear my heart .. and all of ours for the asking when we truly cry out.. amazing — it is simply amazing! This watch care

Oh how He loves us….

True joy… a sacrifice of praise (particpating in Proverbs 31 Joy Carnival )


Today as I watched the morning come in my window and the stars where saying their final goodbyes to the day, my heart was somewhat overwhelmed with recent realities of life and I literally just laid down my head and cried.  Our heavenly Father seems so close in the early morning hours and it comforts me to be with Him in this special time of the night watches just before daybreak.  When I can be still and listen — my manna for this day.

In the Bible we are reminded of the value of seeking the Lord in the early hours as referenced in

Mark 1:35
New American Standard Bible
In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.

Jesus was an early riser to seek the Lord in prayer as mentioned over and over in a secluded place.

Our Heavenly Father knew we need the quiet and He placed Jesus as and example  of prayer and intimacy with Him for the beginning of the day.  This so resonates with me to get up and do the Jeremiah 33:3 thing– seek me and you will find me and I will show you secret and amazing things.

So here I am feeling very brokenhearted for a myriad of reasons: the  very traumatized children I am working with and for in the ministry I lead ( Yahweh Center Children’s Village http://www.yahwehcenter.org

Lamenting in particular for  a child whose family of origin for four generations has practiced prostitution and how this sweet boy with is fighting such intense emotions that he has to have a nap to renew his strength.  Yet oh how this child can sing and his face all aglow as he broke free from his activity to pick a dandelion and give it to me.  Bravely in a praise mode at that moment.
A true sacrifice of praise.

Then there is my mother in law, Verda who calmly called my husband to tell him that the Doctor has told her there  is not much time and maybe she should consider Hospice.  She is gently in a ”  joyful ” place witnessing serenely because the joy of the Lord is her strength.  ( Nehemiah 8: 10 )

Another..

One lady, I admire so much dear Sue who is such an inspiring encourager to others although she has many physical challenges as her daily life, she graces all who come to know her through the joy she humbly exudes in her daily walk in Christ.  Her joy is a ” sacrifice of praise”. She writes me a lovely email and in it barely mentions surgery today.

The faces of my staff who learned yesterday that our paychecks are going to be held up because of delays in our payment for our professional treatment work.. with one sending me an email to tell me that she and one of the nurses in our psychiatric unit made banners and had the children singing for God inhabits the praises of His people…

My mentor, Shirley who is in so much pain from physical afflictions that it could be a blog in itself .. witnessing, encouraging  others with joy! She demonstrates the multiplication of encouragement.

All these things lifted up for desperate prayer.

This testimony of ” joy” in the Lord begins to lift my spirits and before long by reading His word and with remeberance of the power of the testimony of His children whose circumstances seem anything of joy…. my heart and spirit are lifted and the joy of the Lord over takes all the emotions and suddenly the joy of the Lord is my strength, and it is overflowing.

I go down and put on the coffee turning on my local Christian radio hearing His name lifted up in praise and turn to see the kitchen filled with light.

So thankful to experience this mystery of His inexplicable joy!

Surrender and the return of innocence

Eila with a lamb and learning each day about the Lamb of God— a picture of innocence and how perfect praise comes from the mouth of the children.

These past few weeks and days… they seem to roll over onto one another have brought me to a new place.  Hesitantly I share this as it is so fresh in my spirit and is still “formulating’.  I just emailed a friend and tried to share this — the sense of “crossing over”.   In the book of Exodus in Chapter 12 the Hebrew children are called to great obedience and trust in order to have the Angel of Death ” Pass Over” … a shadow and pattern of applying the blood of the Lamb for protections and the supernatural provision of the LORD– Yahweh.

Then that concept is found again in Joshua the commentary of Matthew Henry about their crossing the Jordan is found within ” Biblegateway”

and is as follows ..

The Israelites come to Jordan.

The Israelites came to Jordan in faith, having been told that they should pass it. In the way of duty, let us proceed as far as we can, and depend on the Lord. Joshua led them. Particular notice is taken of his early rising, as afterwards upon other occasions, which shows how little he sought his own ease. Those who would bring great things to pass, must rise early. Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty. All in public stations should always attend to the duty of their place. The

people were to follow the ark. Thus must we walk after the rule of the word, and the direction of the Spirit, in everything; so shall peace be upon us as upon the Israel of God; but we must follow our ministers only as they follow Christ. All their way through the wilderness was an untrodden path, but most so this through Jordan. While we are here, we must expect and prepare to pass ways that we have not passed before; but in the path of duty we may proceed with boldness and cheerfulness.

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Both of these accounts are so meaningful because of the utter need to cry out to ABBA from His children.

When I consider Eila ( pronounced eye la ) she has the faith of a child who has known she can count on her parents. Her Daddy and Mommy are truth tellers,  nurture her, affirm that she is a wonderful little girl who is greatly loved by them. She is a part of their flesh and blood– but born with the Holy Spirit hovering over her in the womb. Having the ” living waters flowing” while she was being “fearfully and wonderfully made ”  Psalm 139

13For you(P) formed my inward parts;
you(Q) knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a](R)
my soul knows it very well.
15(S) My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in(T) the depths of the earth.
16Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your(U) book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. 17How precious to me are your(V) thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Wonderful are your works.

You see the WORD of  God was being read to little Eila before she was born and steadily after. She knows that Jesus loves her and she reads from her ” Girl Bible” with her parents daily.

That is the “innocence ” in which she loves Jesus and the Word of God because she is already having the Bible as her daily bread.  I am so delighted as her grandmother to bear witness to this and to also spend time , her Papa and I … sharing the love and power of Jesus Christ with this little lamb.   She already has a natural surrender that is a part of all she knows and will like the rest of us battle the flesh for keeping surrendered to a life in Christ. She however knows that her Abba is to be trusted. Her earthly parents provide a marvelous template to what her Heavenly Father wants her to see about His character.   This is the blessing of what is shared in Deuteronomy 6:

1“Now this is(A) the commandment, the statutes and the rules[a]2that(B) you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and(C) that your days may be long. 3Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly,(D) as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, ( emphasis mine )
4“Hear, O Israel:(E) The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[b]5You(F) shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And(G) these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7(H) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8(I) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9(J) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

So when I consider the “crossing over ” and Passover — it is with a new revelation of what this means.  To truly surrender ourselves to the Passover Lamb — Yeshua Hamashicah  our Jesus the Messiah is to return to innocence as intended long ago in the garden of Eden! Without this surrender to the LAMB … we will not have the great Shalom, He has for us. That sounds so simple– it is too amazing to grasp the taking of it into daily living  is a life long journey out of a wilderness to a place of “crossing over” .
Whether is was in Egypt coming out by obedience and trust with applying the blood on the lintels and door posts or the priests putting their foot in the Jordan. It came by hearing the “word’ of the Lord.  Then applying that word in obedience and with faith.

Faith I am learning does not mean not having fear but surrendering that fear unto the obedience of  casting down thoughts and imaginations at the feet of Christ. It takes a wilderness experience to practice it and to get quiet so I can diligently seek Him. It takes the understanding of applying the blood of the Lamb. The wonder of it is supernatural not understood completely … just believed in heart, mind and spirit. He does the rest for us via the Holy Spirit.

When having the privilege of spending this years Passover with teacher and hearer of the Word , my friend Shirley.. she lead us in scripture from Genesis to Revelation of the Messianic scriptures in the Bible and how Yeshua or Jesus is to be seen as the essence of “Passover “.

This was a “revelatory” experience for me and the others present as well from what they have shared. For me, it has been a new as He said, I will make all things new… spiritually something changed.  I cannot put this into words but I believe it is to discover the return to innocence by embracing the whole WORD about the LAMB of GOD– Yeshua.

Here is the challenge — not to lose this place of understanding in the “cares of this world”. To be wheat-growing strong not to be shifted like “chaff”.  For He is coming soon for the Great Harvest.
May I be found worthy and “standing” …

Blessings of the Resurrection to you today~

Selah

11 Revelation Song By Kari Jobe

10 Kadosh The Hebrew singing of this song from the album on the Road to Jerusalem will bless you … enjoy~