Saturday, July 30, 2011

Priority #3 - My Children - Sharpening Our Arrows

It's beginning to be about that time. We're getting ready to pack up My Diva and send her back to college.

These are some verses I've been thinking about concerning my children:

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries [in gatherings] at the [city's] gate." Psalm 127:3-5

I'm also getting ready to begin a new school year with Boy Wonder and Princess Butterfly. My Diva has been the guinea pig for higher learning so I can see the areas where my younger two need work.

After the stupidity of the California Governor signing into law a bill to teach gay history, I'm so glad I live in Texas where I can choose how to educate my own children. I am drawing inspiration from other pioneering educators like:

Mary McLeod Bethune

Curriculum at the school started as a rigorous Christian life, having girls rise at 5:30 a.m. for Bible Study, classes in home economics and other industrial skills such as dressmaking, millinery, cooking, and other crafts that emphasized a life of self-sufficiency. Students' days ended at 9 pm. Soon science and business courses were added, then high school courses of math, English, and foreign languages.

Marva Collins

Marva Collins uses the Socratic method, modified for use in primary school. The first step is to select material with abstract content to challenge students' logic, and that will therefore have different meaning to different students, in order to aid discussion. This is done specifically to teach children to reason.

Next, the teacher should read the material, because unknown material cannot be taught. New words, the words to watch, should be listed, and taught, for pronunciation, use and spelling before the material is read. Without this step, the reading is meaningless.

Next, one begins a series of pertinent questions as the reading progresses, starting with a reference to the title, and a question about what the material is about. Predictions should use logic, reasoning and evidence without fallacy. The reading must be out loud, so the teacher can ask questions at pertinent points. Students are taught to test their reasoning. Afterward, they write daily letters to the author or characters, and write a critical review. Why is the work important to them? The child must be taught to refer to what was previously learned to support their opinions.

In the Socratic method, the rate of information is controlled by the teacher. Properly paced, this encourages participation, reducing discipline issues and encouraging self-discipline. The program specifically avoids work-sheets and inane busy work. It establishes an intellectual atmosphere, a general attitude suspending judgment, and examining reasoning.

In the 1990s I was privileged to meet (in Okinawa of all places) the headmaster of The Piney Woods School in Mississippi, Dr. Charles H. Beady, Jr. Morley Safer of 60 Minutes had done a piece on the school. I was so impressed by their committment that the children of Piney Woods would become more than just statistics.

The fourth blessing in the weekday Amidah is a petition for knowledge and insight. It says, "You show favor to a man of knowledge, and You teach understanding to a mortal man. Be gracious to us; a mind of understanding and intellect is from You. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who favors us with knowledge."

Isaiah 54:13 in my three favorite versions of the scriptures.

New King James: "All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children."

Amplified: "And all your [spiritual] children shall be disciples [taught by the Lord and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children."

Complete Jewish Bible: "All your children will be taught by ADONAI; your children will have great peace."


New Friend Friday Link-up

Monday, July 25, 2011

Torah Study - Numbers (B'midbar) - Masei (Stages) - Question #2

Hoshana Rabbah
Is there a Gentile gate in New Jerusalem?

Numbers 34:1–35:8, Each tribe had its land allotment in the Promised Land. Where did the non-Israelite sojourners find their allotment? Were they left out? No. They were joined to one of the twelve tribes. Similarly, New Jerusalem has twelve gates only, named after the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev 21:12). Do you call yourself a Gentile and not an Israelite? Then tell me which gate you will enter through? The reality is that there is no “Gentile Gate” listed! Why is this?

Priority #2 - My Husband - My Favorite Wifely Scripture

Have you ever read I Peter 3:1-6 in the Amplified version? It is an EXTREMELY eye-opening experience:

IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,

When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him--to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].

Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes;

But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.

For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them].

It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].

I don't know about you, but I need to revisit this on a daily basis and remind myself of my purpose, to bring honor and glory to YHWH through my conduct towards my husband first, my children second, and all those for whom He allows to cross my path.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Torah Study - Numbers (B'midbar) - Masei (Stages) - Question #1

Would you like to study Torah with me? This is an idea I thought of while getting dressed this morning. I am getting ready to start my work shift. I'm going to post the study question from one of my favorite sites for this weeks' Torah portion, written by Ya’acov Natan Lawrence. I'm going to post it on Facebook at the beginning of my work shift. While I'm working, I will be meditating on the word. I will come back at the end of my shift to read your answers posted in the comment section.

Please stay on topic and be respectful in your comments. The entire study guide can be found at Hoshana Rabbah, as well as the kids' study guides.

This weeks' study is Parashat Masei. You will need to begin by reading Numbers 33:1-36:13.

Question #1:

From Numbers 33:1, These are the journeys. Israel was constantly on the move (42 times in all) during its trek through the wilderness. Each of these encampments has a Hebrew name associated with it. It is worthwhile to study the meanings of these names to gain insights as to the trials and obstacles Israel faced on her way to the Promised Land. Notice how Israel faced those trials, whether she trusted in YHVH or complained, and whether she trusted in YHVH’s provision or not. The trials and difficulties Israel faced in her journey through the wilderness is indicative of what believers will face in their physical lives as they journey toward their promised spiritual inheritance. Even though Israel followed YHVH’s glory cloud, the way was not easy. Likewise, as we are faithful followers of Yeshua, we will suffer trials and even persecution.

Though following YHVH is not an easy walk, he promises to lead us, protect us and to meet our needs. He also promises a glorious future (our spiritual Promised Land) for those who overcome the world, the flesh and the devil through faith in him by his strength and grace!

As you have ventured from traditional Christianity into the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith and begun to adopt a more biblical lifestyle, how has this affected your life?

A stationary existence is the fate of those following the dictates of religious institutions that define the kingdoms of men. On the other hand, for those who are following the glory cloud of YHVH there must be a never-ending and passionate pursuit of YHVH, constant growth, and constant onward and upward movement.

Is your faith grounded in men, institutions, creeds, rituals and in man-made doctrines or in the Creator of the universe?

Once we have reached our spiritual Promised Land, our wanderings will cease. Fix your eyes on that immovable spiritual goal and never take them off of it!


I didn't find all 42 camps in this section, but I did find 22 of them and I have them listed here with their Strong's concordance number:

1. Sukkoth (5523): the site where Jacob put up booths (tabernacles) for his cattle and built a house for himself; apparently east of the Jordan near the ford of the torrent Jabbok and later allotted to the tribe of Gad
2. Etham (864): "with them: their plowshare".
3. Marah (4785): "bitter". The spring with bitter water which was 3 days travel from the crossing place of the Red Sea in the peninsula of Sinai.
4. Elim (362): "palms". "Where there were 12 wells and 70 palm trees."
5. Red Sea (5488) and (3220): reed, rush, water plant
6. Wilderness of Sin (4057) and (5512):
1) wilderness
a) pasture
b) uninhabited land, wilderness
c) large tracts of wilderness (around cities)
d) wilderness (fig.)

2) mouth
a) mouth (as organ of speech)
Sin = "thorn" or "clay"

7. Dophkah (1850): "knocking."
8. Alush (442): "I will knead (bread)."
9. Rephidim (7508): "rests" or "stays" or "resting places." [No water. Fought with Amelek.]
10. Wilderness of Sinai (5514): Sinai = "thorny." The mountain where Moses received the Law from Jehovah; located at the southern end of the Sinai peninsula between the horns of the Red Sea; exact site unknown.
11. Paran (6290): "place of caverns."
12. Kadesh (6946): "holy." (Place of Miriam's death).
13. Hor (2023): "mountain." (Place of Aaron's death).
14. Zalmonah (6758): "shady."
15. Punon (6325): "darkness."
16. Oboth (88): "waterskins"
17. Ije-abarim (5863) = "ruins of Abarim"
18. Dibon (1769): "wasting or pining."
19. Almon-diblathaim (5963) = "concealing the two cakes" or hidden.
20. Mountains of Abarim (5682) = "regions beyond"
21. Plains of Moab (6160): Desert plain, steppe, desert, wilderness
22. Beth-jesimoth (1020): "house of the desolation"

Where are you on the journey? Are you camped out at the waters of Miribah, drinking from the pool of bitterness? Are you at Punon in a place of spiritual darkness? Are you camped out at Dibon, wasting away and pining for something you are not able to have? It is wise to study where the children of Israel were in these places so you can gain wisdom in learning how to get up from there. We are getting ready to go into Deuteronomy, my favorite book of the Torah. One of my favorite scriptures from here is, "The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have dwelt long enough on this mountain." Deut. 1:6 AMP

More on this Torah portion tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Priority #1 - My God - What We Believe

This is the quote that flicked my ear and started my heart on a journey to draw nearer to my sovereign Creator, Elohim.

Rev. Sam Pascoe put it like this: "Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise."

I had had enough of the enterprise of the American church. Having lived the first 12 years of my adult life outside of America, I was going to church but I knew I was starving. I was getting fed a genetically modified gospel. I knew there was real food out there but I needed to get back to the source. Like Elijah's journey in the wilderness to the mountain of God, I had to make that journey as well. I say "I" but Friend Hubby began his journey even before I did. He was ahead of me so I had to run to try to catch up. Along the way, we have picked up others who are hungry as well.

A sweet older sister in the Lord brought this to our fellowship. It is from a ministry called One Stick...Etz Echad. It pretty much sums up what we have studied and come to believe. You may have to do some research if you are unfamiliar with some of the terms.

YHWH, the Elohim of Yisrael, is the Creator of all the universe and all things. He is the Most High… and is above all things. He is Light… He is Love… He is Life. He is echad… a perfect unity. He is the Father who spoke forth the material world and universe through His word… His Memra… His living word.

Yehoshua is YHWH the Son, the Memra of Yah, the arms of YHWH reaching into the material world… the living Word. He was before all things and all things were created through Him. He was with Yisrael in the wilderness and is with us still. He is the Shepherd King, the Suffering Messiah: ‘Mashiach ben Yosef’ and the soon to be reigning Messiah/King: ‘Mashiach ben David’. He is one Mashiach coming two times. He came the first time to suffer for all Yisrael, to forgive us all – both Yehudah and Ephrayim and any gentile who believes in Him - of our sins, and to bring Ephrayim back from divorce and being cut off from the covenant. He is the High Priest of heaven and carries all Yisrael on His heart, even as the breastplate. He carries all Yisrael on His shoulders, even as the two remembrance stones. He intercedes before the throne of YHWH, the Mercy Seat, by His own blood. He will come to rule and reign as King. He is in the order of Melchizedek, both Priest and King. This is why those who believe in Him are called a royal priesthood, because our Head is in the order of Melchizedek. We are royal as in kings and a priesthood as in priests, because our Mashiach is both THE King and THE High Priest.

His Ruach haKodesh has come to indwell those who believe in Mashiach Yehoshua and are ‘born again’. His Ruach haKodesh opens His word to us so that we understand Him, His ways, His purposes in and through Mashiach. His Ruach haKodesh is sent to convict us, comfort us, show us what is to come, to help us to pray and to come beside us to instruct and teach us all things as His great menorah shining upon the showbread of His Spirit-breathed Word.

Believers in Yehoshua the Mashiach are part of all Yisrael. This is not ‘replacement theology’ but ‘embracement theology’, for Yehudah, the Jewish people, are ‘the other half’ of His people. All Yisrael will be redeemed. We are part of His called out assembly, His kehillah, His ekklesia, not a gentile creation built on a Roman foundation that mixes paganism with His true set-apart ways, but an assembly built on Messiah and His Torah, which are one. All Yisrael supped with Him at Sinai, and this was a foretaste of the coming Wedding Supper.

The Torah, beautifully surmised in the spoken and written Ten Words, is eternal. His Ten Words are the Two Tables of the Two Great Commandments that Yehoshua rightly spoke of: ‘Sh’ma Yisrael! YHWH your Elohim, YHWH is one. Love YHWH your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. This is the first and greatest command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The Messianic summation of His Torah does in no way remove the fullness of His good instruction, but helps us prioritize our LOVES… and love of HIM comes FIRST. Only by putting ‘first things first’ and loving Him above all, can we truly love our neighbor. LOVE is the motivation of a heart that wants to obey. He showed us His love by sending His Son for us, and we show Him our love through obedience to Him and His set-apart word.

Shabbat, His set-apart day, is still the Seventh Day. This is the fourth of His Ten Words. Yehoshua did not change this as He clearly said that Shabbat was made for man. This was never changed. His Moedim, His appointed times are Shabbat, Pesach/Passover, Shavuot/Pentecost, Yom Teruah/Day of Trumpets, Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles. Every important event will happen on His Moedim. Easter and Christ Mass are pagan mixtures, and He is now calling us out of all Babylonian/Roman practices and returning us to Tsiyon living, in preparation of the coming King! We are ‘following the Lamb wherever He leads us on’!

Yehoshua came to put the Ten Words in our minds and to write them on our hearts… to be loved, embraced and obeyed out of a grateful heart. Obedience to His loving instruction does not save us, but is a response to His salvation. Yehoshua came to save us, deliver us, and His Torah by His Ruach haKodesh is to sanctify us… prepare us to be His Bride without wrinkle, spot or any blemish… blameless. His Torah is the Bridal Mikveh. This is the ‘washing of the water of the word’ that the Bride must partake of to be ready for the Bridegroom.

The Messiah Yehoshua came as the Living Torah, to show us how to live out His Torah and brought us the ability to do so. This is why Yohanan wrote that He came full of truth and grace… full of the Truth of His instruction/His word, and the Grace, ability, to live it. He never intended or came to ‘abolish the Torah’ and, in fact, says, ‘Don’t think that’ in Mattithyahu 5:17-19. Therefore, He is renewing our minds to this truth, and we no longer ‘think that’, as He instructs.

The Hebrew culture and ways that emerge from Scripture exist because these are His ways. Abram was from Chaldea and was called to ‘cross over’ (‘Eber… Hebrew’) out of Babylon and into Tsiyon, and to learn of Him. We are still being called to do so. We must ‘leave’ to ‘cleave’.

Messiah came and gave His life for this twofold purpose: to save and to prepare. The Blood leads to the Commands… even as the Tabernacle and Temple so clearly portrays. From the brazen altar to the altar of incense to the blood sprinkled on the Ark of the Covenant, there is a trail of blood that leads to the Mercy Seat wherein rests His Ten Words. This is a picture of the Bridal Heart that contains His Ten Words, His Ketubah, the marriage covenant, which contains what He expects in a Bride. If we love Him, we will obey Him, and this shows Him our love. The heart that says ‘I do’ is the heart that ‘does’.

His Word is inspired by His Ruach haKodesh and is from Bereshith to Revelation. His Torah, His prophets, and His writings comprise the TaNaK, (Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim), and are applicable today. His Messianic writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and Yohanan reveal Yehoshua to be the Mashiach of all Yisrael, who came in perfect fulfillment of Scripture as the Suffering Messiah, ‘Mashiach ben Yosef’, and is coming again as the reigning King, the root and the offspring of David, ‘Mashiach ben David’. The apostolic writings further reveal Him in fullness and are to instruct Yehudah, returning Ephrayim, and ‘former gentiles’ in how to now be part of Yisrael in and through the Messiah. Even as Yehoshua explained in Luke 24, He comes to open our minds to understand His Scriptures, and we are to study them in His good order: Torah, Prophets, Writings and the rest of Scripture. There is no ‘Old Testament’ and ‘New Testament’. This is a wall of separation of Scripture that was imposed by man. He has one, beautiful, Spirit-breathed word. This false separation has served only to keep the torn tabernacle of David separated, but now He is restoring His Word, His Name, His People, His land, His City.

There are Two Houses of all Yisrael, both Yehudah and Ephrayim, that were separated and are the ‘torn tabernacle of David’ that He is, right now, repairing. His new or renewed covenant is with His two houses, and all who believe in Messiah Yehoshua become part of His Yisrael. Yehudah, for the most part, has kept their identity through the embracing of Torah and His set-apart Shabbat and Moedim. They were charged with keeping His Word and although they have added much through traditions of men, they have kept the Torah and TaNaK intact. Many a rabbi shed his blood to keep the Torah scrolls from being lost. Yehudah has been persecuted for centuries for being the bearer of Torah, as the enemy has sought to snuff out the light of His word. Ephrayim owes Yehudah a debt of gratitude for this. They have kept the Torah burning for this time of restoration. Ephrayim was swallowed up by the nations and became as gentiles through divorce and assimilation. Even as Yonah was swallowed by a ‘great fish’, so Ephrayim was swallowed up and was brought to Assyria, whose capital is Nineveh . The ‘great fish’ also represents gentilized, Romanized Christianity in which Ephrayim has been. On the third day, Ephrayim is now being awakened to our Hebrew roots, but we have a job to do… to cry out to ‘ Nineveh ’, ‘REPENT’ and ‘COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE’ and ‘INTO TSIYON’! This is a great task that Ephrayim has been sent forth to do through all the nations, proclaiming the good news of Messiah Yehoshua and the kingdom come. The Kingdom restored to Yisrael. Although Ephrayim has added traditions of men and removed obedience to His Torah, for the most part Ephrayim has kept the Light of the World, Messiah, burning. Yehudah owes a debt of gratitude to Ephrayim for keeping the witness of Messiah for this time of restoration. Many a believer has lost their life through preserving His witness… faithfully. Yehoshua fulfilled the ‘Yonah prophecy’, so that this might come to pass, as He spent three days and nights in the belly of the earth for all Yisrael, but was resurrected on the third day. The two witnesses of both Yehudah and Ephrayim will come together at the end of the age, on the third day… the two olive trees of Zekaryah 4. This company of witnesses will culminate in two persons who will powerfully prophesy at the end of the age, according to Revelation 11.

But His order is clear in Ezekiel 37, that first, He is grabbing Ephrayim and straightening us out to be joined with Yehudah, whom He will also straighten out. This ‘straightening out’ includes the removing of things added and the restoring of things removed from His true and good instruction and His Messiah… His two lights which are one. Messiah has been presented as Greek, even as Yosef looked like an Egyptian, who is a type of the Suffering Servant, known as the ‘Mashiach ben Yosef’. But in this time of ‘the restoration of all things’, He is taking off the ‘Egyptian garb’, and we, His brethren, are recognizing Him for the Hebrew He truly is… the Lion of the Tribe of YEHUDAH! THE KING OF THE JEWS! He will further ask all the Egyptians to leave the room, as He Himself will reveal Himself to His brethren. He will receive all the glory due Him. He will say, ‘Come near to Me… I am your Brother.’

All Yisrael will look on Him whom we have all pierced, because of our sin. No one took His life, He laid it down. And this was done exactly the way it was supposed to be done. When the Roman cohort, numbering between 400-600, came to take Yehoshua in Gat Shemen, the Garden of Gethsemane , they asked Him if He was Yehoshua. He answered, ‘I AM He!’ and the most hardened troops that have ever thundered across the earth fell back, because Yehoshua released His heavenly AUTHORITY! Once great Rome had regrouped, He answered again, veiling His divine power and gave Himself to them. He then gave His life on an Olive Tree, the ‘tree of suffering’, for all the Olive Tree to be one forgiven, redeemed people… Am Yisrael.

Ultimately, all Yisrael will be reconciled, redeemed, restored, reunited, resurrected and live together as one nation, with one King, in Yisrael, with Messiah ruling and reigning from Yerushalayim. This is the One Etz… the one stick… the One Tree… the Olive Tree… restored of Yirmeyahu 11 and Romans 11… the One New Man. Yehudah and Ephrayim will be one stick… one etz… one tree… in His hand. Yehoshua ha Mashiach died on the Olive Tree for the Olive Tree… to bring us together as one. Only YHWH can find His assimilated people in and through the good Shepherd King Yehoshua, and this brings Him great glory. He is gathering all Yisrael as the Shepherd of all Yisrael. He called to me by His loud, audible voice in 1996, calling ‘Ephraim!’ From that day forward, everything changed. He is supernaturally drawing and regathering all Yisrael. This return to Hebrew roots is not through reading some person’s book or through some person’s efforts… it is not a ‘movement’ of men! It is the time of RESTORATION of all things spoken of by the prophets! (Acts 3:19-21) Because heaven is readying to release the Messiah to RETURN… but the RESTORATION comes first. We must cooperate with Him in this. He is also going to restore all the land of Yisrael , Eretz Yisrael, and the return of His Jewish people is according to Scripture which says that the tents of Yehudah will be established first. Yerushalayim belongs in Jewish hands. And Ephrayim is called to be His watchmen. HalleluYAH!

Again, we are in the time of ‘the restoration of all things’ spoken of by the written prophets as Kepha declared in Acts 3:19-21, in preparation of the release of the King from heaven, who will return to rescue His Bride, to mete out judgment to the nations, and to rule and reign the earth for a 1,000 years from Yerushalayim. He will then enforce His Torah, with a rod of iron. The true Bride is not forced, but is that company who is now obeying out of love of the Bridegroom.

YHWH has one covenant nation… Yisrael.

YHWH says His eyes and His heart will always be in one city… Yerushalayim. He sees everything from this perspective, hovering over His City.

All Yisrael will know their Mashiach Yehoshua.

All Yisrael will walk in obedience to His Torah, His loving instructions.

All Yisrael will be saved and sanctified as His Bride.

The Bride has a part to play… she must make herself READY.

And that time is upon us…

…it is NOW.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Priority #6 - My Ministry - What Not to Say

Recently on Facebook I read about a homeschooled young man who had paid the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our country. As both a homeschool mom and a bereaved parent I feel both sadness and honor for the parents of this young man.

Some well-meaning people posted their condolences at the site and one particularly was a woman who gave the usual platitude, "We know he's in a better place" and I began to cringe. There have been grieving parents on this earth since Adam and Eve, and yet we don't take the time to learn what to say and not to say to grieving parents. Losing Dancing Angel was the most painful thing that I have ever experienced in my life. Many, many people offered our family kind words and did wonderful things to help support our family. Unfortunately, years later what sticks in our minds are the ignorant things that at that time added to our pain.

This information is readily available on the internet, but few there be that find it. From the website for the American Hospice Foundation, here is a list of things NOT to say to a grieving parent:

Comments to avoid when comforting the bereaved

"I know how you feel." One can never know how another may feel. You could, instead, ask your friend to tell you how he or she feels.

"It's part of God's plan." This phrase can make people angry and they often respond with, "What plan? Nobody told me about any plan."

"Look at what you have to be thankful for." They know they have things to be thankful for, but right now they are not important.

"He's in a better place now." The bereaved may or may not believe this. Keep your beliefs to yourself unless asked.

"This is behind you now; it's time to get on with your life." Sometimes the bereaved are resistant to getting on with because they feel this means "forgetting" their loved one. In addition, moving on is easier said than done. Grief has a mind of its own and works at its own pace.

Statements that begin with "You should" or "You will." These statements are too directive. Instead you could begin your comments with: "Have you thought about. . ." or "You might. . ."

There is a lot of really good information on this page on how to practically help a grieving person. In our studies of Hebraic roots, we have learned that Hebrew is a much more concrete language. When it speaks of love, chesed, it is concerned with the practical acts of love not the mental ascent of love in our western thought. It is organizing meal preparation or childcare as opposed to sending a note saying, "Our thoughts are with you."

When I was in nursing school, I took a course called, "The Psychology of Death and Dying." Wouldn't you know it, I attended every class that semester EXCEPT for the class that dealt with the death of a child. At 19 years old, my reasoning was that I didn't think I could "handle" it. How ironic is that?

One of our texts was a book called "On Death and Dying" by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. It is helpful to know that there is no set time line for death. In her book, she states:

Mourning can go on for years and years.
It doesn't end after a year, that's a false fantasy.
It usually ends when people realize that they can live again,
that they can concentrate their energies on their lives as a whole,
and not on their hurt, and guilt and pain.

Because of this, if you are called to walk with a grieving person (what I call my "valley walking friends"), be prepared for a long walk, depending on the person.

Now, what is the likelihood that you or someone you know will become a grieving person? VERY likely, right? Arm yourself with knowledge so that you will conduct yourself with honor and be a blessing and not a curse.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Priority #5 - Myself - Crushing my Toes with Scripture

Okay, remember a couple of blogs ago I was sharing how I taught Princess Butterfly to put herself in the scripture to make sure her responses to situations were godly? Well, now it's my turn, only this time with Proverbs 31, Amplified version of course for the most of my toe-crushing pleasure.

10 {Donalacasa is} a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—{has Friend Hubby found one in me?} {I am} far more precious than jewels and {my} value is far above rubies or pearls.

11 The heart of {Friend Hubby} trusts in {me} confidently and relies on and believes in {me} securely, so that {Friend Hubby} has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.

12 {I} comfort, encourage, and do {Friend Hubby} only good as long as there is life within {me}.

13 {I} seek out wool and flax and work with willing hands [to develop it].

14 {I} am like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; {I} bring {my} household's food from a far [country].

15 {I} rise while it is yet night and get [spiritual] food for {my} household and assign {my} maids their tasks.

16 {I} consider a [new] field before {I} buy or accept it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of {my} present duties by assuming other duties]; with {my} savings [of time and strength] {I} plant fruitful vines in {my} vineyard. [S. of Sol. 8:12.]

17 {I} gird {myself} with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for {my} God-given task] and make {my} arms strong and firm.

18 {I} taste and see that {my} gain from work [with and for God] is good; {my} lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].

19 {I} lay {my} hands to the spindle, and {my} hands hold the distaff.

20 {I} open {my} hand to the poor, yes, {I} reach out {my} filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit].

21 {I} fear not the snow for {my} family, for all {my} household are doubly clothed in scarlet.

22 {I} make for {myself} coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. {My} clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made].

23 {Friend Hubby} is known in the [city's] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

24 {I} make fine linen garments and lead others to buy them; {I} deliver to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service].

25 Strength and dignity are {my} clothing and {my} position is strong and secure; {I} rejoice over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that {I} and {my} family are in readiness for it]!

26 {I} open {my} mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on {my} tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].

27 {I} look well to how things go in {my} household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) {I} will not eat.

28 {My Diva, Boy Wonder, and Princess Butterfly} rise up and call {me} blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and {Friend Hubby} boasts of and praises {me}, [saying],

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you, {Donalacasa}, excel them all.

30 Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman {like Donalacasa} who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, {she} shall be praised!

31 Give {me} of the fruit of {my} hands, and let {my} own works praise {me} in the gates [of the city]!

So how are YOUR toes feeling about now? Crushed like mine? Good! Let's grow together from here!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Priority #4 - My Home - Way too much Mary, Not nearly enough Martha

Okay. So I have looked over my last few posts in the area of home and realized, that I am not putting in as much effort as I should in the appearance and upkeep of my home. I am logging lots and lots of hours spent in the study of the word, but if I don't learn to apply it in a practical sense, all my efforts will be lost.

We were recently with a family member who traveled to help her daughter get settled in her new home. She was tireless (literally), hanging up pictures, arranging cabinets, fixing things, arranging, and organizing. I have been to the 3 homes this relative has lived in. They are always immaculate, and well decorated. Granted, I would have loved for her to stop her business for more than just the time it took to eat dinner and sit and visit. She's always fun to talk to, but I can see within myself where I need to pick up the pace a bit. Do I want to have lived in this beautiful home the Lord has blessed me with and only gotten use out of it on holidays?

A recent meditation on the books of Psalms and Proverbs drew my attention to the phrase, "righteous will flourish."

Proverbs 11:28 AMP, "He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident in his riches shall fall, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like a green bough."

Proverbs 14:11 AMP, "The house of the wicked shall be overthrown, but the tent of the upright shall flourish."

Psalm 92:12 AMP, "The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible]."

Psalm 72:7 CJB, "In His [the Messiah's] days, let the righteous flourish and peace abound, till the moon is no more."

The word for flourish used there is the Hebrew word, פָּרַח or parach, which means "to bud, sprout, shoot, bloom." I confess, I have not bloomed in my home as I should. By blooming, I mean that I feel there should not be a single room in my home that has not been touched by my creativity and energy.

To start, I have jumped back on the FlyLady wagon again this week. It has helped. I have finally gotten rid of all those socks that were faithfully sitting in a basket in the family room waiting for their mates to finally join them. I'm afraid they have perished in their waiting. I've dusted the livingroom and cleaned the water spots from the last rain storm off the atrium door in the family room. Proverbs 13:19a, "A desire accomplished is sweetness to the soul..."

So, pray for me. I hope to have some success stories for you in the future.