Intangible Wealth for the New Year

Many are waking up this morning with a deep sigh of relief. We made it to 2021. The hope is high that everything is going to be better than 2020. I have seen memes and cartoons expressing the expectations for 2021. But there was one that really stood out to me. The basic message was we were putting too much pressure on 2021. What magically changes because the calendar flipped a page?

I woke up this morning with this thought. I pray for all of us the intangible wealth that is available to us. I pray that we all are blessed with peace of mind, good health, love, true and honest relationships, a focus on those things that benefit not only ourselves but society at large. When we do this one person at a time within our sphere of influence, 2021 stands a chance at giving us all those things for which we hope. In other words, give to others what you hope to get. Sounds familiar doesn’t it. “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Love your neighbor. The scripture says as you love yourself but many of us don’t love ourselves. So learn to love yourself but while you are learning, love others.

Eliminate the hate speech. We can disagree and discuss without it. Stop the name calling and labeling. You don’t like the negative adjectives used to describe or label you, so don’t lay on others. “Christians” stop with the self-righteous attitudes and behaviors. We have just as much sin in our lives as those we condemn. Let he who has no sin cast the first stone. He gave His life for those you condemn just as He did you. We were instructed to love not condemn. Condemnation hasn’t worked so let’s try His plan, Love. Loving someone doesn’t mean you necessarily agree with the person but you stand a greater chance of them hearing you when you are kind and nonjudgemental. The more I study Y’shua, the more I realize we have been doing it all wrong, so I proffer a change. If His Spirit really lives in you, allow Him to manifest His fruit in your lives and watch what happens to you and those around you.

So let’s give 2021 a chance and let’s do better. Let’s treat each other well. Let’s enjoy that intangible wealth that awaits us and brings more joy and enjoyment in our lives.

A Quiet Love Celebration

I was reminded today of the depth of love I have for my husband. Sometimes fatigue and a feeling of helplessness makes you impatient. Consistent rest is not something I get often. But this last week has been especially tiring. The last two nights 4 hours combined. But it was Christmas. This morning the emergency room became my Christmas celebration venue. Once I was there I forgot how tired I was. My husband’s care became my focus. Sitting in his emergency room watching him fluctuate between sleep and sharp pain, pierced my heart. Love overwhelmed me. He said this is the best party. You are together.

Love conquers all.

We usually think of wrongdoing but this time it conquered fatigue. I was ready for battle with the medical system which is sometime unreasonable. I was ready but it was not necessary. I guess that was my Christmas present.

Love was present. Love allowed me to be blessed and to be a blessing to some of the staff. Most of all, love sustained me. Love used the arms of my children and church family to hold me.

Now I am resting in love’s arms completely at peace. I miss my husband though not worried.

Thank you love for your birth, your life, your resurrection.

I had a very blessed Christmas Celebration.

Who Do You SPEAK Like I Am?

What does our daily behavior say about who we believe Yeshua (Jesus) is? Many believers would say He is their Savior. Many believers would say they believe He is Jehovah Incarnate. He is the Son of the Living God. They would declare His deity and worthiness to be praised. If we believe any of this to be true why do we so easily violate Jehovah’s commandment.

NOTE: Before you get on some spiritual high horse and begin to assign labels, I am not a Jehovah’s Witness. At least not in regards to the religious group. I simply prefer to use the Hebrew names and designations.

Now back to my point. We say Yeshua is precious to us and He is our Jehovah Elohim and King, so why do we use His name as an expletive. You know what I mean. We yell JESUS CHRIST! as easily as some say OH, Damn! We allow it, us believers. If Buddha or Mohammed was used in such a way there would be cries around the world. Question: Why doesn’t our God get the same respect. Answer: Because we don’t respect Him and we don’t demand He be respected.

Many of us who grew up in church or around church people were told, “Do not use the Lord’s name in vain”. We didn’t know or understand all of the ramifications of doing that but being told not to do it was enough. But what are the ramifications. The Amplified Version of the Bible enlightens us on the meaning of the Hebrew words used in the text. It says don’t use His name frivolously or profanely or in false affirmations or He, the LORD will not hold him guiltless. The Message Bible speaks in our every day language, If you use God’s name irreverantly He won’t put up with it. Where there is guilt there is judgment. When God judges there is some kind of sentence exacted. We jokingly say we will be spanked by God but do we really want to be spanked by God? He has the discretion to punish us as He sees fit. He knows what will get our attention. For us hard headed people, it’s more severe. So why do we do it? Why do we allow it?

I have asked some people what would they do if He answered. They all looked at me with this bewildered look like if who answered. The conversation went something like this.

Me: What would you do if He answered?

Them: If who answered?

Me: You called Jesus didn’t you? What would you do if He answered?

Them: I didn’t think about that. It is just a saying.

Me: No, you called God. What would you do if He answered?

Some people apologized, Others just looked at me like I was crazy. Oh, by the way, some of these people said they were Christians.

If we want respect from the world for ourselves and our God, then we have to respect ourselves and our God, our Jehovah Elohim, our crucified and resurrected Yeshua!

Exodus 20:7 (AMP)
7  You shall not use or repeat the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, lightly or frivolously, in false affirmations or profanely]; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Exodus 20:7 (MSG)
7  No using the name of GOD, your God, in curses or silly banter; GOD won’t put up with the irreverant use of his name.

New Levitical Insight

Not Just a Sacrifice

All those dead animals over and over again. How many times will that list be repeated? It’s the same no matter which offering. That’s what I thought. I was so wrong. There was a greater significance. I believe it is more than a sacrifice for sin. Recently I completed a study on covenant; Covenant from God’s perspective. It is through this lens I have reread Leviticus.

This began with a study of the minor prophets. It became clear that I wasn’t sure specifically which of God’s laws Israel had violated in each prophets case. I decided to take a deep breath and jump into Leviticus. I was determined to struggle through the descriptions of the animals being sacrificed. My mind began to see through the lens of covenant, that God had given the Israelites a method to renew the covenant with Him that they had broken. When Moses presented the Law to them they agreed to do all that God commanded. God knew that however pure their intent, they would fail. Their merciful God gave them a way to repair the relationship and keep covenant with Him.

So when you read Leviticus, see each animal that is laid on the altar before God, not only as a sacrifice. Don’t see it as a fulfillment of a command only. See God’s mercy. See His love for people. See His desire to keep His promises that are based on their obedience or keeping their end of the covenant.

It amplifies even more the sacrifice Yeshua made for me. I am given a way to remain in covenant relationship with God because He knows my frailties and He extends mercy to me. He has loves me and desires to keep His promises that are based on my obedience.

More than a sacrifice!

Did I Miss The Point

Dr. James Cleveland penned a song many years ago based on an event recorded in the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. I think we are most familiar with Mark’s account because it gives more information. In Mark 4:35-41 we are told of Yeshua asleep on a boat with his disciples when a storm arose. The boat seemed in inevitable danger of being destroyed along with all aboard. Yet Yeshua slept. The disciples freaked out. How can he lie there asleep when we are going to die?

The disciples went to Him and woke Him up saying don’t you care that we are about to die. Implied was a cry for Him to Do something. So He got up and said to the winds and the waves, Peace. Be Still. He then looked at them and said “Why are you fearful. How is it that you have no faith?”

All my life the emphasis in hearing teaching and preaching on this text has been on Peace. Be Still. But I think we missed the most important lesson. Yeshua was in the boat. They had seen miracles performed by him. They had seen people healed, demons cast out but they still did not understand who He was. However, they knew if He were awake He could do something. The lesson I believe we missed is, He was in the boat. He did not have to be physically awake. The winds and waves knew their master and the mere fact that He was in the boat protected the passengers in the boat. If the boat capsized, He was there to save them. So the storm did not matter.

Protected because Yeshua was in the boat. Is He in my boat? Is He in your boat? If He is, do I have the faith to believe nothing is going to happen to me that He doesn’t allow and that He hasn’t prepared me for? Do I have the faith to be at PEACE in the storm? Can I BE STILL even if the storm doesn’t?

Began Yogurt Experience

When I gave up dairy I discovered how much I liked yogurt and cheese. Good tasting non-dairy cheese is hard to find. Non-dairy yogurt was almost impossible. Only certain stores carried it and they were not close to me. I discovered recipes from other vegans. Some were good and others not so much. Of course the good tasting were not time friendly. A few weeks ago I found a vegan cheese recipe that was simple so I decided to try it. I had already bought 1 young coconut but the recipe called for 6. I thought this is a trial and trying to get the meat from one was hard much less 6. I understood why most of the recipes used coconut cream or milk. I used the meat from the one I had and added a cup of dry coconut flakes and a cup of water. It never got it as silky smooth as I wanted I pureed this mix in my Vitamix. I wanted it raw but in my efforts to get it silky smooth the Vitamix heated it up. I did not add sweetener. I added some pure vanilla extract. I put the mix in a glass container and added the probiotic tablet. It was warmer than I thought. I was afraid I killed the bacteria in the tablet. Fortunately enough survived to ferment the coconut blend.

It worked. I have yogurt in my life once again. It tasted good but I would like some without the coconut flavor. What else can I use besides nuts to make yogurt? Seeds maybe? Anyone have a suggestion?

Coconut yogurt

NO REGRETS!

Always Some Regret

One day during my early 20s I stood in the middle of my livingroom and announced to myself that when I am old, I didn’t want to regret look back on my life and have regrets. My thoughts reminded me of Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken. That day I stood at my metaphorical fork in the road. Do I take that path or the other one. I look back on my life now and realize there will always be some regret. I do have “what if” thoughts. If I had gone down the other path, would I have been successful and satisfied in that other career. Very possibly because my hobbies bring me such joy. The down side is I most likely would not have met my husband. I would not have been a step-mother. That brought with it joy and pain. I would not have given birth to these two amazing children. I probably would not have lived the life I have led with all of its ups and downs. The life that has brought me so much joy. I would have regretted missing this. Ah, but how would I know?

I may not be able to have that long dream career but I can enjoy many aspects as my hobbies. One of them I am getting to share with my youngest grand-daughter. I have no regrets.

I realize in my new middle aged wisdom that regret is inevitable. Regardless of what you decide there will be some regret. It is a waste of time and energy wondering what was down that other path. All of the experiences on this path are profitable to make you a better, stronger, happier person. I know some of you have a very rough life and can’t imagine anything profitable coming from it. But it can. First, learn from the situation. Change what you can that is beneficial to you. You have been made strong from it. You may not realize it but you have. Second for the the things you can’t change do the best you can to work them for your benefit. The situation may not change but you will.

Accepting that no decision will create a perfect life brings a healthier state of mind. Shake off the what ifs and focus on what’s in front of you.

Enjoy the road taken.

“Better” Micro-Living

To begin my “Better” I completed several chores from my To Do list. You know those  nuisance things that keep getting placed on the low priority list. I also began organizing my projects. I am determined to enjoy my life inspite of the environment I live in. There are hobbies I enjoy that have been put on hold. They are released in my “Better.” My macro-environment has become toxic. So I will make the micro- as healthy as possible. First I asked myself what would my environment look like if there was no Covid 19 or weekly  unnecessary deaths or increased anger and hatred? What would it be like if it wasn’t a presidential election year? Is it possible to create this space and yet remain aware of the happenings. Knowing what’s going on is very stressful.  But we have to know to make wise decisions.

I have been given the ability to disassociate emotionally after I have been hurt by someone I trusted. I call it a gift because I can remain in a decent relationship with them without the concern of being hurt again. I don’t hold grudges and I don’t remain angry.   I have to figure out how to mentally disassociate and still remain aware.

Jehovah God’s got this. I believe by faith I am his child. If I believe those two things my shield of faith can be enlarged to protect me from the darts of all this madness.

Yep. That’s the ticket. Now to begin the process. Yes it is a process. Just can’t flip a switch. My goal is to be in the know without the stress. I’m entering my “Better.”

Trying To Lift Without Leverage

A few minutes ago I was trying to help lift my husband from a very soft sofa. For those who know us know that is no easy feat. He is 6’7″ at 240lbs and I am 5’4″ and we want talk about the other 😂. We have a system and he wasn’t using it. He removed my leverage. Once we got back on the same page I was able to help him stand.

I began thinking about this principal’s application in other areas of my life, our lives. No matter how hard we try we can not be lifted nor can we lift anyone else without proper leverage. There are different leverages:money, knowledge, physical strength, strategy and the Word and Spirit of God.

For those of us who are believers of the teachings of Yeshua, I believe we have the ultimate, the maximum leverage. The power promised to us is our leverage. This power is based and saturated in love but it should be handled with care. It is as explosive as nitroglycerin.

Let’s learn to use this powerful leverage with knowledge and wisdom, compassion, empathy and love. Not just for fellow believers but for those who don’t believe His teachings; for those who hate us; for those who live by different lifestyles or rules. This leverage does not give us the right or responsibility to condemn those that may have a different belief system. Yeshua said to share His teachings and love and He would draw all to Himself.

With this leverage we can lift many and ourselves to higher heights.

The Deal Who Really Wins?

Determine who are the powerbrokers. Determine what issue or person is important to them. That’s the hot button. Exploit it. Push the button.

When the powerbrokers are focused on getting or maintaining power over that button they are totally blind to everything else. That one button is the all to end all. Deals are made over the importance of controlling this button. If you ignore my other actions I promise you control of that button.

What are you willing to lose to control this one button? Will you give up the whole instrument panel for that one button. Much like Esau gave up his birthright for one bowl of soup, we may be giving up our humanity, our principles, our identity for an issue that can be handled in other ways if we choose to. But our greed, that’s another issue.

Think about it.