“Widening Our View”

As I was reading the Parsha “Tazria” (Torah portion Leviticus 12:1-13:59) for this week from a website Naaleh.com.

“In Tehilim (Hebrew for Psalms), King David asks Hashem, “Create for me a pure heart and renew within me a proper spirit.” (Psalms 51:10) The first step is to purify our hearts from all the accumulated blockages and impurities. Only then can we merit a proper spirit.”*1

If we were to take a trip in a helicoptor far above some of our busy highways in a large metropolis city that often make up of so many cities in our nation during specific times of the day referred to as “rush hour” we would see most times a parking lot of cars, buses and other vehicles backed up for miles. And if you were to look even further out away from the over passes, and intersections the traffic most doubtedly would be flowing a little easier, until they would reach these higher levels of traffic lanes and once again you would see the incandescent red tail lights or many miles. Some places have toll roads, or high capacity lanes which also end up being quite busy with more traffic. I’ve often thought of this as a “snap shot” of our arteries in our physical bodies.

Okay so its a bit unorthodox way of looking at life at times, but I do work in the medical field and its a occupational hazard. But the point that I am making here is from the quote earlier regarding “unclogging” the blockage that prevents us from a true relationship with HaShem. It is about the heart. A surgeon would either give medication to unblock a clogged artery that is causing the angina pain or heart attack, or if more serious do a angiocath surgery. A plumber would take a tool called a rooter or arm and go into the pipes to find whatever is preventing the flow of water down a drain. It just all depends on how much hardness there is as we take inventory of our own hearts health.

With Passover fast approaching and many who are practicing this Holy biblical feast with the many seders in homes or synagogues and congregations, we will be doing some very serious cleaning of all the Chametz (leaven) within our homes before this day. It is also a time to reflect on the children of Israel as they placed unblemished lambs blood over their doors in obedience. And telling how they passed through the waters of the Red Sea and going through the dessert for 40 years to Mount Sinai to receive a covenant and a betrothal to HaShem. Passing through those waters (mikvah) being renewed, reborn as a nation from a land of bondage and moving forward though enduring years of tests, failures, and triumphs, yet a generation entered into a land promised to Abraham and his children from the very beginning. This story is for many of us as we prepare for Passover. As we tell it, hear it or read about it, I reflect on how Yeshua (Jesus) also came to redeem, restore, and renew the covenant with us as HE was the Passover Lamb.

In order to open the spiritual clogs it is better to truly “widen our view” of where we are respectively to this time of year and clear out the leaven.

“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. And that ye put on the new man, which after Elohim is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:23-24

*1 http://www.naaleh.com/videos/documents//ToratImechaVolume3Number8ParshatTazria.pdf

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“Whats It Gonna Take?”

“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5 NASB)

When growing up in my younger years up through College I had been one who loved and enjoyed sports. One particular activity that kept my interest was Track and Field. Now mind you with a short stature and legs to go with it, I could not really be one for the short dashes and sprints that some of my class mates participated in. However I had been one for the field events such as javelin discuss, and shotput. Training still involved running. Each season prior to the spring, training would begin and we all had our specific regiments handed down from our coach to use as guidelines for the events we would be doing. In the beginning it was rough because out of training I personally did not keep up with the running or anything else. So starting back took some doing.

I recall going to the nearby college stadium and as I stood looking over the track itself I took in the view of the task ahead of getting back to running again. It was important to warm up with a mile or 2 before getting into the actual exercise or practice of throwing a discuss, then warm down with going up and down the bleachers. Once I mustered up enough motivation and gathered myself to get to the starting point, I would glance down first on the lines where I stood. Then realizing and counting how many laps it would take to be a mile and back to concentrate on the track itself just how far I needed to go. The only way I could get through each mile was take a quarter of the track at a time and looking down at my feet occassionally then back to gazing up just to make sure of the distance. For each lap I would do this until I had built up strength and my body had adjusted to the routine.

In all of that each and every week, day to day I would train to improve my level of skills, and ability to run without being out of breath with just a few feet. It took time but the pain from running and training lessened as time past. Although I could never really run faster than those who had the legs and speed but I certainly could finish the race and at the end of the day there is one fact that remained … that my physical strength, and level of endurance from the time I had started had much improved not to mention my level of confidence.

My point to all of this is that trial after trial that we face as individuals, each of us are put to the test in some way, that challenges us at another level. We are not really ready much of the time for these tests, but it is my belief that G-d has set up a means to train us for what is ahead. He would want us to rely on His voice, Spirit, and Word to guide us as we endure each day.

One passage comes to mind to end this blog and it is found in the Brit Hadashah (Renewed Covenant or New Testament) that I know many believers in Yeshua (Jesus) know by heart.

” 1) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2) Looking unto Yeshua, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Tree, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of YHVH.” Henrews 12:1-2

Golden Apples

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)   … “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it.” (Pro 15:23) 

 How many of us have stumbled on our words and ended up having the proverbial “foot in mouth” before the sentence rolled out of it? Or said something out of frustration, caused hurt to the other parties or person who was the recipient? I dare say and admit regrettably to more than my share of those moments. But it isn’t something that can be learned or practiced in preventing such an event. Speaking a word “in due season” is  truly like “apples of gold.” I am reminded of a verse in Isaiah when he said that he was a man who was taught and was given the “learned tongue”  to speak a good word to those who are weary. (Isaiah 50:4) 

This subject has been such a burning within my own heart that I felt to write regarding it. So much can be written here in regard to how our words that are formed in our mouths and spoken in either the form of life or death and affect those around us. It has been in my experiences that silence is best in many situations, and much thought must be given along with prayer to what we should say or not. It takes a person who is as Isaiah has said “learned” and one living each day awaiting for “instruction” from HaShem.

“On the lips of the discerning wisdom is found, But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding. ” Proverbs 10:13  These attributes in the individual who are discerning, carrying wisdom is one who isnt lacking in understanding. What is said regarding the person who have these qualities? Personally I would answer that question is one who is seasoned in G-ds word, in a leadership role such as of Moses, and Joshua. Timothy encourages men … “in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent be put to shame having nothing bad to say about us.” (1 Tim 2:7-8)

One particular phrase sticks plainly out in that last verse is “…sound in speech which is beyond reproach…” Oh how marvelous that is to have such a characteristic! If there is one lesson in all my years is that words cannot be taken back, or retrieved.  But it is in learning how to approach others with words that are spoken “in season or out” or is filled “with grace towards those who hear,” it is one who is wise, not walking in his or her own understanding, but in the Light of the Adonai!

Chazak!

 

 

     

     

“Foundation”

When we were beginning the plans to buy our house I had the task and for me it was the pleasure to go look at online examples, of the plans of some developers model homes. My husband and I went to a few models and many of course had different features depending on what size and price you wanted. But the one thing we were concerned about the most is the “soundness” of the structure or home itself. We wanted to know how well was this place built and if there could be any weaknesses we dont see. There was no way to see how a home began, so there was no way of knowing just how well it was put together. Finally we drove further away from where we lived, and found a nice community of homes from a well known developer. And as Paul Harvey Sr used to say, “And thats the rest of the story.”

So the house began to take on shape after the ground was prepared, and the concrete foundation poured. I have to tell you I was more excited about that foundation than watching the slats, boards, plumbing and wiring placed. I believe it was excitement to SEE this place where we will live. It was quite cool to really go each day (weather permitting) to watch how the pattern of this house we had chosen to take form. I had NO idea just how it would fit but the engineers knew and so did the contractors. I was really amazed just how a piece of paper, with numbers all over could bring about just this much.

In saying all of that, and I want to elaborate a bit here about this, and take it to a different level. In patterns, and in my own mind I began to draw a parallel to the TORAH. (Pentatuech, first five books of the Bible) The word Torah actually in the Hebrew language is transliterated as, “yarah.” (yaw-raw’). The actual meaning would be like an archer, or simply like in pointing an arrow that is set for a specific target. It also means instruction or teacher. 2 Timothy 3:16-17  most are familiar with that verse, but in this passage,  references what Torah is for the believer. The very foundation that we need to build upon is of a sound structure that become building blocks for daily living.  In the Bible there is much about the Torah that is foundational for us.  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for in righteousness. 17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

When the house was being built the guy who was the contractor foreman told us about this “Rod” that was set in the corner of the house so that the other parts of the house was set according to this “rod.” It was meant to prevent any part of the structure to lean or not line up properly. What he then mentioned was it would also make the house more apt to withstand high winds or storms because they had to set it several feet deep into the ground. You can imagine my own mind went reeling because I thought of how Torah was for my life and what it has been since being obedient to G-ds own structure of living. I was in total amazement with this pattern as I watched this house take on form.  house frame

I saw this rod as being much like a plumbline, a foundational stone, and the design of what Torah is for me personally. When I began that life,  meaning “keeping Sabbath” and the festivals (the best way I knew how) and desiring to be obedient to G-ds Word, it was like a “light” went on and within my own “spiritual structure,” if you will, and being adjusted and placed in line with that “Rod,” “the plumbline” and the “foundational Stone.”

 I want to stop here but leave a verse as I love to do and take special note to the words “…a sure foundation, he that believeth shall not make haste.” I will be addressing from now on will be more about a Torah way of LIFE, according to this blogger which has been so “foundational,” and life changing for me. May HE bless you.

“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” Isa 28:16

“Instruction Manual”

Many years ago, when I first began my walk with the L-rd, I had little understanding of the Bible. Oh how there was just so much to learn, I wanted to know it all at once. Have you ever felt like that? Its kind of like getting a new TV, or electronic device of some sort (I use those examples because of our High techies of our day) and open the box and proceed to put things together without a gander at the instructions. I was much like that coming into a New Life and relationship with a Messiah of 35 years and now call Him by His Hebrew name “Yeshua” (Jesus). So its been quite a journey of many “zigs and zags,” and some years were just down right flying by the seat of my britches and at times losing sight of that “right” path. That is what happens when the instruction manual gets put aside, and we try to piece our life together part by part, and bit by bit, with no way of knowing what parts connect to what. That was like my own personal life.
 
I was raised in a home that whenever the doors of the Church opened, we were there. My family being Baptist was involved in all aspects of the services and  functions of the church. And in the years through College and into being on my own with a career, and even marriage, the upbringing that I had followed me through life because of the standards that were taught regarding scripture is our guideline and true authority. I am of the belief that there are cycles for each believer if there is a true desire to find who they are in their relationship with G-d to seek after truth. I prayed many years ago to know HIS heartbeat, and to hear His words as never before. To draw me deeper into Himself because I wanted more than anything to KNOW Him above all else. Material things didnt matter because those were fleeting. Today I can firmly say this that HE has revealed Himself in knowing and learning to walk in His commandments. David said it best, “Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.” (Ps 119:66)
Selah

 

 

 

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“…Redeeming the time.”

There really isnt a lot to talk about other than I’ve just started this new blog from my other one and incooperated the other to this one from the encouragement of a friend. When doing these sort of things its like “so what do I say, right? ” Its not always so simple especially for a woman. (Okay I can hear a few of the men under their breath, “isnt that the truth.”) But suffice it to say a blog does cause me to ponder enough to write. Someone told me that it is like a window into a persons life. I never thought of it that way but it really is. I have another friend who loves to read a lot of blogs, and I admire her for that because you do learn a lot about so many things, as she has shared with me and others. Some blogs are about gardening, or one that stands out in my mind is about a journalist who did a documentary of soldiers in Afganistan. He put videos on his blogs and they were very surreal and some heart breaking. But I did learn about the life of those men in Afganistan through the “window” of that journalists life.

Well anyway this is just a start for the year 2010 and I will post more at a later time. I will leave you with this passage in scripture, that at present comes to my mind.  That verse will be some of the basis by which I will write about later.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

Shalom

A Special Moment in Time

As we enter into a season (fall) and Holy days such as Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Feast of Tabernacles, one of many thoughts cross my own mind, and that is with regards to my relationship with G-d, where am I standing with Him at this very moment. My front door faces eastward and there is a big 2 story house just across from us. My front door is partly stain glass and what I love about this time of year and season is how the Sun shines through that glass and into my dining room. Yesterday as I looked out I stood and said the “Shema,” my heart was just blessed to honor Our Most High with that prayer. Regrettably, many times I dont say it as its not a habit I’ve formed at all. But this was a moment I treasure first thing in the morning and facing Israel to bless HaShem and to say the words of “Hear O Israel, the L-rd is Our G-d, the L-rd is One! (Echad) Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever! Omein