Saturday, April 1, 2017

Keeping the Appointments

Happy 7th Day! It's the first Sabbath of the New Biblical Year and Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits are just around the corner. I thought I'd pop in here and mention the Torah Portion and some info on the Appointed Times in general or on Passover specifically, but I'm feeling led to focus on something off topic... or actually... maybe it's not off topic at all.
I've been drawn towards studying the Fruits of the Spirit lately. It's certainly not the first time. For most Bible believers this is a well known passage in Galatians. Years ago I wrote a study on it for my kids. I'll have to dig that out again. But this time, perhaps in readying my heart for Passover, I'm seeing it new and differently. If you look at the end of Galatians 5, you see those familiar verses--
22 But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self control; against such there is no law.


How many times have I set out myself or with my kids to study these in order, plan to pursue each of them, get this whole living in a spirit thing sorted out... but often I fizzle out after joy... a few times we've made it to patience...
Am I alone here? Always with such great intentions...
But then over the last couple weeks the rest of the chapter hit me...
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by a Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
(And because I try to ignore chapter breaks since these are letters and not actually originally written in chapter and verse I keep going...)
6:1 Brothers if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you to be tempted. Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.....
At at some point I realized I might be jumping into walking out the fruits of the spirit backwards. Maybe it's as a mom homeschooling her boys that the correcting in gentleness part stood out at me, but I began thinking what if this is where we began. And then move backwards through not envying one another or provoking one another or becoming conceited. If we can understand and walk out those things how much easier will it be to be self-controlled, and gentle, and faithful, and good, and kind, and patient, peaceful, joyful, and loving?
And as I said in the beginning, perhaps this isn't so off topic. Earlier in chapter 5, Paul does talk about a little leaven leavens the whole lump. It's the old leaven we need to be purging that old leaven homes in preparation for the Feast that begins next Monday.
In 1 Corinthians 5 as Paul is correcting another set of believers, he talks about their boasting not being good. And he asks "Do you not know that A little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump as you are really unleavened. For Christ, Our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of Sincerity and Truth."


So, in case you're new to all of this , the main preparation for the Feast of Unleavened Bread which begins simultaneously with the Passover meal on Monday evening, is ridding our homes of Leaven. In biblical times this was usually a dough starter (hence the reference to lumps), but now many people carry this out by removing yeast and yeast products from their homes. Some people go as far as to rid every leavening agent from their household. Part of what makes this practice so meaningful in our home is when we miss bread or crumbs or a stash of cookies we had forgotten about. It's always a good object lesson into being careful to examine the corners of our hearts for sin that we've looked passed, for malice that we've gotten used to seeing and living with.
And to be honest, I think it's that very last part of Galatians 5 and I may have gotten used to living with with recently. Correcting without gentleness, provoking the people I live with, thinking more highly of myself than I ought to. Perhaps it's in trimming those low dead branches but the rest of the fruit can be nourished.
What may have felt like scattered thoughts at first seem to actually have come back nicely to the topic. It's funny how God works. Since my family began to learn about these appointed times, we've seen how God uses this calendar to work in the lives of His people, to be a continual cyclical Bible study, or better yet a Messiah study. He knows His people. And He knows how we need to be reminded again and again of what the process of becoming holy looks like, what the process of walking in the spirit is. I have grown to be so very thankful for these Appointments with my King.

I'd love to hear what YOU are studying. Do you have thoughts or questions on the Biblical Feasts? Leave a comment and let's discuss :)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Define...

{Reviving my old love of writing just for the fun of it... joining up again with Five minute Friday}

We write for five minutes with no edits or do overs. We just write with a prompt for the love of the words. This week's word..

Define.




Go...

I JUST had a conversation with someone I love about what defines us. How careful we should be before we finish that thought. What defines you? Have you ever thought of that? If you had to write out a Miriam Webster's Definition, what would it be? If you have any social media profile at all, you may have had to think of this a bit to get some of who you are to fit in a little caption under your picture. But is that ever even really accurate? What defines me? I glance up at the title of my blog and I'm smiling. So many times I've gone to change that... but... I can't. There is NO other title that I want to define who I am. Even though I can often forget, I AM my Father's Daughter. I am that before I am anything else. And I wholeheartedly pray that I can live up to that definition, even just a little bit.


Isaiah 64:8
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Stop.

Want to join us?? Click the pic and get back to writing for the Love.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Seventh Day

Happy Sabbath, Friends. I've missed this space. It has the words that make up who I am. I've missed you all too. So I'm coming back. It feels like coming home. See you soon. 


Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Holidays are HERE.


Since Passover is tomorrow, I'd love to share my quick handout on Jesus in the Feasts. Mostly by accident I've fallen into teaching on a few different subjects, the Biblical Holidays is one of those subjects. It's become a passion of mine to share these often missed holidays with believers because they build the foundation of our faith and lay the groundwork for God's whole story. I'll get back to sharing that passion here.


 Print PDF~ Jesus in the Feasts 
Want to jump into the bible study? Join us here~ facebook.com/groups/spritandtruth/

Monday, February 22, 2016

Hello...It's me

A makeover is coming...new Words...new Chapters...Stories continuing to be written. Stay tuned. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hello, again.

It's been so quiet over here. I know. I have missed this space, missed telling this story. So here I am. Words are coming. I'm feeling the itch to write and straighten out some thoughts. The fall and winter and spring seemed to fly by. Here we are in the midst of summer. I have boys and cucumber plants growing tall.

We've had holidays and holy-days, birthdays and pool days. There have been news stories circulating and laws passed that make me wonder where I live and if we should take cover from the impending lightning . There has been weather and moons and stars that have caught the attention of even novice sky gazers. And through it all I'm seeing threads and themes and they seem to be growing stronger and louder. Do you feel it too? Something is going on. There is something in the air...or...in the spirit. Something is coming. Where we are on the calendar, it wouldn't surprise me if that something that is coming is big.

If the something that is coming is big, are you ready? I bet most of us aren't as ready as we thought. I want to be...I'll see you back here real soon and we can make sure we're ready. Together.



Friday, October 24, 2014

His Story: His Calendar

Ahhh. What a fall it has been! The fall Feast Days have finished. Rosh Hashana (Day of Trumpets in the bible), Yom Kippur, and Feast of Booths (Sukkot). It was a busy time full of study and celebration.

It was beautiful. And I'm in awe at how my God is at work {read My Story here}.

This walk has taught us so very much

A little background - These are 3 of the "holidays" God commands His people to keep. They occur in the fall, starting on the first day of the seventh biblical month. It makes this seventh month a Sabbath month, full of times and appointed days to meet with God. My family and I have been doing our best over the last few years to learn about and honor these days.

And truly I have never understood my God more.

I'm not sure why it is but teachings on these days are non-existent in the Christian Church. But each of these set apart times points to Gods plan of redemption. The Spring is all about Yeshua's (Jesus' Hebrew name) first coming and the Fall is all about the second.

I've talked before about about Passover, First Fruits, and the Feast of Weeks---these days are all linked to the death and resurrection of Yeshua and the giving of the Holy Spirit. And by no accident each of these set apart dates coincide (exactly) with their fulfillment in our messiah. Talk about fulfilling prophecy.  We talk of virgin births and casting lots for His clothes when the most amazing fulfillment of any messianic prophecy came by Yeshua dying on Passover, rising from the dead on First Fruits (which is always the Sunday after Passover), and the Spirit of God descending on His people on Pentecost (the Greek name for Shavuot--The feast of weeks). Since the time of Israel living in the desert, they had been counting 50 days from First Fruits to Shavuot. Shavuot is also the day Rabbis say the commands were given to the people at Mount Sinai. The law of God and the Spirit of God given on the same day? It seems so strange to me I've never heard that from a pulpit.

But that's not the end of the Salvation story, is it?
We believe there is more to come, don't we?

We believe our Messiah will return to set up heaven on earth. We believe He'll come riding on the clouds at the trumpet blast. We believe the dead will be resurrected and He will be our judge and our king. He'll wipe every tear and there will peace. He will gather us to Himself.

Knowing what we know about the Spring Feasts and should be no surprise God has already set aside days to point to our returning Savior. The Fall Feasts. The High Holidays. The Day of Trumpets, Yom Kippur--The Day of Atonement, and Sukkot, The Feast of Tabernacles.

1 Corinthians 15:32 At the trumpet blast the dead will rise and we will be changed...

So the day, Yom Teruah, The Day of the blowing of the Trumpet, (known to many as Rosh Hashanna--the name change to Rosh Hashanna was a whole tradition that got it's start in Babylon...more on that later), this is very same day is when we look forward to Yeshua's return.



10 days after the trumpets and shouting we get to Yom Kippur. This day is the day of Atonement. These 10 days between the 2 feasts have always been a time to wake up to turn to Him, to not let this chance of repentance slip by. It's the day a couple millenia ago and since the time of Moses the priests would send a goat out Israel. It was the "scapegoat" which the sins of the people were placed upon. It was a physical example of the spiritual removal of sins by the grace and mercy of God. And it points forward. This is the day Yeshua will close the Lamb's book of life. His own people's names are written there. Those who chose another way are not. The sins of His people were placed upon Him. He makes the atonement. He is the scapegoat. He is the Bride groom who died to set His bride free.



And that brings us to the most joyful set apart time on His Calendar: Sukkot. Sukkot basically means tent. It's a word for a small dwelling place. The command is to make these small "tabernacles" and "live" in them for a week. It reminds us of God dwelling with His people in the dessert, how He took care of their every need. How He still does. And this day points to the time we'll get to live with Him again. It's the Wedding Feast. It's a week long party celebrating the Bridegroom being with His Bride. Oh what a party it will be. And when we look at dates in scripture we can see Yeshua (Jesus) was born during these fall Feasts. During Sukkot.  God was made flesh and he came to dwell with us.   


So this fall we built a booth. We built to remember. We built to give thanks. We build and celebrate to teach and share His beautiful plan with those around us. 

So wow. I'm so very excited to be learning of these dress rehearsals. These holy days are practice runs until the real things get here. So why would we not hear of these things in our churches? What has been hidden from us all this time? Why make the decision that these things were for another group of people and not for us?

I'm in that book of Life. I'm one of His. These days are to me get ready to meet my King face to face.

Do you want to be ready?

Getting on our Creator's Calendar is a very good place to start.


More on Yom Teruah 
More on Sukkot and here.


{I've been telling bits and pieces of this Story. It's the story of My God and how He's nudged my heart to dive into deeper. There's no real order to the story. I'm just telling it as it comes, as He lays it on my heart. Read the other entries here if you'd like---His Story ~ Rockets, Riots and ReturningHis Story ~ Tisha B' AvHis Story ~ My StoryHis Story ~ Perspective}




Sunday, August 24, 2014

His Story ~ Perspective

Have ever noticed how easily the whole scene changes when your perspective is just a little shifted? Eyes can play tricks on us. So can our minds and hearts. It can be so subtle and many times we don't even know. Our bias, our eyes, tells what we're supposed to see, what we should see. But what if that bias is wrong? What if the eyes are lying?


A few years ago I attempted to change perspectives, to look at things differently, to look at my faith differently. It was a nudge here and a new insight there. And then I felt whole philosophies of mine shift and then crumble. I suppose they weren't really my philosophies. It was someone else's eyes who had colored my view.

















 But suddenly I was aware I needed new lenses, a different glass, a new way to see. The old way was strange to me now, it just didn't make sense. The mirror was distorted, I saw all the flaws, the gaping holes. I had been given a better lense to see that was really there. And what I found, what I am finding, is breath taking.







I see a story so cohesive and so beautiful. The fun-house mirror version only paled in comparrison. I see a bride-groom redeeming His bride. I see Holy appointments and set apart dates to meet with His set apart people. I see poem and prose there only for my good, for all of our good. I see Him the same from the very beginning of time until this very moment and then all the way until forever. I see places where I struggled healed. I see understanding happening for the first time in myself, in my babes.

Always first the eyes...I read that somewhere. The gaze is what defines the life behind the eyes.

Is our life and faith colored by what we think it is? Who is really responsable for the perspective we hold. Go back to the beginning. Get all the light into focus. Make sure we are wearing the correct lenses. Begin again.

Never again do I want to grope through life.





{I've been telling bits and pieces of this Story. It's the story of My God and how He's nudged my heart to dive into deeper. There's no real order to the story. I'm just telling it as it comes, as He lays it on my heart. Read the other entries here if you'd like---His Story ~ Rockets, Riots and Returning His Story ~ Tisha B' Av;  His Story ~ My Story}.


glasses photo credit: gitikasaksena.com
Sunflower photo credit: unknown

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Change...















Five minute Friday...where some sweet writers write with a prompt for the love of it. Then we link up over at Kate's site and visit other FMFers, to say hello, to make a new friend.


Today it's


 













I never used to think I had a story. I wasn't one of those Christians who was the end of it all and had God's grace come and scoop me up and change my whole life. I just grew up going to church and having my mom tell me God loved me. I'm not complaining. I am so very thankful for my mother making sure I knew who God is. But, it was status quo. I was a Christian. I taught my kids to love God. I struggled. I wondered when I'd get my spiritual life right. I hardly ever really found time to read the bible. I was overwhelmed, over worked, under appreciated. I didn't even know how my life could change. God's grace did reach down and scoop me up but it wasn't as obvious as some of those great testimony stories you sometimes hear. Many people wouldn't even know. But I know. I know God spoke into my life and I almost chose not to listen. But His persistent grace (so often in the form of great discomfort and overwhelming pain that I knew something had to give) made me change. I have the story now. I changed from an over emotional angry person who couldn't handle my hormones or my life to a woman who knows Who is in control. I changed from a person whose heart was so broken and who grieved over what wasn't to a person who treasures what IS. He changed me from living status quo to living as His Beloved. But the change wasn't passive. It only came when I learned that following Him could never be a cognitive exercise. I changed. I changed what I did. And what I didn't do. I made a choice: the choice to follow Him, to change my misconceptions, comforts and traditions. He changed my heart so I could want to.

So I have a story now...I'm new. I'm different. I'm changed. 

Stop.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Birthdays, Justice, and How to LIVE

I turned 35 last week. And that's the first time I've seen that in print.  Age is strange. It's a label and an expectation. 35 years. Three and a half decades...I've learned some things. I've had some successes, some failures. I've grown. Birthdays have a way of making us think, looking back and planning ahead.

 Just this week I've learned a few amazing things, things I had forgotten or maybe I didn't really know.

Last weekend was a teary one for me. I spent time praying and crying for all the hurt that I've seen cross the screen over the last few weeks. Rockets and bombs still falling, the utter devastation and practical genocide of Iraqi Christians, the Revelations-type violence being perpetrated against people for their belief in Jesus . It's horrifying.

 I also cried for a friend, a sweet lovely woman who is an amazing example of steadfastness, a woman I met through a friend of a friend on Facebook. A women who, through social media, I've studied God's word with, learned with. A woman who was taken off of life support last Saturday evening and without a miracle the doctors expected her to die. I sat and I waited for news. I cried for her family, 2 young teens and her husband, the legacy she was leaving...Unwavering Faith. I cry and I wonder so often 'why do I get a birthday, a house where I tuck in my kids, to be here'. We were sharing the news online and then a mutual friend stopped us. She stopped the laments and the tears. She reminded us just what our lovely girl would have been doing right now, what our Father wants us doing right now. Links of this sweet women's writing were posted. Reminders of her Love for her God, of her unshakable belief popped up all over Facebook. We agreed to smile and pray and PRAISE our God for ALL of His ways.

It was a kind of revolution. The mood online and in real life had changed. The sharing and the outlooks became very different.

All because we stopped complaining and started praising.

And then the news that came was the she was breathing on her own. For on hour, then for two, then the whole night. We were ready to say goodbye and here she was (of course she was) breathing without the help of a vent. We continued to praise and sing and encourage in our hearts.

By Monday morning, she was still breathing. She had even been awake a few times.

And also on Monday morning, some sisters in this little Facebook group kept the trend going. We posted praise. We remembered our brothers and sisters suffering and dying for our God. And we didn't lament, but we encouraged. We remembered the way to Live. We again understood that the way to honor these people...persecuted believers and a sister so faithful dying of cancer, people who are using their last breaths to honor their God....was to honor the name of our God.

In all things and at all times we can LIVE what others are dying for.

art: katiebright.blogspot.com


Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.

Yes...The tears may come. We may mourn the losses but really we will count it all as JOY. If our God is for us then we can be against us?! Can anything separate us from His love??

Nothing can.

So as absolutely nauseating as it is to see those images and here the stories, we can still live. And living is the very best way to fight evil. Live well. Live Justice. Right where you are, in your home, at work. Show mercy in honor of those who've been shown none. Smile. Forgive. Walk with your God. Live for Him. Love for Him. Show the evil that it doesn't scare us. And we know how the story ends. 

Love wins.

So with birthdays and new seasons, and while tucking in my kids instead of worry or grief that I still get to, I'm praising. Praising for the chance to and asking that my time, my chances not be wasted.

And as I'm writing, my sweet friend is home with hospice and her family. I'm smiling as I think of her having a chance to see what we all said of her, what she inspired even on her hospital bed.

She inspired LIFE.


{Update: Just after I posted this, I got news of this sweet woman's death. She died at home with her family there. So still praising and praying for peace for her family, comfort for her husband and that her children will never forget their mother's unshakable faith}.