Taste Your Words–Healing of the Soul Part IV

Image result for you is kind, you is smart

Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can crush the heart. A word spoken in anger, disgust, and hatred can go deep into our bones and take decades to heal from. They are shot like arrows into our hearts. Even the words we speak about ourselves are damaging.

Loving our neighbor as ourselves is difficult if we are constantly bashing our temples and the creativity and talents the Father has given us. We are all unique and gifted in different areas. Our outer shells may not look the way we desire, but is that because we do not see our own beauty and worth? Are we coveting others gifts and physical appearances? Do we express our weaknesses to others or speak death daily?

The other day, I was led to an amazing article written by Author Ted Hargrove, titled Seven Things You Should Know About Pain Science, he explains how if we feel pain it’s because our brains think our bodies are under some sort of threat. Ted uses two traumatic examples where no pain is felt. One, a soldier wounded in battle, two, a shark attack that removes a limb, and explains how that person will more than likely feel no pain until the emergency is over.

He goes on to describe something called ‘allodynia.’

“Allodynia is a condition where even normal stimuli such as a light touch to the skin can cause excruciating pain. This is an extreme example of something that might occur quite commonly on a much smaller scale – the nervous system is sensitive to potential threats, and sounds the alarm even when no real threat is present.”

A person who has been through trauma, rejection, and stimulation overload, could end up in full-blown Allodynia. This reminded me of fibromyalgia, a condition I used to suffer from daily, but have mostly been healed from.

Yes, an alarm goes off even when it appears no real threat is present.

I also became keenly aware of adjectives we use to describe our pain, whether emotional or physical, but what if our pain was trying to exhibit something hidden? Something more than a title or label placed on us by a doctor. Could our past tragedies, heartbreak– a bad car wreck, abuse, or fearful experiences be triggered again and felt, with all its excruciating agony, by just seeing a car like the one that hit us? Could smelling the same cologne worn by our attacker cause our brain to signal a warning, like a car alarm that was going off for no particular reason? Could watching a violent movie cause us to re-experience the beating, the trauma, or the very same emotions we had as a five-year-old child whose brain sent a signal to run and hide because danger was near?

The body is a complex machine that was created by the original Designer of All Things.

The words that we speak may hold underlying answers about our emotional state, spiritual state, and yes, physical state. So the first thing I am going to ask you to do is to start listening to your own voice. What are some of the things you say when you have any type of pain? Not just the “ouch,” I stubbed my toe pain, or the lower back pain, but pain that at times says things about our deeper emotions.

While watching an episode in a series, a woman severely obese was crying out to lose the weight, but all I heard in my spirit was, “Are you carrying a ‘heavy load?’ Is it “weighing” you down or weighing on your mind? Do you ever say, “I feel weighted down with worry? I’m “fed-up!” Think about that term—fed-up. I can barely fit in my clothes.” Let’s ponder these and the mental anguish they carry.

After a very painful situation, that brought about division in my life, for over a month, my eyes would not stop weeping. Actually, I am just now starting to get relief. I began asking The Father what was wrong. No allergy medicine or eye drops seemed to dry up the continuous pouring. On one particular day, I just threw my hands up in the air and said, “Why are my eyes pouring to the point I am carrying a cloth with me everywhere I go to dab them?” Immediately afterward a friend sent a text message that was a photo shot of Psalms 126.

“Those who sow in tears

will reap with a song of joy.

Whoever keeps going out weeping,

carrying his bag of seed,

will surely come back with a song of joy,

carrying his sheaves.” 126:55-6.

Then another friend sent a text with a prayer request for a loved one who had a heart condition and now it was causing swelling in her legs and feet and a weeping under the skin– fluid. Sometimes we are weeping inside but cannot express the emotions we are feeling. Any time I have ever done ministry for those who have been shattered and broken, they tend to cry. It doesn’t matter if they are grown men, tears begin to pour out. This is the first sign of healing. Sometimes the pain in our emotions is so intense it comes out in our skin. Yeshua wept! Yeshua sweated drops of blood.

My husband, who suffers from eczema, has to use special soaps, detergents to launder sheets, towels, and clothing. His skin can erupt and become itchy and red. One pharmaceutical company has a new and upcoming drug for this issue (and no, I am not a big pharm gal) but the commercial explains how eczema can be ‘under the skin.’ We like to say things like, “Boy, he or she was really getting under my skin!” Eczema signs and symptoms include tiny blisters that can ‘weep’ and ooze, eventually producing crusted, ‘thick skin.’ Hopefully, by now you are picking up on the play on words here. After so much weeping and oozing, we tend to acquire a thick skin against those who insult us and criticize or hurt us. We become hardened to difficulties, but our skin can show signs of things hidden.

Our inner strengths or weaknesses can be interpreted in organs and health issues. We hear that Jennifer has a weak heart, or possibly our Uncle Ken, who died of an enlarged heart—his heart, like Secretariat, was too big. It burst! There is a real term used called broken heart syndrome.

“For some people, a traumatic event or memory can trigger the physical symptoms of “broken-heart syndrome.” Also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or apical ballooning syndrome, it’s a condition in which heart muscle becomes acutely weak and then fully recovers a few days later.”

Cancer is a word that comes from the Latin word crab or creeping ulcer.

What about diabetes? An old term used for it was ‘pissing evil.’ It comes from a Greek word that means to pass through as urine speedily.

The words “diabetes” and “mellitus” have two very separate meanings. They are, however, linked together and have a meaningful connection. Mellitus is pleasant and tasting as honey. Diabetes means passing through as a large discharge of urine.

It doesn’t matter what type of diabetes you have, it can and does lead to excess sugar in the blood. This causes serious health issues. What picture words come to mind here? We at times can ‘pass through’ things quickly with an overly sweet demeanor, but possibly underneath we are hurting. Are we pissing evil instead of possibly confronting situations? Yes, a spoonful of sugary helps the medicine go down, but a whole pitcher full may be doing more harm than good.

Do we need a chiropractor or massage therapist often? Is your Father-n-law or daughter-n-law a “pain in the neck?” Or have they been giving you the “cold shoulder?” What about this one. “My back is tight.” Is your back against a wall? Do you feel like you’re in a ‘pinch? Has someone “hit a nerve?”

See how we easily relate and send our pain and sorrow through our temples? Take it from someone who was pronounced fully disabled in 2009 at the age of 42, pain in your life will erupt in your body. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2008 and later was diagnosed at Mayo Clinic as a ‘possible MS suspect.’ I had scars or lesions on my brain. MS means multiple, as in many. Many scars. My life was filled with just that, many scars. Picture a lamp cord plugged into a socket with the light turned on, now picture all the rubber protection covering the wires removed. You then have a live wire. Thankfully, due to His mercy, I am recovering and on the road to good health, but how do we achieve this?

If your body has been through trauma, abuse, rejection, and sickness, here is a free chapter from my devotional ‘Thirsting for Water’ on steps to take to become whole. Click HERE.

If we are bruised on the inside, it will flow outward and cause issues. I recently purchased fruit from the store. The fruit was labeled organic and looked yummy on the outside, but when I got home and cut into it, it was rotten to the core. The inside was black. Many times we have had so much thrown at us, and written on our spirit that we need an eraser. We need a bath or a mikvah to wash off all the phrases we have spoken against our amazing temples and all the abuse that has been spoken against us by those in ignorance.

If you were raised with parents who suffered from mental issues or low self-esteem, you might have been exposed to this sickness at an early age. Perhaps you heard things like, “He is immature for his age!” “Are you eating again?” “She’s as skinny as a bean pole.” “You will never amount to nothing!” “Whore—slut!” “Bastard.” “I never wanted you—I wish you had never been born.” “Ugly.” The list of words flung through the air like arrows that pierce hearts is without end. We, humans, hurt each other. We judge harshly, and we lack the love of a Father at times. Our broken bodies need injected with His Spirit. A King lives inside of us. There is oil in Gilead.

Picture a clean slate. A feeling many of us felt when we made a covenant with our Father and Yeshua, the one whose blood covered us. We felt like we had been given a bath. His Word is said to wash us clean. Instead of soap picture His Words bathing us, and it does.

Have you ever heard someone say something that was so offensive that when you described what they told you, you used these words? “It went straight through me!” Can you say diarrhea? A word that means ‘to flow through.’ The words spoken or the stress of upcoming events is so difficult ‘to stomach’ it just flows on through.

Let’s look at a couple more items before I wrap this up. What about asthma? COPD? Are you finding it hard to breathe in real time? Do you have to tell yourself to ‘take a deep breath?’ Are the people in your life ‘a breath of fresh air or are they ‘suffocating you?’ See how that works?

Are you continually trying to fill an inner void?

A very special verse comes to mind and one that I am holding onto in this season.

Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. Don’t be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand.

“Everyone who is angry with you will be ashamed and disgraced. Those who oppose you will be reduced to nothing and disappear. You will search for your enemies, but you will not find them. Those who are at war with you will be reduced to nothing and no longer exist” (Isaiah 41:10-12, GWT).

Whether any of these words have anything to do with our illnesses, one thing is certain; speaking life is good medicine. I am not a name it and claim it gal, but I do believe that when we speak powerful words from His Word and we hear them, they can take root in our spirit man and cause us to erupt with life. Like a plant that is dying, we nurture it with water and food and also words.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Let’s start looking in the mirror and loving who we are, what we look like, and pamper our bodies. Let us speak kindly to ourselves and celebrate what works in divine order.

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).

Our words should flow with living water. Our words should clean, heal, uplift, hold, love and encompass those who are broken and hurting. May He heal our lips and our hearts.

Blessings,

Tekoa

meeee

* Free Chapter* Give Your Abused Pets Treats Slowly

Thirsting for Water

A devotional that brings healing to the hurting!

Yes, I’ll admit it, I’ve snapped at my children, gotten angry at friends, and said things I regret.  I once told my husband while we were dating that I had been through a lot and that I felt like a dog that had been beaten half to death.  I informed him that when people held up their T-bones and said, “Here girl,” most of the time I was still too afraid to come.  I did not trust them.
A year later, after much healing, I noticed a friend’s behavior that was controlling and defensive towards me.  She seemed to yell at me a lot when things were taken wrong.  As I pondered the snapping issue, I heard in my spirit this message — “If a dog has been abused, it may snap at you.”  Oh, my, revelation into the healing of the soul!
So I did what any other certified google-oligist would do, I googled it.  “How to care for an abused pet.”
The number one item on the list was to provide a safe place for your abused pet to live. The second suggestion was to make sure they have plenty of fresh food and water.  Since I had been abandoned by my ex-husband when I was chronically ill and eventually became homeless, I needed these simple necessities myself afterward.  Once you get the basics for your abused pet, you must go more in-depth into helping them heal.
# 1) Give your abused pets treats SLOWLY. Use one hand to approach them genty–two hands may scare them.
#6) Don’t allow the abused pet to interact with other pets until they are whole.  If the other pets are pushy or mean, this will cause the abused pet to be even more submissive and scared.  Never hit or scold an abused pet.  Reward good behavior, but do not punish your pet.
I began to notice how we humans tend to be a lot like these fur companions that have been wounded. We have trust issues, and at times we need to be approached with ease.  We don’t like to be pried for information or pushed into doing something. We don’t want to be controlled through harsh words or even bribed with treats. Syrupy compliments can also evoke warning signals.  We tend to think things like, “What do they want?”  “What are they after?”  Yes, too often, pets and people who have been hurt are quickly ready to runoff from a family function or an event that makes them feel worse about themselves.  Their lack of self-esteem can be crushed when others are given all the attention in the room, and yet they are not ready for the focus of everyone in the place to be on them.
Next, I wanted to know how a person could tell if their dog (pets) had been harmed or abused, so I did some research on this topic.  While you read the list below, try and think in people terms.
# 1. Check the dog for physical signs of abuse. These could include scars, lesions, burns or open wounds.  Also missing fur or sores around the neck could indicate a dog was chained up for long periods of time.  The pet may have missing teeth that rotted out, cloudy eyes, show no energy and be generally fatigued.  An animal may also have been starved.  Repeated vomiting and bloody diarrhea are other signs of trauma.
Did you notice that the signs of abuse are physical illness, mental stress, and fear?  Could our sickness in our bodies at times be caused by past trauma and abuse?  Yes, I believe it could.  Ask a person who has PTSD, and you will get an even broader understanding of what our environment can do to our mental health. Sometimes our sickness and wounds were brought on by ourselves.
(Psalms 38:4-7, CJB) “Your indignation left no part of me intact; my sin made my whole body sick; for my iniquities loom high over my head as a heavy burden, too heavy for me.  I have stinking, festering wounds because of my foolishness.  I am bent down, prostrate completely; I go about mourning all day long.”
We must heal our spirits, our souls, and forgive the abusers.  We have to take action to see a healthy body come forth, for it will not without us making the phone calls to the counselor, joining a fitness program, caring for ourselves by watching the words we speak about ourselves and others.
Abused tattered souls may need to write their abusers a letter that never gets sent.  This type of journaling helps release bottled up anger. We vent and get rid of the pain.  At some point we will cry out to our Father to help us forgive the person who kept us chained, muzzled, or unfed.  And He will because He is a good Abba. Our trauma and fear may not be something that is cured overnight, although it can happen. The mighty hand of HaShem is not too short to save. His powerful Spirit can find the mangiest scrawny, scared pet in the darkest alley and rescue it from the power of drugs, sickness, pain, guilt, and shame.  Our Father sweeps in and brings us to an animal shelter.  Pets who have mangled and matted up fur, have to be shaved and shampooed with medicated ointments.  We need the balm of Gilead, the anointing oil, and the covering of prayer.
If you have been abused today, the Father of Lights wants to hold each of you and comfort you.  The Father’s love and compassion have no limits; it’s unreachable.  He is holding out His arms to you right now!  Reach up and take the Masters’ hands.  Run to Him instead of getting back into a relationship with a new partner.  Chances are you will run smack dab into another person who will harm you if you haven’t healed.  We must become whole and healthy to attract someone who is healthy for us.
“For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘Because they have called you an outcast, saying: “It is Zion; no one cares for her”’ (Jeremiah 30:17, NASB).
Someone cares for you! Yeshua the Messiah is interceding right now on your behalf.

dog

 

 

Son Flower Seeds

sunny 2

 

She sopped me up like a piece of bread dipped in venison gravy
She said she tasted something wild even though I soaked in vinegar
“It’s a tad gamey.”
she folded up three creases on her forehead and twisted her mouth unpleasantly.

“Buuuttt how?”
“I steeped like a teabag.

Why, I submerged until my skin crinkled up like an accordion!”

She added more indentions to her scowl
“It’s a prune, dear!”
“Dear” sounded condemnatory.

She was no peach, but neither a prune.
I quickly sprayed Sunflower perfume on my skin,
And hoped she would get a whiff of it.
Her nostrils flared.

I absorbed her like a cotton ball full of astringent.
She got into my pours with her words.
It tingled in a cleansing manner.
Other words stung like a wasp.
I opened the window and shooed out those words.
Saving the witch hazel and rose water for my complexion.

“Can you catch it?” she said, looking rather concerned.
“What’s that?”
“Our words before they fly out of our fingertips or lips?”
“I’ve been trying to capture mine in a net and bathe them first.”

Interesting.

I started to speak but rolled it around for a bit
It tasted like lemon drops–the letters forming words.
Sweet, yet sour.
Like a ball of snuff in my cheek ready to drip out of my mouth.

“The bars of teeth are hard to keep locked down,” I said.
“The vapors get out.”
She bit her nail and looked worried.

“I let them out in a ball of fire, I fear.”

She chewed her index manicured digit.

“Well, if we remember to use SonShine Words, they fly out like orbs.
Glowing balls of light that penetrate clothing and even prune skin.
They inject medicine and cause hearts to come back from the dead!”

I shouted a little too loudly like a two year old.
“I like that,” she said–

“SonShine Words.”

“But now and then I mistakenly let a lousy morsel or two get past me.
I ask myself “Did I harm their character?
Did I make them look bad?
Did I send words soaring through the air sticking like wallpaper paste?”

“And what if you have?” she said with wide eyes of ginger, placing a hand over her mouth.

“Well, I gargle with Listerine!
I spit and wash and try again.”
I waited for the wasp sting but instead smelled a hint of rose water.
“Hmmm, I see.”

She seemed to like my response.
Only two creases showed on her forehead now.

I planted a field of Sonflowers, I said, sitting up straighter.
They can be contagious–attract bees as well.

They can take over a meadow.
Salty Seeds spreading through the Wind.

She ran and got a burlap sack and untied it.
I’m knee-deep in Sunflower seeds!
“I had no idea!!
Had these hidden inside my bedroom closet.”
Her eyes now peppermint bark scented.

“They were a gift,” she beamed.
“Of course, they were!” I squealed with delight.
We danced and threw them in the air.

tekoa 6

Sunflowers

The wind wore high heeled shoes and rained seeds that day.
We held our mouths open, and a steady stream of water began to beat down.
Suddenly we were as Naphtali running through the hills.
Leaping on the mountains,
Springing into flight!

 

Artwork and poetry by Tekoa.

 

Bruised Plums #240

bruising-after-getting-breast-implants

They were unpromising
Words grated like cheese
Words reduced to small shreds
Words strung like pasta
Tossed like a salad
Thrown together with a pinch of thyme
And oregano
The other morsels were small
Irritants
Acidic
Tomatoes, garlic, and onions
Barely noticeable to the tall ones
Their necks stretched out in the clouds
They see the aged with grey hair as mere babies
Standing in need of correction
Their wisdom is tossed in the air like pizza dough
Nothing taste decent until it’s heated up
They baked her in the oven with egg wash on her face
Disgraced
My Father took a cloth and removed their lipstick
It was bruised plum number 240
She barely noticed any longer
She was singing songs in her head while their lips moved
Dodi li va-ani lo, ha-roeh
Bashoshanium
Thinking of her husband’s mouth splattered in paint
Paintball guns blasting colors at different ones
With our tongues
Sweetened by the juice of a pomegranate

What if our hearts were exposed in our ribcage?
What if they glowed red with rage when angered?
And the whole world knew?
Or turned black when we had hate
And the whole room prayed
in tongues

Where would we hide from our colors?

Of green with envy

What if they tuned pink like the sun setting when we felt loved
And loved our neighbors as ourselves
What if we all leaped over the hills
Dancing among the lilies
With our Beloved
Who washes our bruised plums

Until

Our hearts are as glowing amber

Soul Shine & Uprooting Part III

soul shine pillow

 

Whenever we have conflicts or dis-ease, we must search and see our role in it. This portion of Healing of the Soul is about people in our lives who affect our health. These folks can cause us to bloom brightly and become whole, or they can be so despairingly toxic,  we must get away from them to thrive. Sometimes this separation is temporary, other times it is permanent, but anytime you uproot a plant, you must be careful to replant it properly. Any plant expert will tell you that the root ball will need to be pruned and the roots untangled so they can grow outward. A plant is like a fish, kept in the same bowl; it will remain small. Sometimes plants outgrow their pots to the point the pot cracks. Not to be confused with a crackpot. Ha!

Many experiments have been done concerning plants and speaking blessings over one, and curses over another. After commanding one to shrivel up and die, the experimenters were shocked to find; the plant did just that although it was given the same amount of water, sunlight and plant food as the plant that had blessings spoken over it.

The sorcerer, Balaam, was hired to curse Israel, but one cannot curse what God has blessed. What does this topic have to do with the healing of the soul? Quite a bit.

Who was this man named Balaam, and where did he come from? According to Jewish tradition, Jacobs’s father-n-law, Laban, had a son named Be’or, who became the father of Balaam. This lineage makes sense when we dig in deeper. Jacob had to leave Laban and take his wife’s, Laban’s own daughters and grandchildren, away. Why? Curses.

“Now Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our fathers, and from what belonged to our father he has made all this wealth.” Jacob saw the attitude (heart) of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly toward him as formerly. Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you” (Genesis 31:1-3).

Sometimes the people closest to us can cause more sickness and unease than we care to admit. Many families have a scapegoat; others love to mock, ridicule, or have jealousy rooted in fear. We see multiple people in the Torah who were oppressed by their family members or sadly even murdered.

Walk in a home for the first time, and you’ll usually notice a family portrait with everyone smiling for the camera, but underneath those smiles may be a painful story. When you have a person like Laban and Balaam in your life, it comes with a forked tongue, divination, and control. Often, there is only one thing to do, leave.

Why didn’t the Father tell Jacob to talk to Laban? Prove his innocence. Pray. Work things out? Seek a family counselor? Work seven more years? Forgive and stop living in the past, move forward?

Continuing to stay in an atmosphere of toxicity causes pain, anger, bitterness, unease and an alarm to go off daily. Can you feel the seeds that were planted by Laban’s sons? This seed took root in Laban. Deep inside their hearts lied jealousy and accusations. Jacob had caused them to be more prosperous, but they could not see this.

“Balaam is pictured as blind in one eye and lame in one foot (Talmud Sanhedrin 105a), and his disciples (followers) are distinguished by three morally corrupt qualities:
•an evil eye
•a haughty bearing (Pride)
•an avaricious spirit (Greed for wealth).”

Only the Father can minister and change hearts, but the person has to want that. Pharaoh continued to harden his heart until The Father hardened it more due to his stiff neck. Picture a turkey’s neck, raw and slippery. No matter how hard The Father tried to bend it, it would not bend.
Stiffness.
King Saul was given a brand new heart, but due to his jealousy and fear of David, he lost it all.
Jealousy and envy towards others are often rooted in fear–fear of not measuring up to others, fear of losing someone close to the person, and envy. Coveting others gifts is a big no, no. We must search our hearts to see if we carry any of these and repent.
“I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?” (1 Corinthians 3:2-3 NASB).
This quarreling and jealousy were among those who should have known how to act, but they were still wearing diapers and in need of milk.

Anger is cruel and destructive, but it is nothing compared to jealousy.” (Proverbs 27:4 GNT).

 

Solomon exclaims that jealousy is as cruel as the grave.

Balak was fearful of Israel. “And Mo’aḇ was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Mo’aḇ was in dread because of the children of Yisra’ĕl.” (Numbers 22:3 ISR). Balak and the people wanted to stop them from being fruitful and multiplying. They had great fear and great jealousy, but Balaam, whom Balak hired to curse them, eventually speaks of his eye (not eyes) opening.

“When Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times to seek omens but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe; and the Spirit of God came upon him.

He took up his discourse and said,

“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,

And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened;

The oracle of him who hears the words of God,

Who sees the vision of the Almighty,

Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered,” (Numbers 24:1-4 NASB).

This cursing and coveting is a problem with the first family. Go all the way back to the garden and look at what transpires between brothers.

“For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brothers were righteous.” (1st John 3:11-12 NASB).

This same corrupt behavior is one that often starts in childhood and grows into puberty. Bullying is a national epidemic. There are four general types of bullying: physical, verbal, social, and cyberbullying. This is not just something that transpires among youth but adults as well. When a person is verbally insulted and socially alienated, considerable damage is done to the person’s self-worth and esteem. Many times it is crueler than a physical assault because the pain lingers long after the bruises heal. Like the plants who were spoken over with curses, the person being bullied dies a silent death daily. Their soul cannot shine in that environment.

When Hagar’s son, Ishmael, started mocking Isaac, the promised child, Sarah sent them away. We know that a scorner in the camp can destroy all of Abba’s plans and even the health of the promised seed. Mocking is a word similar to blasphemy and comes from Strong’s 3932 la’ag, and it means to mock, deride, and stammer. When we mock others and especially those The Father has called for service, our words and deeds make us impure. Our prayers can even go unheard. We end up outside of the camp. Because we have caused others to isolate the one we are mocking, we too are isolated.

Can you imagine being told by your wife to send your seed off? Abraham was saddened and went to the Father.

“Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.”
“The matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. “And of the son of the maid, I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant.” Genesis 21:9-13 (NASB).

Joseph’s brothers mocked him.

“When they saw him from a distance and before he came close to them, they plotted against him to put him to death. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer! “Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, ‘A wild beast devoured him.’” (Genesis 37:18-20 NASB).

Jealousy is crueler than the grave.

Family at times can be a death sentence. Can you imagine the consequences of Isaac hearing a mocking spirit every day? Or Joseph being in constant fear of death daily? Bullying causes more suicides than we can imagine. Words have power. And silence can roar!

Joseph, fearing for his life daily and hiding from his brothers, could have caused him distress, sickness, disease, and mental anguish to the point of death. He had seen how cruel his two older brothers could be.

(Gen. 34:25- NASB). “Now it came about on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came upon the city unawares, and killed every male.”

This type of fear keeps one on high alert. Can you hear the car alarm blaring over and over? Like a bear chasing you through the woods day after day. Sometimes an abusive spouse, sibling, boss, or an in-law is destroying someone’s mental health and physical health, even if they don’t lay one finger on them.

Sometimes we have to pack up our tents and leave a territory and go to a land we know nothing of. Yes, sometimes the jealousy, mocking, cursing spirit causes parents to uproot their children and move across the states, hoping for a better school, a new group of friends. A spirit bent on destroying their child is after them, and they need a separation, like Joseph from his brothers for 17 years. Like Ishmael and Isaac.

Ishmael shows up at his father’s funeral and even Esau hugs his brother Jacob’s neck years later–the very one he sought to kill. But waiting until the storm has blown over and the hearts of our adversaries have changed towards us, could save our lives and our souls.

He is glorious. He will rise up and save us from our enemies according to (Isaiah 41:11-16).

The Allman Brothers had a hit called Soul shine. I want to leave you with those lyrics. I like to tweak them to fit a more heavenly version but here is the original.

“When you can’t find the light

That got you through the cloudy days.

When the stars ain’t shinin’ bright

You feel like you’ve lost your way.

When the candlelight of home

Burns so very far away

Well, you got to let your soul shine.

Just like my daddy used to say

He used to say soul shine.

It’s better than sunshine.

It’s better than moonshine.

Darn sure better than rain

Hey, now people don’t mind.

We all feel this way sometimes.

You gotta let your soul shine, shine till the break of day.

I grew up thinkin’ I had it made

Gonna make it on my own

Life can take the strongest man.

Make him feel so alone.

Now sometimes I feel a cold wind Blowin’ through my achin’ bones.

I think back to what my daddy said.

He said, “boy, in this darkness before the dawn.”

Let your soul shine.”

Blessings,

Tekoa

If any portion of this blog ministered to you, feel free to share.

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

soul shine pillow

Sources:

Balaam–http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Parashah/parashah.html

Bullying–https://www.educationcorner.com/bullying-facts-statistics-and-prevention.html

Photos: Lovedeepfriedturkey.com

Allman Brothers https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/111745634476031366/

 

Empathy–Soul Shine Part II

Soul Shine Part 2

Blog shine 2

 

A car alarm at my apartment complex has been going off repeatedly of late. Like the psalmist, it was putting out a cry for help. This can be a sign that someone other than the owner of the vehicle, may be trying to cause damage or theft. But sometimes the alarm, like on this particular car, is going off when there is no danger present–not even a car parked closely in its vicinity. Our body is equipped with its very own alarm system too. Just like the horn that blared when no one was near due to faulty wiring, as in autoimmune diseases. Our immune systems can attack healthy cells by mistake or ring with pain from hidden issues. The Body of Messiah can attack itself just like an autoimmune disease. All sickness, like the car alarm, is a warning signal.

Healing our soul can quiet any alarm, but it takes steps to get there. A person can even find a place of wholeness in their spirit when their body is in pain; even if their hip is out of socket like Jacobs after he wrestled and was given a new name.

Mental peace instead of worry can occur even if the person is shackled in chains between two Roman soldiers like Paul was. Sound asleep.  He said, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight; I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” 2nd Timothy 4:6-7 (TLV). No alarm going off here. No panic that his life was going to be taken by a cruel death. He says, “holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.” Philippians 2:16-18 (NASB) These words were spoken by a man who was getting ready to be decapitated. He’s not screaming for help with alarm. He is not bitter at His God. He is not begging for prayer and saying, “You do not know what all I have gone through!” He said, I am being poured out like an offering before my Heavenly Father, and I am going to receive a crown that can’t be attained on this earth with its fleshly desires for crowns.

If you are uncomfortable, anxious, suffering from physical, mental, or emotional pain, my prayer is that you can quiet the alarm and find wholeness. Towards the end of this blog, I’ll explain The Spoon Theory, a true life story that ministered to me deeply at a time when I was suffering greatly. The short story is easy to pass out to family, and friends, and those in chronic pain.

If you have a family member, friend, or spouse who is suffering, there are multiple things you can do to help them. Many times prayer, a home cooked meal, a maid for a day, spa-massage, calls, get-well cards, or even understanding more of what’s going on in their body can help.

Aging is not a sickness. These bodies, like the trees, and the flowers wear out, grow old, wilt, drop leaves and expire. Our teeth become loose. Our hair fades like the petals of a rose. Our skin, no matter how much Botox is injected, wilts, sags, and the skin hangs.

“All flesh is like grass, and its glory is like the flowers of the field,” the prophet Isaiah bellows! Old age is natural–sickness is not. Infection and dis-ease can be very painful. Millions, if not billions, are spent annually in the United States to stop one from feeling pain, but too often the person is given a label and a drug that actually prevents the body and soul from protecting itself. Have you ever read the side effects on some of these Pharmaceutical drugs? Scary.

Antidepressants are good for a season if the person cannot handle the amount of mental anguish, but our emotions work together. We can’t feel joy when we’re numb to all our emotions. In Hebrew thought, everything has feelings. The rocks cry out. The trees clap their hands. The mountains burst into song. Everything is ALIVE! Dead people feel nothing. Yeshua, even says “let the dead bury their dead.” Some of my greatest joy came forth out of devastation. After losing my home and all my possessions, a year later, I opened the door to an apartment that was 650 square feet and hit my knees with great joy. I could control my thermostat, use my water, drink from my coffee cup in the serenity of a space chalked out for me. The smallest space I’d ever occupied was peaceful. There was joy in that space, but what if I would have never experienced being homeless and just went from my home to the tiny place? Would I have had such gratitude for it?

“Weeping may stay the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalms 30:5 BSB).

“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2nd Corinthians 4:16-17 (NASB).

A hurting person often needs to speak of their strange symptoms and pain. They need to vent via describing it to those willing to share in their suffering. They need someone to believe them and offer compassion. I’ve found this type of servant in my life to be few and far in between. Most of the people I know who have compassion and a willing ear have suffered. Listening with empathy or even a response of “Do you want to be made whole?” is needed.

There is nothing as difficult as sitting in a room full of healthy people laughing and talking and being in horrific pain or depression, or worse cooped up in a hospital bed. We try to appear normal for the sake of family or friends, but our body is screaming, or our mind is screaming, “Don’t you know what I am going through?” This is what we want to say, but instead, we ask for water or inquire about Betty’s new hairstyle. Even worse, is having someone tell us not to speak it. They quote ‘life and death are in the power of the tongue.’ True. Look at the giants and the grapes. But Caleb did not say the Giants didn’t exist; he said they could conquer them because of the faith he had in His Heavenly Father. If your child were to cut off his arm, would you just tell him to say that his arm was whole, while he bled out? No. Of course not. We need to be more like Caleb, who had a different spirit. When he saw giants, no alarm went off!

On the other hand, is it good to sit and talk about our pain, nonstop? No, not always. What we focus on grows. If you have a loved one battling depression, give them space to heal. Try not to use words like “Snap out of it.” “You just need to go for a walk, get some sunlight, or take a yoga class.” Really? Depression can be crueler than physical pain. Even Job’s friends started out with great compassion.

“When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was” Job 2:12-13 (NIV).

The Book of Proverbs warns us what not to do around these.

“Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart” (Proverbs 25:20 (NIV).

If one has a child or friend diagnosed with a chronic illness or something like ADHD, Asperger’s, dyslexia and so forth, learning about their issues is a kindness we can do for our loved ones. Learning the best way to teach them, correct them, or how their brain works compared to ours, is also essential to those suffering. Not all minds are the same. Would a man as wise as Solomon have a brain that looked like ours? I think some of these children and adults are fearfully and wonderfully made by The Designer of all for a particular purpose.

Many times, a parent frustrated by a rumbustious ADHD child, who is making poor grades, may be tempted to use a rod of punishment when if they had the knowledge of how the child’s frontal lobe differs from others, they would have more compassion and more tools to research natural remedies and the best way for their child to learn and do well academically. A website called understood.org has a section titled “Through Your Child’s Eye’s” where parents can select an issue their child is having and experience what a child with dyslexia and ADHD feels by tools that lead to stimulation.

Sometimes education from Science about pain helps the person in pain. When I went numb from the waist down, I wanted to know why this was happening to my body? When it felt like spiders or creepy things were crawling over my skin, or when I couldn’t remember how to get home from a store a couple of miles away, I had questions about what was going on in my body and my mind. It was scary! Sometimes research answers these questions and stops the person suffering from feeling like they are going insane. They connect with others who have the same symptoms, the same labels, and even learn from communities like Daily Strength, a social network that connects people who are in pain, even the pain that comes from the loss of a child.

A person who has progressed with Alzheimer’s won’t have the ability to learn about the disease and retain it, but the loved one can. Recently, doctors at Mayo Clinic found that slapping nicotine patches on Alzheimer’s patients is helping them with memory. CBD oil is helping people who suffer from epilepsy, anxiety, Cancer, Lyme, and other health issues. Plants are good medicine. Learning from research often helps the one who is too sick to research. Also, when family members search out the disease their loved one has, they can become more understanding, compassionate, and even find helpful tips. On the flip side, sometimes the advice from others who haven’t taken the time to research their loved one’s illness bring a different pain.

All knowledge is good when we have empathy and love behind it.

My husband, while loading his truck with items was asked by a close relative, why he had a motorized scooter in the back. He explained that it was ordered by my doctor for when my muscles are feeble. No one had looked up the diagnosis I had been given and read up on it. Many times people do not understand why a person has to leave the party early or not show up at all. Many people with chronic illnesses and disease, look fine, but inside their body is screaming. My most significant plea to my readers is for them to research the symptoms of their loved ones suffering, and please don’t say, “It’s just the devil!”

When they don’t offer to help clear the table after a dinner gathering, or they seem disgruntled or don’t show up for grandma’s birthday, offenses can take place if we don’t have an understanding–even if they went to an outing the day or week before. Everyone has good days and bad.

Sometimes a family member may have the doctors scratching their heads, and no diagnosis has been given yet, trust me, the person is still going through something. My mother had Parkinson’s disease for a decade before she was diagnosed. Most people do not crave this kind of attention.

Here is the link below to the wonderful spoon story. It can be handed out to family and friends who lack understanding or empathy, and it ministers to those with chronic illnesses.  The Spoon Theory here.

Part #3 Will involve people who can destroy our destiny and even our heath. Bullying, and Torah.

Healing of the Soul Part #1

Healing Part #2

Healing Part #3

Healing Part #4

blog shine 1

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Blessings,

Tekoa

You can find Part #1 here.

If this blog has blessed you, please click like and share.

Soul Shine: Healing the Body, Mind, & Spirit Part l

Part 1

I wanted to write a series of blog post on pain that not only would comfort those who are physically or emotionally going through pain but moved those in distress to embrace their suffering for the medicine it can be. I mean no disrespect or lack of empathy.

Mark Twain once said, “Write what you know.” After becoming disabled in my late 30’s, and being declared fully disabled at 42, I know a bit about pain on a personal level. Pain and suffering don’t just affect us; it affects everyone around us. Like Miriam, the camp was stuck seven days while she was placed outside due to her tongue. Like Jonah, who was on the run, the passengers of the ship lost all their cargo due to him running away from his assignment. This too is painful.

 

Pain is a topic every person has experienced in one way or another. Not just physical pain, but pain that comes in colors of grey. Weighted down pain that keeps you awake at night. The pain of feeling invisible, not good enough, or unloved can be excruciating. Loneliness, heartbreak, depression, fears, and yes, a body that no longer functions as it used to, all evoke PAIN.

I believe when we are dealing with pain of any nature, we must first accept our circumstances and feel every ounce of it. Let me explain.

Loneliness:

How can we reach a point where we feel loneliness with all its shades of barrenness, nakedness, and an emptiness that causes us to ask of it, “Loneliness, who am I? Loneliness why am I here? Alone. What am I created to do? Loneliness, will anyone ever love me?”

Can we reach a place where we drink loneliness like a hot herbal tea with honey and allow it to do its complete work without calling someone on our cell phone, leaving the house, or getting on social media to drown out the sound of silence?

tea 4

 

Silence is LOUD.

It rushes into a room, and it takes it over. It can suffocate us. The walls lean inward and ask us where our friends are? Family? Mate? Anyone? The echoes of loneliness chill the bones.

With this empty place, we understand what Out Father feels like when we don’t commune with Him, or we bring empty words instead of a heart longing to know Him in the secret place. A heart that wants His breath to fill our empty dead womb—our empty rooms. Instead of chasing knowledge and noise, our soul becomes silent like a weaned child. We wrap ourselves in the comfort of His Light. His love. We become still and Know He is YAH! We embrace ourselves and feel every bit of the emptiness. The silence.

Or take fear as the subject matter for pain. Losing everything in my life due to my health brought fear. How could I keep my home with no income? I couldn’t. Who would provide for me? Abandoned by my husband and even many of my friends due to my health taught me to trust The Father. Each day was met with Him showing up and providing for my needs—food, shelter, clothing, a vehicle and so forth. The loss of all my material possessions reminded me to consider a prophet who lived by a brook and birds fed him. Soak in the pain and see what He is doing underneath. What  type of medicine is your pain providing?

When life is hard we journal–we meditate, and we often discover the root of our pain, and it’s not at all what we thought it was or who we blamed for it. It’s deeper.

journal

Have you ever embraced pain like an old recliner and sat in it while meditating on a passage like Psalms 22?

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O, my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest.” 22:1-2 (NASB).

No rest.

Further, into the passage, we feel all the suffering of a Servant named Yeshua.

He says,

I am a worm and not a man, a reproach of men and despised by the people.

All who see me sneer at me. . .
“I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And You lay me in the dust of death.

For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me;” 22:6, 7, 14-17.

The imagery makes us feel as if we are right there in the story looking down at our bones. And we are, but can we drink the cup?

He says,

They stare at me.

They pick me apart.

I’m naked.

I’m in such agony and suffering that one cannot tell if I am human.

They cast lots for my clothing.

Do people desire your clothing? Your gifting? Your knowledge? Your fan club? Or has your coat been stripped from you like Tamar’s prophetic mantle she tore after being assaulted? Joseph’s bloodstained coat? Are you scraping your oozing sores with a piece of broken pottery? Are dogs salivating around you in this season? Are you encircled with men who despise you?

Another sickness not mentioned much at the doctor’s office is pride.

Can we count our bones or is our flesh fat? Are we murmuring or finding fault with everyone but ourselves? Is quail meat coming out of our nostrils or has our heart melted like the light of a Sabbath candle? Slowly pouring out, dripping, and bending into the flame, like a humble servant.

“The psalmist cried, “My heart is like wax.”

What type of circumstances causes us to fall on our faces and seek His Face?

A winning lottery ticket? A title of prestige? A successful business? A bestselling novel? No. But receive word that your spouse has Cancer, your sibling just took their life, your prodigal child’s off sowing wild oats, or you find yourself financially strapped, to the point you’re losing everything you own, and BAM, the knees bow. The cry comes forth. Be not far from me, Adonai! Come quickly and rescue me! Hear my cries Oh Father of LIGHT!

I am humbled by Psalms 22. I am reminded that there is no pain that our King has not felt. He knows us personally and the fellowship of our suffering, but do we know Him and the fellowship of His suffering?

Is suffering a good medicine?

“Therefore, since Messiah suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. . .” 1st Peter 4:1 (ISR).

Paul said, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10-11 (NASB).

Can we be conformed to death of self, flesh, our stinking desires and complaints of lack and just break open a vial of oil and bathe Him in it? Oh, Abba give us the grace to DIE and feel pain as a medicine!

“Then Miriam took a pound[a] of very expensive oil of pure nard and anointed Yeshua’s feet, and she wiped His feet dry with her hair. Now the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” John 12:3 (TLV).

Shemen is the Hebrew word for oil. This word also has Shem in it for The Name.

“For fragrance your oils are good. Your name is oil poured forth, Therefore the maidens love you. Draw me! We run after you.” Song of Solomon 1:3-4 (ISR).

RUN.

A house filled with the fragrance of oil sounds amazing. Ponder our own temples and The Body of Yeshua in one accord, fragrant and smeared in oil. A bird bath of oil. Oh, Anointed One come save us! Smear us! Wash us! Save us from being fat with health and wearing pride like a necklace and stopping the oil from coming forth. Make us as One and as little children.

 

 

 

 

 

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How does the passage in Psalms 22 end? It ends with a great proclamation of what happens at the end of suffering and it’s sweet. It’s fragrant. It’s oily. The crushing of a flower—an olive, a soul.

“ For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the lowly one. Nor has He hidden His face from him, but when he cried to Him, He heard.

 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to Adonai. All the families of the nations will bow down before You.

 For the kingdom belongs to Adonai, and He rules over the nations.

 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship. Everyone who goes down to the dust will kneel before Him— even the one who could not keep his own soul alive. His posterity will serve him, telling the next generation about my Lord. They will come and declare His righteousness to a people yet to be born—     because He has done it!” Psalm 22:25, 28-32 (TLV).

HE HAS DONE IT!

Healing of the Soul Part II

Healing Part III

Healing Part IV

In part #2  we will look at health and what a person suffering might need from others. I will also touch on Torah and Science and how knowledge of pain can actually bring more compassion and empathy to those we love who are suffering, not less. This series will also inspect those around us and how they can affect us for good or infect us with a taint in the anointing or worse, sickness and dis-ease.

Blessings,

Tekoa

If this message ministered to you in any way, please feel free to share.

 

Photos by Tekoa, and beautiful bird bathing by Andrew (Andy).

 

Wholly Illuminated

This week while scrolling through social media I read a meme (below) that described my week or parts of my whole existence.

survive

 

The meme along with the raw words written by a friend pierced me. Her vulnerability at that moment ministered to me. It went to a place in my soul that was in need of a bandage. It helped me cry. I believe there is rainwater from heaven in every droplet of our tears. Feelings are meant to be felt.

I had no idea when I started this blog last week that I would add a portion exposing my vulnerability, but here I am.

I am a person that’s dealt with trauma in my lifetime. None of us are getting out alive.

When my husband and I go for short walks at night, he knows that if a dog barks I am going to jump two feet. A loud horn blares, I squeeze his hand until my nails leave indentions. Earlier in the day, he walks behind me unannounced in the bathroom, and I scream bloody murder, my arms flaring and my heart pounding. Later, he wants to look at a property for sale in the country, secluded– and my first thought is a book written by Truman Capote called “In Cold Blood.” It would be funny if it weren’t true. Perhaps this is what helps me write fiction? I’ve lived a thousand lives under the sun…He briefly touches on the topic of my fears, and I blurt out,

“I am fearful of everything and nothing!”

“What?”

“I’m scared of people hurting me, dogs, going for walks, evil men, living in the middle of nowhere—living in the city. I’m petrified of hospitals, doctors, and the whole time we lived with my father I never once went on a walk with you for fear of a dog, a bobcat, a snake, or some ferocious animal attacking me.”

He’s listening, and I am wondering what he is thinking, but I continue talking this through.

“At the age of 9 or 10, my brother had a paper route. If he missed a couple of houses, my father would toss me in the back of the truck. He would pull in the drive, and I’d place the paper on the porch and hop back in the bed. One particular house stands out. Before I could reach the porch, a large German shepherd lept over the fence and landed on top of me gnashing his teeth. Luckily my dad got it off of me. I went on to babysit for our neighbor at 13, who had the most massive, loudest, German shepherd on the block. The fear started after a dream of hungry wolves surrounding me. I was 30, and they were there.

“I’m scared of everything and nothing, I say again.”

“I’m not scared of sickness, death, demons, or losing all my material possessions and becoming homeless.”

He looks confused.

“Honey, “Do you know how crazy that sounded? Do you even understand what you just said? You just named things most people in the world are scared to death of. Even death.”

“Maybe it’s because I have faced those things, I think to myself?”

Some of us have a point on a map, a calendar, a datebook locked in our brain and we can tell you the exact moment of the car wreck, the diagnosis, or our child that died before it ever learned to talk or even before it exited the womb. There is a moment in time where we look back at the shattered glass, the addiction, the iron bars, the chemo, the foreclosure, the divorce papers, the bruises, the rape, the welfare department, the mental break down, or the charade of pretending to be really put together when we were one button shy of EXPLODING!

Yes, we all have our moments, and some of us have another type of trauma. In World War II with gunfire and bullets whipping around his head, my uncle wading in freezing waters, stopped and threw his hands in the air and cried, “The war is over!” Of course, it wasn’t. He just had wishful thinking. He had seen too many bodies stacked in piles– stripped of all dignity— He had seen and smelled enough death.

But, some of us don’t have one memory or one vivid scar—it’s not one childhood adventure filled with nightmares, but more of a series of unfortunate events—sometimes it is an everyday battle just to get through.

Sometimes we wonder how we can take another step—breathe– trust again–go back out into the world and try and be a candle burning for someone else. We too cry and throw our arms to heaven exclaiming “The war is over!” I’m exhausted Abba. Take the pain, sorrow, shame, guilt, confusion, debt, unbelief, sickness, and trauma and take my weapons of fear. Take the bars I have built to protect me. Take the suffering.

pottery job

 

 

Job took broken pottery, and he scraped his sores. He came to a place where he was okay with death. Matter a fact; he welcomed death. He said the thing he feared the most had come upon him, but what was that thing?

He starts the beginning of chapter three cursing the day of his birth. He wishes that he had never been born because his pain is so deep. He explains how those in the grave are at rest. Job 3:16-17.

One morning, in the midst of some of the worst pain I have ever felt, I awoke to this pain in terror that I was going to have to get through another day of suffering. I prayed to die. I quoted Job verbatim. Then I heard an echo, “Do you not value the life I’ve given you? Do you not hope for better days?”

Job goes on to explain his fear.

“Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come,” Job 3:20-21.

And that is what he feared. A death that does not come. He feared he wasn’t going to get to escape such misery. He had lost children, cattle, oxen, servants and he was suffering so severely. He wasn’t a man steeped in fear. He was a righteous man who wanted to go rest. I remember relating to such words. “Just take me Abba! I’m finished here. What good am I to anyone laying here suffering? I have nothing left here to do!” But I was much mistaken. I hadn’t even tasted what He had in store for me.

What does it look like when we use all our experiences and healing to help another heal? What does it look like when we embody Him and are a light? A candle. A burning flame that can’t be hidden because His light outshines all the darkness we’ve been through?

 

lightttttttt

What if The Father of Glory wanted to come spend an evening with you? What would that look like? What did Shavuot and the tongues of fire sound like?

We often imagine what it would have been like to walk with Yeshua/ Jesus. To intently listen to Him tell parables, but what about as we go through our repetitious life? A typical workday or weekend. What would that look like to meet the risen Savior face to face? I’m talking about something fragrant. Something memorable. Something that’s hard to even articulate.

You may have gathered from my previous blog, that I don’t like to be at the hospital without my husband. Our first night back at the hospital he slept on a couch next to me. By the second evening, between his back and his hip, he was ready to go home and get some much-needed rest. Before he left, he came over and said a simple prayer asking The Father to watch over me and protect me while we were apart. He also prayed for the Father to send compassionate people to care for me. What a very precious husband I have.

After he left, I was exhausted and a tad anxious, but I was prepared to try and rest until he returned. If you’ve ever spent much time in a hospital you know it’s difficult to get any rest with pain, nurses coming in and out, beeping IV’s, as well as bathroom help and so forth. On my second return to this hospital, I had some of the best nurses I’ve ever come in contact with. However, there was one that seemed explicitly handcrafted for me. I’ll call her Daffodil.

dafodils

 

 

 

 

I’m fast asleep, and around 8 pm I hear my door open. I turn, sleepy-eyed and look up at this woman who has just entered my room. She is tall– with a smile that made her eyes twinkle like stars in the night. She did not walk but seemed to sashay around the room in ballet slippers softly checking this and that.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Manning; I’ll make a note that you’re an early sleeper so that I won’t disturb your rest.”

“Oh, I’m not an early sleeper. In fact, I’m a night owl. I was dozing from the medicine.”

We began to talk, and before we knew it, we were knee deep in cooking shows. The Great British Bake-off! Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood were our first topic.

“Did you know that Mary contracted polio at the tender age of 13 and had a weaker arm due to it?

“No, I did not know that.”

“And did you know Paul would help her roll out her dough and prepare items?”

“Really,” I said, trying to sit up more.

“I think Paul looks like the guy from American Idol.”

“Oh, Simon!” Yes! Ha-ha!”

She laughed heartily, and then we were off to our next cooking adventure. Daffodil expressed her aspirations to create fabulous food. Her stories of family and grandparents who loved to bake were sprinkled throughout. I discussed my mom’s homemade carrot cake, and she described a delicate Italian cream cake made by her grandmother. The conversation was light but personal.  We left baking and then traveled to World War II episodes on Netflix. Soon, we were reliving Foyle’s War, Land Girls, and Call the Midwives. Before I knew it, we were sailing on to authors and our favorite all time books.

When Daffodil smiled, her light lit up the room. She exclaimed, “I love books! I love the smell of books!” I responded with an unquestionable, “YES!” Like fresh crayons in kindergarten! We giggled like school girls. Her phone buzzed, and she had to scurry off to another room. Suddenly, I felt revived. She was one of my people, and I was going to be blessed with her light for the next three days.

We discovered we lived very close to one another. Right down the road from Barnes and Noble bookstore—a landmark. I mentioned my new grandson.

“Oh, I bet you just want to eat him up!”

She began to tell me about her nephew who had high jacked her heart.

“Even if I have worked all night, need to clean, do laundry and catch up on things, one call from him “Aunt Daffodil can we go out?” and I am like “Baby, yes, we can!”

Suddenly, we were laughing, and I had to hold my side that was still very sore to release the joy I felt. She caused me to forget my pain—my fear, and that my husband wasn’t coming back until morning.

Since the surgery, I have met two stoma nurses, both kind and good at what they do. Their profession is to try and prepare people to change a colostomy bag and empty it. For me, it was overwhelming and quite frightening to take in. It was humbling. You notice things and smells and the level of care. Since I had been back in the hospital with my wound, no one had helped me one on one yet, but Daffodil did. She took me in the bathroom and equipped me with gloves, tips for spraying, cleaning, and deodorizing the room, and she did it with the most compassion I’ve ever felt from any human. I wasn’t embarrassed, humiliated, or even scared to allow her to help me, help myself. This woman snuck into my room over and over again. She learned I was a writer of fiction and Torah teachings and wanted to know how to order my books.

She never told me about her religious beliefs. She never preached to me. She never quoted scriptures. No politics. No pushing or pulling, but her words held LIFE. Her tongue FRUIT.

tekoa 8

Daffodil walked into my room like a candlelit burning brightly–like a flower pouring out fragrance. She bowed lowly. My husband witnessed her in her other patient’s chambers as he walked down the hall and he said: “She is that bright no matter where she goes.” That BRIGHT. Like a candle on a lampstand. Oh, Saints, we can be those candles! We can be the hope of glory!”

When we are crucified with Messiah Yeshua/ Jesus, we no longer live, but He lives in us.

The Zohar states, “When a Jew utters one word of Torah, the light [in his soul] is kindled…and he sways to and fro like the flame of a candle.”

CCR, Credence Clearwater Revival, has a song called “Long as I can see the light.” John Fogerty bellows for us to put a candle in the window.

“If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.” Luke 11:36.

What does Yeshua tell us before this? “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.”

Thank you, Daffodil for being a light to me and thank you Abba for hearing my husband’s prayer and bringing light into my room.

We can heal from all the trauma by shining our lights to those in need. By listening. By praying. By giving sound counsel. By measuring our words. Even at our darkest moments in our deepest misery, we have LIGHT.

The picture of my husband below seemed to shine with extra light, and I wanted to personally thank him for being a bright light in my life for seven years now. Blessings friends. SHINE!

 

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Retribution

I am seeing an ostomy nurse who specializes in patients with acute and chronic “wound” care. Things in the natural often mimic things in the spirit.

Wounds and pain are funny things. They have layers. They have smells and degrees of infection and pus. They can be covered up with a Band-Aid or douched in ointments, but if they keep getting infected, they never heal up to become scars. How do we deal with the people, situations, and traumas that have hurt us to the point we need an ostomy nurse?

Everyone I know has pain. A story. A wound. A past. We often try to take matters into our own hands and fix things that are causing us pain. We want to secretly punish our enemies or those who treat us with disrespect, contempt, isolation, jealousy, and hatred. We want our Father to expose them but cover us.

Many times we are standing in the face of a storm that’s so powerful the dust is stinging our eyes, and the tempest is shattering our peace. It’s during these times of difficulty that we scream, “Abba look what they are doing to me! Listen to what they are saying about me! Look how they have treated me in this relationship, this family, or on this job. We smugly add, “and after all, I have done for them!”

We keep track of their wrongs and our rights.

We want a God in those moments who looks a tad different than the God we want when we realize we have used our words to tarnish others. We have purposely treated others in a manner that was not with a servant’s heart but a selfish heart. We want this Father to overlook–to dismiss when we steal our brother’s birthright, or when we take our earthly father’s idols and hide them under our skirts. Yes, we want the compassionate and merciful Father at those times, but when we are wounded, we want a WARRIOR to stand and fight for us.

vein

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My first night home from the hospital was slippery. I am swollen and hurting, and there is this bag attached to me. In certain glimpses, I am reminded of an old vacuum cleaner bag that connects over a round circular tube. My stomach looks quite bruised and this bag swinging from my abdomen is a foreign object that frightens me. I am not used to this contraption that makes sounds and becomes heavy on my thigh. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the boxes sent home with me. There are gloves, odor drops, disinfectants, wipes for my rolled up Velcro tab and sweeper bags.  I’m thinking a million thoughts. Mostly will I ever feel human again or like a vibrant, sexy woman?

I am not second guessing the surgery or the fact that the surgeon found scar tissue and places where my colon and intestines were seared together due to another surgery from 2004. I’m reminded of this faint journey where I referred to myself as the woman with the issue of blood. “Endometrial ablation is a procedure that surgically destroys (ablates) the lining of your uterus. The tools vary, depending on the method used to ablate the endometrium. They might include extreme cold, heated fluids, microwave energy or high-energy radio frequencies.”

No amount of juicing, fasting, cutting out sugars and carbs, and so on, could have un seared or straightened the zigzagged mess the surgeon ran into, but let’s get back to wounds and enemies.

After spending four nights in the hospital and one night at home with my new sack, I awake in the morning with a knowing that my colostomy bag has to come off. This doesn’t make sense, but I am sure Holy Spirit wants my husband to help me remove the bag and look at my stoma. As we uncovered my stoma, we see that it is separating and there is a gaping place. Possibly from throwing up much the day after surgery.

manning room

 

We take pictures and send them to the doctor’s office, and they contact the home health care nurse who patches and changes the bag and makes an appointment for me to see the ostomy nurse. But by that evening my stoma isn’t working, and my stomach is as red and swollen as a watermelon. In the natural, it looks like they may be rushing me to the OR. In other matters, my husband and I are battling painful problems with those we love. There seems to be a separating going on in more ways than one, and the wounds we are feeling hurt horribly. No patching can fix the underlying issues. What is happening in the natural is happening in the spirit. The waste isn’t coming forth to bring healing as there is no communication.

We get to the ER, and it’s a bustling Sabbath. It’s the last place we want to be. This ER is in an area of town laden with drugs, crime, and poverty. However, this hospital host some of the best doctors in the world. It’s touted for the first fully self-contained artificial heart transplant and the first successful hand transplantation.

We wait over an hour, and my pain is horrible. I’m crying and praying and looking around the room at many who needed set free from addiction, demons, and agony. Finally, I ask the lady at the desk how many are in front of me, and she says five. She then says let me check with the supervisor. Suddenly, a lady comes out and says, “Mrs. Manning we are not sure how this happened, but we show that you are already in a bed in the ER. Obviously, that is not you, but since you are already in our system, and you just had surgery, I’m going to get you a room. Hold still.” Baruch HaShem! He hears. He sees.

We sit back down, and a lady comes out to get my blood. She looks at my husband and says I’ll bring her right back,” I tell her I want my husband to come with me. She exhales roughly and says, “There is no reason for that ma’am, you are just getting blood drawn, and I’ll bring you back out–5 minutes tops.” I look at her again and mouth something like “I know the drill, or this isn’t my first rodeo.” She is quite ticked off now. I plead and explain that hospitals give me PTSD and she says “okay, come on, but this is ridiculous. He’s just going to walk right back out here in a second.” I feel the lack of compassion, and my heart hurts.

Both my arms are bruised from the I’V’s used before and after surgery. It seems my left arm went hard as a brick and they switched to my right. The phlebotomist finally finds a place on my right wrist. She places the tourniquet on tightly. I grimace with an “ouch!” To which she jabs the needle in my vein roughly. I look down, and the whole thing blows up like a balloon and turns greenish purple. It doesn’t really hurt, as the pain from my wound has overtaken any other pain in my body and made it minimal.  I secretly think she has done this on purpose, but I cannot be sure. I ask for a Kleenex as more tears come and she says harshly, “We don’t have any back here.” Suddenly, a lady two feet from her picks up a whole box and hands it to my husband and says “she can have the whole box.” The Phlebotomist ignores this. She is labeling vials and rummaging through things, and then she stands up and says something about getting us back out to the waiting room.

I look at my husband who is looking at my arm, the box of tissues and then back at Nurse Cullen from Twilight. He can tell people off without them realizing it until much later. I can tell that he is getting ready to let this lady have it. I say, “Don’t do it Chief. It’s not worth it. He looks at me and back at her. “Just let it go. It’s Shabbat.”  I see the wheels turning, and about the time his lips part to utter something, a male RN at the desk across from the blood station stops the commotion and says, “I will take them now.” He is quick to look at the photo of my stoma on my hubby’s phone. But as he is looking at my stomach and examining me, I see the Phlebotomist looking over and catching a bit of my colostomy bag and wondering what the picture might look like that my hubby was showing the RN. Had she overheard him say I might need surgery?

Next thing I know, I am in a bed in the hallway of the ER. Doctors and nurses are flying by and then suddenly the nurse who had drawn blood swoops over and says “oh, I’m so glad they got you a bed.” At a closer glance, I realize she is much older than me. She looks uncomfortable. I am looking at her strangely, like who are you? What is this nice act all the sudden? She looks at hubby and says let me get you a chair. She leaves and comes back carrying a black office chair. I can’t tell if this is genuine or if she’s scared we will complain about her. She offers to bring him water. Five minutes later she is back with a plea to bring me a heated blanket. She smiles exhaustedly, and I see it… That look that says I was wrong about you. I thought you were a wimp who couldn’t get poked without your hubby by your side.

She was saying she was sorry over and over, with no words. Hubby saw it too.

We’ve all heard this Torah verse quoted in an assembly or an old western movie, but what does it look like when it happens?

“Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord; I will repay.” Deuteronomy 32.35.

“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord” Romans 12:17-19.

So many times we want to repay. My husband could have made that nurse feel small. He could have called her out—reported her, or even told her a thing or two, but would it have had the same result. Would she have brought him a chair in the ER? A warm blanket? Doubtful. So many times if we would just back off and say I’m going to let my Dad take care of it, He would. In His way. And His way will affect them much greater than we ever could.

1 Peter 3:9

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this, you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

Some people are so wounded it doesn’t matter what we do or say; they take offense. Often the person just doesn’t know us. They take our words, actions, and our very hearts wrong. Like that nurse who had no idea that I have had over a 100 vials taken in one sitting. I’m not scared of needles. I just like my husband by my side. I pled for my husband to come back there with me, and both of them did. My earthly husband and my heavenly Husband. What happens in the natural is happening in the spirit.

Don’t let folks treat you like a doormat, but also discern when to let the Father swoop in and take care of things. He will fight for you and is fighting for you in the background. You may not see it or know about it up close and personal, but trust me, He sees you! He also saw that nurse and had compassion on her. Being a nurse/servant can be a tough job, and at times we can be harsher than we need to be because we haven’t taken the time to fill our empty vessels up so we will have something to pour out. We’ve all been Nurse Cullen at one time or another, bruising others and overlooking the tools around us. Hopefully, we will have the grace and humility to offer a chair, water, or a warm blanket of love to those who come to our tent looking for refreshing waters, when we are as empty as the foolish virgin’s lamps.

 

 

Hate is?

blog hate

Hate is like a piece of yeast.
It permeates and puffs up with satisfaction
It says, “I am right!”
I hold truth!
I carry all knowledge!
I will rebuke!
It wipes its mouth with a napkin
And still the juice runs
Hate dripping off chins
Spilling over into diaper bins
And storefront shelves
Magazine covers,
Fake news
Hatred from the SAME WOMB.

What words will we choose?
To
Soak
In
Kerosene
And engulf in flames
A big ball of detestation
Abomination

Hate picks apart a man born of a woman
It pins labels neatly on their chest
Or even discusses the cup size of her breast

Hate inspects with microscopes
And pulls apart the chambers of one’s heart
And looks for dirt
It gladly finds a few choice particles and cries
AHA!
And holds it in its fist
Towards the one who created the dust and says,
LOOK!
See what I found
IN THEM.
As if Yah could not see the grease and sludge pumping through our wings

Hate never brushes its teeth.
It calls throughout the streets
Looking for flaws in people

She’s too skinny
Too white
Too black
Too blue
Too conservative
Too liberal
That dress won’t do

New age
Snowflakes
Ignorance is bliss
You Baptist
You Messianic
You Stinkin
Methodist

You Muslim
You Kabbalist
You
Fat
Rich
Jew,
You Whore
You Bastard
You Pompous
Proud
Fool!

Hate is a Parade
Noisy and loud
Marching proudly down streets
Getting the attention of everyone it meets
Hate invites us to wear white
And enter buildings where good people go
As we stretch out our pocketbooks on the front row

Hate is quiet
It’s silence during a time of applause
It can’t stand or clap for those whom it hates
It can’t even acknowledge
A floral bouquet
Why is that?
Might the one we hate smell better than our scented stew?
Oh hate, please take a look at YOU!
Might their floral arrangement
Blossom
and
Bloom
With more color
More fragrance
More honey
More
bees?
Oh, hate let love bring you to your knees!

Hate will try and cover the good that we do
Hate twists its lips while it shifts with its eyes
Hate acts as if it has nothing to hide

Hate passes the poor in the poverty rich streets
And whispers I am better than thee
They did it to themselves
It’s their own damn fault
And hate tightens its purse
Its wallet won’t belch
It wraps its wool scarf around its stiff proud neck

Hate cannot waste even a dribble of spit
It doesn’t even move its teeth
To celebrate
Another’s life
It loves jealousy,
envy
and strife

Hate has seeped into our pores
Even in the silence
It snores
Loudly in the stillness
Hovering in the dark
Hate cringes at one single scented spark
Of love

It whispers words
Green tainted
Streaks
Soaked into our walls
Encased with Leprosy
As hearts are searching for one
Single
Tiny
Mistake
To
Grasp
And splatter across the front page
And why?
For the sake of making us taller?
Better
Holier
Than thou?
As if we had all the answers
Like Job’s best friends
As if we could enunciate His Name
And pretend
To have His
Dust on our shoes
As if we were the one who ran to the tomb
On resurrection morning

Hate invites
It makes a request
Come, join in the gossip
Slander
The ‘those people’ salute
No, I think I’ll pass this time
I’m going to the juke
I’ll Smoke another cigar
Pray with a sinner at the bar
For the hatred has spread even among the ones
Who
Say
God
Loves
You and me!
And when we bow in front of heaven
And we smile, and we say
I am not like them
I am better, you see?
More righteous
More holy
More pure
And our lips part to utter
Words

Empty
Painted
Words
Floating up
Laced with snuff
A Lingering
Garbage dump of
Words shut up in our bones
rotting

Let us stop
May we
Inspect our own fruit
May we inspect our love?
And the weight thereof
Weighing it against the hate that’s still pumping through our veins
And wash
And submerge
In the waters of the muddy Jordon
And allow Him to scrub us clean
And echo His Words
The one who bled and died
For
ALL
The wombs that ever came forth
And inhaled Eden
Or crossed the Reed Sea
And left Egypt for a mouth
Flowing with milk
And honey!

Oh, Love come and save us from our lips,

And burst forth like the light of Sabbath rising over the hills.

into our parched hungry souls.

Help us to become

Whole

Echad.