Beauty for Ashes

I found this poem from last year and wanted to post it. Maybe you have felt the same things at times?

 

 

close-up photo of human eye with tear drops

I gathered all my strength and tried to raise up from the ashes. I held ashes in my hands and raised them up to Him
“Here, take these ashes– I screamed!”
“Give me beauty,” I belted.
I glimpsed at the altar of tears.
An ocean of bottles.
My breath trapped inside one container.

green glass bottles
I dragged one leg and limped to the throne room.
It was there that I mourned the loss of everything.
Every title
Every child I carried in the womb
Every house, home, and linage
Every gift
Every friend
Every Judas
I broke open like an alabaster box and poured my soul on the bottom perch before the Lamb that had been slain.

white sheep on green grass during daytime
“Give me beauty,” I moaned.
His gentle eyes were piercing through me.
“Give me oil for this heaviness,” I wept.

I pawed the earth like a horse who’d been shot.
I scraped my boils with pottery and whispered a faint
“The Lord Adonai has given,
And He has taken away,
Blessed be the Name!”
“Baruch HaShem!”
I bound up my heart with bandages, and still, the blood ran
I opened the Psalms, and He told me I had forgotten how He parted the sea,
Spared me of death–
Covered my sins–
Bathed me and cut my umbilical cord.
How He covered me with His skirts and anointed me with oil.

person raishing his hand
Then suddenly–
I felt chains snap!
My wrist a bloody mess–
My hair unkempt–
My mouth in need of fiery coals from the altar.
Place them on my tongue, I plead.
When will you come again and pick me up and carry me off? From this vast wasteland?
He waited until I was 99 years old.
My dried up womb–
My dried up pen–
My dried up exhausted spirit met first fruits morning,
Then, Suddenly–
The sky opened up,
A fountain broke forth from the deep and poured healing waters over my head!
Baruch HaShem!

 
“Thirsting for God in Trouble and Exile.

For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah.

1As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?

3My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

4These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

5Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.

6O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

7Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.

8The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.

9I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

10As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

11Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42, NASB).

person in front of waterfalls with double rainbow during daytime

 

bottles–Bhavyesh Acharya

Lamb–Sam Carter

tears–Aliyah Jamoushttps://unsplash.com/@aliyahjam

Water/ rainbow Jared Erondu

bloody wrist–Valentin Salja

 

Up to Half the Kingdom, Part II, Can We Drink This Cup?

Up To Half the Kingdom

 

When I posted part one of Up to Half the Kingdom, I had typed a portion of part two already.  However, I had a chapter from my memoir (Still unpublished) titled “Can You Drink this Cup?” ringing in my head. Although I do plan on posting one more chapter on connections made with ‘up to half the kingdom,’ I believe this chapter I’ve tweaked is to come first. Travel back in time with me to (2006—7).

 

Can You Drink This Cup?

 

It was late afternoon, and I was sitting in the bathtub with the shower turned on full force. Warm beads of water were spraying over me–pelting my skin. I was beyond weary. The main reason I sat there was due to the sound from the water pressure; it helped drown out my sobs. I was crying so hard; my body was shaking.

I had just started a round of steroids to bring me back from the neurological monster that had gripped me and depleted me of strength. This disease was causing painful muscle spasms and slurring of speech. I could not stand in the shower because I was so off balance, I feared that I might fall over. Also, my legs were too wobbly to hold me up. They felt like tree trunks.

grayscale photo of woman crying holding her right chest

 

I had just shared with my (previous) husband a concern about one of my symptom that was growing worse—I was losing control of my bladder. I spoke to him in a voice that quivered about how one of my friends with multiple sclerosis was wearing diapers; now, at the age of forty. I was terrified of what was happening to my bladder and my bowels—my BODY. My underpants were staying soaked, and the smell of urine was quite embarrassing. However, instead of the compassion that I had received from him in the past, I was now getting disdain and regret. He was regretful that he had married me. It was written all over his face. We began to argue. He informed me that he did not plan on taking care of a sick wife the rest of his life and that he sure was not going to change diapers. He mentioned harshly, my father’s name, who at that time was taking care of my mother with Parkinson’s.

“I am not going to end up like him!” He voiced loudly.

I tried to dissolve under the kitchen linoleum.

He would later go on to leave the country and never return. I would lose not just him, but my precious stepdaughter who called me momma Bonnie. A child, now 7, who had lived with us bi-weekly, since she was a baby had become a bright ray of sunshine in my life. Months later, on a warm spring day, her mother would arrived to pack up her things, and I would stand frozen, yet horrified, as her mother unpeeled tiny fingers from my shirt. To this day, I can still hear her voice sobbing, “Please, momma, please, can momma Bonnie come live with us, pleeease!” These words will be forever seared into my memory.

girl holding paper boat illustration art

 

Her father was tired. Who could blame him?

So as I sat in the shower with my head between my knees sobbing uncontrollably, a million thoughts fired through my brain. Who would take care of me? I already knew he was leaving. It was all part of a bigger plan that I couldn’t see yet. My mind raced with fear. I was crying for two reasons: 1) I was in horrific pain. 2), my husband no longer viewed me as a vibrant woman but more of a grotesque, sloppy person that he had to care for.  I had come to see myself in the same manner. I missed the life we had before the sickness came. Just when I thought it could not get any worse, my husband entered our small bathroom and ripped the shower curtain back. He began to yell and curse with bulging eyes and throbbing temples. I felt like death, and my words slurred when I spoke to him. His eyes glazed over my body that had become overweight and flabby. He continued to yell while I sobbed, and like a scene from the Garden, I tried to cover my nakedness.

This was my husband. The one who had recently purchased a Bible. The one who had started taking me to a local assembly on my better days. I knew this man loved me and had taken care of me up until this point. Now he had become overwhelmed by the situation. My sickness had taken its toll on everyone.

I pleaded and begged him to leave the bathroom, telling him that I just wanted to be left alone, but the more I cried, the more he yelled–even cruelly mimicking my slurred speech. I finally just stopped talking.

I wanted to stop breathing.

At that very moment, I wanted more than anything to check out.

Have you ever wanted to check out? Yeshua, the Messiah, did!

He cried, “Lord, take this cup from me!”(Luke 22:42).  Then He said, “not my will Father, but your will be done.” He began to sweat drops of blood. He knew the PRICE.

 

After my husband left the bathroom, I was alone with my thoughts.

The Holy Spirit reminded me of a prayer I had prayed days before. I remembered then what I had asked for.  I had cried out for forgiveness. I had made so many mistakes.  “Help me be like Yeshua! I want to think and act like Him; I want to be a reflection of His love.

My mind began to picture Yeshua needing Peter, and Peter denying him three times.

Woman, I do not know Him.” (Luke 22:57, NASB).

Perhaps, Peter wasn’t completely lying. Possibly, in a sense, he did not know this ‘man. Yes, he knew the man, Yeshua, who raised the dead, opened the eyes of the blind, healed the sick and cast out demons, but this bloody, beaten man? Who was he? This man stripped of his robe, beaten, and spit on—who was this? Hadn’t they laid the palm branches down and sang to him?

Woman, I do not know Him!

The night before, in the garden, Yeshua requested prayer while all of his best men fell into slumber. These were his Talmidim, the ones who swore they would die for him. All his close friends deserted him when He needed them most. Mine had diminished entirely since the sickness.

My mind pictured the crowd gawking– thorns crushed down into his skull, and the spit of men. How many times had I spit and not even consider my salivary glands? We all have three of them–the parotid glands, the submandibular glands, and the sublingual glands. The saliva produced in these glands is secreted into the mouth from a duct near our upper second molars. Oh, how we forget what a magnificent Creator we have! To spit upon the one who created spit?

Yeshua was not standing with a golden crown, dressed in His Kingly attire riding on a white horse. He was not roaring like a lion from the tribe of Judah. Who was this man? A sacrificial Lamb stood before them naked and bloody, and Peter screams, “I don’t know the man!”

My bathroom shower curtain had been flung open, and my nakedness had been looked upon with such contempt and repulsion, I could feel the disparagement in my bones.

Our Messiah could count his bones.

Yes, I was getting a taste—

a

very

teensy

sip

of

a

cup.

 

I continued to meditate on how Yeshua’s beard was ripped out in the hands of hate. Indeed, it all became crisper from my weakened condition.

I had prayed to look like Him. Now, Abba was asking me a question. “Do you know what you are asking? Are you able to drink the cup, I drink?”

The sons of thunder wanted the glory and the seat next to him in his Kingdom, but could they taste his cup of suffering? And so it is the same with many of us in the body of Messiah. We pray to be like the spotless Lamb, but we do not want to suffer with him. All his disciples went on to drink this cup. They were tortured, beheaded, crucified upside down, killed with the sword, boiled in pots and put to death. The Father did not spare them. The head of His prophet was whacked off and placed on a platter. Were these men not chosen for such a time as this?

“Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies” (II Corinthians 4:10).

“From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus” (Gal 6:17).

Paul knew this pain. He had been stoned, beaten with rods three times, imprisoned and shipwrecked. He was left in the open sea for two days, clinging to a plank with the sharks. He was whipped with thirty-nine stripes. He had been given a thorn in his flesh!

How do we prosper amid such trials and places that seem void of the Father? How do we get back up with that cross on our shoulders and keep climbing up the hill towards Golgotha so we can get this flesh crucified? Can we drink this cup? Did the world know the apostles due to their prosperity, ease, fame, and accolades of men?

“You adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever chooses to be a friend of the world renders himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

Good questions to ask are: Is the whole world doing it, watching it, talking about it, buying it, wearing it and celebrating it?

How can the things of this world compare to eternity with The King of Glory?

Do people hate you? Maybe you’ve been taking some drinks from His cup?

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (John 15:19).

James said to count it all joy when we go through trials and sufferings. Paul said, “And not only this, we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

I feel like we in the body of Messiah, at times, have just wanted the meek and mild Yeshua, the One who took the stripes for our healing. The Messiah that gives us wealth, a good parking space, and answers all our prayers. We don’t like the Yeshua that offends us–the Lamb that says, “Pick up your cross–drink my blood– eat my flesh and drink from my cup.”

The sons of Zebedee wanted the upper room experience, the resurrection glory–they want it without the DEATH. If we don’t drink the first cup, can we partake of the second cup?

After Yeshua spoke of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, the Bible says, “From then on many of His taught ones withdrew and were not walking with Him any more.67יהושע therefore said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”68Then Shim‛on Kĕpha answered Him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You possess words of everlasting life” (John 6:66-68, ISR).

Is it our best life, now?

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25“He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:24-26, NASB).

So let’s recap Part #1:

(Matthew 20:17-21) “As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, 18“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.” Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.”

We read the same story in another Gospel, and it shows that the brothers asked as well. They came worshipping him, but they wanted to be exalted. They had a taint in their worship. They tried to bargain–make a deal with the Moshiach and exchange their devotion for a place of honor, and esteem. If He was going to have a kingdom, they wanted to be on the throne and exalted right beside him.

Yeshua said, “Ye know not what ye ask! Are you able to drink the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? John said he baptized with water, but one was coming who would baptize (Immerse) with FIRE. Our Messiah could not baptize them with fire until he was baptized in sorrow—immersed in all the anguish and cruelty that the garden of Gethsemane and the cross held in its hands. They snoozed while his very blood dripped and oozed out of his pours. My own family members for a season seemed to snooze through my suffering. To this day when I mention some of the things I went through, they respond with, “Hmm, I don’t remember that.” The friends I had for years were suddenly gone. They didn’t know how to react or be around this woman. They said, “I do not know that woman!” These men wanted to worship him, but they had not spiritually died with him yet. I was beginning to die to my flesh. This suffering was causing me to reach up and seek a place of death so that I could live.

group of people attending burial

 

I was learning more from the pain than I had ever learned when I was healthy. I was becoming thankful for the mornings I awoke in my right mind–my very breath. Sometimes it takes getting on a cross and dying, to worship a Father without bargaining. I had reached a place where I could honestly say, “If I never get any better and only grow worse, I am still going to praise You because Adonai you are WORTHY!

Sometimes in our suffering, He seems a million miles away. You may feel that way right now? It’s as if He has forsaken you. His Son, Yeshua, felt the same way.

Psalms 22 says, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver him” (22:1, 6- 8, KJV).

The psalmist continues, “They pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones: They look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength haste’s thee to help me” (Psalms 22:16-19).

I needed Him more than ever as I sat twelve years ago in my bathtub, naked and sick, and dying a death. I felt so frightened, so alone.  Abba led me to this verse.

“You who fear Adonai, praise Him!

All Jacob’s descendants, glorify Him!

Revere Him, all you seed of Israel.

25 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.

26 From You is my praise in the great assembly.

I will fulfill my vows before those who fear Him.

27 Let the poor eat and be satisfied.

Let them who seek after Him praise Adonai.

May your hearts live forever!” (Psalm 22:24-27, TLV).

Abba, Daddy, did not loathe me when I was crying out, sitting in fetal form at the bottom of my bathtub. He did not hide His face from me. He was there all along. It was my husband and me, who abhorred my illness, not the Father. Suffering brings sweetness and compassion for others. He is right there with you!

The prosperity lies in what we learn during the trials of our sufferings. I learned my Heavenly Father would never leave me nor forsake me.  He had a plan.

Let us look at Isaiah 53, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with His stripes we are healed, all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to His own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (4-6).

It goes on to say in verse 10, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; He hath put him to grief.”

pink rose

 

Have people accused you of being stricken of God?

Yeshua knew the end of the story:

“But I say to all of you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matt 26:63-64).

Has He bruised you?  He sees the end of your situation too, and He longs to bring restoration. 

King David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word” (Psalm 119:67). When we begin to cry out, “Not my will for my life, but your will Father–You do what needs to be done, you pluck out what needs to be removed, You put me on that Potter’s wheel and smash the clay. You take those pruning shears and cut away. Yes, it is then that He shows up mightily on our behalf. That’s when he says hand over the clay. I am molding you and making you into an instrument worthy of use.

Adonai is full of mercy, and He longs to know us on an intimate level. Do you have the courage today to say, “Yeshua, I want to be just like you, instead of, I want to sit next to you on the throne in an exalted place?” Earthly Kings can only offer up to half of their kingdoms, kingdoms they do not own.

Can we see the end result?

 Amy Carmichael said it best, “No wound? No scar? Yes, as the master shall the servant be, and pierced are the feet that follow me; but thine are whole. Can he have followed far, who has no wound? No scar? 1867-1951.”

man and woman on seashore nearby starfish

 

Blessings!

Tekoa Manning

Part #1 HERE

Sources:

Artwork–photography:

Toa Heftiba@heftiba

Sharon McCutcheon@sharonmccutcheon

Rhodi Alers de Lopez@20164rhodi

Zhang JR@z734923105

Aleyna Rentz

Kat J@kj2018

 

 

 

 

Up to Half the Kingdom

zeb 1

In this blog series, we will look at those like Esther, who stood before kings and made request, as well as the request of one man on the cross next to Yeshua.

At one point, I’ll ask you to sit with me, as we shine a light of introspection inside our souls. Even in our silence, we are always making request of the King. If we pray without ceasing, our hearts cry out.

There is nothing hated as greatly as truth.

Stephen speaks truth in the book of Acts and is stoned to death. John speaks truth and ends up on the menu.

“For Herod himself had ordered that John be arrested and bound and imprisoned, on account of his brother Philip’s wife Herodias, whom Herod had married. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife! So Herodias held a grudge against John and wanted to kill him” Mark 6:17-19.

Grudge in the Hebrew sense means to cherish an anger and nurture it.

Herodias wanted John dead. Her daughter dances for Herod on his birthday, and he tells her that he will give her anything, even half of the kingdom. She, like Esther, is standing before a king. What will she ask for? What will we ?

“The king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” 23And he swore to her, “Whatever you ask of me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom!”

Then she went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?”

And Herodias answered, “The head of John the Baptist.”

At once the girl hurried back to the king with her request: “I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter immediately.” Mark 6:22-25).

Immediately. Chop chop–literally.

During this blog, I hope you will pause here and there, as we ask the question: what are our souls requesting from the Master, the King of Kings? When the king waves his scepter and says, “Ask whatever you wish.”
Are we coming boldly to His throne room like Esther? If I die, I die? What does our request look like?

Some of my most significant accomplishments and life lessons have been birthed out of tragedies, mistakes, weaknesses, and fears. It is often on this journey under the sun that we find ourselves in circumstances that are incredibly uncomfortable. We may have moments that turn into seasons where we want to check out. We huddle up in a fetal position and hold our broken souls, or we run full throttle, keeping busy with life, never slowing down long enough to deal with our past or present wounds.

Can we sit still long enough to question why we take flight or sit paralyzed—why we scream to be noticed or slink into corners? Why we need to fill up a room with our grandeur, or why we feel invisible and unworthy of being seen.

As a society that makes millions off of social media and reality Television, can we capture sacred moments without publicizing them? Can we enjoy a sunset alone with our Creator without sharing it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, every time.? Even if its royal purple and red? Are my treasured moments, thoughts, or accomplishments in life measured by the number of views, hearts, likes, or shares, I get? Can I be silent without ‘my’ opinion being stated?
Or worse, have i kept silent while Haman is erecting gallows for my people?

Who are my people?

sunset by Peter

In our sorrow or complacent posture, we ask questions to the King of the universe, or we request nothing.

Is it possible that our flesh grows louder, and is in fact, screaming for red stuff because our souls are as dead as a corpse?
Yeshua said, “You wash the outside of your cups and dishes, while inside there is nothing but greed and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25).

Self-indulgence: gourmet foods, pampering, massaging, plucking, plumping, sitting on ivory couches eating choice lambs.
DEAD.
Who will awaken the dawn?

In our deadened state, we tell the world we are alive and excited! Prosperous, even, but by whose standards? We say we are blessed, but how is this defined for us?

“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laughBlessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man” (Luke 6:21-22). Truth can get you killed by the sword or by men with sharp tongues.

We venture outside and see each person with fresh eyes, eager to learn from their wanderings, or we smugly think they have nothing to offer us. We magnify their faults and forget their strengths. We notice their blackheads while our pimples come to a head.
They offer us clothing, but we judge their shoes and where they’ve traveled as less than and dismiss their offerings–or we crave their attention so much, we tap dance for them and parade our peacock feathers in prideful fashion.
We get so caught up in the hustle, we forget about our soul and leave it on the counter like our lukewarm coffee cup.

The soul is always whispering to us,” taught Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz.
“Then why don’t we change?” asked the disciple Reb Raphael of Bershad.
“Because,” said Reb Pinchas, “the soul never repeats itself.

Spring arrives, and we are still naked. In our effort to sprout or bud with some form of life, we speak to our soul in the silence and say things like, ‘Has anyone ever truly loved me? How can I love my neighbor as myself after what I’ve done or failed to do?’ Why am I here? What am I created to do?

lonliness

We stare at scars where our breast used to be. We remove the wig and see a few spry hairs. We study the MRI report. We look at our ex’s new lover and make comparisons. We receive a frightening diagnosis, a foreclosure, job loss, family issues that seem irreparable, or worse a call in the middle of the night.
We replay the past and multiply our guilt. We say words like ‘if.’
“If I had only done this, or said that, perhaps things would be different. If I would have taken a different route that day. If I just would have made the phone call. If I would have taken them to the doctor sooner—replaced the batteries in the smoke detector, showed them love and not just enunciated the words carelessly—flinging them from my keyboard or lips with such ease.

I

l o v e

y o u

But can we love like a lamp with all its warm glowing light?
Can we love like Yeshua?
Would we know what love looked like if it slapped us in the face?
Have we ever felt it from someone? Who was that person that created a space for our voice, our sorrow, our joy, and our accomplishments? Can we be like them?

Have we returned an ear?

A shoulder to cry on?

Been silent long enough to listen—really listen.

When we lack stillness– we forget the birds sing to us every morning—when we don’t absorb the Sonshine, or actually taste our food, we wander over hills searching for manna on day 7, forgetting how it arrived effortlessly on days 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and doubled on day 6.

numbers

We purchase hair extensions instead of waiting like Samson for new growth. We try and fight for ourselves instead of being still or letting Him. We toss memes up with sharp points that stab people. “Aha, take that!”

We clean out our cabinets, closets, cars, toxic people list. We apply for new occupations, start new projects, enroll in a class and rearrange the furniture. Finally, we open the mini-blinds and allow light to sweep over us like a vacuum collecting debris. Our eyes squint at this beam of radiance as if its some foreign object of torture.
We forget that we are lamps.
We forget to buy oil.
We proclaim that we have oil. Meanwhile, our oil light flashes for all to see, but we don’t notice it.

We go through the motions and never enjoy the moments that make up our lives.
We are corrected and can’t admit that the other person has light to give us.
Have we ever really seen the other person?
Our spouses?

Children?

Family?

Friendships?

“We each have blind spots, just as every candle casts its own shadow. Only when you place a second candle next to the first, do the shadows disappear, illuminated by the other’s light.” Ariel Burger.

We study other humans and decide that we know them. We gaze at people over seasons and form an opinion of their soul—what needs removed, added–like a cake recipe, we have the formula.

cake batter
Yes, we have the ingredients they need for success, knowledge, health, better posture, greater peace, cleaner foods and how to live their best life now.
We don’t listen.
We don’t have empathy, because after all, our pain is more considerable.
We want them to measure our pain, and so we tolerate theirs until we can chime in.

Tolerate? Elie Wiesel, explains,

“I don’t like the word tolerate. Who am I to tolerate you? I prefer the word respect. I must respect you even if I do not agree with you. In fact, my disagreement may be an expression of my respect for you. If I truly respect you, don’t I owe you my honesty?

Honesty? Didn’t John (Yochanan) say honest things to Herod?
Can we handle such a big word in a day and time where everyone gets a ribbon, a medal, and must never be offended? Isn’t pride the reason behind most of our offenses? Our flesh wasn’t noticed. Our feelings were hurt. Our work wasn’t honored or seen. Our talents overlooked. Our children were left out. No one thanked us for our generous gift or time. Or worse, the truth they spoke enraged us to cut off their head.

We wander about not knowing what those we meet daily are going through. We express the rudeness of the bank teller. Like Haman, concerning Mordecai, we say things like, “He didn’t even smile at me or greet me.” We look at the gas station attendant and say, “It can’t be that bad, smile.”

For all we know, they just lost a loved one, a pet, their home, etc.
“Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart.” Proverbs 25:20.

We bounce words off the walls to describe the waitress who leaves our glass empty of tea or never returns with our check, never weighing that possibly she was raped the night before. Abandoned. Had a miscarriage. Is contemplating suicide.

We disregard our family members who put on smiles and utter “life is great! Sales are at an all-time high.” We call him or her pompous on our car ride home, not knowing they hide behind horrific loneliness, addiction, and depression. We accuse others of being hypochondriacs and needing attention. Meanwhile, they suffer with chronic conditions unseen to the naked eye.

We lack empathy.

What have we become? Mere mortals scrolling through our phones, computers, remote controls. Do they control us? Desensitize us? Entertain us? Are we becoming more remote due to them? “Remote–distant, having very little connection with or relationship to.”

We place on mask and hide behind them.

We lack vulnerability, so we build walls to protect ourselves.

“From the Latin word vulnerare, “to wound,” vulnerability is our susceptibility to be wounded.”

At times, there are people in our lives, who blurt out their sufferings with great vulnerability, but where are we while they stand naked before us? Where was Yeshua’s disciples when he cried out,

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up” (Matthew 20:18-19).

This passage is just placed in-between two bookends. We read no responses to Yeshua’s words. There are no words of sympathy. No, “I wish you wouldn’t have to suffer so.” There’s not even a “But on the third day, you’ll be fine!” Matter a fact, the next verse we read is the words of James and John’s mother requesting that her sons may sit on the right and left-hand side of Yeshua when he sits as King in his kingdom.

She bows before him and makes her request. It seems vastly different from Esther’s appointment with a king.

What are we asking of him to do for us in this season?

The gentile Kings, Herod, and king, Ahasuerus both offer up to half their Kingdoms. Kingdoms they wouldn’t have if it weren’t given to them by Adonai.

Herod means to flee or be a afraid. Are we afraid of the truth? Haman’s Name means a multitude of noise. He proclaims truth is what he says it is. Do we make noise when we hear truth?

“The council members shouted and covered their ears. At once they all attacked Stephen and dragged him out of the city.” Acts 7: 57.

20Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him! 22And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”23But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail.” Luke 7:20-23.

Haman’s request is to kill a people– Esther’s is to save. The sons of Zebedee and their mother request positions and titles. What are we requesting from such a Holy King?

In part II of this teaching we will look at more request given to kings and what the heart of the matter is.

PART #2 Click Here

sources:

Quotes from Witness, by A. Burger

Photos by:

Gabriel Testoni —sunset
 
Gaelle Marcel —cake batter
 
 
Cristian –Newman hidden
Austris Augusts —numbers

The Naked King

There is a children’s book written by H. S. Anderson titled The Emperor’s new clothes. I’ll be weaving this tale along with a man named Naaman in this writing concerning self-perception and denial.

“The name Naaman is derived from the verb נעם (na’em) meaning be pleasant, sweet, delightful, and beautiful” (Abarim Publications).

We can be all these things and still have a sickness. This man, Naaman, was commander of the army of the King of Aram. The Bible describes him as a mighty man of valor.

“A great man in his master’s sight (Naaman) and highly esteemed, because through him Adonai had given victory to Aram. Though the man was a mighty man of valor, he had tza’arat (leprosy).’(II Kings 5:1, TLV).

Many of us have this disease and don’t even know it.

Leprosy is incurable, and in advanced stages, the face is covered. This can produce a hideous disfigurement. As the disease advances, insensibility of the skin and paralysis follow, and the fingers and toes may rot away. Naaman had the esteem of men, he was famous for possibly wounding King Ahab, but all his wealth, honor, and fame could not make him clean. Like Miriam, he was separated from the people due to his condition.

In this blog we have two men, one is fictitious, and the other is real. The Emperor in Han’s Christian Anderson’s story was also a great leader of an empire, but he was so consumed with himself, he had no time for his officers or his kingdom. Every hour of every day was spent looking in the mirror and having royal garments custom made for him to parade around town in so all the people could see him. This emperor had leprosy too, but he didn’t even know it.

emperor 1

 

“One day two swindlers came. They told everybody that they were weavers and that they could weave marvelous clothes. Not only were the colors and the patterns of their material extraordinarily beautiful, but the cloth had the strange quality of being invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office or unforgivably stupid.

“This is truly marvelous,” thought the emperor. “Now if I had robes cut from that material, I should know which of my councilors was unfit for his office, and I would be able to pick out my clever subjects myself. They must weave some material for me!” And he gave the swindlers a lot of money so they could start working at once.”

There is only one King that I know of who has the ability to see our garments and know whether they are unfit for His Kingdom.

But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13“Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:11-14).

The two thieves set up looms and act as if they are weaving beautiful garments, but secretly they have hidden the golden threads and fine silks. They are pretending to be able to dress the kingdom, but their hearts are greedy and interested in storing up riches here on earth where thieves break in and steal, where moths eat, and rust destroys. Vanities—chasing after wind, the wrong wind, instead of His Ruach Wind and Spirit, these men chase after what holds no joy. Our Father feeds the birds of the air and clothes the flowers of the fields and He has beautiful garments for us.

But, let’s get back to Naaman, a real commander, and leader of the king. Naaman was more than likely the talk of the town, both for his ability to shoot a bow and injure Israel’s king, and also for being leprous. He needs new garments; only his involved fleshly skin.

A little maid girl, a captive taken in war, a servant of Naaman and his wife, has a cure for this leprous man. This young maid is nameless, faceless, and dressed in servant attire. She should be angry at being captured and made to work. Some of us if in her shoes, might have secretly swelled up with delight that our captor had leprosy. But not this young lady! She says, “If only my lord went before the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would cure him of his tza’arat (Leprosy).” (II Kings 5:3).

Her heart is for her enemies to be cleansed. This reminded me of Moses and his brother and sister. As they gossip about Moses, the Father hears it. “OUCH!

As Miriam turns leprous, Moses doesn’t say, “Aha! That’s what you get for messing with a prophet and leader!” No, he cries out and says, “O God, heal her, I pray!” (Numbers 12:13, NASB).

This is the heart the Father is looking for. Do you see your brother or sister and their condition? Have they spoken about you in a negative light? Or did they go to you in private? We need to address and handle situations the Torah way, if not, we may end up with a stinky mess.

 

I found the next information very curious. The king of Aram sends a letter to the king of Israel, and with it, he sends ten talents of silver, 6,000 pieces of gold and ten garments. This just sings ten lost tribes, scattered, leprous and in need of new garments. After 6,000 years, in the 7th year, we see completion, rest, restoration. Six days a week we work, and on the Shabbat, we rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor; the same is true with millenniums. And so we wait for our King Yeshua to come set up His kingdom.

Naaman goes to the king who writes a letter and sends it to the king of Israel.

“And now as this letter comes to you, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man is sending word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? But consider now, and see how he is seeking a quarrel against me.”

8It happened when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent word to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Now let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel” (II Kings 5:6-8).

namaan

Before we get to the climax of the story, I want to return to the emperor and his new clothes. The emperor was very inquisitive as to how his new garments were coming along, but he remembered that those who were stupid or unfit for office would not be able to see the material.

Everybody in town had heard about the cloths magic quality and most of them could hardly wait to find out how stupid or unworthy their neighbors were.

“I shall send my faithful prime minister to see the weaver,” thought the emperor. “He will know how to judge the material, for he is both clever and fit for his office, if any man is.” The good-natured old man stepped into the room where the weavers were working and saw the empty loom. He closed his eyes, and opened them again. “God preserve me!” he thought. “I cannot see a thing!” But he didn’t say it out loud.

The swindlers asked him to step a little closer so that he could admire the intricate patterns and marvelous colors of the material they were weaving. They both pointed to the empty loom, and the poor old prime minister opened his eyes as wide as he could; but it didn’t help, he still couldn’t see anything.

Am I stupid?” he thought. “I can’t believe it, but if it is so, it is best no one finds out about it. But maybe I am not fit for my office. No, that is worse, I’d better not admit that I can’t see what they are weaving.”

“Tell us what you think of it,” demanded one of the swindlers.

“It is beautiful. It is very lovely,” mumbled the old prime minister, adjusting his glasses.

“What patterns! What colors! I shall tell the emperor that I am greatly pleased.”

The story continues until the evil thieves have taken all the money, gold, silver and fine silks for themselves. It’s like Egypt and the evil task masters. No one wanted to point out the truth. In doing so, they might be deemed stupid or unfit for kingdom work, so they pretend. They are pretending that those in authority are actually clothed in garments of beauty when in fact they are naked.

 

By the end of the story, the Imperial Majesty stands in front of a mirror, and the swindlers have him take off his clothes. He stands naked before them and his elected officials, but he doesn’t dare admit it. They fashion an invisible garment around him with a long flowing train.

A perfect fit!” everyone exclaimed. “What colors! What patterns! The new clothes are magnificent!”

“Well, I am dressed. Aren’t my clothes becoming?” The emperor turned around once more in front of the mirror, pretending to study his finery.

The emperor walked in the procession under his crimson canopy. And all the people of the town, who had lined the streets or were looking down from the windows, said that the emperor’s new clothes were beautiful. “What a magnificent robe! And the train! How well the emperor’s clothes suit him!”

emperor 2

 

None of them were willing to admit that they hadn’t seen a thing; for if anyone did, then he was either stupid or unfit for the job he held.

No one but a child!!!

But he doesn’t have anything on!” cried a little child.

“Listen to the innocent one,” said the proud father. And the people whispered among each other and repeated what the child had said.

“He doesn’t have anything on. There’s a little child who says that he has nothing on.”

“He has nothing on!” shouted all the people at last.

The Emperor shivered, for he was certain that they were right; but he thought, “I must bear it until the procession is over.” And he walked even more proudly, and the two gentlemen of the imperial bedchamber went on carrying the train that wasn’t there.”

Oh, how very spiritual this story is! It is both a tragedy and a form of pride and being stiff-necked. We look in the mirror and never see what we truly look like.

The man Naaman becomes a lot like this Emperor. He has envisioned in his mind how things should come about. He thinks the mighty prophet Elisha will come out and possibly all the people, and he expects the mighty prophet in his mantle to call forth from the heavens and lay hands upon him and poof! Bingo! Ding! Ding! But, no, he must descend to the bottom of the Jordan on his own, and then he will be cleansed. He must immerse himself in the laver, in the cleansing waters of a Mikva. He must dip seven times as instructed by the prophet, but he is angry and wounded—insulted even. How dare him! Does he not know who I am? I’ve got better water, larger areas of water in my own area, he thinks proudly. Can Elisha not see my emperor clothes? Does he not know that I am over the whole army? I’m highly esteemed and a man of VALOR!

Naaman is so stiff-necked, he turns and walks away in a rage.

“Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, “My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean.” (II Kings 5:13-14).

A little child calls out the emperor in public and tells all there just how stupid and unfit they are. Pretending to have royal clothing on in front of the people, when in fact we are naked is a fearful place to be in. We don’t even know our condition or perhaps we do know it, we look right in the mirror and see our nakedness, but like Naaman and the Emperor, we don’t want to confess to the people who have held us in esteem just how rotten our condition is.

emperor 4

There is a King who is very aware of our garments. He is preparing a banquet, and he will throw out those not dressed in wedding garments.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).

Sometimes the Father sends prophets to warn people, but they leave in a rage. Sometimes the Father send little handmaids to warn those in authority of a condition that needs to be healed. Sometimes a little child has to proclaim the truth in the streets.

“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:3-6, NASB).

May we clothe ourselves in garments of beauty before our King. May we become like the little maidservant and a child.

Blessings,

Tekoa Manning

And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet. Yet not one of them was cleansed— only Naaman the Syrian” (Luke 4:27).

 

Sources: http://www.honolulutraffic.com/Emperors.pdf

Abarim Publications

NASB and TLV

Do we hate Him?

 

Image result for free dove photo

“Though you have slept among the sheepfolds (the sheepfolds, שְׁפַ֫תָּ֥יִם Strong’s Hebrew 8240: fireplaces, ash heaps), yet shall you be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold” (Psalm 68:13, KJ).

Recently, I received an urgent prayer request for a little girl who is three years old. She was rushed to the hospital with a fever, the inability to breathe on her own, and a bleeding heart. We later learned that this precious girl named Kabreeyah (He will be Praised) had a heart murmur, and a rare condition called Cor Triatriatum. She had an extra layer of skin that needed cut from her heart. It is here that I must ask a serious question: Do you and I have a layer that needs cut from our hearts too? During this blog, I pray a spiritual scalpel knife will cut away our flesh nature. It may hurt, but afterward, we will be free.

 

What is Cor Triatriatum?

“First reported in 1868, cor triatriatum, that is, a heart with 3 atria (triatrial heart), is a congenital anomaly in which the left atrium (cor triatriatum sinistrum) or right atrium (cor triatriatum dextrum) is divided into 2 compartments by a fold of tissue, a membrane, or a fibromuscular band.”

Once I learned of this heart condition it reminded me of another condition.

“So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer” (Deut. 10:16).

To add to this story, after the child came through surgery, she was to remain sedated for three days. I was suddenly thinking of Yeshua in the heart of the earth three days and three nights, and His blood that covered all our sins. We often get caught up in knowledge and forget about blood and blood covenants. But before we dig into this blog, I am pleased to tell you Kabreeyah is doing well. Praise the Yah in her name.

awake

There are many incredible women in the Bible. Some of them we glance over while reading without thinking much about their tenacious spirits or their holy acts. One woman helped save a whole nation from bondage in Egypt by sparing her husband’s life. Her name is Zipporah which means ‘bird.’ She is found at a well trying to draw water among evil shepherds. They are harassing her as Moses comes to her rescue.

Zipporah was the 7th daughter of Jethro. The number seven represents order, completion and rest. The very root of her father’s name means to be at rest, but the definition of his name means ‘remnant.’ Hmm, a remnant at rest.

Zipporah is remembered as the wife who circumcised her oldest son or son’s so that the Father would not slay her husband. She is also known due to Aaron and Miriam calling her a Cushite (Dark) woman. Could it be possible, that in this one short story, the whole Biblical journey of redemption is hidden–hidden like the dark name Cush? Hidden like the Holy Set-Apart Spirit. Hidden like Moses in the Ark among the Sea of Reeds?

“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman” (Numbers 12:1, NASB).

Cush or Kush is thought to be the land of Ethiopia.

“The first part of our name Ethiopia is thought to derive from the verb αιθω (aitho), meaning to light up or kindle. The related adjective αιθος (aithos) means shining or blazing, and αιθοψ (aithops; also containing οψ, ops) means fiery-looking or sparkling. The ethnonym Ethiopian means Fiery Eye and implies Bright Eyed or Keen of Vision.” Abarim Publications.

Possibly, at this point, you are seeing how this woman, Zipporah, represents the Holy Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)?

“Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that the LORD met him (Moses or his son?) And sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, “You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.” So He let him alone. At that time she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood”—because of the circumcision” (Exodus 4:24-26, NASB).

There are several different opinions on the matter. Some believe it was his oldest son who was going to be killed. Others believe that Moses was busy with lodging arrangements and his appointed task, and he failed to circumcise his sons.

“Rabbi Shimon Ben Gamliel, assumes that the resolution of the episode, the circumcision of the child, is intrinsically related to the entire event. According to this opinion, the intended victim is not Moses but his son. While this would clarify the identity of the victim, the motive for the attack remains obscure. When we recall the context, the discussion of the death of the first-born of Egypt, the threat of a child’s death becomes more intelligible — Moses’ hesitation in coming to redeem the people indicated some type of indifference to the nation described as “the first born of God.” Therefore, Moses’ own first-born is in peril.” Aish.com.

Why do we need to reflect on circumcision and our hearts?

“Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” 10but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face” Duet 7:9-10).

Ouch! Sadly, we can think we love Adonai and that we are keeping His Commandments but instead we may actually hate or despise Him. How can that be?

Dr. Skip Moen explains this better than I can in his blog titled “Esau have I Hated.”

“Hatred” and “despise” are from the same Hebrew root, sane. To hate describes an emotional reaction of repulsion. In this state, a person wishes only to keep distant from the offense or the offender. Hate entails distance. It is just the opposite of love which brings about the desire for closeness. When the word is used in the Tanakh, it is often associated with idolatry, opposition, aversion, and ill-will. In this regard, the verb describes a reaction rather than a causative action. Something or someone acts in such a way that we react with a strong emotional rejection.”

Notice the word distance. This happens in our relationship with Him and with our family, and our brothers and sisters. That’s why it is always good to reach out to someone who has hurt you or someone you have hurt. If not, distance happens.

Image result for free hurt crying photo at love pic

In Revelation, Yeshua warns us to come back to our first love. He tells one church that he has this against them, they have lost their first love. They have distanced themselves and possibly you, and I have too? Desensitization and the things of the world can damage our love.

Zipporah says, “A bloody husband–A bridegroom of blood.”

Is our Father a bloody Husband? Let’s go deeper.

A blood covenant was not to be annulled. This very ancient covenant was given in Genesis 15. Abram brings a heifer, a goat, and a ram three years old. He also carries a turtledove and a pigeon. He splits each down the middle except the birds. It’s a cutting— a covenant. Think of a virgin on her wedding night and the blood—two becoming one. The husband carries his bride over the threshold.

The Father told Abram that his descendants will be strangers in a land and mistreated for hundreds of years, but He explains that He will judge that nation and free them by sending Zipporah’s husband.

When the sun had set, and darkness had fallen, behold, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the halves of the carcasses. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram” (Gen. 15:17-18). This should remind us of Passover and the blood on the doorpost.

On Sinai, God made a covenant with His people Israel. All the people swore to uphold their part of the agreement by being obedient to God’s commandments and instructions. There are blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. We are to act in such a holy manner, we become priest, but we can’t do that if we hate Adonai or our brothers and sisters.

Paul writes letters to Corinth and the assembly there, and he speaks to immature people. He even confronts the leadership to throw some out who claim to keep this covenant.

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?” (I Cor. 3:1-3).

Paul becomes highly sarcastic, and in irony, he speaks more. Before posting Paul’s (Sha’ul’s) words, I want to add a snippet from Gill’s commentary.

They were not full of Adonai, and divine things; nor of Christ (Messiah), and of grace out of his fullness; nor of the Holy Spirit, and of faith, as Stephen and Barnabas are said to be; nor of joy and peace in believing; nor of goodness and spiritual knowledge; but they were full of themselves, and were pulled up in their fleshly minds with an opinion of their abilities, learning, oratory, and eloquence, of their ministers, and of their own great improvements in knowledge under their ministrations. They fancied they had got to a perfection in knowledge and were brimful of it; and as the full stomach, from which the metaphor is taken, loathes the honeycomb, so these persons loathed the apostle’s ministry, and the pure preaching of the Gospel; imagining that they had attained to something above it, and stood in no need of it; when, alas! they were but babes, children in understanding, and needed milk instead of strong meat; so far were they from being what they thought themselves to be.”

Oh, friends! We can be right here and not even know it. We can pass by a mirror and not even see our true reflections.

I think you will be surprised by Paul’s words and his description of what it is like to take up a cross and follow Him. Before you read his words that cut as sharply as the surgeon’s tools on a three-year-old child, imagine him speaking it to your assembly. Can you imagine what the people would say?

He says in sarcasm,

“You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. 9For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. 11To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.” (I Cor. 4:8-13).

He says he did not write this to SHAME them! He continues in chapter five with removing people from among them. Is that loving? Some would say, no. Matter a fact; some wouldn’t dare speak this raw truth. Where are the apostles? We need them in the body more than ever. Where are His prophets who hate sin and see the greater issues? Maybe I sound a tad strong or judgmental? I’m asking leadership to start  praying for the Father to send them to your assemblies. Look out among you and pray.

Let’s read more of Paul’s words that cut.

“I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.” I Cor 5:9-13, NASB).

He tells the people in chapter six not to be bound up with unbelievers. He asked them a question: What does light have in common with darkness?

This covenant is serious business.

I want to wrap this up with a closer look at the names of some of the key players and a closer look at our hearts.

The daughter of Pharaoh is named Bithiah. Strangely this Egyptian princess has a name that means, “Worshipper of Yah or daughter of Yahweh.” She, like Ruth, has cut a covenant with Adonai. She goes against her father’s wishes to kill the Hebrew boys and spares Moses. This woman draws Moses out of the ark (basket). Later on in our story, the Torah will be given to Moses, and he will place it inside the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark is the heartbeat of the tabernacle. This golden chest with its hidden Torah is to be circumcised on our hearts. It is more precious than GOLD.

“Yet shall you be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.”

The worshippers of Yah draw out water from His Torah. The Torah is an abundant fountain of water. Yeshua even informs a woman at a well that if she had but tasted His living water, she would never thirst again.

What are you thirsty for today? Fame, fortune, a spouse, a number one best seller like Paul’s letter here that was written in chains in a prison cell? His living springs bring more refreshing than any silver or gold. His sweet water and Holy breath are greater than any accomplishments, accolades, riches, or kingdoms of this world.

We are peculiar people. We should look and act differently. We should eat differently. Our clothing should be modest. We should celebrate differently. We have a different calendar. We are to speak words of life. We do not look like the world, and that is exactly what perks their appetite. Without Him in our lives, we are just drinking bitter water and complaining and searching for things that can never fill us up.

Oh, Abba cut me!

CUT ME!

Cut the fleshly skin from our hearts!

Image result for scalpel photo at love pic

“The Rabbis applied to the daughter of Pharaoh the verse from the “Woman of Valor” poem “She sees that her business thrives; her lamp never goes out at night” (Prov. 31:18). In the Midrashic exposition, the “night” in this verse is that of the plague of the firstborn, in which all the firstborn of Egypt died. The female firstborn also died in this plague, with the exception of the daughter of Pharaoh. Despite her being a firstborn, Moses was an advocate for her, and she was saved by merit of his prayer. Solomon, therefore, declared (Prov. 31:18): “She sees that her business thrives [ki tov],” since “ki tov” is an appellation for Moses, of whom it is said (Ex. 2:2): “she saw how beautiful [ki tov] he was.”

Noah’s Ark comes from Strong’s 8352 ‘tebah’ in Hebrew, and it is the same word used for Moses basket. Noah’s Ark saved eight souls and protected them from the judgment. Babies are circumcised on the 8th day, so why wouldn’t the man who the Father is sending to free His chosen people, why wouldn’t that man, Moses, circumcise his son or sons? One son is named Gershom (Exiles) or (stranger in a strange land). NOBSE Study Bible Name List Eliezer as God Is Help.

“Note the (assumed) phonetic similarity between the word עזר (azar) meaning help, support, and עשר (‘eser), meaning ten; to a Hebrew audience, the name Eliezer may have sounded like God’s Ten.” Abarim Publications.

And here we see the lost tribes of Israel needing the Holy Spirit (a pretty little bird) to bring them back into His covenant. A little bird, like a dove, descended on the spotless Lamb as he came forth out of the water.

After a bloody death on the cross, the lost sheep of Israel were able to come back into His covenant. He ascended to the heavens, and they waited for the promise, the comforter, the Holy Spirit, the dove, which was poured out at Shavuot.

 

Zipporah’s name means bird—(Holy Spirit)

Moses name means (He Who Extracts, or He Who Draws Out Of The Waters).

Moses mothers name, Jochebed, means YHWH, the Name of the Lord.

Jethro (Zipporah’s father) a remnant at rest.

The Father of Glory wants to live inside or dwell inside our temples. Our temples are supposed to be filled with His Spirit, lit with His menorah, and full of His Bread of life, giving a sweet smelling incense. May the Master surgeon take His Spirit and His scalpel and cut away our flesh, so we can live and draw water from His well.

“Then you will say on that day,

“I will give thanks to You, O LORD

For although You were angry with me,

 

           Your anger is turned away,

           And You comfort me.

2“Behold, God is my salvation,

I will trust and not be afraid;

For the LORD GOD is my strength and song,

And He has become my salvation.”

 

3Therefore you will joyously draw water

           From the springs of salvation.

 

4And in that day you will say,

           “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name.

           Make known His deeds among the peoples;

           Make them remember that His name is exalted.” (Isaiah 12:1-4).

Friends who shine like the Son

wade 4

I went to visit some dear friends a couple of weeks ago. I love these people. I love their hearts and how they have done missionary work in poverty-stricken countries. I love how they don’t have much money, but what extra they do have, they use to buy Bibles for orphans in Malawi or put a roof on a church that literally has an open heaven with rain coming inside.
Most of us wouldn’t even walk a mile to sit in a building in the rain with no roof. These people in Malawi are hungry in more ways than one.
My friend shared how she collected money and had a tin roof put on the church, and how the people lined up when she got out of the car. They were in such awe and crying tears of gratitude. They were running to honor her! One woman gave her a royal gift–a chicken!

So as I was saying, I went to visit my dear friends, Cheri and Wade, and Wade was diagnosed with ALS. I made a meal to bring with us in the car because they recently moved about two hours away.
We laughed and ate, and talked and prayed. It was Shabbat, and as I watched my friend feed her husband his taco, I wondered what it was like for her to hand feed her spouse. The movies usually depict a sexy couple feeding each other seductively with chocolate covered strawberries, but what is it like to look into the eyes of the one you are one with, and realize that each moment is sacred. Each smile. Each wipe of a cheek.
Her shoulders are pillars, and her legs are firmly planted. She is like a strong tree–a woman of valor.
Cheri is exhausted, but you would never know it.
After a bit of visiting and eating, I went to sit with my friend on his enclosed patio. He rode in his chair, and I followed. I plopped down on a cushioned seat and admired the beach theme and petted his dog, Tutt. After a moment, my friend said “I like to sit out here in the mornings and look outside. The sun cascades through the window and shines on my legs and my face.”

Wade hasn’t been able to leave his home for months. As he spoke, I remembered a time, shortly after my release of Walter the Homeless Man, when I had been to Mayo clinic and was very ill. There had been much stress and family issues that seemed to take me over the edge. I had to stay in bed upstairs at our old house, and my hubby had to make sure I had water, medication, and snacks– everything I would need because I couldn’t get up and down the steps while he was at work. I was much too weak. A few weeks later and a few rounds of IV steroids, I was able to take a car ride to a restaurant called The Overlook–Walter’s Pub. Floor length Glass windows on a hillside overlooking the water. It was fall, and all the leaves had changed from green to a beautiful golden orange that lit up the sky. I was weak, but, oh, so thankful to be out of bed. I cried most the way there. Tears of JOY!!! Have you ever cried over the color of the leaves? Have you ever cried over the sun shining in your face?
I love Abba, and I wouldn’t trade a minute of the journey– as Garth Brooks bellows in my head– I could have missed the pain, but I’d a had to miss the DANCE!
Oh, My SOUL!
May our SOULS SHINE! May we not ‘overlook’ His beauty and All of His wondrous creation.


My friend Wade never complained that day. The once strong carpenter, a trade of our Master and Savior, has gained some different tools in his toolbox. These tools were teaching me many lessons, and as the evening drew near, Wade struggled to cough up the stuff in his chest he needed to get out, after composing himself, he continued to smile and joke about the ball game. He spoke about how good it felt to sit in his recliner since my husband was there to help him in and out of it. He was enjoying the day. The Shabbat in all her Glory was shining on him.
My friend Wade didn’t lament about a whole host of things. Tiny things we take for granted. Tiny organs that lay hidden behind ribs and bones that one day will come together and stand dressed in glory, but for now, each day, my friend grows worse, yet stronger:

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
–II Corinthians 12:9-10, NASB
Meeting Wade and Cheri, has been one of the biggest blessings in our life! They are people of integrity, and one day I’ll dance with Wade and Cheri, and we will have a drink of the best wine we’ve ever tasted–poured out by the greatest Servant that’s ever walked this earth, but for now, time is a precious thing.

wade 8

A personal message on Cheri’s Facebook page recently ministered to me. She said this:

“One year ago, our lives changed forever. One year ago, we heard a doctor say “as a physician, this is one time I wish I could say you have cancer. I’m sorry.” That’s when the letters A L S entered our life, and invaded our home and the body of my sweet husband. But one year ago is also when we learned a few other things as well. 1 . Never take your loved ones for granted. 2. Pray big, worry small. 3. God is an ever present help in time of trouble. 4. Never ask why. Even our Savior Yeshua suffered on this earth. 5. Trust in Him with all your heart and soul. 6. Take that much needed trip. Before you CANT. 7. People disappoint, but Abba will never let us down. 8. Speak life, be a light to others, stop all the negative junk with yourself, and others. 9. Sometimes we are stronger than we ever imagined we could be. And 10. Sometimes our hero is right there under our nose….mine was. I love you Wade Fox. You are amazing.”

Each morning presents new obstacles and new sunrises — new colors of paint. Today, His Spirit lives in us, and we are said to have the very mind of Yeshua. May we try harder to reflect His foliage. Yes, let’s work harder to have compassion for the hurting. See the trees for the first time. Taste the rain when we are sick of it. Make a snow angel as a child would. Notice the people He places in front of us. Look at the sun like Wade does, and sing to the moon, for time is speeding faster and each day the mirror shows us we have grown older–weaker. Let us give Glory for our breath in the morning.  May we become more forgiving–more steadfast. Guard our hearts against those who would cause us to dwell on things that are toxic and meaningless.
I don’t care what kingdom you have built, what business, how much is in your bank account, how educated you are, how esteemed you are by men, it can all be taken from you in an instant.
Moses today you are going to walk up a hill and die.
Take this cup from me, Yeshua cried. Take this cup!  But not my will but Yours be done.
This life is such an incredible journey, no matter how long we are here. Each day is like putty in our hands, a paintbrush between our teeth, a golden ticket, a song, and we can feed a hungry child naturally or spiritually. We can collect money for a roof, notice the sun shining in our face and the color of the leaves or the bareness of a tree waiting to bud for the next season. Even a tree that looks dead has sap bubbling up underneath just waiting to blossom and bloom.

I hope this message ministered to you and that you will keep my friends in your prayers, and if you feel led to give this couple a love gift to help them during this difficult time or perhaps a gift for some of the orphans Cheri and Wade love, please click the contact box and send us a message. We will make sure every gift gets in their hands.

wade 5

In closing, We have never requested offerings for the ministry we do daily, but we will be adding a PayPal account to my blog sites—and possibly my ministry page. We long to help many folks with needs that are sent to our inbox periodically. With this in mind, I would like to leave you with our mission statement for this ministry: Thank you, Tina, for helping us with these words and Lynette for all your hard work on our websites.

“Everyone has a story, a past. And, for some, these stories include a chapter or two that stir up suffering, shame, and brokenness. Many times we feel as if we have lost our map and can’t find our way back home.
At Tekoa Manning, it’s our mission to bring hope, renewal, and community. We are committed to shattering the darkness and loneliness that surrounds anyone who feels forgotten or misunderstood.
To honor our mission, 100% of all book proceeds are used to minister to the abused, broken, orphans and homeless. We also strive to help unveil the truth of Our Fathers Torah so that the Body of Yeshua can become one.”

Blessings!

Tekoa

 

The scent of the Moon & Trees

Recently, a friend brought to my attention a very unique flower.

Here in Louisville, at the YEW DELL Botanical Gardens, they had on display an Amorphophallus konjac–aka the Voodoo Lilly, also known as the corpse flower. The flower evokes a horrid smell and an unusual bloom for 2 to 3 days and is native to China. When the plant blooms, it stinks worse than a rotting carcass and multiple photographs resemble a mans member. ( a smelly seed?)

Related image

Multiple lessons ran through my mind as I read the article and watched men from our police department wearing gas mask while inspecting the flower.

It just so happened that the same day my friend sent the article, I read the following definition.

“The name Jericho, according to Jones’ dictionary, may mean the City Of The Moon. Norse Study Bible Name List defines it as a Place Of Fragrance.

If the name Jericho is indicative of the meanings above, what a lovely place to be!

“Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road” (Mark 10:46, NASB).

The Bible describes this blind beggar in Mark like this,

“He was the son of Timaeus.”

He needs the Son of David.

“The name Bartimaeus means Son Of Timaeus. . . And since the name Timaeus means Highly Prized, the name Bartimaeus means Son Of He Who’s Highly Prized, or Son Of honor.

Spiros Zodhiates (The Complete Wordstudy Dictionary) circumvents this conundrum by deriving the second part of the name Bartimaeus from the Hebrew verb טמא (tame), the regular Hebrew word for to be or become unclean. That would render the name Bartimaeus the meaning of “Son of the Unclean One, or Son Of Uncleanness. . .” Abarim Publication.

Sometimes what the world regards as highly prized is actually unclean. Sometimes a flower doesn’t have a sweet aroma.

When we read about various forms of sickness in our Bibles, many have a hidden message that has nothing to do with physical ailments.

Bartimaeus’s father’s name meant “highly valued” as in wealth or goods. These goods could represent knowledge or prophetic gifting or material wealth and esteem. He was known due to his father’s honor of great wealth or of having great goods, but he’s a beggar. His father’s name also meant “unclean.” He was the son of the unclean wealthy man, and he was “blind.”

‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,” (Rev. 3:17).

Miserable. What picture does that word evoke?

When we read the previous story in the book of Mark, chapter 10, we read about a rich young ruler who was righteous and had kept all the commandments since his youth, but Yeshua told him that he lacked in one area. He said go sell everything you own and give it to the poor and follow me. The man left sad.

What’s this have to do with Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus? Much.

Image result for have mercy on me son of david

 

Bartimaeus is blind, and he is crying out. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18: 38-39, NASB).

His father isn’t blind physically. If he is, we don’t read that, but what we do learn is that he is unclean.

For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man (the man laid at the gate beautiful), or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb,. . .” Lev. 21:18, NASB).

The list continues.

Just like the woman with the issue of blood:

“Now if a woman has a discharge of her blood many days, not at the period of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond that period, all the days of her impure discharge she shall continue as though in her menstrual impurity; she is unclean. ‘Any bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her like her bed at menstruation; and everything on which she sits shall be unclean, like her uncleanness at that time. ‘Likewise, whoever touches them shall be unclean and shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. ‘When she becomes clean from her discharge, she shall count off for herself seven days; and afterward she will be clean.” (Lev. 15:25-28).

Each story is about a greater awakening and healing.

So Yeshua asked the blind man a curious question: “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51).

Seems like a bizarre question to ask a blind beggar. Isn’t it apparent that he would want to see? Do we want to see? Do we have an unclean area that needs to be healed? Are we crying out in the midst of the crowds around us who are yelling (be quiet)?

Do we see His beautiful moon, can we smell His fragrant flower.

Bartimaeus says, “Yeshua, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

He was begging alms. Alms is the word for mercy.

I need mercy!

 

Inkfish has an interesting article on sight and smell. Can you smell the moon?

“Imagine the smell of an orange. Have you got it? Are you also picturing the orange, even though I didn’t ask you to? Try fish. Or mown grass. You’ll find it’s difficult to bring a scent to mind without also calling up an image. It’s no coincidence, scientists say: Your brain’s visual processing center is doing double duty in the smell department.

According to Jadauji, that the brain’s visual processing center is specifically involved in how we process smells. Marring the curriculum plans of kindergarten teachers everywhere, our sense of smell–or at least our skill at identifying different smells–may rely on our sense of vision.”

blind 3

 

 

And he said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight!” And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God” (Luke 18:41-43).

Both stories deal with spiritual blindness.

Who is our Father?

How does His title differ from Timeaus?

What good things does He offer?

May we cry out to the Son of David to heal our sight and smell and to allow Him to crush us to the point a beautiful aroma comes forth that is pleasing to Him.

 

(2 Corinthians 2:15 ESV) “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. . .”

(Song of Solomon 2:13 ESV) “The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.”

In the book of Mark, chapter 8, there is a blind man, and Yeshua spits on his eyes. He sees men as trees.

In Parashat Shoftim, we learn that men are as trees.

“When you lay siege to a city for a long time, making war against it to capture it, you are not to destroy its trees by swinging an axe at them. For from them you may eat, so you shall not chop them down. For is the tree of the field human, that it should enter the siege before you? 20 You may destroy and chop down only the trees that you know are not trees for food, so that you may build siege equipment against the city that is making war with you until its downfall” (Deuteronomy 20:19-20, TLV). When translated it says, “For man is a tree of the field.” We, as trees, are known by our fruit.

An interesting tidbit was shared with me by my sister. We recently bought a house and the owners told us we had a persimmon tree on the property. My sister said, “You can cut open their seeds and inside will be a knife, a fork, or a spoon.” What? Yes, and its supposed to inform us of how bad of a winter we will have.  The folklore says that a spoon pattern inside the seeds indicates there will be lots of snow to shovel, a fork pattern inside the seeds indicates the winter will be mild with good eating, and a knife pattern inside the seeds indicates the winter will be cold with cutting winds. My point is, our fruit has a seed inside. Its either good or bad. The fruit of the spirit is 9 items. Just as it takes 9 months for a baby to develop in the womb. These 9 are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Image result for persimmon tree seed fork knife spoon

May The KING of GLORY spit on our eyes. May he lay his nail-scarred hands over our vision. May our candles be scented as sweet perfume in a dark world. May our trees have fruit so bountiful that our branches are weighed down to the ground! May His Holy Spirit blow away any scent of a corpse!

 

 

I’m going to wrap this up with a passage from Isaiah that makes my mouth water and my eyes see something glorious in the distant.

 

Is it not yet just a little while

Before Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field,

         And the fertile field will be considered as a forest?

 

On that day the deaf will hear words of a book,

           And out of their gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.

 

The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the LORD,

And the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 29:17-19.

 

 

 

Willy Wonka Meets Joni & Job, Soul Shine Part VI

Image result for willy wonka golden ticket

We ended our last entry looking at two people, Hellen Keller and Nick Vujicic. In this section, we will look at Job, his four friends, and a woman who has inspired me numerous times. But before I lose half my audience, let me say, I do love researching good health and natural medicines. I love the plants and seeds our Father created in all their wonder!

 

“And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food” (Genesis 1:29, ESV). The Bible lists many healthy foods and tips for healing. Song of Songs has various oils and healing properties associated with them, and Deuteronomy can also teach us what there is to eat from in a good land.

No matter what we do to stay fit and care for our temples, these temples will never walk through walls like our Messiah nor will they dine with Him until ‘That Day.’

Paul also tells us that “just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:42-49), and John tells us that “when he appears we will be like him, because we will see him as he is.

But until then, we have pain, suffering, and death. (Romans 8:18, ESV) “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

sun rising

But until That Day, pain comes in many forms. Some of us get a taste of multiple layers of pain like an onion. There is pain that cuts our teeth, as we grind in our sleep. There’s suffering that knocks the breath out of us. Old age–creaking pain that bends backs over. Pain that chews our inner cheeks and nails down. Pain that oozes out of our hearts like blood and stains our clothing. Pain that keeps our minds occupied in the night. Pain, due to stiff necks–prideful pain of bitterness.

The pain of divorce, abandonment, losing loved ones, rejection, losing a spouse or a child, or both. There is the pain of homelessness while living inside a house where no one communicates except through anger, silence, and unforgiveness. We have trauma triggers, Soldiers suffering from wars, poverty and so on. No one reading this is getting out alive.

 

Pain shouts. It shrieks, it even roars, but there are treasures hidden inside of it.

 

TREASURES!

 

“TV NEWSMAN: And now, details on the sudden announcement that has captured the attention of the entire world. Hidden among the countless billions of Wonka Bars are five gold tickets. And to the five people who find them will come the most fabulous prize one could wish for: a lifetime supply of chocolate.”

“SOMEDAY SWEET AS A SONG

     CHARLIE’S LUCKY DAY WILL COME ALONG

     ‘TIL THAT DAY YOU’VE GOTTA STAY IN STRONG, CHARLIE

     UP ON TOP IS RIGHT WHERE YOU BELONG

LOOK UP CHARLIE

   YOU’LL SEE A STAR

     JUST FOLLOW IT AND KEEP YOUR DREAM IN VIEW

     PRETTY SOON THE SKY IS GONNA CLEAR UP CHARLIE

     CHEER UP, CHARLIE, DO

     CHEER UP, CHARLIE

     JUST BE GLAD YOU’RE YOU.”

 

Cheer up, Job, cheer up, pretty soon the sky is gonna clear up. Just be glad you’re you.

 

The Creator of All told a man sitting in ashes scraping his sores with broken pottery to pray for his healthy ‘friends’ to be healed of a heart condition. Job’s pain had become a jawbreaker, a gobstopper, but the sky was getting ready to clear up.

gobstoppers

 

Read chapters 38-42 of Job (Lyov) when you have time, but let’s look at a few verses where the Voice of Mighty (YHWH יהוה) thunders!

 

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,

2“Who is this that darkens counsel

           By words without knowledge?

 

3“Now gird up your loins like a man,

            And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!

 

4“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

           Tell Me, if you have understanding,

 

5Who set its measurements? Since you know.

           Or who stretched the line on it?

 

     6“On what were its bases sunk?

           Or who laid its cornerstone,

 

7When the morning stars sang together

And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

 

8“ Or who enclosed the sea with doors

When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb.

When I made a cloud its garment

And thick darkness its swaddling band,

 

10And I placed boundaries on it

And set a bolt and doors,

 

11And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;

And here shall your proud waves stop’?

 

12“Have you ever in your life commanded the morning,

           And caused the dawn to know its place,

 

13That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,

           And the wicked be shaken out of it?

 

14“It is changed like clay under the seal;

And they stand forth like a garment.

 

15“From the wicked their light is withheld,

And the uplifted arm is broken.

 

16“Have you entered into the springs of the sea

Or walked in the recesses of the deep?

 

17“Have the gates of death been revealed to you,

           Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?

 

18“Have you understood the expanse of the earth?

Tell Me, if you know all this” (Job 38:2-18, NASB).

WOWZER!

 

The Book of Job is an ancient piece of comparative theology and a deep well of wisdom to glean from. By the time Job, a blade of grass, a worm, stood before the Mighty YAH, he was seeing himself for the first time in the light of how small and insignificant his knowledge and understanding were.

 

“ 1Then the LORD said to Job,

2“Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?

Let him who reproves God answer it.”

 

3Then Job answered the LORD and said,

 

4“Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You?

I lay my hand on my mouth.

 

5“Once I have spoken, and I will not answer;

Even twice, and I will add nothing more.”

 

6Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm and said,

 

7“Now gird up your loins like a man;

           I will ask you, and you instruct Me.

 

     8“Will you really annul My judgment?

           Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?

 

     9“Or do you have an arm like God,

           And can you thunder with a voice like His?

 

10“Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity,

And clothe yourself with honor and majesty.

 

11“Pour out the overflowings of your anger,

And look on everyone who is proud, and make him low.

 

12“Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him,

And tread down the wicked where they stand.

 

13“Hide them in the dust together;

Bind them in the hidden place.

 

14“Then I will also confess to you,

That your own right hand can save you” (Job 40:1-14, NASB).

job 2

 

Can you imagine? Do you tremble when thinking about what it would feel like to stand before HIM and hear the voice of thunder proclaim the message above while shaking in sackcloth and covered in sores? And I didn’t even touch the length and depth of suffering in the previous chapters.

Job is sitting in ashes scraping his boils. He has watched his life and identity collapse in front of him. His friends accuse and judge him wrongfully while giving him useless advice. They are scholars. His children are dead, and his wife tells him to curse God and die.

Suddenly, this man Job has eyes to see and healing to meet.

Abba speaks to him and tells him something unique. He informs him He has wrath for his friends, but first let’s look at how Job answered the Mighty King and Creator of ALL THINGS!

 

1Then Job answered the LORD and said,

2“I know that You can do all things,

And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

 

3‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’

“Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,

Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

 

4‘Hear, now, and I will speak;

I will ask You, and You instruct me.’

 

5“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;

But now my eye sees You;

 

6Therefore I retract,

And I repent in dust and ashes.”

Wow, I want to repeat one sentence– read it slowly with me.

“I have heard of YOU by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees you;”

Oh, Abba help us all!

 

It came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. 8“Now, therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.” 9So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job.

A sick, broken man scraping PUS, who has lost it all, is going to pray for the intellectuals— and they are going to make sacrifices.

We must rethink what we know. After losing his cattle, sheep, donkeys, servants, and children, this man does something unthinkable.

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said,

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

And naked I shall return there.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

The epistle, James, tells us that Job was an example of how to endure trials, and According to Abarim publications, “Bildad the Shuhite probably had something to do with Baal, and Bel centered theology, and young Elihu, son of Barachel of Buz of Ram, probably represented the El cult of Canaan. Job’s friend Eliphaz the Temanite was roughly a contemporary of Eliphaz, the son of Esau, and the father of Teman. In that particular model, Job would represent a proto-form of Hebraic Yahwism, whereas Eliphaz would represent the belief system of Edom at large. Note that both Job and Eliphaz lived in Edom — Job in Uz and Eliphaz in Edom’s capital Teman — and the friendly friction between Job and Eliphaz may, in fact, be a re-visitation of the brotherly friction between Jacob and Esau.” Click Here.

But let’s continue pealing the onion and look at a woman with a heart for Him regardless of suffering. This next lady is an inspiration for us all.

I watched a show years ago on TBN where a woman gave her testimony, and at the end of the show, the host wanted to pray for Abba to raise her up out of a wheelchair. She said, “That’s great; I’ll take any prayers I can get, but pray for my heart to be right, pray for me to forgive quickly and be used for his glory… I’m paraphrasing, but I never forgot her; her name is Joni.

When I think about Joni Eareckson Tada, my heart wants to burst. A teenage dive into shallow water goes wrong. “She suffered a fracture between the fourth and fifth cervical levels and became a quadriplegic (or tetraplegic), paralyzed from the shoulders down.”

A woman with no ability to use her arms has written over 40 books.

A golden ticket!

“Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it.” Willy Wonka.

Back in the day, Joni learned to write with a pen between her teeth and paint with a brush there as well. For me to list all her accomplishments and works would take up this whole blog post, but I’ll share a few.

Image result for joni eareckson tada

Tada founded Joni and Friends in 1979, an organization to “accelerate Christian ministry in the disability community”[5] throughout the world. In 2007 the Joni and Friends International Disability Center in Agoura Hills, California, was established. The Joni and Friends International Disability Center runs a multi-faceted non-profit covering a number of program outlets. The longest running program is “Joni and Friends Radio” and can be heard each weekday on over 1,000 broadcast outlets. Tada also records a one-minute radio broadcast “Diamonds in the Dust” that airs daily.[7] Other Joni and Friends programs include Family Retreats (a camp/retreat experience for families affected by disability),[8] Wounded Warrior Getaways (which offer a similar experience for families of Wounded Warriors),[10] and Wheels for the World (collects manual wheelchairs and other mobility devices which are refurbished by volunteers in prison restoration shops then shipped overseas where the wheelchairs are fitted by physical therapists to people in developing nations).”

What would possess a person to help so many suffering souls? What would cause a person to refurbish wheelchairs and help wounded warriors?

Another wounded warrior!

A diamond in the dust.

She could have wallowed in pity and defeat but what amazing accomplishments she has acquired while running her race to get the gold. Her paintings and words help heal many who walk upright and use hands and feet and limbs that work perfect! She is running even though she cannot stand.

“GRANDPA JOE:

     I NEVER THOUGHT MY LIFE COULD BE

     ANYTHING BUT CATASTROPHE

     BUT SUDDENLY I BEGIN TO SEE

     A BIT OF GOOD LUCK FOR ME

 

     ‘CAUSE I’VE GOT A GOLDEN TICKET

I’VE GOT A GOLDEN TWINKLE IN MY EYE

 

  I NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO SHINE

     NEVER A HAPPY SONG TO SING

     BUT SUDDENLY HALF THE WORLD IS MINE

     WHAT AN AMAZING THING

 

 ‘CAUSE I’VE GOT A GOLDEN TICKET.”

 

“The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold. 11 Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the Lord had brought on him” (Job 42:10-11, NASB).

May He restore us. May we use our teeth, our thumbs, ears, every part of our body that will function because all the parts of the body joined together is like a well oiled machine.

Blessings, Tekoa!

Part #1 HERE

Part #2 HERE

Part # 3 HERE

Part # 4 HERE

Part #5 HERE

Sources:

Willy Wonka:

http://wonkadotcom.tripod.com/script.html

Abarim Publication: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Job.html#.XDIIAE3sbUg

The Candy Man: Sammy Davis Jr.

Joni Eareckson Tada: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joni_Eareckson_Tada

Photos of Job: http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/job/

Photo of Joni: Ambassador Advertising

Various photos of movie: Google