Thirsting for Water

 This was written years ago as a blog, way before I saw the resurrection of Job’s children or the Feast they were keeping of our Father. I still believe the message has the ability to make one think of the wonder and Awe of such an amazing Elohim.

 

Part 1

One Astronomical Yah

 

I sat in the window seat peering out at the great divide. It had been nine years since I flew or had been on a vacation. Twenty-five years since I had seen the ocean or smelled its ancient infinity of sea water. It’s amazing how land markings and roads run and slice through hills and mountains–a vast decent through state after state. I looked down upon the earth and pictured the Creator and how He sees us. A scripture came to me.

“God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them.” Isaiah 40:22 NLT.

I continued to look down and meditate on that verse.

When you are sitting at 35,000 feet above, things look REAL SMALL. We are not even visible. “The average distance from the Earth to the Sun is also called 1 astronomical unit (or AU). This is established as (92,955,887.6 miles).”

How great is our G-d? Do we know the magnitude of His greatness? I think no, for if we did we would surely fear HIM more. I love it when HaShem shows up at Job’s house and begins to speak. He doesn’t say, “Job I’m sorry that ha-Satan walked in and we discussed your life and I allowed Him to touch you.” He doesn’t say, “Job forgive me for taking ten of your children’s lives.”

He doesn’t say, “I’m sorry that you had to go through all that hell and lose everything you own, including your health, and that all your friends and family mocked you during that time.”

No, He doesn’t say that. He says gird up your loin’s Job and act like a man!

Or as King James put it, “Gird up now your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and you answer me.” Job 38:3. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?” Job 38:5 KJB.

Do you hear the Father’s sarcasm to a man sitting in sackcloth and ashes– a man covered in boils? Do you see how He talks to a man named Job? He called out to the Adversary and said, “Have you seen my servant Job? There is none like him on the earth. He is perfect and upright.”

So back to the greatness of God . . . Can any of us truly know how GREAT He is? If the Father spoke to Job like that, a man who was honorable and righteous, what does He think of us? He continues to let Job know how powerful He is. He continues to talk about His creation.

“Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?” Job 38:8-11 NIV.

I stood in front of that ocean and those verses rang in my heart, and I said, “Father you are so great who can know You? Who can stand before the Voice that sounds like many waters? How can I tell the people of your greatness? How can we give you all the reverence you deserve?” A wicked generation asks for a sign. They want to see miracles. They want the glory for things. Your Glory is all around us and we forget to praise you for it. We forget that You give us our very breath. You said hey Job, “Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night’s wickedness?” Job 38:13 NLT. “Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?”

“Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.” Job 38:17-18 NIV. Then Yahweh says this to a man named Job whose children lay dead, along with his cattle, sheep, oxen, and servants, “But of course you know all this JOB! For you JOB were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced! Job 38:21 NLT.

I don’t think I know the greatness of this God or fear Him enough. If I truly did, I would be working out my own salvation with fear and trembling. How about you?

Oh Father, how great and mighty are you. Father let this message ring in the ears of many and change their thoughts and hearts to fear you and to not fear man or what family or friends or anyone may think about them, but to fear You and You alone.

Job ended up repenting and praying over his friends, and the Father restored everything that was taken from him twofold.”

If this devotional blessed you please share this with friends and on Facebook.

Blessings and Shalom!

Tekoa Manning

 

thirsting-for-water-cover-jpeg

Off the Grid

grid

I want to go off the grid.
My mouth and fingers away from the eyes of a button marked click like, love, unlike.
A thumbs up.
An emoji that cannot equate the feelings in the heart created by Our King.
I want to go off the grid.
Away from the scrolls and scowls of the minds of men.
A million eyes stare back at me–
And I at them . . .
Go to a place—a space–
Where I am more than the Clichés and quotes I post or link.
A place where I am me.
Free.
Learning.
Leaping.
Where my words are not shuffled and played like an accordion.
Where I am not judging selfies or scholars, or blue collars.
Where politics cease to exist.
Where religion is mute.
And the horns of the greatest are no more than a toot compared to HaShem and His shofar rebuke.
I want to hide away.
Go off the grid.
We are all just broken men.
I must go off the grid.
Where a paint brush sings in my hand.
Not to be applauded by man but by Him who gave me the gift.
Where I learn from the bread I don’t eat.
The water I don’t drink.
To lower my camel and water the sheep.
To rise up as Gimel and still be small.
Like a dish with a chip–
Like soap dried suds–
Like waves of grain and sands of shores.
Like Dalet to an open door.
I must leave the grid and hold up my arms.
Like Moshe and rocks’
Oh, send me friends like Aharon and Chur.
Friends that bend an ear and whisper a prayer from a heart filled with doves.
I must fling–
Off of the screen!
When the cup overflows and it’s not due to holes.
A sieve in a heart.
A snuff of dark or gilded thread to uncover the dead.
Casting a pole into the water.
Catching fish without dollars–
or signs,
or a title,
or tale.
The sound of the birds and the trees that clap their hands.
The rocks cry out and the mountains sing,
but I can’t even hear the buzz of a bee while sitting here looking at you from the face of a button–
A television.
A computer screen.
I need to go off the grid and write for my soul.
Touch the grass barefoot- the freshly fallen snow.
Drink the honey and eat the comb.
Samson leaves a Lion dead on the side of the road and the old prophet requests to dine—stay and eat he says, but I think I’ll pass.
On the side of the road lies the dead next to a donkeys ass
And a lion guards the way.
No, I’ll not eat with you today.
I must go off the grid.

“He went and found his body thrown on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside the body; the lion had not eaten the body nor torn the donkey. So the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back, and he came to the city of the old prophet to mourn and to bury him. He laid his body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!” After he had buried him, he spoke to his sons, saying, “When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. “For the thing shall surely come to pass which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria.” 1st Kings 13:28-32 NASB.

Photo by me 🙂

Sap Sucker’s

buggy

I was talking to a friend on the phone the other day and her cat had found a giant bug. It was large and had wings and the cat was playing ping pong with it and smacking it back and forth. Eventually, the large cicada was dead. My friend took a picture of it lying next to a quarter to show me its size. I noticed the dead bug and also the quarter. One word, liberty. He who the Son sets free. . . the image seemed to speak to me. It was as if Abba was saying look at that picture closer.

What are cicadas? These large bugs look like they are wearing combat gear—camouflage.

“Cicadas begin life as a rice-shaped egg, which the female deposits in a groove she makes in a tree limb, using her ovipositor. The groove provides shelter and exposes the tree fluids, which the young cicadas feed on. These grooves can kill small branches. When the branches die and leaves turn brown, it is called flagging.

Once the egg hatches it begins to feed on that tree like a vampire sucking all the life out of it. Once the cicada gets bigger it falls to the ground and tunnels underneath, hidden and feasting on the root of the tree.

Hopefully, you are getting a vision now of what I am trying to express. The Bible often compares people to trees.

“The man looked up and said, “I can see the people, but they look like trees walking around.” Mark 8:24 BSB.

Even Daniel interpreted a dream for a King that used a tree to represent him. “Your Majesty, you are that tree!” Daniel 4:22 NIV.

The Tree is also Israel.

“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.” Romans 11:17-18 NASB.

We need the root and the rich sap of the olive tree. We need it to survive in our gatherings.

So these cicadas live under the ground anywhere from two to seventeen years, and while they are underneath, they are actively feeding like a termite on the tree’s roots. The book of Jude warns of those who are hidden among us too.

“These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;” Jude 1:12 ASV.

After 2 to 17 years the adult Cicada comes up out of the ground as a nymph. These nymphs suck the sap from the roots of trees with piercing sucking mouthparts. They even drink the xylem from the stem of the tree. What is Xylem? Xylem transports water from the roots to the branches, leaves, and shoots of the tree. It also transports nutrients. The very word xylem in Greek means wood. If we are like trees and we are being eaten by a type of pest and they are busy sucking us dry of our nutrients and water source which is His Holy Ruach Spirit and His Word then we need to be made aware of who is doing it. “so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,. . .” Ephesians 5:26.

What else does Jude say about them?

“Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil (Adversary) and argued about the body of Moses (Israel,) did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them!”

These men are dreamers. They are puffed up with themselves. They reject authority. They talk about angels (Messengers) Abba created perfectly and say they slept with women. “The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey His Word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do His will. Psalm 103: 19-21 NIV.   Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” Hebrews 1:14 NIV. Or Young’s words it this way. “are they not all spirits of service — for ministration being sent forth because of those about to inherit salvation?” YLT. Remember that we are told those who preach the gospel will be judged more harshly. Messengers were also Kings, Prophets, and leaders. Let’s look at an example, “Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way?” James 2:25 KJV. This scripture calls the spies Joshua sent to spy out the land Messengers. John the Baptist was a messenger.

“Strong’s 4397: malak: a messenger

Original Word: מַלְאָך Part of Speech: Noun Masculine Transliteration: malak Phonetic Spelling: (mal-awk’) Short Definition: angel ambassadors (2), angel (101), angels (9), envoys (1), messenger (24), messengers (76).’

In Numbers chapter 16 we read about these men who were princes, leaders over the Tabernacle of the Lord Adonai. Over 250 of these men rose up against Moses and Aaron and wanted to be in the spotlight and in control. If you read the entire chapter of Jude, which is only one chapter, it brings forth the topic of Moses death and these men that defile and despise angels. This chapter also goes hand in hand with 2nd Peter. I believe the subject is about the earth swallowing up these wicked men. These men were loud and hidden underneath. They came forth like these cicadas and made a loud noise and then went to their death.

“Males sing by flexing their tymbals, which are drum-like organs found in their abdomens. Small muscles rapidly pull the tymbals in and out of shape — like the cap of a Snapple bottle. The sound is intensified by the cicada’s mostly hollow abdomen.” Cicada News, Facts, Lifecycle & Sounds | Cicada Mania.

Paul warns that we can be as empty as a drum or a clanging cymbal. An empty hollow belly that’s empty of water and love.

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” 1st Cor. 13:1-3 NASB.

 

The Hebrew/ Torah Observant community has a lot of Indians but not many Chiefs. Not many Apostles like Paul visiting and writing letters to the assemblies. Not many prophetic voices that cause men and women to look deeper at their walk and obedience and less at the trite conflicts that divide us.

When these cicadas come forth they have the loudest voice. Their sound is louder than all the insect kingdom. This should not be the way it is in the Spirit. The Body of Yeshua should not be flocking after the loudest voice but the most humble—those who are upright and upright doesn’t mean living in a community with fellow believers who have separated from the rest of the Body due to them thinking other parts have things wrong or are usurping jezebels who can’t get their calendar, beard, sacred name, attire, the shape of the earth, the size of a Giants butt or the proper Torah portion in order to be a part of the group. I digress.

“For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.” 1 Corinthians 1:11 NASB.

Are we sucking each other’s sap? Are we stealing nutrients and water, fresh living water from our own BODY? People, it’s time for us to wake-up and be filled with His love and let perfect love cast out fear.

Can the Body come together and stop acting like Peter did right before Little Paul had to address him in front of everyone and rebuke him?

“But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong.” Galatians 2:11 GNT. This wasn’t about whether the earth was flat or round, it was over hurting sheep.

Does anyone rebuke anymore? “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” 2nd Timothy 4:2 NASB.

I guess I am. Who am I to rebuke? No one. A filthy rag. But I am grieved over My Body. My Body and Your Body and His Body. Let’s stop being like these sapsuckers and instead of destroying each other let’s sing a new song. A song that is loud in Abba’s ears and exalt Him who created it all and encompasses it all and let His Holy Ruach Set Apart Spirit knock this cicada out—yes, like my friend’s cat who happens to be named Shadow. His Feast days are a Shadow of things to come and the sound of His shofar blowing should wake us up soon for the coming year. Let’s become more unified. More loving. More kind. More at liberty.

Stay in the Light as Shadow below. Even a cool cat like Shadow knows how to keep Shabbat.

 

cat

Sources:

http://www.cicadamania.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicada

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/4397.htm

Strong’s.

Photo rights given by Kisha Gallagher.

 

A bit of Jade

diner red

 

 

“Where you off to, Jade?” He looked past me kind of shy-like.

I had no idea what made me spill out my next words, except for a fear of being alone and the urge to know him better. “Oh, I was just thinking about going down by Jupiter Lake and taking a stroll.   It has been so humid and hot out today.” I stuck the side of my thumb in my mouth and chewed all the skin around my cuticle, a nervous habit of mine.

“I guess it’s a nice night ta go down by Jupita.” He scratched his head, “Thang is, see, I was thinkin’ more ‘bout gettin’ a cheeseburger. You houngry?”

“Well, I can always eat somethin’,” I said and laughed nervously. I was seventeen years old, never had a boyfriend or even been on a date. I felt about as gawky and ungraceful as a girl could be.

Dillon looked down the road and then back at his car. “I don’t want you to get into no trouble now, Jade. You knows how folks are in this town.” Tiny beads of sweat were forming just above his lip. He seemed as awkward and nervous as I felt.

“I can take us down to my territory, Nathan’s bowling alley. It’s colored, though. You might feel uncomfortable, Jade? How old is you now anyways?” His eyes scanned me kind of discreetly. I was wearing a cream-colored sundress with a pale blue short jacket. I had my hair in a ponytail to show off my newly pierced ears, another gift from Verdi.

“I’m eighteen.” I lied once more and then immediately started looking for more skin to chew, this time on my index finger. I didn’t want to lie to him but knew what he was thinking. If my daddy went to the sheriff, he would go to jail just for having me in his car. I had never really been alone with him. We just always talked at the store. He opened the passenger door and motioned for me to get in. It seemed like he had weighed the possible penalty against the chance to spend more time with me and made his decision. I slid across the mahogany seat cushion and bounced on the springs. He told me of his plans to go away to college and showed me his class ring. There was a real sense of pride in his voice.

“How’s your daddy been, Jade? I saw him with that Veronica woman last week. Is that goin’ okay?”

I must have rolled my eyes or made a face because Dillon let out a laugh that was hearty and knowing. “She’s something else, and Daddy’s drinking again. I try to stay away from them and their parties they throw every weekend.”   My head filled with images of Conner and my throat constricted at the thought. I changed the subject quickly. “I miss Johnny so much, but I guess everything happens for a reason.” No sooner than the thought escaped my mouth, I wondered the reason for Conner and his advances.

“Oh, girl, you is somethin’ else. I had my stepfather Leroy, in my life for some time now. He been good to my mama, a little strict with me at times, but, all in all, a good man. Course he ain’t never been one for the booze, nope, but he do like the ladies, the ladies be his downfall.”

“I was thinkin’ ‘bout findin’ my real father. I think every chile need ta know who his parents is. I looks at every white man I meet. I looks into his eyes and I say to myself, ‘Dillon that could be your ol’ man, right there.’ The Negro man don’t accept me half the time ‘cause I ain’t dark enough, and, course I ain’t light enough for the white folks neither. I did hear though in places like New York, Michigan, and California that theys more acceptin’. They says that the bigger states and the Northern states is not as racist like they is here in the South. I’s even heard tell all kinds of relationships occurs.”

There was a silence in the car now. I didn’t know what to say. I could picture kissing his lips. I wanted him to know that I had feelings for him before I knew it I blurted out, “Well, I’d date anyone outside my race if I liked them.” My voice sounded strained, and I gave Dillon a matter of fact look, but inside I was scared.

Dillon looked at me with eyes that seemed sad and wiser than before.   “Jade, you would have to put up with a lot of racism. You ever been called a ‘nigga lovah’?   Ever had people stare you down, try to make you feels dirty inside over the color of your outside? Did you know children of a mixed race are badgered and treated like trash? They git it comin’ from both sides. They ain’t black, they ain’t white, so they is nuthin.’ I was lucky to be dark enough to be okay, so to speak. But some folks have children and the babies are almost white, kinda yella looking with a light brownish color hair, but always nappy. People is cruel today. If any of the white boys in this town seen you with me, they wouldn’t want nothin’ to do with you and they’d beat me and maybe kill me, before they’d let a nigger have ya.”

I thought about what he’d said and it seemed an answer to my prayers, “No man would want you if they seen you with me.” But it was the last part I didn’t like. I didn’t want Dillon to get into trouble, but I wanted to make sure that Conner never wanted to touch me again.

I looked at Dillon as he pulled into the parking lot of Nathan’s. It was very busy from the looks of things. He turned to me and said, “Jade, I brought you here because they’s good people and you won’t be humiliated here. I won’t let anyone harm you, even if it were to cost me my life.” He reached his hand under my chin and pulled my face up, looked into my eyes with a look that made me feel safe.

We grabbed a booth in the back and Dillon went to the counter and ordered. There was a jukebox in the corner playing Aretha Franklin and bright red-checkered curtains in the windows. I loved soul music because it seemed to carry so much emotion. Dillon set down two Coke-a-Colas and a bottle of ketchup. “Two double cheeseburgers and fries is on the way! Miss Jade, I hopes you got an appetite because Lenny makes the best around.”

He smiled and his teeth looked like a parade of polished pearls. Dillon was something foreign to me, and I loved to hear him talk and tell stories. Before I knew it, darkness had fallen outside the red covered window. I wished I could stay with him forever, but I knew Miss Rita would be worried about me, and I didn’t need her calling my daddy. “I best get goin’ Dillon, it’s gettin’ late and I don’t want to upset Miss Rita.”   Dillon reached in his pocket and pulled out a crumpled mess of dollars to pay the tab.

We didn’t talk much on the ride back to the Taylor’s store. I guess I was busy trying to figure out how to deal with the emotions I was feeling. I was terrified of Conner and not very sure of what would happen if he caught wind of me being with Dillon. I wanted more than anything for Dillon to somehow wash all the pain away. I wanted to know what his soft lips felt like. I wanted to make love with him and let him replace every fingerprint of Conner’s and every piece of skin that he had brushed upon me. More than that, I wanted his spirit to cover all the evil Conner’s had placed over my soul.

“Jade, I’m just gonna drop you off a little ways from the store. Don’t want no static from the Taylors or with your pa. I’m not doin’ you no disrespect. I’ve had a fine evening with you, Jade. Just don’t want no worries.”

I knew the concern was genuine. I knew we were treading on dangerous ground, but I welcomed the opportunity no matter what. I felt alive and more normal again. We got out of the car, and I could see the porch light of the store glowing down the way.

“Good night, Jade,” he took my hand and kissed it. I reached up on my tiptoes and let my small thin lips brush across his warm full mouth. I felt a ripple of electricity and then a warmth that I never wanted to forget. He hungrily kissed me back with such intensity that I ran, ran like the wind and never looked back at Dillon. I carried the kiss all the way to the twin iron bed Miss Rita had fixed up for me. I replayed it over and over in my mind until I drifted off to sleep. My first real kiss.

“Dear God, it’s me again, Jade. Thank you for making Dillon’s lips so soft, and please help me to disappear. I still don’t like the Earth you created and I’m sorry for that.”

 

Photo:

Vintage Diner Interior

 

The Two Witnesses

Free Chapter from Doctrines of Demons #2

 

Salvation Part #5

 

In the last chapter we discovered some hidden mysteries about salvation and now we are going to dig in deeper. “After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them MOSES and ELIJAH, talking with Jesus/ Yeshua” Matthew 17: 1-3 NIV.

Many times when we read verses they seem quite simple and easy to follow. I can assure you that most of the time there is more to them than meets the eye. Moses and Elijah were two men who were often called by names to describe what they did. Moses was referred to as the lawgiver (Torah) and Elijah was the prophet that came to restore the Law (Torah) and the righteousness of G-d’s Word. Both men show up on this high mountain after six days. Think about the creation week and then the day of rest.

We have two prophets here that I believe will stand as a witness against our own righteousness and salvation, add Yeshua and we have three. The bible says a three strand cord is not easily broken. How, you may be asking? Deuteronomy 19:15 says, “One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” This teaching from the Torah did not pass away. Paul said this, “Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses” 1 Timothy 5:19 NIV. Jesus/Yeshua said this, “But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Matthew 18:16 NIV. One of the most terrifying things I’ve read about grace and salvation comes from the book of Hebrews, “Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of GRACE”? Hebrews 10:28-29. We have insulted His grace today to a level I fear even deems worse than the pagan gods Israel worshiped. Let’s look at this closer.

“And I will appoint my two witnesses and they will prophesy for one thousand two hundred sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” They are “the two olive treesand the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” Revelation 11:3-4. This is not a new verse but an old one; if you read all of Zechariah chapter four you will have more understanding. Zechariah has an angel come to him and show him mighty things, mysteries even. Let’s look at that now.

“What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps (The Seven Churches—The seven Spirits of Yah) thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof”. Zechariah asked the angel a question and he had to ask twice for an answer. “What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, what be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, My Lord. Then said he, these are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth” Zechariah 4:2, 3, 12, 13, 14 KJB.

Yes, it is through faith that we have been saved by grace, but as you can see we must come up higher. These two witnesses are so clear once we place the scriptures together. According to the verses we just went over, there must be two witnesses to an act in order for justice to be served. 2nd Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  When we stand before that seat, we will have the testimony of two witnesses and these two witnesses have been declaring Yahweh’s Truth from everlasting. What does Yeshua/Jesus say is everlasting? “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” Matthew 24:35 NIV. “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” Psalm 119:89 NIV.

Now, I want you to follow me here on this topic because we have been taught many different views. I believe these two witnesses are none other than the Ten Commandments (Torah) and the Prophets and I am going to show you through scripture. A man approaches Jesus/Yeshua with a question, “A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 18:18. Does Jesus say, “Confess my name with your lips and invite me into your heart? No. He says this, “You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother” 18:20… He immediately starts giving him the Commandments. He begins to name them each and yet we don’t hear much about His holy commands today in Christianity. There seems to be more focus on power, prosperity, signs, and prophetic itching ear words.

One verse many Christians use in response to other religions is this one, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. When people say, “Aren’t we all really just worshipping the same god?” Christians will retort many times with the verse above and how there is only one way to get to heaven. Jesus/Yeshua said no one can come to the Father except through Him. He did not mean we could acquire this by praying in the name of Jesus or by asking Jesus/Yeshua into our hearts, it was something deeper. He was saying if you want to get to the Father and you want to be pleasing to the Father you must come through the Word that washes you clean. Jesus was the Word made flesh. So going through him means we must have washed bridal gowns that we have ironed. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27 NASB. As I mentioned in part one, the Rabbi’s in Yeshua’s day had a saying, “Torah is the way, Torah is the truth and Torah is the life.” Getting rid of every blemish is hard work and how will we know what we need to get rid of if we don’t have the Word and sound doctrine? Paul said it best in Romans. “What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 7:7. Paul went on to say in verse twelve, “So then, The Law (instructions) is Holy, and the commandment is Holy, righteous and good.” NIV.

As we continue I hope you are getting a glimpse of what Yeshua meant when he said we must come through him in order to get to his Father. I want you to envision the Word putting on a fleshly body. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” John 1:1, 14. Have you ever asked the question, “What Word?” They only had the Older Testament when John wrote this. What Word was he talking about? Let’s investigate this further. Did you know that Moses wrote about Jesus/Yeshua?

“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” John 5:45-47 NIV. Moses told the people, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.” Deuteronomy 18:15 NIV. Jesus/Yeshua did not come to get rid of His Father’s Words but to bring mercy and grace.

When John said, “The word became flesh” he was going to a deeper place of study our western minds had not ventured to. This stems from many denominations throwing out the Old Testament. The Old is what foretold of the Messiah’s coming. I heard about a Rabbi who was reading in the book of Isaiah and he said, “How did Jesus get in my bible?” His eyes were opened to Jesus/ Yeshua due the words from what many call the old portion of scripture. I find the Tanakh (Old Testament) more detailed about the end of days then much of Revelations. The Old is what Yeshua quoted from when he defeated the devil! The Old is what Paul and Peter, and Timothy and James used to make their points. What does this have to do with Salvation? You say, “But’s not by works.” No, it’s not, but there is more to it.

So what is sin? “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4. Jesus went over the law and He made it deeper, fuller, and richer in meaning. Let’s look at that. “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment” Matthew 5:21-22. Jesus moves from the topic of murder and anger, to adultery, divorce, keeping your oaths, and loving your enemies. The Ten Commandments came straight out of the Old Testament. Lawlessness is a huge problem today and not just in the world but in the church. Salvation is obeying Him, for He said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” John 14:15.

How many times have you heard it preached, “We are not under the law, but under Grace?” “The law was nailed to the cross.” Let’s look more closely at what was nailed to the cross. Colossians 2:14 says, “…by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside nailing it to the cross.”  No need for any more daily animal sacrifices? (Read Dr Skip Moen’s Crossword Puzzle.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” NIV. Now many ministers will tell you He fulfilled it at the cross, but that is not the case. Jesus/Yeshua began to go over more details about this in Matthew chapter five. During the Sermon on the Mount or the beatitudes, he brought a clearer understanding to His Father’s instructions.

He said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law (Torah) or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until ALL is accomplished. “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:17-20 NASB. Yes, those same religious leaders who added so much to the law that men could not bear the weight of, we are to surpass. And we surpass them because we accept Yeshua/Jesus and His love and grace. Last time I checked heaven and earth were still here and Jesus had only fulfilled the first four Feast. We are waiting on the others to come to past. Yeshua said we will be called great or least.

One of the issues with these types of verses is the word curse. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole (Torture Stake).” Galatians 3:13 NIV. The Torah is instructions that have a list of blessings and a list of curses. It’s duel. There is something called the curse of the law but that doesn’t make the law a curse. Let’s look at some verses for a clearer understanding. We will start with how God described “the law” or instructions and how it would affect His people. “If you obey all the decrees and commands I am giving you today, all will be well with you and your children. I am giving you these instructions so you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time” NLT Deuteronomy 4:40. He said this law would bring a long prosperous life. Now let’s look at some more verses. Paul said that the law was spiritual, “We know that the law is spiritual” Romans 7:14 NIV. He also said that the law was holy and good. “So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good” Romans 7:12. Paul went on to say in verse 22 of that same chapter that he delighted in the law. “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law (Torah)…” Therefore, we must be missing something? Yes, there were six hundred thirteen laws. Much of these no longer pertain to us today because we do not have a temple with High priest making atonement for our sins. Many of these laws showed us something I call “cause and effect.” If you do this, then this is the consequence you will face. By saying we are no longer under the law, we must then decide why the Christian church still keeps the portions they like such as tithing. To say one is no longer under the law without adding “the curse of,” it takes on a whole new meaning. Are we throwing out the commands or the curses for disobedience? Surely, saying we are no longer under the law doesn’t mean we can kill, steal, lie, and commit adultery. Paul was often teaching about how one could not earn their salvation through works of legalistic means. Yet, he never taught against G-d’s instructions. He never said they were not to be a part of a believer’s life. Let me get even simpler. If you committed adultery before Jesus/Yeshua came, you may have been stoned to death. In order for this to have happened, there would have to be the testimony of two or three witnesses who came up against you. This sounds like a horrific act, but that was the “curse” of the law. The law taught us adultery was wrong. I do not have to tell you myself that the Law is something incredibly amazing because David beat me to it. You may argue with me that we are no longer under the law but don’t try and tell me its evil or no good. The bible says it is more precious than gold. Read David’s words below.

Oh, how I love your law!

I meditate on it all day long.

Your commands are always with me

and make me wiser than my enemies.

I have more insight than all my teachers,

for I meditate on your statutes.

I have more understanding than the elders,

for I obey your precepts.

I have kept my feet from every evil path

so that I might obey your word.

I have not departed from your laws,

for you yourself have taught me.

How sweet are your words to my taste,

sweeter than honey to my mouth!

I gain understanding from your precepts;

therefore I hate every wrong path.” Psalms 119:97-104 NIV.

 

The book of Revelations 22:14 tells us who will be worthy to enter and wearing white robes and it’s those who keep HIS Commandments. After Jesus/Yeshua ends his passage on the Torah from Matthew chapter five, He says something very profound. He says a future time will come when people will not be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Does He say it is because they don’t call him their Messiah? No, these people call Him Lord. Is it because they have not said the sinner’s prayer and invited Him inside their hearts? No, it’s more than that.

“On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Matthew 7:22-23 ESV.

Lawlessness was a word the people of Paul’s day would understand, for it referred to people who were living outside of the law. The purpose of the Torah was to give us life and success, health and wisdom. Jesus/Yeshua said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He also referred to himself as the living manna. The whole matter concerning salvation is not just one prayer. The whole matter is not just taking vows and getting a marriage certificate, but walking and living intimately and spotless with our husband. If you have a spouse and you place them under your parents, children, occupation, idols and so forth that marriage will not be healthy or intimate. It will be a marriage built on rituals you do together. You may say you love them and so forth but as God said about His own people, it will be honoring with lip service only, and your heart will be far from them. I am not trying to tie a heavy load for you to carry because we all fall and make mistakes. Also, we have understanding that many of the 613 laws do not pertain to today due to no longer having a temple to offer animal sacrifices. We are all right there with Paul when he said he was “the worst of sinners.”

Yeshua/Jesus said “I am the bread of life. “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh. John 6:48-49” KJV.

Now before we go further let’s dissect this. John said the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Yeshua/Jesus said He is living bread and if we eat of His flesh we can live forever. This passage goes on and sounds quite like flesh-eating cannibalism but it’s not, there is a deeper meaning I want you to get. First, I must ask you to erase the teachings you have been taught about the Eucharist, communion, and so forth and look at Jesus’s flesh. The first Passover was taken with bitter herbs and the bread of affliction. “Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste–so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt.” Deuteronomy 16:3 NIV.

Passover happens each year right around Easter. While some children hunt for Easter eggs, others hunt for any bread made with yeast in their homes. Why? Because yeast represents sin and we must get rid of sin from our lives. Yes, we must suffer and crucify our flesh and rid our temples of it. Egypt always represents sin. Leave it in haste and remember the bondage of sin you left there. Remember where The Lord Adonai brought you from.

Jesus-Yeshua said some difficult words when He said he was the bread that came down from heaven. The men just shook their heads at Joseph’s son the carpenter. They could not comprehend how His flesh was His Father’s Word.

“Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us HIS FLESH to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves” John 6:52-54 KJV. They could not grasp that the Word made flesh was Him. God used words to create the world and when they were spoken they carried with them a vibration. He used words to heal; He sent His Word and healed them. Of what? Sin. He heals not just our illnesses, but our wretched sins. The Word of Yah makes us recognize our sin nature and to try and do better.

Salvation through Yeshua/Jesus is keeping the Word of Adonai and when we keep His Word we are washed. Jesus/Yeshua had not gone to the cross yet when he said this, “Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” John 13:10 NLT. He confirms it again in John 15:3. “You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you.” NIV.

I leave you with this, if you haven’t made a journey down to an altar or said a prayer in private or with your Teacher, now is the time, now is the hour, you may not get another chance. Make Him King in your life. Get baptized or immersed in the Mikvah. We must continue to work out our salvation and the scripture even adds with trembling, and fear. Obeying our Father requires knowing what pleases Him. This is going to be a personal situation when you stand before Him. This is not going to be about what the men of your community think about you or what your mother or father believe to be true about your character, no, this is going to be individual. This isn’t about a sawdust trail and a handshake with your local pastor. You may even be a pastor reading this that needs an overhaul, we all need our feet washed as Jesus said. Salvation is about a relationship. Either He is going to say, “Well done my good and faithful servant or away from me you workers of lawlessness, I never knew you.” I pray it’s the former.

DOD_Part_2_Cover_JPEG

 

 

Pink Cotton Candy

“There’s always a time to shine,” she said, curling her bottom lip.

“You need to let the light shoot out of your hair like cracked eggshells covered in white glistening yolks.”

 

Sparkles.

 

I pictured her hair standing up all over her head illuminated and glistening like the moon draped over an armchair or a starfish on fire.

She looked up at me compellingly.

 

“What are you thinking?”

 

But before I can answer her, she continues . . .

 

“I like to take out my pastel pink shirts on these occasions when I feel shiny. Reminds me of cotton candy and the summer of 1972— or a breezy blouse that’s indigo blue.

 

“Whatta ya think?’

 

She twirled around showing me her new outfit.

 

I frown and reflect on the dozen black shirts hanging in a row on one side of my closet. Even the hangers look tired and exhausted from holding them up. The other side has a smaller colorful section that used to hang off my thinner more active body.

 

She looks up again with a glazed expression.

“Sometimes on rare occasions, I braid my hair like a fishtail and sit on a rock by the river.”

 

“Over there . . .”

 

She points down the hill. Past the briars and the thorns and the medicine.

“It’s best to go just before the Sun begins to bursts forth like Samson stretching and yawning his head full of fire.

The fish move their mouths above the glassy waters.

Do you like water?”

She said it as if I might be thirsty.

 

I’m always thirsty.

 

I try and answer her.

 

“Yes, sometimes the sea calls my name and the ocean crashes into my bed and pulls me upstream.”

I look down at my black shirt and notice a butterfly light on my shoe–just the corner of my flip-flop.

Its vibrant blue and the palest yellow.

“Did you see it?”

“See what?”

“Never mind.”

I sigh long and hard and stare at her ginger brown hair woven into the sun.

I cut my own hair with a paring knife and a dull pair of scissors.

Choppy.

Suddenly, I feel gloomy in spite of her pink shirt and the trace of Dianthus on the wind, and I try and think of a song or something cool to say but nothing comes to me.

I force it.

“Remember when we were nineteen? And you used to walk to the corner store with me to play Pac-Man. We’d eat ice cream and go to your house and play your Grease, Zeppelin, and Meatloaf albums until dark . . .”

It was 1982.

I wait for the spark, and the engine to fire.

And then her hair lit up her smile, and the butterfly lit on my arm, just as she motioned with glee.

“I see it,” she says finally.

“You need a butterfly.”

“You need to shine.”

Suddenly I feel duller than the scissors I’d used the night before. Like a sparkler that’s went out on the 4th of July.

Her perfect white teeth look like choir boys rehearsing for an audition. She was forever telling me what “I needed.” As if she held all the answers.

“You need a black shirt,” I say rather curt with my nose crinkled up.”

“Just a hint of sorrow would be refreshing.”

Now the light coming from her had sizzled.

Her hair turned mossy brown and her eyes faded.

Was I to blame?

I fold up my lips and plainly tell her that the earth has eaten the trees and we’ve killed the honeybees and the oil has spilled into the Sea.

“Aren’t you starving for something tangible?”

 

She laughs hysterically.

 

“Darling you’ve always been gloomy and extreme.”

 

I cup my hands that are now suddenly full of oil and swath my hair in it. I pick up my shoes and then barefoot run through the thorns licking up the straw like grass, and throw myself into the river. It’s alive and suddenly I can breathe.

 

I am the sea.

 

“Oh Abba, Mikvah me!”

The moon gleams from the now darkened heavens.

The waters tremble and then the fish light up like lightbulbs in the dark.

They’re as green as a cucumber salad.

I come shooting up out of the river like a sea creature. I’m covered in golden dust and the waters turn pastel pink like cotton candy.

It tastes good on my skin.

I drink it in like pomegranate juice.

 

She yells something incoherent and then runs down the hill past the briars and the weeds. Her pastel shirt snagging on a shrub. Out of breath, she dips her foot in the pink waters that match her blouse.

“Are you thirsty?” I ask.

Her fishtail braid falls to one side of her shoulders, and with a just hint of candidness she whispers

“Parched”

And then she jumped into the deep.”

Image result for cotton candy

1,000 Words

I am not sure when I started writing this poem or why or whose kitchen I stood in but possibly it will help all of us think more about words. Ironically when I was finished it had a word count of 1,000. I know with social media and texting we often take words wrong or quickly respond without thinking about our words. Even still, what if all the words we spoke about ourselves were tasted and measured?

Psalms–Tehillim 139:14 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB) “ I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are Thy ma’asim (works); and that my nefesh (soul) knoweth very well.”

I dropped words

They shattered on the floor

Right in front of you

He dropped words, 22 letters crowned with Glory

Splendor

Torah

Holding the cosmos together

I never meant for my words to fall, or me, for that matter

But you didn’t seem interested in catching them

His words sailed through the seas

They were brightly colored blooms of an almond tree

My words went soaring through your kitchen towards your heart

You stood awkwardly and let them fall

I held Words out for you in the palms of my hands

Big pink balloon blossoms,

You pulled out a needle and popped them

You squinted your eyes and then you twisted your mouth

Yes, you released silent words in ways that needed no explanation

I acted as if my words were not lying on your cold tile floor

You stepped on two verses as you maneuvered to the coffee maker

And flung a few careless words into the air

Cream?

Sugar?

Not only did you not catch the ones I gave you

Later you stopped sending any words at all

The few that made it into your mouth you spat back out

I tried to package mine better and I held them in my mouth for a bit

Measuring their worth before releasing them to you

I added hues of ruddy sun burst and hints of emerald green

Tiny delicate touches to make the words kinder, sweeter

I bounced words up and down like a basket ball

Then polished them up like golden apples

But you kept looking for a worm

Inspecting them for flaws

I extended them again

Take these pretty words from me, I said

Yet they dangled there in mid air

Words suspended with no one to grasp them

Just hanging there like a dangling modifier

And why?

Was there something so ugly inside of my soul that your eyes bore holes?

I left and came back another day

I brought different words

Yes, that day. . .

I held words in my fist

I clenched them tightly to my chest and blew them into the air

Into your face

I looked intently into your eyes

Like a breath of wind the words breathed

You made your face like stone and wrapped it in a marketed smile

A fissure really

Like a pumpkin face

Perhaps you didn’t know how to taste the words I used from His Word?

The power of them is mightier than the sword

Forged in fire and blasted with Ruach

Words

They are like the gilded wings of a bird taking flight

Or

Like a wasp stinger embedded in our soul

We wad up words and layer them with love, judgement, and hate

Then fling them in the face

Or throw none at all

To

try

and

Make

Each

other

Feel

small

Some words smell like a rotten corpse,

Lying naked on the floor

Other words float above like a tuft of cotton

Our jaws can bring a stale perfume

Thoughtless words dissipate before noon

or

Words that linger on the surface

Words that rattle from a cage

Words that splatter candle wax

And words that type

tap

tap

tap

tap

Empty words from comic books and politicians with a hook

Words from the young still tainted with puffs of air, pride and sexual flair

Words like magic carpet rides

And words like diamonds light up the skies

Words as thick as molasses

Words that comfort heal and hold

Words that open doors and shut

Words from babes who utter sounds

And all the words that fell to the ground –

That no one caught or let soak in,

To lend an ear or be a friend

And all these words clutched in my fist

I hope one day to breathe on paper and send words that sail the seas

Words layered with Torah seeds and honey from bees

Words that stand up tall and hold sounds

Words that were spoken on the Mount and words that cause fires to burst

Words that no longer can break or hurt

Or wound or tear

or make feel bare

Yes, Words that bring a shine

Words that neither run nor hide

Nor bother to rhyme

Words that are tucked away in shoes

Standing on His Word

Words that form a song that soothes

And words that sing a halleluYah

Words that pump through my veins

For all I have to give to you are words

I have no fortune, I have no fame,

All I have are these words in the palms of my hands

The ones I picked up off your floor

The ones I washed and prayed over again

I extend

With my frail limp hands

These

Words

Are

For

you

Please

Accept

My

gift

For it is all I have

To give

My Abba Father—

My best friend

The one who washed me with His Words

Like goat milk soap and the freshest rain

Like precious oil upon my head

His Words hold me still

Help me heal

Turn my heart

Still my soul

Brokenness

Becomes

Whole

King David’s words helped me through many nights

And Job’s words I carried in my lungs

Yes, “I know that my Redeemer lives”

Songs from Solomon

And cries from Jacob

Wisdom words marching with ants

Proverbial songs and stories that dance

I long to hear from you again

Without your words my heart feels bruised

My Abba’s Words are like aged wine

That gets smoother all the time

His Words I’ve completely stored

Tucked and polished and hidden beneath

Inside my soul forever they keep

Like a river of never ending love

Hold me up by Your Word

Hold me up by Your Son

Take my Words and wash them in Yours

Take these words spilled on the floor

And whisper to those who no longer speak

Who step over the words I am trying to fly

That I love them regardless of my inability to form one word to heal

To still

This

Storm . . .

Photo by Robonwriting.

1000 words

Lady Bug Charlie

It all started with a dream interpretation. This blog is about friendships, beetle bugs, and fire. Did you know ladybugs are protected by blood?

About a month ago, I received a private dream and one character in the dream– a small talking reddish brown hen with a bright red ladybug lit upon her back captured my attention for various reasons. One of the reasons was this timid hen who was floundering around and trying to hide under a couch cushion reminded me of myself at times. The other reason was due to a friend the Father handpicked for me over five years ago. A woman with fiery red hair, who lives at a place called Hen’s Acre Farm. A Texan. Spunky and full wisdom and good deeds. A woman who appeared at just the right time in my life. There have been several.

 

After losing my health and my home, I spent over a year living with friends and family. Eventually, I finally settled into my own apartment. It was a tiny space, just 650 square feet– but once you’ve lost everything a tiny space is abundantly sweet. It’s a place where you control the thermostat and when you open the cabinet your dishes live there.

I’m an introvert but at times it was also lonely there. One day a friend on Facebook told me she felt like the Father wanted her to introduce me to a friend of hers. I said “that’s fine” thinking that soon I would get a friends request and keep scrolling down my feed, but this lady didn’t do Facebook, she typed letters.

 

Not knowing anything about this woman, I was at times slow to respond and not sure how much to disclose of my personal life. I often found myself reading these letters from Miss Texas with curiosity.

“Who is this lady telling me about her dogs?” Of course, she didn’t realize that I just euthanized my dog a year prior due to him becoming over protective of me while sick. I missed Rex terribly and had a picture of him on my table framed with his paw print.

Again, who is this woman talking to me about chickens and bluebonnets? Who is this woman who used to Pastor a “church” of all things? She seems so spunky and full of life. I wondered if she’d ever been through anything difficult. And that is many of our faults, for we often think that the person right in front of our nose has no clue about our pain, but everyone has a story to tell. This woman had suffered horribly. Cancer had taken both her breast. Her testimonies of His precious Holy Ruach HaKodesh comforting her and getting her through the darkest of times helped me hold on when I was weak.

 

Her name is Charlene (Charlie) Manning. I didn’t even know a Manning at the time of meeting her, but within just a few months a man would appear in my life who carried the same last name as Charlie and the same first name as my ex-husband. Around the same time, my own mother would get colon cancer, along with Parkinson’s and leave this earth. Who was there encouraging me daily? Charlie was. When I didn’t know how to adapt to a new family that seemed rather affluent compared to the meager means I had found myself in, who was there? Again, Charlie Manning. When I was too sick to get out of bed and having balance issues, who was praying for me? My friend Charlie.

 

After my husband and I became engaged, children, friends and even fellow believers weren’t always the most accepting of this union, and when our church families listened to rumors and attacks festered—you guessed it, good ole Charlie Manning held my arms up. She talked to me about how her own congregation left wounds so deep that when she walked down the small square of her town, the ones she loved and prayed over would cross to the other side of the street so they wouldn’t have to speak to her. She taught me how to hold my head up strong and how to forgive quickly–how to love and move on. This older woman was a Feast keeper before many even knew the richness of His Holy days.

 

Soon I was getting lessons in grammar—paragraph structures—manners—good etiquette – and how to handle situations that were way over my head. The more I found out about Charlie the more I realized we had much in common. She was prophetic. She was and is a writer, faithfully posting a Sabbath day blog weekly. She wrote a beautiful book called Memories of my Earth Home. This book is deeply filled with creation. If you pick up a copy it will have you wanting to play in the dirt, explore rocks, trees, water, and all of creation with the eyes of a child who has touched green plush grass with bare feet for the first time. Charlie was just what the doctor ordered. She was a friend, a mother, a sister, a mentor, and a spunky gal that made me take notice of my gifting.

This red headed warrior–now turned grey listen to me cry—prayed over me, and it seemed just when my car would break down or I’d be short electric money, a check would appear. Birthdays were never forgotten. Not only was she a treasure to behold, sent directly from the throne, she had a personality filled with so much Texan charm, she had me often bent over in stitches, laughing my seams apart by her humor. She has taught me so much about the Father, family, integrity, compassion, and healing from rejection and bitterness.

Each time we disagreed on a scripture or a topic that I may have commented on, I just expected she would go away or I would not hear from her again. Being abandoned while sick was excruciating. I had been rejected and hurt by so many I trusted it seemed hard to breathe at times. Back then my wounds were so deep I often didn’t even bother opening the door of my heart and letting someone in full size! I felt sure they’d become someone else added to a long list of hurts–someone else I often think about and miss. Little by little, chisel by chisel, somehow I began to trust this woman with every piece of my heart.

 

When it was time to get my manuscript ready for my first novel Polishing Jade, again, I felt that gentle nudge from the Father that Charlie was supposed to sprinkle some of her sunshine and rain between the pages of my book. She gave advice and breathed new life into a character named Miss Cotton. I learned later that her family also had some Cottons, and yes, a Cotton-Wood Farm. Why? Because—Abba Daddy is in the details. He intricately weaves a beautiful manuscript of His own in our lives.

 

So what do a red hen and a beetle bug have to do with Abba Father? More than I ever could have guessed. In every culture, the ladybug has a very special name and meaning. In Hebrew, it is quite interesting that this tiny creature is called ‘parat Moshe Rabbenu’ which means Moses cow. Yes, and it’s also called ‘little Messiah’ and ‘Moses little horse.’

 

These beetles were part of an old children’s jingle. “Lady bug, ladybug, fly away home. Your house is on fire, your children will burn. “Except little Nan, who sits in a pan, weaving gold laces as fast as she can.”

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

According to a blog called Adorable Cow, This jingle comes from medieval times when farmers who burned the stubble at the harvest’s end to clear and fertilize their fields for the next year’s planting “warned” the ladybugs and their larvae to escape while they could. The “nan” was the ladybug’s pupa, which, immobilized within its cocoon or “pan” of reddish-gold threads while metamorphosing from its larval to its mature stage, could not get away like a larva.)”

 

“He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn up with inextinguishable fire.” Luke 3:16-17 TLV.

 

Red or gold threads!

These beetles devour pestilence and they destroy it by their mouth. They eat the very thing that is destroying them. I believe they represent the prophetic. This reminded me of the two witnesses—the Torah and the Prophets. “And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”a If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.” Revelation 11:3-5

According to Lori Beth Robinson, the ladybug lady,

 Ladybugs can protect themselves by playing dead. By pulling their legs up “turtle-style”, and typically release a small amount of blood from their legs. (This is called reflex bleeding.) The bad smell and the apparent look of death usually deter predators from their small ladybug snack. After the threat of danger has passed, the ladybug will resume its normal activities.”

 (Just like our Messiah who sweated blood)

 I want to close this blog with a warm hug to my friend Charlie and a reminder that those beetles and that red hen in the dream were marked with a mark and also were given a warning of the destruction that was coming. They were sealed and protected by His mighty Power. I ask you my reader this very same question—are you sealed? He is coming to clear His threshing floor. Will you be ready? Please, I beg you, turn around today and return to His Ways and seek His face, for He loves YOU SO.

 

Blessings!

 

Tekoa

 

charlie

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/memories-of-my-earth-home-charlene-reams-manning/1008121828

Photo http://www.shadesofgreensa.com/Images/Beneficials/ladybug.jpg

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/5541/the-adorable-moses-cow/

 

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Who Has a Broken Heart?

Who Has a Broken Heart?
Memoir Chapter
I peered into the reflection of the mirror and I wondered who the person was staring back at me. I had been too depleted financially to get my hair done at a beauty shop and was taken by a friend to a hair design school. This is a shop where the students learning to cut hair practice on you.  I sat nervously in the chair as the dye was placed on my head and the foils. Soon I was ushered under the dryer but something kept running down my neck. The dye had seeped through the foil. After shampooing the stylist showed me the brown spots that ran and dried. There were large dark brown spots in my blonde hair that looked horrible. Her assistant came out, the manager and soon a host of women were standing around my chair trying to decide what to do with the mess. The manager asked if she could re-dye and cut my hair. I nodded and sat in shock as I heard her clippers begin to literally shave the back of my head in a boy type haircut that left me with about an inch or two of hair on top that she spiked with gel. The color red she chose was more of a burgundy and covered the brown spots. It was such a drastically different look for me that I still had trouble gazing into the mirror when it was time to go out in public.
Losing my hair was just an outward sign. I had lost so many things I loved with such a swiftness, it seemed like one blow would knock me to my knees and before I could recover from the next one, down I’d go again.  The pain I felt seemed to seep out of my pores.   I felt as if I was walking around with blood oozing from my heart. I kept dabbing at the seeping places, applying pressure but to no avail. This pain was so heavy it made breathing problematic.
I drove the short distance to the church assembly and made my way inside with my new fashion statements, my cane, and red hair. Just trying to stand during one song was a struggle for me. Although I was better and able to drive some, I was still very spent from the chronic fatigue. Losing my health was more like losing my freedom.
Everything that identified me as a person had been plucked away.  I had begun to talk to Job as if he and I were old friends. “Oh Job what did it feel like when the messenger came with the news of more pain”? “How did you bow and begin to worship our Lord Adonai after hearing of the death of your children, your livestock, your servants, your health?”  I sighed and hobbled out of the mini-van and entered the sanctuary. I tried to focus on the people around me in the pews. They smiled, clapped their hands and sang loudly. Many had the joy that I coveted. Genuine joy. I am sure they all had a story–it seemed many I encountered did.
The message the pastor gave was well needed and many scriptures he quoted seem to speak to me, encourage me even.  He was gifted in the prophetic and humble and I knew I was where I was supposed to be going back then. I had just started driving this small distance to fellowship with other believers a few months prior but sitting alone on the pew was just a reminder that everything in my life had become empty.
I knew the Father had taken the desire from my eyes in more ways than one when he took the man I was sharing my life with.  He was in control but the pain was unbearable some days. I missed people,  I missed my pets, my step daughter, my job, my life as I knew it and yes a man that left me.  I couldn’t help but wonder how God could take my life and make anything out of it again. It seemed hopeless. I was too sick to start over and too empty. I did not know then that God loved empty vessels that He could fill. Elijah said to an empty widow, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few” 2nd Kings 4:2 ESV. She borrowed and the oil poured forth and filled them all. I needed to become empty of everything that was SELF so He could pour in HIS oil and His Spirit.
The service was coming to a close and soon the minister was asking if there was anyone who needed healing in their body. “If you have any sickness or disease please come up front we would like to pray for you according to James 5:14, Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord”.
I stood there on wobbly legs, my cane in hand but did not budge from my seat. I watched as many made their way down to the “altar.” I listened as the minister placed his hands on the heads of the many and began to pray for each one. My heart hurt so badly.  In that moment I began to notice the seeping blood and the sweeping sorrow and the constant throbbing that seemed to take my very breath. My heart felt like a sieve that blood was pouring out of. HELP! SOS! HELP!
I began to scream inside my soul, pleading even, “Oh Abba Father I am sick in my body, this is true, but MY HEART IS BROKEN IN A MILLION PIECES. PLEASE HEAL MY HEART. Father can you take this grief away, it’s more than I can endure.  I began to cry and ask Him over and over until something profound happened. Something so incredibly intimate it brought tears that poured down my face like the constant rain. Suddenly the minister raised the microphone to his lips and said, “I need everyone to stop for a minute, I need your attention, The Father is telling me that there is a person here who has a broken heart, and I can see it, its battered, shredded and bruised. WHERE ARE YOU?” He began to look over the congregation and I raised my hand, my small insignificant hand. He said, people, I want you all to go lay hands on our sister as we pray for God to heal her heart and in that moment, in that precious moment I suddenly didn’t care about my heart. I was so in awe that HE HEARD ME and that He loved me enough to speak to His minister. He loved me enough to stop praying over people with physical ailments to envelop me. He knew. He saw. He wanted to take His Son’s nail scarred hands and hold my gaping places and pat the blood that had oozed out with His blood. Oh, I needed an Intimate Father in more ways than one–one that was intricate and detailed. He would speak with not only A ROAR THAT SAID, “GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER” But also in a whisper that blew across my heart and held it to His. Oh, what a GLORIOUS Father!
hands-heart

Psalm 34:18 (TLV)

The righteous cry out and Adonai hears,
and delivers them from all their troubles.”

Elmer the Rich Man

elmer the rich man
Elmer Chastening stood atop a bluff overlooking his vast acreage. The velvet green rolling hills cascaded into the distance.  The tall pine trees breathed in deeply and exhaled into the misty fog beneath. The thick dense forest stretched its arms and waited patiently for maturity. But Elmer didn’t see trees. His eyes saw crisp dollar bills waving in the breeze where leaves should have been. He would wait patiently for cutting the timber, as he had waited patiently for most the things he valued in his life.
He was barely eleven years old when he’d learned to strap a yoke collar on a mule. Elmer remembered clearly the day his father had taken him down to Saline Clifford’s place and told him to get the mules hitched for plowing, he’d had a putrid hatred for heat, sweat, blisters, and the sound of his stomach demanding food that wasn’t there for the taking. No, he would never let that happen again. He couldn’t.
He wasn’t going to have one of his children walking to school with no shoes on, or worse, shoes so tight they rubbed the back of your heels until the flesh came clear off. “Why wear any shoes at all, thought Elmer?” Pride, he guessed. No, sir. His children might hate him for the workload he gave them, but he’d rather they did that then live with the humility he’d been cloaked with growing up.
Elmer owned a good deal of the small town of Heaping KY– if you didn’t count color town which ran clear across the other side of the tracks down Lewis Street. Most the white folks didn’t cross the tracks and seldom did a black man dare cross except to see a doctor, dentist, or the likes. The small town was seldom silent and almost never dull.
Heaping had been abundantly fertile to Elmer, just like his wife Gladys. But life had not always been perfect and Elmer had seen the effects of the Great Depression first hand, as he was born during the beginning of it.
Elmer had six children; all strong and of goodly countenance. War had taken its toll on a couple; but they sprang back like the elastic of a rubber band, sturdy yet versatile.
His wife, Gladice, was anything but giddy; although her name might suggest otherwise. No, she was serious and inquisitive, annoying at times even. Of course, he wasn’t the easiest fellow to get along with and could lose his temper over the smallest irritant. When this happened he seemed to completely black out and become someone he was not even familiar with. It hadn’t been that long ago that he had taken a fresh green switch and beat one of his children until the blood sprang forth. Gladice had grabbed the switch and broke it in half. “Elmer stop!” she’d screamed.  “ELMER LOY CHASTENINGS you’re going to kill that child!” It was in that moment that he seemed to come crashing back into reality, and felt sure that the proverb that said “punish them with the rod and save them from death,” was not perhaps meant to be as forceful as he had taken it. He’d tried hard in the last couple years to stop disciplining them at all. He’d let Gladdy do that he thought. Yes. For Gladice’s words were like chicken soup– warm and nourishing to the soul, but his words tended to be more aptly described as tar trying to mix with water; hot and sticky, repellant even.
Gladice was a sturdy woman with broad shoulders and breast that had satisfied Elmer for over twenty-five years now. She had dark chestnut hair, thicker than the pines, and her eyes were as violet as an Aster bloom. She could outwork most men and she cooked better than his mother ever did. Perhaps it was due to the fact that there was plenty of food to be had in Heaping and an abundance on Elmer’s table–and he needed an abundance to keep all the mouths fed.
His son’s names and their order of birth are as follows– Elmer Almon jr, Samuel Wesley, Johnathan David, and Joe Dellas.  His last son, Clifton Robert, died of measles shortly after his first birthday. They would have grieved in anguish longer had it not been for the surprise of a daughter, their first, Katheleen Sophia, and then two years later Eva Victoria was born. She being the last of seven.
At night, after all the children were in their beds Elmer would reach for Gladice and she would lay listening to the sounds of mattress springs keeping rhythm with her husband’s body. She’d sigh softly wondering if this would be the last time her womb would fill up with life. Elmer figured the more children he had the more workers and the more workers meant more money and money was his constant companion. The fear of never having enough was a restless irritant.
Yes, Elmer and Gladice were proud of their four sons and two daughters. The eldest was one of the finest men in town. Almon was a good shoulder above the rest of the boys and handsomely mysterious with his seaweed eyes and blondish auburn hair. Elmer put him in charge of the service station he’d opened last June. His charisma worked somewhat of a magic over the customers. They trusted Almon with their vehicles, the cost of repairs and the prices he quoted to them.  He had a  humble smile and what appeared to be a genuine concern for their pocket books. Many young men his age were moving to bigger cities to work in the automotive industry or factories that were popping up after the war, but Elmer wanted his children to stay in Heaping and Almon wouldn’t begin to know how to think for himself. No, that was something his father did for him. There was an understanding among the Chastening’s and that was to never go against Elmer’s wishes or desires.
Heaping was growing for a town its size and Elmer was seeing to it that he was part of that growth. The station had been profitable and he had hired a mechanic who was training his sons on all the repairs of the latest automobiles. Once Elmer felt secure with the first service station, he had plans to open another in the next town over.
Elmer sighed again as he looked over his land and thought about all the sweat and determination it had taken for him to become someone. Yes, he was someone now.  Elmer had made something of himself, and as you can imagine when Elmer walked down the streets of Heaping everyone knew who he was and what he was worth. Everyone in the town loved Elmer and used words such as good, kind, a man of God, a great father and husband, a loyal friend, easy going and even comical jokester was added at times. Yes, all these adjectives were used to describe the affections bestowed upon him.  After some time he acquired a nickname in the town of Heaping. There was Charlie the milkman, Frank the postman, Connie the beautician, Lane the tailor and the townspeople referred to him as simply, “Elmer the rich man.” Just the sound of it tickled his ears and made his chest puff out further. “Elmer the rich man,” he spoke into the thick air of the morning. His eyes twinkled. He clicked his teeth making a tweek, tweek, click, click sound and kicked up his heels. He counted the coins in his left pocket as he walked down the hill with a sass in his step.
 Elmer loved to count things. Nothing was ever wasted in his sight. If extreme was what Elmer wanted than extreme is what he got. He prided himself in having the same car for almost fifteen years. Of course, he had splurged on a new 47 Cadillac, with white wall tires. It was pearly cream in color, but he’d never driven further than the church house and back home in it–Kept it clean and waxed and covered. Everything was measured in worth here at the Chastening’s home. To get something new for a Chastening was a rather peculiar occurrence and yet their house stood higher than anyone’s in the town. Sunday morning attire was the finest to be had and even his daughters were cloaked in satin and silk. Come Monday it was back to basics and cutting corners to squeeze a dime out of a nickel.
Elmer didn’t trust banks and although he had a large sum in the First Bank of Heaping. He also had quite a few coffee cans hidden in the barn, among other precarious places.
Elmer’s front porch wrapped around the house and stood tall from the Corinthian columns that lined the front. The inside was even more breath-taking. The spectacular circular staircase greeted guest at the entrance and the woodworking was impeccable. Dust did not have a chance to settle in Elmer’s home because he was a perfectionist. Each lamp, crystal vase, and gilded gold picture were placed just so–causing the light to catch the eye and leaving one mesmerized by the beauty of the objects. But like all houses who kept their tenants sheltered underneath their dwellings, their occupants carried secrets–secrets the window curtains tried to cover with their heavy tapestries. Secrets the birds knew that chirped outside in spring and secrets that were forbidden to be discussed for fear that once the words were spoken their power would destroy each and every occupant. Each family member knew that speaking these secrets would forever change the course of history and then everything the occupants were trying to hold together would collapse. Implode, and erupt.
And. . . Yet even the biscuits and redeye gravy seemed to try and cover them like a thick coating that stuck to their insides and stopped the pain from seeping out. Sticky jams and marmalades drenched in butter churned and beaten covered them. Sometimes the secrets were covered by music, laughter, and even a taste of wine or sherry on occasion, but mark my word they lingered like the smell of eggs after a boil. Putrid and rotten. Even the fans and the perfume couldn’t escape them. Yes, the Chastening’s had their own demons to deal with, but we’ll get to that later. As for now in our story, Elmer has just left gazing over the land he owns and has just kissed his wife, tickled the youngest Victoria in the ribs and grabbed his coat and hat.
It’s Monday morning in the town of Heaping and Elmer is getting ready to drive into town and check on his Service Station and his saw mill.  He’s about to get inside his car, the one he drives everywhere, not the one for show. Certainly, that’s really where our story begins, because Elmer Chastening routine is getting ready to become greatly altered and the choices he makes will forever change his path and I would assume your path as well.  If I could oblige you to bend your ear for a moment, I’d like to tell you the story of Elmer’s predicament and how it came about. Perhaps, I’ll articulate it well enough to leave just a touch of Elmer’s fingerprints upon your soul?
If you ever find yourself in Heaping KY, look for the flag pole on Taylor Street and turn right at the service station. Follow the light post and the road that winds and curves down Boulder street and just to your left, you’ll see a road tucked back behind some trees, a road named after the very folks who live there, The Chastening’s. If you walk up the exquisite porch and take a hand to the brass knocker on the cherry red doors, you might just meet Elmer’s wife Gladys. If she invites you for tea, which more than likely she will because that’s just her nature, do try and study the creases right above her temple area and the violet of her eyes that now has softly faded. And after you dip your silver spoon into her rose covered tea cup and taste of the orange Asberry spice with ginger, do gaze out the sitting room, past the redwoods, and down the hill. There you’ll see a large oak tree with some carvings dug neatly into its skin and six steps beyond lies a secret box buried deep beneath the earth. A box filled with secrets that were never meant to be dug up. . . or buried for that matter. Buried secrets cause the most disparagement. For even though they may lie quietly at the bottom of the sea, their spirits walk amongst us.