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!

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“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 Wade can’t get out anymore.
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

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

 

* Free Chapter* Give Your Abused Pets Treats Slowly

Thirsting for Water

A devotional that brings healing to the hurting!

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

dog

 

 

Wholly Illuminated

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

survive

 

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

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

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

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

“I am fearful of everything and nothing!”

“What?”

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

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

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

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

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

He looks confused.

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

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

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

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

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

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

pottery job

 

 

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

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

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

Job goes on to explain his fear.

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

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

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

 

lightttttttt

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

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

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

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

dafodils

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

“No, I did not know that.”

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

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

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

“Oh, Simon!” Yes! Ha-ha!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tekoa 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Retribution

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

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

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

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

We keep track of their wrongs and our rights.

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

vein

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

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

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

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

manning room

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Peter 3:9

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

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

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

 

 

Honky-Tonk?

 

Rooster, Bird, Chicken, Head, Farm Animal, Beak, Wattle

My friend Charlie has a huge white rooster that sparked my attention of late. Yes, her henhouse has caused me to write a story a time or two. While meditating on a blog post about light, Charlie sent a comment to me in an email about her rooster named Honky that I could not get out of my spirit. Yes, Honkey is a derogatory name given to a white man, but Honky the rooster isn’t concerned about what you call him. He’s just going to keep doing what he was created to do.

In Charlie’s words,

He is always excited with a new day, no matter what. He’s a fan of God’s ‘let there be light’ idea. Once I turn their light on, he starts stomping his feet on the roost and shaking his head and crowing more and more. As soon as I open the hatch door, the chickens rush out to begin another day, mostly like all the ones before, as if it was the grandest thing they have ever done. I wish to be as pampered and loved as my dogs, and as happy with each and every day as my chickens!”

Wise words, from a wise woman.

What if we were that excited about the light? His Lamp? Another day? So excited that we were cock-a-doodle-dooing as loud as we could to wake up others and express our joy in Him. Even if others place names on us that seem a bit disparaging, we can exalt the Creator of All.

 

“In the rabbinic literature, the cockcrow is used as general marking of time”,[55] but also some of the Sages interpreted the “cockcrow” to mean the voice of the Temple officer who summoned all priests, Levites, and Israelites to their duties and used as such because the Hebrew ‘gever’ was used also to mean a “rooster” in addition to the meaning of “man, strong man” (Tim Hegg, Torah research).

Summoned to their duties. . .

If we know what our duties are, then just like Honky, we are going to arise and shine, for our light has come, and the Glory of Adonai shines upon us! Time to get busy doing what we were created to do. But some of the hens and roosters don’t seem to know what their job is in The Body, so they have taken on what I call a police role. These folks are busy looking for anyone who is doing or saying, writing or posting, anything that might not be right or correct in their opinion, and even if they are not a rooster, they are cock- a—doodle–dooing about it all over town. Sometimes this is a sign of a young, immature prophet. They’ve been given eyes to see every flaw but not always a polished tongue. We need schools of the prophets today, and also their voices heard in the assemblies. If you are the head rooster of a henhouse, you may want to invite some others to cock-a-doodle-doo from time to time.

I was very sad to read comments from many in The Body who were ridiculing a man named Billy Graham. This man was righteous and walking in something Charlie refers to as ‘all the light he had been given for that time period.’ His generation didn’t have Hebrew and Greek at their fingertips. He was humble– not flashy. He and his son’s ministry have helped many Christians from being beheaded in other countries, feeding and clothing the ones running from war and famine—Samaritans Purse is about giving.

Who has come forth out of the womb knowing all the Torah and prophets, and all of our Messiahs teachings? No one. Not even our greatest Rabbi or Scribe, pastor or preacher. They all needed teachers and most of us hens cackling over “pagan” holidays were right up under a tree a decade ago or sooner.

One interesting site on the behaviors and characteristics of roosters caught my attention. The article began by describing something I have seen in this new movement—ruffled feathers and cockfights.

Betty explains:

Chickens can be very vocal, as anyone who’s heard a rooster crow knows. They’re able to express more than 30 different sounds and have keen hearing. Hens use special sounds to lure their chicks and cackle when they lay eggs. They’ve even been heard crowing. Roosters start crowing around 4 or 5 months of age and make other noises, including warning sounds when predators are near. They also make noises to lure hens to food or to follow them.”

Betty goes on to explain that “Roosters are great at protecting hens, but too many roosters can mean violent fights in the roost.” Click here.

I see a lot of this rooster, henpecking behavior today. Grab some coffee and play pinball with my brain a minute.

Roosters are sort of like Shepherds.

Mostly today, we have a massive amount of people pouring out of the Christian faith and into the Torah/Hebraic roots of their faith. They are trying to walk in the footsteps of their Messiah, but what if some of the hens are actually Roosters? What if the Roosters are actually hens?

What you talkin bout, Tekoa?

Well, at first it’s hard to tell which is which. Ask anyone you know raising chickens, and unless they are an expert, they just wait until the birds are over 3, 4, or five months old and look at their combs and feathers, as well as spurs used for fighting. So technically, a young, immature rooster may still know he has a calling on his life to protect hens and announce the light, but perhaps he hasn’t grown into his plumage so to speak. That doesn’t make him a fake or false rooster. He is still a rooster in need of training. Maturing.

The roosters get up on a perch where they can keep an eye out to protect their hens, and if any predator is coming around, he sounds a call to warn them. But how can the ones coming out of Christianity know which rooster to sit under? And what if one rooster is more colorful than, say, solid, white, Honkey rooster? And since we have the great World Wide Web, and not many henhouses, we have hens eating food from every place by every Tom, Dick, and Honky. Some bad food, some good food, and some in-between.

How can we tell a good Rooster from a bad one? If they are like Honkey and their eyes are on Him and His light, and they are protecting hens, feeding them and being intimate, then that’s a pretty good sign, but if they are always crowing, meddling in other henhouses, feeding food that’s laced with GMO’s, always magnifying aliens or hasatan, fighting over what time the sun comes up and whose got the best combs—-FLY away from the coo coo nest before you get de-feathered or your neck wrung!

 

If you are a hen running from roost to roost, the Roosters are not going to know what to do with you or even if they are supposed to protect you, correct you, or be intimate with you. If you are sitting at home and have a place in your area to gather with believers, then see if you can, because we need to be a part of our communities. How is a Rooster or a hen doing any good in a recliner with a clicker looking at television light instead of the sun/ Son coming up? Yes, we need teachers, and the internet is a wonderful place to learn, but don’t let it replace gathering and lifting one another up in prayer.

The term ‘chickens have come to roost,’ refers to the place where birds rest. And this is what we need. Spiritual Rest.

I watched a show about Yah’s amazing planet the other night, and they highlighted something called light pollution. This is something we have in the Body of Yeshua and also something we have on earth today. Yes, it’s a real problem and especially for His Creation. Remember these fearful words in Revelations?

“And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelation 11:18 NASB.

So this light pollution is a false light. This false light is loud and noisy and draws a person into a trap. While watching Planet Earth with my husband, we were grief-stricken by hundreds of hatchling turtles covering the beach. They were enticed by the lights of the city. They hatched during the full moon, and should have been drawn to the ocean, but instead, they were headed across a beach towards a town lit up like Vegas. Eighty percent of the baby turtles were disoriented by the town lights. Crabs were excited and began to make burrows below the beach lights, and they waited for the turtles to come to them to devour. Some of the sea turtles fell in sewer drains while others were run over by cars.

Now we have a perfect picture of what this whole movement looks like. The sounds and flashing lights of the polluted world have infected all of us like a Honky-tonk. We don’t know where to go or what to do. The crabs (wolves) are waiting, the sewage is also easy to fall into, and even if we live our whole life trying to be just like Honkey, someone may come along and run over us.

You can watch the sea turtles here.

We need Roosters, and if we aren’t a rooster, we need to find a rooster, and one who is open to allowing our gifts and talents, positions even, to be used to help edify the body—His Body. Even those priest in charge of carrying the ashes out of the camp were important. No gift is too big or too small. Where are the Elders? Where are the prophets? Where are those who have eyes and ears, gifts of healing the brokenhearted, gifts of interpreting the Torah in other languages? Carefully study a coop and you will soon find that all the hens have jobs to do, and some who are not roosters can even cock a doodle doo as well as ole Honkey!

The light pollution and the Torah police have caused many to fly the coop. If the Father has sent people across our path that are willing and able to form a Body that is fitly joined together with everyone knowing their roles, please get to gathering and announcing, so the sea hatching turtles who have lost their way can hear you and steer clear from danger. Let the Body do what the Body does. Can the eye hear? If the whole body were hearing where would the sense of smell be? We can’t control the whole beach, but we can help direct these little ones to His light. I have four different lights in my bedroom– an overhead light, a closet light, a brightly adjustable desk lamp and a soft lamp by my bed for reading. If you turn one on the rooms grows brighter, add another and another and another and bam! Which leads me to the end of this pinball game.

And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.” Revelation 21:23-24.

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” Proverbs 4:18.

 

You are the light of the world–Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16.

Yes, let’s all be more like Honky and get excited about His light and the gift of another day. Let’s blow our shofars and sound the alarm to wake up the ones polluted by artificial light and let’s try and respect those who may not be as mature as we are. Remember we all come from different chicken coops.

Enjoy my beautiful friend and mentor, Jeannie cock a doodle dooing a song for Him!

Photo- https://pixabay.com/en/rooster-bird-chicken-head-1246302/

 

Chickens, Rejection, and Pecking Order

I’m not a country girl, so you can understand my shock when I learned from a good friend of mine who raises hens, that chickens will peck a newcomer to death.  As my friend began to explain to me how she had purchased four new hens to add to her group, she said, “Tekoa I wouldn’t dare just try and add one.” I sat there confused.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because they will peck them to death” she stated, emphatically. “They’ll get up to the new ones and start pecking their beaks and eyeballs, and once they get some blood coming forth, the rest join in a frenzy. There is a pecking order,” she said.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I started realizing how difficult it is to be the new person at school, a new job, in a new family, and other places of social activity.  During my research on this topic, I also discovered that rejection and bullying can cause multiple health issues, neurological disorders, and a host of fears.

Rejection is a word that comes from Latin and means to be “thrown backward.” You’ve heard the cliché, “two steps forward and three steps back.”  It’s the same thing.  You can be rejected due to a weight issue, a birth defect, your race, or even success. You can also be rejected because you are beautiful, intelligent, or unique.  Sometimes rejection is due to fear or jealousy.  One of the worst rejections to experience is one from your very own family or a family you marry into.  Guess who else was rejected by the ones He loved?

“He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.” John 1:11 NLT.

Jesus/Yeshua was rejected by the twelve when he needed them the most.  He had to walk people out of his own hometown because He (The Son of Yahweh) was not able to heal many due to their unbelief.  He was rejected by men who said they would die for Him (Peter) only to deny they ever knew Him.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a well-known trauma researcher, explains; “Research has shown that, under ordinary conditions, many traumatized people, including rape victims, battered women, and abused children, have a fairly good psychosocial adjustment.  However, they do not respond to stress the way other people do.  Under pressure, they may feel (or act) as if they were traumatized all over again.”

Here is the problem: They are thrown backward!

But what is happening to our systematic nervous system when we feel threatened, rejected, and shunned?  Or even worse, what happens when you are being hen pecked to death?  The systematic nervous system or what one site refers to as SNS is worth learning about.

Jurriaan Plesman BA (Psych writes this, “…An overactive SNS is likely to open up blood vessels and flood your face, neck, and ears in blushing.  Other possible symptoms are: dizziness, shaking, trembling, (as when giving a talk in front of people), digestive disorders, swallowing problems, nausea, vomiting, or fear of vomiting or diarrhea, irregular heartbeats, ticks and restless legs, excessive sweating, depersonalization, incontinence, impotence, repetitive thoughts… on and on it goes.  It is obvious that these mental and bodily reactions help to prepare the body for strenuous and quick actions in the face of danger.”

Wow! A lot is going on in our bodies when we are being surrounded by a group of hens fighting for their order.

Perhaps you’ve experienced being the new chicken in the chicken yard a time or two.  I can honestly say it’s not fun.  You can get hen pecked to death, and yes, once the blood comes, it seems the other chickens do join in.  That’s why parents hate bullies.  No one wants to watch their child get hurt at a new school or neighborhood.  No spouse wants to watch their husband or wife be rejected by their friends or family members.  No young teenager or college student wants to feel like an outcast in the room.  Being a new stepmother or father can be difficult. Being a new teacher, a new student, a new employee, can sure stir up the chicken yard.

Remember how the word rejection meant “thrown back?” Well, that’s important, because it has been shown time and again that the more free throws a player misses, the worse he or she will do at the line.  Why?  Because he is so worried about making the shot, so nervous and on edge about the score, team pressure and so forth, that he/she misses it again.  It’s like trying to fit in at a new school, or in a new family, a new job, a new leadership spot, if each time you try and reach out for acceptance, you get shunned, eventually it looks too hard to keep trying.  We give up.  Why?  Because we get thrown backward.

Webster defines rejection as to refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use.  It goes on to say, to refuse to hear, receive, or admit.”  Rejection is one of the worst feelings a person can feel.

“Psychologist Jessica Witt at Purdue University found that after a series of missed field goal kicks, players perceived the field post to be taller and narrower than before.  However, after a series of successful kicks, athletes reported the post to appear larger than before.” It is easy to witness the power of rejection. The more we encounter rejection, the more we view our efforts as pointless, the less we try, and the farther away our goal seems.  It’s like the four chickens my friend tried to add to the bunch; they just weren’t fitting in.

So I wanted to go farther with this devotional and get to the root as to why people reject others.

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him.  When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” Genesis 37:3 NIV.  Jealousy…

David said this, “Those who hate me without cause outnumber the hairs on my head.  Many enemies try to destroy me with lies, demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.”  Psalm 69:4 NLT.   Jesus/Yeshua said the same thing in John 15:24-25, “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated me “without a cause.” NASB.

Do people hate you without cause?  Do they try and peck you to death?  You’re in good company.

David said, “Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about.”  Psalm 35:11 NIV.

The prophet Isaiah said this about Jesus. “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”  Isaiah 53:3 ESV.

Perhaps you are in a new chicken coop, and the players are pecking you to pieces.  Remember they did it to Jesus/Yeshua and Joseph.  Perhaps you are tired of trying to fit in the chicken yard and tired of being thrown backward?

I know a man who also had a chicken problem, and now he is famously known all over the world.  Harland David Sanders: Better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken was thrown backward a time or two.  The Colonel had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.  Don’t let the chickens peck you to death–chances are you don’t belong in the yard with them.  Birds of a feather flock together, but the mighty eagle, he soars alone.

If you’d like to purchase this devotional for yourself or a friend click here

If this post has blessed you feel free to share.

Blessings!

Tekoa

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Who We Honor–A blog on relationships & Marriage

As I was listening to a man named Frank give an analogy– I suddenly had a very vivid image. He said, “Picture a baseball being hit and landing in an outhouse full of waste or a sewage tank. What do you do? Do you get it out?” No, but what if it was a diamond that large? (Paraphrasing) He proceeds with example after example of who and what we honor and why. Frank Seekins zooms in on the issues, and his wisdom and understanding of relationships are undeniably some of the greatest teachings out there. If you get a chance watch. Dr. Frank Seekins ‘A Mighty Warrior’

Dr. Frank Seekins: Hebrew and Your Relationships

And if you’re married, I suggest watching them both with your spouse. Grab the popcorn.

I’ve stumbled across several amazing teachings on marriage and the roles of men and women by googling. Yes, right out there in internet land where you never know what you are going to get; I landed on a couple of diamonds. So, to further your appetite, I want to add two more links before I get into this blog post. If your marriage is falling apart, empty, and less than desirable, and in the words of the Righteous Brothers,

You lost that lovin’ feelin’ Whoa, that lovin’ feelin,” then you need help!

It’s possible that you don’t know how you were designed by The Creator—the One who designed Adam and Chavah (Eve). You may not know your role in the relationship or how to make the most of your marriage. Dr. Skip Moen was one of the first teachers Abba led me to during my journey. His book Guardian Angel is a life-changing read. If you haven’t discovered his blog post or heard of him, here is a short blurb.

Skip Moen is the founder of At God’s Table, a worldwide cyber community that explores and applies the Hebraic worldview of Scripture. Skip has five earned degrees and travels to the far reaches of the globe visiting readers, teaching and encouraging people to be distinctively different in their thinking and living.”

Click here to order Guardian Angel. Dr. Skip Moen or you can look for his video series on YouTube.

Author and teacher, Kisha Gallagher has an amazing series called Role of Women on her blog site Grace in Torah. You can read her series on the daughters of the Most High here.

According to Jewish history, the Rambam counts four steps to repentance which they call Teshuva. This word literally means to return. Teshuva is a time of self-evaluation and trying to work on coming up higher. This is the season of doing just that and also in our marriages. I have listed the four steps below along with scripture for each.

  1. Recognize and then discontinue. “Escape from all lusts of youth and run after righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on our Lord with a pure heart” (2nd Timothy 2:22 AB).
  1. Verbally confess the action “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed” (James 5:16 NASB).
  2. Regret the action. “Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge” ( Psalms 51:4 NASB).
  3. Determine to never repeat the actions. “Pursue peace with all, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14 BLB).

 

This blog will have mercy sprinkled throughout. I need mercy.

It will be a blog of pondering traits we see in ourselves. I need to meditate.

It will contain a bit of psychology mixed with Teshuva. I need to return.

 

Marriage is a funny union of opposition and struggle, laughter and unity. It’s a mixed-up mess of good and bad and at times an incredible masterpiece. It’s both parties coming together as one, but without Him in the center of a marriage, it is fire–a consuming fire.

Time and gravity change us. Our spouses may not look exactly like they did the day we married them, but hopefully, we see them as more beautiful or more honorable now than then.

The word for fire in Hebrew is “esh.” Click the link to listen to the word and see it written in Hebrew. Fire in Hebrew

The word for man in Hebrew is ‘ee-sh’ and woman is ‘eesha.’ Both words have fire in them, and when you place them together and the two become one, you have Fire-(Yah-or God) Fire. He is in the center. When both parties are prideful, stubborn, and self-seeking—placing themselves above Abba, above their spouses, then you have a whole bunch of hot tempers and fiery flames, fighting to be right and in control. Or perhaps one spouse is a believer, and the other one isn’t much on board? One wants a spiritual life, the other not so much. This too is causing one of the parties involved to not be able to fulfill their destiny as they should. Sadly, we can devour each other with our fire, instead of Abba’s fire. All this fire can turn our relationships icy cold.

Most of the time we want things in this life that never bring us joy, peace, fulfillment, or anything worth fighting for.

Used to, when a couple met, and they began to desire one another, they came to a conclusion that it was going to be a good union and they married. Now days not so much. Most people just live together or have bedroom mates. They miss the whole opportunity of standing before family and friends and saying, “This is my bride! This is my husband!” This is the one I am going to become one with—die with—and make a covenant vow with. They miss being set apart from the world.

My husband waited months to hold my hand and even longer to kiss me. He was not going to lead my heart to believe that he had made his mind up about marrying me, or that I was ‘the one,’ until he was certain. He wasn’t going to try and use me for sex and then discard me. When he kissed me it had been 12 years since he had kissed a woman. Not because he is unattractive or didn’t have women pursuing him, because he is a man of valor. They still exist ladies.

 

Nowadays we go to great elaborate exhausting, expensive wedding plans, but we often are met with divorce and unhappy endings. We are met with fire pus fire. I’ve been there! The person we thought we would grow old with, raise children, and grandchildren with, now is a shattered, broken family. Children, from previous unions that failed, now thrown into a hodgepodge of trying to mix and blend. This was never The Father’s plan. I could list a ton of reasons for divorce and unhappiness in the home, but I just want to showcase some things that affect all of us whether we are married or single. Remember the videos and blogs I posted above are for the deeper healing and revelation.

Many marriages and relationships struggle due to passive-aggressiveness, control, manipulation, the martyr complex, and many other behaviors connected to our past. It’s a common problem today, but becoming aware of some of these sneaky characteristics helps. I wanted to start with a behavior that is common—passive-aggressiveness.

Here are eight features of passive aggressive people taken from Daily Worth.

  1. Asking Threat-Based Questions
  2. Making Wistful Statements
  3. Doling Out Backhanded Compliments
  4. Ignoring or Saying Nothing
  5. Procrastinating
  6. Leaving Someone Out
  7. Sabotaging Someone
  8. Keeping Score

For more info, click the link here 8 Signs You’re Being Passive Aggressive | DailyWorth

Many times our hearts do things that are so subtle it gets overlooked, even by us. . . “If our hearts know nothing against us, we have confidence in approaching God.” 1st John 3:21. What Our Hearts Know? – Obadiah’s Cave

  1. יְהוָה YHWH our Father is compassionate before a person sins.

So let’s review a couple of characteristics of passive aggressiveness and see if we need to come up higher in an area. I’ll start with wistful statements.

Example: Family member explains that they are going to Australia on vacation. Our response is–“Boy, I wish I could go on a vacation like you, but “I’m too broke—it must be nice.” I wish I could relax and watch a movie, but I have to do all the dishes.” Etc.

A friend calls to tell you about a fabulous book he/she read—a new sushi restaurant tried, and we say, “I wish I had free time to lounge around and read or go out to eat, but I have to take care of my mother who has Alzheimer’s.” The wistful list is unending. It may be true, but it just makes the other person feel bad.

  1. YHWH our Abba is compassionate after a person has sinned.

Backhanded compliments can be traced to jealousy. The compliments seem more like jabs or smirks—congrats with a twisted remark that takes away from the person’s accomplishments or even their worth. One example would be a friend writes a book or starts up a business and is excited to tell us, but instead, we say “not my type of business, genre or writing style—I only read murder mysteries, but good luck with that. Or perhaps we add on something unneeded. “Nice dress, but you would look better in red than the blue. “You made some good points, but you need to learn __”

  1. אֵל El: mighty in compassion to give all creatures according to their need.
  2. רַחוּם Rachum (compassionate): merciful, that humankind may not be distressed.

Many times people can cause us to become distressed. Many times we can cause them to be distressed. Unknowingly, at times our own need for recognition snuffs out others lights.

The silent treatment is one of the most heartbreaking traits. This is when a person acts as if we are unworthy of reconciling or talking through things. The person is clearly unhappy with our behavior or is jealous or suspicious, so he or she is going to punish us by not speaking—or ignoring us. Then we are supposed to try and figure out what we said or did that was wrong or deserving of guilt–silence. Sometimes it’s more subtle. We ask a question, perhaps it’s about a party we heard about and the person ignores it leaving us feeling unwanted on the guest list.

The Martyr image is one rooted in child abuse or strict religious upbringings. Most martyrs have a poor self-image, low self-esteem, and can be moody and judgmental. They often exaggerate their level of suffering and use it for attention. They can be critics to a fault, and they may have difficulty with the word ‘no’ or needing to be right.

Can you see yourself in any of these? I’m sure we all can see something.

Other areas of change may involve looking deeper into our hearts for healing.

Are we know it all’s?

Must we get the last word?

“When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest” (Proverbs 29:9).

Can we learn from others regardless if they have Ph.D. after their name? Humility.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

Do we have a cure for everything?

Do we drive better, cook better, and look better than everyone?

Do we offer advice continuously but never take it.

“If I were you…” Is our way best?

“Are we wiser in our own eyes?

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7.

Are we certain our son/daughter is not the problem in the failing marriage, or our child would never have gotten in trouble if he/she hadn’t been hanging out with so and so?

So often we find ourselves angry and hurt over what others have done to us, but what did we do to them?

Are we as merciful with others as Abba is with us?

  1. וְחַנּוּן VeChanun (Gracious): He shows mercy to us when we don’t deserve it and is gracious when we are already in distress.
  2. אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם Erech appayim: slow to anger. He gives us time to repent and think about our sins.
  3. וְרַבחֶסֶד VeRav chesed: and abundant in kindness. He is giving and loving and showering blessings that we do not deserve.
  4. וֶאֱמֶת VeEmet: and truth. He is not a man that He would break a vow or lie to us.

All of the items on this list are just to ponder and search out. They are not directed at anyone, and if we all were honest, we all are hopefully seeing something we need to change.

9.Notzer chesed laalafim: keeping kindness unto thousands;

     10.נֹשֵׂא עָוֹן Noseh avon: forgiving iniquity;

11.וָפֶשַׁע VaFeshah: and transgression;

12.וְחַטָּאָה VeChata’ah: and sin;

  1. וְנַקֵּה VeNakeh: and pardoning.

Who is a God like HaShem?

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4 NASB).

I want to leave you with the answer to the whole issue. It all stems from love. Loving ourselves, our spouses and others, with a pure love. Allowing Him to increase while we decrease. That means all our knowledge, which isn’t much, all our looks, ambitions and titles become very small in our eyes. You know how small they are compared to Him? Teensy-weensy.

“So we have come to know and trust in the love that God has for us. God is love. Now whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

In this way, love is made perfect among us, so that we should have boldness on the Day of Judgment. For just as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and the one who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother” (1st John 4:16-20 Tree of Life Bible).

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