Grace

cabin

The picture above is a cabin that was built out of refurbished wood from my grandpa and grandma Green’s home. It was built on their land, and I love it.

I entered this particular poem in a contest a few months back but did not win. However, I enjoyed writing it and since my husband and I just moved into our new home, with the lights of Hanukkah shining brightly, it seemed like a good time to post it. I hope you enjoy!

 

Even the quilts were tired here.
The bedraggled mattress sagged like an old man’s baggy trousers.
The tile floors were worn, and the grout had crept away little by little with every sweep.
The stairs hung like a sunken ship,
its stepping too exhausted to hold up feet.
The chairs, with their feeble legs, refused to offer any bones a place to sit.
The walls held each other in an embrace that looked like men coming home from battle.
One huff and one puff from the wolf would collapse the rooms like a cardboard box
still, the house hung on for dear life.

Rumples and cracks filled corners like spider webs.
The ceilings with their age spots and vein lines gave way to the constant dripping of tears that needed proper patching.
Pipes coughed up hairballs but never found the strength to feel a river run through them again.
The windows plucked their bushy eyebrows by shedding the moth-eaten cloths that covered their eyes. The sun had given up trying to shine through their glass panes coated in grime.
The front door hung on one hinge, swaying to the sound of the mulberry trees mournful refrains from the yard.
The foundation raised up in a few places, trying to gasp for a breath of strength but never falling back into place—stuck in passing.
The cupboards echoed with emptiness, no longer a place where little hands grasped the delicacies hidden on shelves.
No more little feet were running to greet its arms.

The shades closed their eyes, and the chimney stopped its breath.
And the dilapidated old house, board by board was falling to its death.
The autopsy revealed it had died of a lonely heart.

One day some men came.
The house straightened his torso as best he could, and attempted to hold the beams and the boards for the men’s girth and weight.
One young man looked familiar
As if the walls held bits of his laughter,
Smudges of his fingers and words soaked in plaster
Yes, the house had felt his presence, he was sure of it now.
Another man yelled, “Shall we bulldoze it and throw the wood in the fire?”
Another mouthed, “Yeah, doesn’t look like there is much left here to savage.”

The house gathered all his strength and mouthed an exhausted, “no.”

The following week a young man in a truck took the bones and stacked each limb, even the stair rail was placed neatly in the bed of the pick-up.
“Where are you taking me?” the disjointed pieces asked.
Shiplap, and refurbishing the old with the new, and the tired house straightened its shoulders as each piece was nailed in place. Each limb was given a new anchor to hold.
Once again was heard the sound of tiny feet, a bark, a yell, a chimney sweep–music and laughter, and chatter galore.
The old house felt as useful here with his new friends as before.
The windows needed no scrubbing. The stairs were sturdy and straight, and the stars danced on the roof with the sound of rain.
It’s like a dream thought the house as he looked around. Freshly coated paint and shiny new floors. No mildew, no spiders, no rotten floors. No broken down bedding or sheets with stains and the old boards embraced the books on the shelf, the scent of babies and freshly baked breads.

Suddenly, the front door opened, sturdy and straight adorned with a brass knocker, and from the front yard, a new maple tree waved as the new owners invited their guest to enter the threshold.

“I love what you’ve done with the place! Using grandpa and grandma Green’s wood from the old homestead was a magnificent idea! ”

And the chairs in the kitchen straightened their backs as the children sat down to enjoy a meal. The adults held their glasses up for a toast, “May peace, joy, health, kindness, and good fortune live here!”
And the house straightened his posture, and bowed his head and in appreciation said
Grace.

Can Angels Sin? Doctrines of Demons Part #1, Chapter 19.

cherub

 

Can angels sin? Were one-third of the angels cast out of heaven? Many of the doctrines we have been taught contradict themselves, don’t line up historically or make no sense. More than likely, you have heard several interpretations from Genesis six. The most prevalent one is that angels fell into sin and slept with the daughters of men or the seed of Cain and this caused giants to appear on the earth. Let’s read:

 

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

–Genesis 6:1-2, KJV

 

As I said in the last chapter, I don’t believe angels can sin. Many believe Satan was an angel who fell due to pride and that one-third of the angels left with him. Yeshua’s words suggest just the opposite.

 

Yeshua answered and said unto them, ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the Angels of God in heaven.

–Matthew 22:29, KJV

 

Multiple teachers have confidence in the theory that the angels fell, slept with mortal women, and reproduced giants. However, after careful study, I believe this may be a false doctrine of demons. Of course, I was not there during that time period, but let’s dig in deeper and see if we can uncover some clues. The first portion of this chapter is written by my eighty-two-year-old father who has studied the Bible for years and will give you the accounts of what he believes happened at the beginning of Genesis. Let’s go now and look at my father’s theory and see if it holds water.

           Buddy Green’s theory is as follows:

I discovered a lot of things that I never heard any preacher or anyone else for that matter mention, let alone try to explain. I am NOT claiming to be an authority on doctrine. However, you will see what I am telling you is simply what I believe Adonai’s Word says. I am going to start with the gap theory. I am sure most of you have heard of this theory that may or may not have happened between Genesis 11 and 12. They claim this was a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. This may or may not have happened; it’s still just a theory. I want to talk about another gap theory that very few mention. That is the gap between the time Adonai created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden until the time they sinned. I don’t think anyone would just assume that they were given a paradise with everything they could ever hope for on the first day and then by the next day had already disobeyed a commandment Adonai had given them. (Jewish tradition suggests it took seven years). It could have been years; the Bible does not say. I believe they were still living in eternity until they sinned. You see, that is when I believe time started.

            Here is where I am going to say something that will probably blow your mind but don’t quit reading. Please hear me out. I believe Adam and Eve (Chavah) could have had a number of children before they sinned. It’s all there in Genesis. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: (Genesis 1:28, KJV). Then after they had sinned, He says in Genesis 3:16 “…I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;” (KJV). Now we believe Adonai can do anything. However, our Father knows how to multiply, and zero multiplied by any number is still zero. If there had never been the pain of childbirth before, Adonai could not have multiplied it. This is the first proof they may have had children before they sinned. The second proof is found in Genesis 3:20 it says, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living” (KJV). Then in the beginning of chapter four, it says, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord” (KJV). She was already the mother of all living back in the third chapter of Genesis. You may be thinking, well, perhaps it was not written in chronological order. I say perhaps it was. For the third proof, we need to go back to the third chapter of Genesis and the last verse. “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24, NIV). Why would Adonai do this? Why didn’t He just destroy the garden? I believe the reason he couldn’t destroy it then was because he was protecting the children and grandchildren of Adam and Eve. The sages believe the garden represented Israel. Possibly there were many generations that were still in the garden and had not sinned. I know some of you are thinking if this is true what happened to these people and why are they not mentioned in the Bible? Well, they may be.

            Let’s take a look at Genesis 6:1-2. “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” (KJV). If these were not children of Adam and Eve that had not sinned, then who were they? I have heard some say they were fallen angels. But the Bible calls them sons of Adonai. (Sons who kept Torah) Let’s look at Hebrews 5. “For unto which of the Angels said he at any time, you are my Son;” (Hebrews 1:5, KJV). Furthermore, Romans 5:14 says, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression…” (KJV). Now think about this, to have sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, wouldn’t one have to of been in the garden and eat of the forbidden fruit in order to do that? Not necessarily, let’s look at a better translation for more understanding. “Nevertheless, death ruled from Adam until Moshe, even over those whose sinning was not exactly like Adam’s violation of a direct command.” (CJB). The point is the sons of Adonai were sinning, not celestial beings.

            The genealogy of Yeshua says, “The son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God” (Luke 3:38, NIV). Therefore, it makes sense to me if Adam was the son of Adonai, for he is listed, then we can assume that children born before Adam and Eve sinned would be sons of Adonai as well. Another reason they couldn’t have been demons or fallen angels is found in Genesis 6:4 it says, “…when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown” (KJV). If demonic angels could reproduce, we would be overrun with them. There would be one behind every tree and dozens in every closet. “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30, NIV). This indicates to me that angels do not reproduce. How could they when they are celestial beings?

Let’s go back to Genesis chapter 6:3, “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years” (KJV).

            I have heard preachers use this verse and say, “Saints, if you turn away from the Holy Spirit, there will come a time when He will no longer deal with you.” Well, this may very well be true, but in my opinion, that’s not what He is talking about here. He is displeased with the sons of Adonai for defiling themselves with these daughters of men born after the sinful nature (Torahlessness). I have also heard some people read this and say this is speaking of when Adonai shortened man’s life to one hundred and twenty years. Personally, I don’t think that’s what he’s talking about here either. I think he was displeased with these Sons of Adonai taking wives and defiling themselves with these daughters of men born after the sinful nature. (Possibly, these men and women would not have been in the garden area, under the covenant with Adam as their High Priest. These would have been men who turned their back on our Father’s instructions and sought their fleshly nature).

My father has written some interesting thoughts here, wouldn’t you agree? It’s possible there were children before Adam and Eve (Chavah) fell. Who am I to say it’s impossible? I for one wanted to cut in and tell you some reasons why I think much of his theory holds water, and that is not just due to men in the Bible being referred to as “Sons of Adonai” but being referred to as angels as I explained earlier. Many have disputed my father’s theory; however, I believe much of this understanding of giants stems from Greek and Roman myths as well as other Asian cultures. I’m not saying the N’filim were not on the earth at that time, just that they are possibly not half-angel/half-man.

In Greek mythology, the Titans were a people of massive proportions who were the offspring of Olympian gods. It was believed that the Titans were imprisoned in a section of the underworld called Tartarus. II Peter 2:4 says, “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell (Tartarus) and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; …” (NKJV).

  1. Marcellus Kik, a minister and teacher who has studied at both Princeton and Westminster Theological Seminaries. explains, “The Greek term aggelos (angels) does not always refer to such heavenly spirits. The meaning of the term must be determined by the context.” For example in the book of Matthew, it says, “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.” 11:10 KJV. This is clearly talking about John the Baptist and not an angel messenger. Many times the word “messenger” is a person and not an angel. According to the Jewish encyclopedia, the Hebrew word “mal’akh” is the standard Hebrew Bible word for “messenger.” This word refers to both human and divine.” [1]

Let’s rethink this verse in II Peter, along with the verse that coincides in Jude:

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their position of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

– Jude 1:5-6, KJV

Could the translators have erred when rendering the word “angels?” We will delve in deeper in part two of this interesting topic.

 

 

Part Two

angel

 

We closed our last portion with a verse concerning a very touchy topic, angels who did not keep their authority. From reading Jude’s account, we can see that this is talking about a circumstance that happened after Egypt when Adonai brought the children of Israel out. The topic has something to do with positions of authority. Let’s look at something that fits perfectly with what is going on.

 

Moses also said to Korah, “Now listen, you Levites! Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s Tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too.

–Numbers 16:8-10, KJV

 

This fits well when we see the angels (angelos) as men. If you read the whole chapter of II Peter, you will see that Adonai is talking about the wicked men in Noah’s day, the wicked men of Sodom and Gomorrah, and also these men who followed Korah. They did not keep their positions of authority because they wanted to usurp the priesthood! Let’s look at this deeper and see exactly what this casting down to hell is about.

 

Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.

–Numbers 16:28-29, KJV

 

As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. All Israel who were around them fled at their outcry, for they said, “The earth may swallow us up!” Fire also came forth from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense.

–Numbers 6:31-35, NASB

 

When we place all of this information together from Jude and II Peter and the timeline of Moses and Korah, we see even further that the whole topic is unified. Look at what else Jude has to say about this:

 

In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams, these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.

–Jude 1:8-10, KJV

 

These men of Korah rejected Adonai’s mighty prophet Moses’s authority, and the earth swallowed them up. Hell is a word that has multiple meanings, and in this particular case, it means Tartarus from the Greek word Tartaroo, which is used only once in the Newer Testament in (II Peter 2:4). This is not referring to a place of flaming fire, and you cannot chain celestial beings there. They walk through things. They disappear. They fly. I strongly believe this is the men who rose up against Aaron and Moses.

            “David Chilton makes the same point, showing that in the Older Testament the word mal’ak, often translated “angel,” is used for human prophets in II Chronicles 36:15-16; Haggai 1:13; and Malachi 3:1. The “angels of the seven churches” in Revelation are surely human leaders since it makes no sense to write a letter to a spirit angel. Spirit angels are members of God’s heavenly Council, and so are human prophets (and in the New Covenant, all believers). Thus, the term “angel” sometimes refers to a human prophet or messenger, and not always to spirit angels. [See David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Ft. Worth: Dominion Press, 1987), pp. 81-83.”

This should clarify and open your eyes to more understanding. I will use the next verse to elaborate more on this issue. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8 NASB). This word “angel” is also a word for a prophet or a messenger of Adonai. Remember, John the Baptist was Adonai’s chosen messenger, but according to this verse, others could have preached another gospel. Other angels? No, other men. Can you imagine an angel standing in all its glory, able to soar and fly, appear and disappear, said to do all Adonai’s bidding, teaching a contrary gospel? Never!

“His created ones, who do His commands and obey Him.Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!” (Psalm 103:20, NASB). He also has angels who He sends to wreak havoc and destroy, but one thing is certain, He controls them. “He sent upon them His burning anger, Fury and indignation and trouble, A band of destroying angels” (Psalm 78:49, NASB). He controls all of them, and as scripture explains clearly, they are His servants. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14, NASB).

Below is a quote from “Yahweh’s Restoration” titled “The Sons of Elohim:”

The theory that angels mated with mortal women later crept into the Septuagint version. Of the three oldest manuscripts of the Septuagint, only the Codex Alexandrinus of the fifth century offers the word “angels” in Genesis 6:2 instead of “sons of Elohim.” Not one of the Hebrew manuscripts, however, has the word “angels” in Genesis 6:2. Instead, all Hebrew manuscripts read “sons of Elohim.’ [2]

Also, I would like to quote from the book of Jasher, which is referred to in Joshua 10:13 and II Samuel 1:18. Just as there were multiple copies of the book of Enoch, there were several copies of the book of Jasher as well. One published in London in 1751 and again in Bristol in 1829, these two were considered imitations. Below in italics is part of the introduction to the book.

            “During this same time, a legitimate book of Jasher was translated into English in England. Because of the unfavorable excitement caused by the bogus books of Jasher, the translator was reluctant to publish his edition. He chose to remain anonymous, and in 1840 he sold his translation of the book of Jasher to a Jewish newspaper editor and prominent New York publisher named Mordecai Manuel Noah.

And this is the source I am quoting from. We will start at Jasher 4 verses 16, 17, and part of 18.

“And all the sons of men departed from the ways of the Lord in those days as they multiplied upon the face of the earth with sons and daughters, and they taught one another their evil practices and they continued sinning against the Lord. And every man made himself a god, and they robbed and plundered every man his neighbor as well as his relative, and they corrupted the earth, and the earth was filled with violence. And their Judges and Rulers went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice…

This type of wickedness is currently something we see happening in the middle-east by extremists and sadly, all over the world due to sexual lust. I must continue to voice that I believe angelic beings were created perfect and were never put out of heaven. Many scriptures seem to imply that the angels are perfect and created for Adonai.

 

Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!

      Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all stars of light!

      Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!

      Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.

He has also established them forever and ever;
            He has made a decree which will not pass away.

–Psalm 148:2-6, NASB

 

Adonai just spoke in Psalms that He created the angels for Him and that He established them forever! He informs us that there is great joy in heaven over one sinner repenting. Having said that, we must realize by this point that it is clearly possible that Satan is not an angel. Also, Lucifer is a Latin word as we have already discussed in prior chapters.

I believe these angels Adonai created are perfect, immortal, and used by Adonai. The dragon many say is Satan is described in Revelations.

 

Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

–Revelations 12:3-4, NASB

 

Many say Satan is the dragon and the stars are fallen, angels. However, does Satan have seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns on his head? No. These are kingdoms and rulers of these kingdoms. It is kings who wear crowns, not angels. It describes the worldly kings of the earth. Yeshua told the people, “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my words? “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father” (John 8:43-44, NASB). Was their father literally the devil? These people were not angels nor were they fallen deities, they were men who could not hear the Word of Adonai. Their father wasn’t literally Satan. They had earthly fathers. Their fathers were the religious leaders who had brainwashed them.

“Among the Pharisees were two schools of thought, based on the teachings of two rabbis, Shammai and Hillel. Shammai called for a strict, unbending interpretation of the Law on almost every issue, but Hillel taught a looser, more liberal application. Followers of Shammai fostered a hatred for anything Roman, including taxation—Jews who served as tax collectors were persona non grata. The Shammaites wanted to outlaw all communication and commerce between Jews and Gentiles. The Hillelites took a more gracious approach and opposed such extreme exclusiveness. Eventually, the two schools within Pharisaism grew so hostile to each other that they refused to worship together.” [3]

The strict school of Shammai is where we get the term “synagogue of satan.” Those who sat under him were told their father was the devil (an adversary). They did not want Yeshua to be King. They were in control, and they loved the power, wealth, and control of the people (Anti-Christ). When they came to arrest Yeshua and Peter drew his sword, Yeshua told him this: “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:23, NASB). Twelve legion is more than 36,000 angels. He doesn’t seem concerned about any fallen ones or about these men who have come to arrest him.

Yeshua called men who were religious evil serpents: “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (Matthew 23:33, NIV). But we know these men were not literally snakes. This Babylonian system is one that will be hurled down at the end of days. This system that has destroyed and taken from the poor, the widows and the orphans, and has piled up for itself kingdoms on earth with money it has stolen from the needy, will one day be judged.

Have you ever noticed that the beast in Revelation thirteen also has seven heads? Perhaps there is even more to these scriptures. Did you know the constellation Draco is the Greek word for dragon and is referred to as the serpent, dragon, and devil? It really does have a tail, and it sweeps the stars and causes meteor showers.

Now, let’s revisit Revelations 12:1-5:

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman (Virgo/Rachel/ Israel) clothed with the sun (Father), with the moon (Celestial calendar/Feast/His seasons) under her feet and a crown of twelve stars (Twelve Tribes,) on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon (Constellation Draco/ adversary/ Babylonian System) with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman (Israel) fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days (3.5 years or 1st half of tribulation).

“Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, “Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun (Rachel) and the moon (Jacob) and eleven stars (Eleven brothers plus Joseph, all twelve tribes) were bowing down to me” (Genesis 37:9, NASB).

 

Do you still believe this dragon is a red horned angel with a pitchfork? This woman is Israel. There is much more. What is happening in the heavens is being played out on the earth. “On earth as it is in Heaven” might have a deeper meaning than we thought. We look to the moon for His calendar and Festivals.

 

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands
. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; it rejoices as a strong man to run his course.

–Psalm 19:1-5, NASB

 

This knowledge spoken of is increasing not just in the world but among Adonai’s people. Adonai has always used His skies for times, seasons, and yes, prophecy. Everything is not black and white yet. As we get closer to His return, I believe the gray areas will decrease as knowledge increases. I pray that the revelation in this chapter is a start at digging into Adonai’s Word with new ears to hear even more of what the Spirit has to say!

There will be more evidence and scripture reference concerning this topic in Doctrines of Demons Part 3. New release coming soon.

 

[1][1] [J. Marcellus Kik, An Eschatology of Victory (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1971), p. 147f.]

[2] https://yrm.org/the-sons-of-elohim/

[3] Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns

* 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

 

 

Hate is?

blog hate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, Love come and save us from our lips,

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

into our parched hungry souls.

Help us to become

Whole

Echad.

 

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

thirsting-for-water-cover-jpeg

 

Candy Apple Leaves

Yellowed candy apple leaves floated down the skies and melted into the grassy brown earth.

The wind sang in her ears.

It shrieked with delight, whipping and twirling more leaves, causing them to dance a forceful Allegro!

The sun crackled from a fire on the horizon, and her heart drank in winter like a warm chimney puffing softly in the folded hills that seemed to request snow.

Their bareness needed a covering.

Who made a storehouse for the snow?

It was the same one who opened the water spouts.

The same one who filled the womb.

His breath had filled everything with LIFE and was tossing up dead leaves to the wind.

She wrapped the scarf around her cheeks and felt guilty for loving the sandy beaches that left the soles of her feet as warm as her heart that burst at the sound of the ocean’s voice which was louder and grander than the greatest sound she had ever heard– minus the cries of her son’s taking their first breaths.

His VOICE!

He was born in November and tossed with gold. A grandson named Truth.

Such wonders untold.

Holding life in the palms of her hands.

Letting go of dead things.

Sweeping leaves up from her floor into heaps to burn.

Watching the faces of her son’s dream a dream, and seeing it come forth from the bitter bare hills of nothing.

Could something so warm be born in the month of Cheshvan?

Could a flood of water pour over her and her seed?

Although her legs felt like dead trunks, suddenly she could leap like a prima donna assoluta.

The sky opened its gates, and the birds all gathered in place.

They were as white as the snow that had started to fall in a steady rhythm.

The sound of stringed instruments and a fragrance of cassia, myrrh, and cinnamon bark dripped from the trees, and they began to bud with new leaves in the midst of winter.

Almond buds like cherry tree blossoms weighted down the arms of the trees, and she glided ever so softly into His hand, and He carried her to a quiet place.

“Rest my child,” He said, and this time she was obedient and did.

 

leaf yellowleaf

 

BOOK REVIEW: Walter – The Homeless Man by Tekoa Manning Best Blog India!

BOOK REVIEW: Walter – The Homeless Man by Tekoa Manning
November 2, 2017
@amanhimself  Link for Review

Walter Cover Final

Pages: 512, Paperback
Published: 2013 by It’s All about Him, Inc.
Cover Rating: 4/5

I am glad I got the chance to read this exceptional work. It is a wonderful feeling for a reader to read a book that has a strong on going plot with mature and very well build characters. This quality to be expressed in the form of writing is rare, and Manning has displayed this through her novel.

Walter: The Homeless Man is a story about a man in the sixties who has suffered a loss and is trying to avoid the pain that came afterward. He is on the run in a different town where he sleeps under the stars and in the day, breaks into a young widow’s home for shelter. Unknown to him, his routine touches every life in that home changes the course of their lives. A misunderstanding that is displayed in a fruitful manner starts another journey for Walter, that changes him for the good.

The plot of this book is smooth that possess a series of events happening one after the other in a manner of completing the puzzle. The theme touches include integrity of man, forgiveness, and redemption. The plot revolves around our protagonist, Walter but the two subplots that meet at a point do take a massive space inside the book. I like the way the author has entwined characters with plots and forming a perfect ending to the book. The plot has steady pace that grows further, and a reader would be able to finish this book into time. I was hooked by the plot, the characters, and the writing style, and regardless of its length, I did manage to finish it in two sittings.

The characters will take you on a journey and will make you feel and realize the themes I mentioned earlier this book covers. They are so realistic and developed without any complexity. Every character has something to show a reader how humane they are. This simple manner of developing strong characters did astonish me. Even more, often times a reader will find that these characters drive the plot forward. The narrative voice is good, and the dialogue formation is flawless.

The writing style smooth and simple and understandable. The author does try to let lose her characters at some point in time in the book, and it seems these characters have their own destiny and are controlled by it. I like the way she writes in a flow that seems satisfying for a reader like me to enjoy. I recommend this book to any reader who wants to enjoy a well-written book.

4 out of 5!

 

Why do you Speak to Him? (Doctrines of Demons #1)

Chapter 9

I remember the power that rang through the voice that was speaking to me and commanding Satan to turn me loose.  The large hand was placed on­­­ my forehead, and the prayer continued with more screaming at the enemy.  “Satan wants to take you out! He wants to literally destroy you, but he must bow!”

Sadly, I was suddenly feeling a little prideful that Satan wanted to obliterate me. Was I so anointed that he was on a mission to take me out?  No, I was just your ordinary follower of Jesus/Yeshua trying to live a holy (set apart) life.  I prayed. I read His Word, and I tried to live a life worthy of His commandments. This is hard enough to do in this day and time. But this Shepherd was telling my enemy to bow.  I wondered why I had never read of any great men of the Father in the Bible praying such a prayer.  Did they?  I began to study this and wore my small concordance out looking up every verse on the “father of lies.” Although I studied every scripture concerning him, in no place did I find that type of prayer. I hear so many today praying to Satan in the assembly.  I know that I have mentioned this in an earlier chapter, but the need for truth on this matter, especially in the charismatic church today is much needed.
I have heard many pray prayers that contain dialogue like this, “We bind you Satan, you must bow, and you cannot cross this bloodline.  Satan you are a liar and the father of lies.  Satan you are under my feet.”  Is he?  If he is, why does Paul warn that he roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour?  Again, If You bind him, how long is he bound?  What is he doing while you yell at him?

So back to the man praying over me, he continued with a great swelling boast: “I take authority over the powers of the airways, and I command you to take your filthy hands off of my sister…” Again, this didn’t sit well with me. If we had power over the airways, we could stop the missiles from hitting Israel. We could end wars. Well, you get the picture.

I was raised in a church with this particular teaching, but I have to tell you, I just don’t agree with it, and I don’t find it biblical.  Now once again I want to show you in the word of God, precept upon precept, and line upon line.  When we study the Bible both the Older and Newer portions, we have a complete picture of how the Godliest men and women fought their battles and nowhere did they converse with or curse Satan during those times.  Job didn’t. King David didn’t.  Moses didn’t, and neither did the mighty men and women of Jesus/Yeshua’s day.

After Paul and Silas are thrown in prison and beaten unmercifully, they didn’t curse Satan. They praised Adonai by lifting their voices and singing praises. Let’s read that account:  “A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!” Acts 16:22-26 NLT.

No yells or threats made to Satan, but they do go on to lead the jailer to salvation.

Once when Paul was speaking to the church in Thessalonica he had this to say, “We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us” (1 Thessalonians 2:18 NLT).  Let the scripture speak for itself. There is no record of him talking to Satan; he just says he was delayed. We also have to remember Satan means adversary or enemy.

Peter, chapter two, discusses false teachers and prophets that would be among us. Then the passage describes some of their characteristics: …  “Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality.  And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed, they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money.  But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed”  (2nd Peter 2:2-3 NLT).

Peter went on to explain just how corrupt these men are. “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;” (2nd Peter 2:10-12 NLT).

Jude had this to say: “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion and speak evil of dignities.  Yet Michael the Archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, the Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core” (Jude 1:8-11 KJV).

Jude uses three different people in the Bible to describe them. Cain who murdered his brother over the jealousy of Abel’s righteousness.  Next, he uses Balaam who would have cursed Israel for his greed if G-d had not stopped him and Korah who rose up against Moses and Aaron and tried to exalt himself in the camp. However, instead, the earth opened her mouth and swallowed him.
Now if angels don’t speak evil to Satan but say, “The Lord rebuke you.”  Should we not tread where we are ignorant?  And why should so much time be spent talking to the enemy? Wouldn’t it be better to cast out the demon and let the person who comes for deliverance get into G-d’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit? What power is there in repeating repetitious prayers to the enemy?  None. According to Peter, Jude, and many others, we don’t have any business doing that anyway. We just learned that men who do this are filthy dreamers–brute beast even. They are corrupt, filled with pride, arrogance, and ignorance.

Now in the Older Testament (Tanakh), there is a story about Daniel and his prayers getting through.  Daniel says a prayer during a twenty-one day fast, and an angel appears to him. Let’s look at that closely.

“Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven.  I have come in answer to your prayer.  But for twenty-one days, the spirit prince[c] of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way.  Then Michael, one of the archangels,[d] came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia.[e]  Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come” (Daniel 10:12-14 NLT).

Now Daniel didn’t know there was a war in heaven for his words.  Daniel wasn’t commanding the Prince of Persia to bow. HaShem sent Michael the archangel to help this angel battle a General and ruler over Persia. The rulers at that time were fierce! Remember they threw Daniel into a den full of hungry lions. Think about world leaders for a bit and remove the focus from how it was explained to you by your pastor or priest.

Daniel pours his heart and soul out to God in chapter nine and ten. He humbles himself through prayer and repents for his nation and the people. He knew God had made a specific link between these seventy years in captivity and the number of Sabbaths they had missed. Just like the famous verse we quote so often in times of need, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
However, when we read verse ten, we understand the secret Daniel knew about this Prince of Persia.

(Jeremiah 29:10) “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.”

Daniel knew that the time was getting close to being fulfilled. However, the Prince of Persia knew that as well. Earlier, in Daniel chapter five, we read about a feast put on by Belshazzar for thousands. Who was Belshazzar? He was a sixth century BC Prince of Persia.

“Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them” (Daniel 5:1-2. ASV).
He must have had a reason for drinking from those vessels at this time. And I am betting that he thought the seventy-year prophecy had passed and that he had been triumphant over Israel’s God.  Then the finger of Yahweh wrote upon the wall of his palace, Belshazzar died, and Babylon was taken over by the Persians. You can yell at Satan and Princes over territories, but ultimately God is in control and what moves God’s heart is prayer, fasting, and repentance like Daniel did.

I honor the ministers who are gifted and take on the foulest demons from hell, but at the same time, I think a lot of this doctrine needs light.  Conversing with Satan is not one of the ingredients for victory. Getting puffed up and shouting at a being G-d controls, created even, and uses for His purposes is not wise.
How do these ministers think that they have a right to make Satan bow when God has sent him? The pride of it all is baffling to me.  Paul had this to say about the wicked in the church who wouldn’t repent, “Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns” (1 Corinthians 5:5 NLT).  Do you knock on Satan’s door and say, “Hey buddy, I got a live one for ya!”   No, we have got to start thinking clearer about verses.
Satan shows up in the Newer Testament when the Spirit leads Yeshua into the wilderness to be tempted by him.  Ironic?  I think not.  Hopefully, you are getting a better understanding of your adversary.  Praying prayers where men and women of God shout at Satan is not mentioned in the Bible.  Yeshua gave us an example of how to pray.  He said to pray after this manner,

“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:5-8 KJV).

Yeshua said to pray to be delivered from evil and for us not to be led into temptation.

In the Newer Testament, we hear about Satan or the Devil, our adversary, but not once do we hear anyone conversing or shouting at him.  Even when Yeshua was warning Peter about Satan, he didn’t say anything but the fact that Satan desired to have him.  Let’s read to get more understanding.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32 NLT).

Notice Satan had to ask Jesus/Yeshua if he could get permission to sift Peter.  Also, we notice by reading this that Jesus doesn’t say anywhere that He told Satan to flee or bow, but that He instead was praying for Simon Peter’s faith to be strengthened. He was praying for him to pass the test. Shouldn’t we follow the examples set before us in the scriptures? Talking to Satan is a waste of time and energy.  Just think you could be praising the King of Kings!   The book of James says this, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 KJV).

 

How did the Yeshua converse with the devil when He was tempted in the wilderness?  Did He curse him and tell him to bow?  Did he tell him that one day he would be shut up in a pit and laugh at him? Again, no. He said, “It is written…” (Matt 4:4 KJV). Again, he said, “It is written….” (Matt 4:7 KJV).  “Get thee hence, Satan: For it is written….” (Matt 4:10 KJV).  In Luke, He says, “It is written…”, “It is said…”, “Get thee behind me Satan: for it is written” (Luke 4:4, 12, 8 KJV).
Yeshua fought his wilderness temptation with the Word.  The enemy will come to tempt us all, and the Holy Spirit will help us overcome, but it seems we do that by using the word of Adonai.

“…for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death”  (Revelation 12:11 KJV).

 

This is the scripture God gives us to follow. He said we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony.  If we keep talking to Satan and incorporating him into our day when things don’t go right, aren’t we really giving him attention and more credit than he deserves?

 

In the next chapter, we will look at how Satan has evolved over time and through literature.

demon book cover

 

 

1,000 Words

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

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

I dropped words

They shattered on the floor.

Right in front of you

He dropped words, 22 letters crowned with Glory.

Splendor

Torah

Holding the cosmos together

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

But you didn’t seem interested in catching them.

His words sailed through the seas.

They were brightly colored blooms of an almond tree.

My words went soaring through your kitchen towards your heart.

You stood awkwardly and let them fall.

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

Big pink balloon blossoms,

You pulled out a needle and popped them

You squinted your eyes, and then you twisted your mouth.

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

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

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

And flung a few careless words into the air.

Cream?

Sugar?

Not only did you not catch the ones I gave you.

Later you stopped sending any words at all.

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

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

Measuring their worth before releasing them to you

I added hues of ruddy sunburst and hints of emerald green.

Tiny delicate touches to make the words kinder, sweeter.

I bounced words up and down like a basketball.

Then polished them up like golden apples.

But you kept looking for a worm.

Inspecting them for flaws

I extended them again.

Take these pretty words from me, I said

Yet they dangled there in mid-air

Words suspended with no one to grasp them.

Just hanging there like a dangling modifier.

And why?

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

I left and came back another day.

I brought different words.

Yes, that day. . .

I held words in my fist.

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

Into your face

I looked intently into your eyes.

Like a breath of wind, the words breathed

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

A fissure really

Like a pumpkin face

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

The power of them is mightier than the sword.

Forged in fire and blasted with Ruach

Words

They are like the gilded wings of a bird taking flight.

Or

Like a wasp stinger embedded in our soul

We wad up words and layer them with love, judgment, and hate.

Then fling them in the face.

Or throw none at all.

To

try

and

Make

Each

other

Feel

small

Some words smell like a rotten corpse,

Lying naked on the floor

Other words float above like a tuft of cotton.

Our jaws can bring a stale perfume.

Thoughtless words dissipate before noon.

or

Words that linger on the surface

Words that rattle from a cage

Words that splatter candle wax

And words that type

tap

tap

tap

tap

Empty words from comic books and politicians with a hook

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

Words like magic carpet rides

And words like diamonds light up the skies.

Words as thick as molasses

Words that comfort heal and hold

Words that open doors and shut

Words from babes who utter sounds

And all the words that fell to the ground –

That no one caught or let soak in,

To lend an ear or be a friend

And all these words clutched in my fist.

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

Words layered with Torah seeds and honey from bees.

Words that stand up tall and hold sounds

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

Words that no longer can break or hurt

Or wound or tear

or make feel bare

Yes, Words that bring a shine.

Words that neither run nor hide

Nor bother to rhyme

Words that are tucked away in shoes

Standing on His Word

Words that form a song that soothes

And words that sing a halleluYah

Words that pump through my veins

For all, I have to give to you are words

I have no fortune; I have no fame,

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

The ones I picked up off your floor

The ones I washed and prayed over again

I extend

With my frail limp hands

These

Words

Are

For

you

Please

Accept

My

gift

For it is all I have

To give

My Abba Father—

My best friend

The one who washed me with His Words

Like goat milk soap and the freshest rain

Like precious oil upon my head

His Words hold me still.

Help me heal

Turn my heart

Still my soul

Brokenness

Becomes

Whole

King David’s words helped me through many nights.

And Job’s words I carried in my lungs.

Yes, “I know that my Redeemer lives.”

Songs from Solomon

And cries from Jacob.

Wisdom words marching with ants

Proverbial songs and stories that dance

I long to hear from you again.

Without your words, my heart feels bruised

My Abba’s Words are like aged wine.

That gets smoother all the time.

His Words I’ve wholly stored

Tucked and polished and hidden beneath

Inside my soul forever they keep

Like a river of never-ending love

Hold me up by Your Word.

Hold me up by Your Son.

Take my Words and wash them in Yours.

Take these words spilled on the floor.

And whisper to those who no longer speak.

Who step over the words I am trying to fly.

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

To still

This

Storm . . .

Photo by Robonwriting.

1000 words

Elmer the Rich Man

elmer the rich man

 

 

Elmer Chastening stood atop a bluff overlooking his vast acreage. The velvet green rolling hills cascaded into the distance.  The tall pine trees breathed in deeply and exhaled into the misty fog beneath. The thick, dense forest stretched its arms and waited patiently for maturity. But Elmer didn’t see trees. His eyes saw crisp dollar bills waving in the breeze where leaves should have been. He would wait patiently for cutting the timber, as he had waited patiently for most of the things he valued in his life.

He was barely eleven years old when he’d learned to strap a yoke collar on a mule. Elmer remembered clearly the day his father had taken him down to Saline Clifford’s place and told him to get the mules hitched for plowing; he’d had a putrid hatred for heat, sweat, blisters, and the sound of his stomach demanding food that wasn’t there for the taking. No, he would never let that happen again. He couldn’t.

 

He wasn’t going to have one of his children walking to school with no shoes on, or worse, shoes so tight they rubbed the back of your heels until the flesh came clear off. “Why wear any shoes at all, thought Elmer?” Pride, he guessed. No, sir. His children might hate him for the workload he gave them, but he’d rather they did that then live with the humility he’d been cloaked with growing up.

 

Elmer owned a good deal of the small town of Heaping KY– if you didn’t count color town which ran clear across the other side of the tracks down Lewis Street. Most the white folks didn’t cross the tracks and seldom did a black man dare cross except to see a doctor, dentist, or the likes. The small town was seldom silent and almost never dull.
Heaping had been abundantly fertile to Elmer, just like his wife, Gladys. But life had not always been perfect, and Elmer had seen the effects of the Great Depression first hand, as he was born during the beginning of it.

 

Elmer had six children; all strong and of goodly countenance. War had taken its toll on a couple; but they sprang back like the elastic of a rubber band, sturdy yet versatile.
His wife, Gladice, was anything but giddy; although her name might suggest otherwise. No, she was serious and inquisitive, annoying at times even. Of course, he wasn’t the most comfortable fellow to get along with and could lose his temper over the smallest irritant. When this happened, he seemed to completely black out and become someone he was not even familiar with. It hadn’t been that long ago that he had taken a fresh green switch and beat one of his children until the blood sprang forth. Gladice had grabbed the switch and broke it in half. “Elmer stop!” she’d screamed.  “ELMER LOY CHASTENINGS you’re going to kill that child!” It was in that moment that he seemed to come crashing back into reality, and felt sure that the proverb that said “punish them with the rod and save them from death,” was not perhaps meant to be as forceful as he had taken it. He’d tried hard in the last couple years to stop disciplining them at all. He’d let Gladdy do that he thought. Yes. For Gladice’s words were like chicken soup– warm and nourishing to the soul, but his words tended to be more aptly described as tar trying to mix with water; hot and sticky, repellant even.
Gladice was a sturdy woman with broad shoulders and breast that had satisfied Elmer for over twenty-five years now. She had dark chestnut hair, thicker than the pines, and her eyes were as violet as an Aster bloom. She could outwork most men, and she cooked better than his mother ever did. Perhaps it was because there was plenty of food to be had in Heaping and an abundance on Elmer’s table–and he needed an abundance to keep all the mouths fed.
His son’s names and their order of birth are as follows– Elmer Almon jr, Samuel Wesley, Johnathan David, and Joe Dellas.  His last son, Clifton Robert, died of measles shortly after his first birthday. They would have grieved in anguish longer had it not been for the surprise of a daughter, their first, Katheleen Sophia, and then two years later Eva Victoria was born. She being the last of seven.
At night, after all the children were in their beds, Elmer would reach for Gladice, and she would lay listening to the sounds of mattress springs keeping rhythm with her husband’s body. She’d sigh softly wondering if this would be the last time her womb would fill up with life. Elmer figured the more children he had, the more workers and the more workers meant more money and money was his constant companion. The fear of never having enough was a restless irritant.

Yes, Elmer and Gladice were proud of their four sons and two daughters. The eldest was one of the most excellent men in town. Almon was a good shoulder above the rest of the boys and handsomely mysterious with his seaweed eyes and blondish auburn hair. Elmer put him in charge of the service station he’d opened last June. His charisma worked somewhat of a magic over the customers. They trusted Almon with their vehicles, the cost of repairs and the prices he quoted to them.  He had a  humble smile and what appeared to be a genuine concern for their pocketbooks. Many young men his age were moving to bigger cities to work in the automotive industry or factories that were popping up after the war, but Elmer wanted his children to stay in Heaping and Almon wouldn’t begin to know how to think for himself. No, that was something his father did for him. There was an understanding among the Chastening’s, and that was to never go against Elmer’s wishes or desires.
Heaping was growing for a town its size and Elmer saw to it that he was part of that growth. The station had been profitable, and he had hired a mechanic who was training his sons on all the repairs of the latest automobiles. Once Elmer felt secure with the first service station, he had plans to open another in the next town over.

Elmer sighed again as he looked over his land and thought about all the sweat and determination it had taken for him to become someone. Yes, he was someone now.  Elmer had made something of himself, and as you can imagine when Elmer walked down the streets of Heaping everyone knew who he was and what he was worth. Everyone in the town loved Elmer and used words such as good, kind, a man of God, a great father and husband, a loyal friend, easy going and even comical jokester was added at times. Yes, all these adjectives were used to describe the affections bestowed upon him.  After some time he acquired a nickname in the town of Heaping. There was Charlie, the milkman, Frank the postman, Connie the beautician, Lane the tailor and the townspeople referred to him as merely, “Elmer, the rich man.” Just the sound of it tickled his ears and made his chest puff out further. “Elmer the rich man,” he spoke into the thick air of the morning. His eyes twinkled. He clicked his teeth making a tweak, tweak, click, click sound and kicked up his heels. He counted the coins in his left pocket as he walked down the hill with a sass in his step.

Elmer loved to count things. Nothing was ever wasted in his sight. If extreme was what Elmer wanted than extreme is what he got. He prided himself in having the same car for almost fifteen years. Of course, he had splurged on a new 47 Cadillac, with white wall tires. It was pearly cream in color, but he’d never driven further than the church house and back home in it–Kept it clean and waxed and covered. Everything was measured in worth here at the Chastening’s home. To get something new for a Chastening was a rather peculiar occurrence and yet their house stood higher than anyone’s in the town. Sunday morning attire was the finest to be had, and even his daughters were cloaked in satin and silk. Come Monday it was back to basics and cutting corners to squeeze a dime out of a nickel.

Elmer didn’t trust banks and although he had a large sum in the First Bank of Heaping. He also had quite a few coffee cans hidden in the barn, among other precarious places.

 

Elmer’s front porch wrapped around the house and stood tall from the Corinthian columns that lined the front. The inside was even more breath-taking. The spectacular circular staircase greeted guest at the entrance, and the woodworking was impeccable. Dust did not have a chance to settle in Elmer’s home because he was a perfectionist. Each lamp, crystal vase, and gilded gold picture were placed just so–causing the light to catch the eye and leaving one mesmerized by the beauty of the objects. But like all houses which kept their tenants sheltered underneath their dwellings, their occupants carried secrets–secrets the window curtains tried to cover with their heavy tapestries. Secrets the birds knew that chirped outside in spring and secrets that were forbidden to be discussed for fear that once the words were spoken their power would destroy every occupant. Each family member knew that speaking these secrets would forever change the course of history and then everything the occupants were trying to hold together would collapse. Implode, and erupt.
And. . . Even the biscuits and redeye gravy seemed to try and cover them like a thick coating that stuck to their insides and stopped the pain from seeping out. Sticky jams and marmalades drenched in butter churned and beaten covered them. Sometimes the secrets were covered by music, laughter, and even a taste of wine or sherry on occasion, but mark my word they lingered like the smell of eggs after a boil. Putrid and rotten. Even the fans and the perfume couldn’t escape them. Yes, the Chastening’s had their own demons to deal with, but we’ll get to that later. As for now in our story, Elmer has just left gazing over the land he owns and has just kissed his wife, tickled the youngest Victoria in the ribs and grabbed his coat and hat.
It’s Monday morning in the town of Heaping and Elmer is getting ready to drive into town and check on his Service Station and his saw mill.  He’s about to get inside his car, the one he drives everywhere, not the one for show. Indeed, that’s really where our story begins, because Elmer Chastening routine is getting ready to become significantly altered and the choices he makes will forever change his path, and I would assume your path as well.  If I could oblige you to bend your ear for a moment, I’d like to tell you the story of Elmer’s predicament and how it came about. Perhaps, I’ll articulate it well enough to leave just a touch of Elmer’s fingerprints upon your soul?

If you ever find yourself in Heaping KY, look for the flagpole on Taylor Street and turn right at the service station. Follow the light post and the road that winds and curves down Boulder street and just to your left; you’ll see a road tucked back behind some trees, a road named after the very folks who live there, The Chastenings. If you walk up the exquisite porch and take a hand to the brass knocker on the cherry red doors, you might just meet Elmer’s wife, Gladys. If she invites you for tea, which more than likely she will because that’s just her nature, do try and study the creases right above her temple area and the violet of her eyes that now has softly faded. And after you dip your silver spoon into her rose covered teacup and taste of the orange Asberry spice with ginger, do gaze out the sitting room, past the redwoods, and down the hill. There you’ll see a large oak tree with some carvings dug neatly into its skin and six steps beyond lies a secret box buried deep beneath the earth. A box filled with secrets that were never meant to be dug up. . . Or buried for that matter. Buried secrets cause the most disparagement. For even though they may lie quietly at the bottom of the sea, their spirits walk amongst us.