Posted in books, devotional, Tekoa Manning, TM

Jumping for Joy

This blog comes from a chapter of a book called Jumping for Joy. I am working on it slowly. I pray it ministers to you.

In the late 1970’s and 1980’s, my mother took to sewing. She used to wear lovely maxi dresses, which she hand-stitched using McCall’s patterns and added adornments. My mother, Vicky, was beautiful and always looked much younger than her years. A lady who lived in the neighborhood had been watching my mom leave for church and other engagements in her long floral maxis dresses. One day, she came over and inquired about borrowing one of my mother’s gowns for a special occasion. My mother weighed about a hundred and thirty pounds, and the woman who stood before her weighed at least three hundred. She thought she could borrow one of my mom’s dresses because she, like us at times, kept passing by the mirror and seeing what she wanted to see reflecting back at her.

There is another story about my mother that I will never forget. One day she was invited to a Tupperware party. The party was hosted by a lady whose husband worked with my dad. My mother and his wife were good friends. They were Pentecostals; we were not. I do not think they wore headscarves or Tzitzit’s, but they had their own attire. Long hair, long dresses, no makeup, and a strict unspoken rule book. My mother showed up to the party with her eyeliner, mascara, bleach blonde hair, and a pair of jeans and a T-shirt that said, “Jesus Loves You.” Many of the women soon gathered in the kitchen, away from my mom. They whispered. They snickered. They made remarks, and my mother overheard, Jezebel, harlot, and sinner. Perhaps these women had memorized 1st Peter chapter 3, but they had missed the gentle spirit and the audience it was written to at that time.

 “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” (I Peter 3:3-4).

Finally, my mother stood in front of them as the Tupperware presentation was coming to a close, and she said, “If you really think I’m a Jezebel headed for hell, shouldn’t you have shown me love and told me about your God—my God—our God? Is not love the greatest gift? Won’t the world know we are Christian’s by our love?” The woman who had invited my mother came to console her, but you could have heard a pin drop in the room. It was a Harper Valley P.T. A- moment. If you’re not familiar with the Harper Valley P.T.A., pull up the old song on YouTube and listen. My mother, in tears, made her way home feeling like an outcast and judged wrongly. I remember this moment for she had taken me with her to the party. Walking home, with mascara running down her face, she told me that the Father looks on the heart. Men always judge the outward appearance. 

woman surrounded with bamboo sticks

 In both these stories, lessons were learned through mirrors being held up. This, too, is a process of transformation. Caterpillars go through transformation before becoming beautiful butterflies. We are to go from glory to glory. This process may last a long season, but when the butterfly burst forth in all its beauty and begins to fly, what a joyful day that is. The butterfly is no longer hidden in the dark cocoon–the developing room.

 “Butterflies are known for having the widest visual range of all wildlife. With a larger visual field than humans and excellent perception of fast-moving objects, their keen sight could be why the species is so abundant. All butterflies have the ability to distinguish ultraviolet and polarized light through their photoreceptors, the light detecting cells in color vision.” for more, click HERE.

Sometimes we learn the most hidden in the darkness and wrapped in the Father’s Wings. “The LORD has said that he would dwell in the thick darkness” (II Chronicles 6:1).

” And the people stood at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was” (Exodus 20:21). 

Sometimes joy arrives in the strangest of circumstances. It comes from those deemed outcasts. It takes a conversation with a homeless veteran to remind us that we have heat blowing through vents in our homes. It takes our car breaking down for us to realize the joy of transportation. At other times, it takes a person in a room that we do not want to be labeled as being seen with, like the woman with the alabaster box. The Pharisees rebuke Yeshua. “If this man (Yeshua) were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39, NASB). All the eyes in the room were on one woman who they deemed unworthy. The elites were so blind they could not see that the greatest prophet who ever lived was in their midst, but this woman had eyes to see.

person putting his feet on water

One night, years ago, before a conference with a pastor, a small group of us in ministry had gathered outside the sanctuary. We were all talking on couches when several others came and sat with us. Some of them had issues with mental health. One was convinced he was the anti-Christ. Many, like him, were coming to these meetings for prayer– and healing from mental disorders. One night, a woman, who made the ministry team uncomfortable due to her beady eyes, strange sense of humor, and continuous mirth at all the wrong moments, sat across the way from me. We’ll call her Brenda. Brenda began to talk, tease, and chatter to the persons next to her. Brenda rode a public transit bus there and had some form of disability.

I glanced at her backpack on wheels with its Jesus stickers and hearts and pondered her idiosyncrasies. She had never married or had children. One by one, I watched people scurry away. Suddenly, they were in need of using the restroom or began to gather into another area by the coffee machine, but Abba whispered to me at that moment—”see her.” “Look at her.” Tekoa, do you want to be with the so-called elite, or do you want to love my sheep? Will you isolate her too? Can you love My sheep with all the love and even more than you have for these you are looking up to—these who are impressed by Biblical knowledge—these who have asked you to speak on Thursday night– because, Tekoa, I am not impressed.” 

Heart conditions:

Me, out of everyone there, should have understood. I was the child who was forcefully pulled down the hallway by my sister and the principal in the first year of my schooling. Crying, gagging, and kicking as I went. I was the last one picked for sporting events in P.E. I was the shy pigeon-toed girl who sat at lunch in elementary school alone at times. Children were holding their noses at my smelly paper sack lunch with hard-boiled eggs that stunk. Young children, and later on, teenagers, were often making fun of me. I learned to throw my food away on the way to elementary school. I was ganged in Middle school by a group of girls who beat my head into an aluminum fence post so badly I couldn’t wash my hair for a week. I learned to disappear in a room. Now, I was watching adults do what was done to me. They were treating her as if she were a ghost, invisible, and without worth. I had done the same at times.

But that evening, I walked over and sat next to this woman created by my Father and began to make small talk. I eased into the chair and complimented her colorful stickers adorning her travel case. I began to ask her things and smile even though she made me uncomfortable. I looked deeper into her tiny eyes and imagined His eyes shining back at me. I tried to ignore that it was summer, and she was wearing thick tights the color of a 1990’s hunter green kitchen countertop or that her paisley mauve dress looked dated from 1950, or how she cracked 3rd-grade jokes, laughing hysterically. And then I began to ask her about her life—dreams—aspirations. Mostly, what I remember is this woman in her 40’s crying buckets of tears and her telling me about her pain—her heavenly Father (personal), her earthly father who died, and her tragic upbringing. And underneath the strange mirth used to mask fears and awkward spaces was a soul that needed to be loved. Oh, friends, this is what the Body Needs.

And at that moment, my mother, misunderstood at a Tupperware party, attired in pink lipstick and eyeliner, could have been sitting next to me in a room full of religious spirits. If we think it does not exist in our newfound Torah fellowship, our smiling Joel stadium, our small rural congregation, our shul, our synagogue—, we might need to find a mirror. Cliques happen. Outcast happen. The lady with the piercing blue eyes and the hunter green stockings unfolded the sad details of her life articulately. Oh, how much childlike love she had for Abba. I felt smaller than small. I tried to imagine all the ones He created and shaped on his Potter’s wheel that we ignore—angels unaware.

We hurt—we judge—or we think we know what could come forth from their heart and parted lips—the ones who fade into the background of our lives. The lepers are crying out in this season. Can you hear them? They scream, “Son of David have mercy on me!” while the crowd tries to shut their mouths. Have mercy they roar– as we hurry to the other side of the street—the room, or worse, we pretend we do not hear them or see them.

person holding eyeglasses with black frames

There was a Canaanite woman whose daughter was vexed with demons, and she was in great need, but what did his chosen men say at that time? “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us. She keeps laughing too loudly. She has dirty laundry. She wears too much make-up. She’s embarrassing. She lacks knowledge. She’s a Canaanite. I’m too tired.” The healthy, chosen disciples, who one day would ponder which side—the right or the left– they could sit on in His kingdom, had no compassion or empathy for a Canaanite woman with a daughter who was demon-possessed. It was not their problem. Who cares if her daughter screams all night—hisses—put holes in the walls—wears green stockings–not our problem? Send her away, we scream! Can you hear my voice echoing from amongst His talmidim (disciples?) Can you hear yours? We, like them, wait to do what’s right—what we know is right. We wait like Moses until our wives have to circumcise our sons to spare us from death. We wait until it’s dark to get an appointment with the King of All Kings. We wait until it’s the Day of Atonement to get on our faces and weep over our condition.

Sometimes people with titles who are well known get better treatment, and we make sure to respond to them quickly. Sometimes cliques happen, and the people in them do not even know that they have formed a group of elites—big dogs. We can walk in a room and feel loved, cherished, and wanted, or we can walk in a room and feel like a square peg amongst a group of circles. We can walk in a room with new eyesight and compassion, but we usually do not acquire this without being crushed, rejected, slandered, and unheard. When we recognize ourselves as the woman in hunter green stockings, blue eyeliner, crying out for our children to be delivered from their vexing’s, or as the man lying in the street who was beaten and bloody, we won’t receive what the Father has for our hands to do. The place that lacks—the place lacking an ounce of joy comes from our self-seeking, arrogance, and knowledge without humility. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Great joy comes from anointing the sick, listening to the outcast, and having empathy for those who suffer in silence. May we not be like the men who pointed at the woman with the alabaster oil who was anointing Yeshua. They proclaimed He was indeed not a prophet, for if He were, he would see just what kind of woman she was. Oh, friends, may we bow lowly at His Feet regardless of what those in the room are saying. May we minister to a broken world, and His broken Body for a King is coming. 

If this blog blessed you, you may like my devotional called Thirsting for Water. Click HERE.

Photos–my mother in black and white

Unsplash–glasses Nonsap Visuals

feet–Zee Zoran

Mirror-Kal Visuas

Posted in Healing of the soul, Inspirational, Tekoa Manning, TM

Taste Your Words–Healing of the Soul Part IV

Image result for you is kind, you is smart

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

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

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

He goes on to describe something called ‘allodynia.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Those who sow in tears

will reap with a song of joy.

Whoever keeps going out weeping,

carrying his bag of seed,

will surely come back with a song of joy,

carrying his sheaves.” 126:55-6.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you continually trying to fill an inner void?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Tekoa

Part # 1 HERE

Part #2 HERE

Part #3 HERE

Part # 4 HERE

Part # 5 HERE

meeee

Posted in devotional, Inspirational, Tekoa Manning, Thirsting for water, TM

* 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 gently–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 researched 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 past trauma and abuse cause sickness in our bodies at times? 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 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

To purchase book click HERE

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Posted in devotional, New Book Release, Tekoa Manning, TM

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 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 henpecked 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, 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 worldwide. 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.

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Blessings!

Tekoa

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