1,000 Words

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

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

I dropped words

They shattered on the floor

Right in front of you

He dropped words, 22 letters crowned with Glory

Splendor

Torah

Holding the cosmos together

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

But you didn’t seem interested in catching them

His words sailed through the seas

They were brightly colored blooms of an almond tree

My words went soaring through your kitchen towards your heart

You stood awkwardly and let them fall

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

Big pink balloon blossoms,

You pulled out a needle and popped them

You squinted your eyes and then you twisted your mouth

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

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

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

And flung a few careless words into the air

Cream?

Sugar?

Not only did you not catch the ones I gave you

Later you stopped sending any words at all

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

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

Measuring their worth before releasing them to you

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

Tiny delicate touches to make the words kinder, sweeter

I bounced words up and down like a basket ball

Then polished them up like golden apples

But you kept looking for a worm

Inspecting them for flaws

I extended them again

Take these pretty words from me, I said

Yet they dangled there in mid air

Words suspended with no one to grasp them

Just hanging there like a dangling modifier

And why?

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

I left and came back another day

I brought different words

Yes, that day. . .

I held words in my fist

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

Into your face

I looked intently into your eyes

Like a breath of wind the words breathed

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

A fissure really

Like a pumpkin face

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

The power of them is mightier than the sword

Forged in fire and blasted with Ruach

Words

They are like the gilded wings of a bird taking flight

Or

Like a wasp stinger embedded in our soul

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

Then fling them in the face

Or throw none at all

To

try

and

Make

Each

other

Feel

small

Some words smell like a rotten corpse,

Lying naked on the floor

Other words float above like a tuft of cotton

Our jaws can bring a stale perfume

Thoughtless words dissipate before noon

or

Words that linger on the surface

Words that rattle from a cage

Words that splatter candle wax

And words that type

tap

tap

tap

tap

Empty words from comic books and politicians with a hook

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

Words like magic carpet rides

And words like diamonds light up the skies

Words as thick as molasses

Words that comfort heal and hold

Words that open doors and shut

Words from babes who utter sounds

And all the words that fell to the ground –

That no one caught or let soak in,

To lend an ear or be a friend

And all these words clutched in my fist

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

Words layered with Torah seeds and honey from bees

Words that stand up tall and hold sounds

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

Words that no longer can break or hurt

Or wound or tear

or make feel bare

Yes, Words that bring a shine

Words that neither run nor hide

Nor bother to rhyme

Words that are tucked away in shoes

Standing on His Word

Words that form a song that soothes

And words that sing a halleluYah

Words that pump through my veins

For all I have to give to you are words

I have no fortune, I have no fame,

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

The ones I picked up off your floor

The ones I washed and prayed over again

I extend

With my frail limp hands

These

Words

Are

For

you

Please

Accept

My

gift

For it is all I have

To give

My Abba Father—

My best friend

The one who washed me with His Words

Like goat milk soap and the freshest rain

Like precious oil upon my head

His Words hold me still

Help me heal

Turn my heart

Still my soul

Brokenness

Becomes

Whole

King David’s words helped me through many nights

And Job’s words I carried in my lungs

Yes, “I know that my Redeemer lives”

Songs from Solomon

And cries from Jacob

Wisdom words marching with ants

Proverbial songs and stories that dance

I long to hear from you again

Without your words my heart feels bruised

My Abba’s Words are like aged wine

That gets smoother all the time

His Words I’ve completely stored

Tucked and polished and hidden beneath

Inside my soul forever they keep

Like a river of never ending love

Hold me up by Your Word

Hold me up by Your Son

Take my Words and wash them in Yours

Take these words spilled on the floor

And whisper to those who no longer speak

Who step over the words I am trying to fly

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

To still

This

Storm . . .

Photo by Robonwriting.

1000 words

Thirsting for Water

thirsting-for-water-cover-jpeg

It brings me great joy to share this devotional with you. It is unique and not a typical daily devotional, but a blast of twenty-four teachings that will awaken your spirit man. In Hebrew, the number twenty-four is “kad” or pitcher. There are twenty-four books in the Hebrew Bible and they are as a pitcher of refreshing water being poured out on the thirsty.

Yes, the number twenty-four is a number dear to my heart, so dear indeed that I am adding a free chapter of Blow a Trumpet in Tekoa in closing. The bonus chapter covers the Feast of First Fruits and a prophetic look at the Twenty-Four Elders that are gathered around the throne.

Thirsting for Water is divided into sections and gives the reader the ability to maneuver from topic to topic. Each section has three different encouraging teachings on circumstances that affect us all, like faithlessness, wounds that won’t heal, pecking orders, loving our enemies and more. There is a fountain of water for those who thirst. Drink up my friends. Grab a copy for yourself and one for a friend.

Blessings,

Tekoa manning

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692818790/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481237560&sr=1-1

 

Author of the Month of April

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I’m so honored to feature my husband, Jeff manning, as this month’s author of the month. He, of course, is my favorite author showcased so far!  This story is one that will cause you to grab the kleenex but in a good way.

 

At the request of my beloved wife and best friend, I would like to share a walk down memory lane with you. It’s one of those memories that’s like a tapestry, our heavenly Father weaving a beautiful quilt and me honored to be a part of it.  As I start this second sentence there is already tears in my eyes just thinking about the goodness of our Abba Father and how intricate His details are.  I hope this message blesses you.

About a week ago my Father, Danny Manning, called me and asked how long it had been since an article had been published in the Metro section of the newspaper featuring me and a little boy named Colby. Colby was a cancer patient at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.  As we talked, it was hard for us to believe that it had been over fifteen years since the publication.  My wife, weeks prior, had gone through some of my old pictures and plaques to place in our office and she actually had pulled the framed article out to hang above my desk.

As dad and I continued to talk, he let me know that the Kosair Children’s Hospital Foundation had called and wanted him to come and take a tour. He wanted to know if I would accompany him. The hospital wanted to show my dad all the updates they had made since he had been faithfully giving monthly for all these years.  What a blessing to have parents that are such givers!

About a week prior to this phone conversation with my father, some friends of my wife and I, Shawn & Anna Dolphin, were over to the house for a Shabbat when this article on the office wall initiated the testimony I’m about to share with you.  Again, tears were shed.

It all started months after I decided to rededicate my life in the mid-1990’s.  Following a service at church, a lady came up to me and told me that she had a word for me from the Father.  She went on to tell me that God had a plan for me to head up a ministry. She said I would be ministering to many men and for me to get spiritually prepared.  I thanked her and then thought “This lady is crazy!  I am trying to get my own life straight, and now I am going to be involved in ministry?  Yea, right lady!”

Well, our Father does work in mysterious ways and I came to realize that the lady in question wasn’t crazy.  Within a year, me and two other Brothers in Christ, Donnie Chambers, and Todd Brimm, started the Shield of Faith Christian Police Officers Association.  This is an entire testimony in itself and would take another article or two to write about. However, one facet of the ministry started about a year later when we received a call from a Crimes Against Children Detective about a young child at Kosair Children’s Hospital that would forever change our lives.

To our astonishment, a seven-year-old boy who along with his mother, had been traveling with the circus had grabbed a live wire that burned off three of his little fingers.  The shocking part was that his mother abandoned him at the hospital with only the clothes on his back and left with the circus never to return.  We were asked to step in.  What could we do?  A group of us nervously went and befriended this child, going to see him daily and bringing him clothes and toys.  We could tell he hadn’t had the best of upbringings due to his choice of language at times.  We did about all we could do, and tried to shower him with our Father’s love and prayers of protection.

I will never forget the day when I received the call from the hospital asking me to come down and be with this child as they took his bandages off completely. He was going to see his hand for the first time after the surgeries.  They were worried about this being traumatic and wanted his new friends to be there with him for support.  I grabbed a co-worker, Tony Denham, who was also a member of the Shield of Faith and we headed down to the hospital.  I will never forget holding this child down as he screamed while they took off the bandages.  Boy, was this kid resilient!  In a couple minutes, he was fine and ready to play.   Tony and I drove back to headquarters in silence with the previous events being replayed in our heads.  Simultaneously, we both started talking about how in the world a mother could leave their child to go through something like that all by themselves. I am thankful that this story ended well. The little boy who was abandoned ended up being adopted by a good family and moving on to a new life. Praise the Lord Adonai!

Soon after this, Dr. Steve Wright, the Medical Director of Kosair Children’s Hospital, approached us about the possibility of visiting some of the children on a regular basis.  I remember our first meeting, where we were instructed about the do’s and don’ts of what to say and not to say.  How fragile some of the situations were. We began to realize that the main place we were going was to the children’s unit in the cancer ward.  Talk about having second thoughts! Fear began to rear its ugly head.  I was nervous but felt like this was of God and so did my brothers and sisters of the Shield of Faith.

I remember being nervous as anything, as we went into the first room of the cancer unit.  There was this chubby little boy introduced to us as Colby. He had no hair from the chemo treatments but a smile that lit up the room. This little fellow sat up in his bed and spoke with a country twang I will never forget.  I remember thinking about all the do’s and don’ts and thought, “What would be a safe question for Colby?”  So I asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  He thought for a split second and said, “I want to be a Preacher.” At that very moment, I knew that the Father himself had sent us to do this work. I just didn’t know that Colby indeed would preach a message to me and others that no spiritual leader ever has.

Over the next couple years, Colby and I developed a God-ordained relationship that I will forever cherish.  We began to visit the Hospital once a week on Wednesdays and very seldom did we miss.  The children always looked forward to the Police showing up in their uniforms and coming to see them.  All the kids had a soft spot in our hearts, but Colby was super special.  No matter how much he was hurting, he always made it a point to make our day more special than we ever made his.

He basically lived at the Hospital due to his condition.  During Christmas in 1999, Colby was allowed to go home to Casey County, KY to be with family.  They contacted me and asked if I could usher him back to the hospital after his visit due to the family having some problems. This was a two-hour drive, and Donnie Chambers and a couple others accompanied me. We couldn’t pass up the chance to surprise Colby with some presents. I bring this point up due to the attached article that was in the newspaper.  In the photo of this article, there is a picture of me and Colby where I am cracking up. He had just reminded me about how bad a driver I was because of him getting car sick on the drive back to the hospital. Ha! Yes, he was a character.

In reference to the attached article, we were approached by the Hospital and the Courier-Journal requesting to join us during one of our visits.  Out of all the rooms, and all the children, they chose Colby to share in the article.  Yes, He was that special.

From that article alone we started getting a plethora of donations. Not just money, but toys, including police wagons to carry everything around on.  Another article was done in the Southeast Outlook about Colby getting baptized in the burn unit of the hospital. Yes, he was spreading the gospel, and becoming more of a preacher than I ever dreamed of being.  He continued to touch everybody he came in contact with, and especially me.

One day I got the call nobody ever wants to hear.  Colby didn’t have long and he wanted to see me.  During the visit, I couldn’t get over how brave he was. He asked me if he could be buried with my police handcuffs.  What an honor.  I remember handcuffing him and me together and letting his family take a picture of us.  Two days later I was called to his bedside where he took his last breath minutes before I arrived.

I’m proud to say that the Chief at the time, Gene Sherrard, of the Louisville Police Department, allowed us to take a brand new police car to escort Colby home to Casey County, KY. Along with that, he allowed the Shield of Faith Officers to be his Pallbearers and to play taps with the bugle.  I had the honor and privilege of speaking at Colby’s funeral and placing my cuffs into his casket. This kind soul wanted to preach the gospel and he did it better than any man I’ve seen yet.

One thing I will never forget was when we arrived at the cemetery and we got out of our cars and was close to starting the service.  A Donkey came over to the fence and made the loudest noises and carried on for a couple minutes.  I remember the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. I remember thinking at that very moment, that braying was for Colby.  After the service, two other officers that were with us said the exact same thing; the same thought had come to them.  The donkey was brought up several times on our ride home and it also reminded me of the humble donkey Jesus-Yeshua rode in on and also the fact that our Father used a donkey to speak.

For five years I had the honor of meeting and making many friends at Kosair.  Again, several of these children went on to be with the Lord Adonai and others received miracles.  The toys continued to pour in due to Colby and I am proud to say that off and on for the past sixteen years officers of the Shield of Faith have continued to make these visits, as well as my faithful dad.

Yes, I believe Colby was a Preacher and ministered to many unknowingly.  I also know that only God could have taken the broken man I was, who was just trying to get my life back on track, and place my feet on a path that would connect me with a little ole country boy that would forever change my life.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ones that truly are the angels at these children’s hospitals.  The doctors and especially the nurses who are there every day, caring for and comforting not only the children but the families also.  I pray many blessings and much comfort over these angels as they deal day in and day out with some of their new friends suffering and some passing away.

Blessings,

Jeff Manning

:The picture above shows Colby and I handcuffed. It was taken two days before he passed away.

Angry Young Man

angry young

Oh angry young man with your feet in your shoes

And your fist in your HANDS…

Won’t you tell me,

Where are you going, angry young man?

 

You walk with a sting of rebellion and rage

As the asphalt slaps the stride of your gait.

 

And the nape of your nose bores into the sun

As you wrinkle your scowl at what they’ve become,

It’s everything you’re not…

And the festering boils from the stench of your past

Waltz up to enchant you and offer a dance.

Why can’t you move forward?

Your pride will not bend.

And now you have pissed all your prizes to the wind.

With a chest puffed out wide and shoulders, you’ve chipped

Oh, angry young man your sail has a ship.

And a baggage claim tag too large to behold

Is weighing you down

As your hands fold.

 

If you would only look at creation and notice that it breathes

Swaying colors of green with a sprinkle of gold,

A teardrop of amber and a breeze blowing bold…

All God’s creation sings, yes it shouts!

If only you knew what the world was about.

 

Take away your titles, your money, and all your earthly dreams…

Then gaze into the mirror and grasp

What you are without your material clout.

 

Not what they tell you

The world that is…

But HE who formed you, the one who says, “Be still.”

Splash the Word on your numb and wake up the sleepy man.

Shake off the chip on your shoulder,

Shake off the blood from your hands.

 

Take away the swine flesh that you eat

And bow lowly before the feet…

Of the one, the whole world will bow to.

Take off the unholy, take off your shoes.

 

For the ground you are on is Sanctified…

And the pride will become liquefied,

Run down into the ground and dissipate.

Take off the unholy son before it’s too late.

LifeHouse is Filled With Miracles

 

 

Albert Einstein once said, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

I want to share with you a ministry that is running on miracles, one miracle after another. LifeHouse is injected with so much faith it tips over and flows through the hallways like a cool stream inviting you to take a sip. There’s laughter, hope, love and the drumming of tiny feet and feet that are still encased in the womb there.

After being accepted to the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort, I was left with a case of the first edition of Polishing Jade. As you know we at ItsallaboutHiminc put all the money from our book sales back into the ministry. So we had a donation to give as well. If you’ve read Jade’s story then you’ve gotten a glimpse inside the mind and heart of a young, scared, abused, pregnant teenager. My husband and I had begun to search organizations who help women such as Jade. One day it was my hap to land upon a website called LifeHouse Maternity Center. I had already viewed several other organizations but nothing had tugged at my heart strings until I began to read about a place that doesn’t enable women but empowers them.

It didn’t take me long after calling and speaking to Shannon Zimmerman, LifeHouses’s development director, to realize that this was the place for Jade. LifeHouse is just what the names states it is. It is a place where life happens and new lives that may have never tasted the sunshine, drink it in, all because of one woman’s devotion. If you haven’t met Joan Smith the founder and executive director yet, I hope that after reading this blog you decide to pay her a visit because she will inspire you. Yes, she will cause you to want to put action behind your faith. Babies aren’t just born at LifeHouse and turned loose, they are raised by women who become whole, educated, empowered, and full of God’s light. And so about a week ago my husband and I stepped inside the house that houses unborn LIFE and we could feel His breath blowing through the rooms and the people there.

Joan doesn’t just want to give you a tour of her facility that houses up to 12 pregnant women and 12 women who have had their children, she wants you to dig your fingers into the rich soil and become part of the solution. LifeHouse has seen over fifty five babies born. If you’re wondering what you can do, go to the website and take a look around. My husband and I were given a tour and we were blown away. Upon entering our eyes were mesmerized by a hand carved wooden mural of a tree of life, thanks to artist Dan Diekhoff. If you study the pictures I posted closely you will see that he incorporated life in the leaves and branches. Many have donated furniture, installed windows, painted walls, laid floors, dry walled, and another did landscaping; each room held a story of what God had done. We were encouraged by the many who volunteer their time to teach the women about Jesus-Yeshua and the love of the Father. Others who take time each week to teach life skills, like how to cook, clean, financially plan, learn job skills, drive the women to appointments and the list goes on and on.

Just before leaving we were ushered up the stairwell where hung a beautiful picture painted by a woman contemplating abortion, underneath was her story written in her own words. She had started painting the baby in her womb and all the darkness was over powered by the light from her paint brush and ultimately her art has become a staple for every woman whose feet land there on that landing. If they are standing there they have made a choice for life. The artist Linda Kovacik Maassen wrote these words below:

“I painted this image while living in an indigent neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. I worked in a basement studio with dim lighting. I was a ‘starving’ artist at the time, subsisting on cornbread and peanut butter, looking for work and painting every spare moment I could.

“Such a humble, raw offering at the time. As a young woman, I was wrestling with the implications of the pro-choice stance. What did it mean, really, to choose to end a life growing inside — a glorious life full of light?”

“It hung in a hotel art show on skid row in 1983, and now decades later and 2000 miles away, here it is in such a fitting home exquisitely framed — something only God could do!”

Yes, God speaks even through the walls at LifeHouse. What stood out to us was the fact that The women at lifehouse don’t just have a baby and then get turned out into the world. They can stay up to 4 years after the baby is born and work on getting a degree or job training along with wisdom from counselors and God’s Word to help them prepare for this new life. I am looking forward to heading back to LifeHouse to meet the women there and hopefully plant some good seeds, dig my fingers in the soil a bit.

Does this sound like a ministry you’d like to give back to? If you go to their website it says this, “Whatever your talents, there is a need for them at Lifehouse. A little of your time can make a big difference in the lives of the women and babies at Lifehouse.” If you are looking for a ministry that’s making a difference and saving lives and changing the future, look no further. Pray and ask The Father if He would have you volunteer your time or give a donation. Miracles live here.

God created life and He knows how many hairs are on our heads, when we sit and when we rise, our thoughts from afar and the Bible says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalms 139:13. He also knew when Abel’s blood cried out from the ground. Won’t you help save a life today? I think Jade has found a good fit. If you feel led to donate your time, talents, or monies you can contact Joan and Shannon below.

http://www.lifehouselouisville.org/administration

 

Blessings!

Tekoa