Friday, July 30, 2010

Why Israel?

When I met Bryan he was very enthusiastic about Israel. I knew where it was on the map and noticed the Bible mentioned it a lot, but beyond that it remained a distant land far far away. Almost too far away to touch, know, or sadly even matter.

I tried awfully hard to comprehend Bryan’s fascination with Israel. I really wanted to, I listened to his stories of his time there, how he worked on an archeological dig near Tiberias. I listened about the peoples, the language, and how life seemed so much more colorful and alive. I felt almost ashamed because I just didn’t “get it.” Was something wrong with me?

Over two years ago (and it hardly seems that long, could it be?) I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Israel. I didn’t quite know what to expect, but my heart leapt for joy! I was actually going to experience this land and possibly have the understanding I longed for about it. It was a dream come true.

Being in Israel was one of the most Amazing experiences I have ever had. You will have to read my blogs during those 2 weeks to even catch a mere glimpse of what it was like. But honestly I left even more confused. My heart was searching for the reason beyond the entire spiritual splendor encompassed there. I wanted to REALLY and TRULY understand within my heart, and I didn’t. If I could have forced myself to, I would have. I would have tried and tried until my face turned blue. I felt left out. Maybe I could pretend to know, because I knew why: God’s people are these people. He sent Yeshua there. Yeshua gave His life there, and will return again there. Even so, I wasn’t satisfied with this. Some twinkling wonder glimmered in Bryan’s eyes that I wanted to discover as well. Why? Why is Israel so special? Why are other countries not as special? Why are the Jews chosen? I can’t help that I am not Jewish! So where does that leave me? Does God not love me as much as He loves the Jewish people? Honestly, I was upset. I actually felt defensive at one point. I know that is the worst thing to admit, but the fact that I wasn’t born Jewish shouldn’t mean that I wasn’t as chosen as the Jews are! Was I just a side-thought? These questions floated around my mind constantly. I asked Bryan his input and some other friends of ours, but I still didn’t have a peace inside of me about it.

The thoughts scared me. I asked the Lord to show me. And it took years for my heart to “see.” I think it wasn’t until I officially finished reading the entire Bible that God revealed Himself to me in the knowledge of Israel and God’s Call throughout all of time, not just the Old Testament or the New Testament, but the continuance of His Love for the Jews forever. I did a lot of searching, reading, and praying and it finally occurred to me what my heart needed to recognize.

So why Israel? I will tell you, and tell you why it should matter to YOU.
The reason it bothered me enough to crave an answer is that I believe God has made a promise to Love, Protect, and be a Father to me, throughout ALL my ups and downs…that means FOREVER. In so many instances of my life I DEPENDED on this promise. It was literally all I had. His Love to the Jews is also about a Promise He made to never leave them, and that He would always pursue them and keep them as His chosen people. The fact that God has never given up on Israel and will one day restore Her to Him gives me GREAT happiness and comfort. My journey of discovering the JEWEL about Israel is about HIS PROMISE and to see that fulfilled is the fulfillment of my purpose in life. He says in Genesis 12:1-3:

1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

It almost takes reading the entirety of God’s Word to truly comprehend how HUGE of a deal this is, this PROMISE. Israel is mentioned approximately 2, 575 times in the Bible. It is a land He Loves, Cherishes, and has HUGE plans for. If God tells us to honor this land, and that we will be blessed for it, He has a purpose to it. I believe it is to lead us to a DEEP DEEP understanding of His Love and Promise to us. This concept is very deep, so deep we could never fully grasp it. I have just begun my journey with understanding this country and how it blesses the nations, and my life in Him. I urge you to ask God to reveal to your heart His beautiful Love story about this land, because ultimately it does have to do with you. Israel now is the most Beautiful Jewel I have within my heart. It of course (to me) is pink and sparkly.

א לְדָוִד: בָּרְכִי נַפְשִׁי, אֶת-יְהוָה; וְכָל-קְרָבַי, אֶת-שֵׁם קָדְשׁוֹ.

1 [A Psalm] of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
ב בָּרְכִי נַפְשִׁי, אֶת-יְהוָה; וְאַל-תִּשְׁכְּחִי, כָּל-גְּמוּלָיו. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits;
ג הַסֹּלֵחַ לְכָל-עֲו‍ֹנֵכִי; הָרֹפֵא, לְכָל-תַּחֲלוּאָיְכִי. 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquity; who healeth all thy diseases;
ד הַגּוֹאֵל מִשַּׁחַת חַיָּיְכִי; הַמְעַטְּרֵכִי, חֶסֶד וְרַחֲמִים. 4 Who redeemeth thy life from the pit; who encompasseth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
ה הַמַּשְׂבִּיעַ בַּטּוֹב עֶדְיֵךְ; תִּתְחַדֵּשׁ כַּנֶּשֶׁר נְעוּרָיְכִי. 5 Who satisfieth thine old age with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle.
ו עֹשֵׂה צְדָקוֹת יְהוָה; וּמִשְׁפָּטִים, לְכָל-עֲשׁוּקִים. 6 The LORD executeth righteousness, and acts of justice for all that are oppressed.
ז יוֹדִיעַ דְּרָכָיו לְמֹשֶׁה; לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, עֲלִילוֹתָיו. 7 He made known His ways unto Moses, His doings unto the children of Israel.
ח רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן יְהוָה; אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב-חָסֶד. 8 The LORD is full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
ט לֹא-לָנֶצַח יָרִיב; וְלֹא לְעוֹלָם יִטּוֹר. 9 He will not always contend; neither will He keep His anger for ever.
י לֹא כַחֲטָאֵינוּ, עָשָׂה לָנוּ; וְלֹא כַעֲו‍ֹנֹתֵינוּ, גָּמַל עָלֵינוּ. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor requited us according to our iniquities.
יא כִּי כִגְבֹהַּ שָׁמַיִם, עַל-הָאָרֶץ-- גָּבַר חַסְדּוֹ, עַל-יְרֵאָיו. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.
יב כִּרְחֹק מִזְרָח, מִמַּעֲרָב-- הִרְחִיק מִמֶּנּוּ, אֶת-פְּשָׁעֵינוּ. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.
יג כְּרַחֵם אָב, עַל-בָּנִים-- רִחַם יְהוָה, עַל-יְרֵאָיו. 13 Like as a father hath compassion upon his children, so hath the LORD compassion upon them that fear Him.
יד כִּי-הוּא, יָדַע יִצְרֵנוּ; זָכוּר, כִּי-עָפָר אֲנָחְנוּ. 14 For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.
טו אֱנוֹשׁ, כֶּחָצִיר יָמָיו; כְּצִיץ הַשָּׂדֶה, כֵּן יָצִיץ. 15 As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
טז כִּי רוּחַ עָבְרָה-בּוֹ וְאֵינֶנּוּ; וְלֹא-יַכִּירֶנּוּ עוֹד מְקוֹמוֹ. 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof knoweth it no more.
יז וְחֶסֶד יְהוָה, מֵעוֹלָם וְעַד-עוֹלָם-- עַל-יְרֵאָיו;
וְצִדְקָתוֹ, לִבְנֵי בָנִים. 17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him,
and His righteousness unto children's children;
יח לְשֹׁמְרֵי בְרִיתוֹ; וּלְזֹכְרֵי פִקֻּדָיו, לַעֲשׂוֹתָם. 18 To such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His precepts to do them.
יט יְהוָה--בַּשָּׁמַיִם, הֵכִין כִּסְאוֹ; וּמַלְכוּתוֹ, בַּכֹּל מָשָׁלָה. 19 The LORD hath established His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all.
כ בָּרְכוּ יְהוָה, מַלְאָכָיו:
גִּבֹּרֵי כֹחַ, עֹשֵׂי דְבָרוֹ; לִשְׁמֹעַ, בְּקוֹל דְּבָרוֹ. 20 Bless the LORD, ye angels of His,
ye mighty in strength, that fulfil His word, hearkening unto the voice of His word.
כא בָּרְכוּ יְהוָה, כָּל-צְבָאָיו-- מְשָׁרְתָיו, עֹשֵׂי רְצוֹנוֹ. 21 Bless the LORD, all ye His hosts; ye ministers of His, that do His pleasure.
כב בָּרְכוּ יְהוָה, כָּל-מַעֲשָׂיו-- בְּכָל-מְקֹמוֹת מֶמְשַׁלְתּוֹ;
בָּרְכִי נַפְשִׁי, אֶת-יְהוָה. 22 Bless the LORD, all ye His works, in all places of His dominion;
bless the LORD, O my soul.

There is beauty in the emotion of the literal translation of Hebrew to English!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Explanation of Tears

Why do you suppose God created crying as a way of showing sorrow? Little drops of salty water fall out of our eyes, these two blinking colorful filters used in interpreting our world. Why has He mysteriously decided our bodies would react to grief with this happening? Biochemically and symbolically there must be some tiny jewel hidden within.

Biochemically, when our bodies become upset, we involuntarily initiate a chemical and hormonal overflow of what our bodies need to feel better again. In a away it is our defenses coming to the rescue!!! Hormones and chemicals like prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and leucine enkephatin rapidly produced as protection against the bad hormones and chemicals we create when we are sad. Our Limbic System (the Hypothalamus) gathers the excess overflow and rids the body of them in the form of tears. The truly amazing aspect of this is the chemicals listed above are ALL positive chemicals needed in an extra doses to help us feel better on our own. They are our bodies own pain killers, anxiety medicines, and endorphins to help us feel happy again. When we cry, it is our body working to help us feel better. And sometimes it works.

But there is something deeper to all of this. Yes, it makes sense in my mind WHY we cry in terms of what our body is reacting to and doing to solve the problem, but why did the Lord chose this?

Tonight I sat quietly in the dark when a warm tear emerged and began its journey down my cheek to wait under my chin for others to come and join it to eventually fall off to the pillow below. It was then I asked the Lord why He created tears, and why are they so important? It seemed silly to question something so minute, but the answer I received from Him went beyond my findings biochemically.

God told me the tears warmly going down my cheek is His warm gentle Hand stroking my cheek in Comfort. He is there with me when my heart is sad enough to cry, for He holds my face in His hands and comforts me as a child. Now when I cry I will think of the tear being the Hand of my God reassuring me with his strong warm Powerful Hands.

*After I journaled this I began drawing a picture I have drawn in several different fashions in relation to crying, sadness, and tears. This time I added a ray of streaming Light through the word in the puddle of tears, that symbolizes God's touch in those moments when I feel sad enough to cry.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Revelation 21:4

Saturday, July 24, 2010

קדוש (Kadosh: Holy)

Holy holy holy
is The L-rd G-d of Hosts
Who Was, and Is
And is to Come

~~~~~~~

קדוש קדוש קדוש
ה' אלהים צבאות





I'm not sure who this is singing, but it is beautiful!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life is Just...


Life is just....
a bowl full of Gracey!!!







Sunday, July 11, 2010

Expanses


When driving, apart from the thousands and thousands of advertisements that whiz by, you see two major expanses: earth and sky.

Earth, while advancing in the car, goes by fast as you look straight ahead. Rhythmically it seems to blur as it flies by. The road itself becomes a vague representation of its original form along with the trees, signs, and buildings.

The sky, on the other hand, seems almost still and calm. It doesn't move the same way the earth does as you look out the window.

You will find the paces of both areas very different. It mirrors a heavenly perspective. While time on earth seems to perpetually continue with minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years..., heaven, upwards, is still and calm,...almost waiting in anticipation. "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." 2 Peter 3:8 It hovers nearly seemingly untouched by the rapid movement below. I find much joy and comfort knowing that God is constant and over all, He is the sky to me a very chaotic world.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Cow Appreciation Day

Bryan asked me how he looked, and I said "You look like a cow." He replied "I think today is the only day I would be ok with you saying that!"


Today, July 9, at Chick-Fil-A it is "Cow Appreciation Day." What does this mean??? If you dress up like a cow in any way you get a FREE chick-fil-a sandwich and this is good in any state and at any chick-fil-a restaurant! Of course since Bryan manages the store he was "required" (by me!, he -he!) to dress up! I think he looks so cute. Gracey got very excited too and brought out her favorite pal, the chick-fil-A cow. There is also a contest you can enter in your costume online and win FREE chik-fil-A for a WHOLE year!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Ilona's Gymnastic Recital

Several weeks ago Ilona, our 4 yr old niece, had her first gymnastics recital. She was so cute with her medal. Bella, who is now 2 yrs old, is growing up so fast. They are so beautiful, just like their Mama.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Uno, Dos, Tres...the ducklings!!!


On our Sunday walk I actually had my camera and was able to take a picture of the baby ducks! I was so delighted to see them! I can't take full credit for this caption though, Bryan spoke it when he saw the photo and it is just too cute. They were so adorable waddling and squeakily quacking.

True Madness

I tell of you true madness, the word "why." It bids you to partake revenge, blame, and the feeling of it "being your right." It is a dangerous merry-go-round of endlessness. You cannot live in "why?." You fade, disappear, and vanish into a black deep hole that is ever hungry. Do not remain here. Although it be grueling to climb out. Although you may loose every limb in the process of lifting your seemingly dying heart out, do it. For at the top you will find that "why" turns into "HOPE." ("YHWh")

Friday, July 02, 2010

A Narrow View

The looking glass seeks
to conspire a secret of trickery
one view, yet tainted
an insight, but a narrow specimen
Would the one peering into the unknown
find pride in the outcome?
is it their own doing?
can one claim its result?
Oh no, the mirror reflects what it sees
it does not chose between them
the grass doesn't care who plants it, it grows
the trees reach upward despite circumstance
if it is watered, shined upon and given soil
Look into the small eye piece
Travel down to a "narrow view"
Would a single small spot display ugliness of something truly beautiful?
Can a tiny speck of beauty, really be something ugly?
What do you see?
What do you see?
Who are you when no one benefits from your kindness?
Is confidence more honorable then love?
Is beauty more important than compassion?

*Today while eating lunch, 3 girls sat near us and gawked, sneered, and made fun of an obviously mentally disabled man. He wasn't doing anything to anyone, quietly and alone he sat there and drew on a piece of paper and sipped hot coffee. The judgement went on for over 20 minutes before I couldn't take it anymore. The old man got up and went outside for a moment and the girls took his drawing and began laughing and pointing. I walked over there and told them their behavior made me want to cry. I said other things of how much their rudeness is hurtful...and in their immaturity 2 of them snottily looked down and "ignored" me like I didn't exist. One girl said she was "sorry."

The whole drive home my heart ached in deep grief. Why? Just because he didn't "look like them, talk like them, see the world like them?" I often wonder if he is more normal than we are. I worked with disabled men and women for years. They taught me more about love then a lot of "normal" people, whatever that means. I came home and wrote my heart. I believe so many people have a microscope, they inspect and draw conclusions about what they see.

I can't even comprehend the cruelty in the world. Beyond war or starvation, something to be completely and utterly horrified about is people's hearts and the "obligation" to feel so important or cool and put others down. It's disgusting.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Angel Day

They say one can "wear their heart on their sleeve," and gladly I do for Rachel. Today, 2 years ago we lost our little baby girl (I was over 9 weeks pregnant). I remember how excited we were to see her heart beat! She was strong and tried so hard. I had to endure 2 D&C surgeries and my heart felt so sad by the time I came home from the hospital both times staying 4 nights. It was such a confusing thing to go through. I felt like the Lord was going to do a miracle with this pregnancy. And I realized months later that He did, we got to see her heart beating 2 different times. That in itself was a miracle considering what my body has been through. It is a gift the Lord gave Bryan and I.

Today I think of the "what if's." I can't help it. I cry from remembering everything that happened, but I also rejoice in knowing she is with the Lord, and knowing Who the Lord is to me as my Father.

Blessings sweet baby in Jesus' Name. God strengthen my heart and mind as I seek You to bless us with a child. I want Your timing, so I wait, not with complete patience, but with expectation and wonder.