Who Was She? Lydia: No Ordinary Sabbath

She was a wise woman I am sure.  She sold fine cloth and must have carefully interacted with those around her.  She took time every week for what was most important to her, worship and prayer with others near the river on the Sabbath.  We don’t know her prayers or who exactly accompanied her but she wasn’t alone, members of her household were there too.

This Sabbath, was no ordinary Sabbath, YAHUAH had something for Lydia on this day.  He opened her heart to receive the good news of Messiah/Mashiach in her life through Sha’ul!  YAHUSHA knocked on the door of her heart and she willing received Him in!  She wasn’t alone in receiving YAHUSHA, people around were immersed at the same time she was!

Like her, sometimes it is time for us to go a step farther in our faith.  We may have been worshiping YAHUAH for many years but now our life needs a change as did Lydia’s and others.

When YAHUAH comes and directs something to me or shares something with me, will I keep going about my ordinary day OR will I stop to receive what He has for me?  Will I share what He has given me OR keep it to myself?  Will I open my heart and home?

Based upon Ma’aseh (Acts) 16:6-15

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Who Was She? The Woman & Her Deliverer

They thought they had a plan to ensnare Him.  It was a brilliantly crafted plan; surely this was the perfect way to confront Him. 

I am sure they probably thought, “Who does He think, He is?  Forgiveness and healing’s on the Sabbath – we don’t authorize that.  We’ll show Him.”

The woman. 

She was their perfect scapegoat.  She was a sinner.  Though she may have held many of their secrets, her sin according to the law was the focus, not theirs (or so they thought)! 

After much planning, the time came to put their plan into action.  Grabbing her in the very act of sin, they dragged her before Him and threw her at His feet.  Then they stood there, arms crossed, ready for a battle,  saying “This woman was caught in the act of adultery, according to the law she is to be stoned.”

What they did not know was that they were part of a greater plan.

Afraid and trembling at His feet, she must have thought this was her end…

However…

Today was the day that her sin, through her accusers brought her to the Deliverer.

Eagerly they waited for the judgment to come yet there was none.  YAHUSHA Messiah didn’t accuse her.  He didn’t tell her what a horrible woman she was and start grabbing a stone.   Instead He pointed out their sin.  To her, He acknowledged her sin and gently said to her, “Go and sin no more.”

The enemy of our souls has a plan each day.  He thinks that he can take our sins, laying them bare out in the open and point his ugly finger at us…saying “See I told you she was a sinner.” Maybe the very people who seem to be close to us, have turned on us and we find ourselves out in the open and exposed.  Maybe it looks like our end is near…

But this exposure, only reveals the mercy of YAHUSHA HaMashiach and the long-suffering’s of our Heavenly Father YAHUAH.  Today we are facing various trials whether they are due to sin or challenges of life, they are still trials.  These trials of situations and/or sin, should take us to His feet, where deliverance is ours for the choosing.

We don’t know the outcome of that woman, but today you and I can make the choice to leave those things that are displeasing in the Father’s eyes and follow His Son – YAHUSHA HaMashiach.

He is our Deliverer.

Based on Yahuchanon (John) 8:1-11

Living with Food Allergies and Sensitivities

It had  been a long day. 

A much longer day than I had expected.

Though I prepared snacks that would have lasted our kids a few hours, our appointment took nearly three times as long as we’d thought.  When it was finally over, as we began our way home, we stopped at a fast food restaurant that I thought might be okay to eat at.

As our three girls and I approached the order counter, there was a big sign that said:

“Our products may contain peanut allergen.”

I looked at our three daughters each one at a time.  All of them have a nut allergy, with one being extremely allergic-I made the decision to leave – eating would have to wait until we arrived home and I would have to cook.  I was tired of cooking.  I needed a break – but at what cost?

______________________________________________________

Twenty years ago, if someone would have told me a person could be allergic to peanut butter, I would have thought they were crazy.  Flour? Carrots? Oats? Kiwi?  Peaches? Apples?

Yeah real crazy.

However when our oldest two daughters were eating a snack one day, I sat observing them.  They were eating apple slices with gold fish. A good snack right?  But I noticed something in our oldest daughter who was around 4 years old at the time, that she turned into the energizer bunny and could not stop moving.   I wandered what was happening to her.  Was she just excited about eating gold fish?

Over the next few weeks I tried some experiments on my own.

Apple and peanut butter – no problem.

Cheese and goldfish – problem.

Orange and oatmeal cookie – no problem.

Cheese  and saltine crackers – no problem.

Carrots sticks and salad dressing, gold fish – problem.

Goldfish – problem.

Finally I stopped buying goldfish and the problem stopped.

I believe she had an allergy to the dyes in the goldfish because as I started reading labels, anything that had that dye, she had similar problems. 

That was the beginning of our journey in food allergies and sensitivities.  As I started to read more labels, I noticed that many foods not only weren’t kosher (they contained pork, shell fish and or other unclean ingredients) but that they were full of many strange ingredients.  Eventually I read and heard that cow milk was bad for our bodies, so I switched to almond milk.  This is one of my biggest regrets…I will talk more about that further down.

During this same time we had our third daughter and after weaning her to nut milk she seemed to develop a rash.  We couldn’t  figure out why and it seemed like it wasn’t too bad however it  was always present on her stomach and legs.  Eventually as she learned to talk she would say “Mommy, legs hurt.”  I’d rub them with some creams, which seemed to help for the moment but nothing lasted very long.  Doctors suggested that she might have eczema, but they weren’t too sure.

Between the time of the birth of our two sons, I noticed some changes in myself.  Regular flour started to burn my hands and I would have these horrible sneezing attacks when I cooked with it.   Whenever I ate bread, I felt like there was a huge rock in my stomach.  Eventually I gave up eating bread and I wore a mask when I cooked with wheat.  Our second born daughter (who seemed to be born with a runny nose and was constantly sneezing) could not even come in the kitchen when I was mixing because her sneezing attacks were even worse!!!

Then one day, when she was eating some raw carrots for snack, she said to me “Mommy the carrots and raw almonds are burning my mouth.  They have been for a while.”

I told her to stop because she might have an allergy to them.  She stopped but I was still serving nut milk (I didn’t connect the two yet).   Eventually I found out about raw milk, particularly A2 Milk (which is the original cow  without the mutation).  We made the switch and…

Eczema gone.

Runny nose nearly gone.

I was still using white flour and wheat flour in baking until about few years ago, when our second born daughter ended up in the hospital for asthma.  We did not know she had asthma.  While in the ER, a respiratory therapist, said to me as he watched her “Have you had her checked for allergies because these things that she is doing are more than likely the cause of allergies?”

A few weeks later, her allergies  were confirmed: nearly every tree, grass, all nuts, wheat, corn, oats, raw carrots, some apples, and animals with fur.

I felt as if someone had sucked the breathe out of me-what were we going to do?  I could go without eating wheat (which is a bit hard as I love to bake) but what about her, what was she going to eat?  Corn was one of her favorite foods?  She loved nuts and apples?

As a family, we immediately made the switch to go Gluten-Free.  I still cooked with corn and oats for about another year (since they were lower on her allergic reaction chart) but those two things were removed from her diet a few months later.

One thing I noticed immediately, was that I could use the GF flours and I had no sneezing attacks!  What a relief! Well sort of…gluten free flours do not cook like wheat flour so there was a big learning curve.  I even attempted coconut flour with mixed results but I primarily cooked with sorghum, flax, and rice flours.

In our discovery regarding our second born daughters’ food allergies, we learned that some of our kids are allergic to nuts, raw carrots, kiwi, tapioca flour (which is in many gluten free blends) and some diary products.  For example our daughter with eczema, cannot eat many gluten free foods/mixes because of the dairy in them.  Recently I received a box of Bob Mill’s GF Brownie mix for free, well a day after the brownies where made, our third born daughter had huge patches of raised, itchy red spots on her stomach and legs.  She complained of feeling hot and was itching. 

So…living with food allergies and sensitivities that our family has is a big challenge.  We can all tolerate Einkorn flour but if our second born daughter or myself eats too much of it our stomachs will begin to hurt.

Over the years, we have learned to read labels on everything-hair products, toothpaste, laundry detergents-everything we buy is read to see if it contains anything that one or more of us might have a problem with.  Sometimes we miss the ingredient then a problem occurs and sometimes we recognize new ones.

Remember when I told you about having a long day and not being about to eat out because of the peanut allergy?  Well, on our way home, we stopped at the grocery store and picked up things to make nachos (Kettle potato chips for some and also some corn chips for the ones that tolerate it) and…some gluten free cookies.

Well the name brand gluten free cookies caused big problems in three of our kids!!!

Even the simplest of foods can cause us problems, so that means that we have to prepare all our meals-no eating out at all.  I often (with the exception of Sabbath) spend 70-95% of my day in the kitchen.  Sometimes I want to give up!  I love to cook but sometimes  it is a chore rather than a passion.

One day though, while our daughter with eczema was having a hard night in pain, YAHUAH impressed it upon my heart that He gave me the passion for cooking not for my own pleasure, but for my family.  So now when I feel like I am most frustrated and tired, I find strength in His Word, knowing that He is with me through this time and I praise Him for the hands I have and the provision He gives us to eat what is good for us.

As much as possible I plan to share what things I have learned, recipes, and so forth of what has helped us.  In addition, we are all eating low carb and some are keto!!! 

The Power of YAHUSHA’s Sacrifice

Have you ever thought about what a sin sacrifice might have looked like?

Recently, I read a book by Jill Eileen Smith called “The Crimson Cord” which is about Rahab.  I know the book is a historical fictional account based on scriptures, however as I was reading about Rahab’s view point on the sacrifice that Yahusha son on Nun lead, I found that it was eye opening.

“The journey to Mount Ebal took two days, and the building of the altar was a process such as Rahab had never seen.  No iron tool like those used in quarries touched the uncut stones that the men of Israel crated up the hill.  Rahab stood with the women, her gaze often straying to Salmon as he hefted heavy stones with apparent ease and put them exactly where Joshua indicated.

At last, the altar completed, the priests came forward with bleating lambs and lowing oxen, Rahab stood beside Eliana, transfixed one moment, stricken the next.  Every time a lamb’s throat was slit and its blood caught in a bronze basin, she felt the weight of her past, memories she thought long hidden flooding her mind.  The blood became each man who knocked on her door, the lambs the babe she had last.

Her vision blurred as she watched the innocent die for the guilty.  Despite Salmon’s attempt at explanation, she still did not grasp how this could free or make her clean.  Even if she spent the rest of her life punished for her sins, she would not feel clean.  Why should a lamb suffer on her account?

(I am not going to quote the whole 2-3 pages, but at one point during the sin sacrifice, Yahusha son of Nun instructions Salmon to offer Rahab an opportunity to have a lamb sacrificed for her and Salmon. Now see what happens.)

Her fingers rested against the lamb’s woolly neck, and she sensed its terror, felt the beating of its heart.  She barely heard the last words of the priest, but then, too soon, another priest slit the lamb’s throat.  She felt its heart stop in an instant.  A sob escaped her.  “Oh Elohim, O Elohim!” She fell to her knees, rocking back and forth, as the priest caught the lamb’s blood and lifted its limb body to place on YAHUAH’s altar.

The tears flowed freely now as her fingers explored the soft fur of the glistening white lamb.  Take me instead.  Don’t make this sweet animal die in my place.

…why did You spare me? The lamb did nothing wrong.  It was I, Elohim of Israel.  I alone who sinned against You.  ”

*italics indicate where I have corrected the Name of YAHUAH, Yahusha son of Nun and the title of Elohim. Quoted from pages 275-277

This was not some everyday practice for Rahab.  She was a foreigner who choose to help Yisra’el and eventually join herself to them.  In order to become Salmon’s wife she would have had to experience sacrifices and complete other requirements according to the law.  So for her, realizing the weight of her sin would have been real.  I will come back and focus on her later, there is another aspect to focus on.

When I think about the sacrifice that YAHUSHA Messiah willfully choose to do on my behalf, I am in awe.  His sinless life, for my sin-filled life is completely uncomprehendable.  He didn’t wait for me to choose to believe in Him.  He didn’t wait for me to follow commands or to get my life right.  He paid the penalty for my sins and reconciled me to YAHUAH.  There are no strings attached to YAHUAH’s Grace and there is nothing I can do to earn His Forgiveness.

For a few weeks now, I have been reading through Hebrews, and have had my eyes further opened.  This week when I read chapter 10, I thought about the people living prior to YAHUSHA Messiah’s death.  Back then, there was a remembrance of sin year by year but due to YAHUSHA’s death there is no longer a remembrance of sin!!!  No yearly going back and again and again, sacrificing over and over, for the same sin!  The past is in the past and the slate has been cleaned:

“For the Torah having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.  For then would they have not ceased to be offered? Because the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.  For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats take away sins.” Hebrews 10:1-5

The Torah pointed the way to YAHUSHA Messiah but it did not clean nor does it perfect us.  An animal can’t truly comprehend sin but YAHUSHA did.  He was tempted as we are, yet without sin.

“Wherefore when He came into the world, He said, “Sacrifice and offering You would not, but a body You have prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.”

Then said I, “Lo, I came (in the volume of the cepheriym it is written of me,) to do Your will, O YAH.”

Above when He said, “Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin You would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the Torah;

Then said He, “Lo, I come to do Your will, O YAH.” He takes away the first, to establish the second.  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH once for all.” Hebrews 10:5-10

One time.  Not daily. Not yearly. ONCE.  We are cleansed, purified-no longer are we in need of rituals-but by His Body we are clean!

“And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of YAHUAH.” Hebrews 10:11-12

YAHUSHA’s work is done, finished, over, and completed!  FOREVER-YAHUSHA’sdeath doesn’t need to happen again.  My sins have been taken away completely!

“From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.  For by one offering He has perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:13-14

There is no limit or expiration date of His offering.  It is eternal.  His offering is FOREVER!!!

“Whereof the Ruach Haqoesh also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,” says YAHUAH, “I will put my Torah into their hearts, and in their minds will I write it; And their sins and Torahless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:15-17

No more remembrance, my sins are gone, finite, destroyed, erased, removed, purged…no matter the word used, YAHUAH (when I confess and repent) remembers my sins NO MORE!  Also, back then, the law was written on tablets of stone by the leader and/or priest.  Now YAHUAH, Himself, writes it on our hearts and in our minds-this is personal.  No more separation.

“Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer a slaughter offering for sin.  So, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Set-apart Place by the blood of YAHUSHA, by a new and living way which He instituted for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of YAHUAH, let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.” Hebrews 10:18-22

The debt/penalty of sin has been fulfilled.  There is no need for us to be afar from the Father YAHUAH, we can come close to Him, through YAHUSHA!

So when the enemy comes and attempts to bring my sins up, I can freely say that I have been forgiven and I have YAHUSHA’s Resurrection Power!  While our oldest daughter was playing Resurrection Power on her acoustic guitar one night, I meditated on the words:

You called me from the grave by name
You called me out of all my shame
I see the old has passed away
The new has come!

Now I have Resurrection Power
Living on the inside
YAHUSHA, You have given us freedom
No longer bound by sin and darkness
Living in the light of Your goodness
You have given us freedom

*Songwriters: Ed Cash / Tony Brown / Ryan Ellis

So I am thankful to have a glimpse of the sacrifice that Rahab experienced but I am rejoicing over the Reconciliation and Forgiveness I have through the shed blood of YAHUSHA HaMashiach!!!

I am clean!

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Condiment or Foundation

The other day, I had the opportunity to observe a good number of people in different settings.  As I observed I noticed that in nearly every interaction with each other, the facilities, and visitors, they were authentic.  Their faith was not something that was just poured on like a condiment, giving a taste but not the key ingredient.

So I began to think, do I sprinkle in bible phrases/words/action at random/when convenient or when I speak/interact is it from my heart?  Are my words from a heart that has been truly changed?  Or am I just familiar with faith enough to seem to have the appearance of faith but posses no real root?

If someone were to observe me, would they see that my faith is the foundation of life or a condiment?

 

Living Ready or Relaxed

Standing in the kitchen the other day, I stopped and looked around.  The daily clean-up was getting done, but not the deep cleaning.  As I went about my tasks of preparing for Sabbath, I noticed every room in our house had the same problem.   It used to be done but when did it stop?

Then I remembered that at one point we had our house on the market and we lived in ready mode.  We never knew when an agent would request a showing so we kept our house “show ready” at all times (except the Sabbath).  Everyone willingly helped and did their best to clean up and not make too many messes.

If you have ever sold a home, you may know that people will look through all your stuff and it is best to clean – everything!  So we did.  Our house was very clean.  When we received feedback, buyers often said “The house is in good condition and very clean.”

However now…daily chores are half-hardheartedly done and those other deeper cleaning ones seem to get pushed back to another day-day after day.

While it wasn’t our time to sell, the time we were on the market was important.  I learned numerous things:

  • We should be living ready for either the return of the Messiah, whether that is through going to sleep in the dust of the earth or at His appearance.
    • Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great Elohim and our Saviour YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH – Titus 2:13
  • When we are living ready, we work to keep the rooms of our heart free from clutter and dirt (sin).
    • Clean and undefiled religion before the Elohim and the Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27
  • When we live ready, we carefully choose the things that are most important to do – we prioritize our time.  We set time to pray, worship, read the Word and help others.
    • “But seek first the reign of Elohim, and His righteousness, and all these shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
  • When we live ready, we don’t just allow anything into our hearts.
    • Keep your heart with all diligence; for out it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
    • “For out of the heart come forth wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, whorings, thefts, false witnessings, slanders.” Matthew 15:19
  • Do we allow the Set-Apart Spirit and the Word to clean areas in our minds, hearts, and spirits? Do we allow areas that hold storage’s of bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, rejection and fear to be exposed and cleaned?  Or, do we only have a surface cleaning of our minds, hearts and spirits-only producing faith that is outward (saying the right verses at the right time, saying we are praying) without real life change?
    • “For the Word of Elohim is living, and working, and sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting through even to the dividing of being and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
  • Do we allow ourselves to be stretched, molded and shaped by the hands of the Master?  Or are we comfortable and relaxed, not willing to go beyond where we are now?
    • “And now, O YAHUAH, You are our Father.  We are the clay, and You our potter.  And we are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
  • Are we letting go of things that hinder us or are we holding on to things out of fear and safety?
    • “We too, then, having so great a cloud of witnesses all around, lay us aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, looking to the Prince and Perfecter of our belief, YAHUSHA, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.” Hebrews 12:1-2
  • Are we choosing to be filled as we walk in the spirit with its fruit or are we choosing to be filled according to the world becoming friends of it?
    • “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim?  Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.” James 4:4
  • Are we choosing to become a reflection of His character or choosing to be conformed to the world?
    • “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.” Romans 12:2
  • Are we dying daily to self and sin, or are we playing with salvation by repenting one day and still choosing to sin again the next day?
    • “And He said to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow.” Luke 9:23
  • Are we following the Set-Apart Spirit’s leading in allowing sanctification to take place continually or are we procrastinating and putting off repentance and salvation, until we are ready for it?
    • Wash me completely from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalms 51:2
    • “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were set apart, but you were declared right in the Name of the Master YAHUSHA and the Spirit of our Elohim.” 1 Corinthians 6:11
    • “Let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.” Hebrews 10:22
    • “But when the kindness and the love of Elohim our Saviour toward man appeared, He saved us, not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His compassion, through the washing of rebirth, and renewal by the Set-apart Spirit, which He poured out on us richly through YAHUSHA Messiah our Saviour, that having been declared right by His grace we should become heirs according to the expectation of everlasting life.” Titus 3:5
    • “Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, having been born again – not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever,” 1 Peter 1:22-23
    • “For he in whom these are not present is blind, being shortsighted, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his old sins.” 1 Peter 1:9
  • If YAHUSHA our Messiah would come to our home, what would He find? Would He find our hearts in order or will He find them full of the cares of the world?

I want to be found living ready, what about you?

Overcoming Emotional Eating

Here again, I was standing in the pantry, looking through the shelves, thinking “there has got to be some chips in here somewhere.  Where are they???”

I didn’t need them.

But I was stressed. Or maybe depressed. Or feeling hopeless. Or defeated…or something.

Whatever it was, I needed a distraction and chips seemed to be the perfect solution.  Finally, I spotted them and as I started reaching for them, I felt YAHUAH’s Spirit saying “pray through.”

Pray through?  Why?  Pray what?

Slowly I walked out of the pantry and began to pray.

This happens frequently, almost daily in some form.  When I was pregnant with our second daughter years ago, I read about emotional eating and I started paying more attention to what, when and why I was eating.  Keeping this focus has helped many times over the years.  Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I failed.

Recently though as I was thinking about how much discipline it takes to stay in Ketosis (I‘ve been off and on Keto for over a year now).  I realized it’s not just my own choice to use self-control, but in that moment that I want to eat something, I have other choices.  The choices are: to pray asking for YAHUAH’s help in the situation(s) that is/are going on; to praise because it takes the focus off of me; and/or to stand still because sometimes it is a spiritual battle, therefore speaking The Word does helps mightily.

YAHUAH is helping me to see that food cannot solve the problem, nor can it help.  It rather causes more problems.  When I choice to indulge in eating chips (I cannot eat just one), I usually feel my blood sugars go up very high nearly immediately (Diabetes 2 runs in my family and praise YAHUAH through diet I have been able avoid it), my stomach might start to feel like there are rocks in it (which happens with many chip brands) and if I continue over a few days/weeks then I will have weight increase.  Is the temporary, deceitful, empty filling of chips and the momentary perceived satisfaction really worth it?

No.

Following YAHUAH’s leading is the best choice to make.  Not only does it do away with the physical consequences but every time I choose to submit to Him and lean on Him, I grow more in relationship with Him.  I’ve seen Him fight battles and change situations around.  As I choose to become humble and pray to Him saying that “I don’t know what to do” or “this is too much for me” and allow His peace to rest in me, I know that I can stay free from emotional eating.  Should I fall, as it sometimes happens, I can make a Life-Turn and get back on track with Him again.

I love the effects of choosing to not let food be my comfort!  I am gaining a stronger and closer relationship with Him, relying on His comfort brings that peace, and His Set-Apart Spirit that destroys the power of the enemy.

Time for A Life-Turn

She was desperate.

She was frantic.

She was anxious.

She was distressed.

She was hopeless.

She was despondent.

She was at the end of her rope.  She dreamed day after day, year after year, month after month-only to see the evidence of her natural desire unfulfilled.  She watched others bring forth life and felt the stabs of pain in her heart with every child’s cry she heard.  She probably tried numerous herbs and recommendations from other women.  Still nothing helped her.  What was she going to do?

To make matters worse, she’d no doubt heard others talking about her.  She’d seen their stares, felt their condemnation and scorn.  Surely they believed the problem was with her.  Motherhood was a defining point in a woman’s life-but not for her.  She was empty.

Now years later getting closer to 100, though her cycle had long ago ended, her desire for a baby of her own was still there.  In fact it was worse.  Beyond desperation, she thought there must be another way, especially since YAHUAH had promised them a son.

Until…

Sarah saw no other way, so a plan began to come together in her mind.  Her plan seemed perfect.  What could be the problem with it?

The problem was that it was not from YAHUAH.  His timing was way past the possibility of human control.  His plan was for an appointed time-a miracle by any standard.

Since Sarah got ahead of YAHUAH, she had to deal with some consequences she did not foresee.  She had pains, heart aches, worries and fears-all because she went ahead of YAHUAH.

How many times have we done the same things?

This is how I’ve felt off and on for a while.  What seemed like “good, logical, common sense things” to do weren’t part of YAHUAH’s will for us.  Over the last few years, in the back my mind, I had doubts with going forward with the things that we thought we should be doing.  I struggled with real peace during these times.  I found scripture verses to apply to the situations-creating  a false sense of peace yet further torment.  In the back of my mind though, I had the feeling that either we aren’t supposed to be making certain changes or that the timing was not right.  Still, we worked to try things this way and that way because it made sense to go in those directions-we had good reasons for continuing on.  Like Sarah, we had people around us who were doing some of the same things and having no problems succeeding, while we failed, every-single-time.

Like Sarah, dealing with the challenges of Hagar, while Hagar was pregnant, we began to have challenges and the stresses of trying to reach the end were consuming us.   I complained that I have no time for the things that I was supposed to be doing, that I was stressed out and that money was being wasted.  Yet I kept pushing for ways to make things work.

However we brought these challenges on ourselves.

Eventually though like Abraham and Sarah, it was time for a life-turn.  A life-turn is when we turned around, stopped and cut our losses from the situation, and then went back to the place where we first got off track.

Brick wall after brick wall we would hit and kept receiving no after no.  YAHUAH’s answer was clear.  YAHUAH was not leading us in that direction, at least not for right now in some instances.  In others, the answer may be yes but not right now…

When we stopped, when I stopped researching for ways to do these things, when we finally said no more, then peace came.  Sanity and order was restored.  Suddenly the financial constraints weren’t hard.  Yes, we did have some consequences to deal with.  The last affected one person in our families’ health.  It was horrible!  Again we had to cut our loses and walk away!

We had to see that we were coveting other people’s paths in life.  Coveting is against YAHUAH.  Coveting lead us to complain, to be ungrateful for where we were at that present time and to believe that the area/place/situational change would be better than what we have right now/had right then.  When we finally stopped and accepted that this is YAHUAH’s will for us right now, we then could see His divine hand of provision in our lives.

As we read through the Old Testament, I noticed something.  We people went through challenges, were blessed or were changed-the place was given a name-not that YAHUAH had additional names!  In this season of our life, I believe it is called Providence.

Providence is the place/time when we are in YAHUAH’s care, that He is the power sustaining and that He is guiding our every step.  We prayed daily YAHUAH don’t let us do anything outside of Your will and nothing happened at all.

At times, we were wondered what was wrong with us.  Why not us?  When is our time?

Yet our time had not come.

When we stopped looking at others, we began to see all the blessings that YAHUAH had given us.  Then we began to repent, asking YAHUAH for forgiveness for not believing His word and for not listening.  We began to thank Him for all the closed doors.  Furthermore, even though we tried to look at the good and bad of each decision, I know there were something’s we could not have seen, nor planned for but YAHUAH is All-Knowing and He kept us from moving forward for our own good!  His will is better for us to be stopped than for us to keep going.

I was listening to a special podcast from Crystal Hurst, which featured Crystal Hurst, Patricia Shrier and their mother Dr. Lois Evans (it was freebie for completing a survey) and I heard them say some things I already knew but this time it made so much more sense.

Mrs. Shrier said, “Just because I can, doesn’t mean that I should.”

Dr. Evans said, “When you have a decision to make, look 5, 10, 20 years down the line and think about how this one decision will affect you then.”

We could have continued and tried to find other ways but that didn’t mean that we should have.  Furthermore, in a few years, we may have had some big changes happening and this decision would have hindered those possible changes-greatly.

So we stopped.  We did a Life Turn.  In the last six years, we have had numerous Life Turns.  When I look back at those turns, I can see that though some of them where harder than others, they were the best decisions for us.  Life-Turns are necessary to put us back to the place where we went off track; we just have to put our trust in YAHUAH and turn around.

Scripture-Gramming

For months now, I had been doing something when I find a verse and focus on it.  I call it Scripture-Gramming.  Its kind of like Diagramming Sentences (which I have been grading a lot of over the years in our homeschool) but doing it with scripture verses and without classifications.

See below:

 

From time to time I will share them here!

Grace Never Ends

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A few weeks ago I heard a song by People and Songs Never Wanna Go Back and it has been on my mind nearly everyday since then.  The song talks about freedom, living free from guilt, that things are working for our good and about grace.  YAHUAH’s grace is unlimited, it doesn’t expire, there is no timelimit, it doesn’t run out, it doesn’t get old…it is eternal.

Continue reading “Grace Never Ends”

The Fallow Ground

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According to Merriam Dictionary fallow means:

Noun

  • Usually cultivated land that is allowed to lie idle during the growing season
  • Plowed land
  • the state or period of being fallow
  • the tilling of land without sowing it for a season

Verb

  • left untilled or unsown after plowing
  • dormant, inactive —used especially in the phrase to lie fallow

Transitive  verb

  • to plow, harrow or breakup without seeding to destroy weeds and conserve soil moisture

 

As I have thought about the above verse, I believe this “ground” is an area of life, an area of the heart or a season of life, that has been purposely allowed to sit dormant.  At some point it was prepared by having something(s) removed off of it, but nothing was sown on it-purposely.  Other areas of ground that we might have sown righteousness on (accepting YAHUSHA, being obedient, helping others) and received mercy (forgiveness of sin) in our past, but this section of ground did not have anything sown on it.  It has been sitting there vacant and it was set aside for YAHUAH’s purpose.

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Now it is time to break it up/prepare this ground, by getting rid of things (sin, wrong ways of thinking, wrong ways of doing things) that can take nutrients away (such as hope, peace, love, patience, self-control, gentleness, joy,  and Word of YAHUAH) or things that can take over/consume us just as weeds in our yards can.

Also by breaking up this area that can soon can be planted on, it becomes able to soak up the rain of righteousness that is coming from YAHUAH.

So, is there an area of your life that seems dormant? Do feel like you are in a dormant season?

Well, now may be the time, that YAHUAH is calling out to you to break it apart!  To tear it up!  To prepare it for this new season, this new direction, this new adventure, this new road that He is taking you on.  We must be willing to get rid of anything – fear, hatred, gossip, lust, overspending, overeating, any physical/spiritual junk that we have been accumulating, any distractions, wants, expectations, unforgiveness, hurts, anger, frustrations – so that we can be ground that is soft and thirsty for the rain that YAHUAH has appointed to pour down on us.

One morning recently I woke up with the above verse and Morgan Harper Nichols’ song Lead Me Back on my mind.  I agree – it’s time for some things to be broken down, it is time for lies to be revealed!  Each day I want to rise and seek YAHUAH’s face, waiting for His rain!

I don’t know about you, but I want YAHUAH to rain on me, in me, in my life, in our family and I don’t want to be in the way!

Which Torah Do You Choose?

Romans 3, 4 and 5 contrasts two torah’s – The Torah of Works verses The Torah of Faith.  So we have a choice to make – which Torah do we choose – the one which results in death or the one that results in life.  I choose life.