“Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”(Deut. 6:4-5)

Jesus was once asked, ” Teacher, What is the great commandment in the Torah?” (Matthew 22:36)  Being the good Jewish Rabbi that he was he gave his opinion in answer to this question.

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your hear, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Deuteronomy 6:4, known as the Shema, “Hear O Israel, the LORD they God, the LORD is  one,” is packed with meaning.  It is a prayer that the Jewish people pray twice a day and is also known as “taking on the yoke of the Kingdom of God.”  To hear, is not just to physically hear with ones ears only, but to listen with the intent to obey.  Just knowing the meaning of this first word alone sheds light on the rest of the verse and so many things that Jesus said.  We must obey loving the LORD our God with all our being and loving our neighbor.  It is something we do not something we feel or think.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15

For His Name’s Sake.

Posted in Bible, Scripture and Snapshots, walk with God

Beki at The Rusted Chain has a Friday meme called The Fingerprints of God in which she asks bloggers to share their interpretations of the following song:

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You’re a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you’re covered with the fingerprints of God

How can I not add these pictures this week?

My first grandson, Benjamin Daniel born December 24, 2010.


Posted in Uncategorized

Decided to take up a photo challenge.  Not sure how long it will last.  Think I have already failed.  The challenge for this week included the idea of salt from Mark 9:50.  Salt preserves and we, as believers in the Messiah Jesus, are to be as salt preserving our culture from moral decay.  The challenge was also to use a picture of your own to portray Scripture.  I chose the above picture.  If we follow the Lord’s commands we keep ourselves from moral decay and have an effect on the world around us.

Posted in Uncategorized

Yes, the view you see in my blog header is not your typical Wisconsin winter scene.  I have just spent three weeks in Colorado with my daughter and her husband as they welcomed their firstborn son into their home.  It was a time filled with God’s grace for all.  I will be adding to my 1000 gifts list at some point today and will add another post on that topic.  For now, becoming a grandmother.

This summer I turned 50.  Just the anticipation of the event was…..well let’s just say that I wasn’t looking forward to it.  Then my daughter told me that I was going to be a grandmother.  A double whammy.  Yet, I remembered back when I began to get gray hair.  All of my peers were coloring their gray at the time and I wondered if I should choose that option also.

“A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness.” Proverbs 16:31

Being a grandmother is a badge of honor.  Though the world glorifies youth, God calls us to honor and respect the elderly. Though the world sees my life as ending, I can use the experiences I have had to lead others and point them toward Him.

“And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:18

My friend, Gentle Strength, prays like the apostle Paul did in Phil. 1:26, “so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”  I pray that this is my hope also.  May I not sorrow and become depressed about getting older, but may I seek to bring joy to others in all I do and say.

For His Name’s Sake.

Posted in Uncategorized

“What is redemption?”

The question came so innocently and unexpectedly from the youngest of those who can speak in our congregation that it startled.  His mother knew what to say.

“It means to be paid for, to be bought back.”

Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption,
No riches of earth could have saved my poor soul;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Saviour now maketh me whole.

Refrain:
I am redeemed, but not with silver;
I am bought, but not with gold;
Bought with a price, the blood of Jesus,
Precious price of love untold.

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4-5)

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,  ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.'” (John 8:12)

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9)

For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light” (Eph. 5:8)

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:8)






Posted in Biblical Holidays, Hanukkah, Learning, Personal Journal, walk with God

See her?  Growing belly, aching heart.

“I did not want to be in this place.”

No joy.

Baby wrought in pain.

Trying to make wise choices.

Seeking forgiveness,

Finding rejection.

Needing a hand,

Finding a wall.

The world is dark and cold.

 

I weep.

 

Longing to show hope and haven

In Him who pierced the darkness;

Who wrapped Himself in humanity,

That the sinner might know sympathy.

 

God, who comforts the downcast,

Father of the Fatherless,

Frame us toward Your Light.

Lift our battered brows

To see Your Face.

For in Your smile is grace.

 

Help us to restore.

 

Posted in crisis pregnancy center, Personal Journal

(This is a continuation of this post.  It is a fictional account of a client coming into the crisis pregnancy center where I volunteer.  This scenario was developed from a role-play we did at the center.)

Moments of silence passed.  My heart ached for this young lady.  We sat as the warmth of the deep turquoise walls held us.  Where would I take her now?  How could I help her? What words would speak to her hurting heart?

“What about your parents?  What have they taught you?”

“My father taught me about life and creation.  I know it is wrong to take a life.  I have gone to Bible study with my mother, but I just don’t know.”

“What does your father say about your mother’s faith?”

“He says that Jesus couldn’t be the Messiah because Jesus came as a baby in a manger.  He didn’t come fighting and making everything right.”

“May I share my story with you?  I became a Christian in my early teen years and went to church throughout high school and my adult life.  In the past few years, however, I began studying from a different perspective.  I began looking at the historical context of the Bible.  My family and I now celebrate the Biblical holidays like Passover and Hanukkah.  So, we are a little different than the average Christian.”

“Where do you do that?”  Rachel asked with interest.

“In a home Bible study,” I replied.  “One thing that is interesting is that while there were many at the time who believed that Yeshua was the Messiah there was at least one prominent person who questioned Him.  Christians call him John the Baptist.”

Rachel nodded her head.

“In the Christian tradition Jesus went to John to be baptized.  But, we know that Jewish people were doing the mikvah hundreds or more years before the 2nd Temple period, right?”

“Yes.”

“When Yeshua came to John the Baptist to be immersed John said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’  John was eventually put in prison and he then sent his disciples to ask Yeshua…..”

“Are you the One or should we look for someone else?”

She knew the story.

“Yeshua answered him saying, ‘Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.’ These were all things that had been prophesied the Messiah would do.  It was only the Messiah that could cleanse a leper and raise the dead. Yeshua came first as a baby to come to call HaShem’s people to repentance.  He will come again to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.  I would encourage you to look into these things for yourself.”

Her head nodded.  She was silent.  Thoughtful.  So much to take in.

“Can we see what’s in that tin now?”  Rachel asked quietly.

I lifted the lid that would reveal whether or not a child was also in our midst.

Two lines.  Yes, he was there.  Shouting in the silence.  And the tears.

“What are your thoughts now, Rachel?”

“Well, I just can’t have this baby.  I want to go back to school.  I have goals.”

Her head shook back and forth.  I offered the box of tissues.

“Let’s think about your options.”

“What options do I have?  There is only one option.”

“Have you thought about the possibility of placing your baby for adoption?  I could give you some information on that.”

She paused in thought.

“What about your boyfriend?  How would he feel if he knew about this child?  Or your parents?”

“My boyfriend and I don’t talk about things like that.  He has his own goals.  He is Jewish, though and he goes to synagogue a lot.  He really likes his rabbi.”

“Maybe it’s time to talk about some of these things.”

Silence.

“Rachel, you are having to deal with some pretty heavy stuff right now.”  I didn’t want her to leave without giving her some hope.  She was so vulnerable I wanted to be sure she would decide to choose life for her baby. “Are you going to tell your boyfriend or your parents about this baby?”

“No, I just need time to think about this by myself.  I need to think about it for awhile.”

“My greatest concern is for you right now.  I want you to know that we are here for you and want to offer support for you in whatever way we can.”

“Do you have information I can take with me on adoption?  I need to think.”

“Yes, I can get some information for you to take home.   What are you going to say to people because I think that those who love you are going to ask?”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because this has been so emotional for you and I don’t know that you can carry the weight of this without people seeing it in your countenance.  I am concerned about you.  Can you wait on any decisions for a couple of days and make an appointment to come back to see me and talk some more?”

“Yes, I think I can do that.”

“May I pray with you?”

“Sure.”

“Father, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, I bless you that you are Creator and Redeemer.  You are intimately acquainted with all our ways. I bless you that you have brought Rachel here today.  I bless you Father, that you have a plan for her life.  You have knit her together, Father.  This life within her Father did not take You by surprise.   I bring Rachel, her boyfriend, and her family before you today. I ask that you give Rachel wisdom and guidance as she makes the decisions she has to make.  Father, she has been brought up to seek You.  I pray that she would seek you with all of her heart.  Reveal Yourself to her, Father.  Show her Your ways.  I pray that You give her Peace in the midst of this difficult time.  In the name of Yeshua the Messiah.  Amen.

Posted in crisis pregnancy center, Personal Journal