My attempt at organization. :)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Let's try again. :)

I previously wrote about wanting to do a book review/study, but I was unable to find any books to purchase! Then, when they became available, I did not have the money to spend on extra books for anyone interested.

Well folks, I ordered 3 extra books today, and I am praying that this study comes into fruition. The books should arrive by next week, so, I want to give people an opportunity to enter for a chance to win and/or purchase their own copy.

To enter, please leave a comment with your email address, answering: "Why do you want to examine our infected roots?"

I will announce the 3 winners, Monday, January 7, 2013.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

changing hearts

I was dreading this year's celebrations. I found myself very torn between what God was calling me to do and my family's traditions. I made it very clear where I stood on the matter.

Matthew 10:37
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Christmas eve arrived, and it was time for me to act. I decided to join my family in love. We ate dinner and had fellowship. My aunt made the first attempt to consider my changing heart. Our family puts pork in EVERYTHING, so after watching me pick through the few dishes I could eat, she informed me she was making her potato salad without the bacon her recipe calls for.

I was so very surprised. So much so that I teared up as I thanked her for the consideration she was showing me.

Then, it came time to sit around the pine idol and accept the gifts. I separated myself from this tradition. I was not ugly and accepted the one gift from my grandparents after this tradition was finished. I gave hugs and told them thank you. 

I helped clean up the dinner mess as the rest of the family cleaned up the wrapping explosion. We gathered our things and said our good byes. One down. One to go.

The next morning, my daughter wakes up and asks me several times if God is going to be mad at her for opening gifts at my mom's house. She is trying to decide if she is going or not. I tell her I cannot answer that question, but if she is feeling convicted about something, she needs to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying.

She told me she felt very confused about everything. I reminded her the identity of the author of confusion, and apologized to her for not knowing truth and teaching her these things so many years. We talked again about the feasts of the LORD.

I thought she might stay home with me, but then the truth came out. She wanted her gifts. I told her go ahead and receive the gifts that are now made more important than our Savior's birth AND resurrection. I said, "Before you go, tell me, out of all those decorations at Gammy's house, how many of them tell about the supposed true meaning of christmas?"

My daughter said, "She has one ornament." One. I nodded my head and watched her walk out the door.

I was told my mom, who has has vehemently waged war on my changing heart, bought me a wreath for christmas. I researched what they mean many weeks before. She bought me one, made one that says, "We speak HO HO HO in this house," and even encouraged my daughter to make one after finding out my research. This does not sound like the spirit of peace at work here. In all contradiction, it sounded like the spirit of spite.

Several hours later, it was time for the dinner back at my grandparent's house. I arrived late, which was not a worry considering the amount of food my family can produce. When I get there, my two aunts, grandfather, and family friend tell me they made their dishes without pork. I smiled and cried. I told them thank you. Hearts were changing!

No one would make comments or make fun of me to my person. I always had to hear about it from my sisters. Today was the first time in almost a year that my family made a change for me. They all have known I stopped eating pork for almost a year. I was blessed.

As the day progressed, I found out my mom gave the wreath to someone else. Her and my step dad also hurriedly took their tree down before inviting me over for a game evening. I inventoried all the information. I could not believe what was happening after feeling so alone and so out-casted this last year.

Only YWHW can change hearts. Do you understand that?! Only He can change hearts to be as soft and humble as His son and servants or as stone hard as the Exodus pharaoh. In preparation for this time, I started an unfinished study about our hearts and what it takes for them to change.

Deuteronomy 5:29
O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

Deuteronomy 8

1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature;
because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

1 Kings 8:23
And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:

1 Kings 8:39
Then hear you in heaven your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart you know; (for you, even you only, know the hearts of all the children of men;)

Ezra 7:10
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

Job 12:24
He takes away the heart of the chiefs of the people of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.

Thank you for stopping by and sampling some of the Word God has written on our hearts. I hope to continue to this study.

Yahweh bless and shalom.

Linking with Tracey today. <3
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

irritability challenge, pt 2

This was a difficult internal viewing. Let me start with a list of things I immediately noticed in others that irritated me:

lack of commitment
attention seeking

As I first created this list, it was easy to list the people or situations consisting of these irritating traits, but I'm not on the hunt for an external haughty attitude. My quest is to shine light on the dark places of my heart, exposing the festered place to YHWH's healing.

I hate when people just flat do not care... and yet, that is my best response when something hurts me or doesn't go my way. Facing troubles in the past, I would shoot my nose as high as it would go and pretend none of what was happening mattered. It was like telling the person doing the hurting or punishing, "Do what you want, you can't hurt me or get to me." But how productive does this response become when it creeps into other situations? Our behavioral responses become almost routine, and I know I have intertwined apathy into words that needed love and acceptance.

I am so selfish. I know I can give and help without expecting anything in return, but what about the days I demand a pat on the back for offering a ride or paying someone else's utility bill? I want the money spent my way, dinner cooked my way, laundry done my way. I should get to decide what happens to the last $20 of fun money. I don't mind sharing, but its always on my terms. I should get to hang out with my friends, work on the computer when I want, or not give as Yeshua would because that last dinner/dollar is for me and my family. I am very selfish.

This seems to hold hands with selfishness. I should get this, this shouldn't happen to me, people don't get the right to complicate my life. I should get to make decisions, how dare that person cut me off in traffic! Don't they know I was here first and we're late for girl scouts?! What makes me feel so important? What demonic spirit urges me to react in hostility when things don't go my way?! How much is my reaction related to me slipping away from the knowledge of YHWH's will?

lack of commitment
I've always considered myself a loyal and committed person. I'm loyal to my family, friends, study, sports, and any other engagements I've given my word to be at or help with. I cannot stand when someone neglects obligations they've taken on. I can't stand when the neglect stems from priorities not aligned as I see fit. As I reflect on this, I KNOW I have not been committed always to YHWH's will and truth for my life. Commitment to healthy living per God's instruction. I continually allow things like cigarettes to enter my life after He has asked for its removal.

Oh man... this grates on my nerves with my children. BUT, I'm the biggest whiner and complainer! I gripe so much! There is a real battle between my smile and scowl.

I had to walk away for some hours. The confrontation and exposure is needed for healing and correction, but I felt a harsher critic in there air taking on an ungodly form. As I return, I own my tendency to think I know more than most. Instead of hanging my head in a debilitating shame, I slightly smile like a child, awaiting loving correction.

attention seeking
This one makes me sad, especially when I see others wanting attention so bad, they're willing to receive negativity and punishment over nothing at all. I don't like too much attention either, but I do like approval. Any kind of attention that approves what I am doing or how I'm acting, I am all over it. And it is worldly approval, even from godly brothers and sisters, I seek more than God's approval.

Now, time for prayer and the Word.
to be continued...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

irritability challenge, pt 1

December 18,  2012
Many of you, My people, are experiencing an almost unexplained sense of irritation with people around you.  Beloved, this is something in you that has come up so that you can deal with the root of your irritability.  Do not blame others for your reactions.  Look squarely at the cause in yourself that creates this haughty response.  It is an ungodly attitude that needs to be adjusted, says the Lord.  I will give you wisdom and help you overcome. 
Romans 12:21 Don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Look squarely at the cause in yourself that creates this haughty response.

Blogging inspiration comes in many shapes and sizes! I read this email approximately ten minutes prior to typing these words. I admit my irritability, and I accept this internal reflection challenge.

To be continued. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

happy Sabbath

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

Friday, December 14, 2012

worship in spirit and truth

Yesterday was so much better! I started my electronic day with the the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment newsletter.

John 4:23,24
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.

"In the current war over Christmas and religious symbols, Satan has pitted the secular humanists, who want to blot out Christianity and encourage almost any other form of worship, against mainstream Christians, who are fighting for the right to worship as they see fit by putting evergreen trees in schools per Jeremiah 10:2-5. Atheists and agnostics arrayed against Christmas-bent "Christians"--for whom do we root?

The truth of the matter is that Satan is the real winner regardless of the outcome." -David C. Grabbe

I felt more empowered to be in the world right now. It makes me spiritually visualize the waters of the Red Sea parted. Waters is usually a metaphor for people, and it feels like walking between two ginormous groups of opposing people. I wore a shirt I bought several years ago. I got it 75% off after that particular christmas season. :)
Wrinkled and messy. Isn't that how I usually am on this walk with YHWH?
I picked this shirt because I had recently added the backside scripture.
(Yes, I did it with a red sharpie, and the first wash turned it pink, adding more personality!)

I helped with a fundraiser involving a booth at "candy cane lane." My burdened spirit wanted to witness in peace, so I added this. I wore my sword so to speak.

I had seen, read, and shared the front's verses, but today, I SAW it again.
John 4:23

The LORD was speaking to me! Even if I felt heavy, uncomfortable, and not confident, He reminded me there was purpose in this new pain.
You see, I'm used to causing the pain I go through. Maybe not directly, but I know my decisions have hurt me many times.
It seemed so easy, answering the call, "Don't worship me like that. Worship as my Word asks you to."
My christian upbringing taught me all about spirit and a little about truth. Truth is most difficult at times... to understand, to accept, to find, to convey.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

sitting next to a vain tree

I didn't have words earlier. mostly feelings, indescribable.

I clicked over to blogger multiple times today, opened a new/blank post, and typed a mere sentence to only delete after rereading ten times.

I didn't want to force it, so I went throughout the rest of my day. I visited my mom. She lives down the block, so I walked the 8 houses between us. Today was her 2nd at home since her heart attack and double bypass surgery.

We haven't seen eye to eye on my changing beliefs. She didn't have her tree up till today. My children were mesmerized.

I sit in pain. This isn't easy. Its painful to admit that I like all the things God is asking me to forsake and turn away from. I try to be sensitive to my mom now. I won't celebrate, but I sit next to the tree. An incredibly intense yuck, dark oppression filled my guts.

Seeking His voice in this time. Praying for healing, patience, and grace.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My September Clean

My september clean was only the beginning of bittersweet sorrows and joys.

September. I moved my family to the streets of my childhood. Many life preparations taking place, I began unpacking and sorting christmas items. I knew I would have to face it. The emotional and spiritual battle would wage till information processing began, deciding what step followed God's voice.

Isaiah 44:18,19
They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals therof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abominations? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?

It was easy to throw away the trees. Some of the decor was vain, meaningless. Then I found my children's ornaments... and those of my childhood, my birth year.

Jeremiah 7:18
The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.

I cried. And prayed. Then, following Him, I threw most things in the trash.

Jeremiah 7:23
But this thing I commanded them, saying, 'Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the was that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.'

I kept some of the lights. I want them for my backyard summer adventures this next year.
I kept a Hallmark glass manger scene. Simple. Mary, Joseph, and baby Yeshua (Jesus). I've kept it out as decor since I ravaged the decorations box. I also kept a couple differing items. Its 3 months later, and I still have yet to decide the others' future.

This is my first year to reject and expose the "christianized" winter solstice celebrations. Its been heart breaking. I knew it would be tough after my first Passover celebration. Actually, I had completed my first year of celebrating YHWH's feasts. There was much joy, and I know for sure I did not do it perfectly. Actually, I stumbled through it like a beginning standard transmission driver.

Leviticus 23:2
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, "Concerning the feasts of (the LORD) YHWH, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts."

Its writing day 2. I want to convey my conviction the most. I am a very messy sinner. I always have been. I'm that typical worldly christian that happens to know more verses than most. I do not say that with pride, but even in the midst of my filth, God always had His Word on my tongue when it was needed for love, mercy, and understanding. To Abba be the glory forever and ever.

Psalm 119:120
My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgements.

Let me get real with you. I smoke cigarettes, cuss, gossip, fornicate, rage, and am not soberly minded all the time. Filthy and rotten, and the watered down christianity I've grown up with didn't do much to change that. I was saved at 15, and 15 years later, I have more conviction about pleasing YHWH through His appointed times and Torah than I ever did about any of the sins I listed above.

Jeremiah 8:7
Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.

It made so much sense to me. If I couldn't follow Him in the celebrations and removing of idols and idolatry, then how could I ever quit smoking cigarettes. I'm not saying it wasn't possible. I have gone through several non smoking seasons, relying on Him. But I wasn't conscious to all the idols I bent my knees to.  

The best metaphor I've heard concerning this is plumbing. Yeshua, Jesus describes the living waters flowing down upon us. If idols, idolatry, disobedience are the grime clogging the pipes, then I can still receive blessing, grace, mercy, healing, but its a dripping stream instead of a powerful flow.

John 7:37, 38
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture had said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

I smile when I think of where YHWH has brought me today. My mom hurt me upon every pagan celebration. I know she hurts because she sees my rejection of these celebrations as a rejection of her and our heritage. Although I try to maintain boldness, its hard claiming the victory over idolatry and warning those in my life... but back to why I smile.

Matthew 10:34-36
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to "set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law, and a man's foes shall be they of his own household."

As I transferred to my new town, I offered free counseling services to my home church. I didn't have a paying job but still wanted to follow God in where He was leading. I am now the head nursery attendant with a staff salary. I still offer free counseling, but this was a great way for me to continue to fellowship but observe a Saturday Sabbath. I know a day encroaches involving me and my pastor conversing about biblical understanding. I'm not afraid.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

I try to convey my walk with grace and love. I hope I can continue to gather my notes and thoughts here. I've been away a few months, studying and seeking. I reread this composition with anxiety as I do not want to seem prideful or all knowing. I seek and share in humility.

Deuteronomy 30:11-20

vs.14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in they heart, that thou mayest do it.

I've missed the blogs of the ladies and gentlemen this environment lead me to. I hope to visit more and lift you up in prayer. If there are any special requests, please share them. As for me and my family, I ask prayer for my mom's heart health, my grandparent's overall health, my sister for peace and banishment of her anxieties and fears. I ask for strength and wisdom in parenting my daughter. She is turning into quite the preteen.

Peace and blessings, friend. <3