Harp and Story

Travel Journal 2019 Watch with…

As children we most likely learned prayers that were about God watching over us like this one, “…May God guard me through the night and wake me with the morning light.”

And this one: “…But yet I know that God is near, In darkness as in light. God watches ever by my side…”

Steve playing for guests at the RV park’s “Beer Garden” in Sturgis, South Dakota

Certainly, comforting and reassuring prayers to teach a child. However, this idea of Yashua watching with me has a need to mature just as we expect a child, with training and discipline, to mature from infancy to childhood, adulthood, parenthood, and on into elderhood. To remain an infant in maturity level when one is physically an adult is not reflecting the fulness of what we, as believers in Yashua, are called to be, i.e. His bride.

Driving across South Dakota on I 90 we came across this magnificent sculpture titled “Dignity”
The diamond panels in the blanket flutter like aspen leaves in the wind.

So, let’s turn this around from “Yashua watching with (over) me” to, “me watching with Him.” My Adonai “watching with me” means that I set the agenda while “me watching with Him” means that He sets the agenda. This difference is demonstrated in scripture when Yashua asked His disciples to watch and pray with Him, but what did they do but fall asleep. Yashua wanted His disciples to watch with Him, but they slept. Matthew 26:40-41, 45-46. Why did Yashua admonish His disciples to “watch with Him?” Verse 41 gives us the answer, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Iowa soybean fields nearing harvest time.

Once, early in my born-again walk with my Savior Yashua, I was gifted with a vision. At the time of this vision we, my family and I, were being sorely tried. YHVH, in His great mercy extended such compassion and shalom through this vision; I grasped hold of His word to me through this vision like a drowning person clings for dear life to a life preserver.

The calm after the storm. Peter’s Park in Rodney, Iowa

During a time of prayer, I suddenly found myself on a small sail boat struggling to make headway against a very heavy wind. The waves were high, crashing over the bow as the boat crested a wave and then plunged into it’s trough only to rise and crash again and again. I felt like the disciples must have when they were out on a very turbulent Sea of Galilee. In this vision I saw Yashua at the helm of my struggling boat. He was masterfully guiding it through the sea, the gunnels awash, the sails fully extended, the little boat heeling hard into the wind, His hand firmly on the wheel; His presence did give me some comfort, but I couldn’t help but wonder why He wasn’t calming the storm. He was smiling at me and motioned for me to look at the raging sea behind Him. As I looked, I saw a massive aircraft carrier come into view. It was sailing along as if the violent sea was of no consequence.

Then the Holy Spirit dropped these thoughts into my mind; Yashua is with you in the storms of life, He is faithful and true to His word. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you; that is why He is on your little boat with you. But He is also the aircraft carrier and He is inviting you to join Him there. He will continue with you on your little boat, if that is your choice, being buffeted by the elements, or you can join Him and sail through the turbulent seas with assurance and rest.  

Your little boat represents your agenda, your plans for your life and how He can fit in to those plans. The massive aircraft carrier is His plan and His purpose for your life. The choice is yours; get on board with Him, or continue trying to go your own way. He’ll be with you either way you choose and truthfully, both involve struggle. You will be tempted to jump ship, or grab the wheel, insisting that your way is best, but if you resist and hold on to Him in faith, watching Him, following Him, trusting that He knows what is best for you, you will soon discover that He is really holding on to you with an everlasting love that will never let you go. Stay the course He has laid out, His is the path that leads to refinement and growth and eternal life as His bride.

“Trust to see what you have been faithful to believe and obedient to do.”

 “…you will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made YHVH Yashua your dwelling place, no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”

Quite the promise!

Watch with Yashua, you will be amazed at the places He will take you and take you through!

Travel Journal 2019 A Question

Our son and his family hosted a Basque teenager to spend a month with them this summer so he could experience life with an American, Christian family. We shared part of this experience and found him to be a very likable young man. He did not grow up in a Christian home, but you could tell from his attitude and mannerisms that he did grow up in a loving, caring and responsible home. The time we were together raised this question in my mind, “What is it about my life that would make someone want what I have? What is there about my spiritual walk with Yashua that would draw an unbeliever into their own salvation experience because of what they observe in me?

Biking with my granddaughter, Emilie, along the Olympic Discovery Trail
Kayaking with my grandson Dylan

One of the weekends during our visit we attended church service with our son and his family. The pastor delivered a very insightful sermon on Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank.”

Definition of Resolve — to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine — to do something. (Taken from dictionary.com)

My precious grandchildren — Jacob, Dylan, Emilie and Isabelle — I am a very blessed Grandma indeed!

So, Daniel, being very well versed in the Torah or instructions of Yahweh knew not to eat food sacrificed to idols, which would have been the case if he had eaten from the king’s table. This simple obedience on the part of Daniel and his friends was amply rewarded with favor in the court of Nebuchadnezzar (verses 9, 20).

Jake and me, downtown Seattle

Perhaps step one, in answering my question, as I’m seeing it, is to live a life of resolve where your talk matches your walk. Dr. Jim Wilder has an interesting talk from Proverbs 10:4; 12:24, 27; 13:4; 21:5 about diligence and slothfulness. He gave some compare and contrast examples that made me squirm just a bit. The diligent person starts a task and finishes it, whereas a slothful person may start, but does not see his work through to completion. He may buy a book yet not read it, or start a project but never complete it, or purchase expensive, organic produce only to let it rot in the refrigerator. Or maybe buy clothes that you do not or can not wear. Resolve has a lot to do with how we are viewed by others as slothful or diligent. They may not use these words, but who would you rather take your example from; the diligent, resolved man, or the indecisive, slothful man? Which makes me wonder, which one am I? Which one are you?

Trust Me, I Won’t Let You Fall

Top of the Space Needle, Seattle, WA, with our grandkids!

I’ve been pondering what to write for a while, but after posting an updated profile picture on my Facebook page and reading through the comments I knew where the Ruach (Holy Spirit) wanted me to go with this post.

Steve playing in the park, Poulsbo, WA

God has promised to never leave us or forsake us. (Deut 31:8) He holds us in the palm of His Hand where He has promised no one can snatch us away. (John 10:28) He has a plan and a purpose for us. (Jeremiah 29:11) He knew us when we were being formed in our mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) He is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives, but how many of us truly believe Him enough to “let go” and fall into His arms? (1Chron 21:13)

On the Bainbridge Island to Seattle ferry

I knew there was thick glass behind me. I saw other people doing what I was contemplating. I knew it was safe to walk over to the edge of that walkway, put myself up against that glass and lean back. I knew all of this in my mind; the reasonable, logical, pragmatic me knew these truths. But, there was another part of me that was bucking what I knew as truth with pretty firm resistance!

Many times Yahweh asks us to, simply, trust Him. July 22nd reading from My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes: “Am I willing to reduce myself simply to “me,” determinedly to strip myself of all my friends think of me, of all I think of myself, and to hand that simple naked self over to God? Immediately I am, He will sanctify me wholly, and my life will be free from earnestness in connection with everything but God.”

Coming down from Canada — The Ross Dam on Hwy 20, North Cascades National Park, WA

It was quite liberating to quiet the fierce resistance fighting for dominance in my mind and lean back against that glass and experience trust. Yahweh has so much He wants to share with us if only we will trust Him enough to “let go” and be caught up on His eagle’s wings!

Top of the Space Needle, Seattle, WA

Isaiah 40:31 …but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

2019 Travel Journal, June 22

A beautiful, reassuring site the morning after a thunderstorm! Jermyn, Texas

We are on the road again! Left our home-base in Mississippi the 10th of June and already have shared delightful table fellowship with harp and story in northern Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, and then Norman, Ok, with a home group and again in Norman with a Sunday group. We then traveled down to the Denton, Texas area for more excellent table fellowship and sharing and then over to Jermyn for yet more wonderful and blessed times with YHVH’s set-apart ones. We are now in Show Low, Arizona for more times of encouragement, edification and exhortation. What could be better than getting to share fellowship with Yahsua’s bride!

Between one fierce thunder storm after another finally enjoying a sunny day at the lake in Jacksboro, TX

One thing that traveling continues to teach me (to stand in) is the authority that I have in Yashua haMashiac. Think about this: Yashua told His disciples in John 14 that He was going to prepare a place and He was going to come back and bring us to that place so we would always be with Him. He was making a betrothal covenant with us. This covenant put Him under obligation to take care of and provide for us — His Bride. We enter into this betrothal covenant with Yashua when we accept His free gift of salvation and ask for the in-dwelling presence of the Ruach haKodesh to live in us. Thus begins the transformation of our stony heart to a heart of flesh.

If we are “they that fear Him” there is nothing that Yashua will not do for His bride; giving us all that is needed for health, growth, and blessedness. This may be a hard concept to grasp — covenant, but when YHVH Yashua gives understanding a heretofore unseen vista will open and His beauty and majesty will be as never recognized before!