Harp and Story

Superficial Really Bugs Me!

 

1Samuel 16:7, “But YHVH said unto Samuel, ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for YHVH sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but YHVH looks on the heart.’”

The word superficial has to do with appearances and the surface. If a car is in an accident, but it only has a few scratches, you could say it has superficial damage, because the important parts are OK. If you just glance at a movie for a second, your opinion will be more superficial than the opinion of someone who watched the whole film closely. Superficial can have a negative flavor; calling someone superficial is saying that they are shallow and care too little about meaningful things. (https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/superficial)

Superficial is everywhere especially when it involves people. We look at someone and if their clothes are shabby, out-of-date, or dirty we tend to think the person themselves are probably shabby, out-of-touch, or unsavory characters. Just the other day my husband and I were dumping a load of trash at the county waste disposal site; we had some electronics to recycle when a man dumping a load of trash next to us said, “if you are getting rid of that computer I’ll take it, my friend recycles computers.” This man had multiple tattoos and piercings; was driving an old, rusted pick-up truck pulling a rusted, broken-down dump trailer. “No,” my husband answered, “I haven’t taken the hard drive out of it yet.”

We looked at his appearance and made an instant decision, “no, too much potential for theft of personal information.” We didn’t know anything about this man, but we judged him according to his appearance. He might have been a born-again believer in Yashua haMashiach, saved from a previous life of crime and debauchery; without more information gained from a personal relationship we could have no way of knowing. Now it is wisdom to keep the computer and remove the hard-drive before giving it away for recycling so as to protect one’s personal information, but I must admit that the man’s physical appearance was a major factor in not giving him the computer.

Which brings me to the remarks I heard today about our United States president, Donald J Trump. “I just don’t like him, he’s crazy like a loon. You know all those gestures he makes with his hands when he’s talking and his hair and that fake tan; he scares the beegeebers out of me.”

This person wasn’t upset because of his executive orders, his views on making America great again or his policies regarding immigration, health care or supreme court nominees; their dislike was totally centered on the surface appearance of the man himself; not what he stands for or even what he is trying to implement.

We seem to have become a society of superficiality; only concerned with what is on the surface. Personally, I think the biggest indicator of this very concerning drift is found in the fashion trend of woman’s pants; holes, big and little, ripped and frayed; from the crotch of the pant down to the ankle. It used to be that holes in pants were seen as a mark of poverty, but now women pay ridiculous amounts of money for pants with holes and tears. A few years back my husband and I had to make a VISA run into Cambodia to get a two-week extension added on to our Thailand visa. We crossed the border into Cambodia at Poipet, as we were walking to the border crossing I couldn’t help noticing mountainous piles of clothing with women scrambling up and down these huge piles collecting and organizing all of this used clothing into yet other mountainous piles of like-kind garments. I saw pile after pile of jeans and later when the ripped jean became such a fashion item I couldn’t help wondering, are these “new” pants just recycled “old” pants?

To me the rips, holes and frayed edges of these “fashionable” pants symbolize pot-hole views into the decaying fabric of a civilization that has lost its way, desperately trying to take something that is worn out and used up to say, “I am still relevant.” But it’s all just a game being cruelly played by master puppeteers on a willing but unsuspecting public.

We have allowed superficial to define us; what will they think of me if I say this, if I wear that, if I eat this or don’t eat that, if I drive this vehicle or live in this part of town or in that old house, or have that person for a friend? If you were totally honest with yourself right at this moment when would be the last time you asked YHVH what He thought about the decisions, plans, and even the thoughts you are thinking? Have you taken His wisdom, counsel, knowledge, or understanding into your decision making? Scripture tells us in John 12:49 that Yashua spoke not from his own authority, “but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.”

I do think that Donald J Trump is YHVH’s man for this time in America’s history, but at the same time I do not believe that he will be America’s savior. The holes in America’s fabric are too big, too glaring; too much fabric has been lost to fashion to ever make a whole piece of cloth again. In Donald J Trump YHVH has given us a reprieve from His carrying out our well-deserved sentence of judgment; what we do as believers with this reprieve is up to us. A good place to start is to do away with the things that breed superficiality in our own life. Then adopt habits that promote character, thoughtfulness, compassion, discipline and good works. Remember Yashua associated with sinners, publicans and tax collectors and many of these same despised people became His closest allies. And without a doubt the most important thing to help us get out of the superficial trap is to “go to a solitary place and spend time in prayer” refreshing ourselves in the arms of our Heavenly Father. This is what Yashua did and He said, now you go and do likewise.

 

Life in Judgment

I believe the Bible is eternally applicable on many different levels for past peoples and events, present people and events and for future events and generations. Reading in Ezekiel this morning I see similarities that between then and now that we cannot afford to ignore. From chapter 12, “…you live in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house.”

So, what are we not seeing and hearing to cause what YHVH tells us in Chapter 13 He is doing? Verse 13, “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, ‘I will make a violent wind break out in My wrath. There will also be in My anger a flooding rain and hailstones to consume in wrath.’”

Why is YHVH doing this? Because on the surface things might “look good” but underneath the fancy facades are stealing, killing and destruction. Verse 14 goes on to say, “So I (YHVH) will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am YHVH.”

I watch what is happening to the second largest reservoir in California and I wonder if this is a warning of that which has been hidden is soon to be revealed, for the emergency spillway on Lake Oroville is in danger of failing due to erosion eating away at its foundation. This reservoir is a major supplier of water used by central valley farmers and residents of the Los Angeles basin. California supplies up to 80% of many fruits and vegetables that end up on family dinner tables. The loss of this water supply would have devastating consequences for the entire nation.

When a people openly defy YHVH; then YHVH, as is noted over and over in scripture, has no choice but to leave us to the consequences of our decisions until such a time as we humble ourselves, turn from our wicked ways and seek YHVH’s face and ask for forgiveness.

The Bible also tells us that “life” is in the blood (Lev 17:11), and that the blood of innocents is crying out from the ground (Gen 4:10), as well as the martyrs crying out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev 6:10). Over 50 million innocents, in America alone, are crying out for YHVH to avenge their blood, not to mention all the “ethnic cleansing” genocides around the world. Listening to various news commentators talk with organizers and participants of the women’s march on Washington DC the day after President Trump’s inauguration I kept hearing and seeing one theme rise to the top of all the talk and that theme was Abortion, or its more “palatable” moniker, A Woman’s Right to Choose. In fact, one commentator said that amid all the rhetoric about all the issues women face and were representing in the march it really all seemed to boil down to Abortion, a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy for whatever reason she may determine that that life in her womb needs to end. The organizers of the march didn’t dispute this conclusion. When a nation legislates the legality of terminating life in whatever form that nation is directly defying the commandment of YHVH, “Thou shall not murder.” It doesn’t matter how we try to dress up our justifications we, simply put, are participating in open rebellion to YHVH and there are consequences that will have to be paid.

Yashua said as recorded in John 10:10 that the devil only comes to steal, kill and destroy, but He comes to give us life and that in abundance. There are only two paths; one path leads to life and the other leads to death. You can’t have it both ways; choosing the path of life for some things and the path that leads to death for other things. For those that have eyes to see and ears to hear we are witnessing the unraveling of our nation’s façade; the whitewashed wall is crumbling.

It seems (only time will tell) that Donald Trump, love him or hate him, and his administration are attempting to turn the tide of “stealing, killing and destroying” to the more optimal choice of life and abundance, but the enemy of the brethren, the devil, is working hard to thwart life and that life in Yashua in abundant measure.

This is the opening paragraph of Bill Wilson’s The Daily Jot for Feb 13, 2017, that may help in understanding the extreme divisiveness that is happening in our nation:

If you had an army some 30,000 strong and a court system stacked over the decades with judges who would allow you to break the laws, how much damage could you do to a country? We are about to find out in America. The ex-“president” said he was going to stay involved through community organizing and speak out on the issues, and that appears to be one post-administration promise he intends to keep. He has moved many of his administration’s top dogs over to an organization called Organizing for Action (OFA). OFA is behind the strategic and tactical implementation of the Marxist resistance we are seeing across America, and politically active courts are providing the leverage for this revolution.

Hosea 8:2-4, To me they cry, “My God, we—Israel—know you.”                                     Israel has spurned the good; the enemy shall pursue him.                                               They made kings, but not through me. They set up princes, but I knew it not.           With their silver and gold they made idols for their own destruction.

Our ex-“president”, in my opinion, is setting himself up as a “king” that could very well lead, according to the above quoted scripture from Hosea, to the destruction of the Republic known as the UNITED States of America. It is past time to be like Joshua and say, “Choose you this day whom you will serve, whether the YHVH of heaven or the gods of the land, but as for me and my house we will serve YHVH!”

Ephesians 6:10-13, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Remember life/power is in the blood and the devil and those devoted to his cause derive a lot of power from the shed blood of millions of innocents.  This is a war, folks, we can’t afford, as believers in our Messiah, Yashua, to sit this one out hoping someone else will take our place on the wall in defense of the land. (Eze 22:30)

Our Father who art in heaven may we be strong in Your might to stand firm and effectively fight for our children and generations yet to be born in this battle that rages against us.

 

Grandma, Is Santa Claus for Real?

grandmas-way

 

It’s a tricky question to try and answer when ones  grown children support the Santa Claus reality for their children’s “fun” and “wonderment”. “Don’t spoil the magic of Christmas by telling them there is no Santa Claus,” they say.

Having celebrated Christmas for most of my life and propagated the Santa Claus fantasy with my own children and now watching them continue to propagate this fable with their children I pray for wisdom and discernment to know how to walk these troubled waters. Too late in life I came to realize that I was lying to my children when, for fun, I told them about the magic of Santa Claus, and various other “magical” beings like the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Children believe us, their parents and teachers, when we tell them things as supposed “truth” only later to be discovered as lies and fabrications.

My grandchildren came home from school the other day all excited about the magical antics of something called, “Elf on the Shelf” where as the story goes an “Elf” is sent from the North Pole to watch the kids and report back to Santa. To help keep the belief that the “Elf” is real, each night the “ELF” goes to see Santa and is found the next morning in a new spot. The movement is what makes the “Elf” seem so real to the kids. Of course, parents or teachers, as in this case, the “Elf on the Shelf” was being used in my grandchildren’s school, are doing all the different placements and writing the notes and depositing the before Christmas goodies to encourage “good” behavior from their children or students. I finally broke into their excited chatter and said, “It is only a story.” “No, Grandma, it’s real, he’s magic; we can’t touch him or his power goes away,” both my grandchildren repeated several times with strong conviction.

I remember back in the Nineties George Otis Jr. going to the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock, Nevada to film a documentary of the goings-on. The one scene in his documentary that has stayed with me in vivid detail over the years was the scene where Zoe, or Life, was seduced by the devil and taken off to the fires of hell while a child’s piano tinkled Jesus Loves Me in the background. So very ineffective against the onslaught of the glitz and glamour of the enticements of the world and its wicked ways!

Have you noticed that almost everywhere you care to look the theme is “MAGIC!”

At the Frankfurt International Book Fair I attended this October I was told that the current publishing theme is “magic”. If your book has an element of “magic” in it, you will most likely get picked up by a traditional publisher. Magic is what’s selling!

Magic is seducing our children straight into the flames of hell! Did you know that the foundation associated with The Francis Schaefer Institute in the past has given the Harry Potter books an OK? Just a fun story to read to your kids! And we wonder why there is such a tremendous rise of all things associated with Wicca and the Occult!

Think about this… if you tell your child that Santa is real over and over again, multiple times and in multiple ways until one day they come home from school or a friend’s house or from church and with down-cast eyes and tear-stained faces or with defiance in their voice tell you that Santa Claus is not real, he’s only make believe; “you lied to me”, how do you expect them to believe the stories you have been telling, or want to tell them about their Savior, Jesus/Yashua? What is truth in their young minds?

Santa Claus is NOT just an innocent, fun concept to help make the Christmas season “magical” for your children. Watch this video link, Krampus Christmas parade, and then tell me that Christmas is an innocent, fun-loving time of the year to get together with family and friends; drink some egg nog, maybe burn a yule log, have a big dinner, open a mountain of presents then have a fight with your spouse while you listen to the kids whine, cry and complain about the presents they didn’t get.

I have never been so happy on Christmas day as the year 2002 when my husband and I decided not to celebrate this day. We have continued to avoid, as much as we can, the events of this day that defines so much heartache and unmet expectations for so many people.

I refuse to perpetrate the lie of Santa Claus. I believe this lie, and others of its ilk, is responsible for the alarming statistics of so many of our Christian young people leaving the faith of their fathers and mothers for the seduction of the devil and the flames of hell.

So, when my grandchildren ask me if Santa Claus is for real or tell me with such conviction about the antics of Elf on the Shelf I turn the conversation to the story of the birth of our Savior. It has now become the asked for story at bedtime. And NO, I do not believe that Jesus was born on December 25; but He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died a cruel death on a tree, but rose to life on the third day and is now seated at Father YHVH’s Right Hand in the heavens. He did this for you and me that we might be saved and live in relationship with Him for all eternity. He is coming to this earth again and He is going to gather up all who believe in Him and take them to live with Him forever. This is the Greatest Story ever told and it is TRUTH!

 

When Your Heart Is Breaking

Isaiah 53:3, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and like one from whom men hide their face…”

2Co 4:7-11  “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us; in every way having been troubled, but not having been hemmed in; having been perplexed, but not utterly at a loss; having been persecuted, but not having been forsaken; having been thrown down, but not having been destroyed; always bearing about the dying of Adonai Yashua in the body, so that the life of Yashua also might be revealed in our body. For we who live are always being delivered to death for Yashua’s sake, so that the life of Yashua might also be revealed in our body.”

Life can be so unfair sometimes when those we love turn their back to us choosing to forget the times of love, humor, financial sacrifice and bounty and only remember with resentment, anger, bitterness and vitriol the times of lack, guilt, hurts, fears, correction, all the “bad” times. Is life only about having “good” times? When “good” times turn to “bad” times does that mean we suddenly excise that person we think is responsible for the turn in our circumstances out of our life?

These last few months I have had to personally take a closer look at this question; “When someone hurts you deeply how do you respond?” The natural or flesh man wants to respond in kind; a tit for a tat; what you did to me I am going to do to you, only worse just so you will know how much you have hurt me.

In the cascading events of my family’s particular situation I finally came to a place one night where I could not sleep; the anger of the injustice being perpetrated was too consuming, so I got up and began to pour out my complaint to YHVH. “Help me with this,” I prayed, “I need to understand this situation from Your perspective.” The request was barely off my lips when this thought flashed through my mind, “This is how my children treat Me. Every day, every hour, minute, second my 7+ billion children treat me with some level of disrespect, dishonor, disregard, hostility, criticism, hatred, vengeance, and more, but I still love them!”

So much understanding in such a brief flash of insight!

As followers of The Way of Yashua haMashiach we are told in Matthew 7:13-14 to; “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

The injustice that we suffer, whether perceived or real, is nothing compared to what Yashua suffered for us. And in Mark 8:34-37 He told us what the cost would be of following Him; “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

My attitude has tempered since this word spoken in my mind with such force of sadness immediately humbled me. This situation that has so dishonored those that love the ones involved have by their actions set themselves outside the gate, if you will. Outside the gate is darkness, outside the gate is the broad way that leads to destruction; this is not the place one wants to find themselves. But then we all, at one time or another, have set ourselves “outside the gate” by our actions, thoughts, attitudes and/or behaviors, haven’t we?

Every day in multiple ways and in multiple venues we have opportunity to take offense. It is hard to “turn the other cheek” and respond in love especially when the action or word was so unjustified, but we must. This is part of “washing our robes” that we may have access to the Tree of Life!  (Revelation 22:14) Yes, the path to life is narrow, but chose to be one of those that find it!

Life is Rozie

perspectives of love