Harp and Story

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!

Paradise Lost

Coming into Paradise, CA, from Chico on the Skyway Blvd., dozens of decorated crosses mark the lives lost in the Camp Fire.

Genesis 2:8-9, “And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Certainly, it was not God’s plan for people to die, homes be destroyed, livelihoods lost, but maybe there is something greater at work here? Reading from Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest, devotional reading for January 25th he says, “Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him. That is the way to make room for Him. Expect Him to come, but do not expect Him only in a certain way.”

As my husband and I drove through the devastated community of Paradise, CA a few days ago I couldn’t help but feel profound sorrow for all that people, many of whom are my friends, lost. The “Why God” question formed itself in my mind without conscious bidding as I surveyed scene after scene of total annihilation.

The Sound Foundation Recording Studio where the majority of our Harp and Story CD’s were recorded.
What remains of the Black Bear Diner, Paradise, CA

Paradise, CA is just one example of the devastation and destruction that has happened to the world Yahweh created. Yashua tells us in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” As we, believers in Yashua our Messiah, watch horrific events unfold around us, both of political and natural origins, might we be tempted to think that Yahweh has forgotten us and abandoned us to a fate of continual devastation and destruction? Using the apostle Paul’s words from Romans, “May it never be!” Let us do as Oswald Chamber’s says to us, Look for God,” not to come in a particular way that suits our affinities of rightness or wrongness, but look for Him. Rest assured that He has His hands around His creation, moving world events according to His plan and purpose. When we just look with our natural eyes all we see is devastation and destruction, but when we look for YHVH we see His promise,

Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:38-39, For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Look up for our redemption draws nigh!”