Harp and Story

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!

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 God Became Real

The first segment of chapter 1 of From Darkness into Light

When God Became Real

 I was born into a Christian family, baptized by immersion when I was thirteen, attended a Christian boarding academy for my high school years, went to Christian college, married a Christian man in a Christian ceremony, but I didn’t meet my Savior until my 37th birth year.  How can this be you might be asking?  But really, is my story any different from yours except for where we happen to be on the paths of righteousness?   David said in Psalm 23; “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” When you study this scripture from a Hebrew perspective you know that your walk with YHVH is a yearly cycle of seven feasts ordained for us to keep by YHVH.  Our yearly walk is not a linear line from point A to point B being the end result, but a spiral, going around and up; each season drawing us into more and more intimate relationship with our Creator/Redeemer.  But I get ahead of myself…

Like a lot of Christians I was not taught that YHVH has a FACE, but whether consciously or unconsciously, I was only taught to seek His hand.  His hands are for giving me whatever I need, want or desire; all I have to do is ask Him. He is my fairy god-mother with a magic wand, or my very own cosmic vending machine into which I put my quarter request and out pops my desire giving me what I want.  Right?  Wrong!

The church I grew up in was all about works; as a child I would lie on my bed at night fearfully rummaging through my day to make sure I hadn’t done some grievous thing that I had not asked forgiveness for, because if I died – you all know the prayer; now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take; and I had done something bad that day that I had not ask the Lord to forgive me for then I would go to hell.  Simple as that!  My childhood was dominated by hell not heaven, even though heaven was what we all wanted, what we yearned for, but hell was our fate if we stepped off that very narrow, rocky, difficult path.

In spite of all this I loved church, Vacation Bible School, evangelistic meetings, Christian school, Vesper programs, all of it.  I was dedicated to doing the “right” thing; no drinking, no drugs, no smoking, no gambling, no pornography, no sex before marriage, no foul language, no dancing, no theater going, eating vegetarian and keeping Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.  Surely the Lord would honor me for my good works and allow me to enter His beautiful, heavenly kingdom, but there was no assurance of my salvation.  I desperately wanted to be righteous, but I kept falling into pits, the miry clay wouldn’t release me, doubts tormented me, I could never do enough to hit the high bar of salvation through good deeds that I had set for myself and I knew that if I wasn’t satisfied with my life then neither was my Lord. 

I went to church, I taught in the children’s classes, I joined prayer circles, listened to Christian music, passed out literature, gave money, cooked food, went on visitations, read my Bible, but it was all little comfort to me.  Something in me wanted something more; I just knew there was something more, if only I could figure out what.  Where to turn, what to look for, I did not know and so very slowly, ever so imperceptibly the void, the ache in me begin to be filled with other things, not so honoring things, disgraceful things, things I deeply regret.  When scripture records that the sins of the fathers are to the third and fourth generation I understand that scripture now.  By our actions and attitudes we perpetuate the original sin of Adam and Eve.  The enemy of the brethren has only three to four generations in each family line to keep his covenant of evil alive and well.  If a family can establish a righteous branch through three to four generations then the enemy of the brethren has to start afresh with temptations of various evil schemes to get that family line back in covenant with him.  The longer the family line resists the stronger their believing heritage becomes, the easier it is for their descendants to live in righteousness.  Did I know this when my children were young?  No.  Do I see the fruit of my actions, whether great or small in their lives today?  Yes, I have regrets, but I also now know and whole-heartedly believe that the earnest and fervent prayers of a righteous woman availeth much!  My friend prays for her wandering children and grandchildren this way; “Father, raise the bottom of their pit so they don’t have to fall too far before they hit bottom and then look up and see Your Face.”   Hallelujah! The shed blood of Y’Shua is enough!

In my mid-thirties YHVH began shaking my world.  I had been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in my late twenties and by the time I was in my mid-thirties I could hardly drive a car without losing all feeling in my hands and arms.  Sleeping was becoming more and more difficult as my arms would become numb and lifeless during the night causing me to wake up feeling like I had two dead tree limbs attached to my body.  I learned to do some exercises that gave me some relief, but outside of surgery there was nothing that could be done.  I was desperate.  “God,” I called out, “please help me.” “I am becoming more and more unable to even take care of the simplest tasks, brushing my hair or my teeth are getting almost impossible to do, won’t you please help me!”

He was still only a fairy god-mother or a cosmic vending machine to me, I didn’t know Him as anything else, but He was about to reveal Himself to me in ways that I could never have imagined.  I look back on my life now and I thank Him for every minute of it for without all the struggles and trails and tribulations I would never have met Him!  And He is worth getting to know! How little I still know and how much more I want to know HIM! 

to be continued…

 

Day 39 of the Counting of the Omer

The Light of Life

Several years ago I was working in an inner city school district as a substitute teacher; it was during the time the Harry Potter books were coming into popularity.  The kids in my classes were reading them and excitedly talking about them; their enthusiasm was quite contagious.  Personally I wasn’t interested in Harry Potter and his activities, but the kids kept asking me questions about the characters in the books, and wanting my opinion on how I thought the story might twist and turn so I decided to read one.  As I read the book I was struck with the awareness that these books have an agenda; the “occultic” seduction of our children.  A huge leap forward by the forces of darkness was accomplished by the release of these books and their subsequent movies.  Separate and distinct Good and evil as in David and Goliath, had been replaced with “good” evil and bad evil.

All my life I have heard people say that as darkness increases, as in wickedness, light must also increase, as in YHVH’s power.  But as I scan national and world headlines that saying doesn’t seem to be holding true.  Molech, the pagan god is still receiving homage by sacrifices of millions of unborn babies killed every year.  There’s an interesting story in 2Kings 3 that is about Israel and Judah defeating the Moabites in a resounding victory until we come to verses 26-27; “When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took with him 700 men who drew swords, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not.  Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the wall.  And there came great wrath against Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own land.”  Remember that old song, “There’s power in the blood”?  We who are believers sing that song in reference to our Messiah Y’Shua; it’s His blood, shed for us at Calvary that is powerful, but the enemy of the brethren also knows the power of shed blood and the more innocent blood that is shed the more powerful he becomes.

Rav Shaul tells us in Romans 1:18 that the wrath of YHVH is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…

Have you ever thought that when evolution was allowed to be taught in our nation’s schools, not as a theory, but as fact, that that was really the beginning of the end of Biblical Christianity?   Genesis chapter 1 ceased being a truth, therefore if creation as reported in the Holy Scriptures is not to be believed then what else is not to be believed.  I met a woman once who told me she had been an ordained pastor in a mainline church, but years later she had received salvation in another mainline church.  I looked at her with puzzlement written all over my face, “How can that be,” I asked, “You were a pastor in the church.”  She looked right into my eyes and said, “You don’t have to believe in Jesus to be a pastor in the ___________church.”  I was speechless!

Rav Shaul goes on to say, “For they exchanged the truth of YHVH for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, whose is blessed forever. Amen.  For this reason YHVH gave them over to degrading passions…  And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge YHVH any longer, YHVH gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper.”

How long can this nation spite YHVH and not expect judgment?  11 state legislatures have now made it legal for same sex couples to marry.  California’s legislature passed a law that is now being battled in the courts, which would make it a crime for trained counselors to help young people resist an alternate lifestyle.  The news is reporting that sexual abuse in the military is rampant; 70 cases a day are being filed and the man in charge of weeding out this abuse is himself now being charged with sexual misconduct.  Can it be that when corruption rules, men act corruptly!  Lying is rampant.  Have you listened to the reports on the horrible tragedy of Benghazi?   To the highest levels of our government we are finding out that what we were told is all lies! 

What to do?  Is light increasing at the same pace as darkness?

I was in a position a while back where the extreme intensity of a light was shining right in my eyes, blinding me.  In the small confines of the space I had been allotted I tried stepping to the right, but I couldn’t get out of that blinding glare, I tried stepping to the left and the same thing; I finally had to leave the area all together and wait in the shadows until someone adjusted the light.  What I had come to that place to do had to be delayed until the issue of the blinding glare had been resolved.

A few days after I returned home from that engagement and I sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to watch the new Alice in Wonderland movie.  “What?” I have never been an Alice in Wonderland fan, but nevertheless I went and rented the movie and reluctantly watched it.  In this movie Wonderland is referred to as Underland, (as in underworld, the place of criminal activity?)   The movie was billed as great fun, entertainment for the entire family, but I found it had a dark and disturbing message; more brainwashing to replace the absolutes of good and evil with “good” evil and bad evil.  Do you get it yet? The Holy Spirit seemed to be saying to me.

 “Please help,” I said, “I know there is something you want me to understand.”  YHVH is faithful to answer us when we ask and this is what was unfolded to me that I now pass on to you, for the historic times we are entering will demand that we make decisions for spiritual life or for spiritual death.

“As I have showed you these three ways it is not darkness opposed to light, one or the other, but what is perceived as “good” darkness and then bad darkness with Light sandwiched between them.  As the “good” darkness expands on one side and the bad darkness expands on the other side, it crowds the Light, causing the Light to become more and more focused and intense; the Light is not growing so much in volume or quantity, but in intensity.  The tendency of most people who call themselves believers in Y’Shua/Jesus will be to try and shield themselves from the extreme intensity of the Light.  The need to move into the darkness will be almost overwhelming.  They will know gross darkness for what it is and most likely not make a move in that direction, but the siren call of “good” darkness, or the shadows, will be strong and many will justify their move into the “white witch’s” camp as necessary.  Necessary for the continuance of my ministry, necessary for the safety of my family, necessary for any number of reasons and their they will perish.”

“Oh YHVH,” I cried, now on my knees, tears falling down my face, “who will be able to stand?”  For I was recalling my own experience in the blinding glare of that extremely intense light and how I had moved into the shadows to escape its intensity.  And then a vision came to my mind; I saw myself in the intensity of the light, trying to stand; I could feel the unbearable pain of my position, wanting to run, but wanting more to stay when suddenly a white-robed figure moved between me and the blinding glare; my shield.  I knew it was Y’Shua, and I instantly knew that as long as I stayed behind Him, in His shadow, I could stand, and bear the intensity. 

Y’Shua is our shield.  Do not betray Him by stepping into the darkness either “good” or “bad”.   Matthew 10:33; “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”  The momentary comfort of the shadows is not worth the eternal price tag.

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to YHVH, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust; for it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.                                                        You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.  A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you.  You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.  For you have made YHVH, who is my refuge the Most High, your dwelling place; no evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.  For YHVH will give His angels charge concerning you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.  You will tread upon the lion and cobra; the young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My Name.  He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him.  With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My Salvation.

If this is where you live you will be able to stand – Have no fear of man, but Fear, stand in Great Awe of, YHVH!