There are periods of time during one’s life time when nothing happens. Not really, but it seems so. You are at least in a somewhat comfortable routine of life, got a grove, everything in workable but, more importantly, expected order. We may not love these seemingly dull periods of life because we often want more than what we have and as such get restless. But you see, we are not on this earth to maintain a steady flow of nothing. We are here for something. There is a purpose for our lives. Each and every person on the planet was created on purpose to do something. Each was given a unique gift to serve and worship God. We were made for a purpose in God’s kingdom, that supernatural family unit that functions as its own great entity now and into eternity. The whole is greater than its parts. And we have a certain talent or gift to use within that kingdom. So, as followers of Christ in his kingdom, we have a great responsibility to use the gifts given us in fruitful ways. We are blessed in order for us to be able to bless God and others. So, when we get really comfortable, generally we are low on the service vibe and have ceased to be useful to the kingdom of God, our mission in life. So, God allows us excessive changes now and again to wake us up to our place in life. We resist this because we are too distracted and preoccupied with mediocre and worse in the physical realm to realize what is going on in the spiritual realm, the realm that never ends and thus is more important. Excessive changes happen on purpose to humble us and get us in the right frame of mind to realize mundane is not obedience. We must serve and God allows so many changes in our lives for that purpose, sometimes just to get our minds right, often to give us contrast to realize there is more, sometimes to stretch us so we realize we CAN do so much more and prepare us for future work. Change is good. It means God cares and wants fullness and depth and strength of character and place in His kingdom for us. So it is a blessing when we run into changes. We need never fear these changes. Our heavenly Father walks with us through them and teaches us what we need to know when we need to know it. He always knows best and we will be stronger for His glory when the lesson is learned or test passed.
It is amazing what a little freedom can do for the soul. We are off this week from school, and I realize many people believe we homeschoolers are always off. Nonetheless, it is a week to get stuff done around the house and refresh the soul with as much game playing and relaxing and crafts as we can fit in one day. And today we did one of our famous no technology days. We were outside and I trimmed the jasmine as the kids ran around in the yard. We made some paper of Paris molds with leaves stamps we collected. We rocked on the porch swing with ice pops. We walked my parents’ dog and I shaved my dad. When my husband got home from work we went to the phone store and got out upgraded phone and saved a lot of money. And we ate the left over salmon my husband had smoked yesterday. Today, therefore, was an incredibly beautiful day, rich with blessings and joys. Of course bad things happened too, but I choose to not focus on a band member quitting the band family or my daughter acting up in the store, my husband’s phone breaking down as he is on call, etc. These things were minor impositions in light of the big picture of family contentment and growth and unity. Restoration is a favorite word of mine lately. I believe this is the word God is working out in us. Recharging our batteries is as essential to the soul as water to the body and breath to the lungs. And as we heal fastest while sleeping, we restore our would most by days like this. And I have to tell you, we are in a very long line of families that are not perfect, but I love my family. I work on loving them. I do what I can on purpose and God guides me often in decision making for their benefit. He does this because I ask Him to. He is good and faithful.
We watched Killing Jesus tonight. We own Passion of the Christ. I watched the Book of John. Growing up in the church, I have seen many movies over the years on the story of my Savior, my Messiah and yours if He isn’t already and you allow Him to be. Killing Jesus was very well done, great production, great acting and one of the best at showing the humanity of those involved. I wish it would have shown Yeshua after He had risen because many saw Him and that is really the most important part. Nonetheless, well done. Very condensed and human or character focused interpretation. Very worth seeing for a different perspective. I loved the Passion of the Christ as it captures, well, Jesus Christ’s passion. I love the Book of John because (I am not sure if this should say this but…) John is my favorite Gospel version of the mission of Yeshua. Now, as in every movie ever that is produced from a book, especially a true story, nothing is ever as good as the book. No movie anywhere is as thorough or true or correct or pure or as descriptive as the Bible in telling the story of Yeshua, Jesus Christ. Nothing will or could ever be perfect. Some, like the one on History channel, are down right detrimental. So, be careful, little eyes, what you see. If you are interested in the life of our Messiah who affected and changed the world for the better, please read the Bible. I would suggest Mark or Luke to start with for the story but each of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have a different perspective on the life of my Savior. Movies are great but not everything. That is always true. The book is the thing. Written Word in your hand is unmatched in greatness and comfort and detail. The Truth was written and will always be Truth for us. It is the best way for us to get the full true story.
Confederate jasmine covers three 8 foot fences surrounding our back yard. They were here when we got here, but were sparce at the time. Since we have lived here, I have trimmed and trained and fertilized and watered the jasmine and now it is thick and growing. In fact, it is growing so much so fast that it is very hard to maintain and care for. So I have a love-hate relationship with the jasmine. I work hard to keep it beautiful but it rewards me with sweet smelling and beautiful white pinwheel flowers and lush foliage. The thing is, sometimes we have to put in a lot of hard work to reap benefits. Those who reap benefits without working at it never receive as much or appreciate it as much. To benefit from another’s work is to rob them and so robs yourself as well. It is a work ethic I was raised with. Yes, work takes time and energy and often discomfort, but work is certainly rewarded. And the work itself is beneficial. There is a sense of purpose to accomplish goals and reap the benefits. Work is a good word. We are made for it. We do best when we are productive and beneficial in this world. Do not dread work. Be thankful you have the opportunity to serve somewhere and thus serve the Lord, the giver of work skills.
We are not in heaven yet. This is obvious, of course. The big thing is that many people are taught that God is somehow at our command to only bless us and give us success and wealth and riches and perfect health in this life and if we don’t have those things, we don’t have enough faith or have some unconfessed sin that is to blame. This is simply a load of lies straight from the enemy. Why? Because this life, and God is very clear on this in His Word, this life is to test and build us up so we prove ourselves worthy in accepting salvation to go to heaven when this life is over and we pass the test. Why the heck do you think we have so many obstacles that seem like they were placed there on purpose? Because they were. Yes, God wants to bless us and does every day in many ways, but just to give us adequate strength to serve and worship Him and our brothers and sisters more. God is not a get rich quick scheme. He is not about supporting your cause unless doing so supports His cause. Why? Because He is God! He made every person, every single person. People were made not evolved from some idiotic thing. They were designed amazingly and with extreme efficiency and detail by a loving God who also happened to make our universe. He is Spirit, all knowing, all powerful, enormous, everywhere, huge, knows even the future. And we, the created, have the audacity to attempt to command the Creator?? Whoever teaches that prosperity and health and riches is all there is to following the Messiah are selling something and will pay for their misleading ways. God is all about teaching us to worship and serve Him and others and even His natural world with our gifts. And as we go through trials and are successful in humbling ourselves before Him and asking for His help, He is faithful to answer that prayer and be with us and help. We still have to do our part and do what we can, though. He is Heavenly Father and no perfect Father is pleased by a lazy kid. A perfect Father would correct and enable growth in their child. What perfect Father gives their spoiled brat more gifts (especially if slacking on gifts already given) without requiring chores be done or rites of passage to be met? That would not be a Father who cares, and we know for a fact that God love us perfectly. When we face growth opportunities, we must do what we can and be so very thankful that God our Heavenly Father loves us enough to initiate growth in our lives. And as we lay down the part we can no longer do and humbly ask God for help, He is pleased that we obeyed and helps us. It is magnificent. And heaven will be celebrated soon enough.
I carry the sacred with me. I touched on that with a previous blog and love the idea. We each hold some ideal sacred, whether it be courage, patriotism, faithfulness, love, joy, professionalism, respect, honor, hope, whatever it is. It is our precious belief, held dear because of our response to seeing that ideal in action at best and wanting desperately to see it because we never have at worst. There is always, in the best of men and women, that one thing or thine two things that make our belief system what it is and that carve out the depth of our souls. For me, as a follower of Yeshua, the Messiah, my sacred parcel I carry is the Holy Spirit who guides and directs and showers my best ideals. So, life takes on a depth of purpose I cannot obtain alone, a strength of character and being I am lacking without this sacred package. Some carry sacred parcels with them that are heavy to bear, such as loss or deprivation. Sacred does not always mean beneficial, I am afraid. But digging down deep, with some focus help or a share of my package, the negative can be converted to a positive and loss becomes the ideal that you wish to fill the void with something precious or deprivation becomes an ideal that you want to impact the world with helping others not be deprived. Sacred, when done correctly and healthily, is beautiful and tender, a meaning that deepens our gaze and warms our soul. When we carry our sacred parcel well and courageously, we are at home and secure wherever we are, we are bolder and richer in spirit than we once were. It is a tender and amazing thing but also an empowering one.
The most beautiful place on earth is different for everyone. Yet it has one thing in common to all. Some people may think it a loft house in the city with exposed brick and fresh flowers in front of a tall window. Some may think it is on top of a mountain overlooking a plush green valley below with quaint villages exposed. Some may think winding prairies with long blowing grasses and many animals and birds freely living together harmoniously. For me, many places in America, England, Poland and Russia hold immense and diverse beauties of their own. But as I age I can see more clearly that each person’s idea of the most beautiful place in the world is based upon what they hold sacred and their experiences with beauty in life. And each person then is correct. Because for each person, the most beautiful place, whether they realize it or not, is that place that fulfills the vision for them of the most sacred, most enjoyable aspect of God to them. Some appreciate His people, preferring the city life. Some prefer His creation, preferring more rural country. Some prefer His creatures, preferring prairies. Some prefer His majesty, enjoying mountains and grand waterfalls. Some prefer His order, preferring sculpted or tiered gardens. I am not so particular, for better or worse, and I can find my most beautiful place in the world wherever I go because I carry the sacred within me and I can gain pleasure from any environment. We each appreciate beautiful places, though the eye of the beholder varies its gaze. Each specializes in what provides what you need most in everyday life to make you whole and thus closer to Go in that moment. It is a phenomenal discovery to me.