Sunday, June 30, 2013

Special Time in a Special Place

Realizing YHWH is Spirit and omni-present, we don't have to be in a certain place to hear Him or be heard by Him, except . . . we must be where He has called us to be.  I don't mean to sound confusing.  We know He speaks through His Word, and His Word, who is His Son, said His sheep hear His voice.  I've heard His voice in various places.  YHWH can be heard while in the shower, I can hear Him while I'm doing dishes, and I can hear Him at my computer, on occasion; but I've come to a greater understanding in my own life. Although the geography and details may vary for each of us, I believe there is a foundational truth to be shared.

He is a holy G-d and although we have the blessed invitation to walk with Him, and He is a part of our every day life, He is not to be taken casually.  There are times in the middle of a stressful busy day that He beckons us to separate ourselves from the hustle-bustle and be alone with Him.  Sometimes it's a matter of our own "prayer closet" and sometimes it's more special than that.  I'm blessed to work at home, so that means I can pretty much pray anywhere anytime and not be stealing from an earthly boss.  That's not to say, we should hide our relationship with Him anywhere, as YHWH calls us to let our light shine.  We need to keep in mind though that we do owe our employers the time for which they pay us, and YHWH does not call His people to use our relationship to act religious.

In reading the book of Daniel, something touched my heart in a new understanding.  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his G-d, as he did aforetime.  Daniel 6:10   His windows were open toward Jerusalem, and he was overheard praying.  I began to really contemplate that "open window" situation.  Were those windows open toward Jerusalem for a reason?

As I pondered and prayed about this, I began to see and hear special times and places outdoors in which I could just literally be enveloped in His presence.  I also became aware of His calling me to a special place.  Now again, this isn't to be so heavenly minded, I'm no earthly good.  We are to pray without ceasing and He can hear our praise above the sound of the washing machine and the vacuum sweeper, but He calls us to a set apart time and a special place to be in His presence.

I have discovered a sweet shalom as I spend time in the garden, and I've even set up a special little table and chairs in the orchard.  What I've realized, in actuality though; is the significance I place upon seeking His presence.  I realize this relationship is no casual thing at all, but a blessed privilege.  He is calling to us, to have a special place and time with Him.  Obedience to His written Word is how we show we love Him.  Obedience to His beckoning of our heart is how we know and show that we hear His voice.

So Abram departed, as YHWH had spoken unto him . . . Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bare Feet and Bottle Calves

Life on the preservation involves a few events that I believe everyone should experience.  I truly do think the world would be a nicer place if more children had adequate shelter, good food, and didn't spend so much time strapped in car seats or in front screens, twiddling their thumbs.  That's not to say everyone should live rurally, because Scripture does address the fact that there are both urban and rural dwellers, but it's experiences that help shape the choices people do make.  I live very rurally, but I have experienced the urban and suburban lifestyle.  I've lived in everything from an apartment to an old Victorian home, and I've enjoyed the beach, as well as the mountains.  I was created to be right where I am, at this time.

Not everyone gets the wide spectrum of experiences I've enjoyed.  How do people actually make informed choices, if they remain in the only thing they've ever known?  For thousands of years that made sense unless you happened to hear the voice of your Creator on a mountain, but otherwise sons did what their fathers did and their fathers before that, but that really is no longer an option for many.  Most of the world was agrarian and/or self-employed.  Times have changed and many people have lost touch with the reality of a way of life.  For the majority, the way of life is dependency, deadlines, daycare, stress, and doctor appointments.

I would love to be able to let children and their stressed out parents spend a week-end at the preservation.  Let a little boy go fishing with his Dad at the pond.  Every little girl should be able to get creative in the kitchen, within reason, and boys too.   I guess this sounds gender specific, and it really shouldn't. Watching a cooking show and cooking are two different things.  Watching a reality show is not really living.

Children should get to be children and know there are still choices possible.  As old as I am, I still like having a big tub of new chicks from the incubator, peeping in the extra bedroom for a couple of weeks before putting them in the brooder pen.  It's also wonderful to watch a hen brood, remain stuck to that nest for 3 weeks then come out of the chicken house trailed by a dozen little fluffy chicks.  When my grandkids were little they called the baby chicks "cotton poofs."

Every evening, chores end with giving a bottle to the calves.  They are getting big enough now, I have to keep the fence between us as they are strong enough to "take the bottles away from me" in their enthusiasm.  Chores begin with getting the milk for the bottles from the goats.  It's so nice, when it's all done for the evening to strain the milk, head out the back and feel that wonderful dirt under my bare feet and see the calves on the other side of the fence, just waiting for me to bring them their bottles.

Every child, regardless of the choices they will make as adults, deserve the opportunity to experience an evening with no television, and enjoy life outdoors with bare feet.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fresh in the Garden

I grew up with a meticulous micro-managing mother, so with that being said, I don't talk much about my  childhood.  One of the things I did love to do, was eat vegetables right out in the garden.  I had to be, let's not call it sneaky, just choose my time carefully.  I wasn't very old before I figured out, if I was with Daddy or Grandpa or Grandma, I could get away with eating right out in the garden without it being washed and without worrying about coyotes peeing on it or rabbits nibbling on it, or all the other worries that my Mother chose to entertain.

Perhaps, the rebel has not yet died in me, or perhaps the fact of the matter is, everything in life won't kill you, and fresh organic garden vegetables are probably very, very low on the list of potential dangers.  To be honest, I'm more afraid of eating perfectly washed GMO veggies than I am of fresh organics in the garden!

Now, I wash off what grows underground, and I wash everything I serve at the table, it's just some veggies beckon, from the moment you spot them on the vine or branch.  There is truly nothing more tasty than a fresh tomato in the garden!  Did you know green beans are delicious raw and radish pods are the snack to enjoy all the way from the garden back to the house?   This first year of my strawberry bed, there is really no reason to bring them back to the house just a few at a time.  It's the perfect stop for a fresh afternoon snack.

As for worrying about what critter may or may not have touched the produce, I've got chicken tight fences all around the various garden spots, so I know coyotes aren't crossing that and I use natural bunny repellent, like human hair around the garden spot, as well as three large dogs that have access to the entire place.  I'm guessing if a bunny hazards the direction of the garden, he's got a lot to deal with long before he gets to the cabbage.  Then there is the awesome fact that YHWH has promised rain in it's season if I'm seeking to be obedient to His Will.  Rain is an amazing cleaning agent!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

It's About Life, Not Control

I've been trying to stay caught up with news sources regarding GMO as well as stay ahead of the weeds on the preservation, while managing the herd and flocks and to be honest, it's been quite an endeavor this week.  I find myself reading social media with half dazed attention as I read all the "get ready," "be ready," "grace vs. law," "obedience is paramount," unity, debates, discussions.  I'm not so much "disinterest," just maybe dissecting or discerning or perhaps a bit of disengaging.

As I read ideas, opinions, teachings, and of course they are all based upon the true interpretation of the Word of YHWH, I just had difficulty connecting this week, until the Prophet Portion this week and the New Testament recommendation which was Jude confirmed the questions and concerns I have come up against all week.  YHWH is good like that!

When Y'hshuwah said, "Be ready."  Did he mean hurry and get all your website promos and ideas posted before the internet monitors your house?  Or before it just shuts down, in general?  Or did He mean "be ready" to know where to go when it all hits the fan?  I mean He cares for His own, so undoubtedly there are people working their fingers to the bone to provide for G-d's people, right?  Or did he mean "be ready" to help others with more than just words?

As a writer, I value words, greatly, but also as a believer, I believe the passage that says, the Kingdom is not in "word" but in power.  Words without power and words outside of reality are, well . . . just words.  As I was reading Jude today, I noticed, just like reading I Samuel, there were things I'd never noticed before . . . Jude, in verse 12, makes mention of  cloud without rain.  My Native background gives credit to a chief who spoke to a religious charlatan making great claims.  The chief's words, "You speak of outpouring, you make your voice thunder, but I don't see rain."  Our words must mean something, because in the powers of the world, words turn into agendas and often times laws.

News from  Europe indicates all seeds will eventually be required to be certified and registered.  As I see the Monsanto power grab, it's not all just about GMO, some of it is about trademarking hybrids, which is a way around the prohibition of patenting nature.  A specific hybrid that is trademarked to a specific company is no longer a product of nature, and if the trademark is owned, the seeds of the produce belong to the company that registered the trademark.

Not only are we being poisoned by GMOs, but our very seed supply could be controlled by hybrid trademarking.  The food itself isn't dangerous, you just have to register the seeds . . . and you can't own them even if you pay for them.  It's a sort of rental lease option for your garden.

Meanwhile at the preservation, I had a very unusual experience this week on Preparation Day.  Some of the radish pods are now ready to harvest, not for seeds, just for consuming, but usually when the plant has gone to making pods, the integrity of the radish has diminished.  In picking several pods after a rain, I accidentally pulled the plant and to my surprise, with a plethora of delicious pods, the radish was also still intact.  It was with this discovery that I thought we truly are coming to a time in history in which the reaping and sowing is occurring simultaneously.

We need to remember, Jacob and family were pretty independently sustained before the famine.  We must consider without famine . . . or before famine, just how independently sustained most of us are.  Jacob had money to send his sons to Egypt.  What happens if we have no garden, China and Mexico refuse to deliver and modern "Egypt" won't take Visa, Debit or EBT?

Behold, the days come, says YHWH, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that sows seed  a Prophet of Holy Scripture

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Effort, Energy, Efficiency

I cannot get over the time I've spent trying to motivate folks and the short time all the pieces have come into place when those who are not motivated sit down or move on . . .

Some people will wear you out and still result in NOTHING, while others are just waiting for their own opportunity while still others yet await the chance to serve the living G-d and fellowship with fellow believers. As the say goes, "it takes all kinds . . ." and each one comes with a teaching, because a heart that is genuinely looking for an opportunity to serve our Creator doesn't need motivation. Actually when first getting started, they usually need slowing down, I know I did. The conflict I have always struggled with is how to encourage someone to slow down until they actually know and live what they are talking about, without sounding discouraging.

I don't think I'm the only one who's done this, but I do hope I have learned my lesson to not repeat it. Have you ever heard something from YHWH, but it's "open-ended" enough that you want to fill in the blanks with emotional hope, rather than spiritual faith? I didn't get to the wise acceptance without quite a struggle. I now realize when spiritual faith comes before emotional hope, the wise acceptance is not a struggle at all, but rather just a knowing as we're going, that we are to take the opportunities we are given and use them for the glory of G-d. The reactions and choices of others are not part of our assignment.

We tend to forget that most people who come into our lives are simply at the same intersection. Some are going the opposite way and some are at their own crossroads, as well. Y'hshuwah told us it's a narrow path, and everyone that talks about G-d believes they are on it, so in my epiphany, I've realized, even if the words are similar, not everyone is on the same path, and those who are, are not necessarily in the same distance on the walk. Again, we are not called to persuade anyone to anything, but simply let our light shine and speak truth consistently. Some sow, some water, but it is YHWH who gives the increase.

The true culmination of epiphany and experience is the sad revelation that effort and energy spent beyond sowing or watering results in the use of effort, energy, and time that should have been more efficiently used elsewhere. All the human effort and energy will amount to nothing, unless YHWH has ordained the increase.

Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it . . .