Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mikamocha



Mikamocha b'elim Adonai

Mikamocha nedar barkodesh
Nora t'hillot oseh feleh
Oseh feleh

Who is like You
Oh Lord, among the gods
Who is like You

Lord, there is none else
You are awesome in praise
Doing wonders, oh Lord
Who is like You, oh Lord



Friday, March 30, 2018

Tug




"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, 
he finds it attached to the rest of the world."

John Muir

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A War

Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men,
who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually.
Psalm 140:1-2

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Before


Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:16



Monday, March 26, 2018

Words


The words you speak become the house you live in.
-Hafez

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, 
and those who love it will eat its fruits. 
Proverbs 18:21

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Pursuit


He is the God Who 
relentlessly pursues.



"Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?" declares the Lord. 
"Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the Lord. -Jeremiah 23:24


Friday, March 23, 2018

A Small Rant


Sorry for this rant, People...

But whose bright idea was it to put the "undo" button on the iPad keypad right next to the space bar? Let's see...write something great and then hit space...poof, it's all gone, because clearly we needed that ability for some reason. 

His Eye is on the Sparrow


For only a penny you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father's consent.  Matthew 10:29


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Do You Know Jesus?


I asked someone once if they know Jesus.
It was like asking them if they knew a brick wall.
It sounded like madness.

"I see Jesus in the faces of the poor," they said.

That's beautiful, but it's not the same thing. 

We can know Him. He is real. He knows you. 
He speaks. He cares. He loves you. He is alive.
It's bizarre, but true. 

Do you know Him? 


John 10:14- 
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—


Sermon on the Mount


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for 
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 Matthew 5:3-10

Monday, March 19, 2018

35

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. 
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
 They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not! 
Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. 
He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.


And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 35

Friday, March 16, 2018

Up

They all looked up at him in wonder because 
he didn't look like they thought he would.

"That's Jesus?" They said. And it was.

Monsters


Can God transform a monster?

From what was to what is. To this instead of that. 

Can he take what once was certain and definite and change it?

Can He bring a wall down?

Yeah.

Can He make you different? Me? 

Yes.

So why not them, too?


Do you know any monsters? It seems our news is full of them. 
They're all screaming at each other, all the time. 
But I feel like we are being manipulated. What else is new, right? 
Praying for the blinders to come off and the truth to shine.

I don't mean to be vague. I just find it hard to put into words. 
 There is a great panic in the news, a huge rush to decide something. 
Why?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

Luke 6:19


And all the crowd sought to touch him, 
for power came out from him and healed them all. 


Friday, March 9, 2018

The God Who



God loves you.

Which God?


The God of the garden? The God of the sky? 
The One with the lightning bolts?


If you don’t know,

God knows.


That God. The God who knows you.

The God who has never left you.


Though you didn’t call, the God who answered.


The God who knows your name.

You don’t think anyone does? You’re wrong.

That God. The One who sometimes says you are wrong.


The God who knew that song before you did (and led you to it). 
The God who showed you something you never would have guessed. 


Personal. Serene. Not in a hurry. 

The God who prevented the war you never knew was about to happen 
and walked you through the one that did. That God.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Simcha and the Angel (a re-post)

My feet touched ground high in the Rif Mountains. My body is made entirely of gold and quiet landings are impossible. I met the ground with a thunderous shake, jolting the calmness and shocking the earth. For a moment everything stopped, as if pausing to sense my presence. It is difficult for me to sneak up on anyone. Though few see spiritual beings, most are innately aware of us. 

I stood near the top of a steep hill, overlooking a tiny village with white walls and brilliant azure doors. The entire town seemed painted with ice cream. I loved this part of the world and took a few moments to rest and take it all in. Leaning against an old, abandoned house of worship, I inhaled life and simplicity. From this tiny town in the mountains many prayers arose. They clamored at the gates of heaven, affecting the heart of God. 

He sent me here to Simcha the Jew, a man of much prayer and little patience. He was an artist and I loved his work. If he made even the slightest flaw in a stroke or pinprick of color Simcha would tear it down from his easel and throw it into the fire. Each of those paintings came to me. I displayed them all over Heaven and Simcha the Jew was admired there. He did two things. He painted and he prayed. He no longer went to see friends. He no longer wrote, read, or taught as he’d done for many years. He was focused on the task at hand.

I folded my wings into the specially made flaps on my jacket. I would never get used to wearing human clothes. They were stifling and ridiculous, like a costume. My hands hid in gloves, but my face shone, gleaming like yellow fire. The Lord told me to ignore it. The sons of man would pay no attention to true gold; it was fools’ gold they loved. I believed Him, of course, but I could see the light of my features so sharply against the darkness of the earth. I felt conspicuous and awkward. Maybe Simcha would paint me a human face to complete the disguise.

I arrived at his doorstep, a towering nine foot giant with a hunched back of folded wings and a face like a bonfire. I thought my appearance would frighten him. But he seemed to be expecting an odd looking stranger and even invited me in with a smile.

He was full of questions, but never asked who I was or why I was there. He already seemed to know. We sat and had hot apple tea in tiny glass cups. I asked him if he had any questions about Heaven. 

The wise man thought for a moment and asked, “Do people have hair and fingernails in Heaven?”

He explained, “They are made of dead cells and there is no death there.”

I smiled. What a question! I told him the answer, of course, but he didn’t believe me.

I had questions for Simcha too. Why did he paint the subjects he chose? How did he select the colors? Why did he paint in the first place? What made him choose this art over all of the others? His answer was simple. He said he didn’t know; he just did it. We were fast friends, this man and I, like we’d known each other through many trials. 

At last, what I hoped for happened. Simcha offered to paint me. He’d never before seen an angel with his eyes, though many of us had visited him in secret over the years. But Simcha could not paint what he felt, only what he saw. Now he could finally paint me.

He said it would be his first, and only, perfect work. But I wanted flaws, sharp edges, and imperfection! I think this is something wondrous about mankind. I am deeply moved by you, how in all of your imperfection you can accomplish divine work. That is not possible with perfect beings, only with man. I love that you desire yourselves to be moved and transformed by God. 

I begged Simcha to cover my golden face. 

“Make me brown,” I pleaded, “The color of the earth and coffee and cocoa.”

He refused, saying gold was a better color and, “Why would you want to be the color of ordinary things?”

I felt like I was slamming my head against a rock. Didn’t he know how beautiful those things were to me?

Simcha’s heart sought only the perfect and pristine. But he was a kind soul, so he agreed to paint me as I wished. He said he would cover my face, but in return would have to paint him. He smiled and I could not refuse, so eager was his grin and so innocent his request. 

My gleaming face was soon covered, dark and beautiful, the color of rich cake. I caught my reflection in Simcha’s tea and could not stop myself from dancing and twirling around the room. My artist was unimpressed with his work, but quite happily watching me. 

When I settled down a bit Simcha handed me the brush. He led me to the canvas, his eyes full of anticipation for at last- at last- he would see a perfect painting! He was so certain of my abilities, because I was angelic and golden. I hated to disappoint him, but I knew what was going to happen. 

Thirty thousand strokes and eleven colors later, my work was complete. I had created a scene of a simple house high in the Rif Mountains, surrounded by colors rarely seen by human eyes, made up of hues they knew well and a little bit of Heaven itself. It should have been charming and serene. It should have been a spectacle of awe. But it was abysmal, the ugliest work of art ever.

Simcha stepped back to get a better view. He shouldn’t have. It was even worse from a distance. He chuckled a bit. 

“Well,” he said. “That is quite awful.”

I laughed deeply, uproariously, and Simcha reluctantly joined me.

“You see,” I explained. “I am not a creator. I admire.”

Simcha understood, more than I thought he would. His grin remained, ear to ear as if he’d seen something most intriguing. He nodded knowingly as I tore my work down from the easel, balling it up and throwing it into the fire. But to our shared surprise, the flames did not destroy the imperfect work. They seemed to embrace it and devour it, though it was only changed, not burned. It seemed to rise from the ashes, transformed by the fire into a breathtaking and brilliant work of perfection. It glowed with my golden ferocity and Simcha’s passion. 

The fire had changed it not to ashes, but to a wrenching scene of two figures on a mountain. One was tall and knowing; the other wise and small and through it all the startling intensity of true gold. 

I have to say, it was beautiful even though it was perfect.