Saturday, February 26, 2011


No...I'm not talking about the below-par, mystery food.

I'm referring to that stuff - that UNwanted stuff - that we get in our email inboxes nearly every day of our lives.

I realized, this morning, that I've done it to myself.  When I switched from my maiden-name email to my married-name email (a practical decision after my marriage, 3 years ago), I opted to retain the old as a "filter" for spam.  Why?  Because, I LOVE surveys and freebies.  However, they usually come with the "catch" of having to provide an initial email for "login."  For a while I didn't mind maintaining two emails - one for personal use, the other for fringe interest; but, I think I'm changing my mind. 

In the end, some of the websites that I frequent have convinced me to use my primary address as my point of contact or login.  Hence, I now get "spam" from those sites (which is relative, depending on the day and my level of interest in the content) everyday.  So, instead of truly filtering out the bad from the good, I simply have TWO accounts that appear to be brimming with news from friends or appreciated organizations. Yet, much to my chagrin, 90% always turns out to be a series of updates, newsletters, and coupons for which I have no interest.

I don't know if I should quit my free-on-the-web addiction or simply admit defeat and quit the foolishness of two poorly organized email boxes?!  But I am convinced of one thing: either way, SPAM is pointless!  Whether it's made of meat or trite bits of information, it has no long-term nutritional value for my head or my body.  Of this I am certain!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Don't be afraid, just keep trusting... 
Mark 5:36

In the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, we read the story of a man who's daughter is near death.  Desperate for a miracle, this man presents himself at the feet of Yeshua (Jesus) and begs him to come to his home and heal the girl.  On the way to the home, friends meet Yeshua and the father, informing them that the girl has died.  However, instead of changing his course of direction - becoming disillusioned or surprised - Yeshua calmly responds by saying: "Don't be afraid, just keep trusting."  

I've read this story many times, and because I know how it ends, I've always skipped over that quote.  Certainly, it was easy to count it as an obvious, insignificant statement, because like the LORD, I've always shared faith for what's about to happen (because I've read it!).  However, last night, for the first time, I read this quote through the lens of the father.  Wow!  That changed things.  Suddenly I wondered: "What kind of a response is that?!  My daughter just died?  Can you fix that?  Do you care?  How am I supposed to keep trusting, when as far as I am concerned, I've just lost someone that is most precious to me?!"

How many of you have experienced that moment with the LORD, before?  I certainly have!  It's a moment of utter confusion, disappointment, faith-testing, and brokeness: a moment in which everything you think you understand about G-d turns upside-down.  And you're left with a knot in your stomach and a head-tilted expression, not unlike that of the RCA dog.  

This has actually occurred to me MULTIPLE TIMES, in my life, and I never seem to be prepared for it.  Whether it's a relationship, a vision, a task, or a situation, I experience utter despair at the shocking reality of unexpected death.  And in that moment, Yeshua speaks (and has spoken) the same phrase to me: keep trusting.  And my response is not unlike the father.  

Why is this?

Because I am only human.  My thinking and my perspective are limited.  I am bound by the structure of life and death, success and failure, that I see all around me on a daily basis.  But G-d...

He sees and knows on an ETERNAL LEVEL: a level that allows Him to understand that LIFE and DEATH are terms HE instigated.  According to my belief (supported in scripture), G-d ALONE has the power to grant or take life.  Hence, when He is informed that there has been a death, versus being consulted, He is not shaken.  For He knows that only He has the final word on that subject.

Let's resume our reading of the story and find out what happens once our LORD arrives at the home of the family with the "dead" daughter:

When they came to the synagogue official's house, he found a great commotion, with people weeping and wailing loudly. On entering, he said to them, "Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn't dead, she's just asleep!" And they jeered at him. But he put them all outside, took the child's father and mother and those with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand, he said to her, "Talita, kumi!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"). At once the girl got up and began walking around; she was twelve years old. Everybody was utterly amazed.

So Yeshua (Jesus) considered the girl as simply "sleeping" and raised her to wholeness!  He knew, all along, that He would be able to restore her life, from the snares of death, because He understood and walked in the authority given Him by His Father in Heaven.

This LORD is the SAME LORD that we serve today and He is STILL in the business of restoration: maintaining His ability to have the "final word" on whether something is dead or not.

So, be encouraged, today.  The LORD knows you.  He knows your heart and your mind.  He knows your desires and intentions.  He knows your fears and your delights and He revels in helping you become THE BEST you can be, as you serve Him on the earth.  He is aware of your successes and your failures and though He may allow things to "sleep" for a time, He Alone has the ability to declare them DEAD or ALIVE.  So, remember his words - just keep trusting - and their meaning, and allow Him to strengthen you as you wait for His arrival at the door of your disappointment.  This is what He intends your heart to hear:

Do not allow your limited understanding to distract you from the One who is control of your destiny.  I AM EVERYTHING you need and I ALONE hold the key to the LIFE or DEATH in your situation.  Place your hope in ME and I will assess the final outcome.  Until that time, do not be afraid: JUST KEEP TRUSTING and I will arrive at JUST THE RIGHT TIME to lift your "sleeping" situation to its wholeness.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To a tee

I'm reading through the bible in a year, this year.  So far, it has been an intriguing approach to my personal study, as I've always followed my own Spirit-led inclinations, or taken cues from the traditional, weekly Torah portions.  Hence, though I've read the Bible through many times, it's never been intentional and time-bound.

Today marked the completion of Exodus, for the Old Testament reading and I found myself thrilled with its simple ending.  After nearly 80 days of instruction, on Mt. Sinai, Moses returns to the people (descending from the mountain) and recounts the instruction he's directly received from the MOST HIGH G-D.  Though they began with sin and a misunderstanding of HOW to obey the orders, the final result is a people ready and "willing" (according to scripture) to help accomodate obedience to ADONAI and construct a meeting place with Him - The Tabernacle.

I love how specific the LORD is, with His blueprints and how ready Moses and his main craftsman assistance, Betzalel and Aholiab, are to do EXACTLY what ADONAI has instructed.  So, though the final three chapters are a direct repeat of G-d's instruction, they mark the specificity of obedience to the PLAN that these men took in construction of G-D's TABERNACLE.  They understood the simple key to relationship with G-d: we take OUR cue FROM HIM.  It's not - and never will be - about US.  It's ALL ABOUT HIM!  Because of their desire to please and pleasure HIM FIRST, they are successful in their attempts and efforts to construct this detailed meeting place and are satisfied and fulfilled, once it's completed.

LORD, teach us how to remain simple, in our thinking, as we serve you, remembering that if we merely follow YOUR blueprint, we can NEVER be put to shame.