Archive for September, 2011

When The Time Comes

Posted: September 30, 2011 in The Quote, Wandering Thoughts

“I live not in dreams but in contemplation of a reality that is perhaps the future.” ―  Rainer Maria Rilke

Take note that is me. This is probably the most dramatic statement i have spoken about myself since doing these blogs. Maybe dramatic isn’t the word, perhaps clear, uncomplicated is a better choice. This is your father or your papa depending on who’s reading it. Ann Marie and i have been told ever since entering ministry that we were ahead of our time. It didn’t matter where we went it was always you’re ahead of your time. i didn’t understand the value of someone telling us that then, but perhaps they meant what Ranier says in the above quote. i am not a big dreamer, in fact i don’t have a dream. To me a dream is just a thought that didn’t get enough effort to become a reality. i spend no time contemplating anything that i don’t first see as a reality that, as Ranier says, is perhaps the future. Some people do nothing but dream and if that works for them, then that’s okay. i like to create realities and if i can’t create one, in the past i would search out a big one and become a part of it. Example, one day while walking along a pier in Seattle Washington we saw a portable oven that looked old and interesting. Turns out it was used in London England and the baked various things in it on the street. It had been converted to propane and was now used for cinnamon rolls. i looked at Ann Marie and said “i want that oven but i want to do baked potatoes in it. Having no money and i had no job as well annnnnnd…. the oven not being for sale could have caused me to dismiss the whole idea… or… i could have just dreamed about it. No we continued to call the man with the oven until one day he said yes. We found someone who thought the idea was a s good as we did or at least enough to loan us $10,000 dollars to make contemplation a reality. We opened London Oven Eatery and baked thousands of potatoes before we sold the business to a Tai Restaurant which kept the oven and the baked potatoes for years. Yea i know a Tia restaurant…. go figure it was agreat idea. No… i do not dream i contemplate realities that will and do occur in the future. It’s the God in me who is all the while effectually and fervently at work in me creating and energizing me to will and to do His good work. Contemplating realities is what Ann Marie and i do, the only question is which one will occur next.

Unfulfilled dreams can leave us without hope. The word says, “hope deferred makes the heart-sick.” Job 8:13 says That’s what happens to all who forget God… all their hopes come to nothing. i get tired, i get worn out, i get burned out when i forget God. Losing hope has nothing to do with the amount of time or work that i am doing, it’s the lack of relationship with God. When i say forget God, i don’t mean gone, no more belief in, it’s more like out of sight out of mind.

David said in Psalm 16:9 I’m happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed. Ann Marie asked me if i was happy. i let the silence linger long enough for me to avoid answering. It’s just one more question that i don’t have an answer for. Am i happy has so many levels to it. Webster’s says, happy is delighted, pleased, or glad. A synonym of happy is contented. My answer is yes, yes i am relatively happy. Would i like some things to change or improve… some situations, absolutely.

i am to give my entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help me deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Not “NOW.” So ed… remember it’s not about you and it’s not about now, but when the time comes I will help you deal with whatever hard things come up. i am in a season of intentional focus to see what God is doing, where He is doing it and with whom He is doing it.  “then gradually, without noticing it,  i will live along some distant day into the answer.”

“It is always what I have already said: always the wish that you may find patience enough in yourself to endure, and simplicity enough to believe; that you may acquire more and more confidence in that which is difficult, and in your solitude among others. And for the rest, let life happen to you. Believe me: life is right, in any case.” ―  Rainer Maria Rilke

Life is right in any case when it’s life in Christ. Otherwise life can be very wrong.

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Unable to Live

Posted: September 29, 2011 in The Quote, Wandering Thoughts

“… keep growing quietly and seriously throughout your whole development; you cannot disturb it more rudely than by looking outward and expecting from OUTSIDE REPLIES to questions that only your INMOST feeling in your most HUSHED HOUR can perhaps answer. ― Rainer Maria Rilke

This guy has a way of stirring me up, not as a revelation but as a confirmation and he does it again with the quote above. Not to worry there will not be another week on it. Continuing where i left off. “which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. ” STOP!!  What are you talking about i would not be able to live them? If not me then who? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. i am better than some and yes worse than others but come on, “Not be able to live them? It’s apparent that i initially took offense at these words because what i read it to say was that i don’t get it, i am not mature enough for the answers, i have not lived long enough. i calmed down and read them again in my usual fashion, one word at a time. One word jumped off the page as though it were bolded, underlined and in red so as to get my attention. “I would not be able to… LIVE… them. Now that changes perspective. It also makes sense when i mull it over, chew on it or meditate on it to make it more spiritual. i am struggling to live in what i know now so why do i think i need more. Rainer is right and i imagine God is just chuckling at this moment with some words like, “yes my son, read on, meditate some more, I love you but your just not ready for more “NOW.” Ephesians 2:2 Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. my gut tells me that in those words lies part of why i have unresolved issues and questions of the heart.

And the point is, to live everything. Yes that is the point to “LIVE” not just exist. LIVE EVERYTHING, not just observe everything. Live: to practice, represent, or exhibit in one’s life: what i have been exhibiting is existence, observation. Ephesians 5:10 And try to learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him].Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them. And how about counting it as all joy? James 1:2-4 Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter (unresolved issues) trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience ( Be patient toward unresolved issues). But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

“Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Live along some distant day into the answer.

Then, i like David asked, What am I doing in the meantime, Lord? Hoping, that’s what I’m doing.. hoping. I recently realized that the idea of me losing hope is not necessarily the case. It seems to be more of a seasonal change than lost hope. i am coming into a season change or i might say, a course adjustment. Jesus said, “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.” my questions and insistence on finding the answers have been just that, heavy and ill-fitting … because i have exposed my heart to things other than the word and sayings of God. In small but significant ways and some even under the guise of being Godly.

“Hear, ed my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life shall be many. I have taught you in the way of skillful and godly Wisdom [which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God]; I have led you in paths of uprightness. When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble.” Proverbs 4:10-12

Matthew 11:29 Jesus says, “Walk with Me and work with Me — Watch how I do it.” He says, this is what I do, it’s important to me so it’s important for you. “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” Ranier captures these words knowingly or unknowingly when he says, “then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Learn – Acquire experience – Acquire ability – Acquire skill

Unforced – Not resulting from undue effort.

Rhythms – A specific kind of such a pattern

Grace – favor rendered by one who need not do so

Love the Questions

Posted: September 28, 2011 in The Quote, Wandering Thoughts

“A person isn’t who they are during the last conversation you had with them – they’re who they’ve been throughout your whole relationship.”― Rainer Maria Rilke

Before i begin today i need to add to the unresolved issues of my heart. In 1985 i taught on Proverbs 4:20-24 My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. I got it!

For they… They are the words and sayings of God. They are life regardless of me, but in order for them to be life to me i must find them. i must find them in my heart not just my mind. Healing and health are in those words and sayings as well, but again only if i find them. The verse starts with ATTEND! Attend is to take care or charge of, to apply oneself. i am to apply myself to the word. i am to SUBMIT! Submit is to give over or yield to the power or authority of. i am to yield to the authority of the sayings. And then the words that a loving Father would give to a son or daughter so as to keep them safe,”Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.” And then a second time He says, Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard. my head knowledge is not going to get the job done. Ranier says to be patient toward the unresolved issues of my heart, whether he knew the fullness of his thoughts and words or not is unknown, but… the idea lines up with this proverb.

“and try to love the questions themselves,” Try to love the unresolved issues, the questions themselves being the unresolved issues. Serious problem. Sometimes all i have are questions, and i do not love them, but… i love answers, well, most of the time. i have asked so many questions that they have talked me out of what i believe sometimes. So many questions that i have doubts about most things at one time or another. Yet there are times when i have peace and i am not searching for answers and so maybe i can love the questions if i change them from questions that need immediate answers to “questions that are treasures when left to discover over time.” Ranier said, “like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.”  i don’t have to break down the door to every locked room.

Do not now seek the answers, i am spending so much time seeking the answers that i have sometimes forgotten the question. It’s as though the answer is my destiny or at least a destination of some degree. i don’t think that it’s the end but it certainly is for me, a place to arrive at, if for no other reason than to satisfy myself. Without answers i feel left out, lost, out of control. Matthew 11:27 Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen. If i am constantly asking questions and seeking the answers how well do i listen? i must admit i like the words Ranier uses when he says, “Do not NOW seek.” That three-letter word “NOW” in a way makes this doable. i see it as a small adjustment, (and as it said in a movie i recently watched, i could be just one adjustment away from whatever i desire.) it reminds me of the question, “How do you eat an elephant… one bite at a time. i am a one bite at a time person, i admit it may be a big bite, but none the less it’s one bite. i wake up every day grateful for this day and i try to take every thought captive to this day. Even in that attempt there are more than enough questions regarding this very day. Matthew 6:30-34 If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works (i do know!). Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Nowhere do i read God-questions. In fact God-initiative, provisions, and realities are the answers, they are absolutes. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. And this is where the rubber meets the road. “ed give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

“ed be patient toward all the unresolved issues of your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.”

No Hurry – Be Patient

Posted: September 27, 2011 in The Quote, Wandering Thoughts

“Don’t be too quick to draw conclusions from what happens to you; simply let it happen. Otherwise it will be too easy for you to look with blame… at your past, which naturally has a share with everything that now meets you.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

i am finding resolve in the words of the quote i shared. It’s like a deer who is stuck in the lights, i just keep reading it over and over. It’s almost as though the last line of the quote is coming true before i even get to it, “i am gradually, without noticing it, living along some distant day into the answer.” It’s bringing the questions to an end, i can see more, in fact not only can i see more but i can hear more. i am not in such a hurry to find answers, oh they are not miracle words, effort on my part is required, but they are words of hope. When the questions subside then hope shows itself, expectations take a step up. Expectations, not about what i am going to do, nor what others may do, but about who i am and who i have the potential to be. i must have more than just desire to know Him. i want more than just talk about Him. i am finding my foot steps one at a time and they lead to a place ahead, not behind. One of the things about doing a daily blog is that it can become narrow, but for me when i get a thought i begin a post and then day by day i add to it until it comes maturity and the right time to post it. It is more of a journey or a process versus just spewing my thoughts for that day. i say all that for the purpose of saying that by the time i actually post on a topic regarding my life i may or may not have lived in it for as much as a month or as little as a day. So like me, these posts are works in progress and often times i have already made adjustments according to a understanding prior to the post.

Now regarding the Quote… “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Breaking It Down…

Be patient – Sounds a lot like “Be still” or “Let patience” which i have heard over and over during the past five years. Psalm 46:10 Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. Not that Ranier knew God, as i have been unable to find anything that says he did or did not. But, i have to believe that he got his words from somewhere and there are mentions of a searching for God or something more in his life. Maybe he had found God and was in the place where i find myself sometimes? toward – in the direction of. all –  the whole number of , every. that is unsolved – not firm in purpose or intent. in your heart – If i could go by my heart i don’t think i would have unresolved issues. It’s my mind that causes me the most pain. Doubt, condemnation, discouragement, failures, disappointments, unmet expectations, loneliness, unknown fear, all of which i know are just well dressed lies. Here’s the thing… i say my mind but these are actually, issues of the heart. If in my heart i really understood the Father’s love for me these things would not exist because out of the heart… so if i say doubt, there is doubt in my heart, and if i say loneliness there is loneliness in my heart. Thus unresolved issues. “i am to be patient toward all that is unsolved in my heart.” No, see i don’t work that way, i want to resolve the issues and i want to do so now. Why… so i don’t have to keep dealing with them!  James 1:2-3 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

ed be patient

ed be patient toward

ed be patient toward all

ed be patient toward all that is unresolved

ed be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading!”― Rainer Maria Rilke

“Do not assume that he who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, he would never have been able to find these words” Rainer Maria Rilke

Another quote that stirs my heart. Recently i posted a quote and said it was now one of my favorites. i admittedly knew nothing of the man who spoke it. People usually do not ask me where i get the quotes i share, but, for whatever reason a few did this time. Most thought that Rainer Maria Rilke was a woman and asked who is she? All i knew was Rainer was a man, some kind of a poet and oh ya, he is dead. Hind sight says i should have known something about the person before placing such value on their words. i use many quotes but do not usually give them a personal endorsement. It is usually my intent to just throw them out there to stir up thought. i am going to share about Ranier today and in more detail about the quote that stirs me tomorrow.

As i began to look at Ranier’s life it did not take long to see why he would write those words. He had me at, “all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.” He kept me with the rest.

The Quote… “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague as the son of Josef Rilke, a railway official and the former Sophie Entz. A crucial fact in Rilke’s life was that his mother called him Sophia. She forced him to wear girl’s clothes until he was aged five – thus compensating for the earlier loss of a baby daughter.

Rilke’s parents separated when he was nine.

His militarily inclined Father sent him at ten years old to the military academies of St. Pölten and Mahrisch-Weisskirchenn. At the military academy Rilke did not enjoy his stay, and was sent to a business school in Linz. He also worked in his uncle’s law firm.

In Munich he met the Russian intellectual Lou Andreas-Salome, an older woman, who influenced him deeply. In Florence, where he spent some months in 1898, Rilke wrote: “… I felt at first so confused that I could scarcely separate my impressions, and thought I was drowning in the breaking waves of some foreign splendor.” He spent some time in Italy, Sweden, and Denmark, and joined an artists’ colony at Worpswede in 1903. In his letters to a young would-be poet, which he wrote from 1903 to 1908, Rilke explained, that “nobody can counsel and help you, nobody. There is only one single way. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you to write; find out whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write.” This caused me to pause and think for a moment… “there is only one single way. Go to God. Search for the reason that bids me to be a believer; find out whether i would have to die if it were denied me to follow Him.”

In 1901 Rilke married the young sculptress, Klara Westhoff, one of Auguste Rodin’s pupils. They had a daughter, Ruth, but marriage lasted only one year.
During this period Rilke composed in rhymed, metered verse, the second part of The Book of Hours . The work expressed his spiritual yearning. According to a story, Rilke heard in the wind the first lines of his elegies when he was walking on the rocks above the sea – “Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels’ hierarchies?”

Rilke believed in the coexistence of the material and spiritual realms, but human beings were for him only spectators of life, grasping its beauties momentarily only to lose them again. With the power of creativity an artist can try to build a bridge between two worlds, although the task is almost too great for a man.

Ranier is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the unutterable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety. He died of leukemia on December 29, 1926. At the time of his death his work was intensely admired by many leading European artists, but was almost unknown to the general reading public.

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”   

Well here i am at the end of Isaiah 58 and i don’t say that as though i have arrived at a destination. Isaiah 58 like all the word is not just something to be read, studied, applied and then left as though it’s finished. i will be meditating on it for some time. Not sure i will ever fully embrace it. i mean, i embrace the idea of it but as for living it… well time will tell.

my wonder about sharing entire chapters like this, is whether the beginning gets lost in the ending. i hope not and because of that i will go back this weekend and reread the chapter but also what God revealed to me in the posts. The basics are feeding the poor, shelter for the poor, clothing for the poor. Then there is getting rid of unfair practices, blaming victims, and gossiping. Lately honoring His Sabbath. For me there is an element of respect in going back. He revealed way to much for me to just move on. Also there is a healthy dose of fear, fear of the Lord, for He is unpredictable in what He does but oh so predictable in who He is.

As for ending my posting about Isaiah 58, i received a quote that for me expresses my life. i am thankful for those who think of me and send me things that they think i will enjoy. The idea that they would take time from their busy schedules and see something for me when they could be looking for themselves speaks volumes about them. The following words are as though God comes down and is standing beside me and were having a conversation and He ends by saying,

‘I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers which could not be given to you now because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Rainer Maria Rilke

i absolutely LOVE IT! It stirred my heart, mind will and emotions. Thank you so much! This ranks right up there with the best of them, mostly because i can apply what it says, there are actions and words that i can do and speak that will line up with it.

Personalized, I must have patience with everything unresolved in my heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. I am not to search for the answers which could not be given to me now because i would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, i will gradually without even noticing it, live my way into the answer.

If i were to say this another way it would be something like, I’m not okay, you’re not okay, but that’s okay.

Isaiah 58 – Consequences?

Posted: September 22, 2011 in Isaiah 58

A witness, in the sense that I am using the word, is a man whose life and faith are so completely one that when the challenge comes to step out and testify for his faith, he does so, disregarding all risks, accepting all consequences. Whittaker Chambers

First off i believe there are consequences to everything i do and say in my life. Sometimes those consequences are enjoyed and sometimes they are endured. i already said that there are consequences of my delighting myself in Him which includes a Sabbath Day but are there consequences if i do not keep a Sabbath Day or for that fact the rest of Isaiah 58? If anyone is reading this please read carefully so there is no misunderstanding. This is about me and my relationship with the Father so don’t just take what i say and try to apply it to your life. No guilt nor condemnation is being inflicted upon anyone including my children and grandchildren if or when they read this.

The book of James says, if i break one Commandment i have broken them all. Then the question can be asked, if the Sabbath is Saturday and if i am supposed to be keeping the true Sabbath day then aren’t most Christians guilty of breaking God’s law. This for me is a wrong question and if i ask it i am sure to get a wrong answer. After all is posted on Isaiah 58 i am sure it pertains to me an my relationship with God and not what everyone else is saying, thinking or doing. The Bible says that only a few will find the straight and narrow gate. i am pressing in to be one of the few and that does not imply that anyone else is not.

Noah preached for 120 years that a great flood was coming and only 8 were saved. Jesus said that at the time of His second coming it is going to be like in the days of Noah. Why is it that i only acknowledge what i want to see?

Hosea prophesied that God’s people would perish for a lack of knowledge which does not sound fair but then he explains it is because they would reject knowledge in regards to the Commandments of God, so He in return would reject them. Considering how many times i have rejected knowledge on the Sabbath Commandment, and others, this sadly makes perfect sense.

It appears that everyone has a different idea about this issue of the Seventh day Sabbath truth. When there is so much confusion and conflicting information i know that deception reigns and i seriously need to investigate to find what the truth really is and especially when the consequences for deliberate sin is to be left out of the kingdom.

The Bible tells me clearly in Daniel that a persecuting power would change God’s laws which it did – the Seventh Day Sabbath became the first day sabbath without God’s approval. The book of Daniel also refers to this change of God’s law by the antichrist power as reaching to the host of heaven and trampling the heavenly sanctuary under foot. i find the same expression used in Hebrews chapter ten in reference to wilful sin.

Hebrews 10:26-29 “For if we sin WILFULLY after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth NO more sacrifice for sins, … He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

This passage warns me that there remains no sacrifice to cover wilful sin and to continue in wilful sin is to trample the Son of God under foot and to treat Christ’s work on the cross as an unholy thing despite being under grace. This is a warning i should… no must, take very seriously.

A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality. Winston Churchill

Isaiah 58 – Delight

Posted: September 21, 2011 in Isaiah 58

From heav’nly thoughts all true delight doth spring. Thomas Campion

then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth” (vv. 13-14).

Then i will delight myself in the Lord and ride on the high hills of the earth. THEN… at that time, immediately or soon afterward, next in order of time. And the word after then is just as important, you, meaning me, shall delight myself in the Lord. That means that by applying ALL of Isaiah 58 is to my best interest. There is a benefit for me in doing so. By applying Isaiah 58 i ACTIVATE the THEN. I then invite God to do what He wants to do in my life.

i am changed in the process and regardless of circumstances in my life i will be riding on the high hills of the earth. i will be so focused on the Lord that everything becomes a joy. Again if i can wrap my beliefs around everything coming from God, everything going through God and everything ending in God, my life will be exceptional, for lack of a better word.

So for me, i am not to be doing my own pleasure on God’s Holy Day. That means i am not to be pursuing my hobbies or leisure activities. That does not eliminate doing any enjoyable things on the Sabbath, for i am to find DELIGHT in it, it being what i do. The point is that, whatever i do, God must be an intertwined part of it. Ann Marie and i taking a walk through a natural setting, for example, is a wonderful way to get in touch with the great God who made the beautiful creation. Walking through the mall… not so much. i can not give you a list as to what i would or would not do untill after the occasion occurs. i do not want to be a scribe or pharisee and add 50 to 60 items of my own to my nor anyone elses list. i will trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit who lives, dwells and abides inside me to be up to the task, when the time comes. John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

When the seventh day arrives, i must stop pursuing my “own ways” (the things i normally do), seeking my “own pleasure” (just trying to have fun) and
speaking my “own words” (the everyday things i talk about that do not involve God). HEAR me i am not implying in any way that i be a heathen six days and Holy on the seventh. In fact i think that would be impossible to consistently do. This last one is sometimes HARD to follow because “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). To truly keep the Sabbath in the spirit, i must focus my MIND on God and those things He wants me to be concerned with during His holy time. Then, as God promises, i will be truly blessed. For me this is not just a Sabbath practice but should be my lifestyle seven days a week.

In addition to worshiping with God’s Church on His weekly Holy Day, i should remember Jesus approach that “it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:12). So it is my understanding that this is a day i can use for making encouraging phone calls or writing letters to the sick, the “shut-ins” or fellow Christians who are lonely. It is also my understanding that i can visit the sick or others in need on the Sabbath, or to have people over for a Sabbath meal (Matthew 25:34-36; James 1:27).

i should not think of the Sabbath as the day i “can’t do” this or that! Rather, i should approach this very special day as a time when i can and should really TAKE TIME to deeply study and thoughtfully study the Bible. It is a time when i can sit quietly, meditating over and thinking through the truly big issues of life. In addition, the Sabbath is the perfect time for unhurried, thoughtful, heartfelt PRAYER to our Father in heaven to “commune” with my Creator, to worship Him, to get to know Him intimately. This, then, is how i am looking to walk in God’s Holy Sabbath.

Of the Ten Commandments, the fourth one-concerning the Sabbath day-is and always has been the real “test” commandment (Exodus 16:4). Many can accept the other nine, don’t worship other gods, honor your parents, don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, etc. But the fourth commandment is different. To keep it means visibly living quite differently from the society around me. It might even mean being looked upon as odd or weird. Yet Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26-27, Today’s English Version). Talk about odd or weird.

Do i love the “praise of men” more than the praise of God? Do i have the FAITH and the COURAGE to obey God’s commandments, even if i were to lose my job, my friends and perhaps some of my relatives?

As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit. Emmanuel Teney

Isaiah 58 – Together

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Isaiah 58

Pliny the Elder, was a Roman writer who lived during the same time period as Jesus. He told a story of the setting of an obelisk, which when erect would stand 99 feet tall. Twenty thousand workers where chosen to pull on the ropes and activate the hoisting apparatus. There was great responsibility and risk in the operation. Just one error could cause the obelisk to fall, ruining years of work. The King demanded one-act which insured the complete attention and best direction of the engineer. He ordered the engineer’s own son to be strapped to the apex of the obelisk, so that his heart as well as his head would be given to the task.

The scribes and Pharisees tried to legislate, in minute detail, all that was acceptable or unacceptable to do on the Sabbath. In doing so, they made the Sabbath a burden, something i don’t believe God ever intended 1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.. He gave the Sabbath with some specifics, but mainly by explaining it in broad, spiritual principles. This to me says that my Sabbath is to be all about my relationship with Him and out of a revelation of relationship of His love for me, i will have the correct response. That’s my summation in spite of not being done, so i’ll leave room for adjustment until completion.

What is God saying to me? To begin with God says, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work” (Exodus 20:9). i am not unfamiliar with this verse. When i was younger i would apply for a job and if told i would have to work Sundays i would explain that i could not, but if hired i would work all the more on the other six days. i usually was hired, i usually worked even harder during the six days, and i that’s how i became a workaholic. God ordained the first six days of the week for my business and work. my Creator intended that i be busy and productive, earning my daily bread. In Proverbs 19:15, He says, “Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger”. If i disregard my responsibilities the first six days of the week i am just as guilty of breaking God’s law as if i work on the seventh!

That brings me to the next portion in this word. “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates” (Exodus 20:10). So i am not to do any kind of real work on the Sabbath… be it my occupation, personal business, housework or any strenuous activity. Yes, i got all that out of those words. i am also responsible for those in the environment over which i have control to work as well. PAUSE…, preparing-or cleaning up after-a light meal would not be wrong as i understand it. There are a number of occasions when Jesus enjoyed a Sabbath meal with others. And He never condemned the practice of hospitality on the Sabbath (Luke 14:1-6).

But the temporary stopping of labor is not the only requirement God makes. He also gives positive instruction. In Moses’ recounting of the Ten Commandments, the fourth one begins by inviting us to “OBSERVE the Sabbath day, to KEEP IT HOLY” (Deuteronomy 5:12). We must look to God to tell us how to do that. Leviticus 23 lists “the feasts of the Lord [not the Jews], which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations.” God says, “These are MY feasts” (v. 2). The first one mentioned is the weekly Sabbath: “Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings” (v. 3). God then lists His seven other Feasts or Festivals, which contain seven annual Sabbaths. These days are also embraced by the spirit of the Sabbath commandment. So there it is, and i will defer studying those feasts for another time. The Sabbath is my focus for this season.

God’s Sabbaths-weekly and annual-are to be holy “convocations” and are, therefore, days commanded for worship services. When we fellowship with other people in whom God dwells, we are, in fact, also fellow-shipping with Him (1 John 1:3, 7). The New Testament states that we must make sure we are
“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as [we] see the
[millennial Sabbath] Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). We must not forsake assembling on the days God has appointed for that purpose. The number required to be called assembly remains unclear to me yet, but it seems to me that it can be as few as one and as for how large… that’s a good question.

Finally, to really understand how God intended the Sabbath to be used, i go back to Isaiah 58: “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight… not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words,

Isaiah 58 – The Test Is A Foot

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Isaiah 58

It seems God continually brings me to the end of my endurance, both emotionally and physically, to reveal the truth about my heart. What’s revealed in those moments of pressure is usually something that needs addressing, like selfishness, insecurity, jealousy or bitterness. Glynnis Whitwer

Can everyone reading these please remember that i am not trying to establish a right and wrong regarding anything about Sabbath or any other topic. These are my thoughts, my process, and my conclusions. That does not make them so, or right, in fact they may be completely wrong, but non the less it’s the what and how of me. i am always open to comments, questions and correction so feel free, asi t helps me discern what the Holy Spirit is saying to me.

Somehow this got out-of-order so if it seems i’m going backwards, i am. Further i suggest anyone still working through the Saturday or Sunday deal to click on the link and see if it helps. It did for me in this one statement, “The Bible clearly makes the Sabbath the last day of the week, (AGREED), but does not share how that corresponds to our 7 day week. AGREED. Yet through extra-biblical sources it is possible to determine that the Sabbath at the time of Christ corresponds to our current ‘Saturday.http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/week.html

Abraham was the great-grandfather of Judah—from whom came the “Jews.” He kept God’s true Sabbath? God said, “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Genesis 26:5).

Generations of Israelites understood from these verses that Abraham kept the seventh-day Sabbath—the Sabbath that God had “sanctified” at the creation of mankind. In the New Testament, Paul says that Abraham is the “father” of the faithful (Romans 4:11, 16).

i found that many people will argue that the Ten Commandments—including the fourth one about keeping the Sabbath holy—were part of the “Old Covenant” that God made with Israel at Mount Sinai in the days of Moses. They believe that, because the Old Covenant ended at Jesus death, the Ten Commandments—with the Sabbath requirement—ended also.

But as i wrote yesterday it was before the beginning of human history that God made the seventh-day Sabbath “holy time.” It’s 2,000 years later, when Abraham, the father of the faithful, became an EXAMPLE of faithfulness by keeping God’s commandments and statutes—obviously including the observance of the Sabbath day. This is LONG BEFORE there was an Old Covenant with Israel!

Hundreds of years later, Abraham’s descendants are being led out of Egyptian slavery by Moses in the Exodus. This was several weeks before the Old
Covenant was proposed at Mount Sinai, God wanted to remind His people of the true Sabbath, which He had given at creation. This was in case any of them had forgotten or become mixed up about His Sabbath, which was possible since the Israelites had been in Egyptian slavery for several generations. God gave His people a series of signs to make clear to them which day He had made holy.

Exodus 16:1-30. The people of Israel were “murmuring” against God because they wanted more food. So God said, “I will… TEST them, whether they will walk in My LAW or not” (v. 4). Interesting, because this is validates that God’s law was in effect even BEFORE the giving of the Old Covenant at Mount Sinai!

God explains that He would perform the following miracle. Every day of the week, except the seventh day, a special food from heaven called “manna” would blanket the ground in the morning like dew. The people were to gather it up each morning and eat it that same day. They could not keep it overnight, because that would cause it to breed worms and stink. But there would be no manna on the ground on the seventh day. What, were they to eat on that day? God’s answer, the second part of His miracle. Every sixth day, He would give them a double portion of manna—one portion for that day and another to be kept overnight and eaten on Sabbath (v. 23). This would require a third part of the miracle. God would allow manna collected on the sixth day to remain unspoiled overnight, so that it could be eaten on the Sabbath. From the sixth day to the seventh day was the only time each week they were permitted to keep food overnight. God was showing them that sixth day was the preparation day for the Sabbath.

God arranged things so they wouldn’t have to do the work of gathering manna on the seventh day which enabled them to rest on the Sabbath, yet still have something to eat that day. “So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. Then Moses
said, ‘Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field'” (vv. 24-25).

This was a TEST, to see whether they would follow God’s law or not.

As a human being, so often i do NOT take God seriously! Some Israelites went out and tried to find manna even on the Sabbath. “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long do you [people] refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He
gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.’ So the people rested
on the seventh day” (vv. 28-30). And so it is with me. God gives me one thing and i want more or i try to make it my own.

Several weeks before Israel came to Mount Sinai, God began performing a weekly three-part miracle to show His people WHICH DAY was—and had always been—His holy Sabbath. When some tried to work on that day anyway, the Creator asked, “How LONG do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?”!

Isaiah 58:13 and don’t use my Holy day for personal advantage, If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy, God’s Holy day as a celebration, If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’ making money, running here and there—

When Mozart was composing at the end of the eighteenth century, the city of Vienna was so quiet that fire alarms could be given verbally, by a shouting watchman mounted on top of St. Stefan’s Cathedral.  In twentieth-century society, the noise level is such that it keeps knocking our bodies out of tune and out of their natural rhythms.  This ever-increasing assault of sound upon our ears, minds, and bodies adds to the stress load of civilized beings trying to live in a highly complex environment.  ~Steven Halpern