Archive for the ‘Haggai’ Category

Now!!

Posted: December 23, 2010 in Haggai

Today i am just going to ramble. Nothing fitting together or having any purpose. My mind is filled with much and yet nothing to write.

With just days of 2010 left the rise of a new year is ever so slightly rising in my mind. i in no way want to squander what is left of 2010 in hopes of something better in the coming of a new year. Haggai causes me to slow down and wait for God to instruct. i did less than usual things on my own this year. i am satisfied with that for this year but i would like to say next year that i did nothing on my own.

It would be my hope that i will build upon 2010 through what has been revealed to me in my posts. Segula is one that remains in my mind. The idea that i am a precious jewel to God brings me comfort. Haggai stirs up that comfort and pushes me to get ready for change. 1 up and 1 down brings to mind all those that i am doing life with and as i recall their favorite verses i am able to better pray for them and with them. mellifluous… harmonious, it’s how i want to live out the remainder of this year. i have been replaying all the songs of those that i am doing life with and recalling the words that God gave me for them and how their songs touched my life as well. And i can not forget Lachrymose. i expect that i’ll be reminded of this one often over the remaining days of this year and especially the next day or two as family gathers for the first time in 5 years.

i am blessed by the three grandchildren and their acceptance of this stranger who drops in to visit once or twice a year. i am blessed as well as i look at my children. They are doing well today. God has made Himself available to them and revealed Himself openly to them during this year. i am blessed that God is in their lives to whatever degree that is. He will mature them just as He is doing with me.

Then i am blessed above all i could ask or expect by my best friend Ann Marie. What an amazing woman of God and God has worked in and through her in incredible ways. She has grown so much in Him that i often don’t even recognize her. She has been an encouragement to me through-out this year and has set a standard for me to follow as well. i wrote one day in the past that it’s not the people that i can find to have fun with that matter but it is the people i can sit still with that do. Ann Marie is one of those people. i could sit still with her for hours, even days and i am hopeful of doing just that these last few days of 2010.

Time is the great equalizer in life. Everyone gets 24 hours, no more and no less. Young, old, rich, poor, makes no difference 24 hours. So all that is left to do with time is decide what i will do with it. While i want to just sit and be still, i must remain aware of all that is going on around me. i would not want to miss a divine appointment or an opportunity to encourage.

It is rare that i write with the idea that anyone is reading these on a regular basis but today i can’t shake the idea that there are a few who do. i say to you, “if I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in a garden.” Claudia Ghandi

i close with this thought. i will not say i love someone unless i really mean it, because they might do something crazy like believe it.

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the past and the future

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Haggai

“A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.”

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
– George Bernard Shaw

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.- Raymond Lindquist

15-17“‘Think back. Let me remind you so you get it right.

Before you set out to lay the first foundation stones for the rebuilding of my Temple, how did it go with you? Isn’t it true that your foot-dragging, halfhearted efforts at rebuilding the Temple of God were reflected in a sluggish, halfway return on your crops—half the grain you were used to getting, half the wine?

The results that i get are in direct proportion to my effort. That is except for God’s mercy and grace which is always more than i deserve and exceeds any effort i usually extend.

I hit you with drought and blight and hail.

Everything you were doing got hit.

But it didn’t seem to faze you. You continued to ignore me.’ God’s Decree.

Here comes the change! The past is the past and I am with you!

 18-19“‘Now think ahead from this same date—this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Think ahead from when the Temple rebuilding was launched. Has anything in your fields—vine, fig tree, pomegranate, olive tree—failed to flourish? From now on you can count on a blessing.’

 20-21God’s Message came a second time to Haggai on that most memorable day, the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month: “Speak to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah:

It took God telling Haggai twice and i have lost count of the number of times He has told me things. But in my defense i usually get it sooner or later. And as i am growing older it is most often sooner than the later. i am told that i am a good listener. i wish i would listen to God as well as i seem to do with others. While i am satisfied with where i am today and all the blessings i have, i will admit that i am looking forward to the promise of being able to count an blessings. This past year has been more of a hope for blessings rather than counting on them. i guess i have worked through some things that are letting me count on any one including God versus just hoping for them to do right and Him to be there.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
– Winston Churchill

Those who believe they can do something and those who believe they can’t are both right.
– Henry Ford

Those that i know are people who believe they can and i am blessed by them.

Contaminated or Clean – Inconsistency

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Haggai

“To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” William London

Well 14 hours of travel and 23 hours of no sleep and i finally got checked in to the room. That was 4am this morning. Longggggggggg… but the end result is what i must keep in mind. Relationships! Memories!!! Memory #1 surprising Ethan. He had no clue that i would show up in Seattle to meet his flight for Reno before catching my flight to Reno. Seeing my daughter excited about all that is to come was a highlight. She has had a year of struggles but they all seemed to be far behind in light of family coming together for this time. Memory #2 when upon reaching my sons home to have Elijah run out of the house in stocking feet and grab my leg with a huge hug… yes memory and a weepy moment. Memory #3 upon making my way indoors and seeing Zek sitting on the floor and him greeting me with a big smile as i picked him up and an easily gotten laugh from him as i held him. Memories! The bigger picture of the trip became clearer. I could not have imagined it any better. And not to be forgotten was seeing my son and daughter in-law as well. No lack of  memories and weepy moments.

10-12On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month (again, this was in the second year of Darius), God’s Message came to Haggai: “God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaks:

Consult the priests for a ruling. If someone carries a piece of sacred meat in his pocket, meat that is set apart for sacrifice on the altar, and the pocket touches a loaf of bread, a dish of stew, a bottle of wine or oil, or any other food, will these foods be made holy by such contact?” The priests said, “No.”

i smell a set up here!

 13Then Haggai said, “How about someone who is contaminated by touching a corpse—if that person touches one of these foods, will it be contaminated?” The priests said, “Yes, it will be contaminated.”

Here comes the knock out punch.

 14Then Haggai said, “‘So, this people is contaminated. Their nation is contaminated. Everything they do is contaminated. Whatever they do for me is contaminated.’ God says so.

Oh the tangled webs we weave when we practice to deceive. Open mouth insert foot? Many sayings that fit but what stands out to me is the inconsistency of these people. While i know that i am inconsistent i do work hard at not being so. On one of my flights i was asked to remove my phone case which has a shoulder strap. I had just gone through two takeoffs and two landings on the same airline and nobody asked me to take it off. INCONSISTENCY! Like the priests i find that there are most often consequences to my inconsistency and it’s the consequences that i like the least.

A More Glorious Ending

Posted: December 20, 2010 in Haggai

“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.” Thomas Jefferson

Haggai Chapter Two – This Temple Will End Up Better Than It Started Out

i am going to end up better than i started out! i am reminded that my physical being  is temporal. So my concern for my physical being comes from my desire to do the word, for the fruit of the spirit to be evident in my life.  

 1-3 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the Word of God came through the prophet Haggai: “Tell Governor Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and High Priest Joshua son of Jehozadak and all the people: ‘Is there anyone here who saw the Temple the way it used to be, all glorious? And what do you see now? Not much, right?

Only Ann Marie knows the former physical me. i was a whole 120 pounds when i got married 38 years ago. It wasn’t until i entered ministry that i took on my current look. All those meetings, lunches, dinners, appointments, parties, celebrations and any other excuse that could be found for eating. Add that to less physical activity due to no time for it because we were sitting at some type of meeting… eating. God is saying, “ed put the past behind you!  This is no time to stand around grieving — or reminiscing about the good old days — or thinking about all the regrets and the “what if’s” of the past years. It is time to move forward.” God said the very same thing to Joshua, “Moses my servant is dead; so get going!”

 4-5“‘So get to work, Zerubbabel!’—God is speaking. “‘Get to work, Joshua son of Jehozadak—high priest!’ “‘Get to work, ed and all you people!’—God is speaking.

 “‘Yes, ed get to work for I am with you.” The God-of-the-Angel-Armies is speaking! TO YOU!

‘Put into action the word I covenanted with you when you left Egypt (of course i did not physically leave Egypt but i did leave the old life behind). I’m living and breathing among you right now. Don’t be timid. Don’t hold back.’ (Don’t procrastinate)  6-7“This is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said: ‘Before you know it, I will shake up sky and earth, ocean and fields. And I’ll shake down all the godless nations. They’ll bring bushels of wealth and I will fill this Temple (me) with splendor.’ God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so.  8‘I own the silver, I own the gold.’ Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

For me the meat of these verses comes next and it’s not because of the “IN which I will hand out wholeness and holiness.” For me it’s the glorious ending. His Temple (me) will have a glorious ending. I will stay away from what i would like that to look like. What ever God sees fit to do with my obedience which He says, will be more glorious than when i started out will be fine with me.

9‘This Temple is going to end up far better than it started out, a glorious beginning but an even more glorious finish: a place IN which I will hand out wholeness and holiness.‘ Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.”

Recap… The past is the past and i must let it go. i can’t eat what i used to nor as much as i used to and expect it to have no effect like when i was in my 20’s. The idea of no exercise is gone. It is now required just like obedience. i will only be able to do this, realizing that God is with me. And when those two things come together signs and wonders will follow. Wholeness and holiness will be handed out from within me. There will not only be a spiritual change but a physical, mental and emotional change as well.

Then God Said…

Posted: December 17, 2010 in Haggai

When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others. Peace Pilgrim (Mildred Lisette Norman)

Haggai 8-9Then God said: “Here’s what I want you to do: 

Climb into the hills and cut some timber. Bring it down and rebuild the Temple. Do it just for me. Honor me.

God says, here’s what I want you to do and here’s why i want you to do it. ed, i want you to do this for Me and the reason is to honor Me. No other reason but Me! For no one else but Me! ed if you rebuild My temple you will Honor Me. Then Haggai goes on with more words from the Lord regarding what has been done during this time of procrastination.

You’ve had great ambitions for yourselves, but nothing has come of it.
The little you have brought to my Temple, I’ve blown away—there was nothing to it.

Okay so i guess i must divulge how this is applying to me. Last year at this time i was working on His temple. i was working out three times a week and watching what and how much i ate much more carefully. I was also fasting regularly. Today i am not working out at all, i have been off and on again in watching what and how much i eat and as for fasting it has been just as sporadic. Thus God says, ed, you’ve had great ambitions for yourself, but nothing has come of it. The little you have brought to My Temple, I’ve blown away—there was nothing to it. Then God gets detailed and personal with the people and with me.

 9-11“And why?” (This is a Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, remember.) “Because while you’ve run around, caught up with taking care of your own houses, my Home is in ruins. What God is saying to me is that, my attention has been on taking care of what i have chosen while, me, His Home is in ruins. Yes i have spent much time with what i would say are spiritual matters but with little effort on physical matters which God is saying is spiritual as well.

That’s why. Because of your stinginess. And so I’ve given you a dry summer and a skimpy crop. I’ve matched your tight-fisted stinginess by decreeing a season of drought, drying up fields and hills, withering gardens and orchards, stunting vegetables and fruit. Nothing—not man or woman, not animal or crop—is going to thrive.”

This could explain some of the struggles that i have had this year. His Temple is no small matter and it deserves every bit of concern and care, as i have given other areas of my life. His Temple is all-inclusive. It’s taking every thought captive. It’s renewing of the mind. It’s speaking words of life and not death. And it’s health from the top of my head to the soles of my feet which entails everything in between. If there is no physical body there is nothing else. Thus God says, ed, you’ve had great ambitions for yourself, but nothing has come of it.

12Then the governor, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak, and all the people with them listened, really listened, to the voice of their God. When God sent the prophet Haggai to them, they paid attention to him. In listening to Haggai, they honored God. 13Then Haggai, God’s messenger, preached God’s Message to the people: “I am with you!” God’s Word. 14-15This is how God got Zerubbabel, Joshua, ed, and all the people moving— got them working on the Temple of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. This happened on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.

When i find peace within myself, i become the kind of person who can live at peace with others. In many ways i have pursued peace at all costs, but for sure in this area i have procrastinated. Now God is saying: “ed here’s what I want you to do:  Climb into the hills and cut some timber. Bring it down and rebuild My Temple, I am with you.”

Sit, Walk, Write

Posted: December 16, 2010 in Haggai

Whatever’s at the surface will fall away. What’s important is what is inside.  Sit, Walk, Write. With gratitude to God for mentors and teachers. For all that has come before. For all that is. For all that will be.

i have no recollection as to whether i have shared on Haggai or not. Either way i am still being led to selah… (pause and think on this.) God has a way of keeping me focused on the word and after i think i am done with it He brings it back. There is another reason i am coming back to Haggai. One of the group i am doing life with, is here in Haggai and so i am coming back to walk with them.

Haggai 1 Caught Up with Taking Care of Your Own Houses

Perhaps better said, caught up with taking care of self. I like this prophet as he gives specific dates and thus can be held accountable. That may tell you something about me? 

1 On the first day of the sixth month of the second year in the reign of King Darius of Persia, God’s Message was delivered by the prophet Haggai to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak:  2A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: “The people procrastinate.

At this time of the year i tend to put things off till January 1st and i call them new years resolutions. Which according to statistics 87% of us do not keep. i think Haggai is a timely message. i am not to wait for a day in the future when God tells me to get moving.  ed you are procrastinating, something else has become your priority.

They say this isn’t the right time to rebuild my Temple, the Temple of God.”

ed you have been saying for some time it’s not the right time. But by virtue that Haggai is saying, i am procrastinating, it is the right time. In the same way Haggai says, they say meaning that what they are saying is the opposite of what God is saying. So they say it isn’t and God says it is. God is saying it’s time to… rebuild His Temple, the Temple of God. Today the Temple of God is me, all of us.

So God is saying it’s time to rebuild me! Oh boy! And just in case i am not getting it Haggai repeats it.

 3-4Shortly after that, God said more and Haggai spoke it: “How is it that it’s the ‘right time’ for you to live in your fine new homes while the Home, God’s Temple, is in ruins?”

Am i really in ruins? Am i that bad? Am i in such disarray? Well…. if i look at others and i look at my surroundings i think im in pretty good shape. But that could be why God says, i’m procrastinating, because i’m not seeing the bigger picture. I’m not considering all that is possible with God. i will say that every word i believe i am hearing from God has to do with growth and maturing in Him. So while i don’t like the idea that God would say His Temple, i, am in ruins i am smart enough to know that God does not lie nor speak evangelastically. He speaks His mind. So He asks the question. When did the time for you to be more important than Me come about?  

5-6And then a little later, God-of-the-Angel-Armies spoke out again:“Take a good, hard look at your life. CONSIDER YOUR WAYS! (Amplified)

ed, consider: Take a good: morally excellent; virtuous; righteous, satisfactory in quality, of high quality; excellent, right; proper, hard: not soft, solid and firm, unyielding to pressure and impenetrable or almost impenetrable, difficult or troublesome with respect to an action, situation, person, look: to turn one’s eyes toward something or in some direction in order to see YOUR LIFE. Haggai says, just in case you don’t know what that looks like let me spell it out for you.

CONSIDER…
You have spent a lot of money…. but you haven’t much to show for it.
You keep filling your plates…. but you never get filled up.
You keep drinking and drinking and drinking…. but you’re always thirsty.
You put on layer after layer of clothes…. but you can’t get warm.
And the people who work for you…. what are they getting out of it?
Not much— a leaky, rusted-out bucket, that’s what.

It’s great that God never corrects us without telling us what to do to fix it. He does not abuse us with His words.

 8-9Then God said: “Here’s what I want you to do:
Climb into the hills and cut some timber. Bring it down and rebuild the Temple.

If i understand this right in light of me being what God want’s rebuilt, i would say He is telling me to climb into the word. Not to rely upon what i think i know. Go higher into the hills, the upper levels of the word. Cut some timber would then be for me to spend some time there and find the word that would be used to rebuild my ruins. i have cut down trees before and it is hard work and dangerous. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “More people are killed while felling trees than during any other logging activity.” Safety must be of utmost concern when approaching a tree to cut.

Protective clothing should be purchased along with your saw. Cutting trees with a chainsaw is particularly hard on the eyes and ears. Always use protective glasses and ear plugs. Steel capped boots and non-slip gloves are also recommended. These requirements are for professionals who know what they are doing. A casual user should take note of this and have as much protection as a professional, if not more.

Protective clothing (a journal) should be purchased along with your saw (Bible). Cutting trees (studying the word) with a chainsaw (an open mind) is particularly hard on the eyes and ears (heart and flesh). Always use protective glasses and ear plugs (a journal). Steel capped boots (plenty of time) and non-slip gloves (solitude) are also recommended. These requirements are for professionals (true believers) who know what they are doing. A casual (once in a while) user (reader) should take note of this and have as much protection as a professional, if not more.