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Currently Browsing: Notes
Aug
20

Let Them Eat Cake

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I’ve never been one to pay any mind to movie stars or the ridiculous out-of-touch-with-reality things they utter. I have seen the political rants of Meryl Streep and her gaggle of elitist sycophants. They are just well known people after all and no more important than any other person on this planet. Why would I care about their opinions?

But a few years ago when women, led by Hollywood’s elites, descended upon Washington, DC to protest and Ashley Judd gave her rendition of the now famous nasty woman speech, I took notice. I began to pay attention to the scenes unfolding as women dragged their daughters behind them and paraded around in pink hats fashioned to mimic the most intimate part of a woman’s body. I listened as they screamed about women’s rights with vulgar obscenities, how oppressed they would be under the new administration. I remember wondering at the time if they truly understood the definition of oppression. I caught myself wondering how they would fare in a place such as Iraq or Afghanistan. And of late, I have listened as they whine and bemoan the millions they rake in are not equal to the millions of their male counterparts. 

I have watched. I have listened. I have grown weary.

Then a few days ago, in a mater of hours, the Taliban invaded Afghanistan. In Hollywood, crickets chirp. And it all has me wondering this afternoon, has me thinking as the images replay through my mind of people falling from airplanes as they took to the sky, mothers throwing their children over walls in hopes they would be saved, translators who worked with our military left to be hunted down and beaten and shot like wild animals, and young girls clinging to fences screaming, begging for our military to help them fearing the fate that surely awaits them.

Where are Madonna and Ashley Judd and Alyssa Milano? Where are the feminists who care so much for women and their rights? Where is Meryl Streep who wants women to help other women? Where are Hillary and Chelsea and Kamala? 

Well, according to their social media accounts they are celebrating birthdays and promoting books, calling out facebook about racist militias and vaccine misinformation. Our Vice President Kamala seems to be AWOL. Hillary mustered up the ten seconds it took to retweet a post from someone else who actually cares. And Ashley – well, ladies after Biden was inaugurated and she no longer had to worry about Trump and his mean tweets – she left for the Congo to research some endangered monkeys and had an accident. But even as oppressed as she is, she somehow is now miraculously walking through the Swiss countryside and dreaming of hiking in Patagonia as she recovers.

Why are they so silent? Surely the rights of the women in Afghanistan deserve their attention. But I fear the truth is brutal and most certainly something that not one of them want to face: 

They are not oppressed. They have never been oppressed. They will never be oppressed. 

And the situation unfolding in Afghanistan right now shows how petty and privileged and hypocritical they are, how empty the words in which they speak. So they travel and post pictures of their privileged lives unbothered by the plight of Afghan women. Where is the criticism, the outrage, against the president they voted in who has left them to feign for themselves as the Taliban seizes control and wields power oppressing and murdering the vulnerable, the innocent, the unprotected? Where is their determination to force change upon this situation? Why are they, being equal with men, not strapping on their boots, using their resources to right the wrong that is occurring? At the very least, where are the blacked out Instagram posts and the #westandwithyou hashtags? Why isn’t Twitter covered up with tweets questioning the sheer horror of this situation and demanding intervention?

Fear and worry not. I am sure they will reappear, climbing down from their pedestals on high, to condemn a conservative who dares to speak truth to their lies about abortion or weep about their inequality in a misogynistic patriarchy. They will don their pink hats and rage and drag their daughters behind them in a grand display of privilege and vulgarity flaunting their elitist attitudes. 

But not in Afghanistan; they will march here in the streets of a country where women have rights.

And not for the Afghan women, for their elitist and racist attitudes have deemed those women unworthy.

Meanwhile, the Afghan women now suffer under the Taliban and the women of Hollywood live their lives of privilege uninterrupted, undisturbed, protected by bodyguards on gated properties, safe in a country that is free and shielded by a freedom for which they never fought.

Young woman crying
A young woman cried as she reached through a fence covered in razor wire toward US troops on the other side.Twitter/@aftabnaseer6
Mar
2

An Open Letter to the World…

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The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever. ~ Isaiah 40.7-8

a winter storm approaching……Sea of Galilee

Dear Depraved World,

When I was a child, I would visit my grandparents in the summer. We would sit on the front porch with mosquitoes nibbling and fireflies blinking in the twilight. I sat at their feet churning peach ice cream and sneaking a piece of rock salt laden ice every now and again as the conversation paused and reconvened with commentary of the world. The consensus was always the same. Grandma would tire of lamenting and she would say, “The world is going to hell in a hand-basket and if it had any sense it would get right with Jesus.” Granddaddy would nod and offer a “mmm-hmmm” and an “amen” like exclamation points. I was not exactly sure what was wrong with the world. Other than the mosquitoes, I was having a fine time.

But now? Now I understand what they meant. Everyday I awaken to some new chaos. Someone is always angry about something and what ever they are angry about is in short order on its way to being cancelled. I get it. I do. There are somethings worth being upset over. It is fine to choose to spend your money with businesses that align with your worldview and to avoid those that do not. However, in my opinion, it is not your place to police others. I would tell you to peddle your wares of craziness elsewhere, but it is not craziness you suffer from; it is a soul drenching depravity. 

All this cancel culture nonsense has had me stewing and it has had me thinking. 

And this is what I think: There are some things as the world you do not have the power to cancel. And I think it is worth mentioning to you…

an olive at Magdala

Adonai’s word which stands forever.

His divine order and His creation.

Adonai’s covenants and promises, His Torah and His truth.

The definitions of good, of evil, of what constitutes sin.

Yeshua’s sacrifice. His intercession on our behalf. The grace He bestowed upon us.

Yeshua’s return, the final judgement, His reign.

Now dear world, you might say you don’t believe in all that. That it is just nonsense and fairytales.

So I will just say this about that:

Your arrogance is showing. It does not matter whether you believe it is true or not because Adonai is not dependent upon you. You are dependent upon Him. For everything. For the very breath you draw. For every thought you think. For every decision you make. For everything that you possess. And maybe you are a Christian who has bought into the lie the world has sold you – that Adonai and His word are antiquated and non-applicable to a modern world-view; maybe you believe the watered down pseudo-gospel preached by the hip Steven Furticks and the Bethel Churches of the world that as long as you are a good person, judgement won’t befall you and that God just wants you to be happy. 

That is not what Scripture says and it is not what Yeshua taught. Happiness is not the goal; holiness is and there is only one standard of holiness and that standard was created by and belongs to Adonai. Every single one of us will give an account and we will answer for the things we have said, the things we have done, the things we have turned our eyes from and to. Believer and unbeliever alike.

Now for me, I would not want to be standing there trying to explain why I changed His definitions of male and female and then proceeded to abuse my children by changing their biological sex. I would not want to have to explain why I supported same-sex marriage and destroyed the perfectness of His family order. And most certainly, I would not want to have to try and babble an explanation for why I lobbied for abortions or supported a legal act allowing for babies of botched abortions to be left to die on a cold metal slab of a table. 

So depraved world, keep your rage and cancel on. Cancel the things that don’t matter, the things you can control. I have peace knowing that no matter how you try, you will never, not ever, cancel Adonai and His truth nor Yeshua and His sacrifice.

So like Grandma, I have tired of my lamenting for the evening and I am grateful I wasn’t swatting mosquitoes while I typed these words. I wish Granddaddy was here to offer a solid “mmm hmmm” and an “amen” after I say this, “The world is long on its way to hell in that hand basket. And Yeshua is the only thing that can save it.”

Lord, have mercy.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ~ Hebrews 4.12

Feb
28

February’s Gratitude

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This is the day which Adonai has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

~ Psalm 118.24

a list of a few things I am grateful for and that brought me joy this month…

snowflakes Nicole date night movie theatre popcorn in all its thirst inducing saltiness snowstorms spring weather days in mid-February shadows that stretch long like a daydream in the fading afternoon winter melting into slush mud puddle splashing the warmth of the sun on my skin bare branches reaching into a perfect cloudless blue sky Tobias’ happy bark and dream thumping tail radio singalongs the smell of hyacinths on the evening breeze an owls hooting echoing through the fog ravens by the dozens resting in the old oak by the window the anticipation of a road trip and weekend adventure a waxing gibbous moon spied mid-day celebrating birthdays ground drenching rains daffodils budding a hot cup of tea Grandma’s rocking chair a pain-free day garden planning and seed starting Mom patiently resurrecting my house plants…again a good night’s sleep Logan

Psalm 100 

Shout joyfully to Adonai, all the earth.

Serve Adonai with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.

Know that Adonai Himself is Elohim;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

For Adonai is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

Jan
31

January’s Gratitude

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This is the day which Adonai has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

~ Psalm 118.24

a list of a few things I am grateful for and that brought me joy this month…

coffee new books Randy’s job remains when so many have lost theirs a new roof new gutters that do not leak Yeshua Tobias’ soft velvety fur journals for writing and drawing mom brings me plants Shabbat the sound of thunder rumbling and rain gently falling the convenience of a grocery store, running water, electricity a soft warm bed the laughter of pure joy wintergreen flavored toothpaste silence fuzzy socks and warm pajamas green sprouts of daffodils and hyacinths pushing through the thawing ground prayer board games flickering candles the warmth of a fire being still the taste of honey snow resting on bare branches in January fresh herbs morning light filtering through the curtains starlight fluttering shadows creating a picture show freshly washed sheets warm laundry fresh from the dryer a well-told story mountain drives and backcountry roads the smell of fresh sage sunlight rainbows on dishwater bubbles a full moon a new moon goodnight kisses a bowl of warm soup

Psalm 100 

Shout joyfully to Adonai, all the earth.

Serve Adonai with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.

Know that Adonai Himself is Elohim;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

For Adonai is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

Jan
29

Writing Words

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Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is Yeshua Messiah whom you serve. ~ Colossians 3.23-24

I fear my writing as much as I love it. Most days all I want to do is write and yet I find myself in a pattern of pushing it to the fringes of time in exchange for mundane daily chores, that while often important and certainly necessary, could definitely wait. I fear writing because I know words have power, they are life and death to the speaker and the hearer. I fear that my words will do more harm than good. 

I pray. A lot. I pray for words. Adonai is faithful. And like snowflakes falling and resting on bare branches, words drift into my mind and settle there. I gather them like treasure and string them together in hopes they reflect Yeshua. I offer them back to Adonai to do with them as He chooses. Pray they bring Him glory.

The truth is I work hard at staying small, and too often that results in nothing being written at all. You can not fathom the millions of moments I have spent, frozen fingers hovering above a keyboard or a pen wrapped in my hand starting and stopping at the edge of a blank page. The truth is I fret that I will hear Him wrong or that my flesh will crave adulation from others. Praise belongs to Adonai alone and the last thing I want is someone giving me praise. The truth is I procrastinate.

Then one day I see this quote:

“Procrastination is the arrogant assumption that God owes you another opportunity to do what you had time to do. “

There was no one attributed to these words. But true they are. I have never considered myself as an arrogant assumer. 

Fear is an excuse and procrastination is a sin. I am supposed to work heartily to the Lord. I am supposed to not neglect the gift that is within me. We all have gifts and no matter how that gift is expressed, a common thread runs through them all – they must point back to Yeshua. We must share the Gospel, share it in truth and in love, give the glory to Adonai. Maybe some paint pictures and some teach. Maybe some sing or play an instrument or photograph the beauty of His creations. 

I write words.

And no matter who reads these words or who does not is not my concern. I am to show up. I am to work. I am to be a good steward of my time and my resources. I am to write words about Yeshua. Adonai will do with them as He pleases. 

Everything that I am and everything that I do ought to be a witness of Who Yeshua is and what He has done in my life. I can not hide nor procrastinate nor make excuses. I do not have to be perfect, but I must be present. Even if the only audience I have is Adonai.

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you, Elizabeth

Jan
22

Rhythms

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Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. ~ Genesis 2.1-3 NASB

sunset view from the Mount of Olives

Rhythm: an ordered recurrent alternation of strong and weak elements in the flow of sound and silence in speech; movement, fluctuation, or variation marked by the regular recurrence or natural flow of related elements

Of late, I find myself thinking much about the rhythms in which I emerge myself. These fluctuations of daily routines and schedules and choices of what will rule my day, my week, my year even. Often I find my best made plans derailed by the chaos of the world. Somehow it slithers in, making itself comfortable in its disruption of my quiet thoughts and peaceful mood. The noise of social media and the chatter of the news stream and the opinions of the masses distort reality.

Yet, there is one day, one day a week where that noise, that chatter, those opinions never get an opportunity to disrupt. Adonai in His wisdom and His graciousness set the days and the times at Creation creating a rhythm for the days, the weeks, the months, the years. And every week, I am especially grateful for Shabbat.

This seventh day, a holy and set apart day, made for worship and rest after a week of chores and studies and writing. Friday evening at sundown, my work ceases and the phone is turned off. There is no cooking, no cleaning, no social media. Friday evening is the lighting of candles and fellowship of a meal with my family after a long week of chaos and distractions and everything under the sun needing attention. It is rest and peace and gratitude. Saturday morning dawns to more quiet and meditating on the Word, praise of Adonai, and small group fellowship. There is joy and prayer, reading and discussion. Then evening comes and I am ready to face a new week in the world. And face it I do, with all its chaos and madness and stresses.

sunrise on the Sea of Galilee

My struggle, though, has always been bringing a little bit of the Sabbath into my week. So easily I drift into my Sunday morning, but come Monday I find myself shifting focus for a variety of reasons. Perhaps I wake up late. Perhaps curiosity gets the better of me and I dare look at the news for just a moment. Perhaps I am moody and just need some humor and social media seems the best cure. 

But truly there is really only one focus that is worthy, one curiosity that satisfies, one cure that is real. Yeshua and the Word. The reading and meditating each morning and evening, silencing the world and steeping myself like a proper cup of tea is a reset of my mood, a soothing balm to my spirit, a rhythm that stands guard between me and the uninvited chaos that rules the world.

It matters not what you read, Adonai will speak. Start in Proverbs – there are 31 and you can read it twelve times in a year. Read a Psalm – you can read the Psalms two and a half times in one year. Pick your favorite book. Start at the beginning and read a chapter a day straight through to the end. Let it fall open each morning to wherever it may and just start there. Just read. Just be still. For just a few moments.

Don’t say you don’t have time. Don’t say you are too busy. Because if you are reading this, you have time. If you are scrolling on social media, you have time. As much as I want you sitting here reading the words that I type, I want you to read Scripture more.

I am not telling you anything you do not already know; just reminding you of something that you have forgotten. There is always time for Yeshua. There is always time for reading Scripture. There is always time for being still. And if you take anything away from these rambling thoughts, let it be this: Make time for your King. Bring the quiet and stillness and peace of the Shabbat into your everyday rhythm. And let that rhythm set your time and tame your chaos.

Shabbat Shalom! May it be filled with beauty and joy, peace and rest, and above all, Yeshua. ~ with love, Elizabeth

Jan
20

Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

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Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen. ~ 1 Timothy 1.17 NASB

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all life thou givest—to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but nought changeth thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
But of all Thy rich graces this grace, Lord, impart
Take the veil from our faces, the vile from our heart.

All laud we would render; O help us to see
’Tis only the splendour of light hideth Thee,
And so let Thy glory, Almighty, impart,
Through Christ in His story, Thy Christ to the heart.

Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise by Walter Chalmers Smith, 1867

Here is a link to the music...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkoAfLpBBfU

Sep
26

Your Sin, My Sin, and Yeshua

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How Beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

We all have a moral compass we use to navigate the world; something we use to help us make decisions, discern right from wrong. 

We all serve a god. It could be YHWH or allah or shiva. Even the atheist serves a god; its name is self. Often times Christians create other gods to serve; some of their names are self- righteousness, hypocrisy, and selectiveness. 

My moral compass is the inerrant, God-breathed, sixty-six book canon of Holy Scriptures. I believe the Old and New Testament are one book; both apply to my life and govern all my decisions. I serve YHWH. I believe only He gets to decide what is holy and what is not holy, what is right and what is wrong. No where in Scripture does He give me permission to veer from His Word. I believe Yeshua was God in the flesh who came to be our salvation and the light by which all darkness is dispelled; He is my Savior and my King and the only one I serve.

You might be wondering why I am beginning a blog post this way. Most of you who read my posts and follow me on social media know exactly what I believe. But this morning I awoke to a message; it read…“There is a petition on my page…please go sign it…they are trying to start a gay club in the high school and there is a teacher supporting it!!”

And my first thought was, “Did Yeshua ever sign a petition?”

There is a worldly attitude that purports if something exists, such as a club or opinion or attitude,  that we don’t agree with, it is viewed as “being pushed down our throats” or “forcing us to conform.” There has been a violation of our rights if someone disagrees with what we believe. And the flip side of this belief is if you have an opinion some behavior is wrong, then you are labeled a phobic. For some reason people think that everything in the world needs to conform to what they believe and everyone else is wrong or racist or phobic or intolerant. And then the yelling and name calling and threatening begin. We have become our own god and everyone must serve what we say is right. Emotion rules instead of truth.

So I ask what is the topic of the next petition? Vegans shutting down the Fly Fishing Club. Atheists shutting down the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I can take any school club and find someone who would oppose it.

We can, and ought to, call sin what it is: transgression of the Torah. We can, and ought to,  use the Scriptures for rebuking and for teaching. We can share the Gospel message. But then, if the message is refused, we do as Yeshua told us to do: Shake the dust off our feet and move on. We are the planters of truth and God is the changer of hearts. Yeshua said follow me. Yeshua said love God and love your neighbor because all the laws of Torah encompass these two instructions. And just to be clear, we can not fully love God or our neighbor without following Torah and being in a covenant relationship with Yeshua. I am to bear the image of my Creator and reflect the image of my Savior. I am to be a set-apart creation. I am to be a light in the world. I am not to hide or side step what I believe, but I must also be able to back up my beliefs with Scripture. I am to speak truth in love and with kindness on my lips. No one ever won anyone over to their way of thinking by shaming them or screaming at them or humiliating them or bullying them. And these actions are contrary to what Yeshua taught. He did not teach us to destroy others with self-righteous fueled hate and haughty self-proclaimed piety. If those around us only ever see what we are opposed to, then we have failed in spreading the gospel message.

If you are a Christian, and your view is homosexuality is a sin, but you still eat swine, then you have some explaining to do. Why is your sin acceptable and theirs is not? Because God calls both an abomination among a multitude of other things.

And so the trinity of self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and selectiveness appear. Their false gospel message is clear: No matter what my sin is I am above you and your sin; My sin is okay, but yours is not; I can choose what is sin and what it is not based on my own twisting and misuse of the Scriptures. 

Perhaps it is time to read your Bible and find out what God says is wrong. Because if you believe that Yeshua taught anything in the New Testament contrary to what God said in the Old Testament, you do not believe Yeshua is God and are denying His deity. God does not lie. God does not change. His word stands forever. And he does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets. Yeshua taught the Father’s doctrine and the Father’s doctrine is Torah. 

Obedience to God is not a selective choosing and following only what Scriptures we deem necessary to paint a picture to the world of what being a good Christian looks like. Obedience to God is following His word – all of it – and conforming to His code of holiness which is the Torah. We can exist in the world not conforming to it and we can remain undefiled by it if we are pursuing holiness. Because if we are pursuing holiness, we are much more concerned with our own sin than the sins of others. We are to be holy because God is holy. This means following His rules set forth in Scripture. A good Christian attitude is not I am right and you are wrong; it is I love you, I want what is best for you, this is what God says, and I am going to pray for you to see His truth. And then we let God do what He does best – change hearts.

So will I sign your petition? I think not because it is birthed from a place of hypocrisy and hate instead of truth and love. 

One day Yeshua is going to return. No matter what each of us believes, every knee is going to bend and every mouth is going to confess that Yeshua is Lord. And He is going to be the one to judge our words, thoughts, and deeds. We all have enough to answer for in our own lives. And answer we will. I just don’t want my answer to be that I spent so much time worrying about the sins of my neighbor that I forgot to love them and share Yeshua’s truth with them. I don’t want to say that I spent my time slandering and gossiping about someone else’s sins, when it is my own sins needing to be repented of. Most of all, I don’t want to say that I was so filled with hate and venom and self-righteous judgement that I not only marred His image, but that I turned others away from ever wanting to enter a covenant relationship with Him.

Beware of the lines you create and of the ones you cross because those lines will identify whom you serve. As for me, I serve Yeshua, my King and my Messiah. And I hope you do as well..

Jun
25

Submission Required

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Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. ~ Luke 14:25-33

The dream still lingers years later, crashing through my days, vivid in my mind. Conversations about the dream turn to hurtful accusations and tearful confessions, forgivenesses that have been denied and words uttered that can never be retrieved and forever mar. Interpretations fall on deaf ears. More dreams come. Confirmations abound. And the one who needs to see them is blinded, heart hardened, feet planted in a stance of defiance.

I feel lost, anxious, abandoned, unworthy, unloved.

I want to be saved from this chaos and sleepless wrestling of things I cannot control. I want Yeshua to calm this storm and conform it to what I want. I want my version of how it plays out like a movie in my mind.

Instead I get panic knowing I cannot control the outcome. Not this time. No words I speak will sway. No tears I cry soften a heart. 

I do not know what will be required of me in this life, what sacrifices I will need to make to be a disciple of Yeshua. I know this: I do not get to choose what is required of me. I gave that up when I entered this covenant relationship. I can wrestle with God, and wrestle I have, but in the end it is His will and not mine. It costs everything to follow Yeshua and if I am not willing to lay down anything, everything even, then I am not worthy to follow Him. Yeshua died for me, paid the price for every sin I committed and every sin I will commit. Sins that deserve death. Sins I do not have to die for. 

And the cost of this? Loyalty to my King and to Him alone.

The cost of discipleship is great at times. The pain of pruning is often excruciating, pain I often think is more than I can bear. Burying children is a crippling pain, and even fifteen years later the weight of it is crushing at times. The worst pain I thought I would ever have to bear. There is a part me of that wants to tell God that it should have been enough. Why should I ever have to sacrifice another thing? What more could possibly be needed to bring me to submission?

His answer: whatever keeps me on my knees in prayer, whatever makes me understand I am not in control, whatever conforms me to Yeshua’s image, whatever it takes to purge unholiness. 

Because holiness is the goal lest I ever forget.

What about my house burning to the ground? What about a son who may never be in covenant with Yeshua? What about the severing of a marriage? What about…? 

Insert whatever you want into that question. It all has a value placed upon it.  

This afternoon I wrestle and I cry and beg Him to hear me. On my knees, broken and desperate, I echo back scripture that contains promises and truth. I beg Him to find another way, but in the end whisper, “Your will not mine, never, ever let it be my will, only let it always, always, always  be Yours.”

Yesterday I stood on the porch steps with thunder crashing and in drenching rain that soaked me cold. The oaks bent hard and low submitting to the wind blowing from every direction. This storm has raged and never-ending chaos has ruled for far too long. Just submit already I tell myself. But submitting quickly is not something I do.  I thought maybe the rain would wash away the anxiety and the broken heartedness and the chaos. 

So much for movie symbolism in real life. 

After the wrestling is over and the crying out for mercy has ended, the pleading has ceased and the submitting whispered. 

I get up.

I dust off my knees. 

I wipe away the tears. 

I keep my focus on the only one who is worthy. Yeshua. Always on Yeshua.

Because I know, that whatever happens next, His strength is sufficient. His mercy is great and His love greater. I know that no matter what, this refining creates holiness and holiness reflects Yeshua. So I plant my own feet on a path that follows my King knowing that no matter where He leads me I will follow, no matter what sacrifice He asks of me it is Kingdom worthy.

And for the first time in days and weeks and months I cannot count, I feel free and settled and at peace. Whatever He requires of me, the result and the reward will be worth it because everything I do is for Yeshua.

mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you – Elizabeth

Jul
15

Earning Love and Forgiveness

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The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

My God, My strength, in whom I will trust;

My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I will call upon the Lord,

who is worthy to be praised;

So shall I be saved from my enemies.

~ Psalm 18:2-3 nkjv

I learned some valuable lessons this week as I sat at Jesus’ feet.

When I tie my worth to the misunderstood opinions of others,

I lose sight of who God created me to be.

When I waste time trying to prove my heart is pure and holds no ill-intentions,

I spend too much time on my external self instead of my spirit.

When I live within another’s unforgiveness,

I forget that the only forgiveness that matters comes from Christ and the conditions are simple:  

I must only ask once with a humble and  repentive heart,

and forgiveness is gifted.

When love is conditional and required to be earned,

I will never have success in achieving that love.

Jesus does not make me beg Him for forgiveness

nor must I aspire to unreasonable requests

or perform unrealistic tasks to achieve it.

Jesus does not make me feel unworthy.

Jesus does not require His love be earned nor does He withhold it from me.

Jesus does not show arrogance or pride.

Jesus chooses kindness and love and whispers truth to my heart.

Jesus loves me in spite of all my unworthiness and accepts me just as I am.

And in the raining down of anarchy and the chaos of another,

His reigning

will ground me and right me in the direction

He leads me

granting

peace to my world.

Aug
20

Let Them Eat Cake

I’ve never been one to pay any mind to movie stars or the ridiculous out-of-touch-with-reality things they utter. I have seen the political rants of Meryl Streep and her gaggle of elitist sycophants. They are just well known people after all and no more important than any other person on this planet. Why would I care about their opinions? But a few years ago when women, led by Hollywood’s elites,...
Mar
2

An Open Letter to the World…

The grass withers, the flower fades,When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;Surely the people are grass.The grass withers, the flower fades,But the word of our God stands forever. ~ Isaiah 40.7-8 a winter storm approaching……Sea of Galilee Dear Depraved World, When I was a child, I would visit my grandparents in the summer. We would sit on the front porch with...
Feb
28

February’s Gratitude

This is the day which Adonai has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118.24 a list of a few things I am grateful for and that brought me joy this month… snowflakes Nicole date night movie theatre popcorn in all its thirst inducing saltiness snowstorms spring weather days in mid-February shadows that stretch long like a daydream in the fading afternoon winter melting into slush mud puddle...
Jan
31

January’s Gratitude

This is the day which Adonai has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118.24 a list of a few things I am grateful for and that brought me joy this month… coffee new books Randy’s job remains when so many have lost theirs a new roof new gutters that do not leak Yeshua Tobias’ soft velvety fur journals for writing and drawing mom brings me plants Shabbat the sound of thunder rumbling and...
Jan
29

Writing Words

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is Yeshua Messiah whom you serve. ~ Colossians 3.23-24 I fear my writing as much as I love it. Most days all I want to do is write and yet I find myself in a pattern of pushing it to the fringes of time in exchange for mundane daily chores, that while...
Jan
22

Rhythms

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. ~ Genesis 2.1-3 NASB sunset view from the Mount of...
Jan
20

Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen. ~ 1 Timothy 1.17 NASB Immortal, invisible, God only wise,In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,Most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;Thy justice like...
Sep
26

Your Sin, My Sin, and Yeshua

How Beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” We all have a moral compass we use to navigate the world; something we use to help us make decisions, discern right from wrong.  We all serve a god. It could be YHWH or allah or shiva. Even the atheist serves a...
Jun
25

Submission Required

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether...
Jul
15

Earning Love and Forgiveness

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, My strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. ~ Psalm 18:2-3 nkjv I learned some valuable lessons this week as I sat at Jesus’ feet. When I tie my worth to the misunderstood opinions of others, I lose...

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