Monthly Archives: July 2015

A moment revealed: Life is a Holy Gift

summer_sunlight_over_field-t2

Was it the way the golden light streamed gently through the trees? Or was it the sound of her laughter? Sometimes I have to ask myself, because I don’t even know. What was it that made me stop long enough to cherish the fragile beauty of the moment?

I almost missed it. Worse, rather. I almost prevented it.

I feel like that’s so much a part of my role as mom: keep the moments chugging along smoothly and timely. I can hear “Thomas the Train” cheering me along in my head, “They’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight, shunting cars and hauling freight. Red and green and brown and blue, they’re the Really Useful Crew…” Sounds so admirable doesn’t it? Really Useful Crew- such a strong and dignified title.

Perhaps it’s time to haul out the embroidery machine and make our own uniforms? We can do it kids! We can be that really useful crew. But alas, anyone who has ever had a child can know I dream in vain. Being really useful (or timely, or cleanly, or focused) is not on the top of their to-do lists. If ever you need a major project accomplished, do not hire a group of two-year-olds. Am I right ladies? They do not show up to the party ready to be useful. Not in the way intended at least.

So before she went running out to the backyard, I reminded her, “Say good-night to Daddy honey, ok? Just say good-night to Daddy then time to come back in.” The clock was ticking, every second a loud reminder that it was well past bed-time. It was one of those summer days spent pool-side; naps and dishes were ditched and for an entire afternoon we soaked it up. Sweet, sweet summer.

But now it’s time for bed. Focus honey-girl. Complete the mission and return to port ASAP.

I stood on the deck, knowing my pep-talk would need to be repeated four times. Slowly, she made her way to the garden. There he was, picking and pruning. She picked a raspberry, then another. “Goo-nigh daddy.” She said distractedly, eyes big and blue on all of the raspberries hanging in reach. I took a step, ready to intervene. Ready to bring timeliness to a two-year-old who has no concept of it. I wanted to chug the moment onto the next, the one where she was in bed sleeping and I was able to start haircuts for the boys.

But then he said something to her and she went running. Arms wide, blonde curls dancing wildly behind her. She laughed. My goodness, is there anything sweeter than the sound of a child’s laugh? Joy, innocence. He kneeled down, she gathered momentum and gave it all she got. Soon two pairs of legs were up in the air, one capped off by big, dirty work boots and one topped with small bare feet, and two songs of laughter filled the backyard and she was drinking in so much love. The sun was setting in that perfect golden way and it all made me stop. Wow. Life is really beautiful.

Wow. Life is really beautiful. Was I really just about to hurry this along? What other moments have I missed today? This week?

She made it to bed that night, a whole six minutes later than originally intended. As I was tucking her in, she re-lived that moment over and over, “I tack-oh-d Daddy! I tack-oh-d Daddy!” Big cheesy smile not coming off anytime soon.

As a mom, I get it. We juggle and organize and keep the schedules rolling, but I encourage you, I encourage myself, just stop and savor life more than every once and a while. It’s beautiful. Life is such a fragile beautiful gift. Stop hurrying long enough to recognize our moments; make moments. Be grateful. A grateful heart magnifies all of the good that is in life presently. Not what could be, should be. Gratefulness, right now in this moment. A grateful heart is the canvas upon which the “wow” moments are painted. Life is a holy gift.

Already it has been almost a year since I wrote this poem, Pigtails, about my precious girl in front of that same raspberry bush.

Time marches on unabashedly; we don’t always have to march with it. Pause and just watch for a bit, your grand love story playing out before you: you are loved. You are loved and He wants your love. Life is a holy gift. Step out of the routine to share that truth. Who needs to hear it? You? Your spouse? Children? Friend?

Make a moment, allow a moment. The important things in life are revealed in these places where we are bent and listening, watching.

-aubrie

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Pigtails

They sit atop her head,

Crooked and wispy.

 

The bottom hairs have fallen out;

A sure sign of an hour of play.

 

Shooting out on either side

They shout to the world “Here I am! Full of life!”

Much like the one-year-old who wears them.

 

Her blonde hair turns radiant white,

Reflecting the late summer sun above.

 

And there it catches my eye,

Bobbing up and down

In front of the raspberry bush.

 

Then she stops to point to the sky.

“Aig-pane! Aig-pane!”

A jet-liner noises our quiet backyard.

 

On her excited face

I see the raspberries have made a splash.

Like bright red lipstick around her mouth.

 

And then back to the bush she goes

Chubby legs squatting down,

Innocent hand reaching out,

And two perfect pigtails crowning the moment.

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Because God Hates Us {and other giant lies}

I can hear the terror. See it spreading like wildfire.

“We can’t do this! There is no way we will prevail against these people. They are like giants! Turn back, turn back!”

The women cry, their feet caked in the gritty sand of the desert. The men set their faces like stone, anger welling up within them. They aren’t enough. Powerful enough, strong enough. The kids look up in confusion, their hope hanging limp like the arms at their sides.

I can see the camels bow down under the heavy load. What they thought was the end of a journey was only a beginning.

“Why? Why did He do this? To destroy us?” Hands raise in heated conversation. They speak each one to himself, their voices harmonizing in disbelief. The crowd gathers, their fear stacked like kindling.

“Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us.”

Because the LORD hates us. That phrase caught my eye last night. Truly there is nothing new under the sun is there? The LORD hates… my heart sighs. Out of all the lies, this has to be the worst. And it’s still here.

He slithers around the neck, tightening, choking. He whispers poison to any listening ear. “He hates you. He wants to destroy you. There is no way you are getting into that Promised Land.”

To those he can’t deceive, he attacks. “Hater! Your God is full of hate!” He throws stones, hurriedly, fearfully. It is his life mission to bury the Truth.

TRUTH: God is love. God has so much unfathomable love, we cannot know the extent. Our minds cannot comprehend it. For you? Beloved, yes. For you. Let your heart soak, completely, fully submerged in His unfathomable love.

Egypt is enemy territory, the land of slavery. Yes, He wants to take us out of that land. This is not hate speech. This is love. If the glittering gold pyramids were flipped upside down, they could see it: love of self, discontentment, mountains of pain festering with old open sores. If the costly curtains were pulled back, then they could see: sexuality ghastly thin, reduced to nothing but skin and bones and sunken eyes. If the make-up was wiped away and the phony crown removed then they could see him, their prince of Egypt. He is a fake, a liar. He promises gold and gives them yellow dung. And they store it up like treasure. Like this is the life, this land of Egypt.

It is love, people. It is love to take you away from this land.

But now what about the Promised Land?

I love this truth.

“Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged… The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes. Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.” Deuteronomy 1

When the Israelites came upon the land, they could have had it. They needed one thing: faith. They needed belief and trust, looking past the things which their eyes could see. This is simple in story form isn’t it? Oh these faithless Israelites! How could they not believe?

But do we believe? They looked up and saw the sky, the same one you do. There wasn’t an image to look upon; there wasn’t a large sword drawn in the heavens encouraging them to go in. They could see only their own swords. They were people, human beings like we are today. Their weary bodies seemed no match for the giants of the land. Can you relate? Do you trust His ability to give you this land, despite the giants?

The first giant looms overhead, spreading his thick arms to the east and the west. His name? Your Past. “Look at what you’ve done?” He shouts over and over and over. “You are never going to get past me!”

The second giant takes his stand, lining up with the first. His name? Not Enough. He quickly shifts his weight from foot to foot, ready to take you on. “You are not enough. You will never be good enough for this land.”

A third giant joins. She is named Deception, beautiful and powerful. She circles like a vulture: “He hates you. He’s brought you here to destroy you. I know a better place, a land where you rule. God doesn’t love you. Come with me.”

And more giants join the three, and there you are. Your eyes are level with their knee caps and your own sword is all you can see. It clinks shallowly against your side. The desert wind kicks up sand and circles your thirsty mouth. Can you really go in to possess that land? That land flowing with milk and honey, bread and water.

That depends. If you do not have faith in the One who gives you the land, then no. Without faith, there is no inheritance.

“For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?… And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest.” Hebrews 4

And as the story goes, the Israelites did not enter the land on account of their lack of trust. They were re-routed for forty long years.

stonesBut then came Joshua, Yehoshua the son of Nun (Nun is a Hebrew letter that means life). The Lord is salvation.

But then came Yeshua the Son of God. Salvation. “He will cause Israel to inherit the land.”

I find it no coincidence that Moses was not permitted to lead the Israelites into the land. A loud message here: there is nothing you can do to gain entrance into the land on your own. How good is the law of God and obedience to it, but how lacking is your ability to save yourself, even through obedience.

The salvation of Yeshua defeats the giants. He goes before you, to give you the land as your possession. Do you believe Him? Do you trust Him? That is really all it takes.

When our hearts accept this truth, the giants fall like paper dolls. They have no power over us. Go in! Go into the land, eat and drink. Let your heart enter His rest.

“Yeshua said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst… All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out… and this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life…’” John 6

Having the ability to love and be loved, contentment, peace, rest, fullness of life, joy, freedom from bondage- these are the fruit, the fruit of His land.

This is love. God is love. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

-aubrie

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In the Shadow of Your Wings

Perhaps you’ve heard the latest news regarding Planned Parenthood?

I can’t let my thoughts stay here long. My fists clench and my heart beats faster and my stomach wants to vomit out the reality of demonic evil surrounding us. How is this happening? How is it that a woman has the ability to casually eat a salad while talking about killing a baby and crushing its head in such a way so as to pull out the body from the womb and sell his or her lungs, legs and liver for money? There aren’t any words here.

Abba we live in a dark world. Please set Your people apart, high upon the Rock. Open the eyes of the heart to see You, hear You, know You. May Your light shine through the darkness and the filth and that any chains of deception and death may be broken by the power of Yeshua. Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us; anoint us and equip us for the work set before us. Hide us in the shadow of Your wings. Amen.

A prayer of Moses the man of God (taken directly from Psalm 90-91):

LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God… teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom… Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands. Yes, establish the work of our hands. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’ He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler… ‘Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.’”

The word shadow has been placed on my heart.

In Hebrew, the word is tsel (pronounced ts-ayl). It means protection, shade, shelter (Strong’s Concordance). The English definition of shadow is:

1. a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface (noun).

2. follow and observe {someone} closely (verb).

I found out this week that when God said, “Let Us create man in Our image..” the Hebrew word used for image was tselem. So to recap:

Shadow = tsel

Image = tselem

Interesting. Do you see how closely those words are related? In Hebrew, every word has a “root word” that it is built from. It is easy to see that the word tselem was built from the word tsel. Shadow is the root word for image.

Now think of it this way, “Let Us create man in Our shadow… (Our tsel, Our tselem).”

A shadow is your reflection upon the earth, is it not? People, this is who we are. We are His reflection upon the earth. We are His image, His body.

The tabernacle was a shadow as well, a reflection upon the earth of the heavenly original. As it says, “They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’” Hebrews 8:5

Consider the name of the man who God anointed to build the tabernacle:

“And Moses said to the children of Israel, ‘See, the LORD has called name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding…” Exodus 35:30-31

In Hebrew the name is B’tsal’el (Strong’s Concordance #1212) and it means: in the shadow of El (El being the Hebrew word for God). Do you see that word shadow in the middle of the name? Tsel-El. Shadow of God. His name begins with the letter bet- thus giving the “b” sound at the beginning. The letter bet means house. Do you see the amazing depth of our God here?

He anoints Bezalel to build His tabernacle on earth. The man he chooses has a name that literally means house, shadow of God.

We are that tabernacle, His house, His shadow, and there is so much protection here. Outside of His shadow, you lose the protection. Rebel against Him and be certain you are choosing a dangerous route.

“Again the LORD spoke to Moses saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel: tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations… and you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy… I am the LORD your God.’” Numbers 15

The men of Israel, in obedience to the command of God, made the tassels (called tzitzit) and placed them on the corners of their garments. It was a constant, daily reminder to remember the commands of the Lord and to not follow their own hearts and eyes into deception. “Be holy… I am the LORD your God.”

tallitThe tassels were also put on the corners of their prayer shawls, called a tallit (tah-leet). The reminder was the same: you are a person under the authority of God.

“Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 17:8

In Hebrew, the word for “corners” is kanaph (kanaphim plural) (Strong’s #3671). It means corner, covering, edges, wing, extremity. So the tassels are on the kanaphim of the garment. This is the same exact word used in Psalm 17:8 where it says to “hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” Hide me in the shadow of Your kanaphim. Keep my heart safe as I live under Your authority.

Obey what God says and you are living under the shadow of His wings, His boundaries, His authority. Obey what God says and you are under the protection of His tsel (shadow).  Hide me in the shadow of Your wings. And isn’t that what He says time and time again? Obey Me. I have given you the path of life. Listen to Me. I love you and I want what is best for you.

“Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment (Hebrew word kanaphim). For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’” Mark 5:25-28

She reached out and touched the corner (hem in some translations) of His garment. His wing, exactly where God placed the tassels, the reminder of obedience and holiness. Perhaps she knew the Scriptures: “But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His wings (kanaphim).” Malachi 4:2

Has your heart suffered many things? Have you looked for help in all the wrong places only to grow worse? There is healing under His wings and His wings alone. Fear His name. Fear prompts obedience. Repentance and obedience are the two ingredients for reconciliation with Your Messiah who is the healer of any and all wounds, anywhere, anytime. There is healing in relationship with Him and walking His path of life and not our own deceptive paths of death. Un-forgiveness is the biggest trip up (for all of us I’m guessing). Choosing to refuse forgiveness is walking in rebellion along our own path. For our own well-being, we need to listen to God when He says to forgive seventy times seven.

It is in these daily choices that our lives reflect the true Light of the World. We are made in His image. This is who you are. If you have sin or guilt, repent and get up again. He is eager to forgive and replenish the dry areas. Do you know how invested He is in you? His hands prove it.

Letter by letter, the word shadow means: fish hook, harvest, to lay down, shepherd staff, authority. When we walk in His shadow, this is exactly what we are: fish hooks (“fishers of men”), people who lay down our lives to His authority, harvesters.

The other day, after all this stuff has been jumbling around in my brain for a while, my son and I were walking through a parking lot, the sun shining over-head, fingers laced together. Out of the blue he says to me, “Mom, I am walking in your shadow.” I stop and look at him. He’s looking down at the pavement, enjoying the sight of his shadow overlapping mine. I couldn’t help but smile from the confirmation.

Abba, in a world that is upside down and rejects Your way, call Your people together. May we walk in Your shadow, may we be that shadow, the reflection on earth of who You are by the power of Your Spirit in us. Anoint us with cups overflowing for the work You have called us to.

-aubrie

 

Talitha Kumi

She’s dead. She’s dead.

No more to rise,

No more to walk.

No more to see the light of day.

She’s dead, they said.

 

Lying lifeless she appeared to be

As dead as they had claimed.

The mourners gathered,

Weeping and wailing,

Not believing in His Name.

 

“She is not dead, only asleep.”

Yeshua declared in all authority.

Then with gentleness He took her by the hand.

“Talitha! Talitha, kumi.”

 

Awaken daughter. Arise and walk!

Your time has surely come.

Talitha kumi, little girl get up.

Judah and Ephraim are one.

 

I am one God.

I have one salvation.

I have one covenant.

I have one nation.

 

Arise, come my daughter

From the four corners of the earth.

Be gathered together, my coat of many colors,

It is nearing time for birth.

 

I give to you My tallit of blood.

My holy, righteous covering.

Wear it, share it, to the world declare it.

My Spirit now is hovering.

 

My girl of twelve,

Awake awake.

Take Me by the hand.

The time has come for you to know.

The time has come for you to stand.

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