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Happily Ever After

wedding-322034_1920There is a reason why the phrase “happily ever after” appears on fairy tales and not in wedding vows.  Yet, many who are married seem to think that somewhere in the fine print there is an understanding that another person is to be responsible for our happiness.  Having no scripture, no vow to substantiate the validity of that request means that its neither a requirement of our spouse to accommodate that request nor is it our responsibility to fulfill that for anyone else.  Happiness is a state of being that is predicated on our relationship with the Creator.

Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.  (Psa 144:15)

Another reason why we may find ourselves in a state of unhappiness may be because we are not keeping the laws of God.  According to the bible there are forty two verses where the word “happy” and sometimes translated “blessed” (strongs number H835) appears and only two conclude a form of happiness based on what another human being can provide and in that context it was related to having a child which was a response of a person not a command of the Almighty. (Gen. 30:13)  Another such scripture that eludes to happiness being directed towards an individual is once again based on children not the responsibility of a spouse. (Psa. 127)   The majority of the scriptures on this topic falls under three primary categories:

  • Those who keep the laws of God,
  • Those who seek after wisdom and understanding,
  • Those who suffer for righteousness sake

Many of us make happiness a requirement of another individual as though it is a commandment when in actuality if we keep the commandments of YHVH, God is stating to us that we would be happy.  Have we tested him in this?  Are we keeping the commandments of the Almighty?  This notion or expectation of someone or something else to bring me happiness is a tall order that is guaranteed to lead to a let down.  A lot of my unhappiness in other words was self induced because I had a wrong perspective concerning happiness and who was responsible for providing that to me.

There are laws that God established concerning the duties of a wife to a husband as well as the duties of a husband to a wife.  While we can have all the reasons in the world for being remiss in fulfilling those duties, no excuse will hold up in Yah’s court when we come before him.  So for this reason I am happy as the scripture states I would be for accepting the correction of the Almighty.  (Job 5:17)  Correcting poor behavior or habits obviously doesn’t happen over night, but the happiness I feel is like the relief you feel when you confirm the diagnosis of an unnamed sickness.  I don’t know if you ever had something wrong in your body and no one could tell you what it was.  You’ve been to doctors and they can’t tell you, you’ve prayed about it, and you still didn’t get an answer.  Not knowing what is wrong can be just as bad as figuring out what you got, and just as deadly.  The idea that what you are experiencing is all in your head and not real can lead to self doubt and make you feel like you are going insane.  Putting a name to it somehow brings about a strange feeling of calmness that comforts you.  Because now you can begin to address the problem, since it has a name.  We know that God’s name is above every name that is named. (Eph. 1:21)  But it’s hard to pray for a disease that has no name, it feels like beating the air or fighting the wind.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (Eph 5:22-30)

Many women become unglued with verse 22, but the bottom line is if this scripture didn’t end with, “as unto the Lord”, then I could see how this could be problematic.  We know that the Lord would never ask us to do something that is against his word, and therefore if we understand that our submission is not just to a man, but to YAH, man is fallible and as such we are not expected to obey  ANY MAN that would command us to commit a sin.  Submission is a heart attitude concerning authority, and through our submission in marriage we are able to reverse the Eve effect that exists in society.

We also see that he doesn’t make a condition that if your husband loves you, as Christ loved the church only then are you to submit to him.  The same way he doesn’t make a commitment to husbands that they are to love you, only if you submit to them.  Every individual is responsible for their role in the relationship and praise Yah that he is just and won’t judge us by others action, nor judge others by ours.  Each individual will be judged by their own actions.  Which brings me again back to why I am so happy.  Because it was the word that stated, “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”(1Co 11:31)

In my actions I lived as though the principle of reciprocity was to govern my actions with my husband rather then the principles of scripture which is not depended or dictated on how another treats you, whether wrong or perceived wrong, but rather on your personal relationship with YHVH through his son YeHosHua the Maschiach.  If YeHoshua waited on His bride to rise to the fullness of His expectation of her to be obedient to Him in everything before he loved us, where would we be?  As scripture put it, we love him because he first loved us. (1 Jn 4:19)  He initiated the love and boy am I grateful.  This is where our happiness should lie.  People will mess up, Yehoshua knows this, which is why there is no scripture that tells us to trust man, any reference to trust in the bible is in relationship to God, but never to man.  We can trust God in man, but not man alone.  My confrontation on this topic was liken to a diagnosis of a problem that was causing me much grief in my own relationship, and though I still have not arrived, I am thankful to find my way back on the track, and praise God that my Happily Ever After is not dependent on humanity, but is found securely in Him.

 

 

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Identifying the Leaky Faucets in Your Life

These days my life has been busier then they have in a really long time.  I believe God gives you these moments of refuge and retreat because he knows the road ahead is going to be so bumpy.  In the process though I have learned a lot about myself and have come to appreciate the importance of being very selective about who I share information with.  Many of us especially as women, but men have this issue too can before we know it be guilty of being the leaky faucet in the relationships we possess.  However, I am realizing that when we are most vulnerable and in need of help we can often share information with people and reveal confidences under a misguided belief that everyone is on the same page.  We don’t assess that some people use your information to hurt you, not to help you.  Then others with information can try to help you, but in the end only hurt you. An important attribute I am learning in this journey we call life is to be selective about my communication and provide it on an as needed basis.  My father has taught me well that not everybody is on your side, and thus not everybody needs to know your business.

Sadly, many of us don’t even know when we are being used by Satan, and unfortunately, that means others of us have to be mindful of how we speak and to whom we speak.  Again, not everybody has your best interest at heart when they are in your business.  One scripture that constantly comes to my mind since I have been in my home town this week is

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

1Co 15:33

     So often people use your painful situation as their comic relief, making for sport your trials as the most recent gossip that they share with their friends, not realizing that loose lips sinks ships.  Forgetting that the seed they sow is the same one they reap.  Yet the contradiction of it all is the same people who feel so free to share your business, can be so abhorrent when it comes to theirs.  But in a society of hypocrisy this shouldn’t be surprising.   I say this with a heavy heart, but more then ever I realize that I am a child of Abraham, still looking for a city whose Builder and Maker is Yah and so thankful that I have no problems leaving my homeland to as far as I must go to get there.  Those courageous enough to let go of the dead weight that this system holds one captive to has truly been liberated to enter so freely into that space.  Guarding your conversation and to whom you speak I am finding is the best way to preserve a more simplistic lifestyle, and these days I am all about simplicity.

The Test of Esau

These are my notes from Yom Kippur, (Day of Atonement).  I pray that what the Father showed me this year will bless you as they have me this year as I close off the Last Great Day in Atlanta, GA with my family.  I hope that all have experienced the love and growth of the Father this Feast Season and I look forward to what he will be revealing as we wait with hopeful anticipation for the new season to come.

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The Spirit of Esau is like the Spirit of Adam and Eve, when we desire the things we see more than the things we can’t see we will put the thing that leads to life as a lower priority to our flesh. The beauty of Yom Kippur is that it tests your true loyalty. Do you follow Yahushah because he feeds you, blessed you or do you follow Yahushah because you love him. There were many who only flocked to Yahushah because He fed them. (John 6:26) Moses understood and passed this test on two occasions. (Exo. 24:18; Exo. 34:28) This test has been given over and over again and those who passed became vessels of honor, while those who failed became vessels of dishonor. We mustn’t think that we will escape this test, but rather this test is built into the Feast days that we keep.

There is nothing we give to the Lord that can compare to what we receive back from him.  Therefore there is nothing we have that can be compared to the rewards of eternity.

(Mat 19:29) And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

This year, more important to me than fasting from food is fasting from the things that have become an intimate part of my life though it sustains no true intimacy. Thus, Facebook, the internet, all the things that distract me from focusing on him was cut out.

In the life of Jacob we also discover that deception also leads us in a direction away from the home we all desire to inhabit. We don’t want to be selfish, only concerned about me, I, and my. In Jacob’s quest for the right thing he went about obtaining it in all the wrong ways, because at the time he was focused on self. Yom Kippur is a time where we reach out to our brother Esau as Jacob did on his return back to his Father’s house.(Gen. 32:13-15; Gen. 33:10-11) We willingly offer a token of our physical possessions as a peace offering extending to those outside of the covenant of God an opportunity to enter into the family of the Living King. For the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are unseen are eternal.(2 Co. 4:18)

Yahushah’s response to the temptor was based on what was written, “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Mat 4:3-4)

The test of Esau is a challenge that prepares you for one day, and that day is Yom Kippur. Whereas Moses had 40 days and 40 nights doubled and Yahushah had forty days also in the wilderness food and water both denied to them as they pressed in to the Almighty and eschewed evil they are our example.

We see in the story of Jacob that twice food was used as a catalyst for deception. First with his brother Esau pottage was used to extract the birthright, and again with Isaac food was used as part of the deception to extract the blessing. (Gen. 25:30-34; Gen. 27)

In Messiah’s example we see that the enemy doesn’t just stop at testing us with hunger, but he offers us something else if food doesn’t get us, he offers us the world.  Be not deceived Satan has wisdom, its just that his wisdom is corrupt. (Matt. 10:16)

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. “(Mat 4:8-9)

All too often we prioritize our flesh and the desires of it above the Spiritual food our body needs. The cares of this life usually has a front row seat in our ongoing movie while the matters of our Creator seem to find themselves in a, if it is convenient for me, moment in our lives. In other cases he only becomes center stage when we have grown weary of failing at solving our own crisis, and need him to fix our issues for us. But Yom Kippur serves as a rehearsal that tests our loyalty irrespective of what our physical condition may be. I must admit some days I fail this test as the cares of this life begin to eat away at me, and rather than give them over to Yah I find myself holding on, when letting go would give me much greater relief.

I am not sure whether or not this could be called an article or just my notes from my study, but I pray that all who are willing to press in to the end of this written conversation will be equipped to see the areas of Esau that reside in your lives and make the right choice when they come.

No Neutral Ground

                There comes a point in life where you begin to want to know how things spiraled as out of control as they have. As things progress and advance technologically it is as if we have gone back in time, biblical times of Sodom and Gomorrah as it relates to our sin as a nation. Pinpointing that exact moment of change somehow seems like a necessary piece of the puzzle to overturn the path we have chosen. Now the current wave seems to be “gender neutrality”. Those who embrace this way of thinking no longer wants to make a difference anymore between men and women and instead of celebrating the complimentary difference built into us by the Creator it seems to be a move to erase it altogether. When God created us he said he created us in His image and likeness which means that built into the difference between man and woman there is a unique, yet common link that reveals the picture of who He is. We should embrace that built in difference, celebrate it, honor it, and appreciate it for what it is rather than buck it.

                History teaches us anything that goes against nature eventually becomes extinct. While our God is a unified one, it should be clear he is not a neutral one. He has definite aspects of who he is and there is distinction in his makeup. Neutrality in fact is something he categorizes as being lukewarm and scripture reveals he can’t stomach that. (Rev. 3:16) The point is in our quest for pursuing equality we never ask ourselves what is the function of our being. The essence of why these bodies we have been given was made the way they were, and what life would be like without our purpose being fulfilled. If we aren’t careful we will discover what the end of our choice will lead to.

                Intrinsic to the Hebrew language which is made up of pictures is the prophetic picture of what an unholy union against nature and nature’s God looks like, we will see where “gender neutrality” leads. (Rom. 1:26-32) Let us look at the Hebrew word for “man” and then let’s look at the Hebrew word for “woman” and see what we discover. We also will see what we will get if we ignore the distinction that Yah has given each one. We will see the end result of the “feminist movement” that we have fought for, for so long.

                The natural result of men not loving their wife and women not respecting their husband is sexual confusion further creating the identity crisis that this hodge podge experiment in the U.S. as the melting pot of every nation has become; a conglomeration of out of order systems from the top of the seat of authority to the average household in any given State. If there is no distinction amongst us then there can be no order either. Both men and women are leaders in the area that they have been chosen to lead, but if the household is left without a leader what else can we produce but sickly, depressed, and confused offspring? Let’s look at the Ancient Hebrew characters below and see how they reveal this truth.

Man

Woman

man

 

woman

Eesh

Isha

Fire

fire

Ash

Name of God

YaH

YaH

                As we read these words above, I want you to notice the similarities in the characters between “man” and “woman”. In Hebrew words are written from right to left so we will start at the right to see what both of them have in common.

                The first character is (aleph) pronounced “aleph” in English and it means strength (abstract), ox (concrete, as it looks like an ox’s head), and being the first character in the Hebrew Alephbet it holds the numeric value of “first”. This is the first character both man and woman have in common and it is what they have equality in, being strong, being lead in creation, since they together were given dominion and made in the image and likeness of Elohim. Neither man nor woman was given dominion over each other, but rather they shared dominion over the earth. Nevertheless, there is still a first amongst equals otherwise confusion ensues.

                The second character for man is (yad) pronounced “yad” or “yood” in English and it means to “work, make, or do” (abstract) and is the picture of an “arm or closed hand” (concrete) as in Hebrew the hand as presented in this character is not just the part that works the five fingers but goes as far up as the elbow. Thus, a man must “first” (Aleph) “work” (Yad) and as Creation reveals that was what he first did when he was created in naming the animals. (2 Th 3:10) He was commissioned to work.

                The second character in woman is the same as the last character in man so we will cover both at the same time. The character (sheen) resembles the picture of “teeth” (concrete) and is pronounced in English “sheen” and its meaning reflects its appearance as one “consumes, devours, and presses” (abstract) with their teeth. So we see that a man must first work before he consumes (eat) as scripture has said. (Php. 2:6) The woman is the one who first consumed as we also see in scripture that it was Eve who first consumed the forbidden fruit in Genesis that would reveal the naked state that they had been in.

                The only thing left is the last character for woman which is (hey) and it is the picture of a man with his hands in surrender mode. This character in English is pronounced “hey” and also carries a similar meaning as we use the word in English meaning “to reveal, to look, or to see” (abstract). Reflecting the exact picture of what happened with Eve, which is why as a result God established a system of protection for women so that the deception that caused the great fall for humanity wouldn’t be repeated. (1 Tim. 2:14) The other truth revealed in the fall of Adam and Eve was just how much influence women do have with their husbands and why if we desire for that influence to be used for good instead of evil we need to be led by the Spirit of God and not our flesh.

                Now I want you to notice the word below both “man” and “woman” in the table above and pay close attention to the characters that they have in common with “man” and “woman” the word “Fire”. But as we stated those things within our character that distinguish us as well as those that unite us must not be neglected otherwise we have chaos. We see that the word fire (Ash – fire) shares both the same first letter as man and woman and the last character for man and the second character for woman makes up its second letter. Together the word means “strong consumer” which we can agree fire is. It is both to be respected as something that can bring life, when contained in a freezing cold environment and death when not contained. Thus we see “fire” is a substance at least as far as Hebrew that is reflected in both man and woman but when used together represents that life giving and sustaining substance as the man is the one who “works” – yad in the fire fire and the woman is the one who is “revealed” or “comes out of” – hey the fire.(1 Cor. 3:15; Eph. 5:23-32)

                That is the constructive life giving aspect of man and woman, however we also can see from the same picture what happens when we erase that which distinguishes us, i.e. become “gender neutral”. I added another word to our list after fire, because I like to save the best for last, which is the name for God. The character for God’s name like the distinctive x and y chromosomes in our DNA which determines our gender spells the poetic short form of God’s name “Yah”. Think it a coincidence that the “y” in English corresponds to “yad” in Hebrew? Or do you think that it is a coincidence that when we look at “hey” it resembles an “x” in English? When we take out those distinctive characters that exist between man and woman and we double what remains we are left with “firefire” or in English “Ash Ash”. In Hebrew culture to double a word is equivalent to an English superlative. It is the equivalent of putting an –est like we do in “best” to distinguish it from “better” or “good”. Thus fire, fire would be comparable to the destruction that occurred in Sodom and Gomorrah. Our lives then begin to incorporate the twisted image that erases the presence or picture or image (as Hebrew characters are pictures, in which pictures are images) of Yah from our makeup producing something that will be subject to the strong consumer for indeed our God is a Consuming Fire. (Deut. 4:24)

                Bottom line is we had better make sure that we are not adding or taking away from the distinctions nor forgetting or belittling the similarities between us otherwise we will produce an image that does not reflect the image of God. Therefore in this equation neutrality is not an option we either reflect the image of God in our lives or we deflect it and there is no middle ground.

Shaking Things Into Place

photostudio_1467157743648.jpgI got fitted for a bra the other day and once you get past the uncomfortableness of revealing way more to a complete stranger than you desire the end result is worthwhile. Allowing someone who has majored in your weakness to assist you in dealing with the intimate areas of your life can make a remarkable difference in helping you shape up your presentation to the world. This is what the Holy Spirit does for us, He helps us shape things up in our lives that without knowledge or courage we wouldn’t be able to do ourselves. If we allow Him to He comes in and helps to shape up the areas we are resistant for others to see. Sometimes we have to get out of ourselves to allow someone in so that we can become the person we are destined to be.

I must admit it did help that the one who was assisting me was my stepdaughter instead of a complete stranger. Of course, not even she would have seen all of what hid behind layers of clothing before this event, but it always helps to have someone close to you expose you privately than a complete stranger. This is why relationship with Yah is so critical. When we recognize that he is our Father, and we are no longer just servants, but friends of God then we begin to embrace His counsel for our lives realizing that what he desires for us is better for us. He is not grossed out by our battle scars or intimidated by our belly rolls, he instead instructs us as to how we can shake things into place. This was the remarkable part about this experience for me. As you get older, and especially if you are well endowed, your body begins to form into the prostrate position without any assistance from you. However, manmade apparatuses meant to push you back into place, so to speak require a little help from you and gravity. So, once you put your bra on and move from the upright position to the tilted forward position you can then shake your girls into the cups of the bra, once again experiencing that youthful position with just a little nudge from gravity. We have to shake the ugliness of death from us so that we can embrace the fullness of life in Him. Once we do that then things can be shaken back into their proper place.

I always chose bras without wires, until my bra fitter explained to me that I must have been wearing the wrong size bra if I could feel the wire. Sometimes we are trying to contain big dreams in bowls that are too small. We can’t be afraid to upsize when our dreams are too big to fit in our current cups. Having the right size makes all the difference in having quality support. So if people around you can’t see the vision Yah has put in your heart you may need to enlarge your territory. Perhaps you are wearing the wrong size cup, so to speak. We should always be hard wired into Christ, he is the one size fit all support that we need.

Now, once we are faced with the reality check that our size has shifted, we need not be upset that we are larger than we expected. Enlarging our territory is naturally what occurs when we have matured. Now there are things we shake into place, and then there are things that He puts into place. The natural only reflects the spiritual principles that are at work, but it’s the spiritual picture that we need in order to experience life. Know that our life doesn’t consist of the abundance of things, in fact it’s really the simple things in life we take for granted that has the greatest impact on our purpose. It’s the little things we overlook that builds the big things in our future. We would be amazed at the big revelations we miss that Yah tries to show us in the simple things of life. Who would have ever thought a bra fitting would lead to an article that shares such a profound and simple truth.