Elul – Day 6

Posted by on Aug 17, 2018 in All Posts, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Day 6

Today we have completed one full week since the beginning of the Hebrew month Elul. Are you still with us? Please don’t neglect it, please don’t give up!

This morning we are going to look at the ‘idols in our life’ … do you have any? Don’t think so, eh? Well, let’s look at a few examples of where they might claim a position in your life.

Let’s look at what an ‘idol’ really means

noun: idol; plural noun: idols
1. An image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.
Synonyms: icon, representation of a god, image, effigy, statue, figure, figurine.
More: graven image, false god, golden calf, “a throng of men gathered in worship of a golden idol.”
2. A person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered.
Synonyms: Hero, hereoine, star, superstar, icon, celebrity.

So…with that understanding – do you  have something OTHER than the Holy One of Israel that you greatly admire, love or revere? Think about that carefully dear one, and be honest with yourself.

Ask yourself:
Is there someone or something in your life that has your undivided attention more than your relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth? Why do you think that you are spending more time with them/it then you are with Him?

Exercise for the day: Identify one person or thing (book, resource, activity, habit) where you focus more of your time per day rather than time spent reading and absorbing His words, His mercy, His love. In other words, how much time do you spend on ‘other things’ compared to spending time in developing your relationship with YHWH / God?

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Elul – Day 5

Posted by on Aug 16, 2018 in All Posts, Elul | 0 comments

DEVELOPING SENSITIVITY

When the Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak was a child, he was walking in a garden one day and he ripped off a leaf and began rubbing it with his finger. His father rebuked him, “What right do you have to rip a leaf from a tree and mistreat it for no purpose at all?” When the Rebbe grew up he said that this incident had a deep impact on his life. It taught him to be sensitive to everything.

If a person is sensitive to a leaf on a tree, he will, without a doubt, be sensitive to all life forms—most of all to his fellow human beings. This is the essence of tzedakah (“charity”), one of the three pillars upon which the world stands (Torah and prayer being the other two). Tzedakah is sensitivity in action.

Sensitivity to life is the goal of many of the practices of the Torah. Some of them appear deceptively simple—for example, take the act of making a blessing before eating.

On a basic level, a blessing on food is saying thank you to God. That makes sense—whenever anyone gives you something, you say thank you. And if you can thank the waiter who brought you the food, you can definitely thank the Creator who created it.

But on a deeper level, the blessing has a profound meaning. When you are hungry, you want to sensitiveput that food in your mouth immediately. But the Torah says, “No, you can’t.” First, you must be sensitive to the environment, to every fiber of grass, every cell of life, because everything that God created has sanctity to it. You have no right consume a part of creation unless you are sanctifying it.

It’s true that many people just make blessings by rote, without sensitivity. That is mechanical Judaism. But if you understand and appreciate the concept of a blessing, you know that little daily acts like it can sensitize your life.

Ask yourself:  How sensitive are you to the world around you?  Do you have a plan for developing/increasing your sensitivity?

Exercise for the day:

  • Make a special effort to increase your charitable giving, beyond your natural tendency.
  • Place a charity box in your home, office and car. Teach your children to give of their money and time to others.
  • Before you eat focus on making a blessing, with added intention, thanking G-d and concentrating on the spiritual energy contained within the food that you are about to consume.

 

 

as always, order the book for the full commentaries (or sign up for these to come in your inbox – 60 Days of a Spiritual Journey from Rabbi Jacobsen, Meaningful Life

Elul – Day 4

Posted by on Aug 15, 2018 in All Posts, Elul | 0 comments

Elul Day 4

Hope you are enjoying your time walking through the month of Elul. Here we are, five days in! Did you know that in Hebrew – what they call the Gematria (method of interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words) that the number 5 symbolizes Grace? Isn’t that interesting…grace. How much grace do you have in your life? How much grace do you extend in your life? Interesting question isn’t it?

Think about that for a moment. 

Let’s look a bit more at ‘grace‘ … or in Hebrew the word is chen, which derives from a shoresh (root) meaning “favor, mercy, kindness, graciousness.”   God reveals Himself as gracious, longsuffering, abounding in chesed and emet (mercy and truth), all throughout scripture. Wow! Grace can mean SO MUCH MORE!Grace & Mercy

In the 69 occurrences in the scriptures it is translated either ‘favor’ or ‘grace’ …

The Hebrew word chen is  from a root word chanan – to bend or stoop in kindness to another as a superior to an inferior (Strongs 2603). In Greek it is charis and has the idea of graciousness in manner or action (Strongs 5485) and comes from the root word chairo to be cheerful, happy (Strongs 5463)

Go back and read that again – the root word chanan means to bend or stoop in kindness from a superior to an inferior! When used in reference to God – it means that He is stooping down in kindness to His people! His unmerited favor, His mercy is an expression of His compassion towards us!

As we travel through this time of Elul…let us remember that our King is in the field. He has stooped down from His Throne and has extended a personal invitation to each of u

Grace-mercy

s to walk with Him hand in hand through the beauty of a fall landscape. Let us readily accept that invitation and share our hearts and souls with the One who knows our deepest thoughts.

Ask yourself this question:
Have you ever evaluated that part of your belief system concerning ‘grace’ … did you think it only applied to you? Or do you also try to offer that same grace to everyone around you?

Exercise for the day:
Extend favor, grace to at least one person today. No matter what situation or circumstance presents itself, choose to offer the same grace you  have been given by the Messiah Himself to that one person.

Elul…..and healing begins

Posted by on Aug 14, 2018 in All Posts, Elul | 0 comments

Elul…..and healing begins

This has been a very hard week for me … and now I realize why. Elul begins the tearing away of the veil that covers our true self. The veils that have surrounded me this past year are being torn away, walls torn down and tears shed. This next 40 days are not only heart wrenching, but heart healing.

It is customary to read Psalm 27 daily during the sixth biblical month of Elul. This Psalm is one of crying out from the depths of despair to the Only One that knows all and has it all under his control

Below is Psalm 27…. read it slowly, let it sink in and let it carry you away. Let the spirit of wisdom rest upon your heart.  May the words of this Psalm not only pierce your heart but lift you up on wings of angels!

The Shofar (ram’s horn) is lifted up to the skies every day as well and it awakens us from our spiritual slumber and calls us to repentance!  Read below Psalm 27 … and then listen to the shofar video below. May your journey of awakening be blessed!

Psalm 27 “Yehovah is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Yehovah is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell! Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of Yehovah, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of Yehovah all the days of my life: to behold the beauty of Yehovah and to enquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around about me: therefore I will offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of teruah; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises unto Yehovah. Hear, Yehovah, when I cry with my voice: have mercy upon me, and answer me!When You said: “Seek My face”; my heart said unto You: “Your face, Yehovah, I will seek”. Do not hide Your face from me; nor put Your servant away in anger! You have been my help; do not leave me or forsake me, O God of my salvation! When my father and my mother forsake me, then Yehovah will take me up. Teach me Your way, Yehovah, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of my enemies: for false witnesses have risen up against me, and such as breathe out violence. I would have lost heart unless I had believed to see the goodness of Yehovah in the land of the living. Wait on Yehovah, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on Yehovah!” Psalm 27

 


 

 

Elul – Day 3

Posted by on Aug 14, 2018 in All Posts, Elul | 1 comment

LEARNING TO BE FREE

Identifying damaging patterns and personal bias is an essential step on a journey to freedom from our personal bondage.

In one way or another, we’re all enslaved—by our psychological demons, or by social standards, by our parents’ words and attitudes, or by our responsibilities, by the consequences of the mistakes we’ve made, or by our careers, employers, or employees.

Learning how to be free is what is called in the Torah “leaving Egypt.”

The Hebrew word for Egypt is Mitzrayim, which literally means “narrow” and which represents all forms of enslavement, be it dependency, conformity, subjectivity—whatever it may be in your life that sets up obstacles, limits, or constraints.

chainsTo be free, you must leave your personal Mitzrayim. But freedom is not enough. You can be free for a while and then be enslaved again. This is why forty days after the Israelites left Egypt and tasted freedom for the first time, they received a guidebook—the Torah—on how to maintain freedom.

Look at your own life. There were undoubtedly many times you felt free, you felt inspired, you felt you could do anything, but then old patterns and biases took over. You couldn’t maintain that inspiration. The resolve to change was there for a moment, but you couldn’t sustain it.

This is where you need the guidance of the Divine Torah blueprint. It tells you how to access your soul, how to achieve freedom in every part of your life, from the moment you wake to the moment you go to sleep, and even while you’re asleep.

Ask Yourself:
To what extent have you used the guidance of the Torah to access your soul?  To what extent are you familiar with what the Torah teaches in this regard?

Exercise for the day:
Identify one area in your life where you badly need the objective guidance of Torah because you have not been able to make meaningful progress on your own.

 

From The Meaningful Life.

Elul – 2nd Day of Rosh Chodesh Elul

Posted by on Aug 13, 2018 in All Posts, Elul, Feast Days | 0 comments

Elul – 2nd Day of Rosh Chodesh Elul

Elul 1, 2nd Day of Rosh Chodesh Elul

Today is the second of the two Rosh Chodesh (“Head of the Month”) days for the month of Elul. Why is that you might ask? Why 2 days? Well, when a month has 30 days, both the last day of the month and the first day of the following month serve as the following month’s Rosh Chodesh).

Prayers:

Father, we humbly come before you and ask you to bless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and all those in leadership to love You above all else.

Father help us to remember to pray and bless Israel and our brothers, the Jewish People and that they will love, honor and look to you with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

We praise and thank you heavenly Father for giving us the Scriptures and for teaching us to have no other gods before you and to love you above all that we treasure in this world.

We pray for our nation Father and ask that our own leaders look to you to guide them in making all their decision and we confess and repent that we have failed to place you above all other priorities in our lives.

Scriptures to ponder on:

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked man forsake his way , and the perverse man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isa. 55:7).

Thoughts to contemplate on:

Have you identified any damaging patterns and personal bias in life that holds you in bondage in bondageone form or another? Continue to think on these things because we are all enslaved – one way or the other – whether it be social standards, psychological problems, attitudes passed down or even by mistakes we’ve made. To ‘leave Egypt’, we must learn how to ‘be free’. To be free is to leave behind all those threads that bind us to our own personal mitzrayim.

But how do we STAY FREE? We can not do it on our own power, we can not stay free from the bondage of the world. There has to be a higher power in our lives, and that power has to be the Creator of All – YHWH Himself. And to understand how to break free and remain free, we must read the words that He has given to us through His word. So ask yourself – do you delve into His word every day, each and every day, to align your life with His words? If not, why not? Now, determine to spend time each day hearing His voice and listening to how He would have you order your steps.  Right it down!

freedom

Time to focus…

Posted by on Aug 10, 2018 in All Posts, Journey thru Garden, Our Family | 0 comments

Events of the past couple of years have seemed to follow me like a black cloud…and with the end of the year fast approaching, those black clouds burst into torrents of rain every once in awhile.

But…. while my heart is heavy with the date of September 24th looming like a sledgehammer ready to fall, that is NOT what my ‘bluebird gone’ would want. He would chide me, I’m sure, for sinking into a pity party and would remind me to lift up my face to the heavens and remember just WHO he is hanging out with! Jason would remind me of the good times, the loving times, and yes, of ALL the times from the time I first discovered I was carrying him, to the time I had to let him go.  And I would smile back at him and remind him….I have never let you go! You will be in my heart for eternity. And he would smile back…and say – ‘there you go mom, now pass that on’.

Today, it’s as if Jason nudged his heavenly Father and said, ‘hey – can you send something to my mom?’
And he did – a good friend posted this on FB… So, here it is – if you’re going thru a difficult season in your life, read this – because it was sent to you as well!

FREEDOM FROM A MURMURING AND COMPLAINING SPIRIT.

My precious one,

When the duration of time you’ve been in a painful and fiery trial feels elongated and never-ending, your human heart is tempted to complain and murmur. It becomes hard to understand why nothing seems to be getting better and easier despite all the efforts and energy you have invested in looking for a solution. And so begin the questions, the resentment and the anger.

You may even get offended with Me. And begin to feel I am far from you, or that My Word concerning you does not work. Your faith may then become shaky, and as your eyes become more and more glued to the situations around you, you slowly begin to sink into them, and into depression, despair and hopelessness.

Precious one, I am lifting up your head and your eyes to Me.

You have not even began to imagine how much complaining and murmuring, whether against me, people or situations affects you, our relationship and your capacity to conquer. Whenever you complain, your spirit releases a toxic substance that creates an atmosphere all around you like a dark cloud. A dark cloud that stings your eyes like smoke and keeps you from seeing. It blocks your sensitivity in the Spirit and hinders your movement, causing you to be stuck in your situation and stagnate.

The more you complain, this dark, blinding, stinging, toxic substance intensifies all around you and suddenly, everything and everyone around you looks dark and dreary, including Me. You become irritable, negative and relationships all around you begin to disintegrate, including those with the people I assigned to your life for your help and blessing.

You cannot hear Me when your spirit is consumed by a complaining spirit, because My still, small Voice is drowned by the noise on the inside and what I desire to show you is blocked by the dark atmosphere around your spirit created by the murmuring spirit.When you remain in this situation for so long, you start complaining about everyone and everything. Resultantly, whatever you constantly murmur against withers and dies.

I have come to you today, to give you life and life in abundance.

To shift your atmosphere from complaining and murmuring to thankfulness, praise, peace and calmness. I know you love the sound of this. You want your spirit to breathe again and fly again. You want to be whole again.

Here’s a secret I impart into your spirit today:

I love you. I care for you. I am always working in you and for you. In you to make you both willing and able to obey My purpose and for you to show Myself strong on your behalf. Even in the worst of situations, I am actively at work within that painful experience to bring good and glory out of it for your sake.

Allow these words to sink into your heart.

Allow them to settle in you.

Understanding this changes how you engage with Me in the midst of trial as well as your attitude towards your experiences. Because instead of complaining and murmuring, you will:

1. Begin to thank and praise Me in that situation by faith that I am with you and for you.

2. Ask Me to align you with My Heart and Mind concerning the situation

3. Ask Me to reveal to you what I am doing in you and for you in that situation

4. Ask Me to make you one with what I am doing and where I am leading you into and help you to cooperate with Me and co-work with Me.

When you do this, I give you My assurance – good, tremendous glory, a bountiful harvest, enduring and abundant fruits, honor and glory will be your portion no matter what you go through.

I am for you My precious one. Not against you.

Work with Me through this.

Agree with Me.

Your Loving Daddy, God.


Running into stumbling blocks?

Posted by on Jun 20, 2018 in All Posts, Journey thru Garden, Pams Ponderings | 0 comments

Running into stumbling  blocks?

It seems that those always come in three‘s don’t they? Wonder why that is. Maybe we just start ‘noticing’ those stumbling blocks when one, then two hit you. Then by number three you’re like WHAT? What’s going on?? After three maybe one just starts over because one can only handle a few things at a time.

So it seems that we are again hitting some stumbling blocks…or maybe I should just call them brick walls? Not sure. Sunday night my little sister spent the night with me sitting in an ER room for my husband. This has been the third time we’ve been in the ER room waiting for them to help my husband stabilize his body. We were blessed that they were able to stabilize him overnight without having to admit him for another week of frustration and concern. So much love goes out to my sister, Michelle who just happened to be at our house for the night with her husband, Brad.  He stayed home with our dog, Serena. So a big shout out of THANK YOU to both of them!

Today is hump day – if you have been alive for the last 5 years, you know what that is. Today is the day when we stop, take a break and realize we’re half way through the week. And today, there is a blessing of refreshing from the skies! We haven’t had rain in almost a month and everything is drying up – today the ground was kissed by heaven.  As I did my morning walk around, the flowers and trees were reaching even higher towards the skies and it seemed they were happily drinking in the fountains let loose from the darkened clouds. I did too.

It was a time of refreshing, and singing praises to my Elohim, the Holy One of Israel for his provision. As I sang, I also sent up a few requests to my Father. One for my husband, another for my son and his wife, my grandchildren, my parents, my siblings and their families and for myself (the ‘cough’ has returned!). I know He heard me … and I thank Him for sending answers to all those requests.

Just one other thought….a verse came to mind as I praised His Name … you might remember it:

Trust in the with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

 


 

Father’s Day 2018

Posted by on Jun 17, 2018 in All Posts, Journey thru Garden, Pams Ponderings | 0 comments

Father’s Day …. this one comes with bittersweet emotions, filled with sunshine and tears. The warmness of the early rays of the faithful sun peeking through a few feathery soft clouds on my cheek stir up memories of happy days with my own father in long-past days of childhood. And then just as immediately a sneaky teardrop escapes the unending well of more to come as thoughts rest on my youngest son not being here to celebrate his own special day with his two young girls. If I don’t check it quickly, the damn will break as my imagination overwhelms me ‘seeing’ my oldest son sitting in prison greens embracing his own six young progeny and my husband battling life’s problems as well. Yes, it can be truly overwhelming!

So…..what I have learned, is to step back, take a deep breath in, let it out……deep breath in….let it out, and focus on the NOW….. Not as easy as it sounds, but with practice the heart slowly returns to normalcy, the tightness in your chest leaves, and you can focus on the NOW … and in the NOW, I am blessed. And they are too many to count.

So, to all of you that are also walking through the rose garden, yet feeling the thorns…..stop, B R E A T H E and focus on the NOW. We are promised nothing else. (oh my goodness…..the air conditioning just went kaput!)

Happy Father’s Day to my Father, to my husband … and to my two sons – Jim & Jason … I love you.

Missouri Summers

Posted by on Jun 7, 2018 in All Posts, Pams Ponderings | 0 comments

Well, if you are from Missouri, there’s no need to explain. If you’re not …. oh my! Yesterday it was beautiful, about 75deg with no humidity….today it is almost 90 and sweltering. It’s an oven. Somehow, Spring missed this state and we now are in full fledged summer heat. In autumn, they call it Indian Summer…. Even the dog won’t stay out more than 10 minutes!

But, all that being said, it’s good to be alive – no matter where I’m at! Everyone I think should be at that place ~ glad to be alive no matter what the circumstances. Sometimes, I admit, it may be difficult to admit that if the situation one is experiencing is stressful, hurtful, or disastrous it can be extremely difficult to see the goodness all around you. And that’s OK. Did you hear me? THAT’S OK!

Yes, it is. It is part of being human – not super-human. Each one of us walking around in this proverbial earth suit has emotions built into the nerve endings. Those emotional nerve endings, when struck by a fiery attack, will pierce and ignite those hot wires within your fleshly suit. Sometimes your throat will tighten as the heart clenches in pain and your stomach feels as if a bowling ball slammed into it. Sometimes the walls go up and you shut down. Sometimes you are just left with your mouth open and your heart on the floor. Those emotions respond in a real and tangible way. And no one is excluded from those flying arrows. However, it sometimes hurts more to yank those arrows out than to just walk around with them embedded in your heart.

So what does one do if one is walking around with piercing arrows that are dug into that emotional psyche? First of all, examine the wound, it is time to face the problem and do some surgery.

Objectively, dispassionately, and emotionless surgery.

It may take a while to do that, but when you’re ready, that wound will speak volumes to you if you choose to listen. Hear the experience that caused that fiery dart to be slung. See the reaction you had when first struck. Believe that there is something to learn from being hit, extracting the dart, and cleansing the wound. But only if you are willing to examine all the various sides of the experience.

There are real-life lessons one can learn when someone disparages, dismisses, baits you into a conflict, hurts your feelings, dishonors, disrespects, rejects or offends you. But being the emotionalist and using a knee-jerk reactionary tactic to ‘defend’ yourself only sinks you into a deeper mire with the offender. Then it becomes a full out war. No one in their right mind wants that! So how do you learn a life-lesson from such an experience? It’s truly very simple.

There are several ways to distance yourself from the barrage of emotions that automatically begin to overwhelm you, but the easiest one is to train yourself to just breathe. Yes, that’s correct – BREATHE and breathe deeply .. over and over and over until the emotions have time to ‘settle’.

Keep breathing until you feel yourself physical, mentally and emotionally detach yourself from the situation and are able to ‘view’ it from a safe place. Then, you can actually ‘look’ at what happened from a more adult and sane mind, instead of jumping into the fray and throwing punches yourself. If you can do that (and it may take a time or two to just remember to breathe!) you will begin to see that most issues that arise really aren’t worth your time. And your time is precious.

Try it …. next time ~ B R E A T H E and then see what happens.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger – James 1:19

 

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