November 7, 2017

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in All Posts, Our Family | 0 comments

Well, today is my youngest son’s 42nd birthday.

He is not here. At least not in this time realm.

But he is still ‘with us’ – everything we hear, see and feel somehow touches the essence of who he really was … how the God we serve ‘sees’ him.

That is how I see him now… perfected … waiting to be crowned for his tender and loving spirit … acknowledged for his desire to rise above the tribulations of his short life … and most of all for his heart after the ways of his King. Like all of us still in this time realm, he fell, he faltered, but he always trusted that God was in control.
Now he knows it’s true.

Happy Birthday baby….til our ‘time’ is ‘one’ again.

Mercy Me….Even If….

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in All Posts, Our Family | 0 comments

Mercy me….Even If….

The words of this song….have captured my heart and wrapped it’s message into my life. From the heartache of being estranged from our oldest son and family, to the separation of his time away now, to the passing of my youngest son….

….I know He is able….I know He can…but….

Entering in

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in All Posts, Sabbath Musings | 0 comments

…to celebrate –  SHABBAT!

Another week has come to a close and a new one begins as we take deep breaths … in – out – in – out and settle into the joy and peace of Shabbat!

The seventh day is a day set aside by the Holy One Himself – from the beginning of time.  A time for all of us, man and beast, to rest and renew our strength. We rest in Him because – well, He IS our strength!

During these last few weeks of transitioning into a different reality – one that does not have my youngest son here in the flesh – one would think that Sabbath would bring no rest. Too many things concerning Sabbath bring Jason face to face with me all over again. But the Joy of the Sabbath that he loved, has given me a settled spirit. His voice rings in my ears as I hear him ask me about the parsha (Torah reading of the week).  I can smile.

So no matter what you are going thru….no matter what it looks like….remember – you either believe that HE is in charge of all things….or you don’t. Personally, I don’t do a very good job of ‘fixing’ stuff …. and I’m learning how to put it in His hands and see the miracles unfold. One just has to look with different eyes.

Be blessed!

Shabbat Shalom!

Beautiful flowers from Jerusalem ~ Thanks Glen!

Your Journey Matters

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in All Posts, Sabbath Musings | 0 comments

Your Journey Matters

Everything you do in life matters….even the mundane. Maybe, the mundane is even more important!  Here is the last daily word of Rabbi Jacobson, an orthodox Rabbi that truly touched my heart this morning. Perhaps we could learn more about how to live life in a godly way from those who have kept the oracles of the great One far longer than we have known about them.

EVERYTHING YOU DO MATTERS

Once upon a time, the Baal Shem Tov sent a group of his students on an important mission to help a needy couple in another town.  When they returned, he was not so interested in hearing about their mission as about the minutiae of their trip—what they ate, where the slept, how they traveled, etc.

They didn’t understand the relevance of these details, but he insisted on hearing everything. When they related that one morning they sat down near a brook and drank some water there, his face lit up and he said, “That water was waiting from the beginning of time for someone to come and make a blessing over it and drink it.”

In Jewish mystical thought, space, time, and matter are understood to be forces of Divine energy—sparks which fell down to earth at the time of creation and which became embedded in all aspects of existence; these sparks must be elevated in holiness for the world to achieve perfection as per the Divine plan. This is why the little things you do in life are sometimes more important than the big things—the journey is sometimes as or more important than the final destination.

When you go to work tomorrow, take a moment to appreciate how you got there.  Every second of your trip matters—the people you meet on the way, the cup of coffee you drink while waiting for the bus, the piece of paper you throw in the trashcan—all are changed by your actions.

Quite often the things that are seemingly beyond your control are really opportunities to elevate sparks of Divine energy trapped in the mundane, and by doing so, to spiritualize the material—to bring infinite to the finite.

It’s a deeper way of looking at the world. And when you begin looking at life this way, a whole new world will be revealed to you—a G-dly world, an immortal world, the real world.

“60 Day Journey” Rabbi Jacobson ~ Meaningful Life  

 

Three weeks and counting

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Jason, Pams Ponderings | 22 comments

Yes….this is a personal post again. It is therapy for me.

It has been three weeks yesterday that the Lincoln county sheriff knocked on our door. It has been three weeks yesterday since our world fell apart. It has been three weeks yesterday since our baby boy (even if he WAS 41), Jason Scott Staley, left this world for another. Three weeks. A lifetime. An eternity.

Jason was my baby …. he came into this world smiling. He was a sweet, compassionate, loving and easy-going child and carried that on through adulthood. His blonde hair and blue eyes captivated everyone that met him and his bigger than life smile held your heart. Even when his blonde hair turned brown, his smile drew you in. He was a charmer and one couldn’t help being drawn into his circle. I miss him greatly.

During his early years he was carefree and always smiling even while trying to outrun the shadow of his bigger brother, who came into this world 14 months earlier. He was always following him around and working hard to define himself under his big brother’s mantle. Sometimes, the only way to find yourself is to strike out on your own. And he did.

He struck out on his own way too early though. We had begged him and threatened him to stay home, but he ‘knew’ better and wanted to begin a life of his own. Yes, it is with regret that we didn’t drag him home, maybe it would have been an easier life for him. Who knows? But … love has a way of doing that to you and being with the love of one’s life will always trump a parents tears and threats. Maybe we would have been successful if Jay had been a Jan…maybe, but he wasn’t, and he wanted to be his own man. It was not a cake-walk for him and we will always carry that burden of what-ifs with us.

His struggles in that new family and his easy going and compassionate nature gave way to his weaknesses in order to be ‘accepted’. It took years for him to ‘find himself’ and get back on track and someday, maybe, we will be able to share a bit more about his struggles in order to help other young people overcome their issues or at least know where to look to find help. One person’s struggles or successes never affects just one person…it affects a multitude of people.

Why the Holy One, the Creator of all of us, only numbered Jason’s days from November 11, 1975 to September 24, 2017…we will never, ever understand in this lifetime. In our perspective, his time was way too short, too much still left to do, to experience, to accomplish.

His hard work in the industry he found himself in was on the verge of exploding and he was offered the opportunity to manage and run the new branch being opened … it was his dream. He was headed to Florida the next day to finalize plans and he was so very excited to finally be recognized for the knowledge and skills he possessed. His oldest had recently graduated highschool and was striking out on  her own, and his youngest, was an A+ student with never a day of school missed. He was so very proud of both of them. He would always tell me ‘he lived for them’. It is still surreal that he is no longer in this realm. So many things that he will not be a part of……walking his girls down the aisle, holding his grand children on his knee, growing old….no….I will never understand. For him to be struck down by an anuerism is just beyond comprehension!

That being said, Jason touched a lot of lives – in many ways. His highest accomplishment is his legacy of his two beautiful, precious and loving daughters, our grand daughters. Both of them have his strength and his love for people. Both of them are determined, smart and passionate. Our children are what keep us going … our children are our legacy … our children … stand upon our shoulders and look a little further than we did. Jason did, and does.

Yes, I miss you baby boy….momma misses you.

Picture is from Sukkot 2016

An ending … and a beginning.

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Feast Days, Sukkot | 0 comments

Sukkot has come to an end for this season. So many things have ‘ended’ this season. So if things have ended,  than there must be a beginning … or something. Shouldn’t there? This Season of our Joy was very strange and disconcerting and while sparks of ‘joy’ were evident, they were interspersed within the rain clouds of grief and pain over losing our son, Jason. Not only our beloved youngest son, but two treasured friends and both our family dogs. Our small group honored all the memories of loved ones no longer here with us on the first day of Sukkot with Kaddish and each person gave a beautiful and touching remembrance story.

Then, as the days progressed my husband Jim felt increasingly uncomfortable. It seemed that his stomach was getting larger and he was feeling very uneasy. That Friday we buried our son and afterwards went straight to the ER where they drained 4.7 liters of fluid from his stomach. His liver was in cirrhosis! So for the last 2 weeks, we have been in and out of the hospital – with a stay of 7 days. Our temporary dwelling place for the 8 days of Sukkot was spent mostly in the hospital. It was a surreal experience. But as Rav Shaul (Paul) said, we are content with much and with little.

We tried, we really did, to enjoy the Season that will mean so much to every single believer in the end of days. But it was still surreal. We carried on as we knew that Jason would have urged us to do so – he loved the Feast Days of our LORD (Lev. 23 sums up God’s eternal plan and his blueprint for mankind in prophecy). If you have not discovered the beautiful plan of Yahovah (God) in His Feast Days and what they mean for you – now and at the end – please check into them – you will discover so much that you are missing!

Anyway, as I said at the beginning, Sukkot has come to an end. We have reminded ourselves each day of our blessings and have been thankful to the Holy One for all He has done for us throughout our lives and we pray that this new ‘season’ will be one of continuing service in His Kingdom.

We pray that your Season of Joy was a blessing – even if you too are going thru storms.

~ Pam ~

 

 

A Feast of “JOY”

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in All Posts, Sukkot | 0 comments

Today is the first day of SUKKOT ~ the Feast of Tabernacles ~ A Feast of Joy.

This is a hard one this year. Our family loves Sukkot – and has embraced the Festivals of the LORD as commanded in the Bible. If you’re asking what this is all about and why we (non-Jews) celebrate it, let me please share a bit of the why.

About 30 years ago, I started on a quest to find the ‘truth’. Back then, didn’t even know what I was searching for … just needed some answers because I was turning 30 and wanted to know ‘is this all there is’? Searching for answers and asking questions can get you in  a lot of trouble, especially if you buck the status quo.

Anyway, one thing led to another (and someday I’ll have to write a full report on it for the grandkids – maybe they’ll be interested), and here I am today, still searching, but with a whole lot more answers. One BIG answer was finding out that God (whom I now call by His Hebrew name, Yahovah) really did mean what He said. Why, He even said it was ‘forever’ and had given us instructions on how He wanted to be worshiped! My question was, when did forever end?

After 1800 years of doing our own thing, all one had to do was actually read the bible and what do you know – from Genesis to Revelation – He was all about a restored Kingdom, a united Israel. So, how do we figure into that plan, you ask? Well, we figure into that plan quite a bit!

First of all, scripture tells us that there are two houses – remember reading that somewhere? The Northern Kingdom, and the Southern Kingdom.

In a nutshell, the Northern Kingdom was known as Ephraim (or Israel, or even sometimes Samaria) and the  Southern Kingdom was known as Judah. Assyria captured the Northern Kingdom and carried them off to Samaria. Judah and part of Benjamin, the Southern Kingdom, was later conquered by Babylon and carted off there. Judah finally returned to Jerusalem, but Ephraim/Israel never did…and were then considered the lost ten tribes. After Judah returned, the word ‘Jew’ came into existence. However, not all of Israel is from the tribe of Judah. There are eleven other tribes out there. Now, that is NOT to say that EVERYONE is descended from one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Absolutely NOT. Check this out:

KJV Ephesians 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being IN TIME PAST Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world

Did you catch that?? Read that last part again.

“Aliens from the commonwealth of ISRAEL”!!

What do you understand when you read that? Well, it can only be that NOW we are NOT Aliens and we ARE part of ISRAEL! It’s not about GENEALOGY – it’s about being part of the House! HalleluYAH!

Here’s a few more thought-provoking scriptures:

KJV Exodus 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

KJV Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that WHOSOEVER shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the REMNANT whom the LORD shall call.

KJV Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

KJV Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Now, after learning that little tidbit, it surely seemed that, well, if we’re part of Israel (grafted in or bloodline), then the House must have rules! That is when I embraced all that Yahovah had written down in His word, perfected in His Son, Messiah Yeshua and perfectly walked out with all the disciples and early believers. Who was I to say they were all wrong?

So here we are, many years later celebrating this first day of Sukkot, only this year is different. This time we are without the blessing of both of our sons. Both our boys loved this Feast Day, as it is an 8 day camping period with lots of festivities, food and fellowship.This was the rehearsal for the wedding supper of the Lamb when He returns to marry His bride. And that last day, the 8th day? That would be the Last Great Day, the Rejoicing in the Torah (Simchat Torah) day. All nations, all people will be rejoicing as the Law will go out from Zion and everyone on earth will go for the Feast!

Our times together were amazing, and even when we weren’t together each of us separately were blessed. It seems we will have to wait a bit longer to all be under one tent. But I know the wait will be worth it!

Mistakes Will Be Made

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in All Posts, Pams Ponderings | 0 comments

This is from my friend Skip Moen, “Today’s Word” sent out daily. With all the division amongst the body today, the ‘need’ for recognition and titles and what have you – this word for the day simply reminded me of my son, Jason. Jason was never one to ask for recognition, never one that grandstanded, never one that needed the spotlight. He was one of those souls that only spoke when the time was right, helped without being asked and never needed a thank you. Well, almost … he wasn’t perfect, but he tried really hard.

Mistakes Will Be Made
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

He has given freely to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his hornwill be exalted in honor. Psalm 112:9 NASB

Horn – In Hebrew, the word qeren means both the literal horn like the horn of an animal and the figurative expression of power. The mistranslation of this word as literal horns resulted in Michelangelo’s representation of Moses with horns. The translation should have described Moses with radiant streams like horns coming from his face after his encounter with God on Sinai. It is this figurative meaning that the psalmist uses in this verse. The author does not have cornucopia in mind. He is writing about power, not plenty. “Schmidt further notes that whereas teeth, mouth and claws are images of violent exercise of force, the horn denotes physical might and power. It is for God to exalt or trample down the horn; when men exalt their horn, it denotes arrogance (Ps 75:4–5). Consequently, ‘horn’ becomes a symbol for men endowed with such power (Dan 8:20–21).”[1]

What kind of power does the man of God possess? Actually, none! The man of God is a channel for the power of God. He does not possess the power at all. In fact, in Hebrew there is no word for possession as if a man permanently held ownership. All is loaned. God is the only owner. So what kind of power does the man of God exhibit? Anything God wants to do through him and, at the same time, nothing at all. God is on display, not the man of God. The key to this “horn” is its transparency. When it is exhibited, the man disappears behind the hand of the Lord. We might want to rethink our penchant for titles and positions in the religious world. The reason that the man of God will be exalted is simply because we can see God’s handiwork through him. And not much else.

It’s difficult for us to be used without credit, isn’t it? We want just that little bit of recognition for all our hard work. In fact, we even have laws that demand we be credited. Proper citation. Infringement. Copyright. Plaques. Street signs. You name it; we want it. The eternal quest for validation. But the man of God seeks a different kind of recognition—the recognition of anonymity. God knows. That’s enough.

Is it enough for you?

Topical Index: horn, qeren, power, recognition, Psalm 112:9

[1] Coppes, L. J. (1999). 2072 קָרַן. R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 816). Chicago: Moody Press.

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First Day….new dawn

Posted by on Oct 1, 2017 in All Posts, Jason, Our Family | 24 comments

First Day….new dawn

Today is the first day of the week … the day after my son, Jason was laid to rest. It is still surreal. I find myself asking – am I still here? I hear people talking in the background, my mother is keeping the two littlest granddaughters busy ….. making sukkah decorations, chattering nonstop…my brother is sitting across from me on his computer and my father is recuperating from eating too much sugary food yesterday.  My husband? He’s off trying to fix something – keeping busy. I tried. Went out to water the garden….pull some weeds, clip some flowers….tears wouldn’t stay where they belong….so I gave up. Came back in and thought I’d check some mail and finish up some projects on my plate.  Gave that up too. So I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts – it helps.

The morning began when my eyes refused to stay shut any longer and the sun was peaking thru the windows, it was then that thoughts went haywire. No longer would I hear my son calling me on Sabbath and ask me if I had read the torah portion for the week….no longer would I hear him exclaim ‘mom – do you know what that means?’ – no longer would we sit and share deep thoughts and insights into the word of God. No longer. Maybe we could have, should have, would have insisted he check himself into the hospital and get the abdominal aneurysm that the doctors told us he had two years ago. Maybe. But I can’t go there now – that maybe is a never more at this point.

Tried to take comfort in remembering that one day we would shed no tears, and tried to sink back into sleep and shut out the memories that kept swirling in my head. Nothing worked. Slipping quietly out of bed so as not to wake the two littles that stayed last night, I retreated to the deck with a hot cup of coffee Jim whipped up for me. Gazed at the rising sun in the east and repeated the Shema and said good morning to my bubba (Jason) and prayed life over all the ones I love.  Then I began the morning with chores…and now, here I am, rambling.

One more foot in front of the other.

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in All Posts, Jason | 17 comments

Today is day 3 of my son, Jason, passing out of this life …. the pain is unbearable – but it helps me to put words on paper – I pray that this does not offend anyone by doing so. It is simply my outlet for grief …

This is the Hebrew month of Tishrei – day 6. Jason celebrated the Feast Days of the Lord and was a very deeply spiritual person – not like your everyday church going person – but a very special deep, soul. An inquiring, sensitive, probing soul. We were going thru the days together as we approach the Feast day of Sukkot – or some call it Tabernacles. Sukkot is a time when we celebrate for 7 days the provision that Yahweh gave us as He saved His people out of Egypt (sin) and provided for them. It is a joyous festival. During the time that leads up to this joyous time, days of reflection and introspection take place. Jay and I shared often about some of the trials we have gone through and how life is so unfair sometimes, but we still trusted in the Lord and His promises. As I was thinking of that, I pondered on a few things and I want to share on paper 2 things.
The day Jason died, the reading from a book I have read over the last many years by Rabbi Jacobson, 60 days “A spiritual guide to the High Holidays” was for Tishrei 4 (Sunday) it was titled “RETURNING TO PURE ESSENCE”. Part of it reads: During these special days, we should be working to return to the quintessential self that we really are. Teshuvah (which literally means ‘return’) implies that there is a part of us that is always healthy and good and pure, as we say in the morning prayer, “The soul that You gave me is pure” And no matter what damage had been done to us in life – to our sense of self, to our personal dignity – no matter what damage we ourselves have done, we can always return to the soul that remains undamaged, intact, pure.
Jason…….began his ‘return’ to his pure self, his undamaged, his intact, his pure self. What a mighty picture that is for me as his mother. I envision him smiling, blue eyes dancing, smiling from ear to ear and with so much peace….and calmness….and love. Overflowing, overpowering love. A true shalom.
There is a Jewish tradition, told to me by my dear friend, that the soul who departs ‘hovers’ in this realm for 3 days and then moves on to the next plane. Today is Tishrei 6 – the 3rd day he has passed. In this book, the title for this reading is “APPROACHING THE SOURCE”….. I do not believe in coincidences. It reads in part – “We have now reached the midpoint of the Ten Days of Teshuvah. This is the period, say the sages of the Talmud of which the Prophet Isaiah (55:6) speaks when he proclaims “Seek God when He is to be found, call on Him when He is near.” But isn’t God omnipresent at all times and all places in the world? How could we say that now He is closer to us? However, Isaiah is not speaking from God’s perspective but from the soul’s perspective. Chassidic teachings explain that this special time of the year is compared to the “source drawing near to the spark.” The “source” is God, the “spark” is each of our souls, which is called “the flame of God”…….The Ten days of Teshuvah (repentance/return) represent a type of “coming home” experience.  when the source gets closer to the spark, the spark begins to feel the warmth and it is drawn toward the larger, mother flame. It’s like when you put your hand closer to a flame you start feeling the warmth.
Is that not the most amazing, time perfect readings for this time we are going through? It is what my oldest son, Jim, would call a GOD WINK. That makes me smile. Jason….on the first day he left us returned to his true self, and now, on his  third day … is now moving closer to the SOURCE ….
whatever you may think…this gives me comfort……