I was born into the world of Christianity. my parents were saved, most of my influential family members were saved. We went to church on Sunday, observed the holidays in view of God’s purpose in it – as best as it was taught to us. So the importance of all these things seems to have afforded me a foundation, right?
I’ve been reading Nehemiah. Chapters 8 – 10 are eye opening in relation to these things. Obviously, a blog post doesn’t afford to print out these chapters word for word. I rely upon your own seeking to read these for context. The basics here is this: God started a church here. Just look at all these people did, their commitment, their passion, their zeal and. …their JOY! I thought to myself, “I didn’t see that when I was young, and I don’t think my children did either.” It’s a disheartening thought.
To be fair to those who served the Lord within the church, pastoral staff, worshipers, teachers, leaders and servers, I’d like to qualify: there are no fingers of blame in this blog. Nor to my family, parents or any other sector of fault finding avenue. There is nothing in my heart or mind following such paths with this.
To learn from the past, apply in the present, in order to make a legacy. We must go back and find where our own thoughts, formulated opinions were influenced and formed. We must see where WE, ourselves, went wrong, not the masses, organizations, or institutions. These only have power to influence, not form. Yeshua (Jesus) proves this.
After more study, ending up in many other books of the Word, I’ve noticed a huge impact.
Read Deuteronomy 5:29-6:8.
When I think of conversation that flowed in my own family as a child, and then my own family with my own children. These scriptures are hard. The conclusion I come to is nobody knows how to do this very well. To talk excitedly about how cool God’s Word is, how His ways are so impressive, and trustworthy. To apply this context to everything we see, touch, smell, and do everyday. Somehow entertainment started to take presidence. I remember thinking it was hard, not fun to memorize scripture. Sometimes due to the fact that it was given as a task for punishment. Mostly because there was no context given as joy and application to its meaning in my life, where I was, at the time. Everything stayed on the level of salvation (what can be done for me). There didn’t seem to be more than that. What pleases God, what doesn’t. Yet what brings Him joy, this seemed to be missing. To the mind in my generation, I believe humans in general, but I’ll stick to my generation; What pleases God wasn’t connected to His joy, but rather His appeasement. No one delighted when I did the right thing, they only moved in swiftly when I didn’t. Everything had to be entertaining, this push was started before my generation, but by the Eighties this was epidemic. Worship was the only place I saw joy in church. The music was amazing, the show was fun. God’s Word was the duty part, not the highlight. The teachers had to be dynamic or “gifted” as many put it. I never met a “gifted” Sunday school teacher. No disrespect to them. At that time even school was not really about learning except to the geeks. It was about finding in our peers what was missing at home. So “Sunday school” it seemed to me was the same. The church seemed to be teetering on this brink of ‘stand out’ but acceptably. Set apart was taboo and meant alienation, most of my peers already felt this at home. Alienation from God never occurred to me as the saddress thing. So one can see why appeasing God this way held little appeal. Not that it’s ever held appeal anyway. History again repeats this point. The world slowly invaded my perception of right and wrong. The passion and joy of talking about God and His ways as we walk on the way, sit or rise, etc…this was never introduced to me. I couldn’t give what I never got. The church became the teacher of children. Parents either didn’t know how or were too busy to fit it in. On both I stand guilty as charged. My heart breaks that my passion and joy in the Lord and His ways that I have now, was not there when my kids were young. There are good things my family passed on, faithfulness. I remained steady in my quiet time and church going. I am grateful to God for His grace and mercy in this. Yet now, I watch my children with their children and see that even these aren’t repeated. Life’s heavy burdens keep them down. The church has lost its calling to share, split up and divide and help. Government organizations now have the overwhelming task that God meant His People to provide. Families of origin must be wealthy or they can only simply pray and cry and hurt with those within that struggle so much. Again the passion and joy of sacrifice and serving are lost. While there are programs in churches designed to help, the politics and overwhelming needs stunt it’s progress. It has been lost for too long, now the task is daunting. The me-ism of society is a cancer that has reached the marrow of the body of Christ. Again it’s the Joy and passion of God’s ways that are missing here.
How did I find this joy and passion? When my whole being started seeking God in every way, in everything, at all times. Really seeking Him knowing Him. This is today’s speak for seeking Him with all your heart, mind and soul. How I wish I’d have started sooner! Yet, as the Word of God says. ..His timing is perfect. So I must trust. Trust that this is the appointed time for these words, to the eyes that will read them, and perhaps turn faces up to Him to effect what changes He may direct.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3; Malachi 3:10; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 13:5-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1
The above scriptures all have a common theme, and I think much value in gaining passion and joy in the Kingdom of God. It’s an invitation to test, scrutinize, see for yourself that God is good, reliable, His ways work! They more than “work” they are amazing! It’s a joyous invitation, delightful adventure, and full of fulfilment. Do we example and communicate this to people around us? Well, first, we must discover for ourselves the truth of it! I pray if nothing else, curiosity is raised here, perhaps there is something missing, something far more real and attainable in this walk with God than has ever been invited before.
Hear His voice, the One who wants more than anything to be known, put all things before us with the shouting invitation to “Come and see, taste that the Lord is good” so that we can truly teach our children such, truly live such and therefore persuade a neighbor, Co-worker, friend, family member, stranger. ..that this invitation is such a wonder and joy that it’s pursuit will neither drudge nor bore but give passion and joy, such as this world would pale to emulate or try to educate.
I pray for our world full of families with children who have children who desire to give them everything. … Adonai, is everything. …come and see!
Grace and peace in the name of Yeshua the Messiah😊
“Sometimes the evidence of our senses and the testimony of the world’s wisdom are plain wrong. Sometimes the Lord is busy forging victory when the mind expects only defeat.”
– Tessa Afshar ~ Land of Silence
There is something universal about every human condition. Language does not change it. Geography does not change it. Personality, nationality, and religious tendencies do not change it. Love that lights the eyes of a soul, looks the same no matter the color of irises. Arms that reach out in tenderness can be of any color or size, dressed or naked. Sorrow, despair, agony and depravity are all pregnant with God-touched opportunity.
These are the conditions that form the questions of “when, how, where, and why” from the depths of souls world-wide. Embalmed with freedom or anchored to yet more slavery; sorrow seeks to unhinge the hands that lay hold of anything but the One who made them. Human beings are always at the peak of ability to learn when their mind, body and emotions are tossed into the sea of adversity, trial, suffering, loss, and torture. We can learn in happiness, but it doesn’t retain the depth of engraving on the memory as sorrow. Hence why we forget the good so quickly when hardship starts to ink it’s way into our grey matter. Likewise we recall so well the negative and hopelessness colors our spirits so immediate we feel shot into another world in an instant. There is no place else that brings us all to a unified place in the human condition. It’s often said love is such a place but I beg the differ. There are too many illusions of love for such a unity to be possible. No one is can paint sorrow with different colors. It’s very darkness outlines the same light no matter the shadow of the Sun or moon in the sky.
All my life it seems as if God has placed some special favor on me. Where my sister seemed to struggle and have to push for the simplest joys. Yet at every turn, our sorrows held the same DNA of pain and questions. Circumstances are the greatest illusions of favoritism. As I write, my sister sits where she is full of joys, doubts, gratitude, and questions the same as I. Yet, on the outside anyone would say she has it harder than I. Often I’m tempted to agree. Yet in each of our varying circumstances these things are the same: We are in places where God has provided abundantly, yet wonder what is next. We struggle with hurt, resentment, anger, bitterness, physical deficiencies, heart aches and knee bloodying prayers for our children and grandchildren; loved ones, we both sing, we both cry, we both are loved and misunderstood. That which makes us up inside, pours out from within, and effects us from without though incredibly unique, we are the same. Both of us are being taught everyday Who made us and why. We both have illusions, deceit, kindness, generosity, compassion, tendencies to complain, aches and pains, things hidden and things exposed, things being revealed, things on the way to unveiling, promise, hope and despair and sorrow.
The purpose of comparison is not for comparison itself, but for defining the difference between what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside. Outside looks different, inside does not.
“God’s Spirit can ride a puny breeze as well as a hurricane.”
– Tessa Ashfar ~ Land of Silence
You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is unbounded joy, in Your right hand eternal delight.
The Word of God is true for one and all, all the time, everywhere. The above scripture offers the same salve to the human heart no matter their circumstances. Sorrow is an opportunity to watch God become a heavenly Father for every soul on earth. Pain provides the path to true knowing who we are and why we’re here. God alone can provide the answers to our questions, and keeps them all open-ended. The answer today will not be the same as tomorrow. Except that Who He is and how He loves us, desires us and reaches for us, never changes and carries not one ounce of favor for one over the other. Our circumstances can not and must not define the riches of His glory. Circumstances are all of the following: outward characters, features; singleness or married, childless or having children, wealthy or poor, sick or healthy, geographic locations, personality traits, internal make up, extroverted or introverted, talented with art or talented with intellect, high or low IQ’s. To name a few, but hitting the main things. Everyone one of those things are the intricate detail drawn by the Hand of Adonai on each one for their good and those they effect and His glory. Sorrow gives us the glasses to correct our vision in life; for joy is it’s designation and it won’t stop until it’s reached its goal. For you, for me, thanks be to God! The definition of true joy for every soul He made is Himself, nothing more and absolutely nothing less.
In a world that is changing and churning, this one constant remains. Psalms 16:11, Is. 50:4…
For I have satisfied the weary and filled the needs of all in distress.
Come to ME, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest.
The reason why our Messiah invited all who are struggling and burdened but not “happy” is because we all are struggling and burdened, not happy. Oh we may have joy and contentment, but they always come after sorrow, and after we have accepted His invitation to receive such rest. Waiting on Him, running to Him is the only path to such joy and peace/rest. For each of us this is the same. Sorrow aimed at His unveiling, His presence, His company, His love, His compassion, His comfort, His answer, His directions, His discernment, this is sorrows purpose. Don’t miss the opportunity. Don’t be tempted to compare, or focus on the outward appearance of things. Hold on to Yeshua (Jesus) our Messiah and Master… and let Him order up the exact prescription for your knowing Him. Pray for each other thusly. Praise Him in their joys and walk beside them in their sorrows.
♡ Grace and peace to you in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
I was recently asked why I take life so seriously.
Teehee, for the first time in my life, I actually giggled at the notion. Nor found criticism in the question. I do take life seriously. In fact, what often other people will make “light of” I’ll find rather dull to do so. To be fair, I do often have to work hard at being light hearted in some matters. Yet, taking life seriously, is the reflection I see in Messiah Yeshua’s (Jesus Christ) face. The Brits wouldn’t have called Him a jovial’ol chap. Americans would never have said He was the life of the party (not real life being referred to). In France, they would have never been able to grasp His love because it came not in the form of intimate relations, and often defied what family loyalty in the world’s terms can seem. The times we live in are serious. The Germans in world War II were serious. It made everyone else take on a certain seriousness. Often people trying to make light of thing at that time would get a very serious response from the majority at the time: “don’t you know there’s a war on?”
My whole life I’ve rather leaned into the direction of humor for escapism. Fully able to sense deep down the seriousness of life, it would pull me down, humor lifted me up. I’m so glad my parents were laughter oriented. My Dad in particular could always make us laugh, even when he was trying to be serious. We were free with laughter, passionate in feelings, and serious about taking life seriously.
My answer to the above inquiry is this:
I’m serious about children being free to be silly and carefree while they can. Balanced by creative teaching of life and it’s seriousness.
I’m serious about seeking out times of humor and laughter, it really is a healing medicine.
I’m serious about all humor not being funny at another’s expense.
I’m serious about the Life God calls me to. His mission for me, His instructions to me and following them resolutely.
I’m serious about joy. Being joyful to others and letting them be joyful to me.
I’m serious about not worrying about things that God says its His job to do.
I’m serious about the Truth without apology. That it most often comes in a serious nature, and should not be ignored.
I’m serious about love, it’s sacrificial nature, and it being a choice rather than a feeling much of the time.
I’m serious about paying attention to the world around me that God has made, and delighting in every inch of landscape, every single sunrise and sunset, every drop of rain, and flake of snow. Every cloud, every rainbow, every breeze and squall of wind. I’m serious about learning all the lessons the seasons teach us. Every tree, bush, blade of grass, weed (these are all flowers by the way – smile). Every form and body of water, every star and planet, the Sun, moon and heavenly shape of their work.
I’m serious about food, the true enjoyment of it and it’s purpose in the human body. The creativity that can be found in it and enjoyment of its riches and strength of its provision.
I’m serious about relationships. The ultra hard work of them, and the profound rewards and benefits of them. These are treasures we take with us forever. I’m convinced of their immense importance over all things in life, business, pleasure etc. People always matter first, their lives, their struggles, their joys and delights.
I’m serious about fun. Teehee, this can get me in trouble, but God knows my heart, and brings balance.
I’m serious about responsibilities in all things. To do all things as unto God, no short cuts, no excuses. In such a vein I’m serious about money, work, and duty. Honor in instructions and how things work properly.
I’m sure if I kept thinking about this I could fill two pages. I think life IS serious. And there IS a war going on. I take seriously an enemy that is a robber of joy, thief of love, strangler of truth, teachers of lies, harbringer of bad news, bad choices, bad things. Most especially these days the duller of hearts and minds to the joys of being serious about serious things. His passion to blot out the Name and character of the Creator, our Savior and Spirit which brings all balance in this life to serious stuff and joyful stuff. I’m serious about God’s work of pulling the teeth out of fear and the weariness out of doing good.
I am serious, much of the time. These days Life is not taken seriously enough. Apathy and laxness mark the generation I see coming up. Self entitlement seems to be winning the days, and expecting something for nothing. I’m serious about that. It’s a cancer. I’m serious about freedom, but not the freedom mankind often is deluded into thinking is a God given “right”. God has given one freedom to all mankind, that is to choose the right (His way) things or the wrong (not His way) things. God is a monarchy, a ruler, THE Ruler. All things are His subjects.
I’m serious about education in so far as that education starts first and foremost with knowledge of God, His ways and getting to know Him as His person. All other education, valuable as it may be in His will, is secondary. I believe in those times under heaven as essential elements to reality and peace and true enjoyment in life, death, life, sadness, joy, health, sickness, and so on. The acceptance of our failures as well as celebration of our strengths – all given by God, none being our own to keep. I believe the rewards of a “well done” by God will far outshine and reward the soul than all the treasures on earth – and this is worth waiting for, though He doesn’t make us wait till eternity. I believe God speaks to each of us daily, through His Word and with His counsel. I’m seriously serious about that. I do not believe in the rule keeping, self checking religion that Yeshua’s Life and teachings have become. I believe in a loving, kind, involved, and supremely intimate God, made known and knowable through the Life work and death of Yeshua His Son and His Resurrection; and the Spirits power to over come death and sin once this choice is made in the life of every individual. I believe that Love is the greatest debt human beings owe each other, none greater. That love comes in very serious forms, such as truth telling, and feedback and reflection in accountability. Yet also steeped in grace and mercy and lack of judgement. This is called encouragement.
Seriously, what is NOT to be taken seriously is the question.
We serve a very serious God about restoration and repentence. Praise Him for it! He takes no ease on this thing He made called Life. Neither should I. When what He takes seriously is taken seriously by us, all the enormous joys and delights of this Life come as natural a byproduct as green grass to rain and sun. Life is serious, seriously amazing, fun, and hard. One day. …one day the only thing I shall know is its joys, delights and pleasures. For now I’m serious about getting the taste of them as He gives them on occasion here, now. Serious about speaking with my mouth but more my life the reality of that in balance . I’m not sorry I’m serious. I’m grateful He had made me thusly.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to pen such words, though they strike me too much about me, with all the I’s. Yet honestly, questions like these give opportunity for me work out a ready answer, and a “mission statement” if you will. (1 Peter 3:15; Phil. 2:12) These things will be shown in my life as a whole but it is good to know that my children and grandchildren can read my mind and heart one day. I’ve always been accused by the “serious adults” of being too child-like. But then, again I get this alot too, being told I’m too serious. I think much of it is timing and perspective. When I’m accused of being child-like, it’s because I have no problem running around chasing my kids in the church parking lot for fun. When I’m told I’m too serious, most people are at the moment trying to escape the harshness of life in that moment. Given my past, it’s hard not to join in at these moments. Balance is the key and I admit without a conscious effort on my part to invite the Spirit to achieve it for me, I’d be stuck in one of the other extremes most the time. There’s a time to laugh when circumstances warrant a good cry. There’s a time to restrain laughter when the circumstances seem to open the doors for nothing but. Serious perspectives are hard to live in 24/7. Yet there’s so much serious stuff these days.
Right now I’m sitting out in the snow, blogging. Literally it’s falling on my phone as I type. But the flakes don’t deter me. They make the experience that much more memorable. It’s seriously a good thing to do things most people call crazy or stupid even. If God says do it, seriously. ..do it!
What is your “take” on life, what’s your perspective? Do people know? Do they hear you speak words that don’t line up with your actions and daily living? Can you be serious in a conversation but still make one laugh? That’s a gift. Can you laugh at serious stuff? And when was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? That’s the medicine!
God is serious, but He takes very serious delight too. Look at the creatures most ignore on a daily basis: birds, squirrels, rabbits and the like. They work everyday, but almost seems to me they play as they do. Especially squirrels, they have the monopoly on play, yet from sun up to sun down take very seriously what’s needed. I feed these furry “rats” as some call them and every day I’m reminded there is a balance to each day that can be found in joy and hard diligent work.
God is the only One who helps us stay grounded between humor and seriousness. Does your relationship with Him provide giggle times with Him? If not, oh boy are you missing out! Giggling with God is the best treasure I have. He’s with me always, sometimes we giggle together about my seriousness, sometimes about the things around us at the moment. The whole world tilts a bit and shakes pixie dust all around when God giggles with His children. It’s better and beyond anything Disney could attempt to make it look like. I’m serious about delighting in and with Adonai! As often as I can, I pursue this. He delights that I do, I believe. God is such a serious subject to most. Rightfully so in its own right, but on the other hand, He is the epitome of joy too. I truly believe those who lose sight of that, haven’t spent enough time out in the wild with Him. It’s there, He can show His delight the most. A close second is hanging with children 7 and under. used to be 10, but ahhh, they grow so serious so fast these days, but honestly it is not altogether unwarranted.
A delightful heart is full of very serious realities, but it’s anchored in the Joy of the Lord, His presence. It’s my sincere prayer that Adonai will profoundly illustrate this to me and carve it into my soul. Serious joy, serious integrity, serious obedience to Him, serious delight in Him. Serious, firm, rooted, steadfast, and immovable – these things!
Glory to God in the highest, glory to Him who takes very serious all His works in this world and in His people. May He get the glory for it all. ..seriously!
and in everything set them an example yourself by doing what is good. When you are teaching, have integrity and be serious;
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡