Category Archives: From My Heart

Articles I’d like to Remember

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Often I find articles that I’d love to remember, or read again… and sometimes a book mark them… Have you seen my book marks list?! Oh, Wow!

So… for those really really good ones that push me… I thought I’d create a blog post here.
First up is:

You Have To Love Someone Without Fear
by Kris Miller

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“Like a Machine”… He said

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Image of Holding HandsI take a somewhat unusual approach to dealing with the subject of the sex education with my children.  Yehovah told the Hebrew people that they were to read the entire Torah to the entire assembly – men, women & children, every 7 years.  What that means is by the time a child was 7 he would have heard the Torah at least once.  Given the rather graphic stories in Torah, and those instructions, I have to assume that Yehovah thought a child at age 7 was old enough to hear about the “birds & the bees” and a whole lot else!  My intent is not to teach them “thou shalt nots”  as a set of arbitrary rules, but to teach the reason why it’s a good idea to take a bath, eat clean meats, wait for the unity Yehovah has in mind for marriage before having sex.  I want them to see the heart of Yehovah full of love for his children.

So, we read the Torah together, following the Torah portion schedule.  We also read the NT, and from the rest of the OT, but, it’s usually the Torah portion that gets the most natural and appropriate questions.  Today, was Leviticus 15, which deals with cleanliness issues due to discharge – from a running nose, to seminal fluid, to menstruation.  It makes sense really – if you are puking, snotting all over the place, have blood oozing out of a sore – you don’t need to be going to the tabernacle to worship and fellowship.  Stay at home, take daily baths, get better.  Pretty common sense stuff really!

If you’re a man, and you ejaculate, and it’s on your sheets – wash yourself, you sheets and go to fellowship after you’ve bathed.   Also, lots of sense being made there!  I’ve already talked about Niddah in earlier posts, which you can follow the links to, so won’t reiterate here… Altho, I will say, we had a beautiful conversation about how Yehovah designed women, and what a special time Niddah is, and how they as men can respect and love the women in their lives thru it  (in a way that includes proper touch).

Point being – today, this turned to conversation about sex.  In fact, my oldest, as we were talking about Niddah, goes, “Oh, so if a husband and wife want to have a baby, then they need to have sex in the time before the Niddah, and a little while after, so there is a good layer of blood to take care of the baby with!” Yep, you got it kiddo!  🙂

But then he had a serious question, which I answered, about what is appropriate to talk about in public, and we discussed puberty (he’s almost 11), and wet dreams, and that none of these emissions we were reading about are “sin” – it’s just a matter of you need to take a shower afterwards, and wash your sheets regularly  🙂 .
Next we got to talking about how premarital sex can be painful – for the heart.  We were talking about unity in all things – heart, mind, soul and that Bodily Unity of intercourse is the final step.
He said, “Yeah, it’s like the key that locks it all in place.”
“Sorta” I replied, using interlocking fingers to demonstrate, “Once  there is unity in everything else, then yes, it locks everything and seals the union of husband and wife.”

I continued, “And,  if you have sex, before the other things are united, think about how that wouldn’t work!”  as I linked my two pinky fingers together as the locked key, and then tried to push my otherwise closed fist together.

Light dawning, “Yeah…. Like a machine that’s missing gear pieces… clunk dunk bing bang chunk” 

Image of Broken gears from www.ericgarland.co

Yep.  Like that.  I think he’s got it.

 

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As a side note, because my almost 6 year old was needing to understand the terms semen, sperm, etc we also got out the beautiful book “From Conception to Birth” and looked at the pictures.  What a fun time, of them laughing about how the embryo looks like an alien to “Oh, He’s so cute!”  –  a perfectly forming little human, only 1/2  inch long.

 “Can you believe it?  Something so tiny, with a beating heart, and so cute and forming into a baby.  Now you  understand why it’s so important to take care of Momma, cause she has precious cargo held in her womb!”  

The look on the eldest’s face told me he got that too!

Image of 56 day Embryo  (taken by Bradley Scott)

 

Eye Contact

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” I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”  Ps 32:8

Image of Dog heeling, looking up at Master

Eyes on the Master

I remember instructing and teaching my dog to heel.  When a  dog is trained to heel properly, he is not to walk ahead of the Master, but is to hang back, just enough to see the Master’s leg…  just enough to see the actions of the Master, to turn when the Master turns.  The dog is guided by his eye, on the Master’s movement…

But, what does it mean to be guided with Yehovah’s eye?  Does that not mean we must be looking at least at His Eyes, if not gazing deeply into them?  What is it, to be guided with Yehovah’s eye?  What is it to be so intimately connected to Yehovah that we can see His direction for us reflected in His Eyes? What is it to make Eye Contact with the Creator, with the King of the Universe, the Prince of Peace, the Lover of our Souls??

Yehovah… Please Guide me with Thine Eyes!!!

Image of Lover's maintaining Eye Contact

Sukkot Lulav Craft

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A Lulav includes the Four Species that Scripture mentions as part of the Sukkot celebrations.
From Wikipedia:
The four species (Hebrew: ארבעת המינים‎ arba’at ha-minim, also called arba minim) are four plants mentioned in theTorah (Leviticus 23:40) as being relevant to Sukkot.[1] Karaite Jews build their Sukkot out of branches from the four specified plants (see Other interpretations), while Rabbinic Jews take three types of branches and one type of fruit which are held together and waved in a special ceremony during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The waving of the four plants is a mitzvah prescribed by the Torah, and contains symbolic allusions to a Jew’s service of God.

The mitzvah of waving the Four Species derives from the Torah. In Leviticus, it states:

Leviticus 23:40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. English Standard Version

In Leviticus 23:40 the Hebrew terms for the four plants are:

  • ets hadar (עֵץ הָדָר) magnificent trees
  • tamar (תְּמָרִים) palm trees
  • ets avoth (עֵץ־עָבֹת) thick trees
  • arvei nachal (עַרְבֵי נַחַל) willows of the brook

In Talmudic tradition, the four plants are identified as:

This year, Father gave me the idea to create a Lulav with only paper, scissors or a straight edge, and a pen.
What follows are the instructions for making it yourself.  I took photos on my first time making it, so there are some minor improvements from the photos.  🙂

Sukkot Lulav Construction paper Craft for children, and those young at heart!

Needed:  8 sheets of Construction paper –  2 dark green, 2 light green, 1 tan/brown or beige, 1 yellow, 2 light blue
Scissors; a Pen, pencil or Markers
The finished product should look like this (except with a yellow Citron, not from plain white paper)
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1. Take each sheet of paper, and draw lines as you see them on the following photos, this will be enough to make 4 lulav’s  The dark green sheets are for Open Palm, and should match one another. The two light green sheets are for the willow and the myrtle and also should match one another:

Dark Green – Two sheets – for Open Palm:
Open Palm

Light Green, 2 sheets – Willow & Myrtle

Willow & Myrtle

Willow & Myrtle

Light Blue – 2 sheets – Closed Palm

Closed Palm

Closed Palm

Wrap/Bond – tan, cream, brown – this one really needs to be divided into four sections.  Rather than just 2.  A ruler makes it easy to do. The point is to create a long strip of paper to wrap the leaf stems with.  Half a sheet is really too much.

Wrap/Bond

Wrap/Bond

Citron – on Yellow paper – draw four on one sheet of paper
0914132151

You’ll notice the “leaf” details in the willow and myrtle in the pic above.  Obviously, you could add that with pen, markers or crayon. The the details are not to be cut.   Also, I snipped the tops of the myrtle, so that the tips were angled with the leaves.  You will have an open palm (dark green) and closed palm frond (light blue).The closed palm will double as the hanger.

2. All full lines are to be cut/torn, dotted lines are to be folded. Some folds aren’t  marked above, but will be included in directions.  Start with the closed Palm Frond:

Closed Palm & step 3

Closed Palm & step 3

3.   Cut the sheet in half, diagonally.  Fold into a closed frond, starting with the long edge, moving toward the corner, about 1’ folds. Once you get to the very end, and see where the corner is, make a small tear to tuck the 1/4inch of the corner into the frond body, so that it doesn’t come loose.  A picture of that will be included later, along with the myrtle after it’s been cut and folded.

4. When cutting the wrap pieces be very careful to not cut beyond the lines,  you will have one long strip of paper which is necessary to bind the entire thing together, in the pic here I had only two per page, but it was more than I needed, so I suggest four per page.

Wrap/Bond - step 4

Wrap/Bond – step 4

The next pic is of everything, once it is cut.  You’ll notice the bond/wrap pulled out in a longer piece above, and also the ends of the myrtle that have been cut diagonally, and how each piece of myrtle is separated, with about 1 1/2 inch at the bottom not cut.

Everything Cut

Everything Cut

5.  Fold Myrtle in a bit off symmetry fashion, so that the fronds spread out some as in the pic below  The myrtle stem is KEY to making this all fit together!

Closed Palm, and Folded Myrtle Step 3 & 5

Closed Palm, and Folded Myrtle Step 3 & 5

6. Lay a willow face down behind the Myrtle, and fold the stem, tucking it into at least 1 fold deep of the Myrtle stem. I made a little cut in the myrtle stem, to tuck it back thru, for added security, as you can see below.

Step 6a

Step 6a

Step 6b

Step 6b

7.  Lay open palm on the folded closed palm, with the tip of the open palm no more than 1 inch from one end of the closed palm.

Step 7

Step 7

8. Face up, lay the Myrtle and willow on top of the palms, so that there are at least 2  inches of the open palm stem which extend beyond the myrtle stem, and  3 inches of closed palm stem which extend beyond the myrtle stem.

Step 8

Step 8

Now, for the wrapping.  9. Fold the wrap so that it   is a symmetrical line – as pictured  below – step 9a  and  tuck the beginning of the bond into the center of the myrtle stem (you may have to fold it  small enough to do this)  and then using folds and even tension (not enough to tear it), wrap the bond around the entire bunch, covering no more than 2 inches of the myrtle stem, and leaving the end of the myrtle stem visible.  Finally, tuck the end into the bottom of the wrap (opposite the stem end).  The finished product below.

Step 9a

Step 9a

Step 9 completed

Step 9 completed

10  Fold the citron stem, and tuck into the stem end of the myrtle or wrap.

Step 10

Step 10

11 Fold the green palm stem down, tuck thru the cut tab in the Citron and then into the bond/wrap.

Step 11

Step 11

12. Finally, fold the Closed Pam Backwards to be slipped between the top of your sukkah and the frame,  or backwards and around, tucking into the bond to hold it on a rail, twig, branch, etc. On a child’s bunkbed sukkah, this could be slipped between the mattress and the frame, or could be hung over the rail of their bed.  😀  It may also just be used to gently wave it in celebration!

Step 12

Step 12

Again,  Here is a pic of the finished Lulav – for celebrating the  Biblical Holdiay of Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles with!  Happy feast to you!!

Finished Lulav!

Finished Lulav!

Considering Hell….

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Image of Lion in Fire... from For His Glory Flags dot com

The common belief is that Hell is an act of Yehovah. And that the cleansing fire, which cleanses the Earth is an act of Yehovah. I’m okay with that, however, I don’t think He will be superseding His own Laws to do that act. In fact, I’m more inclined to think He currently holds back His fire, which is un-natural for Him. (I can’t find the verse that states He does an un-natural thing… in one of the major Prophets I believe…)
Here’s what I’m thinking….
Yehovah is a consuming fire – right? (Heb 12:29)
Lucifer, a covering cherub, was on the Holy Mountain of Yehovah, and Walked amidst the fiery stones (Ez 28). Imagine that! Walking amidst, not just on, amidst… I’m thinking that’s got to be intensely hot – spiritually and physically!
Ps 24 says that those with clean hands and a pure heart may ascend the Hill of Yehovah, and may stand in His Holy Place.
Repeatedly we are told that those who Love Yehovah, the remnant, the Bride, the chosen will be refined in the fire… (Zach 13, Mal 3, 1 Peter 1)
I am coming to believe that when we submit to Yehovah, He slowly brings us into Himself, into Himself who is a Consuming FIRE, and Lovingly cleanses us, bit by bit as much as we can handle in any one instance, to the point that we will eventually ascend the Hill of Yehovah and stand in the midst of Fire. We submit to this, willingly, joyfully, and over time. The consuming of our sin includes Him bringing us to a recognition of it, our repentance, and our walking in newness of life, changing old habits, old thinking patterns, etc. His consuming doesn’t consume our bodies, it consumes our sin, the yuck and dross in our souls.  He does this with great LOVE, for He is also Love (1 John 4).

What if, perhaps, the fire of Hell is Yehovah himself, who does not withhold Himself Spiritually from the wicked (as He does now) and with nothing good in them, their evil is consumed as He draws them into His embrace. It will be torturous for them, as they will be brought to see their sin clearly; which, in my experience is not a comfortable revelation!!! – Just think about how you feel when someone confronts you with your sin, even when they do so lovingly!? Heart racing, flushed cheeks, a heaviness of heart, potentially even heart attack producing …  Eventually, the overwhelming horror of what they see will consume their souls and they will die.   Just as Nadab and Abihu were consumed when they entered the House of Yehovah unclean and with profane worship, Yehovah’s fire consumed their souls. They had walked into His very presence!    It was not un-natural to Himself, for a spiritual fire to flash and them to be consumed. It would have been un-natural for Him to hold His fire back, as He did when He passed before Moses, saying, “you may only see my backside, no one may see my face and live” (Ex 33) ….

Perhaps the cleansing fire upon the earth, which then burns up the bodies of the wicked (remember Nadab & Abihu were consumed, but their bodies still lay on the Tabernacle floor) and the rest of the earth is again, part of the Consuming fire which is Yehovah. The Natural, Hot Consuming Fire which burns and removes the physical effects of evil so that all things can be made new?

Point being, I’m much more inclined to believe that while Hell is an Act of Yehovah, it is not against His nature, nor Against His Laws of Nature. I believe the Fire which consumes spirit and body are both truly part of who Yehovah is.  I believe sin simply can not exist in the presence of Yehovah, it will be consumed…
Much better to submit to His refining process now!

Image of girl created by flames