__________August 14, 2015__________

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Day One:  What is Elul?

It’s that time of the year again – Elul has arrived!!!
Um, kewl, Anna.  But… what is Elul?

Okay… first, the Hebrew Calendar is really different from ours.  Each month is from new moon to new moon… so you don’t have to worry about trying to figure out which ones have 31 days (I say the poem, some people count knuckles… it’s all wrong, and you STILL have to have a damn leap year every four years.)  Originally, the Lord set it up that each month would have 30 days in it.  Of course that’s REALLY wrong now, because during the flood, the earth was knocked out of rotation, and everything got screwed up, so that the moon has a 28 day cycle.  But that’s what Israel uses, since they follow Yehovah Elohim.  But Israel fixes it by just adding a month every so many years.   Anyhow, the Hebrew Calendar starts on Rosh Ha’Shanah… which is usually September/October (our speak).  Elul is the LAST month of the old year.

It’s a big thing within Judaism (and Messianic Judaism, in my case).  Elul is a special month-long event… it’s a time in which you get your house in order to start the new year fresh.  And it’s not just about cleaning (although I will be posting some MAJOR cleaning posts).  It’s about making sure you’ve returned everything you’ve borrowed.  It’s about paying off whatever things you can to set your finances in order to the best of your ability.  It’s about forgiveness – getting right with the people you’ve had grievances with.  It’s about repentance – really taking a hard look at yourself and recognizing bad behaviors and setting them before the Lord and turning towards better behaviors.  It’s a FANTASTIC month… a very, very busy time of preparing.

For us as Messianics, it’s more than just preparing for the New Year.  It’s about preparing for the rapture.  For those of you unfamiliar with the rapture, the Lord has promised to take His faithful out of this world before He releases the final wrath.  We don’t know when He will do this (what year, day, or hour), but He did set the feasts up as a ‘shadow of things to come’… and the rapture is one of those things.  So Elul isn’t just about getting your estate, heart, and relationships in order for the next year… it’s potentially to get everything set in case this is the year and you suddenly disappear.  Your preparations are important for those left behind, and to you in regards to your heart condition as you approach the Throne of the Lamb.

Could it be this year, though?  Frankly, I don’t know.  There have been a lot of signs, but unlike other years, I haven’t posted about them.  Just watch, quietly.  I feel like the time to be silent has come.  And maybe that has some deeper meaning, too.

But in any event, if you observe the practices of Judaism, you will use these days of Elul to set everything right – with your money, your home, your kids, your spouse, your friends, and your Savior.

During Elul, people recite Psalm 27 morning and evening every day.  If they have a shofar (trumpet), they sound it every day, as a ‘wake up call’ to people – a last call sort of thing.  We go one this year – all the way from Jerusalem, actually! – and Brian blows it as we close each day (start the next, sorta).  We make a paper chain countdown and each kid gets to cut off a chain every day until Rosh Ha’Shannah.  It’s very intense… if you want to set goals, finish projects… this is the time!

I take Elul very seriously.  We all need a season of refreshing, re-examining, and re-committing.  I hope you consider the possibilities, and set about a Elul celebration of your own.

__________August 13, 2015__________

Meteor Shower!!

http://io9.com/the-best-meteor-shower-of-the-year

The Perseids are an annual meteor shower that greets us at the end of each summer. We’ve actually been seeing a few Perseids scattered around the sky since early last month, but the bulk of them will spill over into the sky tonight and tomorrow night. But if the Perseids are just one meteor shower out of several a year, what is it that makes it the absolute best?

The Best Meteor Shower of the Year Is Tonight, and Here’s How to Watch it

Part of it is timing. …Summer meteor showers are absolutely where it’s at, and the Perseids peaks at exactly the right moment of the season, just as summer is winding down, but well before any sort of cold snap has fully hit.  But even more than the season, the Perseids appeal is really all about the fireballs.

Even the Geminids, the only shower that comes close in number, just doesn’t touch the Perseids in terms of brightness. The Perseids are without a doubt the biggest, baddest, and brightest meteor shower around.

Okay, but why is this year so special, then?

The new moon actually falls on August 13th, but the moonlight tonight from the almost completely waning crescent should also be pretty much negligible, meaning that for the two nights when the Perseids will be falling the thickest, we’ll have almost complete darkness against which to watch.

Of course, moonlight isn’t the only enemy of the meteor shower: There’s also cloud cover. But even that is looking likely to be not much of a problem for most areas this year, with the weather looking relatively clear around the country.

aNNa’S NoTe:   I did not post – I was busy relaxing in the hot tub under the stars, watching the meteors with my honey.  And it’s the kick-off of Elul, this year, so that makes it even MORE special!!!

__________August 12, 2015__________

thankfulfor…

  • Not getting the flu.  Yet.  Last week Owen, then Ethan, then Isaac had it.  This week Brian got it, and now Lydia thinks she’s got it.  I’m terrified… have been popping D3 like candy.  It probably won’t help.  Although late last night was rough, intestinally.  I might have gotten a mild version and not known it.  Let’s hope.  And not talk about this, anymore.
  • First swim in the hot tub.  While it was still warming up.  It’s something like 110 degrees, now.  Brian’s trying to cool it down.  It was great at a balmy 88 degrees, though.  And nothing leaked from the move.  Yay!
  • Brian got the truck fixed.  Another YaY!!  He’s been using my car to get to/from work since he pulled the truck apart over the weekend.  I had to get up Tuesday and TAKE him to work.  Mornings and Anna… they’re never a good thing.  Just thought I’d add that, for extra information.
  • A great time with friends, this weekend.  We had a wing picnic at the park with my BFF and her daughter.  I was grumpy about it, until we got there, and then I realized just how incredible she was for thinking up a thing like that.  And we had a wonderful time.  I have good taste in friends.
  • Baby duckling!  We’re incubating something like fifteen eggs, and the first duckling hatched out, yesterday.  I tried to sex it, today, but it peed on me first try, and pooped on me second try, and I was done after that.  Brian can make an attempt if he likes.  Otherwise, it’s just a duck.  A cute little thing, but a duck.  It needs friends.  I hope more hatch, soon.
  • Did I tell you I finally found a good penpal?  I did.  The satanist had to go.  And I tried for a Bible belt, so as to lessen the chances of a weird-o (or another satanist).  So I’m pretty thrilled with having e-mail to look forward to, every night.
  • Eating on the deck.  I really like eating on the deck.  Brian hates it, but it’s just so… summer, y’know?
  • Um… wOw.  I was feeling so hugely blessed just a minute ago.  I had miles of grateful things.  Not that I’m not feeling blessed at them moment, but I kinda forgot.  That’s okay, this is enough.

__________August 11, 2015__________

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 I have had NO prompting to do anything spiritual on this blog for a very, very long time.  For that matter, I haven’t had any prompting to hit Revelations or do any intensive studies.  Oh, we’re in the Word every day for school, and on weekends with Shabbat, but… not *me*, gleaning.  So last night I sat down and decided to just DO it.  And wait until you see this.

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.   And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  1 Cor 2:1-4

This is a comparison of the right and wrong way for a preacher to be.  The funny thing?  Check out the differences, and tell me what’s in the pulpit, in every church.  Go ahead… but be prepared to be rankled:

How to Be:  Humble, weak, fearful, trembling.  Not smooth and charismatic, not using excellent speech or having studied to deliver something specific.  Not using modern vernacular, anecdotes, or societal references (TV, movies, etc).  Leaving it ALL to the discernment of the Spirit.

What Churches offer:  Persons with charisma, smooth speeches, appealing to the congregants.  Lots of illustrations, often with movie clips, television, put together just so to fit into a ‘series’ or serve a specific purpose/chronology.

This chapter is actually CONDEMNING the modern accepted status quo of churches.  Every. Single. Thing that Paul say NOT to do?  That’s what is standing in front of churches.  That’s ANTI-scripture!

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.  Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  vs. 5-7

The wisdom of God has NEVER had anything to do with the ‘greats’ of this world.  If someone is acclaimed by people?  If they’re ‘princes’ elevated by the masses?  They’re not His.  He doesn’t work that way.  His wisdom is always ‘hidden’, it’s always as a mystery.  Always delivered by the most unlikely of people.

I should also probably add that a few years ago, I did a post on how believers are perfect.  At that time, I was lambasted for saying such a thing.  After all, christchuns aren’t perfect, they’re just forgiven.  That’s not what verse six says, here.  The wisdom of God are for ‘them that are perfect’.  Apparently I wasn’t so far off the mark, and the church messed it up, after all?   If you’re washed ‘white as snow’, then you’re not still in sin, are you?  ((There ya go.))

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  vs. 8-11

Still on the ‘how it should be vs. how it is in church’ thing, take a look at this.  The things Yehovah has prepared for us?  We don’t come by them the way the church insists we should.  EYE hath not seen – it’s not something you’ll read in your ‘morning devotions’.  EAR hath not heard – it’s not something you’ll get out of a sermon, or be told in Bible study.  For that matter, it won’t ever be given via ‘witnessing’.  Neither entered via the HEART.  Have you ever gone to church?  It’s a TOTAL appeal to the emotions and feelings of the congregants, from the music to the lighting to the order of the service, to the ‘invitations’ and coaxings of the minister.   This is NOT how scripture says we will e.v.e.r receive the things Yehovah has for us!!  It’s exactly what the Bible says is WRONG.  And yet people flock into chapels and churches every week, thinking they’re going to ‘grow’ that way!  It’s a lie, don’t you see?  Paul even cautions not to fall into the deception.

Truth comes by the Spirit.  Abraham didn’t have a church.  Noah didn’t go to chapel.  Moses didn’t listen to Billy Graham or televangelists.  NONE of them had a Bible… yet they were counted as righteous, and used in incredible ways.  They were spoken to by Yehovah, directly!  Do you really believe that’s changed?  God doesn’t change!  If He is the same then, now, and in the future, He works the same way as He always has.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  vs. 12-13

Fact:  We cannot teach anyone.  We cannot witness.  We cannot bring *anyone* to Christ.  Period.  Only the Spirit can move a man’s heart to accept the Truth of God.  Please let’s not ever, ever forget this.  We are taught by Him, indwelled by Him, and know Him, because we open ourselves to Him, surrendering self so that He can show us great and wonderful things.  NONE of it will ever come from man, or the things of man.  This is important.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.  vs. 14-16

There are two sides to us: a spiritual side, and a ‘natural’ side.  If you close off the spiritual side and live in the ‘now’, for lack of a better way to say it, you won’t be able to ‘hear’ Him.  Won’t have the understanding that you crave.  It’s a completely different mindset we have to put on, in including Yehovah in our daily lives, making Him the ‘hub’ of all things.  Only then do we open the channels so that He can move in us, and give guidance and instruction, help us to understand.

I think I’ve been living in the ‘now’ for a while.  I’m not sure how I got there, but I’m consciously choosing to change that, as of now.  Lord willing, I will be open to receiving what He has for me to discern/learn.

__________August 10, 2015__________

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I’m forcing myself back to it.  In case you wondered.

Protected: ______August 09, 2015_______

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