Monday, February 28, 2011


I've been thinking a lot about Heaven lately.

It could be all the unrest in the Middle East over these past few weeks which have caused me to dig a little deeper into God's Word regarding end time prophecy. Or it could be that I'm just tired and I wanna go Home...

And it seems as though the entire Christian community has their eye on Heaven. Last week, I watched a series of programs on The 700 Club, all of them featuring people who had died and spent time in Heaven or hell and then came back to share their experience. Each testimony was more grand than the one before - all of them fueling the desire in me to go Home.

I just cannot stop thinking about heaven. It's in my waking moments, even in my dreams. Perhaps the Lord is preparing me for what I believe will be happening soon, when those of us who love Him will hear that trumpet sound and be caught up together to meet our Lord in the air!! WOW. Can you even imagine?

If you happen to be reading this and you are unsure whether or not you will go to Heaven when you die, or when the Lord returns for His people (whichever comes first!), I encourage you to take a moment to make the most important decision you will ever make in your life.

God sent His only Son, Jesus, to this earth, to live, and to die. His death was for us. He died for my sins and yours. He took upon himself all the guilt and shame and penalty for me and for you. He paid the price that we don't have to pay. All it takes to receive this wonderful gift of salvation is to simply acknowledge that Jesus died for you, to ask forgiveness for your sins, and to allow His love to begin to transform your heart. He is waiting - with arms outstretched. He loves you with an everylasting love and longs to know you - to have a personal relationship with you. For religion is just that. It's religion. But with's all about relationship. Just let Him love you. It will be the best journey of your life - I guarantee it!

I look forward to seeing you in Heaven!

Keeping my eye on the eastern sky...

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of an archangel,
and with the trumpet of God.
And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air.
And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.
-I Thessalonians 4:16-18

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cart Man. I Mean Brillo Man...

So...Brillo Man comes in the house the other day BEAMING as he exclaims with excitement in his voice... "Hey! Guess what I got?!"

Me: "It's hard to say..."

Brillo Man: "A Shopping Cart!!"

Me: "...a shopping cart...?..."

Brillo Man: "YEP!"

Me: "And what are you going to do with a shopping cart?"

Brillo Man: "Put wood in it!"

Me: "Put wood in it......"

Brillo Man: "Yep!"

Me: "okay..."

So the next day, I go downstairs to load some wood in the wood stove - and there it is....the shopping cart.

With wood in it - just like he said.

Have cart. Will push wood. Because, after all, it's SO MUCH easier to move the wood around with the shopping cart... ahem.

So a few days later....

Brillo Man: "Hey! You'll never guess what I found on the way home from the VA!"

Me: "'s hard to tell..."


Me: "are you kidding me?!"

Brillo Man: "nope."

Me: "wonderful."

Brillo Man: "you don't sound so excited....hey, I had to do a lot of maneuvering to get this one - I had to turn around and go back up the road and some guy almost hit me...:

Me: "wonderful. glad you didn't get hit. ....and what are you going to do with this one?"

Brillo Man: "Put more wood it in!" you think there's some law against owning two shopping carts?

The way I see things, at least we're set if we ever become homeless...

Brillo Man dragging Cart #2
through the ten inches of new snow
around to the back of the house.

Reality TV. Someone needs to sign us. Seriously.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cheerleader in a Cup

There are days. You all know the ones. The days when you better not even think about talking to me until AFTER I've had my morning cup of tea. For most of you, it's coffee. Don't even talk to you until after you've had your coffee. What is it about that dose of caffeine that gets our brains and our bodies moving? I think Anita Renfroe says it's our own personal cheerleader in a cup!

For all my java lovin' friends....

Monday, February 21, 2011

Writing the name of G-d

As I have been researching various websites in my quest to learn more about Jewish symbolism and culture, I have noticed that every website from a Jewish author never shows the name of God written as such. Rather, God's name appears this way: G-d

My very first thought the first time I read this was that it must have been a typographical error. However, when it appeared again later in the paragraph, I knew it was intentional.

Further investigation revealed that Jews do not casually write any Name of God. This practice does not come from the commandment not to take the Lord's Name in vain, as I intially guessed. In Jewish thought, that commandment refers solely to oath-taking, and is a prohibition against swearing by God's Name falsely or frivolously (the word normally translated as "in vain" literally means "for falsehood").

Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better.

The commandment not to erase or deface the name of God comes from Deuteronomy 12:3. In that passage, the people are commanded that when they take over the promised land, they should destroy all things related to the idolatrous religions of that region, and should utterly destroy the names of the local deities. Immediately afterwards, we are commanded not to do the same to our God. From this, the rabbis inferred that we are commanded not to destroy any holy thing, and not to erase or deface a Name of God.

It is worth noting that this prohibition against erasing or defacing Names of God applies only to Names that are written in some kind of permanent form, and recent rabbinical decisions have held that writing on a computer is not a permanent form, thus it is not a violation to type God's Name into a computer and then backspace over it or cut and paste it, or copy and delete files with God's Name in them. However, once you print the document out, it becomes a permanent form. That is why observant Jews avoid writing a Name of God on web sites: because there is a risk that someone else will print it out and deface it.

The Jewish people place such a high respect and reverence on the Lord...even going so far as to not wanting to risk His written name to be defaced. Perhaps we should take a lesson from their practice...and not be so casual in our approach to the King of Kings. Indeed, He is our "Abba" Father...but He is also the Creator and Ruler of the Universe....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Several weeks ago, I had a dream that I heard the trumpet announcing the second coming of the Lord. What a vivid dream it was! So vivid in fact that I awoke in a panic wondering why I was still in bed and not changed in the twinkling of an eye and on my way to meeting the Lord in the air. It took me a few seconds to realize that it was all just a dream. Incidentally, it's not the first time I have had that dream in the past year.....oh, how I long for that dream to come true! I don't think it will be long. The signs are all around us.

The trumpet that sounded in my dream carried a different tone than the brass trumpets of our bands today. Perhaps it was a shofar?....

The Shofar is one of the earliest instruments used in Jewish music, and is traditionally played during the month of Elul, which is the last month in the Hebrew calendar, and during the first ten days of the Hebrew year (the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). The blowing of the Shofar is the only specific commandment for Rosh Hashanah. Just as trumpeters announced the presence of their mortal king, the Shofar is used by Jews to proclaim the coronation of the King of Kings. A person should hear at least 100 blasts from the Shofar on each day of Rosh Hashanah.

It is the one musical instrument that has not changed in over 5,000 years. The Shofar is a trumpet made of an animal's horn, but unlike a trumpet, the shofar has no mouthpiece. The Shofar is preferably made of a bent Ram's horn, but it can also be made from the horns of other Kosher animals, including those of a goat or sheep. A cow or calf's horn is not acceptable for a Kosher Shofar, nor are the antlers of a deer or similar animals whose horns are a solid piece. It also may not be constructed of an artificial instrument - it must be an instrument in its natural form and naturally hollow.

In Biblical times the shofar was blown to announce an important event, such as the alarm of war, to announce the New Moon or to announce holidays. The blast of a Shofar emanating from the thick cloud on Mount Sinai made the Israelites tremble in awe (Exodus) 19:16, "And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there was thunder and lightning, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the Shofar extremely loud; so that all the people that were in the camp trembled." Thus the sound of the Shofar reminds one to strengthen their commitment to the Lord and arouse souls to repentance. The shofar is blown to show that God is accepted as King, as it says in Psalm 98:6, "With trumpets and the sound of the Shofar make a call out before the King, God".

I would like to think that when the Lord gives the order for the angel Gabriel to sound the trumpet announcing His second coming...that it will be the shofar that we hear!

In the meantime....I'm going to keep on dreaming...


And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,
I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old (wo)men shall dream dreams.
-Acts 2:17

Friday, February 18, 2011


I have too much stuff.
Where do I put it?
Why do I keep it?
It just collects dust.

Things from my childhood.
Things from my past.
Things from then.
Things from now.
All in boxes.
A myriad of boxes.

Moved from house to house.
Room to room.
From the garage to the shed.
And back again and again.
And again.

Because I can't find what I need.
I know it's here somewhere.
But where?
Don't know.
Got to go out and buy another.

And then, it too, will eventually wind up in the shed.

Better to throw it away.
Give it away.
Gift it away.
Out of my life.
It's just clutter.
I don't need it.

How does that song go?
All I need!

....and my myriad of boxes...

oh. help.

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves do not break through nor steal...
-Matthew 6:20

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Story of Jonah

This is Mary Margaret. She is amazing! She definitely has a call on her life - for drama - or preaching - or perhaps dramatic preaching!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Star of David

In keeping with my theme of investigating the symbolism of the Jewish faith, today I would like to share a little bit about the Star of David. First seen as a symbol in writing in a 12th century work, it has become associated with the Jewish people and their sanctuaries. The symbol only became heavily associated with Judaism when it was chosen as the emblem for the Zionist movement in 1897.

Symbolism of The Star of David

The Star of David (in Hebrew Magen David- literally ‘shield of David’) poetically refers to God. This six sided figure symbolizes that God rules over the universe and protects us from all six directions: North, South, East, West, Up and Down with the middle of the hexagram providing the spiritual dimension. A six-pointed star receives form and substance from its solid center. This inner core represents the spiritual dimension, surrounded by the six universal directions.

This symbol helps remind us that despite our efforts to accomplish things in this world, just like God decided that King David would be successful in defeating armies much greater than his own, so too God will help us accomplish our goals. This is why the Jewish people say, “Blessed are you God, Shield of David” in the third blessing recited over the reading of the Prophets every Sabbath.

In another interpretation, the two interlocking triangles represent the reciprocal relationship between man and God. Our good deeds are represented by the triangle pointing up to God and God reciprocates by allowing holiness and benefits to flow towards us. When worn as a Jewish Star necklace, it can remind us that we are walking with our creator on a daily basis.

Some note that the Star of David is a complicated interlocking figure which has not six (hexogram) but rather 12 (dodecogram) sides. One can consider it as composed of two overlapping triangles or as composed of six smaller triangles emerging from a central hexogram. Like the Jewish people, the star has 12 sides, representing the 12 tribes of Israel.

A more practical theory is that during the Bar Kochba rebellion (first century), a new technology was developed for shields using the inherent stability of the triangle. Behind the shield were two interlocking triangles, forming a hexagonal pattern of support points. Architect, Buckminster Fuller showed the strength of triangle-based designs with his geodesics. As Christians, we are to put on the whole armor of God - which includes the shield of faith. If applying the symbolism of the stability of the interlocking triangles, that futher emphasizes the importance of our faith!

I have a friend who is not of the Jewish faith (but like me, has been grafted in!) who wears a Star of David necklace. It's her daily reminder to pray for the peace of Israel.

I'm thinking that's not a bad idea either....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


My friend, Pat has got me thinking about all things Jewish. We recently had a phone conversation in which she shared with me the deeper meaning of the word, "Shalom." She also shared with me that she has a mezuzuah - hence my previous post. Not to mention that she has been ending each of her blog posts with "Shalom." Our conversation has caused me to think more and more lately about our Jewish roots (for after all, I, being a non-Jew, am grafted into that faith!) Therefore, I've decided to do some further exploring...

Most know that the Hebrew word shalom is understood around the world to mean "peace." However, "peace" is only one small part of the meaning of shalom. "Shalom" is used to both greet people and to bid them farewell, and it means much more than "peace, hello or goodbye"....

According to Strong's Concordance 7965 Shalom also means:

  • Completeness
  • Wholeness
  • Health
  • Peace
  • Welfare
  • Safety
  • Soundness
  • Tranquility
  • Prosperity
  • Perfectness
  • Fullness
  • Rest
  • Harmony
  • and the Absence of agitation or discord

  • Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full. In modern Hebrew the obviously related word Shelem means to pay for, and Shulam means to be fully paid.

    Jesus (Yeshua) is called Sar Shalom, Prince of Peace, which perfectly describes the ministry and personality of Jesus, the Messiah (Isaiah 9:6). Furthermore, Paul assured the Ephesian Christians saying of Jesus, "He Himself is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14). When you pray to Sar Shalom, you are praying to the One who is the source of all peace. To live in peace is to live in His presence. Let the One Who is called the Prince of Peace rule in your heart!

    In other words, the word shalom is a mighty blessing!

    Proverbs 18:21 tells us there is life or death in the power of the tongue. Therefore, whenever you employ the word "shalom" you are speaking into someone's life all the wonderful things that shalom means!

    YAHWEH bless you and keep you.
    YAHWEH make His face shine upon you
    and be gracious to you.
    YAHWEH lift up His face upon you
    and give you SHALOM.
    In the name of SAR SHALOM - the Prince of Peace.
    -Numbers 6:24-26

    Friday, February 11, 2011


    I've been shopping for a Mezuzah. For those who may now know what a Mezuzah is - it's something that those of the Jewish faith place diagonally and adjacent to the doorpost of a Jewish home. The Hebrew word mezuzah actually means doorpost, but over time it has evolved to mean the item and what it contains. What makes it important is the concept that the doorpost is the dividing line between the swirl of the outside world and the sanctity and safe haven of the home. Contained in the mezuzah is a tightly rolled piece of parchment made from the skin of a ritually clean animal on which are hand-written, traditionally in twenty-two lines, words from Deuteronomy, the fifth of the Five Books of Moses. Specifically, they are chapter 6, verses 4 through 9 and chapter 11, verses 13-21 --the Shema Yisrael:

    Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.
    You shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart,
    with all your soul and with all your resources.
    Let these matters that I command you today be upon your heart;
    teach them thoroughly to your children,
    and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
    and when thou walkest by the way,
    and when thou liest down,
    and when thou risest up.
    Bind them as a sign upon your arm
    and let them be tifillin between your eyes.
    And write them on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.
    And it will come to pass that if you continually hearken
    to my commandments that I command you today,
    to love the Lord your God,
    and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul
    -then I will provide rain for your land in its proper time,
    the early and late rains,
    that you may gather in your grain,
    your wine, and your oil.
    I will provide grass in your field for your cattle
    and you will eat and be satisfied.
    Beware lest your heart be seduced and you
    turn astray and the Lord's wrath be kindled against you,
    and He shut up the heaven, and there be no rain,
    and that the land yield not her fruit,
    and ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.
    Place these words of mine upon your heart and upon your soul;
    bind them as a sign upon your arm and let them be tiffillin between your eyes.
    Teach them to your children,
    speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house,
    and when thou risest up.
    And write them on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.
    In order to prolong your days and the days of your children
    upon the ground that the Lord has sworn unto your fathers to give them,
    and the days of the heavens upon the earth.

    Very little about this important object has been left to chance. Including how it is hung. You might ask, just what is it that makes a mezuzah so important, and why is it hung on the doorpost, and if it is so important, why isn't it hung vertically?

    The parchment, or klaf, is rolled from end to beginning, so that the first word, Shema is on top. On the back of the parchment is the Hebrew word Shaddai, one of the mystical names for the Almighty. Shaddai is also an acronym in Hebrew for Shomer Daltot Yistael, Guardian of the Gates of Israel. The mezuzah case should have an opening through which the word Shaddai is visible. If the casing is made without a window then some feel the word Shaddai or the Hebrew letter Shin must appear on the face of the mezuzah. The parchment must be checked twice every seven years. A mezuzah must be attached on the upper third of the right-hand side of the doorway as one enters, no less than one hand-breath from the top. A blessing precedes the hanging. A building not used as a permanent residence, such as a sukkah, does not need a mezuzah.

    With all that, the mezuzah is more than an item. Maimonides, a great sage who lived during the twelfth century, wrote, "Whenever one enters or leaves a home with the mezuzah on the doorpost, he will be confronted with the declaration of God's unity....and will be aroused from.....his foolish absorption in temporal vanities. He will realize that nothing endures to all eternity save knowledge of the Ruler of the Universe."

    So that explains why the mezuzah is important and why it is hung on the doorpost. Yet Mezuzot (the plural for mezuzah) are not restricted to the exterior doorways. Observant Jews affix them to every doorway of every room in the house except the bathroom.

    Which brings us back to the question: why aren't Mezuzot hung vertically? One of the most famous French rabbis of the twelfth century was Rabbi Solomon Ben Isaac, who is also known as Rashi. His grandson, Rabenu Tam, felt that Mezuzot should be affixed horizontally for the sake of tradition, because the scrolls in their cases were originally pushed horizontally into crevices between the stones around doorways of homes. Rashi argued the Mezuzot should be affixed vertically, in such a way that the top pointed toward the Almighty. They eventually compromised, and agreed that the mezuzah should be hung on the diagonal with its top inclined toward the inside. The decision, allowing peace to rein in a Jewish home in the twelfth century France, is part of the message of the mezuzah.

    All that being said....I have decided that our home needs a mezuzah. Now, I'm obviously not of the Jewish faith (--I've been grafted in!) however, I think it would be pretty awesome to have God's Word symbolically placed at the doorpost of our home. I'm not thinking that we need one at each and every doorpost...but I am shopping for one to place at our front door.

    I have found two that I really like:

    Nice, huh? Well, this one won't be hanging next to our doorpost. It costs over $1200.00 Moving right about this one?

    This one is really cool in that it says on the front (in Hebrew), "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." ....which is the same verse inscribed in a ring that I wore while seeking the Lord and asking Him to teach me how to be His bride. So - this mezuzah would be way cool. Not happenin' - still way out of my price range.

    Maybe I'll end up making my own. I am, after all, an artist. I could do this.
    I've also discovered that to purchase the Shema Yisrael prayer on a certified kosher scroll would be an additional $34.00 cost. Kosher? Don't know that it's critical in this non-Jewish household to be concerned about that. I'm thinkin'....I know calligraphy - I'll write it out myself on a piece of parchment paper.

    All that being said...I'm going to clear a working space in my all too cluttered studio....I'll let you know if I ever get this project completed...(don't hold your breath.)

    Note: some of the above plaguerized from here:

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Happy Stuff

    Pat says she wants to know what makes me goes:

    1) Freshly popped popcorn with no "grannies"

    2) Olivia's laugh

    3) Watching the birds feed inches from our window

    4) Bentley sleeping (anytime he's sleeping means a time when he's NOT barking)

    5) The smell of Crayola crayons

    6) A pot of Brillo Man's homemade soup simmering on the stove

    7) The quiet of the early morning when I'm the only one awake

    8) Chocolate

    9) The sound of chirping tree frogs in the Summer

    10) Peach Sherbet

    11) Clean sheets and a duvet with a warm, cozy flannel cover

    12) Fuzzy bedtime socks

    13) School nights with NO homework

    14) Nectarines

    15) A full to the brim woodstove on a cold, wintry night

    16) A bouquet of homemade tissue paper flowers from Olivia

    17) Kisses from my husband

    18) Antique shopping with my favorite man

    19) A great bargain at the mission thrift store

    20) Children's art

    21) A card received via snail mail (anyone need my address?!)

    22) Dear friends

    23) Memories

    24) Seven layer chocolate cake with chocolate icing and a glass of ice cold milk!!

    Monday, February 07, 2011

    Creative BED HEAD

    This is National Hair Care Product Week. Not really. But PAT was sharing about her big fat sexy I thought I'd share about my BED HEAD.

    Here's the deal.

    a) I wanted to post a photo of the bottle of the product that I use so that Pat would know what it was when she checks her comment section and...

    b) I was seriously in need of posting something silly as my brain is on the fried setting from all the seriousness I've been posting recently on our Sister's blog

    So, there you have it. I use BED HEAD - because my once very thick, easy to manage hair has been reduced to much thinner, not so easy to manage, complete lack of volume, poker straight older lady hair.

    I'm hairing (or hearing...I really didn't mistype that on purpose - but it works - so I'm leavin' it...) Anyway...I'm hearing from Mrs. Mac that we all need to be thankful for the hair that God gave us.

    What does she know?

    I'm lovin' my Creative Genius hair care product. ...brings out the artist sculptor in me! ha!

    Brillo Man recently told me that I look like Sarah Palin.... ya think so?

    Thursday, February 03, 2011

    Steel Cut Oats

    The other day I was hungry for steel cut oats. After some time of rummaging in the pantry, I located a bag which Brillo Man previously purchased at our local Amish Bulk Food Store....Yes! Success!!

    Oh. No.

    I see a bug.

    I hate it when that happens.

    Usually, I put them in a container --didn't do that this time.

    One bag of steel cut oats just became chicken feed.

    This morning...hungry again for steel cut oats. Of course, we don't have any because we haven't made a run to the Amish Bulk Food Store...

    So....I had eggs. ...from the chickens which ate the buggy bag of steel cut oats.

    I smiled as I realized that I did indeed have steel cut oats for breakfast.

    ...and then realized that I also had the bugs....