My Salvation – Psalm 38

The word translated as salvation in Psalm 38:22 is teshû‛âh (tesh-oo-aw’) which, according to Strong’s Concordance means “rescue, deliverance, help, safety, salvation, victory.”

03ceae38420618b35a625295c8792c0c“LORD, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee,” Psalm 38:9, King James Version.

Y’hoshua [Jesus] says, “Precious one, I know all your desires. I hear your groaning.”

“For upon you, O LORD, I hoped. You will hear, O LORD my God,” Psalm 38:15, Apostolic Polyglot Bible.

He says, “I hear you, My bride!”

“Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me,” Psalm 38:21, King James Version.

Y’hoshua promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. I am near you.”

“Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation,” Psalm 38:22, King James Version, emphasis added.

He says, “I am here to help you, dear one. I am your Deliverer, your Savior, your Freedom-giver, your Rescuer, your Healer, your Victory-giver, your Health-giver, your Prosperity-giver, your Reviver, your Preserver, your Life-restorer, your Freedom-giver, your Repairer, your Defender.”

Will you let Him be all of those for you?

Healed – Past, Present, and Future

The word translated as healed and made whole in Luke 8:48,50 (see below) is the Greek word sōzō which, according to Strong’s Concordance means “to save, that is, deliver or protect; to heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.” Now, I’m not a Greek scholar, but I do have a fairly good grasp of the English verb tenses and recently noticed something interesting.

hem-garmentIn the narration of the woman who was healed by touching the fringe on our Savior’s garment, Luke notes that her healing was complete at the very instant she touched Him:

“Jesus said to her, Have courage, my daughter; your faith has healed you; go in peace,” Luke 8:48, Lamsa New Testament, emphasis added.

This is the present perfect tense. Next, notice the future tense in verse 50 (verse 49 is quoted for context):

“While He is still speaking, someone comes from the synagogue leader saying to Him, ‘Your daughter has died. Stop troubling the Teacher,’” Luke 8:49, Analytical-Literal Translation.

“But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, ‘Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole,’” Luke 8:50, King James Version, emphasis added.

Here, the “wholeness” will take place in the future. Even so, the man is instructed to “fear not: believe only.”

In the following verse, we see the healing in the present tense:

“After a while, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, Behold, you are healed; do not sin again, for something worse might happen to you than the first,” John 5:14, Lamsa New Testament, emphasis added.

The Master Healer desires to make you whole – to heal your past, to save you at this very moment, and to deliver you in the future! Will you allow Him to do this in you and for you?

 

 

 

Growing in Our Master

Remember that the hand of our Master reaches over every one of His true followers. When someone you want to help tries to hurt you because you are following Y’hoshua (Jesus), this person wounds the hand of the One who covers you. Go to your Savior and pray, just as the Son of God fled to his Father and prayed.

003Much of the care and trouble we endure is caused by our own hearts not being in harmony with Y’hoshua. Study all of the Master Teacher’s words of counsel and advice. Make them a part of your life and character. Hold onto the Mediator, cling to Him, walk with Him, live with Him, grow in Him, until you gain heaven.

grow, Grow, GROW!

True Humility

Last week I went to the clinic to hear about the results of a recent blood test. After I had gotten the results, I told the student doctor assigned to my case about the lower back pain that has plagued me for the past two weeks. He and the two young men shadowing him gave me a very thorough back exam. However, their poking and prodding and various tests required that I lay down on the examining table, not as easy as it sounds when a person has a bad back. To make matters worse, to test my reflexes and muscle resistance, they had to take off my shoes.

After the tests, I sat up. Then I told the doctor, “I’m in so much pain – I know I won’t be able to put my shoes on again.”

Then this young doctor-in-training dfootwashingid the unthinkable. He knelt beside the table and put my sneakers on my feet! To top it off, he tied them up for me! Have you ever heard of a doctor putting shoes on the patient’s feet?

Needless to say, I was flabbergasted.

I pray that he will remain humble as he learns and practices. His patients will be blessed, as I was.

A Whole New World

“Am I dreaming or is this real?” I ask myself. In the space of one week, my whole world has been transformed…

Instead of being woken up in my tent at 2 a.m. by drunk people yelling obscenities at each other, I am woken up at a reasonable hour by a happy rooster crowing outside my bedroom window.

Instead of feeling the hard, damp ground beneath me, I feel a soft, dry bed.

There are no ants crawling in my clothes, no blood-thirsty mosquitoes buzzing in my ears, no roaches scurrying around for the cover of darkness, no scorpions seeking a place to attach, no ticks looking for a free ride.

Instead of smelling mold and mildew, I catch a whiff of fresh toast. Instead of pastries and doughnuts in the homeless shelter’s dining hall, there are fresh farm-grown persimmons for breakfast.

Instead of showering with a garden hose in public or taking a bus to shower at the shelter downtown, I shower in a clean, private bathroom.

And the joy of having meaningful work here on the farm – transplanting seedlings, watering in the greenhouse, endless hoeing, picking vegetables and then sorting and cleaning them for market.

I think of the movie Poor Little Rich Girl and how Shirley Temple wakes up one morning to find her attic world transformed from cold and dark to warm and bright. It can really happen!

But I can also testify that in the midst of the rainy, moldy, buggy world of homelessness and tents and shelters that God is with His children; He preserves, protects, and provides for His own. He can make even dark situations bright with the light of His presence.

I was thankful for His abundant blessings then; I am thankful now.

“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness [mercies], and for his wonderful works [wonders, miracles] to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8. 

For Women Only: A Musing on the Mundane which May be Amusing

After spending the afternoon putting soil and manure through a mesh screen in preparation for use in the greenhouse, I was covered with dirt from head to foot. After a quick shower, I caught a glimpse of my almost-50-year-old face in the mirror over the bathroom sink. What was all that furry stuff on my face? It’s not that I hadn’t noticed it in prior months, but I was just too preoccupied to do anything about it.

I confess that I started shaving and plucking and primping and preening.

“What a joy to look like a lady again!” I thought to myself.

Then a thought crossed my mind: is it true that I am more feminine when I can pluck my eyebrows and shave my mustache?

Definitely not. In fact, just last weekend when I returned to the homeless camp for my little massage ministry, I heard a man remark to his buddies as I passed by, “Now, there goes a real lady.”

I smiled. He hadn’t noticed my thick eyebrows or little mustache hairs or nose hairs or absent make-up or dirty fingernails. He knew I was a lady from knowing my character, from the way I dress, the head covering, and how I conduct myself.

That, I believe, is the essence of womanhood and true femininity.

Steppingstones

The past several weeks have been full of trials and transitions, yet God continues to bless me abundantly.

Recently while I was waiting in line for the evening meal at the shelter, the man behind me (without even introducing himself) said, “Hi. Would you like to work on an organic farm?”

My mouth dropped open. Me? Work on an organic farm? I peppered him with questions…

Long story short, I began working part time on the farm last week and am now camping on the property. It is a small organic farm right in Gainesville!

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The timing for this move couldn’t be more perfect as I have recently had several “close encounters” with various males at the shelter compound. I was feeling more and more insecure in the environment (while still recognizing that I am protected by bands of holy angels).

I plan to return to the homeless shelter on weekends to continue assisting with the Shabbat service conducted by a Jewish friend as well as to continue prison and massage ministries. The rest of the time I will be picking beans, transplanting and transplanting vegetables and flowers for winter (broccoli, cabbage, kale, carrots – the works!), sorting vegetables for the bi-weekly farmers’ markets, and other farm-related duties. And in my spare time (!) I would like to I edit my books, Shine for Me, Blue Butterfly! And Fullness of Joy: Living Where the Roses Bloom Forever” in preparation for presentations at shelters and churches.

It is such a joy and a blessing to work outdoors with God’s creation, to nurture life and growth, and to have meaningful work and flexible hours! I praise HaShem for His glorious gifts.

Poem by Amy Carmichael

Nothing in the House

Thy servant Lord, hath nothing in the house,

Not even one small pot of common oil;

For he who never cometh but to spoil

Hath raided my poor house again, again,

That ruthless strong man armed, whom men call

Pain.

I thought that I had courage in the house,

And patience to be quiet and endure,

And sometimes happy songs; now I am sure

Thy servant truly hath not anything,

And see my song-bird hath a broken wing.

My servant, I have come into the house –

I who know Pain’s extremity so well

That there never can be the need to tell

His power to make the flesh and spirit quail:

Have I not felt the scourge, the thorn, the nail?

And I, his conqueror, am in the house,

Let not your heart be troubled: do not fear:bird2

Why shouldest thou, child of Mine, if I am here?

My touch will heal thy song-bird’s broken wing,

And he shall have a braver song to sing.

The Highways and/or the Byways

js 268 - fixedWhile I was standing at the bus stop near the Morningside Nature Center yesterday watching the cars whiz by, I noticed movement in the narrow gutter of the highway lane closest to me. Taking a second look, I was surprised to see a large tortoise running along the road. (“Large” is relative. He was at least 9-10 inches long.) And yes, he was running, if tortoises can run, or at least he was moving along with great speed for a tortoise! He definitely had somewhere to go in a hurry.

Fortunately for him, no cars were passing by at the moment so I quickly and carefully picked him up and placed him near the edge of the woods at the bus stop. Soon he poked his little head out of his shell and headed into the jungles of Gainesville, this time in a much safer location for traveling.1246259.large

Perhaps there is an object lesson in there for me…

I am eager to share my testimony of God’s goodness in preserving my life during the dark times of my life, to share information about Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and it’s devastating and debilitating effects on a woman’s life, and to share the fullness of joy I have in my Savior Y’hoshua (Jesus), as a full-time ministry, to both the churched and the unchurched. To accomplish this, I was planning to rejoin the rat race of the world in which we live – find regular full time employment, get an apartment, etc. But God has carefully picked me up and placed me in a new environment where I can shine for Him. Like Mr. Tortoise, my “safe place” is not on the highway but in the woods (literally).

A song I know came to my mind. It is composed of just two verses from God’s Word:

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace toward me was not in vain… (1Timothy 1:15; 1Corinthians 15:10).

If I am the chief of sinners (and I am)

and if Y’hoshua (Christ Jesus) came into the world to save sinners (and He did)

and if I am what I am (saved, delivered, healed, restored) by the grace of God (and I am),

then to show that His grace toward me was not in vain,

I must share His hope, especially with the women around me,

even if it means remaining in my present circumstances for now.

Like Mr. Tortoise, I am popping my little head out of my shell and, by faith, doing what God has called me to do as quickly as my little tortoise legs will carry me.

Gracious Father, thank you for taking me off, and keeping me off, the highway. You know a safer place, a better place, a better way… I may not see it clearly right now, but I trust that you are leading and providing.

Thank you for your beautiful creatures and the environment you created them to live in!

 

 

First Things First

This is the first time that anyone in Gainesville has seen me without my head covering.

This is the first time I’ve been inside a prison.

This is the first time a friend of mine has been convicted of a crime.

aam_prison_closing_3

Today I went to visit one of my original “buddy guards” from the time when I was sleeping at a park in Gainesville a couple of months ago. Conviction: assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill… He says he didn’t even pull out his knife, just threatened to do it when some guy ran off with his money and backpack. It’s strange the other man didn’t end up in jail too…4dba382dd175f.preview-300

My friend only gets two hours of visitation a week and I took one – he seemed happy to see me, the first visitor he’s had since he got in there. There was a thick glass between us and we spoke on telephones. (Everyone knows that already I guess, but it was all so new to me.) And I was told me to take off my head covering. Of course I wasn’t expecting that so I didn’t even have a hairbrush with me!

Visiting my friend in jail was difficult for me, not just seeing him locked up and all of that but watching the other men as well, with nothing to do, nowhere to go. It was a pathetic scene. And here’s my friend not knowing whether he’ll end up with a 10-year sentence or 60 days…

I’ll look into visiting again next week.