Urgent: please pray for 3 Israeli teens kidnapped by Hamas to be found safe. Here are the latest details.

Abigail:

This concerns me, along with so many other things happening over there.

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

Three kidnapped Israeli teens, from L-R: Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16. (photo credit: Times of Israel)

Three kidnapped Israeli teens, from L-R: Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16. (photo credit: Times of Israel)

Three Israeli teenage boys — including one who is American-born — disappeared last Thursday. Fairly quickly, Israeli authorities determined the boys had been kidnapped and taken into the West Bank. Prime Minister Netanyahu says he has hard evidence that Hamas is responsible.

  • Please pray for the Lord to protect these three young men — and their  families — and give them courage and peace.
  • Please pray that they will be returned safely to their families.
  • Please pray, too, for Israeli authorities to have wisdom to know how to find them, and  for Palestinian authorities to actively assist in their safe and speedy return.
  • Please also share this story with others and encourage others to start praying.

“Yeshiva students Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, were abducted while hitchhiking south…

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Sometimes…the tears just need to fall.

Abigail:

My life the last few months or so. It gets old, but I know it will pass. It always has…sooner or later. Crying can be a good release.

Originally posted on The Heart of the Rose:

Sometimes tears BG42+

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I’ve been in a battle

Lately, I have been fighting a battle. It is not that I have lost my faith. I haven’t. But the stresses of our situation have piled up and left me vulnerable once again to the darkness I have fought all my life. Whether it is old programming kicking in (my father did give me his contact info) or simply the things of current life (Dave being in pain, having little to no income to live on, son going to trial, being unable to take care of or maintain Beit-Shalom or???)

I have managed to make the office more usable. That will give me a bit of a much-needed “hideaway”. It is not a very comfy one, but it is very doable. I plan to keep working on it as I sort, toss and organize.

I relate to this jpeg from The Heart of the Rose blog. I want to be whole-hearted toward Him.

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This Cloak of Darkness… A Message to the Depressed

Abigail:

I love the video that accompanies this. I wish I did not relate to it so much.

Originally posted on The Abuse Expose' with Secret Angel:

This is a message for someone who is struggling with depression. These words came to me that I will share. I totally understand how you feel… cause I have definitely been there!!!

Clothed in darkness…
feeling your life is a mess.
Surrounded by brokenness…
and intense feelings of distress.
Looking around you…
feeling your world has fallen apart.
Knowing you have to continue…
but the darkness just won’t depart.
And this cloak of darkness covers you…
with feelings of smothering at best.
But how can you remove it…
like clothing you’d just undress.

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Learning…again…

Again, I am learning that it really is all about trust. I don’t just need to believe G-d exists. I don’t just need a relationship with Him. I need to be in a right relationship with Him. And that means trusting Him, completely, for everything in my life.

I entrust my spiritual well-being to Him (the fuller meaning of the word “believe” in John 3:16). I entrust my physical well-being to Him, trusting that He will provide what I absolutely need. I will entrust my safety to Him, trusting that He will get me through whatever comes my way.

It isn’t about never doing without. It isn’t about never feeling lonely…or scared. It isn’t about never hurting or never feeling down. It is about trusting my Creator. It is about knowing that He has plan that is much bigger than what I can see. Yes, He does give me glimpses of what He is doing and why, but most of the picture is hidden behind the veil of trust.

I have been through some incredibly hard times, yet I am still here. Clearly, He got me through it. There are things I wished I had and did not get. Clearly, I did have what I most needed for I am still here.

I am blessed and I need to always keep that in my mind and heart. A day filled with gratitude is a much better day than one without it, even if the events are identical.

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Quick update…

Obviously, the thing I want most is for Dave to get better…to be pain free. But, if we cannot have that, the next best thing is for him to get SSDI. He has an appointment to see the SSDI doc this week, followed by another eval from his VA pain clinic doc.

It breaks my heart to see him hurting so much and so unable to do the things he wants and needs to do. He tries, but he always pays the price for it. He just cannot do the things he used to be able to do.

My oldest is in jail and his trial is coming up the third week of June. It has been over a year and, although I dread it, I also just want it to be over. All of us do, so we can breathe again. It has torn the family apart, literally. My grandchildren are scattered between four families.

With all that is going on, my PTS levels, which were somewhat manageable, have been rising again. Being a believer does not mean that life does not affect us. It just means that we know Someone we can draw our strength from…Someone who can give us comfort in the midst of huge pain.

I always remind myself that nothing…absolutely nothing…happens that is not either allowed or caused by Abba. Nothing. And He turns all things for good. Also, we are to give thanks both in all things and for all things. Even when things that seem bad to us from our perspective happen, Abba can make them good. He will use them for our good, to prune us and refine us and bring us to the next level of holiness.

So…I wait…and I rest in Him as best I can. Everyone in my family is in His hands, even those who don’t know they are. He loves them more than I ever could. I have to rest in that.

In the meantime, I hope there is some way we can get the AC unit back into the window and I must go take my Vit B complex in the hopes that it will make me less tasty to all the bugs that think I am a delectable main course when I go outside.

This is how I often feel…like a flower growing in the midst of very difficult circumstances. I choose to keep blooming…no matter what!

dandelion in bedspring

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Are we listening?

I believe that our Creator is always talking to us and always listening for us to talk to Him. Are we listening? Are we sharing our hearts with Him? How He longs for us to hear His heart and how He longs for us to open ourselves to Him so that we can receive His words of Life for us.

Are we seeking Him and including Him in our lives? Or are we shutting Him out? We can choose to ignore Him, but it will bring consequences in this life as well as the next. He loves us. Why would we want to turn down so amazing a love as He offers to us?

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Changes…yes?

When Dave was working at Lowe’s, he had a crazy schedule. We never knew when he would be working…what days, early or late, how many hours. Oftentimes, we had less than one week’s schedule in front of us. To say that it made planning for anything pretty much impossible was an understatement, not that we could plan for much anyway due to his increasing pain and our decreasing finances.

Toward the end, as they kept cutting all the part-time employees hours, we found it to be a mixed bag for us. We needed more income, yet his pain was becoming worse and he needed increasingly more recuperation time so that he was able to work. The time finally came, back in January, when he simply could not force himself to work another day. On January 15, he went in to quit. He could barely walk, yet he had only worked 4 hours the morning before and was off for four days prior. Still, 28 1/2 hours later, he was in so much pain it was all he could do to even come in and quit. My hard-working husband had reached the end of his endurance.

When he quit, I expected some changes. One of them was to finally get back to some sort of regular schedule. Alas, it was not to be. His work was no longer the driving force behind an insane schedule, now his pain was. And it still is even now.

He is usually in too much pain to sleep through the night, so he gets up and works on his computer to distract himself. He finally gets to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, which means that he gets up late in the morning. He has tried going to bed earlier, but to no avail. So, it is late to bed, up in the middle of the night, late to rise and then either napping or laying down off and on during the day.

Sometimes, he needs to sleep, but oftentimes, he needs to lay down in an attempt to stop the pain. He has pillows that he places a certain way. If he lays face down on them just right, the pain eases for a bit. But he cannot stay that way all day. When he gets back up, it starts all over until it gets so bad he has to lay down again.

When he is up, he is typically in the recliner. Being at an angle does seem to ease the pinching and the pain diminishes…slightly. He is on medications for muscle pain and for nerve pain. They help, but only enough to keep him from having to lay down 24/7.

Stenosis is an ugly word to me. It is robbing him of so many things and it is hard to see what is happening to him. There are so many things he could be doing…that he wants to be doing, but it is just not possible. In those times when he forces himself, he ends up even worse. He really has no options.

He has applied for early Social Security since he turns 62 in May. Thankfully, he is getting it. He would much prefer to be working, but it is what it is. In the meantime, our assembly has graciously paid for one month of bills and we have been living on our income tax return. We found out that SS would not start until the 3rd week. We figured we might be able to make it that far with little to no help. But it turns out that it won’t start until the third week of July. So, now we are facing a one month shortfall on top of a lower SS level due to his applying early.

He has also applied for disability. We are praying he will get it since he is simply unable to work. He can barely get through a day. Any time we go anywhere, he comes home and has to lay right down. He has to be reclined or on his face on his pillows. Walking around hurts worse. Sitting not reclined hurts worse.

Some might wonder how our faith is holding up in all of this. This one thing we know:  absolutely NOTHING happens that G-d does not either allow or cause. Either way, He promises to use it for good. There have been times in my life when I totally did not understand what Abba was doing or why. And yet, afterward, sometimes I could look back and see His hand in things, guiding and directing and even protecting. And then there are the times that I could see Him at work in the moment – times when He let me see what His plans were/are.

We know Abba is doing something. He is working things out for His glory and we are willing to be a part of that. We have been through many hard things and others have been encouraged in their own lives because we did not give up…because we did not walk away from G-d. Truly, it is not we who hold onto our Creator, but our Creator who holds onto us.

Here is our neighbor. He has been singing his heart out for a mate, in between banging his beak into our windows.

Cardinal in Tree

 

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Living with Uncertainty

When you have more questions than answers regarding the direction of your life, how do you handle it?

I have blogs that I started because they are (were) a good outlet for my love of writing and sharing my thoughts and experiences. The anonymous ones were good for processing some life circumstances. Although I do rotate between them, they are almost all basically neglected…at least to my way of thinking. Do I let them go? Do I continue on as I am now? Do I set aside time to spend on them more regularly? I think it is important to consider why am I writing and to whom.

We are facing a possible move. Will our unfinished Beit-Shalom sell so we can move? Or will we stay here? Or will something work out that we can finish part of it and rent it out? If we move, will we become a burden to our son and daughter-in-love who offered to move us out there before taking in two of our granddaughters? Or will we become a blessing to them? Will we end up stuck (so to speak) in their house, unable to afford our own place due to financial limitations? Or will things change, enabling us to afford to get our own house there? If we end up having to stay here, will we be able to at least finish three key things on the house and property that would make staying here doable for Dave with his stenosis?

Will Dave get the disability he deserves? Or will we have to live on his lower early Social Security? The answer to that will affect us whether we stay here or live in Texas.

Will my son be able to graduate in June 2015? Or will he need another semester? If he needs another semester, will he still receive SS?

Will I be a good caregiver for my sweet Dave? He is in so much pain and pushes himself to do life.

How will we get things cleaned up, packed, sorted, thrown out?

What role will music play in my life? Photography? Graphics? Education?

It isn’t easy having unanswered questions. I/we need to rely upon our heavenly Abba who knows all the answers to these. We need to rest in His knowing, in His Spirit, in His plans.

 

 

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I cannot help thinking…

I cannot help thinking about how close the time is getting. I am not a date setter, but Yeshua (Jesus) does tell us to watch for the signs of the times. There are prophecies being fulfilled before our eyes that indicate He may be returning very soon…possibly within the next few years. (And I am NOT talking about the so-called modern-day prophecies of wealth and prosperity being around the corner!) In Genesis, we are told:

Gen 1:14-19 CJB God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to divide the day from the night; let them be for signs, seasons, days and years; (15) and let them be for lights in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth”; and that is how it was. (16) God made the two great lights — the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night — and the stars. (17) God put them in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth, (18) to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. (19) So there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.

That Hebrew word for “seasons” is not the four seasons of the year. It is the seasons as in the “times”. In fact, even more important, the word “moedim” means “appointed times”. These are times specifically appointed by G-d for significant things. The feasts are moedim. The Shabbats (sabbaths) are moedim. In fact, I highly recommend doing a search on that Hebrew word in the bible and reading the verses where it is used. You might be surprised at what you find. (E-sword is a free bible program by Rick Meyers that you can use on your computer that allows that kind of searching. Rick does excellent work.)

There are very interesting things happening. For instance, there are going to be four blood moons (called a tetrad) within this year and the next that consecutively fall upon biblical feasts. Yes, blood moons have happened previously, but what is rare is when they land consecutively on biblical feasts. When they have coincided with feasts, significant things for Israel and/or for the Jewish people have happened either on or very near by those dates. While there are many articles out there, each with its own take and all informative, I highly recommend looking at what Mark Biltz has to say since he is the one who, apparently, first stumbled onto this and he has been studying it for a while. Here is a link to his site. El Shaddai Ministries. Here are a couple of videos:

Another interesting thing to look at are the prophecies of Judah Ben Samuel. The mark of a true prophet of G-d is two things…that his/her prophecies come true and that he/she does not teach the people to walk away from G-d’s laws. Here are some links about Judah Ben Samuel and his prophecies regarding Jerusalem.  Just Five Years till “end times” commence?; The Prophecy of Jubilees by Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel and Israel: Between Mysticism and Reality from Israel Today. As with anything, I caution you to read, watch and listen with an ear to our Creator and an eye on the scriptures.

There are so many prophecies in scripture that I see taking place. Israel’s existence is a huge one. Look at Ezekiel 37 and 38. Gosh, look at all the prophets and at the prophecies that have not yet come true!

Sadly, there are some who believe an evil teaching…a heresy…that the Christian church has somehow replaced Israel when it comes to G-d’s blessings. Funny thing, although they believe Israel no longer is part of G-d’s picture and plan, they do believe that the curses still belong to her and her people. This cannot be! Please, read the entire passage from which the following verses come and then, if you believe this horrible lie, I beg of you to be done with it!!

Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: “If this fixed order departs From before Me,” declares the LORD, “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever.” Thus says the LORD, “If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done,” declares the LORD.   Jer 31:35-37

Please note that the things mentioned in those verses have NOT come to pass. Consider this, too: if He is not faithful in His promises to Israel, how do we know He will be faithful in His promises to us? I worship a G-d who is Faithful and True. He sent Messiah through the Jewish people. All the scriptures and even the very feasts He gave us point to Messiah. I could do a whole other post about how Yeshua fulfilled feasts on His previous coming and will fulfill more on His next.

While the “church” fails to stand up for Truth and Righteousness while quibbling about non-essential things, the world goes on its merry way unwarned about the destruction to come. Time is short and we truly are seeing times “like the days of Noah”.

One last video I urge you to watch (and I do plan to repost it, along with the others) is this one. Forget the “Noah” movie with Russell Crowe. Even its producer claims it “the least biblical movie ever made”. Forget “Son of God” which is made by new agers and paints a horrible, wimpy, powerless image of Yeshua/Jesus). Instead, watch things like “God’s Not Dead” (which I cannot recommend enough) and the following video, “Noah and the Last Days”.

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