Tag Archive | Inspire

Marking the Ages

I am writing this post today in response to a post I read yesterday.

It was a post written by Stuart Perkins, and you can read it here; 1. magic marker

Anyway, it reminded me of a few things.

Like when I grew up, the best gift I could have received, was something to write or color with.

I don’t remember markers; maybe they were too expensive, or maybe they were too PERMANENT!

It could be ink pens, new pencils, or crayons; but in my mind, nothing but nothing could beat the smell of a new box of crayons.

Mom had her own box, and it was forbidden for us to use HER crayons or her ONE coloring book.

It had a bride and a groom on the front.

She had a way of rolling her crayons as she colored that kept them sharp; not flat or broken like ours.

It also made them far more appealing to use than my own.

The second best thing I could receive was that yellow, smooth, wide ruled paper from the school, or what we called back then “manila paper”.

It was art paper and was very coarse, but a delight to draw on.

Thanks to Stuart, these memories came flooding back, with a few more in tow.

My love for writing utensils and paper was passed along to my daughters and as it turns out, my granddaughters as well.

They are always drawing, writing, or coloring, somewhere.

This brings me to my story.

When daughter number one was moving to a new home, it came time to move the kitchen table.

She turned it over to remove the legs, and to her surprise; there were crayon, pencil, pen and yes, marker letters and art covering the bottom of the table!

Instead of anger, she felt endeared that her offspring had felt that was a safe place to leave their art work.

Cleaning it off was never even an idea, because it was like finding buried treasure.

Then a few years later, when daughter number two was moving, to a new home, it came time to move the kitchen table.

To her great surprise, she found the same thing!

There were crayon, pencil, and pen and yes, marker letters and art covering the bottom of her kitchen table also!

Being a lover of writing and art and markers, she thought of it like a time capsule, documenting their innocence and imagination.

What stressed her out was the fact that the SAME GREEN MARKER used on the bottom of her table, was found all the way around the kitchen and down the hall!

Well that was long ago.

The children were very young then; two, three, four, five.

That has turned into thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen.

Neither mom has any intent of trading in their tables for new ones.

A bit like archaeology; once uncovered, never forgotten.

“Sacred History” I’d call it.

It warms my heart that neither daughter has any thought of getting rid of those tables; those archives.

Like many things, they will be passed on to the children, as documentation of moments gone by.

I never did check the bottom of my table for treasure – but then I haven’t moved in ages!

Perhaps you should consider checking yours?

Just like in Stuart’s story, it could become a very important part of your very own “Sacred History”.

Do you have any stories like this to share?

Please take a moment to do so in the comments.

——- * Ages may be off – math is hard ——-

See you next time!

Day #8 – Our Last Tour Day

This was my favorite day I think.

But it’s so hard to choose.

Visiting Joppa was more than I expected.

It took us a while to get there.

Even though it was the hottest day on our tour – we enjoyed it very much. (Thank God for well air conditioned buses on our return!)

But first …………….

Yitzhak Rabin Memorial
https://mfa.gov.il/mfa/aboutisrael/state/pages/yitzhak%20rabin.aspx
German Colony in Haifa
https://www.touristisrael.com/haifas-german-colony/4998/
Note the places for the kiddos to play and the adults to rest in the lower right hand corner. Sweet.
An outdoor bowling alley!
Who knew? Hey lady! Get off the lane!
A view of the new places, from the middle of the old places.

We saw these buildings from all angles in our travels – now here on the ground we could see their size!

We all really wondered about that twisty one!

Worldwide Center for the Baha’i Faith – Haifa
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraces_(Bah%C3%A1%27%C3%AD)

Jaffa, City in Israel – Description -Jaffa, in Hebrew Yafo and in Arabic Yaffa and also called Japho or Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, is an ancient port city in Israel. Wikipedia

This explains the discrepancy in spellings and pronunciations.

Old Joppa
Slow ascent.
Market Square
Made me smile. Want a ride?
Going up!
These three photos
Are where I pictured
Jesus’ life would be.
Ra’amses Gate Garden
Palm trees everywhere.
HaPisga Garden
Tirosh Amphitheater
St. Peter’s Cathedral
Jaffa Port
Did I mention it was hot?
Dare I say; The old man and the sea?
Inside a restaurant we ate in.
It was cool in more ways than one.
Another wall for free.
Busy Joppa street.

Shalom Tower

Tower in South City Centre (Tel Aviv)

This huge tower, the first skyscraper in Israel opened in 1965, is one of Tel Aviv’s major landmarks and a notable part of its skyline. It has permanent exhibits on the history of Tel Aviv in the foyer and on the 1st floor.

We listened to a guide that knew so many facts, had so much knowledge, and was funny to boot – It was hard to keep up.

We also got to see about twenty minute long documentary about Israeli/Tel Aviv history.

Our guide.
Exhibits
If you are a history buff, this is your place.

To find out what all those displays (and our guide) are talking about, you can click here; https://israelforever.org/programs/myherzl/who_was_theodor_herzl/

Our day of touring, our week in fact, was over, and we headed back to our hotel in Herzilya in time to visit the beach on the Mediterranean Sea.

Palms by the sea.

We stayed at a brand new hotel in Herzilya called Herod’s.

Closer and closer to the Mediterranean.

Just a ten minute walk to the sea.

Sun shiny ribbons on the sea.
Refreshing.
Beautiful.
Soothing.
Restful.

Sea wall.

It was much more than a ten minute walk when you decide to walk along the sea wall.

This is the actual sea wall, and the place we stayed, click here if you want to know more; https://econcretetech.com/seawall-units-herzliya-marina/

Aerial photo found on Google.

Our room was in the far left horseshoe shaped building.

Surfers, not sharks.
One last look back.

That’s it for now – but next time I will just share some random photos – neighborhoods, plants, walls, buildings and such.

About two more posts for our trip to Israel, I hope you’re enjoying them.

I hope to see you again next time.

Day #6 – Israel

Gai Beach, Tiberias, Israel

Good morning from the Sea of Galilee. 6:49 AM.

This is my favorite photo from our trip.

It was so peaceful, and minus the modern embellishments, is a view that my Jesus saw a lot of.

Tiberias – by the Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is essentially a large lake.

There is no Hebrew word for lake.

So it’s a sea.

http://jesusboats.com/

We were on the Sea of Galilee with ten of these “Jesus Boats”, where we all locked together and had a worship service, along with some Hebrew dancing before departing.

Quiet seas.

It was easy in some spots on our cruise to imagine Jesus walking across the water to one of these little boats containing some very concerned Apostles.

Close to the end of our trip.

We hated leaving the boats; but there was so much to see.

On to the Mt. of Beatitudes
Appropriate attire required for entry.
The view from here
Speaks for itself.
Breathtakingly restful.

Capernaum is next.

The walk to Capernaum.
Excavated synagogue close to Peter’s home.
Inside excavated synagogue close to Peter’s home.
Peter’s Home

Peter’s home – What you see above is a new synagogue built above it.

I had difficulty getting great photos here; so you can follow the next link if you want to see more clearly.

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/biblical-archaeology-sites/the-house-of-peter-the-home-of-jesus-in-capernaum/

Jesus resting?

This statute was close to the entry to Capernaum.

Made of black stone. Note the nail holes in the feet.

The view of the Sea of Galilee from outside of Capernaum.

Onward to lunch!

Choose one.
So not used to having my food stare at me!

This was so far out of my comfort zone!

But I ate it any way.

I was surprised at how good it was – Seconds?

Boat Museum – Ginosar, Israel
The Big Question
Great care was taken to keep the keel of this boat in tact.
Next stop – Magdala
An amazing archaeological find, actual floor tile.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magdala
So much has been revealed.
Exciting to think that Mary of Magdalene walked here.

As we head down the pathway from this spot, we come to Duc In Altum.

Which means “Out into the deep”

https://www.magdala.org/visit/duc-in-altum/womens-atrium/

In this atrium, we all stood circling this fountain.

We all began to sing (Sadly I can’t remember what song) and as we all moved to the center, the sound seemed to fill the hall.

It was amazing.

We were surrounded by pillars.
Each with the name of an important woman from the Bible carved into it.
https://www.magdala.org/visit/duc-in-altum/boat-chapel/
https://www.magdala.org/visit/duc-in-altum/encounter-chapel/

This room, the Encounter Chapel, struck my companions and I perhaps more than anywhere else we visited.

We stayed here in silence for several prayerful moments before leaving with very quieted hearts.

Just one more stop today –

https://www.israeljerusalem.com/yardenit.htm

The Yardenit is the baptismal site located on the Jordan River.

I have no photos of my own from this site, as I was busy getting re-baptized myself.

That’s it for today’s tour.

I’m exhausted.

How about you?

Please join me next time for Day # 7.

Cave Dweller

I’m a “Cave Dweller”. I love being at home, in my “Cave” while communing with God and His creation.

Quiet. Blue Sky. Green Earth. Ever changing seasons.

Communing = to experience a deep emotional or spiritual relationship with something.

Now cave dwelling is fine for a season, but it may be time to get out of here for a while.

I can argue that God has provided me with a pretty cool cave, and that I am comfy here.

To which I hear, “Comfy is what you come back to, to rest. But to come back, you have to leave first.”

I once used my 400 pound Strong’s Concordance, (remember those?) to research all that the Bible said about caves.

Caves were used for many, many things. Living, storage, hiding, burial…..

I did find that my self imposed solitude can turn into loneliness and isolation.

Here is where I find myself, one more time.

It is again time to transition to level-up.

An upgrade, if you will.

There is a growing “Holy dissatisfaction”.

It comes from learning the new thing, leveling up, upgrading; learning a new thing, and then getting really comfortable with it.

I believe the “Holy dissatisfaction” comes from knowing your subject, or in my case, where you are, so well that it is no longer a challenge.

If I am happy with that, then I can never grow or change, or become different or better than I currently am.

To find out what that is, there are a few things that I require myself to do;

  • Set aside an early morning time to get quiet – before the day begins calling my name
  • Revamp my schedule to have a few quiet, listening breaks during the day. (He’s always speaking, I’m just not always listening.)
  • Read biography’s. Stories of people in history or culture that I admire can be helpful to me to see more possibilities
  • Leave my house; go places, see things, meet people, enjoy creation.
  • Take a breath. Then another. Then another. Consciously.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12 (ESV)

Here is hoping that my ramblings may open up new thoughts and possibilities.

Until next time – Do something different!

Transition

Long ago, back in the day, I learned a new word.

The word was TRANSITION.

Transition = Process of change; A process or period in which something undergoes a change and passes from one state, stage, form, or activity to another. (Encarta Dictionary)

An example of transition is that uncomfortable space in between when we are working for something and are about to receive it.

Or after we have received it, and gotten really comfortable with it, so we are in the place of moving on to the NEXT thing.

Long ago, back in the day, I thought that I would have transition once, and that would be it.

How naive I was; long ago, back in the day.

Through many years of “process”, I’ve learned that we are in a constant state of transitions, usually in more areas than one at once.

I’ve also found, for myself anyway, that if I argue with the process, or hang on to things longer than I should in my “comfortable place”, I simply end up exhausting myself and those around me; all the while never reaching any kind of new goal.

This is where I find myself today.

Somewhat uncomfortable.

Somewhat bored.

Somewhat wondering what is next.

So Dear Reader; I was prepared to dump all that process here, all at once, then decided to dump it out just a little at a time.

You’re welcome.

I hope you choose to join me for this journey, however long or short it ends up being.

And if you do, don’t hesitate to share any thoughts or comments that you may deem helpful.

Sometimes, in order to transition well, we (read I) need a village.

See you next time.

After the Lull

Fast forward to the present time, 2019, and the years in between, working on putting all I had learned to some practical use.

There has (seemingly) been a lull.

I say seemingly because I believe that even, and maybe especially, in the quiet times, the lull times, God is often doing a work in us so deep, and so profound, that we may not even have words to express what is happening on our insides. We may not even know!

Then one day, the times of quiet disappear, and everything erupts! There is drama everywhere, and there is nowhere to hide.

It is during times of duress, that we begin to realize what all that quiet was about.

All the while it was growing us, and fortifying us, “For such a time as this.”

I believe we grow infinitely closer to God because we depend on Him more.

Enter this book .


I’ve had this book on my laptop for several years. (Ever do that?)

I don’t ever remember reading it.

Until now.

Funny how things can hang out for the longest while, only to reappear at just the right time.

How long have I been asleep? How long has God been working in the silence of my heart? What have I learned from that time?

Dekker maintains that we follow Christ, and then we are all prone to forget the truth that sets us free all too often, each day, each hour, each moment.

To me this is the same thing as going back to our default position.

The one place in our heart and our head that protects us from the pain and chaos of the world, but does absolutely nothing to help us to grow and flourish.

In the world Dekker grew up in, “It was simple: If you say, and or do, and or believe the right things, you’re golden. If you don’t, you’re screwed. It all depends on you. Just like with God, or so I was led to believe.”

My story is certainly the same. Perhaps yours is as well.

Straighten up. Fly right. Toe the line. Conform. Or pay the price.

The price was often abuse by peers and those in charge, chaotic thinking, and loneliness. Add to that a startling array of disorders, diagnoses, and addictions, and the outcome is quite a mess!

If you don’t know who you truly are, and believe yourself to be the only one in this place, you try to fit in the best you can.

It is so much easier to hide.

What is your identity made up with?

  • Is your identity made up by hobbies or sports?
  • Is your identity made up by the church you attend?
  • Is your identity wrapped up in your wife, your husband, your children?
  • Is your identity made up by your career?
  • Is your identity held in your wealth and status?
  • Or is your identity made up of what someone told you; for good or for evil?

These things promise, and promise to make you feel better, worthy.

But they never deliver. They only continue to enslave.

You need to know that these identities are FAR LESS than the identity that you were born with!

The depression, the wounding, the scarring, the addictions, the habits and ill behaviors that you can’t seem to overcome, and maybe even your health issues, may have to do with how you see yourself.

YOUR OWN perception of you!

And you are certainly not alone in your struggle.

Those perfect people that you rub shoulders with on a daily or weekly basis? They struggle too.

They simply hide behind a different curtain, looking as “normal” as possible.

In God’s economy, normal looks a lot like loving;

  • Loving others even when they treat you poorly
  • Loving those who cannot love you back
  • Loving those who are difficult to love
  • Loving ourselves and others as Christ does.

We all fail from time to time.

But we must know that we are made in God’s image, and if we are born “in Him”, we can continually grow toward being that loving person He has created us to be.

If we immerse ourselves in His Word daily, the Word itself will begin to erase all of the negative corrosion that has been sticking to us our entire lives.

His word will cleanse us, and although we are still not perfect, it will continue cleaning us up, and softening our edges, making us more like Christ by the day.

What will that identity look entail?

  • RadiancePsalm 34:5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
  • Strength2 Corinthians 12:10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • WisdomProverbs 2:10 For wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
  • Compassion Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
  • Fruits of the Spirit;
    • Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.

I want to tell you one more thing.

The thing I tell you the most.

The most important thing.

Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV)

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

No accident.

No mistake.

Just …………………. Love.