21st Century, Awe, Current Events, History, Intercession, Israel, Jesus, justice, omnipresent history, Uncategorized

No B. S. please!

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My title is not a reference to bovine droppings, but fill-in-the-blank Bible Study workbooks!

My wife made it a goal to teach our daughters the Word during this shut-down. A noble and worthy goal. Several of her friends wanted to study the same materials together, and they picked a series by Beth Moore.

Though I bristle at her women-o-centric presentation, I love Beth Moore and am glad that she’s out there. She clearly loves the Bible, the Christ of the Bible, and wants to help women know Him. Maybe I’m a rebel, but I just cringe at fill-in-the-blank anything!

That said, I’m doing her Bible study, but taking the rabbit trails I need to in order to reach revelation. Maybe I have a slow brain, and I need to look at a questions from multiple angles before I have an opinion? Her readings are centered on Genesis 1:26-2:17 and Genesis 3:1-9 and ask the questions: “Where are you?” and “Where is G-d?”

My process of reading scripture, if I have one, is to invite the Holy Spirit to help me learn what He wants today, and read until something “pops”. That’s it. My internal questions most days sound more like, “Hey Dad, what are You up to today? Can I come along?”

So, back on track, the first thing that bounced in this reading was Genesis 2:5.

“Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,” *

What did this say to me? That we, humans, planted everything on the face of the earth. I had never noticed that we were made to be planters, horticulturalists, or farmers before today. (Sort of an irony that our Maker and our faith is so scorned on Earth Day when He put us here to make things grow, isn’t it?)

So I kept reading dutifully, blah, blah, blah, the whole text through 3:9. Nothing. Crickets. Then I re-read Genesis 2:16-17 and got bounced again on the noggin by the Counselor.

“And the LORD God commanded him, “You may eat freely from every tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” **

Two more coins dropped, and two questions popped into my mind; “What does the Lord mean by “eat freely”? and “What’s so bad about knowledge of good and evil?”

Pondering the first question, I am led to believe that the Master loves sharing! He wants us to explore; climb every mountain and ford every stream. He generously gave us a universe filled with the answer “Yes!”

Yet, within His universe of freedoms there we find one “no”; “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” It seems completely illogical at first glance that learning about good and bad, this and that, lightness and darkness could be, (gulp) deadly?

But thankfully, today G-d took me down a different rabbit trail to contemplate the sin before the “original sin”. What was it about Satan’s thinking and heart that ejected him, such a beautiful and awe-inspiring creature, from the presence of the Eternal One forever? What is another word that encapsulates and crystalizes “knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil”? Surely, the King of the Universe does not withhold or resent our learning, contemplation, and exploration of everything, so what is it?

Let’s focus on what He said, rather than on the Serpent’s hissing? ”

“for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:17b

G-d is the great “I Am”. He is the Only One Eternally Present. Therefore, He is the Only One worthy of the name Elohei Mishpat; G-d of Justice! He told us plainly, “You can’t eat this food of judgment or you will die.”

Not to be vain, but for the sake of argument, let’s cross check G-d, ok? Satan begins the cycle of sin in Isaiah 14:14 with a heart of judgment.

“I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” BSB ***

Look again, friends and what do you see; “I will” and “I will”! Satan’s original original sin is judging: a. That he is capable of knowing good and evil. b. That his assessment’s are more just than G-d.

But he is just the author of the cycle of judgment and counter-judgment. His ejection was the belief that he could rightly divide good and evil APART from the Omniscient One. His logical theorems, postulates, and arguments always fail. Forgive my wordiness, but indulge me an example or two?

  1. To perfectly assess and judge good and evil, one must have perfect and total knowledge.
  2. To have perfect and total knowledge, one must be eternal.
  3. To be eternal, one must not be a creature or creation.
  4. Therefore, a creature or creation is not eternal, and by definition cannot possess perfect and total knowledge.

Another attempt?

  1. Satan falsely judged Elohei Mishpat based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil.
  2. Satan’s judgement of G-d based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil broke relationship with G-d. (This is important. G-d did not leave him. He left the Presence of G-d.)
  3. Satan’s exit of the Presence of G-d began his practice of the cycle of judgment based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil.
  4. Satan’s practice of the cycle of judgment based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil entered the human race through Adam and Eve’s abandonment of Justice.
  5. Therefore, the practice of the cycle of judgment based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil is Satanic, and excludes us from the Presence of G-d.
  6. Exclusion from the Presence of G-d is willfully practicing the cycle of Death through judgment and counter-judgment based on creaturely, incomplete knowledge of good and evil.

All this long-windedness to say that all forms of human separation started with a rejection of our Kind Judge. In turn, we have accepted the mores of the Enemy, a cruel judge whose false assessments are also based on false information. He is truly the Author of Prejudice! He pre-judged G-d and abandoned the Truth. He strives to teach humanity pre-judgement and the abandonment that any truth exists.

Insofar as we believe the Author of Prejudice and the Abandoner of G-d, we enter into his dominion of eternal co-dependency. We must kill and covet. We must reject love to protect ego. We must constantly remain in “fight or flight” mode because “our will must be done”! Our value is up for grabs because it is not rooted in Elohei Mishpat. We have self-rejected staying in the present through the grace and truth of I Am, and walk backwards over the cliffs of injustice. And that, dear friends, is the B as in B, S as in S of the Enemy of All Humanity!

Or…

We heal history because our Messiah believes in doing so!

We overlook and overcome lies and temptations to enact our “street justice” on our enemies.

We practice the Presence of G-d by remaining present to our lives through forgiveness and an acceptance of being a chosen and dearly-loved member of His family.

We remember, record, and bring our offense to the Only One who can take it.

We release the prisoners of the Enemy because we, too, know the horrors of “my will be done”!

We correctly accept that Justice is His, and He will fairly judge all when the game is over because He is the Christ of Post-justice not Prejudice!

 

*https://biblehub.com/genesis/2-5.htm

** https://biblehub.com/genesis/2-16.htm

*** https://biblehub.com/isaiah/14-14.htm

 

 

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21st Century, Culture, Current Events, death, Faith, Minnesota, Uncategorized

WHO told the old woman, “Go cry alone in your room!?”

 

Our Passover table with an empty spot for the Messiah and for Grandma?!

Mom’s middle name is Leona because she’s lived like a lioness: growing up in the mountains of Bolivia, losing her dad to malaria in Tanzania, nursing for a half century, (16 years of them night shifts), and raising four wildcatting kids with a Polack prince. Being a “typical Swede” this awesome 83 year old woman has virtually no health issues except an addiction to “church coffee”.
Mary is an “I love everybody, and you’re next” kinda gal!

About a year ago, we moved her from Minneapolis to a Senior Living apartment near us in St. Paul, Minnesota. Though her facility held much promise due to its proximity and lower rent; Ccp virus health directives have dashed our hopes to be her direct caregivers.  We simply have no access!

For background, her building has been closed to outsiders since the March 13 peacetime emergency declaration.* Tough as that may be, at least we could share a dog walk with her in the neighborhood through last weekend on Passover/Easter. But yesterday, even that was cut off! They don’t want residents to exit the facility, or even allow visits through a window or door.

Adding to the pain, on the same day as the facilities’ rules change, mom’s dear friend Bonnie died! I want to be there for my mom in her grieving. I want to honor the law, and respect the needs of her apartment complex, but it goes against every natural instinct in me to stay away. 

What can I do? Yes, we could do face time or zoom. (If she knew how to use a smartphone.) In my world, it’s only natural to put an arm around someone crying: hug them, rub their back; or just be there and cry WITH them! 

Covid 19 prevention protocols feel more and more like a Pyrrhic victory: to stop the fear and panic of a contagion of some, we choose to tell our elders, “Go cry alone in your room!”

 


* https://www.twincities.com/2020/03/25/minnesota-stay-at-home-order-on-coronavirus-what-it-says/

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19th Century, Agriculture, Current Events, farming, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Suffering

Grasshopper Plague 1873

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June 12, 1873

“Grasshoppers darken the skies of southwestern Minnesota. For the next five summers they strip the land bare. Charities and the state provide some relief, but many farmers lose everything.” * 

“’The wheat!’ Pa shouted. He dashed out the back door and ran toward the wheat-field. 

The grasshoppers were eating. You could not hear one grasshopper eat, unless you listened very carefully while you held him and fed him grass. Millions and millions of grasshoppers were eating now. You could hear the millions of jaws biting and chewing. 

Pa came running back to the stable. Through the window Laura saw him hitching Sam and David to the wagon. He began pitching old dirty hay from the manure-pile into the wagon, as fast as he could. Ma ran out, took the other pitchfork and helped him. Then he drove away to the wheat-field and Ma followed the wagon. 

Pa drove around the field, throwing out little piles of stuff as he went. Ma stooped over one, then a thread of smoke rose from it and spread. Ma lighted pile after pile. Laura watched till a smudge of smoke hid the field and Ma and Pa and the wagon. 

Grasshoppers were still falling from the sky. The light was still dim because grasshoppers covered the sun.” Excerpt from “On the Banks of Plum Creek” by Laura Ingalls Wilder **

Holy Spirit, we don’t know why You allow tragedy, but we thank You that You somehow reverse every curse! 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 King James Version ** In recent memory, You’ve allowed Japan to be struck a fantastic blow: an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor instability. ***  

Many would find this a ‘proof’ that You are not God. They fail to see beyond the immediate to the fact that You’ve given us a will to choose You, or our own way. As a fallible human being, I may fail to see that in the depths of pain the potential for greatness of character arises. Nearly every Bible story contains a main character who suffers unjustly. 

Lord, I do not want to judge my state in their response to this plague. I do want to ask forgiveness for responses of anger or bitterness and unforgiveness towards You. Whether You allowed us to be tested, or whether the grasshoppers came because of curses on the land; You are righteous in Your judgments. Lord, forgive us our lack of trust that You bring life to the land. You truly are King of the Universe! May we bless You and not forget the days of life and health You also have given. 

We are fickle. We think You serve us instead of the truth that we are Your people the sheep of Your pasture. Father help Your Church to not cower in fear in the face of this accusation of the enemy, but answer with confidence in Your love. May we believe as David, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust him.” 

*http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** “On the Banks of Plum Creek”; Newly illustrated, uniform ed. LC Online Catalog. Retrieved 2015-09-18.

*** https://biblehub.com/romans/8-28.htm

**** Fukushima Daiichi Accident, March 11, 2011. Internet. https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-daiichi-accident.aspx

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19th Century, Agriculture, Business, Current Events, Energy, farming, Food, History, horses, Intercession, Medicine, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Transportation

Energy Crisis 1872

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1872

“Epizootic fever strikes horses throughout the Midwest. The three-month sickness plunges horse-powered Minnesota into its first energy crisis.” *

I need to let this one simmer for a bit; “the three-month sickness plunges horse-powered Minnesota into its first energy crisis.” It’s hard to relate to this not-so-distant past when “horse-power” really meant the labor of a workhorse. I believe it was as late as W. W. II  when the majority of Minnesotans still lived on farms, and felt this connection to living “horse-power. (I still need to let this steep.)

There’s something good about the connection between human and horse. Your draft animal as a precious commodity, means of production, and even friend?! A car with a face? A tractor with a face? A companion who saw the same sights, and explored the same paths as its master?

Below is some documentation of the breadth and width of this epizootic fever.

“Beginning in Toronto, Canada, in the late summer of 1872, in only three days the disease hit nearly all the livery stables and the horses used to pull streetcars in that city. By mid-October, horses in all of Canada, Michigan and the New England states were infected. By the beginning of November the disease had spread to Illinois, Ohio and South Carolina. By the end of the month, Florida and Louisiana reported cases.” **

Holy Spirit, today I remember the I remember this equine flu epidemic of 1872. I accede to You in the relationship between the suffering of animals and the people of this state. I acknowledge the contribution of veterinarians to the well-being of these individual animals, and indirectly to our state.  

Will You forgive us any judgments made against Your goodness or holiness because of this chapter of epizootic fever?  You care about each detail of our lives, and of each creature in Your world. We give You thanks for these horses past, and sincerely thank You for Minnesota’s present stock. We ask Your blessings on each colt, filly, mare, stallion, bronco, foal, and gelding that will walk the North Star state in perpetuity!

** http://www.heritagebarns.com/the-great-epizootic-of-1872/#.V9s-fmPSfVo

 

 

 

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