Wednesday, October 31, 2012

God Told Me

I worry when someone begins a sentence with, "G~d told me..." Little red flags start flapping in the breeze.
Now, don't get me wrong. G~d does speak. Volumes. In fact, He took the time to spell out who He is and who He expects us to be in scripture. We have more than we can keep up with.
And yes, He does speak through dreams, visions, insights, inspirations, His creation. 
G~d can use any and every way He wants to communicate with us.
So - the problem is not with Him.
We're the ones who have trouble and get into trouble.
Many times, when someone announces that G~d told them something, they think it's an amazing revelation for ... someone else. They begin with, "G~d told me that you ___________. Then they proceed to tell you what G~d told them about you. It can get pretty uncomfortable and down right creepy at times. 
I'm brought back to the scripture in John 21 -
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Yeshua loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Yeshua at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?") 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" 22Yeshua  answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."

So I guess my question is this - are we spending too much time trying to hear from G~d for everyone else and not enough time listening to what He wants to say about our own lives?
If we really heard from G~d, would He tell us, "they are none of your business, you just follow Me"?
Just wondering. Anyone else think about this?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Sukkah in My Backyard

My backyard neighbor is no doubt rolling her eyes. From her perspective, all she sees are four colorful sheets flapping in the breeze. What's wrong with that, you say? Well, they aren't on my clothesline. They're draped around our back porch.
As I look out from my back door, however, I see something much different. I see a table and chairs, a porch swing and festive tinsel sparkling in the sunlight. My back porch has been transformed into a sukkah.
For eight nights here in the US I partake in the festival of Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles. It's like a campout.
Since it's just hubby and I, and he works late during this time of year, it's a quiet affair. We eat our dinner in our sukkah. Because we share our backyard with critters - skunks, racoons, possums and such, it's not a good idea to sleep outside. I don't mind a kitty at my feet, but a pole kitty? Nope.
Now if we were in Israel, it would be a whole different story.
I love being there during this time of the year. During the day in the Old City of Jerusalem, kids are making and selling cotton candy, small bands of musicians are singing, people are dancing. Celebration is everywhere.
In cities and towns all over the land, sukkot are shining with twinkle lights, children are singing, people are carrying large pots of food to their neighbor's booths. Its considered a great blessing to share your hospitality with others, especially strangers.
I miss being part of a close knit community. Where I live, everyone keeps to themselves. Everyone is busy. No one would dare to show up unannounced at someone's house, even with a big pot of food. We just don't do that.
All that said, I am enjoying my sukkah. It's cozy and inviting. I love sitting in the glow of a small lamp, listening to the evening quiet, sharing dinner with my husband. It's simple.
My gift to you this Sukkot is a blessing and a song ~

Ba-ruch a-ta Adonai, Eh-lo-hei-nu

Meh-lech ha-olam,

she-heh-kheh-ya-nu v’kee-yeh-mah-nu
v’hee-gee-ah-nu lah-z’mahn ha-zeh.

We praise You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the Universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us and for enabling us to reach this season.