The Simple Life

My brother is just so funny. I feel blessed to have him in my life. He makes me laugh so hard.  It’s wonderful for my mother to share this time with him too, since he had been living apart from her for many years.

I’ve noticed that he and the other people with special needs bring home beautiful pictures. The other day I was looking at this picture and I said, “Kevin, this is not yours. You’ve taken someone else’s picture by mistake.” He promptly picked up a pen and crossed out the other persons name and wrote his own name on the top! Then he said, “There you go.” As if life is just that easy. Take what you want. I wonder how many times he’s seen that done I thought. “Hmm,” I said. “He’d make a great attorney!”

My mother and I were laughing so hard at him. In his world forgery was nothing. If you like it, make it yours.

I looked at all of the artwork and started looking at the things in my home. I realized that life is just too short to collect things. The beauty of simple things that the artwork my brother produces, is better than anything one can purchase.

I sat in my living room and was sad when I noticed a small cardboard box which held the belongings which my mother was left with after being moved from her home. I took a picture. I cried to think this was so important to her.The Barbie dolls which she used to knit clothing for. No one could believe that she could do this and it was something that she took great pride in. The little Charlie Brown that plays music. The pictures. I managed to get the bronze shoes from my brother Dennis who had passed away as a baby. These she somehow never lost in all of her shuffling through the years. It is difficult to see my mother’s life reduced to a cardboard box. But then I look around and feel the weight of all the things in my life holding me down. I don’t want anything in my life. I can’t stand things holding me back from what is important. I hate greed and what it does to people. It hurts me to see what it has done. I don’t want to take care of things. Although I love looking at my brother’s pictures. And my mother’s things. It’s cute, but we all have the propensity to collect. So I want to bring joy to other’s by giving.

Now I got my mom into a pottery class to learn something new. She was making me laugh with her antics. When the teacher told her to “pinch her pot,” she said, “What?” “Yea, I said, “That meant something completely different in the 70’s!” Now she’s learning a different skill at 82 and she’ll be able to make new memories and so will I.

I realized that life is not about owning things. In fact the more time I spend with my mother, the more fleeting I see that our time is on this earth. I see that those who have robbed and tried to fill their lives with things, are missing the most important qualities.

My mother and I listened to my brother talking last night. He was telling us about the lipstick that he was going to give his girlfriend at school. He was going to put it in his purse. It’s really a fannypack. He crams all kinds of stuff into that purse. Sometimes I’ll check it just too unload some things. It’s so stuffed full. I just have to see what he’s carrying around and it’s funny. Pictures of things unrelated. I try to connect the subjects, but can’t seem to and move on. The objects make no sense,but they amuse me.

The keychains that I have given him have all found a place on this pack. I have actually had to remove some,because it has become unsafe. The weight of this is ridiculous. And the fact that one of them is a round basketball for coins, makes it hilarious with his gait and when he bowls, underhanded, my son made the remark that it’s a good thing I didn’t give him the bull’s you know what, to hang from this pack, or it would be quite a sight to behold, when he bends down to bowl! This visual just made me crack up.

He is very animated. And when he tells us that someone threw up at school it’s hilarious. He is over the top. I don’t think it happened the way he tells us and at times, I only wish I could place a hidden camera on him. There was one day that he told me that one person threw up and another girl was told that “she stinks and needed to go into the bathroom,” while the teacher was spraying the bathroom. And later, he said the same girl was his girlfriend. My son, who is not easily grossed out, said, “Come on, I don’t want to hear this! You’re girlfriend stinks!” And my brother as proud as could be, said, “Yes, she stinks! Right?” Wow! That’s unconditional love at it’s best! And, all I can say is, those special education teacher’s work very hard, and deserve pay raises!!! Treat them well. They’re very special people.

But,people like my brother are also very special and he keeps me centered. I sometimes find I’m taking him for granted and when I come back to him, I find humor in his simple words and beauty in the world around him. It is just what God was trying to point out to all of us and the reason He told us that “the meek would inherit the earth.”

Look at what a mess we have made of all of this. Greedy people have tried to use people like my brother for selfish gain. I’ve had people say, “They look at your brother like a throwaway.” That has brought me unspeakable pain.” Yes, even at his birth they thought he wouldn’t live. But God had a different plan. And his plans were to bring men to repentance through my brother. Yes, my brother who is so innocent. Who would take an art project and cross someones name and sign his name, would do this with anything. He knows no difference. He tells me everything costs “a hundred dollars.”

But who cares? My brother puts everything in perspective. Whether it a billion dollars or a penny, in his mind it’s the same price. Just as the value of a soul is worth more than everything. And as the Lord has said, “Woe to the man who gains the whole world, yet loses his own soul.”

The Shofar Shall Sound…

It isn’t as if we don’t have enough time. We have all the markers. We have the teachers to teach and the signs all around us. But hey, even when the rich man and Lazarus had their stint, the rich man died and found out he was all wrong and it stated, he could actually see Lazarus resting at Abraham’s side, yet there was a great chasm, fixed between him and them and he was in great torment.

He found that hell, was indeed, real. Yet, when he spoke to Abraham, he could hear him. “Abraham, please send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue because I am in great agony in this fire.”  Now I am giving you the short synopsis, however, in his life, this rich man had everything he needed and Lazarus had nothing.

At this point Abraham reminded him of this and now, the rich man begged him, “father, then send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers.Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.

At this point Abraham told him that they already had the law and the prophets available so what else was needed? Well, he, much like everyone else seems to believe, stated, “No father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them they will repent.”

This is when he replied, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, the will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”

Yes, it is all a matter of sin and the hardness of the heart, isn’t it? Some people just don’t want to turn away. And that is the reason for the trumpet blasts and the signal. It is a wakeup call.

Now my pastor was just teaching on Yom Teruah or Rosh Hoshanah. It is the Feast of Trumpets. It is fascinating to be sure because it is spoken of in the scriptures as the trumpet blows(1cor 15:53) That which is perishable must clothe itself with imperishable”;meaning perishable cannot enter heaven with this body, which is the very reason that Christ’s was not recognizable in His own resurrected body at first. He walked and talked with his own disciples and yet they had not even known it was Him. He entered into the upper room right through the walls. “The mortal, with immortality.” Meaning for those who are alive at His coming will be transformed into new creation, not able to die. “then the saying is true; Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

Now once again I am reminded of the prophetic dream that I had been given by the Lord, about 18 years ago. He very clearly told me, “The harvest festival is about to begin….but we must prepare for aras…and to look this up in my Concordance. Upon searching the Hebrew interpretation, I found this nugget. It was a root meaning; to be engaged to, espoused to, betrothed. Which is a word picture. I am after all…the Bride. Anyone who professes to love Him and belong to Him is engaged to Him and is in a state of preparing to meet him. Remember, He goes to prepare a place for His bride. In Isaiah 54, He has told us, “For your Maker is your husband-the Lord Almighty is His name- the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.

Now as my pastor reminded us of this festival. I kept thinking of my dream. He spoke later of the bowl judgements in Revelation and everything that the Lord does is because of His love for His creation and His longing for His children to be set free from the captivity of this world system and it’s corruption.It is this corruption that is destroying everything in this world and it isn’t getting better. Look, our Lord told us that , “the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into glorious freedom of the children of God. That is our future glory. (Romans 8:21) Is man really so arrogant as to think that they can accomplish so lofty a goal as this? 

Satan has set up his domain for a while but it is coming to an end and he is filled with  fear. The saddest thing is that even as the final  judgmentsare about to come upon the earth some men will curse God. Yes, instead of turning to Him, for shelter,they willcurse Him and blame Him with their dying breath.

I am always blessed to hear my pastor teach because it’s most profound and something that I haven’t heard. It was a new deeper understanding on the prayers of the saints in Revelation 8. (saints-that’s us folks) Not someone deemed by the Catholic church btw. Now when he spoke about the silence in heaven for half an hour, and it’s astounding when you think about it, because it is the knowing that the final judgements are about to fall regarding the sins of the people on the earth and their refusal to repent  in spite of the tribulation. This is where the prayers come in. I don’t mean some “Our Father’s.” These are fervent, intercessory prayers.Nothing ritualistic in nature. He speaks about the bowl and the harp. Prayers, being combined with our worship, to the Lord.A fragrant offering to Him on behalf of these souls. Read Revelation 8 and see the visual of this. It’s quite fascinating. 

 They are mixed with incense and hurled back to the earth with peals of lightening and thunder. I would encourage you to listen to these teachings. They are very helpful when understanding the prayer life and our place in these last days. But as my pastor also pointed out, as important as our prayers are, we cannot change the appointed times for Gods judgement. We can only change the outcome by our intercession. His times are sealed.

All I can say to believers is…Look up! Your redemption is near! Oh yea and I to Satan…Be Afraid..Be Very Afraid!

To Be Blameless and Complete…

In His Sight. Well this is the fulfillment of the scriptures but there are days that I honestly don’t know how it’s going to happen, except that I know our God can make the impossible…possible.

And to know He has already done that. To know what has already occurred and as I have studied and pointed out so many times, the importance of knowing our Hebrew roots, there is a reason for Christ’s coming through the house of David and the whole meaning of the Judaic rituals, albeit legalistic to most of the unbelieving Jews. The Lord told us that not a jot or tittle would pass away until the fulfillment and we are to learn of Him, of course, it is pretty difficult to do this, if we do not understand from His very Jewish mindset, the meaning of this text.My friend told me the other day, “I don’t do kosher.” Well, I’m sorry but Jesus is Kosher! Hey people! Jesus is a Jew for a reason! He said it over and over again! I came first to the nation of Israel. Now look, I’m not Jewish, I wasn’t born a Jew, I have nothing Jewish in me, but I can see it plain as day in scripture and I want to be blessed. He tells us, I will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel. I can see antisemitic everywhere and I think it’s just something that’s demonically inspired. I believe it’s all because of that covenant that Israel has with the Lord and it’s going to become more and more divided the closer we get to the return of the Lord. And I’m sorry to ruffle some feather’s but there was a definite purpose for God bringing Jesus the Messiah into this world through the root of Jesse and if anyone is even slightly anti-semitic, they had better remember, that the Lord will be setting His foot smack dab on the Mount of Olives to end all of this nonsense and it is not going to be somewhere in Germany.

God’s plan and purpose has always been for all of mankind, but he certainly has designed the ‘coat of many colors’ arising through Joseph(Israel) and we have her to thank.

Now when I think of the perfect sacrifice of our Lord I think of the way things were done in the temple and of course this is the study of the temple sacrifice which was done by the High Priest on Passover. This was a yearly ritual and the lamb had to be a perfect paschal lamb. It was carefully inspected to make sure there was no defect of any kind. This was also what had happened to our Lord when He was taken before Pilate to be ‘examined’ and found to be without cause or any charge against him.

The lamb is now bound to the altar. He remains bound for six hours, until  twilight He suffers tremendously. The sins of the family have been ceremonially placed upon the head of this lamb and the suffering is a fragrant offering to the Lord.

You will remember that our Lord was denied, beaten, mocked, spit upon, and rejected, by men. And even our own Father had to look away when He became the sin offering for us. This is when He shouted out, “My God,My God, why have you forsaken me?” To feel abandoned by your father. It is a horrible feeling.

And now at twilight the High Priest finishes his ceremonial duties and when he strikes the fatal blow, he pronounces the words over the sacrificial lamb Tetelestai!…It is finished. Which Jesus Christ  who, being the High Priest (as we know in the order of Melchizedek) at that very moment, was pronouncing this blessing over Himself! An amazing thing! He had pronounced Himself an acceptable sacrifice!

And now the Lord has told us that we have also been redeemed from the curse of sin and death. And when we see Him, we shall be like Him. Yes, this is true. We  shall be spotless and without blemish. Blameless and complete in His sight.  This is why He became the sacrifice, so that we have this picture and now we see this in the Passover. As we celebrate this season coming up, we have a picture of His death and His life and what a beautiful picture if is.

Now you say you want a closer walk with the Lord? Really? The ones that walk closes to Him are the ones that suffer the most. I remember many things that the Holy Spirit brings forth since I was very young. A prominent memory is going to church with a woman that I did not know. My mother let her take me for some reason and she still doesn’t know who I’m talking about. We lived in a project then and this woman took me on several occasions. I remember standing next to her as she held my hand one Sunday and she looked at me and was sobbing. I seemed to know that God was causing her to weep as she was looking at me. It was the same experience that I felt when the nurse was rocking me in the chair in the Childrens Home and comforting me and so many others. Messengers of God, reaching out and touching me. Crying tears for me, as if they knew the battles ahead and the hardships. The suffering on the altar of life. The sins of my family and my own that would be placed upon my head. Crying out for that day when the pronouncement could finally be made and cleansing could come. The day of Jubilee. Finally the day of restoration!!!!