Thursday, June 23, 2016

Willing hearts

After Jacob's descendants were rescued from slavery in Egypt the next phase of God's plan for the Promised Savior began.

It didn't happen the way you or I would probably do it if we were in charge of making a way for salvation for the whole world.  God, from human eyes, seemed to take a BIG detour in bringing the promised Messiah to the world.

There seem to be so many details, unnecessary if I were in charge, but hey, I hate details that get in the way of my vision.

For example:

God thought it would be a good idea in taking thousands of people through a desert, oh, and while you're walking around, let's make a big tent.  He had the former slaves plunder their slave owners and they took from the slave owners fabrics, jewels, stones, gold, silver, any and everything they could carry, God made it so the slave owners handed over their treasures to the slaves!

See, that's just nuts!  If I were God and rescuing my people from slavery, I certainly wouldn't take the time to gather up souvenirs.  I'd be getting my tail and the tails of my precious children out of there, and right quick as they say in the south!

But, He's got his own way of freedom fighting.

So, the former slaves plunder their owners and start their journey in a desert.  Thousands, tens of thousands of men, women, children, babies, and animals walking in the desert.

I can't help think about the faces of the refugees we've seen splashed on tv through my lifetime.  The Cambodians drifting in boats in a big ocean.  Cuban refugees that were housed on a military base near my home when I was a teenager.  The Syrian refugees of the present day.  Shell shocked and numb looks on their faces, I can't help but imagine that's how these Hebrew slaves looked too.

Did they have even the strength to carry the weight of some of the treasure?  I don't know.  I wasn't there, I can only imagine what the scene looked like.

I wonder if they thought to themselves, What in the world are we supposed to do with this ornate goblet?  They did have difficulty finding water from time to time, a lot of good a drinking glass does a person when there is nothing to drink!

So these thousands of people wander, carrying these beautiful Egyptian treasures, shell shocked and weary, the weight of four hundred years of slavery bearing down on their bent over frames and worn out fingers.

But God had a detail that was going to be created from the very things those weak kneed Hebrews were carrying in their hands.

He was going to build them a tent.  Not just any tent.  A tent that was similar to the tents the Hebrews had seen the Egyptians use to worship their gods.  Only this tent would be used to worship THE God.  Yahweh.

God:  Moses
Moses:  Yes, God
God:  Here's the checklist for my dwelling place - gold, silver, bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn, fine line, goat hair, ram skins dyed red

(where on earth am I going to red dye? Moses may have thought as he is writing out the list).

Sea cow hides, acacia wood, olive oil, spices and onyx stones.

Moses:  Check.  Check.  Check.

God:  Now, I need people to do the work.

So who does God recruit?  No one.

He tells Moses, 
"Everyone who is willing is to bring the supplies....all who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the LORD has commanded."

So no one had to get a loan from the bank to supply the supplies.  The math genius' didn't have to help the perfumers.  The carpenters didn't have to help the seamstresses.

"All the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair....all the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the LORD freewill offerings for all the work the LORD through Moses had commanded them to do..."

See, God provided the supplies.  But having the supplies wasn't enough.  Your heart had to be willing.  And having a willing heart wasn't enough.  You had to have the supplies.

It's funny how God works like that, isn't it?

"Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiah and every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work."

Having the right supplies is only half the list needed to do the work God requires.  The other half is to be willing.

If you're not willing, don't waste your time or God's time.

The interesting thing about the Hebrew word for willing is that the people God was using and giving the will to do the work were former slaves.  For their whole lives they were slaves.  Their parents were slaves, their grandparents were slaves.  They knew no one who wasn't a slave.  For generations.

What skill could a slave have?  What unique gift could a brick maker have in using gold or purple yarn?  What trade school did they go to for their post slave career?  The easy answer is:

  The work they did as slaves was the training ground for the work they would do for their Rescuer.

All that was necessary was to be willing.  To lift their eyes from the shame of their slave past and set them on their Freedom Fighter.  He would give the skill.  He would give the will.

The Hebrew transliteration says it like this:

"And called Moses unto Bezalel and unto Oholiab and every man wise hearted in whose had put the LORD wisdom heart.  Every whose stirred him up to come unto the work to perform."

God stirred up the heart.  He nesah them.  He lifted them, carried them, he made them who they were always created to be, for the use of God's glory.

He made them willing, he gave them the supplies by making the Egyptian slave owners provide them.  They only had to look up and be lifted up....oh, and to hold out their hands to receive the supplies.

So are you willing?  Are you willing to be made willing?  Are you willing to be made willing to be made willing?

It really takes the pressure off to know God provides it all, doesn't it?  No more feeling guilty for not doing more or giving more or serving more.  If you're not willing, it may be because God has not made you willing.

It's something you and Him will have to talk about and figure out.

Don't volunteer for one more thing until you have your talk with him.  You may be getting a lot of pressure from well meaning and desperate folks, but if you are hesitating, it may be God who is pressing his thumb on you to hold you back.

The only willingness needed is the willingness He gives.  The only willingness He gives, is the one he can use.  Don't make yourself something you're not just because it looks like the situation has need of you or your talent.  You may not be willing because God has not made you willing.  (Just double check with Him to make sure your stubbornness is not in the way of His willing you to be willing).  If you have the skill and the Lord has made you willing, than He will make a way for you to get the task completed.

"...every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work...."

He'll provide the tools, the means, the supplies.

Let him, Church.  Let Him.



The Children

I've been extremely busy the last six weeks since the challenge ended.  I finally did a little housecleaning on my blog and republished the the posts I had taken off for a time.  I don't know how it all works but if you got email notification for those, please accept my apology, I know there was a lot reposted.

At any rate, I came across this little breakdown I put together when doing the challenge.  I guess I wanted to see what Jacob's sons names looked like when they were written by their meaning....

How interesting it would be if we were all called by what our name means.

Leah's children
Reuben - for he has seen my misery (It is because the LORD - Yahweh has seen my misery.  Surely my husband will love me now).
Simeon - one who hears (Because the LORD - Yahweh heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too).
Levi - attached (Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons)
Judah - praise (This time I will praise the LORD -Yahweh).

Bilhah/Rachel's children
Dan - he has vindicated (God - Elohim has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son)
Naphtali - my struggle (I have had a struggle with my sister, and I have won)

Zilpha/Leah's children
Gad - good fortune or a troop (What good fortune!)
Asher - happy (How happy I am!  The women will call me happy)

Leah's children
Issachar - reward (God -Elohim has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband)
Zebulun - honor (God - Elohim has presented me with a precious gift.  This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons)

Rachel's children
Joseph - may he add (God - Elohim has taken away my disgrace. May the LORD - Yahweh add to me another one)
Benjamin - son of my right hand
Ben Oni son my my trouble

Misery-Reuben-Yawheh sees
Hears-Simeon-Yawheh hears
Add-Joseph-Elohim takes away/Yahweh adds
Right hand-Benjamin

Depending on the language the name Ronda is spoken, you can call Rough Island, Powerful River, Grand, The Good Spear.

For now though, I'll stick to Ronda and wish you


What does your name mean?  Does it define you in a good way or negatively?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Waiting for the Maestro till lift his baton

The notes for my next book are stacked next to me, waiting to be made into sentences then paragraphs then chapters.  I see the characters in my head, I hear their voices, see what they're wearing and yet to put them down into alludes me.

Am I in the way or is it simply the Giver of the words directing time as a Maestro directs an orchestra.  The violins stay silent as the percussion and woodwinds set the beat.  How hard it must be to be the violin's bow.  The music you know is possible if you are just picked up and placed on the strings of your partner's neck.

The gentle rumble of the tympani, the sweet fluttering breeze of the piccolo joined with the flute.  Soon the other woodwinds, the deeper clarinet and deeper still oboe join in to make a sweet harmony.

Alas, it's time for the violin debut.  Gently placed on the musician's neck, the bow at attention, waiting for the cue from the conductor.  Soon the strings are singing, adding harmony and depth, the violins, the viola, the cello, the bass.  How sweet the music sounds when each sings their harmonies, neither needing a solo, eager to be a part of something bigger.   How sweet the music is when each waits their turn to bring to the moment each perfectly planned measure and beat.

If one instrument, even two or three were missing, the music would be enjoyed, but when the full orchestra is in time with the Maestro, each waiting patiently for their debut, sweeter sounds have not been sung then an full orchestra in tune with the Master.

So alas, I wait, like the violin's bow.  Watching for the Maestro's signal, listening to the beat of the drum.