…from glory to glory

Archive for the category “Springtime Holydays”

Passover and what it begins…

thorns and gold2

source unknown: I do not own the copyright on this image.

…A Night Different from All Nights

In this season while we are all quarantined and waiting, I have been praying and revisiting the wonders of what God has poured into my own poor earthen vessel concerning the Passover and the Feast of Firstfruits + Resurrection. The Biblical Feasts herald not only a new beginning but the end of all things old…

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

1 Corinthians 15:20-23

As promised back in March,  you can find the message and  celebration of the feast which follows on the “third day” of the Passover season: Yom HaBikkurim/The Day of the Firstborn/Firstfruits + Resurrection HERE.

If you find any blessing in what is shared with you in these pages, “pay it forward” by sharing with others the links to the things you find here…

God  has sovereignly blessed us with the way to reach out in encouragement through the medium of a world-wide web.  Let us who are skilled with its use keep covenant with the God who has given the gift by spreading the truth of who He is…

I invite you to share in the joy that nothing can take away…

Messiah is risen!  L’Chaim b’Yeshua! To LIFE in Jesus!

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Revelation 1.4-6



Too Good To Be True…

He has made everything beautiful.png

At a recent church membership class we were asked to introduce ourselves to each other, to tell where we were born and a notable thing about that city. Our city is always in the news about the seedy things; but no one reports about the work of the Kingdom of God in this town. Since I have been at McLean Presbyterian Church I have discovered some beautiful secrets scattered all over this area. Some are directly “daughter” ministries of McLean Presbyterian; many are close relatives within the Body of Christ, ministering sacrificially and faithfully to individuals at every season of life in their needs both physical and spiritual. So, Hello, from Washington, DC area, the city that is known for Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, Reformed Theological Seminary, C. S. Lewis Institute, The Lamb Center of Fairfax, Assist Pregnancy Center, Central Union Mission, Project Belong, Casa Chiralagua, Cornerstone School, Bethany House of Northern VA, etc… In the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation, Christ Jesus tells John to write letters to seven different Church centers in Asia Minor during the First Century, A.D. I wonder what He would tell John to write to the Church in the Metro DC area. Take heart, there are great things of God that are going on in the Metro DC area, under the noses of those whose world view and preoccupation with a worldly kingdom is tragically fallen–where its dark web lures and traps men who seek to be rulers of the world.

My journey into membership at our new church was completed in March; and both my husband and I have been enjoying being immersed in the substantial teaching on Sunday mornings.  FYI, there’s a link on my page which will give readers access to the sermons at McLean Presbyterian Church.

Solomon prayed for wisdom

As a follow-up to the Sunday teaching in the Scriptures, our pastors usually direct our attention to thoughtful questions to discuss in our local community group gatherings. One question during the series on “The Gospel in Solomon” was this: “If God answered, in this instant, all the prayers you prayed this week what would happen?” Another one was convicting: “Do you pray simply for your life and circumstances to be more comfortable or are you confident that God will take care of that with your heart compelled for His Kingdom?”

Solomon's moment with God

We have been studying the Bible together in the late mornings. I call these times our “second breakfasts.” Technology has been the instrument which has enabled us to engage with the Word and with each other in this department. We have an elaborate, but effective, array which feeds the intercouple surfing webnet into our large screen video display. From that internet feed, we can stream and view and read  the online Bible, daily commentaries from Ligonier Ministries’ “TableTalk” publication. The series has been following the historical books of the Bible. We began in January with Joshua and are now deep into the monarchy under David in 2 Samuel. Our time together includes reading daily portions from the Bible in a plan to read through the Bible in a year. We sometimes choose to select an audio reading while we read the print on the screen; but we also take turns reading the passages aloud—this helps my husband rehab his speech and cognition with the aphasia he battles.

Wisdom-Quotes-3Our time in prayer follows our exploration of the Scriptures and usually responds to the convictions impressed upon us by the work of the Holy Spirit in the Word of God. Prayer is the chief weapon in our arsenal for warfare in times like these. Our unshakeable certainty of the sovereignty of God provokes us to prayer in all things… I wrote in December that many in our country are struggling with loss of home, belongings, livelihoods and loved ones from fire, monster storms and floods. The same is true again as I write this in Springtime. We are learning to pray Kingdom-of-God kinds of prayers as we observe the times, trusting God for the answers–things so great that the skeptics of this age would say they are too good to be true.

One somewhat unexpected development in my prayers has been that as I began the process of application for children’s Sunday school teaching, I realized that I would be premature in making a commitment to that ministry at this time. As I have waited and sought God’s leading and my husband’s thoughts on the subject, I believe God would have me be more available to my husband; in one key area since he is no longer able to drive, that I would be available to bring him to church without conflict of service.  Thanking God for His wisdom and the joy that has come to my soul in this pruning work. Nevertheless, if you would have told me 38 years ago that when my husband and I became old and weaker in body that we would enjoy the manifold blessings God has given us, with peace in our hearts, purpose and re-productivity  in our last season of life together, and joy which no circumstances can rob, I would have said it too good to be true. Thanks be to God who blesses us with every blessing in heavenly places. By His grace we will finish well.

In the meantime, I am continuing weekly with our local Community Bible Study group. We started in September with the book of Daniel, and in January, we began the book of Revelation. We are nearing the the end of the book of Revelation and it has been one spectacular lesson after another. Some studies of these books can get sidetracked into speculations on imagery and symbolism and miss the whole point and substance of the narrative. CBS has handled the study wisely; what a difference it is making in my here-and-now life.

thorns and gold2The early spring razzle-dazzle is quickly turning to the deeper greens on the trees as the leafing matures; and pollen abounds!   The razzle-dazzle of spring and the spectacular  beauty and stunning drama of Christ Jesus in His glorious atoning death and resurrection coming together has been exquisite; it continues to touch and resonate through all my senses and makes me cry, “Holy! Holy! Holy!”

Look around you! Spring’s Rising! (a link to one of my recent reflections).

“Fear not, I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

–Revelation 1.17-18

Glory be to God and may the Peace of Christ be with you.


My Dancing Day…

An old English Festival Carol, traditionally sung at Christmas; and rarely do we hear all of the verses. But it is the story of the love of God for His people, from the sacrificial incarnation of His Son Jesus to Jesus’ glorious ascension to the Right Hand of the Father…
All of it He has done for His true love…
And since I am celebrating my 37th birthday in Messiah’s Love, I am rejoicing in His calling me as one of His true love to His dance…
Here is the melody to this Festival Carol:
Here are all the verses to this ancient English Hymn…


Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

I would my true love did so chance

To see the legend of my play

To call my true love to my dance.



Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love

My love, my love

This have I done for my true love.


Then was I born of a virgin pure

Of her I took fleshly substance

Thus was I knit to man’s nature

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN


In a manger laid, and wrapped I was

So very poor, this was my chance

Betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN


Then afterwards baptized I was

The Holy Ghost on me did glance

My Father’s voice heard from above

To call my true love to my dance. REFRAIN


Into the desert I was led

Where I fasted without substance

The Devil bade me make stones my bread

To have me break my true love’s dance.  REFRAIN


The Jews on me they made great suit

And with me made great variance

Because they loved darkness rather than light

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN


For thirty pence Judas me sold

His covetousness for to advance

Mark whom I kiss, the same do hold

The same is he, who shall lead the dance. REFRAIN


Before Pilate the Jews me brought

Where Barabbas had deliverance

They scourged me and set me at naught

Judged me to die to lead the dance.  REFRAIN


Then on the cross hanged I was

Where a spear my heart did glance

There issued forth both water and blood

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN


Then down to hell I took my way

For my true love’s deliverance

And rose again on the third day

Up to my true love and the dance.

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love

My love, my love

This have I done for my true love.


Then up to heaven I did ascend

Where now I dwell in sure substance

On the right hand of God, that man

May come unto the general dance.

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love

My love, my love

This have I done for my true love.

Christ is Risen!

Christ Will Come Again!

Fill the earth and subdue it…

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’.”

Genesis 1.28 NKJV

In recent weeks, my wee corner of the earth has been filled with the things of a creative mind multiplying for the sake of children’s ministry–

Story Stand-up FiguresI was given a resource from a craft distributor for use in our Sunday School for an Easter lesson. The resource was a pack of card stock figures for re-telling the story of Jesus’ Resurrection. They are lovely line drawings on white cardstock, made to color and stand up on a flat surface. Each pack included a story card on which is written the story of what the disciples of Jesus found when they arrived at the tomb on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. The moment I saw these, my mind saw the possibilities for a child’s modified Resurrection/Grace Garden…

resurrection garden 1In case you have not seen one, a Resurrection/Grace Garden is a small arrangement in a container, made to resemble the garden where Jesus’ tomb stood. The elements of the landscape reflect the environs of Judea, and the tomb can be made from earthen plant pots, etc… Ultimately, the idea is to create a scene which depicts and remembers the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ at Easter, in much the same way we set out nativity sets at Christmas.

So, my little grey cells began to whir and click and hum—at the quickening of the Holy Spirit—about how to gather the elements for a combined class of pre-schoolers through first graders, 15 children on a full-house Sunday, to make their own little Grace Garden for Easter celebration…

fill the earth-subdueMy “earth” soon became filled with Wilton cake boards to serve as the platform for the standing figures and the bits of landscaping; the sandpaper, the mosses, the tiny little pebbly shells and bits of finely crumbled rock, the plastic grasses, bushes, succulents, the scrap card stock from my stash to use as the flats for the gardenscape strips… and then the different types of adhesives for the best adherence and ease of construction in the class…

Then, I realized how limited is the time we have to work on such a project in the classroom; and I began to consider how best to prefabricate the landscape so that the children would enjoy the work of constructing their craft project and be able to finish in time to take it home…

They would need to color the standing figures, and then adhere each one to its appropriate place on the landscape…

My mind began to whir and click and hum again, at the quickening of the Holy Spirit, about how to subdue all the elements which were filling my little corner of the earth…

Garden Strips Left & Right

“Garden” Scape Strips

Story Garden Platform

Platform for Figures & Garden Strips

Story Stand-up Figures

Stand-up Resurrection Story Figures

Story Card Folder

The Resurrection Story Card Folder w/Story Inside

My experience in the preparation of this Easter celebration Sunday School craft taught me volumes about the meaning of what God intended when He called our ancient parents to “fill the earth and subdue it….” It is a labor of love and sacrifice; and, because of the Fall, it is a labor accompanied by tears and trembling and in weakness and hope… One quite literally sows her being into the ground of the earth in order to bear fruit to worship God… And this taught me more of what it is to trust God in a work inspired by His Spirit, but beyond my natural abilities–His grace which is truly sufficient for these aging little grey cells; for these fingers and fatigue-ridden back and shoulders, as the labor of subduing all the elements progressed one step at a time…

Grace Garden Craft…And because of His LIFE in mine, it is a labor of joy in subduing all the gatherings–in their tumult and diversity–into something the children can enjoy, learn, understand and share for the increase of Christ’s glory in this earth…

My hope is for the fruit to increase and multiply in the lives of our young children to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ…


Shavuot/The Feast of Weeks: A Gentile Woman with a Heart for Israel’s God

I am the Lord…and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.”

–Exodus 6.6-7

In the Hebrew/Biblical calendar the Feast of Shavuot this year is on Sunday, June 12. And one of the traditions of the Feast of Shavuot is the reading of the Book of Ruth in the Bible. As it “happens” this year, I am teaching Sunday School in my congregation, and the curriculum we are using—completely unconscious of the Biblical Feasts—features the story of Ruth for this week…

I have been having fun making my flannel background for the felt story figures, and planning an activity or two for the particular perspective suggested by the writers of the curriculum.


Sewing my lesson backgrounds

But most of all, I have been knocked over at the marvelous, glorious grace and power of God in the life of a Gentile woman who meets up with an Israelite family down on their luck in her home town in Moab…



Previewing a scene layout

The epic tale of Ruth takes place against the backdrop of the drama of the period of Judges. The time is marked by the ebbs and flows of Israel’s devotion to the God Who took them to be His people and who keeps all His promises…

The story of Ruth begins when Naomi and Elimelech, two of the children of Israel from the tribe of Judah, in the region of Bethlehem, marry and bear two sons… During a time of great economic trouble brought about by the oppression from neighboring alien tribes, they take their two sons, leave Bethlehem, and go to live in the land of one of their enemies—Moab. During their ten-year residence in Moab, their two sons marry Moabite women, and before the ten years is past, Elimelech, and the two sons die, leaving Naomi and the two Moabite wives widowed and childless…

Naomi is devastated by the loss of her husband and two sons; she is a widow with no one of her own blood to care for her; she is an Israelite widow in a land which is inhabited by people who are hostile toward the Israelites and their occupation of Canaan… She has two Moabite daughters-in-law, and in her bereavement, she releases them from any commitment to her, and sends them back to their culture. Naomi’s yearning is to return to the land of her God and her people. In short, she would rather be a poor, childless widow in the land of her God and her people than enjoy all the cultural offerings and pleasure comforts of Moab. Surprise of all surprises! While one of the daughters-in-law returns to her Moabite culture, the other Moabite daughter-in-law declares her heart to Naomi: “Your people will be my people and your God will be my God…May the LORD strike me dead if I depart from you for any reason but death.”  Her name is Ruth…  Only a personal attachment to Naomi? No. It is more than that. The Spirit of the God of Israel has given Ruth a heart to know Him; it His name she invokes in her intention, not the name of the Moabite god Baal…

Meanwhile, back in Bethlehem, there is a close relative of Elimelech who has not found the right girl to marry. His name is Boaz. By the grace of God, he has survived at least one of the periods of chastening when God brought Israel’s enemies upon her for her blatant rebellion against Him. That chastening came in the form of severe militant oppression by an enemy tribe who would steal, pillage and destroy farm lands, livestock, homes, and carry away the women and children… Here in the time of the rocky relationship between Israel and God is a moment of grace and glory. God uses this moment in the period of upheaval to give attention to an important, world-changing promise…

Boaz has managed to make a home and a lucrative living from his land. He is enjoying an abundant harvest of barley in the spring of the year…The yield on his land is attracting the poor who have gathered to glean what they can from the leavings…

So Naomi and Ruth make their journey from Moab to Bethlehem, and upon arriving, Naomi directs Ruth to find a field where she can glean… And Ruth finds the field of Boaz…  Dumb luck? I think not…

Ruth puts feet on her faithfulness by her kindness and care for Naomi and her conduct in the gleaning patch. Boaz recognizes a woman of virtue when he sees one.  Was there no faith like Ruth’s among any of the women in Israel? As he marveled at this blessing from God, Boaz makes the decision to embrace the role of kinsman redeemer. At such a time as that, Boaz resolved to pay the price for the rights and responsibilities to own and steward Elimelech’s property; to marry Ruth and to give his cousin an heir…

So an Israelite man of the tribe of Judah marries a transformed Moabite woman of faith and they have a son who will be the grandfather of David…

…And another thing that knocks me over is that Elimelech and Naomi took their two sons to Moab to find relief from a life-threatening famine in their own land, only to end up childless and dead in Moab…Trying to avoid destitution by leaving their inheritance behind in troubled times, they ended up dead and destitute in a land pedaling a prosperity cult…

But behind the scenes in Glory, The Godhead takes counsel: Father, Son and Holy Spirit all agree for the work. The Father draws Ruth, and the Holy Spirit puts His love in a heart which beat inside a body born of the enemy Moabites. And Ruth loses everything for His sake, and God makes her the great grandmother of David… Ruth declares from the heart the Spirit of the Living God quickened to new life:

Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.”

-Ruth 1.16

God uses her to be part of His plan to keep His promise to provide The Redeemer to deliver us from our soul’s SELF-imposed sickness and poverty and starvation… even in such a time as this…

A Gentile woman chosen by God from among her people to be included in the line of Faith… A Gentile woman chosen by God from among her people to be used of the God of Israel to work out another part of His plan and promises…

So am I, for such a time as this…

25th anniv

Baruch HaShem Adonai

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