Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hope is a thing with feathers...

That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Emily Dickinson

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Light on Liturgy

The lights were low when I stepped into the room. Soft music was playing, a lilting cadence with a minor key and words I could not recognize. Taking a seat in the back, I observed the mixed gathering that waited in the audience for the program to begin. Then an older gentleman stood and moved towards the front, his head was covered with a Jewish cap. He greeted everyone with the Hebrew greeting; Shabbat Shalom! and welcomed them to the meeting.

As the evening progressed he shared some of his testimony - his journey from a strict Jewish childhood to his current ministry as a pastor of a Messianic Jewish congregation today. He blew the shofer, ram's horn, that is used to call the people to worship on sabbaths and feast days and it rang clear and bold. I could easily imagine the distance that such an instrument could be heard.

The wife gracefully veiled her head and lit the sacred sabbath candles. As she did so she repeated the ancient blessing of promised light. Then together they led the group through the blessings that the husbands speak over their wives, the blessing the wives give their husbands, and the special blessing for the children.

Then the man also went through the liturgy of the wine and the special bread that the family partakes of. After the blessings were completed he and his wife led the singing of traditional Jewish songs, and explained the traditions of the special service they perform every Friday evening to welcome the Sabbath.

The service was insightful and reflective. I think of the millions of Jews worldwide who share the worship of the sacred sabbath day. What beautiful traditions of hope and courage they have, and yet a darkness too. Do they know that the Light they invite into their homes each Friday evening has already come intangible rays? Do the gentle beams penetrate their heart?

Have the traditions in my Adventist belief system lost value and spiritual significance? Do I realize the full meanings of my habits and the reasons behind my actions? Does the Light live and abide in my soul or am I simply repeating liturgy?

I invite the Light to remain.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

duckliferous motivation

Excessively Fulfilled

Appearances may seem forbidding, but in the darkest hour there is light above. The strength of those who love and serve God will be renewed day by day. The understanding of the Infinite is placed at their service, that in carrying out His purposes they may not err.

Let these workers hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end, remembering that the light of God's truth is to shine amid the darkness that enshrouds our world. there is to be no despondency in connection with God's service. The faith of the consecrated worker is to stand every test brought to bear upon it.

God is able and willing to bestow upon His servants all the strength they need and to give them the wisdom that their varied necessities demand.
He will more than fulfill the highest expectations of those who put their trust in Him.

Acts of the Apostles p. 242

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Two Jesus Barabbas's

The following insights were sent to me by my Daddy; an excerpt from something he recently found in his studies. It touched my heart deeply, so I asked his permission to publish it here so that it could touch others too. Thank you Daddy.


Mark 15:7 “Now there was one being called Barabbas with the fellow insurrectionists, having been bound (and was still bound) who in the insurrection had committed murder.” (pluperfect –emphasizing results)

In Mark 14:36, Jesus was crying out “Abba, Father, all things are possible (for) You, take away this cup from me, but not what I desire, but what You (desire).” Jesus uses the expression in Aramaic “Abba” meaning father. It is interesting that Barabbas is an Aramaic word—two words “Bar” and “Abba” meaning “father’s son”.

Here we have Jesus the “Father’s Son” appealing to God to take away this cup. God the Father chooses not to take it away. And then we have one called “father’s son” who had killed someone in an uprising. The crowd rejects the “Father’s Son” in favor of a“father’s son”.

In fact in Matthew 27:16 it says, “And they had then a notorious prisoner being called Jesus Barabbas.” So this man’s name is Jesus, son of a father”, or “Jesus, father’s son”.

It doesn’t seem like it is an accident that the man brought out to be freed/forgiven in place of “Jesus, the Father’s Son” is named, Jesus, father’s son”.

There were two Jesus Barabbas’s there that morning. What they had in common was: the name—Jesus, Father’s/father’s Son/son, which is no accident, both were humans, and both were bound. But that is where the similarity stops.

One was being bound against his will. One voluntarily stepped forward to be bound.

One was on trial for taking life. One was on trial for giving life.

One could not free himself, but wanted to. One could have freed Himself, but chose not to.

One was on trial for fighting a physical battle. One was on trial for fighting a spiritual battle.

One was fighting for an earthly kingdom. One was fighting for a heavenly kingdom.

One’s weapon was force. The others' weapon was love.

One claimed to be the son of a father. One claimed to be the Son of the Father.

One was a taker. One was a giver.

One was on trial as a murderer which he was. One was on trial as a murderer which He was not.

One was the son of a human father and human mother. The other was the Son of the Divine Father and a human mother.

One’s purpose in life was retaliation. The Other’ was reconciliation.

One came to give someone else the “what for”. The Other came to forgive all for whatever.

One’s destiny was death, but was freed. The others destiny was freedom, but took death.

Jesus Barabbas—father’s son


Jesus Barabbas—Father’s Son—who cried out “Abba” Father, all things are possible with You. Take away this cup from me. However, not what I desire, rather what You desire.” If You want me to be beaten, tortured and crucified for all the sons of a father, for all the Barabbas’s, Your will be done.”

I am Barabbas.
I am bound.
I am on trial. I cannot free myself.
My destiny is death.

But now my bondage is broken.
My name is cleared.
I am free.
My destiny is Life.

My prayer:
Not my desires,
But Yours.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Musical Evidence

Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it. ~Henry David Thoreau