Bloodied and Broken

It seems to me that those closest to the battlefront often have blood and pain as their portion. It also seems to me that they have a deep capacity for both courage, passion and a stubborn faithfulness that makes them strong enough to bear up under it.

Those that live closely around us or even with us have long noted that the Smith family seems to be followed by the most painful experiences…too many and too sensitive to reveal here. We open ourselves and our home to those who are hurting or just really hungry for truth not religion knowing that we are likely to fight through the same pains and struggles with them.

A friend once saw a vision of two types of believers: 1) those who stand on a stage and preach to a crowd deeply trapped in a sea of mud, unable to free themselves from the muck, and 2) those who climb down off the stage, go into the mud and pour absolutely all their strength into holding tightly to the sinking heart as they struggle to be free…crawling and barely breathing, if necessary, along with them as they walk into freedom.  Both have terribly vital roles in the Kingdom!

This second believer will be bloodied, soaked in mud and struggle with the pain of those they crawl with, but they refuse to give up and back down or let go. This is the life I have chosen and my heart simply breaks over and over and over.  Then there are the days when someone breaks free of complacency or poverty,  depression or abuse, perversion or blind religion and I see my purpose again instead of the pain. I have learned only in the last few months to live looking beyond the pain…to find mental rest. I see one of these quasi sons and daughters as they become absorbed in the Bible-Nerd culture…listen as another one shares a very mental excerpt from Dostsyevski…watch another defend Godly standards and purity with passion.  These are the souls that make everything else worth the splatter and the joy.

If I can claim any strength trained into me and my trophy husband, it is courage, passion and a stubborn faithfulness that causes me to go back to the battle of mud and heart…just one more time for a million times.

Matthew 11:28-30 

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

28 “Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.[a] 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


What God Wants

Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like Him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.” 1 Peter 4:1-2 MSG

Love that last part! We truly are “tyrannized” by what we want. We can be “free” by choosing to pursue what GOD wants…right things in spite of our weaknesses and habits. Some dude named Peter, not Ms Rebecca…said it! And you just gotta love me for pointing it out!


ADONAI has expelled an enemy…My Enemy was Debt!

ADONAI has expelled an enemy…My Enemy was Debt!

Zephaniah 3:14 Sing, daughter of Tziyon! Shout, Isra’el! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Yerushalayim! 15 ADONAI has removed the judgments against you, he has expelled your enemy; the king of Isra’el, ADONAI, is right there with you. You no longer need to fear that anything bad will happen.16 On that day, it will be said to Yerushalayim,
“Do not fear, Tziyon! Don’t let your hands droop down. 17 ADONAI your God is right there with you, as a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you and be glad, he will be silent in his love, he will shout over you with joy.”

NIV translates it as:
Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”18 “I will gather those of yours who grieve over the appointed feasts and bear the burden of reproach [because they cannot keep them]. 19 When that time comes, I will deal with all those who oppress you. I will save her who is lame, gather her who was driven away, and make them whose shame spread over the earth the object of praise and renown.  20 When that time comes, I will bring you in and make you the object of fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth – when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says ADONAI. (Complete Jewish Bible)

ADONAI has removed the judgments against you, he has expelled your enemy…my enemy was debt. A mortgage, house insurance, property tax, real estate tax, electric bill, phone bill, cable bill, car payments, car insurance, tickets (yes, I am human), judgments (yes, we had a lien placed on our house due to an out-of-control bill that we could not pay) grocery bill……………..fuel for two vehicles…………………………..dog food………………………………………………………….

Is anybody feeling the weight of debt? My shoulders slump just typing up the list! And I hear your very tired voice say “Bankruptcy?” and the answer is a very empathetic “Yes……..” Calls from debt collectors. Ugly letters in the mail. Bills that had to be put on the bottom of the stack in order to feed your kids.

The final blow? The threat of foreclosure that forced us to consider and eventually put our home up for sale. Big sigh…

I totally get it, but here is where the fun begins. Children grow up and feed themselves. Houses sell and cover liens. The shame of bankruptcy fades into the recesses of our credit history. Bills really can be trimmed away. Even circumstances beyond our control can work in our favor and, just when you thought there was no hope, the “plan” works…God’s plan, not ours.

ADONAI has removed the judgments against you, he has expelled the enemy of unmanageable debt. He was always with us!

This is what we look like now! RabbiRon and I bought an older RV with the proceeds from selling the house. We live in a beautiful place called Blowing Springs with a gorgeous creek right behind our RV and the sounds of tree frogs at night and birds in the morning. Over the next six months we paid off every single debt we owed, bought a piece of property for a few hundred dollars, and reduced our bills (including rent) to approximately $1000 per month. All that’s left is a quiet, weightless sense of peace and a fading recognition of a fear that something bad will happen. Zephaniah 3:15…”the king of Isra’el, ADONAI, is right there with you. You no longer need to fear that anything bad will happen.

There is more to this story and I will post a few writings based on Zephaniah’s prophecy originally and always to Israel, but for us as well. These verses are SCREAMING hope for the practical mess of life we walk through.

***UPDATE***

It’s been over two years now! What a trip!!!  I will posting an update soon. Hope you get to read it. 😉

Ms Rebecca


I Serve a Risen Savior

Ladies and Gentlemen, I find the best way to make a decision is to have the facts in front of me.  Due to a recent posting on our favorite social media, I find myself tired of syncretism [the pollution of two belief systems by mixing them together and coming up with a weakened, tainted system in an effort to avoid offense or for the sake of inclusion]. This is NOT spoken against people, but a lack of knowledge. If you are willing to take the challenge…[disclaimer…I serve a risen Savior]

Zen – Buddhism

Blaise Pascal – “It is a disease natural to man to believe he possesses the truth.” [does not believe in ANY truth, entirely subjective, find your own path…the 60’s followed that path “do whatever feels good” …res]

zen-buddhism.net – Zen does not seek to answer subjective questions because these are not important issues for Zen. What really matters is the here and now: not God, not the afterlife, but the present moment here and now. [hmmm…no higher power than self? …res]

Who is Buddha?

zen-buddhism.net  – “he calmly and peacefully decided to abandon his family, wealth, and power to achieve Enlightenment. Buddhists call this decision “The Great Renunciation”, and they consider it a turning point in history.

One night, having made his decision, Gautama left the gigantic palace, abandoning his wife and child to travel the world in search of Enlightenment. He traveled as a beggar in northern India…”

[His search for SELF allowed him to abandon his family, his responsibility, and his work ethic!  Hmmm…sounds fun.  …res]

 

Uh oh!  He went to extremes, decided that didn’t work either.  Sat for 49 days and reached “Enlightenment” and what did he find…TRUTHS!  There must be answers after all…Truths!  Well, he got that part right. 

Again… zen-buddhism.net  

First Noble Truth – To Live Means To Suffer

During his meditation, he realized that ‘life is suffering.’ The reason for this being the fact that human beings are not perfect. Likewise, the world inhabited by them is also ridden with imperfections.

Second Noble Truth – The Origin Of Suffering Is Attachment

The second noble truth tells us that the root of all suffering is attachment. To avoid suffering, we need to understand what causes suffering and then weeding out these causes from our lives.

Third Noble Truth – The Cessation Of Suffering Is Attainable

This liberation from attachment and sorrow frees the mind of all troubles and worries. The attainment of this liberation is called “Nirvana” in Sanskrit and “Satori” in Japanese.

Fourth Noble Truth – The Eightfold Path To The Cessation Of Suffering “Zen”

Buddha says that salvation (Nirvana/Satori) is a condition that can be attained by leading a balanced life. And to lead a balanced life, one needs to follow the Eightfold path which is a ‘gradual path of self-improvement.’

Buddha was a man, not a god, per their own dogma…truth…simply an enlightened man.  I will qualify that statement by saying that he was a pampered young man faced with a brutal awakening when he was exposed to “the real world” like any other.  He made bad choices and lived poorly, made some good choices and lived well…he matured.  At the ripe old age of 35, he decided that he was indeed enlightened and should gather seekers to himself and preach complete detachment from people and things in order to avoid suffering.

To this day, people worship a good, but very dead, man at Buddhist temples.  Choose YOU this day whom you will serve…your self, your enlightment, your not-so-noble philosophy?  As for me, I will serve a selfless, devoted, and willing-to-die-for-me Jesus/Yeshua who did not desert a wife and child, did not starve himself to prove a shallow point, and did not shrink away from suffering…EVER!