Trust and Obey

I’ve been humming that old hymn “Trust and Obey” lately. There are a bunch of verses, but the chorus is this:

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Those two really do go together. Obedience is a manifestation of trust. How can we say that we trust Our Lord and disobey what He asks of us? If I say, “Yes, I trust Him,” then when He asks something that seems impossible to my eyes, I need to rest in that trust and take the leap. And that is my thought for the day. Shana Tov!

RedShoooz – He Wants It All
BYNA 40 Days – Day 30, Day 31

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Pictures from Day 6: The Kinneret and Capernaum

And what happened to day 5, you may ask. Shabbat happened :-). It was glorious to slow down, rest, and fellowship. I do love that part of my week!

But we keep going, and we are at the mid-point of the tour. We left Jerusalem and headed to the Galilee region, or the Kinneret, as I explained in the Galilee post here. I have pictures of the explanation of an ancient boat that was dated more than 2,000 years ago, you can walk with me on that journey (right-click on the image and open in a new tab to see the full size – you’ll be able to read the story).

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We got to sail on the Kinneret – that was special, as you will see. We started the journey with the Hatikvah, the Jewish national anthem. It means the hope, and it’s a very moving song, even if you don’t understand the words. Here you go.

Being on the water was incredible. Pictures can only barely touch the amazing experience.

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I relayed in the post mentioned above that Hillsong United recorded the song Oceans there. The boat owner played it for us, and I was undone. I can’t upload my recording due to copyright restrictions, but here’s the Hillsong version again. The boat that you see is the boat that we were on.

After that was Capernaum and seeing the Galil valley from up high. What a wonderful close to our day, seeing the Kinneret from our hotel room!

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TTWWADI

There was a part of the sermon on Sunday at my church where the pastor was reminding us, from II Corinthians 5:7, that we live by faith and not by sight. We do need to move beyond the realm of reason and operate in faith. This is the point that hit hard for me: Just because things are the way they are does not mean that they are the way they should be. He said that in order to do what cannot be done, we need to see what cannot be seen. That’s an awesome word right there, because it speaks at settling for what’s around us, even though something amazing could be right outside of the box of “the way things are.”

One of the most interesting examples hit me between the eyes the next day. I was at a teaching conference, and the opening speaker began to ask why railroad tracks were a certain length apart. The people who designed the railroad modeled them after the axles of wagon wheels. So why were wagon wheels designed that length apart? They were patterned after the carriages in England. Why were those wheels design that way? Because, if they weren’t, the axles and wheels tended to break, because of the ruts that were already on the paths and roads. Where did those ruts come from? Way back in the Roman empire, the chariots were designed that way, and the heavy use of them made those ruts. So why were the chariots designed with wheels 8 and some odd feet across? Because that was the width of two horses… er, rear ends. So why do we have train tracks 8 and some odd feet across, with mountain passes and tunnels only a bit wider? Because of horses rears. The term the speaker coined was TTWWADI – that’s the way we’ve always done it.

Now realize that he was talking about methods in education, but man oh man, did I see the connection. Do we limit ourselves to the way things are because that’s the way we’ve always done it, and that’s all we know? I am so glad that people haven’t, otherwise we wouldn’t be where we are today. But personally, what’s the status quo in your life, because you can’t imagine anything different? That’s a dangerous question, I know, because once you break out of TTWWADI, nothing will be the same. Is that a risk you’re willing to take?

Gather Not a Few

I was remembering a concept I read in a book, of something that happened in the Bible. In 2 Kings, chapter 4 or there abouts, is the story of the widow of a prophet, and Elisha going to her house during a famine asking for food. She responds that she has only this bit of oil and flour for her and her son. Elisha tells her to gather jars, borrow jars from her neighbors, Gather not a few. The widow, not knowing what he is about, gathers all the jars and does as Elisha says and pours her little oil into the jars. She has enough to fill them all, some of which she can keep, some she can sell.

Now, the widow, not really knowing Elisha or what was going on, gathered as many jars she could find, expecting he would do something. Why do I, who knows how big, generous, loving, etc, my God is, only put out my faith for a little blessing, or “just enough”, thinking that I can just get by?

Gather not a few, He says. Let His provision and blessing blow me out of the water. Come expectant and expecting, knowing He can and will and loves to fill up our jars.

Going Through the Valley

I have a poem I wrote during 40 days of fasting and praying. I like poetry and prose, it’s what I do, and it sometimes expresses things better than a whole bunch of words. One unique thing about this one is that it was a journey. I began it at the beginning of the 40 days, and finished it at the end. It still calls stuff out of my heart…

Through the Valley

Psalms 139, 23

Storms rage, the winds roar
The foundation shakes but stands whole
I hang on to that, my rock, my faith
The world tremors and crumbles
And I hold fast.
Then a whirlwind comes
Everything – Everything disappears
And my heart is plunged into blackness.
There have been many trials
Many obstacles, many attacks
Hurts have cut deep
as to leave me breathless,
And, I’ve found my way home.
And yet,
I stand here trembling.

It has never been so dark.

Lord…

There are no words
Nothing that even begins to flesh out
My desperation,
My need,
My heart’s cry.
The Valley of the Shadow of Death has found me
And I can’t even find the light that makes the shadow.
One step.
Another.
Making my way through the valley,
Broken,
Shattered,
Convinced of my Elohim and who He is
But feeling so alone,
So overwhelmed by the darkness.
A whisper of breath,
An ethereal caress,
And assurance settles deep in my heart.
“Yeshua can find you in the darkness.”
A hand holds mine
And walks along side of me,
Guiding me through the darkness,
No longer overwhelming or frightening,
But surrounding us in intimacy.

Yeshua…

His presence turns my upside down world
Into absolute peace.
The storms, the winds, the darkness-
Nothing matters.
He fills me and restores my soul.
It takes flight and I proclaim:
He is Everything!
My Everything!