I WON'T BACK DOWN

Friday, November 2, 2018

CHANGES


The leaves on the fancy hybrid maple tree outside the livingroom window is changing into its pretty Fall colors before dropping them completely off …


… and it’s raining – has been steadily raining since Wednesday; Fall has arrived.

I like this time of year; some people don’t, but I do. I like the crispness in the air that pinks the cheeks, the cooler weather settling in; which means I can breathe easier, the beautiful leaf colors that pop – making the heavy gray days tolerable, and the scent of approaching Winter hovering on the breeze. The other day I even caught a quick scent of someone burning a wood stove – not in the Park I am sure, but nearby, and drifting on the air currents passing over us.

It’s been eventful here, but we are learning to lean into the onslaught and push forward. Hubs is still struggling with this illness, but this is our life now and we must learn how to roll with the punches and get back on our feet to defy the foul enemy which whispers fear into our hearts. This we can do with the help of the Ruach Ha’Kodesh, Who gently guides us, teaches us, and tells us that Elohei loves us: “be strong and of good courage, for you are His – and He will not fail you. Has His Word not said so, and has He not shown you in times past that He will deliver you out of the hand of the fowler?”

We have no one BUT Elohei on our side walking with us through this dark and scary time which seems always to lead to the edge of the valley of death. Right now, Hubs is suffering with pancreatic pain which is making life difficult to bear. We were told with last week’s hospitalization that there is no need for gall bladder surgery (((YAY!))), and 2 days ago we were told that his heart, kidneys, and liver are all where they need to be too ‘for a man’ his age (((YAY!)))all glory and honor goes to Yeshua for His healing grace, and to Elohim for His favor :-D Hub’s blood count is still very low making him severely anemic, and he is having trouble eating and keeping nourishment in his body due to the pancreas flare-ups, but we know that Elohei knows all about that and will take care of it like He has the rest if we rest in Him and do not allow fear to take root and spread its poisonous tentacles in our lives. Hubs continues to go to the scheduled appointments with various docs and physicians, but they really can’t help him – he goes mainly to say he went and to shut everyone up, but he knows that they cannot help him; only Elohei can help him. The doctors and physicians are only guessing at what they can do, but Elohei knows EXACTLY what needs to be done. People ask, “Then why doesn’t God heal him?” Who are we to ask such questions? And with such mockery? Perhaps it is for others that he is suffering so – one of his night nurses during last week’s hospitalization during a severe flare-up, was a young woman we knew as a baby and child who has since forsaken the Faith: Hubs and she talked many times about many things, including Faith … perhaps their coming together as they did was not mere happenstance – perhaps it was supernaturally arranged and perhaps she may start making changes in her life that will greatly benefit her. Who knows? Only Elohei KNOWS why any of us go through anything we go through. And we can only go through it with Him.

Changes.

They’re hard. Sometimes very hard …

But we don’t have to go through changes alone. This we KNOW, and that makes it all bearable ;-)

Since Hubs has been spending so much time in/out of ER and the hospital, a nurse noticed MOD paperback novel cover and asked if I made it; I said, “yes, and that we usually do the Bazaar circuit where I do a pretty brisk business selling my original designs, but this year that is out because Hubs is so sick.” I said too that if this is our life from now on (at least until Elohei heals him), Bazaars may be a thing of the past. Then she asked if I had ever considered donating items, and that the hospital has a program that accepts handmade items such as baby hats, chemo hats, baby blankets and chemo blankets. I readily agreed – this is one way I can repay some of the $$$$$’s the Bridge Program is forking out for our medical expenses. I called the foundation and signed on ;-)

This is the baby blanket I am currently working on:


When it is finished, I will drop it off with the lapghans I am digging out of my Bazaar Cache to donate.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapters 21 & 22



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapters 21 & 22

After we had parted from them we set sail and came straight down to Cos, and the next day we sailed on to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. There we found a ship that was crossing over to Phoenicia, so we got on board and set sail. We came in sight of Cyprus, but passed it on our left and sailed on to Syria, where we landed at Tyre, the place where the ship was to unload its cargo. While there, we looked up the disciples and stayed with them for 7 days. Through the Ruach, they told Paul not to go to Jerusalem. When we stayed out our time there, we left them and continued on our way. And all of them, including the wives and children, escorted us as far as outside the city limits. Then we all kneeled down on the beach and prayed.

Then, having said farewell, we went aboard the ship and they returned to their homes. At the end of the voyage from Tyre we arrived at Ptolemais. There we greeted the brethren and remained with them one day. The next day we (Paul and his companions) departed and came to Caesarea. We came to the home of Philip, the evangelist, who had been one of the seven deacons, and we stayed with him. He had 4 unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy.

While we were staying there a few days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. He came over to us and took Paul’s belt, with which he bound his own feet and hands and then said, “Thus says the Ruach Ha’Kodesh: ‘Just so will the Jews in Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and they will deliver him into the hands of the heathen’.” When we heard this, we and the people there begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. This was his reply, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but to die for the Name of Adonai Yeshua Ha’Maschiach.” Then since he would not be persuaded, we kept silent except to say, “The Will of Adani be done!”

After a few days we got our baggage ready and went to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples in Caesarea went with us and brought us to the house of Mnason, a man from Cyprus who was a disciple of long standing. We were to stay with him.

When we reached Jerusalem the brethren there gave us a joyful welcome. Paul went with us the next day to call on James, and all the elders were gathered there. After having greeted them, Paul gave a detailed account of what Elohei had done for the Gentiles through his work. On hearing this, they praised Adonai Yeshua. But they said to him, ‘You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have become Believers, yet they are all zealous supporters of the Law. They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to break away from the Law of Moshe, telling them not to circumcise their children and not to follow the old customs. What, then, is to be done? A crowd of them will surely gather about you when they hear that you have come. Therefore, this is what we suggest you do: We have 4 men with us who have taken a vow. Take these men with you, go through the purification ritual with them, and pay the expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to the reports that they have heard about you, but that, on the contrary you, yourself, are strictly keeping the Law. And as to the Gentile Believers, we wrote to them saying that on our judgment they need not observe any such thing, except that they must abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from unchastity.’

The next day, then, Paul took the men, purified himself with them and entered the temple, giving notice when they should complete the days of purification and when the offering for each of them was to be made.

As the 7 days were about ended, some Jews from the province of Asia saw pau lint he temple. They excited the whole crowd into an uproar and laid hands on him. They shouted, ‘Men of Israel! Help! This is the fellow who is everywhere attacking our people, our Law and this sanctuary. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and has made this holy place unclean.’ For they had seen him in the city previously in company with Trophimus, the Ephesian, and supposed that Paul had brought him with him into the temple. The whole city was then in an uproar, and the crowd surged back and forth.  They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, after which the doors were shut. While they were getting ready to kill him, word came to the colonel of the regiment that the people were rioting all over Jerusalem. He at once summoned his soldiers and captains; and charged down on them. At the sight of the colonel and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. The colonel then came and arrested Paul. Having given orders that he should be bound with 2 chains, he inquired as to who he was and what he had done. Some of the mob was shouting one thing, an others something else, and it was impossible to find out anything certain on account of the clamor, so he gave orders that Paul be brought to the barracks. The violence of the mob was so great that when they reached the steps Paul had to be carried by the soldiers. The rabble kept pressing on behind and shouting, ‘Do away with him!’

When he was being brought to the barracks, Paul said to the colonel, “May I be permitted to say something to you?” He answered, ‘So you know Greek? Then you are not the Egyptian who some time ago incited a revolt and led 4000 rebels into the desert?’ “No,” said Paul, “I am a Jew, a citizen of Tarsus in Cilicia, not a bad city at all. And I beg you therefore to let me speak to the people.” The colonel gave him permission to speak. So Paul, standing there on the steps, made a gesture with his hands to the people. A great hush then ensued and he spoke to them in the Hebrew language.

CHAPTER 22

“Brethren and fathers,” he said, “listen to the defense that I am now going to make to you.” When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language they became still more quiet. And he continued: “I am, without a question, a Jew. Though I was born in tarsus of Cilicia, yet I was brought to this city. I was trained at the feet of Gamaliel (a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the early 1st century AD), given a thorough knowledge of our ancestral Law, and was as zealous for Elohei as you all are this day. I persecuted to death those who followed the new Way. I put both men and women in chains, imprisoning them. As to this fact, both the high priest and all the elders can bear me witness. Indeed, I received letters from them to the brethren in Damascus, and I set out for Damascus to seize the Believes there, to bring them back in chains to Jerusalem to be punished.”

“But as I was on my way and coming close to Damascus, about noon, all at once a great light from heaven shone about me. I then fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? I answered, ‘Who are you?’ He said to me, “I am Yeshua of Nazareth, Whom you are persecuting.” And those who were with me were alarmed. They saw the light but did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. ‘Adonai, what should I do?’ I asked. And Adonai said to me, “Rise up and go to Damascus. There you will be told all that you will be appointed to do.”

“Now since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, those who were with me led me by the hand until I came to Damascus. Ananias was there. He was a devout observer of the Law and was well spoken of by al the Jews who lived there. He came to me and said as he was standing near me, ‘Brother Saul, look up!’ And at that very moment I looked up and saw him. Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His Will, to see the Just One and to hear His voice. And you are to be His witness, telling all men what you have seen and heard. And now, why delay? Rise up and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the Name of Adonai.’”

“Then it came about that, after I had returned to Jerusalem, I fell into a trance while I was at prayer in the temple. And I saw Him saying to me, “Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.” ‘Adonai’, I said, ‘they themselves know that in every synagogue I used to imprison and flog those who believed in You. Also, that when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there and gave my approval while looking after the clothing of those who murdered him.’ And he said to me, “Go, for I will send you afar off to the Gentiles.”

They had listened to him until he spoke this word, at which they gave a mighty shout, ‘Away from the earth with such a one! He is not fit to live!’ They kept on yelling, tearing their clothing and throwing garments and dust into the air. Meanwhile, the colonel had ordered that Paul be brought into the barracks; also that he be examined and flogged to find out why they cried out against him. And as they tied him with thongs, Paul said to the captain who was in charge, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen, and who has not been condemned?”

When the captain heard this, he reported it to the colonel and said to him, ‘Look here! What are you about to do? This man is a Roman citizen.’ The colonel then came and asked Paul, ‘Are you a Roman citizen?’ Tell me.’ And Paul answered, “Yes.” The colonel then remarked, ‘I paid a large sum for this citizenship.’ And Paul said in reply, “But I was born a free citizen.” Then those who were about to examine him left him at once. Also the colonel himself was worried on discovering that Paul was a Roman citizen, especially since he had been bound. So the next day he took off the chains and commanded the chief priests and the whole council to meet, and then he brought Paul down and set him before them, for he wanted to know the truth as to why he was accused by the Jews.

               
**ACTS 20: http://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-gospel-according-to-acts-chapters-20.html