It is still April in Everett

Spinach, kale and micro-greens bento

Spinach, kale and micro-greens bento

Warm days, no sweater needed (inside at least) may have seduced me into believing that early summer has come to Everett, Washington. Outside there was a gentle, north wind. Chilled me to the bone! If I had not needed a handful of parsley and a pinch of oregano I would have stayed inside. Burrr!

Later that Shabbot evening, Ray and I settled in to watch Chris Travels take us places we cannot afford. That was when we first heard the pelting of hail. Uh-oh! There was nothing we could do but wait it out. Our early food would either survive or not, it was out of our control.

At first light, everything looks good from the kitchen window. I’ve only planted the hardiest of of greens and peas. Hallelujah!

Now I’m worried about the pepper sprouts in the unheated green house.

Chickadee in a Pear Tree

Chickadee in a Pear Tree

I wonder where the birds go when the weather gets mean?

Everett, Washington; April 25, 2015 (Happy Birthday Jackie!) 56/39 but the wind has swirled around to the south-east instead of coming from the north. Twenty percent chance of something wet coming down, though the morning is honey-colored with sunshine…. which has been up since 6:01, and will not set until 8:13 for 14 hours and 12 minutes of daylight. Shabbot Shalom!

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Way Points: Deuteronomy 6:7

and you shall teach them (the words which YHVH your God is commanding you) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by The Way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:7 RSV

Toy Box Tomatoes

Toy Box Tomatoes

Teach them, talk about them. Walking in The Way is not something we are suddenly good at because we have been born again. Walking in The Way is a skill that needs to be sharpened. Young believers and buddies need the fellowship of the word, which, by the way, does not just happen for two hours on Sunday (two hours and 20 minutes if your pastor tends toward rambling). Fellowship in the word happens on your commute to school, it happens around the game board or after-school snacks, at bed time and breakfast. It is as natural as knowing how to grow tomatoes.

I’m going to go off subject here and say, growing tomatoes did not come naturally to me. It has required lots of reading and talking with people who have successfully put ripe tomatoes into my hands. It is an art that requires skill. Buying a package of seeds is the having the potential for success. Fragrant fruit that I can share with others is more then just good seed. It is the same with successfully living the life of a Christian.

The Way (DEREK in Hebrew) is the journey with Elohiym

The Way (DEREK in Hebrew) is the journey with Elohiym

Moses gave us YHVH’s plan for life but nearly everyone who came out of the slavery of Egypt failed and died in the wilderness. Y’shua (Jesus) paid our penality for violation of Torah (sin-lawlessness) and the Spirit of YHVH (a.k.a. the holy spirit) has written the Torah on our heart. We have every advantage yet we still stumble. Why is that? Here is my $0.02

We do not read Torah for ourselves. Few of us even read the letters of Paul or John and Peter. Few of us have read the Gospels for ourselves. We just go by what we hear. One day someone invites us to a Christian Yoga session. Great! Christians who stretch together! We invest in yoga pants and a cute top, a yoga mat, maybe some blocks and a band (guess what I have done). We get ourselves to the church basement with fellow believers, we listen to christian pop music and position ourselves into lion poses or dog position. We are encouraged to find our center and think about Jesus. It’s a fun time. But we still have a question, Is it OK for Christians to practice Yoga?

Why do we have to ask? Why don’t we just know?

For what it is worth, my opinion is that we do not read the Word for ourselves, we just go with what other Christians are doing. Other Christians celebrate Easter and Christmas, the Bible doesn’t say anything about either of those adopted holidays. We worship on Sunday knowing that Friday night to Saturday night is the appointment the Almighty has made with us for rest in worship. We do not know if Yoga is ok or not because we do not know the Almighty’s word or how He feels about practices that come from the worship of other so called gods.

Read the Word of God, the Bible. Do not be content with just reading it, pray it. Insist that the Almighty give you understanding so that you can walk The Way with skill to please him. Talk about what you read, in the car, at supper time, when you pray before bedtime. Then you will know Truth and truth makes you free.

From our devotional passage found in Deuteronomy 7: 4-25

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Between the Rain Drops… Mid April At The Toy Box Suburban Farm

Spring at The Toy Box Suburban Farm

Spring at The Toy Box Suburban Farm

Fits and starts, I think that is what it is called when nothing happens then everything happens then nothing again. Such is April. Every day I peek at the progress. It seems like nothing changes, until all of a sudden I see something new.

Parsley and Peas (Green Arrow)

Parsley and Peas (Green Arrow)

The trouble with daily peeks is not noticing the change. At first I had to get down on ground level to see the graceful arched stems of the peas pushing out of the ground. I have no idea how they got so large all of a sudden. These are Green Arrow shelling peas. We also have a short row of Canoe, Cascadia Snap, old fashioned Sugar Snap, an Italian snow pea and Tall Telephone (more per square foot then my favorite Maestro). Out front in the Back to Eden area there are some Dakota peas. I know, crazy, but I wanted to plant stuff and peas are ok with the cold of Saint Patricks Day.

Green Garlic

Green Garlic

All my garlic this year is volunteer. I took a chance, dug them up and seperated them. Then trimmed the leaves and roots like you would with leeks and replanted them. So far, so good but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve never done this before. Looks good so far!

Kale Buds

Kale Buds

I have been plucking kale buds and tiny leaves from this plant all winter long. The poor thing is getting desperate to make seeds. The buds are starting to ripen up faster then I can tuck them into my lunches. The larger leaves have made some fantastic soups. My Bento’s get some of the tiny leaves with the spinach and radishes from the green house for the sweetest early salad that only gardeners in the Pacific North West get. One of the perks for putting up with all the rain.

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms

One nice thing about the rain, it does make the air smell sweet! April 12, 2015 in Everett, Washington, it seems a little chilly. High 53, low 43. Even though there is only a 10% chance of rain, that 10% added a half inch of water to the rain gauge. Sunrise at 6:25, sunset at 7:54 giving us 13 hours and 29 minutes of a pretty spring day.

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First Day of Spring

March 21, 2015 1st day of Spring (8)

Pear Blossoms, March 21, 2015

Every year I promise myself that I will not bore you with plant baby pictures, and every year I get all excited and take baby pictures. I cannot even say I’m sorry about that.

Radishes, scallions, spinach and greens in the greenhouse

Radishes, scallions, spinach and greens in the greenhouse

About a month ago I planted a little box in the green house. Slow growth and slugs. Even so, it looks like I’ll have a few radishes! The scallions are about ready for their first haircut and a couple of baby lettuces have survived hungry slugs. I’m so excited! I can even see a tiny bunch of spinach that needs to be picked.

Hello Fava Beans

Hello Fava Beans

The same week that I started the radishes in the greenhouse, I also planted a few fava beans along the back fence. Hello baby fava beans! Grow babies, grow! I’ve sort of forgotten what our actual “soil” looks like until now. We are hoping to score more green chips to scatter on top of this soil. Everything we hear in western Washington state sounds like we will have a bad drought this season. Mulch of any kind may be a must. We are very excited about the Back to Eden gardens we tested last year. So excited that we (ok, “we” means Ray, I took pictures) moved some of our Square Foot Gardens to make room for a larger BTE area.

Comfree and Raspberries

Comfrey and Raspberries

Did I call it or what? Comfrey is making a comeback in the new raspberry bed. Never mind, the nuggets and I use lots of this healing herb.

The little Raspberry canes have a few blossoms and I am going to let them be.  Originally there was an early and a late red as well as a yellow that came ripe in autumn. I am hoping to at least see what I still have after all those years in a pot.

Farmer Ray

Farmer Ray

Did I mention that it is the first day of Spring? We have been eating fresh kale and kale buds along with Toy Box eggs, herbs, parsley, dry apples, frozen blueberries and who knows what else. But we sure look forward to that first sweet salad of late spring. Peas are up, others are waiting to be planted. Tomatoes and peppers also need to be planted. The early kales and broccoli need to go out under the cold-frame because they are starting to out grow their soil blocks. I love these kinds of To-Do lists. Today in Everett, March 21, 2015 the wind is excited and is bringing just enough rain to keep everything fresh. At 52/41 the underground is predicting that today will be much cooler then yesterday. I don’t care, I have spent the last week in front of a computer getting students and their report cards ready for the end of the third quarter. Sun rise was at 7:10. We are all the way up to 12 hours and 12 minutes of day light in Everett, Washington. Sunset at 7:22

 

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Way Points: Psalm 2:12

Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in The Way, For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! 

Psalm 2:12   NASU

The very first Psalm ends with this warning, YHVH knows The Way of the righteous, all other ways lead to destruction (will perish). Psalm 1:6 Now in Psalm 2 we see the contrast between politicians that we can see with our eyes and the unseen throne of Adonai, the Lord, who laughs, scoffs and speaks to them in anger.

The next group is the people who put their trust in the Son of the Most High. The politicians and tyrants we can see make life miserable but the king of our heart who we know by faith (‘amen) strengthens us to stand against His enemies on earth.

The Psalm ends with our Way Point, and it is rather strange to our eyes. It is possible to perish in The Way? How does that happen? The clue is in “Do homage …” or “kiss” (KJ) The Son. We are to walk with our eyes on Y’shua. It is too easy to get lost in the rules of the road, the Torah. But the Torah has been made flesh and we are to follow Him. He makes the Torah that we read alive, he fills us with the breath (the Spirit) of God so that we are alive to Him, able to stay on The Way even in the times that David calls “walking in the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23)

Do homage-kiss the son, an action that cannot be done from a distance or to a stranger. Take refuge in him. You know the news of the day, the wrath of God will soon be kindled, happiness will only be found then as it is now, walking in the shadow of our Messiah. The place of eternal safety in a wild world.

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Way Points: Exodus 33:13 and The Cleft of the Rock

Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found favor in thy sight, show me now Thy Ways, that I may know thee and find favor in thy sight. Consider too that this nation is thy people.” And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  Exodus 33:13-14  RSV

Picture from https://www.blendspace.com/lessons/ZT4zpLIME1uHEw/split-rock-of-horeb

In the last Way Point, we left the people of Israel in a humble state. Just days after entering a covenant with YHVH, they were in gross violation of the terms of the covenant. They worshiped an image of an Egyptian god, calling it by the name of the Almighty. The LORD was ready to destroy them all, per the covenant agreement, and begin again with Moses. But for the glory of the name of YHVH, Moses pleaded with the Almighty to not destroy Israel. They would live with the consequence of their sin, but they would live. A Messiah would come to redeem them, to die the covenant death that they deserved. A humble people began to worship.

And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the door of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, every man at his tent door.  Exodus 33:10

Exodus 33: 12-33 Three thousand people had died by the Sword of Levi (Exodus 32:28), even more fell because of the plague of the LORD. So much death in such a short time! Moses had a question for the Almighty, “Who will go up with me?” (Exodus 33:12)

Moses basically said, You know me and have given me favor, I want to know You! I want to know Your Way. Who will go with Moses? The LORD would be his companion. How would Moses know the presence of the unseen God?

Show me your glory! Not the beauty of creation or the beauty of another soul, but show me YOUR Glory! (Exodus 33:18)

And YHVH said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you my name ‘YHVH‘; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.  But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for man shall not see me and live.”  And YHVH said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand upon the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”
Exodus 33:19-23

There, in the desert of what is now Saudi Arabia, Moses learned more about our God then I will ever know about him from a lifetime of study. From “the trailing edge” Moses saw the Almighty, the one I long to see! I study “The Way” to know him, but honestly, I study because I long to walk with him His Way.

Aaron Sans (Author not acquainted with) in a picture of the split Rock at Horeb in Saudi Arabia. Large enough for Moses to hide in “the cleft” while YHVH passed by. Because of the extensive water erosion in the Saudi desert, this rock is most famous as the probable artifact that Moses smacked (instead of touching) to provide water for the people and flocks of Israel. Picture from  http://www.arkdiscovery.com/mt__sinai_found.htm

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Way Points: Exodus 33:1 Who will face the LORD?

Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you in The Way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” Exodus 33:3  RSV

Who is on YHVH’s side? Aaron had let the people “cut loose” (something every collage kid seems to know about). They put up their pagan center-piece and had a party. YHVH was through with them. He was ready to destroy them all in the midst of the wilderness. But Moses interceded. He gave up greatness for himself and his children, not for the sake of the Sons of Israel, but for the sake of the Name of YHVH. Then Moses saw what YHVH sees. People who substitute what they are familiar with, the god of their slavery, for the God who set them free from that slavery.

Who is on YHVH’s side? Exodus 32:25-29. The morning after the people “cut loose” in revelery, Moses stood and asked, “Who is willing to face YHVH? (on the Lord’s side is added to the Hebrew). Who is willing to face YHVH? Not because we are pure of heart, but because we are willing to confess our sin.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.   1 John 1:8-9

The Son’s of Levi responded. They faced YHVH and lived. How they faced Him, what they said or did is kept private, between themselves and their LORD, all we know is that they faced Him. The rest of the camp did not face Him. After all, what did they do wrong? They just wanted to celebrate their freedom. They paid a lot of money (gold) to their priest, who said, “Here is your God who brought you out of Egypt” Why should YHVH care if they made an image they were fimlar with? After all, they called it by His name.

But what had God said to the people in Exodus 20?

And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am YHVH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

“You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;  you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD (YHVH) your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Exodus 20:1-7

Just in case you wonder if it was everyone who heard these instructions or if it was just Moses on the Mountain top, Exodus 20 goes on to say…

Now when all the people perceived the voices and the lightnings and the sound of the shofar and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled; and they stood afar off,  and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will hear; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.”  And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to prove you, and that the fear of him may be before your eyes, that you may not sin.” Exodus 20:18-20

The people knew what YHVH had said. More importantly, we know what the LORD has said. If you are an American citizen, you should know that schools were begun in New England, first by the Pilgrims, and later by the Puritans, not to give you a career and allow you to be a wealthy, independent person, but to teach you to read so that you can personally know what the Word of God says. You are accountable to the LORD.

Those who were willing to face the LORD (YHVH) were then sent to confront their brothers and friends “with their swords”. Three thousand were killed that day for the sin of the Golden Calf. Even after the camp had been clensed of those whose heart did not belong to YHVH, He still sent a plague among the people. Their party may not have seemed like a big deal to them, but that just showed how empty their heart was.

Who is willing to face the LORD? Does he still hold us to such a high standard in the age of Grace? Read the words of Y’shua’s (Jesus’) missionary, or Apostle.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.  If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a wrongdoer, or a mischief-maker;  yet if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God.  For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

“If the righteous man is scarcely saved, where will the impious and sinner appear?” (Proverbs 11:31 see 27-31)

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.   1 Peter 4:12-19

Peter heard Y’shua-Jesus say, The Way is hard that leads to life and there are only a few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 and Luke 13:24) But Beloved, the prize of this difficult Way is life! A life bought for you by the blood of the Son of God! Are you willing to face the LORD? Their sin was so huge that after Moses interceded for them, at high cost to himself and his own sons, YHVH was willing to give them what he had promised their grandfathers, the Land. But he said he would not go with them. He would send an angel to clear The Way but he would not go with them. If all they wanted was a good time, they could have their good time. Then they would die. But if they chose the LORD, they chose eternal life. What good is abundance? It cannot save your soul, but walking with God to eternal life, that is Joy beyond any party you will ever attend.

The Way (DEREK in Hebrew) is the journey with Elohiym

The Way (DEREK in Hebrew) is the journey with Elohiym

Who will face the LORD? When the people heard that they would still get the promised land but without God, it caused them to mourn. They removed their ornaments, all the bling that identified them. The passage goes on to say that the people began to Worship the LORD. I think that it was at this time that they also began to face YHVH. I do not believe you can worship if you have not first come to him to confess your sins. More on that later, but for today, God is asking you, What do you want? Do you want everything on earth that was promised to you, or do you want the LORD and everything in Heaven that comes with him…. who of you will face the LORD?

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