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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Way Points: Exodus 32:8 with 1 Corinthians 10

they have turned aside quickly out of The Way which I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'”
Exodus 32:8  RSV

For some time now I have sharing light little devotions on The Way. It started with Genesis 3:24

YHVH drove out Adam; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard The Way to the tree of life.

It was sin that began the journey, it is sin that will take us off course. YHVH (the LORD) is very specific about righteousness and what sin is. Aaron knew, “There will be no other gods in my face (before me)”. He was their priest, yet he made an Egyptian image for the people to worship.

When I was a young believer, we would justify christmas and easter. We knew they were pagan holidays but believed that they had been taken over for Christ. I had no explination for halloween not being taken for Christ. It seemed that halloween was one taken for the devil. I would foolishly argue that we should take it for Christ as well.

No where in Scripture are we commanded to take pagan holidays for the glory of the Almighty. Find me one place. In all my years of study I have never once seen that concept anywhere except inside the church. Aaron was no different then we are. He “Christianized” the image of the idols he was familiar with in Egypt. I’m sure that in Egypt the Sons of Israel had fond family traditions and memories centered on pagan practices. But those religious practices were not The Way of YHVH who rescued them from slavery to freedom.

I ALWAYS hear people tell me, “God knows my heart,” He knows that I love him, he knows that it is the baby Jesus that I am worshipping when I set up a christmas tree and buy gifts for my friends and family. I always wonder, do you know God’s heart? If you did I believe you would abandon your pagan “christ child” and easter celebrations in the blink of an eye and learn to keep the appointments (feasts) of YHVH. They are no different to the Almighty then the Golden Calf worship of Israel.

Paul said,

Now these things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did.  Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to dance.”  We must not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 1 Corinthians 10:6-8

Paul is speaking of today’s Way Point.

Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols.  I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?  Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.  Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar?  What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?  No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons.  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.  Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? 1 Corinthians 10: 14-22

Paul goes on to say that demons have no power over us. What ever we do, we should do with thanksgiving to Messiah, but for the world, the souls that we are living The Way before, whom we share the Word of God with, we should be careful to decline anything that is offered in a pagan way, such as food.

Joshua is famous for saying,

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.  And if you be unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:14-15

Put away your Santa Clause and your Easter basket. He has shown you what is good and what he wants from you (Micah 6:8) Our passage today was Exodus chapter 32. You read of Israel who turned aside from The Way to worship the calf. They looked back to what had made them happy in the past, even though it was part of their slavery. The Almighty asks us to Walk in The Way that he has in Scripture. Choose.

Just for fun… if you made it this far in the post, here is a video from Jim and Penny Cadwell that includes what is left of the original alter to the Golden Calf. (an oldie, but hang in there, it is a goodie!) Pop some corn and enjoy the movie.

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When Broccoli Volunteers

Does this look like lettuce and spinach to you???

Does this look like lettuce and spinach to you???

Not so long ago Ray built a new box for my greenhouse. I immediately planted it with radishes, spinach, both Fordhook and a pretty red, a spicy mescalin mix and some baby lettuces. They have already sprouted! But why are there so many radishes when I only planted a single row of well spaced radish?

Then it hit me, this isn’t salad.

See all the "speckles" in this box? It isn't vermiculite, it is broccoli.

See all the “speckles” in this box? It isn’t vermiculite, it is broccoli.

After drilling Farmer Ray on where he got the soil to fill the new box, I discovered what I already knew. The soil came from the box that was re-purposed for the green house. Guess what it was chock full of last year? Broccoli… four different kinds of broccoli, broccoli for every season! In September, when I went back to school, the broccoli all went to seed…. in the box it was planted in.  I’m going to be laughing about this for the rest of March. Surprise! (Hope it transplants easily)

An early red, a late red and a really late golden raspberry. Not sure which is which.

An early red, a late red and a really late golden raspberry. Not sure which is which.

It has been so nice in Western Washington, Ray has been working on other projects. Among them was finally moving three raspberries that had been growing in a giant plastic pot for the last four years, into the ground. The space back here was a mess, the canes were starting to grow out the bottom of the pot, there was a ratty looking flower that the people before us planted and piles of stuff (an old potato planter that used to look nice, some comfrey that got away from us and a left-over mound of wood chips)  It honestly looks a lot better back here. I suspect the comfrey will be back.

Not as pretty as grandma or mom made, but it does go down easy (I licked the spoon)

Not as pretty as grandma or mom made, but it does go down easy (I licked the spoon)

Did you know that Saturday is Pi day (3-14-15)?  My Junior-High class is celebrating on Friday, so I came home and baked a lemon meringue on a graham cracker crust. Thanks Chris for the lemons! I have enough lemons left to make one more for Sabbath (the actual Pi day) But that one will have a lemon-lavender curd for the filling! Yum.  Today in Everett: The day started out as if it wanted to rain, but by the time school was out we had sweet, clean, bright sky. 66/43, The Underground is saying 71 degrees tomorrow (Friday, 3/13) No precipitation. Sunrise at 7:28 this morning, it will set at 7:09 to a waning (Worm) moon, giving us 11 hours and 19 minutes of a perfect day.

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Way Points; Exodus 23:20 with John 14:1-7

“Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on The Way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared. 

Exodus 23:20  RSV

I sit up and pay attention when I see the word “Behold”. For me it is a flag word, meaning when the Word says “behold” I should pay closer attention. Most of the time Scripture speaks to us on a physical level because we live in a physical world. But when the Almighty starts a sentence with “behold” I think that he is about to open a window into heaven to tell me something I cannot grasp with my physical senses.

Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on The Way, and to bring you to the place which I have prepared. The passage continues…

Give heed to him and hearken to his voice, do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him.  “But if you hearken attentively to his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.  Exodus 23:21-22 RSV

To “heed” is to listen with full intention of obedience (Take a look at Matthew 17: 2-6!). Chapter 23 of Exodus speaks of the Sabbath Day, of the appointments (feasts) that the Almighty has said he wants to meet with us (December 25th and Easter are not one the list of appointments, I’m jus sayen). The Almighty has not demanded that we “know” but that we “heed”. We learn a little at a time. We perfect our skill by practice rather then memorization (though memorization is important!). When you are in The Word, heed it, listen with full intention of obedience.

A quick note on the angel, Y’shua our Salvation, not pardoning our transgressions. He did not pardon, he paid for our transgressions of Torah.

“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know The Way where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know The Way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am The Way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.”    John 14:1-7 RSV

Y’shua is called Jesus in English. I’m not sure why. To believe is what we say in English, it is a long and winding path from English back to Greek, from Hebrew, so I will give you a short-cut. To believe is to “amen” to stand firm on Scripture. We amen-believe that the Almighty is exactly who he says that he is in Scripture. Our relationship to the Almighty is laid out for us in Scripture. We amen-stand firm on who the Almighty says he is in the Word, we do the same with Y’shua.

Olympic National Park in Washington.

Olympic National Park in Washington.

Just as was promised in the Exodus, Y’shua our Salvation promises in the Gospel of John, He goes before us to prepare a place for us. He is The Way to the place, he is The Truth, the Word of God that we live by, he is The Life that we live on The Way. Pay attention today as you walk (HALAK – Hebrew for how we live as we are on The Way because Y’shua is walking with us by the gentle guidance of his Spirit, the breath that makes his Word alive.

 

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