Paul, the Jewish Bubbe?

Philemon   #NTin2018

October 10, 2018 Rebekkah Avraham The epistle of Philemon, have you read it yet? I am guilty of breezing through it, not stopping to find anything from the Almighty in it. Deeper thinkers then I have asked, why is the Epistle to Philemon even in the canon? I think I know why… but back to the devotional study for today.

The great apostle, Paul, had seen the Almighty at work in every possible circumstance through out his years as an ambassador of the Anointing (Christ). Prison, shipwreck, snake-bite, even numerous contracts made by enemies to kill him, he had survived it all through faith in the One who stepped into his life on the Damascus Road. He is a prisoner again (Philem vs 1, “Paul, a prisoner…”) In His letter to Philemon he talks of faith and of the fellowship of prayer, but every time I read this epistle, I think that I see hints of manipulation to get the outcome he wants. Honestly, as a world class manipulator, I see it in this epistle which is why I do not spend much time in this little book of the Bible. I don’t like seeing hints of what I do not like about myself in the Scripture. God has opened my heart today, to see that it isn’t a manipulation, but a message of the heart to heart.

October 10, 2018 PAUSE - CAFe Right or wrong, Philemon owned slaves. One of them was a young man named Onesimus, a run-away slave. I imagine that papers had been filed with the proper authorities and that Onesimus was a wanted man. In my mind, I imagine that one day, there is a knock on Philemon’s door, by a man with a letter addressed to Philemon, two other believers and his congregation in general. The letter is from the beloved Paul, but the man delivering the letter was the run-away slave, Onesimus. Despite all the other addressees, the letter is to Philemon.

 For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother. Philem 1:7

I’ve tried to imagine something that might be of as much value to me as a human soul in bondage to Philemon. I want to understand the dilemma this letter represents. What if someone I knew robbed my retirement account, drained it dry, denying me the comfort I have saved for my old age. I would file my case with the authorities, perhaps I would hire legal assistance and an investigator to help me get back what is mine. Knowing who robbed me, I might tell everyone I knew to be on the look-out for this person… then, one day, he shows up at my front door with a letter in hand from a dear friend who is a missionary detained in a Iranian prison for sharing his faith. My rage for the theft would collide with my joy of hearing from someone I pray diligently for. That is as close as I can come to understanding this note.

Paul knew what a powerful leader Philemon was in his church. He knew of his ministry to the very hearts of the Saints. He does not judge him for owning slaves any more then men might judge me for putting my faith in money instead of God for my retirement.

I have sent him back to you in person, that is, sending my very heart,  Philem 1:12

Have you ever been asked to forgive someone that you have every right to hate? Someone who has robbed you of something personal? Maybe you have. Were you then asked to love that person as your trusted brother? I suspect that is what Paul was asking Philemon to do. Trust God, who gave his only begotten Son for your Salvation, you who deserve all the wrath God is able to give, and who has a legal right to see that you repay everything… because to God we are Onesimus, not Philemon (Matthew 18:23-35). We owe a debt to the Almighty that we can NEVER repay. Whatever Onesimus stole from Philemon was nothing in comparison to what God forgave Philemon for, but sometimes it is difficult to see because what we have been robbed of seems huge to us. We have a legal right to have the perpetrator destroyed for what he did to us… but God.

If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me. But if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge that to my account; I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand, I will repay it (not to mention to you that you owe to me even your own self as well). Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.    Philem 1:17-20

What has been taken from you, crushing your heart? Do you know that you have crushed the heart of God, but he still sent His only begotten Son to pay for the very sin you committed against him? Whatever it is that is that you have a legal right to hold against someone else, does not measure up to what you owe God and could never repay if he did not send his dearly beloved Son to pay it for you. Have you given your life to Christ? He gave his for you.

Deb October 10, 2018 Debs in Everett, WA… who knows the rest of the story. Obviously, Philemon forgave Onesimus. That could be the end of this story, but we still might wonder, why is this very personal letter in the canon (collection) of scripture? I would direct your question to the man who eventually collected all of the epistles of Paul that we now have in our New Testament. The bishop of the great city of Ephesus took it upon himself to collect and preserve every single letter of Paul during the early days of the church. His collection of Paul’s letters, his gift of love to future Christians, is why we have the life changing letter to the Romans, the amazing, history changing letter to the Hebrews, personal letters to Timothy, Titus, and Jude. He is the man who saved two of the letters to the Corinthians and the letters to the Galatians in the furthest corners of the Roman Kingdom. He saved all of them to add to the Gospels, to the book of Acts and the writings of the Apostle John. Letters so important to the church that he knew not to let them be lost to history as the 3rd epistle to the Corinthians was, or as the Hebrew text of Matthew. The Bishop of Ephesus’ name was Onesimus, and the letter he hand delivered to Phelimon was as precious to him as the book of, say Ephesians, is to me. It was from Paul, his father in the faith (Philem 1:10) Now you know.

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By His loving enabling, I trust.

October 9, 2018 Constance BurgerLong before morning light had penetrated the darkness of the ebbing night, Anne Graham Lotz was on my heart. I wanted to pray for her healing. I like to pray scripture when I pray for souls, but oddly enough, instead of scripture, all that came to me was sadness that she does not have her husband or parents to care for her in her time of need.

What? No one to care for her? That did not come from the throne of grace. Repenting of that thought, some of the simple, early scriptures I’ve treasured in my heart sprang to mind, and after too quick of a prayer, I faded back into sleep.

From my desk, I casually read Amy Carmichael and was warm with the fire of the Spirit, knowing that today’s passage was the direction for my prayers, not just for a famous woman I’ve never met, though she has touched my life, but for my-self and so many others that I love. (from Edges of His Ways, October 9)

1 John 4. 16 : (Rotherham) We have come to understand and to trust the love which God hath in us.

“I have been thinking much of this translation. We can never fully understand that love, but we can begin to understand it even here and now and as we understand, we trust. This means that we trust all that the love of God does; all He gives and all He does not give; all He says, and all He does not say.

To it all we say, by His loving enabling, I trust. Let us be content with our Lord’s will, and tell Him so, and not disappoint Him by wishing for anything He does not give. The more we understand His love, the more we trust. 

I am 61 years old. I was born-again when I was 21 years old. Forty years in the faith and I still have so much to learn about love and The Way of the cross. When I have strength because of health and plenty to eat, I have no call to consider the love of YHVH. But when I am weak, from anything, while it seems my friends are walking in strength, climbing mountains, caring for grandchildren (and staying young), getting together for coffee, what ever, those are the times that I wonder if perhaps I have lost The Way of the Cross and failed the Almighty in some way, causing Him to withhold love from me… as if weakness is a symptom of not being loved, or that God loves like a parent who rewards or shows disappointment by dispensing or withholding love. That is not my Abba!

October 9, 2018 PAUSE - CAFe So I pray for God’s beloved Anne, and the many others on my heart, that we know first and foremost, the Love of God. And in knowing that love, that we trust.

Debs in Everett, WA …remembering to Thank Him “in all things and for all things!” Because He is Love.

(and thanks to Constance Berger for the beautiful artwork)

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That the word of God not be discredited

October 8, 2018 Jenny e il Piccolo Some mornings things come together in unexpected ways. I set out to seek my Lord in the 2nd chapter of Titus, a chapter of lists. Before starting, I read today’s thought from Sarah Hornsby’s book, “At The NAME of JESUS

Jesus is a LIVING STONE

from 1 Peter 2:4-5 …come to Him, the living stone who was rejected by people but was chosen and precious in God’s sight, you, too, as living stones, are building yourselves up into a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, so that you may offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus, the Messiah.

In Titus chapter 2 Paul expands on his teaching that we who believe must speak “sound” words.

Sound” is translated from the Greek word hugiaino G5198 which has to do with “hygiene” in English. To me it means that I have been made clean in Y’shua-Jesus, I now have a responsibility to live a clean life… to practice spiritual hygiene while walking on this earth. Sound is to be true (straight-edge), pure and uncorrupted in doctrine. To be “sound” is to be strong and free from what makes me weak.

So Paul gives lists to his dear Titus, his true child in the faith. There are lists for older men, older women, the young women who are being taught by the older women, young men and for bond-slaves like Paul. These lists are the bare bones of a believers conduct while “in the world but not of it.” (see John 17:16-17) As people chosen by the Almighty, we have access to the throne of YHVH (the LORD) by the blood of Y’shua-Jesus. This means we have God’s ear, his wealth, his loving care, because we have become his own children! But it seems as if we do not live in that holy realm… yet.

How then shall we live? We are not what we were, good or bad, we are now new creatures. Sometimes we need a “cheat sheet” as we learn how to live as God’s children. The old way of surviving has been embraced in such a way as to often confuse us in our new life. Paul gave Titus lists of basic characteristics of believers.

Older Women (my list)

  • show reverence to God in your behavior
  • not gossiping
  • not being drunks
  • teachers (to younger woman) of what is good

Is it possible for me to keep that list as a practice of self-control? Maybe on a good day. Perhaps if it is OK to live a reverent life so that others see me as a respectable woman; but Paul says to show “reverence to GOD in my behavior.

Faith means that I have access to the Almighty in Jesus Name. What does it mean for me to come face to face with YHVH (the LORD)? How might I act before Him? Personally? I come to Him as Esther, putting on my very best, desiring to be pleasing in His eyes, coming to Him in fear, waiting for His touch of favor. That is the reverence my beloved is looking for in a woman like me, an Older Woman. When I have that attitude clear in my heart, I feel an immediate sting if gossip slips from my lips or into my mind, or if I am drinking to excess. The more I live in prayer as a warrior-queen, in the presence of God by the blood that it cost Y’shua to free me from my slavery to sin, the more I live for YHVA. Someday I will see clearly, but for now I live as if seeing his reflection everywhere. (see 1 Corinthians 13:12) But how?

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.   Matthew 6:33 ESV

It is not bad to attempt to live a clean life as long as you know that whatever we do is just something dirty we hope to give as a gift to the One who gave His only begotten Son for our salvation. (Isaiah 64:6) It is not wrong to teach our children and students to conform to the Way of Righteousness as long as we do not deceive our-self or our children to believe that this is enough, that all God wants is that we act as if religion and the religious way of talking, dressing and acting are enough to please God. Only the blood of Y’shua is enough for God. Christian life is not about embracing a lifestyle with pride and group-think. It is about becoming “Living Stones” being a single, living stone, a brick used to build a temple worthy of occupation by Almighty God. Yet, in God’s eyes, we are the One perfect stone needed in the one perfect placement where He wants us. We are as the pearl of great price that cost him everything. (Matthew 13:45-46)  An awesome love! It starts by talking to him, coming before him by faith in the Living Stone!

November 22, 2017 Psalm 82The one and only way to not “discredit” the Word of God is to not make it a check list, but to die to our self in Y’shua, to live in Him who is the Living Word, the stone that softens our heart!

Hallelujah!

Debs in Everett, Washington, beautiful in His eyes, because of what He has done in my heart! October 8,2018

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Homemade Antibiotic

On a sleepless night, I stumbled across this gem. I often use Golden-milk to overcome the flu… or are they colds? The combination of turmeric, pepper (black) and garlic. has proven to be healing and gives me relief from symptoms. This looks to do the same, as well as being a preventative.

Thanks “Magical Hoof” for sharing.

Recipe and Tips from Magical Hoof…

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz /700 ml apple cider vinegar (always use organic)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 fresh peppers, the hottest you can find (be careful with the cleaning – wear gloves!!!)
  • ¼ cup grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp grated horseradish
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder or 2 pieces of turmeric root

Preparation: More information in the video.

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the vinegar. Transfer the mixture to a Mason jar. Pour in some apple cider vinegar and fill it to the top. It is best if 2/3 of the jar consist of dry ingredients, and fill in the rest with vinegar.
  2. Close well and shake.
  3. Keep the jar in a cool and dry place for 2 weeks. Shake well several times a day.
  4. After 14 days, squeeze well and strain the liquid through a plastic strain. For better results put a gauze over it. Squeeze well so the whole juice comes out. Use the rest of the dry mixture when cooking.

Your master tonic is ready for use. You do not need to keep the tonic in your fridge. It will last for long.

Extra Tip: You can also use it in the kitchen – mix it with some olive oil and use it as a salad dressing or in your stews.

Dosing: Caution: The flavor is very strong and hot!

Extra Tip: Eat a slice of orange, lemon or lime after you take the tonic to ease the burning sensation and heat.

Gargle and swallow. Do not dilute it in water as it will reduce the effect. Take 1 tablespoon every day to strengthen the immune system and fight cold. Increase the amount every day until you reach a dose of 1 small glass per day (the size of a liquor glass).

If you struggle against more serious disease or infection, take 1 tablespoon of the tonic 5-6 times a day. It is safe for pregnant women and children (use small doses!) because the ingredients are all-natural and contain no toxins.

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Falling Away from the Faith

1 Timothy chapter 4; #NTin2018

ABC cup September 2018 What is faith and how might we fall away from it?

the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, (by) paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons   1 Timothy 4 :1

How can faith be fallen away from? If faith is the legal right to come to the throne of Almighty God by the blood of Y’shua-Jesus, to make our requests known, to receive the power to do His will, then to fall away from the faith must mean that we become religious or emotional, working to be good enough to get (or give) what we want. Every example of falling away from the faith that I know of, happens when we listen to the seduction of the great deceiver or one of his many imps. “Did God really say…” This line worked on Eve. She stopped depending on YHVH when the world was still fresh, and made her own decision based on her senses. It happens to me if I listen to my heart…

The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?   Jeremiah 17:9

Faith is a funny thing. Faith is what connects us to the Spirit realm of Almighty God, but I know that we can easily think that what affects our emotions or the observation of the discipline of religion might be the right way to live. You might even call it faith. But if we have faith, then we know that our emotions cannot lead us, neither can religious discipline. Religion and emotion may follow faith, but they never lead. We have the privilege (do not miss it… privilege!) of coming right to the throne of the Almighty, God of loving-kindness (grace). We also have an enemy, a deceiver, who would have us follow our own heart and be tricked into thinking that we follow God by following our heart.

Are you tempted by hunger, for food, justice, health or any other basic need? The devil tempted Y’shua to prove that God cared about Him when he was hungry after fasting, after dedicating the previous forty days to giving up food (fasting) to be empowered by God. Satan must have thought, “this should be easy” Turn these stones into bread.

What was the answer? Life is not by bread but by every word of God. Matthew 4:4

Then, it was, You shall worship YHVH your God and serve Him only, (Matt 4:8) and Do not put YHVH to a test (Matt 4:12)

Paul spoke to Timothy, the young teacher, “give attention to reading (Scripture), to exhortation and teaching.Study the Bible. It is the one rock solid physical communication that we have in this world. It is God’s will. Ask God, how, in Y’shua-Jesus name, can I live the word? He will tell you… so will the enemy of souls if you depend upon your emotions or religion to guide you instead of insisting that they be subject to the Word of God.

Your study does not need to be grand. It doesn’t even need to take your whole day, though there is deep delight in a day of Bible study! But read the word, acknowledge that it is YHVH speaking to you. Thank him, praise him (praise is telling God that you worship him or love him for an attribute you find in your study.) Let the Spirit speak to you. Be ready to respond. If you feel unsure, submit what you think you know to other strong people of faith, but ask God first. He amazes me with answers! Then, watch what God will do with your simple faith, it will be victory that overcomes the world! (1 John 5:4)

How do you not fall away from the faith? Give your primary attention to the Word of God, through the blood of Jesus, that is our plumb line against which everything else will be measured.

1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;
2 For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in YHVH with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear YHVH and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
9 Honor the LORD from your wealth and from the first of all your produce;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.
11 My son, do not reject the discipline of YHVH or loathe His reproof,
12 For whom YHVH loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. 

Proverbs 3:1-12 with attention on verses 5 and 6  nasu

Deb September 18 2018 Debs in Everett, Washington …praising God because He is GOOD, and all He creates is good when received with the Word of God and Prayer.

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Celebrating Women of Faith

September 18, 2018 First, choose who you will serve, then jump in to it.

Have you ever wondered if Saint Paul (the man, not the city) was calling women to be something they resent? Something plastic. Maybe that was just me. I’ve discovered that life as a woman of faith is not about how much or how little makeup we wear, not about pants verses skirts or hairstyles. Those may be hints about our inner life, but they follow faith, not define it.

Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 
1 Timothy 3:11 nasu

I have a confession to make, I used to despise the Proverbs 31 woman. Impossible, a slap in the face every Mothers Day. But, the Almighty pushed me into a Hebrew word study of her. It changed my outlook for the rest of my life. I did a study of her in my Jr Hi Ladies devotions class and on line at my old blog. Life changing.  I suspect that when Paul wrote this line to Timothy, who was raised by two women, he may have been giving the Proverbs 31 cliff notes to his “true son in the faith.” Timothy already knew what a believing woman was.

Dignified: G4586 is a word describing a woman of heavenly citizenship, a believer. This is first and foremost. Equal to her husband in the Almighty’s eyes. This is what makes her majestic. She attracts others to herself rather then looking down on those who dress differently then herself.

Temperate: G3524 A clear thinker, self-controlled when drinking wine.

Faithful: G4103 A woman of the Word, trustworthy, and, as Solomon’s mother said, The heart of her husband has confidence in her.

Deb September 18 2018 A woman does not transform into a woman of faith by changing her clothes. That may be the religious way, but it isn’t The Way of faith. It comes from an inner change that is only possible when you have been born again. Hallelujah!

It is like Torah, not something you start doing, but something written on the heart. Have you asked Y’shua-Jesus into your heart? looks like he will be back soon.

Debs in Everett, WA #NTin2018 September 25, 1Timothy 3

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Baked German Pancakes

German Pancake

First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F

Then, stir together:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbs melted butter or oil
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Finally, stir in without over-mixing:

  • 1/2 cup flour

Butter a pie pan or cast iron skillet with 1 Tbs butter.

Pour the batter into the buttered pan, bake the pancake 12 to 18 minutes (mine took the whole 18 minutes.

Top with seasonal fruit and powdered sugar. Serve with syrup or honey on the side.


For most of my adult life I have seen recipes for German Pancakes but never tried them. Nanny Ash changed my mind. I watched her and one of the quads make a pan of German Pancakes on The Gardner Quad Squad (September 15, 2018) BAM! I had to search for directions! Score!

German Oven Pancake from The RECIPE CRITIC.

Yum! I am going to need a whole lot more practice! What do you suggest?

Debs …on a brisk September morning in Everett, WA (Happy birthday Mom!)

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