What is a tzitzit?

I was sharing with my #Periscope* devotion group #HOPEscope* about how I often use visual objects to keep me focused on God during the day, and during my prayer time.

This particular day we were discussing how he is our firm foundation.  I mentioned that HE is our Rock. The lyrics “On Christ the solid rock I stand” were playing in my head.  I showed them a rock I set out as I reminder of this truth. I mentioned the variety of other ways that a visual person, such as myself, can use items to represent truths and remind us of scripture.

Rocks represent the Christ who is the Rock on which I stand

Rocks represent the Christ who is the Rock on which I stand

Sometimes it takes something to pull our thoughts back to our Creator.  In my ministry I often leave the audience with a token, a book or a bookmark to help them remember what was shared. I’ve gotten emails from people  even years later who mention they still use the token to remind them of a particular truth.

For a visual person, images are extremely powerful in processing the world.  As a lover of Nature and the Creator, I often see the fingerprints of God where ever I look outside.  My heart longs for the sea constantly as I feel HIS presence so strongly there.  My connection to the Creator is both enhanced and strengthened by the visual.

God's thoughts of us outnumber the grains of Sand.  Psalm 139:17/18

God’s thoughts of us outnumber the grains of Sand.
Psalm 139:17/18

Today I was reading in Numbers 15:37-41

37 The Lord said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. 39 You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. 40 Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.”

Even God saw that HIS people needed tangible reminders of his commandments or his words.

These reminders were called tzitzit [tsiˈtsit] the Hebrew name for specially knotted ritual 
fringes, or tassels, worn in antiquity by Israelites and today by observant Jews and Samaritans.  They were a tangible reminder ordained by God.

A collection of nature photos and verses.

A collection of nature photos and verses.

Now these were the same people who saw the seas parted and manna fall from heaven.  They “experienced” first hand (not just read about) intense miracles and blessings from the very hand of God.  They were first and second generation evacuees from Egypt…and yet…they forgot.  They got sidetracked from God and what he required.

God created us. He knows how we think. He knows how we can be distracted like the Israelites.  The world is a busy and noisy place and it causes us to be sidetracked much like the Israelites were.  If distractions were prevalent  back then before electricity and social media…flash forward.

POP up ads lure people into situations that are unholy. We have beeps/whistles/passwords and codes.  We are forced to remember so much other information that often what  God speaks to us gets shoved out or put aside.  While I have seen Social Media used for good and to positive ends, there is no denying that it can become a huge time waster and massive distraction.

It is prudent that as believers we utilize whatever means possible to remember the

Gifts from the sea inspire me

Gifts from the sea inspire me

commandments and promises of God. Having tangible reminders visible helps pull our focus back to our Creator.  It might mean setting our phone alarm to remind us to pray or study the word, or putting a Post-it note on our computer.  I don’t see many of us sewing tassels to our clothes. The word of God doesn’t change though our visual reminders might.

 

 

Sea Glass reminds me  that God can take Trash and make into treasure.

Sea Glass reminds me that God can take Trash and make into treasure.

39 You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. 40 Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.”

The word consecration literally means “association with the sacred”.  I want to be associated with God how about you?

Next blog will be focusing on Prayer and Tangible ways we can stay focused or make it more meaningful!

POINT TO PONDER: What visual reminders speak to you about the awesomeness of God?

(*Periscope is app where my show #HOPEscope airs mornings after 7am and eves after 8pm I am over there at ” kissedbycreator “)

Earth Day – This is my Father’s World

This is my Father’s World.  Short and Sweet. 

Many people will be worshipping his Creations today and totally miss HIS hand in it all.  Take a moment to enjoy the age old hymn.  Read all the lyrics, they are not often sung.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry211yUrHRw

Lyrics by: Maltbie D. Babcock,

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears

All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought

Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;

His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,

The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;

In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;

He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget

That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:

Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,

And earth and Heav’n be one.

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.

I open my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”

This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,

The Beloved One, His Only Son,

Came—a pledge of deathless love. 

This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?

The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.

Happy Earth Day on this our Good Friday as well.

Blessings!

Who Hijacked my Jesus? Or Nature vs. Nurture

The other day I watched an amazing video of one of God’s best creations. It was a lovely black lab who “adopted” a litter of abandoned kittens and literally nursed them back to health. Remarkable feline and canine connected. I’ve pondered that change in species; the DNA differences, it’s a paradigm shift to see a dog nursing kittens and plucking them lovingly from danger.

That same day I watched a group of people in the name of my Jesus; taunt, mock and judge a grieving family at a military funeral in Washington D.C.

That is not what Jesus taught. If Jesus was still in human form would he link arms with that bashing, insulting “preacher” most definitely not. Did Jesus ever go to a funeral and taunt the grieving? Where is this example in scripture? It basically isn’t so how can they claim this action in the name of Jesus.

Last week I listened to someone extolling the virtues of an extra marital affair. She claimed the Lord brought this person into her life to make her happy; despite being married to her husband. Basically saying this “home wrecker” was an answer to prayer. Really? I looked for justification in the scriptures for extramarital relations and I couldn’t find it there either. Why was she giving Jesus the credit for this introduction? Can you picture it? Jesus saying to the Woman at the Well, “Oh yeah and here’s a number for another guy for you to check out despite your being married?

That is not what Jesus taught. Basically Jesus is being hijacked.

” For I am the Lord, I do not change’ Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” In like manner Hebrews 13:8 says: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

It would seem in order to lend credibility to our beliefs, passions and desires we hijack the Jesus from the scriptures and morph him into something that justifies behavior, attitudes or actions. We use Jesus as an endorsement for our thinking no matter how unscriptural it is.

While a dog can change its nurturing habits it can’t change its nature it is still a dog.

God often changes his nurturing habits. Sometimes he loves us with tough love, sometimes he blesses us beyond belief. His nature doesn’t ever change “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is a changeless God.

I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6)

The Bible speaks to his character and his nature. The Bible is also called the Living Word of God. God is changeless. So is his Word.

We run a huge risk at morphing Jesus to justify us. When we change the nature of God, we change his character which in turn pulls us from the TRUTH of the scriptures that govern our lives. We then are governing our lives by a truth that is only our own truth, not the Truth of the Bible. This path leads us to sin. Because not obeying God is basically disobedience which can only be described as sin.

Point to Ponder: Are you morphing Jesus to justify something in your life? Would that be something Jesus would join you in doing or thinking?

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