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 “)

Brains, Woodpeckers and El Roi

The “Brain” that’s what she’s called at school.  She started public school in 7th grade and maintained a perfect streak of 4.0’s. The one everyone says looks like me. But oh’ she’s so much smarter than I ever was. The brain.

The brain contains roughly 15–33 billion neurons, perhaps more, depending on gender and age, linked with up to 10,000 synaptic connections each. The blood vessels in the brain would reach a distance of 100,000 miles, or four rotations around the earth, if they were stretched flat! God created it to be the command center of our bodies. When it’s healthy our potential is amazing.

So when my 4.0 student saw her less than stellar final grades, she began forgetting things, her moods changed and even the simplest tasks became frustrating we knew something was wrong. She was plagued by constant headaches and began to sleep 17 hours a day. 

Diagnosis: Concussion.

Our state-ranked swimmer, equestrian enthusiast, and avid reader was sidelined. No activity at all, no books, music, TV, or computer.  Her photography pursuits were even thwarted because her brain couldn’t send the signals to the finger fast enough to get the shot.

This invisible culprit – concussion, was due to a fall from a chair in school 10 days prior. Her brain, all 2.87 lbs of it had violently shifted in her skull causing her cells to weaken.  Undiagnosed for 10 days, she rode horses, roller coasters, trained and competed in swimming events shocking her brain even further. We began to wonder about Woodpeckers.  Seriously.

The Pileated Woodpecker whacks a tree or our deck with such velocity that it can wake up a sleeping human. I found that woodpeckers have an enlarged brain case, so the brain sits above the level of direct hammering impact. The skull’s frontal bones – together with a set of muscles at the bill’s base – act as a shock absorber. Again, God’s perfect plan, human heads however, were not made to bounce off the school floor.

To look at her, you can’t tell anything is wrong. But living with her is another story. Simple tasks frustrated her, she couldn’t color for 5 minutes without getting a headache.  She would rely on her family as her memory.  “Did I know that?” she would say over and over. She would walk into a room with a blank stare forgetting why she was there. We’d joke she was learning sympathy for her 40something mom.

Sound, lights, riding in a car all caused pain. My active child became a slave to her invisible injury and her family held hostage as spectators.  I thanked God it was temporary.  He was the only one who could truly see.  I took comfort in El Roi (EL raw – EE) ‘the God who sees me’.

In Genesis the story of Hagar is told.  She was an Egyptian slave who connected with her creator in the desert and called him El Roi ‘the God who sees me’. That is the only mention of that name.  She had been stranded in the desert with no water. She laid her son under a bush and moved away so she wouldn’t have to watch him die.  God not only heard the baby cry but provided them with water and their lives were spared.

Hannah looked normal. At swim meets people would question why she wasn’t swimming.  Only El Roi could see her bruised brain.  Only El Roi? The One who created it. Master physician and healer.

When you are dealing with a secret struggle that others can’t see – take comfort in El Roi “the God who sees me”.  When you are accused or attacked know that El Roi, the only one who matters, sees and knows your struggle.  Just because a struggle or wound is on the inside the impact can still be devastating.  And like there is pain in the unseen, there is power in the unseen, El Roi.

Point to Ponder:  Is there a secret struggle in your life?  What do you need to bring to El Roi?  What can you turn over to El Roi and find peace in knowing that He is “The God who sees me”.

PS: Hannah is getting better every day. She is still not swimming, riding or running, but her headaches are fewer, her smile more abundant and her memories are coming back. Continued prayers are welcome.

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