Fresh Start, Overcoming the impossible, success-in-the-new-year

2017, A Fresh Start


Better is the end of a matter…
How do you know what will become of your project or prayer or endeavor at it’s inception? Like a small squirmy fetus resembling any other small squirmy fetus of a multitude, do not despise small beginnings. As counseled in the scriptures via Zachariah, ‘for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.’

The prospects! The opportunities! The challenges! The catalytic course of life! That transcendent spark giving cells the ability to duplicate and eventually, to form into a functioning organism will reveal what that specific small beginning is to become… A tadpole? A finch? A python or alligator? A giraffe? A whale? A human with the possibility of becoming a royal member of God’s eternal household? Every painted masterpiece traverses the gap of creative thought to actuality when that fimageirst stroke from the paintbrush touches the canvas. And such a small beginning, at that! Even an infant can dab color onto a virgin surface.
An accidental splotch does not a masterpiece make.

One year concludes and we can look into the rear mirror of our journey vehicle to say either Well done or Oh, what have I done?! Either way, as the annual sun sets, the future’s blank canvas arises with hopes of a new day arriving. Our palette holds the old stuff from which we must extract our masterpiece but also, colorful additions to bring eternal purpose to our endeavor. Will you be a child prodigy or an obsolescent genius? Perhaps, the New Year will allow you to discover your small beginning has already progressed into a delightfully eternal production which only needs you to be not weary in well doing.

Ecc 7:8
Heb 12:2
Gal 3:26
Gal 6:9 or 2Thes 3:13

Victorian postcard from flickr/nova scotia archives

Sign of Revival

Harriet on the 20

Harriet Tubman; Congress will memorialize her on the twenty dollar bill. Free people everywhere may see this act as a wise conspiratorial move to either calm the riffraff or insight them, or quite possibly, to divide. I choose to believe that this decision was ultimately from God in answer to prayer. There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea! From 1Kgs 18:44, we might suppose that huge results are often seen as small beginnings.

From our shoes, the historic Harriet Tubman is like the North Star she reckoned from during her extralegal journeys. She died a hundred years ago and still, the philosophical are awed by her faith and action.

This generation and more specifically, our nation is in need of an seemingly insignificant sign on the horizon. Harriet Tubman on the $20 is it.

Though they did not perceive it at the time, hindsight reveals that the fleeing slaves were safe with gun tottin’ Miss Harriet as they traversed the landscape. She would have shot any escaping slave who gave in to second thoughts, trying to return to their old ways of slavery. That was the only reason she carried the weapon. Her threat, never challenged kept all involved safe from betrayal. So too, escaping into the shadow of God’s protective wings can be both reassuring and intimidating.

Hindsight will prove how very safe it is.

5 Year Plan, Strategy, Surviving the Greatest Depression

Hope is not a Strategy?

Recognizing the truth in this statement made by CB Glick about ongoing internal Israeli settlement conflicts, Hope is Not Strategy, I am triggered into thought. The point in her title speaks volumes beyond her conclusions.

If strategy is not made up of hope and hope is definitely not a strategy then is hope even important to strategy?

Strategy, I defined as a plan; more than a bare-bones idea but not as developed as an operation. It is the blueprint from which a plan operates.

What is hope? The scriptural definition of faith commences as things hoped for… So does ‘hoped for things’ initiate faith? Hope is essential to faith. Faith is birthed in hope. Without hope, faith will not form up. And yet, hope does not necessarily lead to faith even as simply hoping does not lead to strategy. Without hope neither faith nor strategy advance. Just as it is impossible to please God without faith, it is impossible to have faith or strategy without hope. Like the first step of a tottering child, hope advances; a first link in a chain which then continues to bind the process of faith, strategy or goals to completion.

The first Biblical translation of the word ‘hope’ is recorded when Naomi says to her daughters-in-law that there is none… no hope that either women can marry one of her future sons. Here, this Hebrew word literally means “cord”. First mentions are important! The first recorded use of this Hebrew word is found in Joshua when the spies give Rahab the harlot a way of escape from the inevitable overthrow of her city. “Bind this scarlet cord…” – Literally; bound by bright red expectation. All of our expectations, dreams, agendas, strategies and even faith are connected by cord, like an umbilical cord to life. The scarlet cord was Rahab’s strategy. There was no Plan B.

When I read Jewish history of Rahab’s surviving the supernatural defeat of her community, I think she must have felt like she was caught up dream-like in superstitious reality. The community was abuzz with fearful anticipation and emotional chaos; the leaders were scrambling to no avail. For Rahab, caught up in an atmosphere of despair, a window of opportunity was discovered. She began playing a part in a significant historic event rather than being an unwilling, unfortunate statistic… The city is to be razed and all the people and animals destroyed, as per the modus operandi of God’s armies taking her city, Jericho. God’s eternal purposes were proceeding and there was no pause button. The day of reckoning arrived and there was to be no more delay. The ungodly lifestyle of the inhabitants had reached a tipping point and it was to be judged by military defeat.

Let’s assume Rahab was a pragmatic woman. More than most, she knew a few things. Her home was like a lighthouse to gossipy travelers. Her dinner table was like a newsroom; her bed, a confession booth… Just saying.
With a little conniving, maybe I can survive the battle to set-up shop once again… She hopes.

Can the reader of history, conclude that she was a pious woman? Or honorable? Or even, honest? Absolutely, no. Assuming the opposite and in spite of her deficiency toward all things holy, we understand she acted in hope.

Well, not quite BINGO yet.
Still, hope was the first step in winning the initial prize – survival.

Rahab’s hope was apparently like no others at the moment. Her hope led to action and her action led to strategy. A plan began to form up. Not very logical and if these spies were as fickle and corrupt as the men of Jericho, her hope was groundless. Surely there was diversionary opportunity for her fears, doubts and experience to take another more rational course but at the first diversion, faith was added to her circumstance. The germination of faith in hope and then its ongoing contact point was the bright red cord.

Blood red expectation in spite of her sin. We have no way of even guessing at what took place in her heart and mind as her surreal experience came to a close when she and her family were led from the ruins of her old life and then, adopted into the Israeli clan.

Rahab’s story of hope is our story. Seriously. The world can be on the verge of crumbling about our ears and the so-called foundations under our feet giving way, and yet, our strategy can be one initiated by hope.

Hope is not strategy but without it, there is no plan. To survive life one must have a plan. To survive judgment one must have hope; to please God, one must have faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. New Testament letter to the Hebrews 11:1

Miracle Tutorial

Miracles Happen

From hope is defined as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Hope is anticipation, expectation and defined as a sort of life-line in several instances in Jewish scripture. The imagery is one of a cord like Rahab’s in anticipation of the Jewish spies keeping their promise if she kept hers – “tie the cord at your window.”

Hope allows trust in something or someone. It is an emotional binding in the mind by the hopeful. One end of the rope is bound to the request or need while the other is cast forth to find its anchoring place. Will it hold? Depends on who or where the cord end is fastened and not the actual substance of the request…

Now for the miracle!

Okay, so we take our cord of hope and we bind one end to our request. It’s a miracle needing petition. Now, kind of like a lasso throw the other end forward. You don’t need to be a cowboy to do this but are you tossing into the abyss or aiming toward the great universal good? Forget it! Recall, that there has to be some reality, even if otherworldly for the hope cord to attach to.

Mountain climbing has always puzzled me. Probably because heights are not my favorite thrill. Especially mysterious is the rope thrown up over the ledge lip and then the climber tugs a couple times before trusting his well-being to the unseen anchor. What?! Throwing hope forward is like that… the unseen attachment must be secure enough to hold your miracle. Once you’ve decided that it is, a flashpoint for faith is established. Supernatural faith transcends the spiritual to the actual – producing the miracle.

Miracles happen.
This short tutorial is one sure fire miracle method. This isn’t for the perfect person who has never lied, stolen or acted out immorally… (Remember Rahab the prostitute?) There is no bones about it though, bitterness or unforgiveness or unresolved anger will undermine any miracle before it’s conception. The only solution I know for getting free of any of those toxic emotions is repentance. For example, in the history of the Jews, we read about God repenting of actions or intentions He had. He changed His mind. Repentance means one changes one’s mind about said behavior, thought or intent… like heartfelt regret. 

Maybe the first miracle you need is a change of heart?