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Article, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Day 10 of 40 Days of Teshuvah

Signs Along The Way

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Pay attention to the signs

Along the paths you walk.

Some are smooth and pleasing,

others hard as rock.

 

Pay attention to the scenery.

While going along your way,

There are many, many signs,

speaking, as if to say.

 

Yes this is the way,

Or do not venture here.

Others seemingly shouting;

Run, take cover, danger is near.

 

While we must be able

To discern as we travel,

Wisdom first in the heart,

Into the mind it goes to unravel.

 

Thoughts locked down,

Unable to bend,

Will create a life,

That has to mend.

Teshuva

 

Take to the highway

Look for the sign,

Legal U Turn-

It’s been here all the time.

 

Teach my heart

Oh Lord to discern,

No more to hold on

How to unlearn.

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The ways of man

The road I followed,

Now seem barren, hard,

empty, shallow, and hollow.

 

Tutor my heart,

As I turn these pages,

Learning from The Law,

Prophets and Sages.

 

Searching and listening

Inspired word pouring in,

This is “The Way” and

And how to begin.

 

I’m following directions

Looking for the signs

“The Way” marked correction

good for the heart, changes the mind.

 

Lord, You have patiently waited

When I lagged sluggishly behind

Loving me even when

I was deaf, mute, and blind.

 

Grant to me new vision,

light shining on my path.

Seeing clearly now, Jesus,

in Your love, no fear of wrath.

 

Poem written by laurette laster © 2018

 

 

Activity is not necessarily productivity.

Many years ago I used to believe people who looked busy were accomplishing many things. I later realized this often isn’t the case at all. Often when people appear to be busy it is just that, an appearance. I thought about this while preparing the Teshuvah Devotional for today. The Pharisees looked the part but actually they were not producing the fruits of repentance. As a matter of fact we hear John the Baptist call them a brood of vipers. Vipers as we know are snakes. While the fruit John is speaking of here is something that can be produced, gathered and shared.

Teshuvah is a season of repentance and a time for introspection.

In the book of Matthew we read the story of John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness saying, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand: “ (Matthew 3:2) In these scriptures We are given a place in the crowd as John talks to the Pharisees, saying, “bear, therefore, fruits worthy of the reformation,” (Matthew 3:8 YLT). Young’s literal translation describes this passage using the words, bear and reformation. I like this translation because if we read between the lines or look beneath the surface, we can understand the meaning of this text and how it applies to us in our lives.

In order for something to be re-formed it is necessary to understand there was an original pattern. Somewhere the original has been changed or has been replaced with a counterfeit and is no longer recognizable when compared to the original. How else could we understand what reform is and what it should look like? Other translations say; to prove by the way you live or produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

The Good News Translations says, “But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”(Galatians 5:22). We are told this is the fruit of The Spirit. So the fruit produces fruits, which are evident in our lives and in the lives of others when true repentance is at work and growing.

We know that the Pharisees liked to prove their righteousness by their works and outward appearances of keeping the law. Yet, John is using a phrase that points to production and growing and seasons which if planted will yield a harvest.

We know that seasons are very important to our Father, and so is productivity. John is likening repentance to fruit. By using the metaphor of fruit, John is pointing out to us that there is tangible sweet evidence attached to true repentance. This evidence should show a change of heart that reproves and reforms our mind. John cautions the Pharisees not to rely on their religion. Religion can hinder and cut off relationship. We do not want to get lost in the traditions of men.

The message that John the Baptist preached was to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and to prepare the way for The Lord. We read in the gospel of John, that John the Baptist is called, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, saying, “Make straight the way of The Lord.” (John 1:23)

From this we surmise that John was teaching the only way to straighten things out, (pun intended), and prepare for the Lord, and avoid and leave crooked hard paths, is only through repentance. To turn (shuv) or return (Teshuvah) to the straightway from which we came.

Jesus began His ministry by preaching and saying, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17).

Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance,” (Luke 5:32).

To prepare our hearts and repent is to be ready to receive the blessings The Lord has planned for us. Repentance is a cleansing and clearing away of the road blocks that will make crooked ways straight. After we have done the work of repentance, the way becomes clear. We get back on the highways and off of back roads and gravel roads that have dangerous pot holes and usually do not have road signs.

When we are traveling we begin to look for signs along the way. We look for signs that say your destination is 187 miles ahead. Or maybe we see a sign that says destination exit 1 ¼ miles ahead. Today we have global positioning systems or GPS, that give us clear directions with voice commands telling us destination exit coming up in 2 miles, stay in the right 2 lanes.

Well, I know I want to be in the right lane and not miss my exit leading to my desired destination. I hear The Lord saying, “Blessings straight ahead repentance next exit.”

The Lord is not holding our sins against us. He has a clear path lined out for us with road signs all along the way. As we continue to travel His path and His will for our lives “The Way” is confirmed over and over to us. We see signs along the way that point us in the right direction so we can proceed on the path of peace. He gives us specific directions on how to prepare ourselves to meet with Him. He has an appointment set; I pray we don’t miss it.

Pray this prayer:

Oh Lord, I want to be on the straight path of peace with my life. I ask that you show me the signs along my way that allow me to be in the right place at the right time. I am tired of struggling with going my own way or unknown ways. I am going to be looking for the signs that I know You have placed in front of me. I am looking and watching for the signs that lead me in “The Way.” Lord Jesus, I want to bear good fruit and have a fruitful life. I want to go the way that You have planned for my life. I believe there is more to see than I am seeing. Open my eyes that I may see. Give me eyes that see and perceive, and ears that hear and understand what The Spirit is saying to me at this time during this season. Amen

He has prepared “The Way” and more over He is “The Way”, and He is The Truth and is The Life. He is Jesus and, He did it for you and for me. Repent and turn around.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling oh sinner come home.

Don’t miss this season.

Teshuvah, is my favorite time of the year.

God bless you and keep you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, and give you Shalom.

Today is the day.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

Article, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Day 9 of 40 Days of Teshuvah

excerpt from poem, About The Father’s Business

Stop all this nonsense

Stand still and see,

The salvation of The Lord

Offered only by Me.

 

 White unto harvest

The fields do gleam,

We have work to do and

I need a strong team!

 

With head bowed down

Repent, ask for My forgiveness,

Don’t you know it is time to be

about The Father’s business?

 

Poem written by laurette laster ©

Isaiah 55:6-7
seek the LORD while you may find Him. Call on Him now while He is near. (The King is in the Field) Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn (shoov) to The LORD that He may have mercy on them. Yes, return (Teshuvah) to our God, for He will forgive generously.

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Last year I was outside watering a flower bed when I noticed another flower bed that needed attention. The flower bed needing attention is full of Lilies and Irises. This flower bed also has three crape myrtle trees growing at the fence line. A few years ago while out weeding, I noticed a vine that had grown up into one of these crapes. This vine had grown up at the base of the tree and wrapped itself around the trunk of the tree. This tree had become ensnared by an unknown vine and was literally being choked and held back. The vine had grown up around the crape myrtle and was wrapping, and warping the tree. The scars, now nearly 4 years later, are almost unnoticeable. I had to cut the vines out of the tree, and the tree almost seemed to gasp as it was let go by the vine. The crape myrtle actually lifted up with a whishing sound and was able to stand up straight. I didn’t notice how bound the tree had been.  This vine was so concealed I hadn’t noticed it. This scene spoke volumes to me about becoming entangled with the cares of the world. The cares of the world will choke the life out of the word of God, that  has been spoken over our lives.

While working in the flower bed needing attention, I pulled up Johnson grass, small oak trees, and other weeds out of this bed. I even had to get my shovel and do some digging to remove and dig up what I believe was a bois de arc tree. The tree was about 10 inches tall and had a substantial root system in place that took some digging to get it out. None of these things I have mentioned  are deadly to the flowers on their own. But if the are left to grow they would eventually choke out the flowers and take over the bed, disallowing what is chosen and intended the needed room to grow.

We have seventeen, very large mature Oak Trees on our lot so we were not in need of more. This flower bed is set aside or consecrated for different plants. This bed was meticulously planted by a previous owner. Hmmmm- makes me think of the verse, we are not our own we were bought at a price. 1 Cor. 6:20

I have never heard anything good about Johnson grass nor have I ever heard of anyone who planted it. Actually what I have heard is this; kill it and get rid of it as quick as possible before it goes to seed. I looked online and discovered that Johnson grass is a perennial weed. One definition listed Johnson grass as a troublesome perennial grass weed, that reduces yield in corn, wheat, and other grains. What? Did I read that right? Reduces the yield of grains, what about that? In the bible there are two types of grain mentioned by our Lord. So Johnson grass weeds will hinder and reduce the  yield of wheat.  The two grains that our Lord Jesus makes mention of in the Bible is wheat and tare. Jesus goes on to explain to His disciples that the wheat are the children of the kingdom and the tare are the children of the wicked one. So I guess we could say that Johnson grass is from _ _ _ _. 🙂

As I was working in this flower bed, I remembered a saying about the month of Elul, ‘The King is in the Field’. This is said to occur once a year during this season. The king leaves his royal palace and comes to be near his citizens. It is a special time when everyone is welcome to approach the king. He visits the citizens of his kingdom personally. He is concerned and comes to check on their condition. The king wants to see firsthand how his citizens are, and let them know he cares. It is said, the king, takes special requests and grants special favor to every citizen who asks.

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As I worked in the bed I thought of how Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. He doesn’t condemn us or berate us, but He gently nudges at our hearts. This is how conviction works. His conviction is a warning to get our attention that some unwanted weeds are trying to grow in our flower bed or our heart. Weeds like apathy, laziness, unresolved feelings of rejection, or hidden anger, maybe even a little envy might have began to grow.  He is showing us what to uproot, dig out and dispose of. He wants us to be aware of what is choking out and reducing our yield. He is pointing out what we need to repent of and remove from our lives. This is why we do the work of Teshuvah or intercede and lead others.

The field is where we work, remember? Jesus said the fields are white unto harvest, but the laborers are few. We are to clear our hearts and get them ready so we can  be used only for the things God has planned for us. The things He has planned from the beginning. Jesus, is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He is immutable and changes not. He does not change His mind.

No matter what  issues we may have overlooked or the weeds we have allowed  to grow, we can do the work of uprooting them and pulling them up, simply by repenting. When we notice  these sprigs growing, we should stop and pull them up (repent) immediately. However it is easy in the busyness of life to overlook a few seeds that have become lodged in our hearts, during the year. Seeds like doubt, envy, apathy, anger, and others seeds, that have affected our fields and are trying to take root in our hearts. Isn’t it nice to have a set time each year to do an inventory and survey our fields which are our hearts?

Holy Spirit is helping us return, to Teshuvah to the Lord’s will. Holy Spirit  knows the desires that The Lord has  placed in our heart, and He is guiding us into all truth. I thought how this flower bed was absolutely dependent upon me to notice what was growing, and that this bed needed my help to recognize and remove the weeds. It doesn’t have the means on its own to recognize and cut off the life force that causes the weeds to grow. It was willing to let me do this work.  We have a lot in common with this flower bed. Left to our own devices we would not be able to discern or know what was growing in our hearts. We need the word of God which is alive, to teach us. We are totally dependent upon The LORD of the harvest, in order to discern what is growing. We must be able to answer this question, are we producing wheat or tare in our fields.

Isaiah 1:19 says if we be willing and obedient we shall eat the good of the land.
In the book 40 Days of Teshuvah, written by Perry Stone with some of Bill Clouds research, Perry tells a neat story about one of his friends. A friend of his, Pastor Bob Rogers from Louisville, KY once told Perry this story. After my father passed away, I saw him in a dream. He was giving me instructions about the ministry and had messages for me about what I had been praying about. As my father turned to leave he stopped and looked at me and said, “Bob, remember, August is the month of answered prayer.”

Since Teshuvah generally falls during the months of August and early September on the Gregorian calendar, this could be a very important nugget or truth. One that Pastor Bob Rogers was told about from heaven. Is the Lord attempting to remind us that His ministry began with repentance and then Him healing all who were oppressed.

There are seasons and cycles in God’s Kingdom. These are  The Lord’s Feasts, His Mo’edims, His Seasons and Appointed Times. And God says, these are ‘My Feast and Holy Convocations’ and they shall be unto you a statute forever.” Wow that is pretty plain to me.
The Lord wants to do a mighty work in our lives. The King is in the field; we do not want to miss our appointed time. Teshuvah is my favorite time of the year.

God bless you and keep you, and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

We know who our King is, He is Jesus. And we also know He has sent us Holy Spirit so we have access to the Father at all times.

Pray this prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I believe You have plans for my life that I am not walking in. I want to be prepared and equipped for my call. Show me Lord anything in my life that is choking out what You are trying to grow in my life. Teach me how to nurture the things of You.  Lord if I am neglecting anything that causes You grief, give me eyes that see what they are. Help me become more sensitive  Holy Spirit. As You nudge and tug on my heart, don’t let me miss it. Show me what is choking out my desire for you and what is robbing me of my time, my money, my energy and my happiness. I want to know the joy of being one with You. Amen

Teshuvah is from our rich Jewish heritage and roots. Tehsuvah is the 29 days of Elul, prior and leading up to the 10 Days of Awe, Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah. Yom Teruah is also called Feast of Trumpets. Blow the shofar to sound the alarm to get ready or be ready.

Chabad.org Based on the teachings of Lubavitcher Rebbe
In the latter respect, the month of Elul resembles the “holy” portions of the calendar. Elul is a haven in time, a “city of refuge” from the ravages of material life; a time to audit one’s spiritual accounts and assess the year gone by; a time to prepare for the “Days of Awe” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by repenting the failings of the past and resolving for the future; a time to increase in Torah study, prayer and charitable activities. Elul is the opportune time for all this because it is a month in which G d relates to us in a more open and compassionate manner than He does in the other months of the year. In the terminology of Kabbalah, it is a time when G d’s “Thirteen Attributes of Mercy” illuminate His relationship with us.
Regarding the month of Elul, however, there are no such restrictions from work. The transcendent activities of Elul are conducted amidst our workday lives in the field, shop or office.
The month of Elul, says Rabbi Schneur Zalman, is when the king is in the field.
The Field
Indeed, the field is the prototype employed by Torah law to define the “work” that distinguishes between the holy and mundane days of the calendar. The Talmudic passage which lists the types of work forbidden on Shabbat reads:
For eleven months of the year, our lives alternate between the field and the palace, between the “process of bread-making” of material life and the sublime moments in which we leave the field to enter into the royal presence. In the month of Elul, however, the king comes to the field.

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

Article, Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Day 8 of 40 Days of Teshuvah

Do Not Be Deceived

The word of God is sharp
and is able to discern.
And when you plug into its power,
it should change you, reprove what you did learn.

Deliverance comes from sorrow,
Of past failures and our wrongs.
It cannot be without repentance,
No matter how you cry and long.

For Esau sought with tears,
after believing to get something new,
And traded  away his birthright
In return for a simple bowl of stew!

Beware of no conviction,
As you sit with your crowd,
God has so much more to say;
His Voice so soft, yet booming loud.

excerpt from Do Not be Deceived poem written by laurette laster © 2018

What is Teshuvah? It is a set time, a mo’ed, a season, a holy convocation. Teshuvah is a kairos, leading up a propitious moment for decision or action. This is a set time to prepare our hearts for meeting our King. The Greek word kairos, literally means opportunity. It is a time to experience God. It is His appointed time to reveal His purposes in His plan. However the key to this opportunity is repentance.

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God could not identify Himself as an, all merciful, gracious, and slow to anger God, if He attempted to trick us or set us up. If God were looking to catch us off guard He would strike the moment we sinned or messed up. Isn’t it interesting how God woo’s us in and draws us into truth and repentance?

Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Just as seasons are put of God’s roadmap, Kingdom principles will remain intact as long as we are on this earth.

In Proverbs chapter 4 we are instructed to find wisdom. However it goes on to tell us that finding wisdom is not where we stop. No, when we find wisdom that is a road sign or a message that there is more and for us to look for more. We are instructed through Solomon’s teaching to discover and learn what to do with wisdom. This book goes on to say get wisdom and forget it NOT. Read Proverbs 4

2 Timothy 3:16-17, the apostle Paul declares to us that all scripture is God-breathed, and given by inspiration of God and it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Teshuvah isn’t Old Testament it is ‘The Covenant’ entrance back into the will of God for our life and the plans He has for us. 17) That the man or woman of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work. We cannot be carrying around fear, doubt, guilt, shame, unworthiness and think we can be equipped to do much more than survive. No we must repent and receives God’s forgiveness in Christ to be called perfect.

The New Testament wasn’t written when the apostle Paul was instructing Timothy. The New Testament was being written as it was being lived out. The apostle Paul was given the mysteries of Christ and the church, seeing and understanding and then teaching what was written in the Scriptures. How from the beginning this was the fulfillment of the Church in our Messiah, Jesus Christ. Do you know what Jesus preached first?

We see Jesus attending the festivals during His time on earth. He has fulfilled the first 4 feasts and will fulfill the 3 remaining feasts.

Jesus began His ministry preaching…………………Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. It begins with repentance to God.

 

Luke 15: 17-21- our Lord Jesus telling the parable of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15, clearly shows us what true return and repentance is to look like. To turn back and shoov, or return and do Teshuvah, is to see where you are, then come to your senses, admit to yourself and then take words (confession) and return to our Father. This is how we Teshuvah.

We realize our sins have been against heaven and The Father and not just random people. We realize we have been ‘self’ centered not God centered.

Then we can say to the Father; I have sinned against heaven and against You, this is Teshuvah. We are turning, RE turning to our true nature. We were created in the image and likeness of God!

 

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him, “The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

We know the rest of the story. There was a huge celebration and the son was given the garments of salvation. He was given the best robe, the signet ring and shoes for his feet. This scripture is talking about gentiles who are recognized and come back home.

In the bible when one of God’s people dies, it says we sleep, but when we are out of fellowship and break covenant with The Father the bible says we are dead. Oh the word of God calls this death.

I like the story of the prodigal because we know prior to the demanding his inheritance and leaving the father, he was his son. However when the relationship was severed by the son, the father states emphatically that his son was dead.

When the son takes words and returns to repent, the father says, for this my son was dead but now he is alive again; he was lost but now he is found. We see by reading this parable that the son was a son already who had been alive, and now after repenting to the father, he is alive again. He is now restored into right relationship with his father. And they were merry.

No matter how far off you are, or have been, it is never too late to come to your senses. Maybe you’re not lost or dead but longing for a deeper more intimate relation with God through Jesus and Holy Spirit. If you are feeling this draw it is because while you have been off The Father never quit looking for you and you can feel His gaze.

He said to himself. I will arise and go to my father and I will say unto him, Father I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants.

The King is in the Field

 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full at His wonderful face

And the things of earth with grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

 

Pray this prayer:

Heavenly Father, I have come to my senses and I am coming back home. I want to return home. Today I can feel You running toward me, to greet me in the field. I know I have been just like the prodigal, using words like, give me, and asking questions like, why are You withholding from me?  Today I am asking and I am saying, make me a servant, knowing that this is how to become a true son or daughter. Oh God, I am sorry for ever leaving and blaming you for the hurts in my life. I know You are a good, good Father, and I want to return and be in right relationship with You. Amen

God bless you and keep you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom

 

PS (If you are tempted to decorate someone’s pigpen I strongly advice against it. The pigpen is where the father allowed the son to land. It is what woke him up to his poor choices. Do not throw additional finances,  free food, a cell phone, etc. at disobedience. This would be enabling and will hinder the work of God in their life. Prayer that God will bring them to their good senses).

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

 

 

Article, Blog, poetry

Day 7 of 40 Days of Teshuvah

Preparation Season, Teshuvah

Feilds and other 10-01-16 180

Live it, love it, teach it.

When you take the call,

Preparation season, Teshuvah ,

begins with The Fall.

 

Much more than a season

A time to change your mind

Watching as nature teaches;

Newness comes by deaths design.

 

Falling in while I grow,

Loving You and Your Word,

Until I become so saturated

That I obey what I have heard.

 

To be with You forever

Never leave Your side,

That is when I know

I am ready to abide.

 

Ask anything from Your hand

Isn’t that what You said?

If I abide in Your word,

With Your Word I’ll shall be led.

 

All I desire is this

More of Your embrace,

In this time of technology

I want to be face to face.

 

Face time, Knee mail,

Prayer time too;

I just know that I long,

For so much more of You.

 

I do hunger and I thirst

And now I know just why

It is because You are drawing me,

Calling me to Your side

 

Teach me how to die to self

Repent and learn from wrongs,

So that I can truly say

It is to You, completely, I belong.

Poem written by laurette laster © 2018 August

 

Welcome to Teshuvah, my favorite time of year.

If you wonder if The Feast’ of The Lord still apply after salvation, I ask you to continue reading. Salvation is a beginning to a finished complete work. We still have the Fall Feasts listed in Leviticus 23 to watch be fulfilled.

Don’t miss your appointment.

Several years ago while praying about and thinking about this season of Teshuvah, and the Hebrew month of Elul, the Lord began to teach me a truth about repentance and the works of repentance. This, like many of the other ways He ministers to me, is deep yet so simple. I would like to share this truth with you, if I may. My prayer is that this truth will minister to you and help you understand the importance of setting aside a time to grow deeper in your walk with our Lord. He set the appointment but we must listen and show up for this appointed time. If I have a really important meeting I set an alarm to remind me or wake me up. I want to have time to prepare myself.  We also need to be awakened or reminded of the appointments set by our Heavenly Father.

Perhaps you are saved, and received our Lord Jesus as your Savior. If so you may think what could this season possibly have to do with me. Once I have received salvation I can repent anytime, right? The answer is a resounding yes! This is very true. Actually we are told to repent immediately. This is a wonderful truth and our Christian way to respond to sin.

After learning about the significance of the Fall Feasts I continued to learn more and more. As Christians we are grafted into the covenant God made with Abraham, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon receiving Jesus Christ as our savior, it secured the deal. So I sought our Lord about this season, pertaining to Hebrew customs, and The Old Testament, which should really just be said to be ‘The Scriptures’ and the beliefs from our devout Jewish brothers and sisters. In light of Christianity and our salvation by the finished work of Christ, on the Cross, I ask, “does this apply to today?” I began to pray and seek The Lord concerning this season. He has more than opened my eyes, over and over again. I am so excited to say to you; yes it does apply, even today.

Our Lord began to show me farmers, and how they farmed their fields. It seems simple right? I saw how even after they had planted, and then harvested their spring crops they began the process all over again at the beginning of the fall season. I know this isn’t a mystery to any of us, but this is how the Lord began to minister to me.

It was like He and I were having a conversation and a dialogue. He ministered this truth to me in a very profound way. I was working with and helping Greg, my husband, with a job in a rural community. We were able to take the back way or farm to market roads to this work location and then back home. It was such a pleasant drive for Greg, who usually is commuting to and from Dallas, in very heavy traffic. We went by several fields of farmland and working farms. This was during the months of late August into October. I noticed that the fields had been plowed and were just bare.

In my spirit it was if The Lord asked me these questions, “What if the farmer didn’t plow and prepare his field? What if he just went out and started sowing new seed in among the old stalks and stubble of the old crops?” I said to The Lord, “That would be ridiculous and he would look foolish. I said, Lord, “that wouldn’t allow enough sun to get to the new seed for it to sprout nor would it have room to grow.” It was if the question and the answer came together and answered my first question concerning this season.

Without a thorough time of repentance, clearing the old stalks, you cannot expect to just be able to go scatter some new seeds (prayers) and reap a harvest. No. The dead debris or stalks would shade and crowd out the new seed. The new seed would be growing completely at the mercy of what was around it. And how could you know that it was actually planted at the right depth?

Without a time of preparing our fields (our hearts) we cannot really plant anything new. I realized then, and realize even more now the importance of God’s set times and His ways. I understand today why we call the month of September the end of the fiscal year. Think about that for a minute. Where did this idea come from? Yes it came from a Jewish custom. Imagine that, we are crafted in, remember?

This is not about whether or not we are saved and going to heaven. If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and have believed in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we are saved.

This is about planting the incorruptible seed of God, into the prepared soil of our heart. It is about doing the work of getting any dead works out of our lives completely, by thoroughly repenting of these dead works. It is so much more than a quick, yeah that didn’t work, sorry God kind of shallow apology. The only way for us as believers to insure a new crop, one that will have the potential for a successful harvest in the future is to have a prepared, by plowing, field. The Parable of the Sower, in Mark chapter 5 verse 4, is referring to depth of earth or depth of heart. We cannot reap the things God has prepared for us without having an understanding of God and His ways. We need a deep understanding coupled with a desire to do the work of repentance. Did I say work? Yes, but according to John the Baptist, it is a fruitful work. We are God’s own workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. These are works God approves of not works of the flesh. Farming is hard work and harvest time is very hard work. Our Lord is preparing us to be able to prepare and plant and produce a bumper crop and it is all for His glory.

Teshuvah is about plowing up our fallow ground to create depth of heart. It is deep calling unto deep. During the Hebrew month  of Elul it is said that The King is in the field. More on this later.

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This is the season where I remember sensing many years ago, that something was missing but I didn’t know what. I didn’t understand because I had no depth of heart, or depth of earth. I had never allowed His Holy Spirit access into the dark dry places of my heart. No I didn’t want to see them again so I had stuffed them. I thought I had forgiven and done the work necessary for these issues to not have place in my life. Yet something was still missing. As I discussed yesterday, Day 6 of Teshuvah, I was a lost lamb bleating out from the depth of my heart. Help me, I am cast down, I cannot right myself. I had this cry in my heart even though I couldn’t understand it.

I had a longing for something more. I felt a deep yearning that something was missing. There indeed was something very valuable missing. I didn’t know or have the security that I had indeed worked out my ‘own’ salvation with fear and trembling. Yes I know I was going to heaven. Today I am sure of that, but years ago I had a feeling of I hope so, I didn’t have a I know so confidence then.

Before my deep work of Teshuvah, the work of repentance, and becoming one with God; a work and a set time, that continues even now each year, I felt lonely. I can feel His drawing during this season of Teshuvah, leading into The 10 Days of Awe, at the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, until the  Day of Atonement (day of at one ment). A special time of becoming one with our Lord, I didn’t have this blessed assurance until after the work of repentance. Now I keep my garden tended so that the plowing and planting are more fruitful and not so laborious.

Today I no longer have that empty feeling yet I feel His drawing. I know the blessed assurance of Jesus is mine and oh what a foretaste of glory divine. Yet I still feel our Fathers heart calling me even deeper into this intimacy and time with Him.

Don’t miss this beautiful season. It is precious to our Lord and will become more precious to you as the years proceed.

Pray this prayer-

Dear Heavenly Father teach me how to farm for You. I want to prepare my heart before You and for You. I know You will help me do the work of repentance. I want to know that I have blessed assurance. I now understand  the reason I feel so thirsty. My thirst is brought about by You. I need and require living water to satisfy this thirst. Nothing man can do or nothing I can do in the flesh will satisfy this longing.  I ask that You show me what I need to plow under. I want a new heart one that is ready to receive the incorruptible seed of Your word to bring forth a new harvest in this season.  I want to bring forth a harvest that is pleasing to You. I want my life to be lived for Your glory. Amen

Song of Songs 6:3 Elul

I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

 

 

 

 

poetry

Day 6 of 40 Days of Teshuvah

 

Joel 2:12-14 Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your GOD: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent and leave a blessing behind him:

I want to be a Baal Teshuvah- a Master Returner.

Teshuvah pic Day 29 2017

When I miss the mark I want to repent quickly and thoroughly. I want my Father to know I am on His side, and that I am working in the family business using the guidelines He requires. There is a job description. I pray I never become comfortable overlooking my sins or become careless with the things of God. Our precious redemption was purchased with the blood of Jesus, how should we respond?

Wonderful Merciful Savior, Precious Redeemer and Friend, who would have thought that a Lamb could rescue the souls of men. Selah

How great The Father’s love for us, how rich beyond all measure. That He should give His only Son, to make a (this) wretch His treasure.  Selah

How amazing and gracious is the God we serve. God never gives up on us. One of the thirteen attributes of the mercies of God, that He rules the earth and man with, is that our Father, is gracious, and He is longsuffering.

Have you known or considered that God, would set aside a time each year, just to meet with, and to seek His people? Or that our Father would go on a treasure hunt,  so to speak. And may I tell you, if you have never thought about it or considered this idea before, you are the treasure He is searching for? No matter today what condition you may be in, God has a set season to lure you back into the fold.  Or perhaps you may be thinking,  well He is God and He has all this in His control, so nothing I could learn, or do, could change my life or the situations, or the lives around me.

There is nothing further from the truth than that statement. What we learn from studying the word of God is that can talk to the Author of the word. Then by following  His commands we are ushered into a relationship with the Author. His precious Holy Spirit, begins to teach us, and to show us exactly how much God, loves us, and how we are to love God. God desires a real relationship with His people. He wants a face to face meeting time.

God sends messengers along our path to woo us back to Him. He may be leaving sticky notes all around, reminding you of this meeting time He has set . He will gently remind you, whispering, “hey I want to meet with you.” Are you noticing certain things that keep happening over and over? Are you thinking or have you found yourself asking, can this be a coincidence? Have you ask others in your life to help figure these things out?  This could be “Someone” trying to speak to you. Today I hear people say what I used to say, ‘Something’ told me, God’s other name is ‘Something’. He convicts us of sin ever so gently. Elijah heard the Lord, in a still small voice. Could it possibly be, you are looking for or expecting the spectacular and missing the supernatural?

Often the tug on our hearts is ever so gentle, yet it seems to be pushing the very breath right out of our lungs. The weight of conviction appears to be so heavy, yet it is as light as a feather and laying on our chest and on our gut. It is, deep calling unto deep. Do not ignore this call.

We are God’s workmanship, His masterpiece. The bible makes reference to God being our Shepherd, and Peter, refers to Jesus, as The Great Shepherd and overseer of our soul. If Jesus is the over seer of our soul, our soul needs to be examined. A good shepherd, notices if he is missing a sheep. He also is very familiar with the bleating a sheep makes when it is cast down or trapped. Sin is a trap, even little sins are like parasites, damaging to the soul and to the overall health of the sheep.

Yesterday we talked about consecration. Moses was told to consecrate the children of Israel, and have them wash their clothes before meeting with God. Consecration is twofold, it is inward and outward. Washing their clothes was proof they heard what God commanded. Remember what God said to Moses if they are willing to hear and obey My commands, I’ll come down and speak so that they can hear. So, there was a heart test from the beginning. The children of Israel, could not see into the depth of these actions like you and I are able to see into them today. We are a blessed people.

When my heart was pierced through, with the love of God, it changed everything. It changed how I lived on the outside, because my belief on the inside had been revolutionized. It was twofold and Love is the game changer. It was from the inside out, not from the outside in. Others also noticed this change. Many could see it before I ever talked to them. People would say to me, you look different. I heard more than once, I looked younger, and less stressed. It was because I had laid down the heavy weights and baggage of guilt, shame, regret, low self esteem and the feeling of trying to be good enough, or to measure up, or pay God back somehow. The insanity of hiding and dragging around sin is paralyzing. Read Luke 5:17-26 I didn’t understand how to truly repent. Oh yeah, I thought I had, but in reality, I had stuffed all this stuff, and it was a heavy burden. The effects of sin were still weighting me down. Not only the sins I committed, but also the sins committed against me.

We are sheep! We are not pack animals. We are not like mules who are designed and used to pack down with supplies, and then travel while carrying these heavy loads. No, we are His sheep, we belong to The Lord. Have you heard the term, stubborn as an ole mule? We do not want to be stubborn and rebellious. However I was in my ignorance. Have you heard someone say? “God will not give you more than you can carry?”  Before you buy this, be certain whatever you are carrying is truly from God. Satan wants you to believe that God has placed something on you, when in reality you may have gotten yourself into a mess just by following your own desires.

Sin can be overt and covert. That is why it is so precious to be given a season of repentance. We do not want to stuff our stuff, we want to be set free. Why is our spirit crying out, or bleating set me free? It is an inward cry or bleating, asking to be helped and righted so that you will be able to live the life you are created for.  We are His masterpiece, and our hearts desire is to abide in the vine and to bear much fruit.

Say this out loud. Elul a season to prepare and to search my heart. A soul searching season set by God. A meeting with My Master Gardener. My Father is on a treasure hunt and He is searching for me.

Psalm 51 is sometimes called “Perek Teshuvah” or the great chapter of repentance. King David is also known as a Baal Teshuvah, meaning, Master Returner. After King David was confronted with his sin, and the truth of his crime, and had convicted himself out of his own mouth, King David cried out to God. Read Psalm 51

Pray this prayer:

Have mercy on me, Oh God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  I have sinned against You and You alone. Create in me a pure heart, O God and a renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

You do not want to miss this wonderful season of repentance, a time of turning back to God. Teshuvah, to shuv or turn back, to return to God. I pray we can become Baal Teshuvah.

Do Not Be Deceived!
Matthew 24:4 Take heed that no one deceives you.

Is it google, giggle, or gaggle?
Where does new information grow?
True wisdom is found in the heart of God,
And to the Bible we should go.

Beware lest any trick us,
with new translations that have no power.
Beware of false doctrines,
Jesus message to the church, in this last hour!

Let not any deceive you;
the word of God is alive!
Refining and transforming,
Truth that changes, bringing death to life!

So if you are made to feel comfortable,
while living in sin, you are feeling fine,
you have been deceived, you have bought the lie.
Beware lest any deceive, not an obscure line!

The word of God is sharp
and is able to discern.
And when you plug into its power,
it should change you, reprove what you did learn.

Deliverance comes from sorrow,
Of the past failures and our wrongs.
It cannot be without repentance,
No matter how you cry and long.

For Esau sought with tears,
after believing to get something new,
And traded  away his birthright
In return for a simple bowl of stew!

Beware of no conviction,
As you sit with your crowd,
God has so much more to say;
His Voice so soft, yet booming loud.

For no not one is perfect.
God created seasons to teach us how,
Conviction with tears His gift,
Repentance causes knees to bow.

Repentance what a wonderful gift
now tears that freely flow,
are washing away the debris,
Weeds I didn’t mean to let grow.

Heavy equipment was required,
for breaking up my fallow ground.
Repentance, prayer, and confession,
with this gift, I am no longer bound.

Now I will keep watch and tend my garden,
And never allow those weeds,
Remember the ones most deadly;
Are the ones that can deceive!


Poem written by laurette laster © 2018 August

2 Timothy 3:5

NLT They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that.

Ellicott’s commentary for English Readers(5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.–Keeping up a show of observing the outward forms of religion, but renouncing its power and its influence over the heart and the life; shewing openly that they neither acknowledged its guidance or wished to do so. These, by claiming the title of Christians, wearing before men the uniform of Christ, but by their lives dishonouring His name, did the gravest injury to the holy Christian cause.

This meeting is not to judge us or to condemn us, this season is a time of soul searching and soul cleansing. Your heart knows.  Perhaps He will return and repent and leave a blessing behind Him.

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

 

poetry

About The Father’s Business

 

You have separated

darkness from the light,

Called one day

And the other night.

 

You placed the waters

Oceans deep,

Setting the shores

Boundaries you keep.

 

You spoke forth life,

In seas and on land,

Some would swim

Others to stand.

 

You set barriers

Marking and making,

establishing boundaries,

Each one breathtaking.

 

Oh why do we push?

Why do we shove?

Attempting to change

What is fashioned with love?

 

If we could grasp

Seek to understand,

Each one was fashioned

Made by Your right hand.

 

Boundaries for protection

Barriers secure,

Working within,

would be mature.

 

You set the seasons.

And set into orbit,

Sun moon and stars,

painting the portrait.

 

You said count,

See If you can?

Stars which were tossed

out of My hand.

 

Foolish man

Why disobey?

Haven’t I said,

I Am The Way?

 

Stop all this nonsense

Stand still and see,

The salvation of The Lord

Only offered by Me.

 

White unto harvest

The fields do gleam,

We have work to do

I need a strong team!

 

With head bowed down

Repent, ask for My forgiveness,

Don’t you know it is time to be

about The Father’s business?

 

Poem written by laurette laster © 2018 August

 

Psalm 33:6-9 AMPC

 

“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth. [Heb. 11:3; II Pet. 3:5.] He gathers the waters of the sea as in a bottle; He puts the deeps in storage places. Let all the earth fear the Lord [revere and worship Him]; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”

 

Luke 10:2 KJV

Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.

poetry

Day 5 of 40 Days Of Teshuvah – Are you washed?

 

Mo’edim – a set apart time. This is a set time, a special time, an appointment, a consecrated time. This is an appointed time to meet with God. And it’s all His doing. He said it is My Festival, My appointed time. My season, My mo’ed with My people.

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Chapter 23, in the book of Leviticus, specifically tells us there are seven times a year, God has designed to have an appointment with His people. At three of these meetings we are to appear in person, or have a face to face meeting. No text messages or emails allowed.

The Lord says these are His feasts, Mo’eds, or Kairos. What is a Kiaros? Kiaros is a set time or appointment for making decisions. These are appointed times on God’s calendar or in God’s planner, so to speak. We don’t decide the times, He has! He set these times as a lasting ordinance.

 

Leviticus 23-The Lord spoke to Moses, Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: “These are My appointed feasts, the appointed feast of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.” In the business world we would say these are mandatory meetings and they are nonnegotiable.

 

As we prepare our hearts for our appointment and seek this time with our LORD, asking that He set an appointment with our loved ones, and we intercede and repent on behalf of our Nation, we must prepare our hearts. We are to be consecrated.

 

Before the LORD met with the children of Israel He gave specific instructions. They were to consecrate themselves. God was going to speak so that the children of Israel could hear His voice. The Lord had given them the choice before hand as to whether they would follow His commands. The Lord did not just appear and begin saying, because I said so, that’s why. No, The Lord made certain they were in full agreement, and that they wanted to hear and obey what was going to be said, before He scheduled this meeting. Moses met with all the elders and they did agree. So Moses brought their answer back to The Lord. The Lord gave specific instructions of what He required of them. The LORD go to the people consecrate today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothes and let them be ready on the third day.

 

 

What are we are preparing for? What appointment or meeting are we going to attend? We are preparing our ground, (heart) for the upcoming decisions that are made and set for the upcoming year. Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets is the beginning of 10 Days of Awe that lead into Yom Kippur.

 

When we are preparing to do Teshuvah, we should first realize this is an appointment with Jehovah, The Sovereign GOD of all creation.

We are to be consecrated. Don’t miss this appointment. This is how we Teshuvah.

We prepare our ground, readying it for sowing. What are we sowing into our ground? The incorruptible seed of the word of God is what we are sowing into our hearts. We are cleansing our heart or plowing the ground, in order to remove old useless crops and weeds. The plowing is in preparation for sowing.

 

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?

Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?

Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,

In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?

Are your garments spotless are they white as snow?

Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Lay aside your garments that are stained with sin

And be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean.

O, be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

Are you washed in the blood,

In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb.

Are your garments spotless are they white as snow?

Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

———————–

May we never cease to understand the value of repentance……….

 

“The foundation of Christianity is repentance (Teshuvah, Shuv, Re-Turn). Strictly speaking, a person cannot repent when he chooses— repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.” If you ever cease to understand the value of repentance, you allow yourself to remain in sin. Examine yourself to see if you have forgotten how to be truly repentant.”

Wisdom from Oswald Chambers

My Utmost for His Highest

 

Dear Heavenly Father. I want my garments to be pure and spotless. I want to be sanctified by You. I want to be washed white, and be found without spot or blemish in Your sight. Lord Jesus, cleanse me with the washing of Your atoning blood for the remission of my sins. Show me what I need to be cleansed from and what needs to be washed away. Show me my old crops, the dead debris that should uprooted. I know that Your blood can wash away all my stains and all my sins. I want to be washed in Your blood. Thank You for making me clean. Amen

 

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

HandofJesus2

His Plan

Because I know

You beckon me,

I will come away

to see.

 

Fear on the inside,

muffles the scream,

What if I can’t?

Is this just a dream?

 

Then I remember,

straighten and steady myself,

It is in You alone,

my soul finds rest.

 

If I do not follow

how will I grow?

I will push in and continue,

and study to show.

 

Lord order my steps

delightful way,

I’ll let go and trust,

yes, simply believe today.

 

By faith I go,

by faith I can,

Yes I will,

follow Your plan.


Poem by Laurette Laster © 2017

Psalm 62:5 NLT
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.

Psalm 37:23 NLT
The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette