Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Day 30 Tishrei 1, 5780

Welcome to Teshuvah Day 30 Tishrei 1, 5780

Today is Tishrei 1, 5780 on the Hebrew Calendar.

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New Season

 

Plowed and turned, ready anew

My field is ready, new season in view

Those who seek now shall find

The law of love on hearts will bind

 

At your command, meditate and grow

Studying Your word, so I may know

No more side roads or detours

It is only with your word, I confer

 

Receive my orders and assignment

My steps are planned, now in alignment

Not your acts, it is for Your ways I long

Hearts get ready to sing a new song

 

There is a place You  created

How long oh Lord I have waited

To hear you say and call for me

Speak my name and off I’ll be

 

At your instructions, joyously obey

Yes I’ll observe to follow in Your way

laurette laster © 2017

 

 

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.

For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Have I not commanded you?

Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.””

Joshua 1:8-9 NKJV

 

 

Is this Due Season…………….. We know it absolutely is due season. The question is what have we planted? We shall reap (whatever we planted) if we faint not. If you decide you do not want to reap what you have planted you have an appointment with The Father to repent and replant your fields.

Welcome to the New Year, time for agricultural planting.

Blowing the shofar sounds the alarm, wake up the sleeping, and notify them of the time (wake up to the dangers of attack by the enemy. Repent and return to the call of God. Receive His offer to take our position and receive assignments, become vineyard workers), out of their slumber.

We are told to produce fruit worthy of repentance. It is about the Lords timing and His seasons.

kai·ros is aa propitious moment for decision or action!

 

STRONGS NT 2540: καιρός Kairos fitting season, season, opportunity, occasion, time.

2540 kairós – time as opportunity. 2540 /kairós (“opportune time”) is derived from kara (“head”) referring to things “coming to a head” to take full-advantage of. 2540 (kairós) is “the suitable time, the right moment (e.g. Soph., El. 1292), a favorable moment” (DNTT, 3, 833).

limited) period of time: (1 Corinthians 7:29); plural the periods prescribed by God to the nations, and bounded by their rise and fall, Acts 17:26; καιροί καρποφοροι, the seasons of the year in which the fruits grow and ripen, Acts 14:17

 

Luke 3:8 NIV

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

 

Luke 3:8 New Living Translation

Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.

 

What a perfect explanation of Teshuvah

 

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According to Chabad.com

The High Holidays are a time of personal introspection and soul-searching. We are enjoined to make up a mental balance sheet listing all of our spiritual shortcomings and accomplishments during the past year.

We take time to contemplate our choices: where did we make the right ones, and where, unfortunately, the wrong ones? How can we do better in the year ahead? In this accounting, we need to take personal responsibility; at some point, we need to do this alone.

 

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Don’t miss the season, the Kairos and appointed time of Teshuvah , my favorite time of the year.

 

 

This is the day of coronation for the king.

 

Make the decision to crown Jesus, Lord and King of your life today. You alone must decide.

 

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord cause His countenance to rise upon you and give you Shalom!

 

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

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 29

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 29

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Elul twenty nine

The last day is here

Oh the divine goodness

Harvest is so near

 

When we began the season

He taught us with rhyme

Teaching us to become fruitful

Abiding in “The Vine”

 

This Vineyard is on loan

But requires constant tending

But I’ve enjoyed every moment

The Fruit shall be never ending

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My tattered work clothes are perfect

The gloves, boots, and shovel

Because He knew what I needed

For the lessons we would uncover

 

Elul twenty nine

What a remarkable season

We shall go rejoicing

And repentance is the reason

 

Jesus said repent

For the kingdom of heaven is nigh

Likened it to a Vineyard

And now we know why!

 

This time established precedence

Working the vineyard continues forever

Yom Teruah the Blowing

When we abide with Him forever

 

© laurette laster

 

 

Wow, what a splendid month of Elul. A few days before the month of Elul began the Lord poured out the first 12-14 poems (I don’t exactly remember the number) that I posted, I was completely amazed. I’ve never had anything like this happen before. For about an hour and half I just sat and typed these words into my phone, day by day and truth by truth, they just flowed.

He began to tell a story as I penned or typed the words. He told a story about working the fields or vineyards, preparing them to plant. He told the story of a younger me, how overwhelmed I was at the beginning seeing the overgrown field representing the damage caused by my old unrepentant heart. I hadn’t known about the things of God and had a field of weeds of scrub brush. He continued to tell about meeting me daily as we visited and did the hard work of repentance and Teshuvah. How I love this season and a never ending newness He brings.  He used stones, weeds, and scrub brush to represent the hardness of my very damaged hurting heart. He showed me and taught me about hearts of un-forgiveness, resentments, jealousy, envy, blame, or half heartedness teaching these will not allow a heart in that condition to be fruitful.

 

As I began to write I saw that the work clothes required were provided by Him, that He was with me every step of the way. The work was a joint venture with Him teaching me why the hard places had to be plowed under, repented of. Each year He teaches me new and deeper truths about Teshuvah.

Tonight at Sundown, my husband Greg and I, were teaching on Yom Teruah, The Bridegroom and the Bride and the catching away.

Yom Teruah, the Hidden Day, The Day of The Great Shout, The Blowing of The Shofar,

No man knows the day or the hour when the Bridegroom will return.

Matthew 24:36 WNT “But as to that day and the exact time no one knows–not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 

Welcome Tishrei 1, 5780 in the Hebrew calendar. The Days of Awe are here and Elul 5779 is in the books and the year of 5779 has come to an end. 5780 is going to be a year of uncovering foundational truths and taking back what the enemy has stolen. Keep your work clothes handy, it isn’t a time to be lax, we must be about the Father’s vineyard. The precious fruit on the vine is for Him.

Prepare to be in your vineyard and tend it day and night. L’Shana Tova as we abide in the Vine.

 

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord cause His countenance to rise upon you and give you Shalom.

 

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

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 28

I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who continues in me and in whom I continue bears abundant fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

 

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 28

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Elul twenty eight

Today and one more

So much accomplished

The sacred time with Him how I adore

 

What a time in His Torah

With my Savior and King

His lessons and teachings

Have been heart cleansing

 

The field will be sprouting

There is new Life all around

It shall be a glorious harvest

The precious fruit abounds

I am the Vine

When looking unto Jesus

Faiths Author and Finisher

Has made known this season

He is my vineyard replenisher

 

It become blatantly apparent

Why I was unable to be fruitful

Because without abiding in the Vine

All work is completely futile

 

© laurette laster 2019

 

While turning my thoughts to the Fall Feasts and many traditions in the USA, I realize more and more why God hates mixture. In the book of Revelation He says I’d rather you be hot or cold because lukewarm is a mixture or a hint of both. Have you known people you’re not really sure who they are? Jesus tells us to let our yes be yes and our no mean no.

The State Fair of Texas just kicked off this week. I’ve noticed for several years that many traditions we have seem to mimic our Jewish Ancestors and the deep Jewish roots. And if I am correct, they are certainly defiled.

I don’t believe it has been done with malice but I do believe it is Satan’s strategy to take us slightly off course. Our ignorance has kept us veering further and further off course until someone discovers God’s truth and begins to live by His truth.

The word ignorance is to ignore. See how a simple truth has gotten way off from what God ordained and called.

The booths at carnivals sure look like the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths, but the meaning now carnal, relating to or given to worldly desires and we call them carnivals. Go figure.

Could this be a coincidence? Is this a coincidence? The word carnival was first used in the 1600’s. I certainly am not against the fun of Fairs and carnivals, do we glimpse where this originated? At State Fairs there are jelly making contest, fruit dish baking contest, and other crafts. All of these following the fruit harvest. Classic movies show how the fairs were community events, bringing family’s outdoors, together. These were fun festive times, to show off their cooking skills and other talents.

I truly believe today’s celebrations has its beginnings in God’s original Feast and mo’eds.

When doing the work of repentance we denounce the fleshly carnal desires, turn back to God, and His ways. God is the originator of good times and festive events. Any time we bring our sensual desires into the equation we will get off and miss the mark. Sin is called missing the mark, we see how being slightly off at the beginning can cause complete shipwreck in a few generations. I love when I begin to see that God’s original design is everywhere. Satan corrupts through slight deviations, hoping we don’t notice. His tactic hasn’t changed since the garden. When we ignore God’s laws and commands it takes us into complete ignorance followed by judgment.

I’ve recently learned that compasses have two North’s. Did you know that? I did not know this, or if I have ever learned this I’ve forgotten. There is North, and there is true North on compasses.

So there is almost going God’s way and there is His Way that is Absolute Truth. The Truth we know is Jesus Christ. He did not abolish the law He fulfilled the law in love. He made a way that we can repent and escape judgment. He laid down His life, any who repent have redemption and the remission of sin. And that is the gospel and the good news.

As the month of Elul draws to a close we look toward The Ten Days of Awe, a time of introspection. Earlier this month I thought about our Jewish brothers and sisters coming back after captivity. In the book of Nehemiah, as Ezra read from the Torah, the people wept, hearing the words from the Torah cut to their heart. Can you remember a time like this? I sure can.

I remember when I realized how far off I was and how generational ignorance had taken a toll on our family. It only takes one to Teshuvah and return and begin to pray for your loved ones.

So 40 Days of Teshuvah, the days of the Hebrew month of Elul added to The Days of Awe, leading up to The Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur. Think about this. To be certain they didn’t get too far off they added extra time to the season of our repentance, additional time spent with our Lord. How can we go wrong becoming radical? I know I would rather ere on the side of doing more than hoping I can slide by. But the truth is, love makes you long to stay. When we are in love we look forward to talking to our loved one. We look forward to sharing special events and happenings from our day. Isn’t it nice to get a call or a text, saying I love you. That is the heart of Teshuvah. I pray you have grown to love the Lord more this season than ever before. We are called to bear fruit and this is seasonal and continuous.

I pray we do not ignore the love of our Savior and how God has prepared a way that leads to our bearing much fruit by abiding in The Vine. Jesus said, apart for Me you can do nothing. The definition of the word futile means to be of no kingdom use, God forbid. God is all about His kingdom and we are commanded to be fruitful.

The sweetness God requires is that His people bear much fruit by abiding in The Vine.

Don’t miss this sweet season, the Season of Teshuvah, The Season of our Repentance, my favorite time of the year.

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord cause His countenance to rise upon you and give you Shalom.

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

 

 

 

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 27

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 27

The Lord is longsuffering slow to anger, abounding in love, gracious, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

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Elul twenty seven

Only a few days left

How is your field

This isn’t the time to rest

 

No time to waste

I’m praying for you

We had that meeting

And yes it is true

 

He has an appointment

With you in mind

So get ready get ready

Now is your time

 

I glanced at His planner

You’ll be happy I did

I read your name

In His book inscribed in red

iphone 065

He said once inscribed

We cannot be blotted out

He has chosen us

What a time to shout

 

Call out to Me, He said

For loved ones far away

Prayers of salvation

Today is the day

 

© laurette laster

 

1 Peter 2:25 International Standard Version

You were “like sheep that kept going astray,” but now you have “returned” to the shepherd and overseer of your souls.

 

New American Standard Bible

For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls

Before we returned we continually were going astray, as The Apostle Peter depicts. The apostle Peter describes how we ‘continually’ were going astray.

There is a call to return, or an appointment, when we realize this invitation is from God Almighty and He is asking for commitment at a level that frightens us. He requires we seek Him with our whole heart, full commitment.

When repentance of this depth occurs we never stray again. It is the goodness of God that draws us to repent. Endurance we realize is then granted us, when we return and submit to the will of God with our whole heart. Without complete surrender and commitment, The Lord does not give us this gift of endurance. If He did we would think we were doing it in our strength, and become puffed up and prideful. Pride and reverence cannot coexist, that is mixing seed. Our heart must be all His.

Think of the apostle Peter, who three times denied the Lord before this graceful breaking occurred in his life. This is the place where he is teaching from in 1st and 2nd Peter. Peter tells us to add to our faith so that we will not stumble.  He stumbled and realizes what was lacking before Pentecost. We have work to do after grace is received.

‘Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises (seeds to plant in our field), so that through them you may become partakers (laborers in the field) of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires(plowed up your carnal field and surrendered to The Lord). For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;…’

The Lord Woo’s us and shows Himself by creating encounters we cannot explain away. Encounters that we know are not coincidence. We become aware and realize God is tugging at our heart. Then we begin to know and understand. We have a new awareness of His Holy Presence and His Spirit. Becoming conscious of God and His desires is how we begin to have the deep yearning and desire to do Teshuvah.

Then we understand the deep truth of how patient endurance is required to do the will of God.

 

God beckons us to return to Him.

 

Joel 2:12-15

Even now declares the Lord return to me with all your whole heart with fasting and weeping and mourning

And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness And relenting of evil.

Who knows whether He will not turn and relent And leave a blessing behind Him, Even a grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God?

Blow a trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,…

The Lord is longsuffering slow to anger, abounding in love, gracious, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

Don’t miss this season of Teshuvah, my favorite time of the year.

 

God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord cause His countenance to rise upon you and give you Shalom.

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

 

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 26

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 26

Return to Me says The Lord and I will return to you. May we return will pure passion.

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Elul twenty six

This month fast coming to an end

Oh be still my heart

We are staying close to Him

 

Becoming one with Him

I’m more in love than I ever imagined

I am my Beloveds My Beloved is mine

My renewed heart is gladdened

 

This love we share

He said is never ending

I’ll be His faith farming girl

In His vineyard my time spending

bear fruit in old age

Watching over our harvest

And warding off attacks

He is my King Shepherd

I shall not lack

 

The harvest is ripe

He said the laborers are few

We’re meeting tomorrow

He ask me to invite you

 

© laurette laster

Don’t miss your appointment

 

When we are around someone who is in love with The Lord we can sense the feeling our self. Then seeing that it is true love we long to share in an intimacy all our own. There is only one thing that hinders this flow of love, sin and/or rebellion. As believers any un-confessed sin is a barrier to the love God is longing to cover us in. The love He  has for us is a never ending current or flow. God doesn’t create the barrier, our choosing a lifestyle of sin or willful disobedience takes His place our lives and in our hearts, and crowds God out.

My husband, Greg, is a master electrician and an electrical contractor. A couple of days ago, during a teaching we discussed coming in contact with a downed power line carrying live voltage. When seeing a power line we are to assume that it is hot or transmitting power. All warnings tell us a distance of no less than 35’ is the safety standard. Another safety warning is that if a person is in direct contact with the power, do not touch them or that same power (electrocution in the natural) will run through you and you could be the next victim. Think about this in the spiritual. Our God is a consuming fire. He is live Power. I want to be a carrier of His love and His power, so that if someone comes into contact with me, they get hooked by His Power too.

As we draw close to the High Holy Days we are praying for our loved ones and for lost souls. We are asking that they come into contact with a Living Savior and His Power and that someone to be a carrier of this Power in their lives. When they come into contact with His Power,  this will be a power so fierce that they will never be able to get unhooked.  Seeing them touch His power and then become alive to Him.

 

Rosh Hashanah is the civil New Year on The Hebrew calendar. This is also known as head of the year. Yom Teruah, the blowing of Trumpets, is on the first day of the seventh month. This is said to be the first day of creation when God breathed into Adam the breath of life.

Yom Teruah (The Blowing) is mentioned in several books, but listed in the Feasts found in the book of Leviticus, chapter 23. This is the beginning of The Ten Days of Awe.

Jewish custom and beliefs are that the books of heaven are opened and examined, like the time of evaluation or self evaluation talked about a few days ago. God determines our reward for the coming year based on last year’s crop, whether we were successful or suffered crop failure. It is believed during the Ten Days of Awe we are allowed to do charity and change the results of last year before He closes the books and seals our destiny for the coming year, these are days to repent and return to God. We understand as believers in Christ we are forgiven, but this does not necessarily eliminate reaping what has been sown. We must repent immediately when we realize we have missed the mark. God cannot be mocked. Actually when we look into this parable and God’s wisdom it is a picture of us planting our fields. This gives me a revelation of how it works. Whatever I have planted is what I will produce. The seed produces after its own kind, right?

Oh how grateful we are that Our God is longsuffering, merciful, and compassionate, with us? We also should be with others. I am not suggesting ignoring sin or pretending it doesn’t exist. As we pray and intercede for the lost, the prodigals and the wayward, remember their name is written in the Lamb’s book of life and they need to show up for roll call. Repenting and Returning is what The Father is looking for. Knowing our name is written should spur us on to be sure that they also know their name is written.

I encourage us all to ask someone this week; is your name written in The Lambs book of life?

1Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:1-10 NIV)

 

Bad seed, bad harvest. I pray we plow under any crop failures and useless foliage that is taking up space in our field and receive new seeds and plant for new and exciting harvests.

 

So let’s explore this a little more deeply. Why is it necessary to return? What did we turn away from? What did we leave?


Rabbi Toba Spitzer

What did we turn away from?

In the traditional commentaries, the answer is: love of God. In this understanding, sins are those things which estrange us from the sacred, which create a sense of alienation from that which is Ultimate and good. We become estranged from our own Godly nature, and from our divine Source. We experience a kind of hunger in our souls, a profound sense of spiritual alienation and distance from the divine. Teshuvah from love is motivated by hunger and thirst, a yearning for intimacy with God. As the great medieval philosopher and rabbi, Maimonides, wrote in his Mishneh Torah:

 

“Teshuvah is great because it brings a person close to the Shekhina, to God’s Presence in the world…Teshuvah brings close those who are far off.” (Hilchot Teshuvah 7:6)

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Don’t miss the season of Teshuvah, my favorite time of the year.

 

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. the Lord cause His countenance to rise upon you and give you Shalom.

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

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome Teshuvah to Elul 25

You shall not sow your vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of your seed which you have sown, and the fruit of your vineyard, be defiled.

 

Welcome Teshuvah to Elul 25

Teshuvah 9

Elul twenty five

Oh my what a picture

It is my Beloveds vineyard

We planted with scripture

Feilds and other 10-01-16 111

The harvest will produce

Because we first cleared the land

But He instructed me

To be sure and put a demand

 

There is an enemy lurking

Who wants to snatch away

The word that has been planted

Water with prayer and obey

 

If God be for me

Who can be against

With my Beloveds wisdom

That enemy doesn’t have a chance

 

© laurette laster

 

God is very clear about mixture. He DOES NOT allow it. If we try to mix the spiritual with the carnal, we defile both. I believe this is a problem with the modern day church beliefs. Winking at sin is no longer acceptable or letting others think that God accepts sin is ludicrous. Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:

The apostle Paul asks a question then leaves the warning of leaven defiling or corrupting the truth. He is essence is saying a half truth is equal to a whole lie.

Obedience to His word is what God desires. He is not looking for perfection from us, which apart from Jesus isn’t possible. Hebrews 12:2 tells us Jesus is the author or pioneer, and perfecter of our faith. When we plant His word in our heart our part is to guard our heart (field) and watch out for the wicked one who wants to pluck the seed out, or desires to sow tares (counterfeits) among the wheat. We water the seed with prayer which is faith in God’s word.

Galatians 5:7-9 (NKJV) You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

After repentance we have a purity and newness that we desire to walk in. We cannot cover ourselves, the robe we wear is a gift that is given after repentance or retuning back to the Father; it is a robe of righteousness supplied to cover our new regenerated heart. When the prodigal son took “words” and returned to the Father’s house there was a celebration and ceremonial clothes brought to him;

Luke 15:21-23 The son declared, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let us feast and celebrate.…

Covered with the best robe

Ring a sign of covenant

Sandals protection for the tough places along his walk

Meat the word for mature believers

Celebration the joy of His salvation

What a beautiful picture of our Fathers love when we Teshuvah. We see that after we are covered we are in covenant, our walk is protected, we are given to eat from His table, and the joy of His salvation becomes our reward.

A vineyard is a fruitful field that is protected by walls. The walls we see in Jesus parable is the truth of the gospel or the Torah. Walls are boundaries. Boundaries are for protection. As we work our way toward The Days of Awe we are taking time to inspect our fields being certain we haven’t allowed any half truths to remain.

We do not mix our seed.

Don’t miss your appointment, Teshuvah my favorite time of the year.

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

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

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 24

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 24

Return to me says The Lord and I will return unto you. When we repent we turn our barren un-kept field into a vineyard, by abiding in The Vine. Repentance leads to restoration.

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Elul twenty four

What glorious dedication

We’ve accomplished so much

My heart is filled with jubilation

 

We’ve grown so close

My work clothes are a little tattered

The good and bad were planned

He speaks about kingdom matters

 

He said the time is near

And our field looks great

I just nod and smile

Now knowing what it takes

 

With sweat and tears

Hard work begins

Through faith and fears

But now I am one with Him

 

What glorious dedication

What a joy divine

I will have abundant harvest

Abiding in The Vine

 

© laurette laster

 

The entire purpose of repentance is for clearing our heart of anything that chokes out the harvest. God requires we bring forth a harvest and that we be fruitful. After clearing out  the problem weeds out of our field (heart) we begin to plant grains,  a vineyard, and an orchard.

Years ago my mother purchased a property that had a three acre orchard with it. There was one acre of black berries and another area that had pear trees and a plum tree and more rows of berries.

She and I and a few distant family members began to pick the berries and the fruit and sell them. We hadn’t planted these berry bushes we acquired mature producing bushes and fruit trees. We didn’t sell all of the berries and pears. Some we kept for cobblers and other desserts for her restaurant. The regular customers looked so forward to berry season. They all knew this season meant my grandmother would come make delicious cobblers for dessert. If they so desired we would top the hot cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, serving it ala mode. This was also grape, and apple, and peach season, so there were assorted pastries and cobblers and pies and other desserts.

As we do the hard work of repentance there is a sweetness that is coming forth if we abide in the Vine. We are called branches and Yeshua says that if we abide in Him will bear fruit. It is not acceptable to be a believer in Yeshua and not bear fruit. He tells us that any branch in Him that does not bear fruit is cut off and burned. Those that bear fruit are pruned so they bear much fruit. Clearing our field is the pruning process that we agree to.

We know and understand that in the parable of the Sower there is an enemy that will come for the seed that has been planted in our heart. This seed is the down payment on our harvest. We are the good soil. We must tend our field daily, morning and evening checking to make certain that an enemy isn’t after our seed or attempting to plant tares among the wheat.

Morning and evening were the times of sacrifice. This is also the times of the lighting of the menorah and the cleaning of the menorah. The menorah was lit every evening and cleaned every morning. I believe the principle God has set forth is that we are to begin our day with Him and we should spend time with Him in the evening.

When we live by faith we are actually fulfilling the scripture that says to pray without ceasing. If we are in the will of God, it will require faith, we need His help, The Helper at all times to live by faith.

He is calling us to the field.

 

In Matthew 9 Jesus sees and looked on the crowd and made an assessment

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When he saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then He said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Once we have our hearts cleansed we should be ready to be fruit growers and harvesters. What are we to do with a portion of the harvest? How about prepare and serve something sweet? We are told to leave the corners and not glean them. We are told every seven years to let the land rest and the foreigners and strangers may eat from the produce in the field.

My favorite part of the homemade cobbler was the crust. The crust that my grandmother lined the pan with soaked in the juice was delicious. I remember us fighting over scraping the bottom of the pan of any crust that was missed when serving after our shift when cleaning up.

That is how I see us as believers. We should be famished workers, hungry and fighting over every last bit of the crust that has been soaked and saturated by the fruit of the vine, not leaving even a morsel.

Don’t miss your appointment, Teshuvah my favorite time of the year with the Sower, He is in the field.

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord cause His countenance to rise upon you and give Shalom.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 23

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 23

Teshuvah 5

Elul twenty three

Counting the days

Until Yom Teruah

What does the blast say

 

Wake up oh sleeper

Don’t be found sleeping

Prepare your field and plant

Or you’ll not be reaping

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We are in the fields

When the trump blows

Summoning the workers

With a shout, it is time to go

 

The seed will produce

After its own kind

The preparation and planting

Has a purpose in time

 

© laurette laster

 

What do we turn or shuv away from? Pride, independence, ego and arrogance, of thinking we somehow have been good enough to obtain this on our own.  The scripture tells us God gives grace to the humble but He vehemently resists the proud.

What do we Teshuvah or return to? Knowing and understanding that in ourselves we do not have the ability to be godly. We realize and admit, that it is in Him and through Him we live and move and have our being. Paul goes on to say as some of your poets have said, we are His offspring. Acts 17:28

Remember, the bible says we are His workmanship or masterpiece. The Greek word for masterpiece or workmanship is Poiéma where we get the work poem from.

The Greek word for “WORKMANSHIP” is POIEMA which gives us our English words POEM and POETRY. Poiema means “something made” and in context is something made by God Himself.

The seasons of our LORD are His Mo’edim – Holy convocations. The LORD is drawing us to Him.

Isaiah 55:6 Call upon The Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.

As I meditate this scripture there are nuggets of deep truth that we do well to know and understand. This verse expressly speaks of appointments and appointed times or seasons. I cannot find something if I am not looking. I will not look if I haven’t seen or heard that it is there. I cannot speak to someone who is out of my range of communication.

It is the same in seed time and harvest. I do not plant out of season and I do not harvest if I didn’t plant. We must be able to rightly divide then decide to go after, to return (Teshuvah) to the heart of The Lord with our whole hearts.

The word integrity comes from the root work integer. The definition of integer is any whole number; not a fraction or a decimal. It isn’t a fraction or a part or a percentage. It is a whole number. The LORD wants our whole heart not a part of percentage. Our soul may be fractured or infractions, but we know He is the healer and restorer of our souls. To enable The LORD to heal our soul we must come and return and give Him our heart.

Think about the game of hide and go seek. This is Teshuvah. He isn’t hiding from us, He is signaling to us. The Lord is wooing us into interaction of seeking Him. Each prompting leads us into truth and away from harm.

He allows us to go away to hunger and thirst and then call out to Him. Jesus said in the beatitudes; blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteous for they shall be filled.

“Shall” this seems to be a theme with our Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Hosea 6:1, 3

Come let us return (Teshuvah) unto The LORD: for He has torn us and he will heal us; He has smitten us and He will bind us

Then shall we know if we follow on to know The LORD, His going forth is prepared as the morning. He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and the former rain unto the earth.

 

Don’t miss your appointment, Teshuvah my favorite time of the year.

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon and be gracious to you. The Lord cause His countenance to rise upon you and give you Shalom.

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

 

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah 22

Welcome to Teshuvah 22

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Elul twenty two

The sixth month of the year

A time of preparing

Repentance to clear

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With the fields cleared

And sowing the seed

Fertilize with faith so I can believe

He is going to meet my every need

 

With all the labor

And hard work we’ve done

I understand completely

How hard work can be fun

 

If it didn’t cost me

Would I stay determined

Or be off again

With idle yearning

 

Work out my own salvation

With fear and trembling

When talking last night, He said

Sweet Teshuvah turning back to Him and remembering

 

Check your fields

Get them ready to sow

Because when the trumpet sounds

He’ll shout it is time to go

 

© laurette laster

 

Teshuvah, planned times of return, appointed times, times of refreshing. This season is all about becoming one with Our Lord. This is an appointed time, a time to survey our fields, being sure we are not holding anything in our heart. If we allow resentments to remain this will choke out, and rob us of the love and intimacy we so desperately long for.

For us to become who we are created and meant to be, change is necessary.  God and His kingdom principles and laws are perfect. Jesus didn’t come to do away with the law but to fulfill the law. Love is the missing ingredient in the law of rules and regulations. Do this, don’t do that, or else………….. No Jesus says repent because the kingdom of God is nigh. Repentance is the key that unlocks the door into the kingdom. We know that Jesus is the door. If repentance is the key, then entrance into God’s kingdom begins by admitting and confessing our wrong thinking. Often the hardest words to say pack the most punch or carry the most power. Forgive me, I am wrong often is the most difficult thing to say.

 

Acts 2:38

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is a requirement that we repent before forgiveness can be received and before we can be given His Spirit.

We cannot fully appreciate the gift of grace without realizing we have created the distance by our own sinful nature and rebellious ways. When this is witnessed it is heartbreaking. There is a breaking that says, what must I do? When we experience the Love of God it is life changing.

When witnessing a butterfly struggling to emerge from the cocoon, any outside assistance to do the work will kill the butterfly. The butterfly must do the hard work and this final work of transformation. Roman 12:1-3

There is a similar occurrence with a baby eagle. Before the chick can crack out of the egg, they develop what is called an egg tooth. This is a hard object that they use to begin to peck on the shell of the egg to crack it open. If the shell is cracked open for them, they too will die. I realized for something to have real value to us there are two factors it must fit into.

1) Given to us from someone we dearly love and admire and hold in high esteem.

2) We must work for it. Both of these I believe equate to receiving the kingdom of God. Loving Him that made this possible, then committing to work to maintain it

Fore give-ness- to offer or give before, before we knew we would need it. It is an account laid up for us. He has added this to an account that is waiting for us to activate it.

It is activated by God’s grace poured out over us. When we experience this grace, we acknowledge our sin and TURN, we Shuv, walk away from sin and cry out. When we cry out from a pure repentant heart God sends us Jesus.

These are God’s mo’eds, His mo’edims, His holy convocations (appointments), and His festivals. He instructed Moses that these feast’s are to be observed forever. When The Lord God instructed Moses how and when the feasts were to be observed it was before He gave the law on Mount Sinai.

If we doubt this work of repentance all we have to do is look at what Jesus said when He began His ministry. Jesus began his earthly ministry with the following words.

 

“The time has come (appointed time, the kairos-the right critical or opportune time), Jesus said. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.”

 

Return to God through Jesus atoning work. It is good news.

 

Don’t miss this season of Teshuvah

My favorite time of the year!

 

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you Shalom.

 

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

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah 21

Welcome to Teshuvah 21

Teshuvah 7

Elul twenty one

The sixth month of the year

A time of returning

The field we’ve cleared

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When we first began

I was over whelmed

He said work with Me

And I wouldn’t have to pretend

 

What did He mean

How did I pretend

Oh by neglecting the field

Not knowing how to begin

 

When I felt His tug

I knew I had to answer

Of sweet season of Teshuvah

We are in God’s day planner

 

A holy time

A Mo’edim

Turn back to Him

Until harvest is seen

 

© laurette laster

 

God has set specific times that are Holy in His sight, these are appointed times to meet with His people. God Himself calls the Feasts, Holy Convocations, or Holy Appointments. We understand this doesn’t devalue or make other days less important to God, or that if we do not repent by Wednesday all hope is gone. What the Feast is, are rehearsals or appointed times of God. Why does God require His people to set aside and honor these Feasts? He requires these meetings for stability and consistency. We are to keep His law before our eyes and His word in our mouth. Joshua 1:8-9 tells us if we do not let the book of the law depart from our mouth we can make our way successful. Joshua had taken over as leader of the children of Israel after Moses death.

God knows if left to our plans we will veer off the path of righteousness. Working in the corporate world I received yearly evaluations. I would receive or lose promotions or pay raises based on the review. This wasn’t a popularity contest; if they like you, you received a raise and a promotion and if they didn’t you were ousted. The review was based on company standards and achieved by what was called SMART goals. The standards were set and you were made aware of them from the moment you wire hired. You were also taught how to operate within the guidelines to reach these standards. To stay on top of these standards required focus and planning. I needed daily, weekly, bi weekly and monthly plans. I also had to check these numbers daily. I didn’t wait until the end of the month to find out there was a problem that couldn’t be remedied. I needed to know there was a problem as soon as possible so I could adjust. This was a team effort but I was the leader so it ultimately fell on my shoulders. If I didn’t teach, then hold accountable, follow up, and check on my assistants, and staff, all go awry and be a shipwreck without remedy.

SMART goals are results that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Labor, food cost, turnover, guest complaints, profit and loss, repairs and maintenance, safety, health inspections, permit renewals, licenses, and AOA’s are some of the areas I was responsible for. This is how we could measure ourselves, daily and weekly and monthly.

The most difficult for me at the beginning was that in light of the numbers I had to evaluate myself, come up with my own action plan and then sit down with the DO and compare the evaluations. It wasn’t like I could say see I’m doing great and all is well so you can give me my raise now. The numbers told the story good or bad. So if the results were below company standards I had to have an action plan of how I planned to rectify the issue or issues. This was by far one of the best teaching tools given to me as a manager. This caused me to look at the issues and honestly face where I had led well, and where I was failing miserably. This was also a very humbling review. I couldn’t bluff or pretend. If I were struggling and hadn’t ask for help that looked worse to my boss, if I were struggling I needed to say help. It was always better if I ask before they saw the numbers on their end. This is also how I showed my desire to succeed and make the company look good.

Why in our Christian walk or personal walk do we think we can attend church and put on a happy face and think to fool God. God is Omnipotent, Omniscience, Omniscient, Immutable, and Never changing. His kingdom is eternal yet if we liken it to company standards we understand we are given authority and God hold us accountable.

The standards or kingdom laws cannot be lowered to make us feel better. God is love so we can be loved by God and still fail miserably. His love should propel us onward to preserve and show the world The God of Israel is good and a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

If we know we are not measuring up to His standards He will send us The Helper if we admit we need help and confess we cannot do it on our own. When we surrender our life to Christ, He will give us the wisdom to achieve what He is asking of us. Failure to ask for His help and to confess our sins is pride. The bible tells us God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

God isn’t looking for perfection, yet requires obedience, which is measured by our willing heart. God wants an honest relationship with us. This is how we evaluate ourselves as we approach the season leading into the High Holy Days. He has our evaluation filled out in Jesus. He didn’t call us to watch us fail. He didn’t choose us hoping we quit or try to hide our poor results. He has called us and His desire is to equip us for every good work, if we will confess our sins and ask for His help.

Teshuvah the season of our repentance or the season to return, it is time to do our self evaluation in comparison to the Torah or His word. When we return to His word we realize if we have strayed from the path of righteousness and need to make changes. It isn’t too late to turn or return to His kingdom laws which are His company standards.

Isaiah 55:5-7 (BSB) For the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, has bestowed glory on you.” Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked man forsake his own way and the unrighteous man his own thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.…Amen

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance on you and give you Shalom.

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