Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah 20th

Welcome to Teshuvah 20th

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Elul the twentieth

In God’s sixth month

We’ve made such progress

Never hit a slump

 

How have I kept this pace

And stayed this steady course

If He hadn’t summoned me

His words carry such force

 

The power the purpose the plans

He lists them day by day

If at first you don’t understand

Plant seeds then begin to say

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Trust Me He said, agree with Me

Quickly do whatever I ask

And never underestimate

Who “I AM” that gives the task

 

Heaven and earth may pass away

But This Seed will always sprout

The confidence He brings

He told me, have faith and never doubt

 

© laurette laster

 

The season of Teshuvah are the days during the Hebrew month of Elul including the first 10 Days of Awe in the month of Tishrei, leading up to Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is also  known as The Day of Atonement. Also known the Days of Favor. These 40 days of Teshuvah correspond with the time Moses returned back up the mountain to intercede for the sin of the golden calf.

When God called Moses back up the mountain, the plan of Salvation, through Jesus Christ, was written. The bible tells us Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world, so the plan was written but the timing was not yet. Why didn’t God tell Moses? Why would there need to be hundreds of years of rehearsing Passover and the other spring Feasts and Pentecost?

God already knew about the sin of the golden calf, He told Moses your people have corrupted themselves. If we go back and reread the first account of Moses on Mount Sinai found in Exodus 32:7; God told Moses, Go get down! For your people that you brought out of Egypt have corrupted themselves. Once they sinned they were no longer God’s people they belonged to man. Moses went down and discovered the sin of the golden calf and dealt with the sin, harshly and thoroughly. The bible tells us Moses was hot with anger. After having dealt with their sin, he then began to petition God and gain atonement for them through intercessory prayer.

While rereading this today I saw something in a new light. God never called Moses stiff necked; He specifically said, “Say to the children of Israel, “You are a stiff necked people.” Ex. 34:5 The bible tells us Moses was the meekest man in all the earth.

Yet while Moses was interceding for the children of Israel after being summoned back up to Mount Sinai, he says to God, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.  Moses took their sin and inequity as his own and associated with their sin.

Moses asks for God to pardon His people of their sin and iniquity after hearing God declare His attributes, His attributes are reflected and become apparent in His glory. God told Moses;

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation. Exodus 34:6-7

After Moses ask for God to pardon him and the people, God said behold I make a covenant, before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth nor in any nation; and all the people among you shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.

Today as believers we rehearse God’s Feasts or mo’eds and we can testify of the great marvels God has done. We know He has a covenant with Israel and Christians that is unbreakable. God who is rich in mercy will redeem His people. There are between 1436-1530 years of rehearsals between Moses and Jesus birth, before Jesus death on the Cross as our sacrificial Lamb. The death He died in our place taking our sins upon His body.

Jesus has made atonement and we are forgiven for our sins, if we repent, once and for all through His spotless blood that was shed and placed on the mercy seat in heaven.  When we repent His blood atones for our sins and inequity.

We look to the High Holy days of the fall Feast with an excitement and anticipation of His return. He will return for His bride.

From Genesis to Revelation we see a beautiful wedding being planned. Any wedding takes planning and preparation, but a wedding of this proportion takes major planning and rehearsals. With a traditional wedding you have a rehearsal prior to the ceremony, to insure each of the wedding party knows their part and placement. I find it amazing that the word for season in the Hebrew is Strong’s Concordance #4150 mo’ed meaning appointment, fixed time, assembly or congregation convened for a specific purpose. Place of meeting for an appointed (time, sign) appointed (or due) season.

It is a beautiful time we are awaiting, and I believe that the more prepared we are the better. God has set times, set places, and times of appointment.

We don’t want to miss our appointment.

Teshuvah is a time of preparation prior to The Ten Days of Awe, that we ready our hearts for the Day of Atonement or the Wedding.

When a bride is betrothed to her groom she begins to make plans and prepare herself for the wedding day. In biblical days, after the man proposed to his bride to be, he left to prepare the house. This house would be built onto the father’s house. The Father would decide when the time was right for the groom to go and get his bride. Does this sound familiar?  It is a great mystery, and a beautiful story.

As we repent we are preparing our heart to be in covenant with our bridegroom.

Don’t miss this supernatural season, the season Teshuvah and the season of Favor. God is pouring out blessings to all who will repent of their sins and turn back to Him.

My field is prepared to plant His word. Don’t miss the blessing of forgiveness that God so graciously desires to offer.

Joel 2:13-15 So rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to the LORD your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion, and He relents from sending disaster. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him— grain and drink offerings to the LORD your God. Blow the ram’s horn in Zion, consecrate a fast, proclaim a sacred assembly.…

 

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.

 

 

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 19

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 19

enlight52

Elul nineteen of Teshuvah

I’ve grown to love this season

We’ve done it together, side by side

He said we will see it unto completion

 

Learning how to farm

New things I had to learn

He said in plowing and planting

Become ‘doers’ is the term

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The strongest kind of seed

He said “is truth sown in my heart”

Then it becomes rooted

Down in my innermost part

 

How I love His wisdom

Bags of seeds piled pallets high

He told me think and imagine

As tall as the sky

 

I wonder what He means

He makes it sound so grand

And then the work begins

Back to earth, cultivate the land

 

Everywhere I set my foot

Clear, plow, then the sowing

Each of these has eternal value

Persistence is the going

 

© laurette laster

 

Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, John 4- The Father is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. The season of Teshuvah is where we turn back or return to the Lord. How do we return? We return in spirit and in truth with a repentant heart, one that is craving the wisdom of God that no longer desires to have its own way.

God is looking for truth in our inward parts; David tells us in Psalms “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6 NKJV) When we plant His word in our heart, the word makes wisdom grow.

 

“And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Matthew 13:22

 

We do not want to contend with thorns or worldly ways and worries. If these are allowed to grow in our field they choke out His word (truth) and keep it from growing in our heart. Unwanted plants that are allowed to remain and grow in our field will drink up the needed moisture, taking away precious water from the new seeds we have planted. We may have a tendency of thinking, but repentance as for ‘those people’, the sinners, the law breakers, or the rebels. The bible clearly tells us, what is not of faith is sin. So can worry be a thorn bush that if allowed to remain will grow and reproduce? According to Jesus, it is.

I now know and understand my part and His part and we work side by side. When I have done everything I can (my part), and having gone the extra mile (also my part), I can put my faith in God (His part) to see it to completion. My faith is not in my works; my faith is in His faithfulness. If I obey His commands and plant the truth in my heart He will give me wisdom or make wisdom known to me then I must readjust my thinking to line up with wisdom.

If we find ourselves worrying we are watering the thorns. Watering the thorns chokes out the good seed, we are not trusting in Him if we are worrying, thus participating in the drought that will choke out the seed of faith. Reading His word while reminding ourselves of His promises builds our faith. Then as we feed and fertilize our faith we water the good seeds by trusting that God is faithful. He is working with us, face to face, and side by side.

 

 

Missing the mark is missing the mark. We may have missed the mark due to ignorance or apathy, but both need to be repented of. Truth can be trusted. When we repent and turn back we are clearing our field of the thorns (doubt) that cause drought. Once recognized, removed, and repented of, The Lord begins to send rain on our freshly planted crops.

Returning to the love of the Father guarantees His love to be poured out over us. He says He longs to be gracious to us.

 

”And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matthew 13:23

Don’t miss this appointed time, 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 Elul 18

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 18

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Day eighteen

Some choices made

Only Seed He suggested

Heavenly harvest ideas He gave

 

He said if I will follow

The plans and every direction

That I will bring forth a harvest

That speaks of loves perfection

 

Seeds like do not harden your heart

Daily watering with the word

I’m so excited to know

Our work was not deterred

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Even through the struggles

His love has carried me on

Now we shall go rejoicing

The tears will become my song

 

© laurette laster

 

As the Lord poured out this poem I was reminded of Psalm 126:6

The Passion Translation reads: They may weep as they go out carrying their seed to sow, but they will return with joyful laughter and shouting with gladness as they bring back armloads of blessing and a harvest overflowing.

What a beautiful picture. I’ve sown seeds with a broken heart and during weeping, and I’m sure many of you have also. Armloads of blessings and a harvest overflowing, is the sure reward for turning back during the season of Teshuvah. No matter how difficult the trials and strains are that accompany our Christian walk, there is a definite reward in sowing seeds of righteousness as we weep.

This season I was excited that The Lord used the metaphor of clearing a large overgrown and neglected field, with the need for heavy duty work clothes or covering. As these poems began to pour forth I could see a vision of me, overwhelmed, standing before my field (responsibilities after returning to Him wholeheartedly) full of weeds and scrub brush and no idea how to begin to clear the field. It was indeed a picture of me years ago. I wanted to sow and reap, loose and bind, pray and believe, and have a harvest, but it takes reading the bible and hearing from Him to know how to accomplish all of this. Most of all it takes seasons and maturing. I saw how He was my Instructor and my Helper and worked alongside me. He didn’t do my part and I couldn’t do His part. He made sure that we started with digging up and plowing under, removing the world and worldly thinking out of my (heart) field was the first order of repentance.

Each season has its own climate, design, obstacles, and appropriate dress code. The Lord may send us into a difficult situation, not to punish us but to help usher in the harvest. Some of the most difficult and almost unbearable times of my life have produced the largest harvest or fold. When the Lord calls on us He equips us, when He sends us He provides for us, and when He gives us a vision He will definitely give the provision. The initial seeds I sowed during weeping are still producing and this is how I am able to be a fruitful Christian. Being fruitful is not optional. As men and women of God we are required to bring forth fruit. Jesus makes it plain in John 15 that apart from Him we can do nothing.

Think about the idea that God has set aside a special time to meet with us to discuss the condition of our fields and fruit production or harvest. In Leviticus chapter 23, God details his (seasons)  mo’eds to Moses, instructing Moses that these are to be a lasting ordinance. These are yearly mo’eds or special times set apart for time with our Lord.

In Jewish weddings there is custom called the signing of the Ketubah. The Ketubah is a wedding contract detailing the groom’s responsibility to the bride. The Ketubah is signed under the Chuppah. After being signed by two witnesses and read aloud before distant relatives or close friends, the Ketubah is handed to the bride for safe keeping. Get it? The Ketubah is a beautiful document (look them up) that the bride and groom have displayed in their home, that is used to remind them of their vows.

[Wikipedia defines it as; A ketubah (Hebrew: כְּתוּבָּה, “written thing”; pl. ketubot) is a Jewish prenuptial agreement. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride.]

Teshuvah is the season of returning to the Torah. We indeed have the Torah, The Teaching, or The Bible, that should be displayed proudly. Today our covenant should be apparent to others who come into our homes. If we haven’t read it or reread it recently, Teshuvah is turning back to The Teachings. We set aside this special time to renew our covenant and celebrate our marriage until we attend the marriage supper of the Lamb. Married couples have anniversary celebrations yearly or memorials each year, this is a perfect picture of the Fall Feast; our anniversary plans with our Bridegroom.

During Teshuvah we are reading our Ketubah, the vows and promises made by our Groom, and remembering our covenant with our Him. He didn’t leave us with only a Ketubah, but also the mohar, or purchase price of the bride.

In ancient times the groom had to pay the purchase price of the bride; or the mohar. This price freed her from her family and insured that she would be taken care of by the groom. The ketubah was a promissory note that would allow the groom to marry without having the purchase price and allow additional time to raise the purchase price or the mohar.

Our Groom, Jesus, has paid for His bride in full. There is no further payment required for our sins, He has made a way for each person to obtain salvation thus leaving the earthly realm and we become a born again or made new spiritual person. As a part of the body of Christ we are His bride.

Teshuvah and The Ten Days of Awe, what a beautiful season to check our fields and make sure we are ready to plant and bring forth armloads of blessing and a harvest overflowing this next year and years to come.

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 17

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 17

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Today already the seventeenth

The time is really flying

How I’ve loved the fellowship and trials

The hard times even the crying

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Oh the lessons I have learned

Learning to work the field has been trying

I’m so glad He invited me

Teshuvah is more than gratifying

 

I never thought or planned

Wasn’t certain I could do it

Now I know and understand

If He brings me to it, He takes me through it

 

How could I have doubted

And thought we would’ve quit

Never look back He said

Hand to the plow, eyes ahead, commit

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The field is cleared and ready

We are sowing seed today

Seeing the freshly cleared ground

Simply takes my breath away

 

© laurette laster

Day 17 of 40 Days of Teshuvah

 

A Season of Repentance and a Season of returning back to The Torah and back to His word.

Teshuvah is an appointed time set by God, a time to prepare, a time to return, a time to continue on with The LORD just as in a covenant or marriage. Yom Teruah or the blowing is the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe. Our rich Jewish heritage teaches us that they decided to add the twenty nine days of Elul as a time of preparation allowing for more time to spend with God. I believe it is a time God accepts as sacred and loves that His people are seeking Him. It is said The King is in the field.

A time to meet with Him and become one with the Almighty

This morning as I was meditating and thinking about the verses in the bible that call us “return to Me says The Lord,” and I will return to you, I realized an amazing fact. I already know this and most of you probably do also, however this morning it was like a light bulb moment.

The majority of the verses for turn, SHUV or return to Teshuvah are found in the First Testament. Or as some say the Old Testament. That wasn’t news to me, but the ‘why’ is what hit my spirit this morning.

God is basically saying, Hey……Come away with Me, come over here I want to show you what I am about to do. Come away with Me, look what I’m about to do. If you Return to me I have a huge blessing to share with you. I Am going to be unwrapping gifts and mysteries soon, and you don’t want to miss this.

We know that the New Testament or the Renewed Covenant is necessary because the old was to show us how far we missed the mark. Mankind continued to transgress against the law. The law was given to show that we couldn’t obtain righteousness on our own. We needed a Savior; we needed a Redeemer, and a Restorer of the breach between God and man.

Sin is missing the mark, or a transgression of the law. What law are we talking about? I am talking about the law of love. Jesus commanded that we are to love The LORD our God with all our heart, all our strength, all our soul, and all of our mind, and our neighbor as our self. This is the commandment Jesus quoted from the book of Deuteronomy. He says all the law and commandments are fulfilled when we love. The law was perfect and we know Jesus said “I have come to fulfill the law, not do away with it.”

When Jesus was teaching He would say; you have heard it said, but I say……………………….. Then He would show the way to fulfillment or how even our thoughts are seen as transgressions or missing the mark, like to hate is as to murder. Or if you look upon a woman with lust you have committed adultery. With this being said we need a time to renew our minds and make sure we are on track with the word.

God was and He is continuing His pursuit of wooing us. Elul is a time of preparing our hearts to accept His covenant of marriage.

In the scriptures God was about to send His only begotten Son, Jesus into the earth. In sending Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life, God was making a way for us to return, to Teshuvah, unite with Him. What was Jesus first message? He said, “Repent for the kingdom of God is near.” Jesus says, repent because you sure don’t want to miss this amazing time.

 

When we think about a marriage proposal, the man proposes to the woman, she will become one with him in covenant, Holy Matrimony, and then be a co owner of all he has.

Zechariah 1:3 Therefore say to the people, ‘This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Return (Teshuvah) to Me, and I will return, (Teshuvah) to you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

 

Meditate on that for a moment, isn’t that like a face to face reciting of vows, and then the wedding dance of the bride and groom? Let yourself imagine this.

James says draw nigh unto to God and He will draw nigh unto you.

 

This is our appointed time to have our hearts and minds cleared of all lies and obstacles that hinder our relationship with our LORD. It really does take my breath away. I remember the newness I felt when I knew I was forgiven when I repented of my sins and my heart was new; when I realized He loved me it wrecked me. It is the most amazing encounter I have ever experienced. I can only imagine what heaven will be like. I pray we return with our whole heart. We do not want to miss the Wedding Supper of The Lamb.

 

Joel 2:12 Yet even now,” declares The LORD, “Return to me with all your heart and with fasting, weeping and mourning:”

Hebrew 12:25 See to it that you do not refuse Him

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 upon you and give you Shalom.

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

 

 

 

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 16

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 16

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Elul 16 is the day

More than halfway through

My outfit has been perfect

For the work we had to do

 

This plowing and preparing

Breaking up the fallow ground

What I didn’t understand then

The weeds sure had me bound

 

With the old stalks

From harvest of days gone by

No room for the new

Plant and water as I try

 

Only freshly plowed fields

Offer the hope of sowing

Now together we watch

Plant a harvest that can be growing

 

How I love His instructions

How I love His voice

He is always helping

Guiding my every choice

 

© laurette laster 2019

 

Teshuvah is a time to reflect and return, and it’s never too late.

Isaiah 53:6 says

We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and The Lord had laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

The Jubilee bible says we have become lost.

YLT says all of us like sheep have wandered, each to his own way.  We have turned and wandered off from the teachings of God.

I believe this is one reason God set aside a special time to Teshuvah each year. It is to give us the chance to slow down and reset the needle. Have you ever caught yourself repeating patterns or repeating mistakes over and over? I thought about some ideas that I’ve had in the past. The ideas were not particularly bad ideas but they were not ‘God’ plans or ideas. In my broken and damaged emotions I was able to convince myself, “this must be God.” Without knowing or understanding the word of God, sitting under good Shepherds and teachers, and godly leaders, we can easily go astray. Without a working understanding of the Torah or the teaching, we are in danger of being led away by our emotions. Feelings are very deceiving, they not good leaders they are good deceivers. Our emotions and feelings do not have to line up with the word for the word to grow or sprout. The word of God is alive and powerful. I do not have to feel like moving the lamp closer to an outlet and plugging it for it to work. Once I plug the lamp in to the outlet it is connected to the power and can be turned on, no matter what my feelings or emotions are. It is the same for us. Beware of being led by feelings that is how many a sheep have wandered off and become cast. Cast is to be turned upside down and unable to get back on their feet.

A good idea that isn’t leading us toward the will of God is still a wrong turn or turning away from God. When we are traveling and make a wrong turn we do not convince ourselves that we will reach our destinations just the same. This is why it is very dangerous to listen to messages that tell us any old road, and any old turn will safely take you to your desired location. No, that would be foolish. If we have gone astray, or wandered off following our feelings, we must repent and then get back on course.

We may learn some valuable lessons along the way. I know I sure did. Lessons that taught me to pray: Dear God, I’m so sorry, help me, I never want to do that again. Please forgive me and give me ears to hear Your voice. Teach me to love Your word, and Your directions.

 

In the bible sin is said to miss the mark. The apostle Paul states; “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Missing the mark is missing the mark. If we miss our mark by 1/16 of an inch or by 1600 miles we still missed it. Think about that. To be so close, as if we can taste it, then to allow the deception and the lies of the enemy take us off tract and rob us from Gods best. This is why I have come to love the season of Teshuvah and the Fall Feasts that God has ordained. It is a time to evaluate and come away with Him for introspection. Have I allowed any old weeds room to grow? Have I overlooked a small part of my field allowing some old unwanted scrub brush to choke out my soon to be growing harvest? After doing the work of repentance I want to keep a close watch on my field or like the bible says to guard my heart with all diligence.

 

Jesus has laid a foundation and we can shuv, turn, Teshuvah, return and build on this foundation. He is the Rock of our salvation.

 

He is our Great Shepherd. He says my sheep know my voice and another they will not follow.

This season I pray we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

Jesus said let him has ears hear. He goes on to say consider or pay attention to what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

How does He does He measure our hearing? Is there a test?

Yes and we are graded based on our obedience. There is hearing, then there is HEARING.

Just like a diagnostic hearing test, it is by the ability to follow the verbal command that allows the diagnostician to evaluate our hearing. Pretty simple huh?

 

When we blow it we can Teshuvah. We admit we have gone astray and missed it. We tell The Lord we are turning back to His heart and His word. And we return, Teshuvah with our whole heart.

 

 

SINNERS MUST REPENT IN ORDER TO BE SAVED. There is no doubt that sinners are called to repent, and that their repentance is required for their salvation. Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).

 

The words of Jesus remove any doubt about the requirement of repentance for salvation, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” (Luke 13:3). “All men everywhere,” according to God’s requirement (Acts 17:30), are commanded “to repent.”

 

Christian churches are the ones addressed in Revelation 2 and 3—seven congregations to be exact. They are given direct messages suited to their situations from our risen Christ, and five of the seven are called upon to repent (the Ephesians’ church in 2:5, the church in Pergamos in 2:16, some in the church of Thyatira in 2:21, the church in Sardis in 3:3, and the church of the Laodicea in 3:19).

 

Don’t miss this season of Teshuvah it is my favorite time of 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 15

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul  15

Teshuvah Day 15

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What an exciting morning

Elul fifteen we meet

Time to prepare for planting

The plowing is now complete

 

Set the plow for deep

He ask what I had learned

Excitedly I answered

It is depth that does discern

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And I thought I’d like to share

My Lord, I get it about water retention

Because after this hard grueling work

It insures against crop prevention

 

Furrows dug within my heart

What a sweaty mess I’ve been

Digging plowing and hauling

Hasn’t seemed so difficult with Him

 

I’m glad I didn’t think

To go this on my own

Without His grace and love

No telling what I would grow

 

He is bringing seeds to show

I have the opportunity to choose

These Teshuvah truths

Oh, I never ever want to lose

 

© laurette laster 2019

 

Welcome to day 15 of the 40 days of Teshuvah

 

Why should we repent, turn or shuv?

When we Teshuvah, or RETURN to The Lord, His word comes alive and draws us closer to His heart. It is during repentance our spiritual life is awakened, or renewed, or even reborn. We are given a new heart at the initial act of repentance and conversation that brings us to salvation. He will remove the heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh. How amazing is that?

Many years ago I began to realize that if someone hurt me or was callous, I would unintentionally harden my heart and act like it didn’t hurt me. If we deny pain or hurt it is actually hardening our heart. We may do this due to ignorance or fear, ignoring the pain because we have not learned or been taught to effectively deal with pain. This was an old survival reaction that I had to learn to guard against. When I got this weed plowed up I don’t give it opportunity to grow back. Today I am secure enough to address the hurt or damage without that old nagging fear of rejection. If rejection and fear are not dealt with it can choke out the good seed God wants us to plant and harvest in our heart. But it can choke out the very thing we are desperate for, His love. After the initial hurt would subside I would realize I was hurt and not angry, but still continual hurt that is not dealt with causes us to harden out heart. Denying damage to our heart can cause us to pull back; and we may unintentionally pull away from all the good The Lord has for us, and believe He has pulled away from us. We have so many promises of His faithfulness found in scripture.

 

When reading our bible we find Our Father is long suffering, not willing that any should perish but longing for ALL to come to repentance.

How often does He call us? How many scriptures is God Himself wooing us to RETURN, or to come back to Him, to TESHUVAH? To meet with Him face to face.

The acronym for the Hebrew month of Elul is said to be Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li, which is, I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine. This is what The Lord desires, He gave all and He desires we give all in return.

This is the season He is drawing His people. It is a mo’ed or an appointed time to meet Him face to face. He has set appointments for us. We don’t want to miss this special time by not preparing our fields and plowing under anything that is hindering our closeness with Him.

My prayer is that you feel His heart calling to you as you read these scriptures below.

 

We can begin to trust!

Joel 2:13 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.

 

We learn sin has not disqualified us if we confess!

Hosea 14:1

Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity.

 

We come to understand He cannot be our God no matter how He longs to be, until we return to Him!

Zechariah 1:3

“Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the LORD of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.

 

We will find safety, we come to know Him as our, Good Shepherd if we are obedient.

Nehemiah 1:9 but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause My name to dwell.’

 

And there is so much more.

More Verses on Returning To God

We are restored!

Job 22:23

“If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored; if you remove unrighteousness far from your tent,

We are given an undivided heart!

Jeremiah 24:7

‘I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.

We become safe enough to look at our sins and confess them openly!

Lamentations 3:40

Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD.

 

We realize the breaking we experience is to make us aware of our need for a Savior, and that He has come to heal us and reveal Himself to us!

Hosea 6:1

“Come, let us return to the LORD For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.

 

We learn to wait and to be patient!

Hosea 12:6

Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, and wait for your God continually.

 

And as we study these verses, hearing the heart of our Father we become intimate with Him, secure in His presence. We begin to understand His love for us. We realize He is for us, calling us, and that He will continue to lead and guide us.

Teshuvah is returning to the Torah, His word and learning and then doing what pleases Him. This is a time for prayers and doing acts of kindness. After we have plowed under dead works, cut down deadly thorn bushes allowing them to be burned, we begin to see that we have missed the closeness with our Lord. Our landscape begins to take on a new look, or a brand new outlook.

 

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

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

Teshuvah Blessings

 

 

 

Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 14

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 14

plow

We are halfway through the month

It is Elul fourteen now

I couldn’t imagine this journey

Or that this would be how

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I never once envisioned

The rough rugged hard terrain

I thought it like a picnic

Blankets spread, umbrella in case of rain

 

What He gave me were boots

A belt, gloves, hat, and a shovel

We’ve dug and plowed together

My strength remarkably double

 

Pulled out roots of fear

Dug up sneaky deadly lies

Turning over the dirt

Offered a blessed surprise

 

He ask what I thought

We should do with all this debris

I said let’s burn them up

Allowing more water for the seeds

 

The joy that stretched across His face

My heart just melted inside

My Teshuvah Date

In Him I will abide

 

© laurette laster 2019

 

Today as I reread this poem that I wrote several days ago, I’m reminded that all sin isn’t necessarily character damning actions, or actions visible to others. God told Samuel men look on the outside, but I look on the heart. Jesus said to the Pharisees you wash the outside of the cup but what is inside is what contaminates, clean the inside and the outside will be clean.

In the bible when we read about evil, it is described as not believing or having faith in God and His word, and the courage to act on His word. Failing to act on His instructions is disobedience and requires repentance.

During the season of Teshuvah we are returning to the Torah or the teaching. We have our bible, The Book. So The Book is the book of teachings. As we begin to study the word of God, Holy Spirit begins to convict us of wrong doing, and urges us to begin doing what the teaching instructs us to do. The word of God is living, described in Hebrews 4:12 as a discerner between thoughts and intents of our heart, between soul and spirit, and joints and marrow. The living word of God acts with laser precision, revealing truth to us, shining light on what is real. This allows for the cutting away of deadly lies, all the lies of the devil that have become ingrained in our souls. So often we are unable to discern or see with our physical eyes where the lies begin or got their origin: but God.

When we begin to read the word the word speaks to us and by His Spirit of truth we can see light. We begin to see into things we’ve never seen before. Revelation and knowledge of His truth are powerful and quicken our mortal bodies. Psalm 119:130 tells us the entrance of Thy word gives light

If you are dealing with some old nagging fear, or still believing the lies of the enemy that you are not good enough, or smart enough, or that your family will never be made whole, or whatever he has attacked you with, I pray that in the coming days of this season of Teshuvah, you will attack this lack, and all the evil reports of the enemy. We must uproot these lies with The Word, who is Jesus Christ. I pray that the word will give you light and light up every dark lie the devil has hiding in your path. And then plow it under.

When clearing fields, not all the brush can be plowed under. Some of the brush must be cut and hauled to a central area to haul it off or burn it. I say take the word of God and let it burn up this old debris. Cut down and haul every lie of the enemy to a central location and put it under the word. Burn down all the lies of the enemy and plant the word of God directly into your heart for a new harvest.

Farmers usually do not plow in the dark but now with better and more modernized equipment, if they know their fields and are in familiar territory they sure can work after the sun goes down. We cannot dig out the lies of the enemy without the light of the word of God. It is dangerous to be in dark unfamiliar territory without light. Today tractors are equipped with headlights for direction, and cabs for protection. So like the farmer climbs into his tractor we get in the word and turn the light on and get busy.

When we read the word as believers, our spirit agrees immediately, but our flesh may need some tending or some plowing to break up old hard thought patterns, it may require breaking up old thoughts or fallow ground. Fallow ground is unprepared ground that must be plowed before seed will grow. Hosea 10:12; Jeremiah 4:3 tells us to prepare our ground and not sow seed among  thorns.

Our ground which is our heart needs to have furrows dug to prepare for planting new seed. Prepared ground that holds moisture when watered ensures the seed can germinate or sprout. When we agree with what God says, the lies of the enemy which are represented by poisonous weeds are cut off and chopped up and buried and His truth can sprout and come alive in our heart.

This is the season to dig out any lingering doubt, fear, or lies that are hindering your harvest. This is how we Teshuvah or repent for not having the God kind of faith. Jesus instructs us to have faith in God. (Mark 11:22).

The best is yet to come. If you don’t believe, just apply His instructions and watch as it happens.

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 13

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 13

 

Elul Thirteen

Feilds and other 10-01-16 111

September/Elul

The thirteenth day

The work has begun

Making very good progress I must say

 

This plowing and turning

Is definitely hard work

Working steady

I can’t quit, mustn’t shirk

 

Set the plow for deep

Well this is new to me

He said it’s for moisture retention

It’s something new to see

 

I’ve never worked the fields

This is where we spend our days

I’ve come to love the work

He has set my heart ablaze

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The work though hard and grueling

A day with Him is worth it all

This is a labor full of love

Precious season of Teshuvah, ushering in fall

 

© laurette laster

Tonight we have a gorgeous Harvest Moon lighting up our evening sky. I didn’t realize how rare it is to have a full moon on Friday the 13th. Many believe this date is ominous and expect bad things to happen. I for one have never been superstitious. The next full moon we will see on Friday 13th is not for 30 years.

How fitting to have a harvest moon during Teshuvah. When the work of repentance is in full swing we can feel overwhelmed, especially if we are just coming out of the world. We can beat ourselves up wondering why we didn’t know we were so wrong, or how lost we were.

Isn’t it wonderful that our Father who is rich in mercy knew we would require and need support and love to do the work of repentance. Often when we are beating ourselves up is when we feel the Love of our Father closer than ever. As I have been interceding for other’s I have been prompted to cry out that God have mercy on their soul and grant them repentance.

With a fresh clean slate or a plowed field we can begin to get excited as our heart feels and experiences the peace of God, knowing we have done what has pleased The Lord. Then as He directs we continue to plant new crops in our clean heart. Teshuvah is returning to His word and falling in love all over again or perhaps for the first time.

 

God’s goodness is gently drawing us to repentance; softly and tenderly preparing us like a gentle rain prepares the ground. The Father’s goodness is softening our hearts to prepare us for the difficult work of weeding and plowing that we have possibly neglected. Having neglected our field for several seasons can be evident by the overgrowth of brush. In order for our ground to become fruitful and prosperous some hard work is required. The work of removing overgrowth and weeds will make room for new crops to be planted of for the good crops to continue to grow and multiple. Our hearts and our minds are our field to tend and cultivate. When we continuously watch over our heart and mind God can expand our territory. Our minds will become pliable to be renewed. Like the planting of new crops that bring a new harvest. Only after our heart (garden) is softened (plowed) can new seed, (the word of God) be planted in our minds, and be received and thus begin to grow. Once sown and established and rooted, we will need to watch for weeds and insects. This is a continual process as long as we live, much like the season of repentance. The seasons will continue to cycle to keep us on track.

 

In Leviticus chapter 23, The Lord describes the set times as His feasts. According to the scripture the Festivals, Feasts, Holy Convocations, or Mo’edim are His set times.

And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, (set times), even these are My feasts.

Leviticus 23:1-2 NKJV

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

poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 12

Day Twelve

Teshuvah 2

September/Elul
Twelfth day Of this season
I’m beginning to understand
Teshuvah has deep reason

This kingdom work
Has created a stir
But I’m more than excited
Yet exhausted for sure

Working together
Side by side with Him
My Teshuvah Experience
Is like a spiritual gym

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This work is rewarding
Though hard and dusty
We are breaking new ground
Never feels unjustly

He said we can talk later
About what seeds to sow
But continue to prepare my field
Or my harvest won’t show

 

© laurette laster

An appointed time, A time to turn, to ‘Shuv’ and a time to Return, to do the works of Teshuvah.

This is a time to repent, denounce evil or wrong thinking, offer up prayers, and do acts of kindness.

I remember when I realized and knew it was The Lord, when finally all the longing, and deep sadness made sense. Some explain this as seasonal depression but I beg to differ and if I may I want to challenge your thinking.

When I realized that the emptiness and deep sadness I felt was actually the desire of His heart longing for me to return and surrender to Him I got it. I didn’t know I had left, how could I know? I never understood that there was more. I thought you accepted the Lord and then tried to be good enough to get into heaven.

Oh how I had lost my way? It wasn’t just a season, the season of summer ending and the coming of fall. It isn’t just an earthly season; it is an appointed time, His Mo’ed. He is beckoning to us and we must listen for the still small voice and answer Him. With other chatter and voices of deception in our lives, we can miss His voice and the time of appointment or not understand what is happening.

I was sensing and feeling the heart of the Lord. Do you find yourself with a feeling or a longing that is unexplainable? Guess what? He has you in His day timer. Don’t miss your appointed time.

I kind of knew about Him, but I didn’t “know” Him. I didn’t know He cared about my earthly plight or that I was sowing and reaping. I didn’t know He had a plan…..I didn’t know I had a part in the plan……..but then I knew,

Yes it was Him. It was Jesus; The Lord was saying return to Me. You were lost but now you’re found. I want to teach you how to sow from My seeds so you can reap righteousness. I want to help you plow under every evil plan and every lie the enemy has had over your life. Then I repented of my ignorance and the rest is His story and it is still being written.

We cannot reap a new or a different harvest simply by sowing new seeds among old stuff. No farmer would ever offer this advice or support this practice. Picture if you would for a moment, a harvested field full of stalks and debris, and now see yourself scattering seeds throughout the field. If a few of the seeds grow and do make it how would they be harvested? How could you get them out? This is what it is like, when we think next year will be better without any reflections on what is causing the repetition of the patterns in our lives.

If we do not dig old stuff up by the roots, we can be certain of one thing, our harvest will not change.

Don’t miss this season of repentance.

Teshuvah, it is my favorite time of the year.

“That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the Lord your God as before. Blow the ram’s horn in Jerusalem! Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting.” (Joel 2:12-15 NLT)

 

Teshuvah is the Hebrew word assigned to the 40 days preceding Yom Kippur, the Day of the Covering or Atonement. Originally, it only comprised the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Days of Awe). But Jewish tradition extended this time of repentance that all might come to the place of salvation.

Look at the Hebrew: Teshuvah – The root word is the Hebrew “shoov” which means to return. It combines both aspects of forgiveness: turning from evil and turning toward good. The Jews make restitution during this period with those they have offended. Ridding oneself of guilt is a goal of Teshuvah. Repentance, however, only applies to transgressions committed against God. To receive forgiveness from offenses committed against fellow man, compensation must be made and a plea for forgiveness.

 

I was feelin’ that, feelin’ that breeze

Singin’ like a song thru the tall oak trees

It was just another summer night

Had to be the last thing on my mind

Yeah, I was all but lost in the moment

I was young and runnin’ wide open

It was just another summer night

Had to be the last thing on my mind

———————-

When love broke thru

You found me in the darkness

Wanderin’ thru the desert

I was a hopeless fool

Now I’m hopelessly devoted

My chains are broken

And it all began with You

When love broke thru

And it all began with You

When love broke thru

I did all that I could to undo me

But You loved me enough to pursue me

Yeah, You drew me out of the shadows

Made me believe that I mattered, to You (You)

You were there, You heard my prayer in that broke down dusty room

It was the first time I said, “I’m Yours”

The first time I called You Lord

When love broke thru

You found me in the darkness

Wanderin’ thru the desert

I was a hopeless fool

Now I’m hopelessly devoted

My chains are broken

And it all began with You

When love broke thru

And it all began with You

When love broke thru

 

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 11

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul 11

img_2054

Day Eleven

September/Elul

It’s the eleventh today

We are meeting early again

No time for delay

 

The work is serious

No time for games

Every seed He shows me

Has a specific name

 

The kingdom He said

Begins when we repent

He keeps bringing this up

He won’t budge or relent

 

I don’t completely understand

But I’m following all of His orders

The tall and the short

Expanding my borders

 

© laurette laster

 

Teshuvah, the season of our repentance, a special season to turn, Shuv, return, Teshuvah!

 

Oh God create in me a clean heart and return to me the joy of Your salvation.

 

Why do we repent? Are there benefits? This is a supernatural time and season set by God. His festivals, and appointed times are set for us to prepare our hearts for the season of our joy, or the days of awe.

There are eternal benefits; it’s like getting a do over. There are benefits when we repent from a contrite spirit and a broken heart. God set this time to rewind, or let go of dead works. He rewinds the tape that contains the life we lived while in rebellion. He takes us back to where we were before unbelief and sin entered in, and we begin again with a clean slate. We begin from the time our faith failed and we are allowed a new start. We become a new creation. We are like a freshly plowed field waiting for new seeds to be sown.

 

The greatest benefit of repentance is the promise from God; And I will remember your sins no more, for My Name sake. God doesn’t want to dwell on our failures. Our Father desires that we turn away from a sinful lifestyle, and change our minds. We are to renounce sin and the will to sin. The Greek word for repent is Metanoia, and means to turn or to ‘Shuv’ and this is where we see the word TeSHUVah, which is to turn away from sin and not continue in sin and return to God through His word and obedience to this word. When we repent we then must appropriate the work of Christ for our forgiveness. If you have a GPS you can bet you will hear this message if you make a wrong turn, make a legal U turn at the next intersection, make a legal U turn. Teshuvah and repentance is the intersection in time where we can make a legal U turn.

We are His sheep. He is our good Shepherd. Sheep are not designed to be pack animals. Mules are pack animals and we know they are stubborn and hard headed.

We on the other hand, are referred to as His sheep who hear His voice.

Scripture says, “If you hear God speak today, don’t be stubborn like those who rebelled.

 

This is God’s Time to Shuv, to Teshuvah, make a legal U Turn! Get it? It’s up to you and to me to make a U Turn and Re-Turn.

God will rewind the times or as His word says, He redeems the years, and restores to us all that the enemy has stolen.

 

Teshuvah, my favorite time of the year, you don’t want to miss your intersection, Make A Legal U Turn now.

 

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