Letting go of false teachings…Part 2

Previously we looked at devolution or the degeneration of society by handing it over (rights, powers, property, or responsibility) to another. We, in the Western world, have handed over our heritage, the covenant and promises found in the Bible to the adversary. (But I jump ahead…Let’s see the shadow picture given in the Bible about kingdoms and the succession of kingdoms since Daniel’s time).

In yesterday’s post, I stated the Bible shows us the devolution or worsening of society. Most of us reading this will be aware of Nebuchadnezzars dream found in Daniel 2.31-45,

"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form therof was terrible.  This image's head was of find gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass.  His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.  Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Now for the interpretation....

"Thou, O king art a king of kings: for the Elah (God) of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power and strength and glory. Thou are this head of gold.  And after thee shall arise another kingdom INFERIOR to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.  And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.  And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the Elah of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.  Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great Elah hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter.

We do not have to interpret anything from this scripture. It was given to us. The greatest kingdom of men was Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon. It was the head of gold, sitting at the top of the all the earthly kingdoms given to men by Elah (God). Gold, the most precious of metals, the head (the control center of our emotions, thoughts, will and actions) without which a person cannot live. The head controls the body and Babylon will influence the rest of the kingdoms in this age of man. Standing at the foot of the statue, one would be forced to look up at it; standing far away, one would still be able to see the head above all the other kingdoms. We can still see the Babylonian influence permeated through our world today. The next kingdom was silver. Silver is inferior to gold, costs less and is not nearly as precious. More importantly He states that the next kingdom would be INFERIOR. We do not have to guess at that. As we continue down the kingdom timeline, each successive kingdom is weaker, less valued in terms of metals and also expendable to the body; meaning we can live without a leg or a foot or an arm. We finally reach the feet which are “partly strong and partly broken.” The last kingdom is made up of clay and iron which do not “cleave”. Our foundation, our feet (the current kingdom of man) is not able to support the rest of the body. This is devolution or degeneration. This kingdom we live in now is fraught with lies, false dogmas, emotion based truths and Babylonian deception. We have believed man’s teachings of “science, religion, history, health” over our Creators. Both Old Testament and New Testaments warns us:

Jeremiah 51:6,

"Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of YHWH's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence."  

This verse refers to Revelation 18:4 in the centerline reference of your Bible and states,

"Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

Our inherited Babylonian teachings of men have infiltrated every kingdom throughout history. It is time to stop making every situation about us and putting ourselves on the throne of our life. The Messiah came to do the Fathers will. He came to put on the physical flesh and teach us how to walk pleasing to the Father. He did away with nothing. Man has lied to us, not our Creator.

It is a battle to change well-worn paths of belief and thoughts. We think we know Him. We said a prayer, yet nothing changed. It was never about saying a “sinner’s prayer”, it was about changing our heart, repentance and to follow after Him. He is the head. (Col 2:10, Eph 1:22 Eph 5:23). The Babylonian head/false religion has indoctrinated the world with fanciful myths. It is not about waiting to escape the coming tribulation. It is about following Him whatever may come, finishing our race that He has set before us while He constantly refines us.

We are to be overcomers, not escape artists ( Revelation 2:17, 2:26, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21, 12:11 to name just a few.) How do we know? Yahshua (Jesus) said so in His prayer to the Father…..

John 17:15:

"I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil."

His word/prayer trumps any preacher, teacher or prophet you are listening to. Be an overcomer and flee from false teachings. (Inherited lies: https://nikkihoward.newzenler.com/home)


Letting go of false teachings…(Part 1)

Here I sit staring down another birthday. Days are getting shorter, darkness exceeds the light this time of year and it is always a time of great reflection. My dog Sheba struggles to walk with me up my mountain for our usual walks. The new puppy is not trained enough to endure the length and distance. So instead I sit, drinking my coffee enjoying the fire and quiet that 4:30 am brings; relishing the quiet before the hum of the household business starts.

As I seek Him and His will for my life, He reveals more truth through my reflections on my own past. Growing up in the 70’s, I was an avid Wild Kingdom watcher (no Animal Planet then) and wanted to save His created wildlife with dreams of living in Africa and being a type of Dian Fossey of the Gorilla world. With that always in my mind, I attended a University and majored in Zoology. However, let me fill in a bit of background. I did not grow up in the church but in my teens I was saved at a Campus Crusade event in Ocean City NJ. I did my best to attend church and learn from the church about my beliefs and how to walk as a Christian. (see Inherited Lies, Discovering the Truth through the Bible for Yourself)

What He is showing me this morning is how man has separated faith and relationship with our Creator from Creation. My major was zoology and I confessed 5 years previously that I believed in the Messiah, the Truth of the Bible, and my Creator. Yet I was studying evolution through a scientific point of view not through a Creationist view. I was young and was not able to realize that I was isolating my thought processes; compartmentalizing my Sunday worship of the Creator with my weekly studies of Darwinism and the ultimate culmination of visiting the Galapagos to see and experience all that I had learned from the University professors. Creationism and Evolution are oxymorons yet I was happy to spit back all that I had learned and obtain an A for my class. This is our education system and the world we live in. Isolating and compartmentalizing life. We teach it to our kids. Our schools are indoctrination centers for the lobbyists and government ideology. We isolate our children into age groups and separate our aging parents into homes; fracturing our families and society. Compartmentalizing everything.

If we believe the Bible to be Truth, then we cannot believe man’s theory of evolution. First of all it is a theory which Darwin later recanted but we are not told that. Evolution directly contradicts YHWH’s teachings.

Jeremiah 4:22,

"For My people are foolish,

They know Me not;

They are stupid children

And have no understanding.

They are shrewd to do evil,

But to do good they do not know."
Truth:  Elohim (God) created all things:  

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth…:

John 1:3: “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”

Colossians 1:16: “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth…..”

Isaiah 45:12: “I have made the earth, and created man upon it….”

Do we believe what He says in both the Old Testament and the New Testament? Then by default, if you profess your faith in Elohim, then you must discard the theory of evolution. What would be the exact opposite of evolution? Devolution. We are devolving as a society and as a people. What does that exactly mean? According to Miriam Webster definition: Devolution is a nountransference (as of rights, powers, property, or responsibility) to another, or

retrograde evolution DEGENERATION. How do we know? We are seeing it happen in society right before our eyes but more importantly, the bible tells us…(part 2)

When you can see the beauty of creation and His design.....
Mahogany seed pod
Not a random act

Misperceptions Corrected

As I said in my last post, the last two years have been painful, filled with disbelief, anger, acceptance and now joy. As He gives wisdom, He give us new eyes to see and ears to hear. What could I be talking about? Three years ago I was walking up my mountain to find my peace and talk with Abba (YHWH), when I saw this amazing tree. Back then my mind went to, “What a perfect picture of the Trinity! – Three in One, The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit”

After these few years of stripping out learned church doctrine, I recently found the picture again and thought, “What a beautiful representation of the Commonwealth of Israel! We, who have put our faith in Yahshua (Jesus) are all grafted into the “root of Jesse.” Isaiah 11:10,

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse, that standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto him shall the nations seek; and his restingplace shall be glorious.” (KJV 1901)


Now when I look at this photo, I see the two houses of YHWH’s people (the 12 tribes later split into the House of Israel and the House of Judah) and the mixed multitude that came out of slavery with Moses and Aaron. The 12 tribes and those that wanted to follow the Elohim (God) of the Israelites were joined together at Mt Sinai to be the whole congregation of YHWH. What a difference in understanding! You see as New Testament believers, we are also grafted into the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (named Israel). Galatians 3:29 states,

“And if ye are Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3:29 (KJV 1901)

O ye seed of Abraham, his servant, ye children of Jacob, his CHOSEN. He is YHWH our Elohim; his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant that he made with Abraham, his oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law. and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:” Psalm 105:6-10 (KJV)

We are all one in the Commonwealth of Israel, rooted in Yahusha Messiah. Galatians 3:28,

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Yahusha Messiah.” (KJV)

I recently went back up the mountain and was horrified to see the the tree had been chopped down to the root. Again I thought fitting since Yahshua is able to cut us out and graft us in. This may be news to those that believe “once saved always saved” theology. However, if we look at Romans 9-11, we are reminded that Elohim said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy; and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Paul makes it quite clear that we should not boast. (Romans 11:18-24), and to not be “highminded, but fear: for if Elohim spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of Elohim: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” Yes we can be cut off.

Yet as I study His word with new understanding that as Ephesians 2:11-13 states,

“Therefore remember that at one time you once nations (Gentiles) in the flesh, who are called “the uncircumcision” by what is called “the circumcision”, made in the flesh by hands, that at that time you were without Messiah (Yahshua), excluded from the CITZENSHIP of Israel and strangers from the covenants, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world.TS2009

Today the tree has shoots, new growth, new graftings…He is calling us out of the doctrines of men. The natural reveals the spiritual and the spiritual reveals the natural…..

There is only one Tree, one family of YHWH, He never changes….Praise His Holy Name!!

If you are lost or confused about these truths, please go to NikkiHowardbooks.com and read “Inherited Lies, Discovering the Truth from the Bible for Yourself.”

Seeking Truth in Troubled Times…

So much has transpired since my last post from December 2019….COVID, lockdowns, election fraud, greatest wealth transfer in history and the destruction of our food supply systems….to name just a few. If you read the previous articles, you will see a change in my walk with God (YHWH) as He started to teach me truths. Over the last two and half years, He walked me through the lies He said we would inherit from our fathers. Jeremiah prophesied that one day Gentiles would come from the ends of the earth, saying, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.” (Jeremiah 16:19). He was speaking to the scattered tribes of Israel, regarding that future time when YHWH would re-gather Israel (both houses/mixed multitude not the UN sanctioned state of Israel) a second time. I imagine you are saying “what does this have to do with me?” Everything!

This book and subsequent blog is crucial in understanding the times we are living in….dark times, prophesied times, but exciting time if we understand the Father’s timeline. If you have a traditional Christian worldview, you will not be prepared for the days ahead. You must seek Him with all your heart, might and strength, be willing to leave behind your traditions of men, forsake and destroy the old inherited foundation and to rebuild on Truth. Fear not……

I sought the Lord (YHWH), and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

The Tree and the Deer

The simplicity of an evergreen, a deer and snow.

Somehow the draw of the cold, early morning winters are such a delight to me. Layering my clothes, I don my very old down “puffer” black full length coat that I can’t bear to give up due to its extreme warmth. It lacks total shape or form.  At 50, I am beyond caring that I look like a black Stay Puft marshmallow topped with my bomber hat which keeps my head and ears toasty so early in the morning.  I have entered “practical” vs “fashionable” at least for outdoor wear.   People are heading to school, jobs, and the monotony of a workday starts for them.  For me, I head to my mountain with my dog Sheba, anticipating a “word” from the Lord.  My pace quickens.  The entrance to the cemetery is clogged with a thigh-high plow shaped mound of hardened snow.  The earlier storm long over, above freezing temperatures during the day created an icy layer on top that crunches so loudly in the quiet of the early morning climb.

My first thought,”I will never see a deer with this noise.”  Yet, I dismiss the thought and replace it with, “God can do anything.”  Hope returns.  I realize as we head up the first hill, that I am ill -equipped with my sneakers.  (I had forgotten that they don’t plow the cemetery in winter).  I make a mental note to wear boots next time.  The climb is icy at spots and in others, I sink ankle deep in cold moist snow, but my thoughts turn to “Seek me with all your heart, and you will find Me.”  It also returns to the “Christmas season”, “Traditions of men”, and Christmas trees.  The Lord has been destroying my “Christian ” foundation quite steadily over the last year.  When He reveals something, a fallacy or twist of His truth, it is usually a BIG one that rocks my world for weeks on end.  The latest has been Christmas, as well as other “Christian” holidays.  (warning…..this will probably offend those who are not ready for truth.  Read at your own risk.)  Two days ago, I saw a post on the history of the Christmas tree, its pagan roots and our adoption. (There are tons of YouTube videos on Christmas origins)  The woman speaking denotes a passage in Jeremiah.  Stunned, I turn to Jeremiah 10:2-4 (KJV) and read:

Thus saith the LORD, Lean not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain, for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.  They deck it with silver and with gold, they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it not move.

WHAT?? Really???  God warns about “customs of people” (Traditions of men)  which are not His ways. (Some argue it means wooden idols but what are idols but symbols of who or what we worship)   It still rings true. This has really been another eye-opener.  Consequently,  I shared the verse and post with a friend who drives the Amish.  She asked the Amish if they celebrate Christmas?  They said they gathered together.  She also asked if they had Christmas trees.  Their response was: “No, the book of Jeremiah forbids it.”  Wow!  So the Amish know what the bible says.  Now the rest of the story……. (Yes, I used to listen to Paul Harvey!)

God, true to His nature, allowed Sheba and myself to see the three deer in the field but because of the major crunching noise, they did not stick around long.  However, as we traversed the front of the mountain to make our circuitous route back down, I again was thinking about, “Seek me with all your heart….”  I look up and did a “double-take” . There up ahead, SITTING under a perfectly formed, huge fir tree was a deer.  It was not fleeing, my dog did not sense it. I stopped and tried to grab my cell phone camera.  I finally found it but with some difficulty because I had huge mittens that barely fit into my pocket.  I finally turned it on and looked up, the deer was standing now.  Looking straight at me, ears pricked.  I then saw another behind it, white tail up.  They were now on alert.  The picture you see below shows the standoff.  As I stood motionless, even Sheba stood still (only God).  The picture of the prone position of the deer under a perfect fir tree surrounded in snow, impacted me greatly.  God is everywhere but this is where He showed Himself to me, out in creation, in the cold wintry morning.  It was my third message.  Jesus was born simply, in a manger. With no fanfare, no holiday celebrations, no glitz, just quietly out with the animals, with his family.  Man has made his own traditions.  Nowhere in the Bible, does it say to celebrate Jesus birthday.  He came in humbly (not at the height of pagan holidays).  This is a hard one for me but I cannot deny what He showed me over the last few days. I leave you with two pictures.  Which one speaks of the character of God and His word?


Headed to the valley!

Another morning, another climb up the mountain out of the valley.  Forever cherishing the connection with the Father, our Creator in the alone time that has become a “need” greater than any desire I could list.  As I ascend around another corner, down below I hear a great noise.  Crashing through the dry brush beneath me are my deer.  The first realization was “How odd?”  That is what struck me first.  I stopped and watched them for a few minutes.  They had also stopped and through the bare trees, ground littered with fallen dead leaves, I spied the two -staring right back at me.  But all I could think was, “Why are you going down the hill into the valley? You guys are always on top of the mountain.”  They soon bounded off , zig-zagging tails waving at me as they headed down the hill.  As for me, I continued my ascent and had almost reached the first view, when a second crashing, branches snapping, leaves crunching noise startled me.  This time I could not see them.  The brush hugged the path too tightly to view them, but I knew.  God was emphasizing His point. “Follow me down to the valley!”

This may not seem weird or out of the ordinary to many people but on my journey it was very strange. What came to mind as I continued to walk was the book, “Hind’s Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurand.  It is a wonderful classic allegory about the deep desires of all God’s children to be led to new heights of love, joy and victory.  The verse referenced is Habakkuk 3:19 – “The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like Hinds feet (deer), and He will make me to walk upon mine High places.”

It is an amazing journey about crippled “Much-Afraid” (the main character) and her walk with the Good Shepherd, triumphing over every circumstance by accepting His will, lying down hers and moment by moment following Him.  Allowing Him to mold and shape her every day, through the good and bad. We are told,lighted path

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9


She learns that with complete trust, sacrifice of self and acceptance of circumstances, we will triumph over the evil and learn from each experience.

What I failed to mention about that day was the mist that clung so heavily to the valley.  It was still shrouding my climb and created an eeriness through the cemetery.  Again the meaning was not lost. We cannot see ahead too far as we walk this path of life. God may be calling us off His mountain of peace and safety, out of our comfortable lives to go down into the valleys of the world.  To work with Him (the Good Shepherd), “for that is where evil and sorrowful and ugly things are which need to be overcome.”

fog up the mountain


Too many of us are limping, crippled like “Much-Afraid” in this allegory.  She comes to the conclusion that the only really satisfactory way of dealing with evil is “not simply binding it, but where possible overcoming it with good.”  So as for me, I have been allowed to hang on the mountain-top, learning lessons all summer, but now He is leading me into the valley to overcome the evil of abortion with good.  (See my ministry theredegg.org.)  I know no other way but His leading.  What comes to mind is how Jesus taught us to pray……let thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…..


Bury you dead

Another Sabbath morning, and Sheba and I head to our peaceful mountain top.  The sunrise is incredible, hues of pinks, blues and oranges softened by the morning mist that hovers over the valley.  From the top, I can look across the Susquehanna River valley that lazily twists and turns weaving through my little town of Owego.  As always, I am singing and having conversations with the Lord.  I am always expectant to see His glory of creation.  Never knowing what we are to talk about today.  As I head around a turn, I hear, “let the dead bury their dead.”  I look around the cemetery and see stone obelisks, headstones and statues of people long dead.  I mull over what He is trying to teach me……Matthew 8:21-22

Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Jesus then proceeded to get into the boat.  Not much is said about this statement. Jesus is on to the next teaching.  Yet many will say it is spiritual, like the “spiritually dead”. “Leave them,” he said, and this may be so, but the Lord was trying to teach me something deeper.  Many times as Christ followers we take scripture out of context or “cherry pick” a verse to fit our situation.  I knew that there was more to this.  In order to give the bible context, we really need to study the times and culture of 1st century Israel, in particular, their burial practices.   When a person died, the body was placed in a carved limestone tomb.  This was the initial burial.  A year later, once the body had fully decomposed,  a second more elaborate burial happened.  The whole family would return and “gather the bones of their ancestors” and place them with the other members on a different shelf or on the floor.   Unfortunately, Greek and Roman culture had influenced the second burial.  It had become more elaborate, more costly as the Israelite adopted the ceremony of placing the bones in an “ossuary” or bone box with the deceased members name written on it. This “secondary burial” called for a day of fasting in the morning and feasting in the afternoon. So now burying the dead had obtained a ceremonial status,  much like children’s birthday parties have become today. As in your non-Christ following family member that cannot understand how you could miss little Timmy’s birthday party to go on a mission trip.  You hear “but you can’t miss the birthday party!”

All that being said, Jesus came to do the Father’s will.  When you start to really seek who God is and know in your heart and by His word, that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever…..you know Jesus would never transgress the 5th commandment and not “honor your father and mother.”   As I search the scriptures (Berean style and historical records), I believe Jesus was talking about the second burial (full of man made customs, expenses and adornments), the disciple would have been expected at the family gathering and if we look at the very next line of scripture, “Then he (Jesus) got into the boat and his disciples followed him.”  Jesus knew that disciple would “miss the boat” literally and His next lesson.    As my “lesson” concluded, in His true nature and goodness, I was walking back in town over the railroad tracks and looked up.  There were my deer, our eyes locked and I heard Him say, “keep following me and you will find me.” With that, the deer headed to the river.

And that is what He says to all of us.  That means, Jesus came to do God’s will, those commandments are for now and forever (the 5th commandment still stands).   Man made rituals are just that and have nothing to do with the scriptures and only serve to draw us away from God’s best. However, God gave us freewill and the choice is ours. What is your choice? Will you seek the scriptures and seek Him with all your heart?



Double take

Jeremiah 29:13  “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart”

Starting my walk later than usual, Sheba (my German Shepherd) and I commenced our routine of climbing the cemetery hill.  I knew we had missed sunrise and I watched as a jogger ran up ahead of us to the summit. Deep down I felt dismayed.  The early hours, the sunrise, the solitude I have found at the peak of the cemetery hill would now be unattainable because I had not left the house early enough. So I turned my attention to the Lord, praising Him, snatches of choruses from my favorite songs echoed in my head as I ascended. The verse I had been ruminating on all week came to the forefront of my mind…it was from Genesis when Eve ate the fruit from the “Tree of Good and Evil”.  Adam and Eve were not aware of both “good and evil”.  They had always only known God’s best.  His perfection. His complete attention. His pristine creation, uniquely melded together with perfect fellowship and idyllic peace.  I had always looked at “evil”, never thinking that “good” was less than God intended. It has bothered me all week.  The verse in Jeremiah 29:13 came back..”if you seek me…..” and suddenly I realized I was not looking for God in His creation!  My mind was elsewhere, distracted with good things but not the best.  By this time I was rounding the highest point, knowing I would not see the deer that He always allowed me to be unnaturally in close proximity, especially with Sheba at my side. So I started back down and noticed the “tree”- the brilliant tree from last year- it was drab looking. I took a picture with my phone. I passed by and turned the corner.  I realized that I had not truly identified the tree and turned to go grab a leaf to help me solidify its identity.  Lo and behold,  a 4 point buck was staring at me from underneath the tree.  Too late to grab my camera again.  I was way too close.  Our eyes locked, I stopped, always amazed at how close God allows me to be to his beautiful creatures.  I had a few more seconds and then he bounded off.  I was so thrilled to have seen him so close yet bummed I didn’t have a picture to remember it by.  I continued onward to the base of the tree and plucked a leaf.  Wanting to make sure it really was a red maple, the leaf had seven points – of course it did!  “7” God’s number of completion/perfection.  As I headed back down pondering its meaning and praising God…it hit me! I had taken a picture of the tree before!  Was the deer there? Even then?  I stopped, found the previous picture (see picture below) and blew it up larger.  Yes, there he was, but I did not see him because I was not looking for him.  Again, I heard the message…..God said, “I am always here but you must have eyes to see, ears to hear and you will find me.”  I am always humbled when He gives me such a beautiful message.  He is always there, how many of us get distracted with “good” things or activities and miss the “best” that God has for us.  Good and evil are all around us but only when we remember to seek God’s best will we find Him.

Matthew 13:16  But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.deer under tree

We are all Lamps

We are all lamps; we have the potential to be a light, to shine a path in the darkness. Our “Source” is always there, waiting for us to “plug” in. We throw everything at the lamp, trying to energize it, make it “come to life” – crystals, spells, Reiki, yoga; we are looking for a “source” of power. But nothing works. We keep trying in our own strength – alcohol, drugs, and sex – no power. Our lives are empty and dark.
Some of us do find “The Power Source” and “plug” in. We are connected with our purpose – we shine, we are bright, we can see into the darkness. We stay close to “The Source”. But eventually, we get bored staying so close to the wall, we look out and see all the world has to offer, quickly forgetting the darkness that surrounds it. The cord feels restrictive- “I want to do what I want to do” – our will, mind, and emotions fight against “The Source”. We finally yank the cord out and walk back into the darkness.
Others stay close soaking in the power of the One True God. – The Source. Yet until we realize that God has given us a rechargeable battery pack, we cannot go out into the darkness to be a light to those around us. When our faith grows and we realize we can take that power source with us and stay connected, then our true path will be lit before us. We will have to go back and “plug in” with the Father to “recharge” our batteries, but unlike modern everyday batteries, our charge will continue to strengthen as we sit, learn, study under “The Source”. He will enable us to keep going out into the darkness with no fear of losing His power source. We need not fear our light will flicker. He charges our batteries, His power lights the way. We are all a bunch of lights that the Lord wants to use and to light the path to Him- the One True Power Source.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.  Revelation 21:23

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12


The Oak and the Pine

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
oaktreesideviewI have to say that 50 has been  a turning point in health…everything is just a little harder to do, takes longer to maintain results and the body is definitely a tad weaker….like eyesight.  It used to be that I wore glasses (or contacts) for distance but my up close vision was just fine.  Through my forties, my up close vision has steadily declined, to the point that I cannot distinguish the shampoo bottle from the conditioner in the shower.  But I believe what has really affected me the most is my contacts.  No longer am I able to correct my vision using contacts.  Now I need “cheaters” or drugstore glasses to read, however, this does not help my distance vision at all.  So even though I wear my contacts, I am still squinting to make out what appears to be a wreath or some pine debris next to a tall oak at the edge of the field yesterday morning.  So being the ever curious person God made me to be, Sheba (my dog) and I decided to head across the field to check it out.  As we meandered over to the tree, I was surprised to see that it was a beautiful miniature spruce actually rooted to the base of this towering oak.  I thought it rather odd that a perfectly formed pine had grown beneath the tree canopy that in the warmer months would have prevented much sun from finding it.  I sat down next to it and looked at the towering oak and thought, “that is so weird to find an evergreen under this huge deciduous oak.” (Yes, the words really do enter my mind!) The ground was littered with acorns and the distinctively shaped oak leaves.  As I sat and pondered such an odd pairing, I thought about the characteristics of both type of wood.  Oak is a hard wood, heavier, slow growing, highly prized for its toughness and beauty.  The spruce or pine, on the other hand, is a fast growing, soft wood, not prized for its beauty as much as its availability and quick growth.  It also is susceptible to dents and scratches.  The price difference is also distinctly different, with pine being cheaper than oak.  In the early morning sunrise, the Lord brings another picture to mind…….God is the beautiful towering Oak!  Tall, majestic, durable and highly prized.  We are the pine; weaker, softer, susceptible to dents and scratches.  If we understand the relationship that God intended with His Creation, we, too, would nestle in underneath His canopy, draw from His deep tap root, stay protected under His wide overarching reach.  We would not worry about the sun reaching us so we could grow in stature.  If we are rooted with God, His “Son” will sustain us, nurture us, and grow us up into a beautiful sight that would bring joy to others, especially at Christmas time, when, as the “pine” we would be able to shine –  adorned, and decorated – for the celebration of the Father’s gift to us, Jesus, His son.