The Tree and the Deer

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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…..

 

The Fox in the Henhouse

Last week I walked up my “mountain” (nothing compared to Western US standards) but it was 9 degrees with a wind-chill of 0. It was a clear blue sky and the sun was just coming up and it beckons to me with an urgency I cannot describe. Sunrise outside anywhere is where I hear from God. So I bundled up (it is never too cold, just inappropriate clothing choices, lol.) and started off with my German Shepherd who had been blocking the door and had dragged her leash out of the basket. Walking out of town and climbing to the entrance of the cemetery, the way was paved with snow and patches that had melted down to pavement, the light filtering through the bare trees to create shadows on the snow. As we started up the hill, my dog found something that didn’t immediately strike me as something odd, I thought it was just another pile of exposed leaves.. As I approached, I realized it was a dead fox that had no head left, just the face. (Warning picture to follow). I stared and thought about it….Fox? What are foxes??? “A Fox in the Henhouse” came to mind. “A thief” ….and then I heard it. That inner voice God uses to speak to me.

deadfox
“I am crushing the head of the Fox that is stealing all my hens! The hens are the mamas that are filled with the eggs (the blessings, the babies!).
The idiom is a warning!

We have put a “Fox” in charge of the “Henhouse.” Meaning someone that will exploit their position!
If we look at the nature of the fox, it is rather telling! Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica and they THRIVE in cities, towns, and rural settings. They are active when the sun goes down, solitary and elusive. They are part of the Canidae family and are related to wolves, jackals, and dogs; however they do not live in packs, they prefer to hunt and sleep alone. A red fox can pinpoint field mice buried deep beneath the snow, using his sensitive hearing and the magnetic field of the North Pole to plot his trajectory. He is accurate 75% of the time!
(See the amazing Discovery video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2SoGHFM18I )

By nature, the fox is sly and tricky. This “fox” has “pounced” on the unsuspecting helpless babies! The “fox” is Governor Cuomo in charge of New York. We have put the “Fox in charge of the Henhouse” here in New York State. We have swallowed the enemy’s lies for too long. Living in fear. Scripture says in Luke: 13:31-35: 

Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem
“At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’  In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.  Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’
Jesus called Herod a “fox”, and that He, Jesus, would have gathered the children together, “as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings”, YET what Herod had done was ORDER the killing of all the newborns up to age 2! Herod, “the fox”, not only “Allowed but Endorsed” the killing of all the baby boys under 2 in order to try and kill baby Jesus! Could what was passed, “allowed and endorsed” by Governor Cuomo be applicable today by changing the name of Herod to Cuomo?

Jesus’ sorrow for New York!
At that time some Congressmen came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Cuomo wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’
“New York, New York, you who kill the innocent babies and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’

#CUOMOISTHENEWHEROD!

Another scripture with reference to foxes:

Nehemiah 4:3, “Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, what they are building – if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!”

The Jews were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. When you have no walls, you have no protection. You have no watchman on the walls sounding the alarm to a call of danger. Cyrus (the ruler of Babylon, who had been used by God to free the Jewish captives) to let the people return to Israel. They were not welcomed by the inhabitants. They were up against ridicule and mockery. Nehemiah enlisted the help of the people to help repair the breaches; he set up families in different spots along the wall. It was a group effort. The battle for the babies is real! The battle is the Lords’. If we keep our eyes focused on Him, seek His face and repent, He will restore our nation. (2 Chronicles 7:14) . He wants our active participation. He does not need us, He wants relationship. It is time to wake up from your slumber, Church! Hear the call!