The Predator

The Predator

I watched my dog, Agape transform into a predator.

From my front window, I could see a herd of twelve deer, all does, walking up my long driveway. We have a six-foot-high fence and gate surrounding our five acres of property.

Our German shepherd guarded it. She saw them and at once went into hunter mode. Agape crouched, never taking her eyes off the deer while inching her way toward the herd. As she tore into a full sprint, they saw her and ran.

First, she separated them into two groups. The first group jumped over or went through the vertical PVC splines of our fence forcing them to expand to the circumference of their bodies.

She stayed with the second group, chasing them to the back of our property.

I followed window to window trying to keep up.

My dog drove the next group into two, and then separated a doe and her yearling, from the others. At this point, I ran to my garage to watch this match unfold.

The mother doe, who Agape separated from the yearling, came out of nowhere nearly knocking me over as she ran past me back to the front yard. The yearling ran along the opposite side of the driveway with my shepherd on her heels… uh, hooves.

We have a fifteen-foot-wide rock-lined creek across our front yard.

As I watched the yearling run towards it, I could see my dog getting excited as she anticipated the kill; the deer had nowhere to go.

Then, it happened.

In one graceful leap, the doeling sailed over the fifteen-foot cavern, catching up with her mother on the other side. My breath caught; it was a beautiful site.

But my sweet, defeated dog stood there, dumbfounded, staring at the creek and the deer on the other side. I called her. She came with her head bowed as she lost the will to chase the pair any longer.

What I Learned from this

First, watching this 100-pound dog go after twelve 100-200 pound deer, I wondered how different the outcome may have been if those deer stopped acting as prey and realized they outnumbered and out-weighed my dog.

They could have turned the tables on her and left her running to her doghouse with her tail between her legs.

Our Predator

Satan is our predator.

Satan separates us from our family, church, or friends, with lies, confusion, hurt feeling, and unforgiveness as he moves in steal, kill, and destroy.

When Satan’s prowling turns into an all-out sprint against us, we can stand against him as the body of Christ. There is no need to scatter in fear.

We are stronger together than alone.

Our joint weight and power in the Holy Spirit defeats Satan as we pray for one another in the name of Jesus.

Has there ever been a time in which you tried to fight a battle alone?

Read Ephesians 6:18.

We are stronger together!

Brokenhearted

Brokenhearted

Two years ago yesterday, we lost our sweet dog, Olivia. It was a very warm winter day. She went out onto our pond (that was frozen the day before) and fell in. We were at a funeral for a family member and no one was there to rescue her.

I was heartbroken and inconsolable.

I didn’t understand why God had let our sweet dog die this way with no one to help her.

As I reflect on that day, God was there with us. He did not let my children be the ones who found her. It was my husband. A friend was there to help him pull her from the pond.

A friend was there for me as I wept uncontrollably over the phone.

As I questioned God, He gave me this verse-

What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. Matt. 10:29 NLT

If a single sparrow can’t fall to the ground without Him knowing, Olivia did not die without His knowledge either.

God understood my pain and was with me through it. He never left me.

When it was hard to pray–and it was–He was there praying for me. The Holy Spirit was interceding for me, too.

Adonai (God’s name meaning my Lord) promises:

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Ps. 34:18.

God sees all things and knows all things. Pain and death are terrible things. Unfortunately, this is the life we live on this earth.

Death is normal. Death is a part of life, whether or not we like it.

One day death will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14). No more death, only eternal life.

Until then, parents will mourn over the loss of their child or unborn baby; people will mourn over the loss of parents, friends, and siblings to terrible diseases and accidents. Friends will lose friends.

It was not part of God’s original plan. It came as a result of sin and the fall.

The good news is God is with us. He will never die; He will never leave us or forsake us. In our pain and grief, we can find God, and He promises to be near us.

Jesus knows loss, pain, and grief. He experienced everything we do so He would understand exactly how we feel and how to comfort us. (Hebrews 4:14-16.)

My son had a dream one night after Olivia died. In his dream every animal we have loved and lost came up from a hole in the ground. Each was perfect and alive. Each one remembered us. He shed tears thinking we would see Olivia and our other beloved pets again.

But, we have this hope: we can see those we have lost–every child, mother, father, sibling, and friend–in Heaven. All we need is to put our faith and trust in the One who died and rose again to give us eternal life–Jesus the Messiah.

I pray you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord!

If this spoke to you or feel someone can relate to my story, please share it.

Thank you!

The Coat, the First Couple, and the Lamb

The Coat, the First Couple, and the Lamb

I feel as though it’s been a while since I have written on my blog. I hope you had a great Christmas and I pray blessings on your new year.

This past Sunday I was talking to friends after church and one commented on my husband’s leather coat. She said it reminded her of the ’70s. I laughed and told her it was that old. My husband throws nothing away. But he has taken very good care of this coat so it does not look old at all.

Somehow our conversation drifted to Adam and Eve. My friend commented about God making clothes to cover Adam and Eve and the blood spilled to make those clothes.

According to Hebrew tradition[i], God did not just kill any animal to clothe the first couple, He killed the serpent who deceived them. It was this skin that’s believed to be the clothes Adam and Eve wore. This garment, passed down through generations, was eventually worn by John the Baptist.

God doesn’t make clothes that wear out.

Speaking of clothes, when the garments of the priests wore out, the priests tore them and used them for other things because they could throw none of them away. God made these clothes holy.

These pieces of cloth were used to wrap around the scrolls of the Torah, or Law to protect them from dirt and wear and tear.

The priests used other strips of the cloth for torch wicks within the Temple.

Yet, they used others for the sacrificial lambs. There was a group of shepherds known as Levitical shepherds who worked for the high priest. They lived in Bethlehem and raised sheep for the Temple sacrifices.

As new lambs were born, the shepherds swaddled them with cloth from the old priestly garments to protect them from cuts and bare spots in their wool.

They needed to be perfect.

The night Yeshua was born, it was these shepherds who the angels visited with the Good News. They were told there would be a sign, a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths….

Hebrew tradition shows that Mary would have wrapped Yeshua in the same priestly cloths as the sacrificial lambs. That was the sign these shepherds understood.

God gave another sign or clue way back in Genesis. This sign is easy for us to miss– but the Jewish people who heard the story of Abraham and Isaac didn’t miss it.

Abraham was told by God to take his only son Isaac and sacrifice him.

Genesis 22:1-2 ESV: After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”  He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 

After getting everything ready for the sacrifice, Isaac asked his father, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” Genesis 22:7-8 ESV.

But, did God provide a lamb? Genesis 22:13-14 tells us.

“And Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The Lord will provide.’”

Does it matter that God provided a ram instead of a lamb? Yes, it does.

The rabbis read these stories aloud to the Jewish people, so they recognized that God provided a ram instead of a lamb. Since God did not provide the lamb in this situation, the Jewish people waited for Him to provide the Lamb.

That is why in John 1:29, John’s announcement is very important!

“The next day [John] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” ESV

Only John called Yeshua a Lamb. He was the expected Lamb and prophet the Jewish people were waiting for.

Let me know your thoughts.

1 I have learned much from a man named Rev. Aaron Eime, who
is Deacon and Director of Research and Education at Christ
Church, Jerusalem
and studied at the Hebrew University. Originally
from Australia, he is a dedicated Bible teacher exploring the
Hebraic Roots of the Christian Faith.

I believe he speaks and/or reads Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Latin. (You
can google his name and watch different videos recorded of his speaking
engagements here in the US and Canada.) I’ve seen him a few times when he’s come to the Cleveland area.

Most of what he teaches comes from the Jewish tradition, meaning some of
these facts and beliefs were recorded by Jewish scribes and historians in
sources other than the Bible.

While every New Testament is the same around the world, the Old
Testament is not. As the disciples of Yeshua spread the Gospel, they also left
some of their own writings where they served. As a result there are other books included in other country’s Bibles, some places have sixteen additional Old Testament books.