ARTB Bible Blog 12.3.10 Deliver gifts with NURTURING LOVE!
Our forefathers never desired being DEPENDANT to him, but they left him in their hearts and they turned-back to Egypt. (Acts 7:39, ARTB Draft)
A note from A. Frances Werner:
This is the verse that I wanted to included earlier this week. It is still not quite "there", but is getting closer. The word DEPENDANT is usually translated as OBEY in most translations. But in both the Greek (HYPEKOOS, Strong's 5255, literally HEARING/UNDER) and Aramaic (TADY related to the word BREAST) the root word is only used 3 times.
The word DEPENDANT gives us a clue as to the reasons why the Israelites wanted to turn back to Egypt, even though that meant a return to slavery. Being in the desert, they were clearly DEPENDANT upon Yahweh for food, water, safe travel and protection from wild animals and marauding bands. They were literally UNDER THE BREAST to learn about Yahweh's NURTURING LOVE.
It's this NURTURING LOVE that Yahweh wants us to share with one another.
Remember the definition: A long term investment of yourself, committing to making someone the best they can be, girded by prayer.
So, returning to the example of giving gifts to one another. A mother that is incapable of producing milk is still able to NURTURE her baby. Thus it is not ncecessarily the MILK itself or any GIFT itself that gives NURTURING LOVE. It is time being together with the baby under the breast!
Let's say you already bought that vaccuum cleaner or undershirt mentioned earlier. Look beyond the gift to NURTURING LOVE. Take the giftee to God Almighty in prayer. What do they need to grow in their relationship with God? I'm going to suggest a few options below to help you see creatively. Please do NOT just take one as a good idea--you need to find out what YOU should give. I'm betting that when you take the person in prayer, you will come up with a BETTER solution.
1) How about a note that you have prayed for that person? How about what you learned?
2) How about DOING the vaccuuming from now on? Or committing to helping on Saturday chores? Or making a game out of vaccuuming to teach the kids how to help?
3) How about marking or embroidering one undershirt (or sock) to be worn on tough days at work or school days with bullies or tests? Commit to USING it as a signal to lay hands on them in prayer before they head out.
Exploring ways to deliver NURTURING LOVE with your gifts will multiply the blessing to both you and the giftee. Put your loved ones under your breast!
ARTB Bible Blog 11.30.10: Gift Trauma without NURTURING LOVE
Virtually every household I know has had the following scenario at some point in its history: A present is opened, and the person receiving the present bursts into tears. Not happy tears, but extremely sad tears. Ususally, there is an exchange of comments like â€œYou donâ€™t love meâ€ followed by â€œYes I do!!!â€ and more tears. The exchange scars giftgiving for years to come. The giftee feels unloved and the giftgiver vows never to buy a present again, which ususally translates to either opting out of future gift buying (and giving the person money to buy whatever they want) or resorting to asking for a list of acceptable presents.
My friends, this scenario is SO common, Iâ€™m betting youâ€™ve been on one side or the other of the situation. There is a lot of pain on BOTH sides. How can we revive giftgiving so it is a BLESSING to both parties? You probably know my answer: The key is NURTURING love.
First, letâ€™s take a look at a specific example (Pardon my use of stereotypes): A husband notices his wife struggles every week to clean the house using an old vaccuum cleaner that continually clogs up. He takes note of the need and carefully researches various options. He goes out to buy an expensive new vaccuum cleaner, has it wrapped beautifully, and is stunned when his wife bursts into tears and accuses him of not loving her.
Buying a practical gift to help a woman clean the house or cook in the kitchen is equivalent to buying socks, razors, undershirts (fill in the blank) for men every year. It may be required, especially in this tough economy. Practical gifts for the house and personal hygiene are fine â€œstocking stuffersâ€. But these gifts alone without a special gift that shows NURTURING LOVE are equivalent to a mother breast-pumping her milk for her child everydayâ€”and having someone else give it to the baby everyday without seeing or holding the baby. It would be PRACTICAL SUSTENANCE for the baby. But there would be no NURTURING LOVE between mother and child. More this week on how to revive our gift giving.
I had a great verse to add here, but I cancelled it because one of the words needed another review. I'm sending this out without a verse rather than waiting another day. We all desperately need the breast-feeding with NURTURING LOVE, loving one another as He has loved us. A. Frances Werner
READ MORE ABOUT NURTURING LOVE IN MORE BIBLE BLOG
ARTB Bible Blog, 11.29.10 Nurturing love makes the best gift!
The gifts given by children to their parents are often treasured for years. My reflection is that the beauty and blessing of a child's gift is the clear view of THEIR nurturing love toward the parent. Think about the special gifts you may have received or gifts you gave as a child. Often, the most memorable gifts had little monetary value. But I'll bet you find that the gift fits a lot of the definition of NURTURING: A self-giving from the gift-giver, with an effort of time and energy, given in a spirit of wanting to give something special to mom or dad.
You can spot the difference immediately: The card your child created at school for Valentine's day because the teacher thought it was a great idea is NOT a gift given with NURTURING love. But a colored picture of a heart given to you because your child knew you were sad to lose a friend to cancer, means the world to you.
We all want "thoughtful" gifts. That is the code word in American culture that someone took the time to think about us, and get us something that really matches us. The most appreciated gifts are often those we didn't even KNOW we wanted until we unwrap it. Isn't that really a sign of a gift with NURTURING LOVE?
If you can so clearly see or not see NURTURING love with your child, know that those receiving gifts from you can see exactly whether a gift comes with authentic NURTURING LOVE. I encourage you to take out your Nurturing List and compare it to the list of people you are buying gifts for this year. Take it to Yahweh in prayer. Take the time to talk to Him about why there is a discrepancy between the lists. Perhaps someone needs to be added to your Nurturing List. Perhaps someone needs to be added or subtracted to your Gift List. Perhaps someone on your Gift list belongs on someone else's Gift List. The key is to match gift giving with NURTURING LOVE.
Take a look at what Paul said to the Philippians. May all our giftgiving be a fragrant scent and an acceptable sacrifice pleasing to God!
I never requested a gift, but I request that fruit will multiply to you. . . I will take all that you dispatched to me by Epaphroditus with a fragrant scent and an acceptable sacrifice pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:17,18 ARTB Draft)
Wrap the season with NURTURING love! Beginning my Nurturing Love list
Happy Thanksgiving! I know many of you won't even get to opening this e-mail until late this weekend, well past all the flurry of food and family on Thanksgiving Day. This note actually needs a cup of coffee, a pad and pencil, and a bit of thoughtful prayer time.
I'd like to share thoughts about the very important concept of NURTURING LOVE over this holiday season. I'm going to toss out a lot of suggestions about how to integrate it into your life to prioritize the craziness of the season. Take what fits.
I've written before that the Hebrew word RAHAM (rendered as NURTURING in ARTB) appears 300 times in the Old and New Testament. Most bible translations only utilize the word NURTURING once or twice in the entire bible. The definition of NURTURING is based upon a mother's love for a child, and very specific: It is a long-term giving of yourself--to help a person be all that God Almighty wants for them--based on prayer.
Today, I'm recommending you begin the process of establishing your Nurturing Love list. This is NOT a list of prayer requests. Rather, it is the list of people that you truly believe Yahweh is asking you to labor in nurturing love with prayers and concern for a LONG-TIME. Don't be too quick to add names beyond your immediate family in ink. Start in pencil and put the list before Him in prayer. This is NOT the list YOU think you should pray for, but the list HE is asking for.
This process will take time, and the list won't be finalized for a while. Today, for Thanksgiving, as you offer prayers of thanks for the past year, see if there is anyone you are prompted to add to your Nurturing Love list. Blessings!
As a father nurtures sons, Yahweh nurtures those that fear him.
(Psalm 103:13, ARTB).
ARTB Bible Blog 11.24.10, Priest for Yahweh?
Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Who is for Yahweh? Come to me." All the sons of Levi gathered with him. (Exodus 32:26, ARTB)
A note from A. Frances Werner:
This passage occurred immediately after Moses came down from the Mount and found the Israelites worshipping the golden calf. Beginning with this act of faithfulness to Yahweh, the Levites were accorded special status for the nation of Israel. They became the only tribe that could be ANOINTED to be priests, and they were the only tribe that could touch and transport the articles of the wilderness sanctuary. The story in 2 Samuel 6 confirms that non-Levites could die touching the ark of the covenant. The ONLY way the other 11 tribes could come into the temple before the presence of Yahweh, was their representation inscribed on the 12 jewels worn on the ephod of the priest.
Thus, the ANOINTING message of Yeshua (Jesus) is far more outrageous than the BAPTIZING message of John. Why?
John was a LEVITE. His father Zechariah, from the particular Levite heritage of Aaron, served in the temple. His mother was also descended from Aaron (Luke 1:5). The call for cleansing from sin was a familiar Jewish practice. John had the authority of his birthright to do what he was doing, and probably was issuing a call like that of Moses: "Who is for Yahweh? Come to me for BAPTIZING!"
Yeshua (Jesus) was from the tribe of David. Kings can BE anointed, but have no authority by birthright to ANOINT others. Yet, like a prophet, he was offering ANOINTING. His message was beyond baptism: "Yes, we all need to be baptized (including me). But there is more. Part of Yahweh's plan is to ANOINT you to be restored to service in the temple, in the order of Melchizedek."
This discussion about ANOINTING, not BAPTISM, made the followers of Yeshua very unusual, and dangerous. It violates the core of Jewish understanding of birthright, the establishment of the Levites in temple service, and the authority TO anoint.
A thought: Christians spend a lot of time discussing the details about BAPTISM. How and when it is done has formed the basis for many splits and new denominations. I rarely hear discussion about ANOINTING between various denominations, and have had to do some digging to even find out how specific denominations regard ANOINTING. I'll share more later this week, and ask for your help documenting various denomination practices.
Blessings for your Thanksgiving. Thanks be to our God who has given us all good gifts!