Now That’s Italian!

TN_girl_cooking_animation

All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. Judges 2:10.

I grew up in a very large, very full blooded Italian family! Both sets of my grandparents emigrated to the United States from Italy. My father was a California transplant from Rhode Island, my mom was born and raised and lived her entire live in San Jose.

I have very fond childhood memories of family. All my father’s siblings remained on the east coast but my mom’s large family were all in San Jose. I remember on weekends we would rotate whose house we would be at for visiting and a meal. We didn’t call to ask if we could come over, it seems the women in our family simply knew who would be hosting on any given weekend. And, Sunday’s, oh Sunday’s were for the traditional pasta meal, usually accompanied by homemade meatballs! Sometimes the adults would speak in Italian, usually when they didn’t want the kids to understand what they were talking about, and, unfortunately, they did not teach us kids the language of our native tongue. But, there were stories and traditions galore! To this day, although I do not practice my Catholic upbringing, I still remember St. Josephs’s Day and all the cooking that went along with it and the little old Italian lady, who, for days would be preparing all sorts of food and desserts for this special day. I think my mom was secretly pleased when one of our lovebugs was born on St. Joseph’s Day!

The nucleus of our family mostly remained in San Jose until the generation before us passed on. Now we are scattered around the nation largely due to affordable housing and job opportunities elsewhere. But, I have kept the stories of my childhood alive by retelling them to my children. An oral tradition that I know they will pass onto my grandchildren.

Before the Bible was a written word it was a verbal word. The stories of God’s faithfulness and the Mosaic Law and what it looked like to be obedient to God were all handed down generation to generation by the telling and retelling of these truths.

A generation, today, is typically thought to be about 25 years; from the birth of a parent to the birth of their child. In the Bible during the Old Testament a generation was typically 40 years.

How is it that the generation mentioned in Judges 2:10 above, a generation that crossed the Jordan River and took possession of the Promised Land, which some estimate was at least one million people, a Jerusalem from the North 1839generation that included Joshua and Caleb, who were great warriors; mighty men of God, had produced a generation that neither knew God or knew of God’s mighty deeds and faithfulness to his beloved Israel?

Did the generation that crossed the Jordan River simply stop retelling about their faith and trust in God to the generation of their children? Perhaps, but I don’t believe so. The Jordan River generation had wandered the wilderness with the generation before them until the wilderness generation had died and God brought the Jordan River generation into the Promised Land he had vowed to give their ancestors. The Jordan River generation experienced the supernatural power of God and witnessed His deliverance and fighting for them. Those stories would have been some of the greatest they would have retold about God’s love, protection and provision over them.

A generation that did not know God or what He had done for Israel. Yet, God in his sovereignty and unfailing love provided a remnant generation to generation. So that, you and I now have the hope that as we tell our own stories of God’s faithfulness in our life to our children and grandchildren and the generations to come, we are establishing a foundation for the base of their own faith in Jesus.

FootprintDirect your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6.

Shalom!

Advertisements

It’s All About The Manna

depositphotos_5342177-Selection-of-spices.This morning I found myself in Joshua 13. The tribe of Levi received no physical inheritance of land. In years past when I would read this I would feel empathy for the Levites. They had to live in towns set aside for them in the land of inheritance of the other tribes of Israel.

Today as I read this it reminded me of how our view of our earthly father can many times skew our view of our heavenly Father.

For me, I had a wonderful dad but he didn’t know how to express his emotions or love toward me, that left me thinking God was distant – far away and non-caring.

How does this connect to the Levites and their lack of inheritance? In my mind the other tribes of Israel were prosperous – they had cattle, sheep, vineyards, crops, servants and if they lived by the sea they made their living as fishermen.

This morning I realized my view of prosperity has been skewed!

Our family always had what we needed but there was always a sense of lack. This was spiritual baggage from both my dad and my mom’s childhood. They were depression age kids.

As I read in Joshua this morning I had an ‘aha’ moment; the Levites had the greatest inheritance of all – God!

And, like the Levites we can trust God to provide exactly what we need, when we need it, and in my experience, He always goes above and beyond.

But to the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance, since the food offerings presented to the LORD, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as he promised them. Joshua 13:14.

Shalom!

Are You Ready To Live?

torn-paper-number-background_GyhvpAIuAge is just a number, right? Well, for some maybe not, but that is how I live my life. As birthdays come and birthdays go, to me it is simply a number. Of course, we must act our age and as we get older, sometimes our bodies don’t remember age is just a number! For the longest, longest, longest time I felt like I was 18 in my mind. It wasn’t until I read “The Naked Gospel”, while at the same time going through our first ‘identity crisis’ teaching at church, that I began to understand God’s grace for my life. As Holy Spirit started to permeate my heart and soul with who He says I am in Christ, my mind began to catch up to my chronological age; my heart began to mature in Christ. But, another blog for another time!

This morning my reading took me to Psalm 90, which is Moses prayer to the nation of Israel, most likely before he dies on Mount Nebo, while looking out at Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey, the Promised Land, the land he never entered. Moses was 120 years old, but what’s in a number?!

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12.

This verse immediately reminded me of what Paul says in Philippians 1:21;

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

If Psalm 90:12 becomes a daily circle of prayer for our life, then as Holy Spirit does indeed teach us to number our days so we gain a heart of wisdom, that Wisdom teaches us that the longing we have in our heart to be filled and fulfilled comes from Him. No other means can bring us the comfort He desires and delights in giving to us.

Oh sure, we can try to find that comfort elsewhere, for me it’s food, food of the carbohydrate inducing slumber type! But, after a stressful day or week, Holy Spirit is always faithful to remind me that when I offer my body as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to Him, it is a beautiful offering, a gift of worship to my Savior! (Romans 12:1).

Precious One as you age in the Lord the values of this world – money, popularity, power, pleasure and prestige ought to fall away and be replaced by a continual development of eternal values, which grows the desire to become more like Christ everyday. This eternal perspective trumps and covers the fear of death. Our desire to see Christ face to face becomes stronger and brings us to the place where, like Paul, we can say, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Is age simply a number? It is if you know where you’re spending eternity.

Shalom!

Pass The Salt

 

TN_salt

Salt. There is so much controversy around this flavorful mineral. There are even many different colors of salt; pink, orange, red, mauve, purple and blue just to name a few. The debate continues, should we use light salt or regular salt; less salt or no salt? One thing remains true about salt, it has been used since the Old Testament times as a preservative for food.

Salt also played a significant role in Hebrew worship and was included in:

  • The grain offering. (Leviticus 2:13).
  • The burnt offering (Ezekiel 43:24).
  • The incense (Exodus 30:35).
  • Part of the Temple offering (Ezra 6:9)
  • Newborn babies were rubbed in salt, ( Ezekiel 16:4), some theorize because the Hebrews believed it would promote good health, still others surmise it was an indication that the child would be raised to have integrity and to always be truthful.

Certainly as Believers in Christ we are called to be the salt of the earth. But, look at this nugget of Truth I found today!

“All the offerings of the holy gifts, which the sons of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the LORD to you and your descendants with you.” Number 18:19.

In the ancient Mid East salt was given as a gift to seal an agreement. It showed the strength and permanence and represented the truth of the agreement. As part of God’s everlasting salt covenant, we have been empowered by Holy Spirit in us to help purify and preserve the world!

Who will you reach out to today to flavor their life with the love of Christ? Who will you bring Yahweh too?

Shalom!