A 40-something time period, whether days, months, or years is ALWAYS a period of testing

40Since the evening of April 8, 2013,  I have been _engrossed_ in a mission to Save Wissahickon Park, a National Natural Landmark in Philadelphia, from inappropriate use — the installation of a “Go Ape” zipline tree top adventure concession. That evening in April, a coalition was born, Alliance for Preservation of the Wissahickon (APOW)¹, and forged through the “done deal” plans to hault the installation. The plan was proposed by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Yesterday press released the direction has been abandoned, Praise God! From the evening of April 8th until today has been 40 Days. It is no coincidence that today, I first counted the days and that 40 concluded this mission. 

P.Jacobi_painting1

Painting of the mill on Wises Mill Road.~ Patti Poppert

There are at least ten instances in the Old Testament and New Testament where 40 occurs, either in years or days, e.g. it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.

A 40-something time period, whether days, months, or years is ALWAYS a period of testing, trial, probation, or chastisement (but not judgment) and ends with a period of restoration, revival or renewal.² To name just a few:

  1. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights when God wanted to cleanse the world and start over.
  2. Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days (TWICE)
  3. The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness, one year for each day they explored the Promised Land.
  4. Goliath came for forty days before being killed by David
  5. Elijah strengthened by one angelic meal went forty days to Mount Horeb where the Lord passed by and he heard the voice of God
  6. Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness
  7. Jesus was seen in the earth 40 days after His crucifixion³

Empowerment and blessing which covered this period of 40 days was ever present. God orchestrated the unity of many caring and compassionate, intelligent people to accomplish a mission that certainly must have been close to His heart. The course was steep, intense and a relentless thief of time. The Wissahickon Valley Park has been called a “sanctuary” by some— a refuge from the encroachment of city life. In this transcendent park, God speaks through His Creation and His Creation abides in the park.

40 days of rain passed before Noah opened the window in the ark. Today the window opened and I know He guided the course!

I am expecting to share great things with Rejoycin’ readers over the next months. The outward evidence of breakthrough is only a mere reflection of unperceived gain.

photo: C. Cotter

Yellow Trail, Saved May 21, 2013 ~photo: C. Cotter

Praise God for His strength
Praise God for His reign
His mercies at length
Renewal past pain

Embraced in His Goodness
Transported in rain
Immeasurable Justness
Commissioned ordained

The morning is nearing
A promise fulfilled
Elation appearing
The tide is now stilled

If ever a time would I question Your Hand
Return me ponder Your quake of the Land

¹APOW is a grassroots advocacy group consisting of a growing coalition of members,
including: Friends of Wissahickon (FOW) Trail Ambassadors, PA Equine Council, Central Roxborough Civic Association, Upper Roxborough Civic Association, Members of Girls Scouts of America, Sierra and Audubon Club Members, Friends of Wissahickon Members, regional park users and Philadelphia taxpayers, stakeholders and almost 2,000 petition signers
²http://belovedheart.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/the-significance-of-the-number-40-in-the-bible/
³http://www.40day.com/40_in_the_bible.html

Great is Our God! ‘El Gadol’ Eloha

For ADONAI is a great God, a great king greater than all gods. Psalm 95:3

21_christmas-countdown

‘El Gadol’ translates in Hebrew to ‘Great God’! Great! …Remarkable, Outstanding, Extraordinary— Grand in power and intensity and size, on top!

When we encounter greatness on this earth we can be left speechless or stricken by the presence of another whom we deem above the average or normal—starstruck. When we truly encounter God, we are powerless.

#10 God Doodle

#10 God Doodle: A lions eye was used for the Lion from the tribe of Judah, Rev 5:5

In the bible are many accounts that men have fallen down in the presence of God, passed out and have even fallen in a deep sleep. Beyond mere human emotional response, this is purely spiritual! The glory presence of God is as a weighted blanket of Peace and Comfort and no man can stand under it’s potency. The manifestation of God is Great in Power!

Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. Ezekiel 1:28 (ESV)

Everything about God is Great—His creations, His love, His miracles, His Justice and His Faithfulness, to name just a few. Composer Thomas Chisolm wrote Great is Thy Faithfulness after Lamentations 3:22-23, one of his favorite scriptures:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Titus 2:12-13 instructs us:

training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

El Gadol has asked of us to be great. BE GREAT for His Glory!

God Trumps the Boogie Man

VeggieTales—God Is Bigger

VeggieTales—God Is Bigger

God is bigger than the boogie man. He’s bigger than Godzilla and the monsters on TV. Oh, God is bigger than the boogie man, And he’s watching out for you and me.¹

Many evenings I read this book to my daughter to ward off fear of darkness and “a hundred tiny monsters jumping right into your [her] jammies!”¹ Today it may be a direct prayer or the comfort of companionship before fear will subside but, knowing God is triumphant over fear is key.

God is bigger, He is El Gibber which is Hebrew for Mighty God!

… The Mighty One, God, ADONAI, is speaking, summoning the world from east to west… Psalm 50:1

“The Mighty One, God, is ADONAI!” Joshua 22:22

ADONAI means Lord— it carries meanings of Sovereign, Controller, Owner, Master, Leader, derived from the Word FATHER. Jesus was called Mighty God preceding birth by the prophet Isaiah more than 800 years before it’s time, (Isaiah 9:6). In Psalm 24:7-8 it is written:

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!

“Lift up your heads”, is David beseeching the Israelites (and all in the region) to open their physical gates of their towns to God and His ways. He also seems to be requesting that they open their spiritual gates (heart and mind) so that God can enter in an individual way.² Look to the Lord—look the the  Mighty One. When troubles seem insurmountable and the world is closing in, if we can only remember to look up.

God is Bigger, just as the childrens’ book and song proclaims, and Mightier, as scripture affirms. He is in control of all! Additionally, He is Ezrati, our Helper. Often the only prayer I have is “Help Lord!”. Just as Jesus did not delay when the disciples feared the storm or Peter began to sink and cried, “Lord, Save Me”³, He promises us that He will come,

…he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.  Deuteronomy 31:8

At godthang.wordpress.com , author going by the name of GodGirl quoted a wonderful prayer by Max Lucado†,

“Dear Jesus,
It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately. These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated. The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation? Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas.

But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence. Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

       Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.

This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
Hopefully,

       Your Children.”

Look up, lift up, call out, call on, cry out, ask, seek— UP… don’t stop knocking!
Love, Denise
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¹ Book at Amazon;  You can also listen on YouTube— search Big Idea Productions, God IS BIgger Than the Boggie Man
²Study bible Q & A;  (review John 4:21-24)
³ Jesus Walks on the Water
† http://maxlucado.com/