Friday, March 26, 2010

"The four cups"

My sister Becky the other day called me up and asked “What are the four cups in Passover?” I didn’t know and had to grab my haggadah book just to tell her. Then I thought “Why four cups?” I then did a little research. I looked on FFOZ web page and found an article by Tim Hegg called “I am ADONAI, and I will…” from Bikurei Tziyon, issue 68, 2001. It is so good and relevant to us as believers. I’ll give you quick synopsis of what he says for each cup. To read it all, you’ll just half to get it from FFOZ.
There are four cups based upon the four activities of God in Exodus 6:6-7. In the Midrash it states “There are four expressions of redemption by God:
1 – I will bring you out
2 - I will deliver you
3 – I will redeem you
4 – I will take you


They use four cups to correspond with these four expressions, in order to fulfill the verse in Psalm 116:13 “I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.”


1st cup - “The Cup of Sanctification” – God choosing of Israel for his own
Exodus 6:6 “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”
“The first cup marks Israel out as God’s chosen ones - as the people for whom He would bring deliverance from under the burden of slavery, freeing them to worship and serve Him in spirit and truth. And this is the same work He does for each and every child He brings into His family – He chooses them of his own sovereign will and frees them to worship Him as He intends. It is the calling of every child of God to be sanctified – set apart – unto God, to be given over to His worship and His worship alone. The cup of sanctification or Separation, reminds us of this crucial starting point of our salvation.


2nd cup - “The Cup of Deliverance” – emphasizing Israel’s utter helplessness to rescue herself
Exodus 6:6 “I will deliver you from their bondage.”
“The second cup reminds us, then, that we were in great need of deliverance, for our own idolatry so bound us as to be unable to affect our own rescue. God’s deliverance was (and is) our only hope. Understanding the cup in this way makes it clear why Luke begins his report of Yeshua’s last Passover seder with the second cup (Luke22:14-17). He wants to emphasize that Yeshua is our Deliverer.


3rd cup - “The Cup of Redemption” – Abba paying the necessary price to redeem his children
Exodus 6:6 “I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.”
“The picture turns from mere legal transactions in freeing a slave, to the heart of a father toward His own children, and His willingness to pay the necessary price to have them back, even when that price is most costly. That price was nothing less than the giving of His own dear Son, Yeshua, emphasized by His identification with the third cup as symbolic of His own blood shed for the redemption of sinners (Luke 22:20).


4th cup - “The Cup of Hope” – when Israel is in her land, her enemies are subdued, and peace reigns.
Exodus 6:7 “Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God.”
“This fourth cup envisions the time when true Israel and all those who have attached themselves to her via faith, we will worship God in truth, and will be known in every way as His people. This finial cup reminds us that our redemption is not fully realized yet, and though we enjoy the realities of it in the present, the future still holds our full and final redemption.

Summary of the Four Cups

First, that God chose us to be His holy (separated) people. To accomplish this He promised to unburden us from our enemy’s entanglements.
Second, That we cannot affect our own release and that in our helpless state we must trust in God and in Him alone for our salvation.
Third, God further reavels to us that His sovereign work of salvation necessitates both divine power and payment. Our salvation would cost Him dearly, even the life of The Lamb.
Fourth and finally, God lets us know that the redemption that is ours is still not fully complete. We must await the future with hope of Messiah’s coming, for He alone can transform us fully into the holy people He has ordained.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Growth


This one has been sitting in my blog for a while waiting for me to finish it. I love avocados. I usually make a very thick dressing with lime juice, garlic & salt to replace mayo. I love to mix it with premade sushi rice w/ wasabi and eat it on sliced cucumbers w/ nori. So a year ago, Me & a coworker started to grow one of our own at work. Mine for some reason, grew incredibly quick (see pic) but the first avocado seed I gave her didn’t sprout. I found out with these seeds the avocado plant has been grafted so many times that the fruit it produces most likely not be the one you bought in the store. Trying to grow one of these takes a lot of patience. It takes close to 3 months just for it to sprout. Then after it grows about 6” you need to cut it back so it won’t grow too tall. Also you won’t be able to see any fruit for at least 4 years. I feel more and more like this plant every day. Sometimes when Abba prunes us it hurts a lot but it is always for everyone’s benefit. To grow we must be cut back. All farmers know this. They know if they don’t prune the whole plant suffers and will not produce good fruit. We will hurt the people around us if we don’t let Abba prune us.

Update: I planted it in a pot, put it outside for some sunshine and Mr. squirrel ate it. D'oah!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

“My Rose”

by RMH

Today, my master has planted my rose for me.

He has placed you right next to me in his beautiful garden.

When your roots have grown, they will be entwined with mine.

I will nourish you with my roots, we will be one.

I sit here day & night to see if you will bud this year.

I long to smell your sweet fragrance and to see what color
you'll become.

The time has come; my yellow petals have fallen, for I have
bloomed already.

I will go asleep now for many months but I know when I awake, you will be here with me, my Rose.



"I must wait"
by TMG

I must wait...
I want to look in your eyes, feel your breath on me.
I must wait...
To hold me in your arms and to love me.
I must wait...
The word constantly echoes in my ear without mercy, twisting my heart. It is a word that keeps us apart. I want to grab it and toss it to the farthest sea. Someday will come and wait will be gone forever.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"The Rescue"

At the beginning of Feb, my little sister Becky, wanted to go on vac so bad but she had to wait until Sept. for her group home’s vac. I said “Becky, just rent a hotel somewhere and get away for the weekend. It should only cost about a hundred bucks” She became so happy and asked if I could help. At first I thought no way but then I started to think I should get away too. I needed a break from everything. I just got my income tax check back and thought why not. Me & Becky planned and made reservations for March 12, 13, 14 in New Jersey. For the next month that’s all I heard. On Wed the 10th, I helped Becky with her packing and the next day we went out and shopped for some food and stuff. Friday came and we left around 3pm. We got there around 6pm. We had dinner and I became sick for some reason. I wanted to go to Beth Israel for 8pm service but couldn’t. We got up at 7am and had breakfast. We got a paper and checked the movie listings. The only real movie theater was Lowes down in Wayne. Jersey roads can be backwards at times and they have a lot of one ways, not fun when you are just getting use to the area. Abba helped me with that. We had lots of fun. We were out until 8pm. I parked in the back of the hotel and was told I should move just in case the river overflows. The building grade was steep in the back. The grade had about a 10’ drop over 150’span. I parked in the front by the door. We got back to the hotel room and found out the power had gone out. The tv was down so was the wifi. Things started to feel uneasy to me. We had dinner. Becky started to feel sick and threw up. It was around 10:30pm. We should have just packed up and left. I figured maybe by morning she will be ok and we would go to Beth Israel for 11am service. She threw up 3 times during the night. I couldn’t fall asleep. People were up making lots of noise and I couldn’t understand why. I found out later people were being told to move their cars because of the river was over flowing. I finally fell asleep and woke up to the phone ringing. I was told I need to evacuate immediately. Becky was still sick. She put on her Capri pants. When she packed them I thought it was kinda cold for that but Abba knew she would need them. We grabbed our stuff and headed for the truck. I was stopped in the hall by one of the rescue workers and asked where I was going. I was wearing my FH utility jacket. I said “my truck” he asked where it was and I pointed and said "out front." He looked in my eyes and said "you need to leave right now." From one rescuer to another I knew it just wasn’t an evacuation anymore. People were still undressed and didn’t understand what was going on. The evacuation had become a rescue operation. I got out the door and stepped in 3” of water. I walked over to the back of the truck and it was about a foot deep. The water was very cold. I had pain in my legs and feet. We got in the truck and I told Becky to take off her wet shoes. I blasted the heat. I was wearing my nylon slacks that dry quick and running sneakers that acted just like water socks. I didn’t think of it at the time but Abba had guided us on what we wore. I backed thru the parking lot and turned around staying close to the pool fence to the front entrance. I knew the water was shallower there. I could see lots of cars already flooded from the river. I went to the front desk and handed in my card keys for accountability. I heard people crying and yelling about their cars. Being in Colonie, I’ve never really had anything that bad happen. As a rescuer, I had never been on the receiving end of things either. I jumped back in to my truck and headed to NJ-23. I tried to go north but was told it was flooded. I headed south and went to the gas station to fill up. I met another person who was at the hotel also. We talked about what was happening and he showed me the weather on his phone. I knew the only way out was west. I headed south on 202. I got to a junction and thought I had to go right. Abba turned me around and had me go up Main Street which was 202. I didn’t have a street level map. Abba showed me where to go. I got to 287 and headed north. We were blocked again and I had to get off and go to the next exit. I didn’t understand where to go. Abba told me to follow the plow w/ the white trailer. I followed and saw a NJ 17 sign. I had a no turn on red - red light and the trailer disappeared. There were at least 30 cars behind me following me to the next exit. I thought what if I mess up, what if I can’t get them to the next exit? The light turned green and I saw some of the cars going in the wrong direction. I stayed on path and saw the white trailer along with the next exit. I got back on relieved. I finally started to relax. I knew Abba had carried us out of there just like a firefighter out of a burning building. Strange feeling at that moment, Abba has helped me before, but this felt different like there's more of this to come and I need to be ready. After a couple of pit stops, we were home around 10am. We went thru our stuff and our clothes were soaked. The rest of the stuff was in bags and ok. I sit here and think todah Abba for your mercy. Times ahead are going to get tough. We need to be one with him and His will for our lives. This is only the beginning of birth pangs.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

“Which one am I?”

About a week ago I was feeding the birds and thought of this story. This story seems familiar to me for some reason. I hope I haven’t heard it before. Enjoy! :O)

One day the master threw out some crackers. Birds from all around came for the feast. The crows made an announcement to the other crows exclaiming “The food is here! The food is here!” For they were the big birds, staunch in size, able to take the whole cracker. They didn’t want to stay below and be with the other birds, so they would fly high into the trees above. The master knew this and would break some crackers for the smaller birds. The bluebirds came and tried to take the whole cracker but it was just too large for them, so they had to eat the broken ones. They would eat only a little bit, here and there because they were too busy chasing the smaller birds away. The small birds had a great feast. Eating what the crows would drop from above and what the bluebirds were too busy to eat. Mr. Cat was walking by and saw the birds. He thought to himself “I shall have one for dinner.” The crows saw him and started to yell “Go, get out of here!” The small birds heard and flew away. Mr. Cat took a big leap and grabbed one of the bluebirds. As I saw this, I thought of how we are. I wonder what would have happened to that bluebird if the other birds banded together and thought “Which one am I?”