Posted by: Heather | March 12, 2014

“Hair–Got that Covered?” – Chaya Lester’s Poem

Don’t miss this woman’s manifesto on culture, covering, and marriage. I tend to sidestep questions about my headcoverings; perhaps I should say more than “It has to do with marriage.”

(I originally found this video originally on Maya Resnikoff’s “How to Cover: A Head-Covering Blog,” which has tons of cute ties, by the way.)

Enjoy!

PS  That painting in the background? Wow!

Posted by: Heather | March 10, 2014

Leviticus 1 – Poems from the Parshah

And He Is Calling

What kind of frantic love

calls from an open door framed in firelight

barefoot in linen pjs, holding a knife

and a basin to catch a life to cover me.

When I come, you’ll bear

the weight and breathe the knife

till we both come apart and I come clean

but you always end up on that wood

while I end up alive

around our swirls of red

you go up and I go free

as close as I can come

to holy.

Image

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lord called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying,  “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock. “If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord.  He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. Then he shall kill the bull before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Then he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces,  and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. And Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the fat, on the wood that is on the fire on the altar;  but its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar, as a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. (Leviticus 1.1-9)

Hi, Readers. I know this is a departure for me to comment on a Torah portion by trying to write a poem, but I don’t know what to say about a lover who is so desperate for us that he will do anything to give us the chance to get close to him. I have a few versions of the poem. The non-negotiable parts have to do with the bare feet, the open door, the wood (which is the same word as “tree”), and the blood, which doesn’t get destroyed–did you notice that? I think it’s because he preserves life; it’s a picture of our eternal life. I opened Leviticus this time around and saw a frantic lover calling out to mankind in a doorway. He’s made a way for us. I want so much to go in and be with him.

Posted by: Heather | January 2, 2014

Two New Years

Blessed to see God set his calendar in Exodus 12:2 (part of “Bo” or “Go,” this week’s Torah portion) as I was reading it on January 1, I started musing about the significance of knowing God’s calendar.

departing train signs

Fig. 1: image courtesy of artur84 at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Now, I have to confess, dear readers, that while I’ve been away these some… oh, 107 days (gulp! rough semester!), I’ve lost my infatuation with knowledge. In fact, I may have become a little anti-knowledge, which is why I’m intrigued about the connection between knowing God’s calendar and the exodus from Egypt.

Here’s the thing I never noticed before (sing it if you know the tune): “You can’t get one without the [beat] other.” That is, the children of Israel couldn’t get delivered without the calendar to tell them when to observe the Passover. If they  were the firstborn and they missed it, they were dead. People are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  And us? What does that mean for us? Can we get delivered from this final greater exodus to come if we don’t know the calendar? Read More…

Posted by: Heather | July 12, 2013

Christian Abuse

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Christian abuse should be an oxymoron, and it is, so how does it happen in Christian churches and Christian marriages?

My guess? Nobody wants to talk about it. Abusing and being visibly upset by abuses suffered reflects poorly on the idea that God’s grace is all sufficient. Since God is able above all we can ask or think, then God can make the abuse stop. Also, if God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, then we must be able to take what we’re given, drink the bitter cup, and trust God. It hides behind a veil that is either faith or denial, perhaps both.

Read More…

Posted by: Heather | July 11, 2013

Maybe It Is Good for a Man not to Touch a Woman

Image courtesy of bulldogza at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of bulldogza at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The issue of touch keeps coming up. It was in the Mikvah/Niddah lesson about husbands and wives not touching during the Niddah and Purification days. Then a friend pointed out that the first use of “touch” in scripture is from Eve’s answer to the serpent in the garden–with interesting implications still under review. In the meantime, I ended up learning a little about practices of yichud (not secluding oneself with one person of the opposite sex outside the immediate family–a doctrine I first encountered in the United Pentecostal Church, interestingly enough), and that led right back to the touch issue and Paul, who says to the believers at Corinth that “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (ESV 1 Cor.7.1).

Boy, there are a lot of wild theories about what not touching means in that verse. Read More…

Posted by: Heather | July 10, 2013

Psychological Question about Relationships

Dear Anyone,
Psychology books say no one has control over your emotions: your emotional health is an inside job. And I agree. However, the same books conclude saying that the more you take ownership of your emotional health, the more likely you are to extricate yourself from toxic relationships.
Wha-? But I thought they couldn’t affect me, Mr. Psychology. So which is it, in your opinion?

Links… and a window to my humiliation at attempting a Powerpoint + Audacity -> Windows Movie Maker = Youtube video. But I tried, and have far more respect for those who can do it well.

This is the original small group Bible study I led on Leviticus 15 and menstrual impurity. In part 1, you’ll see some NT scriptures related to purity and holiness. Part 2 gets to my favorite part: the picture that goes along with my analogy of niddah as a bubble.

Mikvah & Nidah Part 1  and Part 2—- Inactive! I will post a password if I reload these.)

(I disabled all comments on Youtube because I’m so embarrassed about how it looks & sounds, but I am willing to discuss the content of the videos over here on the blog.)

Take care, friends.
-Heather

We’ve started living Leviticus 15 in our home, the part where God tells us how to handle menstrual impurity. I confess I’ve been a late bloomer on this command. I didn’t understand it enough to attempt to do it, beyond the occasional bath and maybe counting days on a calendar when I thought of it. But now we’re doing it, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned. Yes, it is for believers, and yes, it is in the New Testament in many places, but this post is about the how of Lev. 15:19-30, not the why.

Read More…

passover head table 5773 small 1   2013

Four Questions

1) Did you ever wonder where the term ceremonial came from?

2) And what did Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas mean when he called some laws ceremonial?

3) How did Aquinas decide which laws were ceremonial and which laws were civil or moral?

4) And finally, can we know how God describes his own law?

Four Replies Read More…

Posted by: Heather | December 26, 2012

II Peter 1: Escaping Corruption and Becoming Fruitful

Is Peter really suggesting that we who are in Christ can end up idle and unfruitful, bored and lazily wasting our days? Peter just assured me that I have all I need for life and godliness right here and now, and suddenly in spite of that, he’s telling me I can be totally irrelevant to the kingdom of God? How is that possible? And what can be done? Here are a few observations, thoughts and prayers.

Read More…

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