The Widow’s Walk

MOURNERS’ KADDISH

Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which He has created according  to His will.

May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

 

The Kaddish is recited, in public  only, when there is a minyan  present, at the synagogue every morning and evening. It is recited for eleven months and a day. It’s not a law but a custom. It’s a Jew’s way of expressing their respect and love for the departed. And it is expected of them by their parents, whether they are observant or not.                                          Not a word about the deceased or about death. Rather it is a doxology, an elaborate glorification of God. The prayer is in Aramaic rather than Hebrew. whereas Jews normally mutter their prayers silently, this prayer is said aloud.

The Kaddish is in praise of the greatness of God, it is said aloud , it is said by the mourners only in a public service -indicates its true meaning and significance.

The mourner is making a public affirmation of his faith in God even though he has just been deprived of someone who is near and dear to him. Since Jew’s do not believe in the “after life”- he lives  on in his children and in the memory of his family and friends and all those who knew him.

It’s difficult for me now that “our” friends are no longer near by or left on this planet! I want to remember the me that developed from the us. I want to remember him.

The Widow’s Walk

Genesis 4:1  Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” NASB

Dr. Young pointed out Eve’s arrogance in this translation. How often the me, me, me’s and the I, I, I’s take us into the place of consequence, where not only ourselves but also others have to pay the price for pride.

It would seem to me that Eve saw death by this time, after all she was wearing animal skins.  Maybe she hadn’t seen aging yet. Maybe she was still free of wrinkles.

I watched one of those TV drama’s that is faith based. A woman was conniving to get what she wanted, but she would loose love if she got it. The film showed her walking threw town watching couples holding hands and enjoying each other. Then she saw the elderly widow’s, wrinkled unsmiling faces-alone.

I broke down and still days later I am affected by the severity of death. This is only my second Christmas season without my darling husband.I rejoice that our Lord has given him eternal life. I celebrate my Savior’s birth with humility. Yet still the severity of death and separation leaves me devastated. How could Eve still hold on to her arrogance and pass that on to her son Cain? They knew what God required as sacrifice. He demanded shed blood. He demand’s all .

After their sin and the realization of their nakedness, They tried to cover their sin themselves with a fig leaf. That didn’t work, God made garments of skin.

Isaiah 57:9 You have given olive oil to Molech with many gifts of perfume. You have traveled far, even into the world of the dead, to find new gods to love. NLT

Dr. Young gave a Rx:   Call 911   That is Psalm 9:11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds. NASB

Joy to the World, The Savior reigns!                                                                                Let men their songs employ;                                                                                           While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains                                                           Repeat the sounding joy,                                                                                                Repeat the sounding joy,                                                                                               Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

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Without a shepherd, sheep are not a flock.

Mark 5:7  With a shriek, he screamed,”Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” NLT

 

The NLT study guide amplifies this scripture: “Why are you interfering with me?” It was a shriek of fear, defense,and rebellion against God. No one today would like to admit to being demon possessed, but most of our society, like the demon, is screaming at God, the church, and Christian values, “Why are you interfering with me? Get out of my life!” When people reject Jesus Christ and His authority, they put themselves on the side of the demons and are heading in the same direction. Every person must ask: Will I choose autonomy and self-will leading to destruction, or will I choose Christ’s loving leadership over my life, giving me forgiveness, healing from sin, cleansing, and true freedom? The answer has eternal implications.

During the late 1960’s my husband and I had both sided with the demons. We believed freedom meant you could do any thing. We didn’t know each other back then but we both came to the same conclusion that the demons way brought only addiction, divorce, and the destruction of family (naming only a few). If my husband was here today we could discuss the phenomena of people not seeing the demons ways or even his existence in our world. I have a family member that cut herself- the man, demon possessed, cut himself on sharp rocks. I know a beautiful young woman who is given fabulous opportunities over and over but turns her thoughts over to the negative repeatedly. These girls are treated with drugs in the world.

True Freedom comes with Choosing to join with Jesus and take His lead.

The Widow’s Walk

“YOU NEED A LIFE COACH!”

A personalized helper who will Partner with you in designing your future.

A Powerful, Authentic, Caring, Teacher who you can enter confidently into a PACT with.

Dr. Ed Young described “The Perfect Coach” as one who would have knowledge of life even before the dawn of time. Someone who lived in history. Someone who not only has knowledge of the past, present and future- but also has an Eternal Infinite Perspective.

Dr. Young referred to Mark 10:17-31 The rich man who had everything but eternal life. The man saw Jesus as not only a teacher but “Good”. In v.18 Jesus asked him if he recognized Him as Divine. He must have realized what Jesus had that he did not posses. v.19 “You know the Commandments.” The man was sure he had kept the six commandments Jesus had mentioned. But he was unable to keep the very first command “You shall have no other gods before Me”.

God insists that if we are to be on His Team we must be totally committed. We must have Potential (once indwelt we have potential). We must have a Passion for God’s Team. We must be Coach-able and Teachable .

Mark10:21 Looking at him, JESUS FELT A LOVE FOR HIM… I don,t remember noticing those words from Our Lord before. They swell my heart and bring tears to my eyes. I can only imagine how hard it must of been for that man to have walked away from what Jesus offers us.

v.22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.  Dr. Young said the word for grieving is a word likened to extreme pain such as the pain of childbirth. For me I am reminded of the anguish of loosing my husband.

It takes a lot of time to take care of my stuff. Is it a priority over my time with God? I feel so blessed, is my perspective an Eternal one. Will I fit threw the eye of the needle. YES! v.27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” In v.33 Jesus tells them about what is to happen once they reach Jerusalem. There lies our salvation.                      NASB Bible used

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GENESIS 7:16   A male and female of each kind entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord closed the door behind them.

*Once sin had entered into the world, human beings quickly degenerated. Instead of becoming more like God, as the serpent had promised, human beings became more and more unlike God, or ungodly.

It never ceases to amaze me how the Spirit teaches. The world gave us a thwarted and not biblical portrayal of this very important portrayal of God’s character, as He judges sin but extends grace. Hollywood moved the emphasis from God to some man-made caricature Of Noah. As I study these chapters I see many words describing our Lord’s grief, and the ample opportunities He gave the world  to repent. I see Noah, by faith, trusting God for 120 year constructing the ark. There is little description of Noah’s emotion, but very much about God’s character.

Because of God’s holiness,He cannot look the other way when it comes to sin. No one is exempt from the consequences of sin. He must judge sin and, by doing so, keep it in check.

In Sunday school we’ve left Revelation and have moved right into Genesis. I thought I would get an emotional respite, but Genesis has really stirred me in many ways. Of course the obvious need for Adam after being widowed, but more so the revelation of God’s character in these chapters, especially His holiness and grace. It pains me to answer this question”

*How do people today presume upon God’s patience? In what ways would our community be different if everyone took seriously God’s holiness?

*As part of His divine plan for beginning anew, God brought one male and female of every living species to the ark. God would use Noah and his family to repopulate the earth and the animals to do the same. WHEN EVERYONE WAS SAFELY ON THE ARK, GOD HIMSELF SHUT THE DOOR.

I am so grateful and relieved  that I can have faith and trust in God’s master plan. It is He who shuts the door and keeps me safe.

*taken from LifeWay/Adults Fall2015

The Widow’s Walk

WE NEED A REMEDY-SOME GOOD NEWS

*God did not leave us in our brokenness. Jesus, God in human flesh, came to us and lived perfectly according to God’s Design. Jesus came to RESCUE us – to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. He took our sin and shame to the cross, paying the penalty of our sin by His death. Jesus was then raised from the dead – to provide the only way for us to be RESCUED and RESTORED to a relationship with God.  (John3:16,Col2:14,1Cor15:3-4)

The last two weeks I’ve been trying to be aware of when I hear “THE GOOD NEWS”. It’s amazing how often! Yet, this writer has used a word to describe Jesus’ work I don’t believe I’ve ever used or heard before- RESCUED. This powerful and lovely word has caused me to re-immerse myself in the basic foundation of my faith. (My husband would have enjoyed this study and would have been a great help. He could stay so focused, kind of dogged, as he searched for information. I remember his presence, my “better half”.

We use the words Redeemed, Saved. Jesus as the Propitiation, Our Savior,the Sacrifice that Atones. To be RESCUED by my Lord describes for me perfectly His role in my life as a grieving widow. As I picture that word I can see His hand reaching down to pull me from the depth’s of the “dumps”. I can feel His hand guiding me out of danger, safe in His arms. I know he’s there keeping my head above water in every stormy moment.He protects me from fear. He gives me boldness. He fills the horrible void left after my husbands death. He makes me smile.

*We don’t have the power to escape this brokenness on our own. We need to be RESCUED. We must ask God to forgive us – turning from sin to trust in Jesus. This is what it means to repent and believe. Believing, we receive new life through Jesus. God turns our lives in a new direction.              Mark1:15,Eph2:8-9,Romans10:9

*Excerpted from “Life on Mission: A Simple Way to Share the Gospel”

The Widows Walk

John 13:36 Simon Peter asked, “Lord where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now: but you will follow me later.” NLT

* The early church described themselves as disciples of Jesus Christ; a pupil, an apprentice, an adherent. The populace of the time described early disciples as Christians or followers of Jesus.

Jeremiah 17:14 O Lord, If you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone!

*The curse came from Adam & Eve desiring independence from God; both wanting to be in charge. Gen 3:16b says that God said to the woman; ” And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”NLT

 I remember with embarrassment the wanna-be feminist I was before being Born Again. I say it with embarrassment because I never felt comfortable in that role. It just didn’t fit! It wasn’t until I looked up to the Light and allowed God to lead – allowed myself to be used- to be filled with the Spirit, to be available, and above all to be grateful. Only then was I given the gift of my husband. Only then did Ephesians 5:22 ” For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” make sense and fit with alterations of course.

It breaks my heart to see how men are placed in the world’s society. Boys with toys.

 It was and is a choice for married couples to place themselves under the authority of Jesus Christ. The Spirit doesn’t drive us; He leads us. We must bend our knees. Be available. Where do we look for the source of values, ultimate meaning, moral principles? Look up! Filter my life through God’s Word. Restate, reaffirm and reapply the Word of God.

It was a privilege to honor my husband for 12 years. He was a gift that brought me much joy and lots of fun. We didn’t have a curse full house, but a Spirit full home.

The Widow’s Walk

*STRONG RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT HINDERED BY DIFFERENCES OF OPINION.

Romans 14:4 Who are you to criticize another’s household slave? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand. For the Lord is able to make him stand.

v.13 Therefore, let us no longer criticize one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in your brother’s way.

*In Romans 14, Paul was addressing “gray areas” in the Christian life. Disputable matters- those about which Scripture is silent. Still, in verse 4, he made it plain that each of us will have to answer to God for the way we have lived this life. God is not going to ask me what I thought about another person’s actions. God is the Lord and Judge over the other person. I’m not.

 It was a year ago when I had to move my husband into a hospital bed in his office. I wish I had never done that. I wasn’t able to hear him clearly enough. I was so tired by night time. I was going to put the hospital bed in our room. Hospice felt I would sleep better with him in the office. I stalled for a few weeks. I still slept on the floor of the office anyway.

  We were married in August. I think he asked me to marry him in May. We had only been dating maybe for a month. I was 50 and he was 65. We were both very ready to finally “settle down”! We were both moving closer to Christ and were facing a lot of changes in life style. We both had a lot to learn about the “black-and-white-sin” spelled out in the Bible. Our straight from the Bible church we joined together and an International Bible Study helped us struggle through our separation from the world.

  As long as we were studying, the Holy Spirit made clear every change necessary. We were both obviously uncomfortable until we tweaked our behavior and thinking. We were given great teachers throughout our 12 years together. I’m still amazed when people are surprised by the extent of practical solutions to every day circumstances the Bible has. When in doubt- search The Word. From co-signing a loan to gossip, there’s God’s Way spelled out.

*Unfortunately, many Christians are fully aware they are putting down stumbling blocks. They know some Christians see a particular activity as offensive, but they don’t care. They’re going to do it anyway.

* Out of respect for others, mature Christians will restrict their freedom, removing anything from their lives that would cause others to feel wounded in their consciences. Our personal relationships should trump our personal freedoms. The strong should move toward the weak.

  I heard someone from my old church say that I never went anywhere without my husband. I’m sure they didn’t say it with the kindest intent. But when I heard about it my heart swelled with pride. I’m so happy it was so obvious to the world my love and devotion for my husband.

*taken from Bible Studies For Life Spring 2015 LifeWay Adults

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      Acts 8:4 But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.    NLT

      *PERSECUTION FORCED THE BELIEVERS OUT OF THEIR HOMES IN JERUSALEM, AND ALONG WITH THEM WENT THE “GOOD NEWS”.

   Acts 8:4 NASB Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.

I can’t remember how long it was before my mother-in-law’s death that we had been contacted by the hospital. My husband and I were absolutely stunned to hear of the condition his mother was in. We had been trying to contact her off and on with strange responses from her. We knew she didn’t sound like “herself” but she never let us know she was that ill. After her death, at first, we thought we would have her lawyer , who was a friend to her. And these people who had helped her, take care of the house and her belongings for us. We felt my husband couldn’t handle a trip to Oklahoma from Northern California.

But it was that “push” I got, strangely familiar, to just pick up and move us down here. The writing on the wall was there already for sometime- we were increasingly uncomfortable in our apartment. Also my job wasn’t as much fun as it had been. The lawyer told us there was plenty of money for the move, so two weeks later we were on the road. Our parakeet, Bonnie Blue, strapped into the back seat.

It’s amazing how God supplies you with the energy needed. I could never have done all that needed to be done without Gods hand in each matter. It wasn’t just the physical that was so hard but the logistics of arranging my husbands medical needs and coordinating oxygen tank exchanges in cities across the west. At the time of our departure my husband had been kicked up to 4 litters constant flow, 24hr a day. That’s alot of tanks! My torn shoulder tendons can attest to that. We did take our time.

I learned so much from my husband on how to love. He was always so careful with his mothers feelings. She had been a very difficult person throughout his life, yet he always stood up for her and was always careful how he spoke to her. I had to back away and defer to him because I got in trouble too many times saying things she took the wrong way. He taught me to love her in spite of her idiosyncrasies, a lesson I wish I had learned many years earlier regarding my own mother who I had “tough loved” away.

My husband really enjoyed being back here. We would drive around and he would tell the stories of his upbringing. His father was a special man. My husband would remember him for all he did for him and with him. Especially baseball!

There was also a lot of heartbreak in my husband’s coming home. We just could not understand why his mother had lived the way she did the last two years of her life. As we uncovered her life it broke our hearts. My husband loved her even more at the time of his own death. We didn’t regret not being here for her, we just wished she had wanted us here.

My husband became more and more like his father at the time his death grew near. He was calmer, quieter, loving, and like his father his “nose was often in the Bible”.  He knew he was about to fly away. He was ready.

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.  NASB

The Widow’s Walk

                 PUTTING PRAYER FIRST!

   My husband nor I believed in coincidence. When we allowed God’s plan to work out at His pace without too much of our own figuring, we were able to see what He had been accomplishing in our lives. Of course it was only in hindsight that we saw how the plan unfolded. The trick and the treat was to grab a hold of the Saviors hem and wing it.

   As I look back on our 12 years together I’m amazed we were able to do it without too much question. Many “others” gave us council to slow down and search motive and manner. I don’t know why but we didn’t involve “others” very much in our decisions. We sounded off friends different issues we had been working on. Like:

   Money: Do we keep separate accounts ? Do we share the responsibility of my husbands past credit card debt? Do we discuss any purchases made? Do we have “OUR OWN MONEY”? We did bring this up at a dinner party with R&C. Of course Pastor Price talked with us during the prenup counseling. We discarded the world view and cleaved as one, and for the rest of the marriage we struggled together. My husband had his jobs with recording and I meted out.

   We always had just barely enough until my husband brought it to my attention that I wasn’t paying enough tithe. I had been missing a 0! I was only paying 1%. The embarrassment! Once that had been righted and we had started listening to “Crown Financial”, money was there as needed. Not in excess, but we could rest in His assurance.

   This past week plus has been incredibly hard to be a widow. It will be a year since his passing in 46 days. His birthday in 42 days. I have no party to plan. I need to make a church move. I need to find smaller and cheaper housing. What kind of work shall I do?I’ve been isolated with allergy’s, lethargy and shoulder pain. Where is my Confidant? I’ve not ventured farther than my home for earthly counsel in 12 years.

   Of course God directed my study to prayer. My study in Romans 12-15 was side lined by “coincidence” . I was rereading “The Cat Who” series at bedtime and found I was missing a volume. The book store was out so I ordered on line. For an interim book I found on a bottom shelf a book I have carried around since 2000. “The Book of Hours”, by T. Davis Bunn is a novel/mystery. It’s the story of a man who was widowed two years. He finds his way to God, a home, and earthly treasure through riddles left by his dead wife’s aunt. Of course the habit of praying the hours is the theme throughout.

   Aunt Heather writes, “Prayer gives us the strength to go beyond the boundaries of fear and pain. In order for you to heal,…you must learn to dwell within the refuge God grants us through prayer. Prayer then becomes a doorway to what lies beyond the pain and the fear and the past. Prayer will reveal to you the wonder of life in Jesus.

   “‘To arrive at this deeper purpose, you must develop prayer as a regular discipline. You must make it a constant in your life, and not just a sometime act.”

   Of course I couldn’t put the book down. I’ve read and reread different passages. It’s not really a comfort to read other peoples experiences with the death of a beloved spouse. But I do appreciate my own fear and pain validated . The enemy does try to make me feel weak and that it should be over by now. But I’m not over him, and never will be. Aunt Heather said:”My husband came and my husband went. And I am the better for it.”

   So I’ll sit at His feet alone. Asking for clear direction, with Faith.

   From one of this mornings preachers I heard the story of Dorcas. I’ll read it now. There are no coincidences.