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Prophetic Endurance

Leather Shoes

But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked.  Psalm 106:30 (NIV)


But no one says, 'Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night . . .'  Job 35:10 (NIV)


We are wearing leather shoes when it is time to step out. We may be stepping out in faith into a new endeavor, or simply making use of an old dream. Something, probably maturity in us, brought it to fruition. I am noticing the tree in my garden was from some seeds I planted back in 2006. Over a long period of time it comes to fruit, and blesses not just me but others.

Every September when I was growing up in Victoria, my mother bought me not only school supplies, she bought me a pair of leather shoes. These lasted me for the entire year. This was back in the seventies, and little girls went to Kindergarten with ringlets, all curled, leather shoes and wore wool. It reminds me of a life of quality, as often we can seek to do things cheaply, but perhaps God would rather produce works of quality in our lives that will endure. 

My father was a Presbyterian Minister when I was born. He was the minister at Forest Glade Presbyterian Church, which he planted and built himself, and is still there with its red brick and white steeple to this day (the building anyway, although it is a different church now). So I grew up in early childhood being sung children's Sunday School songs every night, along with children's Bible stories. Every night, all the way until I was a teenager, my father read us two stories each night. All five children sat on the couch in the living room, while he read us "a fairy story" (a regular book) and a Bible story (from a children's edition). He also read the Bible every night after dinner and we prayed at every meal. You might think this sounds like a strict religious household, but my parents were transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, planted several churches while pastoring, and wanted to share their spiritual inheritance with us. That meant every night we got on our knees and recited the Lord's Prayer after stories. 

                                                                

When we were older, he read us novels such as the Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkien, Heidi, Robinson Crusoe, and many stories of heroes of the faith, such as Corrie Ten Boom. My parents had a vast seminarian library, as they met at seminary and my father had a Master's in Divinity from Fuller Seminary in California. They collected all sorts of biographies of Christian missionaries and other famous Christians, such as Billy Graham. This was illumination to me, a candle lit in the darkness of my intellect. And poets light a flame, they are candles burning to light the way.

My mother particularly liked poetry, so we had the book of poetry by Ruth Bell Graham, as well as poetry by Luci Shaw and other Christian poets. My mother wrote her own poetry for special occasions, and always celebrated Valentine's Day by baking us a heart cake with icing, and giving us each a card with a small gift. We knew out mother loved us on Valentine's Day even if we were only children who gave out scores of Valentines to our classmates. 

I think back to this on Valentine's Day this year, and the impact many parents faith made on me, and I believe it is this: whether we work in the world or work full-time in ministry, we are the sheep of our shepherd, Jesus. We are cared for with money or without, in times of plenty and in times of need by Him. He is our true Valentine, and expresses love to us as children through the people around us who are more mature in the faith.  

My mother went to Ethiopia for a year as a missionary nurse, and helped many people of Africa working out of a clinic there. She birthed babies and gave immunizations (I can't help but think this ironic). This is particularly symbolic that she went to Ethiopia, where the women started naming their babies after her. The Ark of the Covenant is said to be hidden somewhere in Ethiopia. This became known to me as I was doing research for my next book. . . everyone wonders, what happened to the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy Seat of David?


There is a deep symbolism in God's covenant with us, but also in his instructions to us: 

“Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.

“Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. . ."

Exodus  25:31-40

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