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Your Husband is Coming, Wake Up!


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A few years ago after a tiring day, my husband and I went to bed. It was past midnight when we went to sleep, so when his alarm went off on his phone at three-thirty in the morning we both were abruptly awakened by the loud noise.
“Chief,” that’s what I call my husband most of the time, grabbed his phone and said, “It’s the church’s alarm, and somebody may be breaking into the church.” He grabbed some clothes and jumped in his patrol car and took off. I laid in bed and prayed for his safety. As I prayed I felt the Father say, “Bonnie my people are asleep!” They need an alarm to wake them up. They need a shofar blast.
“But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:43-44 NIV.
As I was pondering on this, I was reminded of the parable of the Ten Virgins– five were foolish (disobedient) and five were wise (obedient). Oh, but the story is deeper than this, you see they all went to meet the Bridegroom and they all had lamps and they all had oil in their lamps. He explains to us what lamps and oil are in His Word. “Your word (Torah) is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 NASB. They only had the Older Testament when this was written. The first five books of the Bible is referred to as the Torah. “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life.” Proverbs 6:23 NASB.
 However, even though all the virgins had lamps and oil, all went to sleep.
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.” Matthew 25:1-5 KJB. Verse 8-9 says, “The foolish ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both you and us. Go to the oil dealers and buy some for yourselves.” CJB.
How does one buy oil spiritually? “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.” Proverbs 23:23 NASB. What is the truth? “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:17 NASB.
You know when my husband’s alarm went off we were not expecting it. When Noah started building a boat no one expected rain. It had never rained before. One hundred and twenty years went by before that first drop of rain fell, but Noah kept on building. The Bible says, ““Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:26-27 NIV.
There is another story in Matthew, it starts in chapter twenty-two and it is about a Father who is having a wedding banquet for his Son. He sends his servants out and invites his guest but they didn’t have time to come. One had some new land he needed to go look at, another a new bride he wanted to spend time with and one had merchandise to tend to. The story is told in Luke as well, and the invited guest of the wedding feast have more excuses. One had two oxen to go prove, one land to look at and so on. Oh, has Yahweh been knocking on your heart? Has he been trying to wake you up to put Him before all these other things? Have you told the King of glory, “not now I am too busy?”
Well, in the story He gets angry and He says go in the highways and byways and to the poor, the fatherless, the maimed, the crippled, the blind and invite them. They end up coming. Why do you think that is? Broken, poor, humble people need a Saviour. I am not just talking about wealth and material possessions. I know many who have wealth who know they cannot make it without HIM.
Revelations 19:7 says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” NASB.
Are you awake? Are you ready? If the alarm went off tonight, do you know Him? I don’t mean know about Him–I mean know Him. The ancient Jewish wedding tradition goes like this: The bride and groom were separated after the betrothal. The groom would start to build a home onto his father’s house.
”In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 KJB. The bride worked on her wedding garments. She kept them clean and white, without spot or wrinkle. She also kept her bridesmaids close by, along with her oil lamps and her extra oil. When the Father looked at his Son and said go get Your Bride a loud shofar was blown and the bride would awaken and get ready to meet her husband.
How well do we know our husband?
Photograph by Jeff Manning

What’s In a Name?


me and Jeff

A few years ago, a repairman came out to my house to fix some things. He greeted me several times as Mrs. Manning. This new name was starting to stick. I was a new bride. When the repairman left he said it again, “Have a good day Mrs. Manning.”
On that day I began to think about how I represented my husband. My husband has a title to his name. He is in several positions of authority. How I looked, how my home looked, how I spoke, everything about me was a reflection of who I am, but also who my husband is. Let me take this a step further. When the children of Israel left Egypt, Egypt represented sin– it usually does.   They started out on a journey towards the Promise Land not knowing what all they would face getting there.
They fought giants and they murmured and complained about the lack of water, food, even the leader HaShem had placed over them. At times they missed their old life of sin and they said things like, “Let’s go back to Egypt. At least we had leeks and onions, and garlic.  Think back to when you first asked Jesus/ Yeshua to be LORD of your life. What is the definition of Lord?
Lord: “A person who has authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler.”  That was the day you married the King of Kings. He became more than Lord. He also is a friend, a companion and a lover of your soul. You now represent HIM. You are HIS BRIDE! Hurry, go look in the mirror and see yourself dressed in all His Glory. He said this about YOU–“”How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil; Your hair is like a flock of goats That have descended from Mount Gilead.” Song of Solomon 4:1 NASB.
Let’s think back to before we were married to Jesus/ Yeshua–what did our life look like then? Did we smell like leeks, onions, and garlic? We need to thank HIM for where He has brought us from. “He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint.” Deuteronomy 8:15 NASB. Yeshua is the Word made flesh. He is the Light. He is the Lamp. He is the Torah. When we place His Commandments above the worlds ways, we are a beautiful bride indeed.
So back to my name and your name and the importance of this. If you are reading this and you asked Jesus/ Yeshua to become Chief in your life, He came and He breathed His Holy Ruach Breath upon you. You became his bride. I am Jeff’s new bride, I represent him. I also represent Jesus/ Yeshua. Everything I say, do, wear, my home, even how I walk, represents Him. Now that I am married he has given me a set of Commandments (Torah Instructions) to follow and a book on how to be the most beautiful bride.
If you read the book it gives you tips on how to enhance that beauty from Glory to Glory. It instructs us how to win races and how to love our enemies. It tells us how to get out of debt, run a business well, how to treat our neighbors and even a whole chapter on how to be a great wife empowered by the Ruach HaKodesh. Proverbs 31 is often called “The Proverbial woman.”  I want to be the best wife I can be to both my Maker, My Husband and my earthly husband. I want to look good on the inside and the outside. Don’t you? WHO DO YOU REPRESENT?
“For your MAKER is your HUSBAND–the LORD Almighty is his NAME–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” Isaiah 54:5 NIV.  Paul said, “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”” 2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT.  YOU ARE HIS AMBASSADOR. YOU ARE HIS BRIDE, YOU ARE HIS CHILD.  Make Daddy proud!

 

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lord

Photograph by Lindsey Clements

Is it Dark? The Son will Rise!


son rise

Have you been crying out to the Father for reason of your bondage?  Bondage is the state of being under the control of a force, influence or abstract power. Sometimes that force is a spiritual demonic hierarchy, other times it’s a person, job or even a family member. Usually, the slavery happens in Egypt, because Egypt represents sin. Egypt is where we eat the garlic, leeks, and onions.
Exodus opens up with the children of Israel. They are slaves in Egypt. They have been slaves for 430 years–generation after generation. HaShem speaks to Moses and says, “I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt, and I have heard them crying out because of the slave drivers. I know how much they’re suffering. I have come to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good land with plenty of room [for everyone]. It is a land flowing with milk and honey.” Exodus 3:7-9 GWT.
He says, Moses the cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. So Moses and his brother Aaron set out to bring the people a message of redemption and they explain to them that Hashem has heard their crying. Moses even throws his staff down for good measure and it turns into a snake. The people are amazed. They are elated. This is surely the Lord of HOST and they begin to rejoice and thank Hashem for hearing their cries. It’s been over four hundred years. This bondage was embedded in their DNA but now FREEDOM.
Sounds great huh? Yep, always does when you get a good word from the Lord Adonai. But what happens next? Do things get better? “That same day Pharaoh gave these orders to the slave drivers and foremen:
“Don’t give the people any more straw to make bricks as you have been doing. Let them gather their own straw, but insist that they make the same number of bricks they were making before. Making fewer bricks will not be acceptable. They’re lazy! That’s why they’re crying, ‘Let us go offer sacrifices to our God. ‘Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.” Exodus 5:8-9 GWT. Meditate on that You cry out and you explain what you’re going through and you get called a liar and a lazy unthankful complainer.
Has that happen to you?
Now this story reminds me of a few other stories. We have Joseph and a beautiful coat of many colors. HaShem gives him a dream of his brothers bowing before him and in the next scene they have thrown him in a pit and are eating their box lunches discussing the best way to kill him.
Then there was Mary, a young girl of 14 or 15 who is betrothed to be married to the finest man in the town when all the sudden she is visited by an angel and told she will become pregnant by the Holy Ruach, HIS Spirit. She is told that this child she is carrying will be the deliverer for the whole world.  But by the next scene, she is going to be divorced quietly, possibly stoned to death. Not too long after that Mary and her husband spend years running from an evil king who wants to murder the Anointed One. Not only that but all the babies two years old and under are slaughtered in an attempt to kill her son.
Some 33 years later, that same child makes a statement. It’s right before the greatest event that has ever been recorded or ever will be– His crucifixion. He answers the high priest who has asked if he is the Son of God “You have said it yourself; nevertheless, I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” Matthew 26:64 NASB.
Luke words it this way, “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” 21:27 NIV. Now guess what happened next? The Bible says you could not recognize if he was a man or an animal because he had been disfigured so badly–worse than any man ever has.
It’s always darkest before the dawn. . . Has the Father told you He was going to release you from your bondage, slavery, and oppression? He will! He brought the children of Israel to a place where grapes took two men to carry them. He gave Joseph a new robe and a ring and made him second in command. He took the Savior from the cross to his right hand, with power and great glory! Now His Ruach Set Apart Spirit abides in you, so hold fast. Yes, He will perfect those things which concern you.

Photography by Jeff Manning

The Promise is Coming!


There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. His name means “one who hears.” He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Ruach Set apart Spirit was upon him and it was revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Messiah Yeshua/ Jesus.
Can you picture him? We have an old man here and his name is Simeon. He is faithful, and he is led by Yah’s Spirit. The Father talks to him and communicates with him. He tells him he will not die until he sees with his eyes The Messiah. What a wonderful promise.  What an amazing promise.
He is a high priest and a prophet. Every time a couple walks into circumcise their baby, he anticipates eagerly– walking by, watching, waiting to see if God’s voice whispers,  “This is my beloved Son, the promise!” Possibly, there were some who made fun of Simeon and proclaimed he was senile.
Yes, they talk, they always do. But Simeon knows the voice of his Father. He has heard it before and he knows that God is not slack concerning his promises.
Has the Father ever given you a promise? Are you waiting for something and it just seems to never come? You wait and you look at the stars and He says count them if you can. Your seed will be as the dust of the earth. But you have no seed and your wife is ninety years old. Oh Abraham! He doesn’t get the promise until he is 100 years old. HaShem doesn’t care about time. He doesn’t have a watch. One day we will hear the blast of the shofar.  Will we be ready? Have we trimmed our wicks? Do we have extra oil? Are our garments clean? Are we waiting for Him like Simeon?
Back to our story: “And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus/ Yeshua, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law (Torah), then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
“Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your Word; For my eyes have seen Your Salvation,
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light of revelation to the gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:27-32 NASB.
Can you see Simeon holding the Messiah? The Savior of the world was in his arms breathing upon Him. The Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) was all around him and Simeon now was ready to die. Did you catch that? HE WAS ONLY WAITING FOR ONE THING, this elderly man who day after day did his temple duties. All the while waiting, waiting, waiting– He was waiting to hold the Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach. What are you waiting for?
I have been waiting for years for many promises the Father has given me. Waiting can get frustrating, but His timing is perfect. Can we speed up the process with humbleness, fasting and doing things in the secret place?  Some of us are waiting for a husband or a wife. Some of us are waiting for a financial breakthrough, some are waiting for a home, a healing, and a family situation to turn around, BUT SIMEON, Yes humble Simeon, he had something he was waiting for and that was to see the blessed hope, Jesus/ Yeshua the baby Messiah. He just wanted to LOOK UPON THE PROMISE and speak the Word Yahweh had given him. Then he said he was ready to die peacefully.
Let’s keep looking for Him and searching for Him and placing our eyes upon Him. After we seek first the kingdom of heaven all the things we want will be added unto us. . .Wait for His presence like Simeon did and wait with EXPECTATION believing even when others have given up on your promise. “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” Habakkuk 2:3KJB.