Hebrew month of Tevet 5777 (2016)

god_is_good

Today we enter in to the Hebrew month Tevet.  Tevet is the 10th month of the year on the Hebrew Biblical calendar.  10 is a number of divine order … 10 is also 5 + 5… five being the number of grace or in this case a double grace…. multiplied grace… abundant grace… dare I say it?… hyper grace!  😮

Tevet is a month full of the goodness of God.  The first two letters in the word Tevet is tet and vav.  Tet and vav make up the word “tov” which means good.  The first time the letter “tet” is used in Scripture is Genesis 1:4 …. and God saw that it was good.  The final letter in Tevet is also “tet”…. so the whole word Tevet from beginning to end is a word full of God’s goodness.   A month beginning with goodness and ending with goodness.  

I’m a lover of all things good.  I’m an incurable optimist.  I like looking for redemption and goodness….in people and all things in general.  I do believe it’s a gift from God… I’ve always been like that.  My mom nicknamed me Pollyanna Sunshine when I was little because of this abundance of optimism and hope.  Though, these past couple of years, there have been a lot of personal challenges that would try to produce a critical spirit instead of seeing the good.

Sometimes it is going to require more effort than usual to find the good in something…. thank God for His grace to help in those times.  Especially today when we are inundated with bad news from the media, bad attitudes from people, etc.  It’s a choice we have to make.  And when we make the choice, God will be faithful to open our eyes to see something good… even if it’s just hidden potential…or buried treasure in someone.  Then we get the privilege and joy of co-laboring with Him to pull out that potential and treasure in those around us.  

If I want to be like my heavenly Father then I need to make that choice to look for the good in everything around me daily.  Because He is good… ALL THE TIME!  In fact, good isn’t just a description of Him… it’s who He is.  1 Chronicles 16:34  O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.  Good in this Scripture is called an absolute noun, meaning it follows another noun forming a single idea. “Good” and God are one single thought. There is no “good” separated from God and then associated with Him. “Good” and God are the same thing (see my blog post on Goodness and Goodness and Grace)

I’ve been teaching weekly Bible studies this past year and I’m always amazed when I teach on the goodness of God, how some people will adamantly argue against it.  They prefer to see God as judgmental, harsh, punishing and while they’ll see Him as sometimes good it’s based on only if they’ve done something to deserve it.  Sadly, their interpretation of Scripture is in light of that perception of God…. and their representation of Jesus and of the Father is also through that perception.

There is nothing I can ever do to deserve His goodness.  He is not good to me because I’m being good and “obeying” His Word (for a definition on obeying see my blog post on No Hebrew word for obey).  Goodness just overflows out of Him in my life because it’s who He is.  He can’t help Himself.  He’s not angry with us… He’s not angry with the sinner who is unsaved either.  That’s the good news of the Gospel.  Jesus satisfied the wrath of God, the punishment we deserved for sin, and He reconciled us to God.

Then He made us ambassadors of that reconciliation (2 Cor 5:20).  It’s going to be hard to be an effective ambassador for Christ if we fail to see the goodness of God in the land of the living (Ps 27:13).  2 Cor 5:19 says “He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” We have been anointed to preach the good news just like Jesus (see my blog post on Jesus is our JubileeThe widow of Sidon and one of my favorites Naaman the Syrian).  No one wants to be reconciled to an angry, harsh, God who is only going to breathe down our necks and punish us every time we slip up….. that’s not the good news of the Gospel.  

This month of Tevet, I encourage you to dig deeper into the Word and find out about the goodness of God… to quote Bill Johnson, “He’s better than you think”.  We have a responsibility to re-present Him correctly.  The more we begin to see Him as good in the Word, the more we will begin to see the goodness in the people around us and in this beautiful world of ours.

Then our co-laboring will be a joy to us and we will become true ambassadors of Christ…. running after ALL people, begging them to be reconciled to God because He is GOOD and wants to overflow that goodness into their lives.  

~ Robin

2016… A year of God’s manifested goodness

new year

 

Today begins 2016 which is also 5776 on the Jewish calendar (which began on September 13th).  I love New Years Day… it’s like a fresh start.  Anything is possible.  Today we took down all of our Christmas decorations… giving even our house a clean, fresh start.  Anything I didn’t like from last year, I’ve left behind me and the things I’ve learned from 2015 I get to carry with me into 2016.

This year is a Jubilee year.  In Leviticus 25, Jubilee has promises attached to it…. Liberty for the captives, restoration of family, land, and possessions, increase from your field, freedom from oppression, safety and triple blessings!  In Christ these promises belong to us every year, not just during a Jubilee year…. Jesus is our Jubilee.   Unfortunately we don’t always walk in the revelation of our inheritance In Him.  This year let’s begin to declare BIG…. let’s declare these Jubilee promises over our lives.

This year is also a Leap Year… in Hebrew a leap year is called a Pregnant year.  We’ve been given an extra day and on the Jewish calendar an extra month (Adar II) added to their regular calendar.  What are you pregnant with this year in the Spirit?  Steward well the dreams and visions God gives you for this year with hope and faith.  Be careful not to abort those dreams prematurely through doubt, unbelief, and impatience.

The letters associated with this Hebraic year 5776 are the ayin and the vav. The ayin has a numerical value of 70 and the vav has a numerical value of 6 forming the “76.”  The entire decade from 2010 to 2019 (the year’s 5770 to 5779) is dominated by the significance of the last two digits.  70 is the Hebrew word “AYIN.”  “Ayin” is a word describing an eye…or insight or seeing or perceiving with God’s perspective. This is a decade where we must constantly renew our mind to keep close to God’s way of seeing things.

Vav has a couple of different meanings.  It is a word, as well as a letter.  The word is “and” which is a uniting word… a connecting word.  The first time it is used is in Genesis 1:1 “God created the heavens and (vav) the earth”.  This year is to believe BIG and declare BIG.  It’s a year to believe and declare heaven on earth.  Whatever is in heaven is available NOW on earth…. Matt 6:10  “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven”. There is no poverty, sickness, or disease in Heaven!

Vav is also a picture of a tent-peg.  Isaiah 52 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;  do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.”  This year, do not hold back… enlarge your faith… believe bigger and declare bigger!  Go farther in the things of God this year.  What inheritance promises were hard for you to wrap your head around last year…. prosperity, divine health, grace??  Meditate on those scriptures this year… putting them in your heart and speaking them forth.  Building your spiritual muscles and laying hold of what’s yours In Christ.

Judges 4:21 is another story of a tent-peg… this time as a weapon.  It’s the story of Jael.  The enemy had come into her home because her husband Heber (meaning fellowship) hadn’t stood against the enemy but rather had an alliance with him (verse 17) in order to stay safe on either side of battle.  But Jael had no such alliance and she took a tent-peg and nailed it through the enemy’s head!  This year stand firm against the enemy… against what belongs to you In Christ… don’t allow thoughts that exalt themselves against the knowledge of Christ (2 Cor 10:5) to come into your dwelling place… stake them with the Word!  

I am expecting great things this year… in fact my husband and I have been saying this year will be our best year yet.  I believe this is a year we’ve been waiting for… a year of acceleration, promotion, fullness, favor and increase in every area.    

This morning at 2:30 am the Lord spoke 2 words to me regarding this year.  He said this would be a year of “Behold I make ALL things new”.  I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant until this morning when I read Verna Brown’s (the Pastor of Soul Harvest Worship Center in Modesto, CA) post on Facebook with the exact same words “Behold, I make all things new”….. her post went on to list several new things He is giving this year:  new dreams, new revelations, new strength, new health, new opportunities, new mindsets, new experiences, new mercies, new wine and wind of the Spirit, etc.  What is it that you need new this year?  Begin declaring it and claiming it as yours.  All things are possible to him who believes.  Maybe you need new, fresh hope in order to believe bigger.  Ask Him today to make ALL things new in your life.

The second thing He told me was this year would be a season of His manifested goodness.  I love that.  God is good and He wants to pour out His goodness on your life. Psalm 65:11 says “He crowns the year with His goodness and your paths drip with abundance”.   In Exodus 33 Moses asked God to please show him His glory.  God responded that He would cause all His goodness to pass before him.  He said He would proclaim His name to Moses… revealing His true character and nature to him.  He revealed His glory, His very essence, which includes His mercy, grace, loving-kindness (chesed – covenant loyalty), truth, forgiveness and holiness. (Ex. 34:6-7) God’s glory is His goodness. His goodness is His nature…. it’s who He is.  A manifestation of His goodness in your life is a deeper revelation of His glory… of who He is… His true nature and character.  

This year, allow Him to enlarge your tents, give you bigger dreams and visions, make ALL things new in your life, and manifest His goodness (all that He is) in and through you.  Get ready… this is the year you’ve been waiting for.  I believe at the end of 2016 we’re not going to say “I’m so glad this year is over and ready for a new one” but rather “2016 was so awesome how can 2017 possibly top it!” To quote Kenneth Copeland… “This is the Great year of whatever you need!

 

~ Robin

 

 

 

Christmas Reflections

seashell ornamentsThis morning I sit here in my favorite room of the house enjoying a chai latte and reflecting on Christmas yesterday.  4 kids, 2 dogs and 4 cats usually take over the entire house!  But I have one room that is mine…. they are all welcome in it, but they know it’s my sanctuary.  It’s the place I come to write, pray and enjoy my morning coffee.  It has a comfy red sectional, all of my favorite furniture, and a gorgeous view of our orchards.  And most importantly it’s quiet 🙂  

This was our first Christmas back here at the farm in 4 years.. we’ve been in San Clemente building our business and spent Christmases there… a So Cal Christmas is pretty hard to beat… the weather always cooperates and we can usually spend Christmas afternoon at the beach, wonderful neighbors who bring all kinds of yummy baked treats or great wine to your door,  no family drama to deal with 😉, great friends filling our home and celebrating with us… but this year we decided to spend it here since we’re up here taking care of things around the farm.  I can honestly say this was the best Christmas we’ve ever had!  In fact, we were enjoying the moment of opening gifts so much that we forgot to take pictures… I think I have pics of the kids opening gifts every year except this one.  We just savored the morning filled with joy, peace and love.   It has been a challenging year and we just wanted to spend Christmas quietly together with no drama… no conflicts.

2015 began for us with a move from Southern California back up to Northern California (to our farm) and as soon as we got here,  Steve’s dad became sick and unexpectedly died in April.  Because neither of us have ever lost a parent, we had no idea just how hard it would be… how emotional and how deep the grief would be.  Thank God for eternal hope, knowing that we will see his dad again one day and that for now he is in the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on!  What comfort.  We also went through a very horrible church split and an extremely painful close family split.  It has definitely been one of the hardest years of our married life. Although looking back on it… isn’t hindsight a wonderful gift…. God’s grace was so abundantly supplied to us.  He took our hands and hearts and led us through all of it.   

I was re-reading my blog from last year around this time (2015….will be a good year) and truly 2015 was a year of “grace upon grace, spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, even favor upon favor, and gifts heaped upon gifts”… a year of multiplied grace to us amidst the challenges and hurts.  It was also a year of refining… although last year I didn’t realize that was what this year was going to hold for us.  We definitely went through a refining process this year… hurts and disappointments being healed, seeds that had been sown over the years by well meaning loved ones being dug up, and over all just unlovely attitudes rising like dross to the top and being scooped off by such a loving Father!  We’ve had to realign and readjust this past month… purposing to position ourselves to further walk out God’s plans for us… letting go of things He is telling us we don’t need and things that will hinder us… and grabbing hold of by faith all that He has promised us.

Last month we were on vacation in San Clemente and having dinner with great friends and one of our friends, who is also our pastor in S. Ca, spoke these words over us that He heard God saying… he said he saw God standing with His arms upraised cheering us saying, “Yeah!!  You did it… you passed the test”.  Ahhhhh we passed the test!!  What a great feeling.  It wasn’t the test of going through a family death, church split, or family loss.  Rather, it was a test of standing still…. trusting Him during the refining process.  The test of yielding over to Him the pains and disappointments… the dross that had risen to the top.  Allowing Him to mold us this year and to allow Him to lavishly pour out His grace upon us…. breathing His life into us.  Holding fast to our confessions of faith of who we are in Him…. even when it looked like things were falling apart all around us.

Allowing Him to prepare us for what I believe will be one of the greatest years of our lives.  So although I was really just looking forward to getting through Christmas and starting a new year fresh.. one full of new hope and possibilities.  God truly gave me exceedingly above and beyond that… this Christmas was in a word “full”.   That “fullness” is spilling over into the new year… it’s like a sneak peek at what He has for us.  I am so excited for 2016!  This week, every year, is my favorite time of the entire year.  I spend it seeking God and listening to His heartbeat about the coming year.  I can’t wait to hear what He has to say this week…..I know it will be good because He is good!

I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful Christmas… but if not, don’t lose heart.  God has some great things planned for you this coming year … get ready for your best year yet ❤

Now to Him Who, by the power that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams—  Ephesians 3:20

~ Robin