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I read this commentary on US politics.

Yup– republican & democratic presidents have been two wings of the same predatory bird…
AND hope exists. Another article I read the same day:

http://www.naturalnews.com/041849_consciousness_revolution_minds_human_civilization.html

I don’t know that I agree w/ anyone 100%. I do know that more and more people are thinking, learning, and growing. Some of them are even changing behaviors– something more difficult than the other 3 combined.
YHWH told me, “Find the good, green spaces. Touch it. Make it grow.
It’s not just about plants. It’s people, too.
You can’t break up all the asphalt that covers an entire planet with a jack-hammer: your shoulders would give out before you could make much head-way.
You CAN plant seeds, and find the blackberry & ivy that have already found a crack to grow in. Those plants that grow up through the asphalt are strong. Help them grow.
Yes, there’s a horrible conspiracy going on somewhere… it’s even trace-able via corporate connections & ownership. Mathematically provable “conspiracy theory.”
AND the truth is that $ is *not* god. Only an idol. An idol whose hands and head are threatened.
“He has shown thee, O man, what is good, and what YHWH requires of you: but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy Elohim.”
If you’re given a jack-hammer, by all means, have at it! But when you’re spent, remember to plant the strong sprouting seeds in the wake.
Healthy plants produce seed after their own kind. Unhealthy plants will eventually die and become fertilizer for the next generation. Eventually, hybrids and GMO’s will die out. There will be a new generation to feed. Blackberries & ivy & “good, green spaces” may come in handy.

Oyster mushrooms break down petroleum & petrochemicals. Zeolite clay absorbs radioactive particles. The world is designed to regenerate. We can help, and it can help us to survive, and eventually thrive.

Behold, the hand of YHWH is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. –Isaiah 59:1

YHWH said to Moses, “Has YHWH’s hand grown short? Now you will see whether my word will happen to you or not.” –Numbers 11:23
The arm of YHWH is longer than “the long arm of the law.”
No less true today than it was for the Hebrew children in ancient times.

It’s still reality, even when the corporate monsters loom large. Eventually, it’s all just words on paper that say a corporation exists. Paper rots. Life is designed to continue.

LOVE this Article!!! FOOD GARDENS EVERYWHERE!!!
“National Security” is in the “…plants yeilding seed after their kind…” –Genesis 1:12

Human Sacrifice on the altars of the military-industrial complex “gods-of-war”, or on the altar of the gmo “gods-of-prosperity” does not contribute to “National Security.” It’s time to transform our world, beginning with heirloom seeds in our own homes.

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There’s an Ancient Instruction:
“Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce.” –Jeremiah 29:5
“…you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan, and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisified. You shall say before YHWH your God, “I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me: I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.” –Deuteronomy 26:12-13
“He has told you, O earth-being*, what is good: and what does YHWH require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” –Micah 6:8

The word “earth-being” is often translated “man”, but is better-translated “earthen being,” in reference to the Genesis account of the human being made “from the dust of the ground,” and being called “Adam.” The word “adam” is related to the word “adamah,” meaning “ground” or “earth.”

Here’s the Ancient Hebrew Pictograph:

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When we find the humility to embrace the fact  that we are built from the earth, and will one day return to it, we can find beautiful “grounding” in our original occupation as gardeners. The freedom to be the “earth-beings” we were designed to be is the most basic of human rights.

May we be blessed to build a world where that right is honored and exercised in profusion!

Everybody’s running around with two fingers up– if they aren’t busy lifting just one finger at the driver that just cut ’em off. Even so, that driver really just wants peace. We want to know that we’re going to get to work on time, that rent will be paid, that our electricity won’t be shut off, and that we’ll be able to put gas in that car so we can do it again tomorrow. (I use “we” loosely, here– different folks have different struggles) At the core of our beings, we want to feel “secure,” knowing that we’re protected from hunger, cold, and loneliness.  We want peace.
What’s funny is that our language doesn’t tell us what peace is just by looking at the word. It’s kind of a nebulous “good thing” out there somewhere that nobody seems to have (unless they happen to smell like weed, and even then, it’s only for as long as the high lasts).

Shabbat Shalom!

Shabbat Shalom!

A few thousand years ago, and still today in some places, the word for peace was a real, concrete picture of that nebulous thing we all want. Originally, the Scriptural, Hebrew word was “Shalom,” spelled “Shin-Lamed-Vav-Mem.” (second word in the pic)

The Shin is the picture of the two front Teeth. Lamed is a picture of the Shepherd’s Staff. Vav is the Tent Peg, and Mem is Water. The Teeth is an image of protection and defense. The Shepherd’s Staff provides guidance and direction, pointing the way out for the sheep to find everything they need. The Tent Peg is the picture of securing or “nailing down.” Water is our source of life. Shalom is defined in Jeff Benner’s Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible , word #2845, “Complete: Made whole or complete by adding or subtracting. ‘To be in a state of wholeness. Also to restore or make right through payment or restitution. ‘A state of being whole, complete, or full. Also an offering of restitution or payment. ‘A greeting as a desire for completeness to another.”
Shalom is “The protection of the Shepherd, nailing down the water.” We are at peace when we are protected and provided for by our Creator, and when we are made “complete.” In order to be “complete,” we need air, water, food, and shelter. Without land to grow food on, we are incomplete, and the land is incomplete without the humble people who care for it, watching over it with sensitivity to see that seeds sprout in it. Finding those humble people gives the rest of that picture of completeness– we’re no longer lonely 🙂

*Originally posted January 28, 2010 on my old blogsite

Life is rich with natural, functional, healthy systems that really do work. Chemicals, Smog and sundry other nuisances obscure our view of the beauty around and within us that works well. That beauty exudes its richness through “Faith.”
The original word for “faith” in Scripture was “emunah”, and it had a lot more to it than the nebulous “belief” I was once taught.

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Aleph-Mem-Vav-Nun-Hey: (read the opposite direction in Hebrew)
-Bull’s Head (Strength, First, Authority)
-Moving Water / Blood
-Tent Peg (Nail Down, Secure)
-Sprouting Seed (Offspring, Continuing)
-Man Standing in Awe (Wow, LOOK!)

Faith without works really is dead. The picture of Emunah (Original Faith) is Strength Watering and Securing the Sprouting Seed and Standing in Awe, Looking at the results.
Real Faith is real work, implementing the Natural Laws given in Torah, and seeing the results of working within those tangible, functional, “Good” Rules.  Emunah is really better-translated “Faithfulness.” When we are faithful to YHWH’s Teaching and Instruction, we experience the results of real, active, living faith.
If faith produces the Tov (Functionality / Goodness) described in Torah, it’s real faith, and you can hang your hat on it. Just like we invest strength in following the Natural Laws, planting a seed and watering it and watching it sprout and grow into food, there are a multitude of rich laws that can feed, heal, teach, and guide us if we’ll implement them. Faith that implements the Teaching and Instruction of YHWH is recognizable in the Tov it produces.

(Originally published March 3, 2010 here)

I grew up trying to be perfect & do things perfectly.  I wonder how many other people  did. Eventually I gave up. It’s like getting into a spaceship and starting out for a planet located an infinite distance away. No matter how far you travel, you never get any closer. It’s not about becoming perfect. It’s about the journey.
2 original words / Ancient Hebrew pictographs for you:

Break or Keep: Trample or Guard

Break or Keep:
Trample or Guard

1. Break– “to open the head” (as in a head of grain). It’s the picture of throwing the Teaching and Instruction down on the threshing floor and trampling it.
2. Keep– “to guard and protect” It’s the picture of the shepherd building a corral out in the wilderness where there aren’t any 2×4’s. He makes a short wall of rocks and then surrounds the top with thorn bushes, and then stays there, protecting his sheep from the wild animals.

The word “Break”  (in red) is taken from Psalm 119:126, as an example. It corresponds to Strong’s # 6565, and to the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible’s # 1388-B. There it is translated, “To open the head” and “To throw something on the ground and break by trampling”. You can see the open mouth (the letter Peh) with the two guys’ heads (the letter Resh).
The word “Keep” (in blue) is taken from a few verses later as an opposite: verses 134 and 136. They correspond to Strong’s # 8104, and to the AHLB’s # 2853 (V). The AHLB translates it, “To guard” and “To watch over or guard in the sense of preserving or protecting.” You can see the two front teeth (symbolizing protection, biting, or tearing) protecting the water (sustenance for life) and the head.  Another meaning for the Mem (water symbol) is blood (life source), so it could be “the teeth protecting the blood and the head.” This picture used in correlation with “keeping the Teaching and Instruction” or mistranslated, “keeping the law” is a vivid one, demonstrating the life-guarding properties of Scripture.
“Keeping or Breaking the Law” isn’t the terror we were taught. It’s a real, do-able, rich lifestyle. Rather than “Obey perfectly”, we “walk in it”, so as not to “trample it.”
There’s space for things not being perfect. YHWH isn’t that naive 🙂 The Creator just wants us to love living, and gave us Instructions on how to make that happen.  “Peace be the journey.”

As always, I’m not the expert: for more info, see the American Center for Ancient Hebrew Research:

http://ancient-hebrew.org/

or their youtube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/ancienthebreworg

A friend asked me to share what economic, practical thoughts I have on how we make it as a single-income family. First off, I have to acknowledge: we’re well-blessed, and I “get it” that not everyone has all the tools in their basket that we do. That said, other people do have tools in their baskets that we don’t. In a nutshell, we have to find thankfulness for what already exists, rather expending time, energy, money, and frustration on pining after what isn’t. In a world where instant gratification and marketing and sales and “shoulds” and “obligations” are often hailed as gods above real needs, real relationships, and multi-generational investments, finding thankfulness for what already exists is not always the easiest path. We don’t walk it perfectly, but we do walk it, learning along the way.

In no particular order, some things that make our world function on one income:

1. Home Hair Cuts: I do all of them, including my own, and I get compliments on them! If you’re not brave enough to try it right off, practice on a doll, and barter with someone who’s done it before ’till you’re feelin’ ‘yer oats 😉

2. Drying Line: Cuts down on the power bill. Wood heat in the winter helps w/ this, as it serves dual purpose: re-humidifies the air a bit, and you’re not paying for the heat twice.

3. Bicycles: We have an update post here on the “family car.” Between insurance and gas and overall health improvements, it’s been an awesome gift in our world. Not an easy one to initially imagine, considering I was pretty arthritic when we first gave up the car, but no regrets 🙂

4. Giving: Ancient Hebrew Pictograph of the word give here. What goes around comes around. Find someone in worse shape than you are (it’s usually not as difficult as it sounds), and do something about it that you *can do.

5. Become Debt-Free: Ancient Proverb says, “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Find a way out of your slavery.

6. Family Relationships: It’s a team effort. We all have to understand that we’re working toward something bigger and more important than money. We have to find the place where we want to build each other and our home into a healthy, peaceful place more than we want the next trinket.

7. Grow Something To Eat: The closer we get to dirt, the more “grounded” we can be, not only emotionally and physically, but also financially. Our health is one of the most expensive things to lose, and one of the fastest ways to improve it is through organic gardening. Chickens are good, too. Check with local restrictions, though. Some cities will allow hens but not roosters, and there may be a restriction per square foot of land area.

8. Tiny House: More land; Less House; Less Stuff. Find the minimum quantity of “stuff” you need to be happy, and do the house size that just barely fits. Land gives food. House & stuff just drain the budget. Shelving, bunk beds, and Straw-stuffed (make sure it’s clean & dry) mattresses have been a great help for us in making a small house work.

9. Natural / Alternative Medicine: There’s a learning curve to it, and the first few years, we did use modern medicine for a bit. It didn’t work for us, so I studied on my own, and listened to the health-nutty guru’s that had conquered this, that, and the other thing. At this point, our world doesn’t revolve around gas money to get to the doctor’s office. The doctor can’t research as quickly or as effectively or as intimately as I can, here, from home, on my computer. Outside of dismemberment, I haven’t found any use for modern medicine: I can do better for my own family. They’re just people with fancy papers who have been through a system that’s run by money. I’m not. I’m just as smart as they are, but less brainwashed, and better-motivated. All of that said, check out the disclaimer below 😉

10. Growing Herbs: Seasonings and Medicines and a lot of herbs that double as both. A gold mine!

11. Convection Oven: In the absence of a very efficient wood stove (will post on Hubby’s invention / modification later) that runs on twigs, rather than logs, a convection oven uses a lot less energy (money) than the regular sort. Our counter-top version was a second-hand purchase, and has been great!

12. Craigslist: That second-hand thing. The world gets a lot less trashed with re-using what someone else figured out they didn’t need. Meanwhile, I pay less than half what everyone else did for theirs, originally.

13. Build Something: Hubby’s built a business that will, hopefully, sell for enough to pay for the materials for us to build a place where we won’t have to pay rent anymore! Meanwhile, he’s built a sauna for me (LOVING MY MAN!!!), and a shed to sell or maybe trade for the vehicle to move us to our new place to build 😀

14. DIY: Look up whatever it is you find you need, and build it, make it, cook it, brew it, medicate it, repair it. Whatever it is, chances are, it’s just not that complicated… unless it’s a computer… and you’re like me about computers. Still working on conquering that “giant” in my world. LOL!

15. Writing? I’m writing a book… hoping it sells a billion or two copies, and we can retire, fat-and-happy! LOL!

Love to all of you, who are working to do the single-income thing! It’s been well-worth-it for us: our babies know who we are, and we know them. We’re building our home together, one life lesson at a time.

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated / indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)  so do your own research and find what works for you :-)

So this post was from a few years back… and now we have another kiddo ready to pedal… so Hubby played with the welding torch, some pieces-parts of old bikes, and a grinder. The result: we’ve got a tandem in the works to put on the back of the “Wagon”, with some reinforced hitches. MacGyver got nothin’ on Hubby! LOL! He refinished the “wagon box” yesterday, and it’s lookin’ classy 🙂

Here’s the first part of that story:

“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true…”  OK, so he didn’t have this thing when he proposed, but  we didn’t have 5 people to put on it then, either LOL! Hubby traded some work for a bike, and traded that bike for this… in not-quite-so-good-a-shape as it’s in now, and started tinkering… he fixed this and that… added two hitches to the back of it to put the two big kids’ bikes on…

Then he added the two little ones’ car seats, tethered down (yes,the thing goes fast, and deserves car seats)…

…and a “Wagon Box” and Cover…

The babies and I went on a 25 mile ride about a week ago. Today was more laid-back. Here’s Mamma’s Wagon at rest:

My Two Useful Engines:

Pappa Relaxin’

Bikin’ Baby On the Prairie:

Baby Girl tryin’ out the driver’s seat:

It’s kind of our answer to the oil crisis, economic challeges, and our total health picture all wrapped up into one. We sold our family car over a year ago, and I’d been driving a granny-trike with a double baby trailer on behind, and the two big kids have been on their own bikes. I like this much better– THANK YOU, HUBBY!!! It’s great for keeping track of everybody, and this machine was designed to haul! On our longer jaunt, we had a few people lean out the window and take our picture.  We had a beautiful educational opportunity, too. As we were driving under an overpass, a lady leaned her entire upper body out the window of her car, and yelled, “THAT IS SO BI***IN’!!” We got to discuss the intention behind what a person says, and the differences in our vocabulary choices for expressing those positive intentions LOL!